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Is soccer talent in decline?

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Old
07-23-2014, 10:26 PM
  #26
Wee Baby Seamus
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Originally Posted by Captain Saku View Post
Very solid indeed. But IMO they would be on par with a team like Belgium, good but don't think they make it past the QF.
Yugoslavia always had solid teams.
Belgium was lacking a cutting edge, that which Yugoslavia would definitely have with Dzeko, Mandzukic, etc.

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07-24-2014, 03:50 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by tobo View Post
While I agree, I would like to add that those 90s teams wouldn't know how to anticipate when they encounter modern tactics. IMO they'd be overwhelmed and out of sheer panic resort to parking the bus.
I wouldn't be so confident of that, given the rudimentary tactical grasp displayed by such as Scolari, Hodgson, and Kovac at the last World Cup.

I don't get the impression that Didier Deschamps' store of knowledge exceeds that of Aime Jacquet, either.

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07-24-2014, 03:58 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by Captain Saku View Post
Very solid indeed. But IMO they would be on par with a team like Belgium, good but don't think they make it past the QF.
Yugoslavia always had solid teams.
Quite. To all intents and purposes, Yugoslavia were pre-juggernaut Spain without the sun tans. There was usually abundant talent, but something unexpected always went wrong.

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07-24-2014, 04:50 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Stray Wasp View Post
Quite. To all intents and purposes, Yugoslavia were pre-juggernaut Spain without the sun tans. There was usually abundant talent, but something unexpected always went wrong.
Yugoslavia's best generation was the unfortunate one that was about to hit it's peak when the war broke out.
The backbone was the side that won the World Youth Championship in Chile in 1987. Some of those players were the backbone of the Red Star team that went to win the Champions Cup.
Others were important cogs in various different CL winners (Boban, Suker, Boksic, Mijatovic, Savicevic, Jugovic, Mihajlovic, Jarni, Stanic, Stojkovic, Prosinecki/Stojkovic, Bilic, etc etc).
It was a ridiculously talented squad and the two halves of it played in the 1998 WC.
Croatia went 3rd and Yugoslavia lost 2-1 to a great Dutch side, no shame in that.


...

Anyway, without getting too much into why the quality of football is down overall (IMO, style of play and too many foreigners in top leagues, especially England and Italy, eating away at the space and time needed to grow your own talent) I do KNOW why the talent is down in ex-Yugoslavia, meaning mostly Croatia and Yugoslavia.

The old regime had a rule that players couldn't go abroad before age 27 and only after having served in the army.
Obviously, that was extreme, but it allowed for quality football school, great coaches and the talent blossomed.
These days, kids go abroad at 17 or 18, fail to make an impact in their respective first teams, go on loans, etc. and most disappear with time.
Latest example is Alen Halilovic, the "Croatian Messi" going to Barcelona at 18.

There are still quality players (Modric, Rakitic, Mandzukic, Dzeko, Vidic, Markovic, etc.), but they are exceptions to the rule rather than the rule itself - which was the case with older sides.

...

A "Yugoslavia" team today would be strong (Oblak-Srna, Subotic, Vidic, Kolarov-Jovetic, Modric, Matic, Rakitic - Dzeko, Madnzukic),
but it couldn't touch a the "ex-Yugoslavia" team of say 1990-1998 (Ladic-Stanic, Mihajlovic, Bilic, Jarni-Boban, Jugovic, Savicevic, Prosinecki - Suker, Mijatovic/Boksic.
The 1998 would've been the actual favorite to win the 1998 WC ahead of all those great teams and generations.
The 2014 would be in the "pack", still not near Germany and Spain.


Last edited by Corto: 07-24-2014 at 04:55 AM.
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07-24-2014, 12:54 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by Corto View Post
The old regime had a rule that players couldn't go abroad before age 27 and only after having served in the army.
Was that the case for all Yugoslav players? My club bought 3 Croats in the late eighties who are still fondly remembered among the fans. Branko Karacic and Jerko Tipuric were indeed 28 when they arrived in Belgium but goalgetter Josip Weber was just 24 at that time. He was so good: 135 goals in 6 seasons is just insane.

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07-24-2014, 02:26 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Oblak
Srna - Subotic - Vidic - Kolarov
Modric - Matic - Rakitic
Jovetic
Dzeko - Mandzukic
You don't think this team is on the level of Germany or Spain? I think it is.

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07-26-2014, 05:08 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Cujomi View Post
You don't think this team is on the level of Germany or Spain? I think it is.
One big difference is depth, which often counts over a whole tournament.

If Modric gets injured or suspended, this team would face a huge blow. When Schweinsteiger was not fit, Germany was able to be strong without him. Same for Reus, for example.

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Old
07-27-2014, 11:55 AM
  #33
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No. If anything it is a media observation and people perception thing. The past without 24/7 sports outlets and twitter make a so much healthier soil for (future) nostalgia. That and the relative easier competition all around let past talent shine all the rosier nowadays.

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Old
07-27-2014, 04:44 PM
  #34
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Talent has gotten more reliable than ever before. Modern fitness always players to deliver a level of consistency from game to game that the legends just physically couldn't, see Ronaldo and Messi playing a bajillion games and being as lethal in every one.

We've also seen a lot of secondary nations growing stronger right as a number of traditional powers are going through transitional phases where their old generation are still finishing up and the young bucks have yet to take over like Italy, where their attacking talent on raw ability tops any collection of forwards they've had since the new century with Daestro, Immobile, Berardi, and co. But at this tourney that meant **** all. Similarly spain's u21's kicked all kinds of ass last summer and yet none of them had an impact on the senior squad at this WC and they bombed out.

Also the secondary nations with great generations are just getting started as the Belgians went to a WC QF against one of the finalists in their first tournament together. Likewise the swiss the bowed out to those same finalists in their first tourney with the new golden generation joining the fold while the serbs just started blooding all of their gifted kids this cycle.

So I don't think the global soccer level is any lower than during any other period were most of the great powers were rebuilding/in a transitional phase.


Last edited by cgf: 07-27-2014 at 05:06 PM.
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