A Beautiful Revolution Is Kicking-Off

Voices Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 05:30
By Sumon K Chakarabarti The gladiators are getting ready. The war is about to begin. And football will never be the same anymore after the World Cup in Brazil is over. Long live the beautiful game because for the first time in history of the game, tiki-taka and the likes have taken over the mantle. So the dreadful long balls are not in vogue anymore. Much to the credit of Pep Guardiola and his compatriots from Spain and South America, boring is out, Tony Pulis is not in fashion. So ever boring Germany and much-hyped ‎Three Lions of England are playing a brand of football never seen before - The beautiful game in the beautiful way. And that's why, for the first time ever, it's the craft of this game which will be on display from several teams in one single World Cup and ‎what better place to do it than Brazil. Precisely why the traditional favourites like Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy can no more think of their places in the knock-out stages a given. And the secret to this football revolution lies ‎in the football leagues of Europe. And to two men. Pep Guardiola. The former Barcelona coach presented a brand of football, with any Galacticos, that everybody wanted to replicate. Barcelona ensured that football went back to basics, taught the world that the game can be played with ball on the grass and not in their air. The world loved it, rejoiced, cheered and then slowly followed. And then there was another man and his blank piece of paper that has given us this year's dark horse. Talking about a churning, in Belgium they have shaken and stirred the pot and tossed every traditional football theory out of the window. They sowed the seeds of a revolution – a revolution that suddenly sees Belgians commanding the same space on the pitch as the Spaniards or Brazilians or Argentinians. World club football has become a hotbed for Belgian talent. It started about 10 years back; it started with a blank piece of paper and a man called Michel Sabon after their disastrous showing at their own tournament in Euro 2000. And so depressed was the Belgian FA about the hollowness of their national football team, their technical director Michel Sabon went to every nook and corner of the tiny nation – from the top clubs to the bottom outfits – with one single theme. Change. Competitive matches were thrown out of the window for kids, five-a-side were made mandatory for them and they were allowed on full size pitches until they are much older. Easier said than done. Convincing the present system and then ripping it apart was tough. They made a single brochure for all the clubs, national team and the coaches of the schools. Same vision for everybody : 4-3-3 with wingers and three midfielders and a flat back four and as much time on the pitch as possible in small-sided games to allow maximum opportunities to touch the ball. It was not about winning, it was about the beautiful game to be played in the beautiful way. It was not about winning. And the crop that came through this vision - Kompany, Hazard, Fellaini, Benteke, Vertonghen, Moussa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, Vermaelen, Lukaku, Minoglet – they are Belgium’s golden generation.  And it's time for us to reap the benefits of a footballing revolution. Sumon is a Journalist and Football fanatic. 
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