Archive. Football. Statistic & History
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Column #76

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-02-17 19:38:27

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
During the FIFA Club World Cup — which I didn't watch, by the way — there was a very interesting episode that was much talked about here in Brazil. I, however, just decided to comment on it now. This is a topic that is very broad, therefore I could write thousands and thousands of characters about it. After all, in addition to being a very broad topic, it is aimed at leveling the territory — which I love to do so much.
Well, the case was about a statement by the player Rodrygo about Real Madrid actually expecting Al-Hilal in the final; not Flamengo. On the other hand, coach Carlo Ancelotti commented that he was surprised that Flamengo did not go to the final.
Here, in Brazil, many Flamengo supporters repudiated Rodrygo's statement, as they considered it a kind of affront, provocation on his part. Whether what Rodrygo said was true or not doesn't matter.
What I see in this whole thing is the following: even if Rodrygo intended to provoke, it is not absurd to think that, in the current conditions in which the South American territory is, the Copa Libertadores champion team is eliminated by teams from territories historically more expressionless. As much as I still think that football played in South America is only inferior — and much inferior — to football played in Europe, there is not much distance between other continents and South Americans.
It is not absurd that Flamengo was eliminated. It wasn't a fiasco. This is the current reality of football practiced in South America. I was not surprised that Flamengo was eliminated. Could it be that Brazilians, and especially the mainstream Brazilian media, have forgotten that the level of football practiced in South America has dropped drastically in recent decades?
I heard several comments of the following kind: who is Al-Hilal compared to Flamengo? In the same way that Paris Saint-Germain is not a team historically comparable to MTK, for example. However, which of the two teams has more power in today's football? Is it necessary to answer this? People forget that football is cyclical. Yesterday, Hungary dominated. Today, Hungary no longer dominates. It's the same with the football presented in South America, which is a football closer to the Asian level than to the European level. It's simple.