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What Google searches and GDP can tell you about footballing success

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Sir Alex is gone long live Sir Alex

The US is so odd. They routinely buy the most tickets for the world cup after the hosts. Even this time, having not qualified and with the tournament being in Russia, they bought the most tickets after the Russians.
I'm amazed the game is not bigger there. Maybe in a generation we'll see the impact of the younger americans playing football over those ghastly sports native to north america ;)

ashbird

Certainly google searches and GDP have some degree of prognostic validity.
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I think a historical cultural love and focus on the sport by the common masses also plays a significant part.
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Don't forget soccer, unlike American football, or Alpine skying, or sailing, or equestrian sports, is a relatively inexpensive sport to play, in terms of the gears required (for head and for limbs, or a sail boat of competition grade in the case of sailing, and horse of competition grade in the case of equestrian sports) and a special field, or snow, or a large body of water . All a kid needs in the beginning is love for the sport and a soccer ball to practice kicking. Of course, later on, proper coaching in technical skills and teamsmanship are needed for further development.
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And then there are the cultural icon for inspiration - actual people who are remembered for the mind boggling feats they could do on the soccer field. One Pele is good enough to inspire generations, not just for Brazil, but world-wide. Likewise Messi and Maradona (Argentina), Cristiana Ronaldo (Portugal), Ferenc Puskas (Hungary)... I didn't know anything about the sport...one day I caught a game on the television. It showed someone by the name of Manuel Neuer, a goalkeeper and captain for the German national team. I couldn't move my eyes away from the screen. God knows how much practice under strict coaching he clocked in for his super-human reflexes and control and distribution of the ball. Things like that don't leave your mind once you have seen them. And it is how sports, even as they may divide as nations compete against one another, unite the human spirit. In the quest of excellence, nothing is more exhilarating than a worthy opponent to take all to a higher peak.