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Are today’s young football stars worse than those before them?

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Readers' comments

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StatGuy2000

If the evidence (according to this article) is that today's young football ("soccer" to those in North America) stars are worse than those before them, then this would raise a number of questions as to the cause of this phenomenon:

1. What is different between how football players are being trained in the sport in recent years as opposed to the past?

2. Are the current football leagues somehow failing at developing young talent? Are young people around the world finding alternative sports or activities more appealing (thus driving potentially talented athletes away from football)?

3. Is this a phenomenon unique to football (aka soccer), or has this been observed in other sports? (the article mentioned tennis, but is the phenomenon more widespread)

Munzoenix

I feel that the soccer games from the past had more of a "jugo bonito" (beautiful game) than more recent editions of the World Cup. The creativity of players have given way to grueling teamwork similar to the style played by Iceland and Sweden. It is a winning formula, but it stifles the creativity that comes from organic "street soccer" which produces many failures but a few nuggets of exceptionalism. To prevent many failures, national systems have been created to lift the technical skills of many children, but it may have also unintentionally stifled the creativity of a few that would have become exceptional.

Forlana

It is an umpteenth TE text devoted to football. Just football. Isn't it fantastic that my favourite British journal is now competing with La Gazzetta dello Sport?

Kremilek2

It is a complex topic. Maybe journalists who vote for ballon d'or simply like established stars and prefer less promising ones who should first show a longer record of success. The explanation could that journalists themselves get older and thus they become more conservative in chosing favorite player.