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This blog reflects on soccer qua football all over the world. The blog has a specific investment in attractive, attacking football and, as such, focuses on Brazil, the most emphatic historical exponent of the beautiful game.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Brazil, Spain and the beautiful game: 2010 in Review

In recognition of the New Year, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what we as a community of writers and thinkers about football have accomplished since this blog was launched, soon after the 2010 World Cup, roughly 6 months ago. This year, in football, we saw the ascendancy of Spain as World Cup champions for the first time in history alongside the emergence of promising young teams from Germany, Ghana and Uruguay. Spain's passing game emerged as a model of tactical awareness and coherence for teams all over the world to emulate. Our postings examined the legacy of Carlos Dunga to the national team, Mano Menezes's efforts to renovate the Selecao, deadly strike partnerships such as Romario and Bebeto, teen Santos sensations Neymar and Ganso, AC Milan starlets Ronaldinho, Pato and Robinho, the brilliance of Lionel Messi, Kaka's recovery from knee surgery and the widely controversial appointment of Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo as coach of Inter Milan.

We have also begun a deeper investigation into the history of Brazilian football more generally. We have had the privilege to reflect on Brazil's historic loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final, the legendary team of 1982, the World Cup championship team of 1994 as well as the teams of 1998 and 2002. All this leaves us ample territory in the months and years ahead, to dig deeper into the history of Brazilian football by covering teams and players that have gradually been erased from historical memory online and, to a lesser extent, in print as well.

We saw glimpses of the beautiful game in Brazil 2002, when Luiz Felipe Scolari fielded 6 attacking players in the early matches in the form of Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Juninho Paulista, Roberto Carlos and Cafu. This year, Spain's Barcelona midfield quartet of Iniesta, Xabi, Xavi Alonso and Busquets gave us yet another tantalizing glimpse of beautiful football, but their elegant passing needs to be supplemented by more firepower up front in order to earn a place amongst the top 5 teams in footballing history.

We believe a historical investigation into Brazilian football will enable us to describe, recover and ultimately restore the true spirit of the beautiful game. We have an interest in stylish, attacking football and players and coaches that have a similar investment. And in all this, we have a larger interest in freedom, creativity, aesthetics and the capacity of sport qua art to enrich our lives with models of collaboration, mentorship, friendship, closeness, creativity and passionate modalities of self-expression.

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