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The Current State of International Football


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Football is in a really good place in terms of international football.

Look at this World Cup alone:

Ecuador, USA, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Tunisia, Japan, Costa Rica, Morocco, Canada, South Korea and Cameroon all impressed in their own way.

The group stages were intense and went right down to the wire. We witnessed some historic upsets and famous wins. Canada didn't win a game.. but qualified for the first time in decades and are producing quality young players like Alphonso Davies. Even Costa Rica had Germany and Spain sweating at one point. Memorable moments for fans of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, South Korea and Cameroon.  Japan have made the most of a very talented generation of players. It's been great to see. The level if rising among the minnows. Better coaching and infrastructures.

Then when you look at some of the nations who didn't qualify, you can see great progress from Luxembourg and Hungary in Europe.

In 20 years or so, there might be no real minnows left aside from your tiny nations like Andorra.

 

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11 minutes ago, O said:

Football is in a really good place in terms of international football.

Look at this World Cup alone:

Ecuador, USA, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Tunisia, Japan, Costa Rica, Morocco, Canada, South Korea and Cameroon all impressed in their own way.

The group stages were intense and went right down to the wire. We witnessed some historic upsets and famous wins. Canada didn't win a game.. but qualified for the first time in decades and are producing quality young players like Alphonso Davies. Even Costa Rica had Germany and Spain sweating at one point. Memorable moments for fans of Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, South Korea and Cameroon.  Japan have made the most of a very talented generation of players. It's been great to see. The level if rising among the minnows. Better coaching and infrastructures.

Then when you look at some of the nations who didn't qualify, you can see great progress from Luxembourg and Hungary in Europe.

In 20 years or so, there might be no real minnows left aside from your tiny nations like Andorra.

 

Shame they're ruining the format next WC...

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The gap hasn't closed that much from what I've seen. The timing of tournament meant many teams couldn't adequately prepare and it was overshadowed by the political issues. This can make upsets more likely. 

Still we are in the quarters and it's the usual suspects bar morocco. In 1990 you had cameroon as the surprise team so not much difference in composition. For lesser countries it happens in cycles. Occasionally the Czech republic are strong. In the 90s you had Bulgaria, Sweden, Ireland and Romania to come up with a few examples.

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57 minutes ago, John Locke said:

The gap hasn't closed that much from what I've seen. The timing of tournament meant many teams couldn't adequately prepare and it was overshadowed by the political issues. This can make upsets more likely. 

Still we are in the quarters and it's the usual suspects bar morocco. In 1990 you had cameroon as the surprise team so not much difference in composition. For lesser countries it happens in cycles. Occasionally the Czech republic are strong. In the 90s you had Bulgaria, Sweden, Ireland and Romania to come up with a few examples.

It's not really about that.

It's how the smaller nations are playing. Usually they are just the whipping boys of the group like Qatar were. Nearly all of them had a chance at qualifying by the last group game.

You can only expect so much from inferior players. They're never going to win The WC. Making the group stages entertaining and giving teams a hard time in the last 16 is an improvement.

A vast improvement from the Arab countries in particular. Ireland beat Saudi Arabia 3-0 in 2002. Now they're beating Argentina. Tunisia recorded their 3rd ever WC win over France. 

Japan and South Korea gave their best showings since they hosted the tournament in 2002.

 

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