The different. Soccer is full of players who know how to play by heart and run as if possessed, but they lack cunning because they have less streets than Venice. With their tools, they do what they can. On the contrary, there is a small number of wise people who do what they should almost always do and what sometimes surprises. The latter apply a mathematical logic so that the game does not become destabilized, they look like explorers in the permanent search for usable spaces and they are detonators of the games when they glimpse a dangerous opportunity. It is very interesting to see how they prevail without fuss, with a natural intelligence that is only interested in finding a way around the game to bring it to their own ground. They walk the field like a wandering mine waiting to find the place and the moment to do damage. It’s fascinating to watch them.
You can tell when they are and when they are not. Look at Pedri, with that face of a disinterested and even lazy predator, who has a game map in his head thanks to which he moves the team as if he were the owner, and influences the outcome of the matches when the rival is careless. It is incredible that a player with such smooth movements, in the midst of the speed and intensity that characterizes football today, has such an influence when he is on the field and feels so much when he is not there. Pedri at Barcelona is a clock that always strikes the right time and, when we want to realize it, the game ends up revolving around him. The Cup classic left a lot of material for analysis and even for digression, but the essential thing is that Madrid lacked inspiration to create at least one goal chance, and Barça lacked Pedri to take over the game.
The ‘rock star’ who needed calm. Soccer’s drift towards greater collective speed seems to endanger these players with counter-trend talent. However, they are needed more than ever. Because, it must be insisted, great football needs brakes and pauses as much as speed. If a more resounding example of the power that wisdom has on a soccer field is needed, let’s go back to Leo Messi of the World Cup, a walker who seemed to watch the game from a control tower and who intervened in matches with a scalpel who knew where and where. when to cut Around him a fiery mass adored him as I have rarely seen, but we were before the calmest rock star in history. His intelligence needed calm to stalk the opportunity to hit the final bite of the game. He moved that search for the second, for the centimeter, as always when within a field an unleashed instinct prevails over tactics and force.
Taking care of them is taking care of football. Players with original intelligence to invent weird things keep coming out. Of course, along the way they will need academic knowledge to understand that each area of the field has its own rules and that there are collective laws that cannot be sabotaged. But the boys who are owners of congenital football must be given a space of freedom so that they can amaze us by simply letting them express themselves naturally. That is the challenge of the trainers, to demand the learning of everything that makes the trade of the soccer player, but to assure to the best a space of freedom so that the systematization does not vulgarize them. This share of unlimited pleasure was previously ensured by the street, where we learned without meaning to for the simplest of reasons: you learn to play by playing. With the street gone, it is urgent to integrate freedom and pleasure into the training processes.
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