Is this the death of national team football?


As death of test cricket owing to Twenty-20 version, the last two AFCON versions were dull lull. Some think the last two FIFA World Cups were boring too.

I would agree much with the Euro 2008. I can only remember the exploits of the co-hosts, Turkey, who even surprised themselves about how much they progressed in the tourney.

Could it be a justifiable end of the Drogba, Etos, Yakubus, Kanutes, Keitas, Toures have been hot elsewhere and average playing for their countries? They could have taken it from Europe, or took it to the World to be just so-so at that bid stage.

With the less anticipated Euro 2012, as spectators, there should be means to sue. Having been taken for a ride for a while now, one wonders how long it will go.

It may the dead end of the game, or just the death of national team football. This comes after it was reported how Italy have been scandalised by bribery and match-fixing scandals in the Serie A.

Their squad to travel, if ever, will be subject of much speculation. Just like in the example of Africa Cup of Nations, it may take away the sparkle of eventual winners, in my opinion at this point, Holland.

The reigning AFCON champions, Zambia, truly deserved it, and should have won it at any other time in their history. There will never be any doubt about it. The same will be said by the Dutch, should they capture it.

Why the Dutch? They have a point to prove after South Africa 2010. Spain took it under their guard and most probably to them, unduly. Even Barcelona is said to thrive on the Dutch tiki-taka philosophy. They will want that total football to work for them now.

England just hired a mediocre manager and have a squad selected from probably the fewest options in their history. Their lukewarm friendlies are failing to increase the interest anywhere.

Their league contributes the majority of the participants and that is all. Many of their gifted players withdrew on fears of racial attacks and abuse. There will be general security concerns.

The English Premier League performers in the Euro 2012, will no doubt be cause of interest as others from the rival leagues will be trekking there in the summer.

The earning powers given that Manchester City, Chelsea contribute a significant number of the highest paid players.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have a fair share of millionaires. Will they break a leg for their countries or they are fulfilling just another fixture?

Elsewhere, there is Bayern Munich and Borrusia Dortmund of Germany while Paris St German of France contributes as well. These teams pay big money.

There is enough insurance for whatever eventualities and their futures are easily protected by both country and clubs, but it is not the same.

Lionel Messi fails to compare well with players he outclasses with ball manipulation and understanding, but his country contribution has not qualified him to earn the respect of fans, pundits and fellow footballers alike.

The same goes for Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o. They needed to lift something for their nations. After that generation of the African golden greats, is there another to follow? I wonder.

As for now, with less anticipation and interest, we await what may make or break the confederation football, the Euro 2012. Under normal circumstance, new TV sales and satellite decoders and subscription sales would sore at this point. The old versions will do until we see the need for something special.

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