Saturday, July 30, 2005

Sport: Philosophy of Soccer: Prosthesis blog has fascinating entry on sport, Dutch soccer hero Johann Cruyff's minority view

Under his heading - Sport, play, and aesthetics - Prosthesis turns to some comments of the Dutch football legend - what we'd call a "soccer legend" in North America - John Cruyff. Besides Cruyff's remarks, you may want to read the whole of the Prosthesis blog entry for a minority alternative view of sport.

"I don't go through life cursing the fact that I didn't win a World Cup. I played in a fantastic team that gave millions of people watching a great time. That's what football is about. The Dutch team of the seventies was fantastic to watch. People say that to me every day ... They talk about us in awe. That is the biggest reward I can have as an ex-player: I played my football in a thrilling team. And I coached Ajax and won the European Cup playing that way, too. Then I went to Barcelona as coach and we won many trophies. But the best reward for me was that people said we were producing the best football in the world.

There is no better medal than being acclaimed for your style. As a coach, my teams might have won more games if we'd played in a less adventurous way. Maybe I'd have earned a little more and the bonuses would have been bigger, but if people say that Barcelona were playing the nicest football in the world with me as coach, what more can I ask for? If you're appearing in the World Cup final it may be the biggest occasion of your life, so why be sad and fearful? Be happy, express yourself and play. Make it special for you and for everyone watching. For the good of football, we need a team of invention, attacking ideas and style to emerge. Even if it doesn't win, it will inspire footballers of all ages everywhere. That is the greatest reward."

Much of the rest of the blong entry turns on the word "play." The first word about sports these writers says is, not win, but play. Winning's nice too, I'd be sure to add. = Owlb

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