Argentine striker Lionel Messi during the World Cup final in Brazil against Germany in Rio de Janeiro, on Sunday, July 13, 2014.
Kylian Mbappé irritated He joined South American football in May, when he came out. to say that Argentina and Brazil do not play games of “high level” in the qualifying process to qualify for the World Cup.
Interviewed by a Brazilian sports channel, the star of the French national team that in South America soccer “is not as advanced as in Europe”. And he remarked that the most recent world champions — including his own country in 2018 – have been the Europeans.
The responses to the striker included all kinds of comments, nuanced between the affront for feeling slighted and perplexity.
Lionel Messi, Mbappé's teammate; in Paris Saint-Germain, came out To say that the Europeans have no idea of the demands of the South American qualifiers, at the altitude of La Paz or the heat of the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
The coach from Brasil Tite stressed that that the competition in South America towards the World Cup has a degree of difficulty higher than that of Europe: "We don't have, with all due respect, to play with Azerbaijan… we don't have those games that give you a I breathe”.
Sebastián Abreu, the retired striker whose “Panenka” in 2010 he sealed the victory that catapulted Uruguay to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in four decades, he missed read more on Wikipedia: “Because they play with Europeans does not mean that those Europeans are top level.” puffing out his chest as the World Cup draws near. Their four teams are beating something big.
Brazil wants its sixth title, sheltering with Neymar and a litter of young wingers. Argentina boasts of an undefeated 35 games and Messi is happy and playing like never before with his team.
Uruguay is excited about going far thanks to Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani in what would be their fourth and last World Cup, escorted by Federico Valverde and Darwin Núñez, talents under 25 who have stood out in their European clubs in recent months.
And Ecuador returns after missing out on Russia 2018 and —with a promising generation of youngsters— he has between eyebrows to draw a group in which he will face The Netherlands, Senegal and the host Qatar.
They all want to break the European yoke in the cup.
But they also have a dark tendency in mind. It has been 20 years since the last time a South American national team was proclaimed a champion. world champion.
Since Brazil added After her fifth star in Japan and South Korea in 2002, the Selacao has crashed every time she's run into one. They faced an opponent from Europe in the knockout stage, including the 7-1 debacle against eventual champions Germany in 2014.
Argentina can say they have been able to beat Europeans in those instances, but he eventually capitulated, as happened. He met France in the round of 16 in Russia four years ago.
There is one factor that is immediately pointed out to explain the prolonged drought in the World Cups: Europe has money hand over fist to invest in the development of its young talents. And, recently, the pandemic and the new UEFA Nations League significantly reduced the number of matches between top teams from Europe and South America.
“Today Europeans Physically, they are above the South Americans. It is seen that they play at a different speed” Iván Zamorano, the retired Chilean striker who played at Real Madrid and Inter Milan. “They are in a dimension a little further on than the South American footballer”.
Zamorano is envious of the ability of European academies to “take out players year after year who can make history in the future.”
“The South American soccer player continues to be superior in technique, that quality of the street that makes him different,” Zamorano told The Associated Press. “But things are missing, the resources, the infrastructure, their work methods. The possibility of looking for that boy who has different conditions sometimes costs in South America and the boy gets lost along the way.”
“We have to do something different that can cause that difficulty to the Europeans to win a World Cup”, he added.
But Zamorano also believes that — maybe the last three World Cups — I had not seen Argentina and Brazil so well on the eve of the tournament.
“From the point of view of competitiveness, the South American teams are going to fight equally with the Europeans”, he predicted.
Luiz Felipe Scolari, the Brazilian coach who was crowned the in 2002 with the sensational “Triple R” in attack, made up of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho, is of the opinion that the current European dominance is just a phase.
Felipao says that Brazil has the attributes to reign in Qatar, but that his country may be best equipped to take the title in 2026 by highlighting the potential of a new generation. This includes forward Endrick, the 16-year-old who last month became He is the earliest player to score a goal for Palmeiras in the Brazilian league.
“The guys that we have now can give us the result that we hope for,” Scolari told the AP. “But you can't push them to achieve everything. Perhaps in four years we can put pressure on them to achieve everything, because they are going to arrive at their peak, at 26 and 27 years old.”
The leaders of South American soccer try to make their teams don't keep falling behind the Europeans – mdash; Corinthians from Brazil in 2012 has been the only team from the area to win the FIFA Club World Cup since 2007.
Alejandro Domínguez, the president of CONMEBOL, hopes to close an agreement with UEFA that will allow the teams to compete in the League of Nations. working much better than CONMEBOL for 30 years. They have results that are difficult for us because we have to start from scratch and from behind,” Domínguez said in a recent meeting with journalists in Buenos Aires. “The League of Nations that they have is a success. Our teams continue to play friendlies and all, with few exceptions, are deficient.”.
“¿ Are we doing wrong that we are not world champions?”, he asked himself. Paraguayan leader. “We have to find the formula. I hope it is given this year. It would really be a consolidation… Unfortunately our young people leave very early, it is an issue that CONMEBOL is concerned about. We are trying to generate more and more income so that the clubs do not have that suffocation and the need to send them.”