Not A Safari

South Africa's World Cup, as seen from New York City

national style

The Germans play attractive football these days, relying on fleet fullbacks like Lahm and creative wingers like Podolski.

The Azzurri play extremely boring football, having introduced “catenaccio” (the doorbolt) into footballing lexicon.

Meanwhile, Brazil, having discovered the pleasures of defensive formations, no longer “play like Brazil”—given Kaka’s loss of form, their main boast entering this tournament is their two central defenders Lucio and Juan, and their muscular fullback Maicon—leaving fancy-footworking Spain as arguably the most “Brazilian” side in the contest.

Meanwhile, African teams like Ghana and Cameroon are tactically very tightly organized, usually defaulting to a conservative 4-4-2 shape.

Of course, these facts don’t stop commentators from relying on the same old tiresome stereotypes. Regardless of what actually happens on the field, we’re probably in for a month of hearing about sexy Italians and mechanical Germans.

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Filed under: peroration, , , , , ,

2 Responses

  1. rbarenblat says:

    Thank you; this is my afternoon listening now!

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