Spain won the World Cup for the first time in 2010, that is, eighty years after the date of the first tournament, and it is the only time that the Spanish national team has received that honor, which is the highest in the world of football, and the Spanish national team did not reach, neither before nor after it, the final match of the tournament. As for France, it reached the final match in the World Cup for the first time in 1998 and won the cup that year, then won the cup for the second time in 2018, meaning that it won the tournament for the first time in its history after nearly seventy years since its first launch.
Argentina won the World Cup for the first time in 1978, nearly half a century after the start of the tournament. On the other hand, the Brazil national team – the most crowned with the title and the only one who succeeded in qualifying for all the finals of the tournament – tasted the taste of winning the World Cup for the first time in 1958, that is, nearly thirty years after the establishment of the great competition. As for the Uruguay team, which won the first title in the World Cup in 1930, it won the championship for the second and last time in 1950, that is, more than seventy years ago.
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There is no national team or club in any part of the world that is the best at all times. This is an axiom of existence and is not a reality in the world of football alone. Excellence to the extent of monopolizing victory is an achievement that cannot stand over time for any of the competitors in any level, whether on the Team or individual levels regardless of the nature of competition in sports or other activities of life.
However, the reason for contemplation – with regard to football tournaments, by the nature of this place – is the fluctuation of teams in victory, according to the specific nature of the tournament, even in comparison to the same time periods. The Uruguay national team – which has been absent from the podiums with any of the World Cup medals for more than seventy years – shares the title of most winning the South American Football Cup (Copa America) with the Argentine national team (fifteen times each), far behind Brazil (nine times). He holds the record for winning the World Cup and is currently ranked first in the world, according to FIFA.
This paradox applies to almost all tournaments in all parts of the world. For example, Spain – which won the World Cup only once, eighty years after the tournament was established – shares the title of most European Championship winners (three times for each team) with Germany. Within Spain itself, Real Madrid and Barcelona exchange control of the Spanish League and King’s Cup titles, with a difference of about ten titles in favor of one of the two teams in each tournament (the Spanish League in favor of Real Madrid and the King’s Cup in favor of Barcelona). In England, Manchester United and Liverpool share the English Premier League wins by a slight difference (once) in favor of the first, while the second clearly leads in the number of times winning the European Champions League (six times). In Italy, and in comparison between Juventus and AC Milan, the first sweeps the Italian league championship, with a difference of more than fifteen championships from the second, which won the European Champions League seven times, compared to only twice for the first.
In Africa, the paradox remains true. By comparing the Egyptian and Moroccan teams – for example – we find that the former is the most crowned African Cup of Nations ever (seven times, including three in a row) compared to only once for the Moroccan national team. As for the World Cup, the Egyptian national team qualified for the finals of the major tournament only three times – during which it did not achieve victory in any match – compared to twice that number of participations for the Moroccan national team, which passed the group stage in the Mexico Championship in 1986 before achieving an exceptional achievement on the African levels. And Al-Arabi, by achieving fourth place in the last championship in 2022.-
In the Gulf, Kuwait sweeps the Gulf Cup with ten championships, compared to only three for Saudi Arabia, while Saudi Arabia participated six times in the World Cup finals, compared to only one participation for Kuwait.-
If it is easy to justify the fluctuation of the level of any team (national or club) over distant periods – or even close ones – from the age of time due to the difference in generations, the different fortunes of the participating players in terms of skill and the change in sporting capabilities, in addition to the surrounding circumstances – politically and economically, for example – that It affects the level of the team and its achievements. The difference in the team’s achievements from one championship to another needs a deeper look. The same team, as we have seen, excels in major World Cup-type tournaments and fails in continental or regional tournaments that are less prestigious, but they do not necessarily seem less competitive in any case, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why teams’ achievements vary across tournaments. .
Some teams, as it seems, used to take a tournament as if it were a matter of life or death for them, motivated by enthusiasm of a special nature in the face of opponents between whom an ethnic or geographical diet flares up – for example – and thus achieves exceptional achievements through it, while the vigor of that team fades when the frame expands Compete in such a way that the issue of diet alone is no longer sufficient to win the title (Is this a good explanation for Uruguay’s overwhelming prowess in the South American Cup and its failure to achieve parallel achievements in the World Cup, especially since in the “Copa America” it is overwhelmingly superior to Brazil, the master of the World Cup tournaments and ranked first worldwide?).
In his book “Football in the Sun and Shadow” published by Dar Mamdouh Adwan in Damascus in 2022, from Salih Alamani’s translation of the Spanish original, El fútbol a sol y sombra, Eduardo Galeano says: “Everyone knows that it brings misfortune to step on a frog. Stepping on the shade of a tree, running under a staircase, sitting upside down, sleeping upside down, opening an umbrella under a roof, counting his teeth, breaking a mirror, but this list seems very short in the world of football. Carlos Bilardo, coach of the Argentine national team in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups, did not allow his players to eat chicken meat, because it brings them bad luck, and he forced them to eat beef, even though it caused them an increase in uric acid. And Silvio Berlusconi, the master of Milan, used to prevent fans from singing the club’s anthem, the famous Milan Milan song, because it sends malicious waves that paralyze the feet of the players. Italian occultists won the cup for their country’s team. The Italian Astrologers Association confirmed to the press that: Our magic will prevent Brazil from winning. However, the violating result did not affect the reputation of this trade union body.
Perhaps the problem is that we are trying to obtain a convincing explanation for each phenomenon or event in order to make expectations that we like to be logical and consistent. We have seen in the previous article that luck has a role that can be described as the main one in achieving victory, even if we do not know precisely what is meant by luck, rather than being everything beyond our control of causes and influences. Considering this, and with the quarrelsomeness of Eduardo Galeano’s funny approach, can’t the reasons for the fluctuation of the level of teams over time and the difference in their achievements between tournaments be included within the factor of luck in the broader sense that we presented in the previous article and not in short in bad or good fortune based on the surveys of astrologers and the prophecies of fortune-tellers?
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