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beautiful game
hand eye coordination
natural intuition
The Beautiful Game
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It was the closing minutes of a heated quarter-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands during the 1998 World Cup. The two teams were desperately trying to break the 1-1 deadlock. The world thought that the game would be headed into extra time because it appeared neither team was going to score the golden goal.

Out of no where, Frank de Boer launched a 60-yard pass down the field. Dennis Bergkamp leaped up into the air and brought down de Boer’s pass. With his next touch, he put the ball through Roberto Ayala’s legs. With a stroke of his right foot, Bergkamp placed the ball in the top right corner, beating Argentina’s goalie, and sending his team to the semi-finals. The packed stadium erupted with shouts of joy and amazement, and the Dutch commentator Jack Van Gelder screamed “There’s Bergkamp! There’s Bergkamp! There’s Bergkamp!”

This moment is considered one of the greatest in all of sports, and it is a prime example why soccer is the beautiful game. However, these defining moments are not the only thing that makes soccer the beautiful game, because they can be found in any other sport. Soccer is the beautiful game because of the nature of the game.

In no other sport can you witness the perfect combination of timing, power, and accuracy used by forwards to put the ball past their opposition’s goalkeeper. It’s almost impossible to find athletes who mix creativity with split second decision making better than a midfielder or winger in soccer. As for defenders, it takes a great deal of courage to do what they do. They have to know when the moment is right for them to make the goal saving tackle, which places them under an enormous amount of pressure.

And then there are the keepers…Some say they have the easiest job on the field, but they are horribly misled. I have every ounce of respect for goalies. They risk life and limb to fly through the air and punch out a cross, they must use incredible hand-eye coordination combined with the natural intuition to have an idea where the attacker will shoot the ball. On top of that, they are put in the most difficult position in all of sports when a penalty kick is given.

These individual skills, the major necessity of teamwork, and of coarse the defining moments are what make soccer not only the most popular sport in the world, but thee beautiful game.


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