Football clubs, nations and matches that changed the world
The word community is one of these words that people seem to like. You hear it talked about a lot in football – a good community football club; this club is at the heart of the community; the international football community has to sort out this or that problem, etc, etc.
Many different reasons are given as to why clubs or nations are great.
You will have different reasons for why you think a club might be great. Ajax Amsterdam is known for creating a great youth system and Barcelona as a wealthy community owned club, but they are very different.
Ranking football clubs, nations, places and stadiums is not a science. FIFA rankings for men and for women indicate the top nation for both men and women. Very rarely does the same nation top both of these rankings.
It would be logical to suggest that to be a great football nation you have to be represented in both the men and women’s rankings?
In 2016 Mexico won both the men and women’s Homeless World Cup and they are ranked in both the men and women FIFA rankings.
Real Madrid are regularly cited as one of the world’s top clubs in terms of financial power and trophies.
And what about football matches that have had an impact-
In 1969 El Salvador and Honduras went to war after a soccer match.
In 1989 the Hillsborough Disaster during the match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest led to a long fight for justice.
• MYSA has been shortlisted for two Nobel peace prizes but has had some problems recently.
• Partizan Belgrade produced more youth players playing in the top leagues than any other team.
• Women’s football is the fastest growing game in the world and the USA are consistently near the top.
• El Classico is the derby match between Real Madrid and Barcelona on a national basis but sometimes it is teams within the same city that provide great rivalries.
• The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the first time the tournament had been hosted in Africa.
Stadiums are also part of the infrastructure of footballing cities, but what else needs to be put in place to build a great club or footballing nation? How many times do you hear Brazil or Germany referred to as a great footballing nation?
Who will the great footballing nations of the future be – USA? China?
It is impossible to cover every great club and rivalry. Nonetheless, during this week we will look at football wealth, rivalry, community, and matches that made a difference to people’s lives.
Now move on to the next section.