The game’s in cri­sis, but we get the foot­ball we de­serve

World Soccer - - The World -

Over a six-week span this sum­mer, three of the game’s most im­por­tant Fi­nals failed to pro­duce spec­tac­u­lar – or even half-way de­cent – vi­sions of the sport.

The Fi­nals of the Copa Amer­ica, the Cham­pi­ons League and the Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship pro­duced a to­tal of just three goals – and all three dragged on into ex­tra­time, with two de­cided by a shoot-out.

To broaden the gloom, there’s the most re­cent World Cup Fi­nal. What should have been a won­der­ful evening in the Rio sun­shine was an­other over­time bore, a dull 1-0 game.

Four ex­tra-time Fi­nals, just four goals in 480 min­utes of foot­ball. One goal every two hours.

That is foot­ball in 2016; the world’s most en­ter­tain­ing sport re­duced to te­dium. A sport that strug­gles to pro­duce even one goal on its great days and then has to fall back on a far­ci­cal tie-breaker to come up with a win­ner.

As­suredly, this is cri­sis time – and dou­bly so be­cause the sport it­self sees noth­ing wrong. But this is not a tem­po­rary aber­ra­tion, it has been build­ing up for years, as the money pours

Dull...the Euro Fi­nal be­tween France (in blue) and Por­tu­gal needed ex­tra-time be­fore the only goal of the game

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