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“Between Science and Kiricocho”, the witty analysis of the European Cup final and Messi’s victory by Jorge Valdano

Spain country. The penalty shoot-out that defined the Euro was a representation of the scientific speculation that football wants to move on and the superstitious adoration it is reluctant to escape.

New football. Strong, fighting and supportive Argentina, but with Messi, he won a race America’s Cup; Italy is bold, energetic and brave, but with Donnarumma they won the European Cup. All that tells us, once again, is that football is an associative game that produces effective solutions thanks to inspiring individuals.

Coaches are responsible for greater or less consistency and boldness; The effectiveness of the idea and unbalanced events are taken care of by the players. Millions of neurons are fueled by a culture that begins with the joy of play and continues with training, instructions, games watched and played, sleep and wake, dreams and emotional ambition.

This is what we know about individual talent. This capital, less brutal and academic every day, puts the coaches at the service of a very methodical, professional and somewhat predictable football, but, far from stealing, trying to promote the game.

Jinx 1; Big Data, 0. Football has always loved to hopping between the poles. The last runner explains, in his folly, the mystery of an unfathomable game. The penalty shoot-out that defined the Euro was representative of scientific speculation that football wants to move on and the superstitious adoration it is reluctant to escape. Southgate selected players as pitchers recommended by the science department of a team that asks big data for mathematical facts, following fashion.

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On the other hand, Chiellini preferred to resort to Kirikosho’s scream every time an English player threw. Kiricocho was a legendary jinx at Estudiantes de Bilardo in the 1960s. This team, who had harnessed the divine and humanity to win, sent Kiricocho to silence his opponents before every game, seemingly effectively. What no one knows is how the legend leaked out to imbalance the European Championship.

When technology hits the stick. Technology is taking back football in an attempt to dominate the game. VAR was just the beginning of a progressive relationship. It will cost you more than other areas because in the gaming orbit, as in the art, you can influence, but you can’t decide. But in his relationship with football, he will find the complicity of coaches, people who need control so that they can sleep peacefully.

It’s not about underestimating power and technology when it comes to providing us with data, but, regardless of Kiricocho, the penalty shootout in the European Cup final cleared the fundamental questions. For example: those algorithms do not know doubts, and no matter how much data big data collects, they will never reach the depths of fear, courage, doubt, certainty, anxiety and calm.

Messi won. He who does not cry does not absorb, and he who does not win does not love. Messi finally won with Argentina. He did it against Brazil, at the Maracana and led a young and exciting team. The funny thing is that a large part of the country expected this victory as much as Messi himself, who was little by little admired by many people for something far more important than victory: getting up and going after every hit.

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He did it faithfully to the shirt, with football pride, and even patriotism, resisting humiliation, disrespect and hurtful comparisons. The Copa America made Messi happy and took a country to the streets to celebrate not only a victory, but also an act of football justice with a genius who never got tired of fighting. Celebrate together those who love the way and those who just love to reach.

NB: JORGE VALDANO / EDICIONES EL PAÍS SL, 2019. The author was the world champion with the Argentine football team in 1986.