OT: World Cup - GET IT ON!

Submitted by BrokePhD on July 7th, 2018 at 1:15 PM

Russians vs. Croats

The English already dismantled the Swedes today. Who are they going to face in the semis?

Could it be an all-EU semifinal on Russian soil?




July 7th, 2018 at 1:44 PM ^

Get it on!

Maybe I don't get out much, but this is the first time I've heard that phrase in a while. 

Will definitely be watching tho. 


Blue in Paradise

July 7th, 2018 at 3:00 PM ^

Just had a crazy and random thought - what if Kevin Durant was a futbol goalie.  His height, wing span, and athleticism would revolutionize the game.

This is why we don't dominate in soccer, if our top athletes were playing, we would be Brazil + Germany on steroids.


July 7th, 2018 at 4:39 PM ^

I am not convinced that Lebron James would be an elite soccer player automatically.

James weighs more than 40 pounds than Lukaku and has him by 8 inches.

Other countries have large strong people - how come so few large and strong excel at soccer?

Only 8 players at the entire world cup weighed in at more than 210 pounds with the heaviest at 218 pounds.  Harry Kane of England was shockingly tied for 2nd heaviest player in the entire world cup of all teams - was he wearing training weights?!?!  Kane doesn't look like 216 pounds to me.

Is the rest of the world entirely diminutive, stupid to not play bigger players...or is there a disadvantage in being heavy/overly muscular in soccer? 

There are several reasons for the rise of soccer's little big stars, but the main one is that being close to the ground is a major advantage for midfielders and forwards. Shorter people have a "quicker stepping pattern," Stasinos Stavrianeas, a professor of exercise science at Willamette University, told me. Essentially, they're spry: They can change directions much faster than tall folks, and they have better control over their limbs.

If you are large and muscular you might not be able to change directions as quickly as someone who is shorter and lighter.  Lebron James is an elite athlete, but that doesn't guarantee that he has elite leg flexibility, foot-eye coordination, and as nimble on his feet as someone like Messi.

A study showed that players shorter than average were more likely to get picked first.  Spain won a world cup with a noticeably shorter than average team.  If large athletes are automatically better, not one country on earth could figure it out an field a large team as one of the shortest teams won?

Tall players can be great too, but look at a lot of all time elite players - many are short...Pele 5'8'', Maradona 5'5'', Messi 5'7'', etc...


With that said I do think our best athletes do play other sports and Lebron could potentially be an elite soccer player, I just don't think it is a given because he is 6'8'' and 245 pounds.  Basketball and soccer are simply different sports.

I could be wrong.


Blue in Paradise

July 7th, 2018 at 5:19 PM ^

Lebron would be 6’8” and 215 lbs if he were a pro soccer player - all of his training the last 20 years would have been different.

Would he be elite? Hard to say, but try stopping him on corner kicks.

Barry Sanders would have been a Maradona- like player and Michael Jordan would have been unstoppable on crosses.


July 7th, 2018 at 8:12 PM ^

Your hypothetical Lebron minus 40 pounds of muscle would look like a lot different of an athlete...

Soccer is the most popular sport on earth it is the primary sport in the vast majority of countries and it is a multi-billion dollar industry with elite players routinely signing 9 figure contracts. 

If being 6'8'' is such a huge advantage in soccer (outside of goal keeper) then why hasn't a single country developed an elite 6'8'' player and sent him to the world cup to win it? 

The 4 tallest world cup players (that aren't goal keepers) are all between 197cm and 199cm...or about 6'4.5'' to 6'5.3''...why haven't any 6'6'' or taller players been developed in the 32 world cup countries with all of the money it?  Surely these countries aren't stupid about their primary sport, surely they have tall players that have taken up the sport in their youth, surely there is an incentive to win...

I had cited a guy with a PhD who said that tall guys can't change direction and control the ball as well as shorter guys.  If true...why would you want a 6'8'' guy who could only do headers....but then underperform at the rest of the sport?

Sextus Empiricus

July 7th, 2018 at 11:08 PM ^

Are we talking about the same Lebron?  The guy is a freak in a league of freaks.  Soccer also favors large defenders and strikers.  Seeing Maguire bully Sweden gives me pause to think Lebron could have been a monster.

If only he had been shipped off to a soccer boarding school when he was 10.  (Soccer makes CFB look angelic with respect to family values.)

Look up Jan Koller - all timer tall guy.  There are many large soccer talents...  but not too many 300 pounders. 

If they could take headers out of the game Soccer would possibly be the best sport - but then there wouldn't be any need for Peter Crouch.

It's better that Lebron is not wasted in a sport decided by penalty kicks.  Hands down the worst method of tie-break I can think of... other than a coin toss.  I don't know why they don't sub down a couple players or take out goalies in extra time either.   That would stretch the pitch and create more opportunities (unless I'm missing something wrt offsides.)


July 8th, 2018 at 12:05 AM ^

I guess my point is tall height and lots of muscle doesn't necessarily make a good soccer player.

Koller is abnormal.  Peter Crouch was a bit of a liability as he lacked the ability to control the ball.


The tallest non-goalie in the entire world cup this year is 6'5''.

The heaviest player of any position in the entire world cup this year is a measly 218 pounds.

Why is that?  Certainly the rest of the world has some tall muscular athletes.  Certainly the rest of the world wouldn't discriminate unfairly against tall muscular athletes if it would bring championships and money.  I think the reason is there is a benefit to being nimble, flexible, spry, shifty, elite control and touch with your legs etc...and it is easier to be those if you aren't 6'8'' 245 pounds.

You mention Harry Maguire doing well in the air...he is tied for the 2nd heaviest player at the entire world cup at a mere 216 pounds and is one of the tallest non-goalie players at 6'4''.  Surely England with 55 million people could field a bigger athlete...surely the other 32 countries who made the world cup, almost all of which consider soccer their primary sport, could have fielded someone bigger than 6'5'' or bigger than 218 pounds if there was a massive advantage with those features.  Perhaps, soccer, a sport that requires great ball control finds it very rare to have tall people with great ball control.

Ronaldo of Portugal is considered a "tall player" and having amazing control for a taller player...he is 6'1''.  Perhaps there is truth to the link in my previous post that studies show shorter lightweight people tend to have better control of their legs for soccer skills and can shift their directions quicker.


A list of the 10 best soccer players in WORLD HISTORY - surely very tall athletes the world over and through history have played soccer - surely very muscular athletes the world over and through history have played soccer - and yet this is the top 10 list....

#1 Pele 5'8''
#2 Messi 5'7''
#3 Maradona 5'5''
#4 Cruyff 5'10''
#5 Beckenbauer 5'11''
#6 Ronaldo 6'1''
#7 Platini 5'10''
#8 Di Stefabo 5'10''
#9 Puskas 5'8''
#10 Eusebio 5'9''

None of them are "tall" and none of them are "very" muscular.  The average height of the greatest soccer players of all time the world over is only 5'9'' and none are very muscular.  Ronaldo is only 176 pounds and for 6'1'' that is not "very" muscular.


July 7th, 2018 at 9:51 PM ^

Are you saying that the rest of planet earth doesn't have elite athletes that ever come around - only the US?

How do you know that Michael Jordan could be an elite soccer player?  Jordan is an elite athlete, but he didn't cut it in baseball - Tim Tebow has better stats at the same level of baseball as Michael Jordan.


July 7th, 2018 at 4:36 PM ^

So I like the Russian story at the World Cup.  I just think they are doping. But maybe everyone is, which seems like the FIFA way.