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-- New York City FC's 37-year-old
Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo assesses MLS. (Reuters)
I would counter that there is also a lot of running at Dortmund, Liverpool and Athletico Madrid, but that's a different sort of running, a more intelligent and tactical expenditure of energy vs the MLS/NCAA sort of running he mentions.
R2, I get where Pirlo is coming from. Countries have different cultural expressions of activity. The rate at how you go about things. Southern European, Latin American ( the whole hemisphere, except the US and Canada) and most of the African nations, play and process motion, might I say with a different fluidity and rhythm. Opera and work schedules reflect this allowance for time. Learning the game in the St. Louis 60's, the ethnic diversity did shape the style of play. There are pro and cons to each style, but preferences are individual. I enjoy watching and playing once upon a time, the more playful, crafty, fluid game. A dance with ball to me is the choice as opposed to the athletic dominance many nations prefer. I admire the skill of possession and touch. Pirlo is certainly out of his element here. I wish more of our youth and coaches had the background to feel/live that distinction.
Sorry, but I do not feel for Signore Pirlo. He's supposed to be what, a professional footballer, running comes with the territory, as R2 says above. Funny though, I do not hear the same polite complaining that MLS is "a very hard league to play in...(sic)" from other pros, though at this juncture of the MLS life, I bet that the PR guys in the MLS offices should be making some hay out of this statement and turn it into a POSITIVE statement, this coming from one of Serie A most vaunted players, dontcha think?
Ric, I don't feel sorry for him either. I think what he was saying in code was that its not very fun playing this style. It's. it a lot if fun watching much of the time either. Pirlo maybe is becoming a vanishing genius. Few, ever, have been more gifted with the ball and anticipatory. Did he take big money to come to MLS, sure he did like many others, including some of our USMNT players. Aside from all that and the difficulty he is finding playing in the league, his observations are something we should think about. IMHO.
He's whining, but he's right. Much of MLS looks like high school/college soccer -- Slam, bam, thank you mam.