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The Final: Spain v Italy

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    The Final: Spain v Italy

    Sam, I will concede my ground here because I didn't know that there was no Olympic football in 1932 so Uruguay could not defend the trophy. That would have been 3 Olympics and probably a feat that no modern side could match.

    We would then have to decide if pre-1950s football has the same competitive value as football in 1954-2012, which is subjective. I don't think one could dispute that Germany's three World Cups in that era beats Italy, Uruguay and Argentina irrespective of the continental trophies, which may be a red herring either way because Euros and Copa Americas simply were not in the same conversation as World Cups until the 1980s, and since the 80s there's no doubt that South America except Brazil has underachieved in the WC.

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      The Final: Spain v Italy

      Flynnie wrote: Uruguay's win in 1924 is slightly ropey, in that the competition wasn't that great. That said, the South Americans did have to travel by boat and then trousered the competition, including beating France 5-1.

      The 1928 win is unquestionable, IMO. All of Europe's leading teams were there, the Argentinians were there, there were stars all over the place, and they won. It was basically a proto-World Cup. They're more than entitled to count that if you ask me. The Brits weren't there, but pig-headed insularity shouldn't be held against the Uruguayans.
      Didn't the British flounce after 1920 when they lost the first round under the thinly vieled excuse of professionalism in the tournament.

      There seemed to be alot of teams entered in 1924 and Uruguay came over and beat the Europeans in their own back yard which is as impressive as Brazil's world cup win in 1958.

      The world cup of 1930 was set up mainly because the football was going to be dropped for the 1932 Olympics.
      Olympic wins of 24,28 and the world cup of 30 is as impressive as Spains achievement.

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        The Final: Spain v Italy

        Thank you, TG (although I wasn't saying it's 'as impressive' - I think Spain's run now is more impressive. I'm just saying that three consecutive major tournament wins has been done before).

        Jah Womble wrote:
        Unarguably unique? Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Uruguay beat them to it by 88 years (1923 and '24 South American championships, 1924 Olympics).
        Uruguay's achievement was a very good one indeed, but I'm afraid the Olympics (even back then) doesn't stand up to a World Cup.

        In any case, my entire point was that I don't think Spain 2012 are 'the best ever'.
        Fine on the second point (though it's not really the point I was arguing with), but of course the Olympics back then stand up to a World Cup. The OFTs of the decade leading up to the first World Cup are directly comparable to the first World Cup itself.

        The Awesome Berbaslug!!! wrote: Actually when I was reading about niels bohr, I found out that he and his brother were handy footballers, and harald played at the 1908 olympics. There were only 6 entrants so some countries fielded two teams, and denmark beat france B 9-0 and France A 17-1 in the semis before losing 2-0 to Team GB in the final. Does that look like a world cup to you?
        No, but it's the competition they played in, it was the 'world championship' of its day, and they won it. Would you take Preston North End's titles away from them on the basis that they weren't playing in the modern Premier League? Would you run into the Crucible next April and tell everyone to stop playing snooker because so few nations are represented that they can't possibly call their poxy little event a true 'World Championship'? (I very much like snooker, for the record.)

        As for them being able to, 'walk to both World Cups they won,' come on. Europe might look enormous and every other continent tiny on the map projection you've got on your wall, but Montevideo to Rio de Janeiro is further than Rome to Madrid (1982) (or to Paris, with the political machinations of Italy's '30s wins set aside for a second), Berlin to Bern (1954), Berlin to Rome (1990), or Rome to Berlin (2006). So how impressive do Italy's and Germany's wins all look now, hey? HEY? And that's before we even start on the fact that the 1950 winners didn't exactly have the overwhelming support of the home crowd willing on the plucky underdogs.

        satchmo76 wrote: Sam, I will concede my ground here because I didn't know that there was no Olympic football in 1932 so Uruguay could not defend the trophy. That would have been 3 Olympics and probably a feat that no modern side could match.
        I'm not sure about counting post-1930 OFTs, precisely because by that point there was a competing football world championship going on. Perhaps if there had been one in '32 it would have been of a similar standard to the '28 one, but as I hinted at earlier I suspect that by '36 it was starting to fall by the wayside (although as I said, Wiki's not too clear on how strong the squads really were).

        We would then have to decide if pre-1950s football has the same competitive value as football in 1954-2012, which is subjective. I don't think one could dispute that Germany's three World Cups in that era beats Italy, Uruguay and Argentina irrespective of the continental trophies, which may be a red herring either way because Euros and Copa Americas simply were not in the same conversation as World Cups until the 1980s, and since the 80s there's no doubt that South America except Brazil has underachieved in the WC.
        To tackle from the start; I think it does have the same value. Not in terms of believing that competition was as strong, but in terms of the title being up for grabs and being won. Cf my comment to Berbaslug above regarding Preston. The discussion at hand - as I understood Hof's comment, at least - is about trophies won, not about weighting those trophies individually so that no two World Cups are exactly equal in value.

        None of Germany's World Cup wins were aided politically, as far as I can ever remember reading at least, so all other things being equal I'd prefer to place them at least level with Italy's, given what went on in '34, but doing away with Uruguay's trophies on the basis that things weren't as competitive because it was a very long time ago seems harsh, to me.

        It's an attitude I see here (by which I mean in Argentina, not on OTF) in other respects, too. In Argentina, if you read about all-time records of trophies won by clubs, it never says so, but it's almost always merely their professional era record (the pro era here began in 1930). So River Plate have won 32 championships, for instance - only they've not, it's actually 33. And Boca Juniors are the second most successful side, with 24 league titles - except they've actually won 30, because 6 were pre-1930.

        The most infuriating one is Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, who are probably the oldest football club in South America, and who all and sundry will tell you have never been champions of Argentina in all their history. You can say this to supporters of them, and they'll nod sadly and agree with you. They won the Primera DivisiĆ³n in 1929, but because it was before professionalism officially came in (even though it came in the following year and it's not as if standards and competitions suddenly changed into something unrecognisable overnight), it's almost entirely ignored. To my mind, that's just dismissing their title on the basis that it happened a very long time ago, and it infuriates me. As you can probably tell from this discussion!

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          The Final: Spain v Italy

          Sam Kelly wrote: As for them being able to, 'walk to both World Cups they won,' come on. Europe might look enormous and every other continent tiny on the map projection you've got on your wall, but Montevideo to Rio de Janeiro is further than Rome to Madrid (1982) (or to Paris, with the political machinations of Italy's '30s wins set aside for a second), Berlin to Bern (1954), Berlin to Rome (1990), or Rome to Berlin (2006). So how impressive do Italy's and Germany's wins all look now, hey? HEY? And that's before we even start on the fact that the 1950 winners didn't exactly have the overwhelming support of the home crowd willing on the plucky underdogs.
          You have to remember that for Colm, it's a long way to Tipperary...

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