7 1, 1 0! Article by Eduardo Marson Ferreira for Revista Força Aérea (Air Force Magazine Aug/2017)
I suggest to the readers of this column of Revista Força Aérea who have not had the opportunity to read the previous edition to do so… It is important to have a notion of the “Theory of the Black Swan” to understand my argument from here onwards. And I write this text one day after the German conquest over Chile at the Confederations Cup, with the younger team in the competition, on average in their early twenties. Against Alexis Sanchez, Vidal and the “pitch bull” Medel. A renewed, discredited, and courageous team… Courage of their manager Joachim Low, and of the managers. July 12, 2000, the German football team experiences its greatest misfortune in history. The team that one day was commanded by Franz Beckenbauer, the all-powerful three times world champion and most successful team of the planet in the 1990s, succumbed on drawing to the weak Romania in the first phase of the Eurocup that year. Harbinger of the elimination without a single victory that year, eight days later.
“Black Swan”, announced disaster or not, perceived or not, the German football organization thought then how we Brazilians think… In the words of the former player Paul Breitner, “Before this we thought in systems of two years, from the Eurocup to the Cup. From the Cup to the Eurocup. If we won the Cup, everything was fine and nothing needed to be done. And we wouldn’t do anything, just stalling for two years. And so we just continued, winning and losing, without changing anything. But if you win anything without playing good football, football at a good level, you need to think about this. And to change this football it needs to change in six, or eight years”. And he concludes, after the Brazilian disaster at the Mineirão: “It will not change with players who are 17, 18 and 19 years old. And yes boys who are 11, 12 and 13 years old. And you really need to change things that matter. That is the way. When you say that our last title was in 1996, it was a turning point in German football. And we thought we were the best, that we did not have to learn anything with anyone. This is the situation of Brazilian football today.”
What has changed since then happened mainly due to the humility of the players involved, who bowed down to the facts.
As mentioned in an article on ESPN, “since the embarrassment of the Eurocup 2000, the German government directed expenditure that exceeds US$ 1 billion in football. There are, today, 370 training centers for minors throughout the country, with more than 25 thousand young people trying their luck in the sport. Another important point is the question of the box office: the prices of tickets have been frozen, which makes the fans always fill the stadiums – the average audience of the Bundesliga surpasses 45 thousand people per game”.
The article continues: “Magnates and foreign businesspeople were prohibited from buying teams. This is reflected in the fact that all the Bundesliga clubs are up-to-date with their finances. The mighty Bayern Munich, for example, has five training camps distributed in 70 thousand square meters that train almost 200 players, 90% of them in the region, with a clear idea of creating athletes identified with the roots of the team from Bavaria – R$ 10 million per year invested in the base”.
“We changed what was a priority until then in Germany, which was the physical condition. This work takes 4, 5 or 6 years to take effect. And now, in these last two or three years, we see the first generation of 19, 20 and 21 years of age. A young team that has a great future for the next four, or six years. This team still has much to learn. The team has developed step by step and we are one of the favorites to win the World Cup in Brazil and also in Russia, in 2018, because we are now on the right path,” said Paul Breitner.
This was before they conquered the World Cup in Brazil, with the humiliating 7×1, which I witnessed personally in Belo Horizonte, against our team, before beating the favorite Chile in the qualifiers for the Russian World Cup two days ago.
As readers already know, I love making these provocations that apparently are not related to the theme of the Industry of Defense. But it is not so! I’m talking about long-term planning, shaking up the status quo, as they did in Germany. Doing now what will only take effect in the next generation!
How many years ago did we witness in the legislative sessions more assertive expressions of solidarity with the National Defense and with the strategic character of the Industrial Base of Defense? How many show themselves as true connoisseurs of the reality of the industry, emulating the Germans who did not need intuitions from anyone in the 1990s? Meanwhile, the reality of the BID is bleak.
In the various seminars, fairs and events on Defense, it seems that the discourse was stagnated at the beginning of the year 2000 when I joined the EADS group, today the Airbus Group… There are times we don’t hear anything “outside the box”. We need to be defiant! The speeches given at these events appear to be written by the same character! Absolutely NOTHING has changed.
Joachim Low, German manager, winner of the World Cup and of the Confederations Cup, dared not to select Neuer as goalkeeper, world champion and star of Bayern Munich, and dared to select the rookie Ter Stegen.
What I mean is… when will we have a fertile field in Defense to plan for the long term, with method, effectiveness… and, especially, when we think outside the box, to leave our truths aside and try something new, and daring? Let us renew the players! Let us promote the rookies!
And above all… let’s stop thinking from one year to another, from one Budget to another, in an uninterrupted playback of the lukewarm, the predictable…
Sorry for getting this off my chest, as a supporter…