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"In any language, the whole world is united by a ball." --- Steve Amoia, World Football Commentaries

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

David Beckham and Reggie Bush: Football vs. Fútbol

"I learned a lot. I have a newfound respect for soccer now."

"The man is a natural."

--- Reggie Bush of the New Orleans Saints.

During a very interesting adidas commercial, two world-class athletes, Reggie Bush and David Beckham, introduced each other to their respective sports.

It was an intriguing view that is rarely seen between the two sports called "football."

These videos were first reported today by 101 Great Goals.

If America's Best Athlete's Played Soccer

We often hear that America's best athletes don't play soccer and if they did, the US would rival Brazil and other powers for global supremacy. I believe this is an erroneous assumption. Ask Kobe Bryant, along with the very few other US stars who grew up playing soccer who understand its unique demands, if that assumption is true or not.

Bush clearly struggled in the above video. He also demonstrated that a great athlete can't always quickly transition to a sport with very different skill sets. Soccer requires foot-to-eye coordination which most US athletes are not taught to master. The sport also requires a different mindset and much less direct coaching influence on a player during the game.

The Role of Coaching During Games

US mainstream sports value execution and athleticism. Soccer is a thinking-man's game where players are forced to make decisions much more frequently on their own than in other sports. The coach's role is also fundamentally different in soccer. There are no time-outs to call plays, unlimited substitutions, or easy ways to shuttle in signals to call every single play (as is common in gridiron football).

Candid Conversation

The candid and respectful conversation between the two men was enlightening. Beckham looked very good in the uniform of the New Orleans Saints and appeared to be a natural to American gridiron football.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator based in Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and published The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015. 

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