Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Future of the Beautiful Game...

25 developments in world football that can be expected in the near future (2010-2060)

The Formation of a European Super League that will contain the wealthiest 22 Teams in the European continent.

An African Team will win one of the next 5 World Cups.

England will win one of the next 5 World Cups.

The smaller European Domestic Leagues will pool their resources to form several leagues to compete against the European Super League.

Smaller clubs within the same regions will merge to take advantage of the economy of scale.

Mergers will include Hearts-Hibernian, Dundee-Dundee United, Genoa-Sampdoria etc.
Throw-ins will be replaced by Kick-ins in an attempt to increase the attacking nature of the game.

Co-ed Soccer will gain popularity. Co-ed leagues will spring up worldwide.

The US will lose their domination of Women's Soccer to several emerging European, African and South American Soccer Nations.

Teams will employ larger squads (35-40) players. The number of substitutions per team per game will be increased from 3 to 7.

Substituted players will be allowed to return to the game as players.

There will be more types of specialty players. For example some players will function only in the capacity as free-kick and penalty takers.

Better footwear will allow Players to routinely take direct free kicks from deep inside their own halves.

Street Soccer will grow in popularity in the US to eventually rival basketball.

A game will be developed that will combine both the skills of soccer and squash. Players will compete in one-on-one matches against each other by kicking (instead of hitting with a racket) a ball against a wall.

A version of Soccer will be developed for play on ice.

Spin off versions of soccer will arise using balls of a non-spherical nature for play.

A type of soccer will be developed where players chase (in an indoor setting), a laser generated ball.

Beach soccer will become popular, spreading to the rest of the world from its power base in South America.

Bionics will create a new generation of soccer players capable of feats of amazing skill and strength. These will include the ability to head the ball into the goal from the half way line as well as the prowess to jump twice the height of the goal post. Augments of such a nature will force changes to the rules of the game to minimize these advantages. Bionic Supporters will set up Spin off leagues for bionic only players. Games in these leagues will by their very nature tend to be high scoring.

Better physical conditioning will greatly extend the playing life of the average soccer star. It will become common for players to peak at the age of 35-40 and to finish their careers at age 60.
With improved medicine, playing games lost to injury per player will decrease rapidly. By 2050, 95% of substitutions will be carried out for non-injury related purposes.

Action replay will become a growing feature of the professional game. Eventually the referee will be replaced by a panel of judges watching the game from a monitoring booth. The panel will have access to view all angles of the game from cameras strategically located around and sometimes within the pitch.

Genetic engineers will create a generation of superstars cloned from the DNA of such greats as Pele, George Best, Johan Cruyff and Maradona.
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