The more people living in a country, the
more talent there is you’ll think. But the biggest countries in the world are
not producing a lot of talented players. The most populated countries are not
successful at football. For example look at China, India, the United States,
Indonesia and Pakistan. Small countries like Iceland, Uruguay and Croatia are
doing better at football. But why do the world’s biggest countries fail at
football? There are a couple of reasons for this. Number one. Even though football
is the biggest sport in the world, some countries are focused on other sports
and not prioritizing football. If you look at India, the second biggest country
on earth, you see that they are successful in other sports, like cricket.
They are not focusing the same on football. The India national football
team has never participated in the World Cup. But they are more successful in Asia.
They have become champions in Asian Games football in 1951 and in 1962. They
have won the SAFF championship seven times. They have won the Nehru Cup three
times and they have won the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008. If you look at the
United States, you see that they are also playing other sports more, like American
football and basketball. The United States national team became third in the
World Cup in 1930 and they reached the quarter finals of the World Cup in 2002.
In the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup they became second. They won the CONCACAF
Golden cup six times. Number two: the economic situation of the country. Not
all countries have the right resources to scout players and develop them in an
academy. Football is a business and if you want to succeed, you have to invest.
That is why China is more investing in football right now. They are successful
in other sports, but not in the most popular sport, that is football.
The Chinese president plans to make China a world football superpower by
2050. The Chinese national football team became second two times in the AFC Asian
Cup in the years 1984 and 2004. They also won a silver medal in the Asian Games in
1994. They have won the EAFF East Asian Cup two times. Number three: high
expectations. Big countries have more pressure to succeed. The people that are
back home, really want to see their nation doing well on the big tournament. If you
play with a lot of pressure, you will play different and not always
at your best. If you play bad as a big country, you will be criticized by more
people. But why are smaller countries more successful at football? Being an
underdog can boost the team spirit. The players are trying to fight for their
nation. With a high team spirit players will play on their maximum potential.
Small countries play with less pressure and play like they have nothing to lose..