It is widely believed that football has its roots in Europe. The continent’s teams have dominated the sport both at the club and international level in the last century.
Credit is due to European nations that have enjoyed much success at competitions. Their glory is not drawn from the talent alone, but also factors deeply enshrined in their core.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is a prime example of how Europe has been at the pinnacle of world football. At the tournament, Europe produced six out of the eight quarter-finalists. In the semi-finals, all four nations were also from Europe.
Out of 21 FIFA World Cup tournaments ever held in history, Europe alone has hosted 11 of them. About 13 slots out of a total number of 32 teams have been given to European teams at the World Cup.
When it comes to raw talent, only South America rivals the Europeans. So where does their pedigree come from?
To be simply put, the Europeans do value their football.
The number of devotion fans put in their desired clubs is astonishing. These huge crowds attract sponsors. The clubs set the tone for the overall leagues which bring the national teams into focus. Talent aside, European nations invest in football development right from the grass root level.
In England, for example, they have five to six leagues underneath the top-flight Premier League. This is the standard across the major footballing nations who in turn develop the best players and therefore are a constant figure in international competitions.
Italy and Germany have won the World Cup four times. All in all, European nations have lifted the trophy a whopping 12 times out a possible 21 tournaments.
Their continued success is down to consistency in approach to matters football.
Apart from South America, the rest of the world probably has a few decades to catch up to the European standards.
Even then, widespread success will not be guaranteed. We have witnessed before our very eyes a continent rocked with the dark arts of football such as racism, bribery and crowd trouble dominate on and off the field of play.
In conclusion, it is the foundation built for longevity rather than quick-fix success that has steered Europe clear of the rest.