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Trickery in football: Entertaining or disrespectful?

By Sami Betache Nov 9, 2022
Antony in action during the International Friendly match between Brazil and Ghana. Photo: Niviere David/ABACAPRESS.COM/Shutterstock

With the World Cup rapidly approaching, the conversation around trickery in football has taken social media by storm.  

Some claim that skill moves bring an entertainment aspect to the game while others claim that it can be very disrespectful against weaker sides.  

The Kingston men’s club president, Kevin Gonzalez, had this to say: “I believe trickery has a place in football and can be effective when used in the right way to beat a player for example.” 

The conversation started a few months ago when Spurs player Richarlison started juggling the ball with his head in the dying minutes of their 2-0 win against Nottingham Forrest.

Forrest manager Steve Cooper said: “I would not want my players to do that, what Richarlison did. But if that is accepted at Spurs then that is nothing to do with me, but it would not be accepted here, that is for sure.” 

Most recently however Manchester United forward Antony was the subject of this controversy, with the fellow Brazilian’s trademark spin being questioned against Moldovan minors Sheriff Tiraspol.  

Gonzalez added: “Moments like Antony’s recently I would not want players in my team attempting, because I think what he did was wasteful. 

“He did not achieve anything by using that skill there, what I saw was him trying to embarrass a weaker side they were playing.” 

Kingston women’s team captain Abigail Woolvin however looked at it from more of a tactical standpoint: “Especially at 0-0, a skill used like this was not needed, it also slowed down the attacking momentum in play. 

“I believe skills in football can be used to an advantage in play, like a step over, but when done over the top it’s where it starts to become embarrassing if it does not go right, or cause problems like losing the ball. Keeping it simple is the best way to achieving good possession.” 

With both of Antony and Richarlison being Samba stars, the conversation will be around whether the Brazilian way is an acceptable way to play football.

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