As the German and Argentinian players strolled out into the raucous atmosphere of the Maracana to compete for the most prestigious trophy in the world; I felt that nothing could supersede such a sporting occasion.
A World Cup finale is a peerless event. But aside from a tournament climax that arises every four years, international football fails to capture the excitement of the beautiful game at club level.
Contemplate football team rivalries. Reminisce Sir Alex Ferguson knocking Liverpool off their throne to make Manchester United the most successful English club in history.
The contempt shared by Real Madrid and Barcelona supporters will generate unprecedented anticipation this year as James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo stand in the tunnel beside Lionel Messi, Neymar and the notorious Luis Suarez as they await battle.
Unfortunately, international football does not replicate this antagonism. Another England Scotland friendly clash will not get hearts racing like a derby match involving our favourite teams.
At club level, top players are surrounded by greats. It can be assured that Bale is more startled entering the Real Madrid dressing room than meeting up with his Welsh teammates in Cardiff.
Watching a Portugal or Colombia match where individual stars are present can be fascinating, but witnessing a team of quality players makes for better viewing.
Aside from world champions Germany, no international team beholds the excellence of a Real Madrid for example. Club level consists of greater teams and better matches.
International friendlies are often tedious affairs. Contrast that to the buzz created from premier league teams on pre-season in America.
People craved to catch highlights of Manchester United’s drubbing of LA Galaxy to see how Louis Van Gaal has redefined the Red Devils. Supporters have a genuine interest in club practice matches and this attentiveness declines when an international friendly is aired on television.
Competitive international competitions like the European Championships and the World Cup are wonderful events that help make international football appealing. But club football has a variation of special tournaments that consistently entertains spectators.
Watching a Premier League match on a Saturday, then a Champions League encounter midweek followed by the next round of the FA Cup at the weekend is exhilarating.
Most of us fell in love with football through the club game. Growing up and seeing the invincible Arsenal team inspired us along with Liverpool’s memorable comeback against AC Milan in the Champions League final.
Such occasions are what created our passion. Although the international game will always generate an implacable interest and phenomenal attraction, nothing quite beats club football.
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