Confederations Cup underdogs were a breath of fresh air


In terms of good publicity, the previous season may have been one to forget.

Everywhere we look, whether it be online or in the paper, there's always someone doing something they shouldn't. Whether it be Luis Suarez's biting incident on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, or players diving, you can't keep footballers out of the news - and it always seems to be for the wrong reason.

Now in the recent Confederations Cup, Tahiti came in as huge underdogs, to the point where even scoring a goal seemed far-fetched. The results on the pitch where far from good, after conceding a total of 24 goals in three games, many would think this would be a tournament to forget.

Not for this team.

A team that despite losing heavily in each game, kept a smile on their faces. Their passion and determination for the game was as good as anyone else's on the pitch, and they truly optimised a love for football that not many teams can show in the modern game.

The expectations where low, so low that even a goal sent the Tahiti team, substitutes and even the Brazilian fans into pandemonium - there were truly scenes of jubilation.

Their passion for each game was undeniable, and even at 10-0 down against the might Spain, the smiling continued and the effort never dropped, which as a football fan myself, was something incredibly refreshing to see.

Many footballers now seem to forget where they're from, how it all began, and that true burning love for the game that I'm sure is still inside them.

Instead they put on a facade of perfection, flashing the cash on a variety of clothes, cars and houses, or, in Mario Balotelli's case, putting a go-kart track in your own back garden.

Then when it comes down to the nitty gritty business of performing on the pitch, many of these players under-perform, and seem to lack the passion that makes this game the best in the world.

Now, I'm not asking for all teams to be like Tahiti - it would be boring, wouldn't it? Everyone being nice and cheerful. One of the best things about football is the rivalries, and this is something that should never change.

But something that would be nice to see now and then is professional players giving back to their fans; a clap off the pitch at the end of a game isn't difficult, yet as a kid that was something I loved: a player noticing me, giving a thumbs up and showing true appreciation to the fans that pay their hard earned money to watch these players.

So maybe we've lost a bit of passion for the game, and maybe it's such a rarity that when this happens, it should be noticed.

But I'd like to think deep down every player loves the fans, the club, and the game itself - even if they don't show it. the official Confederations Cup Facebook page:



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