… and I will give you the world cup winning team[1]. This from the Spanish coach, in support of my comments about the demise of European soccer. I wonder if Holland has a similar approach? At the end of this article the Spanish coach mentions that the Germans developed the same approach to fostering young talent, but that Spain have been doing it longer.

This is similar in aspect to the remarkable phenomenon of the UK doing better than Australia in the 2008 Olympics. This was a direct result of money being poured into elite sports in preparation for 2012, and will undoubtedly be repeated in London.

But, lest one think that this makes for better sportspeople… the guardian had a graphic showing the most successful teams by GDP, and they largely weren’t from rich nations. But I can’t find it anymore.

Incidentally, my kick-boxing gym is training children as young as (my guess) 5 years old, and it’s very, very cute (you can see them in the third picture)… the teacher was trained in Thailand, and I wonder if he’s thinking of a Thai model for developing fighters – get them at 5 and make it their life. There’s an 8 or 10 year old boy (on the right in the pic) who is ferociously good, though apparently he bottles it a bit during fights. But it will be interesting to see the results when they’re adults…

fn1: yes, yes, I know, it’s premature. But the Octopus said so.