For many years, Latin America has been recognized as a powerhouse in football. Selections such as Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil have been dominant in the world and continued to be exporters of some of the best players on the planet. However, having the best is not a guarantee of success if you do not have a project that provides confidence and security to national teams.
The last World Cup was a very hard blow to the ego of Latin Americans. The first gameday was a sample of what was coming. Only Uruguay won its first game, and it happened down to the wire.
The passion, the luck, the fanaticism, the songs and the picturesqueness of the game seems not enough in this new world to be successful. The passion that characterizes the Latinos was demonstrated by Uruguay, who stayed out in the quarterfinals. Something similar happened to Brazil with their «jogo bonito,» which suffered his lack of force and packed in that same instance.
Argentina was the chronicle of an announced death with a team that reached the World Cup by qualifying on the last qualifications gameday. They participated with a coach who declared in his book that he hates to plan his games. He states that » ideas will come to him at the right moment.» His game was a little broke and showed lack of ideas and organization, ending by being crushed by the French team in the Round of 16.
As for Colombia, the coach planned a highly defensive and conservative game in the Round of 16, lacking ideas in attack and depending at the end on the chance of the penalty kicks. The luck did not smile to Colombia, and they ended up knocked out by England in the Round of 16.
Finally, Peru that did not arrive with great expectations won a match and lost two. Suddenly, they deserved more luck; however, it looks like the luck partners with teams that arrive more prepared to face the competition
We could review what Belgium, France, and Croatia did, and anyone who takes the time to investigate will get support on the Internet about the projects that began several generations ago. These results can be seen today based on background work that would serve as a guide, but beyond having instructions to implement it, it requires the conviction to change the reality of the Latin American football, and that happens by accepting the past mistakes.
Countries need projects for their selections. These are some of the principles for making a project:
Have a professional team:
No team would allow its striker to be a successful engineer that practices football in an amateur way. In a contradictory way it is common to find successful ex-athletes as project managers, but in one way or another, amateurs of management.
It is not a personal issue; it merely is evident that a person who has specialized in a particular discipline has a higher probability of success than another person who achieves it in another area.
The project team is essential and should be a team of experts in several areas. Who are committed to doing their best in their position to achieve a common goal, which is the triumph of their selection and the advancement of the sport in their country.
The projects must be managed by Sports Project Managers who know the principles of project management, the needs of the sport, environmental conditions and they should count with the tools to integrate the necessary elements to find solutions to existing problems.
It is not feasible to depend and bet all resources on the individualities of a team. That reflection of our messianic societies, where only one man can fix the country, order football and win games is an obsolete language that only causes harm since the result is only one, failure. «You can not throw the center and nod at the same time.»
The common good must reign over the role of the Technical Director, the president of the Federation and even the president of the Republic, the good of the team and the success of the same is the greatest good for which everyone should be involved.
Projects have a beginning and an end. Those plans that are not successful within a set time frame will not achieve their purpose by duplicating extending the time since they generally have to be redone and with that, give way to another team of professionals that could deliver what the previous ones could not.
The resources in the projects are always limited, be it money, equipment or personnel. It must be clear that you never have unlimited resources and that the solution is to integrate in the best way the resources you have and not hide behind the excuses that you do not have the money or any extra help. For that there is the ingenuity and experience of professionals, to optimize resources and achieve the success of projects.
Technology came to stay in sports. It is vital that the teams have technological tools to face their rivals and in the same way for this area professionalization must be available to handle the new tools. Today there is an opportunity to start a new path, and it should be done right from the beginning always looking to work with professionals and certified companies.
Briefcase companies, non-professional sellers, adventurers must stay out of the way to prevent the virus of informality from continuing to undermine the foundations of an industry as important as the football is today.
Identify Stakeholders (interested parties):
The stakeholders are the people or organizations that participate or have interests in the project. This is an essential point to take into account in the Latin American sports industry. In general, most believe that football is only about the players and this is a huge mistake.
- Parents: Athletes, before becoming professionals and/or get enrolled in a football school, come from a family where parents have a high influence on them. They are an essential part of the training and future of the players.
- The owners of schools and coaches: You can not expect a selection to be professional if no one is professional in the foundation. That’s like expecting to become an Engineer without going through high school and college.
- Amateurs: Violence and mafias that benefit a small group generate disproportionate damage by moving families away from stadiums. The influence of people who only care for their interests over those of the organization is something that should change progressively.
- Federations and governments: Football is a reflection of society. To change our societies, we count on football, which presents us with a unique opportunity to improve our countries. To achieve this goal the foundations of this sport, the government, and federation must work aligned.
- Educational Institutions: schools and universities must treat athletes in a special way. This does not mean that they provide benefits, but they must help in the training of these young people who often have excessive burdens of responsibility on their shoulders.
The stakeholders also include negative groups that must be neutralized, such as:
- Inexperienced in key areas: The «toderos», people who try to do everything but they don’t specialize in anything, must disappear. It is well known that Latin American football presents the same phenomenon that is repeated in all sectors of our societies, a few know what has to be done, but nobody wants to make unpopular decisions and make the changes. Latin America has professionals in football, economics, politics, technology, statistics, specialized in each area but also has unique beings, who proclaim themselves «specialists» in all the above and more, only that they decided not to test their talent in a university and prefer to continue empirically harming around.
It is time to give seriousness to our football and our sport in general. Professionalization in the sports industry is an imminent road, which will benefit countries that address this transition in an
organized manner. Also, it will continue to affect those who decide to postpone the entry of professionals to maintain and incorporate professional improvisers as responsible.