You don’t understand soccer until you understand its essence: artistry and creativity.

A plaque at the Futebol Museum in Brazil, introducing life-sized models of Brazilian futebol legends as shown in the image above, reads:

“There are 25 of them, but there could easily be 50 or 100 because they were the founders of football, an art form which is played in Brazil. Gods or heroes, idols of various generations whose feet take us to a place where creativity, poetry and magic is nurtured.”

Yes, there are many key aspects of the game, including athleticism, speed, passing, goalkeeping, defending, and shooting, but those fundamentals only play supporting roles during a typical 90-minute performance.

It’s technical skills, sublime touch on the ball, and creative problem solving that make the magic.

We need to encourage this artistry and creativity across all levels of soccer in our country.

We need a critical mass of understanding of this essence of the game amongst players, parents, and coaches.

Only then will we be on a path to joining the top tier of soccer nations.

Only then can we compete with the best and, most important, entertain.

Lifelong player and student of the beautiful game in Germany, England, and USA. Volunteer futsal coach and USSF referee.

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