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Soccer on TV

The 60 Minutes special on FC Barcelona

The television magazine show 60 Minutes is known for its in-depth reporting on world affairs, and occasionally it shines its on the sports world.

60 Minutes did so again with a profile on FC Barcelona, which includes a very though look at the club, its current success, and what makes the club arguably the best soccer team ever.

Here is the report, which aired on Sunday night:

45 comments
  • leftcoastmetro

    Very good segment. But If I hear that “everywhere in the world but the US it’s called football” line one more time I’m going to yak. In Italy, just to throw out one soccer backwater, no one calls it football – it’s Calcio. Does this bug anyone else as much as it does me?

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    • Monty

      In Ireland, South Africa, Australia they all call it Soccer. All the way up until the 60s it was still called Soccer in the UK. Also, on Sky Sports they still have a show there called Soccer Saturday.

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      • CplDaniel

        Everything Monty says. He’s got my standard response down word for word!

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      • Bobb

        +1

        And the term soccer is from “association football”, you’d think some Yank just pulled it out of nowhere given how big a deal some people make over it…

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      • Anonymous Coward

        I lived there for a year, and most of the people I knew called it “soccer”.

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    • Shane

      Does it bug anyone else that 60 min always hires reporters that cant pronounce their “r”s

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      • Paul Miller

        Actually, I wish it was just us calling it soccer. We need to develop more ‘rugged individualism’ with our approach to this game. Anyone who doesn’t like our name for it can stick it, lol.

        We need to stop this almost apologetic approach we have toward this game. That’s where the inferiority complex comes from. It isn’t from results. You can look at half the Olympic events, and we aren’t dominant at those, either. But we don’t apologize for being there.

        We know as much about the game as Spain or anyone else. The only difference is cultural.

        Their kids play everyday, and come home to households in which the local team is the dinner table conversation. At night, they watch La Liga games or highlights, so the kids are getting that constant visual reference.

        Our kids play when they have organized practices, and come home to households in which local NFL, NBA, MLB, etc., teams are the dinner table conversation. At night, they get visual references for proper jump shots, or button hook patterns, or techniques for infield snagging of grounders, etc.

        Take away those cultural disadvantages, and we’d be much more central to this global conversation, if not dominating it.

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      • KillerInstinct

        +10000000000
        In addition, soccer practice doesn’t stop when the whistle blows in other countries, it continues on inner city streets throught out the world, where kids kick around a beat up ball. There are things you learn in a pick up game (Street soccer) that a coach wont teach you. In fairness, kids in other countries are also not practicing 3 different sport in a given year. Not to mention, soccer is not considered a sport that will get you out of the hood or barrio, as in other parts of the world. As klinsi said an interview ” the U.S. has one of the most educated soccer players in the world”; its a way to get scholarship in college.

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      • Miguel Rubio

        I guess I can “stick it” per Paul Miller but I’m an American and prefer the term “football” to “soccer.” I realize saying this will cue the “Euro snob” calls and if that’s your ignorant retort, so be it. I’ve got nothing against the term “soccer” (and occasionally use it) but the fact remains that the world’s game is “football”. This is what unites the sport as a global culture. To use “soccer'” feels limiting (not to mention anti-social) within the context of the world game. Just my opinion.

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      • Joe

        If you seriously believe that it’s “anti social” to call it soccer, then you , my friend, have a severely skewed view of the world. The difference is cultural and it was called soccer round the world for a long time. I don’t give a rat’s behind what it’s called and further, if we “soccer” saying Yanks beat a nation of “footie” slingers, does that make them embarrassments to their homeland and they should be cast in a negative light? Because Miggy, that’s the corollary you are propagating. Dangerous territory my good friend:-)

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      • THomas

        I use them interchangeably. Oddly enough I find myself using soccer when talking to Euros and football when talking to Americans who don’t know much about it. Not sure what that means, maybe subconsciously trying to educate the other population of another way to look at the sport?

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      • Paul Miller

        Miguel, a preference is fine. That’s different than a snobbish, “that’s not the name of the game…” reply.

        The pragmatic issue here in this country is that the name “football” is already taken by another game. Yes, I get that it doesn’t make sense, because American football players use their hands to control the ball. Doesn’t matter, as that’s just the way it is.

        It’s fighting against that pragmatism that can make some Americans seem snobbish (that, and insisting on use of the full gambit of English terms just because that’s how they talk over there, like boots for cleats, pitch for field, kits for uniforms, etc).

        But I’ll make you a deal. When the NFL folds, I’ll start calling our game football. Okay?

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      • ld

        The USA will never dominate this sport; unless the Germans, Brazilians, Italians, Argentines stop playing it altogether

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      • THomas

        In a few generations it may happen. We are, quite literally, generations behind other nations because we have only recently taken the sport seriously on a national level.

        Look at the women’s team. They started around the same time as other national teams for women. That’s part of why we’re dominant.

        In a few generations it’s not inconceivable that the sport will be much bigger in the US and our national team will be on par with the teams you mentioned.

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      • Adi from Oregon

        I agree with your comments but the excellent 60 Minutes program shows a great way to accelerate our US Soccer development. Introduce an early age technical and super advanced instructional program and we can develop our own US Messi and a powerhouse national team. We can look at the US woman Olympic gymnastic program as an example of early and intensive skill training and the success they have achieved.

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      • SoCalCJ

        I have a different view on why our women’s game dominates. I think the women of the world aren’t technically or tactically where the men are (but only because they are so “new” to the game). As the women’s game evolves we see the emergence of more technical sides that play a prettier brand of soccer/football, see France and Japan. Unless the US can evolve, at least those teams will leave the USWNT behind. Part of it is cultural, yes, but there may be more to it than that.

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      • Paul Miller

        When the NFL (F as in football) and MLS (S as in soccer) change their names to reflect your logic, then I’ll change my habitual reference to the game as soccer.

        Don’t get me wrong. Your logic is logical. It’s just not pragmatic in the States.

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      • Kejsare

        Football as a name did not come about because of a foot striking a ball, since early rules allowed the use of may body parts. It has more to do with the game being on foot. That distinction is lost today because horses went out of fashion as a mode of transportation.

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  • JP

    Think the key point is that most cultures refer to it as a game that is mostly played with one’s feet. Same for “calcio” in Italian… American Football is mostly played with one’s hands.

    I do agree that this topic is overplayed. Probably became part of the video because the CBS journalist is a total novice regarding soccer and tried to reach that same audience, if it even exists anymore, with that type of comment.

    Decent review of how youth soccer devlopment and culture are interlinked. Always good to have some positive mainstream media coverage on soccer.

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  • Monty

    I think the only other time 60 minutes had a soccer related story was when they did a story about Tim Howard when he was with Manchester United.

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    • Um, yeah

      Leslie Stahl did a Freddy Adu story on 60 minutes in 05 or 06. It was really weird seeing her interview a very scruffy Ben Olsen, with whom she seemed quite smitten.

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  • divers suck

    Good gosh Ives! I had to read through that a few times to actually understand (I hope)….Don’t you have any proofreaders?

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    • Joe+G

      I was a bit surprised Lederman’s name never came up, but that’s probably for the best.

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  • Ivan

    It was a fantastic segment in prime time, profiling the best team in the world! Well done!

    There’s a profile of Messi coming up on Showtime, I believe.

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  • THomas

    I was just waiting for the reporter to make some dumb comment or say something incorrectly. But to his credit, he pronounced everything as it should be, and for the most part, stayed away from cliches. Well done.

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    • David s.

      And what’s more impressive is that I watched an ‘overtime’ segment on the 60 Minutes/CBS website where Bob Simon freely admits (to my slight consternation, even if he is 70+) to being completely ignorant about the game when the segment was proposed to him. He did a good job.

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  • Pete

    Loved watching this segment. Would be cool if they could do one about some of the Yanks abroad some day!

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  • torporindy

    They could have spent more time on the separatist aspirations of the Catalanonians, what annoying bunch they are…

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  • veterduet

    I was impressed that the fans owned the team. It would be refreshing to introduce that concept here. I bet a lot of NHL fans wish they could fire both the owners and the players and start from scratch!

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      • Kejsare

        A quadrennial vote just to remove a GM with no say on who to replace?

        Window dressing democracy.

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  • fieldsknicks

    It drives me crazy when people say every where else in the world calls it football. They don’t. To my South African friend, it may be called football there, but your largest stadium was called “soccer city”, not “football city” for the world cup. Also, the australians are called the socceroos and I have a couple of the world soccer magazines from the u.k. When a report is written in the U.S. we don’t need to say the rest of the world calls if football.

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    • Manny F

      Actually, both the Australian and South African federations have taken the “soccer” out of their name and supplanted “Football”. So since the federation of each nation is the powers that regulate the game at a national level, they are the ones in Australia and South Africa trying to stop their own from calling it “soccer”.

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      • Kejsare

        Up into the 1960s the USSF was the United States Soccer-Football Federation.

        Wrap your head around that one.

        Like

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