My antagonism towards predictions wasn’t aimed at solely at Super Pippo, but the whole concept of sports writers needing/wanting to make predictions. One of the beauties of tournament football in particular is the fact that the margins involved are so small.

Lets take the Confederations Cup as an example. Lets suppose USA get the 3rd goal before Brazil score – its not inconceivable, and yet it would have almost certainly meant that shockingly the USA would be champions.  An even better illustration is the Champions League final. Everyone will remember it for Barca outclassing Man U. Yet, if Valdes save from Ronaldo’s freekick goes slightly to the other side and Park scores, the outcome could have been completely different. This doesn’t diminish Barca’s victory – they consistently rose to the occasion and were deserving champions – but you have to show some humility.

This segues nicely onto one of the things that I think constitutes greatness. That when people look back at your victories they don’t think that if only this or that happened the outcome would have changed. Brazil 1970 were so good and so outclassed the other teams, that I don’t think that anyone even came close to beating them. I think this is what Super Pippo was referring to when he said that the Pakistan T20 team wasn’t a great one. Why were the last two Federer-Nadal Wimbledon finals so epic? Because you had two great champions who would have beaten anyone else easily, fighting it out for the title. In the end, Federer could have won both, Nadal could have won both, or as it turned out they won one each. There was luck involved but we will remember the tenacity shown by the 2 guys and the incredible moments they produced.

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