Today football has reached such a level that football players sometimes have to play 60-65 matches per season. This concerns, first of all, those players who are regularly called up to the national and youth teams of their countries. Of course, playing for the national team influences the performance of the players in their clubs.
Reasons for the low popularity of matches of soccer teams
Matches of national football teams often turn into a kind of “suitcase without a handle”, which is hard to carry, but it is a pity to throw it away. FIFA is working to increase the attractiveness of national team competitions – for example, the League of Nations was created in 2018, designed to turn meaningless friendlies into a tournament with a competitive incentive. Indeed, she did, but one such step is not enough.
So why do national teams get less attention than club competitions?
- Lack of competition. Qualifying tournaments for the European or World Championship are always accompanied by matches with the participation of football dwarfs – Gibraltar, San Marino, Andorra, the Faroe Islands and some others. Admit it, are you interested in watching such fights? In club football, such weak teams would long ago go to the margins – several divisions below. But in national team competitions we now and then have “epic battles” like France – Gibraltar or Germany – San Marino.
- Lack of motivation and “slope” of the stars. It follows from the first point. Leading footballers frankly do not want to go to the national team for paired matches against, say, the Faroe Islands and Moldova (with all due respect to the national teams). As a result, the stars come up with injuries or other reasons not to go to defend the honor of the country. And the fans do not have any motivation to watch such games. Another option is weak teammates. If clubs can make transfers and strengthen their squad, then this is not possible in national teams (naturalization does not count). As a result, top players lose motivation to play for their team. A typical example is Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who still cannot win the World Cup with Argentina. As a result, Leo has stuttered several times about the possible end of his career in the national team.
- Politics. Whatever one may say, it is difficult to imagine sports without politics now. During the matches of the national teams, a lot of “patriotic fans” appear, who may not distinguish Ronaldo from Cristiano Ronaldo, but are hung with paraphernalia, symbols of the country and go to the stadium to eat seeds and hot dogs. For real fans, this phenomenon is certainly annoying.
- Injuries. Conflicts between the leaders of the clubs and the bosses of the national federations due to the injuries of the players have been repeatedly. If a player is injured in the national team, then the club has to heal him. In addition, an injury to a football player in the national team can affect the results of the club, leave it without trophies, a place in the Champions League, and solid money. For example, fans of Borussia Dortmund probably do not care about the success of the England national team. And if the conditional Jadon Sancho gets seriously injured in the national team, then it will not cause anything but the anger of the fans. It is not surprising that clubs have repeatedly demanded compensation from federations for damage to their players.
The combination of all these factors has led to the fact that the status of national matches has significantly downgraded over time.
Impact of national team play on club performance
Often, national team games are less popular with bettors in bookmakers than club competitions. Not only do the national teams rarely play, but it is also extremely difficult to predict the outcome of their matches.
At the club, the coach is in regular contact with the players, sees and works with them every day. The coach of the national team has the opportunity to gather players, at best, once a month and a half for several days. The exception is large tournaments like the World Cup or Europe, when the attention is riveted on the matches, and the players spend several weeks together.
On the other hand, for the overwhelming majority of professional footballers, a call to the national team is a great motivation and incentive to work further. Hundreds of thousands want to perform in a T-shirt with national symbols on the chest, but only a select few succeed.
At the same time, playing for the national team creates physical difficulties. Football players in the championships are used to tight schedules, and coaches know how to distribute the load in order to preserve the freshness of their players. But the international pause unsettles many players – they return to their clubs with injuries or fatigue.
It is very dangerous to bet on club matches right after the international break. But this does not stop betting fans who miss club football. To make the right bet, you need to carefully analyze each match, keep track of the news about the form in which this or that player returned from the national team, how many minutes he played there, how tiresome the flight was, and so on.
Why should you bet against the big clubs after the national team matches?
Top clubs suffer the most from national team matches, where most of the main players are called up to the national team. It turns out that during the international pause, Real, Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus, Manchester City and other grandees lose more than half of their roster.
In what state the players will return, no one knows. If you manage to track such information, then you will be able to bet on the underdog for a good odds.
In addition, the first round of the top championship after the national team games is usually followed by European cups. Leading clubs pay a lot of attention to the Champions League – sometimes more than the championship. Against the background of fatigue from the national teams’ games, sensations in the championship happen even more often. Football players often prefer to sacrifice one match in the championship, where you can still catch up, than to lose in a fleeting European Cup tournament.
What do we end up with? The games of national teams and clubs are inextricably linked. National team matches often imbalance club football, which is why it is better to avoid betting on games with the participation of giants immediately after the international break. Another option is to carefully monitor the performances of the national teams and bet against the grand clubs to which the players return.