world cup blog 016

Death  Chasing a Calcio PLayer

How long  can a  professional  soccer player  continue his career?  Even phenomenal players are vulnerable.  Just Fontaine, the French player  who marked a never beaten record of 13  goals in the World Cup  competition  of  1958, had his  careeer ended  early  by  a  knee injury.  So  did  Marco Van Basten, one of the great Dutch players of all time.  Age  and injury  are always nipping at their heals.

The game was  much more violent in  the early  20th  century  when  goalies were occasionally  killed in collisions with attacking players.  The predecessors of  soccer: Soule in France, Mob Football in  England and Calcio  in Italy were  even more dangerous.  Death(manslaughter or murder)  was never far from the  playing fields.

When we look  at  soccer in today’s world,  with  all its flaws,  clearly  we have to  appreciate the  progress that has been made.  The players are overtaxed by matches for  club and country. Because of this they are more prone to injuries of wear and tear, but referees are much stricter than in the past  and this is a good thing.

This drawing, charcoal  and conté  on a rust coloured  ground was once again  inspired by  the preparatory drawings of Gustave Doré.  The exhibition  I  saw in both Paris and Ottawa was awe-inspiring…