Football is a game of chance

, based on an idea I’ve had for a long time. Translated from the Dutch original by the author, sped up by suggestions from DeepL, Google Translate and ChatGPT.

People can talk about football without end. The coach sucks and should be fired, or is fantastic. The expensive star players display a celebrity attitude, or they are worth their money. One country is much better than another.

In reality, none of this matters, because football is a game of chance. Yes, if too many people on the team just don’t know how to play soccer, or aren’t paying attention, or consider themselves more important than the team, they will lose to a team that doesn’t have such problems.

But at a high, even professional level, that doesn’t happen. The players master the footwork, the goalkeeper can also do things with his hands, they have trained so they are in good shape, and they play together because football is a team sport.

As a result, both teams have an excellent defense that the attackers just can’t get through. That’s why football is so boring: it usually remains 0-0, 1-0 or 1-1 for much of the match. Nothing really happens. There is nothing interesting to see.

Just as the 42.195 km marathon is too much for normal human capabilities, a football match is deliberately designed so that it’s hard to hold out until the end. Two times forty-five minutes, including sprints, is too long. This is especially true if an extension of two times 15 minutes is added.

That explains why often nothing much happens for a long time. But towards the end of the game, or in extra time, the players of both teams get tired, are even exhausted, and start making mistakes. Which mistakes, by whom, where, when and how many, that is purely coincidental. That makes football a game of chance, just like roulette or blackjack.

All the chit-chat about it is mere rubbish. The victory of the Netherlands against Turkey last night is a nice example, clearly showing how right I am.