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From “Les Bleus” to “the Blues”

PARIS – Is football (soccer) just a mirror that reflects the collective emotions of a country? Or should it instead be seen as a magnifying glass, if not sometimes a distorting mirror, that reveals on the playing field the frustrations, fears, ambition, or hope of a nation?

It would be tempting to attribute to football a “mapping” of the emotional state of the world. Asia is doing less well in the World Cup than it is doing in economic terms, yet it is definitely progressing, compensating for the current lack of individual talent by the greater collective discipline shown by its teams.