Saturday, July 12, 2014

Messi, the messiah?

The World Cup final is keeping the entire sporting and non-sporting world on edge. It is an exciting contest between the German team play and Argentinian individual excellence. Management theorists are likely to draw reasonable and unreasonable conclusions from the result of the crucial match.

Without the aid of either Paul, the octopus or Walter, the orangutan, we are constrained to grope in the dark in the absence of predictive ability. This handicap need not prevent us from making guesses, however wild.

We may take refuge under probability analysis. Based on current form of both teams, Germany is the favourite, perhaps with around 60% chances in its favour. Its defeat of Brazil, the home team, 7 to 1, was phenomenal, notwithstanding the absence of Neymar. (As an aside, one wonders why allegations of match-fixing are not floating around, given the high improbability of the score. Are footballers and soccer aficionados more gentlemanly than cricketers and cricket connoisseurs? Should we start calling football the gentleman's game?)

The entire continent of Europe is rooting for Germany despite innumerable political differences. In sharp contrast, Brazil barring Neymar is vociferously against its legendary rival, Argentina. (Lionel Messi and Neymar are thick friends; both play for Barcelona).

If Germany wins, the proverbial German pride will reach a new 'high' at a time when Joachim 'Low' is the nation's football manager. It looks like a papal contest with the finalists representing the nationality of the two Popes who are now alive.

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