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Comparing Weber's Theory to Fifa World Cup 2018

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The recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2018 held in Russia was one of the most entertaining and interesting till date in the history of world cup. Apart from various salient features which were incorporated in Russia such as the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in order to improve the refereeing standards, one significant feature has been the fact that, for the first time in the history of world football has the semi-finals not featured neither Brazil, Argentina nor Germany. Although, this may sound like a mere co-incidence or sheer luck, it might not so be the case. In a way, this world cup was hyped around the big individual names such as Lionel Messi often termed as the god of modern football and Cristiano Ronaldo, but neither of whom could go past the round of sixteen. A wise man had once quoted, “no one individual is bigger than the team”.

It may be argued that, there were 32 teams competing in the FIFA world cup, yet one was the winner. Does that mean, all other 30 teams (who could not qualify in the finals) were individual dependent while France and Croatia who played the finals was team dependent? Well, the answer is No, it does not mean, that the remaining teams were not playing as a team or a group.

According to Richard C.Weber (1982), there are two different kinds of group which exists. The “good group” and the “bad group”. According to him, there is a spiritual aura which happens by the combination of characteristics and behaviors of every individual in the team or group in a good group which happens unknowingly while the other one is often plagued by internal issues within the members, to the level such that there is no feeling of oneness, and every member being jealous or angry with other members due to incompatibility, or lack of time, excuse prone, and unavailability of a good leader who can hold the group together.

Weber’s explanation directly does not explain the results in the FIFA World Cup 2018. But, if we extrapolate his views and assume a linear scale of 1 to 10 in which 10 signifies or quantifies the good team (group) and 1 being the bad team (group), to understand the level of good or bad each team factors each of them possesses. In this case we also need to make sure that we consider the several other important factors in a game of football such as skill, technique, talent, infrastructure and nutrition of all the teams at par. Then, it can be considered that, each of the participating 32 teams can be placed within this scale. And, the ones who were more towards the higher end of the scale ended up performing better than the remaining.

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