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Soccer, The Normal-Sized Player's Game

Futbol Club Barcelona's Neymar da Silva Santos pours champagne over Adriano as their team won the final match against River Plate at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on Dec. 20.
Shuji Kajiyama
/
AP
Futbol Club Barcelona's Neymar da Silva Santos pours champagne over Adriano as their team won the final match against River Plate at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on Dec. 20.

Much as we talk about certain financial institutions that may be too big to fail, you can be absolutely certain that the one organization in the whole wide world that truly fits that definition is FIFA, the grubby behemoth that runs soccer. Too many international sports associations are rife with corruption, but the graft exposed at FIFA beggars the imagination.

Americans, of course, have virtually no interest in FIFA, for most of us are athletic aliens, caring not a whit for Earth's game. Sorry, but I must count myself among those who do not find soccer as entertaining as our own favored sports. I've always thought it was perfectly idiotic to call an exercise that you perform with your feet "the beautiful game."

Click the audio to hear more of what Frank Deford has to say about soccer.

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Frank Deford died on Sunday, May 28, at his home in Florida. Remembrances of Frank's life and work can be found in All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and on NPR.org.