The World Cup 2022 in Qatar was held on November 26 between Argentina and Mexico. Argentina scored 1 goal against Mexico in the 64th minute.
In the 86th minute, when Rodrigo de Paul went for a corner kick, the Mexican players probably did not pay attention to Argentina’s strategy. Mexico understood that Argentina was continuing to try to maintain its slim lead.
Rodrigo passed the ball to Messi without hitting the penalty area from the corner. Messi passes the ball to the feet of Enzo Fernandez.
Enjo, who is at the edge of the penalty area, played a ball. He then hit a parabola shot. Enzo’s shot hit the net of Mexico’s goal post.
With that goal, Argentina advanced to the previous stage, Mexico’s World Cup dreams were shattered in the group stage.
On the surface, Mexican goalkeeper Ochava and the rest of his team were unable to stop Argentina’s magic. But this result was expected for Stuart Read.
Ridley has watched hundreds of corner kicks. The striking style has been carefully studied and cataloged.
Over the years, Reid has created a database of corner kicks. He has a list of which shots were successful and which were ineffective.
He has become proficient in analyzing corner kicks. He has turned his hobby into a profession. He has worked as a consultant in many clubs.
He advises the coaches to make strategies for corner kicks, free kicks. Reid says about his profession – It is my professional responsibility to help rather than to direct someone.
The more corners Reid looks, the more he sees something new. Football is now a global game. Something new by a team or player can be copied by another in an instant.
But Ridley has made a career out of an area where there is no Meso. Reid is so sophisticated that he knows where a club’s players belong by looking at their passing style, defensive skills and corner kicks.
There are two ways to block a corner kick. The first traditional way. Where the defender surrounds the attacker. Another method of deploying a defensive line into the penalty area is called zonal marking.
Even now, a combination of both methods can be seen to defend corner kicks. But some countries prefer one of the two.
For example Brazil adopts zonal marking. He deploys more than 6 people to neutralize the corner. The Brazilian’s defensive prowess is what sets his game apart.
“They defend the opponent’s shots so aggressively that the ball doesn’t even get close to the goalkeeper,” Ridley said.
Brazil’s style is the exact opposite of Argentina’s. The two countries in the South American region are opposites in many ways. Argentina adopts a one-to-one style rather than zonal marking.
Portugal and the Netherlands also adopt a different style of neutralizing corner kicks. Portugal’s defense is strong. The forward depends on Cristiano Ronaldo.
Portugal also uses zonal marking to neutralize corner kicks. “Portugal is a big fan of this method,” says Reid.
According to Reid, all 17 teams in Portugal’s domestic league use this method. The Netherlands has exactly the opposite policy. The Netherlands inspires all players to defend and forward.
Reed says that the Dutch take corner kicks as a personal encounter. “The weakness of the Dutch team is that they have only two players in the zonal area,” he says.
In Reed’s assessment, teams from the Northern European region shoot the corners straight. They often don’t play artistic passes because they have to play on wet pitches.
He also adopts zonal marking when looking at Denmark’s corner style. Try to put the opposition under pressure by placing tall players.
“Goalkeepers get some relief when tall players stand up to clear corners, but when the ball gets to the feet of the forwards, they have a better chance,” Reid assesses.
A corner is not an effective chance for a goal. Research claims that 1 out of every 9 corners succeed. While many teams focus on tactics other than corners, Spain are strengthening their corner. Spain does not follow the traditional style of corner.
Playing short passes i.e. Tikita’s style can be risky now. But because of this style, Spain was able to win some editions of the European Championship and the World Cup.
Spanish coach Luis Enrique has tried to modernize Tikita’s style. He is inspiring the players in every part of the field to play aggressively. The Spanish team makes great use of corners.
“Even if you look at the last season of LaLiga, the Spanish team managed two-thirds of their corner kicks,” says Reid, “For others, corners may be a lottery of scores, but for Spain, corners are a way to show their power and the beauty of the game.”
(Courtesy of material published in The New York Times.)