Welcome to the 15th episode of the Ozkoç and King Soccer Podcast Show
With almost one-hundred and fifty years of history, the FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world and it continues to cause surprises and excitement. A tournament with as many interesting stories as there are years in its existence. Yet, despite all of its intrigue, the FA Cup’s prestige has been called into question over the past twenty years or so. Once upon a time, winning the cup was nearly as big as winning the league. A manager’s job could be saved if he won the cup. Now, the FA Cup is merely an afterthought.
“It’s a shame that the FA Cup has lost its luster over the years,” Kerry explains. “It was important for all of the clubs participating. Minnows that had the chance to play larger, more prestigious clubs, as well as the big clubs that had the chance to beat out their rivals and add more silverware to a growing trophy cabinet.
“The cup provides new experiences for everyone. Rotherham United, for example, almost never gets the opportunity to play a club like Liverpool. The FA Cup gives them that possibility. And of course, everyone is aiming for the chance to play at Wembley Stadium, the iconic home of football.” Kerry goes on to add that the cup is still important to him. “In my opinion, people shouldn’t forget these things. It may not be as big as the league or the Champions League, but everything that made the cup great in the past is still there. The so-called ‘magic of the FA Cup’ still exists.”
An event that no one doubts is still as popular as ever, if not more so, is El Clásico. With one-hundred and fifteen years of history, the rivalry with Barcelona and Real Madrid is, according to many, the biggest rivalry in world football and it is much more than just a game.
“You think you know exactly what you’re going to get when you watch El Clásico, but at the same time you don’t know,” says Oz. “There are seemingly all of the best players at every position on the pitch and any of them could do pretty much anything at any time.” Although games between Barça and Real appear to be the cream of the crop when it comes to quality, Oz explains how even they can elevate players or managers to higher levels of excellence. “When Ronaldinho scored two great goals away to Real Madrid and even the Madrid fans applauded him has he subbed off, his legendary status as one of the best ever was sealed. I remember when Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick against Real while he was still just nineteen or twenty. It signified his becoming of a king of Barcelona and one of the best the world has ever seen. And we all know what Messi would do throughout the years that followed.”
People have mixed feelings when it comes to any type of event, especially when they’re of this magnitude. It’s perfectly fine to have different opinions on the Clásico or the FA Cup, but these events are what they are: special occasions with pride on the line. That’s what they are in our memories and that’s what they will continue to be.
Can you see the White Horse “Billy” ??