Compulsory footballer panegyrics 

World-historical figure

World-historical figure

The hold, writes Dalrymple, that association football has

not only on the popular imagination but on that of the leaders of society, at least if their public professions of interest in it are to be believed, is wholly bad.

Hyperbole about mere footballers

reflects the regime of bread and circuses under which we live.

One silly newspaper headline reads: Cruyff, father of the modern game who shaped Dutch culture. The question that is not asked, says Dalrymple, is

what kind of culture it could be that could be shaped by a mere footballer.

Dalrymple looks back

with nostalgia to the days when footballers were just footballers, and not, in the opinion of journalists, the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

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