From Diego Maradona to Messi, from playing the game for the love of it, to making millions a match, to changes in rules like penalties, the “beautiful game” has come a long way. Players, the pay, and the rules of it has changed greatly from the 80s to present day. Soccer has evolved and it's made its mark today; it’s come a long way. There are many differences and similarities alike in what we consider soccer today and what is was back in the 80s.
The players have changed drastically; the difference from nowadays and 80s is they saw many great players like Diego Maradona and Michel Platini, to name a few. Diego Maradona was, in the 80s, considered the greatest player alive according to “Diego Maradona.” (Wikipedia, Wikimedia foundation, 11 March 2018 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diego_Maradona) He was an Argentinian player who played for teams like Fc Barcelona and Napoli. Diego Maradona started a wave of “supernatural players,” players that seem out of this world with a soccer ball at their feet. In many of the tapes of Diego playing, he almost seems to go through players. He was unstoppable—what gave him most of these “powers” was his low center of gravity; he was small, and combined with his speed, agility, and reflexes he was a force to recon with.
Nowadays with have player like Messi. Messi in a lot of ways is almost a reincarnation of Diego, but better. In many ways, Messi and Diego are alike. They are both from Argentina, but those of us who have seen both players at their best can agree that Messi is way better. Messi, with his also small size and speed, seems to leave players gasping for air, wondering where he has gone. Soccer today has seen Messi take almost a whole soccer team by himself. Today's soccer has revolved around him. Players fear how amazing this player is; soccer without Messi today would be less known. Not only is Messi the greatest player today, but he has also taken the title of greatest player ever. With a whopping 80 million net worth, Messi is undoubtedly a huge part of soccer today.
The love for the sport has grown from being played out of full love to being played for the money. The difference from now and the 80s is that the 80s saw players that played for the fun of it, but it was also during these years that controversies started about playing pros to play in matches. Federations regulated the pay of players. It wasn’t banded but it also wasn’t allowed; you weren’t allowed to get great players and pay them to play in your team. This all changed around the 80s. The idea of playing players had always been around, but it wasn’t until the 80s that it started to become common. Back in the 80s, players were looking at around 100 dollars per week.
Today's players make so much money that its crazy. According to “Beginner Soccer Player Salaries” (Chron.com, work.chron.com/beginner-soccer-player-salaries-30579.html), “ Players like Messi get paid around 500,00 euros per week.” Money has changed the game so much, players nowadays are worth millions, and with the growth in popularity, it's only growing more. Money has seen a lot of players leave. In China, for example, pay is much greater than in places like England or Spain, so soccer nowadays has seen many players leave great clubs to go play in Chinese clubs, which to people like me hurts. The game was much more beautiful when it was played for the love and fun of it.
Many rules have changed also. Imagine standing in front of the goal and the goalie, setting up to shoot. Imagine you running up and not shooting, missing on purpose, waiting for the goalie to move and then shooting. These were penalties back in the 80s; penalties in the 80s were a way to sort of cheat to score a goal which is way different from now. The 80s saw many penalties being scored this way and it brought so much attention to it, but not good but negative attention. The 80s saw an end to this and many other rules of the game, like offsides. In the 80s, if a striker was past the line of defense and the ball was in front of him, it would not have counted as an offside, meaning it was certain to be a goal scored. Rules like that have changed in today’s soccer. Penalties must be taken with the first shot, and faking a penalty is not allowed and in a lot of cases may result in a red card and expulsion from the game. Offsides have also changed. Now the ball must be passed before you’re allowed to pass the last line of defense.
In a lot of things, soccer has changed. Soccer has many similarities, and many differences. At the end of the day, these similarities are what make soccer the “beautiful game.” From Diego Maradona to Leonel Messi to getting payed less than 100 dollars a week to making millions a match, soccer is and will be a great sport, grown by all the changes made to it since the 80s.