According to FIFA, Brazil is the world’s number one producer of outstanding young talent. This may not be a surprise but their criteria of discovering football talent is.
Reports from Brazil reveal that the philosophy of youth development is now based on the criteria to find gems for football’s most probable future trends and not for present standards.
Brazilian scouts and selectors are looking for very young players at U5 to U10 who can do more tricks with the ball, show creative moves, intelligently improvise in more difficult play situations and demonstrate strong individualism.
“We need different talent for the time when football will be played differently – 10 – 12 years from now.” – says Emmanuel Prada, a youth expert.
These very young players are involved in 3v3 or 5v5 games where the winner is not important as the objectives of those games are purely about ball skills, creativity and clever moves. The time Brazilian children spend with the ball is 2-3 times longer than conventional norms and that’s essential.
It is not too late for the South African Football Association (SAFA) to revamp the ill-conceived youth development plan of Dr Robin Petersen – dispose of irrelevant and illogic aims/procedures – and adopt a viable and effective model, similar with Brazil’ superior solutions. The country deserves it!