Non-cycling friends: 'pro soccer is harder than pro cycling'

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by Maximilian

I disagree.

Having watched MSR, there is no soccer match which is played for 6 hours in freezing snow and rain. Even if it is snowing a soccer match is 95mins tops and all they seem to do is prance about, throw themselves on the floor and occasionally kick the ball. He said that pro cycling is essentially a hobby!! Like soccer isn't!!!

Then they say training is hard because 'sometimes they train 5 hours a day, even if they aren't playing a match that week.' Like, seriously?! You think you can ride 150,000km a year without training 5/6 days a week?

Then there is then pay. Some British premier league players are paid £100,000+ A WEEK!! And then Carlos Tevez refuses to play for months for no apparent reason, while still raking in the cash!

Yes, you have to have some talent to play pro soccer but so do you to be a pro cyclist.


/rant over/

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by stella-azzurra

That is why they are your non-cycling friends. :idea: :roll: :lol:
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by Weenie

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by ultimobici

Harder thasn pretty much any other sport, IMO, especially any sport with the word football in its name!

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by Geoff

True. Gerard didn't have to worry about a teammate biting his nuts at the finish...

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by DrGalactus

Football's really hard, that's why there have been so many PED scandals… oh wait, the only drug scandals in football are when they take too much cocaine and murder someone. :roll:
If you have time to go out and get wasted your sport is too easy.

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by de zwarten

I hope you realize doping is all over the place in football, too? ... -evidence/

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by Maximilian

de zwarten:I'm sure there's doping in every sport, including darts. If there is a winner, people will always try to cheat.

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by bricky21

DrGalactus wrote:If you have time to go out and get wasted your sport is too easy.

In all fairness there are plenty of examples of this in Pro Cycling. Tom Boonen, Marco Pantani, Frank Vandenbroucke, and the list can go on.

Imo, as much as I love cycling I'd have to say that NFL football is tougher. It's the only sport I know of where current players are bequeathing their brains to science in order to better understand the damage sustained throughout their short careers.

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by prendrefeu


1. Biathlon
2. Road Race Cycling
3. Ironman Triathlon
4. Ultra Running (Trail races, 100+miles)
5. 24h Mountain Racing
6. Adventure Racing
7. Mountain Bike Racing
8. CX Racing

... everything else ...

and so on.

But, anyway, this thread starts off with preaching to the choir, and will eventually just get into comparing apples to oranges.
As a soccer (football) player, even on the amateur level I can assure you the sport is not easy. If you play a full game, you're looking at two 45 minute sessions of interval sprinting on grass, while simultaneously needing spatial awareness of your teammates, opposing players, handling the ball, and so on. There is no DS yelling in your ear to tell you who is where. It is more physical than you realize (intense games can be akin to boxing matches while you're doing all of the aforementioned necessary skills). It really isn't easy at all. Your body does get beat up a lot, you use your entire body's muscle range. It's intense.

But, again, apples vs. oranges vs. bananas. There are many sports out there, and most of them are far more difficult than people realize from their perspective on the stands or couches.

As for why some athletes in some sports make more than others - if you think even for just a small moment how the sporting world works you really wouldn't be asking that sort of question. It isn't a dumb question (no question is dumb), but it's a question with an easy answer.
That answer? Market + value.
Market - event attendance, fanbase, visibility (televised matches, sports betting, advertising for sport/athlete), related product sales.
Value - the rate of an athlete's performance to increased market presence.
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by Crossett

Kinda comparing apples to oranges.

Soccer is very physiologically demanding, but not to the extreme that pro cycling takes it. You're never gonna dig as deep in a game as you would at a mountaintop finish or you wouldn't be able to walk let alone pass the ball accurately by the end.

But soccer takes a much more rounded and disparate skillset to compete at a pro level, it just does. Complex muscle memory (ball control and striking), spatial awareness (foot/eye coordination as well as a broader awareness of the position of other players on the field) and tactical thinking (race radios have widened the gap here for cyclists) are all much more important in soccer. Couple this with the general rise in athleticism (read: doping) of pro soccer players in the last 20 years, it seems to me that soccer is "harder."

Also, in terms of numbers of participants vying for the top slots in each sport, soccer has cycling beat by miles (or kilometers). It's much more difficult to become a pro soccer player because you're competing against millions kids who have literally been playing for hours a day, 7 days a week for most of their lives.

Though, to some extent no matter what the contest, regardless of inherent difficulty, world class competitors will always make winning really really hard for each other.

As an aside, it would be pretty interesting to see some pro soccer players take up cyclocross on a lark. Probably the closest thing to a soccer game in terms of physicality, plus they would destroy those run-ups.

Kinda stupid, cuz he's talking about baseball vs. wanna be tri geek, but this is kinda true.
Last edited by Crossett on Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by prendrefeu

^^^^ Spot on, Crossett.

But I'd say it's more Billions of kids vs. Millions. Football is the world's #1 sport for many reasons, the first being its ease of accessibility: a game can be started virtually anytime, anywhere, with anything. All you need is a ball-like object, a little space, and two posts. That's it for a few hours worth of fun and intensity.

Let's put it this way:
How hard is it for a cyclist to make it to the World Championship race for their discipline
How hard is it for a football/soccer player to make it to the World Cup Finals (32 teams level) ?

(and before a person claims "well, I can just play for Seychelles, make the team and I'll be at the WC tournament" your team has to actually qualify to the final 32 against every other team in your continent's association). Getting to that level is, on its own, exceedingly difficult:
-first, somehow become a pro that is paid. Make sure you're playing for a high caliber team in a high caliber league. Your likelihood of becoming a pro is incredibly small when there are thousands of people competing for the same spots on a team at any point in time.
-second, be a starting player. Bench players do not make the national squads. (ie, no domestiques will ever make a national team. ever.)
-third, be impressive with your results and skill. very impressive.
-fourth, avoid injury while playing concurrent seasons: your league, your league's tournament, champion's league, etc:.
-fifth, make your national tryouts and impress your coach.
-sixth, play for your national team.... The World Cup tournament is a four year long affair.
-seventh, win against the other teams and players that are also having the same pedigree as you have (see above steps)
-eighth, make it to the 32-team tournament and still be selected to be on that team, where the best-of-the best play for 4 intense weeks.

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by elSid

150,000km per year?

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by Maximilian

I'm sure I read on the inrng that someone rode that far last year.

I'm not disputing that football doesn't require lots of skill. I've been forced to play it at school for years and I'm just crap.

Spatial awareness: I think cycling and football have similarities. On the bike there are many other riders very close together at speed. You have to be very aware of what size gap you can fit through. Equally, on the pitch you have to known where everyone is.

I guess what really got me is them saying that football(soccer) is less physically demanding than cycling.

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by Routier

Your stats are way out - pros do more like 18-25,000 miles/year and Wayne Rooney is just about the highest earner on a reported £300,000/week.

Anyway although it annoys me that footballers display prima donna tendencies and do a lot less training it's nonsense to say that they don't work very hard for their money for the reasons stated by other posters.

Your friend's a bit simple by the sounds of it.

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by wingguy

Maximilian wrote:I guess what really got me is them saying that football(soccer) is less physically demanding than cycling.

Pro-Football is less physically demanding than pro-cycling :P

Definitely harder to make it as a top flight professional though.

by Weenie

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