Modern football, and by extension modern footballers, is often seen as somewhat soft in comparison to what has come before them. It’s something people older than a certain age love to roll out when comparing the utopia of older days with the supposedly lesser situation we find ourselves in now.
Filippo Galli has been speaking to the Italian media about this subject, and brought up his time at Watford as an example. The 57-year-old had an impressive career before his move to the Hornets, winning Serie A five times and the European Cup three times, all during a glorious period for AC Milan.
From there he moved to Reggiana and Brescia, before signing for Watford in 2001, and it’s on his arrival in England that he noticed things were changing, as the modern world gradually made its way into football.
Quoted by MilanNews, Galli explained: “Undoubtedly the context has changed, that of society in general and consequently also that inherent in the world of football. Today’s children are the children of modernity and we must not resist, rather we must welcome change and accompany young people in the right direction. At 38, when I went to play in England, at Watford, music was being played at full volume in the locker room, something inconceivable for me.
“I needed silence to concentrate, but I adapted to that specific context. If we deprive our children of living modernity we would do them a wrong; Gennaro Gattuso also said, there is a need to take a step towards the players and not raise a wall. Maybe my generation was more resilient.”
Galli may have a point, but the current generation of footballers find themselves facing wider pressures given the increased media coverage, and the arrival of social media… with all the abuse and difficulties that brings.