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Secrets of the masters: 10 paintings that will help your team win the World Cup 2018

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Coaches of national football teams should visit museums more often. First, art ennobles. Second, painting is a bottomless source of tactical schemes and training methods. Armed with motivational and educational tools that art offers, even the eternal outsiders are bound to succeed.

Cut out all unnecessary

The barbel immortalized by Kazimir Malevich is a representative of a vanishing, though no less worthy and necessary profession. According to Vladimir Dahl, scab operators used to selflessly «remove scabs from the toes caused by shoe chafing," and this was not some frivolous pedicure. Today, such professionals are rare, more’s the pity. Judging by the way some of the football players move, pass, punch and mess with own and others' feet, many of them have scabs. A full-time scab operator should be hired for each of the national teams. In addition, his services definitely would really help the functionaries of FIFA and The World Anti-Doping Agency, as they are obviously tormented by chronic calluses.

Alternative:
What to do if the scabs are removed, and something still prevents a football player to do his best? There are no universal prescriptions here, but it seems that Rembrandt can hint a good solution.

Develop intelligence

Let’s be realistic — no one expects that players will learn by heart the multiplication table or write without an error the word «unprecedented». There are enough Diogenes, Aristotles and Ptolemies outside the stadium. But to learn another meaning of the expression «to play with one’s head» would still be useful for some of them.

Alternative:
If the educational games, nursery rhymes and exercises with two buttons, banana and electric discharge did not work, you can try the technique of Dr. Bosch. Believe us, over the past 500 years nothing more effective has been invented.

Invest into the future

The dramatic events captured by the Russian artist Vasily Vereshchagin took place in India in the middle of the 19th century. The sepoy mercenaries rebelled against the colonists, and the British managed to suppress the insurrection only through public executions that received the poetic name «Devil's Wind». The sepoys were tied to cannon muzzles and shot by gunpowder. It was an ingenious solution. The sepoys were not at all afraid of death, but to appear in front of the Creator without one’s head, was a disgrace. Even more terrible for a representative of the higher caste was the prospect of appearing (even partially) in a grave with a despicable pariah — so the uprisings quickly came to naught.

It is amazing that such effective motivational practice is still not used in football. That is true that the present-day national teams would learn nothing this way. But the next one would definitely play more diligently.

Alternative:
If to someone the «Devil's Wind» seems unnecessarily radical measure, for a start, one can just talk.

Feed them properly

Jean-Michel Basquiat. Eyes and eggs
Eyes and eggs
1983, 302.3×246.4 cm
A balanced diet is a guarantee of future victories: the champion national team must be in perfect physical shape and at the same time remain hungry.

It was Jean-Michel Basquiat who knew like no one else how to mix various ingredients in the right proportions. If you look at his pictures carefully, it becomes clear that he ate not only fried eggs. However, the diet from Basquiat should be introduced gradually and with caution. After all, if you present such eyes and eggs to the Anti-Doping Commission, it may become suspicious.

Alternative:
The team spirit and atmosphere of healthy competition will be strengthened if you feed the guys all year round with raw meat. And let the vegans play curling and darts.
Francis Bacon. Painting 1946
Painting 1946
1946, 198×132 cm

Modify the ball

Pablo Picasso. Girl on the Ball
Girl on the Ball
1905, 147×95 cm
The standard ball with a circumference of 70 cm is yesterday’s question. It is difficult to hit, it’s even harder to launch back, it makes total confusion in the field. Just imagine how the game would be revived if the ball were the same as in the Picasso’s painting. And how many advertisements it would be possible to place on it — all the national teams of the world would get benefits.

So why should we hold on to the old school? World football is on the threshold of global changes — the system of video assistance to the arbitrators had also seemed sacrilegious at first. And if you can seriously discuss the holding of the championship in winter time, then making balls of normal size would be even more so.

Alternative:
If you keep ball the same — a small and uncomfortable — you will have to work out the accuracy of the blows. And then Francis Bacon comes to the rescue again (it's just amazing how much useful this far from football person came up with).
Art critics believe that this painting by Bacon is endowed with an intimate and romantic sense: it is Bacon himself who is picking up the key to the heart of another lover. However, Bacon rarely left the house sober and was a famous entertainer, so it is possible that he always unlocked the door this way.

Anyway, this is an excellent training technique. The forward who can get into the keyhole in such way, will surely score a goal.
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Text by Andrei Zimoglyadov. Cover illustration: Yuri Pimenov. Football
Artists mentioned in the article
Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin
Biography • Artworks
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Biography • Artworks
Hieronymus Bosch
Biography • Artworks
Kazimir Malevich
Biography • Artworks
Pablo Picasso
Biography • Artworks
Raphael Santi
Biography • Artworks
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Biography • Artworks
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