If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound? When professional soccer players get together for international matches that don't count, does it actually happen?
Across Europe and the world a slew of semi-meaningless friendlies transpired. The marquee matches were semi-depleted England winning 2-1 in Berlin against a new-look Germany side via late John Terry goal and Argentina defeating Scotland 1-0 at Hampden Park in the coaching debut of Diego Maradona. (Just a hunch, despite a nice start this one ends up like if you put Amy Whinehouse in charm of the British Recording Industry.)
Other results of note include Robin van Persie netting a brace in a 3-1 win over Sweden, Spain ending the year on high note with a 3-0 trot over Chile. France continues to meander along, this time with a 0-0 draw at home to Uruguay.
There were actually some games that mattered in Asia today, with Australia getting a late goal to beat Bahrain. South Kore and Japan also won.
Before the friendlies, especially in England, there was a lot of talk about not playing these games during the club season. Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill was the most vocal voice on that front.
If you're a coach, you can't be happy to have training disrupted for your best players to go off across the globe to play games that don't matter. Then again, international coaches need these matches to work in new players and try new things. When you boil it down the World Cup is a cash cow and that economic high-tide helps to raise all boats in the eventual trickle down.
Countries Remain Friendly After Wednesday's Results originally appeared on Soccer FanHouse on Wed, 19 Nov 2008 20:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.