If we want elite players in Ireland then we need a serious soccer industry

There has been a constant debate in recent weeks about the star player’s impact on a team. Take Ronaldo at Manchester United. One of the all-time greats, his on-pitch role in the current set-up at Old Trafford is being questioned repeatedly.

Does he do enough in possession to justify the work he does not do out of possession?

It’s an interesting one. If you have too many players only playing their game, then the team cannot function properly and ultimately poor results will follow.

Over the course of the season, will there be enough ‘Ronaldo moments’ to deliver the silverware that proves this version of United is capable of sustainable success?

Considering the 36-year-old has bagged 10 goals in 14 appearances, not to mention his killer headers to sink Ireland in September, you can imagine what CR7 thinks of all this talk.

But football can’t be played like a game of Jenga where pieces are pulled from here, there and everywhere and placed on top to give the impression that things are building. As always happens in Jenga, eventually one piece will be pulled that brings the tower crashing down.

Any successful team needs solid structures that are built upon to create strong pillars on which a new legacy can stand.

The recent Social Investment Report on Football, presented by the FAI and Uefa to the Irish government, is an authentic lens through which funding for sports in this country can be viewed.

This is the foundation upon which a football industry can grow in Ireland.

There is undeniable evidence to back up how important sport is when it comes to the physical, social and mental health of our population.

It also has a different function in terms of producing athletes who can compete against the best in the world.

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