Scouting report: Britain’s Prince Harry is terrible at soccer

Prince Harry is in New Zealand doing Prince-ish things to promote the FIFA U20 World Cup. One of his princely duties apparently involves playing five-a-side soccer, which makes sense, because Harry loves sport. But after watching Harry actually play soccer on several occasions, one thing is crystal clear: Prince Harry is terrible at soccer. If you have a soccer team and are looking for players, you need to know that.

This news is unfortunate in that it reveals significant failures of the British royal family in how they present themselves in 2015. Royalty used to be synonymous with elite. That’s something British royalty used to accomplished by masterfully controlling its image. But now it’s lagging behind other non-elected figurehead families. If there’s one thing the non-elected can learn from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, it’s that providing the public with limited, controlled access to your activities allows you to make up grand stories about your levels of excellence.

Here’s a scouting report for Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson.

Mobility

Not very mobile. When you watch Prince Harry play, you see elements of Cristiano Ronaldo in the way he moves. His running is determined, powerful, and stiff, like someone who was recently thawed after being frozen for several centuries.

His inability to change directions well is particularly problematic when it comes to defending. It’s no surprise that Cristiano does very little defensive work. He isn’t built to defend. Neither is Harry.

Defending

An inability to change directions means that a player will struggle to mark nimble attacking players. As previously mentioned, this is an area of concern in Prince Harry’s game.

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As the last man back, here, Harry has no business being that far on the right. He’s a naive defender. The wee man making the run behind him notices this weakness and immediately seeks to exploit this shortcoming. This is exactly the type of naiveté that leads to the downfall of the empires. Focus on your strengths. The minute you try to take on too many responsibilities, people will start working behind your back to bring you down.

Attacking

Woeful finishing.

Prince Harry’s directness and ability to get into dangerous positions are positive aspects of his attacking play. In that sense, once again, he’s very Cristiano Ronaldo. But composure in front of goal is crucial — especially when you have the ball skills of a puppy — and the Prince has the composure of a tornado.

Set Pieces

Watch this corner kick.

Premature. An out-swinger to the top of the 18-yard box. Just terrible.

Summary

Prince Harry isn’t very good at soccer. But he seems like a fun person to hang out with. All things considered, he could be out there trying to honor his lineage by trying to take people’s land. So, things could be worse. But, if you happen to have a soccer team, for the love of God, do not sign Prince Harry if you plan on trying to win games.

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