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A sore win for underdog

The Tartan Army have always seen themselves and their team as the happy underdogs:

they may lose, but at least they will have a good time doing it. But a new film has a different perspective.

Italia 90: The Movie tells the story of Costa Rica's progress through the World Cup in 1990 and the opening game against Scotland and reveals that, far from seeing Scotland as the underdog, the Costa Ricans viewed the Scots as a big professional team from a rich nation. Scotland were not the giant slayers; they were the giants.

That serves as a useful reminder that sport is about perspective. The film is also a celebration of sport's glorious ability to throw up sudden victories from the most unexpected source, in the case of Costa Rica a team made up partly of farmers and part-timers.

But the triumph of the underdog remains rare and in club football is becoming rarer.

As the ultra-expensive Real Madrid's win over Atletico Madrid showed, football may be about grit and talent but they have a hard job beating the power of money.

So enjoy the new film while you can. It may have been a Scottish defeat, but it was a glorious victory for talent.

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