Perhaps one Friday afternoon, a decade from now, when you’re sitting in your office bored and wishfully counting down the clock on your computer screen until it’s time to go home for the weekend, you decide to take one of the many thousands of quizzes on Sporcle. The question reads: ‘Name the South American Player who played for these clubs; Lazio, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, River Plate, and Juventus?’
Throughout the Advent Calendar series here at 5WFootball, we’ve delved into the wonderfully glistening careers of many greats. Some have been so good that one article wouldn’t do them justice, so we have just looked at one aspect of their careers. That’s what we will do here, with Lionel Messi and the number 19. The GOAT wore the 19 shirt for just two seasons, but those two campaigns set in motion a trail of events that would establish Lionel Messi as the greatest footballer to ever grace our planet. Another theme of the series has looked at a particular part under a microscope from an outside perspective, like Westworld, but like the HBO blockbuster, let’s leap inside that world and have a look at what Leo Messi means to me.
Let’s start with my trip to the Camp Nou…
Continue reading “Advent Day 19 – a young Lionel Messi, footballing memories made forever”
The Italian Mario Balotelli has the ball on the edge of the box. The brains of Manchester City fans have delved through the archives of cliché’s about ‘Typical City’ – the club that always builds up to let fans down. It was happening again. Roberto Mancini’s side have never won a Premier League title, but a recent surge of money has led City right to the top. But, not quite, ‘Typical City’ have surely messed it up again – all they had to do was beat Queens Park Rangers to guarantee a first Premier League title, but the score is 2-2. 93 minutes and 15 seconds are on the clock, it’s surely over – how would City fans ever be able to show their face in the office? Will this go down in history as the worst failure of Premier League history?
By Andrew Misra
If you’re anything like me, you were watching the second leg of the Copa Libertadores Final on Sunday evening only recognising a handful of players.
Few on the European side of the Atlantic take more than a passing interest in South American football, largely because we’re used to seeing the best players from the continent come to ply their trade on our shores.
Fitting then, that this fixture ended up being played in Madrid as a result of the deplorable violence in Buenos Aires on Saturday 25th November, when the tie was originally scheduled for.
Reminiscent of the joy the World Cup can bring, it was refreshing to watch a match with unfamiliar protagonists.
Amongst the familiar perhaps was Continue reading “Darío Benedetto – the man they call ‘Pipa’ who could still make it to Europe”
By Joe Davies
Number 10. Football’s most iconic shirt number has been synonymous with teams’ creative attackers all over the world. Brazil have had Pelé, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo. Italy had Roberto Baggio, Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero. Even England have had Geoff Hurst, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney. However, nowhere is the number more crucial to a team’s identity than in Argentina. Arguably the two greatest players to have ever played the game, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, have donned the number for La Albiceleste, but few have embodied the essence of the shirt and its implied role more than Juan Román Riquelme.
By Andrew Misra
A month of delirium rolls on in Argentina after the 2-2 draw in the first leg of Boca Juniors v River Plate in the Copa Libertadores Final. Unsurprisingly, all eyes in South America and beyond have been fixated on the biggest clash in the history of arguably the most intense footballing rivalry – the Superclásico. Bookies were quoting 1/250 for more than two yellow cards in the first leg. Off the pitch, these fixtures dodged security issues and the G20 Summit. While not expected to dazzle on the pitch, the first ninety minutes weren’t a damp squib in the end, despite rain postponing the match by a day. Boca can still win the trophy with a lap of honour in River’s El Monumental stadium on 24th November. It would be easy to focus on these two great superpowers from Buenos Aires (pronounced “Bwenos I-res”) who play out the battle of the continent. But to ignore the pedigree elsewhere in the capital would be to do an injustice to the city of “fair wind”. Greater Buenos Aires is home to 14 million people or one-third of the country’s population, and no fewer than 24 professional football teams. This includes the ‘Big Five’ teams in the country. This remarkable city has a profound influence on South American football.
Marcelo Bielsa is quickly winning praise in England for his fast start with Leeds, but who exactly is ‘El Loco’ and why are his philosophies so lavished in the footballing world?
To the shock and delirium of many English football fans, Leeds United appointed ‘El Loco’ Marcelo Bielsa ahead of the new season. Literally translating as ‘the crazy one’, Bielsa adopts an innovative, fast moving style of football that has won him global plaudits from some of the best coaches in the game, including Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino.