Diamonds are a manager’s best friend: a look at the diamond formation

“They say diamonds aren’t forever, but they certainly are for this manager.”

So go the dulcet tones of Alan Smith on FIFA’s hugely popular football simulation game. Such is the rarity of the 4-3-1-2, 4-1-2-1-2 or 4-4-2 (diamond) formation that it has been gifted its very own Worcestershire cliché when deployed on games consoles across the land. Continue reading “Diamonds are a manager’s best friend: a look at the diamond formation”

Advent Day 22 – Kaká, once the best in the world

By Andrew Misra

Day 22 is a no-brainer. We look back on the career of Kaká, the Brazilian midfielder who once ran past the world:

The date is Thursday 8th March 2007. It’s three minutes into extra-time in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at the San Siro after 180 minutes of hard-fought stalemate.

Continue reading “Advent Day 22 – Kaká, once the best in the world”

Advent Day 9 – Ronaldo and the nine moments that make him the most iconic #9

By Lewis Steele

Ronaldo. Fat Ronaldo. O Fenômeno. Bald Ronaldo. R9.

Whatever you call him, he was bloody good, and he is the most iconic number 9 of all time. Whether it be his trademark specialities such as the hair, the nicknames or the skill moves, or the fleeting fraternities of spells at various European giants, or his iconic tournaments for Brazil, Ronaldo etched the memories of football fans across the globe no matter who they support.

In most of these Advent Calendar pieces we have looked the career of an individual in whole, or a certain aspect that makes them so iconic. For Ronaldo, there is too much ground to cover. Thus…

Let’s have a look at NINE pivotal moments of his career that have made Ronaldo the most iconic #9 of all time…

Continue reading “Advent Day 9 – Ronaldo and the nine moments that make him the most iconic #9”

Advent Day 3 – Paolo Maldini, the eternal king of calcio

By Lewis Steele 

“There are great players and there are world-class players. Then there are those who manage to go beyond that term. Paolo is the perfect example. He is the symbol of Milan” – Alessandro Del Piero, one of the most decorated icons of calcio history described the great Paolo Maldini as one to fit the bracket above world class.

Continue reading “Advent Day 3 – Paolo Maldini, the eternal king of calcio”

When Kaká was unstoppable and ran past the World

By Andrew Misra

The date is Thursday 8th March 2007. It’s three minutes into extra-time in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at the San Siro after 180 minutes of hard-fought stalemate.

Celtic midfielder Evander Sno squanders possession and the opposition swiftly launch a counter attack.  A 25-year-old Brazilian lurking just inside his own half senses an opportunity. Italian midfielder Massimo Ambrosini dutifully passes the ball towards the number 22 in the famous red and black stripes of the Rossoneri.

The ball bobbles into the playmaker at pace. His first touch cushions the ball into his path, allowing him to swivel and shrug Neil Lennon to the floor as the Northern Irishman forlornly attempts a challenge. A second touch sees the attacker gallop through the centre circle, accelerating in his own inimitable way.

Three more touches see him surge towards the last defender, the fourth takes him one-on-one with the keeper Artur Boruc. Seemingly impassable over the two legs, the Pole is powerless as the final, decisive Continue reading “When Kaká was unstoppable and ran past the World”