Manchester United are staring down the barrel of transfer window tragedy

By George Storr

The race to finish fourth isn’t the only cause for nerves at Old Trafford at the moment. After a tumultuous season defined by personnel changes, rumours are already circulating that up to six of United’s senior players could be headed away from Manchester come summer. Having shown his capability to get Man Utd back to winning ways, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now has to prove that he has the influence and know-how to replace potential departures. Executive Vice Chairman Ed Woodward is putting his faith in OGS, so expect to see some eye-widening signings and transfer fees. 

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Four battles, one war: remembering the four Clásico’s in 18 days of 2011

Take out your diary and grab a pen, then jot down this note: Barcelona versus Real Madrid, the great eternal rivalry of Spain, the most watched derby in football, three times in the next 25 days. 6th February at the Camp Nou in the Copa del Rey, the return leg on the 27th at the Bernabéu, a blockbuster league tie on 2nd March at the Bernabéu. Good watching for the neutral, right? Certainly so, but nothing on 2011. Pep v José, Barça v Madrid, four times in 18 days…

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Advent Day 14 – Guti, the underrated Galáctico

By Jack Heale

José María Gutiérrez Hernández, more commonly known as Guti, epitomised the saying ‘what could have been’ regarding a footballer. When he was at his best, he was unplayable, but likewise, when he was not up to standard, the Real Madrid faithful made sure he knew. The two contrasts seemingly encapsulate his 15-year-long professional career. Continue reading “Advent Day 14 – Guti, the underrated Galáctico”

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…

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Advent Day 5 – Zinedine Zidane, Zou Bissou Zizou

By Joe Davies

Mad Men’s fifth season premiere ended with an iconic performance of the French song ‘Zou Bissou Bissou’, sung by Don Draper’s French-Canadian wife to him on his birthday. Don shifted in his seat uncomfortably as Meghan sung the song roughly translated as ‘Oh! Kiss Kiss’, reflecting the generational gap between the two, as Meghan Draper bared the couple’s intimate relationship for all his coworkers to see. Much like Don, one could imagine Zinedine Zidane would likewise be uncomfortable with the adoration he receives from French football fans, as well as that from across the border in Madrid; much like Draper, Zizou is a reserved, strong and silent type, and has a similar identity problem, albeit down to his Algerian roots rather than stealing the name of his officer in command during the war.

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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”