Remember when Shunsuke Nakamura was nominated for the Ballon d’Or?

“We have a lot of quality players, but I turned to my assistant and said ‘I think we are witnessing a genius at work’. If you are talking a pure, pure footballer, he is as good as there is.” – Gordon Strachan

Continue reading “Remember when Shunsuke Nakamura was nominated for the Ballon d’Or?”

FC Start and the legend of the ‘Death Match’ of 1942

By Saikat Chakrobarty 

After a cruel and bloody siege that lasted for 72 days, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic’s capital, Kyiv, was occupied by the Nazis in September 1941. In a attempt to not look like brutal tyrants in the eyes of the local population, the Nazi government tried to create the illusion of a prosperous life by organising various cultural events and incorporating sports into the daily life of the ordinary citizen.

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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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The drama of Transfer Deadline Day on 31st January 2011

By Andrew Misra

So it’s transfer deadline day. So what? The fax machine suddenly becomes a thing again. The fabled 11pm deadline. The Harry Redknapp car window, you probably know it all. The January 2019 transfer window has been decidedly muted and the prospects of that changing today don’t look too inspiring.  Continue reading “The drama of Transfer Deadline Day on 31st January 2011”

Apprentice beats master: when Cesc humiliated Vieira at Highbury

By Andrew Misra

The giant, round Champions League flag ripples between its legion of bearers in the centre circle just as the excitement does amongst the crowd of 35,472 fans. The familiar anthem by Tony Britten begins and the breaths of many around the world habitually grow slower and deeper just for a second. Then the heart rates raise as the shiny metallic Handel inspired majesty builds purposefully towards its crescendo. And then they raise.

Die Meister. Die Besten. Les grandes équipes. The champions.

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An Irishman in Iran: the bizarre tales of when Éamon Zayed wrote football history in Tehran

When you think of Asian club football, you could be forgiven if you presumed that it is contested by a huge majority of Asian-born players. When Saudi Arabia announced their squad for the 2018 World Cup, every single player was domestic-based, with the majority being players of Al Ahli or Al Hilal.

The precedent is fairly similar across the continent, so when a European pitches up in the kit of his team, eyebrows are raised. That happened in Tehran, when Éamon Zayed became the most unlikely continental hero in a match between Tehran clubs Esteghal and Persepolis in 2012…

Continue reading “An Irishman in Iran: the bizarre tales of when Éamon Zayed wrote football history in Tehran”