Club World Cup: Real Madrid ahead for San Lorenzo

December 17, 2014

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“Squeezed around domestic commitments, European champions Real Madrid arrived in Morocco this week for the Fifa Club World Cup – but their South American counterparts, San Lorenzo of Argentina, have been there in spirit for months. Ever since an emotional night in August when they won the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, San Lorenzo have found it impossible to forget about the Club World Cup.” BBC – Tim Vickery


The Search for Space

December 17, 2014

“New Labour had a difficult, unstable relationship with football. In the early days, there was a clear attempt to embrace the game. One of Tony Blair’s most memorable media moments in opposition was a bizarre photo-shoot with the then-Newcastle United manager Kevin Keegan. For Blair, not a football fan by any means (despite occasional attempts to suggest otherwise) 27 consecutive headers between the two was rather impressive. Labour swept to power on the coattails of the Cool Britannia mood of the mid 1990s, perhaps best epitomised culturally by Euro 96.” Blizzard


Tim Howard is taking Brad Friedel at his word, now

December 17, 2014

“When it came time to talk about Tim Howard’s recent bookThe Keeper, focus quickly turned to one of the book’s subplots, a conflict between the Everton goalkeeper and one of his former international teammates, Brad Friedel. According to the book, Friedel opposed Howard’s move from Major League Socer to Manchester United in 2003, declining to sign a recommendation as well as petitioning the Professional Footballer’s Association to deny Howard’s work permit appeal.” Soccer Gods


The Velvet Revolution

December 17, 2014

“‘This isn’t Ajax anymore,’ Johan Cruyff wrote in his De Telegraaf column in September 2010, venting his frustration after Ajax’s Champions League performance against Real Madrid – a desperate 2-0 defeat at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. ‘Let me get to the point: this Ajax is even worse than the team from before Rinus Michels’s arrival in 1965.’” Blizzard


Thierry Henry: The football fan who fulfilled his dreams

December 17, 2014

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“There is nothing that quite prepares an elite sportsman for the moment when they wake up and don’t have a dressing room, a training ground, a life that revolves around preparation and competition to anchor them. Thierry Henry announced that he would not be staying on at New York Red Bulls on 1 December after his team went out of the MLS Cup, at the age of 37. It has taken the Premier League legend just over two weeks to firm up his future ambitions and opt for a career in the media.BBC


Qatar Hero

December 17, 2014

“… This friend will remain anonymous, for two reasons: firstly, while he won’t mind my re-telling the tale in question he would probably prefer not to see his own name in print; secondly, his name wouldn’t mean much to most readers anyway. This friend could adopt Descartes’s larvatus prodeo [masked, I proceed] as his motto, as the path he’s followed in football, which took him to very high places indeed, remains largely uncharted. He wouldn’t have it any other way.” Blizzard


The Great Betrayal

December 17, 2014

“Along Stowell Street and up to Gallowgate, hemmed in by the illicit, everything mam would scold you for; men weaving through traffic, a chuffing of tabs, the fucketty-twat, rat-a-tat swearing, pie-flecked gobs crooning mayhem. A half of orange squash at fart height outside the Strawberry and it is ten to three and tears are prickling and panic clenches and you cannot swallow but the rush is on and you bolt it.” Blizzard


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