CONMEBOL’s ills curtailed Pele’s global appeal

January 17, 2016

“It can surely be seen as a consequence of the FIFA-Gate scandal, of which South America was the epicentre. The arrest or indictment of so many football fat cats has obviously weakened the power structure – which in turn has emboldened the clubs. In Ecuador, for example, the clubs look set to take over the running of the local championship from the federation – a project that long-term FA president Luis Chiriboga said he would bury. Instead, with Chiriboga one of the names on the list of those indicted, there has been a change of power at the top and the clubs have come out fighting. The meeting of the 15 clubs, with talk of setting up an association, is a similar thing happening on a continental scale.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


South America’s brightest want a slice of ‘Paree’

January 4, 2016

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“At the end of the First World War there was a new hit tune in the United States, one that made reference to the experiences that US servicemen were having on the other side of the Atlantic. The title – ‘How can you keep ‘em down on the farm, now that they’ve seen Paree?’ It is a song with relevance to modern football. Because in today’s globalized world, footballers from the four corners of the globe have all seen ‘Paree’ – meaning, in this case, the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and (why not?) Paris Saint Germain. It is where they all want to be. And so it has become impossible to keep them at home.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


The good, bad and ugly of FIFA’s Mad Men

December 21, 2015

“I discovered it late but I’m glad I got there in the end. As a 1960s nut, the TV series Mad Men was made for me. In the last few months I ploughed through all seven seasons of a program that looked at the decade and its changes, especially in terms of gender relations, through the prism of the advertising industry.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


Ability v technique – Barcelona strike perfect balance

December 6, 2015

“The great Tostao, centre forward of Brazil’s 1970 side and the wisest voice in his country’s game, recently tried to clear up a basic confusion in football – the difference between ability and technique.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


My Funes Mori faux pas

November 10, 2015

during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Everton at The Hawthorns on September 28, 2015 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom.
“When the Argentine centre-back joined Everton from River Plate I did not think he stood any chance of success. I felt that in the Premier League he would be exposed for lack of quality, pace and physicality. True, his first couple of months have not been unblemished. He is unlikely ever to be a candidate for a world XI. But he appears to have settled in well, exuding confidence right from the off. Clearly, he is considerably better than I had thought.” The World Game – Tim Vickery (Video)


Martino must be rethinking Argentina’s approach

October 17, 2015

“‘No battle plan,’ said a famous 19th century Prussian military man. ‘survives contact with the enemy.’
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino must surely be wondering about the validity of his plan of action after a historic 2-0 defeat at home to Ecuador in the first round of World Cup qualification. Martino had spent his first year in charge building up to this moment. During friendlies and the recent Copa America he was always anxious to stress that he was looking to consolidate an idea of play.” World Game – Tim Vickery


A World Cup qualifying battle worth its weight in gold

September 27, 2015

“Let’s go round again! The squads are being called up and the anticipation is rising. South America’s marathon World Cup qualification campaign is about to get under way, with the continent’s 10 countries playing each other home and away on the long road to Russia 2018.” The World Game – Tim Vickery


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