World Cup draw set to reveal unique magic

December 1, 2013

“Day after day, reports from the land of the next World Cup send shudders through the soul. A collapsing crane claims the lives of two construction workers at the stadium in Sao Paulo. The Brazilian FA, the CBF, makes the sad announcement that the legendary left-back Nilton Santos has passed away after a lung infection. Concerns rise over local companies fleecing visiting fans over accommodation and internal flights. Anger at socio-economic problems is expressed through protests. The 2014 World Cup is currently associated with many issues, few relating to the promise of an on-field spectacle.” Telegraph – Henry Winter (Video)

After the World Cup is gone

October 24, 2013

“Do we need a book on the 2010 World Cup already? That’s the first question I asked Peter Alegi and Chris Bolsmann, editors of the brand new volume, Africa’s World Cup (University of Michigan Press, 2013). … That’s a good enough reason, and Peter and Chris are uniquely qualified to edit the book. Peter teaches history at Michigan State University and has written two books about African football (here and here). He also runs a football blog and shoots videos of himself walking from his home to his office playing keepy uppy. Chris, a former club footballer in South Africa’s capital Pretoria, is a sociologist based in the UK. He has written a number of academic articles about football, including on the cultural significance of Mark Fish, one of a few white players to represent South Africa after Apartheid and who played for Lazio in Serie A (he’s one of a few South Africans who played in Serie A).” Africas A Country

“The Referee” by Mattias Low

October 13, 2010

“Swedish director Mattias Löw, of the production company Freedom From Choice, shared with me a short documentary called “The Referee,” about the unfortunate Martin Hannson, who officiated the France-Ireland qualifier last fall and failed to call Thierry Henry’s decisive handball.” (Soccer Politics)

Derby date for new-look Brazil

October 4, 2010

“I’m flying to back to Rio and feeling a bit jealous of people who live in the Midlands – not a sentence you’re likely to come across every day. The reason? Next Monday, Brazil come to Derby to face Ukraine, giving fans at Pride Park the chance to have a close look at a fascinating moment in the development of the five-times world champions.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)

Central players World Cup 2010

August 24, 2010

“Soccer analysis focuses on particular moments of the game, usually highlights or events preceding a goal. Goals are nice to watch and few events preceding the goal keep it comprehensible. Advanced chess players might be able to do better, but in general we memorize around seven to nine events. In the short term, judging player performance is based on seven to nine actions. Let alone putting those actions back in to team perspective.” (Sport Analysis)

Will a defensive-minded World Cup mean a defensive-minded Premier League season?

August 13, 2010

“ZM was planning to publish an extended article about how the defensiveness of the World Cup could result in a more defensive Premiership season. However, Jonathan Wilson got there first and covered everything. The last time we had this was 2004, the year of the underdog – Jose Mourinho’s Porto won the Champions League and Otto Rehhagel’s Greece won the European Championships by playing defensive-minded football. The start of the next Premier League season was the most negative in the short history of the division, with Mourinho summing it up with his legendary ‘park the bus’ comment following a goalless draw against Tottenham.” (Zonal Marking)

The Match-Fixing Allegation Tainting Spanish Soccer

August 12, 2010

“As Spain continues to revel in reigning supreme after lifting soccer’s World Cup in South Africa last month, a match-fixing allegation is threatening to overshadow the start of the country’s top domestic league. The scandal surfaced when the main shareholder of second division team Hercules was allegedly caught on tape boasting that he paid €100,000 to the goalkeeper of the opposition side Cordoba to throw a match in May.” (TIME)


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