The Curious Case of Hungarian football

August 3, 2014

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“There was a time where Hungarian football was a global force, it’s clubs reckoned with and it’s players among the elite of the sport. It’s now a shadow of what it once was. Ilija Trojanovic takes a look at what happened to the country in the beautiful game, and how the political situation had a positive and eventually negative role to play.” Outside of the Boot


Explaining the difference between Germany’s and Italy’s World Cup wins

July 22, 2014

July 15, 2014. “As Germany evens Italy’s four World Cups, Brazil 2014 teaches us a lesson on the difference between Germany and Italy: the former win when they should, the latter win when they shouldn’t. On the day in which Germany pulled even with Italy, winning their fourth World Cup (they both trail Brazil with five) the two European football giants have never been so distant. And this isn’t just because the Nationalmannschaft literally dominated this Brazilian edition while Italy languished miserably, failing to qualify for the R-16 for the second straight time. This World Cup actually teaches us a lesson on how deeply different the Azzurri and the Germans are, even at football.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Zé Carlos: from selling watermelons to World Cup semi-final

July 19, 2014

“Zé Carlos knew he didn’t belong here. He stood out like a sore thumb. He looked across the training field at his squad mates: the laughing and joking duo of Roberto Carlos and Denílson, the lantern jawed Claudio Taffarel and Dunga both brimming with experience, the mercurial Ronaldo with the world at his feet. And Cafu, the legendary full-back who he was assigned to replace; whatever planet this was it wasn’t his.” World Soccer (Video)


The Ball

July 17, 2014

“Omar Larossa played over 400 times for Boca and Argentinos Juniors, Huracan and Independiente, winning four domestic titles and the 1978 FIFA World Cup.  Now, flanked by Boca and national team luminaries Alfredo Rojas, Silvio Marzolini and Antonio Rattin on a low stage inside La Bombonera, he begins to explain how it felt to lift the trophy to his lips. “I wish I could tell you, to put into words, but whenever I think of that moment…”  His voice wobbles, tears begin to well.  Unprompted, a Special Olympics athlete – one of 35 young players Boca provide free weekly training sessions for – moves out of the crowd to give the world champion a hug.  “It’s ok,” he says as the two remain interlocked, the rest of the room silent. “Thank you,” Larossa replies. “Thank you.”In Bed With Maradona


Pelé and Garrincha – Gods of Brazil (Documentary)

July 16, 2014

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“Documentary telling the story of legendary Brazilian footballers Pele and Garrincha, whose emergence following Brazil’s defeat at home in the 1950 World Cup Final heralded the dawn of a golden age of football for the country. But while one man became known as the world’s greatest footballer, the other died a broken alcoholic at the age of 49.” YouTube: Gods of Brazil 1:09:59


Germany vs. Argentina, Part III

July 13, 2014

“Will it be the goal fest of 1986 or the negativity of 1990? History will repeat itself with an Argentina-Germany rematch in the World Cup final. But will we get the thrills of 1986 or the grotesqueness of 1990? Unfortunately, signs point to the prospect of a conservative, low-scoring affair on Sunday at the Maracanã. Nearly everyone realizes the best tactics against Germany are to pack it in and counterattack. (Everyone except Brazil, that is). And that has been Argentina’s approach, anyway, so there is little chance the Albiceleste will change.” Fusion


How Germany Got its Game On

July 11, 2014

“Paul Breitner (1974, 1982). Spain, 1982. It was the saddest goal in a World Cup final. Paul Breitner reacted quickly to a loose ball in the Italian box, adjusted his body, and volleyed neatly into Dino Zoff’s bottom right corner. It was a goal that begged to be scored, had to be scored, but there was no joy, no sense of relief, not even hope. It wasn’t even a goal at all, really, but an anti-goal. It marked defeat, not victory. Breitner knew it. He raised his hand to acknowledge his inconsequential achievement and jogged back to the halfway line. Nobody came over to congratulate him. The West Germany vice captain looked like a schoolboy who had come up to the board and solve a problem for which there is no solution. Seven minutes before the final whistle at the Santiago Bernabéu, the time was up—for the World Cup (West Germany were 3-1 down against the Azzurri), for Breitner’s team, and for Breitner himself. …” 8 of 8


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