A Game Without Rules

November 11, 2012


London’s Wembley Stadium, 1954
“In 1904, three years after the first Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to the French poet Sully Prudhomme, the English Football Association chose not to participate in the formation of an International Football Federation (FIFA). They could not see the point. Nor in 1930, the year in which Sinclair Lewis won the Nobel, did England participate in the first World Cup: the English objected to the prospect of a ten-day ocean crossing to Uruguay to play teams that meant nothing to them. The first international football game, they pointed out, had been between England and Scotland, in 1872—a time when Alfred Nobel was still focused on improving his dynamite. Who needs Argentina or Brazil when you have Scotland to play?” NYBooks


The ‘Polish Barcelona’: This Is Ruch Chorzow

November 6, 2012


‘We’re not German; We’re not Polish; We’re Silesian.’ This is a common refrain from members of the Silesian minority in the industrial region of Upper Silesia in southern Poland. With a population of around 2,000,000, the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union (GZM), whose largest city is Katowice, is one of the biggest urban agglomerations in Europe. For many years, this densely populated region straddled the border between Germany and Poland, with Katowice (Kattowitz) part of the German Empire and neighbouring Sosnowiec part of Congress Poland. After the First World War, the League of Nations arranged for a plebiscite to determine the fate of the region, with Western Upper Silesia remaining part of Germany and Eastern Upper Silesia joining with the Second Polish Republic (although given a considerable degree of political autonomy). When the Germans invaded in 1939, Polish Upper Silesia was annexed to the Third Reich and many Silesians were granted German citizenship.” In Bed With Maradona


Bolivian Football: Not Dull

October 30, 2012

“Firstly, let me set the scene. It’s my first game from the Bolivian LFPB (Liga del Fútbol Profesional Boliviano) with Universitario de Sucre facing Oriente Petrolero, two teams languishing in the mid-table region of the Apertura half of the competition. Going in to the game, Oriente Petrolero had drawn a mind-boggling 8 of their 11 games, and had only lost once. Universitario were just a point better off but were playing at the Estadio Olímpico Patria, where they had a fine record.” In Bed With Maradona


Ban This Unfairness To ‘Keepers

October 24, 2012

“It seems fairly certain now that FIFA will bring in legislation during 1966 to prohibit charging the goalkeeper. In effect, an unwritten law to this extent is already in force throughout the Continent and South America. Thus, Britain alone will be affected. My own feeling is that the law is long overdue. Of course, there will be opposition to it. The health-and-moral-strength brigade will try to convince us that we are taking one more step towards the emasculation of the Briton, and his national game. Others will deplore the licence given to goalkeepers to hold up play by eternally bouncing the ball, while their forwards run into position, and their defence moves up to put the opposing forwards offside. Charging, these people will tell us, is historically ‘part of the game’, which is undeniable.” In Bed With Maradona


The Summer Is Important: English Football In the Shadow Of the 1966 World Cup

October 24, 2012

“Somewhere along the line there had to be a calming influence, for the draw for the World Cup Finals in London early in January threw the domestic soccer season into something of a panic. Representatives from the interested bodies arrived in their droves and the press, radio and television coverage was something that we have not experienced before. Of course, the event has never taken place on our own doorstep previously and it now looks as if everything has been done to make the Finals a memorable occasion. The spate of publicity did wonders for the sale of tickets which had been selling at a steady rate before and we were only a few months off knowing how English soccer supporters would take to summer football.” In Bed With Maradona


The Peerless Jozsef Bozsik

October 18, 2012


“Among the most widely noted tactical phenomena of the last ten years has been the increasing importance of the ‘deep lying playmaker’. As teams have lined up with ever more defensive midfielders, previously advanced midfielders have dropped ever deeper themselves in search of precious space. In many ways this isn’t a new trend, but simply a return to a practice of the 1950s and earlier. For prior to the advent of the WM, the deep lying playmaker (such as Austria’s attacking centre-half, Ernst Ocwirk) was a mainstay of the game.” In Bed With Maradona


Brazil’s ‘Stray Dog’ Complex

October 16, 2012

“In the early twentieth century Latin American football was growing rapidly. Uruguay had won the triple crown of the Olympic Games in 1924, ’28 and the inaugural World Cup held in Uruguay 1930. Since then football had sprung up across the continent reaching all sections of society and social class, from Copacabana beach overlooked by Sugarloaf Mountain to the country clubs. This new samba style football was developed; individual skill and flair outshined the rigidity of European tactics. The flamboyant philosophy is an extension of the carnival. Brazilians like to show off. There is a word in Brazil ufanismo, boastful, arrogant nationalism. When Brazil was chosen to host the 1950 FIFA World Cup, they were going to put on a show to encapsulate their style of play, but come the climax of the competition, the Uruguayans did not read the script, and Brazil paid the price.” In Bed With Maradona


In Praise Of Giorgio Chiellini

October 14, 2012

“Many things come to mind when watching 26 year old Giorgio Chiellini in the distinctive black and white stripes of Juventus or the proud blue of the Italian national team. Yet, even in this age of instant media and overused superlatives, first impressions still count for much and perhaps in this case that snapshot proves unerringly accurate. With his shaven head, robust tackling and constant yelling – at opponents, team-mates and even himself – it is hard not to describe Chiellini in exactly the way we initially view him; a typically uncompromising Italian defender. He is something of a throwback, bringing images of the man markers – ‘stoppers’ as they are called in Italy – of yesteryear, a modern take on the old school type of player the peninsula became synonymous with thanks to the rugged displays of men like Giorgio Ferrini, Pasquale Bruno and of course Juve’s own Claudio (not so) Gentile.” In Bed With Maradona


Why Cruyff Boycotted Argentina 78

October 12, 2012

“The world cup of Argentina 78 has left a Proustian imprint on my memory. It was the first tournament I had watched in color. My mother had managed to scrape up the deposit on a color TV to replace the archaic black & white set and a whole new world was opened up to me. The color TV was rented to us by a company called Telebank. The TV ran on a meter that you fed with fifty pence pieces and at the end of the month the collector would call and take out the hire fee. Any amount over the hire fee was refunded to you, so in a strange way, you were actually rewarded by the amount of hours of television you watched.” Sabotage Times


Searching For the Young Soul Rebels: The Real Madrid Blueprint 1965

October 10, 2012

“It has been said by the critics that one man cannot make a team, yet when Argentina-born Alfredo Di Stéfano flew the Atlantic to join Real Madrid in 1953, it marked the beginning of an era in which the blond centre-forward led the club to real greatness. Champions eight times in eleven seasons, Real became the most famed and most feared club side of all time, and at the height of their power between 1956 and 1960, set up what will probably remain an all-time record by taking the European Cup five times in a row.” In Bed With Maradona


BBC Italia 90 Titles

October 5, 2012

“Deep breath…. No, it’s no good. You were going to get a snappy intro here but I was in a pool of tears and snot after about three seconds…… At the time, Italia 90 was lambasted as a poor tournament, yet hundreds, possibly thousands of us can recall every kick. Anyway, the BBC got the title sequence bang on the money. Here’s the opening and closing credits………sniff……” In Bed With Maradona


HH2: The Other Herrera

October 3, 2012

“An autocratic manager of South American descent, a success in Spain but enjoying his peak years at the sharp end of catenaccio-fuelled 1960s Serie A. Articles about the well documented life and times of Signor Herrera are not exactly thin on the ground, but this time Helenio takes only an unfamiliar supporting role. This is actually the story of one of his main managerial contemporaries, the unrelated Paraguayan Heriberto Herrera, or HH2 as he was to be christened by the Italian press. He was a manager who is barely known today despite a career that reads like a diluted and histrionic free version of Helenio’s. He may not have amassed the prodigious trophy haul nor the media adulation of HH, but he did joust gamely with ‘il mago’ and bloody his nose on several occasions.” In Bed With Maradona


The Dynamos

September 24, 2012

“It was supposed to be the ultimate football franchise: Eleven man armies that would prove communist superiority in the world’s most popular sport. But more than two decades after the USSR and the Eastern Block fell apart, the Dynamo movement is fading. This is the story of a football machine that rarely worked and, after ninety years of troubled existence, is still in search of its true identity. Born in 1923 to an authoritarian, unstable and violent family, Dynamo Moscow was imagined to be an athletic role model. However, as happens with all autocratic concepts, this desire of an idealist communist sport club crumbled under the weight of its own expectations.” In Bed With Maradona


Esposto: Then and Now—Paris Saint-Germain

September 18, 2012

“A look back 20 years shows that the parallels exist between Paris St-Germain’s 1991 takeover by Canal Plus and their current owners Qatar Sports Investment – the lavish spending, the top talent, the expectation of immediate success, but will things end differently this time around? As the club begins their Champions League campaign on Tuesday, this is the story of Les Parisiens – from then to now.” The Score


This Is A Red and Brack Nation

September 10, 2012

“Over an hour before kick-off and the stadium was already awash with flags, banners and fireworks as it rocked to the drums and chants of the Torcidas. I was in Rio for the game known as the Fla-Flu, the derby between Flamengo and Fluminese. While not as big as Vasco vs Flamengo, the excellently named derby of the millions, the Fla-Flu is a game of historical significance. And the pre-match atmosphere was certainly living up to the hype as the two sets of fans took in turns to explode into action.” In Bed With Maradona


West Germany v Austria, 1978: Unravelling the “Shame of Córdoba”

September 10, 2012

“Germany versus Austria, and a match that would find its place in history and footballing folklore. In Austria it would be known as Der Wunder von Córdoba or ‘the miracle of Córdoba’. In Germany meanwhile it would become known as Der Schmach von Córdoba, or ‘the disgrace of Córdoba’. While one could understand the reaction of the Austrians to what was ultimately a meaningless match – they had not defeated the Nationalmannschaft since 1931, after all – I have always wondered why it was seen as such a big deal in Germany. OK, Helmut Schön’s side had given their little Southern brothers a rare chance to engage in hysterical hyperbole, but in truth the 3-2 defeat didn’t really amount to much in the end.” Bundesliga Fanatic


The Curse of Wembley

September 6, 2012

“The title of the film by German film maker Stefan Keber suggests what many people already know: England have not won any major trophy since their World Cup triumph at Wembley in July 1966: England are cursed by Wembley and the third goal. Not just that, every time they appeared to be coming close to another final, there were German teams eliminating them from the tournament. The last time in 1996 at the Euro held in England.” Do not mention the war (Video)


That Watford and Udinese Thing: Reasons To Be Cheerful

September 4, 2012


“In the summer of 1986 Udinese were in trouble. As punishment for their part in ‘Totonero bis’ – a match-fixing scandal which tore through the game and left many of its players and clubs tainted forever – the Friulian club were relegated to the second tier of Italian football. While his arrival may not have had the global impact of Silvio Berlusconi’s landing at Milan some four months earlier, Giampaolo Pozzo’s arrival would prove to be a watershed moment for a club who bear little resemblance to the one he bought 26 years ago.” In Bed With Maradona


Horst Blankenburg: the forgotten man of German football

August 28, 2012


“Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Sepp Maier. These are just some of the most successful and celebrated German footballers of all time, winning just about everything there was to win with club and country. Horst Blankenburg on the other hand is not a name that immediately springs to mind when discussing Germany’s most successful footballers but certainly merits a mention, at least at club level. Yet, few remember or know much about the man that never quite fit in in Germany and had to leave his home country to truly make a name for himself.” World Soccer (Video)


Total Football Comes To Loftus Road – The 1975/76 Season

August 28, 2012

“QPR fans disillusioned with their recent state of affairs (Four Year Plans, F1 moguls, narcissistic midfielders and the rest of it) will always hark back to the 1970s as the most glorious period in the club’s history. The pinnacle of this was the 1975-6 season, their ‘annus mirabilis’, in which Rangers finished runners-up in the First Division, to this day their highest ever finish.” In Bed With Maradona


The Donkeys Continue To Fly

August 23, 2012

“Donkeys will fly before Chievo makes it to Serie A.’ This was a chant directed towards and poking fun at local upstarts ChievoVerona from fans of city rivals Hellas Verona. Yet after a decade of contrasting fortunes for both clubs, the underdogs are currently having the last laugh. While Verona have spent most of the 2000s attempting to reclaim a place in the top flight, Chievo have all but sustained a place in Serie A since their historic promotion in 2001, even twice competing in Europe.” In Bed With Maradona


Sócrater the Liberator

August 19, 2012


“When the news broke in September last year that Sócrates, the legendary Brazilian midfielder, had been rushed to hospital for an emergency operation, I feared the worst. O Doutor had been a committed fan of alcohol and cigarettes for many years, I assumed his illness was related to his lifestyle choices. It appeared at first that he might be able to shake his sickness off, like he had so many opposing players. This time it was one attacker too many for him. Sócrates lived life by his own rules, and when the rules didn’t suit him he changed them. He was a marvellous footballer and always politically engaged, something he continued after retiring from playing. Indeed it is his involvement in the ‘Corinthians Democracy’ that particularly drew me to read about his life.” In Bed With Maradona


Maradona Collage By the Wild Bunch

August 12, 2012

“One of the best resources on the internet, The Wild Bunch website is a part French, part English language site which covers global football with a real retro slant. Featuring downloadable movies and an *huge* amount of great imagery, it’s unlikely you’ll not find something that raises a smile. The latest project for TWB is a hugely impressive collage of photographs featuring one Diego Maradona at various stages in his career. You’ll need to zoom in to get the full effect, but do check it out and make sure you bookmark The Wild Bunch.” In Bed With Maradona


Horst Blankenburg: The Forgotten Man

August 8, 2012

“Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Sepp Maier. These are just some of the most successful and celebrated German footballers of all time, winning just about everything there was to win with club and country. Horst Blankenburg on the other hand is not a name that immediately springs to mind when discussing Germany’s most successful footballers but certainly merits a mention, at least at club level. Yet, few remember or know much about the man that never quite fit in in Germany and had to leave his home country to truly make a name for himself.” In Bed With Maradona


Ossie At 60

August 3, 2012

“Wily, diminutive, tricky, graceful; feel free to add your own adjectives. Ossie Ardiles arrived at Tottenham Hotspur from Huracán in 1978 alongside fellow World Cup winner Ricky Villa and became a firm favourite with the White Hart Lane faithful. While younger Spurs fans will marvel at the silky skills of Luka Modric, older ones will recall the guile of creator in chief Ardiles. Like Modric, not the most prolific goalscorer, but the key creative component of a number of Spurs sides in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. Sixty today, Ossie is back in management with second tier J League outfit Machida Zelvia. Here’s a nice tribute from 1985…” In Bed With Maradona (Video)


Klinsmann At Inter

July 30, 2012

“The baker’s son from Botnang done good. On the occasion of his birthday today we thought we would give you a little bit of Klinsmann at his best. We could have chosen one of the many compilations of goals scored for Germany, we could have gone with his time with Spurs and in particular that video of his goals set to ‘Gertcha’ by Chas and Dave, but as good as that would have been we went with this.” In Bed With Maradona (Video)


Raith Rovers: Kings Of Europe 1922

July 30, 2012

“When the dust settled on a difficult season last term for Scottish First Division side Raith Rovers it seemed that most fans were accentuating the positives. The final quarter of the season saw the team second only to champions Ross County in terms of consistency and points won, survival was finally guaranteed with a game remaining and a final day flourish in Greenock against Morton saw the team finish in a respectable seventh position.” In Bed With Maradona


Football Voices

July 26, 2012

“The history of the World Cup has always been accompanied by very interesting radio and television commentaries. What follows is a collection of three classic and iconic commentaries from a German, an English and a Norwegian commentator.” Do not mention the war (Video)


Italy 3-2 Brazil, 1982: the day naivety, not football itself, died

July 26, 2012

“It’s 30 years ago this month that, according to Zico, football died. On 5 July 1982, in the Estadi de Sarrià in Barcelona, Tele Santana’s majestic Brazil lost to Italy and were eliminated from the World Cup. With them went the nostalgic form of Brazilian football, the fluid attacking style that had won them three World Cups between 1958 and 1970.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Juan Alberto Schiafffino and the Demise of Uruguay

July 22, 2012


“Juan Alberto Schiaffino is now 51, and it’s 34 years since he was given the opening to launch a career which brought him fame as the world’s most expensive footballer. Today Schiaffino lives on the outskirts of Montevideo, his native city, in a spacious villa out towards the airport. ‘I’m not rich,’ he’ll tell you. ‘But I’m not poor either.’ Maybe that’s because he’s stayed out of football for most of the 15 years since he retired, after closing a glorious career with two years as a utility player at Roma in Italy. His steady determination to keep football at arm’s length may also have something to do with the fact that his looks still belie his years.” In Bed With Maradoda


A two-hour retrospective of the 1977 NY Cosmos season

July 18, 2012

“This has it all, and should give an exhaustive idea of why the Cosmos still matter almost four decades later. This is also why anyone who complains about the Age of the Internet needs to leave now without a fuss.” The Score (Video)


Can Brazil rekindle their magic?

July 14, 2012

“Spain’s Euro 2012 triumph – their third consecutive international title – has prompted many to reach for comparisons with Brazilian sides of old in the quest to answer the bar-room question: Which is the world’s best-ever international team? Spain’s Euro 2012 triumph – their third consecutive international title – has prompted many to reach for comparisons with Brazilian sides of old in the quest to answer the bar-room question: Which is the world’s best-ever international team? Fun stuff, but given the difficulties of comparing teams from different eras, it may be more worthwhile to peer in the other direction, looking forward rather than backward when making Brazil/Spain comparisons. The specific question is this: What impact might the success of Spain have on future Brazil sides?” ESPN – Tim Vickery


Calcio poster, 1955-56

July 14, 2012


“A great Calcio poster from way back when. I’m guessing it must be around 1955-56 as Novara are in the picture. I also love the Lazio player (fascist salute?) and the Roma player who looks like he is about to wipe him out. (via thegentlemanultra)”


The Tournament that Freedom Forgot

July 12, 2012

“Back in the late 1980’s Europe’s political landscape was changing. The Eastern Bloc was crumbling. Football was one language whereby different political ideals could be set aside for 90 minutes. That was unless you lived in the divided Germany at the time. It is hard to imagine today when we look at Germany that it was still a country partitioned by a wall into the haves and the have-nots. No place on earth saw this divide more than Berlin where the wall completely cut off a section of the city, known as West Berlin, which was a West German isle surrounded by a sea of the Eastern Bloc, a capitalist island in a sea of communism. Football was being suffocated by the political situation.” In Bed With Maradona


The End Of Michael Owen

July 10, 2012


“As the players that participated in the latter stages of Euro 2012 lie on a beach in an exotic location somewhere and perhaps reflect upon a long, gruelling campaign, many of their club colleagues have already returned to pre-season training ahead of a new season. The first week of pre-season training is year zero for many a footballer. For some it is the first opportunity to impress a new manager, for others it is an opportunity to display that they deserve a future at a club. Spare a thought perhaps for those players that did not return to training this past week. These types of players are categorised by the dreaded term, ‘unattached.’” In Bed With Maradona


How meatballs and sausages got St. Pauli to the top

July 10, 2012

“The year is 1910, and football is considered to be the ‘English disease’ in a Germany ruled by Kaiser Wilhelm II. But, the sport is gaining ground amongst some young men. Some of the come from St. Pauli, then a suburb of Hamburg. The ‘Hamburg-St.Pauli Turnverein’ opens a football branch. From now on all the kids from St. Pauli who want to play football go there to play and experience the joy that only football can provide. The football division of the gymnastics club parts ways with the gymnasts, and the FC. St. Pauli is solely a football club afterwards.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Five Games That Altered Spain’s History

July 9, 2012


GROUP H, Match #15: Spain 4-0 Ukraine, Germany
“The fanfare for Spain’s three tournament wins in a row will take a while to die down, but these five games show that it isn’t all about 20-year coaching strategies, sometimes you’ve got to learn on the job… From popular underachievers to feared world and two-time European champions, Spain have come an awful long way in recent years. Here are five games that proved crucial in the shaping of a side that has made winning a habit and an art form.” Sabotage Times (Video)


The History Of Athletic Bilbao 1898-1936

July 4, 2012


1930-31 La Liga
“In 1977 Athletic Bilbao contested a Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup final, losing both, in a striking parallel with 2012. In the August 1977 edition of World Soccer magazine, Keir Radnedge looked at how it all began for one of Europe’s oldest clubs. Athletic Bilbao struck a resounding blow last season for self-reliant clubs by reaching the UEFA Cup and Spanish Cup Finals with a team made up entirely of local-raised players.” In Bed With Maradina


Kempes Recall For Argentina

July 4, 2012

“It’s 1977, and with the World Cup on home soil less than twelve months away, Argentina coach Cesar Menotti is getting desperate…. The More gloomy the fans in Argentina became over the recent series of prestige friendlies, the more optimistic has become Mario Kempes over his chances of returning home next summer to lead the World Cup bid. A few months ago the chances of Kempes, who joined Valencia from Rosario Central a year previously, being drafted into Cesar Menotti’s squad, looked minute. In fact, in March when Kempes met Menotti while Argentina were playing in the Real Madrid 75th anniversary tournament, the Argentine coach never even bothered to raise the subject with the 22-year-old centre forward with legs like tree trunks. Since then everything has changed.” In Bed With Maradona


Match Of The Past: Liverpool FC

July 2, 2012

“We continue our summer series of historical video compilations this afternoon with another of the giants of English football, Liverpool FC. Liverpool started the 1962/63 back in the First Division after eight years away, during which they finished in third place in he Second Division four times and fourth place twice – back in the days when promotion and relegation were limited to just two clubs each – before winning the Second Division title in 1962. Our first match is the first Merseyside derby after their return to the First Division against Everton – and yes, those kits with black and white pictures are a little confusing! Liverpool are in the red shirts. Our second match skips forward to the end of the decade, and extended – very extended – highlights of a trip to Molineux to play Wolverhampton Wanderers in March of 1968.” twohundredpercent (YouTube)


Thierry Roland (1937-2012)

June 17, 2012

“More than fifty years after covering his first World Cup in 1962 in Chile, French journalist Thierry Roland passed away on Saturday at the age of 74 prompting tributes from the highest spheres of France’s political scene, starting with President François Hollande, all the way down to the French players in Ukraine from Gael Clichy to Samir Nasri. Perhaps the only football-related figure that was more appreciated than Zinedine Zidane in France, Thierry Roland was one of these people which you would be forgiven to think they were immortal. After beginning his career as a football journalist as an 18-year-old in 1955, first on the radio before making the big move to live television, Roland went on to commentate thirteen World Cups and nine European Championships, spearheading more than 1300 football games in total for France’s foremost TV channels, ORTF from 1955 to 1968, Antenne 2 from 1975 to 1984, TF1 from 1984 and 2004, M6 from 2005 till yesterday.” In Bed With Maradona (Video)


The Joy of Six: classic European Championship matches

June 12, 2012

“Our selection includes a nine-goal semi, English humiliation, Danish Dynamite – and the best international of the 21st century” Guardian (Video)


The history of the European Championship

June 11, 2012

“The European Championship in Poland and Ukraine will be the 14th time that the competition has been held. It was the brainchild of Henri Delaunay, the secretary of the French Football Federation, who first came up with the idea of a continental competition in 1927. At first he had little support and it did not start until 1960. Until 1980 only four teams went through to the final stages, but it is now a 16-team competition and one of the major events on the football calendar. All 13 of the previous tournaments have provided memorable moments – and BBC Sport profiles them all ahead of this year’s competition.” BBC


The history of Ajax from 1945-2012

May 28, 2012

“It took just three weeks for Dutch football to get back up and running again following the country’s liberation from German occupation. The previous five years had been a harrowing period of time for the country, an experience that had afflicted an immeasurable amount of damage to its inhabitants. The decision to usher the return of football so soon after the conclusion of war was sagacious, as a need to get life back to some form of normality was required.” World Soccer


Ajax: the early years and the birth of Total Football

May 8, 2012

“Known in the Netherlands as ‘de Godenzonen’, a name that translates into English as ‘the sons of the Gods,’Ajax Amsterdam has, for the majority of their 112 year history, carried with them an almost messianic status, not only in their home nation, but across the world football spectrum.” World Soccer


Anglo-Italian relations

April 19, 2012

“Back in 1992 West Ham looked on enviously as Sheffield United kicked off against Manchester United on a sunny day on the 15th August to start what is now the richest league in the world. The Hammers had been relegated at the end of the previous season and now had to fight their way back onto the top table, in a similar situation to this season although the Free bet sites at the time would have not been so genorous about an immediate return as they have been this term.” The Ball is Round


The astonishing career of Giorgio Chinaglia

April 4, 2012


“The saddening death of an old acquaintance Giorgio Chinaglia evoked so many memories. It was an astonishing career, begun obscurely in South Wales where he once was obliged (by club fines) to steal milk bottles from doorsteps for his breakfast, to triumphs with Lazio and the 1974 Campionato thanks largely to his goals, to disgrace in the subsequent World Cup in Europe.” World Soccer – Brian Glanville

Giorgio Chinaglia 1947-2012
“The legendary Lazio, Italy and New York Cosmos striker Giorgio Chinaglia has died, aged 65. Chinaglia was a member of the infamous yet hugely talented 1974 scudetto winning Lazio side, where his fiery temper and penchant for mayhem were not out of place. Having played most of his early football with Swansea (he had been brought up in Wales), Chinaglia was considered no great loss to the Welsh side as he headed home for national service and Serie C club Massese in 1966.” In Bed With Maradona


European Championship Stories: 1996 – A Whole New Ball Game

March 29, 2012

“It almost goes without saying that the near-death – and very much beyond – experiences suffered by English football during the 1980s shaped the game that we watch today. There was a time – a period from the middle to the end of that decade – when the definite feeling that this was a game on its last legs became tangible. Crowds dwindled to somewhere beyond what might have been considered the bare bones, whilst an unhappy trinity of disasters carried both a literal and symbolic loss, with deaths that represented scores of personal tragedies alongside a wider sense of corrosion in what had been the nations number one pastime.” twohundredpercent


Roma from the beginning

March 25, 2012

“As any Roma fan should know, three clubs were merged together in the summer of 1927 to form the club now known as AS Roma. What may be less well known is that the merger was initiated by a member of the Fascist party, who had taken power five years previously, and that Lazio were the only side to oppose the move and remain an independent club.” World Soccer


European Championship Stories: 1988 – Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold

March 11, 2012

“There can be few things more tiresome in international football than war analogies. Sometimes, however, they are inescapable and this can be no more true than in the case of European nations which once pitched up against each other on battlefields, only to find themselves facing off against their former allies or rivals for decades afterwards. In the case of the Dutch national team, the complex nature of its relationship with its neighbour – and former occupier – Germany has come to manifest itself through an occasional series of gladiatorial matches between the two national sides.” twohundredpercent


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