Franz Beckenbauer: Der Kaiser

“A privileged few have experienced the honour of captaining their country to World Cup glory. Just two have won the competition as player and manager. But only one man has completed the hat-trick by ‘winning’ the World Cup as an administrator as well. It is hardly surprising, then, that the great Franz Beckenbauer will always be inextricably and inescapably associated with football’s greatest competition.” (ESPN)


Saint Lloris, Savior of Les Bleus

“The lasting image from France’s anemic, controversial, but ultimately successful campaign to qualify for the 2010 World Cup will be the un-penalized handball by Thierry Henry that helped Les Bleus slip by Ireland in a two-match playoff last November.” (NYT)

Fan Diary #29 – Why Can’t Liverpool Keep Any Good Form Going?

“I’m the fan who demands my one year in denial. I cling to the hopes of last season, refusing to believe something can’t be salvaged from this one (as the definition of salvage changes from Can we still finish top four? to Can we still finish top six? Top seven?) With my team so plagued by injury and other abrupt halts to any momentum, I’ve looked to those few inspiring performances to show me that a run of great form is on its way.” (EPL Talk)

“Quite Unfit”: English Women’s Football History on Film

“From the British Film Institute, a short film about the 1921 ban against women playing football. You can watch another film about this period in English women’s football history – a compilation of early film footage and photographs documenting the background for the Dick, Kerr’s Ladies football team.” (From a left wing, Las Fútbolistas (Great Grandma on the Left Wing))

Italy coach Marcello Lippi still has plenty to ponder

Marcello Lippi
“At the start of the season, looking forward to the World Cup finals in June, Italy coach Marcello Lippi said he was ready for any number of tormentoni (literally, pest or nuisance) on the run-in to South Africa. The tormentoni in question, let’s be clear, do not concern player injuries, match schedules or training facilities. No, these torments are media and fan inspired and take the form of pretty forthright “advice” as to who he should take to the finals this summer. In particular, Lippi was bombarded with suggestions for his attack.” (World Soccer)