Jean-Paul Sartre on: The Problem With Other Players

“Anybody who saw the 1983 football biopic ‘Being is Believing’ will almost certainly have left the cinema with a somewhat romanticised view of the period that Jean-Paul Sartre spent as manager of Paris based side Stade Saint-Germain in the early 1960s. Yet, despite its historical inconsistencies, the film does at least manage to convey a tantalising flavour of the footballing revolution that took place in those astonishing few years when the unprepossessing Sartre transformed, in so many ways, how we perceive the beautiful game today.” Fisted Away


Hungary – Holland, the preview

“This match must certainly be considered as one of the biggest games in Group E of the Euro 2012 qualifying tournament. With 9 points from three matches, the Hungarians are ranked second behind the runners up of the last World Cup, Holland, who have won all four qualifying matches so far. Sweden is also in contention for direct qualification, with 6 points from three matches, having lost 4-1 in Holland, but having beaten Hungary 2-0.” 11 tegen 11

Gelukkige Verjaardag Ruud Krol!

“Ruud Krol, one of the original Dutch masters, was born in Amsterdam on this day in 1949. So: Gelukkige Verjaardag Ruud Krol! Krol was part of the great Dutch generation of the 1970s: he played on the great Ajax side that was managed by Rinus Michels and led on the field by Johan Cruijff, Johan Neeskens, Piet Keizer and Krol. Together they famously won three consecutive UEFA European Cups (the precursor to today’s Champions League), and in doing so introduced totaalvoetbal to the world.” Cult Football

Götze heads Germany’s new wave

Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze
“After signing a contract extension (until 2014) and tentatively solving the ‘Michael Ballack question’ — the Germany captain will have an unofficial farewell match against Brazil in August — coach Jogi Löw has few problems left. The biggest one might be finding places for a wave of new, exciting prospects in the squad. Here’s a projection of Germany’s next top model professionals (under 22 years).” SI

Football Weekly Extra: Fabio Capello’s phoning it in, and Fifa’s battling it out

“Despite a tumbleweed week of football, the pod find plenty to chew on in this week’s Football Weekly Extra-a-a-a-a-a-a … James is joined by editor Michael Cox, Owen Gibson, Barry Glendenning and Paul MacInnes. And thank heavens for your posts, as the team discuss why there are so many games at Christmas and so few in March, now that the sun has come out.” Guardian, James Richardson

Crumbling Stadiums and the Number 61 Bus

“If you fly into Bratislava and take a number 61 bus from the airport towards the city-centre and railway station, you will pass some of Slovakia’s principle sporting venues. There is the excellent National Tennis Centre, where the likes of Lukáš Lacko and Dominika Cibulková play Davis Cup and Federation Cup matches, and a gleaming new ice-hockey arena, which will stage the final of the 2011 World Championship later this spring. In the same area, within a goal-kick of each other, there are two football grounds. Each is watched over by an impressive quartet of floodlights but each is, to put it mildly, in less than ideal condition.” In Bed With Maradona

The Ball Day 29 – Soccer + Breakdancing in Morocco

“The Ball continues to spread it’s message of participation, no boundaries, and unity and today they visit a Casablanca children’s dance group to play soccer and find out how breakdancing and soccer go hand in hand. This EP has music again from the great Jali Bakary with ‘Combination’ a nice tune from his new album.” The Ball