Brazil has proven fertile shopping grounds for Eastern European clubs

April 7, 2011


“Giuliano is one of the brightest prospects produced by Brazilian football in recent years. A midfielder of talent, versatility and intelligence, he captained Brazil’s Under-20s with distinction in the 2009 World Youth Cup. Last year he was chosen as the star player in the Copa Libertadores — his goals, many of them after coming on as a substitute, helped Internacional of Pôrto Alegre claim South America’s premier club title. And a few months ago he made his debut for the senior Brazil team.” SI – Tim Vickery

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Barcelona 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk: Shakhtar incapable of dealing with runners from deep

April 7, 2011

“Barcelona became the third side to take a massive lead into the second leg of the European Cup quarter-finals. Pep Guardiola was still without Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal, so Sergio Busquets continued at the back. Pedro Rodriguez was only fit enough for the bench, so Andres Iniesta played in the front three, and Seydou Keita started in the middle.” Zonal Marking

FC Barcelona 5-1 Shakhtar Donetsk – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Champions League
The 90th Minute

Chelsea 0-1 Manchester United: first half Rooney goal gives United the lead in the tie
“A tight game at Stamford Bridge saw only one goal. Carlo Ancelotti chose to leave out Nicolas Anelka, starting Didier Drogba alongside Fernando Torres upfront. There was a surprise on the left, where Yuri Zhirkov played over Florent Malouda. Sir Alex Ferguson welcomed back Rio Ferdinand. He also gave starts to Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung, in a surprise midfield four. Javier Hernandez played just ahead of Rooney. The game took a while to settle down into a pattern. Both sides made too many errors in the opening minutes, with misunderstandings between teammates and possession conceded too cheaply.” Zonal Marking

Chelsea 0-1 Manchester United – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Champions League
The 90th Minute


In Defence of the Inter Defence

April 7, 2011

“Over the past three years the potent attacking players of Inter have been much lauded and rightly so. From the criminally overlooked and under-appreciated displays of Wesley Sneijder last season to some sublime solo efforts from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Alongside them we have seen the predatory skills of Diego Milito and Giampaolo Pazzini as well as some of the most versatile and diverse performances in memory from the immensely talented Samuel Eto’o.” In Bed With Mardona


From Wembley to the Himalayas: The Story of Crook Town

April 7, 2011

“As many football clubs know: money can’t buy you history. You can try to buy a future but in football it’s the past and the present that matters. The future is pegged to survival. If a club can ensure that then everything else becomes a bonus. Football fans of many clubs always point at where they have come from and, if they are lucky enough, what they have achieved. Until you have your own history, no matter how great or how small, you will always be looked at as having never been at the top table.” In Bed With Maradona


Saints sitting pretty in latest Aesop variation

April 7, 2011

“The Greek fabulist Aesop was attributed to the famous old fable of the hare and the tortoise and a new re-enactment of the story has evolved from the current Principality Welsh Premier League season. The modern-day comparison reached a poignant stage in the story last week when The New Saints overtook, and then extended their lead, over Bangor City at the top of the table without breaking a sweat while their rivals continued to reacted to letting go a one-time sixteen point lead by further losing ground on their consistent professional rivals with yet another defeat.” The Ball is Round


Politics and Personality in Sport: In the Commercial Era, Does Tradition Matter?

April 7, 2011


“In the last piece I wrote for Just Football I retold the story of Matthias Sindelar, the Austrian footballer who symbolised, in part, a nation’s defiance of their Nazi occupiers; an archetype of Austria’s considered and poetic passing game. Sindelar represented not only the Austrian football team but Austria’s intelligentsia and their consciousness expressed through sport.” Just Football


Stop Whingeing theres no such thing as a true football fan

April 7, 2011

“There appear to have been quite a few bloggers of late who seem obsessed with what it is to be a “true” football fan. Those who were not born within 300 yards of the club’s ground, don’t have a season ticket, watch games on TV and/or – shock horror – come from a different country are clearly the reason the game is sliding into a corporate-induced death. I’m bored of it. Particularly as it seem to use history in quite a perverse way.” Touchline Shouts