Nándor Hidegkuti

March 29, 2012

“Harry Johnston was an outstanding defender who played nearly twenty years for Blackpool, mostly as a center-back. He was so good that in 1951 the FA named him footballer of the year. He played for his country as well, making his last appearance in 1953, at Wembley, against the upstart Magyars from Hungary, but that would not be a good day for Harry. The problem was Nándor Hidegkuti.” Run of Play


Champions League Retro Diary II: Barcelona-AC Milan

March 29, 2012

“Brian Phillips and Chris Ryan return for the second day of the Champions League quarterfinals first legs. On Wednesday, the guys pulled up their thrones to watch a game between two of the most storied sporting institutions in Europe, Barcelona and A.C. Milan. Here’s what transpired.” Grantland


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


Ivan Jovanovic’s devotion to detail takes Apoel into unknown territory

March 27, 2012


“The path of Ivan Jovanovic’s career was determined by a fighton a dusty field in a low-key competition in East Germany in 1988. He wasn’t even on the pitch, having been substituted 10 minutes from time of an Intertoto Cup tie (in the days when it consisted of eight groups of four, with no knockout stage and no winner) between his side, Rad Belgrade, and Carl Zeiss Jena. He played no part in the brawl but when Uefa handed out punishments his role as captain was taken into account and he was banned from European competition for two years.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


For better or worse? How Havelange’s global vision changed football

March 27, 2012

“Laid low by an infection, former Fifa president Joao Havelange is gravely ill in a Rio hospital, where no doubt he is profoundly irritated at being forced to interrupt his daily routine of swimming 1,000 metres. At the age of 95, Havelange remains a force of nature. Over 30 years ago he used his strength to change world football.” BBC – Tim Vickery


This is Türkiyemspor Berlin

March 27, 2012

“Izmirspor was founded by a group of Turkish immigrants in 1978, and by the time the club changed its name to Türkiyemspor in 1987, the club had risen meteorically to the Landesliga, then the fourth tier of German football. Attendances for the level were remarkable, with around 1,000 fans present for most games, and an incredible 11,949 (or even more – plenty of fans without tickets found their way into the stadium) for the big derby with Hertha BSC, as the Old Lady’s slump to the Oberliga (then 3rd division) coincided with yet another promotion for Türkiyem.” In Bed With Maradona


Point By Point – Liverpool FC Health Check

March 27, 2012


“After my last piece (access here), this is a slightly simplified – but not simplistic – breakdown of what’s working, and what’s going wrong. As in-depth as that previous piece was, I got the predictable angry emails saying that I’d purposely missed this and overlooked that. I’ll start with an old chestnut that some see as an excuse, but others see as circumstance.” Tomkins Times