Daily Archives: July 22, 2012

Juan Alberto Schiafffino and the Demise of Uruguay

“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

Continental shift: why the Olympics mean so much to South America

“It is fair to say that, historically, South America has not made a huge impact on the Olympics. While it is true Brazil is working hard to broaden its sporting base, of the 20 gold medals the country has won, over half have come in the last four Games. Argentina has picked up 17 golds, but its glory days are long gone. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Peron government invested heavily in a wide range of sports and leading athletes were closely identified with the regime, but all that ended when Peron was deposed in 1955. Since then, Argentina has claimed just four gold medals – two of them in the last two football tournaments.” World Soccer – Tim Vickery

Jonathan Wilson On World Football And Writing: Brazil, EURO 2012 And The Blizzard

“Following on from part 1, where Jonathan discussed liberos, zonal marking, back threes and more, we then discussed world football issues such as the Brazilian league and Poland and Ukraine’s co-hosting of EURO 2012, as well as his work on The Blizzard and his various football books.”
Jonathan Wilson On Tactics: Zonal Marking, Liberos And English Shortcomings, Jonathan Wilson On World Football And Writing: Brazil, EURO 2012 And The Blizzard

Liverpool: Why Agger And Skrtel Cannot Leave At Any Price

“Liverpool’s continued absence from the Champions League is dangerously becoming something of a self-defeating cycle. Without the prestige and, more importantly, the revenue from competing in Europe’s elite club competition, the Reds lack both the financial clout and the pulling power to compete with the top sides for the big names – and, on top of that, they’re now becoming vulnerable to other teams coming in for their star players, with the lure of big-money contracts and Champions League football potentially turning the heads of key members of Brendan Rodgers’ squad.” Sabotage Times

Spending spree buys PSG top talent, and maybe a Ligue 1 title

“Just before Sweden played France at Euro 2012 last month, as the players were waiting in the tunnel, Swedish captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic walked slowly along the line of French players, staring at each of them eye-to-eye. When he reached Adil Rami, the center back charged with marking him, he stopped. ‘You,’ he said, ‘today, you are my target.’ Sweden went on to win the game 2-0, with Ibrahimovic opening the scoring with a volley that was one of the best goals of the tournament.” SI

Sergio Busquets: Re-inventing the midfield pivot role

“Karthik Venkatesh (KV) lets his imagination run wild, likening Sergio Busquets to the sitcom character Barney Stinson. Oh, and he also argues why Busquets is one of this generation’s most important players. Sergio Busquets is the ultimate ‘Bro’ on the pitch. His game is so astonishingly altruistic that he can be fittingly compared to the perfect ‘wingman’ who will do his all to set you up with that girl of your wildest fantasies.” The Arsenal Column