Working-Class Ballet

March 12, 2014

Bill Shankly
“Let me try and explain why football is so important to me, and why it becomes more rather than less important to me as I get older. My family is from Liverpool in the northwest of England and my father used to train at Liverpool Football Club’s training ground in the early 1950s until an ankle injury curtailed his career. Dodgy ankles meant he had to wear Chelsea boots for the rest of his life, although he looked kind of stylish in them. My mum tells me that I could kick a ball before I could walk and the main plank in my somewhat tempestuous relationship with my dad was football. Until he died late in 1994—indeed during the final weeks of his illness—it was the only thing we talked about sensibly at any length. When we discussed politics, we would always end up shouting at each other. As a kid, I remember long car journeys to and from games where we would analyze every facet of the game in anticipation (on the way there) and reflection (on the way back) with scientific, almost forensic, detail.” ROADS & KINGDOMS

Working Class Ballet (2009)
“In Working Class Ballet, the young Latvian director Roberts Vinovskis takes viewers deep into the thrilling world of international football. See why fans the world over, from Philosophers to drunken hooligans, love the world’s greatest sport with so much vigour and passion. If you’re new to soccer, or have been wondering what all of the buzz is about, don’t miss this chance to see an artistic and intelligent look at this incredible sport.” Eurochannel

YouTube: Working Class Ballet trailer – Documentary film by Roberts Vinovskis

Football Quotes
Working Class Ballet

World Cup path clear for Brazil v Argentina final

March 12, 2014

“The Rio samba schools steered well clear of the 2014 World Cup when they selected their themes for Carnaval. The winner based its parade on the idea of speed, with pride of place for Ayrton Senna. Another school paid tribute to Zico, and finished fifth. But no one wanted to touch the coming World Cup. One school in the Sao Paulo parade took the plunge – one from the Itaquera district, where the new stadium is being built. They were relegated. Even the weather turned against their parade, which celebrated the fact that the World Cup kicks off in their neighbourhood. They had to strut their stuff in heavy rain and a hailstorm. There are signs of protest fatigue, but it is obvious that the 2014 World Cup has a public relations problem with the Brazilian people, upset at how much it is costing and how little it is giving back.” BBC – Tim Vickery

That Brazilian conveyor belt of talent

March 12, 2014

“Brazil continue to craft talented players week in, week out with Grêmio producing two fine defenders recently but can they find another with important Copa Libertadores matches coming up and how will the latest conveyor belt of youngster cope with expectation. One of the greatest things about covering Brazilian football is the opportunity to get an early glance at the future stars of the global game. The production line of talent never stops working, there are always promising new players appearing. Some will fall by the wayside, others will become household names all over the world, and it is fun to spot them early and follow their progress. Let us take the example of Gremio. Last year. For their Libertadores campaign, they repatriated left back Andre Santos from Arsenal. The team were knocked out of the competition relatively early, he was not a spectacular success and moved on to Flamengo – leaving space for Alex Telles to make the position his own.” Sambafoot – Tim Vickery

Transfer Target: Who Will Rescue Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan?

March 12, 2014

“As one would imagine, memories of the 1998 World Cup run deep in Croatia. Still very much a new nation then, only a few years after having gained its independence from Yugoslavia in a bloody war, the country had little to show for and football became its best promotional tool. The national team dazzled the world with an exuberant display in its maiden appearance at the tournament, wearing psychedelic red and white checkers and at times squeezing three exceptionally gifted playmakers into the lineup. As Croatia marched to third place in France, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki and Aljosa Asanovic became known as its ‘magic triangle’.” Bleacher Report (Video)

Benfica remain major threat to Tottenham despite Nemanja Matic sale

March 12, 2014

Jorge Jesus
“Tottenham fans are not often grateful to Chelsea, particularly not where transfers are concerned, but on Thursday they can reflect that if Willian is not in their lineup, at least Nemanja Matic is not in Benfica’s. Or at least that’s the easy reading of it. Nobody would pretend that Matic is not a superb player or that he is not missed by Benfica, but the overall effect of selling him may have been beneficial.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Lives lived for football

March 12, 2014

“It isn’t very often that football clubs win prizes, as opposed to trophies, unless they happen to be awards handed out by football associations. But last month, Borussia Moenchengladbach won a proper award. It goes by the name of the Future Prize 2014 and is handed out by the Israel Foundation in Germany. Gladbach earned it for having used ‘football as a bridge of understanding’ — as the foundation put it in the explanation. What this means is, quite simply, that no German club has done as much for improving relations between the two nations and peoples.” ESPN

‘Hardest Bastards in Football.’ Neil Lennon

March 12, 2014

“Born in Lurgan, Northern Ireland in 1971, Neil Lennon is a true Celtic fan. From his youth he set his heart on one leading his beloved Glasgow club to the top spot in Scotland. Well, it now seems certain that Lennon will be doing that again this season, seemingly for the umpteenth time and after years of turning out solid performances as a player and then subsequently as manager. It has though, not been the safest of jobs over recent years and it is for this reason that Neil Lennon is being inducted.” The Illustrated Game

An Arsenal Fan and an Everton Fan Talk About the FA Cup

March 12, 2014

“I am an Everton fan; you are an Arsenal fan. About a year ago, we discussed our clubs’ futures before one of the most important matches they’ve played in recent memory, and this weekend the two teams squared off in the FA Cup quarterfinals. My Toffees have seen their long-shot Champions League hopes go up in smoke after being eviscerated by Liverpool a few weeks ago and are now playing for another top-eight finish (as in years past). Your Gunners are on their way out of the Champions League, while losing ground in the Premier League title race. It seems like supporters like yourself are getting restless. Winning a cup would be a nice boost for either of our respective fan bases.” Grantland