Lionel Messi and Argentina losing sleep as Uruguay loom at Copa América 2015

“After Argentina’s 2-2 draw with Paraguay Lionel Messi could not sleep. He roamed the corridors of the squad’s base in La Serena, turning over and over in his mind what had happened, how Argentina had managed to turn a position of dominance and a 2-0 lead into a point that places enormous pressure on them in the Copa América game against Uruguay on Tuesday, local time.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Book review: All Played Out – The full story of Italia ’90 by Pete Davies

“My battered old 1991 paperback edition of this is subtitled ‘The full story of Italia ‘90’ with the blurb on the back headlined ‘The Story of England In The 1990 World Cup’. The cover features the iconic blurred picture of Gascoigne lifting his shirt to his face. Later editions have seen the title changed to One Night In Turin with a now unblurred picture of Gascoigne and the lengthier subtitle of ‘The Inside Story Of A World Cup That Changed Our Footballing Nation Forever’. That in itself is a sign of how things changed in the intervening 20 plus years.” Football Pink

Claudio Bravo and Chile held by Mexico in six goal thriller (3-3)

“Chile missed out on to the opportunity to become the first team to make it through to the last eight of the Copa América following an exhilarating 3-3 draw against Mexico in Group A. Arturo Vidal scored twice and Vargas claimed the other but it was not enough for victory for the side captained by blaugrana Claudio Bravo. Mexico took the lead twice in the first half through Vuoso and Raúl Jiménez and then Vuoso scored again in the second to level things up at 3-3. Mexico proved they are not simply in South America to make up the numbers and still have a chance of making it to the knock out stage with their final group game still to come against Ecuador. Chile face Bolivia in their last fixture in the opening phase.” FC Barcelona

Team Focus: Neymar Reliant Brazil Still Showing Problems of Old

“Brazil’s Copa America group match against Peru may ultimately have produced the result that had been widely anticipated, but it’s fair to say nobody was expecting the game to play out quite like it did. Dunga’s Brazil was supposed to be dogged and cautious, to have shorn the wildness that ultimately undid Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side at the World Cup, but the game in Temuco, in the first half in particular, was raggedly end-to-end. Brazil had won 10 friendlies in a row since Dunga took over at the end of the World Cup – one more than they had under Scolari in the build-up to that tournament. That seemed room for cautious optimism, but after two minutes, very familiar old failings had surfaced.” Who Scored? – Jonathan Wilson

Remember BBC’s Italia 90 opening credits? Here’s the incredible story behind them

“FOR SO MANY, the untimely passing of the late, great Bill O’Herlihy struck a chord. The legendary broadcaster’s death was greeted by an universal outpouring of sorrow as his unmistakable humility and generosity made him one of, if not, the most popular figure to appear on our screens. As the nation remembered his storied career, it was a trip down memory lane for most of us as we recounted the iconic days of our sporting childhood. The World Cups, European Championships and Olympic games. The highs and lows, the tears and laughs.” BBC (Video)

Toby Charles: The man who brought German football to the U.S.

“German football wasn’t too popular back in 2002 when I started writing for ESPN. There weren’t many places where you could regularly find English-language content about the game’s culture and history, or stories other than match reports and transfer news. Many readers of the site (Soccernet as it was back then) said they were craving information about German football because they had become hooked on it during the 1970s and 1980s thanks to a weekly programme on American television called ‘Soccer Made in Germany,’ hosted by a man called Toby Charles.” ESPN (Video)

A drop in German form reflected in Kicker defensive rankings

“Among the reasons for the changes are injuries, not enough games played, only one German club in the semi-finals of Europe, and a let-go by FC Bayern in the late stages of the season. As a reminder, a player is not evaluated not on his potential but on the performances from January to June with a minimum of 9 games played in the Bundesliga, Pokal, Europe or internationals.” Bayern Central