In Germany, Migrant Aid Is a Team Effort

September 13, 2015

SOCCERweb1-master675-v2
“Ibrahim Ismail decided to make a placard for each of his five Syrian and Iraqi friends the moment he heard they would receive free tickets for the soccer match on Tuesday. … The six men proudly displayed their signs to thousands of German fans streaming into Millerntor-Stadion here. Almost all of the fans who passed them were wearing black T-shirts with the image of a skull and crossbones on the front, the emblem widely used by supporters of F.C. St. Pauli, a team in the second tier of German soccer. A few days earlier, St. Pauli, known for its punk-rock ethos and social conscience, had offered 1,000 free tickets for an exhibition this week against Borussia Dortmund to recently arrived migrants, including Ismail and his friends.” NY Times


City on Fire: How Manchester City Became the Best Team in the Premier League … Again

September 13, 2015

“Just a couple of months ago, Manchester City were a team hovering underneath the cloud of long-term decline. Yaya Touré couldn’t do it all anymore, Vincent Kompany no longer looked like a rock in central defense, and even David Silva, the team’s creative hub, was pushing 30. A year after winning the tile, City finished eight points back of first-place Chelsea — and were it not for a late-season winning streak and bunch of games in which Chelsea had nothing to play for, the gap could’ve been even larger.” Grantland


De Gea, Martial facing different kinds of pressure at Manchester United

September 13, 2015

“All in all, last week was a pretty big week for Anthony Martial. He made his debut for France as a second-half substitute against Portugal on Saturday, four days after becoming the most expensive teenager in the history of football. This Saturday, it’s possible (but unlikely) that he’ll make his debut for Manchester United–the most successful club in English history in terms of league titles won–against Liverpool, the second most successful. But while his life has been hurtling along–from being, in the wider consciousness of English football, some promising French kid who played against Arsenal for Monaco last season to full-on celebrity with the potential to define a manager’s reign–for the other key figure in United’s deadline day, everything has stalled.” SI -Jonathan Wilson


Talent Radar: Atletico Madrid – Barcelona young players’ combined XI

September 13, 2015

“Barcelona La Masia has established it’s name as world football’s perennial academy, constantly developing talent and pushing stars through the conveyor belt. But the academy seems to have hit a snag, with many questioning it’s current predicament and future. Barcelona are now competing as any modern club would, by making big money signings. Atletico Madrid have always championed their excellent scouting and recruiting policy, particularly from South America, and the effects of this are more than apparent on the side.” Outside of the Boot


This is Zlatan Ibrahimovic: A story about the marriage of order and disorder

September 13, 2015

zlatan-ear
Covering the 2014 World Cup this past summer allowed me to spend some time writing about some of the game’s best players. But one player in particular was missing. The World Cup left a small hole in my soul for there was no Zlatan Ibrahimović. Pensive and growing perhaps too self-aware, like Beckett’s Vladimir, I was waiting for Zlatan to show. And now that I have the chance to write a little bit about him, I’ve found that I can’t help but close my eyes and drift.” Fusion (Video)


Ratings: Man Utd 3-1 Liverpool: Martial steals show with thrilling debut

September 13, 2015

“Manchester United came out victors in a fairly turgid game against Liverpool thanks to second half goals from Daley Blind and Ander Herrera. The first half was one of the poorest of the season so far with neither side managing to register a shot on target. United dominated the possession but they were unable to really test Simon Mignolet, with most of the problems for the Belgian caused by himself.” Squawka (Video)


The Conversion of St. Pauli

September 13, 2015

“There are two reasons the young man on the bicycle doesn’t register with me. The first is that I don’t expect him to arrive on a bike. The second is that I’m craning my neck to look at the roof of St. Pauli’s clubhouse. Three flags are flying atop the building. The middle one carries the FC St. Pauli crest and club colors, brown and white. The one on the left advertises a crowdfunding project to raise money for underprivileged residents of St. Pauli, the working-class quarter of Hamburg. The one on the right is the gay pride flag. While I’m squinting against the bright sun, the young man gets off his bicycle.” 8 by 8