World Cup stunning moments: The Battle of Santiago

March 22, 2018

English referee Ken Aston sends off Italian player Mario David, while an injured Chilean player lies on the ground, during the 1962 World Cup meeting.
“It took two days for highlights of the match that was christened, even during the commentary, the Battle of Santiago, to be flown from South America and broadcast in Britain. Two days in which the game became, in its own brutal way, legendary, spoken of in ways which must have sent anyone with a combined interest in football and mild gore into a frenzy of excitement. …” Guardian (Video)

World Cup stunning moments: Cameroon shock Argentina in 1990 World Cup

March 22, 2018

“Of the great World Cup upsets – the USA’s victory over England in 1950, North Korea’s over Italy in 1966 and Algeria’s over West Germany in 1982 probably push it close – this one stands alone in myth and memory. It was not a perfect match but it was an irresistible narrative, as the World Cup champions, led by the great Diego Maradona, were vanquished by an unheralded team largely assembled of journeymen players from the French lower divisions – though for some of them even that was either an impossible dream or a distant memory. …” Guardian (Video)

#IBWM100 For 2018

March 22, 2018

“As always, we’ve stuck with the format that served Don Balon so successfully for decades; 100 names and details of where each player is from. We’ll revisit the list next December to assess how 2018 has panned out for each of the players concerned. The process we use for selection remains exactly the same: We identify players born on or after 1/1/1996 and talk to scouts, coaches, players, journalists, fans and bloggers from around the world to get a clear a picture of exactly who we should be watching and why. This information forms our long list. …” In Bed With Maradona

The Men Who Stare At Goals By Alex Stewart

March 22, 2018

“The opening line of The Men Who Stare At Goal instantly resonates with every single Football Manager fan, lover or former player. Why do we love Football Manager? I, like many I’m sure, have spent countless hours of rage at the simulation game. Why aren’t my tactics working? Why does my star player want to a transfer? Does he not know we’ll build something special here? …” In Bed With Maradona, amazon

Football and conflict: The story of FC Pristina and the Kosovo War

March 22, 2018

“Kushtrim Munishi takes a sup of beer and rests his broad shoulders against his chair. The clunk of the glass on the table as he replaces it punctuates the momentary quiet between two unmistakably trans-Atlantic pop tunes being pumped into the bar. It’s a place which isn’t deliberately themed, but it’s still been decked out in a typically Western style. In Pristina in 2018, that’s just the way things are done. …” The Set Pieces (Video)

Victory from the Jaws of Triumph: Ireland’s Euro 2012 So Far

March 22, 2018

European Championship qualifying group B was a strange one: Ireland beat Armenia who beat Slovakia who beat Russia who beat Ireland (while poor fourth-seeded Macedonia looked on and whimpered). The logical progression would have been for a match to be played out between twenty-two footballs kicking a man around the pitch. That man turned out to be Richard Dunne, and the final score was Russia 0-0 Ireland, a result you could only call miraculous if you consider Dunne to be a gift from heaven. …” Run Of Play (Oct. 2011)

Champions League quarter-finals: tie-by-tie analysis

March 18, 2018

“We run the rule over the last-eight matches, including the all-Premier League duel between Liverpool and Manchester City, and predict who will triumph …” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson