Claudio Suárez picks his all-time Mexico XI

May 29, 2018


“In goal it has to be Jorge Campos. Like me, he played in three World Cups and also played in over 100 games for the Mexico national team. In my opinion, he was the best goalkeeper that Mexico has ever had. My first centre-back is Rafael Márquez because of what he has done in Europe with Barcelona, where he won four league titles and two European Cups. He has played over 140 games for the national team too – and he could feature in a fifth World Cup! Carlos Salcido was an extremely efficient centre-back and was so effective in over 120 appearances so he earns a place in my team. …” Guardian

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Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool: freak goals hand Real their third straight European Cup

May 29, 2018

“Two crazy goalkeeping mistakes and an all-time great goal from substitute Gareth Bale earned Zinedine Zidane his third European Cup in three attempts. Zidane decided to use his diamond midfield here, meaning Isco started instead of Bale, with Karim Benzema leading the line. Jurgen Klopp’s side was as expected – injury problems meant he didn’t really have any selection dilemmas. …” Zonal Marking – Michael Cox


How to Find Footballing Beauty in the Age of Stats

May 29, 2018

“Can you really blame them? Technological advances meant that the most casual hobbyist could put up a blog that looked roughly as reputable as a specialist site and skim information from around the world. Distribution channels — social media, podcasts, and Fan TV-type video — multiplied. It’s a fun hustle for those who can make it work. This development hardly troubled traditional football media, which has always internalized the bare minimum from its challengers whilst fending them off. It did, however, change the language of football fandom. Your average fan now speaks in the sweeping, definitive language of a talking head, interpreting everything — who did what now; who should be signed; who should be fired, because someone should always be fired — through the prism of whether it helps a team. …” StatsBomb


Real Madrid’s Champions League Triumph Defined By Bale’s Heroics, Salah’s Injury

May 27, 2018


“KIEV, Ukraine – The decisive goal, scored with a Gareth Bale overhead kick moments after he had come off the bench, was brilliant, and the two Loris Karius mistakes that gifted Madrid goals either side of that were ghastly. But there was no doubting what had been the decisive moment as Real Madrid won its third European title in a row and its fourth in five years with a 3-1 triumph over Liverpool. As Keylor Navas went to take a goal kick, Mohamed Salah slowly subsided, sinking with a desperate sadness to the ground. It looked bad, and confirmation soon followed from Liverpool’s medical staff. He had not recovered from an injury suffered a couple of minutes earlier and his final was over after just half an hour. As Salah walked off, his face crumpled in tears, his right arm hanging awkwardly limp, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos both consoled him, but the truth is his departure had been Ramos’s fault. …” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Nigeria’s Will Troost-Ekong: ‘If there is racism we will make a decision’

May 27, 2018

“When England face Nigeria on Saturday they will line up against a man with a more quintessentially English upbringing than anyone in a white shirt at Wembley. Will Troost-Ekong was educated at boarding school in Bishop’s Stortford and speaks with the accent his parents intended when they sent him to these shores at the age of 12. Troost-Ekong, the son of a Nigerian father and Dutch mother, received a privileged education at Hockerill college and it also set him on the path to his career, although not one usually associated with a boarding school alumnus. …” Guardian


France’s World Cup Snubbed XI

May 27, 2018

“France boss Didier Deschamps recently announced his 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, for which he snubbed many household names. Here is a formidable starting line-up made up of Les Bleus players who were left out of the squad. As a player, Deschamps represented France on 104 occasions, and also enjoyed a great club career during which he wore the colours of Nantes, Marseille, Bordeaux, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia. …” Soccerladuma


World Cup 2018 team previews: what you need to know about all 32 teams (ESPN)

May 25, 2018


“The 2018 World Cup might be missing some big nations, but that’s what makes this tournament the best in sports. Brazil are looking to bounce back from a travesty in 2014, while Spain, Argentina and France are hoping to dethrone defending champions Germany and their typically deep squad. Can Belgium or Portugal make a splash? Do England have what it takes to challenge too? ESPN FC is previewing every team ahead of the opening game on June 14 in English, Spanish and Portuguese to give a truly global feel to our team profiles. Here’s what you need to know about the 32 teams set to do battle in Russia beginning on June 14. …”
ESPN