Aliou Cissé on African Soccer, World Cup Places and Lost Generations


A mural of the Senegal star Sadio Mané in Dakar.
“DIAMNIADIO, Senegal — Ask those who have watched Aliou Cissé take Senegal to two World Cups in a row and direct his team to a victory in the Africa Cup of Nations in February, and they will tell you that his country’s wealth of soccer talent is only one part of the reason. There is something more tedious, more long-term, but far more transformative that Cissé, the 46-year-old former Paris St.-Germain midfielder and former Senegal captain, has brought to his squad since he became its coach in 2015. …”

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Landon Donovan, 2010, and a Breakthrough Moment for American Soccer

“The Ringer’s 22 Goals: The Story of the World Cup, a podcast by Brian Phillips, tells the story of some of the most iconic goals and players in the history of the men’s FIFA World Cup. Every Wednesday, until the end of Qatar 2022, we’ll publish an adapted version of each 22 Goals episode. Today’s story involves a breakthrough moment for American men’s soccer. …”
The Ringer (Video)

Pulisic’s road to the World Cup — an eye-witness account of the US captain’s Chelsea season

“The biggest moment in Christian Pulisic’s career is here. This is his chance to deliver on years of fanfare as the face of American soccer. A chance to take the starring role in a rising, largely young US team at his first World Cup; to remind Chelsea supporters — as well as followers of potentially interested clubs — of the talent that earned him such status in the first place. …”
The Athletic

The World Cup’s Forgotten Team


“… None of it would have been possible, though, without hundreds of thousands of men like him: the migrant workers who fuel the ruthlessly capitalist business of supply and demand that does much of the daily and dangerous work in searing heat of the Persian Gulf, and who were indispensable to the $220 billion nation-building project that will culminate in the first World Cup in the Arab world. Qatar’s preparations for the tournament have shined a spotlight on that army of workers who have done nothing less than redraw the country over the past decade, as well as on the system that exploits their labor and their desperation, and has cost thousands of them their lives. …”
NY Times

Art of saving a one-on-one: The spread, the block, the smother and the wait

“There was no World Cup call-up for Illan Meslier, even in the absence of AC Milan’s Mike Maignan, and no trip away with France’s Under-21s either. Leeds United would have been thrilled to see Meslier in Qatar but in the absence of that, common sense said that rest would do him good. The French Under-21s have a friendly against Norway planned for Saturday and Meslier, ordinarily, would have been part of the squad but clubs were not obliged to release players for the fixture and the decision was taken to sit him out, giving him a week’s holiday like most of Leeds’ dressing room. …”
The Athletic (Video)
W – Illan Meslier

The Qatar World Cup Explained

The Qatar World Cup has provoked strong and sometimes conflicting, reactions in many people. In this series of videos, written by James Montague and illustrated by Alice Devine, Tifo explains why the World Cup in the Gulf State is so controversial. In the years since Qatar secured the FIFA World Cup, it faced its greatest crisis since its independence. A cold War. A war between its neighbouring countries. What sparked this war? Did it threaten the World Cup? How did new FIFA President Gianni Infantino get involved? …”
YouTube