Daily Archives: December 23, 2022

Is this the end of an era at Liverpool?

“Filming restrictions were in place at Liverpool’s training base in Dubai earlier this month but as well as concealing anything potentially secretive, the decision prompted gossip about who was entering and leaving, even inside the club. Certainly, at the team’s hotel, there were visitors from the Middle East. And in position, for a few days at least, was Billy Hogan, the club’s chief executive, who flew in following a short stay in Qatar during the World Cup there. Liverpool, of course, are open to investment and up for sale — it would therefore make sense for Doha or Dubai to become a Constantinople or Beirut: an exchange point of thoughts, the setting for quiet conversation and perhaps some loose agreement. …”
The Athletic (Video)


Today I Have Very Strong Feelings – Jonathan Wilson

“A month ago, Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, made his now infamous ‘I am Spartacus’ speech at the World Cup’s opening press conference. ‘Today I have very strong feelings, today I feel Qatari, today I feel Arab, today I feel African, today I feel gay, today I feel disabled, today I feel a migrant worker,’ he said, before adding, ‘Of course, I am not Qatari, I am not an Arab, I am not African, I am not gay, I am not disabled. But I feel like it, because I know what it means to be discriminated, to be bullied.’ Two days before Sunday’s final, he returned to the microphone to announce, a bit prematurely, that this had been the ‘best World Cup ever.’ It pains me to say it, n terms of pure football, and especially given the galactically great final—a game that will remain, as everyone pretty much agrees, unsurpassed in the annals of football history—he was right on the money. …”
The Paris Review

World champions but second: Why Argentina are below Brazil in FIFA’s world rankings

Argentina will not go into 2023 as FIFA’s number one ranked team. Fresh off lifting the World Cup, you might expect Lionel Scaloni’s side to move top of the leaderboard but they have had to settle for second. It is Brazil — one of the sides knocked out in the quarter-final in Qatar – who have retained top spot, their only consolation from a rather forgettable fortnight. …”
The Athletic