Daily Archives: March 16, 2023

Soccer’s Perpetual President: Why Gianni Infantino Can’t Lose

“KIGALI, Rwanda — Presidential politics hardly matter when so many voters want to be Gianni Infantino’s friend. Watch the soccer officials angle for handshakes and face time in stadium suites and marbled lobbies. See the federation presidents pull Infantino aside to thank him for the latest round of funding he has delivered. Glimpse the leaders from smaller soccer nations congratulate him on his successful effort to expand the men’s World Cup, spinning up more opportunity but also ever more money. …”
NY Times


From Sporting Lisbon to Athletic Bilbao — why do we get foreign clubs’ names wrong?

“After an entertaining 2-2 draw in Portugal last week, there’s much to look forward to in the return fixture between Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon. Say that to any of the travelling fans, though, and they won’t be happy. Sporting are not, as they are regularly referred to in the English-speaking press, ‘Sporting Lisbon’. They are Sporting Clube de Portugal officially, or Sporting CP, or simply Sporting. Whereas once this error was overlooked and forgiven, in recent years Sporting fans have become more militant about it. A ‘NOT Sporting Lisbon’ campaign on social media in 2016, launched by fans and supported by the club, made this clear. …”
The Athletic – Michael Cox

Liverpool’s elite status under threat after timid exit from the Champions League

“‘Where’s the final next year? Istanbul? Book the hotel,’ declared a bullish Jurgen Klopp after last season’s Champions League final defeat in Paris. Let’s hope those rooms are refundable. Klopp expected the good times to keep rolling, but over the course of this troubled season, Liverpool have been repeatedly exposed as a fading force. This limp last-16 exit at the hands of Real Madrid simply confirmed it. …”
The Athletic

Why Arsenal and Zinchenko make so much sense

When Arsenal signed Manchester City pair Gabriel Jesus and Oleksander Zinchenko Arsenal fans hoped they would take them to the next level. Jesus would provide goals from the central forward position, but it was unclear what difference Zinchenko would make. Jon Mackenzie explains that Zinchenko’s unique tactical profile has given Arsenal a level of control they wouldn’t have otherwise. Illustrated by Philippe Fenner.