Johan Cruyff: the American diaries

Johan Cruyff’s impact on football was far-reaching to say the least. His influence on the game in the Netherlands and Spain has been rightly lauded, and his role in the revolutionary Total Football of the 1970s and his moments of incomparable brilliance on the pitch are incomparable. Few would dispute that Cruyff was more to…

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Ariel Ortega: the little donkey

Undefeated. That was the word on the minds of River Plate fans as their team marched into La Bombonera on 11 December 1994. Not once in their 93-year history had Los Millonarios won a trophy without losing a game.  And yet, as the fireworks hissed and the Boca fans jeered, those brave enough to travel from the northern barrios realised…

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The six most gripping World Cup matches

Many argue that the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams in 2026 will kill the tournament’s drama. Only time will tell if that will actually be the case, but if it is, we always have these six gripping World Cup matches to look back on that were full of shocking upsets, controversial calls, and…

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Andreas Herzog: the silky Austrian perfectionist

With creative attacking footballers there tends to be stand-out, pivotal moments in their careers; wonderful flashes of genius or spectacular goals that are fondly recalled after they retire. There are countless examples. For Roberto Baggio, the supremely gifted Italian, the magic moment came at the 1990 World Cup when he delicately weaved past several Czech…

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The forgotten man: Francisco Pavón at Real Madrid

There was a time when the Galáctico tag had positive connotations in football. Spanish for superstar, a Galáctico was an exciting, all-conquering player that played their part in the construction of a world-class, attacking side. At Real Madrid, club president Florentino Pérez in his first term at the helm was hell-bent on creating his own…

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This is how it feels to be Luton Town

Luton Town Football Club recently suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the League Two promotion playoffs, conceding an injury-time goal against Blackpool to deprive the club of a trip to Wembley for the playoff decider, and consign them to another campaign in the fourth tier. To downplay the devastation of the Luton players, management and supporters…

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