Roy Keane’s head and Roy Keane’s heart

Everyone and their grandma knows how the Champions League concluded in May 1999. That balmy night in Barcelona, when Ole Gunnar Solskjær won it for Manchester United. What some fans — not United fans, mind you — may forget is that United’s road to that final was perhaps even more dramatic than their late comeback to…

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The curious case of Portuguese sensation Dani

Portuguese, devilishly handsome, full of himself and self-centred. A product of the Sporting Clube de Portugal academy, fond of a step-over or two and a footballer who made his name in the Premier League. There the comparisons end, for we are not talking about Cristiano Ronaldo. In 1996, some seven years before the multiple Ballon d’Or…

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Football, family and fate: the shaping of Granit Xhaka

The year was 1993. Across Britain, radio stations juggled the eclectic sounds of Meat Loaf, Haddaway, Pet Shop Boys, and UB40, cult comedy Groundhog Day arrived in cinemas, Irvine Welsh’s breakthrough novel Trainspotting flew from the bookshelves,, and in the north of Switzerland, in the thriving metropolitan city of Basel, a nine-month-old future football star…

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Carlos Queiroz: the man for a nation

The name Carlos Queiroz provokes disparate sentiments in the minds of supporters of the clubs and countries which he has coached or managed throughout the years. Portuguese fans, in general, view him with disdain for inconsistent performances and intimidating behaviour – particularly against an anti-doping team. Real Madrid fans consider his short stint at the Bernabéu…

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