The relationship between Mussolini and calcio

For something that is essentially an expendable pastime, football can wield an extraordinary amount of influence. The temporary truce between supporters of fierce rivals Zamalek and Al Ahly helped to overthrow Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak in the Arab Spring, for example, while the 1969 war between El Salvador and Honduras was sparked by riots before a World Cup…

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Remembering Dino, the other Baggio

As featured on Guardian Sport It’s 23 June and USA 94 is nearly a week old. If you happened to miss the Italy versus Norway match and, as one did in those days, checked Ceefax to see the headline ‘Baggio heads winner’, you might reasonably have assumed that Roberto Baggio had saved Italy from a surprising…

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How Francesco Totti became the eternal man of Rome

As featured on Guardian Sport Rome, the Eternal City, has hosted some of the game’s all-time greats – among them Conti, Falcão, Signori and Chinaglia. None, however, are greater than current captain and symbol, Francesco Totti. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to label the local star as one of European football’s greatest talents. Further to…

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Who is Mario Balotelli?

FOOTBALL THRIVES ON THE ECCENTRIC CAST OF CHARACTERS in its court. In it, we find rival kings like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leading their powerful armies armed to the teeth with soldiers and assassins willing and able to win any battle. We watch travelled generals in the form of figures like Pep Guardiola, José Mourinho,…

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