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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Champions League Groups A-D after Tuesday’s results

Joan Gamper Trophy (CC BY 2.0) by tpower1978 Manchester City secured an entirely unexpected 3-1 victory over Spanish giants, Barcelona, on Tuesday evening, a result that prolongs the conclusion of Group C for another fortnight. City hadn’t beat the Blaugrana since 19 August 2009, a 1-0 victory in the Joan Gamper Trophy courtesy of a first-half Martin Petrov goal, and…

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The European obsession of Galatasaray

For some clubs, playing in Europe is a strong ambition. For others, it’s a cardinal necessity. Money is thrown about to ensure constant participation, as the prestige of elite competition becomes a drug. Yet few clubs are totally obsessed with Europe to a point where it’s ingrained in their DNA. Galatasaray Spor Kulübü is one…

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The Big Analysis: Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid

“La BBC contra el Muro Amarillo,” ran Tuesday’s front page headline in Madrid’s football newspaper, Marca. Translated as, “the BBC (Bale, Benzema and Cristiano) against the Yellow Wall,” the paper focused on the challenge posed to Real Madrid’s superstars at Signal-Iduna Park in Westphalia, Germany. The Yellow Wall describes the 25,000 capacity grandstand behind the goal…

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Amsterdam’s last night of European glory

It was 14 September 1994 and Ajax were up against AC Milan. Never before or since had a single football match transversed generations with such poignancy and awe. Under a pregnant Dutch sky, an archaic, city-centre stadium hosted 21st-century football in a 20th-century setting. Naturally, the poignancy is a recent burden, heightened by a stuttering transition…

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