Walter Zenga and heartbreak at Italia 90

Life was good when I was 11-years-old. I played hockey, football and baseball in the cul-de-sac with my best friends every day. A typical day in the summer started with an early breakfast before venturing outside for the next four hours until lunch. We would then hike to the vacant lot behind my friend’s house…

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The last stand of Diego Maradona

The Stadio delle Alpi was a cold, cavernous, characterless stadium. The architectural monstrosity was designed by Studio Hutter and built from scratch ahead of the 1990 World Cup. Tucked away on the outskirts of Turin, shortly after its inauguration it became loathed by just every individual unfortunate enough to set foot inside the supposedly ‘futuristic’…

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Italia 90 was not as good as you think

As featured on Guardian Sport Over a quarter of a century has passed since Nessun Dorma was acquired by the great unwashed football fans of England, obtained in a generally well-spirited but occasionally hostile takeover. There have been a lot of misty watercolour memories of Italia 90 floating around lately. Now I’m going to pin my…

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UAE: a journey to the unknown at Italia 90

While the fallout and anger at Qatar being awarded the World Cup in 2022 continues unabated, this year marks the 27th anniversary of the altogether more romantic story of another Gulf Sheikdom’s epic qualification for the 1990 World Cup in Italy. The team, which began its qualifying campaign in January 1989, was made up entirely of…

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