The Roman tragicomedy of Paul Gascoigne at Lazio

This feature is part of The Football Italia Years To succeed in Italian football, three qualities are said to be required: Fantasi: surprise, imagination and flair.   Furbizia: cunning trickery and gamesmanship. Tecnica: technique, skill and composure. That these traits are considered neither contradictory nor mutually exclusive is unsurprising in a football culture renowned for its appreciation of the…

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After Gabriel Batistuta came Hernán Crespo

Prior to the 2002 World Cup in Germany, Marcelo Bielsa found himself deciding who to play in the most advanced position of the field for Argentina. On one hand, an ageing Gabriel Batistuta had been Argentina’s leading striker for the past two finals. On the other, Hernán Crespo was taking huge steps towards his competitor…

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The relentless, restless mind of Paolo Di Canio

They are there for all to see; the burning intensity of the glare, the endless cavern of passion, and the relentless desire that seems to give an advantage in any confrontation. They’re ever-present in the sublime, the ludicrous, and the controversial, and on show throughout a career that has encapsulated reruns of all three. If the eyes are indeed the window to the soul, Paolo…

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