The Big Analysis: Milan vs Juventus

In the 1980s through to the mid-2000s, AC Milan were undoubtedly one of the marquee names in world football. Since those halcyon days under coaches of the calibre of Arrigo Sacchi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti, the quality of football from the Rossoneri has dropped almost as quickly as their league position. A recruitment strategy…

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The new order: A.S. Velasca, art and football

A quick Google search for ‘art and football’ conjures the proverbial mixed bag of results. Online stores pedalling various prints and t-shirts, YouTube clips featuring an array of Brazilian World Cup dream teams, Alex Leonard’s These Football Times essay on the subject, and a spring 2014 museum exhibition from Los Angeles, are all listed. Curiously, perhaps,…

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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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Ronaldinho and the eternal journey to joy

In the long annals of football, two Ronaldos stand out. The first – the original to many – was Il Fenomeno, the Brazilian striker capable of the most audacious burst of pace at his peak and some of the most clinical finishing the game has ever seen. The other Ronaldo – boasting greater statistics but perhaps a…

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Nereo Rocco: the mad king of catenaccio

This feature is part of The Masterminds series The history of football has seen a litany of great managers come from the Italian peninsula since the earliest days. These strategic thinkers and innovators of calcio have taken their game across the world and affected it in many places. A long list of influential managers that…

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Patrick Kluivert and a lesson in scoring goals

Wheeling away in celebration, Patrick Kluivert attempts to take his top off only to think better of it halfway through. It’s the 85th minute in the 1995 Champions League final and he’s just scored the goal that will make his hometown team, Ajax, European champions once again. He’s only 18, yet he finds himself the centre…

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The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and European football’s boom

Imagine if London’s football clubs collaborated in European competition. Would a combined side of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham players stand a chance against major European cities, or would the likes of Barcelona, Madrid and Munich still dominate? In 1950, when FIFA vice-president Ernst Thommen spawned the idea of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup that question was not…

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A Tale of One City: Milan

This feature is part of A Tale of One City Italian football is missing something. Throughout the storied lifetime of Serie A, there have been many of the greatest players to grace the game as well as many of the finest teams ever assembled. Another wonderful face of Italian football has always been its historic rivalries.…

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