The final countdown for Xavi and Pirlo

FOR THE GENERATION OF FOOTBALL FANATICS FROM WHENCE I CAME, the summer of 2015 will be a poignant one. Time, it appears, has flown. Now our idols, those we were besotted by – each of them for very different reasons – are flying the coop. Some of my generation’s earliest moments of self-expression came when imitating…

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The relationship between age and the regista

As featured on Guardian Sport A FEW WEEKS AGO, THERE WAS A SUDDEN FRISSON OF ENTHUSIASM surrounding Michael Carrick. Having played for Manchester United for nearly a decade and having been capped by England intermittently since 2001, the quiet, unassuming Geordie was subject to a level of interest that belied his having played for years under…

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