The Big Analysis: Fiorentina vs Roma

It’s still early days in the race for the Seria A title, however the implications of this particular match may prove influential down the line for both clubs. Roma entered this season looking to build upon their standing as a perennial challenger, with Fiorentina looking to turn their playing style into a winning formula that…

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The great Serie A title race of 2001-02

It was the culmination of a fascinating and gripping title race that had it all: twists and turns, ups and downs, unpredictability, world-class talent, a fairytale story and a final day destined to be monumental and unforgettable. Indeed, 5 May 2002 proved to be all that and more. It was a turning point in the…

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Nils Liedholm: the Swede who conquered calcio

In 1973, a tall, handsome Swede bought the Villa Boemia estate in the Monferrato hills in the Asti region of Italy. A verdant area known for its fine wines and amazing vistas, this region, halfway between Genoa and Turin, is the home that the Swede chose to complete his transformation from the symbol of Nordic super-athlete…

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Gabriel Batistuta’s Arabian adventure

There has always been a condescending stigma attached when a talented player leaves Europe for the eastern side of the world: Asamoah Gyan was disowned by football purists for turning down a career in Europe to play in the Middle East in 2013, and recently again as he moved to China, joining players such as Paulinho,…

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Platini versus Falcão: a great calcio rivalry

The power of one footballer can often have an immeasurable impact on a club. Although the collective efforts of eleven players ultimately trump the effect of a single player, teams can easily be driven on the genius of one man. At Juventus in the 1980s, the genius-in-chief was Michel Platini. The supremely gifted Frenchman was the…

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A Tale of One City: Rome

This feature is part of A Tale of One City The balding man with whisps of thinning grey-speckled hair looked oddly familiar. His assuredness and graceful movement seemed at odds with his companions as he drifted at a slightly withdrawn pace like a wily leader – he was almost old enough to be a father to…

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Antonio Cassano: an unhinged master

It was a wet December night at Stadio San Nicola in 1999 as FC Bari played host to Inter Milan in Serie A. Inter were already clear favourites prior to the game as circumstances conspired against the home side; both of Bari’s regular forwards were sidelined through injury. Opportunities were given to two young and unproven…

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