The forgotten man: Francisco Pavón at Real Madrid

There was a time when the Galáctico tag had positive connotations in football. Spanish for superstar, a Galáctico was an exciting, all-conquering player that played their part in the construction of a world-class, attacking side. At Real Madrid, club president Florentino Pérez in his first term at the helm was hell-bent on creating his own…

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An English field in Bilbao

At the end of the 19th century, the sons of the British industrial revolution headed to the iron-rich Basque Country in their thousands. The northern city of Bilbao was rapidly emerging as the industrial powerhouse of the Spanish peninsula and its blossoming iron-mining industry had caught the attention of the British Empire. A symbiotic relationship ensued…

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Xavi: the humble composer

The expert, the architect, the scientist; the heartbeat, the metronome, the brain. Endless adjectives, analogies and appellations have been summoned by fellow professionals in sincere yet scant attempts to describe exactly what Xavier Hernández was in his prime, the ways in which he kept the beautiful game beautiful, and what unique qualities he spent the…

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The reinvention of Aritz Aduriz

Stepping off the platform at the Abando train station and into its main corridor, you are immediately reminded of where you are. As your footsteps take you through clouds of tobacco smoke and the distinct smell of freshly brewed cortados, you encounter a giant stained glass window. A journey deep into a city’s soul, each piece…

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The renaissance of Iago Aspas

Google Iago Aspas and you will find yourself presented predominantly with the words ‘Liverpool’ and ‘flop’. Google Iago Aspas and press space bar and you will be given the suggestion ‘Iago Aspas corner’. The fact that he is most well-known – at least in the UK – for the above is misleading. When the average…

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