The soap opera of Antonio Cassano

Most of what attracts football fans to the beautiful game is all a matter of personal preference and taste. For the dramatic, an individual moment of magic and unexpected brilliance to lead their club to a late victory delivers instant gratification. Tensions raised between two opposing sides in a heated derby will surely satisfy the…

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Claudio Gentile: in defence of the dark arts master

The brutality was as effective as it was violent. The claustrophobia inflicted on his opponents was stifling to the point of suffocation. Reputations were swept away as easily as a standing leg when receiving the ball. Such was its effectiveness and the relentlessness with which it was pursued, Claudio Gentile’s performances in the second round…

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The tragedy of Robert Enke

Bodo Illgner, Andreas Köpke, Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann, Manuel Neuer; the list of Germany’s first-choice goalkeepers over the past three decades reads off like a reel of dynastic succession. Not only is it successively easier on the tongue, it also represents some sort of evolution in the goalkeeping lineage, eventually culminating – for now –…

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The making of Zlatan Ibrahimović at Ajax

If there ever was the perfect way to score your last goal for a club, it would be Zlatan Ibrahimović’s magnificent solo goal for Ajax against NAC Breda. In a moment of pure brilliance, Ibrahimović would torment half their team with cutbacks, feints, several mazy dribbles and, in the end, a simple finish to send…

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