Manchester United: the 26 barren years

Manchester United look set to end a fourth Premier League season in a row without winning the Premier League title. For those fans below the age of 30, this will be the longest barren spell without a league triumph in their lifetime. Therefore it seems inconceivable to imagine a Manchester United who once went two…

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Joey Barton: a year in Marseille

Marseille is home to one of the most successful clubs in France, a footballing establishment whose history transcends that of current giants Paris Saint-Germain, who’ve usurped Marseille’s throne in recent times. Their fans are passionate; their ultras even more so. But even they would have been taken aback when their club announced the loan signing…

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Roy Keane’s head and Roy Keane’s heart

Everyone and their grandma knows how the Champions League concluded in May 1999. That balmy night in Barcelona, when Ole Gunnar Solskjær won it for Manchester United. What some fans — not United fans, mind you — may forget is that United’s road to that final was perhaps even more dramatic than their late comeback to…

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Football, family and fate: the shaping of Granit Xhaka

The year was 1993. Across Britain, radio stations juggled the eclectic sounds of Meat Loaf, Haddaway, Pet Shop Boys, and UB40, cult comedy Groundhog Day arrived in cinemas, Irvine Welsh’s breakthrough novel Trainspotting flew from the bookshelves,, and in the north of Switzerland, in the thriving metropolitan city of Basel, a nine-month-old future football star…

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Carlos Queiroz: the man for a nation

The name Carlos Queiroz provokes disparate sentiments in the minds of supporters of the clubs and countries which he has coached or managed throughout the years. Portuguese fans, in general, view him with disdain for inconsistent performances and intimidating behaviour – particularly against an anti-doping team. Real Madrid fans consider his short stint at the Bernabéu…

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