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Roy Hodgson: the Internazionale diaries

It was an unlikely move, that of Roy Hodgson to Inter. With the enigmatic Massimo Moratti at the helm, Hodgson embarked on a fateful spell in Milan

Kevin Keegan: the Hamburg diaries

In Kevin Keegan’s three seasons in the Bundesliga he managed to win the Ballon d’Or twice, play in the European Cup final and release a top-10 smash hit

Waddle at Marseille: how Magic Chris found freedom in France

Clad in a shirt that even kaleidoscopic tat-mannequin and occasional full-back Dani Alves might be moved to describe as “loud”, Basile Boli beams intently at a television superimposed onto the wall in…

The rise and fall of Deportivo La Coruña

“They were big,” wrote Sid Lowe of Deportivo de La Coruña in 2011. “For a while, they were amongst the biggest.” How quickly we forget. We forget a team from the provincial north-west of…

Robbie Keane’s doomed spell at Internazionale

The summer of 2000 produced two transfer fees that broke and re-broke the world record within the space of a month. Hernán Crespo’s £35.5m move from Parma to Lazio and Luís Figo’s infamous…

The islander who fought FIFA and won

“The worst thing about Manx people is that they don’t like change,” according to Chris Bass, manager of the Isle of Man’s international football team. “At least, they say they don’t –…

The Reef and The Regatta: the controversy of Brazil’s 1987 championship

For connoisseurs of organisation catastrophes, the 1987 Brazilian Championship was a particularly fine vintage. Stories of administrative meltdown and infighting among Brazil’s various clubs and football federations are ten-a-penny, but that year the…

Mesut Özil and the subjunctive mood

Given the thousand of words dedicated to Mesut Özil, adding another 800 or so to the conversation seems rather trite. Yet the German is such a charismatic, divisive figure it’s hard to avoid…

When Mark Lawrenson turned his hand to management

Mark Lawrenson wasn’t always a dour, moustachioed TV pundit. Many years ago, he was a dour, moustachioed centre-back. And, briefly, he even found time to become a dour, moustachioed football manager.

The Felix Magath before Felix Magath

Wolfgang-Felix Magath wasn’t always the sadistic, cheese-toting crank he’s now portrayed as being. A long time ago, before Fulham, Hangeland and the Quarkwickel, he was a footballer. And a very good one at…

Football against the tide: Italy’s island-mainland divide

UNLIKE THE LANGUAGES of the other major Italian islands, the Venetian dialect considers the word for the sea, mar, to be feminine. Each year, on Ascension Day, the Venetians marry the sea, symbolically…