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The Roman tragicomedy of Paul Gascoigne at Lazio

This feature is part of The Football Italia Years To succeed in Italian football, three qualities are said to be required: Fantasi: surprise, imagination and flair.   Furbizia: cunning trickery and gamesmanship. Tecnica: technique, skill…

Pavel Nedvěd and the art of transcending fierce rivalries

Illustration by Federico Manasse Football is seldom, if ever, free from political realities. Had it not been for the collapse of Communism in 1989, Pavel Nedvěd’s career would have likely followed the…

The immortal talents of Ferenc Puskás

Illustration by Federico Manasse The parameters for defining greatness are increasingly measured quantitatively. Players are judged by trophies won, goals scored and appearances amassed. But can such a mutable construct solely be…

The insatiable rise of Parma in the 1990s

This feature is part of The Football Italia Years The history of Italy can be traced through that of its cities. Each has carved out its own social, cultural and political identity,…

Emiliano Mondonico’s raging Torino bull

This feature is part of The Football Italia Years Italian football is renowned for its talented tacticians. The position of head coach is regarded as much an academic discipline as a position…

The lost ultras: remembering Siena’s stalwart support

On 15 July 2014, A.C. Siena failed to register for the 2014-15 Serie B season and were declared bankrupt after 110 years of history. It was a poignant end for a provincial club…

The winds of change in Cuban football

AT AROUND 4.05PM on July 13, 2013, a deadly silence fell over the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The American’s enthusiasm had been sapped, momentarily lost within the sultry summer air. Jose…