Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy

Writer

Southeast Asia: the last frontier of the football world

THE EYES OF THE FOOTBALL WORLD have been firmly focused on the Far East since Chinese Super League teams began splashing vast amounts of cash on some top European, South American and…

Why Thailand is becoming a new football destination

North America remains the destination of choice for big-name players past their prime looking to prolong their careers in a new environment. China has tried to muscle in on that market and…

The Indomitable Lions and Africa’s false dawn

In 1977, Pelé predicted that an African team would win the World Cup before the year 2000, but this was widely met with scepticism by those who had seen the dismal efforts…

The end of the great Scottish manager

For more than half a century, a few managers from the West of Scotland had a huge influence on British and European football. From Matt Busby in the 1950s to Sir Alex Ferguson,…

Germany 2002: the worst World Cup finalists ever?

Some of the best football teams in history have fallen just short of World Cup glory. The Mighty Magyars of Hungary were widely considered the best team of the era when they…

Henrik Larsson and the cult of a king

IT IS THE 1994 WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINAL and Sweden have 13 minutes to find an equaliser as they trail Romania 2-1. They turn to 22-year-old Feyenoord forward Henrik Larsson, a player who…

The unrelenting rise of Buriram United

NESTLED IN NORTH EAST THAILAND, 400km from the gleaming skyscrapers and tourist traps of Bangkok, at first sight Buriram seems an unlikely place for a football revolution to be taking place. The north…