Stuart Horsfield
Stuart Horsfield

Senior Writer

The yin and yang of Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker

This feature is part of Duology The heavy touch. The realisation flickers across the face; disbelief mixed with desperation to rectify the mistake. The decision to commit to winning the ball back…

Why have England traditionally feared the fantasista?

The tradition within English football has always been to value hard work, physicality and determination over skill, technique and flair. It is a conundrum to me that, when football is known as…

The art and anatomy of scoring a beautiful goal

They say art is a subjective matter. What one person finds majestic another can find abhorrent. Tracey Emin’s Unmade Bed, Michelangelo’s statue of David and Banksy’s Raise the Drawbridge are all works of…

Pierluigi Collina: the outlier in black

BETWEEN 1995 AND 2005, one man seemed to be a constant fixture in the biggest games, from the Olympic and World Cup finals to the Champions League and UEFA Cup finals. For…

Is there any magic left in the FA Cup?

From 1978 to 1988, I adopted a similar tactic to Her Majesty the Queen and afforded myself two birthdays. One was my actual date of birth, and the other was a slightly…

Diego Maradona: the dream we all want to be

Illustration by Federico Manasse There are certain footballers that transcend the beautiful game; mere mortals who watch football see them as ethereal beings. These are the players who elevate the game to…

Enzo Francescoli and the legacy that inspired a generation

Illustration by Federico Manasse The 1980s were arguably the greatest era for the fabled number 10 shirt, especially in South America. The digits are inextricably linked with the fantasista; the player who…

Samuel Eto’o: footballer, goalscorer, winner and humanitarian

Illustration by Federico Manasse To be celebrated as the greatest and most successful footballer your home continent has ever produced would induce great pride in any individual. When that same individual places…

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…

Was the European Cup better than the Champions League?

BEFORE WE START, two things need to be made clear. Football is the greatest sport on earth, and I don’t support a team. Taking these two elements into account allows me the…