Tag: long read

Fulham: a journey to Europe

When Roy Hodgson took charge as manager of Fulham in December 2007, the outlook for the Cottagers was bleak. The west London side languished in 18th, two points from safety, having only managed…

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…

The dark shades of 1950 and 2014: the nights Brazil wept

“YOU, PLAYERS, who in less than a few hours will be hailed as champions by millions of compatriots,” the mayor of Rio de Janeiro proclaimed with boundless pride as he passionately addressed…

Ronaldinho and the eternal journey to joy

IN THE LONG ANNALS OF FOOTBALL, two Ronaldos stand out. The first – the original to many – was O Fenômeno, the Brazilian striker capable of the most audacious burst of pace at his…

Andoni Goikoetxea: the Butcher of Bilbao

TREAD A PATH through every football-obsessed city on earth and seldom would you find the home of a retired professional footballer without the walls or spare rooms of their home habitually decorated…

The glory of Careca at Napoli

Antônio De Oliveira Filho was born in the city of Araquara in the Brazilian state of São Paulo on 5 October 1960. His nickname, Careca – which roughly translates as ‘bald’ – came…

Louis van Gaal: a divisive success story

TO SOME, HE’S ONE OF THE BEST MANAGERS OF THE PAST TWO DECADES, willing to sacrifice style for substance and flair for formality. To others, he’s an unnerving disciplinarian, an expert at…

Coritiba and the incredible Brasileiro of 1985

Now here’s a question for all you football trivia buffs out there; which club holds the world record for the most consecutive games won? Chelsea achieved 13 last year in winning the…

The making of Antonio Conte: a journey from Lecce to Chelsea

As featured on Guardian Sport SOME FOOTBALLERS HAVE the privilege of working under gifted tacticians and thoroughbred winners during their careers, but it’s the intuitive ones who take it upon themselves to…