In choosing our five favorite football films we have limited ourselves to those available via DVD and to those we have actually seen, resisting the urge to include Le Ballon d’Or (The Golden Ball; France/Guinea, 1994) based on reputation alone.
For art-house and football film buffs in the United States, viewings of the 2006 Cannes Film Festival entry “Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait” likely will be a private or slightly illicit affair.
Carson, California, Jan 22 | The bridge metaphor has become prominent with the Los Angeles Galaxy’s signing of David Beckham from Real Madrid. “David is truly the only individual that can build the bridge between soccer in America and the rest of the world,” says Timothy Leiweke, president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Galaxy.
Such brainless marketing patter deservedly sinks into the well of words that has accumulated about this player transfer of global insignificance.
Fútbol y cine: El balompié en la gran pantalla (Football and film: The soccer ball on the big screen) represents the most striking book on football—on any subject—to come across our desk in some time. Which speaks volumes, because the text by Navarre native Carlos Marañón is in Spanish—traditional for books published in Spain—and his coveted spot for top football film goes to Victory (1981), the John Huston–directed star vehicle in which goalkeeper Sylvester Stallone has to be told where to stand on corner kicks.
Saint-Denis, France | On 18 June, Catalonia will decide through a referendum whether to enhance its autonomy from Spain by granting greater authority to the Generalitat, the regional government. Yet among the most significant elements in the Catalan identity, FC Barcelona, on Wednesday has the opportunity to make an early declaration of pride in the Champions League final with [...]
Madrid | With pledges “to leave it all behind” and to start playing the game with children, archetypal playmaking midfielder Zinédine Zidane has announced his retirement from football following the World Cup finals.
Typically, the 33-year-old player for Real Madrid and France looked sheepish facing the bank of microphones and cameras at Wednesday’s press conference. “Yes, he is shy,” said France teammate Thierry Henry.
Melilla, Spain | For a taste of the familiar after months-long journeys by land and sea, football has much to offer hundreds of displaced Africans. Recently the CETI Club de FÃºtbol started to compete in a 10-team city league in this Spanish enclave on the coast of northern Morocco.
Zagreb, Croatia | In an item from the Italian news agency ANSA concerning an “upcoming European Champions cup for holy brethren,” we were surprised to learn that there is no patron saint for football. Given the Vatican’s known interest in the game (see Dec 2), one might have expected a designee. Players for the Italian [...]
Madrid | Ronaldinho‘s magical weaves through the Real Madrid defenders had home supporters at the Santiago Bernabéu applauding in appreciation Saturday. He scored twice, and the Catalans dominated 3–0. This was the 30th anniversary of the death of Francisco Franco, but the admiration shown Ronaldinho—albeit a Brazilian on a field of well-compensated professionals, with uncertain connections [...]