N.B.: It is always possible that links below will have expired, or that the link will take you to an archive, where you must part with $3.00 or so for a 750-word article. Another possibility is that a subscription or registration of some sort will be required. We apologize for any inconvenience, noting only that there frankly are too many links on the site to keep up with them all.
If, however, you would like us to find a now-expired article in our archives, we'd be happy to send it to you, if available. Please use the contacts link.
He was as fast as a greyhound, as agile as a cat, and seemed not to be made of flesh and bones at all, but entirely of rubber. He was tireless in pursuit of the ball, fearless, and constantly on the move. He never conceded defeat. He shot from any angle and any position, and compensated for his small height with exceptionally supple, unbelievable contortions, and impossible acrobatics.
The website of the Universidade de São Paulo, Escola de Educação Física e Esporte, in a fascinating section on the biomechanics of the bicycle kick (including photographs, videos and illustrations of scientific principles), credits Spain's Ramon Unzaga with having invented the kick in 1914. Unzaga emigrated to Chile, where the move became known as a chilena. Da Silva perfected the kick in the 1930s in stints with Bonsuccesso of Rio de Janeiro, Uruguay's Peñarol, Botafogo and Flamengo. (The USP site includes a video of da Silva himself, playing in 1942 for São Paulo. The link opens your computer's default media player.)
Leônidas' fame helped further new theories of race that for the first time saw Brazilians be proud of their racial mixture. Gilberto Freyre, the most influential academic of his day, used the footballer—who was black—as a positive symbol of Brazil's culture of miscegenation. Not only did football show Brazil at its best, but Leônidas' style of play embodied Brazilian characteristics of musicality, happiness, astuteness and guile. This helped make football the most powerful symbol of national identity, an idea which continued and strengthened as Brazilian football eventually achieved greatness. | back to top
Parma and Verona proceeded to swap a number of players. In May 2001 the Verona team went to Parma absolutely desperate for a win to save them from relegation into the less profitable Serie B. Out of 16 away games that season Verona had lost 14 and drawn two. Since I have been a season ticket holder at Verona for many years, I was on the bus with the fans going to the crucial game. They were amazingly confident. "2–1 to us," they said. "It's been fixed." Mr. Tanzi would never, they thought, allow his team to play against his own money. And 2–1 it was, Verona scoring in the dying minutes while Parma's excellent defense stood by. | back to top
"Blatter-Mouth Sepp Puts His Foot in It" (Edmonton Sun)
"Slip into Something Skimpy: Blatter" (Winnipeg Sun)
"Brief Loss of Blatter Control" (Washington Post)
"Getting Shorts in a Bunch" (Tacoma News Tribune)
And so on. The Times had its own variation—"Blatter Given Clear Brief Over Hotpants" (17 January)—in which Peter Lansley notes that the English Football Association might have unwittingly buttressed Blatter's comments by releasing a brochure with four female England players modeling, yes, closer-fitting football wear. We also cannot forget that the Women's United Soccer Association once sent cheesecake pics of its players to Playboy. FIFA's response to the latest imbroglio? A spokesman says that Blatter never said "hotpants." | back to top
Neville's greatest quality was his humility. He hated to talk about his own achievements, however extraordinary. Even the Melbourne Games hat-trick did not come up in our football discussions. He would talk about Melbourne as something I should experience. See the march-past, the Indians walking in with turbans and the Olympic atmosphere. He would goad me to aim for an Olympic place. I knew this was going to be my role model. | back to top
stands out as the pioneer who shook British football out of an age-old slough and was a tireless innovator decades ahead of his time—a champion of such ground-breaking concepts as floodlights, numbered shirts, clocks inside grounds, white footballs, team meetings, physiotherapy and synthetic pitches, to name just a few.
Chapman also had enough pull to influence renaming the Highbury-area Tube station from "Gillespie Road" to "Arsenal." . . . In another interesting take on managerial trends, the Telegraph writes supportively of Southampton manager Gordon Strachan's decision to step down at the end of the season, citing "medical and personal reasons" (Paul Hayward, "Punch and Judy Show Is No Fun for Merry Saint"). Hayward likes Strachan's "simple, human statement," and adds: "Our culture of machismo and denial requires us to yabber about how well paid football managers are, and how much fun it must be to pick your own Premiership team every week." But "managers exist in a twisted and hyper-cynical world: not middle England but middle earth." . . . Simon Kuper identifies another aspect of the contemporary European game—the near-impossibility of mid-sized clubs such as erstwhile Champions League competitors Fiorentina claiming major silverware ("M-Cities March Over European Soccer Map," Financial Times). As top players gravitate toward the "M-towns" of Milan, Manchester, Munich and Madrid, so do trophies: "These M-towns are big enough to produce the required fan base, yet provincial enough to generate a Medicean yearning for global recognition. Local fans and sponsors invest in the club partly because they feel civic pride is at stake. In the middle ages they would have built a cathedral instead." | back to top
What began as routine investigations by The Herald has turned into a global story that is making headlines around a world bemused by how a group of impostors could masquerade as a national football team and play an international friendly in a foreign country. . . . Normally local football stories in this country barely go beyond our borders but the story about the fake El Salvador national team, unmasked after investigations by our journalists, has spread across the world. (Robson Sharuko and Lawrence Moyo, "Fake El Salvador Saga Dominates," 9 January) | back to top