Tag Archives: World Cup

Confusion clouds Kosovo debut

KOSOVO head into their first competitive fixture on Monday evening, still waiting to hear whether players of Kosovar roots who have represented other countries will be eligible to play. Continue reading Confusion clouds Kosovo debut

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Six of the Best: Bald Goalkeepers

WILLY CABALLERO has started the season as Pep Guardiola’s first choice goalkeeper, replacing Head and Shoulders’ poster boy Joe Hart as Manchester City’s number 1.

Manchester City's Willy Caballero
Willy Caballero celebrates City’s League Cup victory

After Zinedine Zidane, the original Ronaldo, Bobby Charlton and Ray Wilkins, we’ve become used to brilliantly bald outfield players, yet up until recently, the sight of follicly-challenged goalkeepers has been a relative rarity.

Following many years in the sporting wilderness, slap-headed stoppers are becoming increasingly common in the game, yet Caballero 34, is still one of a comparatively select band of bald goalkeepers.

Continue reading Six of the Best: Bald Goalkeepers

You are the boss: Who do you choose? Rooney, Charlton or Lineker?

You are the England manager and with 10 minutes remaining of a vital European Championships clash, your team is heading for another unceremonious first round exit.

Who will you choose to rescue the Three Lions?

Rooney, Charlton or Lineker? Continue reading You are the boss: Who do you choose? Rooney, Charlton or Lineker?

Alcides Ghiggia: Remembering the man who silenced the Maracana

  • Alcides Ghiggia died 65 years to the day his goal won the 1950 World Cup for Uruguay
  • Ghiggia was oldest living World Cup winner
  • Played club football for Penarol, AS Roma, AC Milan and Danubio
  • Represented Italy as well as his native Uruguay

ON THURSDAY 16th JULY, Alcides Ghiggia’s heart beat its final beat, his lungs drew their final breath and his eyes closed for a final time. According to his son, in the final moments preceding his death, he had been talking about football.

At the age of 88, Ghiggia’s passing prompted Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez to declare 3 days of national mourning in his honour.

Sixty-five years ago to the day of his death, in the final match of the 1950 World Cup, those lungs and that heart had propelled Ghiggia’s 5′ 6″ frame and match-stick thin legs into the penalty area of the newly built Maracana stadium.

With ten minutes to go, and with Brazil only needing a point to be crowned World Champions, two nations held their breath:
Continue reading Alcides Ghiggia: Remembering the man who silenced the Maracana

Colombia: An altered image 20 years on from Escobar

Colombia face host nation Brazil in the Quarter Finals of the World Cup tonight, in possibly the biggest game of their footballing history; the game taking place 20 years and 2 days after defender Andrés Escobar was shot dead having scored the own-goal which eliminated his team from the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

Continue reading Colombia: An altered image 20 years on from Escobar

Street fighting Suárez bites off more than he can chew

As the final whistle blew at Natal’s Estadio das Dunas, Uruaguay striker Luis Suárez stood alone in the centre circle. As his team-mates celebrated the 1-0 victory which had ensured their progress to the last 16 of the World Cup Finals at the expense of Italy, the Liverpool striker suspected his own tournament would end in customary controversy. Continue reading Street fighting Suárez bites off more than he can chew

Müller and Pepe’s clash shows FIFA must act to curb simulation

The incident leading to Portugal defender Pepe’s red-card against Germany at the World Cup Finals has again drawn the issue of “play-acting” into sharp focus.

With the Germans 2-0 up and comfortably heading for half-time, attacking-midfielder Thomas Müller, 24, was felled by a stray finger to his upper lip whilst competing for the ball with Pepe.

Continue reading Müller and Pepe’s clash shows FIFA must act to curb simulation

Catenaccio: Unlocked

A common stereotype in the coverage of Italian football is that it is still bound and shackled in the all-encompassing embrace of Catenaccio, the tactical system which came to prominence during the 1960s with a strong emphasis on defence.

The Azzurri are often described as playing in the “Catenaccio style” and whilst certain characteristics remain, the system itself died many years ago.

Continue reading Catenaccio: Unlocked

Tiki-Taka: Explained

Tiki-Taka is a set of tactics and style of play which aims to make the best use of space on a football pitch though precise, patient passing and the fluid movement of players between positions.

The aim is to monopolise position and possession of the ball, thus limiting chances for the opposition and creating regular chances for players to score.

When played well, it can lead to some of the most beautifully exhilarating scenes in sport, yet when plans go awry; it can also bring some of the most frustrating.
Continue reading Tiki-Taka: Explained

It’s just like watching Brazil: Diego Costa and the expat players returning home

The World Cup begins on Thursday evening in São Paulo with hosts and 5 times champions, Brazil, taking on a Croatian side with 2 members of their squad returning to the land of their birth.

Continue reading It’s just like watching Brazil: Diego Costa and the expat players returning home