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  • The UEFA Europa Conference League: A New Iteration of Bygone Continental Competitions

    The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), European football’s administrative body, have had talks regarding establishing a third continental competition since late 2015. Commencing at the start of the 2021/22 season, The Europa Conference League is the fruit borne from the years of discussion.   This tournament is designed to give teams from nations smaller…

  • AZ & Elftal: An Unusual Coincidence

    Wout Weghorst’s repeated exclusion brings to the forefront a somewhat strange history of players groomed at the Alkmaar club and their position in the Netherlands national team.   It’s business as usual for Wout Weghorst. The in-form striker was on target once again in VfL Wolfsburg’s 2-1 win over Werder Bremen. The 28-year-old’s 17th league…

  • The Rise and Fall of FC Dnipro

    At around 10 pm local time on the 27th May 2015, Ukraine’s fifth-largest city of Dnipropetrovsk rejoiced and stood in awe as Nikola Kalinić scored the goal to allow the minnows of European football, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk to take the lead in the biggest match of the club’s 97-year tenure; the UEFA Europa League Final. Though…

  • Ralf Rangnick at Schalke: The History and the Future

    On Friday afternoon, BILD broke the news that Ralf Rangnick was set to become Schalke’s Sporting Director for the 2021/22 season and plan for life in 2. Bundesliga as their inevitable relegation looms large. The report highlighted his plans and desire to help Schalke on their way back to the Bundesliga and subsequent success. The…

  • A History of Match Manipulation and Deliberate Underperformance in Football

    As made in no uncertain terms by FIFA in their 62-page didactic handbook, for football to remain such an entertaining, fair and accessible sport, integrity must remain one of its cornerstones. In what might be received as somewhat rich due to their own internal history of corruption scandals, football’s international governing body maintain in their…

  • John Obi Mikel: Great Player, Wrong Era

    As far as football fans are concerned, every player is either underrated or overrated, and it’s safe to say John Obi Mikel falls in the former category. The Nigerian midfielder is one of those that were never really appreciated as much in their prime, Mikel’s best years were with Chelsea and even now he’s only…

  • The Reality Show That Triggered the Afghan Football League

    ښې چارې! ته څنګه يې؟ (Khe chare! Ta tsanga ye?) This is how we greet in Pashto, one of the two official languages in Afghanistan (the other one is Dari, actually a version of Persian). I hope you are fine. Let’s go to Central Asia, in this theme of February, with football topics starting with…

  • Politics and Football in Turkey

    Since it began with Greeks playing pick-up games in the neighborhoods of Istanbul during the Ottoman Empire, football had been and still is the most popular sport in Turkey. As years passed football became a national phenomenon with the foundation of a national league in 1959. During the early dates of the league football fans…

  • The Renaissance of Gaël Kakuta

    Chelsea youngsters and loan moves away; a story as old as time. A forgotten man in many regards, Gaël Kakuta epitomised Chelsea’s extensive loan policy, and for someone who promised so much, his career nosedived before it had really even begun.   Before their recent transfer ban and the appointment of Frank Lampard as manager,…

  • Multiculturalism in the Chinese National Team

    你好!你好吗? (Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ hǎo ma?) This is Mandarin Chinese, the most widely spoken language in the world. I hope you are OK. The last time we officially went to North America, but our destiny was the non-contiguous states conforming the American Union and why they were neglected in US professional football.   This week…