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  • Tactical Analysis: How Marcello Lippi’s Italy Won the 2006 FIFA World Cup

    The mid 2000s oversaw a dramatic shift in European football’s power dynamics as the once-dominant Italian clubs collective crowns started to slip. A combination of ageing squads, the infamous Calciopoli scandal which tarnished the league’s formerly gleaming reputation and the subsequent expulsion of Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio, who were the best teams in the country…

  • Batigol: The Early Years

    Mention the name Gabriel Batistuta and one word springs to mind – Batigol. It was the nickname used lovingly to describe the striker that terrorised defences in Europe during the 1990s and early 2000s. His exploits for Fiorentina and then Roma are well known, but it is his early days that are less explored, a…

  • Inside the Politicised World of Hungarian Football

    On the 24th of May 2023, the Romanian Cup Final was set to be disputed between current holders Sepsi OSK and Universitatea Cluj. The game ended in a 0-0 draw and extra time was not sufficient to split the two teams. Then in the penalty shootout, Sepsi managed to cling on and reverse their fortunes…

  • Mario Zagallo: Adeus to One of Brazil’s Greatest Managers

    In the hallowed corridors of football’s history, there exists a rarefied air reserved for the immortals. Every manager and player aspire to sip from the cup of glory, the FIFA World Cup, at least once. Yet, imagine a maestro who not only tasted victory four times but orchestrated a symphony of triumph for a fifth. Such…

  • The Greatest Managers in Football History

    Pep Guardiola is undoubtedly the best manager of all time! Or is he? With most media outlets falling over themselves praising Pep’s treble win, I think the mania surrounding him is a bit exaggerated. He is no doubt a brilliant manager and tactician, but you cannot look past the prestige of the teams he managed…

  • Bulgarian Football’s Harrowing Descent into Corruption and Mediocrity

    On July 16th, 1994, 12:30 pm, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the third-place playoff game of the World Cup was about to start between Sweden and the surprise of the tournament, Bulgaria. Even though the Swedes would smash the Bulgarians 4-0, it was nonetheless one of the finest achievements of an Eastern European…

  • The Remarkable Rise of the Luxembourg National Team

    On the 9th of September, Iceland, the perennial overachievers of the late 2010s were defeated 3-1 by Luxembourg, a team we all grew up watching get hammered by almost everyone. So, what about Luxembourg? Well, what about it? Whether you only see it fit to be used just for storage or know it exists and…

  • Through the Looking Glass of Big Data: SSC Napoli 2015/16 and the Vindication of Maurizio Sarri: Part Three

    Part III: Valentine’s Day heartbreakers and (quite a few) record-breakers   Fresh from their first “Winter Champions” title in the 21st century, Napoli strolled to five straight victories in the new year, led by six goals from Gonzalo Higuain, who had taken his record to 24 goals in as many games. Jose Callejon had also…

  • 12 Iconic Stadiums That Are No Longer with Us

    A stadium being demolished is one of the most heartbreaking events in football. Whilst many fans might see their team moving to a newer, more modern venue with gleeful anticipation, others lament the lost memories that they have made in the stands of the old ground. Newer stadiums also tend to be a bit sanitized…

  • Through the Looking Glass of Big Data: SSC Napoli 2015/16 and the Vindication of Maurizio Sarri: Part Two

    Part II: A First Campione D’Invierno (Or, Tuscan Men Love to Curse)   After a faltering start to the season with a paltry two points from the first nine, it was the first match in the Europa League against Club Brugge where Napoli began to show signs of life. By the end of the Rafa…