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  • The Football Passion and Politics of Casablanca

    The tale of football in Casablanca and how passion, politics and identity rule the terraces. North African clubs have dominated the CAF competitions with the Moroccan teams from Casablanca’s Stade Mohammed V among the most successful.    Much of the world probably associates Casablanca with the 1940s movie drama – fair enough given its cultural…

  • Understanding SC Bastia’s Badge

    In 1096, Peter I’s Aragonese army was heavily outnumbered by the forces of Al-Musta’in II of Zaragoza. Defeat looked certain. That was before, as legend would have it, Saint George miraculously appeared on the battlefield, patronising the Aragonese and swinging the battle in their favour. He cut off the heads of four Muslim leaders and…

  • St Pauli – Culture, Politics, and Pirates

    Chronicling the evolution of FC St. Pauli and how they epitomise what many clubs aim for – weaving together culture, politics, and ideals.   Few clubs have taken on such a cult status as FC St. Pauli (FCSP). Synonymous with the image of the skull and crossbones and unashamedly political and diverse, St Pauli have…

  • Livorno: A City with a Proud History but an Uncertain Football Future

    The story of a city with a distinctive, strong heritage and the ups and downs of its football club; with top division years followed by relegations and financial turmoil, disintegration – and then rebirth. All of this, always with a backdrop of passionate support, loyal players and strong identity.   On Italy’s west coast in…

  • The Tactical Evolution of Wayne Rooney  

      Chapter 1: A Generational Talent     The buzz around Wayne Rooney started well before his debut against Spurs at the start of the 02/03  season. After scoring 8 goals in 8 games on the way to the 2001/02 FA Youth Cup final, Rooney was finally named as an unused sub against Southampton and crucially…

  • Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and … Sheriff Tiraspol?

    “Who?” Was the reaction from many when Sheriff Tiraspol were drawn from pot four into a group surrounded by Champions League heavyweights. The question, in this instance, is probably a fair one. Even the most dedicated Football Manager players and self-proclaimed European football experts would be hard-pressed for knowledge on these Champions League debutants. The…

  • A Defining Meeting: The Irriducibili and Lilian Thuram

    Today, the voice of fans can be heard loud and clear through social media channels or via reaction videos. But, 20 years ago there was no camera lens for them to eye up. Instead, the power of the fans was much more literal, and this was felt most strongly in Italy. Most of the major…

  • The Rise and Fall of Boavista

    The 1999/2000 season in the Primeira Liga finished in a similar fashion to all the previous campaigns. Sporting Lisbon won the league, four points ahead of Porto, and eight points clear of Benfica. It seemed evident that for the next season the top of the league would paint a similar picture- only differing if the…

  • Going All-In on Practically Everything: The Wild Life Of Mad Dog Gravesen

    Thomas Gravesen was born in Vejle, Denmark, in 1976 and has become something of a legend in world football. His career took him to Everton, Real Madrid and Celtic, and brought him 66 caps for his country. Even today, in a world where footballers are accessible and relatable, he remains an enigma, someone few can…

  • The Swiss Golden Generation Overshadowed by Belgium

    It was a brutal exit from Euro 2020 for Switzerland. Spain scraped through on penalties after a game where, I think it’s fair to say, almost nothing went the way of the Swiss. For starters, Captain and talisman Granit Xhaka, who had been so influential in the previous round, was suspended. Things quickly got more…