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  • 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…

  • How CONMEBOL Lost Its Competitive Edge in the FIFA Club World Cup

    Last Sunday, Tigres de Monterrey defeated Palmeiras (1-0) in one of the FIFA Club World Cup semifinals. They made history by becoming the first club from CONCACAF to reach the final match of this tournament. This was a massive frustration for the ‘Verdaõ’, but most of all was a big disappointment for CONMEBOL. Brazilian football…

  • Fog, Punches And Rearranged Qualifiers: Italy’s 1958 World Cup Failure

    Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup under the ill-fated tenure of Gian Piero Ventura is something many Italian football fans won’t forget. Yet it was not the first time they felt the bitter pain of missing out on the world’s premier tournament. That came on a wintry day in January 1958.  …

  • Les Banlieues: France’s Cauldron of Talent

    From Paris to Marseille, the biggest cities in France have perennially been the producers of some of the nation’s greatest footballers. Though the cities themselves get the plaudits, it is mostly the socially and economically forgotten suburbs of these cities where the talent can be found.    The suburbs have harnessed the greatest footballing talents…

  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: The Prince Returns to his Fallen Kingdom

    Whether you have been out of work, lost a family member, or have been forced to put your life on hold due to an unprecedented pandemic, 2020 has been a year to forget for everyone. Amongst all the loneliness, and heartache that has been endured across the past 365 days, the only reassurance for many…

  • Football in Alaska and Hawai’i

    Waqaa! Cangacit? / Aloha! Pehea ‘oe? The first greeting is in Yup’ik, the language most widely spoken in Alaska, while you have just guessed the second one – Hawaiian, the language para excellence from the archipelago of the American Union. I hope you are ready to the next step in our trip around the world.…