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Pitch Invaders

Pitch Invaders: Loathed by players but loved by fans. [more inside]
posted by josher71 on Jun 10, 2011 - 45 comments

 

Eh, someone had to do it... [Champions League]

The 2010-11 Champions League Finals. In two and a half hours, the biggest game in club football will commence (bbc text stream). The Champions League final is likely to be watched by 300 million viewers and features Manchester United (England's best team this year) against FC Barcelona, now sometimes claimed to be the best team of all time (although the Barca coach plays that down). Lineker thinks that Barca just have to 'turn up to win'. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on May 28, 2011 - 147 comments

What's a few hundred million between 24 friends?

The most powerful presidential position in the world is having its election soon, and the incumbent has just been brought up before an ethics committee for investigation. The USA's best attempt at a candidate was shut out and couldn't even be nominated. The person who is supposed to be representing the US region has been found guilty of corruption several times. Could this result in a historic revote for the 2022 World Cup location? [more inside]
posted by babar on May 27, 2011 - 28 comments

Super Soccer Mario

Last night, my brother, the real football fan, regailed me with stories of a bizarre double life that an English player seemed to be leading. Looks like someone beat me to collecting them all.
posted by LD Feral on May 26, 2011 - 19 comments

Messi and Beautiful

Barcelona may or may not be the greatest soccer team of all time, as some now claim, but watching them is one of the prime viewing pleasures of our sports era. Can it get any better?. SLYT.
posted by ecourbanist on May 4, 2011 - 36 comments

A difficult business

Just before intermission, Cowie took the stage and began juggling a ball with her feet until suddenly she popped it in the air, swished her right foot around the ball twice, kicked it up again, then rotated her left foot around once without letting the ball touch the floor. She bent her right foot back behind her body and caught the ball on the sole of her shoe. “I could feel the excitement building in the auditorium,” she recalled. “I could hear the oohs and the aahs. I could sense the shock.” ¶ For her finale, Cowie lay on her back and juggled the ball over her head with her feet. As they applauded, Green Hope students turned to their friends with the same question: Who is she?
The New York Times Magazine profiles soccer freestyling star Indi Cowie. Photos of a few tricks. Video includes demonstrations.
posted by grouse on Mar 27, 2011 - 20 comments

You'll never make it, kids. Here, I got you jerseys.

"On our island we loved to watch football. But no one had actually ever played it." The story of a football team on the floating village of Ko Panyi. [more inside]
posted by Taft on Mar 20, 2011 - 16 comments

"He's so unstoppable in these circumstances."

An animated Gareth Bale destroys Inter Milan. [more inside]
posted by dyobmit on Mar 10, 2011 - 24 comments

Insert red card pun here.

After he and his co-commentator Richard Keys were stood down Monday for off-air, on-mic pre-match comments about a female assistant referee and the inability of women to understand the laws of football, Andy Gray was sacked by Sky Sports when further evidence of sexism and sexual harassment surfaced. A third Sky employee has also been suspended for complicity in the original complaint. Many are drawing parallels to Ron Atkinson's resignation in 2004 for racist comments about Marcel Desailly. [more inside]
posted by Errant on Jan 25, 2011 - 132 comments

Better Know a Tiny Country: San Marino, the Fighting Sammarinese!

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino. According to legend, the tiny country of San Marino was founded in 301AD by Saint Marinus of Rab, and is thus the world’s oldest republic. Occupying 24 square miles around Mount Titano in the middle of Italy, it is the fifth smallest country in the world. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Dec 31, 2010 - 30 comments

No more jumpers for goalposts

But street football doesn't really exist any more, Cooper admits. "Many children have never played outside. And in some cases their parents haven't either." He cites a 2009 survey by the charity Living Streets which found that only half of five- to 10-year-olds had ever played in their street, whereas nine of out 10 of their grandparents had. How the increasing professionalisation of soccer at all levels in the UK has led to the death of park and street footie for ordinary kids.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 19, 2010 - 24 comments

Didn't predict that...

Paul the Psychic Octopus is dead. The English-born octopus shot to fame this summer by successfully predicting the results of World Cup matches.

Tributes are flooding in.
posted by i_cola on Oct 26, 2010 - 82 comments

Great Sports Calls, chosen by Posnanski

Greatest calls in sports is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 15, 2010 - 47 comments

Fedoras in Heaven

Bye bye Big Mal. Malcolm Allison, one of the most flamboyant characters in English football, has gone to the players' lounge in the sky. He certainly knew what sold, with his signature cigar, fedora and sheepskin coat, and also laid on a pretty good bath. But all that stuff aside, he was a well-respected manager, and will be fondly remembered by Manchester City fans (you can read the fans' tributes here, and leave your own if you are so inclined) for leading them to glory in the late 60s and early 70s. The world is a lesser place without him.
posted by Myeral on Oct 15, 2010 - 3 comments

"You'll Never Walk Alone, Sweet Caroline"

It has been a dramatic start of the season for Liverpool Football Club both on and off the pitch. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on Oct 13, 2010 - 91 comments

The bizarre, sad tale of Togo's fake national team

Since the attack on the Togolese national team in Angola (previously), soccer in Togo has descended into a freefall. In a strange turn of events, a fake national team recently represented the country in a tournament in Bahrain. The soccer loving people of Togo were outraged when the truth about the situation came out.
posted by reenum on Oct 8, 2010 - 4 comments

Morales hard fouls his rival in the nads

A knee to the groin may be more Vinnie Jones than Machiavelli, but it was no less effective for Evo Morales in asserting his presidential authority.
posted by Burhanistan on Oct 5, 2010 - 57 comments

The hooligan problem and the football violence that just won't go away.

The hooligan problem and the football violence that just won't go away. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Aug 22, 2010 - 36 comments

Celebrating the Over-celebrated

It's Pelé Week on The Run of Play. Following some public spats between Maradona and Pelé (previously) at the recently concluded World Cup, Brian Phillips of The Run of Play (previously featured) observed that "it's bizarrely hard to care about [Pelé]", despite his unquestioned legendariness and unimpeachable skill with a football. But why? He and other writers attempt to address that question. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Aug 20, 2010 - 9 comments

What a save!

When greedy sports team ban press photographers, cartoonist saves the day. Southampton Football Club decided to ban press photographers from their home matches, and sell their own photos to the press. Plymouth Herald hires a cartoonist instead. [more inside]
posted by iviken on Aug 13, 2010 - 31 comments

"You play football with your heart not your feet"

Pelé and Maradona: the glorious, ludicrous feud between soccer's two biggest stars. In the summer of 2000, FIFA, which does not understand computers, decided to celebrate the arrival of the millennium by hosting an online poll. Its object: to determine the best soccer player of the past 100 years, with the victor to be fêted at a gaudy banquet in Rome. The organizers of the vote assumed it would be won by Pelé, soccer's silky ambassador, who'd been cheerfully ensconced in his Greatest of All Time sinecure for 40 years.
posted by Fizz on Aug 10, 2010 - 31 comments

Teams USA

Football (Soccer) in the USA has a much longer history than many people think. In fact, the first International Match outside of the British Isles was between the USA and Canada in 1885, played at Newark, New Jersey. [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 28, 2010 - 25 comments

So you just won the World Cup...

Thierry Henry is one of the biggest stars in Association Football. With AS Monaco, Arsenal, FC Barcelona and the French national squad, he's won about every trophy that there's to win: 1996-97 French Ligue 1, 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000, 2003-2004 English Premier League, and the unprecedented 2008-2009 "perfect season" for Barcelona: Spanish Copa del Rey, Liga, and Supercopa, European Champions' League, European Supercup, and Club World Cup. He's also won a large number of French, English and worldwide "Player of the Year" accolades. However... [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jul 24, 2010 - 54 comments

A literary roundup of football/soccer keepers.

Saint Taffarel who is in goal
Like a guardian angel
Sweet like honey
Defending our goal, our hope, our happiness.
- Carlos Drummond
A literary roundup of the mysterious keeper, from Nabokov to Camus to Dante. A little more football for those of us getting the twitches.
posted by Hiker on Jul 14, 2010 - 6 comments

Football in Africa

Jessica Hilltout has been traveling around Africa taking pictures of matches as they are played in the continent's small villages, its players, goals, boots and balls. It is especially striking to compare that last collection to all the official World Cup balls. You can see slightly larger versions of some of Hilltout's pictures here and here.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 10, 2010 - 11 comments

Finally

The World Cup Final is almost here, only 24 hours and 30 minutes away: Sunday Night, 19:30 GMT [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 10, 2010 - 206 comments

We are amused

Yesterday, the Spanish national football squad won its first World Cup semifinal. A distinguished supporter insisted on personally congratulating them in the locker room. (SLYT, but priceless. Watch in particular the hero of the match enter the frame around 1:16).
posted by Skeptic on Jul 8, 2010 - 83 comments

Physics of Phootball

Free during the World Cup the IOP (Institute of Physics) has a collection of papers all about football (soccer). Also related is NASA's recent findings regarding the randomness of the new Adidas ball.
posted by ozomatli on Jul 6, 2010 - 8 comments

Pele should go back to the museum

Argentina has been eliminated from The World Cup, but that doesn't mean we aren't free to enjoy some quotes from the always quotable Diego Maradona. For example, after Argentina qualified for the finals in South Africa, after looking like they would not make it, he said "To those who did not believe: now suck my d**k - I'm sorry ladies for my words - and keep on sucking it. I am either white or black. I will never be grey in my life. You treated me as you did. Now keep on sucking d**ks. I am grateful to my players and to the Argentinian people. I thank no one but them. The rest, keep on sucking d**ks."
posted by Keith Talent on Jul 5, 2010 - 85 comments

District 11

World Cup is it over yet? 'cuz this is not going to end well.
posted by HuronBob on Jul 4, 2010 - 69 comments

Football Manager

They were one of history’s greatest teams. But by the late 2000s, Pro Vercelli were entrenched in the lower leagues, their glorious past forgotten. Until one day, a man bought a video game. Read the uplifting saga of a small-town Italian club, an unknown American manager, triumph, betrayal, passion, and several extremely good recipes, from start to finish [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jul 3, 2010 - 26 comments

Nearly there....

There are only 10 days of the World Cup left. The World Cup Final is on Sunday 11th July at 19:30 GMT. Today sees the start of the Quarter Finals, and with only 8 teams left, this is when the pressure really starts. A brief Preview of the Quarter finals: [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 2, 2010 - 349 comments

Goal line technology for some, tiny vuvuzelas for others

Following the goal that wasn't a goal in the England vs Germany match and the illegal offsides goal in the Argentina vs Mexico match, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has apologized to the eliminated teams and said that goal line detection technology will be considered for future matches. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jun 30, 2010 - 177 comments

Start, Approach, Take Off, Flight, Roll, Penalty

One of the least edifying aspects of professional football [soccer] is the dive. Is it just part of the game, or something that, ahem, foreigners do? In 2006 FIFA rejected the use of video evidence to punish cheaters and although "simulation" is punished, when spotted by the referee, the problem remains. In the wake of (among others) a dodgy red card to Brazilian star Kaka in the 2010 World Cup, here's a handy guide to some of the best/worst dives about (inside) and how to tell when a player is faking it. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Jun 25, 2010 - 92 comments

"All the great contests at some point become head games."

The whistle has blown in Port Elizabeth. Stoppage time in Pretoria, and three men run into the box. Altidore flicks the ball across, but Dempsey walks it straight into the goalkeeper. On the rebound, Donovan puts it in the net. The world reacts. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 24, 2010 - 194 comments

"Hand of God", indeed.

All’s Fair in Love and Soccer Cheating and working the refs are part of what make the beautiful game fun to watch.
posted by horsemuth on Jun 21, 2010 - 376 comments

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football.
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 19, 2010 - 27 comments

Vuvuzela Time!

Vuvuzela time! View any web site like you're at the South Africa World Cup!
posted by GuyZero on Jun 17, 2010 - 112 comments

The Game of Their Lives - Part 둘

North Korea played in the World Cup in 1966 [BBC Documentary on YouTube]. The 1966 World Cup was the subject of bitter disagreement before a ball was ever kicked. Sixteen African nations boycotted the tournament in protest of a 1964 FIFA ruling that required the champion team from the African zone to enter a playoff round against the winners of either the Asian or the Oceania zone in order to win a place in the Cup. [more inside]
posted by vectr on Jun 16, 2010 - 22 comments

Lego Fussball

Some people really do have too much time on their hands: Lego Football [more inside]
posted by idiomatika on Jun 14, 2010 - 30 comments

The Game of Their Lives

Sometimes called the "Miracle on Grass", the USA's 1-0 victory over England in the 1950 World Cup is arguably the biggest upset in the history of the cup; when a team of school teachers, dishwashers, and postmen beat the "Kings of Football". It was the Game of Their Lives. Today, they had the chance to do it again.
posted by daniel striped tiger on Jun 12, 2010 - 241 comments

USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA ! USA !
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 12, 2010 - 210 comments

blow that horn!

Stadiums in South Africa are currently resounding with the riotous blare of the vuvuzela. And while most of the folks making their joyous noise in the stadiums will be doing so in a basically random fashion, this vuvuzela ensemble is demonstrating the funky hocketing technique that is a feature of certain strains of traditional African music, played for centuries on horns very much like these modern-day plastic versions. Well, anyway, like the shoe ads almost say, just blow it.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jun 8, 2010 - 49 comments

32 Posters for the participants of the World Cup

ESPN commisions 32 posters for each of the participants in the upcoming tournement. In addition to the cool art, here's an interactive calender to help you plan your viewing courtesy of Spanish website Marca.com.
posted by Keith Talent on Jun 8, 2010 - 77 comments

Must Read Soccer and other soccer blogs

Must Read Soccer has one aim: To bring you the best writing in English on football, wherever we find it, fresh almost daily, and without favor. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 6, 2010 - 16 comments

"I left my stamp."

I scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final. A series of short films produced by ESPN about players ranging from Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia in 1950 to Italy's Marco Materazzi in 2006. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on May 31, 2010 - 25 comments

Joe Gaetjens scored a goal in the World Cup, died as a political prisoner of Papa Doc Chevalier

A heartbreaking 10-minute documentary on Joe Gaetjens who scored the single goal in the USA's shocking victory over England at the 1950 World Cup. Gaetjens was a Haitian accounting student at Columbia University who went to Europe shortly after the 1950 World Cup and returned to Haiti a few years later. His story, and the story of the upset victory, was until recently largely unknown in the US.
posted by Kattullus on May 31, 2010 - 12 comments

Gooaaaal

SLYT: Write The Future - A three minute long Nike World Cup ad
posted by AceRock on May 21, 2010 - 39 comments

Back to the Future

On September 24 1983, a brilliant young Argentinian footballer playing for FC Barcelona was brutally fouled in a Spanish league game against Athletic Bilbao. The resulting injury incapacitated Diego Armando Maradona for four months and ultimately resulted in him leaving Barcelona for Naples and a serious cocaine addiction. More than the fouling player (who already had the nickname "Butcher of Bilbao"), many blamed Bilbao's coach and his somewhat lacking concept of "fair play". [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on May 16, 2010 - 46 comments

A zone has never scored a goal. Apparently.

Following on from Jonathan Wilson's excellent column The Question (previously), Zonal Marking illustrates and explains how a football match is won and lost, often with same-day analysis and emphasis on individual players. [more inside]
posted by Errant on Apr 14, 2010 - 25 comments

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