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Football is not immune to the side effects of globalization, as a handful of big clubs get bigger and the rest are left dwindling on the periphery.
I received an interesting present as I made my way to Rio's legendary Maracana stadium on Wednesday evening.Flamengo, the club with the biggest support base in the land, was playing Internacional, a big club in its own right with ambitions of...

The Asian force that is Al Hilal

It’s been fascinating – if not a little absurd – to watch the Australian public and media scrambling about to ‘'discover' one of Asia's grandest clubs this week.
We've had it all; players declaring they don't 'have a clue' as to who Al Hilal is, a local club complaining because of a supposed 'unpaid bill', virtually every report and social media mention featuring a player (Yasser Al Qahtani) who is...

Arsenal must take risks to keep up with the best

Sound economic strategy has earned Arsenal stability and admirers the world over, but for the club to maximise its potential value, it must take some greater risks in the increasingly over-inflated player market.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the man who made sabermetrics and economic efficiency famous in baseball, Billy Beane, revealed his love for football and in particular Arsenal. The Oakland Athletics general manager who is a master...

For whom the ref's whistle tolls

On days like today I wish we were talking about a stirring comeback and Bruce's almighty double, and not the dodgy decision that came beforehand.
Forget for a minute that I played for Sydney FC and am still good mates with a lot of the coaching staff and players there.That red card issued to Nikola Petkovic by Ben Williams during the FFA Cup quarter-final between Sydney FC and Adelaide...

Time to put heat on Saudis

Set aside for the moment whether or not the FIFA vote to grant Qatar the hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup was corrupt or not. Here is something more immediate for FIFA and its ethics prosecutor, Michael Garcia, to maybe consider.
According to a Fairfax Media report, if you are a woman unaccompanied by a male, a Jew or a homosexual, there is no guarantee you will be able to gain a visa to enter Saudi Arabia to attend the second leg of the AFC Champions League final between...

India's super league making global waves

Derided as a flight of fancy when its concept was first mooted, the Indian Super League has launched to record crowds and unprecedented global attention, enhancing its potential as a serious player in football's burgeoning market.
As the A-League, rightly, continues to pat itself on the back after a fortnight of record crowds and hype, it's well-worth noting that another Asian league just a fortnight into its very existence is the one stealing the international limelight...

Sydney and Melbourne share the limelight

Australian club football will be the centre of attention on the country's sporting landscape when Sydney and Melbourne stage two massive matches on Saturday.
Western Sydney Wanderers faces Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal in the first leg of the AFC Champions League final at Parramatta Stadium.City rivals Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City will cross swords in a keenly awaited derby at Etihad Stadium...

Considered debate the key to national team success

The debate over the recent Socceroos matches should not be solely focused on results, but also on the performances and the changes being implemented by the coach.
Opinion and, especially diversity of views, is a critical part of a thriving football culture.This is even more so when it comes to national teams, the pinnacle of what, who and where we are at in football at any given point in time.National...

Socceroos and Wanderers are worlds apart

Australia's Socceroos and Western Sydney's Wanderers have made headlines for wildly disparate reasons in the last year or so.
While the national team has undergone a tactical transformation and embarked on a bold journey of open, attacking football with all the risks that come with it, the Wanderers have crafted a safety-first way of closing down a game to suit their...

Delicate balancing act facing Alexis Sanchez

Chile's hopes in the upcoming Copa America - which it is hosting - rest largely on the diminutive shoulders of the sublimely talented Alexis Sanchez, whose performances for the national team over the next few months may rest on how much gas is...
These next few months are going to be a very interesting chapter in the life of Alexis Sanchez.The little Chilean striker was in magnificent form for his national team against Peru in Valparaiso on Friday night.[sbsondemand video="340429379882"...