2534blog entries

The 'Brazil' of European football

AC Milan is a seven-times European champion and an icon of world football that has been on the slide for a number of years now, with Filippo Inzaghi now tasked with the job of reviving its fortunes. Will the glory days ever return to the San Siro?
For Manchester City it seemed like a pre-season stroll against a lower division minnow.The English champion was four goals ahead before the half-hour mark and looked almost certain to score every time it went forward.But this was no third-tier...

The magic of cup football comes to Australia

Australian club football will enter an exciting era when the keenly anticipated FFA Cup kicks off in four suburban grounds this week.
'Old soccer' finally gets an opportunity to mix it with the 'new football' in a national knockout that could become a permanent fixture in Australia's sporting landscape if everything goes according to plan.Twenty-two teams from every state and...

Hack to the future for Brazil

It remains to be seen whether Brazil's new coach Dunga, a vocal critic of the possession game in the past, has learned anything from Spain and Germany's eight-year domination of international football.
During an appearance on The World Cup Show, as events in Brazil unfolded before our eyes, Les Murray, Craig Foster and I tried to dissect what had gone wrong with the football played by the host. We did not limit ourselves to the 7-1 thrashing by...

The Iron Tulip blossoms in Brazil

Deep in the bowels of the aptly named Arena Castelao in Fortaleza, the press conference room is bursting at the seams with captivated journalists listening intently to the wisdom of Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal.
It seemed curious that Van Gaal, who has a history of berating reporters for their stupidity or unnerving players with his bizarre dressing room acts, was able to become such a cult hero among journalists and more poignantly his players. ...

The unforgettable sea of blue and white

After a major tournament, the global media fly off home with brutal speed. There is little chance of catching up with old friends and mulling over what has happened – Brazil 2014, then, was like a good meal when you are unable to prolong the...
Around me, Brazilian football has moved on.  The local first division resumed on Wednesday, just three days after the World Cup final.  And it is a matter of days before the national team name a new coach – at the time of writing there...

What a swell party

It felt like it from the start but even with the benefit of a few days' hindsight, and time to clear the head after a gripping final, it has surely been the best of all World Cups, or at least the best in my long experience as a broadcaster of the...
Of course not all will necessarily agree. Some will find the quality of the football to have been wanting, though it is difficult to see how. Some, who are less than totally conversant with football, will claim that a good final should be one that...

The Circus: A World Cup to cherish

The 20th edition of the FIFA World Cup was full of goals, surprises, drama, controversy and fireworks - what more could one ask for?
Player of the World CupObviously not Lionel Messi. Lionel Messi didn't even think Lionel Messi should have won the Golden Ball award.Which leads us to ...Conspiracy of the World Cup Diego Maradona, who says Messi's Golden Ball win can be laid at...

German giants deserve better recognition

It's about time we all give a red card to the outdated stereotypes associated with the German school of football that has broken new ground to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Germany became the first European country to win the game's biggest prize in the Americas, after eight attempts, by beating Argentina 1-0 in a gripping final at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.A late goal from baby-faced assassin Mario Gotze killed...

The Circus: This is how we do it

While one beaten semi-fimalist thinks he is on a sure winner in the 2014 World Cup final some of the vanquished nations, including Australia, have shown that how you play the game does make a difference.
Doubtless You would think someone who tripped over phantom limbs would have a better imagination, but Netherlands attacker Arjen Robben says Argentina has "no chance" of winning the World Cup final against Germany."Germany's going to win the World...

Why Asia needs a super league

The two 2014 FIFA World Cup finalists have been propelled by a core group of players who have either come up through the national team ranks together, or play together in a top club football team. The implementation of an Asian Super League would...
As we approach the 2014 World Cup Final, we can extract some lessons from the finalists and, given Asia's meagre return, pose an argument for a new competitive structure on our continent.In keeping with the past few unbelievable days, we go back...