Columnist

Les Murray

Fondly known as 'Mr Football', Les has been directly involved in all the major events covered by SBS Sport, including five World Cup football tournaments. Follow @lesmurraysbs on Twitter.

630blog entries
In his excellent biography of Pep Guardiola, Guillem Balagué devotes his first chapter to the reasons why Guardiola left Barcelona after winning 14 trophies in four season at the club.
Balagué writes: Pep Guardiola rang one of the world game’s leading managers [Sir Alex Ferguson] to ask him one question. If you get to a situation where the balance seems broken, what do you do? Do you go or do you change the players? He w...
As Australia now counts the days before their next 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, against Saudi Arabia on October 6 and Japan five days later, they can be well satisfied that they have a fine, well-rounded team that seems to be getting better...
Follow @TheWorldGame The two recent games, against Iraq at home and UAE away, showed, against very different opponents, just how balanced the team is. In the first game, a 2-0 win, the Socceroos excelled in attack as they were required to ...
It is now 51 years since Australia played their first international game in the FIFA World Cup era. In the coming days the Socceroos will play their 474th and 475th games that came and went in that fascinating half a century, an average of 9.3...
Of course I do not wish to ignore what happened before the World Cup era and the 61 internationals Australia played before that time. But Australia never entered the FIFA World Cup before 1965 and I feel there needs to be a line of distinc...
Who is the equal second highest paid footballer in the world after Cristiano Ronaldo and equal with Lionel Messi?
No it’s not Neymar, not Gareth Bale, not Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It’s Hulk, the burly Brazilian striker. He is now on $29.4 million per season, the same as Messi and just $2 million less than Ronaldo. And which club is paying Hulk this obscene...
On the field and off the field, Tim Cahill is what the A-League needs, writes Les Murray.
Follow @TheWorldGame So it now seems London to a brick that Tim Cahill will join the A-League in the new season. This is now most likely, given especially that the FFA has invested heavily in cultivating the anticipation. It is unlikely th...
EURO 2016 was, in essence, a victory for cautious, reactive, counter-attacking football.
Follow @TheWorldGame That is the conclusion one must draw if one wants to evaluate the tournament’s capacity to mirror the tactical status of the game in our time. Of the purely attack-minded teams, like Spain, England, (the real) Croatia ...
On June 23 a majority of voters in the United Kingdom opted to leave the European Union. The decision is bound to leave deep impressions on economies across borders, including on football.
Follow @TheWorldGame By virtue of that decision one important aspect of the Bosman Ruling of 1995 is now dead, at least in England. That aspect relates to the EU’s rule regarding the free movement of labour across member nations. Simply, ...
Something beautiful happened the other day. Brazil were beaten by Peru and the giants of the world game, the five-time World Cup winners, were eliminated from the Copa America.
By this I don’t mean that I am rejoicing in Brazil’s exit.  I remain a big fan of Brazil’s technical traditions, provided of course that those traditions are being adhered to. In many ways it was not a pretty sight. Brazil were woeful, no...
Tim Cahill is reportedly concerned that his shortage of match activity in the coming two months may cause him to be overlooked for the vital World Cup qualifier against Iraq on 1 September.
You and I should be equally concerned and are entitled to ask, without Tim, who will score the goals? In their last three games, all against European opposition, Australia scored three goals (one of which was an own goal). In the first tw...
As someone who was at Upton Park in 2003 to witness Australia’s historic win over England I guess I should have been peeved that the outcome was not repeated in Sunderland the other day. I wasn’t.
Follow @TheWorldGame Basically because it could have been repeated so easily. If anything the Australians played better and were more dominant than they were then. As we know, and as we are told time and time again, results don’t much matt...