Philip Micallef

Philip Micallef is a football writer with almost 40 years of experience. He has worked for News Limited and now SBS. He is a long-time follower of AC Milan.

331blog entries

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...

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It's about time we all give a red card to the outdated stereotypes associated with the German school of football that has broken new ground to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.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...

Europe relishing a golden chance to rewrite history

Europe is in a strong position to create FIFA World Cup history when Brazil's fabulous football festival that has thrilled us to bits comes to a fitting end at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.
No country from the old world has inscribed its name on the trophy on the seven occasions the game's biggest and most important tournament was held in the Americas.Each time football's showpiece was staged in North, Central or South America big...

The pact that damaged football's credibility

Forget Luis Suarez's bite, Diego Maradona's failed drug test and the Battle of Santiago: the FIFA World Cup's darkest hour came in the city of Gijon in 1982.
It was the mother of all scandals and the shameless perpetrators of a despicable stitch-up were allowed to get away with it Scot free.European neighbours West Germany and Austria appeared to the whole world to have fixed a result in a group game...

Good times beckon for revitalised Socceroos

It was rather remarkable that on the very day that Spain's era of world dominance came to a crushing halt in Rio de Janeiro, another era dawned on the Socceroos in Porto Alegre.
The two teams that went into the 2014 World Cup with wildly disparate expectations will meet on Tuesday morning (AEST) in what has become a playoff for third place in the group.The Spanish matadors have become the fifth world champions to bow out...

Fans warm to new-look Socceroos

Australia's debut defeat to Chile at the FIFA World Cup should be seen as a heartwarmer not a heartbreaker.
The 3-1 loss was certainly deflating but it showed in no uncertain terms that coach Ange Postecoglou is on the right track in his bid to revive the fortunes and the spirit of the Socceroos.The vast majority of the travelling fans in Cuiaba and a...

Bresciano holds key to Socceroos' aspirations

The international between Australia and Croatia would have cleared a few doubts in Ange Postecoglou's mind and reinforced the belief that Mark Bresciano is fundamental to the Socceroos' ambitions.
The Socceroos coach must have been disappointed with a 1-0 defeat in Salvador but he would be glad to note that the positives on the night far outweighed the negatives.Australia produced an infinitely better and more cohesive performance than the...

Postecoglou's style gamble

Ange Postecoglou's attacking philosophy will be put to the test against three of the best possession football teams on the planet during the FIFA World Cup.
You've got to admire Postecoglou's unshakeable belief in his football philosophy and his stoic resistance to increasing calls to soften his attacking mantra for Brazil.This is a man driven by a genuine obsession to revive the spirit of the...

Real Madrid deserves 10 out of 10 for style

Real Madrid's thrilling victory over crosstown rival Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final has strengthened its status as the greatest and most decorated club in world club football.
Ten European champion titles leave no room for doubt or argument.The mighty Madridistas that play at the fabled Bernabeu Stadium have their critics.Many do not like the aggressive way they do business when it comes to capturing any player that...

Odd couple vie for the big one

If Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti were still playing today and facing each other in a battle for midfield mastery the Argentine macho man would probably be the one 'looking after' the Italian technician.
Watch the UEFA Champions League final LIVE on SBS and streamed LIVE on TWGSimeone, 44, made a career in Italy and Spain in the 1990s as a defensive midfielder with the ability to score goals.Ancelotti, who is 10 years older, was one of the...