Goals On Film

At 19, Michael Owen had won the Premier League Golden Boot twice and was one year away from winning the Ballon D’Or. And he’d never read a book. He revealed this, ironically enough, while being interviewed at the launch of what some might call his premature autobiography, Michael Owen In Person. Not only this, he’d…

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Remembering The Fantasistas

There was once a time when Italian football ruled Europe. It was a time when the world’s finest footballers flocked to the boot-shaped peninsula to play in the hardest league around. That time now appears as a collection of sepia-tinted moments, left to grow old and dusty while its clubs tarry to attain the standard…

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Where The Owl Sleeps

If a commentator ever says “nobody wants to see that” about an incident at a football match, you can be sure that ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE wants to see it. Take the Wenger-Mourinho rutting stag act in which the lanky one alpha-maled it all over his special counterpart’s territory. “Nobody wants to see that”. Wrong: everybody wants…

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Le Ballon Football League

Born in 2014, Le Ballon started life as a bar in Paris that served as the clubhouse for some of the city’s most boisterous fans, Les PariSG 300. Originally named L\INCONNU (The Unknown), the bar was founded in 2012 in Paris’ up-and-coming 10th arrondissement. After creating a scene first with young, fashionable music lovers and then…

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Leave Them Kids Alone

There are moments in life when you just know you have over-stepped the boundaries of appropriate adult behavior. In my case it was shouting ‘For fuck’s sake, don’t make that fat twat look like Messi!’ during a tense under-10s league match in which my son was playing. For one second shame overcame me at the…

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The Team Who Stole The World Cup

“The most chaotic, disorganised and ramshackle tournament in history” is how one publication described the World Cup in Brazil. Not the 2014 edition, with its concerns over stadiums, protests and transport – but the one in 1950, which was something else altogether. Blighted by teams withdrawing for dubious reasons, not technically having a final and…

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