As I read Christopher Gaffney’s Temples of the Earthbound Gods, one issue that particularly struck me was the excessive nature of the barrabrava, the fierce fan group that exists in most of the Argentine and South American football clubs. In the book, Gaffney suggests the unclear, shady relationships between the clubs and their barrabravas, or… Read More »
When Boca Juniors manager Héctor Veira decided to give 18-year old Juan Román Riquelme his senior-level debut on November 10, 1996, he knew exactly what he was doing. What he saw was a young, strong, resilient central attacking midfielder with an incisive passing game and goal-scoring eye to match. He would eventually metamorphose into an… Read More »
Presidential interest in national soccer is nothing new to us. With so much popular will and attention fixated on national teams, national soccer has long been mixed with executive politicking. The recent World Cup has illustrated this phenomenon more clearly than ever, with notable presidential “arbitrations” occurring in the French, Nigerian, and North Korean football… Read More »
Perhaps cribbing the title of George Orwell’s famous 1938 account of the Spanish Civil War is a little much. But, seventy years on, with the question of the what status Catalonia has and should have within Spain still a serious issue, football has become an important battlefield in its own way. Yesterday’s victory of the… Read More »
That Kusturica’s documentary Maradona, chronicling perhaps world football’s biggest personality, begins with shots of the director playing his guitar at a concert, is telling. Introduced by his band as “the Maradona of the guitar,” it is clear, in retrospect, that what comes after is as much a defense of Kusturica as much as it is about the greatness of Maradona.