International Football

World Cup Magic: 1978 – Ticker-Tape & Tartan Travesty

World Cup Magic: 1978 – Ticker-Tape & Tartan Travesty

By on Dec 24, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

Although I watched the 1974 World Cup finals as an eight-year-old recently converted to football, 1978 is the earliest tournament I properly remember. And I was the only one among the football fans at our rugby-playing school who tipped hosts Argentina to win. For the second World Cup finals in succession, the Anglophile British media had to pretend to support...

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World Cup Magic – Sun, Sea, Sand & Toni Schumacher: Espana 1982

World Cup Magic – Sun, Sea, Sand & Toni Schumacher: Espana 1982

By on Dec 19, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 1 comment

They say, of course, that the best World Cup finals is the one that was held when you were ten years old. In the summer of 1982, I was three months shy of my tenth birthday and this tournament marked the consummation of a love affair that had been growing, steadily and inexorably, for the previous three years or so, and in addition to this there was the small matter...

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200%’s World Cup Magic, Part One: Argentina vs Cameroon – 1990

200%’s World Cup Magic, Part One: Argentina vs Cameroon – 1990

By on Dec 9, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 2 comments

In the first of a new occasional series, Ed Carter looks fondly back at his first World Cup finals match. It was Friday 8th June 1990. I was ten years old and I’d never seen a World Cup Finals match before. I came to football relatively late, or at least it felt that way at the time. No-one in my family had any particular interest in the game or strong...

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England’s World Cup Draw Should Demonstrate Their Limitations

England’s World Cup Draw Should Demonstrate Their Limitations

By on Dec 7, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

At least, we might reflect, expectations had already been lowered to such an extent that there can barely be anybody left on the face of the entire planet who believes in any seriousness that England will win the World Cup in Brazil next summer. It’s not a matter of being fatalist or of showing false modesty. The evidence has been right there before our very...

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Ireland: O’Neill and Keane, The Rollercoaster Ride Begins

Ireland: O’Neill and Keane, The Rollercoaster Ride Begins

By on Nov 24, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

I’M GETTING OLD – EPISODE 94. I wasn’t looking at the TV when Marian Pahars’ name was first mentioned. But the memories were instant.Into the mind’s eye came the diminutive “Latvian Michael Owen” (which dates the reminiscence) being submerged by fans at The Dell (which dates it again) as he celebrated his first Southampton goal. “Who’s he playing for now?” I...

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The 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Final

The 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Final

By on Nov 10, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

The best tournaments are won either by the best team or the best story. So the 2013 World Under-17s Cup was bound to feature in the “best” column, regardless of the result of the final. Nigeria were eventually so far and away the best team that it almost seems churlish to criticise their triumphalism towards the end of their 3-0 win over Mexico. Boys will be boys, I...

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O’Neill & Keane – The Dream Team?

O’Neill & Keane – The Dream Team?

By on Nov 7, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

Adrian Chiles looked pleased as he was introducing ITV’s Champions League coverage in San Sebastian on Tuesday, stood alongside Ireland’s new management team, Martin O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane. He was even confident/brave enough to liken them to “Laurel and Hardy,” with Keane stood well within arms-reach (Lee Dixon offered “dumb and dumber”, which was...

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The FIFA Under-17 World Cup: The Semi-Finals

The FIFA Under-17 World Cup: The Semi-Finals

By on Nov 6, 2013 in International Football, Latest | 0 comments

So. Hello, then, a Mexico/Nigeria Under-17 World Cup final. This engaging tournament is back almost where it started after three weeks of football largely and refreshingly free of cynicism and, at least in my case, predictability. Mexico and Nigeria, who met on the tournament’s third day, were worthy and ultimately convincing winners of two entertaining semi-finals...

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