Inter’s chance to show they can end the hegemony

ITALY has needed a team to seriously challenge Juventus for almost a decade and Inter Milan have started the Serie A campaign as if they mean to fill that role. Although some people are suggesting that six wins out of six have flattered the Nerrazzuri, the club seems to have been rejuvenated by the arrival of Antonio Conte. This weekend (October 6), Inter play host … Continue reading Inter’s chance to show they can end the hegemony

La Liga’s big challenge

SPAIN’s La Liga may have lost Cristiano Ronaldo to Serie A, but it is well placed to deal with the inevitable transition that will take place once the other member of the celebrated duopoly, Lionel Messi, also moves on. KPMG Football Benchmark’s latest paper looks at how the league has been internationalising itself to broaden the appeal of Spanish football. Ronaldo and Messi have dominated … Continue reading La Liga’s big challenge

CR7 and Juve, why it will make sense

AT the age of 33, and after a career at Real Madrid laden with glittering prizes, Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus may seem like a surprising decision. But it could be a very lucrative business transaction for both sides that enhances the reputation of the player and helps shift his employer up a gear or two. From Ronaldo’s perspective, the timing of the announcement was … Continue reading CR7 and Juve, why it will make sense

Is World Cup success so important for critical acclaim?

THE football world is reaching the end of a cycle, one that has been dominated by two individuals, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both players, worshipped in their own countries and admired worldwide, went tumbling out of probably their last World Cup. This has saved us the tiresome narrative of Russia 2018 being the last-chance saloon for both players, who will now never add the … Continue reading Is World Cup success so important for critical acclaim?

Week one – and where are all the flowers?

IT HAS not been a totally disappointing World Cup, but it hasn’t quite ignited into the festival of football we are always promised and rarely get. The fancied teams have yet to find their form, although it is feasible they are merely pacing themselves after long domestic programmes. The surprise of the first week was surely Mexico’s win against reigning champions Germany, although it didn’t … Continue reading Week one – and where are all the flowers?

The dramatic shop window

FOR the neutral, the UEFA Champions League final had the required level of drama to capture the attention of even the most hyperactive mind. However, there was something very predictable about Liverpool losing their most important player so early on, you could almost see the steam that has built up under Jürgen Klopp evaporating in front of your eyes. That Liverpool’s hopes were extinguished by … Continue reading The dramatic shop window

Football Media Watch: Prime time drama

THE Champions League quarter-finals continued to offer high drama and intrigue, with everyone’s favourite villain, Cristiano Ronaldo, providing the finishing touch to Real Madrid’s 4-3 aggregate win over gallant Juventus. Add to that the shock collapse of Barca and Liverpool’s win at Manchester City, the competition lived up to its reputation with a set of compelling last eight encounters. Only Bayern’s dull 0-0 draw with … Continue reading Football Media Watch: Prime time drama

Signals and signs: Learnings from the Guardian 100

WE’VE become used to seeing familiar names at the forefront of world football. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated polls and awards since 2007 and the recent Guardian ranking of the top 100 players – arguably the best list of its kind – places Messi top and Ronaldo second. Recently, Ronaldo was named the winner of the Ballon d’Or for the fifth time. These … Continue reading Signals and signs: Learnings from the Guardian 100