AT THE age of 11 and a half, my football career probably peaked. In fact, you could say that 1970 was my Annus mirabilis in terms of the beautiful game. In 1969-70, I was leading scorer for my primary school, Benyon of South Ockendon in Essex. I scored 10 goals in 15 and a half games (actually 16 starts). I was chaired off the pitch … Continue reading Mexico 1970: Tostão, tomatoes and TV
BRAZIL is the biggest exporter of footballing talent – the Brazilian can be found plying his trade in all corners of the world and in every continent. The national team, despite its ups and downs, is always considered among the favourites when a World Cup comes around. The media is still hung-up on the spirit of beach-playing ball artists and the culture of joga bonito. … Continue reading Brazilian domestic football – the great untapped market?
A FRIEND of mine left his job with a major investment bank where he had worked for more than 20 years. He was described as a “great servant” to the company. Given the person in question was earning well north of £ 150,000 per annum, plus considerable benefits, somebody quipped, “best paid bloody servant in history”. It raised a laugh or two, but never had a … Continue reading Commentary Box: The game with thrones – legends and servants
WITH Brazil and Uruguay falling at the quarter-final stage, the 2018 World Cup became an all-European affair, not a total surprise, but the old excuse of geographical disadvantage, used for decades to explain early disappearance in the competition by Europeans or Latin Americans, is becoming somewhat outdated Only Brazil and Germany have won the World Cup in another continent, Brazil in 1958 (Sweden), 1994 (USA) … Continue reading Russia 2018 underlines where global power is shifting
IN 1977, Pelé predicted an African team would win the World Cup before the end of the 20th century. It was and remains a bold prediction: it wasn’t even until the following year that an African country, Tunisia, actually won a match at the tournament. Over the following decade, African football experienced a steady progression, culminating in Cameroon’s near-miss in 1990, when they came within … Continue reading Guest Slot: Why African football has flopped at the 2018 World Cup
AT THE age of 11 and a half, my football career probably peaked. In fact, you could say that 1970 was my Annus mirabilis in terms of the beautiful game. In 1969-70, I was leading scorer for my primary school, Benyon of South Ockendon in Essex. I scored 10 goals in 15 and a half games (actually 16 starts). I was chaired off the pitch … Continue reading Tostão, tomatoes and TV: 1970
“I compare the Santos 62 team with the national team of Brazil in 70. These are the two best football teams I have ever seen.” That was the view of Benfica and Portugal’s Antonio Simoes, who witnessed, first-hand, the power of the Sao Paolo-based team that was arguably the best in the world between 1962 and 1963. Santos gave us Pele. They have given us … Continue reading South American Way: Santos – the club that started the legend