Eusébio the great

SEVENTY-NINE years ago, in Mozambique, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira was born. It’s fashionable to liberally throw the word “legend” around, but very few footballers actually achieve that status in their lifetime, let alone when they pass from view and their legacy is grainy video footage or yellowing newspaper coverage. Eusébio was so good he inspired many […]

Return of the kings: Europe’s revivalist clubs

GLASGOW Rangers, Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan and Atlético Madrid are all top of their respective leagues in 2021, challenging the clubs that have swept aside their rivals for the best part of a decade. These are all big football institutions with rich histories, but they have found themselves in the shadows of clubs that have […]

Sporting Lisbon can make it a three-horse race in Portugal

SPORTING CLUBE de Portugal have not won the Portugese league championship since 2002 and have spent the past 18 years watching Porto (11 wins) and Benfica (7) dominate domestic football. They’ve started a season well before , but there’s a saying in the red half of Lisbon: “Sporting come down with the Christmas lights”. As […]

What if the new-look UEFA Champions League proves popular… and lucrative?

UEFA will get their finale after all, albeit one that is crammed into a mini-tournament of the kind that belongs to the pre-corporatisation era. Although the eight-team format played in neutral Lisbon is a solution to a problem, in normal circumstances, having eight of the world’s best club sides in the vibrant Portuguese capital would […]

Football’s competitive issues: Predictability is not just a “big five” problem

PRIOR TO this disrupted and somewhat confusing campaign, the past two seasons saw the same league champions across the “big five” leagues in Europe – domination by the rich and advantaged, namely Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona. It was seen as affirmation the game had become predictable, stale and lacking in […]

What if the new-look UEFA Champions League proves popular… and lucrative?

UEFA will get their finale after all, albeit one that is crammed into a mini-tournament of the kind that belongs to the pre-corporatisation era. Although the eight-team format played in neutral Lisbon is a solution to a problem, in normal circumstances, having eight of the world’s best club sides in the vibrant Portuguese capital would […]

Just how good is Atlético Madrid’s João Félix?

WITH Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in their autumn years and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a retirement tour, the football world is asking itself where is the royal line of succession? Kylian Mbappé is being touted as the greatest thing since Pelé and there are big hopes for Atlético Madrid’s João Félix, but are these players […]