The Unofficial World Cup

A tournament where Scotland are the most successful team and the current holders are North Korea. On February 17, the title of Unofficial Football World Champions is up for grabs. And the team that has a chance to win is from this very region. Kuwait will play current holders North Korea in Changsha, China. It…

The Tardelli Scream: Football’s greatest celebration

Marco Tardelli screamed as if he were the medium for the emotions for the entire nation right at that moment. There, on a summer night in 1982, the world watched as the Italian defender perfectly illustrated what it feels like to score in the biggest game there is. At the same time, he demonstrated what…

Fabien Barthez: What it’s like to win the World Cup

Fabien Barthez on winning with France in 1998. Our manager, Aine Jacquet, did something very important — he isolated the squad in a cocoon for two months before the start of the tournament. We saw nothing of the outside world, so the added pressure of playing at home and the build-up didn’t really get through…

The Last Word: John Barnes

How is training as a professional footballer different these days? The most significant difference is that now the training is tailored to suit each individual player. When I used to play everyone just did the same thing. I remember doing distance running as one whole group, so you had Neil Ruddock and Steve McManaman running…

Heart of the Matar

Ismail Matar is arguably the most talented young player in the UAE team and an idolised star in his homeland. Matthew Pomroy spoke to him ahead of the biggest test of his short career, the up-and-coming friendly against Brazil. It’s not often you get the chance to meet your heroes. It’s even more of a…