12 Things We Learned From the World Cup

1. England’s diminished expectations There’s a line that John Cleese says in the film Clockwise that’s long been applicable to the way England fans have felt about the team at international tournaments: “It’s not the despair. I can stand the despair. It’s the hope!” Well, going into this World Cup the hopes and expectations for…

Pele: What I’ve Learned

At the 1958 World Cup our opponents didn’t really know much about us as there was very little television back then. My goal in the quarter-final is quite famous, but I spoke to my friends at the time and they had only heard the goal on the radio. People wanted to see it but TV was…

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…

Design Classic: Adidas Copa Mondials

Footballer’s boots are now big business, with the top players getting paid millions to wear the manufacturers’ new products, but it’s getting a little out of hand. From the bright green Nike Steam II to the bananalike Puma V5 it seems that many modern boots have the unprecedented ability to make you look like a…