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The Blog Reel

Neymar, Portrait of the Artist

neymar art He’s the darling of the Brazilian national team and the poster-boy for a host nation desperately in need of a World Cup good news story. In Europe, they question if he deserves the hype after a difficult first year at Barcelona but his personality is at odds with the reputation that preceded him. As we saw in last year’s Confederations Cup, Neymar Jr could be about to light up the tournament and live up to the legend that it seems has already been created for him. Continue reading →

YBIG Football Show

ybig crop On the YBIG Football Show this week, Dave O’Grady looks at the major news of Roy Keane’s decision to turn down the Celtic job in favour of his current role, and tables a discussion on Ireland’s impressive display against Italy ahead of our two games in the USA. Continue reading →

Torres’ Atlético Shoot for the Stars

540898_335465823221308_872921764_n When Póg Mo Goal spent some time living in Madrid, the Galácticos hype was at its peak. The Bernabéu Stadium was a mecca for day-trippers as the glamour of the game’s biggest names proved intoxicating. Across the city, however, beleaguered Atletico supporters still packed the Estadio Vincente Calderon and sang the name of ‘El Nino’. Atletico Madrid, then the poor relations in Spain’s capital, have just clinched a first La Liga crown in 18 years, and, having dispatched Fernando Torres’ Chelsea along the way, now stand on the brink of European glory. Continue reading →

The YBIG Football Show

ybig crop On the YBIG Football Show this week, Dave O’Grady speaks to Dundalk defender Andy Boyle. He also catches up with YBIG’s Liam Murray about the Irish fans who took on the Northern Ireland fans in East Belfast and three Irish soccer journalists debate the Irish team ahead of Sunday’s friendly with Turkey. Continue reading →

Searching for Toto

Schillaci They’re not in Kansas anymore. Four football fans from Portsmouth are hoping to produce their own documentary travelling throughout Italy in search of Toto Schillaci, the man who finished top scorer at the 1990 World Cup and broke Irish hearts in the process. Continue reading →

Coleman and Reid Prove We Can Play Ball

Pic:  Billy Galligan/amanwithhiscamera.com With the season almost over, all eyes will turn to the World Cup in Brazil. Of course, Ireland won’t be there and the selection of Seamus Coleman and Andy Reid in their respective teams of the year is yet another indictment of Giovanni Trapattoni’s philosophy as Irish manager. They also make a mockery of the argument that we don’t have ball-players. Continue reading →

Torres Still Atleti’s Galáctico

540898_335465823221308_872921764_n When Póg Mo Goal spent some time living in Madrid, the Galácticos hype was at its peak. The Bernabéu Stadium was a mecca for day-trippers as the glamour of the game’s biggest names proved intoxicating. Across the city, however, beleaguered Atletico supporters still packed the Estadio Vincente Calderon and sang the name of ‘El Nino’. Continue reading →

Why the Republic Still Needs Robbie

robbie keane While Ireland still basks in the light of the Brian O’Driscoll love-in, his counterpart on the national football team doesn’t always enjoy 100% support. But when the history of the Irish game is written, Robbie Keane will rightly be spoken of in the same breath as our retired rugby icon. Keane still has a vital role to play in the Republic’s future fortunes. Only when he’s gone will we realise what we’ve missed. Continue reading →

That New Jack Magic

jack grealish While the Irish U21s crashed out of Euro qualification with this month’s defeat to Montenegro, one player lit up the Tallaght Stadium with his performance. Jack Grealish could be the Republic’s successor to Damien Duff, writes Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football show. Continue reading →

PUMA Reveal More World Cup Kits

switz crop The World Cup gear is arriving thick and fast this week, and following the launch of Italy’s home and away shirts, comes PUMA’s unveiling of the Brazil 2014 kits for Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria, Switzerland, and Chile. The new jerseys will be worn for the first time in tonight’s series of international friendlies. Continue reading →

Teenage Kicks Could Make O’Neill’s Night

kenny mcevoy After his unveiling as Irish boss, Martin O’Neill spoke of unearthing a hidden 17-year-old gem that would take the Irish team by storm. When naming his squad to face Serbia, the Derryman lamented that he had yet to find one, but when Noel King’s U21s take on Montenegro in a vital Euro qualifier, it could be teenage kicks that get the Republic through the night. Continue reading →

Carnival Atmosphere’s Unlikely to Last

carnival In the next of our Brazil Series, amid continuing anger ahead of the World Cup, the contrast couldn’t be greater between Carnival, now underway, and the summer’s festival of football. Revellers on the streets brought Brazil to a stand-still at the weekend. A repeat in June could spell a nightmare for FIFA and the image the tournament hosts want to convey to the watching world. Continue reading →

Celtic Warriors Face Battle to Reach France

Mark Lawrenson Scotland The draw for Euro 2016 has paired Ireland and Scotland together for the first time since 1986, and while the Irish are placed in Group D as second seeds, with Germany already installed as favourites for the tournament, and Poland and the Scots involved, new boss Martin O’Neill would have wished for a far easier road to France. Continue reading →

Happy Birthday Liam Brady

brady Today’s marks the 58th birthday of Liam Brady. From signing as a teenager with Arsenal, to his wavy-haired international début at Dalymount, to his time as a star of the title-winning Juventus, Brady is considered among the greatest players ever to emerge from this island. As a pundit, he is a key member of RTE’s legendary panel. Chippy, we salute you. Continue reading →

Much Adu About Nothing

adu2 Before David Beckham rode in wearing only his underpants to rescue American soccer, a 14-year-old named Freddy Adu threatened to become the game’s biggest superstar Stateside. The MLS’ youngest ever player seemed destined for the top but it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Now he’s fighting for a contract with English Championship club Blackpool. Continue reading →