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The Blog Reel

Why the Republic Still Needs Robbie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 →

LACMA Presents “Fútbol: The Beautiful Game”

An artist who duped Brazilians into thinking their side had lost 17-0 to Mexico is among those featured in a new exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, “Fútbol: The Beautiful Game.” The documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait is a central piece in the exhibition of works by up to thirty artists – among them Andy Warhol’s depiction of Pelé. Continue reading →

Brazil Host City in Race Against Time

The city of Curitiba, a host venue for this summer’s World Cup, had a deadline of February 18th to speed up construction of its stadium or it faces exclusion by FIFA. The Arena da Baixada, where Spain will begin their title defence, is 90% complete but FIFA officials have described the construction timeline as “an emergency.” Continue reading →

Open for Business: What Does the Transfer Window Have in Store?

Just seven days into the New Year, football fans are excited about the prospect of bringing in reinforcements to help them for the remainder of the season. In the Premier League, clubs at either end of the table are hoping to hold onto their key players while finding new faces who can add a much-needed extra dimension to get them over the line. What does the transfer window have in store and could a number of Irish players be on the move? Continue reading →

Ronaldinho Remains and Eyes Seleção Return

Legendary Brazilian Ronaldinho will not be returning to Europe after all. According to reports, the two-time World Player of the Year was set to sign for Turkish side Besiktas, but has extended his stay at Atletico Mineiro with whom he enjoyed a stunning 2013. Having led his club to the Copa Libertadores title, the 33-year-old was recently voted South American player of the year in a fan poll, amid clamours for a recall to the Seleção in time for a World Cup swan-song. Continue reading →

For The Love of Mata

Despite being Chelsea’s player of the year for the previous two seasons Juan Mata has seen his place in the Blues starting line-up limited this term. Having played only a full 90 minutes on three occasions this season, his angry reaction to being substituted away to Southampton sent out clear signals to the top teams in Europe. Continue reading →

7 Irish Players with Big Year Ahead

It’s a big year ahead for Irish players looking to impress a new management team. Martin O’Neill has spoken of unearthing a hidden gem while some more established names will be hoping to make a bigger impact than they did with Giovanni Trapattoni. We could also see some new faces in the Irish set-up with a big second half to the season coming up ahead of the beginning of Euro 2016 qualifying in September. Continue reading →