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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 →

LACMA Presents “Fútbol: The Beautiful Game”

Zidane-a-21st-Century-Portrait_1080_12 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

curitiba 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?

mcgeady 2 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

ronaldinho1 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

mata 4 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

jack grealish notts county 1 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 →

Ireland on Film: Glory Days Revisited

bill o'herlihy champagne The match action itself has been re-run many times. Now for your viewing pleasure, we’ve unearthed some lesser known footage of the television coverage surrounding Ireland’s remarkable early successes under Jack Charlton. Beginning with the official film of Euro 88, followed by ITV’s coverage of the game with England when Liam Brady reveled in putting Brian Clough straight. From there, we move onto the heady days of Italia 90 qualification through to the finals themselves when RTE’s pioneering coverage rewrote the manual on football punditry. Continue reading →

Could Coleman Be the New Bale?

Coleman-green-750x481 While Sky Sports are busy drooling over Ross Barkley, his Everton teammate Seamus Coleman has been making headlines of his own. A cracking goal against Swansea last week, followed by another screamer against Southampton took the Irishman’s tally to five. Could Donegal’s finest be the next Gareth Bale? Continue reading →

Reliving Giants Stadium

paul mcgrath giants stadium The 1994 World Cup in America was the first for Luke Constable of the brilliantly named RGSOAS (Ruud Gullit Sitting on a Shed). His native England hadn’t qualified but thanks to his Irish grandfather, Luke was rooting for the Republic. Having missed the full game with Italy, the myth around the match had grown. Houghton’s goal and McGrath’s performance became legendary as the years went on. Luke has never seen the game in its entirety…until now. Continue reading →

Fergie Feud Drags in Dependable Denis

keane viera teams In the quite superb Keane & Vieira: Best of Enemies, Roy Keane sings the praises of his former team-mate Denis Irwin and vouches for his inclusion in a best United XI. Recently, Keane’s one time mentor turned nemesis Alex Ferguson repeated his admiration for Roy’s fellow Corkman. But as Diarmuid o hAinle argues, Irwin may have unwittingly gatecrashed a feud involving his former manager and captain. Continue reading →

Stand Up for the #COYBIG

Untitled It’s become the source of breaking transfer news, while players can’t help getting themselves into trouble on it but social media has added an extra dimension to how we watch football. Paul Moriarty, Head of Insight at News Access Media Intelligence, Ireland’s media intelligence agency, tells the YBIG Football Show how Twitter reacted to Martin O’Neill’s first two games, and discusses the rise of the popular supporters’ hashtag #COYBIG. Continue reading →

Socceroos: Available Not Always Best

ange The best man available is not necessarily the best man for the job, so the theory goes. So it was that the FFA (Football Federation Australia), instead of casting about for an out-of-work coach with international credentials, poached the new Socceroos manager from the A-League’s biggest club, as Ian Kerr of Thin White Line writes. Continue reading →

A New Era…10 Talking Points

oneill keane Two games into the reign of O’Neill/Keane and the shot in the arm to Irish soccer has been like an adrenaline rush following the tedium of Trap’s last days. A positive display against Latvia followed by more of the same in Poland before an element of tiredness set in has given everyone reason for optimism. If only we’d had this six months ago. Here’s ten talking points. Continue reading →