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The Blog Reel

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 →

Hand of History

paris Four years on from THAT goal, we’re revisiting an extract from French Football Weekly’s Jeremy Smith’s interview with Phillipe Auclair, author of Thierry Henry: Lonely At The Top. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Henry is a divisive figure in French football. Perceived as aloof, an adversary of Zidane, and the apparent leader of a shameful strike at the 2010 World Cup, we look at the Frenchman’s standing in history, and that night in Paris. Continue reading →

Tifo: Inside the Timbers Army

Tifo: Inside the Timbers Army The independent supporters group of the Portland Timbers, known as the Timbers Army, are renowned for their passionate and enthusiastic presence at all matches. “Tifo: Inside the Timbers Army,” follows the creation and unveiling of the tifo, a visual display, when the Timbers’ battle their biggest rivals, the Seattle Sounders. Continue reading →

Guest Post: Misery Merchants Back Aboard the Bandwagon

aviva stadium They’re calling them ‘Box-Office. The unveiling of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane as Ireland’s new management has sparked a frenzy of interest in the home friendly with Latvia. Yet, if the duo weren’t in place next week, if there was no appointment, Irish ‘supporters’ would stay away in their droves. Billy Keane of Back-Post.com wonders if the Irish team would be better off without the event-junkies. Continue reading →

Roy Keane Owes Us One

keane He’s back. After a decade of railing against a host of Irish football’s inadequacies; the blazers, the players, even the fans; Roy Keane has jumped the fence, baby! Diarmuid O hAinle, author of It Started with a Handshake, reacts to the Corkman’s return and says Keane owes us one. Continue reading →

Irish Fans Keane to Move On

roy keane eyes It was one of the ugliest scenes witnessed at Lansdowne Road. Not the rampaging of English fans hurling rubble onto Irish supporters. Rather Irish supporters hurling vitriol at a former hero who had captained the country in our first ever World Cup, who had cried in the dressing room when we failed to beat Italy in the quarter-final, who later managed his country to another tournament, and who endured, along with his adversarial skipper, a trauma that would scar any man in ordinary life, let alone his footballing one. Continue reading →

Capital Idea: A Chance for Early Silverware

capital one cup The League Cup is the easiest way for English clubs to win a trophy. Although it warrants a place in Europe, it isn’t exactly held in the highest regard, with some football fans referring to it as a “Mickey Mouse” cup. However, the competition does give smaller teams a fantastic chance of winning some silverware, as we witnessed last year when Swansea beat League Two outfit Bradford in the final. We’ve taken a look at some of the sides that could be in contention for the trophy in early 2014. Continue reading →

Come Play for Me Argentina

Hector Cupe The links between Ireland and Argentina go back centuries from the Chief Admiral of the Argentinian Navy, William Brown, to Che Guevara. There are significant footballing ties also, and two of the more exotic names touted as replacements for Giovanni Trapattoni are those of Hector Cuper and Marcelo Bielsa. Fellow countryman and journalist, Xabier François, says the time is right for an Argentine coach of the Boys in Green. Continue reading →

Pelé, the Nickname, and Jimmy Magee

pele b+w He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, but is known throughout the world simply as Pelé. The origin of the nickname given to the man who just celebrated his 73rd birthday is far from certain, but, as ever, an Irish footballing myth gained legs over the years. With a movie on his life now shooting in Brazil, could the story make it to the big screen? Continue reading →