PUMA evoPower

Balotelli 2 PUMA kicked off its 2014 Nature of Believing campaign with the launch of the revolutionary new evoPOWER football boot at a live event in Barcelona. The evoPOWER 1 is designed to mimic barefoot kicking while the sportswear giant has enlisted the help of Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Mario Balotelli, and Marco Reus. Continue reading →

The Crying Game: Ronaldo, Pelé Awarded Ballon d’Or

ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo, who grew up in poverty in Madeira, gave an emotional speech as he accepted the FIFA Ballon d’Or, crowning him as the world’s best player for a second time. There were tears too for Brazilian legend Pelé, who was awarded an honorary trophy. Meanwhile Zlatan Ibrahimovic took the Puskas award for the best goal of 2013 for his outrageous bicycle kick against England. Continue reading →

Taxi for McGeady: Everton’s Irish Story

peter farrell everton crop “He’s English on the outside, but, pure Irish on the inside.” The elderly woman in the ‘Western’ pub in Liverpool was referring to her grandson, Wayne Rooney. Most are Toffees in this part of Merseyside and Aiden McGeady’s arrival at Goodison Park to bolster the green contingent is a reminder that traditionally Everton were the Irish club in the city. The common football phrase “Taxi for” even owes its origins to a former Irish manager. 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 →

Passage of Play: Roy Keane

keane croke park “If I had a chance to watch any game in the world tomorrow I would go to a hurling match. I’ve been to the Super Bowl, Formula 1 racing, Champion’s League matches, but the All-Ireland is up there with all of them as a great occasion” – Roy Keane professes his love for the small ball. 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 →

Gudjohnsen Tears Over Play-Off Heartbreak

Untitled Who says sport doesn’t matter? Eidur Gudjohnsen couldn’t hold back the tears after Iceland’s World Cup dream ended with a 2-0 defeat to Croatia. The islanders had held the Croats scoreless in the first leg but lost out in Zagreb to spell heartache for the former Chelsea man and his homeland with a population of just over 300,000. Continue reading →