Brazil And Italy Conjure Up A Majestic Contest

21 03 2013

It might be nine games and 16 months since Italy last won a friendly but Cesare Prandelli will be proud of the spirit the Azzurri showed to turn a two goal deficit into a draw against the much fancied Brazil.

Italy are notorious for their nonchalant attitude towards friendlies, an opportunity to test new players and tactics but no reason to arduously seek a good result, but this performance will put them in good stead for their World Cup qualifier against Malta next week.

In these non-competitive games we have become accustomed to witnessing dour contests lacking both intensity and personality, however the match in Geneva showcased two teams with World Cup winning ambitions, and both will gain confidence from proceedings.

Mario Balotelli and Neymar exchange shirts after the friendly in Switzerland.

Mario Balotelli and Neymar exchange shirts after the friendly in Switzerland.

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Is Racism Still Rife In English Football?

10 12 2012

December 2011

The idea of discrimination still persisting in today’s world is hard for anyone to comprehend. Over a process of time, education has been important to try and abolish prejudices which have stemmed down from the past to help establish equality. With its working class roots, football grounds have previously been the place in which people from ethnic minorities have suffered vile abuse. Most had felt those days were a thing of the past until the recent John Terry and Luis Suarez racism scandals, which has prodded the question ‘Is there still racism in football’?

Firstly, it is important to actually define what racism is and how it affects people. Hylton defines its mainstream definition (2009, p.10) ‘Racism is considered as a popular analytical concept that many imbue with little credibility in its potential to interrogate the social and historical reasons for the developed hierarchies and transhistorical advantages accruing to particular socio-economic groups.’ The process of this prejudice stems downs from ancestors and how the previous use of black people as slaves for example is still exemplified by some to perceive they are a ‘superior’ race. Tomlinson (2007, P.307) expressed how sport is important to bring people together ‘Sport has been a major factor in breaking down racial and religious barriers… Sport can bring about a situation of oneness regardless of colour’.

To try and understand the social problems, the critical race theory (CRT) (Hylton, 2009) has become a popular academic study to establish why there is inequality. The study has focused on white supremacy and the possibility of achieving racial liberation and anti-subordination. A brief summarisation by Hylton on CRT is a (2009, P.22) ‘ Framework from which to explore and examine the racism in society that privileges whiteness as it disadvantages others because of their ‘blackness’. The theory initiated in America and was used around the time of the civil rights movement, with the problem being far more contemporary and common over there than in England. Despite laws being in place, the theory points out that white people will do anything to bypass that regulation and discourage the involvement of somebody from an ethnic minority background.

Racism In Football Topic Was Rekindled After The Suarez And Evra Incident.

Racism In Football Topic Was Rekindled After The Suarez And Evra Incident.

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The Curious Case Of Bojan Krkic

10 02 2011

Some players are destined to be great. From a young age they stand out head and shoulders above their peers. Fans know they have a genius amongst their academy, and they count down the years until they see the rough diamond explode onto the first team scene. The likes of Wayne Rooney, Jack Wilshere, Mario Balotelli and Neymar were hotly tipped to be superstars a few years before they even made their first team debuts; or since 13 in Neymar’s case, who apparently was subject to a €1 million bid from Real Madrid.

Bojan Krkic was the player the Culés were anticipating the most after the flattering reviews from his youth team days. Whether this fact is true is dubious, but reports state Bojan scored over 800 goals during his seven-year spell in La Masia. Forget Sergio Busquets, Pedro Rodriguez or Thiago Alcantara, this young striker whose father was an international for Serbia, was the prestigious talent who was destined for greatness.

Bojan has scored 28 goals in 154 games for Barcelona.

Bojan has scored 38 goals in 154 games for Barcelona.

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Should Barcelona Cash In On Ibrahimovic?

19 08 2010

What springs to your mind when I say Swedish football? For many it will be Henrik Larsson, a former great who spent the majority of his career up in Scotland at Celtic, where legend status is pinned to his chest after 242 goals in seven seasons. Maybe players who graced the Premiership like Niclas Alexandersson or Freddie Ljungberg might stand out for their bold hair styles and ability on the wings. Hey, some of you Leeds fans might be mumbling Tomas Brolin under your breath, for the wrong reasons. However in the modern age there is only one man who is the face and (joint) captain of the Swedish national team, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Yet there is a hovering question mark above his head as to whether he really has a future at his club.

Last summer he joined Barcelona for the second highest valued transfer of all time in a deal worth €46 million plus Samuel Eto’o in exchange. But Barcelona fans are very much spilt on whether Ibrahimovic deserves another season, especially with a chance to recoup a lot of that money if they sell him now, and more importantly freeing themselves of the high wages he collects every week in his fat pay packet. However his first season was hardly a failure, but winning over the Catalonian fans is a tough feat. He became their first player to score in his first four league appearances and after seven matches he had seven goals and was leading the race for the pichichi. Over the course of the season he scored 21 goals, yet why is the verdict still divided? He is one of the most gifted footballers in Europe bringing height and physical presence to the front line, offering a different option to that of his predecessors who were smaller and looked to play on the shoulder of the last defender. Goals such as the ones against Atletico Madrid, Malaga and that free-kick against Real Zaragoza show how brilliant a player Ibrahimovic is, but it has not been enough to get the full support from the Culés. He hasn’t got enough pace, he doesn’t try hard enough and can be moody, remind you of a certain player in Manchester?

Zlatan Finds The Doubters Amusing

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