Grazie, Francesco Totti – The King of Rome


March 1993 - AS Roma are 2-0 up against Brescia and a disappointing season is drawing to it’s inevitable conclusion. Roma midfielder Sinisa Mihajlovic strolls over to his manager, Vujadin Boskov, in the dugout - “Put the boy on”. Boskov turns his gaze to the blond kid and asks him to go warm up. Yet,…

Long form: The story of Verona’s unlikely charge to the Scudetto


21 years before Leicester City’s incredible title winning run in England, there was a similar crowning achievement by a small team from the Veneto region in Italy as Hellas Verona stunned the reigning champions Juventus and the other big guns to ascend their way to the summit of Italian football. The former AS Roma president,…

The Timeless Legend of Fernando Redondo


“What does this player have in his boots? A magnet?!” - a completely flabbergasted and bedazzled Sir Alex Ferguson asks while looking around at journalists in his post-match press conference following Manchester United’s exit from the Champions League at Real Madrid’s hands (or boots?) in the 1999-2000 season. A lot happened during that pulsating encounter (Raul Gonzalez’s…

All signs point to a defensive tournament in France


There was a time when international tournaments, or even international friendlies, served as the great meeting of minds – a conglomeration of different cultures and traditions, a chance to pit your wits against the unknown, to exchange ideas and to be exposed to a completely new style of playing. Uruguay’s completely unexpected defeat of Brazil at the…

The Forgotten Tale of Ernö Erbstein


Ernö Erbstein was a coach who created the magnificent and imperious Il Grande Torino, the great Italian side who won five successive Serie A titles in the 1940s. He was tragically killed, along with the rest of the squad, in a plane crash at Superga in 1949. If you look up his name anywhere on…