So Berbatov Picked Fulham over Juventus

August 31, 2012 in Premier League, Serie A

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Being a kid in the 90′s without Sky Sports was a cruel existence. Live football was a sparse and rare thing, often confined to Champions League on Wednesday nights, and even that was always Manchester United, something a young Man City fan like me would rather not be put through. So aside from the occasional FA Cup game, I found my refuge in Football Italia, Channel 4′s non-repeated foray into football broadcasting. Presented by James Richardson, reborn these days as the celebrated football weekly podcaster, it would show one live game from Serie A every Sunday. And at the time, this was no small thing. Serie A was the best league in the world, it had Ronaldo (the fat Brazilian one), Zidane, Cafu, Del Piero, Shevchenko. It made the Premier League look immature, positively park-like in comparison. Well, today, Dimitar Berbatov chose to sign for Fulham instead of Juventus. The line has been drawn in the sand, the final page of the book closed on Serie A’s status as a league that mattered.

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Lucky Number 7: Players and their Squad Numbers

August 2, 2012 in Features

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Michael Owen’s departure from Manchester United vacated the number 7 jersey, which was then handed to Antonio Valencia. So what’s the big deal? At the end of the day, it’s just a number on your back – it doesn’t improve your movement, passing or shooting accuracy. It doesn’t improve your fitness or your ability to read the game. What does it signify? Nothing, right? Wrong. The modern footballer will tell you that his squad number is as much a part of his identity as his surname. Just ask Thierry Henry, whose signature includes the number ‘14’.

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