Money makes the footballing world go round

November 20, 2012 in Features

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Let me beg your indulgence for a second and take you all on a little history lesson. The time was the 1970s, and even though the sport hadn’t really developed there, lots of amazing players were shooting off to America to play in the now defunct ‘North American Soccer League’. Let me just run you off a list of players. Pele, Beckenbauer, Best, Carlos Alberto, Müller, Moore, Hurst, Banks, Cruyff. The list goes on. All the glitz and the glamour (not to mention the fame and money) had attracted the best players in the world, in the latter stages of their career. These were exciting times for the sport in America - even though it was doomed to fail eventually - with the NASL over expanding too much in too short a period of time, and eventually folding in 1985.

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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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