Archive for the 'football' Category

Reflections on a World Cup Final

July 12th, 2010

In matters of football
The fault of the Dutch
Is scoring too little
And fouling too much.

— With apologies to George Canning.

Britishness Agenda: Special Beaver Edition

May 29th, 2009

This week has been a fantastic week for Gordon Brown’s “Britishness” agenda, as two events have united the people of Britain as almost never before.

First, the people of Britain came together to support Barcelona in the final of the Champions League (with the exception of a small handful in the Northwest of England). Second, we are (almost) all of us delighted to welcome a dozen Norwegian beavers into the wild (with the exception of a small handful within fifty miles or so of the beaver-reintroduction zone in Scotland).

I’m feeling fairly patriotic this week, at any rate, certainly much more than usual.


June 27th, 2008

In the quarter-finals and semi-finals of Euro 2008, I have supported Portugal against Germany, Croatia against Turkey, the Netherlands against Russia, Italy against Spain, Turkey against Germany, and Russia against Spain. I have, nevertheless, enjoyed myself enormously.

Since I shall be cheering for the Spanish on Sunday night, people who like to gamble may think this is reason enough to bet heavily on Germany to win the competition. (On the other hand, see this post.)

Germany 3 – 2 Turkey

June 25th, 2008

Although it’s impossible to dislike the German team entirely when they have a player called Jansen.

Comparative Sociology of Topless Football Supporters

June 21st, 2008

Why do the (male) Russian fans, but not the Dutch fans, insist on taking their shirts off in the stands at Basel? Or does the cameraperson just have a thing for topless Russian men?

Austria 2 – 0 Germany

June 16th, 2008

On 3 April 1938, at any rate. Very interesting article in the New Statesman (and it’s not often you can say that).

Monday Marseillaise Blogging (Special Tuesday Edition)

February 26th, 2008

Here’s the French football team and the better part of a hundred thousand fans singing the Marseillaise before the start of the 1998 World Cup Final. (Starts at 5 minutes in; jump forwards to 5.48 or so for Jacques Chirac in full-throated song.)

Home Advantage

February 3rd, 2008

David Runciman, over here.

Darling, my penis is a mountain

November 25th, 2007

Well, not really. But I’m terribly pleased to see that England have drawn Croatia again for their World Cup qualifying campaign. (And Andorra, too.) The BBC seem to have produced the best subtitled version of Tony Henry’s notorious performance of the Croatian national anthem the other night; the video link is from this page.

Ferenc Puskas, RIP

November 17th, 2006

Long before he published his fine book about football in Eastern Europe, Behind the Curtain, Jonathan Wilson was writing for The Voice of the Turtle (currently in hibernation). Here’s his review of Puskas on Puskas: The Life and Times of a Footballing Legend, from 1999.

UPDATE [2.30pm]: I see that Jonathan also supplied something of an obit for tehgraun.

World Cup Final III

July 12th, 2006

Corriere della Sera has a nice Zidane headbutting game of sorts on its website.

World Cup Final, II

July 10th, 2006

So I didn’t have to prepare my “Only Zinedine Zidane can interrupt the inexorable logic of history” post, after all. But I did laugh when I noticed this morning that Le Monde‘s pre-match supplement had the headline “Zidane, la touche finale”, the words appearing just above where his forehead was in the picture.

UPDATE [5pm]: Make sure you read Daniel Davies’s tribute to Zizou’s headbutt over at Comment is Free.