With the world’s richest teams looking to buy-in whole chunks of Borussia Dortmund rather than their individual stars, Greg Johnson looks at 10 examples of clubs who purchased more than just the opposition’s players…
Having put four goals past Real Madrid in the first leg of Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League tie last week, Robert Lewandowski will step out onto the grass of the Bernabeu tonight as the game’s most talked about danger man. Over the past seven days the Pole has filled the column inches of the football press like expanding sealant foam, even eclipsing the box office media clout of Cristiano Ronaldo thanks to his impact last Wednesday.
Now perhaps the most fashionable striker in Europe, Lewandowski has made it known that he wishes to leave Dortmund at the end of this season, setting the continent’s most monied clubs on high alert to capture his signature. Continue reading →
Germany’s top division is the league of the moment, hailed as an emerging power by the great and the good of the European game. While others lose themselves to the hype, Scott Jenkins takes a step back to reassess the recent plaudits and ask what took everyone so long?
Before we start on this journey, I want you to cast your minds back to a time before Gareth Bale won both the Player Of The Year and the Young Player Of The Year awards. A time before QPR and Reading had been relegated and long before Sky Sports News had reached fever point over Arsenal’s prospective guard of honour (did anyone other than them actually care?). Instead I want you to return to last Thursday…
It’s the morning after the nights before. Those nights in question are of course Tuesday 23rd April where Bayern Munich (München to any German readers) destroyed Barcelona 4-0 and Wednesday 24th April when we all witnessed Borussia Dortmund’s 4-1 triumph over Real Madrid. Two Champions League Semi Final first legs, one aggregate score reading “Germany 8-1 Spain” and football’s biggest superstars left dejected, facing their greatest adversity of the season at its worst possible time. Continue reading →
Greg Johnson and James Dutton imagine the scenes in the ITV studios as they discover Borussia Dortmund during tomorrow night’s Champions League semi final second leg against Real Madrid…
Adrian Chiles: “Vorsprung durch football! And welcome to ITV for Real Madrid versus Borussia Dortmund, in what promises to be a night to remember with one of the all-time classic match ups of the Champions League.
“After last week’s heroics, it looks like the Germans will be invading London in May, but will they be saving their Blitzkreig for Wembley? As always I’m joined by Roy Keane, Lee Dixon and Gareth Southgate, and I think it’s fair to say gang, that this wasn’t the situation we were expecting, or prepared for…” Continue reading →
The False Nine team respond to the results of the 2013 PFA Awards with their own picks for Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Manager of the Year…
Continuing on in his quest to become Wales’ answer to Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale was last night crowned as Player’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year at the 2013 PFA Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. His double win follows in the footsteps of Ronaldo who achieved the same feat in 2007.
While the main prize of the PFA Awards is voted for by the players of the Premier League, here at TFN we didn’t want to miss out on the fun and so have taken upon ourselves to put forward our own picks for Player, Young Player and Manager of the Year. Continue reading →
Forget the talk about CSKA and Anzhi knocking Zenit from their perch atop Russian football. Despite an early-season slump which saw Zenit pick up five points from five matches between August 25 – September 29, brought on in part by squad turmoil after the flashy Hulk and Witsel signings, St. Petersburg’s flagship club will nip CSKA on the final day of the season thanks to a superior head-to-head record. That’s right, on May 26, Zenit and CSKA will finish with 66 points apiece, eight clear of Anzhi, but Zenit’s 3-1 away win to CSKA last August will be the difference as the men in sky blue celebrate a third-consecutive Premier League crown after wrapping up a win on Amkar Perm’s artificial pitch, 1,500 kilometers from home. Cue the confetti for Zenit’s Italian maestro Luciano Spalletti.
In the first Russian Premier League season to be contested on a fall-spring schedule, five different teams have topped the table, Zenit, Spartak, Terek, CSKA and Anzhi. Yet it is CSKA that have been the undisputed favorites since passing Anzhi on October 28 for 1st place in the league, a spot they’ve yet to relinquish. The Army Men’s balance is easily noted by league bests in goals scored (44) and goals conceded (19). Eight points up on Zenit with seven matches to play, CSKA’s 4th title in 11 years, and 1st since 2006, appeared wrapped up, but recent draws with rival Moscow clubs Spartak and Dinamo have allowed Zenit to close the gap to four points. With the late-season schedule favoring the challengers, CSKA fans are due for heartbreak. Continue reading →
Hugo Greenhalgh profiles Dario Hübner, the ultimate Football Italia player who kept going till the age of 43…
While Channel 4 has never been known for its football coverage, the morning roadshow Football Italia was something of a pièce de résistance. For one, it introduced the erudite and hilarious James Richardson to our screens but also gave an insightful window into a very different footballing culture. What started as a series to keep tabs on Gazza’s fortunes at Lazio (and not to mention David Platt and Des Walker’s continental forays) became a hit for a small but dedicated cult following. For this merry few, the weekly shot of Richardson going through the Italian papers whilst sitting outside in a café became near iconic. Continue reading →
In the most ambitious Hypothetical XI to date, James Dutton imagines a historical parallel football battleground, between the old lines of east and west…
Let’s indulge in a bit of parallel modern history. What if the Cold War had continued on into the present day, stuck in the rut of its 1950s origins?
Based around the opposing ideologies and world doctrines of the time, NATO and the Warsaw Pact were the literal manifestation of the polarized split of world politics in the aftermath of the Second World War.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was assembled in 1949 as a trans-atlantic alliance against the rising tide of Communist agitation in the East of Europe and Asia.
The Warsaw Pact was, likewise, a mutual defense treaty but agreed between the eight Communist states of Eastern Europe and signed as a reaction to the integration of West Germany into NATO in 1955.
In this alternative reality fantasy, NATO and the Warsaw Pact’s founding member states have lowered their nuclear deterrents for the sake of humanity, preferring to shift their opposing political struggle to the less deadly but no less serious theatre of Cold War conflict: the football pitch. Continue reading →