After the unthinkable happened and Andros Townsend scored against Italy, Joe Devine looks at 5 things that may or may not have happened…
Andros Townsend Saves England Again
In the biggest news of the week, Andros Townsend once again, single-handedly saved our proud island from those murky foreigners on the mainland. Thousands of adoring fans spoke out about their love for the young journeyman; with many praising Roy Hodgson’s staying faith in the Tottenham midfielder. Townsend himself was delighted to be the centre of attention and professed his glee that a team so mediocre existed as to allow any scraps of burgeoning spotlight to be on him and him alone. Amidst all the glory of a one-all draw with Italy, not even Townsend’s “I was here first” jive, directed at Harry Kane, was enough to dampen the spirits.
Andros Townsend Silences Critics
Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend is being investigated in association with a string of ruthless murders. Professional football pundits Paul Merson, Phil Neville and Martin Keown were all discovered decapitated and disembowelled in their homes on Wednesday morning. Each had publicly criticised the England player and newspaper cuttings of their criticisms were found littered around the bodies. Townsend insists he did nothing and only that the men “had it coming”. He is currently being held at a police station in North London, though it is thought that he will be released this afternoon for an unorthodox, early knighting ceremony.Continue reading →
James Dutton rejoices in the spectacle of last night’s 4-3 tussle between Italy and Japan in the Confederations Cup…
A month ago we couldn’t wait for the season to finish. The Premier League season spiraled into unconfined misery as it dragged on and on and on and on.
But the Confederations Cup, in that footballing nirvana of Brazil, has brought unbridled joy to the unsuspecting, average footballing Joe thus far.
Last night it reached its zenith as Italy and Japan played out an absolute humdinger in Recife. It caught us all slightly unawares after Brazil’s rather subdued and functional 2-0 win over Mexico, which, were it not for the fleeting flashiness of Neymar (and the fact that Jô is the second top goal scorer of the tournament so far with just 17 minutes under his belt), would not have lived long in the memory. Continue reading →
In just a few hours, Andrea Pirlo will join an illustrious group of Italian legends as he earns his 100th cap for the Azzurri. Kyle Hulme takes a look back over his career and achievements so far…
Of all the places for a footballer to earn his 100th cap for his country, few are as fitting as the Estadio do Maracano; a stadium that once hosted a World Cup Final, saw Pele’s 1000th goal and has witnessed countless world-class players grace its surface. It seems a perfect place for Andrea Pirlo to celebrate this own landmark occasion.
Yet, considering his present status as one of the world’s most cultured and effective playmakers, it’s strange to think that in the past there were many who never imagined he would get this far.
Regardless of where he would eventually end up, Pirlo achieved immortality early on in the football canon for his role in Roberto Baggio’s wondergoal whilst playing for Brescia – perhaps the first glimpse the world saw of his long, sculpted passes. Having impressed during his time in Lombardy, he was spotted by Internazionale who signed him in 1998.
During his first stint in Milan with Inter, Pirlo struggled to cement his place, playing further up the field in a role just behind the front man. Though he struggled at club level in this more advanced role, he won the U-21 European Championship with Italy, finishing the tournament as the top scorer in his role as a #10. Loans to Reggina and a return to Brescia followed before he was signed by cross-city rivals AC Milan in 2001 – the club where he became the player we know today. Continue reading →
Kyle Hulme discusses his new-found love affair with AC Cesena, and the fortunes of Italy’s Serie B…
Life, it could be said, is measured not in monetary wealth, but in the attachments, the bonds and the relationships we forge during out short time on this planet. For it is these bonds that shape us, mould us and help make us the people we are. And, this time last year, I would never have thought I’d form such a bond as I did with a seahorse.
Okay, so not a literal seahorse per se, but a figurative one. AC Cesena, a side who proudly sport a seahorse on their crest, had caught me hook, line and sinker.
Though that wasn’t the first time I’d been aware of their existence. My usual side of preference in Italy – and a side I am still very much affectionate towards – are Juventus, and I witnessed La Vecchia Signora do the double over the plucky minnows from Emilia-Romagna. And all the while, I couldn’t stop thinking about that startled seahorse on their badge. So whilst my beloved Juventus swept all before them and finished unbeaten in the league, I made a conscious decision: Cesena, the team that finished rock-bottom with a mere four victories all season, would be my official Serie B team. Continue reading →
David Dodds profiles Italian World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso, and his late career move to Switzerland…
Even the Italian government recognised Gennaro Gattuso’s ample contributions to football when they awarded him the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic–one of the highest decorations an Italian citizen can be given. An industrious defensive midfielder and dextrous (although sometimes overly-zealous) tackler, he served as the anchor for Milan’s midfield for over a decade.
In a career spanning thirteen years for the Italian giants, the inveterate defensive midfielder played alongside the many legends who were part of the revolving carousel of world-class players at Milan throughout the 00s. During his time at the club he helped them to two Serie A titles, a domestic cup and two Champions League trophies. Known for his temerarious tackling and sometimes-belligerent attitude, Rino also has a World Cup under his belt and in the year when Italy became campione del mondo was voted one of the top ten players of the tournament. 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 →