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Facts Everyone Should Know About Sports Analytics

To most people, sport – in its many varying forms – is a test of skill, teamwork, and tenacity. However, the truth is that successful sporting events …

Croatian Soccer’s Pyromania

The last time Brazil hosted the World Cup, in 1950, Croatia was still a part of Yugoslavia. A handful of soccer fans from the coastal town of Split were in Rio to watch the final, and they marvelled at the <i>torcida</i>, Portuguese for “supporters,” rooting for their team with organized chanting. When the …

The Red Sox Fan Who Bet on Mexico in the World Cup

In the summer of 1998, I was living in a rented apartment in Colonia Condesa, Distrito Federal. El Tri, Mexico’s national team, had just beaten South Korea in their opening World Cup match. A victory against Belgium would vastly improve Mexico’s chances of making the second round, and I had been …

What Brazil Needs to Win the World Cup

“That was quite something,” Ian Darke, ESPN’s lead play-by-play man for the World Cup, said, as tens of thousands of yellow-clad fans finished singing the Brazilian national anthem a cappella, on Thursday, before their beloved Seleção’s début against Croatia. The players sang, too. Darke’s …

Points per game record versus top half and bottom half shows why Chelsea lost the title, and why Sunderland survived

If there’s one result that sums up the crazy, unpredictable end to this Premier League season, it’s Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at home to Sunderland.<p>That …

Ashley Westwood: from Manchester United trainee to champion of India

The journeyman used his experience of playing in England to lead Bengaluru FC to the I-League title in their inaugural season – after setting up the kitchen and the squad's showers<p>Ashley Westwood parks his Royal Enfield motorcycle and dashes up to the third-floor bar in one of Bangalore's more …

Louis van Gaal v Frank de Boer: Who's the best bet in this Dutch auction?

Last Monday, as Frank de Boer celebrated becoming the first Ajax coach to win four consecutive Dutch League titles, he was asked a leading question:. …

The Question: is this the end for tiki-taka?

People are unhappy. They're unhappy at teams like Bayern Munich who keep the ball, preserving possession and looking to pass opponents into submission, and they're unhappy at teams like Chelsea who defend deep, allow opponents to have the ball and try to pick them off on the break. People, over the …

What would Louis van Gaal's Manchester United look like?

Louis van Gaal is widely rumoured to be David Moyes' chosen successor, but what exactly would his Manchester United team look like?<p>This morning's rumours suggest that Dutch national coach Louis van Gaal has agreed to become David Moyes' successor at Old Trafford once the Netherlands are eliminated …

Are these the history boys? Evolution of Liverpool's title-chasing squad

Liverpool are in sight of their first League title since 1990 – and these are the 20 players who have made that possible<p>With three games to play Brendan Rodgers has Liverpool in sight of their first League title since 1990, and an end to a 24-year struggle to rediscover their pre-Premier League era …

Manchester United's Ed Woodward must hit a target or two of his own

The Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward must bring his much vaunted commercial acumen into play if the club are to make a quick return to their previous heights<p>While it was the epochal shift in the dugout that caught most attention at Old Trafford last summer, similarly significant change …

Five contenders to replace David Moyes as Manchester United manager

Jürgen Klopp Dortmund<p>The Borussia Dortmund manager ticks an awful lot of boxes but does he really want the job? Two Bundesliga titles plus a Champions League runners-up medal achieved on a relatively modest budget at Dortmund while playing high pressing, fearless, entertaining football will appeal …

David Moyes: Ferguson's chosen one has missed every realistic target at Man Utd

There is too much at stake for a club of United's size and they simply have to pull the trigger<p>• David Moyes sacked as United manager • David Moyes: a timeline of his annus horribilis • Louise Taylor: five contenders to replace Moyes • Poll: who could replace Moyes?<p>In Frank O'Farrell's day, he …

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid: Diego Simeone, Atletico's very own 'Special One' has truly awoken this sleeping giant

Argentine manager has transformed the fortunes of Madrid's 'other club' and Chelsea will have their work cut out in making it to the Champions League final<p>Just over three weeks ago, as Atletico Madrid’s players relaxed in their hotel prior to a potentially awkward encounter with Athletic Bilbao, …

Manchester City's Yaya Touré believes African players are undervalued

• 'Proper recognition comes only from the fans' says midfielder • Touré will be disappointed not to win Player of Year award<p>Yaya Touré believes he is undervalued as a player because he is African and that the standings in the game of his fellow Ivorian Didier Drogba and Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o have …

Andrea Pirlo: the night Pep Guardiola tried to sign me for Barcelona

In an extract from his new autobiography, the Italy midfielder reveals how he would have 'crawled on all fours' to join Barça after Pep Guardiola tried to sign him, only for Milan to hold firm<p>After the wheel, the PlayStation is the best invention of all time. And ever since it's existed, I've been …

Manchester United Will Make Changes, but Will It Be David Moyes Making Them?

This summer will be one of change at Manchester United. Whether David Moyes stays on as manager or not, it seems certain there will be major transfer activity and a wholesale reshaping of the squad—of which the £37 million purchase of Juan Mata in January was only the beginning.<p>The Mata signing was …

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David Moyes embarks on mission improbable as Manchester United plan for life outside the Euro zone

The prospect of a gap year in the Champions League will give Manchester United's manager a huge challenge but he must continue to put on a brave face and fill the void<p>To tempt an elite player into joining next season's rebuilding at Manchester United, the prospect of the Europa League (or no …

The World Cup Takes New York - Roads & Kingdoms

On a recent February night at the Irish Consulate in Midtown Manhattan, members of the New York Irish soccer community assembled in the chill for the …

Where Soccer Gets Made - Roads & Kingdoms

When the British ruled India, they had a habit of establishing garrisons in towns across the subcontinent. One of these was located in the ancient …

Interview: Carlo Ancelotti

“I have a lot of power,” grins Carlo Ancelotti, manager of Real Madrid. “Here I can decide: training at six in the morning! Training 11 in the night! …

Can Paris Saint-Germain become the world’s richest sports club?

Paris never was a football city, and has only one serious club. Soon after moving here, in 2002, I went to my first Paris Saint-Germain game. PSG …

Atletico 1-0 Barcelona: Gabi v Busquets, and pressing the opposition keeper?

The starting line-ups<p>At the fifth time of asking this season, a contest between these two finally produced a winner – Atletico deservedly progressing …

Bayern Munich 3-1 Manchester United: Guardiola uses his full-backs in midfield, but Bayern better with a standard system

The starting line-ups<p>Pep Guardiola played an unusual system, but it didn’t help Bayern break down Manchester United.<p>Guardiola fielded Toni Kroos in …

16 Reasons why everyone eventually fell in love with Gary Neville

For many years Gary Neville was one of the most unpopular footballers in the UK. Generally regarded as talentless and piggy-backing off the back of …

Laughing at Man United Is One of the Best Things in Football

Football wouldn't be football without schadenfreude.<p><i>Illustration by Sam Taylor</i><p>One of the origins of the word “underdog” – probably not the right one – comes from the world of bear baiting, a sport that was basically the Premier League for those cruel bastards living back in Tudor England. A chained …