Book Review: Danish Dynamite

Growing up in the 1980s I thought Denmark had always been a force in world football. Not so. One golden generation came and went, but it left its mark and got its silverware before Denmark quietly returned to being a tricky away game in tournament qualification. That generation was Danish Dynamite.   I remember my […]

Book Review: Calcio – A History of Italian Football

The development of football in what quickly became one of the game’s powerhouses is a fascinating read. Violence, corruption, politics, tragedy and racism all feature in the turbulent history of what Italians call ‘Calcio’.   John Foot’s Calcio features a familiar image on its cover. It is the timeless image of Marco Tardelli sprinting away […]

One year on: Brazil’s World Cup legacy

The 2014 World Cup was divisive in host country Brazil. Costing an estimated $11.6 billion to stage, we look at the 32-day tournament’s legacy. With the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to come, what’s the feeling towards these profile-building events? Is the ‘people’s game’ now out of reach for the majority of the people?   Before […]

The history of football computer games

Football computer games graphics have evolved to the point where it’s almost like watching TV. It’s a far cry from basic pixels and eight-direction joysticks. We take a trip down memory lane and look at the evolution of football computer games.   Firstly, a confession: I’m in my late thirties and I still play video […]

Christ the Redeemer, Rio

Football and Faith in Brazil

  The cliché goes that in football’s spiritual home – Brazil – football is a religion, but the relationship between the game and faith has surfaced more than ever in recent years. Outside Write took a look at the apparently symbiotic relationship of football and faith in Brazil.   Have you noticed how some Brazilian players are […]

Stuck On You Panini

Book Review: Stuck on You: The Rise & Fall & Rise of Panini Stickers

The culture of collecting football stickers is no longer just the reserve of the playground, it is a rising culture among older people too, as World Cup 2014 proved. Think football stickers, think Panini. Now, the history of the company has been captured in a new book, and it’s a captivating read. The first World […]

How Clubs Got Their Colours: Juventus

Juventus of Turin are Italy’s most popular and successful football club. Thirty times national champions, twice European champions, three times Uefa Cup winners and a Cup-Winners’ Cup to boot. All this silverware was achieved in the famous black and white stripes, sported by the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Roberto Baggio, Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek, Gaetano […]

Ajax banner Amsterdam Arena

Football Travel: Ajax v Feyenoord

Ajax versus Feyenoord – De Klassieker (‘The Classic’) – is the biggest match in Dutch football and one of world football’s fiercest rivalries. “While Amsterdam dreams, Rotterdam works”, goes the saying…in Rotterdam. The port team’s club Feyenoord has little time for Amsterdam’s artistry. This could be reflected in the way the two teams play – […]

Brighton v Palace

Palace v Brighton: The Enduring M23 Derby

This is the story of Eagles and Seagulls. Just how did football fans from the south coast’s liberal party town and a suburb of South London 50 miles away come to blows? And why does the Crystal Palace v Brighton rivalry still persist? It’s the early nineties. A lanky teenager from Kent sits uncomfortably with […]

Brilliant Orange David Winner

Book Review: Brilliant Orange by David Winner

When I started reading Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football I was wary that it had first been published in 2000 and that arguably Dutch football’s darkest day – the 2010 World Cup Final – would not be covered.   Fortunately, the latest version has been updated by author David Winner in the […]

Heart of Midlothian

How Heart of Midlothian FC got its name

Scottish football clubs no longer rub shoulders with Europe’s elite as much as they used to but one thing can never be taken away from them: Scottish clubs have the most wonderful names in world football.   Let’s reel them off: Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hibernian, Hamilton Academical, Queen of the South, Clachnacuddin, Inverurie Loco Works, […]

WWI gravestones

Christmas Day 1914 Truce Football Matches: What’s the Truth?

It is almost the stuff of myth; on Christmas Day 1914 after four months of conflict, British and German soldiers emerge from their trenches, foster a truce, exchange gifts and even play football. On this, the centenary of the Christmas Day truces we look at the evidence for the legendary football match or matches. Where […]

Fear and Loathing in La Liga

Book Review: Fear and Loathing in La Liga

It’s the biggest grudge match in the word: Madrid v Barça, El Clásico. The stage, the characters, the politics is out of this world.   I spent two years in Spain, the first spent as a student at Madrid’s Universidad Autonoma as part of a European Studies exchange during 1996-97. My choice of dissertation was […]

Great Football Books

We’re on the hunt for great football books. In alphabetical order, here are some of OW’s favourite books on football history and culture: A Season With Verona – Tim Parks Sticking with Italy, for one season only, English resident of Verona, Tim Parks follows Hellas Verona home and away in Serie A. On his way […]

How Clubs Got Their Colours: Boca Juniors

Boca Juniors is the famous blue and yellow half of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Although the club trails its cross-city Superclásico rivals River Plate in domestic championships (36 to 30), Boca claims to enjoy stronger public support throughout the country. Club Atlético Boca Juniors was formed in the capital’s rough port area of La […]