Heart of Football

Category: Longform

  • Unwelcome Hosts: How Qatar prepared for their golden moment

    Unwelcome Hosts: How Qatar prepared for their golden moment

    Qatar is breaking the mould with the most unpopular and controversial World Cup to date, but how did the team get there? Andrew Flint looks into a squad developed like no other – and the noise swirling around them.

  • War in Ukraine: Football’s humanity tested through conflict

    War in Ukraine: Football’s humanity tested through conflict

    Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already tested the world’s humanity, but what of football’s? Hope, corruption, pride, morals; the war for the heart of football is one we can’t ignore.

  • The first-ever all-Basque Copa del Rey Final

    The first-ever all-Basque Copa del Rey Final

    Real Sociedad v Athletic Bilbao: Despite the enforced delay, an historic cup final with a rivalry running deep to the heart. Prior to the 2019/20 season, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that Spain’s domestic cup competition lacked the prestige, diversity of winners and ability to produce memorable shocks of its English counterpart, the […]

  • Four Minutes in May: Remembering Schalke 04’s Champion of Hearts 20 years on

    Four Minutes in May: Remembering Schalke 04’s Champion of Hearts 20 years on

    Football stadiums are many a person’s place to be on a weekend. Since March 2020 onwards with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, however, venues across nearly all of Europe’s leagues have fallen silent with games being played behind closed doors. Whilst games have continued in this eerie fashion, many have stated that the ‘new normal’ of […]

  • An Introduction to UK Academy Football

    An Introduction to UK Academy Football

    Youth academies. Anyone who’s played Football Manager will know how important they are in guiding your wonderkids towards a first team place. Improving the facilities, bringing in the greatest minds in terms of coaching and analysis, all of it has an influence when attempting to reduce the impact of the transition from youth football to […]

  • Francesco Toldo: The underrated, dependable deputy to Buffon’s brilliance

    Francesco Toldo: The underrated, dependable deputy to Buffon’s brilliance

    With four FIFA World Cup victories, Italy has produced some of the finest players to grace the game. Giuseppe Meazza, Valentino & Sandro Mazzola, Gianni Rivera, Giacinto Facchetti, Gigi Riva, Antonio Cabrini, Claudio Gentile, Paolo Rossi, Gaetano Scirea, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Roberto Baggio, Alessandro del Piero, Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta: the list is endless.  […]

  • Matchdays: Turin & Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

    Matchdays: Turin & Castelnuovo di Garfagnana

    Blinking into the blazing Tuscan sunshine I had to stop for a moment and catch myself. Looking back, it was verging on scandalous that I didn’t appreciate the sumptuous charm sprawling out before my aching eyes, but at that point I wasn’t in any state to take stock. Not a soul stirred as the valley […]

  • Football’s most unique cup competition: the Coupe de France

    Football’s most unique cup competition: the Coupe de France

    “The greatest cup competition in the world is back”: a phrase commonly trotted out amongst English pundits and supporters this time every season. It is the first weekend of a new year, the weekend of the third round of the English FA Cup. After eight previous rounds, the first of which being the extra-preliminary round […]