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Showing posts from June, 2013

Football's One Club Men: Paolo Maldini

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"Paolo Maldini is a legend". The one line description used in the 2007 Champions League Final programme is without doubt the only way to describe the former Italian full-back. After a trophy laden career stretching over twenty-years Maldini is surely one of football's greatest one club men. The second part in our series celebrating the loyalty of players, Maldini's career at A.C. Milan is no stranger to intrigue and inspiration.

To start with Maldini is to start at the beginning. At the age of ten, Paolo first joined the youth ranks at the Milan club. Before long the young defender was making his Serie A debut as a substitute against Udinese, his age only sixteen. It was his only appearance in the 1984/5 season, but within a year he was a regular in the Rossoneri's first eleven.

Perhaps one of Paolo's greatest role models for his early career was his father, Cesare Maldini, also a former Milan player. In 1986 Cesare was awarded the role of Italy U21 manager, …

Footballers at War: Royal Air Force

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After writing our blog, "Footballers at War: 1939-45" it seemed clear to us that the general topic was far too broad and too important to be confined to one Football History Boys piece. A recent article online from the RAF Museum Cosford, told of a visit from former Wolverhampton Wanderer Ron Flowers. Although Flowers was not present between 1939-45, he did undertake national service in the Air Force after his 18th Birthday, a feat unimaginable to today's youthful population. A number of Football League players did however join the RAF during the Second World War, each with stories, both heroic and tragic. 

The Royal Air Force, during the Second World War would provide an essential form of defence for the freedom and values of British life, no more exemplified than the infamous Battle of Britain in 1940. However, as discussed in a previous blog, the role of footballers in securing an Allied victory is often forgotten due to modern day image of greedy and self-obsessed pr…

The Confederations Cup 2013 - A Preview and a History

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The Confederations Cup is perhaps the most underrated football tournament there is. Contested every four years as a “World Cup warm up” or “dress rehearsal” it features the winners of the CONMEBOL Copa America (South America), UEFA European Championships (Europe), CONCACAF Gold Cup (North America/Caribbean), CAF Cup of Nations (Africa), OFC Nations Cup (Oceania), AFC Asian Cup (Asia), the previous World Cup winner and the coming World Cup hosts. This year sees Brazil showcase the competition and features the relative minnows of Tahiti (with odds as low as 5000-1) in the same group as arguably the greatest national team of all time, Vincente Del-Bosque’s Spain. One thing is for certain, when this year’s tournament starts on Saturday it definitely wont be boring! 
A brief history
The Confederations Cup was originally founded in 1992 as the King Fahd Cup hosted by Saudi Arabia. It was made up of Argentina, USA, Ivory Coast and Saudi Arabia and was the only tournament not to feature a group…

Football By Decade: 1910s

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After the corruption and investigation into violence that hampered the beautiful game between 1900-09, the global game would seek to change its image for fans and players alike. The 1910s provide yet another intriguing, inane and inspiring decade of football on and off the pitch.

The 10 years between 1910-1919 are remembered for one thing, the First World War. A global event which affected almost everything, including football. In a previous blog we have written about the effects of the Second World War on footballers, but the battles between 1914-1918 provided a new phenomena of which even footballers would have to step into the firing line for the first time.

From 1910 to 1914 however, the British game was being dominated by Aston Villa, Blackburn and Manchester United. Blackburn victorious twice in this period, winning the 1912 and 1914 titles. The FA Cup also continued it rise in popularity as multiple teams took the famous trophy home with them. Newcastle, Burnley, Barnsley and V…