When the 2014/15 Europa League kicked off its preliminary stages back in June, 195 teams began a journey which comes to an end in May at Warsaw's impressive Stadion Narodowy.
It is the evening of August 24, 2013. The cool breeze is blowing welcomingly through the trees that envelope the Stadio Artemio Franchi Arena.
Of all the reasons to like a footballer or to wish them every future success, “because he’s really unlucky” is one of the more unusual.
If you’ve been with us for a while then you’ll know exactly how this works.
Not many players get their face on the cover of Marca, the most read sports paper in Spain, at 18-years-old. Then, not many players are Marco Asensio.
At first glance, a trip to Livorno’s Stadio Armando Picchi appears to be an ordinary footballing experience.
English football clubs have held nicknames and titles since the 19th century, when the sport first became fully regulated and gained mass popularity.
When Didier Deschamps lifted the World Cup aloft in 1998, many England fans felt a deep sense of ‘what might have been’.
"The masses of the people of Africa are crying for unity…"
Kwame Nkrumah, Ghanaian Leader from 1951 to 1966
Hungary in 1968 was a different nation to the one that had witnessed bloody Revolution twelve years earlier.
Irish football is a complicated affair often dominated by politics. Interspersed with the drama we get brief occasions of joy, ecstasy and delight.
As a second-generation Tamil born in Switzerland, raised and living in England (and an avid football fan), to which national team I pledge my support has been under constant enquiry.
“He alone is half the squad. The other half is made by the rest of us together.” – Mario Rigamonti
Brussels, 15 October 2013. Belgium is playing Wales in its final World Cup qualifier. Qualification for the World Cup has already been secured, so coach Marc Wilmots is trying out some things.
If I was to tell you that El Hadji Diouf’s Serbian ex-agent is a club legend at a local Irish side, would you believe me?
The Basque region. Famous for its ancient cultural heritage, powerful in its economic standing, and fierce in its un-erring desire for autonomy.
Alderney is one of those wonderful places that remains untouched by the passing of time.
The culmination of the 2005/6 season saw Glasgow Rangers finish, by their own standards, in a lowly third place.
It is not much to look at. Faded, discoloured bricks are held together by unevenly applied concrete and smudged blue paint peels unpleasantly from the façade.