Football

An Andalusian Emirati, Malaga’s time in the spotlight

In the summer of 2010, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani (Sheikh Abdullah to you and me) was in the market for a football club. It was what Sheikh’s did. I’ve tried to do a bit of research on the Qatari ruling family and it’s safe to say it is an…

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Misfits & Galacticos, the Santos stars who ruled South America

Om June 22 2011, Santos beat Uruguayan side Peñarol to claim the third Copa Libertadores in the club’s history. An intriguing squad, precocious talent mixed with experienced pros, each of their players would take very different paths. Some to the top of world football, for others it was their final mark in a game which…

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Europe’s underdogs – Hamburg’s stacked squad who failed to hit the heights

European Cup winners in 1983, Hamburger SV (HSV) have never quite managed to reach the heights that saw them win three Bundesliga titles in a five year period from 1978. At the time of writing they lie second in the Bundesliga 2. That said in the summer of 2007 there was every indication things would…

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What became of Europe’s underdogs – Parma, 1999 UEFA Cup winners

At the time of writing former UEFA Cup winners Parma lie second bottom of Serie A, heading to relegation to Serie B for the third time since the turn of the century. It may be higher than the 2015/2016 season where a reborn Parma found themselves entering the football pyramid in Serie D, the highest…

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Europe’s Underdogs – Shakhtar Donetsk 2010/2011

There were once simpler times in Ukraine. War did not ripple through the nation. No pro-Russian separatists declaring republics, no revolutions ousting current presidents, no military stalemates driving football clubs out of their homes. In 2011 the foundations were of course being laid, an increasing divide in a nation torn between two neighbours. Russia to…

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What became of Europe’s underdogs? – Monaco 2017?

Plucky underdog status is not usually reserved for a club hailing from one of the world’s richest principalities but hear me out. The season on AS Monaco in 2016-2017 is some story. At the end of the 2010/2011 season AS Monaco were reaching their lowest ebb, finishing 18th in Ligue Un and dropping down to…

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What became of Europe’s underdogs – Ajax 2017?

In an age of the biggest clubs dominating elite European competition it is easy to forget the clubs that upset the established order. In this series we will be casting our minds back to those plucky underdogs that made us fall in love with football again and what became of their stars. It seems fitting…

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