Retro Recap: Ronaldinho’s Home Debut for Barca vs Sevilla

In the summer of 2003 a bucktoothed Brazilian took Barcelona by storm. His name: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, or rather just Ronaldinho. For our latest Retro Recap we’re taking a look at his home debut, played on September 3rd 2003. Barcelona hosted Sevilla.

Further reading as mentioned in the episode:

The full match is available over at footballia, Ronaldinho’s goal below:

Snoozefest Or Defensive Master Class? w/ Laura Bradburn

What happens when an immovable object meets another immovable object? Well we found out just that having re-watched the Champions League final 2002/03. An All-Italian affair, contested between Juventus and Milan, one could have expected a rather tepid offensive output. Beauty however is in the eye of the beholder and so we honed in on the defensive genius of Maldini, Gattuso & Co.

Trying to help us make sense of the state of calcio around ’02/03 was Laura Bradburn. Check out her blog The Counter Press and follow her on Twitter.

Minutes after the jump: Continue reading

Decoding the World Cup 1930 with Dean Lockyer

On July 30th 1930 Uruguay won the first ever World Cup. In the final held at Estadio Centenario in Montevideo they beat Argentina 4:2. Of that we can be certain. But how much of what we read and hear about the World Cup 1930 should we take at face value?

Dean Lockyer has spent several years battling this very question. On his blog he digs through newspaper archives, memoirs, photographs, and every other bit of information covering the World Cup 1930. Fortunately for us he came onto the show to help us decode the story of the tournament.

Topics include, but are not limited to: King Carol II of Romania and his involvement in selecting the squad; foreign born players featuring for the USA; Argentina’s Luis Monti receiving death threats; crowd trouble in Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Of course we talk extensively about the football on display as well. We also weave in and out of the broader issue of seperating fact from fiction.

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Talking Polish Football History From A to Zbigniew, w/ Christopher Lash (@rightbankwarsaw)

In recent years the Polish national side has been trending up. Robert Lewandowski has established himself as one of the premier forwards in the game. A number of talents are starting to make a name for themselves. At the World Cup 2018, with a bit of luck, Poland could progress into the knock-out stages.

There used to be a time when the Biało-Czerwoni belonged to the elite of world football. A unique generation of players saw them finish third at the World Cup 1974: Tomaszewski, Zmuda, Musial, Gadocha, Szarmach, Deyna, Lato, to name but a few.

For our latest episode we dive into those glory years of Polish football. With expert Christopher Lash we first take a look at the structure of Polish football during the ’50s & beyond, talk about how the heroes of the ’70s were groomed, and try to figure out where it all went wrong in the ’90s. You can find Christopher’s comparison piece we talk about during the show on his website.

In the second part we talk about the match of the episode as voted by you: Poland vs Holland in the qualification for the European Championship 1976.

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Neverkusen vs Galácticos w/ Eric Bruehl & Kiyan Sobhani

Having finished runners-up more times than anybody in Leverkusen cared to remember, Bayer 04 had claimed the undesirable moniker of “Neverkusen”. Playing at times the best football in the country the side ultimately always fell short in collecting silverware. In 2001/02 they lost the Bundesliga title race on the last matchday. A week later they fell to Schalke in the Cup final. Another four days later another defeat in the Champions League final would forever cement their place in footballing lore as nearly men.

Their opponents at Hampden Park faced their own bit of pressure. Having delivered two CL trophies to Madrid within three years club president Lorenzo Sanz was nonetheless voted out of power. New guy Florentino Perez wasted no time by ushering in the Galácticos era at Real, bringing in Luis Figo from Barcelona and, in 2001, Zinedine Zidane from Juventus. For all the money spent they travelled to Glasgow empty handed having finished third in La Liga and losing to Deportivo La Coruna in the Copa final.

Guests!

This episode has been some time in the making but it turned into our biggest, baddest, and likely best episode yet. In large part that is due to our awesome guests:

Minutes for the different parts below if you want to jump to a particular guest or topic:

  • 0:01:20 PART 1 talking about works teams in Germany, and Leverkusen’s club history
  • 0:35:15 PART 2 (with Eric) talking about Bayer Leverkusen in the late 90s / early 00s, Toppmöller, and the origin of “Neverkusen”
  • 1:21:45 PART 3 (with Kiyan) talking about Perez’ election, bringing in Figo & Zidane, and how the “Galacticos” set up on the pitch
  • 1:50:30 PART 4 talking about the Champions League season 2001/02 & the final in detail
  • 2:58:10 PART 5 (with Eric) talking about the immediate & long term aftermath of the final, and what ails Bayer Leverkusen in 2017

Also check out our previous episodes on Real Madrid:

 

Kings Of Rome, Or: How Totti & Co. won the Scudetto ’00/01 (w/ Marco Ciarla of @CurvAmerica)

Amadei, Falcao, Totti: a lineage of great footballers and, as far as Romanisti are concerned, kings; for each of them had been instrumental in Roma claiming their Scudetti. Amedeo Amadei was the side’s top goalscorer during the 1941/42 campaign. Paulo Roberto Falcão pulled the strings in midfield as the Giallorossi for the first half decade of the 1980s, in ’82/83 Roma came out on top.

In 2000/01 AS Roma won their third, and to date last, Scudetto. Led by 24-year-old playmaker Francesco Totti the Giallorossi beat out an incredibly stacked field to claim the league. The other team from Rome had broken Juve’s stranglehold the year before. They, as well as Parma, relied on seemingly inexhaustable war chests, luring many of the world’s best players to Serie A. Juve, of course, wanted their crown back and still boasted an amazing side including Zidane, Davids, del Piero…

So, just how did Roma do it? Well that’s what we’re trying to figure out with this episode, talking tranfers, tactics, and performances. To help us, Marco Ciarla jumps in mid-way through the show. Marco is an avid Romanisti and part of the CurvAmerica podcast who talk Serie A on a weekly basis. As a bonus we get to pick his brains about where Roma (and Serie A) are headed in 2017. In between we, of course, talk about a lone match in way too much detail: Roma’s final league match against Parma.

Minutes if you want to jump around:

  • 0:01:45 Southern challengers for the Scudetto appear (Parma & Lazio)
  • 0:13:00 The 101 on AS Roma club history
  • 0:24:14 Franco Sensi buys Roma for 20 billion Lire in 1993
  • 0:34:45 Totti at loggerheads with Bianchi, center-piece in Cappello’s system
  • 0:43:00 Marco on the landscape of Serie A in ’00/01,
  • 0:53:15 And on Roma’s team set-up in ’00/01
  • 1:07:00 Quick run-down of Roma’s season
  • 1:17:15 Capturing the Scudetto on June 17th against Parma
  • 1:43:15 Aftermath
  • 1:58:30 Marco on Totti’s place in Roma’s club history,
  • 2:05:15 On Roma in 2017, Juve’s push for the triple
  • 2:13:45 And on what might happen in Serie A ’17/18

And some further reading for your perusal: