In defence of the FIFA World Rankings

Every month or so FIFA release a ranking of all the national teams in the world. The rankings are widely mocked for their inaccurate representation of the relative qualities of international sides, but is this fair? Fans and journalists alike mocked England’s recent position of fourth in the rankings. Twitter was ablaze with laughter (or “lolz”) as Capello’s men were placed above both Brazil and Argentina. Now, the problem with […]

Torkil Nielson, Faroe Islands and the chess/football crossover

The phrase national hero can be overused in football reporting, but one man who has a valid claim to such a title is Torkil Nielsen of the Faroe Islands. The Faroe Islands sit inbetween Norway and Iceland, due north of Great Britain. With a population of only 50,000 they first entered international competition in 1990 where they faced Austria in the opening game of their Euro 92 qualification campaign. The […]

African Nations Championships 2011

The African Nations Championship (or CHAN) is unique amongst international football tournaments in that nations are restricted to selecting only domestic players in their squads. The 2011 edition of this tournament begins this week in Sudan with the hosts taking on Gabon in Khartoum. As the competition only allows the selection of domestically based players the standards of each respective international side is a little different to “full internationals”. I’ve […]

Faroe Play

Luxembourg’s sensational 2-1 win in Switzerland last night reminded me of a match their co-hosts of Euro 08 Austria competed in during the early 90s. Faroe Islands first ever competetive match. Turn up your sound and listen to the commentary on this: The most interesting comment on the video is the translation of the commentary that a Faroese chap has added “And now it’s Torkil… (some words here are difficult […]

Non-Europeans at Euro 2008

Euro 2008 begins in a week time, oddly there are 42 players who were born outside of Europe who will be competing in the competition. Here’s the list.. Portugal Deco – Brazil Boswinga – Congo Pepe – Brazil Nani – Cape Verde Switzerland Gelson – Cape Verde Vonlanthen – Colombia Djourou – Ivory Coast Turkey – mostly eastern Turkey Rustu Recber Tuzluca Mehmet Topal Semih Senturk Gokdeniz Karadeniz Tumer Metin […]

100 Cap Club

There are now an astounding 141 players that have broken the century barrier. The top ten are below: 1.Mohamed Al-Deayea [Saudi Arabia] 181 (1990-2006) 2.Claudio Suárez [Mexico] 178 (1992-2006) 3.Hossam Hassan [Egypt] 169 (1985-2006) 4.Cobi Jones [USA] 164 (1992-2004) 4. Adnan Kh. Al-Talyani [UAE] 164 (1984-1997) 6.Sami Al-Jaber [Saudi Arabia] 163 (1992-2006) 7.Martin Reim [Estonia] 156 (1992-2007) 8.Lothar Matthäus [(West) Germany] 150 (1980-2000) 9.Ali Daei [Iran] 149 (1993-2006) 10.Iván Hurtado […]

Kunishige Kamamoto

Yanmar Diesel (pictured at the end of this post) won the Japanese Premier Division in 1971. Yanmar are the precursor to Cerezo Osaka who currently play in the J League 2 and in the late 60s and 70s had one of the most famous Japanese players of all time playing for them. Kunishige Kamamoto was a centre forward and probably one of the most successful Asian players in the world […]

CECAFA Cup 2007

An international football tournament has just begun featuring 11 nations. All of which come from the eastern and central regions of Africa. It is unlikely to get much media coverage outside of Africa but it is a tournament that has been full of interest and intrigue over its 80 year history. Yes, that’s right, it’s 80 years old. Older than the European Championships, older than the African Cup of Nations […]

Democratic Republic of Congo kit

I have a very unhealthy obsession with football kits. This is why, six months ago I designed a football kit for the Democratic Republic of Congo and sent it to them. They hadn’t asked me to do it, I just felt that as their country had adopted a new flag it was about time they updated their kit. DR Congo’s new flag is blue with a yellow and red sash […]