The Chosen Few x Ahmed Mounir

Football fans are known for the seemingly religious devotion with which they support their teams, but a recent a recent project by Egyptian graphic designer Ahmed Mounir takes that notion and runs with it. Selecting a number of the most prominent modern footballers, Mounir depicts them in a way that evokes classic religious symbolism, recalling the way in which Saints are often illustrated and revered. The collection is gorgeous, and was created in anticipation of next year’s Football Film Festival in Paris. Check out the rest of Ahmed’s work here[Posted by Maxi

Gunnar Be Interesting - AFR Voice Ep. 21

It’s a New Year, and with it comes a fresh new show to get 2014 rolling. This week we’ll be delving into some of the Premier League action from the festive season (as there didn’t seem to be a ball kicked anywhere else in Europe), as well as discuss the prospects of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the newest kid on the English top flight’s managerial block, as he dons some leather gloves, hoists his trousers up, and takes the reigns at Cardiff City.

At this time of year it only seems fitting that we also discuss something that has become quintessentially linked with January 1st, and we don’t mean New Year’s resolutions or optimistic gym sign-ups. We’re talking about the January transfer window which has been wrenched WIDE OPEN, and has already started to force the rumour mill into overdrive.

We’ll also be taking a look at Serie A, which returns from Winter hibernation this weekend with a tasty top of the table clash, and play with that hot potato that is the issue of the Winter break (or distinct lack of one on British shores).

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Will Brazil be ready? - AFR Voice Ep.17

With the world’s eyes turning to Brazil for this week’s World Cup draw, we’ll be discussing whether the country will in fact be ready to host 32 teams once next Summer comes round. After a series of missed deadlines, a tragic disaster at the stadium that’s due to host the opening match of the tournament, and the country attempting to construct more stadiums than it needs to, how much of a realistic possibility is it that everything won’t be completed in time?

Moving back across the Atlantic, we’ll also be profiling Fulham’s new boss (and his somewhat animalistic instincts), take a look at what has been dubbed the Football League’s “Black Monday”, and also check in on Serie A to see why the wheels are starting to come off for Roma, and how 12,000 school children have been putting Juventus’ ultras to shame.

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Minimalist Club Crests by Daniel Nyari

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Giancarlo Rinaldi’s 20 Great Italian Games

Remember when El Diego squared off against Platini? The nostalgia and beauty of the past thrives in ‘20 Great Italian Games’, an e-book written by Giancarlo Rinaldi. A devotion to the Serie A over the years has led Giancarlo to select 20 of the best matches ever played domestically in Italy, featuring illustrious, iconic virutosos like Maradona, Baggio, Totti, and Klinsmann. 

We’ve proudly hosted Giancarlo’s writing on AFR on numerous occasions, unwinding fascinating stories of the past such as Roberto Mancini’s coaching tenure at his beloved Fiorentina and looking into the future of the Serie A as he focused on Sampdoria’s rising star Mauro Icardi.

Rinaldi is a first class gentleman and a fine writer, a maestro stretching beyond his own calcio-obsessed lens. We’re proud to be supporting his latest work and recommend that you give it a read and enjoy the walk down memory lane with Maldini and company.

'20 Great Italian Games' is priced at £1.53 or $2.99 and you can find it here.

Gigi tops off 20 years of Totti

Dear Francesco, you have made​ Italian football history…We’re friends, you know how much I care about you. We started together with the Under-15 side, we had some splendid years together in the national team and we continue to meet as opponents in Serie A…You’ve written the history of Italian football, with the present and the future – you are a player who can not be doubted. And, for me, you’ll always be an Azzurro.

An embrace from your friend, Gigi.

Fan-fiction writers, your day has come with Football Italia’s account of a message sent from Gigi Buffon to Francesco Totti. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Il Gladiatore’s debut in Serie A, we’re not 100% sure the account is completely factual, but in a world of constant transfer rumors, fashion mistakes and Sepp Blatter, we’re going to go ahead and believe it, and don’t try to convince us otherwise.

Did anyone else just get a little misty-eyed?

3nil FC joins Barça, Juve, Man Utd, PSG, and Bayern with Top of the League

It’s only mid-February, yet some clubs have been impatient. Who needs drama when you can go out and put one hand on a trophy three months in advance? Barça are already hoisting the La Liga title, Bayern are running away with the Bundesliga, and Manchester United are closing in on their 20th Premier League title. With Top of the League, 3nil wanted to share make a shirt that shares that tremendous feeling of reaching the summit after a treacherous path and enjoying the view. [Posted by Eric. GIFs by Dale Con Comba]

Christmas Special - AFR Voice Ep8

With Christmas drawing near, and the European leagues taking a well-earned rest (while the Premier League does quite the opposite), AFR Voice has delved into its sack of festive audio treats to bring you all of the action from the PL and the rest of Europe over the last couple of weeks.

We’ll be taking a good look at all things Premier League, where Marouane Fellaini has been losing his head by using his head, Reading vs Arsenal continues to be possibly the most goal heavy fixture of all time, and QPR get warmed up for a busy January transfer window with their first win in the top flight since what feels like about 1994.

We’ll then be hopping in our sleigh and shooting over to Japan to pick up the pieces from Chelsea’s beating at the hands of Corinthians in the Club World Cup Final, before doubling back to Europe to see why Lionel Messi can’t stop scoring, why Sebastien Giovinco really should be kept on the Juventus bench for the foreseeable future, and why kitchens in Dortmund are soon to be the cleanest on the continent.

As always, you can get in touch with the team by tweeting @AFRvoice or emailing afrvoice@gmail.com. You can also subscribe to AFR Voice on iTunes and find us on Soundcloud.

Sideburns fade and fall

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By Max Grieve

It’s as hard for me to tell you this as it is for you to read it, but it wouldn’t be right for me to keep it from you until you’re older, harder, and have a greater control over your urge to take out your anger on government buildings and public art. Alessandro Del Piero isn’t entirely happy. I’m sorry to have taken an axe to your satisfaction with life.

It’s not complicated. Simply, Sydney FC aren’t very good, and Del Piero is. The Italian is cutting an increasingly frustrated figure – he could be playing for a poor team in Qatar and making millions more. The A-League is curiously competitive, and has already seen seen four different championship winners in its eight-year history, though the success of the major cities, Melbourne and Sydney, is vital to the greater success of the league – even more so now, given the international coverage that Australian football has been receiving since Del Piero’s arrival. While he has been one of the most watchable players in the league this season, Sydney are diving to new depths of mediocrity.

"Put a sh*t hanging from a stick in the middle of the stadium," said then-Real Madrid coach Jorge Valdano in 2007 of Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool, "and there are people who will tell you it’s a work of art. It’s not: it’s a sh*t hanging from a stick." There are no such delusions as to what Sydney FC are presenting to the league and the watching millions.

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