A crown for a new king who couldn’t be stopped

He was shoved out. He could have dived. He could have taken the foul and slowed the game down. Instead, he stayed on his feet, knowing more than anyone that nothing could stop him. Gareth Bale stepped up, and now there are no doubts. Madrid will remember this one legendary run for years to come. [Art by Kendall Henderson. Words by Eric]

Classic Clásico - AFR Voice Ep. 33

As things hot up in title races across the continent, things are getting especially spicy at the top of La Liga. This week we’ll be taking a look at what is being hailed as possibly the finest clásico of the century between Real Madrid and Barcelona, and why despite the result neither team are currently top of the league.

There’s been plenty going on across the Atlantic too, where Jermain Defoe definitely didn’t forget to pack his shooting boots when he got on that plane to Toronto, and David Beckham has released plans for a new stadium in Miami that wouldn’t look out of place in… Portsmouth.

With the World Cup now only 78 days away, there’s one team who couldn’t be much further from Brazil. Infamous for once losing 31-0 to Australia, American Samoa have been propping up the Fifa rankings for some time now, but with an ex-MLS coach now in charge of the side their fortunes are starting to change. The story is told excellently in the forthcoming documentary ‘Next Goal Wins’, which you can get a sneak peak of here.

We’ll also be taking a look at the latest controversy to hit Fifa, where issues surrounding the World Cup bid process continue to rumble on. With the FBI now involved, is the clock now ticking for world football’s governing body, and possibly Qatar 2022?

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A Footballer’s Essentials
Gerrard can’t leave the dressing room without his armband. Zizou hit the pitch in his iconic golden boots. With a minimalist approach, illustrator TheLimeBath captures the essentials that the world’s best footballers need to control the game.
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Find more of The Lime Bath’s work here. Posted by Eric.

A Footballer’s Essentials

Gerrard can’t leave the dressing room without his armband. Zizou hit the pitch in his iconic golden boots. With a minimalist approach, illustrator TheLimeBath captures the essentials that the world’s best footballers need to control the game.

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Looking back to look forward: EURO 2012

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Spanish football vs. Fans who watch games illegally

The message from La Liga: When you watch games illegally, you’re hurting your team. In mostly hilarious ways.

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Man City’s Empire Expands - AFR Voice Ep. 26

With Patrick from AFR Voice currently travelling through Australia, it was only right we paid an in-depth visit to football down under. Featuring an interview with Football Central AU’s Ahmed Yussuf, we discuss Manchester City’s purchase of Melbourne Heart and look at the eye-wateringly difficult group the national side have to navigate in Brazil – Spain, Holland and Chile. Gulp.

The Spanish national team itself also gets covered as we reflect on the passing of Luis Aragones – the founder of ‘tiki-taka’ football and former Spain coach who turned a group of under-achievers into a beautifully ruthless winning machine. Whilst in the Iberian Peninsula we greet the unusual site of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table and cast our eye over revamp design for the Bernabeu – a futuristic world class facility or a big silver Tupperware depending on how you look at it.

All that plus we herald Libya’s fairytale victory in the African Nations Championships and look on at Leeds United with a mixture of bemusement, fear and intrigue as they get set to be purchased by one of the most unpredictable, impatient and eccentric owners in world football.

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Bienvenido al Bernabeu

Real Madrid’s cathedral, the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, is home to one of the biggest clubs on the planet; when visiting the Spanish capital it really is a must for any futbol aficionado, especially if its a match day.

NYC based photographer Nathan Congleton, did exactly that and here’s his story.

"My best friend lives 5 minutes from the Bernabeu, he is the one who made me a Madridista and taught me everything I needed to know about the club, so when I walked into the stadium, the first thing that came to my mind was Zidane, Raul and Roberto Carlos, and everything they did inside that theatre, all the incredible memories and accomplishments on that stage.

I closed my eyes and tried to picture it. I tried to envision a late night ‘El Clásico’, the sounds of the crowd and the yells from the players while calling for a pass. It’s like a show in a theatre to me, calm, always emotional and 80,000 people are there to simply watch. That’s how I see a football match, and that is what it is like inside the Bernabeu.”

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Minimalist Club Crests by Daniel Nyari

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This is not José Mourinho

By Nicol Hay

Picture José Mourinho. Now let me guess what’s in your head. 

I think the José in your mind is raising his fists, celebrating another crushing of a weaker opponent. He is wearing a luxurious winter coat over a suit so finely tailored it would be impossible for any other man to wear it. Yes, his ego shines through – but it is backed up by the imperious display of towering athletes so devoted to his guidance that they perform unbelievable feats in roles they would otherwise consider beneath their skill. You love him, you hate him, he is indifferent. The José in your mind is in total control of a team and a club that expresses his personality completely.

Now look at the Stamford Bridge touchline. You see that man in the crumpled sportswear, peripheral to the game in front of him? The man with all of the rage, but none of the fire?

This is not José Mourinho.

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