Through Ryu’s Lens: Embracing the game in Basel

Not every match can be a World Cup final, and it won’t be that way for another four years. So while we brace for a new season in Europe’s major leagues, Ryu Voelkel is already back in action, traveling the continent to capture the game unseen by most. He recently visited Switzerland to see Basel take on Luzern, and the kids, fans, and vibrant stadium stole the show.

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The World’s Best Football Photographer and The World Cup: Ryu x Rio

We’ve featured the sublime photography of Ryu Voelkel on AFR for years, so - unless you’re remarkably new here - the man hardly needs an introduction. But he does need your help.

Ryu captures the game’s atmosphere and aesthetics in ways that no one else can, and he wants to tell a story unlike anything you’ll see around this summer’s World Cup. He has already been given the green light by FIFA to shoot matches, but he needs support to spend the month in Brazil, travel to the tournament’s biggest matches, and create an incredible book around the 2014 World Cup. If you appreciate great photography and support independent artists, get behind Ryu’s Kickstarter.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Milan falls in the Milan Derby

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Call to Arms: Help AFR uncover the Best Writing in Football from 2013

If you’ve been with AFR for a while, you’re likely aware of our passion for great writing in football. Whether it’s from our own crew of extremely talented contributors, or from any of the countless journalists and bloggers across the world who keep the midnight oil burning, the value of independent journalism in sport is substantial.That said, while informative, compelling and innovative writing is plentiful across the digital sphere, the sheer wealth of content makes it fairly easy to overlook writing that deserves your attention.

With that in mind, we’re once again compiling a list of the year’s best writing in football, as we did in 2012 and 2011, albeit with a slight change to how we go about developing the list. Whereas in years prior, we created the list in-house or collaborated with a number of the most respected voices in the field, the truth is that while you might have missed a few pieces worth your time during the course of the year, it’s just as likely that we did as well. We’re celebrating the best our community has to offer, so what better way to do so than as a community?

What pieces moved you? Which articles caused you to step back and reconsider your assumptions? What works impacted you in unexpected ways?

Send us an email, leave a comment below, send us a message on Twitter, or use the #BestFootballWriting hashtag. Help us celebrate our community and uncover the best writing in football from 2013. 

Through Ryu’s Lens: A Night in Plzeň

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In 200 Days, World Cup dreams become reality

You know the date. You’ve been waiting for 4 years. On the 12th of June in 2014, it all begins. Today, we’re just 200 days away from the World Cup. Art by Dan Leydon. Photo by Ryu Voelkel

Through Ryu’s Lens: Anything you can do…

There’s only one person more disappointed that Zlatan won’t be in Brazil than Zlatan, and that is Ryu Voelkel. The big man deceives, acting and performing in a way that makes him seem to be more than just that. Camera in hand, Ryu was in Stockholm to witness a  battle between two greats.

Just when Portugal were comfortable, Ibrahimovic put them on the back foot. Just when Sweden were full of hope, Ronaldo silenced the stadium. The Swede did all he could, but could only watch as his counterpart did more.

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Rooney’s off to Brazil

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Through Ryu’s Lens: Japan’s quick trip to Brazil

Japan already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, but first they flew to Brazil to represent Asia at this summer’s Confederations Cup. They brought style and quick-passing (aka Tokyo Taka) to the tournament, including an unbelievable match against Italy, which they somehow lost 4-3. They’re also on their way back to Japan already because there’s still plenty of work to be done, and Ryu was on hand for Japan-Mexico to witness what needs to be improved over the next year.

[You can interact with Ryu on twitter @Toksuede and check his FlickrPosted by Eric]

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