Through Ryu’s Lens: José does it again

Parisian fans have swooped past frustration and sit in their city with nothing but existential angiush. Oh, what could have been. This was their year, and it was led by the mighty Zlatan. That is, until he was reminded of his humanity and sidelined with an injury.

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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

France’s “Provoque le Destin” Typography by Alexis Taïeb 

Using spray cans, French artist Alexis Taïeb - Alexis (a.k.a Tyrsa) - handcrafted the type for France’s World Cup campaign and the launch of their new Nike kits.

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Lille in the Limelight - AFR Voice Ep. 16

The show has cast a spotlight on a huge collection of leagues this season – La Liga, Serie A, MLS and even the top tiers in Afghanistan and Mongolia. This week, we finally uncork our coverage of Ligue 1 by getting a full lowdown from French football expert, AFR contributor and French Football Weekly editor Andrew Gibney. We’ll find out the latest on the hooliganism that recently blighted the league, salivate over Zlatan, hail the unexpected brilliance of Lille and try to make sense of the zero to hero national team.

The show’s main debate circles around an increasingly beleaguered Jose Mourinho – is ‘The Special One’ no longer special? Read AFR writer Nicol Hay’s fantastic article to find the spark of the discussion. We’ll also be profiling the dramatic rise of 21-year-old Basel centre-back Fabian Schär – from Swiss banker to one of the most promising defenders in Europe in the space of three years. And if you want to hear all about a very unlikely candidate for the most competitive league on the planet, this is the show to tune in to.

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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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Thought Trails: Team Cristiano or Team Zlatan?

“The World Cup needs Zlatan more than Ronaldo.” - Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Maxi: With less than a year until the World Cup kicks off in Brazil, we’re at a point where, coincidentally, we’re likely to see one of the most anticipated international games until the knockout rounds of the World Cup itself. Ego vs. Ego. World’s Best vs. World’s Best. International icon vs. International icon. Zlatan vs. Cristiano. While corporate sponsors rub their hands wondering whether their horse will make it to the global stage, one can’t help but think that as Zlatan and Cristiano have excelled as individuals, the fortunes of their respective countries have declined. Shame that one of the two will be forced to watch the World Cup as a spectator, no?

Eric: It is a shame. Sure, Portugal isn’t the power it once was and Sweden has never been guaranteed a spot in the World Cup, but they can only blame themselves (and maybe the system, man) for being in this position. But this is the situation, and Portugal and Sweden probably won’t unify within the next six months. The real question we need to face: Would you rather see Zlatan or Cristiano in the World Cup?

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Man On A Mongolian Mission - AFR Voice Ep. 12

This week, we explore the outpost of the Mongolian Premier League and meet the young English manager aiming to put the nation on the football map, Paul Watson. We hear about the challenges of working in sub-zero temperatures, the hunt to find undiscovered talent, and how such an extraordinary opportunity transpired.

Elsewhere, we profile the upcoming MLS playoffs and give our take on the short list for the Ballon d’Or – will Messi achieve an incredible 5-year winning streak or can Zlatan Ibrahimovich, who is in the form of his life, pull off a surprise and snaffle the top prize? 

Talking of the giant Swede, we leaf through his book, as well as the autobiographies of Sir Alex Ferguson and ‘Arry Redknapp for the inaugural outing of AFR Voice Book Club. The Literary event of the year. 

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AFR Voice Ep.9 - Belgian Waffle

This week’s show sees us take a look at Sam Allardyce picking up where Spain left off in the tactical genius department, Zlatan raising his hands to the lasers in France’s Classique, Roma continuing their perfect start to the Serie A season, and asking the big question: if Jose Mourinho really can smell goals, then what do they actually smell like?

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When the Swedes invaded (and embraced) Dublin

By Anthony Lopopolo, writing from Dublin

The Swedes were everywhere. You could hardly tell that this was Dublin, not Stockholm. They wore the blue and yellow, but they also wore green. The pubs here flew Swedish flags, beacons for the weary travelers looking for a pint. The reason for the occasion, the World Cup qualifier, was always big: Ireland had to win the game against Sweden.

But the people of these two countries greeted each other before the match like old friends, not adversaries. One country simply stood in the way of the other. This wasn’t Bucharest, where riot police had to use tear gas before the game between Hungary and Romania. This wasn’t Belgrade, where Serbia and Croatia played against each other after years of fighting against one another. No, this was celebratory. This was fun.

Some looked upset: About 5,000 Swedes took over the city, after all, and only after the work day ended did the Irish truly reclaim their city. They were hospitable, but the time did come to shut the visitors up.

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