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.
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.
Solid as a Rock - AFR Voice Ep. 15
It’s been a big week of football for a number of European nations, and perhaps none more so than UEFA’s newest member, Gibraltar. After finally having their national team recognised in the International arena, they’ve taken on Slovakia in their first ever game, and only gone and got a draw. We’ll be taking a look at the nation that can currently fit its entire population into their (technically) home stadium, and talk to a good friend of the show and Gibraltarian Stuart Dalmedo about what having an internationally recognised team means, and what his chances are of breaking into the squad.
With qualification campaigns around the world gradually coming to an end, we’ll be taking a look at all of those teams from Europe and Africa who have booked their places in Brazil, those who didn’t quite make it, and we’ll be taking a quick peek at the sort of kits that will be on display next Summer.
We’ll also be discussing a tournament a bit further down the line – Qatar 2022. With a recent Amnesty International report giving evidence that migrant workers’ rights and welfare are a real issue there, and with world footballing governing bodies seemingly turning a blind eye, what is the solution to the latest, and by far the most serious, issue surrounding the World Cup scheduled for nine years’ time?
The 2014 World Cup’s First Threads
adidas was the first to release their home kits to be used next summer in Brazil. Your thoughts?
We’re Surrounded by Playoffs - AFR Voice Ep. 14
The game in America has been bubbling with high-stakes games and news stories of late, so we dialed up Andrew Wiebe, from MLSsoccer.com and the ExtraTime Radio Show, to get his views on some eye-catching surprises in the first set of Playoff games, discover whether he thinks David Beckham’s Miami franchise can give the MLS a foothold in the South East, and question what the USMNT can expect to achieve in Brazil.
Elsewhere, we get out our calculators to try and assess a truly astonishing outlay of cash by a UK sports channel to secure Champions League rights, and we round up a tournament stage that has considerably less cash thrown at it – the humble and endlessly amiable first round of the FA Cup.
All that plus we lick our lips at some rather tasty World Cup qualifying playoff matches set to be served up this week. Forget the headline-hugging teams Portugal, France or Sweden - we’re pushing all of our chips on Iceland to provide a result to remember. Whatever the case, we just can’t wait to finally get up our World Cup 2014 wall chart.
Metegol and going outside the film industry’s status quo
Hollywood rules the film industry. It is the place for actors and actresses to be if they want to become world stars. It also happens to be the center of not only traditional film, but its animated cousin as well. Companies like Pixar and DreamWorks form the bedrock of the medium. Outside of the Hollywood spotlight, the probability for animated films to garner worldwide acclaim decreases drastically. However, a new kid on the block could be set to change that. That’s according to The New Yorker’s Ian Mount at least, who wrote an article about the challenger earlier this week. Argentina is an unlikely point of origin, but it perhaps comes as no surprise that a movie with the chance to break the status quo has football as its core element.
Metegol (Foosball in English) was directed by Oscar Winner Juan Jose Campanella (El Secreto De Sus Ojos) and has as its protagonists a young bookworm and the sentient foosball figures who help him on his quest to thwart a rival’s devious scheme and – of course – attract the attention of his childhood sweetheart.
Based on the short story Memorias de un wing derecho (Memoirs of a Right Winger), Metegol was made on the fraction of the budget usually associated with its Hollywood counterparts, but still stands as the most expensive Argentina film ever made. It achieved widespread success in its home country, and a strong showing at the Toronto International Film festival precipitated a journey to see the wider world. Distribution rights have already been snatched up for Russia, China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East – just to name a few places. Will the beautiful game be the catalyst for a momentous moment in the history of this corner of the film industry? [Posted by Gordon]
Afghanistan United - AFR Voice Ep.13
This week our feature interview is with May Jeong, a freelance journalist based in Kabul, Afghanistan. She’ll be talking to us about the resurgence of the Afghan national team, and how recent victories against Pakistan and in the South Asian Championship have helped to bring the nation together. She’ll also be telling us how far football in the country has come in the last few years, and how we can start to get excited about the Afghan Premier League.
We’ll also be taking a look at the highs and lows of the men between the sticks this week – a striker’s performance for Asmir Begovic, an adolescent performance in Ligue 1, and a knockout performance for Hugo Lloris.
Then it’s off Stateside to look at David Beckham’s designs on bringing a football team back to Miami, before getting very confused by pitch markings during this week’s round of MLS play-offs.
And before we finish, there’s also time for a quick look at why Jurgen Klopp’s contract extension is good news for fans of heavy metal, and after the roaring success of the inaugural AFR Book Club©, prepare to feast your ears on another literary marvel – the fictional works of Steve Bruce.
Inside El Clásico
400 million watched, but only for 90 minutes. Even with the excessive coverage from the Spanish press, so much is lost in the build-up to one of the biggest spectacles in world football. With access a reporter could only dream of, FC Barcelona released a video of the scenes before and after the big match at the Camp Nou. The nerves, the fans, the hundreds of cameras, they’re all captured. Watch the full feature here. [Posted by Eric]