The Best of Football Writing in 2013

The Best of Football Writing in 2013

A Football Report
The Best of Football Writing in 2013
The Best of Football Writing in 2013 This is the third year that The Best Football Writing list (2012, 2011) has come into existence. We’ve seen blogs come and go, as well as writers rise and get the recognition they deserve. 2013 was no exception,...

The Best of Football Writing in 2013

This is the third year that The Best Football Writing list (2012, 2011) has come into existence. We’ve seen blogs come and go, as well as writers rise and get the recognition they deserve. 2013 was no exception, but the continued domination of social media in sport created a new landscape for writing. With a flood of information hitting us every day, it can be difficult to find the long reads amongst a pile of memes.

This year’s list was the hardest to compile, but there was hardly a shortage of quality writing. In fact, we were overwhelmed with tweets and emails recommending great writing in football. While we don’t know what’s in store in 2014, we’re proud to present The Best of Football Writing in 2013.

List compiled by Eric Beard, Maxi Rodriguez, Zack Goldman, and Dominic Vieira.

Design: Luke Barclay and 3nil.

Photography: Ryu Voelkel

Most Compelling

January 1 – Letter from San Diego – Soccer in a Divided Region – Alicia Rodriguez

January 15 - The Disappearance of Daniele De Rossi - Thomas Høy

January 21 – The Americas’ Team – Jorge Arangure Jr.

January 27 – Bob Bradley – The American Who Stayed – Habib El Magrissy

January 30 – How Galatasaray lured Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder to Turkey - Amy Lawrence

February 2 - Interview with Marco Garcés, Head of Scouting for Pachuca CF - David Keyes

February 7 – Soccer’s New Match-Fixing Scandal – Brian Phillips

February 11 – Be Here Now – Kevin Koczwara

February 28 - What Mario Balotelli means for Italy (and Italy) - James Taylor

March 19 - How Soccer Explains Israel - Amos Barshad

March 19 – Friendly Fire – Brian Straus

March 20 - The Blood of the Impure - Laurent Dubois

March 25 - All Hail The Game’s Great Anarachist - Cristian Nyari

April 16 - Coping with the information overload of modern football  - Mike Ticher

April 16 - Unpaid Internships in Performance Analysis: My View - Dave Willoughby

April 25 – Clarence Seedorf’s Brazilian renaissance – Jack Lang

April 26 – My Juventus – Simon Kuper

May 1 – Brittney Griner, Jason Collins and the Sex of a Story - Jennifer Doyle

May 6 - When The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly - Wright Thompson

May 12 – Two Hundred and Three – Graham Macaree

May 13 – An early exit after 27 years: Sir Alex steps down in his own style – Anthony Lopopolo

May 17 – Cantera Dreams – David Keyes

May 22 – Australia’s Code Wars – Neil Sherwin

May 22 - Is Major League Soccer selling its soul? - Jeff Carlisle

June 6 – Livorno are keeping Communist football alive – Callum Hamilton

June 12 – Dribbling Man – Robert Andrew Powell

June 14 – How Garcia can reinvigorate Roma – Andy Brassell

June 18 - A Revolta do Vinagre - Chris Gaffney

June 23 – Incitement – Laurent Dubois

July 4 – Why soccer pundits need to learn to embrace uncertainty – Richard Whittall

Augus 8 - Dempsey: An African-Americanesque Reflection – Miriti Murungi

August 15 – Catalonian Hatorade – Elliott Turner

August 25 - Recolonization! – Maxi Rodriguez

August 28 – Once the midfield master on the field and now the manager, can Cocu start a dynasty at his PSV? – Mohamed Moallim

September 4 - On Gedion Zelalem, soccer potential and ‘American-ness’ - Jason Davis

September 5 – Explaining the “Union high school” – Keith Hickey

September 17 – The Global Theatre – Laurent Dubois

October 18 - Football clubs and assets of community value – Andi Thomas

October 21 – Diego Fagundez’s path to the USMNT starts with green card, now it gets messy – Ryan Rosenblatt

October 29 - Not Going Away; On The Cost Of Watching Football – Glen Wilson

November 15 - A Yellow Card – Brian Phillips

November 29 – Paul Pogba – Fergie’s biggest mistake in 26 years? – Jonathan Fadugba

December 1 - Piers Morgan, Mental Health And Football’s Culture Of Bullying - Greg (DFAFS)

December 3 – Soccer and Logic Don’t Often Mix – Yael Averbach

December 13 – Goodbye to Rory Delap, long-throwing destroyer – James Tyler

December 31 - The Masters of Universality – Michael Cox

Most Creative

April 4 - Why We Watch: Xavi Hernández, Football Fundamentalist - Linda Hui

April 19 – Completely serious exclusive preview: FIFA 14 – Andi Thomas

May 1 - Papal Indiscretions – Evaluating Pope Francis’s BsAs Club Selection - Elliot Turner

May 7 - The Hemingway Experiment: The Dangerous Winter - Will Parchman

June 23 - Alegria Do Povo 'The Joy of the People - Layth Yousef

August 9 - Red, White, & Blue Steel - Brian Phillips

September 1 - Transfer Deadline Day With Marauding Arsenal Fans - Clive Martin

September 10 - Tadeuszt Rózewicz: Football and the Poetry of Silence - Alex Stuart

October 4 - Condemned to be Fulham - Joe Devine

October 9 - Social poet captures the beautiful game - Roger Bennett

October 17 - Manchester United’s 7 Deadly Sins - ManUtd24

November 23 - This is not José Mourinho - Nicol Hay

December 19 - Why We Watch: Jozy Altidore Before Dawn - Connor Huchton

Best Storytelling

January 15 - The Lion of Vienna - Mark Yesilevskiy & Matilda Hankinson

January 23 - Everyman a Herculez - Robert Andrew Powell

January 28 - Blessed were the cheesemakers: the glory days of Parma - Giancarlo Rinaldi

February 18 - American Soccer in 1985: The Failure in Torrance - Will Parchman

March 26 - Not just another game: When the USMNT played Mexico in 1980, everything changed - Noah Davis

March 29 - Freed of a Secret’s Burden, a Soccer Player Looks Ahead - Sam Borden

March 30 - David Rocastle: A Love Letter To The Gentleman And Arsenal Legend - Layth Yousif

April 10 - One man’s journey from Los Angeles to Real Madrid good-luck charm - Grant Wahl

April 21 - Act One: Trying to Fill His Shoes (the ones with cleats) - Robert Suarez

May 2 - From League One champions to devastated losers in a single minute - Zack Goldman

May 5 - Bobby Williamson on his time with Uganda - Alan Pattullo

May 20 - Jürgen Klopp rallies neutrals to support 'special’ Borussia Dortmund - Donald McRae

May 30 - Maradona vs. Belgium - Craig Robinson

May 31 - Savo Milosevic: The Aston Villa Icon That Never Was - Chris Nee

June 3 - A game worth living for: Santa Maria Rivera’s story - Liviu Bird

June 17 - Return of the the Ahlawy - Andrea Luchetta

June 28 - The legends of Sao Cristovao - Gabriele Marcotti

July 18 - You are my Arsenal, my only Arsenal - Layth Yousif

July 18 - We Are The Resurrection - Mike Deri Smith

August 6 - The Life of a Non-Millionaire Professional Athlete - Clint Irwin

August 13 - Il Giocatore - Luke O'Brien

August 16 - Rejection, tragedy and billions of dollars - The story of FIFA - Christopher Dring

August 20 - Mario Balotelli has a talent that’s every bit as electric as his personality - Grant Wahl

August 23 - Sneaking into Argentina - Elliott Turner

August 30 - A Life and United - Unitedite

September 5 - I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic: A Modern Fairy Tale - Simon Kuper

September 5 - The day Harry Redknapp brought a fan on to play for West Ham - Jeff Maysh

September 8 - This Ain’t A Football Song - David Hartrick

September 10 - Gianluigi Buffon: from depression to Italy’s record books - Marcus Christenson

September 10 - Mexico City Nightmare: A Father’s Worst Fear - John Godfrey

October 30 - Afghanistan United - May Jeong

November 2 - Her biggest save - Caitlin Dewey

November 8 - How Brazil’s longest suffering club escaped from the wilderness - James Young

November 19 - Meet Hannes Thor Halldórsson: Iceland goalkeeper, movie director - Jonathan Wilson

November 20 - Looking For Riquelme - Rob Brown

December 5 - The late Nelson Mandela understood the true power of sports - Jonathan Wilson

December 6 - Generation June - Wright Thompson

December 11 - The forgotten story of … Andrew Dettre and Soccer World - Joe Gorman

December 14 - Murder On Nitti Street. The Case of Re Cecconi - Alessio Loginov

December 19 - American Coach Bids Farewell To Egypt - Moustafa El-Chiati

December 24 - The Suarez Conundrum - Davy Lane

Best Research

March 4 - Pearls Of Wisdom Or Perils Of Wisdom? The Problem With Evidence Based Coaching - Chris Anderson

April 12 - The Unstoppable Rise of Shakhtar DonetskVadim Furmanov

April 29 - Show Me The Money - Swiss Ramble

April 30 - Desert heat: World Cup hosts Qatar face scrutiny over 'slavery’ accusations - James Montague

May 2 - How artificial turf could change the future of soccer - Charles Boehm

May 24 - European Soccer’s Biggest Star May Be a Song - Sam Borden

May 28 - Les Pieds-Noirs: Algeria’s Forgotten Footballers - Maher Mezahi

May 29 - Jonathan Wilson: Tactical Analysis Boom - Dominic Bliss

May 29 - Football Finance: The Case for Financial Fair Play - Richard Whitall

June 26 - Rise of Data Analysis in Football - Jack Coles

July 7 - New York City and the Rebirth of Supporter Culture - Jonathan Williamson

July 22 - Un Chien Andalou: Maradona’s Dog Days at Sevilla - Rob Doolan

July 23 - O Glorioso Benfica - Stolen from Africa - Mark Biram

August 12 - Boris Arkadyev – The Soviet Genius Behind Total Football and Tiki-Taka - Matthew Brown

September 11 - Why 'Three Points for a Win’ is a loss for football - Nicholas Cholst

October 1 - Hate him or despise him, Diego Costa’s a star - Sid Lowe

November 1 - More Than A Game: How the Mostar derby illustrates Bosnia-Herzegovina’s divisions - Luke Ginnell

November 29 - World Cup seeding: How to play the game - Gabriele Marcotti

December 4 - Contrasting approaches to possession - Devin Pleuler

December 6 - How Qatar Came to Host the 2022 World CupPhilippe Auclair

December 11 - The story of the Italian player who turned down €200,000 and became a hero - James Horncastle

The Best Writing and Presentation in Multimedia

February 5 - Football as a Religion: The Church of Maradona - VICE

February 8 - Football Vagabond: Derby of the Eternal Enemies - KICKTV

March 23 - The Not-So-Friendly U.S.-Mexico match - NPR’s Only A Game

March 24 - Soccer on the U.S.-Mexico border - XI Quarterly

April 29 - Derrière chaque victoire - Impact 2-0 Fire - Impact de Montréal

May 16 - The Oviedo Story - Copa90

July 18 - Soccer Morning: David Conn and American Ownership in the Premier League - NASN Radio

September 25 - Qatar: the migrant workers forced to work for no pay in World Cup host country - The Guardian

October 13 - An Unfair Game - The New York Times

October 25 - Robbie Keane: A Poem - Colum McCann

October 30 - Tottenham Hotspur get new stadium but local businesses lose out - The Guardian

November 6 - The Half-Time Hero - Howler Radio

December 17 - An Ode To Football - Musa Okwonga and The FA

As always, the best part about making this list is hearing about the great reads that we inevitably overlooked. If there’s a piece that you thought should have been included, please leave a link to it in the comments.

If you enjoyed the list, please consider sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else where fans of football and good writing can be found.