July 2nd, 2012
10:36 AM ET

Spain make compelling case as best team ever

United in triumph: Captain Iker Casillas (left) and Xavi celebrate an historic success.
United in triumph: Captain Iker Casillas (left) and Xavi celebrate an historic success.

The spine still tingles. The sight of Vicente Del Bosque's team of torero's teasing and tormenting an Italian side, whose honest application should have made such subjugation subject to penalty on the grounds of cruelty, was as devastating a show of technical prowess and collective intuitiveness as you're ever likely to see during your time on planet earth.

The superlatives have long been exhausted and the cliches are too simplistic to capture the audacity of winning the European Championship, arguably the hardest competition in international football, by four clear goals against an Azzurri side bestowed with its own array of experienced superstars.

But thrash them they did, and with a swagger too. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
April 27th, 2012
12:36 PM ET

Pep Guardiola – The greatest soccer artist ever?

Former Barcelona midfielder Pep Guardiola has an awesome record as coach at the Catalan club.
Former Barcelona midfielder Pep Guardiola has an awesome record as coach at the Catalan club.

The news had been rumored and speculated upon for weeks within informed circles of the Spanish press, but the reality of Josep "Pep" Guardiola confirming his decision to leave Barcelona is a blow that no amount of advanced warning will soften for the millions of fans who follow the Catalan club around the world.

It says something of the standards the 41-year-old set at the Camp Nou that being knocked out of the semifinals of the European Champions League - a result that relinquished Barca's grip on the continental title - and a defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid which all but ended a compelling fight for the Spanish crown, were deemed failure enough for his trophy-laden tenure to come to an end. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
December 21st, 2011
01:09 PM ET

Footballers are TV stars, and should act like it ...

Luis Suarez was banned by the FA for eight matches after racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Luis Suarez was banned by the FA for eight matches after racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

The ruling by the Football Association to ban Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for eight matches and to fine him $63,000 for racial abuse has proved controversial for a number of reasons.

It is the first time the governing body of English football has disciplined a player on such terms, a move that has been welcomed by many in the game as tangible evidence that talk of "kicking racism out of football" has some teeth. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
November 2nd, 2011
01:53 PM ET

Can football chants ever go too far?

Chelsea fans were condemned by their own club for chants during a game against Belgian team Genk on Tuesday.
Chelsea fans were condemned by their own club for chants during a game against Belgian team Genk on Tuesday.

Football stadiums can be more than just arenas for the many who frequent the stands to watch their team. Like a church for believers of the faith, supporters flock to the communal ground of the terrace to cheer on the side, reaffirm identity with their "tribe" and to bond with their brothers in arms through shared experience and song.

The sight of individuals acting as a collective is as awe-inspiring in 2011 as one imagines it was in the Coliseum in Ancient Rome; when 10,000 souls sing in unison it is hard - nigh on impossible - not to be affected.

It is why sport, and football in particular, creates such a compelling spectacle for television - the drama on the pitch and the reaction of the crowd spilling forth from the screen to corrupt and convert the viewer, who may well be on the other side of the planet but can no longer ignore the significance of the event. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
October 17th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

Wheldon's death a watershed moment for IndyCar?

Dan Wheldon at the IndyCar World Championships in Las Vegas, prior to his fatal crash.
Dan Wheldon at the IndyCar World Championships in Las Vegas, prior to his fatal crash.

The death of British driver and two-time Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon in Sunday's IndyCar World Championships at Las Vegas was graphic in its violence, distressing in its drama and a tragedy for all who knew him.

The 33-year-old, who started the race seeking to win a $5 million purse as victor, drove to his grave participating in the sport he loved.

IndyCar, America's most popular version of open-wheeled racing, is currently enduring its darkest hour as Wheldon's family and friends try to deal with his sudden departure. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Motorsport
July 20th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

Ask Seb Coe your London 2012 questions ...

Have a question for Seb Coe? This is your chance to get answers from the main man behind the London 2012 Olympics.
Have a question for Seb Coe? This is your chance to get answers from the main man behind the London 2012 Olympics.

July 27 is a significant day for London: it marks one year until arguably the greatest spectacle in global sport takes place in the British capital.

Beginning with the symbolic lighting of the flame, and enduring for 19 days until it is extinguished, nation will fight nation across 26 sports and 39 disciplines in pursuit of the coveted haul of gold medals on offer. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Olympics
May 30th, 2011
07:36 PM ET

Was Blatter right to be defiant?

FIFA president Sepp Blatter may be re-relected for another four-year term on Wednesday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter may be re-relected for another four-year term on Wednesday.

Given the context and timing to FIFA's press conference on Monday, you would have been forgiven for thinking an important annoucement was due to be made.

President Sepp Blatter - who will be subject to a presidential election vote on Wedneday - has seen his Zurich-based organization beset by a multitude of serious allegations regarding corruption in recent times. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
May 12th, 2011
07:16 PM ET

Lennon intimidation has no place in soccer

Neil Lennon, the manager of Celtic Football Club, was hit by a fan from the opposition in a recent SPL game.
Neil Lennon, the manager of Celtic Football Club, was hit by a fan from the opposition in a recent SPL game.

The alleged assault on Celtic manager Neil Lennon, during a 3-0 victory over Scottish Premier League rivals Heart of Midlothian on Wednesday, has led to calls for change in a nation so proud of its football heritage.

European champions in 1967 and one of the two giant clubs of the Glasgow "Old Firm" alongside Rangers, Celtic are just one point from the top of the league with one game left to play. But the climax of what will surely be a dramatic end to the season, as Celtic chase their arch-rivals, has been overshadowed by unsavoury scenes. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
April 25th, 2011
11:35 AM ET

Has time run out for Arsene Wenger?

Arsene Wenger has led Arsenal to Champions League qualification in all of his 15 seasons.
Arsene Wenger has led Arsenal to Champions League qualification in all of his 15 seasons.

So, another season, another disappointment; a thought that will be meandering around the minds of many Arsenal fans following the Gunners' capitulation to Bolton Wanderers on Sunday and the realistic end to their title challenge.

Manager Arsene Wenger, dubbed "The Professor" such is the reputation of his cerebral powers, will have more to mull over than most. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
April 11th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

McIlroy must conquer the mental minefield

Rory McIlroy saw his game disintegrate in dramatic fashion in the final round of the Masters in Augusta.
Rory McIlroy saw his game disintegrate in dramatic fashion in the final round of the Masters in Augusta.

Poor old Rory McIlroy. Any golfer with a modicum of emotion, from club hackers to seasoned pros, would have had a sympathetic thought for the young maestro from Northern Ireland, as his game crumbled in dramatic fashion in the final round of Sunday's Masters in Augusta.

Golf is a pursuit that demands mental strength and positive thinking for success - it's played 90% between the ears as the cliche goes - even at the very lowest levels of the games. If there is a player alive who has not experienced the exasperation and frustration of a how a duff shot can ruin a perfectly enjoyable day on the fairways I would like to meet him. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
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