Panini World Cup 2014

#GotGotNeed – Don Panini’s World Cup

No World Cup would be complete without an accompanying Panini sticker album.

I can see now that, compared to many, my obsession with Panini stickers as a youth was mild.

I can confess, however, to brandishing a shiny special edition £2 coin that I had broken free from its presentation box (this was before £2 coins became general legal tender) and pleading with the newsagents to accept it.

I also recall my parents kindly purchasing a World Cup album that wasn’t actually an official Panini album, but a cheaper rival. Still mightily proud of it on the way in to school, the book was swiftly hidden on arrival when I saw that everyone else had the Italian giant’s offering.

Other than that, the pleasure of collecting dulled with age.

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Pep Guardiola
(Source: www.soccer.ru c/o wikicommons media)

Bayern Munich Underwhelming Until Evra Provocation

Bayern Munich eventually eased their way in to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals last night. Forget Wayne Rooney’s painkilling injection—it took a Patrice Evra goal for Manchester United to inject a sense of urgency into the German giants.

Once provoked, Bayern Munich reacted instantly to United’s opening goal with the flick of a scorpion’s tail.

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Fernando_Torres_vs_Leicester_City (2)

Chelsea FC’s Lack of Confidence Shows End is Near for Torres

Fernando Torres’ Chelsea torment continued on Wednesday night.

Despite commenting on the “ridiculous”  defending that led to Paris Saint-Germain’s third goal in the UEFA Champions League clash, Jose Mourinho was keen to place the focus firmly on Chelsea FC’s misfiring forwards.

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Neymar

Brazil 2014: Who’s Going to Help Share Neymar’s Load?

As the end of the domestic season nears, thoughts are already turning to the colourful footballing carnival that is the FIFA World Cup. The hosts of this years spectacle, Brazil, find themselves short of goalscorers.

Brazil Supporters and Flag

By Marcello Casal Jr/ABr, via Wikimedia Commons

Football’s World Cup is viewed as the perfect opportunity for the country to showcase its many qualities—from its beautiful scenery, to the impressive economic growth it has seen over the last few years.

However, the build up has been beset by problems and even tragedy along the way.

Anti-government riots, host cities encountering financial difficulties and the dreadful news of construction site workers losing their lives have all focused a very different spotlight on Brazil.

On the pitch, the national side are also facing vexing issues—particularly in attack. Although blessed with the mercurial talents of FC Barcelona’s Neymar, Seleção boss Felipe Scolari has the unenviable task of appointing him a strike partner to try and share the workload. It is the continuation of a problem that has dogged the Brazil side since Ronaldo left the scene in 2006.

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repub

Does Futsal hold to key to future footballing success?

The growing popularity of Futsal is the focus for my latest piece for Football Republik.

Futsal is a small-sided, indoor version of football that is credited with honing the skills of many of the world’s greatest players.

I spoke to Chris Wildgoose of Manchester Futsal Club to get some more information in the sport.

Click the image below to read more on Football Republik…

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Does Futsal hold to key to future footballing success?.

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