Editor’s picks

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INTERVIEW: State of (dis)Union

How do we judge the health of soccer in the USA?   Major League Soccer just kicked off its 21st season. It has grown to 22 teams from its original 12 with further expansion imminent. It has lots of big-reputation, high-wage foreign players, some shiny new stadia, a fat TV deal and big plans for…

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Zaha the star that England forgot

Wilfried Zaha was an enigma England could not solve. After two friendly appearances in 2012 and 2013 his England career is over. It never really began. The Crystal Palace winger, one of the most uniquely talented England players in recent memory, has pledged his international future to the Ivory Coast. England have let a diamond…

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Marlos Moreno is not (Rafael) Scheidt

When Tim Vickery, expatriate South American soccer pundit extraordinaire, tips a young player for success it is usually worth paying attention. Listeners to the BBC’s fantastic World Football Phone-in will know that, despite the occasional ‘Rafael Scheidt moment’ (*full description below), he is generally an excellent judge of talent. Vickery knows his stuff. So when…


The Soccerex 20 Under 21

Anthony Martial is the world’s most valuable footballer under the age of 21 according to new research. The 2016 Soccerex 20 Under 21 index released by Prime Time Sport (PTS) places Manchester United’s France forward ahead of some very prominent young players. Wunderkinder Leroy Sane, Renato Sanches, Dele Alli and Kingsley Coman complete the top…

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The Most Valuable Teenagers in Europe

The estimable CIES Football Observatory have ranked the most valuable players in Europe’s Big 5 leagues. Unsurprisingly Lionel Messi tops the list, valued at a colossal €250.7 million. Neymar is in second place ahead of Eden Hazard, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane. Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur tops the list of valuable teenagers. The CIES…

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How they do in Pyongyang

As part of our series looking at different youth systems around the world we take a look at North Korea’s national academy. North Korea have had phenomenal success in recent years at the various Asian youth championships. They were runners-up at last year’s Under 19 Championships and won it in 2006 and 2010. They won the…


His name is Takumi Minamino

Cerezo Osaka are one of Japan’s most successful football exporters.  Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa is their most famous graduate of course.  While Hiroshi Kiyotake of Nurnberg and Eintract Frankfurt’s Takashi Inui of Eintract Frankfurt were both at Cerezo when they left Japan. United face a depleted Cerezo side in Osaka today.  Three of their strongest…

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