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SHARES
22 July 2008
A divided island, Cyprus is united in one thing: its passion for football. Especially English football. Last week, in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, at a café beside St Heraklion Castle, allegedly the inspiration for the Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs castle, a lanky teenager wearing a Steven Gerrard shirt sold me a beer. Two days later on the other side of the UN-patrolled green line, which has divided the island since 1974, in Agios Giorgios a dusty, timeless village in the Troodos mountains, one boy braved the stifling heat – it was around 31C in the shade – to kick a ball around in his Chelsea shirt.On the motorway, I spotted a car sticker that read: “Everton The People’s Club.” The car had local plates. I assume the driver was a British expat. Around 75,000 Britons – out of a total population of nearly 800,000 – spend much of or all the year in Cyprus. As most Cypriots have an English second team, it’s just possible the Moyesiah is winning new converts for the Toffeemen.In an empty taverna in Agros, a mountain village famed for its breeziness where I sought haven as the temperature reached 45C, I watched the highlights of Anothorsis Famagusta’s UEFA Champions League qualifier against Armenian champs Pyunik Yerevan.
SHARES
21 July 2008
“I’m sorry Sir, you’ll not be boarding the aircraft to Johannesburg.”
SHARES
21 July 2008
It’s an old story of underhand dealings enabling bogus Italians from Argentina and other South America countries to gain European Union passports.Suddenly, players were finding untold numbers of ancestors from cholera-ridden, well back in the 19th century villages and getting all misty-eyed about supposed great-great papas and mammas jumping ship for a new start in the Pampas.Back at the turn of this century, it was such luminaries such as Juan Sebastian Veron, Alvaro Recoba, Nelson Dida and Marcos Cafu who were given the keys to the Serie A kingdom by gaining citizenship of the Republic.Now, as highlighted by our Argie Bargy blogger, a new generation of fake Italians are apparently flooding back across the Atlantic. Included are new Lazio signing Juan Pablo Carrizio, Napoli’s latest recruit German Denis and Catania’s summer arrival Pablo Ledesma.
SHARES
18 July 2008
“I wish this month ends soon.”To the unaware listener, Flamengo coach Caio Junior sounds like his squad is having a black July. But it’s nothing like that at all, actually the team from Rio de Janeiro is top of the league, something they haven’t accomplished in around a decade.The gaffer's concerns instead centre on what is also the Brazilian fan's worst nightmare, something which happens every June and July... the transfer window.Since the Campeonato Brasileiro is the only top league in action during these two months, when the worldwide market is open, attention focuses almost solely on Brazilian teams' squads.
SHARES
18 July 2008
There are very few of us blessed with the natural talent to fulfil our boyhood dreams and grace the pro ranks.
SHARES
18 July 2008
I’d just left home for the 12-day trip to South Africa. Literally walked down the street, past Barcelona’s Botafumeiro seafood restaurant, where a day earlier Adriano Galliani, Silvio Berlusconi’s right-hand man at Milan, had concluded the deal to take Ronaldinho to Italy with Barça’s under fire President Joan Laporta and the buck-toothed Brazilian himself.
SHARES
18 July 2008
The Poles like to think of themselves as the Brazilians of European football. At times, they have been known to chant impatiently during games: “We are Polish and we want a goal.”
SHARES
17 July 2008
When this blogger lived in Argentina in 2001, the rush for European passports was immense.
SHARES
17 July 2008
There’s nothing like a knockdown sales bargain to put a smile on a shopper’s face.So it’s no wonder AC Milan were whooping with delight as they ran up the street with a toothy Brazilian dressed in Snoop Dogg’s castoffs, tucked under one arm.It’s hard to believe but only last year the Rossoneri were informed by Barcelona that 60million euros was a pitiful amount for Ronaldinho.A year later and there’s the same item hanging in the corner with a 21million price-tag stuck on his alice-band. Surely he’s not that shop-soiled?
SHARES
16 July 2008
Well this blog might not have too much to do with football, but what is happening in Argentina today is quite unlike anything I have ever seen.

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