RIVER PLATE X BOCA JUNIORS ARTWORK

The new InBedWithMaradona assignment is out and this time we were focusing on Buenos Aires. With my addiction to football kits, especially classic ones, I decided my piece would focus on the beautiful classic kits of Argentine giants, Boca and River.

The artwork below is something I created for personal use.

The new piece on IBWM is available to view here. 

[ Fashion x Football ] : Live Breathe Futbol release new collection

Our friends over at LBF have just released some new gear which does not fail to impress. Like always, LBF are keeping us fresh on and off the pitch.

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The collection features the tagline “Relegate Winter” due to the release of four new beanie hats, long sleeve t-shirts, a crewneck jumper and a fantastic hooded sweatshirt.

The collection starts with these two long sleeve pocketed t-shirts with one being a beautiful crunchberry colour and the other in union blue.

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Then came the crewneck jumper which has the excellent logo design on the front and comes in a lovely blue colour. An tribute to the companies roots as “PHILA” (as in Philadelphia) is printed below the main design.

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The brand have released four beautiful hats, two being bobble hats and the other two simple beanies. Two simplistic colour ways on the simple beanies, one maroon and one black where the other two see a more wild approach. The two wilder ones being striped red, black and white and the other green, dark green and white.

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Our favourite piece from the collection is the hooded sweatshirt. The brands name, ‘Live Breathe Futbol’, printed down each arm with the logo on the front creates a sublime piece, one definitely worth copping.

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You can shop the new collection here. Do it, join the #LBFSquad and live the futbol lifestyle.

Stay woke on this brand, this collection isn’t the only thing. Bigger things coming.

 

#FOOTBALLISPERMANENT

 

 

 

[ Retro Gaming ] : 2010 South Africa World Cup

Games that accompany major international tournaments always add to the buzz surrounding the tournament. In 2010, I was 13 years old and at school. With the World Cup being in Africa, the games kicked off ten minutes after school finished (normally) meaning me and my mates pedalled the fastest we possibly could to catch them. What made it more exciting was playing the Fifa World Cup game after following the matches themselves. It added something to the experience of such a renowned and loved event like the World Cup. We could embark on our own journey through the tournament either with a whole team or a player that we created ourselves. It made us feel so much more involved with the global tournament than just simply spectating.

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The game features a tribal and Safari-like design obviously to portray the South African World Cup. The World Cup tournament feature is something I loved because you could take over smaller countries and attempt to topple the footballing giants, which offered intensity and excitement.

Now, looking back, the squads were something I was mostly interested in. I decided to look through the best national teams in the world’s squads and see who was highest rated and who was in the squad itself – Nostalgia at insane levels!

First up, I looked into England and ‘mediocre’ instantly jumped to mind. Aaron Lennon out wide and Emile Heskey upfront. Glen Johnson at right back with Rob Green in net albeit accompanied by John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney. England’s team on the game is like real life: average.

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Next, Germany’s starting XI. Rene Adler was a solid goalkeeper in the line-up, being the highest rated. Miroslav Klose, the eventual all-time leading World Cup goalscorer, led the line with a young Mesut Ozil playing in behind. Michael Ballack was a player who also sat in the middle of midfield.

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Brazil is five-time champions of this prestigious tournament so I was obviously going to dive into their squad. Julio Cesar, with an 89 overall, was between the sticks with Lucio and Juan in centre-back. No sign of Thiago Silva yet in the starting XI according to this game. Kaka, Luis Fabiano and Robinho in attack with Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato on the bench alongside Dani Alves. A talented team despite their exit in the quarter-finals to the Netherlands.

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The Netherlands went all the way to the final, beating Uruguay and Brazil on their way, with a fairly strong team (especially in comparison to now). Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie and Rafael Van Der Vaart all in the starting line up.

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The final team I decided to have a peak at was one of the best international sides football has seen, Spain. Champions of Europe in 2008, eventual champions of the 2010 World Cup and then the European Championships in 2012, this team dominated world football for years and is looked at as one of the strongest teams the game has seen.

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A young Sergio Busquets was included in the squad but wasn’t the highest rated. He then showed incredible form in the years following (as you already know). Fernando Torres and David Villa led the line in this game. An incredible team.

Now, looking past the teams and into actual gameplay itself, the graphics on this game were seen as stupendous back in 2010 and still today, they are good. The inclusion of confetti on the walk out (and the fact it stays on the side of the pitch) adds a little something. The addition of manager cuts is also a nice factor. Marcello Lippi is spot on. Below are a few shots from gameplay showing you what the game looked like.

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Football video games give fans a sense of being involved on-pitch and let them live their dreams of winning titles. This game was something I loved playing alongside watching the games because it added something extra.

Football is a lifestyle. #FOOTBALLISPERMANENT

[ Fashion x Football ] The Reggae Shirt by NIVELCRACK x CityBoysFC

When football meets fashion, two incredibly interesting worlds collide . South Korean brand NIVELCRACK (in collaboration with Japanese brand CityBoys FC) have got the combination locked down – especially with this Reggae shirt in a striking pink and a rich purple colourway.

The shirt is inspired by Bob Marley. “Football is freedom” is the motto and it is exactly what the shirt has been designed to portray. The shirt features Marley himself, the words ‘FOOTBALL IS FREEDOM’, guitars and palm trees across the whole garment, expressing a paradise created by the beautiful game. The ‘Hawaiian-esque’ nature of the shirt conveys the free spirit of football. We especially love the clash of hues – breaking the rules, another depiction of freedom.

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The shirt is available to buy here. It’s worth it. #FOOTBALLISPERMANENT

 

[ Fashion x Football ] : Kendall Jenner meets the global game

Fashion is one of the most globally anticipated and looked at industries and so is football so when the two combine, there is a combustion of excitement and explosion on social media. When a fashion icon like Kendall Jenner comes into the public eye rocking a retro Kappa Juventus top, then football nerds like us take notice. Below is Kendall Jenner donning the iconic Juventus x Kappa partnership and we love everything about it (she must have seen Mundial Magazine). A perfect piece of evidence that football is, 100%, the global game.

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This isn’t the first time Kendall Jenner and the beautiful game have crossed paths. Back in 2015, Kendall and her supermodel friend Gigi Hadid, donned the shirts of PSG with respective names printed on the back during Paris Fashion Week. Rihanna and Travis Scott were also in presence.

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Football is more than what goes on on the pitch. It’s a lifestyle. It’s permanent.

[Focus] : The Dollar Bill Football by Kieran Brown

Kieran Brown is a football YouTuber with exceptional freestyle skills and is an insane talent with the ball. A series he does on his incredibly popular YouTube channel is ‘Football Experiments’ where he has produced a gummy bear ball and a rubber band ball and proceeds to freestyle with these. This time, it’s the turn of the Dollar Bill ball. Check it, it’s lit:

Subscribe to Kieran for more awesome videos.

[ Interview ] : Nathan Carr, The Home Of Caribbean Football

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One of the goals of this website is to shine a light on aspects of football that don’t get the recognition they may deserve. This is the first interview, a Q&A session, on the site. We conducted this over email and the answers provided have given us a beautiful insight into Caribbean football, increasing our knowledge and hopefully yours, too.

One of the main things we want to achieve with this site is to a spotlight onto certain football cultures that aren’t mainstream. Why does the Caribbean offer something special which people can get on board with?

I think part of Caribbean football’s allure is that it’s a bit of an exotic mystery. I’ve been following it for nearly five years and there is still an awful lot to discover. It’s kind of within its own little world but there are some fascinating stories attached which are so interesting to learn about. I love following these smaller islands like Montserrat, Anguilla and Sint Maarten, exploring the social and human side of football in these places and bringing stories to life. I dedicate a lot of my spare time to Caribbean football because I’m passionate about it, I want it to grow and for more people to take it seriously. It’s not for everyone, sure. But the Caribbean is a fascinating, vibrant and often misunderstood part of the planet. I personally believe that Caribbean football can become a real power in the future. If you’re reading this, then why not try to catch a game sometime and you never know, you might just get hooked just as I did as a 15-year-old. 

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Montserrat National Team

Is there any bright talent coming from the Caribbean that we could expect to see in some of the bigger leagues in years to come?

There are several up-and-coming teenagers who are still playing in their respective countries and surely it won’t be too long before they earn a professional contract abroad. Below is merely a selection.

Alex Marshall | 18 | Jamaica. A left-footed winger/attacking midfielder. One of the biggest stars of schoolboy football in Jamaica. Recently went on trial at German club St Pauli.

Keston Julien | 17 | Trinidad & Tobago. A left-back. Very impressive at last year’s CONCACAF U-17 Championship and recently went on trial at AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

Jabari Mitchell | 19 | Trinidad & Tobago. An attack-minded central midfielder. Captain of the national U-20 team and recently went on trial at Boavista in Portugal.

Javorn Stevens | 18 | Antigua & Barbuda. A striker. Captain of the national U-20 team and already capped at senior level. Very highly thought of in Antigua & Barbuda.

Nyrone Winter | 17 | Saint Lucia. A winger who can also play up front. Has won the Saint Lucian Junior Footballer of the Year award on two occasions. Currently on a two-week stint in England where he’s going to be training with both Preston North End and Bradford City.

Ronaldo Damus | 16 | Haiti. A striker. Made his senior debut against Costa Rica on Friday night. First came onto the scene at last year’s CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

Mackenson Cadet | 16 | Turks & Caicos Islands. Highly rated midfielder who plays for the National Academy in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Went on trial at Nottingham Forest in 2015.

St George's College's Alex Marshall (right) receives the FLOW Super Cup Golden Boot from FLOW's head of marketing and products Carlo Redwood at the final at the National Stadium.
St George’s College’s Alex Marshall (right) receives the FLOW Super Cup Golden Boot from FLOW’s head of marketing and products Carlo Redwood at the final at the National Stadium.

There is plenty of good if a little raw, talent in the Caribbean but there aren’t always the structures in place to maximise that talent. There aren’t always the opportunities for talented youngsters to show what they can do on a bigger stage. That is beginning to change slowly but surely. If you haven’t already, feel free to check out CaribYoungStars, a project profiling the brightest young talent in Caribbean football that I inaugurated last year.

In your opinion, who would you say is the best talent to come from the Caribbean?

It’s too hard to narrow it down to specifically one player. You can’t ignore Lilian Thuram who comes from Guadeloupe. Then there’s Clarence Seedorf and Edgar Davids who both come from Suriname. Raheem Sterling comes from Jamaica. Trinidad & Tobago’s Dwight Yorke has to rank up there purely for what he achieved at Manchester United. His compatriot, Russell ‘Little Magician’ Latapy, was arguably more gifted but never truly fulfilled his potential in Europe. Bermuda’s Clyde Best deserves a mention as does Haiti’s Emmanuel Sanon. Curacao’s Ergilio Hato was an unbelievably good goalkeeper in the 1940s/50s and could have easily starred in Europe but he turned down the likes of Real Madrid and Ajax to stay locally with his family. The fact is that the Caribbean has contributed significantly to world football whether directly or indirectly because the diaspora is so vast. Yet, unfortunately, the region doesn’t always receive the recognition it warrants. 

Suriname duo, Edgar Davids and Clarence Seedorf battle it out playing for two of the world's greatest clubs
The duo of Edgar Davids and Clarence Seedorf, who were both born in Suriname, battle it out playing for two of the world’s greatest clubs

What are the views on football in the Caribbean? Of course, you have places such as Brazil and Argentina where it is basically a religion.

Football is generally very popular but has always had to battle against the colonial legacy of cricket and also track + field which is firmly ingrained in many sporting cultures across the islands. In the Anglophone Caribbean, cricket probably edges football in terms of popularity. But that’s not to say that in places such as Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago football isn’t taken seriously because it is. In the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, baseball tends to be the number one sport because of past American influences on Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. There are many Dominican baseball stars who play in the United States, for example. In the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, football ranks as the number one sport. I think that many Caribbean people look at football as an art form, a way of expressing themselves. I believe there is a culture, though, which lends heavy focus to the individual and how the individual entertains the crowd with the ball over the collective context of the team, which has its positives and negatives. Scrimmage (small-sided football using reduced space) is widely played across the islands, particularly in Jamaica. Caribbean fans in general are very passionate and demanding – mistakes tend to be scrutinised and immediate success is the goal. The passion definitely shines through, though.

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Out of the international teams, which team offers the highest quality football and has the better chance of causing an upset against some of the bigger international teams?

The traditional top four is Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti and Cuba – the only Caribbean countries to have gone to the World Cup finals. Out of those Trinidad & Tobago are currently playing the best football and will be the Caribbean’s only representative at the Hexagonal which begins in November later this year. But what we have seen in recent times is the growth of other nations such as Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Martinique, Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Suriname, Grenada, Guyana and the Dominican Republic who are challenging the upper bracket of Caribbean international teams. I think Curacao have a very interesting project going on and they’ve been assisted by the expertise of Patrick Kluivert, whose mother comes from the island. Saint Kitts & Nevis are a rising force and the head coach Jacques Passy is doing a stellar job there. There is always scope for an upset or for the underdog to triumph; we’ve seen that time and time again in football. As former Trinidad & Tobago manager Leo Beenhakker once said: “In football, 2 and 2 is almost never 4. Most of the time it is 3 or 5.”

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Now, I want to get your thoughts on Jack Warner and co and their involvement in Caribbean football and Trinidad and Tobago itself. How have they and their actions influenced the game in these places?

We have to remember that Jack Warner presided over Caribbean football for 28 years. He called the shots for nearly three decades. So the decisions that he made have undeniably had a direct influence on the Caribbean game and how it is today. Warner causes division in his native Trinidad & Tobago – some people believe he changed things for the better and others believe he changed things for the worse. For me, some of Warner’s traits are a microcosm of what is wrong in Caribbean football administration. This doesn’t apply to everybody but I feel a lot of the time people at the top are only looking after themselves. They are taking care of their ego and making selfish decisions instead of making decisions on behalf of the betterment of football. Caribbean football administrators need to realise and appreciate that they are in a privileged position of authority and responsibility. With this comes power which shouldn’t be abused for personal gain. Caribbean football needs leadership. Not dictatorship. They are two very different things.

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A very interesting look into Caribbean football and what a new watcher can expect. It also gives us aspects to look out for. Thanks to Nathan Carr of The Home Of Caribbean Football for answering our questions. You can check his site out here: thehomeofcaribbeanfootball.com