A short documentary series, produced by the wonderful COPA90 and Eli Mengem, focuses on the side of the international break that not many people look at. This time, they’ve hit Japan showcasing what the nation has to offer in terms of the game. A beautifully crafted video and a sensational story told this video is a must-see.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Football is more than what goes on on the pitch. It’s a lifestyle. It’s permanent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
An XI purely from Africa but with a stipulation: each nation can only be used once. So no partnership of Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba up front, no Yaya Toure and Didier Drogba in the same team. A tough one but a good one.
This is a team which will most likely cause disagreements throughout due to the country restrictions. One player from each country but of course, not every country will be used. The formation we have decided on is 3-4-3, an attacking formation but we thought, why not be daring when this team won’t be playing against anyone?
Goalkeeper: Bruce Grobbelaar [Zimbabwe]
A 32-time capped Zimbabwe international, this South African born goalkeeper makes it between the sticks for TCD’s African XI. Forget the match fixing allegations of 1994, this keeper was solid between the sticks for Liverpool most notably but featured for 17 clubs in total and was a part of 19 (he didn’t feature for Oxford United or Sheffield Wednesday). A three time FA Cup winner along with one European Cup, his place is cemented in net.
Centre-Back: Mehdi Benatia [Morocco]
A solid centre half, once of AS Roma but now on loan at Juventus from parent club FC Bayern. He made 80 appearances for Udinese before moving to Roma where he made 30. A two time Bundesliga winner alongside a DFB Pokal, Benatia is a good defender. A Moroccan international, he ticks another nation off the list.
Centre-Back: Lucas Radebe [South Africa]
Winning the National Soccer League twice with Kaiser Chiefs in the consecutive years of 1991 and 1992 then moving onto Leeds United where he was a Champions League semi-finalist and won Player of the Year in 1998. He recieved a FIFA Fair Play award for his contribution to ridding the game of racism. A notable achievement was when a Leeds brewery asked for name suggestions for a new beer, ‘Radebeer’ was voted favourite showing their admiration for the South African.
Centre-Back: Chancel Mbemba [Congo]
An inclusion that most people will be like ‘what the fuck?’ but one I feel, as a Newcastle fan and due to the restrictions, is a fair one. Sami Kuffour misses out due to the nation restrictions but Mbemba is one who is an adequate replacement. A very solid defender from the Congo, no-one knows his age but I know that he is an excellent defender. The man turned up with a tuxedo on for his first home game at Newcastle…suave.
Winger: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang [Gabon]
He once wore £2,500 crystalised boots when warming up at Saint Ettiene and scored 29 goals in 54 goals before moving to Borussia Dortmund where he has netted 56 goals in 95 (and counting). A front flip celebrator, the pacey attacker was the African Footballer of the Year in 2015 alongside BVB’s top goalscorer two years running (2014-2016).
Central Midfielder: Michael Essien [Ghana]
The Bison. On-field forcefulness and prowess gave him this nickname and he has been one of the best midfielders to come from Africa in football. Essien has won the Premier League twice whilst playing for Chelsea along with a Champions League win in 2012. In terms of individual honours, he was included in the African Cup of Nations ‘Team of All Tournaments’ and was BBC African Player of the Year in 2006.
Central Midfielder: Seydou Keita [Mali] Starting his career in Marseille, the Mali international was mostly known for his stints at Lens, Sevilla and FC Barcelona. During his first season at Barcelona, the Catalan club won the treble. Keita scored a hat-trick over Zaragoza in 2009 and made more appearances than any outfield player in 2010-11 for Barcelona. A three time La Liga winner, two time Champions League winner and two third place positions in the AFCON, Keita is an inclusion based on my personal preference but also because he has done a lot in football. A hero of mine.
Winger: Jay-Jay Okocha [Nigeria] ‘He’s so good they named him twice’ was a chant sang during his time at Bolton Wanderers. Okocha was a very skillful player and adopted the step-over, making it his own before a certain Cristiano Ronaldo came along. When playing for Eintract Frankfurt, he scored a goal that had Oliver Khan diving about all over the place due to his twists and turns. When at Fenerbache, he scored 30 goals in 62 appearances and many of them came from set pieces. This was something he became known for at the Turkish club. PSG signed him for £14m and he became the most expensive African player at the time. He won Nigerian Footballer of the Year 6 times between 1995 and 2005 and won the AFCON with Nigeria in 1994.
Striker: George Weah [Liberia]
A player everyone knew would be included. Probably the greatest talent to come out of Africa, the AS Monaco, Paris Saint Germain and AC Milan legend is one of the first names on the team sheet. He combined physical attributes with technique, skill and finishing ability to become one of the best players in the world. Despite the controversy of him breaking Jorge Costa’s nose in the tunnel over racism allegations, he won the FIFA Fair Play Award the same year but that wasn’t the most notable award. Weah grabbed the FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 1995 and the Ballon D’Or the same year. He was the first native African to win these awards.
Striker: Didier Drogba [Ivory Coast]
Of course the Ivorian is included, how could we leave him out? A Premier League, and football-in-general. legend. Hated by many, admired by most throughout his time playing for Chelsea. No-one can deny how influential he was as a striker for Chelsea with his prowess being huge upfront. He score over 150 goals for Chelsea where he played for ten years after moving from Marseille where he scored 32 in 55. Not only has he scored this many at club level, he scored 63 in 104 for Ivory Coast. A four time Premier League champion and a massive role in Chelsea’s Champions League glory of 2012 scoring the winning penalty, he leads the line for this XI or it would be a ‘fucking disgrace’ eh, Didier?
Striker: Samuel Eto’o [Cameroon] Samuel Eto’o is one of the most profilic strikers in the game’s history when in his prime. 129 goals in 201 appearances at Barcelona and a further 53 in 101 at Inter, he is one of the best strikers the game has seen. He was 1/3 of one of the best trios in history which featured himself, Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry who score over 100 goals together in a single campaign. Eto’o has won La Liga three times, the Champions League three times, a Scudetto, the AFCON twice, an Olympic Gold Medal and the African Player of the Year four times. He is also Cameroon’s top goalscorer.
Manager: Stephen Keshi
The rule doesn’t apply here. The Nigerian won the AFCON both as a manager and a player and was given African Manager of the Year in 2013. We were deeply saddened by the news of his passing, our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest In Peace.
The kit worn by South Africa on their return to the African Cup of Nations following their 34 year ban from the tournament and a non-qualifying campaign the tournament before they were crowned champions in 1996. A beautiful gold, black and green kit worn with pride by the nation and Nelson Mandela himself.
The kit worn in Nigeria’s first ever World Cup in 1994. They topped their group of Argentina, Bulgaria and Greece before being knocked out in the quarters by a Roberto Baggio double. A very beautiful kit whether it be with green shorts or not.
A very tough task deciding this XI, especially with the nation restrictions in place. This team is a solid team with a lot of attacking firepower. Maybe the tactic is to outscore opponents rather than keep them out? Well with that defence and Essien and Keita holding, anything is possible. Let us know who we should include, who we shouldn’t have included and any complaints you have in the comments below.