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World Soccer

May 2019

Your life made easier - every day. The unrivalled authority on the game of soccer around the world, World Soccer calls upon journalists from the globe's great soccer capitals. The best writers, analytical features and the ability to deliver the inside-track on domestic and world football have made World Soccer an institution. With stunning images and a website delivering up-to-the-minute global results and authoritative insights into the players, politics and power-struggles, the brand constantly looks behind the score-lines. Its insightful writing reaches to the heart of the triumphs, scandals and controversies that constantly emerge in the greatest international sport of them all.

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access_time1 min.
in pictures

PERU…Marcelo Estigarribia of Argentina’s Colon celebrates scoring against Deportivo Municipal in the Sudamericana CupBRAZIL…an Internacional fan leaves no doubt as to where his loyalties lieSOUTH KOREA… Kashima Antlers’ Yasushi Endo leads his team and the mascots out on a wet AFC Champions league nightHUNGARY…players and fans celebrate Hungary’s victory over Croatia in the Euro 2020 qualifiersSPAIN…Girona’s Portu (in yellow) challenges Santiago arias of Atletico MadridREPUBLIC OF IRELAND…Shamrock rovers Greg Bolger gets to grips with Karl Sheppard of Cork City…

access_time3 min.
from the editor

Unloved…Gianni Infantino presents Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale with the Golden Ball award at December’s Club World Cup in Abu DhabiI’ve yet to meet a football supporter who doesn’t enjoy reading about transfer speculation. It’s part and parcel of the game, but so much of what appears online has very little basis, often prompted by agents touting their clients – both players and clubs.Our main feature this month – Football’s Most Wanted (page 33) – is an attempt to sift through and weed out some of the more outlandish rumours that have been doing the rounds.It presents an opportunity to focus on some of the outstanding players and stories of this season. Whether that’s emerging talents such as Nicolo Zaniolo, Eder Militao or Aaron Wan-Bissaka; those who have escaped our attentions…

access_time2 min.
heroes & villains

Century…Balazs Dzsudzsak on winning his 100th capBALAZS DZSUDZSAKThe 32-year-old winger became only the third Hungarian to play 100 games for his country, equalling the achievement of Gabor Kiraly (108 caps) and Jozsef Bozsik (101), with his appearance against Croatia.SOULEYMANE CAMARAThe Senegalese striker’s goal in Montpellier’s 3-2 defeat at Lyon meant the 36-year-old has been on target in Ligue 1 in 15 different seasons – making him the first player to do so in the 21st century.JANO ANANIDZEThe Georgian international rushed to the aid of Fabian Schar after the Swiss defender clashed heads with Georgia’s Jemal Tabidze during a Euro 2020 qualifier. Ananidze saw that Schar was unconscious and realised he had swallowed his tongue, and his quick reaction meant Schar was able to continue as Switzerland went on to win…

access_time2 min.
on the radar

Serge GNABRY (Bayern Munich)Two-and-a-half years after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger declared him surplus to requirements, the 23-year-old has ended up having the last laugh.Looking anything but a cast-off these days, he has enjoyed an exceptional first season at Bayern and is tipped for a long and glittering international career, having conjured up an impressive goal in Germany’s recent 3-2 victory against Holland in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.“Serge played really well tonight,” enthused national coach Joachim Low after the game in Amsterdam. “His movement was incredible, he took on [Virgil] Van Dijk all night and physically asserted himself. His goal was top class.”Gnabry has a patchy record of staying fit in the past, but believes he has now found the answer in a vegan diet. “I’m feeling very good because of it,”…

access_time6 min.
keir radnedge

Stepping down… Departing German FA president Reinhard GrindelWatches are football’s corruption currencyWhen is a gift not a gift? In football, that’s simple: when it’s a watch.Luxury timepieces are collectibles for many of the rich and well-heeled in the upper echelons of football, but also for the self-entitled and the unbelievably naive. And within these ranks now count the latest hapless and hopeless recruit, Reinhard Grindel.Football’s grandees need no wristwatches to note hours, minutes and seconds; they count time only in computations of years until the next election stitch-up.When it comes to examining the fuzzy line between gift and bribe, look back no further than Mohamed Bin Hammam. As The Sunday Times revealed, the Qatari supported his decade-long reign over the Asian Football Confederation with a generous distribution of largesse far…

access_time3 min.
paul gardner

The backheel: football’s space craftWhile you will be familiar with 3-4-3 and 4-2-4 and 3-5-1-1 and suchlike as ways of describing how a team plays, I don’t like this numbers game.Firstly, because I’m very uncertainly grounded in maths, and secondly because the numbers are dull and, I feel, of questionable value. I usually have major problems matching up what I see and what the pundits have told me I ought to be seeing.I know what I ought to be seeing: attractive, exciting, attacking football.I also know that those formations are never designed with that in mind as they are invariably defence-based. Coaches are good at planning defence but not nearly so good at organising things up front.I have worked on this matter and managed to overcome my aversion to maths…