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Blog - ESPN FC United

 By James Young

The problem with Brazilian football coaches? Try the culture around them

Muricy Ramalho partly blames his recent health problems on managing in Brazil. He might have a point.

"I've never had heart problems before ... [the doctors] said that it was caused by stress. My heart was beating in a strange way. It was frightening ... it made me wonder whether all this madness is worth it."

Those were the words of Muricy Ramalho, the Sao Paulo coach who was hospitalised in September and diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia, during an interview with Brazil's "Esporte Espetacular" TV show back in October. Ramalho, who was one of the candidates to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari as...

Indian Super League countdown: Atletico de Kolkata vs. Kerala Blasters

Kerala Blasters drew and beat Atletico de Kolkata in their two matches during the group stage, with the pair facing one final showdown to determine the ISL winner.

After 10 weeks, 60 matches and record crowds, India's experiment with organised, top level football comes to a close on Saturday when Atletico de Kolkata face Kerala Blasters in the final of the Indian Super League.

The tournament has already been heralded a success, increasing optimism that football will be able to spread its tentacles across this vast country of 1.2 billion people, which claims cricket as the genuine national sport. The football on display has been much better than anticipated,...

 By Nick Miller

Premier League workhorses who don't get the credit they deserve

Blue-collar, work-horses, grafters, 'lunchbucket' players -- call them what you like. The Premier League needs those who perhaps aren't known for their silky skills. Here are ten of the best.

10. Cesar Azipilicueta

Cesar Azpilicueta has become a mainstay on the Chelsea back line.
Cesar Azpilicueta has become a mainstay on the Chelsea back line.

When Cesar Azipilicueta first arrived at Chelsea, there were some doubts about whether he was good enough for a side of their ambitions. He seemed a game but relatively limited defender, but after establishing himself in the side, he most definitely has proved those early doubts wrong,...

Ligue 1 is the most exciting title race in Europe at the moment

ESPN FC's Stuart Holden contends that Chelsea has better chemistry in midfield than PSG.

The French are not known for being particularly good at suspense. We are quite a predictable bunch as my British wife will often remind me.

Our back catalogue of films consist of many a twisted love story with a psychological edge, our best writers philosophize and give social commentary and our general elections are a one horse race where politicians make predictable comebacks. However our football is different. We've done suspense pretty well over the last few years, even more so this year.

"Masters...

There's reason to hold out hope that Garcia's full FIFA report will be released

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti and Shaka Hislop weigh in on Michael Garcia's departure from FIFA's ethics committee and FIFA's image going forward.

You may be bored stiff already by the reporting on FIFA, their ethics investigator Michael Garcia and German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert.

You may be among those who jumped to the conclusion that all football governance is corrupt, there is no way out and that rather than reading this, your time is better spent doing something more valuable, like looking up players who made dubious fashion choices in their youth (here's Ivan Rakitic. ... Enjoy!)

If that's the case, I don't blame you....

The Europa League needs to change current format to gain more interest

ESPN FC's Craig Burley joins Alexis Nunes to discuss the Europa League draw and which British sides need to take this competition seriously.

The Europa League just got interesting. After months of preliminary rounds and a long group stage, we're into a straight, two-legged cup competition, and it looks brilliant.

There are echoes of the past in Celtic's tie with Internazionale. There may be glimpses of the future when promising Borussia Monchengladbach face Sevilla. There are 32 teams of varying quality and stature and, unlike the Champions League and, in many cases, their own domestic leagues, almost all of them have a chance of winning....