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Next

Horncastle: Italy roll dice on Conte

Italy 6 days ago
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Rodriguez lost control in Italy-Uruguay

World Cup Central Jun 25, 2014
Read

World Cup firsts abound on Matchday 13

Five Aside Jun 24, 2014
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 Posted by Gabriele Marcotti
1 day ago

Italy job a big gamble for Conte

Antonio Conte has spoken of his delight at being selected as the new Italy manager.

Antonio Conte can be accused of many things; being obsessed with climbing the managerial ladder is not among them.

On July 15 he resigned his post as Juventus manager despite three straight Serie A titles and the prospect of more. On Tuesday, 35 days later, he put pen to paper to become the Italy boss.

- Horncastle: Dysfunctional Italy turn to Conte

It's not that coaching Italy is necessarily a step down. It's just that a cold-hearted, cost-benefit analysis that some of his colleagues might...

 Posted by James Horncastle
6 days ago

Dysfunctional Italy turn to Conte

Italy are close to announcing the appointment of former Juventus boss Antonio Conte as their new manager.

Dietrologia is one of the great Italian words. It expresses the scepticism and distrust with which official explanations are met. There is always something behind or "dietro" them. What appears on the surface must instead mask a deeper hidden truth. This belief that something is being kept from them, that they aren't in on the whole story is an endless source of gossip and speculation for Italians. It indulges conspiracy theories.

Take Antonio Conte's decision to resign from Juventus for in...

 Posted by James Horncastle
Aug 6, 2014

Ugly reality of Italian football emerges

A potential chair of the Italian Football Federation, Carlo Tavecchio, has sparked a major controversy in Italy after allegedly making a racist slur toward foreign footballers.

As Cesare Prandelli offered his "irrevocable" resignation as coach of Italy following their elimination at the group stages of the World Cup, he reflected on his four-year tenure. He spoke about camouflaging the limits and problems of Italian football. A combination of clever techniques were used to conceal them, guided by a simple premise: if Italy played beautiful football and presented a positive image to the world on the international stage, it would hide the ugly and negative reality that h...

 Posted by James Horncastle
Aug 1, 2014

Franco Baresi: The comeback captain

The ESPN FC crew weigh in on the career of AC Milan legend Franco Baresi.

Who is the greatest captain of all-time? From Aug. 18-29, ESPN FC will reveal its 10-man shortlist of the finest skippers to have graced the game, before conducting a vote for the winner. The result will be revealed on Sept. 1.


Franco Baresi reached down to touch his right knee. It hadn't felt the same since he had stretched to make a clearance seconds earlier. As he walked, a sharp pain shot through his leg, making him limp. The Italy No. 6 didn't want to go off. Italy had lost their opening g...

 Posted by Chris Wright
Jul 23, 2014

Balotelli reads Zlatan's autobiography while doing the ironing

Given the strategically-placed branded sportswear strewn about the room, we can only assume that this is some kind of subtle viral thing, but it's still refreshing to know that Mario Balotelli does his ironing like the rest of us mere mortals: shirt off, 17th century portraiture on show, Biggie Smalls on the stereo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography on the go.

 Posted by Eduardo Alvarez
Jun 28, 2014

Heat doesn't let up in knockout stage

The United States took part in the World Cup's first water break, and they needed it after their demanding travel schedule.

Finally something (else) new in football Yes, goal-line technology has arrived, but this World Cup has also brought another radical innovation. On June 22, the football world witnessed the first water break in a World Cup match, after 40 minutes of the fixture between Portugal and the United States that would eventually finish 2-2.

The 85 degree temperature in the Amazonia capital of Manaus, coupled with over 70 percent humidity, determined that "feels like" temperature (or, more technically, W...