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In a piece carried by the Guardian and originally posted on In Bed With Maradona, current Sheffield United coach, Alex Clapham, gets to the essence of one of the greatest talent producers in the world of football. I love this quote that Clapham gets out of Miguel Miranda, the goalkeeping coordinator at the Sporting Academy: “Listen to me. Messi is a freak, a one-off and clearly the best ever, but what Cristiano has done to be anywhere near his levels speak volumes about the man. He came here from an island with nothing: a skinny boy with many bad habits who liked to...Continue reading »

They have gone back and forth over the years, each man seeming to lock himself into a permanent place atop the soccer world. When Lionel Messi had captured a record fifth Ballon d’Or in 2015, many thought that the chief rival of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo, would never be able to catch him. But catch him he has in 2017 and it now seems difficult to know who will end up on top in this epic battle to be remembered as the best of their generation – and perhaps of all time. Ballon back-and-forth: Cristiano v Messi: 1-0; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 2-4; 3-4; 3-5; 4-5;...Continue reading »

They have gone back and forth over the years, each man seeming to lock himself into a permanent place atop the soccer world. When Lionel Messi had captured a record fifth Ballon d’Or in 2015, many thought that the chief rival of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo, would never be able to catch him. But catch him he has in 2017 and it now seems difficult to know who will end up on top in this epic battle to be remembered as the best of their generation – and perhaps of all time. Ballon back-and-forth: Cristiano v Messi: 1-0; 1-1; 1-2; 1-3; 1-4; 2-4; 3-4; 3-5; 4-5;...Continue reading »