Tag Archives: FIFA

A History of Australians In English Football

Last week Lucas Neill, the former Blackburn, West Ham and Everton defender secured a move to English Championship team, and my home town, Watford. With the World Cup on the horizon Neill is desperate to secure regular football to gain a spot on the flight to Brazil. His career has taken him to England, across Europe, back to Australia, Asia and now back to England. It prompted me to think about the history of Australians in the English game and celebrate those that made an impact in the motherland and some that went Walkabout.

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Ecuador: Riding High on The Wings of Altitude

Ecuador. Not just famous for the 1997 dance tune by Sash of the same name; now their national football team is making waves. Traditionally one of South America’s less prominent nations, as its economy has thrived, so has its football, keeping up with the likes of the emerging Colombia and Chile. Having reached the Brazil 2014 World Cup finals they are shortly due to play warm-up games against Australia, Netherlands, Mexico and England before things get serious against Switzerland, Honduras and France.

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Russian Football: Past, Present and Future

The modern day image of Russian football has come a long way since the days of Soviet rule, communist direction and mass unrest across the country. With the birth of a new nation over two decades ago came an influx of obscene amounts of wealth to the domestic league. The floodgates are well and truly open and as Russia enters the World Cup in Brazil this year, expectation is high to see a return for the country’s investment.

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Filipino Football

The Philippines was thrown into the world’s spotlight in dramatic fashion on the 8 November this month. Typhoon Haiyan has took its toll with the current death toll at over 5,000 people with thousands more missing. The sporting world saw first-hand the consequences as recent Golf World Cup Champion and Australian-born Jason Day revealed he lost eight members of his family.  Also UEFA quickly prompted a sign of support with banners unveiled at every Champions League football game this week reading, “You are not alone, Philippines.” Generally football in the country has battled against the most popular sport, basketball, and struggles to gain enough popularity to grow organically. The national team continues to be one of the weaker across the globe and the domestic league remains effectively semi-professional with future plans to change that. However look beneath the surface and you will see a game that has been heavily influenced originally by Britain, Spain and more recently the rest of Europe. Remarkably when football was at the height of popularity the country even produced a Spanish football legend.

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