Tag Archives: Soviet Union

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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The Nostalgia of Hungarian Football

For the modern day football fan unless you are well versed in the game’s history the mention of Hungary and ‘The Magnificent Magyars’ would not even create a stir. For those entering their retirement years and beyond the reaction would be a raise of the eyebrows and a nod of the head to a national team that were once considered the greatest team on earth and arguably a rival to the Brazil teams of 1970 and even the modern day Spanish world beaters. From a promising early history to the peak of their powers in the 1950s, ironically post revolution followed an ever so gradual decline to mediocrity and an extended absence from the elite of world football. The domestic competition excelled on a similar timeline and pathway but with the fall of Communism in the 1990s came uncertainty and instability that has affected the national game but also seen largely continued dominance of a handful of clubs. Welcome to Hungarian football, where Ferenc Puskás may be the most popular figure but where many more legends were born.

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Photo courtesy of http://www.fifa.com – ‘The Magnificent Magyars’

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On the brink of Brazil: A Profile of Ukrainian Football

As I write England are just hours away from their most important game of football in recent years. If they win they take a huge stride towards automatic World Cup qualification at the expense of their opposition, Ukraine. As a substantial part of the former Soviet Union, the young nation has shown a gradual and impressive improvement in ability in just two decades to be on the verge of securing a place in Brazil next year.

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Afghan Football: From Kabul to the X-Factor

Just the mention of Afghanistan immediately evokes images of war, conflict, Osama Bin Laden and instability. The US led “War on Terror” that began in 2001 appears to have an end in sight. As more allied troops withdraw they are left with the moral responsibility, wanted or not, to leave infrastructure, both economic and social.

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