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Back Of The Net Blog


A sideways look at football/soccer across the globe

Deconstructing Brazil - What Went Wrong

Deconstructing Brazil – What Went Wrong

Down and Out - Brazil crashed out of the World Cup in stunning fashion (Image from AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)With the dust now settled on what was a stunning World Cup, the inquest into what went wrong for Brazil can now begin. Whilst other teams like England, Spain and Italy exited earlier than expected and before Brazil, it was the nature of the home teams implosion in the semi finals against eventual champions Germany and their failure to recover for the irrelevant third place playoff game that has…

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Canada – The Safe Option For The FIFA 2026 World Cup?

Oh Canada, FIFA's safe option? (Image from CP)

With questions being asked about the selection of Russia and Qatar for the next two World Cups in 2018 and 2022 respectively, few are thinking about the 2026 event with any real purpose. That is with one exception – Canada who is actively looking into making a formal bid to become the host nation. Ranked 110th in the world, Canada has failed to qualify for any World Cups since its one and only…

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German Engineering Proves Too Strong For Messi and Argentina

Gotze wins it for Germany (Image from AFP)

It may have taken 112 minutes to come but Germany’s World Cup winning goal was 24 years in the making. For a country known for producing quality automobiles refined over generations it should be no surprise that they applied the same logic to its national football team. For the key engineer behind the project Joachim Low, it is vindication for all those nearly runs whilst he was tweaking and…

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Adidas Beats Nike In This Years Brand World Cup

Adidas and Nike are fierce rivals (Image from Getty)

When David Beckham was 15 years old, he was viewed as a talented kid with a bright future in football. After being spotted by an Adidas rep, they signed him up to a 2 year deal then fundamentally forgot about him. Two years later when Beckham started to break into the Manchester United first team and into the headlines, Adidas biggest rivals Nike started to chase Beckham, keen to sign him.…

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German Blitz Brings Brazil Crashing Back To Reality

Blitz complete - A shell-shocked Brazil survey the damage (Image from FIFA via Getty)No one could have predicted it and few could believe what they were watching. In the crowds, Neymar sat dejected, his dream diminishing before his eyes. Brazilian supporters fought to hold back their tears as they watched Germany rip apart Brazil in a rampant opening 30 minutes of their World Cup Semi Finals match. During spells Germany looked like they had double the players on the pitch than…

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Football Mourns The Passing Of The Blond Arrow - Alfredo Di Stefano

Cheers to one of the games greatest players (Image from AP)

Spanish and Argentinian football were plunged into mourning yesterday with the death of the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano. The 88 year old former River Plate and Real Madrid front man suffered a heart attack at home on Saturday, one day after his birthday and never recovered. Di Stefano is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to have ever graced the game and will be sorely missed. Di…

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Van Gaal Masterstroke Sends Holland Into The Semi’s

Late switch sends Krul on (Image from Getty)

It was a bold move, one that could have easily backfired but in the end proved inspirational. Holland manager Louis Van Gaal’s decision to replace goalkeeper Jesper Cillessen with Tim Krul a minute before their Quarter final penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica seemed strange at the time but proved to be decisive as Krul stepped up to save two of the Costa Rican penalties, sending Holland into…

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Scotland’s Mini Messi Destined For Greater Things

Gauld arrives at Sporting Lisbon (Image from AFP)Once in a lifetime is how 18 year old Ryan Gauld described the opportunity to move to Sporting Lisbon. After completing his £3million move from Dundee United, the dazzling midfielder spoke to reporters at Edinburgh airport about his dream to play in Europe and how he couldn’t turn down this chance. Gauld is not fazed by the move nor feels under pressure to live up to expectations which bode well…

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Shout Out From The Stands - The Future Of English Football

England crashed out early on in the World Cup (Image from Andy Hooper)

With England’s recent failures in the 2014 World Cup, questions are again being asked of the ability of young English players as world-class footballers, and also of the Academy and National Team development models that are producing these players.  England’s record at major tournaments in recent years is not impressive:

Team Tournament Played WonEngland First Team FIFA World Cup 2014 3 0…

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Shock and Awe In Group Stage But What Moment Stood Out The Most?

Hero to Villan - Suarez bites again (Image from Getty)This has certainly been one of he most exciting and interesting World Cups in recent memory. Controversal moments, Jaw dropping goals and the ocassional shock result have left many praying that the tournament somehow gets extended by another two weeks! The group stage along threw up a host of surprises, none more so than Costa Rica’s surprise romp of group D. The tiny central America republic was…

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Van Gaal Tinkers With United Squad Ahead Of His Arrival

Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy - Van Gaal (Image from Getty)

Holland’s progress in the World Cup appears to not have halted Louis Van Gaal’s revolution from happening at Manchester United. Last week, the Red Devils announced the signing of Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao and England left back Luke Shaw from Southampton. The two signings, at a combined cost of £60.5million, signal Van Gaal’s intent to reshape the former English…

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Sexism Forces First Female Boss Helena Costa To Quit

Helena Costa Quits over lack of support (Image from AFP)

The departure of Helena Costa from Clermont Foot 63 only days after her appointment should be as disappointing as it sounds with football once again taking two steps back. Only a few months ago, we were praising Clermont for their forward progressive thinking in appointing Costa but now it appears as though we spoke too soon. After a cloud of mystery surrounded her departure earlier this week,…

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Crunch Time For The US As Their World Cup Fate Lies In Their Own Hands

Dempsey has led the charge for the US (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Two games in, four points gained. Not a bad start for a team expected to struggle in a supposed group of death but for US head coach Jürgen Klinsmann it’s the start he expected and he is now looking forward to today’s game against Germany. The job is far from done as mathematically Ghana or Portugal could overtake the US into second spot, knocking them out of the World Cup. Only a point is…

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From Hero To Villian As Suarez Bites Again

Hero to Villan - Suarez bites again (Image from Getty)

You would have thought that Luis Suarez had learned his lesson after being caught last year biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic’s arm, earning him a ten game ban but it would appear not. In yesterday’s nail biting winner takes all final group match between Italy and Uruguay, Suarez appeared to lean into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and bite him on the shoulder. The Juventus player…

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Real Madrid To Rebuild Los Galacticos With Summer Move For Falcao

Falcao looks set to move to Real Madrid (Image from Getty)

It’s been nearly ten years since the breakup of Los Galacticos, Real Madrid’s star studded team but now President Florentino Perez wants to rebuild it with a haul of impressive summer signings. The current Champions League winners already boast the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas but Perez now has his sights firmly set on Colombian power striker, Radamel…

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