The world over if someone were asked to name the ten greatest players to have ever played a beautiful game, the names would be Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo (Brazilian), Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Michel Platini. These are the players who excelled at their trade and reached levels never seen or imagined before. But if you were to ask a Brazilian who is the greatest Brazilian player of all time don’t be surprised to hear the name Garrincha, a player who may not have been as technically gifted as Pele or Ronaldo but he had the gift of inventiveness, explosive pace, dribbling skills beyond anyone’s ability and a keen eye for goal. Sadly outside Brazil and academic discussions, Garrincha is mostly forgotten despite being a double FIFA World Cup Winner. Like many Brazilian footballers, Garrincha was born in poverty in Pau Grande in the city of Magé; southeast of Brazil and in the […]

‘TheHardTackle Relic’ is a semi-regular column which dusts off the pages of football history. It intends to walk you down memory lane and relive events, players and teams long forgotten. Today we revisit the inspiring journey of Sir Bobby Robson.  Revered in Newcastle and the North East, Sir Bobby Robson is a man who enjoys phenomenal popularity. He means so much to every generation of Englishmen: from his playing days with Fulham and West Bromwich Albion in the 1950s and 1960s, to his twenty England caps and his brilliant management career over the past 38 years, Bobby Robson has inspired generations of fans. In his early adult years he grew-up in North East, and his working life before football in the mines of Langley Park, where he went underground for a year and a half at the age of fifteen. Regarded as the most successful living English manager of all-time, he has been witnessed to some of the most historic sporting […]

When one talks of Dutch football in the early 70's, many people unleash a sonnet, announcing the perfection and innovation and dominance of Ajax, Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff. Most people would dismiss of it as an 'April Fool's Day joke' , when they are told that the first Dutch team to win the European Cup is surprisingly, not Ajax - which is a very common and very wide misconception. It was actually the club Ajax would've liked least to have taken this honour, their fiercest rivals in an enmity that runs deep into both clubs' history and has taken root in the very identity of both cities: Feyenoord Rotterdam.