Cultured Football #118
North Korea's Missing Star. Groundhopping. Liverpool's Messi. Tottenham Needed Maddison. Argentinian Talent.
Welcome to Cultured Football where the best football writing of the past seven days is carefully selected, just for you.
By Gawon Bae and Andrew McNicol for CNN
It is not unusual for a young player to be in the spotlight at an early age but then disappear almost completely from the scene. Few, however, do so as quickly and completely as the first North Korean player to ever score in one of Europe’s five major league.
By Glen Wilson for When Saturday Comes via The Guardian
As someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to visit many different football grounds, I envy people like Glen Wilson who has. Ironically, Glen himself isn’t sure that his travels are a cause for celebration.
Liverpool's 'next Lionel Messi' now without a club after jetting in with no boots to answer SOS call
By Theo Squires for the Liverpool Echo
In 2007, Liverpool signed a young Argentine midfielder from Real Madrid who had (inevitably) been saddled by comparisons with Lionel Messi. Whilst he showed flashes of brilliance at Liverpool’s academy, he never really had much an opportunity at first team level. What followed was a career filled with making the most of any opportunity that came along.
By Ali Tweedale for The Analyst
For large chunks of the past two season, Leicester seemed to play well only when James Maddison was available and on form. Not even he, however, could avoid relegation last season. Yet there was never any doubt that Maddison would remain in the Premier League. What will he add to Spurs attack, however?
By Nathan Jones for The Copa Club
The changes in registration rules as a result of Brexit makes it much easier for British clubs to sign players from Argentina. Strangely, not many have . Surely, however, that will change especially considering the talent available.
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Something Else That Made Us Sad This Week
Usually we pick something else that we loved during the week. Sadly, not this time round. Amidst the growing rise in homophobia (many corporates have been more understated than in the past when it comes to Pride Month, fearful of conservative backlash and harassment), ten La Liga clubs sent out tweets in support of Pride Month with a staggering nine seeing a drop in followers as a result.
Of these, Barcelona saw a drop of 300,000 followers. Or, as a fan tweeted when this was announced, the club liberated itself of 300,000 troglodytes.
All details in this Twitter thread (in Spanish)
Last Week’s Most Read: How Japan's top soccer league is striving to become a climate leader
By Dan Orlowitz for Japan Times
With extreme weather having an increasingly negative impact on Japanese football, the J League is stepping up to bring about climate change.