Cultured Football #132
Superagents. No Fantasy In Women's Football. Better Than CR7. Mining Championship Data. Dwight Yorke.
This has been something of a big week for me as it has seen the publication of my latest book ‘Echoes of an Italian Summer’ which talks about the Italia 90 World Cup. To be clear, this isn’t a retelling of what happened during that tournament but rather picks out story threads that came out of it and talks about them. Story threads like that of the other Schillaci who could have been partnering Toto up-front for Italy. Or how Germany got their iconic kits. And why Italia 90 contributed to the evolution of tiki-taka.
If that’s something you think you’ll like or you'd like to show your support for Cultured Football, you would really be giving me a boost if you get a copy.
By Gabriele Marcotti for ESPN
Agents play an important role in football - and the best ones actually help players deliver on their potential - yet it is still hard to feel any sympathy for them. Still, this profile of Raffaela Pimenta, the heir to Mino Raiola’s empire, offers an insight not just into what drives the ambition of a ‘superagent’ but also a broader examination on the role of those agents. A surprisingly fascinating read.
Women’s football is attracting more interest than ever – so why is there still no official fantasy league?
By Lauren Geall for Stylist
Women’s football is attracting bigger crowds then ever before and yet it is still lagging behind the men’s game. Even when it comes to secondary issues like presence of an official fantasy league. And, whilst the WSL undoubtedly has more serious matters to focus on, ignoring such concepts is a mistake for is through them that a deeper connection is fostered.
“I was better than Cristiano Ronaldo” – former Portugal wonderkid Fábio Paim reflects on the career that never was
By Sean Gillen for Portugoal
Had they been willing to place any bets, most at Sporting Lisbon would have put their money on Fábio Paim to become a world superstar rather than team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo. Instead, the closest that Paim came to representing Portugal was watching them train from the window of a prison cell. A story of wasted talent, harsh life stories and clubs’ responsibility not to give players too much, too soon.
Were you forwarded this mail? Like what you see? Here’s what you should do next:
By Ali Maxwell and Luton Analytics for
Is there a player in the Championship who could be as good as Jude Bellingham? Perhaps someone capable of following in the path of Jack Grealish? Or a difference maker like Emi Buendia? An entertaining and insightful use of data to find out.
By Mitchell Wilks for Planet Football
Dwight Yorke’s path to professional football is not something that would happen today when clubs know of all players, regardless of where they play. Spotted by Aston Villa during a friendly, he went on to win everything with Manchester United. His time at Old Trafford was marked by a great partnership (on and off the pitch) with Andy Cole, two players for whom scoring goals was all that mattered.
Bonus Pick: David Beckham the footballer, was better than you probably think. Whenever and wherever he played, he delivered.
If you liked any of this week’s picks, why not share Cultured Football with someone else who might like it just as much?
Last Week’s Most Read: What Can We Learn About The Goalkeeping Market From Data?
By Alex Stewart for Analytics FC
Have you ever heard of David Soria? Unless you follow Getafe, that’s unlikely. Yet, statistically, he is as good as Jan Oblak and Alisson. So why is he still at a mid-table La Liga side?