In this issue


Editor’s Note – Jonathan Wilson
Jonathan Wilson’s Editor’s Note from Issue Nine


The Vacant Lot – Gwendolyn Oxenham
The search for a kickabout in Iran is complicated by religion and gender politics

Conflict Management – Noah Davis
Dan Gaspar is a key part of Iran’s qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014 despite holding a US passport


Zbigniew Boniek – Maciej Iwanski
The Polish great discusses Juventus, the modern game and his friendship with Michel Platini

For the Good of the Game

The Only Way is Ethics – Philippe Auclair
Fifa’s super-cop Michael J Garcia explains his mission to wash the corruption out of football

Power Play – James Corbett
The Asian Football Confederation’s presidential elections highlight football’s murky governance

Genesis – Davidde Corran
How a tournament in China in 1988 changed women’s football for ever


The Weight of the Armband – Joel Richards
The Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella explains why he made Lionel Messi national captain

Pep’s Four Golden Rules – Simon Kuper
How Guardiola made Barcelona the masters of the pressing game

Taking the Initiative – Nick Ames
Andy Roxburgh, the former Uefa technical director, on how football tactics are changing

The North

City and the City – David Conn
What does Sheikh Mansour’s investment mean for the city of Manchester?

Meanwhile Back in Sunderland – Jon Spurling
How a Tyne Tees documentary on Cup final day 1973 captured the spirit of the town

That Grandish Pile of Swank – Anthony Clavane
Tracing Leeds United’s place in the tradition of Northern Realism

Lev Yashin

The Jersey That Wasn’t Black – Igor Rabiner
Lev Yashin’s widow and Eusébio remember the great Soviet goalkeeper


Partisans and Purists – Charlie Robinson
Do fans experience football differently to those who watch without a vested interest?

The Lager of Life – Tim Vickery
Football is haunted by violence, but can it be blamed for it?

Past Glories

The Nearly Men – Ian Hawkey
Zimbabwe’s nostalgia for the Dream Team of Bruce Grobbelaar and the Ndlovu brothers

The Grand Griguol – Dan Colasimone
How El Viejo defied accusations of boringness to inspire the golden age of Ferro Carril Oeste

A Dream Denied – Antonis Oikonomidis
But for the politics of Greek football, Ferenc Puskás might have ended up in Athens not Madrid


In Search of Punditaria – Scott Oliver
An anthropologist heads into the jungle to discover a society founded by stranded football journalists

Greatest Games

Bari 4 Internazionale 1 – Rory Smith
Serie A, Stadio San Nicola, Bari, 6 January 1996

Eight Bells

Goalless Draws – Jonathan Wilson
A selection of the best 0-0s in history

Issue Nine


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First published in June 2013, Issue Nine contains 21 articles in 11 sections, including: Gwendolyn Oxenham’s experience searching for a kickabout in Iran being complicated by religion and gender politics; Zbigniew Boniek in conversation on Juventus, the modern game and his friendship with Michel Platini; and Igor Rabiner interviews Lev Yashin’s widow on her recollections of the great goalkeeper.