Category Archives: Football

World Cup Withdrawal Symptoms Latest: Dinamo Zagreb Continue Croatia’s Summer of Success!

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Tout le monde il est beau: France Conquer Planet Football!

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Filed under Culture, Football, Politics

Beyond Good and Evil: England’s Postmodern Football Poses Existential Questions #WorldCup

Notwithstanding the fact that this company’s web presence is home to a fast-moving blog, we at Mediolana generally try to resist the (sometimes acute) temptation to lurch into instantaneous and ultimately ‘thin’ reactions to world events. Nevertheless, the astounding advance of the England national football team to the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup merits serious and speedy analysis.

The crux of the matter: at this tournament, England have done nothing less than author a new, postmodern school of football. Up to now, soccer teams have generally tried to score goals from passing the ball to each other in such a way as to create space in which goalscoring chances might be converted; failing this, they resorted to a more physical interpretation of the sport, playing direct balls into dangerous areas and hoping to gain possession from knock-downs and inadequate clearances.

However, England are eschewing the open play routes – and in fact, any semblance of what has traditionally been construed as ‘football’ – by using the inevitable hurly-burly of the penalty box at set-pieces to induce what can plausibly be perceived as fouls; these incidents are then vociferously brought to the attention of the referee and, indirectly, his video assistants.

That these types of fouls are not merely often ambiguous but rarely awarded to any other team has – true to historical form – scarcely registered with most of the British media. But some extraordinary existential questions lie ahead for the beautiful game if this curious hybrid of staged wrestling and pseudo-litigation succeeds in propelling the English beyond the last eight; FIFA’s decision to introduce VAR is acquiring an invidious dimension.

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Filed under Creativity, Football, Technology

Kroos Control: Why Psychological Resilience is the Attribute Du Jour

We at Mediolana are presently in the frontline of an unprecedented (for 2018, at least) heatwave which is sweeping through this company’s home town of London, England. But in truth, our spare thoughts capacity (‘STC’) has recently been in thrall to a different type of wave altogether – the Mexican type which is strongly associated with FIFA World Cups.

Specifically – as we try and keep at least one eye on the tournament while our little corporate world is undergoing something of a transformation (and we don’t mean the arrival of a new coffee machine or photocopier, great as these accoutrements are) – the theme of resilience, which has become such a leitmotiv in recent years that it almost inevitably raises the suspicion that large sections of the population are, in fact, losing it, is looming large in our consciousness.

A key feature of the 2014 FIFA World Cup was the extent to which matches were defined not just by factors such as player quality or coaching ingenuity, but by the psychological health (or otherwise) of teams. Could they avoid making palpably dodgy and needless back passes? Could they manage to stay in position instead of wandering upfield to no discernible purpose? And could they pull a rabbit from the hat when the chips were truly down?

To the probable surprise of many – but not us, truth be told – the 2018 FIFA World Cup is continuing the prove the importance of being able to handle stress, pressure and the simple knowledge that hundreds of millions of people are watching your every move. Without talent and hard work, there is no end product; but without the ability to make the most of what you have by being able to tune out noise on a simply incomparable scale, there may be no glory.

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Another Fine Messi: Argentina Cancel #FIFAWorldCup Warm-Up Game!

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Filed under Football, Political Science, Politics

No More Brother Wars: Istanbul Friendly Match Mirrors Diplomatic Avalanche!

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Filed under Economics, Football

Saudi Glasnost Latest: World Cup Hopefuls Seconded to La Liga!

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