Passarella at the pinnacle

Argentina legend Daniel Passarella​ turns 67 today He captained La Albiceleste to World Cup glory on home soil Passarella: “When you’re handed the cup, you feel numb” This is how it feels to lift the FIFA World Cup™. An image of sheer bliss, its subject – Argentina’s conquering captain, Daniel Passarella – was able to give a graphic description of the sensations it captured. “When you’re handed the cup, you feel numb,” he told FIFA.com. “It’s like a never-ending orgasm. That might sound vulgar but it’s true. You have to…

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Bonner: That one save changed my life forever

Pat Bonner turns 60 today He is still stunned by the impact of his penalty save against Romania He believes Republic of Ireland’s Italy 1990 campaign brought the nation together Throughout the world, there are footballers destined to be forever remembered for one solitary moment. For the unlucky ones, that can mean an otherwise glittering career being completely overshadowed by an embarrassing own-goal or a costly penalty miss. Fortunately for Pat Bonner, he belongs to another, more auspicious breed. That’s because, for the rest of his days and doubtless beyond,…

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Brazil's first World Cup draw

The Brazil 1950 draw unfolded 70 years ago today A few teams dropped out for different reasons Brazil, England, Italy and Uruguay were the four seeds In the centre of Rio de Janeiro, the then capital of Brazil, the Conference Hall of Itamaraty Palace was the venue chosen for the delegations from 14 countries to attend the draw for the group stage of the fourth FIFA World Cup™. On the afternoon of 22 May 1950, a significant proportion of a planet that was still nursing the wounds left by the…

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Malawi's Phiri firing up the Flames

Gerald Phiri Jr is Malawi’s playmaker 26-year-old proved decisive in African qualifiers for Qatar 2022 His father, Gerald Phiri Sr, is a household name in Malawian football Although Malawi have never participated in a FIFA World Cup™, hopes are rekindled every four years with the start of the African qualifiers for football’s flagship event. The road to Qatar 2022 was no exception, especially with the Flames beating first-round opponents Botswana 1-0 over two legs games and now keen to go further. “It’s obviously a dream but nothing is impossible. We…

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Migne balancing realism and ambition with Equatorial Guinea

Sebastien Migne was assistant to Claude Le Roy for nine years He assumed his first head coaching role in 2018 Frenchman hopes to rise to the challenge of Qatar 2022 qualifiers Equatorial Guinea is one of the least populated countries in Africa, with recent estimates suggesting that less than two million people live in the west African country, compared to more than 100 times that number in Nigeria. As a consequence, far fewer people are involved in football there than in places like Nigeria, Egypt and Algeria, which in turn…

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Martinez to coach Belgium until after Qatar 2022

Roberto Martinez led Belgium to third place at Russia 2018 He has extended his contract until after Qatar 2022 “I believe immensely in this group of players,” he said Roberto Martinez has signed a new contract which will keep him in the Belgium hot-seat until the end of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The 46-year-old Spaniard’s previous deal was due to expire after UEFA EURO 2020, which will now unfold 12 months later due to COVID-19. “Because of the Euro 2020 postponement we could not possibly end our collaboration…

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Farfan: Peru are no longer the ugly ducklings

FIFA.com spoke to Jeferson Farfan hours before he found out he had contracted COVID-19 He revealed how he has been passing the time Farfan believes Peru have become ‘daring’ under Ricardo Gareca “The least bad thing about the pandemic, as complicated as it is for everyone, is that it gave me time to recover more fully from my injury.” In an exclusive chat with FIFA.com, Jefferson Farfan told us how he was coping with quarantine in Russia, where he plays for Lokomotiv Moscow. At the time we spoke, the Peruvian…

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Jhingan delivers inspiration on and off the field

Popular India defender Sandesh Jhingan talks with FIFA.com Inspirational figure on and off the pitch “If I worry (about injury) it will be an injustice to those with genuine hardship” A robust and powerful presence on the field, Sandesh Jhingan has become one of India’s most popular and passionate footballers. Robust in the challenge and strong in the air, the centre-back was pivotal in India’s strong AFC Asian Cup campaign last year – just its second tournament appearance in 35 years. He has even captained India in the absence of…

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India's Jhingan delivering inspiration on and off the field

Popular India defender Sandesh Jhingan talks with FIFA.com Inspirational figure on and off the pitch “If I worry (about injury) it will be an injustice to those with genuine hardship” A robust and powerful presence on the field, Sandesh Jhingan has become one of India’s most popular and passionate footballers. Tough in the challenge and strong in the air, the centre-back was pivotal in India’s strong AFC Asian Cup campaign last year – just its second tournament appearance in 35 years. He has even captained India in the absence of…

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Theerathon at the vanguard of Thai charge in Japan

Theerathon Bunmathan riding high for club and country Thailand fullback achieved milestone success in Japan last season War Elephants chasing maiden World Cup berth Theerathon Bunmathan created a slice of history last year by becoming the first Thai player to win the J.League. Now he is hoping to help Thailand reach new heights during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifying as they seek to eventually appear on football’s most venerated stage. A cultured left-back – he invariably is on dead-ball assignment for both club and country – Teerathon is somewhat…

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