Inside The Modern Footballer

  • The Modern Footballer, Issue 4 - Free 45 Page Extract

    Check out this free 45 page sample of our latest issue, including a selection of articles from across Issue Four. Follow this link: https://cdn.sho...
  • Robert Herbin, Saint-Etienne and the Square Posts (Issue 3)

    Nowhere is defeat celebrated more passionately than in Saint-Étienne. Despite winning 15 major trophies between 1962 and 1981, Les Verts’ golden age is defined by the 1976 European Cup final loss to Bayern Munich. A defeat fans attribute to Hampden Park’s goal frame. At 0-0, Dominique Bathenay and Jacques Santini struck the square planks that made up post and bar; efforts that Les Verts’ supporters insist would have resulted in goals had the posts been rounded. Les Poteaux Carrés now carry almost religious significance in Saint-Étienne, having become the symbol of one of France’s greatest, and most important, teams...
  • Zidane: Yoga, managing Real Madrid in a pandemic and boring press conferences (Issue 3)

    Late August 2017. Zinedine Zidane arrives for his bikram yoga class accompanied by his wife, Véronique. His entrance is characteristically low key, the Frenchman carrying himself with the usual discretion that we’ve come to expect of him over the years. As a player, it’s common knowledge that Zidane was among the finest to have ever graced the game, but you wouldn’t know it given the understated manner in which he typically makes his way into a room. He’s not the only member of the Real Madrid staff taking part today – current director of public relations Emilio Butragueño is also a bikram fanatic. A boyhood fan of Los Blancos, Butragueño spent eleven years as a first team player at Madrid in a celebrated career and knows all about the pressures of life at the Santiago Bernabéu...
  • The story of Alphonso Davies, Bayern's Canadian flying machine (Issue 3)

    When you think of Canada, certain stereotypes and quips might immediately enter your mind. The regular jokes about everything being answered with an ‘I’m sorry.’ Maple syrup is usually mentioned, and for good reason given that the province of Quebec is the world’s largest producer of the popular culinary commodity. Cold weather, Tim Horton’s, a love of beer, Europe’s first true point of contact with North America, and under-appreciated contributions in the Second World War are other common associations with the United States’ not-so-noisy northern neighbour. But, very quietly, the nation is mad about sport; particularly hockey, and of course, football...
  • Victor Osimhen: From selling water bottles to an €80m transfer (Issue 3)

    November 8th, 2015. Estadio Sausalito. Viña del Mar, Chile. 56th minute. Following a cross from Chinedu Madueke, Victor Osimhen scores the opening goal of the final of the U17 World Cup. His last goal of the tournament, after finding the net in each of the previous six games on the route to lifting the trophy, breaking the record for the most goals in a single edition with 10. A record that still stands...
  • A Tribute to “Sir Alex” Dupont, the dashing knight of French football (Issue 3)

    On 29th August, USL Dunkerque welcomed Ligue 2 football back to the Stade Marcel-Tribut for the first time in 24 years. Back in the professional ranks of French football, this should have been a cause for great celebration. However, the occasion was overshadowed by the tribute paid to former USLD player and coach and son of the city Alex Dupont, who had passed away earlier in the month, after suffering a heart attack...
  • Rayan Cherki: Why Lyon’s attacking midfield prince will have to be patient (Issue 2)

    In Rayan Cherki’s second start for Lyon, he set the world (or at least the Stade Beaujoire) alight with a barnstorming performance against Nantes, steering Les Gones to a 4-3 victory in the Coupe de France. Recording two goals and two assists, he played inspired football throughout, scoring twice in the match’s first ten minutes before setting up Martin Terrier and Moussa Dembélé later in the fixture. Playing centrally in a 4-2-3-1, Cherki’s performance evoked a similar burst of brilliance from an unheralded attacker in Nabil Fékir’s demolition of Bastia in 2014, and the comparisons were immediately made to the World Cup winner, whose departure to Betis in the summer had left Les Gones without a true attacking fulcrum...
  • Prospect: Borussia Mönchengladbach's Denis Zakaria (Issue 2)

    With a fourth placed finish obtained this season, Borussia Mönchengladbach have arguably over-achieved in qualifying for next year’s Champions’ League ahead of local rivals Bayer Leverkusen. Under Marco Rose’s management, Die Fohlen have not only produced some of the best free flowing, attacking football in Europe, but have remained impressively solid at the back. With an ability to heavily influence the play across the park, whether in attack or defence, 23-year-old Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria has arguably become Mönchengladbach’s most important player over the past year...
  • Maurizio Zamparini: The Modern Gattopardo (Issue 2)

    The term Gattopardismo is used by Italians to describe the ability to withstand upheaval in order to guarantee one’s status in society. It comes from Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s landmark 1958 novel Il Gattopardo, in which a noble Sicilian family, headed by the apathetic Prince Don Fabrizio, bear witness to the societal changes brought about in the late 19th century from the vantage point of the outskirts of Palermo. Such is the impact of the novel – famous to international audiences for Luchino Visconti’s 1963 film adaptation – that the term derived from its title has gone on to be synonymous with the ways in which the upper classes and nouveau riche reinvent themselves, but also falter over time...
  • Is Miralem Pjanić to Barcelona a good deal? (Issue 2)

    Pan para hoy, hambre para mañana” (Bread for today, hunger for tomorrow) is an evaluation that one hears more and more of late regarding the situation at FC Barcelona. The expression, which warns against offering short-term fixes as solutions to long-term problems, has become increasingly synonymous with the presidency of Josep Maria Bartomeu...
  • Lyon's Identity Crisis (Issue 2)

    It has been a rocky 12 months for Lyon. As one of the inarguable powerhouses of French football, changes internally and externally have resulted in questions being asked of their position and whether they are facing something of an identity crisis...
  • Ernesto Valverde and Bobby Robson: History repeats? (Issue 1)

    "FOR the worst coach in the world, it’s going really well.” Whistles after 6-0 wins, constant criticism from the press over a lack of identity and his sarcasm aside, Bobby Robson was right. It was going well. The English coach secured a Cup Winners’ Cup triumph, won the Spanish Super Cup and led Barcelona to one of their greatest ever victories - at least in an emotional sense - as they lifted the Copa del Rey at the Bernabeu. The Catalan club’s famous anthem blared over the speakers at the home of their eternal rivals amid wild celebrations. But Robson survived just one season as Barça manager. The problem was obvious - he wasn’t Johan Cruyff...