Talking to Lionel Messi’s youth coach ahead of the Copa América Centenario

In April, I headed up from Buenos Aires to Rosario, Lionel Messi's hometown, for a feature for ESPNFC ahead of the Copa América Centenario. Whilst there, I talked to Ernesto Vecchio, the youth coach who oversaw Lionel Messi's childhood development for longer than anyone before Messi moved to Barcelona, and to Nicolás Canessa, an occasional team-mate of... Continue Reading →

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Weekly opinion: does Messi’s fifth Ballon d’Or make him the best ever?

In my latest weekly opinion piece for The Bubble, I predictably took a look at Lionel Messi, who won the Ballon d'Or for the World Player of the Year for the fifth time on Monday. Individual awards are a bit daft in a team sport though, in my opinion, so rather than the achievement of winning the... Continue Reading →

Copa América 2015: two previews

The 2015 Copa América in Chile is just hours away, and here, as the title of this post suggests, are two previews. First, a link to a piece I wrote for ESPNFC examining whether Lionel Messi needs to win this tournament in order to secure his legacy, and secondly, episode 188 of Hand Of Pod, which looks... Continue Reading →

On Sunday, as HEGS readers will already know, young forward Mauro Icardi hit four goals for Sampdoria against Pescara in Serie A, beating Lionel Messi to a four goal haul by a few hours. The performance has sparked calls here in Argentina for Alejandro Sabella to call Icardi up to the national team as soon as... Continue Reading →

Argentines Abroad: 2012 is upon us

Football has well and truly restarted in earnest after the new year festivities now, and with  action in Spain, Portugal, Italy, England and Mexico to report on Argentines Abroad is back - as is HEGS for that matter! Happy new year, everyone. There's not much to say about Lionel Messi's Ballon d'Or win that you can't read elsewhere,... Continue Reading →

Tuesday is a day off after the opening round of games in the 2011 Copa América have seen everyone play once. You can find my thoughts on the tournament, of course, over on ESPNSoccernet, where I discuss how remarkably closely-fought the whole thing has been so far. Meanwhile on BT Life's A Pitch, aimed primarily... Continue Reading →

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