Author: Stephen Brandt

Looking back to a time when Real Sociedad ruled La Liga

There is a common urban myth in soccer that La Liga has always been ruled by the two Madrid powers (Real, and Atleti) as well as Catalan club Barcelona. If you look back at the history of Spanish soccer, that is not the case. In fact, there have been many other clubs that have been powerful in Spain other than the three aforementioned giants. In particular, Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad are just some of the “other” clubs who have been great. One of them I want to take a close look at is Real Sociedad (before the former Preston manager David Moyes ... Read more

Arthur Friendenreich, the first great Brazilian footballer

The Beautiful Game in Brazil is well known worldwide. It’s fashionable to own a scarf, or jersey, or know their players. There are many podcasts and computer games that help people learn about the players from the past. But what if I told you there was a player before Pele that was better? His name was Arthur Friendenreich. And yes, he was German/Brazilian. Friendenreich, a son of a German businessman, played soccer in Sao Paolo. Arthur was half white, half black. Oscar, who was Arthur’s father, played soccer at the Brazilian club SC Germania, which as the name infers was only for German immigrants. ... Read more

7 young soccer stars at Copa America Centenario

For most people, just knowing the top players in a tournament is fine. However, what about the players who are going to hit it big at the next World Cup? With the growing popularity of Football Manager-type computer games, the public is more informed on footballers than they’ve ever been before. Fans of the sport are always looking out for the next great star. If it’s to say that they heard of said player first or just to know what a great player was like before they become big. The problem is that many people base their view of a player, on ... Read more

Remembering Atletico Mineiro’s pivotal tour to Europe from 1950

In 1950, after Brazil lost to Uruguay in the World Cup final, no national or continental matches took place in South America for the remainder of the year. Following the World Cup, a commission was formed by the German FA to explore the possibility of a Brazilian club team playing a series of friendlies against some of the Germany’s club teams. Because of the Maracanazo (Brazil’s loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup) and Germany’s fallout from World War II, clubs from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo — the hub of soccer in the country — all passed on the chance. That ... Read more