Category Archives: European Football

The Calcio Storico

Is the Calico Storico the most brutal sport on earth? Judge for yourself but it certainly looks like it! The name (meaning ‘historic football’) comes from the sport created in the the 16th century in ancient Rome. It features incredibly brutal punches and kicks (it is played using both hands and feet) and is played in teams of 27. There are so few rules that headbutting, punching, elbowing, and choking are all allowed!

The official rules of the sport were written in 1580 by Giovanni de Bardi, a count from Florence. It lasts for 50 minutes uninterrupted and canon fire signals the start of the competition.

In terms of goals the ball has to be thrown through narrow slats at each end but between that it is all out war! There is however a referee and linesmen who are actually in charge, so they can call a halt to proceedings but there are no substitutions and if players are injured the have to simply keep going!

In the 17th century, enthusiasm for the Calcio Storico waned but it was revived in 1930 in Florence with a showpiece match scheduled each year on the feast day of the city’s patron saint, St John the Baptist.

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Dynamo Kiev to create a separate section for black supporters?

In short, no. 2000px-FC_Dynamo_Kyiv_logo.svgThat isn’t the end of the story however as it did initially seem like the club’s stadium director had announced plans to possibly house their black supporters in a separate section of the ground. This was in response to an attack on four black men during the Ukrainians’ Champions League match with Chelsea last week.


Interviewed after the match the stadium director Volodimir Spilchenko said a separate section for black fans was an idea that the club might look into, however since then the official line from Kiev has been that in no way would this ever be considered.

“We’ll probably listen to your offer.

“We are trying, maybe, to make a special sector, in order to avoid the manifestation of racism.”

Dynamo Kiev (along with several other Ukrainian sides) have always had a very troublesome past when it comes to issues with race and last week’s attack was not uncommon. Unfortunately the official line from the Ukrainian authorities has always been one of “it isn’t a problem” but the reality of the situation tells otherwise.


UEFA have yet to declare any sanctions against Dynamo Kiev after these attacks but they did fine the club a whopping 15,000 Euros last season for racist chanting in a match against Everton. There would be little surprise if it was another slap on the wrist after this latest incident. UEFA’s record at dealing with discrimination is wilful to say the least, despite high-profile media campaigns they do little to stamp out hatred in football.



Welcome back Mathieu!


It is always nice when a returning hero comes back to visit their old club, even when it might be as a player for a new side. Not really the case however if you are Mathieu Valbuena who returned last night to Marseille after a year in Russia. The now Lyon player was at the centre of an incredible night of football that saw a first half that should have had about three red cards, then shortly after half-time the game had to be abandoned for 20 minutes as supporters pelted the Lyon players with bottles and flares.


In between all of this was an end to end thriller that ended 1-1 (10 man Marseille actually were galvanised with the stoppage and Lyon will feel a little hard done by).

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Players and officials have since condemned the actions of a few but in reality the whole crowd were on edge right from the moment the players appeared at the start of the match. Valbuena will be glad that he doesn’t have to return their anytime soon and he actually had two glorious chances to score the winner for Lyon in the dying minutes. Could you imagine the chaos if he did get the winner? Maybe best that he didn’t!


In yet another show of positivity towards refugees from the German footballing community it has been announced that all clubs playing in both the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 next weekend will display a patch on their shirts showing support to many hundreds of thousands of people across Europe caught up in the recent refugee crisis.


The patch to be displayed on all shirts is part of a “We Help” campaign that was launched by the Bild newspaper in Germany.

The Elite

It is one thing winning the Champions League/European Cup as a player but another winning it as a player and then again as a manager. Only a few are part of this unique list and thanks to artist Emilio Sansolini (who has featured several times on this blog) you can visualise these elite winners as part of a series of prints created for magazine Panenka.

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Le Coq Sportif Comeback

Le Coq Sportif are a brand who’s exposure in football has come and gone over the years. Undoubtedly they have produced some iconic strips but for the last few years they have been very, very quiet. This season however it looks like they are starting to make a comeback, beginning with some beautiful new kits and some clever marketing. The French company was founded 130 years ago, in 1882, in Romilly-sur-Seine near Troyes. It has been involved in some of the greatest sides of the last 100 years and has always been synonymous with the French national team.


In terms of recent history things have been quiet and unassuming, however there is a line on the very stylish Le Coq Sportif website that sums up their plans for the next few years…

‘The fans are waiting for us. They love football, and so do we. We are ready to write a new page.’

Two clubs are the focus of Le Coq Sportif’s new range of football teamwear – ACF Fiorentina and AS Saint-Etienne. Without showing you all of the materials on the website (you should really have a look at it), the French company have put in a lot of effort to try and involve fans and show a connection between the clubs and the supporters. In an age of identikit templates produced en-masse it is nice to see companies make an effort like this. For the design of the new kits they have kept things simple but beautiful.

Here is a flavour of the website, and more importantly the new stunning kits for each club –



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FOOT - L1 - 2015  *** Local Caption ***




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FOOT - COUPE D'ITALIE - 2015 Firenze, Fiorentina - Juventus, coppa Italia  2015-04-07 © Niccolo' Cambi/Massimo Sestini *** Local Caption ***

There is also a pretty great line of fan wear that is really nice, here is a small selection of that –


On the evidence of this latest range of football shirts and fashion hopefully the Le Coq Sportif comeback continues!