The Inside Left

  • Italy and the Cult of the Ageing Number 10

    WORDS: DOMINIC BLISS

    Last weekend was the 22nd anniversary of Francesco Totti’s debut for Roma and, at 38, he continues to produce the moments of magic that have made him not just a club legend but a cult hero for casual fans of Italian football. Yet he is not the only ageing playmaker thriving in the bel paese, far from it…

  • Off The Beaten Track: Polish Football Landscapes

    PHOTOGRAPHY AND WORDS: PRZEMEK NICIEJEWSKI

    Away from the big cities and the major leagues lie Poland’s forgotten football fields and during the off-season they are at their most beautiful. Neglected, they simultaneously blend in and jar with their surroundings, but come the end of the winter break, they will be ready for action once again…

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  • Julian Speroni: Hands of God

    WORDS: BRYAN DAVIES

    The fans at Selhurst Park call him ‘Manos de Dios’, but it took a while before the safe hands of Julián Speroni were truly appreciated by the many Crystal Palace managers who have come and gone since the Argentinean arrived in south London over 10 years ago. Now he is a bona fide club legend…

  • Brian McBride: ‘Fulhamerica’

    INTERVIEW: DOMINIC BLISS

    Ahead of the United States’ visit to Craven Cottage for tomorrow’s international friendly against Colombia, we spoke to legendary centre-forward Brian McBride about his time at Fulham, the continuing growth of the game in America and the heritage of his old west London stomping ground…

  • Searching for Erbstein

    WORDS: DOMINIC BLISS

    Ahead of the launch of my debut book, I began to reflect on the difficulties faced by a writer trying to uncover an untold story. The name Ernő Egri Erbstein means very little even to those of us who claim to know our football history, but the Hungarian Jew who built the Grande Torino was a key influence on the modern game. So why was his story forgotten for so many years?

    Stood astride his Lucchese squad

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