Posted at July 4, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Simon Kuper: “Colombia looking positive both on and off the pitch”
Writing for the Financial Times,Simon Kuper, a leading commentator and keynote speaker on the interactions between football, politics, economics and culture, describes how things are looking up for Colombia, as “off the field, the country is experiencing its happiest moment in perhaps 50 years; on the field, its happiest ever. Football and real life are intersecting in surprising ways.”
Simon notes that the “country’s calmer political and economic climate probably helps the ‘Cafeteros’”, or coffee growers, as Colombia’s 50-year-old drug-fuelled civil war appears closer to resolution than ever before, and the legitimate economy is doing as well as it has since the coffee boom ended in the 1950s, 1960s.
In a similar positive fashion, the Cafeteros have four straight wins going into today’s quarter-final in Fortaleza against hosts Brazil. In all their previous World Cups combined, Colombia won three games in total. With all eyes on midfielder James Rodriguez, the clean-cut 22-year-old who is the tournament’s leading scorer with five goals, Simon predicts that “Colombia must have their best chance yet against a nervous Brazil.
Posted at June 13, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Reasons to bet against Brazil by keynote speaker Simon Kuper
Simon Kuper, an expert on the business of football who is currently covering the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, recently put forward four reasons why one should bet against Brazil winning the 2014 World Cup.
Although all six previous World Cups that were held in Latin America were won by Latin American teams, this was between the years 1930-86 when European players used to arrive from these transoceanic ship journeys overfed and under-trained. Modern footballers now arrive much more at ease and ready for action.
A World Cup is so short that luck plays a big role, which often confounds favourites.
The team’s current personnel in no way matches the line-up that one Brazil’s last World Cup in 2002.
Lastly there is the Brazilian flaw that attackers don’t tire themselves out defending. That’s their weak point.
Posted at April 23, 2014, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Simon Kuper on Moyes’ sacking
Nice piece in this morning’s FT by Simon Kuper on Manchester United’s sacking of David Moyes. In his view, the cause of United’s woes this season hasn’t been Moyes, but money (or rather, lack thereof).
Posted at May 9, 2013, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Simon Kuper on learning from Sir Alex Ferguson
Financial Times columnist and expert on the business of football, Simon Kuper wrote a great article on Sir Alex Ferguson in today’s paper. Praising Sir Alex for his work as Manchester United football team’s manager since 1986, Simon discusses the moments that stand out from the past 27 years and how he believes his “managerial lessons stretch far beyond football.”
Claiming “his career contains lessons for us all”, Simon highlights Sir Alex’s constant drive to learn, knowledge of his players, risk-taking and focus on the long-term. Interesting to consider these qualities and experiences that Simon suggests we can all learn from.
Posted at May 1, 2013, by Raleigh Addington, Comments Off on Simon Kuper: “Professional sport finally enters the 21st century”
Enjoyed reading expert on the business of football, Simon Kuper’s article “Professional sport finally enters the 21st century” in today’s FT. When American basketball player Jason Collins recently came out as gay “it was an even bigger step for sport.” Simon discusses the tensions that have existed between homosexuality and sport, calling for sporting authorities to help change attitudes and allow other athletes to follow suit, saying “the model should be its struggle against racism.”