Meet Marca, The Hilarious Propaganda Arm Of Real Madrid

It's maybe a little difficult for Americans to grasp just how deeply and blatantly in the tank the European press can be for the local XI. And no one is deeper and more blatantly in the tank for the local XI than the media in Spain, where the local XI means either Barcelona and Real Madrid and where the address of the… » 11/20/14 1:59pm 11/20/14 1:59pm

Chelsea And Spain Are Locked In A Dumb War Neither Can Win

Even by the standards of dick-measuring contests, the one ongoing between Chelsea and the Spanish national team has been awful for months. At some point, though, this sort of thing stops being merely dumb and threatens to become actually harmful to the players each side should be trying to protect—and we're nearing… » 11/13/14 5:30pm 11/13/14 5:30pm

Diego Costa's Targeting System Is On The Fritz

Diego Costa's scored nine goals so far this year for Chelsea, but has yet to find the net for his adoptive country of Spain. He had the perfect opportunity to do it against Luxembourg at today's Euro 2016 qualifier, but somehow put the ball, uh, really wide of the target. Blame it on server lag. » 10/12/14 3:40pm 10/12/14 3:40pm

Bill Hillmann: I Got Gored By A Fucking Bull

On Wednesday, Bill Hillmann was gored while running with the bulls in Pamplona. A journalist, novelist, and former boxer, Bill and I have known each other since our time at Columbia College Chicago, where even then he was recognized for his frontline reportage, some of which has since appeared around these parts.… » 7/10/14 10:14am 7/10/14 10:14am

Alfredo Di Stéfano Could Wallop With The Best Of 'Em

It's unfortunate that it can take a great player's death for us to go back and really appreciate what a talent like Alfredo Di Stéfano brought to the sport. That's especially so in America, where the popular notion of soccer involves Brits inventing the game, Pelé and Brazil mastering it, us continuing not to care,… » 7/08/14 12:20pm 7/08/14 12:20pm

David Villa Breaking Down Is The Perfect, Saddest End To Spain's Dynasty

I'll admit it: I kind of love Spain. There was a time—weeks ago!—when they were considered the best team in the world, who had multiple, super long periods where they never lost to anyone for any reason and played a brand of soccer that wasn't just the best but was the culmination of all the best thinking about the… » 6/23/14 2:51pm 6/23/14 2:51pm

"Spain Was The Titanic": The World Reacts To A World Cup Collapse

It's full-on postmortem time in Spain and around the soccer world, as people grapple with La Roja's ignominious exit from this year's World Cup. One of the finest international runs the sport has ever seen went out not with a whimper, but with an embarrassing, well-documented shriek. » 6/19/14 3:59pm 6/19/14 3:59pm

What Tim Cahill's Wondergoal Sounded Like In Australia

Australia's national broadcaster SBS gave us a treat yesterday: an inset of announcer Craig Foster going nuts on Tim Cahill's outstanding equalizer against Netherlands yesterday. Australia had a lot to cheer for at the moment, but so did Chile and the other countries who scored goals on Wednesday. Here's all of them,… » 6/19/14 12:23pm 6/19/14 12:23pm

Here Are The Two Chile Goals That Ended Spain's Dynasty

Most "end of an era" talk is usually lazy analysis seeking to narrativize the moment when a former Super Team inevitably devolves into just a Really Good Team. But when the reigning World and two-time European Champions get absolutely ran off the pitch while looking old and terrified, you have to take stock of the… » 6/18/14 6:57pm 6/18/14 6:57pm

Can Spain Redeem Themselves After The Netherlands Thrashing?

Tiki-taka is dead. The Dutch killed it. Of course, every time Spain or Barcelona lose a major match tiki-taka is proclaimed dead, only to rise again. The truth is tiki-taka remains effective—Bayern won their league and Barcelona came within a Diego Godín header of doing the same—so long as you have the right… » 6/18/14 11:30am 6/18/14 11:30am