La Marseillaise plays as the camera pans across the teams. Compared with the usual line-up of 11 players, match officials and ball boys, the spectacle is sparse: just two sets of two teenagers wearing tracksuits, each with what looks like a chaperone, possibly their dads. One of the teenagers has their eyes closed, a picture of focus. As the music stops, the players applaud, before breaking off. But we are not in a football stadium and there is no field on which they can now take up their positions. Instead they are in a recording studio in Maidstone, Kent. The players are taking their seats, and we are about to watch them play FIFA.
This is the FIFA eNations Cup, where gamers play EA Sports’ FIFA on behalf of their countries. Representing Argentina are nicolass99fc and Yago, while DaXe and Maestro play for France. The pre- and post-game proceedings are carefully designed to mimic those of a televised football match. As well as the national anthems, pundits and then commentators describe the teams’ run to the final and dissect each player’s playing style. Post-match interviews with the gamers are framed in much the same way as those you’d expect after a Premier League encounter.
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Broadcasters around the world are paying huge sums to screen football, but they will not be willing to invest if they cannot be protected.
Years before it was screened live in the UK, England’s Football League was building a cult following abroad thanks to a visionary broadcaster.
Pot Of Gold
A rare meeting between two local rivals brought FA Cup fever – and a useful financial boost – to one corner of Hertfordshire
From earnest post-match punditry to being used in actual players’ matchday preparations, the virtual game is becoming increasingly blurred with reality.
The decision to walk off in the face of abuse has shone a national spotlight on a community club with a progressive approach
Bournemouth 0 Norwich City 0
Dean Court may have received a Premier League facelift but against today’s visitors the home team fail to live up to their status, although the low-quality draw they play out is still somehow reassuring.
Manchester United were not the only team to be devastated by the Munich air disaster – England also lost some of their best players, changing the course of the 1958 World Cup and, potentially, the whole national game.
Stars In Their Eyes
From cricketers to athletes, plenty of sportsmen have tried to carve out a career in football – though few have switched disciplines with much success.
Torquay United look destined for English football’s sixth tier amid increasing distrust of the motives of their owner, Clarke Osborne.
Nice One Cyrille
A raw talent who thrilled crowds, Cyrille Regis overcame vicious racism to begin changing attitudes and inspire later generations of black players.
ELEVEN DMU FROM THE TOP
Danny Urrea Jr. comes from Covina, California, a city in Los Angeles County, about 22 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, with a population of 47,963.
DONRUSS OPTIC FOOTBALL SCHEDULED FOR WEEK OF CHRISTMAS
‘Playing more aggressive, attacking'
For more on what’s happening with Buffalo’s defense, here are some highlights from defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier’s recent press conferences.
Boys To Men
Twenty years after their Super Bowl win, the 2000 Ravens are still talking about what it all means.
TRAIN LIKE AN ATHLETE
Applying Sports Psychology and Biomechanics to Firearms Training
THE SECOND CAREER OF MARTELLUS BENNETT
The former NFL tight end writes the kind of children’s books he would have loved as a kid.
TOP 10 Team executives
Achieving the highest level of success at every stop of his football lifetime, John Lynch climbed the ladder from collegiate star to nine-time NFL ProBowler to respected television analyst before he joined the 49ers as a first-time general manager in 2017. Since then, he’s become one of the men most responsible for building the franchise back into a champion with his shrewd moves and organizational acumen. Named the NFL’s 2019 Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America, Lynch has quickly earned his place on this list of the greatest team executives in 49ers history.
Beating Steelers surprised even Rivera
NO PRESSURE, NO DIAMOND
‘This O-line is competitive, resilient'
Here are some highlights from head coach Sean McDermott’s recent press conferences.
Somebody's gotta win it
Through 75% of the 2020 NFL season, the Washington Football Team and your New York Football Giants are tied for first place in the NFC East with identical records of 4-7.