An intriguing premise for a full-length feature, the idea behind Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait is simple. Back in April of 2005, Real Madrid–replete with Zinedine Zidane, arguably the world’s finest footballer at the time–played Villareal in the Spanish league. At that game, seventeen cameras were all trained on Zidane. The film? At heart, it’s 90 minutes of following the great man around a football field.
Yet it’s fascinating. Really. Save for the odd subtitled comment, and a not-entirely-comfortable compilation of the day’s news that’s interspersed at half time, the focus is purely one man playing a game of football. It’s not a raging success by any means, and there are moments in Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait where the interest level significantly drops. Yet when it works, it really works astoundingly well, and you’d be hard-pushed to find any other film that does anything even vaguely similar. It’s backed, it should be noted, with excellent supporting music too.
The 2006 World Cup, of course, gave Zidane’s career an ending it never really deserved. And while Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait isn’t a dish that everyone’s going to warm to, those that do will surely be left reflecting on one of football’s greatest geniuses, rather than one mad moment in Germany.–Simon Brew
Norwich City A Nostalgic Look at a Century of the Club
Founded in 1902 Norwich City may lack the glamour of some of the big London clubs, but the Canaries have an incredibly loyal following. They joined the new Third Division in 1920 and in 1935 moved to their current home, Carrow Road. It wasn’t until the 1971-72 season that promotion to the First Division was achieved, quickly followed by two losing Wembley appearances in League Cup Finals against Spurs and Aston Villa. In 1985 they finally won the trophy, beating Sunderland 1-0. Both clubs were relegated at the end of the season. Norwich bounced back immediately and went on to achieve their highest placing in their league history. This book celebrates the history of an iconic club – a club that even their opponents have a sneaking respect for – unless they come from Ipswich. When Football Was Football – Norwich City explores the club’s colourful history and tells the story of some of their legendary stars and managers.
This is a unique and magnificent collection of photographs of Stoke City FC from its earliest days until 1992, freshly selected from thousands of images in the “Daily Mirror’s” extensive archive. These superb photos, many of them previously unpublished, document the rise of this famous, traditional and much-loved 150-year-old football club, from its formation by apprentices at the Stoke rail works, to the emergence of winger Stanley Matthews, the Old Crocks such as Dennis Viollet, Jimmy McIlroy and Eddie Stuart who revived the club in the early 1960s, and the sad tale of the stand roof which ended a halcyon era. Marvel at the managerial genius that was Tony Waddington and the incredible period in which the club, through the efforts of players such as Conroy, Ritchie, Greenhoff and Hudson produced some of the most sparkling football ever seen in the Potteries. Enjoy rare photographs of the 1972 League Cup triumph, and of stars of the 1980s such as Chamberlain, Heath, Chapman, Crooks and Fox, and revel in a further Wembley victory, albeit in the Autoglass Trophy in 1992 thanks to Mark Stein’s goal. Then say farewell to Stoke’s spiritual home of over a century; the Victoria Ground.It’s all here. This book brings to life the periods, the personalities and the human stories – When Football Was Football!
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