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Beyond Brenner: Five exciting MLS transfers to watch in 2021

The arrival of Brenner has created a seismic shift in Major League Soccer. FTF explores five new MLS stars to watch. America is no longer just for Europe’s ageing stars looking to play out the rest of their career on the country’s sunny shores. The days of Beckham, Henry, Gerrard, Ibrahimovic and Pirlo in the … Continue Reading Beyond Brenner: Five exciting MLS transfers to watch in 2021

The story of MŠK Žilina: A club back from the COVID-19 brink

Can a club made up of entirely academy players and U23 stars compete at senior level? This is the story of MŠK Žilina and how a pandemic began an experiment. Just over a year ago, the future of MŠK Žilina hung in the balance. The Slovakian outfit teetered on a dangerous precipice. In the aftermath … Continue Reading The story of MŠK Žilina: A club back from the COVID-19 brink

Bonucci

Scouting by the numbers – Finding the next Insigne, Bonucci and Immobile from Serie B

The Italian second division has never been in short supply of talent. In fact, the players coming through are growing year in, year out. There have been some legendary teams that have well-founded legacies in the Serie B. Zdenek Zeman’s famous Pescara team of 2011/12 or the Giuseppe Iachini Palermo side of 2014/15 were all … Continue Reading Scouting by the numbers – Finding the next Insigne, Bonucci and Immobile from Serie B

The inside story of Ollie Watkins: Super-Mare to superstar

From loanee in the non-league to England debut goalscorer, the story of Aston Villa and England striker Ollie Watkins is nothing short of miraculous. Six years after a career-changing loan move to non-league Weston-super-Mare, Ollie Watkins is scoring for fun with Aston Villa in the Premier League. Having stepped up for boyhood club Exeter City, … Continue Reading The inside story of Ollie Watkins: Super-Mare to superstar

What is the UEFA Europa Conference League and who could play in it?

The UEFA Europa Conference League launches in 2021-22, FTF takes a look at the potential line-up for the competition and how it will function. There have been many murmurs about the fundamental restructuring of the Champions League in 2024. However, below Europe’s elite competition, change is already upon us. The UEFA Europa Conference League has … Continue Reading What is the UEFA Europa Conference League and who could play in it?

Liberato Cacace Interview: “I thought my dream was crushed”

Liberato Cacace is one of few young New Zealanders flying the flag in Europe. The Sint-Truiden left-back speaks exclusively to FTF about overcoming rejection, playing next to Winston Reid and fulfilling his Italian dream. It’s 9 July 2006. A five-year-old Liberato Cacace is glued to the television set. Italy face France in a tense World … Continue Reading Liberato Cacace Interview: “I thought my dream was crushed”

Rising Nations: Poland and the new generation after Robert Lewandowski

FTF explores the current state of the Poland national team, analysing the country’s rising stars and pondering on life after Robert Lewandowski. There were high hopes for Poland when the nation embarked on their 2018 World Cup journey. On the back of a quarter final place in the European Championships two years prior, and having … Continue Reading Rising Nations: Poland and the new generation after Robert Lewandowski

Kanté

Scouting by the numbers – Finding the next Ndombele, Mahrez and Kanté from Ligue 2

Many of the current and past stars in the French national team setup can proudly claim to have made their first steps in France’s second division. It has been nothing less than a gold mine and the genesis of some world-class talents. N’Golo Kanté, Ferland Mendy and Tanguy Ndombele in recent years are a few … Continue Reading Scouting by the numbers – Finding the next Ndombele, Mahrez and Kanté from Ligue 2

The inside story of Florian Wirtz: Bayer Leverkusen’s teenage sensation

Florian Wirtz could become Germany’s youngest player since the 1950s. FTF spoke to former FC Köln and current Bayer Leverkusen coach, Markus Daun. At 17 years of age Florian Wirtz is already a record-breaker. The scorer of the 2nd youngest Bundesliga goal. The youngest debutant in Germany’s U21 side. And the first 17 year old … Continue Reading The inside story of Florian Wirtz: Bayer Leverkusen’s teenage sensation

The inside story of Brenden Aaronson: From USA to Europe

The twenty-year old has made the switch to Europe’s most exciting young team and is set to fight Christian Pulisic for his position in the USMNT. Once ridiculed as the “retirement home” for Europe’s most distinguished stars, Major League Soccer is fast becoming a breeding ground for a crop of electrifying young talent. And New … Continue Reading The inside story of Brenden Aaronson: From USA to Europe

Scouting Eastern European talent: Seven players to watch

From Lewandowski to Modric, Eastern European talent are currently thriving on the world-stage, these seven players will be hoping to follow suit. Eastern European football is enjoying a renaissance. From Croatia’s spirited march to the World Cup final in 2018. To Luka Modric winning the Ballon D’or and Robert Lewandowski dominating every individual award in … Continue Reading Scouting Eastern European talent: Seven players to watch

Milan

The inside story of Rafael Leão: Made in Lisbon, thriving in Milan

The twenty-one year old is the latest from Sporting’s academy, now enhancing his reputation at Milan, following in the footsteps of some legendary names. The halls of Sporting CP’s youth academy have graced some of the finest talents the world has ever seen. The club’s contributions to the Portuguese national team draws strong parallels to … Continue Reading The inside story of Rafael Leão: Made in Lisbon, thriving in Milan

The inside story of Angeliño: From Manchester City to RB Leipzig

Angelino has become RB Leipzig’s leading figure this season. FTF spoke to his ex-coach at NAC Breda where the Spaniard first blossomed into life. RB Leipzig’s bald headed dynamo, Angeliño, is quickly developing a reputation as one of the best full-backs in the world. But back in 2017 when Angeliño had considerably more hair not … Continue Reading The inside story of Angeliño: From Manchester City to RB Leipzig

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