First Whistle – August, 2011

The common thread between us is our love for the beautiful game. We have enjoyed an exhilarating 2010-2011. Europe was dominated by Spain. Barcelona football club’s domination continued both in the domestic league as well as in Europe. In South America, Santos won the Copa Libertadores after three years, thanks to some outstanding performances by the likes of Ganso and Neymar.
This year, while recharging ourselves for the next season and waiting for the transfer market to warm up, the idea of a group blog was floated to expand our football discussions to a wider global audience.
Meanwhile, international football took centre-stage. Spain, after winning the FIFA World Cup and Euro, made a clean sweep by bagging the European Under-21 and Under-19 Championships. The Copa America kicked off in Argentina, but Neymar and Ganso could not match their club performances with the Brazilian national team. The biggest disappointment of the tournament though was the lack of Messi ‘magic’ that we are accustomed to, at Barcelona. As a result, the two Latin American giants crashed out and
Uruguay won it for a record fifteenth time. The FIFA Women’s World Cup had drawn a lot of attention and Japan became the first Asian champions of the tournament beating Team USA in a closely fought final. Amidst all this, the corruption charges against the FIFA officials hit the headlines again, and football lovers around the world could only hope that the sport would emerge cleaner from such testing times.
Our initial thoughts of a group blog progressed towards a monthly magazine. We named it “Goalden Times” to bring you a flavour of global football all year round. Our present contributors span four continents and are looking forward to more. We stay true to our motto of “Ludo Ergo Sum” (I Play, therefore I am).
The upcoming football season promises to be exciting. Barcelona remains the team to beat in Europe, but they have their work cut out to sort their finances. What needs to be seen is how UEFA’s financial fair play policy impact team strategy. Clubs need to focus more on fresh talents and find ways to increase their revenue streams. We invite you to be with us to usher in the new season of football.
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