Stories in Cleats that you’ll love, handpicked by our team.
Charlotte FC is Ready to Party
When Major League Soccer became the prominent professional soccer league in the US in 1996, no one could have imagined it would grow into the multi-billion-dollar league it is today. At the start average attendance numbers rarely exceeded 15,000, eight of the ten teams were renting stadiums from NFL teams, and the league lost an estimated 250 million dollars in its first five years of existence. A stark contrast to the 28-team league we have today.
Why Maradona Is God , And Messi Isn't
Somewhere around 2013, I was at the gym, finishing my workout on the treadmill, when I glanced at the door and saw a short, chubby man walk in the door, followed by a bleach-blond woman 30 years younger and a personal trainer three times his size. His attitude was that of someone who owned not just the gym, but the whole city.
Reconciling With Mistakes: A Football Point of View
2021 had a lot of football moments. The 2020 Euro Cup alone saw more own goals than the whole history of the tournament. And, in most cases, these own goals led to the defeat of the team. This made me think about the mental health issues faced by the players and the ways in which they deal with their mistakes on the ground.
The Life and Times of Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Menama Lukaku Bolingoli, aka Romelu Lukaku, was born in 1993 in Antwerp, Belgium to parents of Congolese descent, and when he played his first game for a senior club for Anderlecht at age 16 in the Belgian Pro League there was little sign that he would one day move to Chelsea Football Club in Kensington, London for a club-record £97.5 million ($135m USD).
THE MESSI EFFECT
After two decades at Barcelona Messi said goodbye to the team where he became the alien and went to the billionaire team of Paris Saint Germain for two seasons with the right to one more.
The club of Aesthetics. How Venezia is making its comeback to Serie A led by Americans
Venice might be one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, known for its endless canals and rich history. Still, it is a part of Italy. And Italy is football. In the case of the Venezia Football Club, being a part of a city with such an enormous cultural heritage has been a challenging experience throughout the decades. The May of 2021 might have been another turning point in a 114-year long journey of I Leoni ałati.
The proud lineage of Johan Cruyff's radical ideology that redefined football
The theories that Cruyff espoused with such stunning effect in Barcelona had their roots in the first international played by Scotland and England in Partick in 1872, a century ago. Undoubtedly, he was a radical, but he was a radical who understood that he was a part of a great lineage.
At Long, Long Last, the Champions League Final
The Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea to crown the best soccer team in Europe — even though the two sides both hail from the UK — was always going to be hyped as one of those games where both sides overthink things.
European Super League
As I write this, the news of the pending formation of a new “European Super League” is now hours old. Many of you may or may not be aware of the formation of this new league. But for those of you out there oblivious to the world of football (soccer) let me enlighten you about the impact of this announcement and breakdown its impending implications for football as a whole.
Is the European Super League about to bring the 1975 film Rollerball into existence?
Wow. Big statement. So Let me explain. The European Super League was announced to the public on the 18th April 2021. This involved 12 super clubs in European Football stating an intention to create a new breakaway tournament. The clubs who stated their intention were AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid, Barcelona, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.
Dear Megan Rapinoe, Thank You
“What we know is how successful women’s sports have been in the face of discrimination, in the face of a lack of investment in every level in comparison to men.” Megan Rapinoe, March 2021
The future is bright for the NWSL
Soccer is quickly becoming a more popular sport in the United States, mainly due to the overwhelming success of the U.S. Women's National Team winning the past two Women's World Cup championships. This has developed into more interest in the domestic women's league, the National Women's Soccer League. But despite more interest and success, the NWSL and the USWNT have faced many hurdles in establishing women's soccer as a force in U.S. professional sports.