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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

Soccer

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Soccer

Football’s sickening reality of racism

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As 17-year-old Endrick danced under the picturesque Wembley floodlights, the world was given a taste of Brazil’s post-Neymar era. It was an exhibition of finesse and skill as the youngster broke the deadlock against a Bellingham-inspired England ...


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Soccer

Sixteen dreams for European glory

Alejandro Garnacho might have scored the goal of the season against Everton, but the jitters from Argentina’s magical strike would soon fade on the back of a potentially season-defining draw in Turkey. Before Manchester United’s trip to Istanbul on Nov. 29, qualification for the knockout stage was in their hands.


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Soccer

Men’s soccer outlasts Colby, maintains strong conference positioning

A squad as talented as the Tufts men’s soccer team naturally sets out to win its conference at the beginning of the season, and in the NESCAC, the best way to do that is to earn a high seed heading into the postseason. By doing this, a team optimizes its hopes of reaping a home field advantage during the playoffs since quarterfinals matches are hosted by the higher seed in each game and the semifinals and finals are hosted by the highest seed remaining in the tournament. 



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Soccer

Men’s soccer takes down Hamilton on Homecoming weekend

On Sept. 24, 2022, almost exactly a year ago, the Tufts men’s soccer team suffered what many cited as their worst loss of the 2022 season, falling 1–0 to the Hamilton Continentals in a tense game that featured two red cards. On Saturday, Tufts was given an opportunity to avenge that defeat on home turf during the university’s Homecoming weekend. The Jumbos did not throw away their shot.


The Setonian
Columns

The Final Whistle: An Italian classic on the cards

A few famous pictures can sum up Marco Materrazi’s historic career: being headbutted by Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup Final, a teary embrace with Jose Mourinho after completing the treble in 2010 and lifting the World Cup alongside a legendary collection of Italian stars.One picture, however, stands out from the crowd, both in aesthetic and significance. It was taken in 2005, against the smokey red backdrop of an electric San Siro as flares lit up the capital city in a second leg of a Champions League quarter-final. The game was halted for safety reasons as security and firefighters scrambled pitchside. It was then that photographers captured a shot for the ages as Materrazi leaned on the shoulder of rival Rui Costa, together watching the chaos unfold. 


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Columns

The Final Whistle: Napoli and Real Madrid draw first blood

It was the perfect start. A slight hesitation allowed Mohamed Salah to pounce on Thibaut Courtois’ poorly controlled attempted clearance, burying the ball beyond the Belgian goalkeeper. 2–0 Liverpool. White shirts stood in disbelief as Anfield erupted in euphoria. Perhaps the catalyst for a much-needed resurrection for what has been a poor season for the Reds. Darwin Núñez’s first, a cheeky flick, had given Liverpool an early lead, and for a moment it seemed like Anfield’s magic was at work again. But if there’s anything stronger than Liverpool’s historic record at home it is Real Madrid’s ability to recover from a deficit.


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Columns

The Final Whistle: What will Leandro Trossard bring to Arsenal?

History beckons for Arsenal. For the first time in over a decade, the North London side look like potential Premier League champions. A convincing derby victory against Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur and a nail-biting 3–2 thriller against bitter rivals Manchester United proved once again the quality of Mikel Arteta’s team. 5 points clear at the top of the rankings, with a game in hand over Manchester City, the Gunners look poised to claim their first title since 2004. But this season is far from over and a string of poor form, injuries and fixture congestion are all factors that could end Arsenal’s title dream. To avoid this, Arsenal has reinforced their squad with Brighton’s Leandro Trossard. 


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Viewpoint

The death of The Beautiful Game

After a surprise exit by Brazil (ranked as the best international team by FIFA in October before the World Cup commenced) and the appearance of two underdog teams in the third place match, Croatia (ranked No. 12) and Morocco (ranked No. 22), one could almost feel the entire culture of soccer shift. Analysts and casual viewers alike were left scrambling for answers. How were these teams, who were not even considered likely to make a late run in the tournament, much less compete for the third place trophy, able to perform at such a high level against all odds? The answer is less exciting than one would expect, and it involves the death of the most engaging parts of soccer. 


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Columns

The Final Whistle: A Belgian tragedy

Every nation has its golden generation. For some, an endless supply of young talent allows teams to transition and evolve between cycles of great teams while others spend years relying on a core. The most successful sides are a combination of both. A blend of experience and maturity alongside a touch of youth offers a spark of creativity and dynamism. For France in 2018, it was such a blend that made them world champions. 


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Viewpoint

Politics and pastime intersect with the 2022 World Cup

The wait is over. Despite delays involving the COVID-19 pandemic and unusually hot weather, the world’s biggest sport is having its most important event. The FIFA World Cup will begin on Nov. 20 in Qatar. In the time leading up to the event, sports fans have followed a number of narratives surrounding the Cup: the USA’s return to the event, superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo chasing their first World Cup victories and France’s title defense amid concerns about early international play. One of the most pressing stories, however, doesn’t concern any of the players who will take the field.


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Columns

The Final Whistle: Can South America reclaim its throne in Qatar?

On July 13, 2014, the world witnessed two footballing giants go head to head in a final for the ages. Ironically, in Brazil’s iconic Maracanã Stadium, it was Argentina taking on its fierce rival, Germany. The biggest prize in the game, an 18-karat gold trophy standing just 36 centimeters high, stood between the teams’ dugouts at the edge of the touchline. The fairytale ending was almost a reality until Mario Gotze’s extra-time winner broke Argentine hearts. A month-long festival of football on South American soil culminated in German joy. Lionel Messi wore silver as semifinalist Brazil, having been demolished 7 ー 1 a few days earlier, settled for fourth.


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Soccer

Leah Williamson brings it home

About 50 miles northwest of London, on the outskirts of the city of Milton Keynes, lies the small town of Newport Pagnell. Home to just 15,000 people — one-fourth of the capacity of Arsenal’s iconic Emirates Stadium — the town is dwarfed both in size and history with its only real ‘achievement’ being its role as birthplace of the luxury sports car company Aston Martin. Today, the town can proudly celebrate another local story as home to England national team captain and newly crowned European football champion, Leah Williamson. 


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Soccer

Men's and women's soccer teams show promise for coming season

The soccer program is one of the most successful and storied athletic programs at Tufts. The women’s team consistently has winning records and places highly in the NESCAC, while the men’s team has won four national championships, two of which have been in the last five years. This year looks to be no different as both teams gear up for an exciting season ahead. 


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Columns

The Final Whistle: Tammy Abraham’s breakout season in Serie A

Since leaving Chelsea in August 2021, Tammy Abraham has found incredible goalscoring form and is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. Despite successful loan spells at Aston Villa and Swansea, many doubted his ability to excel in a foreign league. Under José Mourinho, Abraham has established himself as the club’s starting center-forward, taking over from Edin Džeko, and has been the difference in tight games when Roma struggles to create chances.


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Soccer

Karim Benzema inspires historic Real Madrid comeback 

After a scuffle near the byline, the ball lands at the feet of Neymar who, with a momentary glance to his right shoulder, flicks it over the desperate leap of Éder Militão and into the path of Kylian Mbappe. The Brazilian defender could only watch as the Frenchman raced away, his long strides propelling him towards goal. Now facing goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, a 6 feet, 7 inches Belgian wall, Mbappe opens his body, projecting a far post shot, and within seconds buries the ball in the bottom right corner — 1–0 on the night, 2–0 on aggregate. Game over. Parisian supporters, tucked away high in the stands of the Santiago Bernabéu, roared into the night.


The Setonian
Soccer

The boy from Bambali: Sadio Mané rewrites history for Senegal

A sea of Egyptian red holds its collective breath as midfielder Mohanad Lasheen steps up to the spot. After a slightly stuttered run-up, his shot is saved as Senagalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy who dives confidently to his right. Now the score reads 3–2 Senegal, and with a chance to win it, a chance to conquer the continent, up steps Senegal’s talisman, Sadio Mané. Time stood still, as did the ball he so gently placed on the penalty spot. A swift glance at the sky, followed by the referee’s whistle, and Mané had scored, striking the ball powerfully past the outstretched glove of Egypt’s goalkeeper Gabaski. As the net bulged, the Lions of Teranga charged the field, engulfing their star player as their tricolor flags waved proudly into the night. Mané had done it, but amid the euphoria, he hadn’t forgotten his Liverpool teammate, Mohamed Salah, as the pair embraced. Mané’s brilliance as a player and a man had led him to glory at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), but his quest for this crown has been a long journey in the making. 


The Setonian
Column

The Final Whistle: Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard's first steps into management

To many fans, overturning a 3–0 deficit at halftime is considered impossible, but in the 2005 Champions League final, Liverpool's own Steven Gerrard led a historic comeback against a formidable A.C. Milan side. The Reds conceded within 50 seconds of kickoff and went toe-to-toe with Italy's finest club, which featured two of the greatest midfielders of all time: Andrea Pirlo and Ricardo Kaká. On either side of them, you’d find Gennaro Gattuso, who would go on to win the World Cup with Italy the following year, and Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf. Add to that a defense anchored by Paolo Maldini, Nesta, Cafu and Jaap Stam, all flag bearers of the greatest defensive era in modern football. The script seemed set, as A.C. Milan fans roared on. But to Gerrard, a quiet 25-year-old from Whiston, Merseyside, the game was far from over.