Commentators hold a special place in the hearts, minds and memories of football fans. Often it is only when they leave – like John Motson in February, aged 77 – that we realize just how much they have provided the soundtrack to dozens of football memories from decades ago.
When news of Motson’s death was announced, social media was flooded with snippets of some of football’s most iconic moments from the past 50 years – all in the commentator’s iconic voice.
“Crazy Gang beat Culture Club!” erupted after Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final. “Oh, it just keeps getting better and better!” he exclaimed during England’s 5-1 win over Germany in 2001, one of his favorite expressions. ON Match of the dayin cup finals and major tournaments, Motson has been the voice of football for generations of football fans throughout his long career.
Unfortunately, his death was one of many tragedies that have affected football over the past month. Ghanaian international Christian Atsu was one of the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, with John Duerden reporting on football’s reaction to the tragedy. Elsewhere, Mark Gleeson recalls a disaster before its 30th anniversary: a plane crash that killed 18 members of the Zambian national team.
However, there is plenty to do in this issue as well, as March’s international matches ushered in new eras for many countries and their new managers, the new Copa Libertadores campaign tells some potentially compelling stories, and England take on Brazil at Wembley in the Women’s Finalissima. We have it all and even more.
Jamie Evans, associate editor
THE WORLD THIS MONTH
12 From the assistant editor
13 A month in numbers
14 Keir Radnedge Power games
16 by Jonathan Wilson Harry Kane, record holder
18 entrances and exits
20 Türkiye and Syria Football’s reaction to the devastating earthquake
24 Canada Forge FC dominates the Canadian Premier League
28 Colombia Deportivo Pereira’s unlikely title-winning manager Alejandro Restrepo
32 Ecuador Independiente del Valle, the heart of Ecuadorian football
36 Talent scout The stars of the South American U20 Championship
38 Player Biography Kaoru Mitoma
44 Road to Berlin The countdown to Euro 2024 starts here
Summary of 48 new international coaches
52 Rebuilding Belgium
56 FIFA World Series friendlies
60 Turn back the clock Zambia football tragedy
64 Face to face Pedro Goncalves
66 Face to face Pia Sundhage
70 NWSL preview
76 Morocco Club World Cup review
78 Euro 2024 Qualifying Announcement
82 CONCACAF League of Nations update
84 Africa AFCON 2023 Qualifying Update
86 Asia Overview of the Champions League West region
88 Africa Champions League update
90 Uzbekistan pioneers