Simon Kuper

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Full name: Simon Kuper

Area of interest: Sport, Football

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times

Email: |

Personal website:

Website: /






Education: Oxford; Harvard; Technische Universität of West Berlin


Current position/role: Sports writer

  • also writes/written for:

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Broadcast media:



Awards/Honours: William Hill Sports Book of the Year, 1994 - for Football Against the Enemy



Books & Debate:

Soccer against the enemy Simon Kuper.jpg

Latest work:

Forthcoming work:



Financial Times:

Column name:

Remit/Info: writes about sport "from an anthropologic perspective"





Website: / Simon Kuper

Commissioning editor:

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Articles: 2017

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

  • Why political apathy rules - The only bits of politics that most people enjoy are personal stories about politicians - 19th December
  • How to be a 21st-century dad - I grew up thinking I would fulfil myself through work. Kids, I dimly imagined, would be taken care of by my lovely wife - 12th December
  • French lessons from a Nobel Prize winner - Jean Tirole’s great concern is reducing French joblessness, now a record 3.59 million - 5th December
  • The latest forecasts on climate change - One possible future for the rich world is as a giant Netherlands, protected by dykes and dams - 28th November
  • The ultimate political goal - Macri struck me as a man of destiny: rich, intelligent, funny. But none of it could have happened without football - 21st November
  • The power of stereotypes - Northern leaders inevitably brought to Brussels their voters’ prejudices about southerners - 14th November
  • How to treat expired geniuses - Whole nations pushed Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruijff into roles they couldn’t handle - 2nd November
  • The global elite is taking over sport - All but the super-rich are being priced out of sporting fixtures once available to everyone - 24th October
  • Small ideas are better than big ones - The right’s cult of free markets was the last surviving big idea. Then the financial crisis of 2008 killed it off - 24th October
  • How to invest in babies - Practically all parents want their children to thrive. Some just don’t know how to do it - 17th October
  • How to be an older colleague - Today’s junior employee is tomorrow’s senior, whereas today’s senior is tomorrow’s old reject - 10th October
  • Log out, switch off, join in - For many young people, life now happens on phones. Everything else is backdrop - 3rd October
  • The 1 per cent? Not for my kids - The true luxury isn’t money; it’s not having to think about money - 26th September
  • Why we should welcome migrants - Norway found oil under the seabed but it would have been better off if it had discovered 50,000 nurses there instead - 12th September
  • The age of innocence - I thought Blair was, in his words, “a pretty straight kind of guy”. Lest this sound insane, most Britons in 2001 thought so too - 5th September
  • Costa Rica’s good life - This humid little Central American country devotes valuable real estate to making people happier - 8th August
  • Green lessons from gay marriage - Don’t be liberal. There’s nothing inherently leftie about keeping the earth habitable - 1st August
  • Miami advice for Republicans - If Republicans want to win in modern America, they ought to visit its sexiest and most immigrant city - 18th July
  • Our deadliest problem? Not terrorism - Terrorists killed nearly 18,000 people in 2013 — 1.5 per cent of those killed by traffic - 11th July
  • Why safety now trumps freedom - Western governments plead security to spy on citizens, and most citizens accept it. They have learnt to love Big Brother - 26th June
  • Why we need German thinking - Because Germans are seldom heard outside Germany, the German take on events often gets simplified and parodied - 20th June
  • France’s forgotten class - A study of a poor district in Lyon reveals surprising results about an ignored community in flux - 6th June
  • The future belongs to cities of the west - These are places where today’s 0.1 per cent, the most mobile class in history, might want to live - 3rd June
  • Endangered: the middle-aged man - Besieged by rising robots and women, no wonder many of us end up fighting the zeitgeist - 30th May
  • Why Sepp Blatter is a genius - Fifa boss understood very early that there’s a new world order in which westerners don’t matter much - 23rd May
  • Art and the billionaire heirs - HNWI artists have time to hone their talent — not like us plebs - 16th May
  • Stop these WW2 comparisons - Memories of the war have shaped our responses to everything from the Viet Cong to today’s jihadis - 2nd May
  • Health: how to avoid lazy thinking - People prefer to blame disease on factors beyond their control: their genes or their mobile phones or radiation - 25th April
  • Welcome to the Londonsphere - The trains that carry occasional Londoners will themselves act as de facto offices - 18th April
  • A very cosmopolitan spy - Philby and Burgess couldn’t cope. Philby wallowed in drink; Burgess died of it. But for Blake, Moscow wasn’t exile. He embraced it as his fate - 21st March
  • How westerners became PRs for terror - Dead whites in Paris are bigger news than dead Muslims in Syria or Gaza. Our overreaction makes the terrorists’ point for them - 13th March
  • Why the west loves a kleptocrat - Angolan oligarchs inhabit the global luxury economy of British public schools, Swiss asset managers, Hermès stores - 7th March
  • The art of name-dropping - Today, neither birth nor stuff conveys status any more. So the quickest way to convey status has become, unfortunately, conversation - 21st February
  • In defence of the liberal media - The implication is that we don’t believe the liberal stuff ourselves. Well, I actually think the things I write are true. At least give me credit for sincerity - 14th February
  • How tourists took over the world - By 2030, there will be 1.8 billion international tourist arrivals, up from 940 million in 2010 - 7th February
  • A postscript to the end of Britain’s empire - The UK has begun recruiting its rulers abroad, chiefly in former white colonies - 6th February
  • What happened to the lost World Cup? - Oliver found the original base ‘unnoticed and unlogged, hidden away on a shelf in Fifa’s vast archives’ - 31st January
  • Why is France so misunderstood? - Many foreigners feel that they understand France, and disagree with it. Hence the phenomenon that the French call “le French bashing” - 24th January
  • Can Parisians all get along? - Fanatics such as the Kouachis insist they have a single identity: Muslim only. Most people are more complicated - 17th January
  • My Paris after the attacks - London has done well since its Islamist attack. So should my adopted city - 10th January

Articles: 2014

  • From IDC to YOLO, #Words of the year - Language, driven by social media and texting, is renewing itself faster than ever - 20th December
  • Middle-class sexism: who cares? - Many educated women and men have unexamined sexist assumptions, chiefly about childcare - 13th December
  • How Italy lost la dolce vita - The old have nice pensions, the middle-aged are unsackable and the young fight for temporary contracts - 6th December
  • Urbanism: the new ideas for city living - Working in cafés is very 2003. The next step: working in parks, even in winter - 29th November
  • Which way is Ireland going? - After rule by Brits, bishops and then bankers, Ireland for much of the crisis was practically run from Germany - 22nd November
  • Slow pressure best way to change Fifa - A World Cup boycott by the west sounds superficially plausible but would fail - 22nd November
  • The man who made data play ball - Bill James is arguably the father of today’s analytics revolution ... He has rethought the world using numbers - 15th November
  • Berlin: a tale of two cities - Current Berlin chatter about house prices recalls Ireland circa 2003. Tourist hordes have replaced the old occupying armies - 8th November
  • Confessions of a white Oxbridge male - I feel very little sense of achievement. I didn’t get here on merit. I was born to be a minor establishment functionary - 25th October
  • The working classes deserve respect - Rights for gay people, women and other groups are in the ascendant but the working class gets dismissed as an embarrassing relic - 18th October
  • How Brad Pitt brings out the best in dads - We mustn’t present the new fatherhood as a taming of men - 11th October
  • Why a harmonious team is just not cricket - Cruyff thought quarrels drove creativity because they made everyone think harder about how to play - 11th October
  • Author economics: the brutal truth - I’ve found pdfs of my books free online. ‘Information wants to be free,’ says a modern mantra. Well, my information doesn’t - 4th October
  • How Paris put everything on the menu - The French should feel more superior. While world cuisine conquers Paris, French cuisine has conquered the world - 27th September
  • Why the world is getting safer - From 1970 to 2008, death rates fell even in war zones because gains from better healthcare trumped deaths from fighting - 20th September
  • France – the way the French see it - The country is the way that it is because most French people want it that way - 13th September
  • Jorge Mendes, broker for football’s elite - with Peter Wise: The agent controls the game’s primary commodity – top talent - 6th September
  • America - the best place to be British - The three great omissions of American life – the BBC, football and healthcare – are now increasingly on tap - 30th August
  • From my inbox: the hot topics - Thanks to social media, I get more responses to my columns every year. Most are smart and friendly. Some aren’t - 26th July
  • How to travel: my rules - The ideal – admittedly impossible – is to arrive fully informed yet with no preconceptions - 19th July
  • For Brazil, it’s not the end of the world - People feel more connected to each other. Even the communal shame this week is a bonding experience - 12th July
  • Why Brazil’s already won - Strolling on Copacabana, you realise that a first-rate beach should be a compulsory element at all future World Cups - 5th July
  • The great Dutch football tradition - Holland’s football team may be the last surviving unmistakably Dutch cultural product - 28th June
  • Brazil united: the World Cup effect - This is the one competition in which footballers have to present themselves as citizens, fans, patriots - 21st June
  • Van Gaal may be as good as he thinks he is - The Dutch re-evaluate their World Cup chances after Spain ‘miracle’ - 18th June
  • Fandom – it’s bigger than football - Half a country’s inhabitants might watch the national team play a big game. That’s a rare taste of togetherness - 7th June
  • The rise of the global capital - Many ambitious Dutch people no longer want to join the Dutch elite. They want to join the global elite - 31st May
  • Why Europe works - Mobility is everything in a region where nations live in fruitful proximity - 24th May
  • How to free yourself from email - It should have been the best business tool since the telephone. Instead email has become the biggest time-waster since television - 17th May
  • Even boom times get the blues - The poor will be forgotten amidst talk of rising tides lifting all boats, and how much the neighbour’s house went for - 10th May
  • The chains of liberation - The liberator redeemed us with his blood. He can therefore ignore whatever voters think. Anyone who doesn’t like him is an enemy of the people - 3rd May
  • The next big rights revolution - The new interest in disabled people reflects the belated discovery that there are no second-class humans - 19th April
  • The surprising power of peace - In the current conflict, nobody seems eager to kill. Not even John McCain proposes American military intervention - 29th March
  • Sarajevo: the crossroads of history - On a street corner here 100 years ago, a 19-year-old Serb nationalist shot the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and triggered the first world war. The assassin, Gavrilo Princip, is still a potent and divisive symbol - 22nd March
  • Another outbreak of Blair Disease - Most ex-leaders link up with the plutocratic class while still in office. These people have been planning their careers since kindergarten - 22nd March
  • Respect the past, change the present - Catholic Ireland and Britain weren’t always adversaries. Rethinking the first world war has probably helped bring peace to Northern Ireland - 15th March
  • How to save the US - The solution to America’s problems is obvious – it should model itself on its military... - 8th March
  • ‘Muddling through’ is the new politics -Politicians can improve the world but only bit by bit. Try something small, that’s easily reversed. If it works, scale it up. If not, you drop it - 1st March
  • How to save the UK - Plonking the government in central Glasgow, where male life expectancy is 54, could transform British social policy - 22nd February
  • What are we working for? - Both men and women now want to combine work with raising kids. That means nobody can stay in the office all hours - 15th February
  • How to save France - As a Briton married to an American, I know about national decline. The key is to embrace it - 8th February
  • Skating on thin ice - This love of the native landscape can be entirely innocent. Often, though, it segues into anti-immigrant feeling - 31st January
  • The economist’s guide to the future - In 100 years, the world’s poorest people may live like today’s middle-class Americans - 25th January
  • Peace in our time - ‘They’d have stopped the first world war fast if soldiers had live-tweeted the carnage - 17th January
  • Football’s new superheroes - Today’s great footballers are incomparably fitter than their predecessors. But their perfection goes beyond the physical - 11th January
  • The squabble for Holland’s soul - Blacks, Jews and asylum-seekers have all taken a kicking lately. But anti-racists have grown louder too - 4th January

Articles: 2013

  • The squabble for Holland’s soul - Blacks, Jews and asylum-seekers have all taken a kicking lately. But anti-racists have grown louder too - 21st December
  • The soulmate revolution - 2013 was the year when most western societies sanctified the equal relationship - 14th December
  • What Mandela taught us - Arguably a saint, he was definitely a politician who understood power - 7th December
  • An everyday taste of happiness - The fastest-growing demographic category from Britain to China today is ‘cheese bores’ - 30th November
  • How Dallas survived JFK - Many Americans couldn’t accept that a lone loser had changed history. Some blamed the city itself - 16th November
  • The great middle-class identity crisis - Fewer stay in the same profession for life. We are ceasing to be our jobs - 9th November
  • Africa? Why there’s no such place - The word ‘Africa’ has lost what meaning it ever had and should be binned - 2nd November
  • My return to Oxford - The university I knew – shot through with racism, dilettantism and sherry – has been replaced by something quite professional - 26th October
  • Why Danny the Red dreams of Europe - The May 1968 student revolutionary who sent de Gaulle into retirement is 68 himself now - but still a fighter - 12th October
  • England expects … quite wrongly - It is a delusion that the nation that invented modern football is destined to triumph - 5th October
  • The sun sets on the west - ‘If the west really is losing global significance, then anti-western movements are in trouble’ - 28th September
  • How we all went Dutch - Policy makers in Holland aren’t hippie potheads. They legalised dope because they are cold-headed realists - 14th September
  • Paris: the affordable London suburb - The French capital offered a luxury even better than money: not having to think about money. I’ve lived there ever since - 7th September
  • Would you buy a Picasso or a Bale? - The record-breaking deal is like the acquisition of a work of art - 3rd September
  • Paris: the affordable London suburb - The French capital offered a luxury even better than money: not having to think about money. I’ve lived there ever since - 31st August
  • Miami: the gathering storm - Why the prospect of Miami’s destruction through climate change bothers me - 3rd August
  • My column in pictures - Soon nobody will need words any more and we journalists will become even more redundant. This week I’ve been replaced by drawings - 27th July
  • Mandela’s miracles - Most fathers of a nation made their nation on a battlefield. Mandela did it with smiles - 20th July
  • How to raise a winning child - There are a few simple things new parents could be told: speak to your child, read to it, sing to it - 6th July
  • The Brazilian lesson - ‘The poor forced the state to see that they existed as anything other than labourers or potential criminals’ - 28th June
  • A forgotten war comes back to life - In China, the Sino-Japanese war now looms so large that it sometimes eludes the party’s control - 22nd June
  • Priced out of Paris - Our great, global cities are turning into vast gated citadels where the elite reproduces itself - 15th June
  • Lionel Messi: Simply the best - The world’s greatest footballer has been pitched into tax problems - 15th June
  • How the west has won - China may be conquering the world economically but the west is winning the battle of ideas - 8th June
  • French ‘exception culturelle’ makes sense - The country accepts that most global culture is in English, it just wants its own to get funding too - 8th June
  • What Putin learnt from Berlusconi - With 80 per cent of Russians getting their news from TV, the Russian president knows it’s the best place for propaganda - 1st June
  • If only I’d been taught to learn - Techniques for remembering are essential study tools - taking a nap is another - 25th May
  • What David Moyes and Sir Alex really do - A fascination with football managers coexists with romantic misconceptions about what their job actually consists of - 18th May
  • Sir Alex Ferguson: football’s last Boss - The manager’s exit marks the end of an era for the game - 11th May
  • The French elite - France’s “énarques” weren’t trained to succeed in the world but in central Paris - 11th May
  • Fergie offers managerial lessons for many - Despite his success, Sir Alex never kidded himself that he knew everything - 9th May
  • Everton: how the Blues made good - Why does Everton football club keep beating their richer and starrier rivals? - 4th May
  • Smile if you’re European - It’s all relative: why it’s not so bad to be European after all - 4th May
  • Professional sport enters 21st century - The announcement by a US basketball player that he is gay is a landmark - 1st May
  • The Beatrix factor - It’s the end of an era as the Dutch monarch - as familiar a presence to many as their own grandmother - steps down to make way for her son - 27th April
  • My Juventus - Has Juve – and the whole Italian game – fallen victim to the nation’s problems itself? Andrea Agnelli, president of the legendary football club, offers an answer - 27th April
  • Preaching to the unconverted - The gay marriage campaign has worked chiefly because it borrows the right’s language of ‘family values’ - 20th April
  • Margaret Thatcher 1925-2013 - Her followers were evangelical. The violence of her opposition was a measure of her power. Simon Schama analyses how Thatcher transformed Britain, while Simon Kuper looks at her legacy abroad - 13th April
  • A Malaysian story - An audience with Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s opposition leader, who spent six years in solitary confinement, where he he read the Bible, Lao Tse and all of Shakespeare - 13th April
  • Pity the poor footballers - These tax-dodging schemes are achingly complex, even if you aren’t a kid who has just left school - 6th April
  • A life in the sun - As owners are sought for unidentified photographs from Dutch Indonesia’s lost colony, Simon Kuper argues that western colonial nostalgia is finally being challenged by brutal facts - 29th March
  • Poverty: a very poor show - I’ve read columns by prisoners and by people with terminal cancer, but I’ve never seen one by someone living on benefits - 29th March
  • How social media improved writing - Texts, blogs, emails and Facebook posts are affecting other kinds of writing – mostly for the good - 23rd March
  • In praise of the outcome-driven life - In the 1980s, the seize-the-day folks started losing ground. Increasingly, it made sense to pursue long-term outcomes - 16th March
  • Business à la française - A routine meeting or an ‘intellectual orgy’? A new bilingual guide tries to ease the stresses of Anglo-French business relationships - 9th March
  • Gay marriage: telling it straight - As gay couples become more integrated, more gay families will enter a hetero world of kids’ playdates and freezing parents at Saturday morning hockey games - 2nd March
  • Carry on panicking - Moral panics serve to express the desired social order: brave policemen good, independent young people bad - 16th February
  • Dangerous myth of the role model athlete - The sports-industrial complex should be shrunk before it destroys society - 16th February
  • Why I’ve fallen out of love with football - Anyone who peeks behind the game’s curtain discovers there is no magic there - 9th February
  • Israel: perched between hope and fear - ‘The country is more focused on living than on fighting, perhaps,’ says former premier Ehud Olmert - 2nd February
  • When a man is tired of Paris … - ‘After more than a decade I can say: beneath the snooty unfriendly façade, Paris is a snooty, unfriendly city - 26th January
  • And the Oscar for best career goes to… - Movies nudge middle-class young people without a particular vocation into certain professions - 19th January
  • The sin of bad science - Different societies deal differently with sinners, and the Dutch seem particularly unforgiving - 5th January

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

All articles

  • Why Ferguson remains at the top of his game - The Manchester United manager adds exceptional value to his teams - 28th December
  • A work of art? It’s in the bag - Luxury goods companies now wrap themselves in the language of high art. They call themselves ‘cultural and creative industries’ - 10th December
  • Happiness is a table for one - Lunch is dead but not in Paris, where Simon Kuper has stayed for 10 years largely because the meal is often a glimpse of bliss - 3rd December
  • Squabbling while the world burns - The sceptics aren’t the block to action on climate change. Instead, they are an irrelevant sideshow - 26th November
  • Norway: an Eden with wifi - Along with oil, the Scandinavian country has built its economy on another natural resource: its women - 19th November
  • The end of identity politics - Sex, drugs and old wars are fading from voters’ heads, leaving the economy as the only issue. Simon Kuper thinks this shift may not be goo - 12th November
  • The hits and misses of history - Assassinations are rare occasions when the fate of nations can seem to hang on a sandwich or briefcase - 5th November
  • Why politicians deserve a break - Today’s leaders are shrunken figures. Yet they are due a rebound - 29th October
  • How the (book) world works - Rogue states such as Iran get to steal other people’s books with impunity, and nobody buys books in Abu Dhabi - 22nd October
  • Tyrants’ Paris: the tour - The choicest bits of the west’s great cities belong, in part, to foreign dictators. We complain, but we need these guests - 15th October
  • Is South Africa the new Russia? - Simon Kuper looks at the striking parallels between the two countries in terms of leadership and party politics - 8th October
  • Ms Murphy’s law will help push football in a new direction - Clubs are finally starting to monetise their global brands. Their battle to do so is the story of the new British economy - 8th October
  • The truth about English football - Studying football helps us see why the English are always beating themselves up, and why they shouldn’t - 1st October
  • How I lost my love of reading - Simon Kuper hopes for a time when one can look at books not as status symbols but as a source as an uncomplicated pleasure - 24th September
  • Climate change: who cares any more? - Rich countries will buy protection by building dikes or piping in more water, but poor states probably won’t cope well - 17th September
  • The end of Eurabia - Slogging through several books helped Simon Kuper understand possibly the most influential western geopolitical theory since the attacks of 9/11 - 10th September
  • Europe’s racists sail new waters - Potential miscreants are reminded that anti-Semitism is a habit rather like nose-picking: something best not done in public - 3rd September
  • Scouting, statistics and rice: the rise and fall of Arsène Wenger - The manager’s decline is a warning to all pioneers - 3rd September
  • Let’s put the meaning back in politics - With a new political season about to start, now is a good time to get rid of another batch of bogus words and phrases - 27th August
  • Home is where the holiday is - It is summer and Parisians are disappearing to the French countryside, the place they like to imagine they are really from - 6th August
  • Lessons from the Field - In journalism, you are expected just to pick things up, says Simon Kuper, who proceeds to list the things he has learned over a 25-year career - 30th July
  • Call this a media storm … ? - Amid the furore surrounding the phone hacking scandal, Alastair Campbell tells Simon Kuper he thinks newspapers have become much less important - 23rd July
  • Food status: an update - Peasant food will go the way of wigs and long fingernails, which once upon a time were considered to be status symbols too - 16th July
  • The middle-class trapdoor - When you fall from first world to third, your life changes in ways small and big, and so does your worldview - 9th July
  • The tulips of Srebrenica - For Simon Kuper, the idealistic, blue-eyed Netherlands where he grew up in the 1970s and 1980s died some time after the Bosnian massacre - 2nd July
  • Now the rich are always with us … - The 2.5 billion people with less than $2 a day get ignored by the media, due to being poor, non-white and non-Anglophone - 18th June
  • My killer excuse: the kids - It’s becoming possible for fathers to use childcare to buy more time at the workplace. That’s because status for men in western countries is changing - 11th June
  • Why the euro is in the wars - The common currency, which topped off a project aimed at ‘binding in’ Germany, was born because European leaders were still obsessed with the second world war - 4th June
  • No game for ideal women - Nowadays hardly anyone wants to keep football male. The rest of us are delighted that women now play, yet hardly any of us want to watch them do it - 28th May
  • Paris: a higher version of life - The Paris in the heads of foreign artists such as Woody Allen and Henry Miller is not the actual capital of France. Rather, it is the opposite of home - 21st May
  • Analysis: Sport: Trophies and trinkets - A scandal involving alleged kickbacks that surrounds football’s global governing body highlights both an absence of external scrutiny and a loss of western influence - 14th May
  • The power of respect - After reading a letter Nelson Mandela wrote from jail, Simon Kuper concludes that great politicians focus on only one or two goals. For them, the rest is just detail - 14th May
  • Five ages of a professional footballer - In the run-up to the FA Cup final, Simon Kuper reads the autobiographies of five leading English players. The result is a composite portrait of the strange life of the modern footballer - 14th May
  • Speaking of the British - Running a country on eloquence alone hasn’t worked out disastrously for the UK’s ruling classes – or at least not yet - 7th May
  • Springtime for tyrants - Soviets liked only one thing about Stalinism: the personality cult around Stalin. So when Khrushchev denounced the dictator’s crimes, the party slew him - 30th April
  • What counts now is capital - In this crisis, people have switched en masse from living off wages to living off capital that they have accumulated on their own or through other people - 23rd April
  • Why football is in a fix - Partly because of Chinese betting, and partly because the world now wagers online, the sums gambled on European games have soared - 16th April
  • When Paris becomes utopia - Each country does one or two things brilliantly, and the French know how to live, but never more so than in their city in the spring. Simon Kuper explains why - 9th April
  • France: Claudie Haigneré - The first Frenchwoman in space once watched the Earth turn while listening to Callas singing ‘Norma’ in the silence of the night while her colleagues slept - 2nd April
  • Why expats don’t get tinnitus - Living in the media bubble means having a constant dreadful ringing in your ears. But, as Simon Kuper has found, life as an expat can clear up all that sound - 26th March
  • The funny thing about Britain - Peter Cook, a comedian strangely little remembered today, created a genre of ‘declinist’ humour Americans can now expect as the US joins the UK on the down escalator - 19th March
  • Home is where the art is - Why did two great artistic forces emerge three centuries apart from the small, dull Dutch town of Leiden? Could a similar European town ever do it again - 12th March
  • Don’t touch me, I’m British - The French kiss people in greeting but the permitted intimacy does not extend to every country where each has its own unique rules - 5th March
  • I think about my mortgage constantly - Everyone has had to become his or her own accountant, actuary and pension planner. Unfortunately most Britons are poor at saving and budgeting, or can’t afford it - 19th February
  • Toppled in the fog of war - The story of referee Martin Hansson has meaning beyond football. He stands for all successful strivers who overestimate their ability to see clearly through the chaos of life - 12th February
  • Lessons from the class of ’92 - Things will get better but not for all of today’s youth. Academic research says some will suffer for decades for having been young in a recession - 5th February
  • A hell of an inheritance - Only recently have large numbers of Europeans begun accusing their own families of taking part in Nazi crimes, but it will be decades away before the war may cease to be a family trauma - 29th January
  • Rugby flexes its muscles - Tom Palmer, about to contest the Six Nations as an England forward, epitomises everything that has changed about the game - 29th January
  • A disastrous truth -It’s true that floods and hurricanes do more damage every decade. However, that’s because ever more people, owning ever more ‘stuff’, live in vulnerable spots - 22nd January
  • Debt: another word for guilt - Many voters actually like austerity and will accept almost any amount of personal pain if it means government debt falling as a proportion of GDP - 15th January
  • Indignant? We should be - Stéphane Hessel tops France’s bestseller lists with ‘Indignez-vous!’, his 12-page pamphlet that reveals something about his country and lleftwingers everywhere - 8th January

All articles: 2010

All articles: 2009

  • Haunted by the ghosts of apartheid - White South Africans do brilliantly at sport, and the blacks badly. In South Africa, as in the rest of the world, sport favours the rich - 9th January 2009

All articles: 2008

  • Can We Have Our Balls Back, Please? - A fantastically erudite account of how and why the British created modern sport - 15th December 2008
  • Teams should think twice before shedding their fat players - Ronaldo, once the greatest footballer on earth, now has the belly of late-phase Elvis Presley. Despite this, Corinthians in his native Brazil have signed him - 12th December 2008
  • India can fight the flab by gorging on other games - As Calcutta fêtes Diego Maradona, it’s another sign that India, sport’s final frontier, has begun playing the world’s games - 5th December 2008
  • Winning book depresses value of writing prize - Marcus Trescothick’s book describes how cricket – like many other modern sports – eats its young, with burn-outs being common - 28th November 2008
  • Chicago can be an Olympic kind of town - With Barack Obama’s election as American president, the Windy City has surged ahead of its rivals to host the 2016 Games - 21st November 2008
  • Dealmaker who sees beyond silverware - Harris, once a poor kid supporting Manchester United, later chief executive of HSBC’s investment bank, has brokered five takeovers in the Premier League - 14th November 2008
  • Maradona’s chance as a national coach - Of course Argentina shouldn’t have let Diego Maradona coach its football team. He won’t last long in the post - 7th November 2008
  • Football cops shun tear gas - Several dozen burly men are gathered in Amsterdam to plan for this season’s matches and new ways of treating fans - 31st October 2008
  • Candidates tackle political football - A politician’s relationship to sport is a window on to his soul. This is particularly true in the US, because Americans have so many sports to choose from - 24th October 2008
  • Notables from the margin - American sport exists largely to tell allegorical stories about America. Dave Zirin overturns them in People’s History of Sports in the United States - 17th October 2008
  • Wags lyrical - It’s strange to think that “Wag” – the acronym for footballers’ wives and girlfriends – entered the Oxford English Dictionary only last year. Already Wags seem as traditionally English a concept as out-of-town supermarkets or chicken vindaloo - 10th October 2008
  • Iceman Borg melteth - The silent tennis player with the 1,000-mile stare now chats and laughs like a cocktail-party guest. Indeed, he regards the young Borg with wonder, as if he were another person - 3rd October 2008
  • Fab four born in soccer’s most fertile week - On September 22 1976 a great footballer was born in Rio. “Do you know who Ronaldo was named after?” his father asked the writer Frans Oosterwijk years later. “After the doctor who closed off his mother’s tubes after his birth. Ha, ha. Doctor Ronaldo, his name was.” - 26th September 2008
  • Anelka’s alternative pose off the pitch - Anelka’s personality has impeded him from reaching the heights his body deserves. The personality also arguably cost his club, Chelsea, last season’s Champions League final - 12th September 2008
  • Spain’s new nationalism - The country’s improbable run of sporting triumphs has revealed a new Spanish nationalism. And sport itself is changing Spain - 5th september 2008
  • A festival of fraternisation that gets too friendly - For athletes, the Olympics really is the festival of international fraternisation it’s cracked up to be - 1st August 2008
  • The eternal games - An impressive quintet of surveys shows how the Olympics have grown so all-consuming that they now eat their competitors and the host cities (book reviews) - 28th July 2008
  • Bird’s Nest allows Beijing to prove its mettle - Jacques Herzog, a thin shaven-headed Swiss architect, sits eating dry brown bread in his group’s offices off a quiet square in Basel. This is his home. It was in kindergarten in Basel that Herzog met his future architectural partner, Pierre de Meuron, and in Basel that they first designed a stadium - 25th July 2008
  • Relief for English cousins as family makes up - On the phone from Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is talking about the “football family”. Rummenigge, once a great German footballer, now chairs the new European Club Association, which represents 103 leading European clubs. “The ECA must be in on all decisions in the football family,” says Rummenigge, who is also chairman of Bayern Munich. “There were big irritations in the past. These irritations are happily over.” - 18th July 2008
  • Sisterly love - As the Williams sisters recalled once on The Oprah Winfrey Show, their father told them when they were children: “Go ahead, pick a tournament you want to win.” Venus, the elder sister by 15 months, chose Wimbledon. Then it was Serena’s turn. “Wimbledon,” she said. Their father Richard ordered Serena to pick another one, but it was already too late - 4th July 2008

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