The Stranded Sons of Shakhtar Donetsk

SPLIT, Croatia – It was in their moment of triumph, when they had beaten their opponents and come together to collect their medals, when the boys had overcome with sadness, when the tears welled in their eyes. The teenagers, a mix of 13- and 14-year-olds representing one of the top Ukrainian soccer team Shakhtar Dontesk, … Read more

Nigeria Adds Up the Costs of Missing the World Cup

Amaju Pinnick, the president of Nigeria’s soccer federation, was deprived of his 200 million countrymen in Africa’s most populous nation. He just needed to look down at the scenes unfolding inside Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria, to see what it meant. Thousands of angry supporters poured into the field after the final whistle … Read more

Ukraine Is One Game Away From the World Cup

The emotion, in anticipation, had been so raw that, at times, it was easy to worry that it might prove overwhelming. Oleksandr Zinchenko, a Ukrainian midfielder, had about pride, about freedom, about proving to the world that his country would “never give up.” He had welled up with tears as he spoke. His coach, Oleksandr … Read more

The True Cost of Kylian Mbappé’s New Deal

It wasn’t, Kylian Mbappé would like you to know, about the money. True, it might look – to the childlike, the innocent, the uninformed – if it has spent the last year or so playing Real Madrid and Paris St.-Germain off another in order to drive up its value and elicit the most lucrative possible … Read more

Real Madrid Secures $ 380 Million From Sixth Street

Real Madrid, the European soccer behemoth, closed in the United States-based Sixth Street investment firm, will buy a 30 percent stake in the team’s stadium operations. The announcement Thursday came amid growing optimism among executives that Real Madrid, a 13-time European champion, could make Kylian Mbappé, one of the most sought after players in world … Read more