Legends of Florence: Ribéry Replaces Baggio – 29 years later.

He’s not as handsome as Baggio. But who is?

Like Baggio, Ribéry has the close dribbles. The unexpected changes in speed and direction.

Like Baggio, Ribéry chops the ball past hairy ankles and mud stained socks. And accelerates past hapless fullbacks.

They both play with 5-a-side joy.

They both leave memories for the fans.

But Ribéry has healthier knees.

We must close with Eduardo Galeano on Baggio:

In recent years no one has given Italians better soccer or more to talk about. Roberto Baggio’s game is mysterious: his legs have a mind of their own, his foot shoots by itself, his eyes see the goals before they happen.

Baggio is a big horsetail that flicks away opponents as he flows forward in an elegant wave. Opponents harass him, they bite, they punch him hard. Baggio has Buddhist sayings written under his captain’s armband. Buddha does not ward off the blows, but he does help suffer them. From his infinite serenity, he also helps Baggio discover the silence that lies beyond the din of cheers and whistles.

Eduardo Galeano, Soccer in Sun and Shadow , pg 226

Rogue Three

Three Underrated Football Twitter Handles You Should Follow

Twitter is the modern day scroll. An endless papyrus roll with an inkwell that never dries.

For football supporters, long-form pieces and goal GIFs from our favorite football writers are only a log-in menu away.

Sure, you’ve got your @andybrassels, @Okwongas and @JamesHorncastles. But then there’s the hole-in-the-wall handles that only the locals know of.

Rogue handles whose independence from major media conglomerates allow them to share some of the best football content online.

Ladies and Gentlemen my top three:

@3four3

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@3four3‘s posts are barbwire sharp. He never wastes any of his 128 characters.

One moment he’ll rage against the festering mediocrity of USSF. The next drop an Elon Musk quote.

He even sites Jiro Dreams of Sushi to impart the value of patience and craft to youth coaches.

@3four3 isn’t for the soft. @3four3 isn’t for the close minded.

@3four3 is for those who believe the US program can reach the global standard – if it’s willing to take action on the hard truths it faces.

@iammoallim

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@iammoallim is a digital footballer yearbook. A curation of historic football images mixed with concise bursts of copy.

You’ll bear witness to such photographic masterpieces as Andrés Iniesta with hair or Johan Cruyff nursing a steak.

You’ll be hypnotized with GIFs of Zidane controls. And your pub quiz game will stay ripped with thought provoking stats.

But where @iammoallim keeps me procrastinating is with a slew of quotes from managers and players past. Quotes that reveal the origins and training sessions from the most progressive minds in football.

Follow @iammoallim and your mind will morph into a football oracle.

@fantasistaTEN

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@fantasistaTEN is the twitter temple for football’s hallowed position – the #10.

The feed verges on a Baggio overdose, but that’s understandable. It’s ROBERTO BAGGIO.

Where @fantasistaTEN excels, is in highlighting the obscure number 10. Journeymen creators such as Internacional’s Camilo and Pescara’s Ahmad Benali. Pitch wizards who don’t play for glamour sides, but enchant crowds nonetheless.

Still, former Arsenal assassin Jay-Jay Okocha makes regular appearances. Tampa Bay Mutiny demigod Carlos Valderrama too.

@fantasistaTEN will remind why football is your first love.