Welcome to another issue of 90 Minutes, one that I loved putting together thanks to some exceptional work by our writers. There are some articles in here that might stay with you for a long time, and that’s what we aim to do.
Our cover focuses on two things at once. While we also refer to whether Lionel Messi deserves to be named the Player of the Year once again this time around, we also discuss Barcelona’s reinvention (or not) under new manager Tito Vilanova, and whether they’re still as good. While there is a school of thought that Vilanova is changing a few things and looking to stamp his philosophy on the team, he only seems to just be continuing and building on the good work of Pep Guardiola. It’s a bit of both, perhaps, and which way he eventually leans only time will tell.
Barca are top of La Liga, but failed to beat Madrid in the Super Cup as well as at home in the league. Many say it’s the end of their domination in the league, but there’s a long way to go, and it would be a touch premature to signal an end to their dominance domestically, or in Europe.
While not the cover story, Akshay Mhaskar’s article on the foreign player quotas in Spain is an absolute gem, and is one we can all refer to in moments of confusion! EU laws have always been slightly unclear, and the result is a system filled with loopholes, which will become clear after reading the story, to those of you who aren’t in the know.
Our interview for this month is a slightly different one, as it isn’t with a footballer but with an administrator (not anyone from the AIFF though, who are still generally loath to speak at length to the media). We speak to Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, a highly respected man in Indian football, who has been working with FIFA as the Development Officer for South and Central Asia.
As is expected, he was extremely cordial throughout the length of the conversation, and was reluctant to say anything negative about anyone, something magazines don’t appreciate much! However, Mr. Prabhakaran spoke sense and was honest throughout, which is the most we can expect from a FIFA official of any kind these days.
We would love some feedback from you guys on the content every month, as well as the new features we push through every now and then, like the “Scouting Report” written by Marcus Haydon, who specializes in following young talent across Eastern Europe and South America. More features will follow soon, so any feedback/suggestions are more than welcome.
Have a great month you all, see you in December!
To read the November issue of 90 Minutes, pick up a copy today, or click here to subscribe!