He’s been coaching in central Asia, the US, Middle East and West Africa. He nurtured football culture in Kyrgyzstan, worked at the famous Aspire Academy in Qatar and guided Hearts of Oak in Ghana. The amazing career of Kenichi Yatsuhashi is indeed a fascinating one. Walid Bylka interviewed him exclusively for BabaGol: They talked African football, the best food he had in his journeys, and where he was blamed to be an engineer rather than a football coach. A must-read interview.
On a hot October evening, Israel and Latvia faced off and showed more of what they produced all this campaign. For the Israelis, it is all about looking forward towards the important upcoming missions.
North Korea against South Korea. It can’t get any more tense and interesting than this. It is the South’s first visit to Pyongyang in almost 30 years, this time for a crucial World Cup qualifier. To celebrate this big event, we examined the football history of the the Korean peninsula.
Nigeria and Brazil will meet for the first time in 16 years, this time in a friendly match in Singapore. For the Nigerians, it is a match-up filled with nostalgia from the incredible 1996 Olympics journey, and they would look to surprise the Seleção again.
Finland have never qualified for a major tournament, and it stings them even more when a regional rival like Iceland does it before them. Now, they are on the verge of doing it themselves - Teemu Pukki and the boys are ready to create their own fairy-tale story.
Linda Caicedo is only 14 years old, and she is already being compared to Neymar. The Colombian wonder-girl, who helped America de Cali win the national title and was the league’s top scorer, can be the next sensation of women football.
BabaGol paid a visit to Budapest to see Ferencvaros against Ludogorets in Europa League action. For the Hungarian side, there is a wind of change in the air as they try and go on from recent violence and crowd trouble.
Raja Casablanca in Jerusalem is a mega event. A match against Hilal Al-Quds could put the focus on Palestinian football and its players, who will try to write another chapter in their exciting and young football history.
It's an all Brazilian clash in the Copa Libertadores semi-final: Flamengo face off against Grêmio in a clash that can easily produce a classic. Everton and Gabriel Barbosa are only a few of the names to watch out for.
Israeli striker Eran Zahavi is used to amaze people with his beautiful goals. But this time, it was just out of this world. A 90th minute Rabona, to win a league game for his Chinese side Guangzhou R&F. Watch and enjoy.
Sahar Khodoyari, an Iranian female football supporter, has set herself on fire in protest of being arrested. Her only crime was to attend a match of her beloved team. After succumbing to her injuries, her story is now known all over the world.
Radamel Falcao’s career trajectory led him to Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray. Although he had success in Monaco, he decided to play in a more football-obsessed city like Istanbul, a fact which can also help him regain his place in the Colombia squad.
During his stint as Argentina’s national team manager, Diego Maradona called up an abnormal number of local players to represent the Albiceleste. A decade later, the “Diego Boys” are in the Primeira Nacional, the nation’s second division, in search for glory, and maybe some extra ratings for the competition.
Uzbekistan and Hector Cuper are a match made in heaven: A national team that gets close to its goals yet fails every time, and a coach that does exactly the same with his previous teams. Perhaps a double negative will lead to a positive, as the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers is looming.
Right before the upcoming second stage of the Asian World Cup qualifiers, Sri Lanka goalkeeper Sujan Perera talked with Jinseong Kim for BabaGol about the national team, football in the islands, and much more.
The Latakia Derby, Tishreen against Hutteen, known as one of the middle east's most fierce rivalries, with two fanatic sets of fans. Earlier this week it took place as part of the city's 'Love Festival'. It didn’t feature a lot of love between the two sides, but it did shed light on a greater phenomena: Syrian football, that lives on under severe circumstances.
From Mexico to Holland, Hirving Lozano has always marked high targets and went for them all the way. Now he lands in Napoli, with one serious quest: take the southern Italian city back to the glory days of the end of the 80’s.
Chinese football is starving for success. After some recent unsuccessful attempts to improve the local players and national team, Chinese officials turned to a more traditional and popular method used around the world: Naturalizing foreign players.
Former Nigeria head coach and international striker, Samson Siasia, is in a midst of a match-fixing scandal. Regardless of the upcoming severe punishment, which may include a life ban from football - Nigerian fans are massively disappointed in him.
Brazilian teams understand it is time to take a step to the next level, both in terms of marketing and producing better football. The signings of Dani Alves, Filipe Luis and Rafinha represent this trend. Should the European clubs worry?
Colombia’s women football has new hope, and a new star to show for: Leicy Santos has just won the Gold medal with the national team in the 2019 Pan-American Games, and has signed with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid.
Zimbabwean international midfielder Marvelous Nakamba has joined the intriguing project built in Aston Villa. Can he live up to his name and prove to be one of the most surprising transfers of this transfer window?
Nicolas Pepe is Arsenal’s new record signing, after producing a sensational season in Lille. Expectations of him are high, and he would want to follow the footsteps of Thierry Henry and fellow compatriot Didier Drogba.
James Rodriguez is experiencing a confusing summer, as it is still unknown where he will play next season. One thing is certain - he must play regularly to revive his career and come in full strength for Colombia’s huge upcoming year.
Vincent Janssen was once touted as the “Next Ruud Van Nistelrooy". When things didn’t turn out that way, he was marginalized by his teams. Now, he wants to find back his form and smile in CF Monterrey of Liga MX.
Idrissa Gana Gueye, a Senegalese international midfielder, is the new Paris Saint-Germain player. On paper, there's nothing too unusual here, but when you dig in, this transfer could be the hit of the French champions’ season.
Nigeria has lost to Algeria in the 2019 AFCON semifinals. Before the 3rd place match and the end of the tournament, the Super Eagles’ midfielder, John Ogu, spoke with Uri on his time in Egypt, the last difficult season, his career so far and his plans for the future.
Algeria is the best team so far in the 2019 AFCON. What’s their secret? Besides their team spirit and brilliant coach, they have a special talent source. Youcef Atal, Rami Bensebaini and Hicham Boudaoui are all products of Paradou. Walid Bylka with the story of this special club, who’s becoming a major talent production in African levels.
Vivianne Miedema scored more international goals than any other Dutch players, including the best male footballers. Her next mission is to do one more thing that never has been done - to win the World Cup with the Netherlands.
Haiti qualified to the Gold Cup semifinal for the first time, but they had decent times in the past as the best team in CONCACAF. Here is a throwback to the 1970’s, when Haiti was even better than Mexico.
Luis Diaz had a long path from playing for his neighborhood team until he became part of the Colombian national team squad. As one of the new hottest prospects in the country, he wants to reach the Copa America semifinals.
Everyone thought that Qatar has no place in the Copa America. No more than a gimmick or corruption. Despite their elimination, Qatar is getting ready not only to conquer South America but the whole world.
Every time the Cuban national team arrives to the United States, no one knows who will come back home in the end of the visit. As Cuba was knocked out of the 2019 Gold Cup, it’s only a matter of time until we would find out who will look for a better life abroad.
Uriel Antuna could have a standard career like any other Mexican talented player. A series of coincidences and tons of luck brought him to play in the Gold Cup and dream about the Manchester City first team.
Although he fled from Burundi as a child, Saido Berahino decided to get back to the country and represent the national team. In the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, he will be the key player in the debut of Burundi.
Jamaica was close to reaching the Women’s World Cup in 2007, but a lack of funds and interest prevented the progress of the team. The Marley family decided to help the Reggae Girlz, and the huge success was unexpected.
Even in the United States, one of the leading nations in women’s football, the players still need to fight for equality. Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, two of the team’s superstars, are fighting for justice.
Timor-Leste made a decent World Cup qualifiers run four years ago until their opponents found the reason behind that. After they got punished by the AFC and FIFA, now it was their former rivals’ chance to exact revenge.
For years Edwin Cardona was considered a player that never fulfilled his full potential. After he was left out of Colombia's squad to the 2018 World Cup due to disciplinary incidents, Cardona will get his last chance to make the breakthrough in the 2019 Copa America.
Ada Hegerberg is the best female footballer in the world. Still, she will miss the Women's World Cup because of her quest for justice. It may be another chapter in Norwegian fights for international women's football.
CONIFA is the home for the regions and people that nobody heard about before. In 2018 they hosted their CONIFA World Football Cup in London and now they are coming back with the fourth edition of the CONIFA European Football Cup.
In each of the last few seasons, FC Annecy missed the promotion to the French third tier by inches, but their journey is led by an unusual player. Meet Nassim Akrour, the 45 year old attacker, that is still striking fear in his opponents.
Wuilker Faríñez broke records as one of the talented goalkeepers in the history of Venezuela. With rumours about a possible transfer to Barcelona and hopes for a bright future, he is looking after new peaks.
In the last 15 years, Bnei Sakhnin played almost every season in the top tier of Israel. After a bad season, the team has been relegated to the second division, and there are too many reasons for the sink of the leading Arab club in Israel.
Deportivo Lara and Zamora played yesterday both in the domestic league and the Copa Libertadores. This unusual situation wasn’t as a result of a scheduling problem. It was because of the recent crisis in Venezuela.
Almost 20 years after they played in The Other Final, Montserrat is making a tremendous CONCACAF Nations League campaign. After three wins in a row, it's not a surprise that they even dream about reaching the Gold Cup.
People around Algeria are gathering for demonstrations against the current President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika. This weekend, the derby of Algiers between USMA and Mouloudia is going to be boiling more than ever.
A year ago, Colombian women’s football was at its best moments, as the domestic league was a huge success and the national team reached every international tournament. Now, new stories reveal the bad situation and the uncertain future of local football.
Andre Pierre Gignac is close to a magnificent landmark in his career in Mexico: 100 goals for Tigres. In addition, he is about to become the club’s top goalscorer. Meir Lozowick with the story of the gipsy French who got to Liga MX by a coincidence, and became a local legend in Nuevo Leon.
Juan Fernando Quintero is exploding. Idan Segev is not surprised, as he watches “Juanfer” for years. So in order to fill in your gap of Quintero’s beauties - here are the Colombian’s top ten goals. Crack total!
Palestinian club football has been regressing in the past two years, but then Hilal Al-Quds decided to do something about it, and qualified for the AFC Cup group stage for the first time in their history.
On February 11, 2004, Albiero Usuriaga, one of the biggest Colombian talents of the 90’s, was killed in his childhood neighborhood. His death concluded a career that was full of potential but was also full of tragedies.
Qatar got a hostile reception in Abu Dhabi tonight, but even that didn’t stop them from defeating the UAE 4-0. After qualifying to their first ever Asian Cup final, can they win again at the final against Japan?
South Korea was supposed to defeat Bahrain easily. Eventually, they found themselves playing an extra time before winning the match. Will Paulo Bento and his team know what they need to do in order to defeat Qatar?
Krzysztof Piątek was a prolific scorer in the Polish Ekstraklasa, but no one really knew him outside Poland and he was even left out of the Polish squad for the World Cup. What has made Genoa’s striker one of the hottest names of the winter transfer window?
Everything was ready for the Clásico of Middle Eastern football between Iran and Iraq. Even though the game was goalless and there was more than one clash between the players, it was one of the best matches of the tournament.
Australia lost their first match, won the second and didn’t qualify yet to the next stage. China and South Korea won twice and qualified. So how is it possible that Australia can be calm and the two others can’t?
The Asian Cup will be a great test for Qatar before the 2022 World Cup. One of the players that will try to lead the team in the tournament will be Boualem Khoukhi, the player that turned down call-ups from Algeria in order to represent Qatar.
In 15 years, The Philippines turned from minnows to one of the teams that will participate in the Asian Cup. With players that were found in Football Manager and an experienced coach, the Azkals dream of making history.
Exactly like in 2016 & 2017, this year too, we are providing you with the best, worst, biggest, most important moments of the year in the BabaGol universe. 2018 was an intense, hard and satisfying year.
Alfredo Morelos is having a wonderful time at Glasgow Rangers. With the Old Firm behind the corner, everyone in Ibrox is counting on ‘El Bufalo’ to carry the club for triumph against their arch-rivals.
Nabil Jaadi was supposed to be one of the greatest Moroccan talents, but today he is a free agent that fails to find a club. This is the story about one decision made by his agent and became crucial for his career.
While everyone is dealing with Ada Hegerberg and Martin Solveig, women’s football around the world is facing even more severe incidents of sexism. The latest news are raising the awareness of sexual abuse in Afghanistan’s women’s national team.
Ittihad Jeddah is experiencing their worst ever season opening. After 11 matchdays the word relegation is hovering over the head of one of the biggest clubs in the Middle East & Asia. Can Slaven Bilic save them?
Not every French player would become a world champion, but some of them will have a different point of view for what football is. Omri Tancman talked with Ange-Freddy Plumain and Kevin Tapoko, the French players of Israeli Hapoel Hadera and brought their perspective for football.
Rogério Ceni played more than a 1000 games, scored more than a 100 goals as goalkeeper and won every possible title. Now he is making his first steps as a manager while guiding Fortaleza back to the first division.
After years of struggle, Espérance wants to win the CAF Champions League. Anice Badri, the player that will lead them in the final, has gone through struggles by himself. Will he bring hope for Espérance?
Singing against the regime, US sanctions, massive spending, John Toshack, a bunch of UK & Ireland players and an Iranian billionaire. This is the mosaic of the Middle East most fascinating club at the moment, who has a catchy name - Tractor Sazi
Dorados de Sinaloa opened their season in the Mexican second division badly, so they decided to bring a new manager - Diego Maradona. Meir Lozowick explains what brought one of the biggest legends to this place.
People from all around the world supported Brazil in the World Cup, but one neighborhood in Pakistan made it even bigger. Vitor Buratini Mendes spoke with Bilal Hassan about Lyari, one of the most Brazilian places outside Brazil.
Katayoun Khosrowyar is leading an important revolution in Iranian football. A deep and insightful talk with one of Asian women’s football most promising coaches - about Iran, USA, women empowerment and of course football.