Howler Radio

Howler Radio


Stories about soccer from Howler Magazine


Zlatan and I  

For our final episode of Season Two, Matt Nelson talks to Zlatan.

The Ballad of Robin Friday  

Robin Friday remains one of the great what-ifs: what if he’d played in an era when the best players could easily transfer to the best teams? What if we had more footage of his games—including a clip of his greatest goal, the one those witnessed it swear to be the best goal ever scored? What if he’d cut back on the drinking and the drugs and the troublemaking? Well, the answer to that one is easy—without all that, without the hijinks and debauchery, he wouldn’t have been Robin Friday. In this episode, historians, supporters, and family members recall one of the sport’s great prodigies and great rabble-rousers, a man in the mold of George Best and Paul Gascoigne, who made an indelible mark on English soccer before burning out and fading away from the game forever.

Les Bleus Make It Two: The Story of Euro 2000  

Has there ever been a more… befuddling team? France in the late 1990s and into the aughts had more than a few of the world’s most beguiling players, and they actually knew how to win. And yet Les Bleus also scored high marks in self-sabotage: Zidane’s red card in ’98, again in oh-six. Nevermind the 2002 World Cup—the holders didn’t score a single goal—or whatever that was in 2010. The World Cup holders barely qualified for Euro 2000, and their top scorer at the 1998 tournament—Thierry Henry—had been demoted to the U-21 national team during qualifying. And yet at the tournament itself, Zidane, Henry, Barthez, Petit, Deschamps, Blanc, Anelka, Trezeguet, Pires, Vieira, and the rest cemented their legacy as of the greatest teams ever to wear the country’s royal blue.

The Summer Football Came Home: The Story of Euro 96  

It had been 30 years since England had won the World Cup, 30 years since the country had hosted a tournament. Gazza, Shearer, Sheringham, Seaman, Adams, and Ince played all their home games at Wembley that summer, and Three Lions topped the singles charts for two weeks with a refrain that echoed all over England: “Football’s coming home.” After a dazzling demolition of the Dutch, Terry Venables’s side met Germany in the semifinal—one final obstacle before the finals, and it looked a whole lot like the one that had sent England home from Italia 90. This is the story of Euro 96. Performed by Anatol Yusef.

Lighting the Tiki Taka Torch: The Story of Euro 08  

This is a story about perennial losers who finally figured out how to win—and then basically didn’t stop winning for years and years. Looking back from 2016, it's undeniable that Spain’s brand of high-possession, high-pressing tiki taka has influenced global soccer to an astonishing degree. But on the eve of Euro 2008, the national team’s head coach, Luis Aragonés, had a decision to make: would he play to his squad’s strengths and unleash what has turned out to be the most dominant midfield in the history of the game, or go for a safer, more conventional style of soccer that might not win any trophies… but then again, who really expected Spain to win a trophy? We know the answer. With hindsight, it seems inevitable. But travel back with us to 2008 and relive the tournament in which the Spaniards first showed the world what they could do.

What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation? The Story of Euro 92  

Going into Euro ’92, Denmark wasn’t a favorite to win the tournament. They weren't even expected to play in it. But when Yugoslavia began to fall apart, its team was barred and Denmark brought in as a replacement. What followed was one of the unlikeliest runs through a major tournament in the history of soccer, or, really, any sport. Written by Gaby Kirschner. Performed by Anatol Yusef.

Michel and the Magic Square: The Story of Euro 84  

Decades before he became a fat-cat football executive (and got banned from soccer), Michel Platini was known as one of the game’s greatest players—and his utter domination of Euro 84 was perhaps the most triumphant moment in a glittering career. But Platini was only one member of France’s enchanting midfield. Le Carré Magique, as it was known, also included Tigana, Giresse, and Fernandez. Under the guidance of a manager who was unafraid to bet on the talents of his three playmakers, the French stormed through the tournament, reaching a climax in the semifinal with Portugal. Historic moments flatten with time; we might recollect a headline, a couple of grainy highlights, and the name of the team that won the final. Howler Radio’s five-part Euro Miniseries is a vehicle for traveling back over the decades and reliving some of these foundational events in world soccer as they happened. Welcome to Euro 84. Written by Dominic Bliss. Presented by Anatol Yusef, who you might know as Meyer Lansky in Boardwalk Empire.

The Man Who Sold the World. Twice.  

Che Che Vidal loves football. And the internet. One of these things nearly got him killed.

The Gambler  

Before Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City had another Danish goalkeeper with a shock of blonde hair and lightning-quick reflexes. His name was Jimmy Nielsen. But while Schmeichel found Premiership glory with the Foxes, Jimmy succumbed to a dark addiction that nearly destroyed his career. This episode of Howler Radio follows his spiraling path of near self-destruction and his heroic climb back to the top as he went from controversial gambling pariah to Midwestern soccer folk hero Like the show? Tweet the host, Matthew Nelson, at @mattyfatpants and be sure to rate us on iTunes or wherever you’re hearing this.

Angry Kilmarnock Fan Megamix  

The Angry Kilmarnock Fan is very angry. This banging dance anthem celebrates his anger.

I'm Sorry, Ray Wilkins  

When my mate Rory was a kid he shouted abuse at legendary England midfielder Ray Wilkins in the middle of a crowded street. Now he wants to apologize. In this episode we also discover what makes the angriest man in Kilmarnock tick. Warning: The language in this one is very Scottish, and very coarse.

The Panenka  

We embark on an epic journey to discover the origins of the Panenka penalty kick. It's a quest that takes in stops on the fringes of the professional game in North America, a rowdy stadium in Ireland, and a revolution in Prague.

Field of Dreams  

This episode is a mash-up of two older stories that we released a while back. One is about a fan who lived every football fan’s dream when he was subbed on to play for the team he supports–the other is about a guy who played in a professional game in a dream-like state because he was high on valium.

El Clasico  

In this classic episode, we travel back to the year 2000, when Luis Figo did the unthinkable: he moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid. In 2002, on a return trip to the Camp Nou, he found that the blaugrana faithful had turned the ground into what we’ll politely call a hostile working environment, turning out to be one of the most memorable Clásicos in years. Our correspondent, Danny Scott, bribed his way into the stadium that night and now, 12 years later, recounts the story to his fiancé over a bottle of wine.

An American in Azteca  

If you have ever wondered what it’s like to experience a US-Mexico game at Estadio Azteca, this episode will give you a taste. Howler contributor Robert Andrew Powell takes us behind the fencing and riot police to witness the USMNT’s historic road win over El Tri in August 2012.

Howler Radio Season 2 Trailer  

A little preview of season 2 of Howler Radio that will feature the Panenka, sexy Landon fanfic, and Daring to Zlatan.

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