How To Enjoy A Winter World Cup

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Dusting down your old Alan Shearer shirt and cheering on the Three Lions during an English winter might come as a shock to the system. Luckily, there are many ways to get acclimatised ahead of England’s first game against Iran on Monday. From the best books, series and podcasts to the places to catch some live action, here’s the SLMan guide to Qatar 2022…

WHAT TO WATCH

Italia 90: Four Weeks That Changed The World 

It’s the hope that kills you. In this three-part documentary airing weekly from 13th November, the heartbreak of England’s semi-final penalties loss is revisited, alongside the journeys of the Italian, Cameroonian, Yugoslavian and West German sides. Featuring iconic interviewees such as Paul Gascoigne, John Barnes, Terry Butcher, Jürgen Klinsmann and Lothar Matthäus, this authoritative documentary recognises Italia 90 as a turning point in history. Spanning the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Yugoslavian civil wars and English hooliganism to the rise of a new football culture in the 1990s, this is well worth a watch.

Watch on NOW

Hurst: The First and Only

After 56 years of hurt, it’s always worth taking a trip down memory lane. England legend Sir Geoff Hurst remains the only player to score a hattrick in a World Cup final. This new documentary charts the highs and lows of England’s most fabled footballer, as he opens up on camera for the first time about the family tragedies that interspersed his remarkable achievements. Featuring interviews with Harry Kane, Gareth Southgate, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, this is the human story of a footballing legend.

Watch on NOW

Brazil 2002

One of the greatest international teams of all time, the 2002 Brazil squad was star studded, featuring greats of the game such as Ronaldo, Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho. This documentary covers their journey to winning an unprecedented fifth World Cup. Drawing on previously unseen footage, it sheds new light on coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s decision to leave star player Romario out of the squad.

Watch on NOW

WHAT TO LISTEN TO

We Came To Win

The history of the World Cup is so full of great and memorable moments – from the emergence of Pele in 1958 to Maradona’s Hand of God goal in 1986, it can be hard to keep track. This podcast recalls and unpack many of these moments, while discussing contemporary issues surrounding the World Cup – look out for an episode exploring Qatar’s claim it will be a carbon-neutral tournament.

Listen on Spotify

WHAT TO READ

How Football (Nearly) Came Home By Barney Ronay

We got so close last time out. Having crashed out of Euro 2016 with a limp defeat to Iceland, Gareth Southgate led England to a surprise World Cup semi-final just two years later – the Three Lions’ best performance since Italia 90. Perhaps Southgate can take the boys a couple of steps further in Qatar, carrying the momentum of a Euro 2020 final appearance and the Lionesses’ Euro-winning exploits this summer. In the meantime, sports journalist Barney Ronay’s book is an immersive remind of how England came so close to finally bringing it back home last time out – against a backdrop of heatwaves and waistcoats. 

Buy it here

How To Win The World Cup: Secrets & Insights From International Football’s Top Managers By Chris Evans

Only 20 coaches have ever led their country to the highest glory in football. Considering the limitations of international football – a group of players from different clubs who aren’t necessarily familiar with each others’ games – the boss will often make or break his country’s chances. From revolutionary tactics to the rash schemes of ‘crazy tyrants’, this book tries to uncover the secrets of what it takes to join the exclusive World Cup winners club.

Buy it here

WHERE TO CATCH THE ACTION ONCE IT BEGINS

Berenjak Borough

From the first match on 20th November until the final just a week before Christmas Day, the upstairs area at Berenjak Borough has you covered as a place to eat during the World Cup. In front of a big screen, enjoy a feast of kababs and mazeh alongside sharing plates of panir sabzi, hummus and more. The excellent Persian cuisine will feel especially right for England’s opening group match against Iran on 21st November.

Visit BerenjakLondon.com

BoxPark Pop-Up Malls

Constantly sold out during the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, BoxPark’s pop-up malls in Croydon, Shoreditch and Wembley are back this winter. There’ll be a host of street food stalls alongside plentiful drinking options – look out for themed items like a patriotic ‘Hurri-Kane’ pie or a ‘Paletta Pizza’ when Argentina are in action.

Visit BoxPark.co.uk

Fifa Fan Festival

The official Fifa Fan Festival has an event planned for each of England’s group matches against Iran, USA and Wales – featuring a star-studded list of football legends such as Teddy Sheringham, David Seaman, John Barnes and Fara Williams to rev up the crowd pre-match. DJs and music acts also feature, from drum ’n’ bass legend Wilkinson and the award-winning Sigma. Tickets start at £35pp and include a free Budweiser and official World Cup merchandise.

Visit SeeTickets.com

AND WHAT TO WEAR

Classic Football Shirts Christmas Jumper

Mark the first (and perhaps only) winter World Cup with an It’s Coming Home Christmas jumper. Specialist operator Classic Football Shirts is selling them in support of Shelter – £5 from the sale of each England jumper will fund the charity’s vital services for those struggling with homelessness and poor-quality housing. There’s also a Wales-themed Don’t Take Me Home jumper, as well as tributes to some greats of the beautiful game including Maradona, Roberto Baggio and the original Ronaldo.

Visit ClassicFootballShirts.co.uk

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