Visualizzazione dei post da agosto 16, 2016

João Havelange: the iron hand in an iron glove


The bags around his eyes droop like a weary basset hound. Liver spots creep steadily across his brow and cheeks. Although there are still some wispy strands of silver atop his head, they are becoming fewer and fewer, and the lines drawn across his forehead should tell many stories. It is strangely difficult to read Jean-Marie Faustin Godefroid de Havelange’s face, however. His steely, piercing dark eyes throw you off balance for a moment, but a moment is all Havelange has ever needed – this is the self-made man who rose from a comfortable upbringing to work as a lawyer and vice president of two Brazilian bus companies and eventually become arguably the most influential man in the world.

Europe and Latin America are worlds apart, and yet tied inextricably together by the world’s most popular religion. If football could be indeed considered thus, then without question Havelange would have be…