Show cover of The Athletic Football Podcast

The Athletic Football Podcast

The Athletic Football Podcast is our flagship show, running daily during the World Cup as we bring you all the biggest stories from on the ground in Qatar. Featuring the likes of David Ornstein, Adam Crafton, Matt Slater and many others and hosted by Adam Leventhal, we'll provide exclusive news and the best analysis anywhere of the most controversial World Cup in history.


Messi's Flash of Genius as Mbappe Tussles For Limelight & Queiroz v Klinsmann
It's Sunday morning and host Adam Leventhal is joined by The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas and Charlotte Harpur to reflect on Lionel Messi handing Argentina a World Cup lifeline in typical style... James Horncastle offers his thoughts on Messi's moments of brilliance, was Enzo Fernandez' goal an even sweeter strike and why Mexico fans are frustrated with coach Gerardo Martino. Then, following a 'prickly' Deschamps post-match press conference - and despite France's 2-1 win over Denmark - our panel also discuss how good Mbappe is in the flesh, Tunisian fan envy, Australia's Mitchell Duke and Jurgen Klinsmann's comments about Iran and their head coach Carlos Queiroz. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
35:19 11/27/2022
England 0-0 USA: Reaction from Al Bayt Stadium as Three Lions held
Join Adam Leventhal for immediate reaction from England's goalless draw with USA in Group B from the Al Bayt Stadium. With comprehensive post-match analysis and reaction, tactics writer Michael Cox discusses where England failed to capitalise, USMNT writers Paul Tenorio and Alex Abnos dissect the US performance before heading to the mixed zone. David Ornstein and Sam Stejskal give their thoughts on the game with Abi Paterson along with hearing from Kieran Trippier, Jordan Henderson and US midfielder Yunus Musah. England writer Jack Pitt-Brooke reacts to Gareth Southgate's press conference, meanwhile elsewhere in Group B Laura Williamson watched on as Wales fell to defeat against Iran. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
30:23 11/25/2022
England v USA Preview, Neymar worry & Cristiano Ronaldo makes World Cup history
Ahead of Day Six of the World Cup, Adam Leventhal is joined by The Athletic's England writer Jack Pitt-Brooke and Sam Stejskal to preview England v USA this evening. They discuss the historic context of the fixtures and development of the USMNT before debating where the game will be won or lost. David Ornstein speaks with Bruno Fernandes following Portugal's 3-2 win over Ghana with Abi Paterson and Michael Cox reacting to Cristiano Ronaldo becoming the first player to score in five World Cups. James Horncastle reports from Brazil's opener, having beaten Serbia 2-0 with talisman Neymar forced off through injury. Plus, Adam Crafton speaks with Piara Powar from anti-discrimination group Fare giving his take on the tournament so far. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
36:09 11/25/2022
Germany defiant off the pitch but desperate on it, Brazil expectant, England hopeful on Kane injury
The Athletic's Adam Leventhal joins Raphael Honigstein and James Horncastle to reflect on day four of the World Cup, a day which saw Germany lose 2-1 to Japan after a disjointed performance but they took the headlines pre-match with their show of defiance against FIFA in the ongoing armband row. We discuss both the on and off field issues from that game, plus reflect on Spain's 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica, Belgium's underwhelming win over an unlucky Canada, and we have an update from the England camp as David Ornstein brings us news on Harry Kane's ankle injury as well as updates on Kyle Walker and James Maddison. There's also a look at Brazil ahead of their tournament bow against Serbia later today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
33:28 11/24/2022
Ronaldo leaves, Man Utd for sale, Saudi Arabia humble Messi & Argentina
Day three of the World Cup started with Saudi Arabia beating Argentina 2-1, and ended with the news that Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United, the Glazers have put Man Utd up for sale, oh and England captain Harry Kane is having a scan on his ankle ahead of Friday's game vs USA. Here to reflect on all of that is the Athletic's Adam Leventhal, who is joined by Matt Slater following his trip to the Saudi/Qatar border to look at that shock result amid the backdrop of Messi's commercial relationship with Saudi Arabia, plus Matt gives us his expert view on how things will play out at Man Utd now the Glazers have effectively announced they want to sell. We also hear from David Ornstein, Adam Crafton and Laura Williamson on Cristiano Ronaldo's second tenure at Old Trafford finally coming to an end and what it means not just for his world cup but for the rest of his career. Plus we get the latest on the Harry Kane injury situation from our England correspondent Jack Pitt-Brooke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
35:25 11/23/2022
Bellingham's Brilliance, Southgate's 'Ruthless England Machine' & Iran's Silent Anthem
As Day 3 of the World Cup dawns, Adam Leventhal is joined by The Athletic's Jack Pitt-Brooke and Oliver Kay to reflect on England's 6-2 win over Iran... They discuss Saka's joy, Kane's influence, why no one's talking about Maguire or Sterling's club form this morning, as well as, which former German international Jude Bellingham reminds Jack of. Plus, Producer Abi spoke to Iranian fan Sahir, about why she is protesting at the World Cup and USMNT writer Paul Tenorio checks in after the 1-1 draw with Wales.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
34:06 11/22/2022
England's 'OneLove' Armband U-Turn, Qatar's Empty Seats & US Excitement Levels
Host Adam Leventhal is joined by The Athletic's Adam Crafton and Laurie Whitwell on day two of the World Cup to discuss England's World Cup opener against Iran... The panel reflect on Qatar's opening day defeat, empty seats in the stadium, choreographed support and relations between Qatar and former hosts Russia. Plus, whether England and other nations should risk punishment for their 'OneLove' armbands in support of LGBT rights, comedian Omid Djalili's message to Rashford and co, as well as, American excitement levels ahead their Group B clash with Wales. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
45:41 11/21/2022
Qatar World Cup 2022: Infantino speech reaction, the human cost to migrant workers & England latest
Join us for the first of our daily World Cup podcasts throughout the tournament as Adam Leventhal brings you the latest news, views and reaction from Qatar. Ahead of the start of the tournament, Matt Slater reacts to FIFA President Gianni Infantino's speech on the eve of the tournament, before Simon Hughes shares his thoughts having returned from an eight-day trip to Nepal to hear from the migrant families and their families who have prepared Qatar for hosting the World Cup. Plus David Ornstein and Laurie Whitwell are at Portugal training with the latest on Cristiano Ronaldo and England correspondent Jack Pitt-Brooke checks in from England's training base in Al-Wakrah. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
47:12 11/20/2022
Expectations, Arrogance & Anguish: How will England perform in Qatar?
Adam Leventhal is joined by The Athletic's dedicated England writers Jack Pitt-Brooke and Oliver Kay to look ahead to how England could get on out in Qatar, as well as USMNT writer Paul Tenorio. The panel look at England's standing and form under Gareth Southgate having led the Three Lions to the semi-final in Russia in 2018 prior to reach the Euro 2020 Final last year at Wembley. Plus, in a group containing USA, Iran and Wales how far are England expected to progress and what does the potential road to glory look like? Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
35:31 11/18/2022
Would Klopp or Guardiola take an international job?
Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Pol Ballus, Rafa Honignstein & Adam Leventhal to debate whether managing at international level is an attractive proposition for the very best managers like Jurgen Klopp & Pep Guardiola?  On the flip side are national teams managers in the conversation to be the head coach at elite clubs that expect Champions League glory?  Plus we’ll hear Mauricio Pochettino’s thoughts on whether he’d take the England job.. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
35:55 11/17/2022
Messi & Ronaldo: The World Cup Last Dance in Qatar
Mark Chapman is joined by Carl Anka, Andy Mitten and Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan to debate whether either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo can finally claim FIFA World Cup glory, in Qatar. The panel look back through the international careers of both Messi and Ronaldo debating and analysing their impact on their national sides' fortunes and the struggle for both to perform to their highest on the international scene. Who is better set for glory in Qatar is also discussed as well as whether or not World Cup victory for one over the other will finally settle the great debate over who is the greatest. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
39:00 11/16/2022
Qatar World Cup: How did we get here?
Host Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Editor-in-Chief Alex Kay-Jelski, Deputy Editor Laura Williamson and Investigations writer Matt Slater, to pause and reflect, just days before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar... How Qatar retained the World Cup following the controversy surrounding their bid to host. The moral dilemmas of covering and even sending reporters to the tournament, how much Doha has changed in the intervening years and what visiting fans from all over the world can expect. Plus, how Gareth Southgate and the FA have navigated human rights issues in the lead up to the biggest festival of football in the world, Gianni Infantino's lamentable letter, Jurgen Klopp's aspersions on the media and if sportswashing is really at the heart of Qatar's World Cup project. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
39:33 11/15/2022
Ronaldo interview reaction & can Lampard fix Everton?
Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Adam Crafton & Laurie Whitwell to discuss Cristiano Ronaldo's interview where he criticised the club & his manager. Is this the end for him at Old Trafford? Greg O'Keefe then tells us the challenges Frank Lampard faces in turning round Everton who seem to be slipping into another crisis. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
44:04 11/14/2022
Introducing... Away From Home
The Athletic has a brand new documentary series following Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk. Here is an introduction to the series In this episode, The Athletic’s Adam Crafton speaks to Taras Stepanenko, the captain of Ukrainian football club Shakhtar Donetsk, as he and his young family take refuge in an underground shelter when war breaks out in Ukraine.  Adam also meets with Shakhtar's Croatian head coach, Igor Jovicevic, who was separated from his family when Russia invaded.  Meanwhile, as the team prepares for their first match in Europe’s elite competition, the Champions League, we hear from Shakhtar midfielder Ivan Petryak, who lost a family member to the war with Russia. With all the odds against Shakhtar, can the Ukrainian club pull off a shock victory against the German club Red Bull Leipzig? Credits Presenter: Adam Crafton Producers: Adam Crafton, Abi Paterson, Mike Stavrou Sound mixing: Ollie Bellwood Featuring footage from: The Daily, AP, ABC News, Sport BILD, DW News, Al Jazeera, and BT Sport Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
41:58 11/12/2022
Weekend Preview: Chelsea head to St James' Park, Nathan Jones makes Premier League bow & will Arsenal be top for Christmas?
Dan Bardell is joined by The Athletic's Tim Spiers and Rich Amofa as well as bet365's Steve Freeth ahead of the final weekend of Premier League action prior to the World Cup. Chelsea's visit to Newcastle is top of the bill before looking ahead to Nathan Jones' Southampton start away at Anfield, before discussing Wolves welcoming Arsenal to Molineux. Plus there's reaction to the latest in the Cristiano Ronaldo fiasco ahead of Manchester United taking on Fulham. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
48:28 11/11/2022
Maddison and Gallagher IN - England squad reaction
The Athletic's Adam Leventhal is joined by Jack Pitt-Brooke and Jay Harris for reaction to Gareth Southgate naming his 26-man squad for the World Cup in Qatar. The big news is Leicester's James Maddison is finally in the squad, plus a surprise inclusion for Chelsea's Conor Gallagher, as well as a place for Newcastle's in-form striker Callum Wilson. There's a look at how those three will feature during the tournament, plus discussion of Harry Maguire's role in the team, whether Sterling will keep his place, how you get the best out of England's many attacking options, and we pick our starting XI for the game against Iran Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
34:06 11/10/2022
Martin O'Neill Interview: Clough inspirations, Villa regrets & advice from Sir Alex
Mark Chapman & The Athletic's George Caulkin sit down with Martin O’Neill to talk about his new book On Days Like These and his life in football.  As well as discussing the numerous career highs, Martin also shares his regrets during managing in the Premier League. Martin talks about the charisma of playing in Brian Clough’s legendary Nottingham Forest team & about his time as manager of the Republic of Ireland at Euros in 2016, when they made it to the second round for the first time in their history. On Days Like These – My Life in Football by Martin O’Neill is published by Pan Macmillan, 10 November Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
27:10 11/10/2022
Rio Ferdinand x The Athletic: Tipping Point
Rio Ferdinand's 3-part documentary series, 'Tipping Point' aims to find real solutions to the racism, homophobia and mental health crisis which plague our sport... prior to its release, Rio sat down for an honest conversation with The Athletic's Roshane Thomas on the current state of play. Host Dan Barnes is joined by Roshane and editor Richard Amofa to keep that conversation going. Over the course of this episode you'll hear the interview with Ferdinand, but also from Wilfried Zaha, Romelu Lukaku and Josh Cavallo, as our panel evaluate football's progress. Rio Ferdinand’s Tipping Point is available on Prime Video from Friday 11 November Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
54:47 11/09/2022
Why have FSG put Liverpool up for sale, who could buy the Reds & what next?
Adam Leventhal is joined by football correspondent David Ornstein & senior football news writer Matt Slater to discuss the latest on FSG's decision to explore an exit from Anfield. Merseyside football writer Simon Hughes shares his thoughts on the decision too, giving insight into the American consortium's reign at Liverpool over the past 12 years and the impact the decision to sell could have on manager Jurgen Klopp. Plus, the panel explore who could be interested in buying Liverpool as well as analysing the short-term impact on the sporting side of things at Anfield. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
39:46 11/08/2022
FSG puts Liverpool up for sale & Southampton sack Hasenhuttl
In breaking news, The Athletic's David Ornstein reveals Fenway Sports Group (FSG) has put Liverpool up for sale. Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Adam Crafton & Jacob Tanswell to discuss the breaking news that Southampton have sacked manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.  Adam also discusses his new podcast series Away From Home, where he follows Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk's during their champions league campaign whilst their country is at war with Russia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
36:01 11/07/2022
Weekend Preview: Arsenal out to prove credentials, Conte v Klopp & Ten Hag shows who's boss
Dan Bardell is joined by George Elek, The Athletic's Tim Spiers and bet365's Steve Freeth as Arsenal head to Chelsea in the weekend's standout Premier League game. The panel also look ahead to Liverpool's visit to Tottenham following Antonio Conte's first anniversary in charge of Spurs. Plus there's a look ahead to Unai Emery starting his reign at Villa Park against Manchester United, including some trivia, as well as Man City v Fulham & Everton v Leicester. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
53:19 11/04/2022
Barcelona’s financial mess: Champions League exit & more levers
The group stages of the Champions League are now over & despite pulling various levers Barcelona have not qualified for the knockout stages Mark Chapman is joined by Spanish football journalist Alvaro Romeo & The Athletic’s Oliver Kay to discuss what has gone wrong & what are the financial consequences of being eliminated?  And with stalwarts Atletico & Juventus also being eliminated, does a less predictable Champions League make for a better competition and weaken the argument for a European Super League?  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
26:01 11/03/2022
Kane, contracts & on course for success? One year of Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur
Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Tottenham Hotspur writer and Serie A expert James Horncastle to analyse one year of Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur. Fresh from winning their Champions League group to make it through to the last 16 of the competition, the panel comment of Spurs' style of play under the Italian as well as the mentality he has instilled, helping to get the best from Harry Kane. Given the uncertainty over Conte's long-term future as well there is debate into the likelihood of him remaining in north London while also considering any potential return to Juventus? Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
38:02 11/02/2022
From Trailblazer to Outlier: Uriah Rennie & The Wait for Another Black PL Referee
Host Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Carl Anka to explore why 14 years on from Uriah Rennie's last Premier League game, he remains the only black referee in Premier League history...  What are the major obstacles that continue to prevent aspiring male and female officials - from marginalised or ethnic communities - from reaching the Premier League? The cost, the abuse, and how much progress has been made in recent years - following a 2021 FA initiative to combat the problem head on. We'll hear from Ashley Hickson-Lovence, a former semi-professional referee and author of Your Show, written in collaboration with Rennie, as well as, Russell Hoyte, who helps semi-professional referees navigate their way through the ranks. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
38:09 11/01/2022
Miami move for Messi, De Gea future uncertain, Liverpool boardroom concern
Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's James Pearce to discuss What is going wrong at Liverpool & the financial implications on missing out on a top four place. We’ll hear how Manchester United are weighing up changes to their goalkeeper department and the future of David De Gea - Laurie Whitwell joins us. And David Ornstein will tell us about the MLS club who are confident of signing Lionel Messi. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
33:30 10/31/2022
Weekend Preview: Potter makes Brighton return, Man City eye top spot & Liverpool look for home comforts
Dan Bardell is joined by The Athletic's Tim Spiers, George Elek and bet365's Steve Freeth as Man City look to leapfrog Arsenal at the top of the Premier League and Graham Potter returns to Brighton with his in-form Chelsea side. Following Unai Emery's return to the Premier League the panel give their take on the Spaniard taking over at Aston Villa, as well as Villa's visit to Newcastle United. The panel also discuss Liverpool v Leeds at Anfield with the Reds in need of kickstarting their campaign while pressure being to mount on Jesse Marsch. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
52:10 10/28/2022
Sean Dyche on return to management, his style of football & the rockstar that left him speechless
Mark Chapman sits down with Sean Dyche who is looking to return to being a football manager after nearly ten years with Burnley - including seven seasons in the Premier League. Sean outlines why his brand of football is sometimes misunderstood, explains why Pep Guardiola compared facing Burnley to visiting the dentist & what he is looking for in his next role & the moment in football be wished he could live again. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
45:28 10/27/2022
Villa meet Villarreal: Unai Emery's Premier League return
Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Aston Villa writer Gregg Evans and Pol Ballus to discuss Unai Emery's appointment at Aston Villa. The end of Steven Gerrard's reign is analysed prior to look at what Emery will bring with him to Villa Park having taken Villarreal to Europa League success as well as last season's Champions League semi-finals since being sacked by Arsenal in 2019. Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan also gives his view from Spain as well as the tactical ideas Emery may look to instil at Aston Villa. Produced by Guy Clarke Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
32:49 10/26/2022
Everton's Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium & The Uncomfortable Truth
Host Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Merseyside football writer Simon Hughes, editor Dan Barnes and author Jimi Jagne, to discuss the issues facing Everton, in light of revelations about John Bramley-Moore (after whom the site of their new stadium is named) and his involvement in the slave trade... The panel detail Bramley-Moore's connections to the horrors of slavery in Brazil and handle many uncomfortable truths relating to how the City of Liverpool prospered from men like him - as well as, how local authorities are trying to confront these aspects of their past. Plus, a frank assessment of Everton's response, and how a problem inherited may also present a unique opportunity to lead new discussions around racism in football. Produced by Adonis Pratsides Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
37:34 10/26/2022
What next for Leeds? Who next for Villa? Top four for Newcastle?
Mark Chapman is joined by The Athletic's Phil Hay to share his insight on the future of Jesse Marsch as Leeds manager - could he hang on till after the World Cup? Our Newcastle writer Chris Waugh details how Eddie Howe has turned his side into top four contenders as he approaches a year in charge. Dan Bardell tells us what went wrong for Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa and who he'd like to see as their new manager. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
39:17 10/24/2022