PEP HAS SET STANDARD FOR CITY’S GLOBAL PUSH

Steve Brenner in New York

Patrick Vieira is attempting to illustrate Manchester City’s global standing with a piece of paper and three pens. “Manchester United and Liverpool are here,” the manager of City’s American sister club, New York City FC, says pointing to the top of his notepad before sliding a finger down the page. “We are here,” he adds. “But we can reach the top.”

While the aforementioned Premier League rivals certainly possess significantly larger fanbases in key market areas such as the Far East and United States, City’s quest to gatecrash the party is relentless. The rich, trophy-laden histories emanating from Old Trafford and Anfield are impossible to recreate, no matter how much money is available from the club’s powerbrokers in Abu Dhabi. History cannot be brought.

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VIEIRA WANTS TO REPLACE WENGER

 

 

Exclusive by Steve Brenner in New York

Patrick Vieira is open to the opportunity of returning to Arsenal after the end of Arsène Wenger’s 22-year reign.

The Frenchman, who is managing New York City in MLS, admitted that it would be difficult to leave his role within the City Football Group, but he said he was ready to coach in Europe.

Vieira has worked for CFG since 2013, first as a reserve team and academy coach in Manchester before moving to the United States. He sees his immediate future in New York but, with a three-year deal signed in November 2015 set to expire before the end of this year, Vieira would not dismiss the chance of going back to Arsenal, where he became an international star under Wenger.

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MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS FOR BECKS

STEVE BRENNER IN MIAMI

There was no name. No badge. Not even a mention of a stadium. Yet just the mere presence of David Beckham was enough to get the MLS party started in Miami.

“It is with tremendous pride that we welcome Miami to Major League Soccer,” Commissioner Don Garber said.

And with that, the 300 members of the Southern Legion, a very excitable fan group who’ve been dreaming about this moment ever since Beckham first went public with his intentions on February 5th 2014, boomed out their delight, serenading the former England captain and members of his ownership group. In 2020, they will finally see this team take to the field.

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BECKHAM’S MIAMI PROBLEM

 

STEVE BRENNER IN MIAMI

It’s approaching four years – 1,454 days to be exact – since David Beckham flashed that knowing smile and announced his intentions to bring Major League Soccer to Miami.

What has transpired since, however, has been a severe kick in the Golden Balls.

Beckham is poised to announce here in the “Magic City” on Monday that he’s finally ticked all the boxes to become the owner of MLS’s 25th franchise.

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MADDMAN INDEED

BY STEVE BRENNER

Steve Madden is exhausted.

A whirlwind tour to promote Maddman: The Steve Madden Story — a brilliant and unexpected film that delves into the life of the irrepressible shoe czar — has led him to one of his namesake stores in South Beach. It’s one of more than 100 locations in the United States and 250 in 65-plus countries worldwide.

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EL CLASICO COMES TO MIAMI

STEVE BRENNER

MIAMI — An excitable, well-heeled crowd gathered in the Brickell City Centre shopping complex, camera phones poised.

Paolo Maldini, the legendary Italian soccer player, smiled back. He was in good company: a handful of current stars of the world game — Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrés Iniesta and Luis Suárez — were there, too.

Well, at least their faces were. Faces made out of moss.

“Soccer is the most powerful sport in the world,” said Paloma Teppa, the founder of the botanical art gallery Plant the Future, who had created the works with the local muralist Andrew Antonaccio. “So combining it with Mother Nature is a wonderful thing.”

Teppa, an Argentine, said she was unsure if any of the Barcelona and Real Madrid players in town for a match this weekend had seen the portraits, but it hardly seemed to matter.

The seeds of soccer fascination had been sown wide here for the past few weeks as everyone, it seems — artists and performers, reporters and marketers, small shops and big brands — tried to attach themselves to Saturday night’s big show: a highly priced matchup between Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona at Hard Rock Stadium. A total of 66,014 people were said to attend, some of them paying $500— or much, much more — for the chance to watch Barcelona’s 3-2 win from the stadium’s upper reaches.

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ZIKA BITES IN MIAMI

 

FROM STEVE BRENNER, MIAMI

Antoine Delgado wasn’t all that nervous about Hurricane Matthew. Hurricanes come with the territory when running a restaurant in Miami. But what came after did worry the owner of Brasserie Azur and Villa Azur in Miami: Zika.

It was last summer and the Zika scare was swarming Miami. The epicenter was the hipster Wynwood Arts district – just a mile away from Delgado’s Midtown eatery. Diners stayed in rather than brave the mosquitos and potential of infection. Sales took a nosedive. Then it got even more personal — one of Delgado’s employees became infected.

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