Monthly Archives: August 2021

August 6, 2021

How FC Barcelona blew a fortune — and got worse

In 2017, the Spanish agent Junior Minguella offered Barcelona’s board the sensational 18-year-old French forward Kylian Mbappé. But Minguella didn’t even hear back from Barça until finally a WhatsApp message arrived from a board member, Javier Bordas: “Neither the coaches nor Presi [the president] wanted him.”

Bordas would say years later that Barça’s technical staff had also rejected the young Norwegian Erling Braut ­Haaland, because he wasn’t considered “a player in the Barça model”. Today, Mbappé and Haaland are the two most coveted young men in football.

August 4, 2021
August 1, 2021

The remarkable life of the Royal Albert Hall (so far)

It took four years to build the Royal Albert Hall. While the building itself was being constructed in London, the roof was built in Manchester. It was taken to pieces for its journey by train to the capital, then put together again on arrival.

The roof simply sits on top – it is not attached to the Hall building in any way. When it was put in place, the weight of the roof caused the Hall to sink by just under a millimetre. It remains a sturdy construction after 150 years – the roof of the Royal Albert Hall is able to withstand the weight of up to 158 tonnes of snow on a particularly wintery day.