Costa Rica’s good life

‘This humid little Central American country devotes valuable real estate to making people happier’

Green lessons from gay marriage

‘Don’t be liberal. There’s nothing inherently leftie about keeping the earth habitable’

Miami advice for Republicans

‘If Republicans want to win in modern America, they ought to visit its sexiest and most immigrant city’

Our deadliest problem? Not terrorism

‘Terrorists killed nearly 18,000 people in 2013 — 1.5 per cent of those killed by traffic’

How ‘vision’ messed up Europe

‘Today the European project consists of trying to digest the euro’

Why safety now trumps freedom

‘Western governments plead security to spy on citizens, and most citizens accept it. They have learnt to love Big Brother’

Why we need German thinking

‘Because Germans are seldom heard outside Germany, the German take on events often gets simplified and parodied’

How Paris can achieve perfection

‘For Parisian drivers, the pavement is a motorbike lane. A pedestrian crossing is a parking space’

The Etats-Unis quarter was built in the 1930s as social housing
©Sandra Mehl

France’s forgotten white working class

A study of a poor district in Lyon reveals surprising results about an ignored community in flux

The inventor of modern football

‘Cruyff built the cathedral,’ Guardiola said. ‘Our job is to maintain and renovate it’

The future belongs to cities of the west

These are places where today’s 0.1 per cent, the most mobile class in history, might want to live

Endangered: the middle-aged man

‘Besieged by rising robots and women, no wonder many of us end up fighting the zeitgeist’

Fifa president Blatter plays a long game

Head of football’s world governing body faces his biggest threat but may well survive

Why Sepp Blatter is a genius

Fifa boss understood very early that there’s a new world order in which westerners don’t matter much

Art and the billionaire heirs

‘HNWI artists have time to hone their talent — not like us plebs’

How to tackle structural racism

‘A non-white person in the west typically attends an inferior school, gets hassled by police, and dies poor’

Stop these WW2 comparisons

‘Memories of the war have shaped our responses to everything from the Viet Cong to today’s jihadis’

Health: how to avoid lazy thinking

‘People prefer to blame disease on factors beyond their control: their genes or their mobile phones or radiation’

What candidates aren’t talking about

‘A female American president is a historic prospect. However, most voters seem unbothered’

Welcome to the Londonsphere

‘The trains that carry occasional Londoners will themselves act as de facto offices’


Simon KuperSimon Kuper joined the Financial Times in 1994. He ended up writing the daily currencies column and was driven out by tedium in 1998. He returned in 2002 as a sports columnist and has been there ever since, occasionally allowed out of his sports box to write about books, the Netherlands or other subjects.

Simon was born in Uganda and grew up in London, the Netherlands, the US, Sweden and Jamaica. He studied at Oxford, Harvard and the Technische Universität of West Berlin. His first book, Football Against the Enemy (1994), set him on a path of writing about sport with an anthropologist’s eye. His column in the FT tries to place sport and sportsmen within a country, a time, a society, while also being about sport itself.


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