- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle4 hrs ago
Belgium and Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has changed his most beloved and recognizable attribute: his glorious and free flowing afro.
After an underwhelming first season at Man United in which the only benefit he offered was to the novelty wig vendors around Old Trafford, Fellaini agreed to cut the 'fro he's been growing out since 2008 if Belgium won the World Cup. But they only made it to the quarterfinals, so he seems to have compromised by trimming his hair and braiding what was left.
- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle6 hrs ago
Missing out on a World Cup final because of a penalty shootout is difficult to take and Arjen Robben's five-year-old son Luka simply wasn't having it after Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 on penalties. Once it was over, Robben went over to his wife Bernadien and son Luka, who endured the scoreless match from their front row seats. Luka was bawling as a TV camera caught his mother and father trying to comfort him and as a result, he quickly became the star of the match.
The television broadcast couldn't pick up the audio of what young Luka was shouting, but it was probably something along the lines of "Why does he keep diving?!" or "I don't want to go to the third-place match!"
- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle19 hrs ago
As everyone watching on television has come to realize, the World Cup is really just an elaborate ploy arranged so camera operators can film the mix of attractive and oddly dressed people who fill the stands during the matches.
One fan who caught the attention of several photographers was 17-year-old Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere . Pictures of her in the stands at Belgium's group stage matches against Russia and South Korea were used on websites and in newspapers around the world. She set up a Facebook fan page (which currently has more than 21,000 likes) and when she returned to Belgium at the conclusion of the group stage, she was booked for television appearances as her sudden fame grew.
Simply put, the World Cup semifinal between the Netherlands and Argentina was terrible.
The 120 minutes of scoreless muck in which both teams were wholly consumed by the desire to not concede a goal, completely forgetting the concept of mounting an attack, would best be described with a blank page. The Netherlands' Ron Vlaar continued the futility by having his shot to the begin the penalty shootout saved. Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero went on to save Wesley Sneijder's attempt as well, helping his side to a 4-2 shootout win. Romero was named Man of the Match not for his two important saves, but because he finally ended the match and allowed everyone to move on with their lives.
This was the first World Cup semifinal ever to end scoreless before going to penalties. And now Argentina will face Germany in the final having scored eight goals in the entire tournament (half by Lionel Messi) — one more than Germany scored in their semifinal against Brazil.
FIFA has taken the extreme measure of immediately suspending the Nigeria Football Federation for government interference following the arrest of the NFF's president. As a result of the ban, no team from Nigeria can compete internationally, even at the club level. If the ban is not lifted by July 15, this will prevent Nigeria from competing in the upcoming U-20 Women's World Cup.
In the wake of Brazil's 7-1 loss to Germany, there has been plenty of blame to go around, but most of it has fallen on manager Luiz Felipe Scolari. The 65-year-old apologized for the loss in his post-match press conference and described it as the worst day of his professional life. And to make sure the next day wasn't much better, Neymar's agent, Wagner Ribeiro (not to be confused with Fresh Prince of Bell Air star Alfonso Ribeiro), decided to add his unfavorable view of Scolari to the mix.
Though his client was unable to play against Germany due to a back injury suffered during Brazil's quarterfinal win over Colombia, Ribeiro mocked Scolari by tweeting a list of the "six prerequisites to become manager of the Brazilian national team.
One mustachioed supporter in attendance at Brazil's 7-1 loss to Germany — a match already dubbed The Mineiraizo ("The Mineirao Blow") — was quickly declared the saddest fan in the world. The image of him pitifully clutching a replica of the World Cup trophy as he watched his team get abused by a relentless German attack spread through social media as the ultimate symbol of what every Brazilian was feeling in that moment and will forever feel about that match. But this was just one moment in an incredible collection of experiences for a devoted fan considered to be Brazil's 12th player.
Brazilians begged Mick Jagger not to support their team at this World Cup. He developed a reputation for cursing the teams he supported at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when he was present for the elimination of England (his homeland), the U.S. (he attended with Bill Clinton) and Brazil (he has a Brazilian son with model Luciana Gimenez). But that turned out to be nothing compared to the horror he ushered in at the 2014 World Cup.
German striker Miroslav Klose set a new all-time World Cup scoring record as Germany stunned Brazil with five goals in the first 30 minutes of their semifinal. The 36-year-old matched Ronaldo's record of 15 goals when he scored against Ghana in the group stage and now has the record all to himself with a 16th goal scored in the 23rd minute as Brazil collectively forgot the concept of defending.
Brazil started the match without injured top scorer Neymar and suspended top defender/captain Thiago Silva, but even that is no excuse for the shambolic performance that led to five goals for Germany within the first half hour and four of them in a span of just six minutes.
That shouldn't take away from Klose's achievement, but, at least for the time being, it will probably overshadow it.
The outpouring of support in Brazil for Neymar in the wake of the back injury that will keep him from playing in the remainder of the World Cup has been heartwarming. But someone might want to remind everyone that he is still alive and will be back on his feet in a few weeks.
Julio Cesar and captain David Luiz held up Neymar's shirt as they shouted the national anthem before Tuesday's semifinal against Germany in a tribute usually reserved for someone who has passed on. (They did not hold up the shirt of first-choice captain Thiago Silva, who is serving a one-match ban for yellow card accumulation, though.)
This came after the team arrived at the stadium wearing hats that read #ForcaNeymar and thousands of fans filled the stadium wearing Neymar masks.