- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle9 hrs ago
Neymar returned to Brazil's training center after spending several days recovering from his back injury at home. While his teammates prepared for the cruel chore that is Saturday's third-place match against the Netherlands, Neymar, wearing his Brazil shirt autographed by the other players, gave a press conference in which he discussed what he described as "the worst week of his life."
On the subject of the knee to the back from Colombia's Carlos Zuniga during Brazil's quarterfinal win that fractured a vertebra in his back and ended his World Cup, Neymar said that Zuniga later called him to apologize and that he forgave him.
From The Associated Press:
- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle15 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 having it braided.
- Ryan Bailey at Dirty Tackle16 hrs ago
Boffins at Cambridge University Press have compiled a multi-billion word database in order to find the terms most associated with each 2014 World Cup football team.
By scouring a broad range of English-language media sources throughout the tournament, the study has produced a list of the top three words used in conjunction with each team in Brazil. Here's the full list, as per the BBC:
While some terms are quite unsurprising (Belgium "dark horse"; Honduras "physical"; Cameroon "hapless"; Spain "humiliation") there are plenty that don't seem to quite fit. The top word for England, for example, is "exciting." That really couldn't be any further from reality. And Portugal's second most popular word is "ego", but that appears to have been accidentally inserted in place of the word "Ronaldo."
The USA's terms are typically patriotic ("determined, heroic, courageous") and Uruguay's are at least 66% dictated by the actions of Luis Suarez ("bite, disgrace, doe-or-die").
- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle18 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!"
- Maxi Rodriguez at Dirty Tackle19 hrs ago
- Sean Leahy at Dirty Tackle21 hrs ago
The U.S men’s national team are back enjoying their summers or have already re-joined their club sides just over a week since their elimination from the 2014 World Cup at the hands of Belgium. With the team’s performance capitvating America, captain Clint Dempsey appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday night and received a standing ovation from the audience inside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York.
The two chatted about the U.S.’s showing in Brazil, the difficulties of scoring on a soccer net, diving and more.
Here’s the entire 12-minute interview:
Dave makes a good alternate point about diving. If you’re running approximately 11 kilometers a match, trying to draw a call by rolling around on the pitch for a few minutes is a nice way to give everyone a breather.
- Jay Busbee at Dirty Tackle22 hrs ago
If there's one element of soccer that keeps the majority of anti-futbol Americans on the far side of the fence, it isn't the low scoring or the foreign-sounding names. No, it's the flopping — the overly dramatic, theatrical, bad-high-school-play-style imitations of actual injury that halt play. Flopping runs counter to classic American values like "play hurt" and "rub some dirt in it, you'll be fine," and thus infuriates a certain subset of American fans.
That subset now has its justification. A Canadian film company named Fourgrounds Film has created a lovely short film titled "Everyday Football Fouls." The premise is: What if the rest of the world flopped like soccer players? Simple premise, delightful execution. Enjoy, and make sure to watch through to the very end.
- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle1 day 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.
- Alex Baker at Dirty Tackle1 day ago
It was the defeat that shocked the world as Brazil slumped to a shocking 7-1 loss to Germany in Tuesday's World Cup semifinal at the Estadio Mineirao. The 2014 World Cup was supposed to be the one that healed the wounds of the "Maracanazo," the lingering feeling of tragedy that's haunted Brazil since losing the 1950 World Cup at home to Uruguay.
Unfortunately, now the Brazilians have arguably an even more dispiriting loss to contend with as they saw their team undone by a German side that scored four goals in six minutes to put the match beyond the favored hosts.
While Brazil were without their attacking talisman, Neymar, and their defensive lynchpin, Thiago Silva, there is little that can explain such a complete collapse. The shock, awe and horror of the defeat are well-represented in headlines from around Brazil.
- Brooks Peck at Dirty Tackle1 day ago
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.