September 12, 2014
Ronaldinho was unveiled as a Queretaro player on Friday and though the move was a surprising one, his intentions are right in line with his reputation. The decorated party machine was very blunt about his aims at his first press conference.
Said the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year (via Mundo Deportivo):
"I've always lived in the same way and with every team I've been a champion. I hope to keep doing the same and continue winning titles and girls."
At 34 years old, it seems Ronaldinho has decided to be upfront about the lifestyle that has prompted many clubs and critics to question his commitment to the game. But when there are pictures of you posing like this (NSFW) floating around, it's difficult to claim a monkish existence.
It's difficult to say how much of an impact he will have in Liga MX, but thirty years from now Ronaldinho is going to be that old guy in the night club that everyone tries not to make eye contact with.
- - - - - - -
Amid the tension of the World Cup final, a fan managed to make his way onto the pitch in the match's 82nd minute. That's not news; idiots are everywhere. What is news is the fact that despite all the security in place, this fan was able to get close enough to try to land a kiss on the cheek of Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes. Not only that, but a rather well-known spectator with a camera posted video of the incident for all the world to see:
Yes, that video is courtesy of LeBron James, in attendance after signing with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. James was curiously amused by the invader. But then again, he's had some experience with that sort of thing himself:
Apparently the fan who ran onto the Maracana Stadium pitch is a well-known YouTube prankster who made his intentions known early on:
Here are some more shots of the fan getting a little love from World Cup security forces, clearly a wee bit late to the party:
We'd tell you not to try this at your own field of play, but you'd just ignore us, wouldn't you?
Related World Cup coverage on Yahoo Sports:
Chile scored twice early and then held off a surprisingly challenging Australia to win 3-1. Chile looked like they might score 10 goals after Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the 10th minute and Jorge Valdivia added another just four minutes later. But Australia showed that they're not just in Brazil to fill their autograph books when Tim Cahill scored in his third consecutive World Cup in the 35th minute. Australia continued to test Chile while valiantly keeping their attack at bay until La Roja finally put the game out of reach with a third goal in added time.
Man of the Match
Alexis Sanchez, Chile.
When Tim Cahill went full Socceroo to rise above a Chilean defender and score Australia's goal, there was only one way to celebrate.
Australia's Alex Wilkinson makes the goal-line clearance to prevent Chile from scoring their third goal earlier than they did.
With three points they had to take, Chile will feel prepared to face a wounded Spain at the Maracana. Australia, meanwhile, will hope the Netherlands got all of the goals out of their system already.
March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day and to mark the occasion, Brazilian giants Corinthians signed 26-year-old Caio Tadeu Batista, a member of the Brazilian national futsal team for athletes with Down syndrome.
Caio started the day by meeting his new teammates, then he collected his gear and took part in training both on the pitch and in the gym. After putting in his work alongside the other players and finishing the session with a penalty kick, Caio was presented with a custom shirt and gave a press conference. But this was only the beginning.
Two days later, Caio donned his full kit and lined up with the 2012 Club World Cup winners for their Campeonato Paulista match against Atletico Sorocaba. He was with the starting XI for the pre-match handshakes and showed off his skills in warm-ups. After huddling up with his teammates, Caio took the ceremonial kick-off. As he exited the pitch to a round of applause, he clapped for the crowd, took a few bows and made a heart with his hands. Corinthians went on to win 3-0 with a hat trick from Romarinho.
Over the course of both days Caio wore a GoPro camera, documenting the entire experience for a series on the club's YouTube channel that shows unique perspectives using the special device. This allows us to see everything he did and all the joy he brought his teammates from his point of view. The result is pretty fantastic. Watch...
And that's why they call Corinthians "The People's Club."
- - - - - - -
March 10, 2014
Daniel Sturridge is King of the World right now. He's like an extremely rich, athletically gifted and non-deceased version of Leonardo Di Caprio's character in Titanic.
But rather then screaming on the front of a doomed boat, D-Studge has been celebrating his white-hot form for Liverpool by dressing up in a white-hot outfit for the benefit of his Instagram followers.
On Sunday evening, Struridge posted a picture dressed in an all-white outfit. Either he is paying tribute to Ashley Cole's fierce look from 2006, he has a side business in painting and decorating or he just returned from performing with his Boyz II Men tribute act. Who are probably called Boyz III Men.
He accompanied the image — which was taken in a stairwell for added pomp — with the caption:
Swagging on em... All white everything... #posingonyoufools #baditbad
This is why Premier League footballers shouldn't get the weekend off.
Clearly, Sturridge could learn a thing or two from Nicklas Bendtner, who attended a UFC fight on Saturday dressed like a Boardwalk Empire extra before showing us the correct way to eat yogurt on Sunday...
- - - - - - -
March 10, 2014
Maccabi Haifa drew 2-2 with Bnei Yehuda in the Isralei Premier League on Sunday, but the result was overshadowed by a horrendous two-footed tackle in the 84th minute.
As Bnei Yehuda midfielder Rafi Dahan gained control of the ball, Maccabi's Rubén Rayos flew in with an incredibly aggressive lunge that is fairly difficult to watch.
Rayos was given a straight red card for his actions and should face a lengthy ban, while Dahan is thought to have suffered a fracture that will keep him out of the game for an extended period.
The Israeli midfielder was due to be married in three weeks' time, but has now been forced to postpone the ceremony.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Dahan did little to hide his fury:
"Rayos tried to end my career. I can not let this never forgive him. It was a crime."
To add to the sense of injustice, bottom-of-the-league Bnei Yehuda were winning 2-1 at the time of the incident, but dropped two points when Maccabi equalized in the 97th minute.
This has been the Dirty Tackle of the Day: a chronicling of unfortunate events.
- - - - - - -
In the world of The Mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic, anything is possible. Not only does the talismanic Swede constantly defy the rules of physics with his acrobatic goals and assists, but he is also delivering a flying kick to the face of social media.
The team behind Ibra's brilliant Twitter account appear to be planning something for Monday, as the star has insisted that he needs more than 140 characters to express himself for some kind of announcement/literary masterpiece/free-form anti-Guardiola poetry.
He has demanded the micro-blogging site alter its constraining word limit, asking them to #DareToZlatan in the process:
Zlatan loves nothing more than speaking about himself in the third person, and sometimes the media gently mocks him by using his name as a verb. Now, the Paris Saint-Germain star is owning that too:
Previously, Ibra has used his Twitter feed to send Cristiano Ronaldo one of his T-shirts, and earlier this week he congratulated PSG teammate Blaise Matuidi for his excellent bicycle kick goal for France by insisting that he must have seen a certain long-haired Swede doing it at training.
Meanwhile on the field, he scored his 23 league goal of the season in PSG's 3-0 win at Bastia on Saturday, but his finest moment was a very Zlatan-esque assist for Ezequiel Lavezzi:
- - - - - - -
UPDATE: This is the video Zlatan was teasing. It uses 'Heavy Metal' by Don Felder on the soundtrack, so it is therefore beyond excellence...
Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis will tolerate a great many things — like headbutting one's own players while wearing just a towel, for example — but diving is not one of them. Following Palace's 1-1 draw with Swansea on Sunday, Pulis announced he would fine both Marouane Chamakh and Jerome Thomas for their acts of simulation during the match.
From the BBC:
Pulis said: "They'll pay money for that. They will both be fined.
"It's a disease. It's one we're almost rid of but if people do it, they've got to be reminded it's not right."
That's only part of the punishment Pulis had in store for Thomas, though. The 30-year-old attempted to win a late penalty with his effort, but only got a yellow card for his poor acting. So after the match, Pulis hauled him down to see referee Mike Dean.
Pulis said he and Thomas apologised to the referee after the match at the Liberty Stadium.
He said: "It's something I'm very strong on. I've been in to see Mike and JT waited for him to apologise at full-time."
The way Pulis' teams play isn't often admired, but if more managers took the position on diving that he does, the game would certainly benefit.
- - - - - - -
March 03, 2014
To mark 100 days until the World Cup, Nike has revealed the home kit that the U.S. will wear at this summer's tournament and the verdict is unanimous: The top looks like a golf shirt. And it turns out that was by design.
"The classic jersey is white with gray horizontal pinstripes across the body and sleeves, a reference to the USA’s historic tradition of using stripes," Nike says. "The jersey has a white polo collar featuring red trim, a nod of respect to this iconic piece of American fashion and sportswear."
In other words, it's a golf shirt and everyone knows it.
Even the Associated Press went with the headline "New US World Cup jersey looks like golf shirt" for their report on the matter. But this look is just as traditional for the pitch as it is for the golf course. The shirt is actually almost identical to England's 2010 World Cup home kit produced by former Nike subsidiary Umbro — the only apparent difference being the stripes and the crest switch.
But the U.S. shirt does have something that the Greg Norman Collection doesn't: A blacklight message of "One Nation. One Team." written in the player's names on the back that will go almost completely unnoticed.
The shirt is available now and will fit all of your business casual needs for $90.
- - - - - - -
Torquay United are based in the south-west of England where there are relatively few clubs, so loyal fans usually face a lengthy trip whenever they wish to travel to an away game.
On Saturday, 91 Gulls fans made the 370-mile journey all the way up to Hartlepool, only to witness a 3-0 defeat that has left them rock bottom of League Two and facing the ugly prospect of dropping out of the Football League.
Torquay manager Chris Hargreaves felt sympathy for the travelling fans who watched their side capitulate in the middle of a 740-mile round trip and has offered to soften the blow by buying each of them a drink. The Torquay Herald Express reports:
Hargreaves said he ‘gave a couple of fans £20 to get themselves a pint on the way home’ after Saturday’s defeat, which left his side languising at the bottom of League Two.
“It was the least I could do,” said Hargreaves, who now wants to buy every supporter a drink this week – in combination with a Q&A at the Boots and Laces pub at Plainmoor on Wednesday (7pm).
It's a touching gesture from former Gulls striker Hargreaves, who only took charge of the side in January.
If David Moyes had made a similar promise to the Manchester Utd fans who travelled to Olympiakos last week, he would probably have to open his own brewery.
- - - - - - -