3
Jun

adidas’ World Cup adverts involving cow hearts upsets animal rights activists

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A new World Cup ad campaign by sports giants adidas is stirring up a little bit of controversy. The adverts feature several of the world’s best players holding up bloody cow hearts while pledging to give up theirs in Brazil:

Arjen Robben, Diego Costa, Nani, Dani Alves and Lukas Podolski star in the series of adverts, which has at least one animal rights group up in arms:

"If this was supposed to be some sort of PR stunt, then it misses the point. It’s bad enough that animals are slaughtered for food but to parade a heart, dripping blood and gore, is hardly a good way to advertise a sporting goods firm," a spokesman for the German group "Four Paws" said.

"[Podolski] says he’d give his heart but it wasn’t his heart was it. It was the heart of an innocent animal,’ the spokesman said.

That’s a good point, but then again holding up his own heart would be a little counterproductive to his World Cup ambitions:

Podolski defended his decision to take part in the advert. “I don’t find it disgusting,” the Arsenal winger said, “It just shows my promise to give my heart in our bid to win the World Cup. I and the rest of the team will give it all for Germany.’

H/T Daily Mail

15
May

World Cup stickers: Then-and-now photos of stars from 2006-2014

The fine folks over at Eurosport did some digging and came up with some of the best old-school Panini sticker cards of stars at the World Cup. Without further ado, here are some of our favorite before-and-after looks:image

Look at that! Even the dashing Cristiano Ronaldo went through an awkward phase. It looks like the sunshine of Madrid has treated the Portuguese quite nicely over the years. Not only did he pick up a tan, he also picked up another earring!imageThe 2006 edition of Clint Dempsey would fit right in where the 2014 edition plies his footballing trade professionally: Seattle, a.k.a. the grunge capital of the world.

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Look at little Lionel Messi. Eight years of tirelessly running around melted that baby fat from 2006 right off.

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9
Jul

We all need a kick up the butt from time to time and that’s exactly what Arjen Robben got from new Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola during a training session last week. Unlike Robben’s famous dressing-room altercation with Franck Ribery during the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid in April 2012 this one seemed harmless enough though.

5
Jun

Bayern lines up Suarez, Robben swap deal

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Want-away striker Luis Suarez looks like he could be offered a chance to end his difficult stay in England. Champions League winners Bayern Munich has shown interest in the Uruguayan and could sweeten the deal with Arjen Robben heading in the opposite direction. If Suarez no longer wants to play for Liverpool, Robben would be an excellent addition for boss Brendan Rodgers.

Also check out the latest on Cristiano Ronaldo’s future and who Jose Mourinho looks to add to the Chelsea squad. Click here for the best speculation from the UK press.

1
May

If David Alaba is not the best left back in the world right now, he’s surely well on his way. His gorgeous pass to Arjen Robben set up Bayern Munich’s first goal of the night against Barcelona at Camp Nou. Of course, it also helps that the ball landed at the feet of Robben, another man on a long list of Bayern’s world class players.

Robben’s goal was just the start of the German club’s crushing performance in Barca’s stadium. The 3-0 scoreline silenced tens of thousands of fans and sent them home bitterly disappointed as their side went out with a whimper, losing 7-0 across both legs.

But don’t forget, Barcelona is team full of world class players too, even without Lionel Messi. Look at Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas — they’re still one of the best teams in the world. This two-legged affair was more about Bayern being an absolute dominant force than it was Barca failing to even get on the score sheet.

However, any way you slice it, this is going to sting for a while in Spain.

If you want to witness the demolition, be sure to check out the match report with full highlights. If you’re a Barca fan, you may just want to look away: