15
Sep

Fans of club in Brazil copy Japan’s post-game clean-up practice

While Japan didn’t win any matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, their fans won the hearts of many around the globe with their unique post-game ritual.

After every match, the Japanese fans stayed after and cleaned up their section of the stadium. It was a truly heart-warming thing to see. And it looks like one Brazilian club took notice and adopted this practice.

After Atletico-PR beat Vitoria 2-0 on Sunday, their fans stayed after the match to help clean up the Arena da Baixada. The club even gave the supporters 20,000 trash bags to aid their efforts.

We’re hoping this is a practice that catches on at stadiums around the world!

(H/T DirtyTackle)

11
Sep

Rio de Janeiro favela features world’s first pitch powered by players

We’re all used to Pelé doing the remarkable, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Brazilian soccer legend has partnered with Shell to unveil something truly mind-blowing: A pitch that’s powered by players.

That’s right. Nestled in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, there’s now a pitch with floodlights that are powered by the kinetic energy of the players on the pitch. Per Shell:

Special tiles under the pitch surface to capture the energy generated by football players’ movement. This energy is then stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the pitch to convert into renewable electricity for the pitch’s new floodlights.

How awesome is that? Take a look at the before and after shots of the once rundown pitch in the Morro da Mineira favela.

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imageWe’re not sure if there’s a timer on those lights … but something tells us they likely won’t be going out anytime soon.

(h/t Metro, images via Shell)

6
Sep

Neymar shows his good and bad side vs. Colombia

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Neymar returned to the Brazilian national team on Saturday against none other than Colombia, the side that ended his World Cup campaign, to the horror of an entire nation. 

Exacting revenge on Los Cafeteros, the Barcelona playmaker proved to be the same difference maker we’ve become accustomed to seeing and scored the only goal of the friendly, a lovely free kick in the 83rd minute:

However, Neymar also provided one of the low-lights of the affair.

As we all know, not only is Neymar a great footballer, but also a good actor. He showed off his skills once again by rolling over one or two too many times after a pretty routine foul:

C’mon, Neymar.

We love ya, kid, but please ease up on the theatrics.

GIF via Pies

Image provided by Getty

3
Sep

Neymar shows off a mesmerizing bit of skill at Brazil training

The World Cup — and particularly that little 7-1 defeat at the hands of eventual champs Germany — certainly was a forgettable tournament for the Brazilian national team.

We wouldn’t blame the Brazilians if they still felt a bit of an emotional hangover from the letdown ahead of their friendly on Friday against Colombia.

It looks like they’re in good spirits, though. And how couldn’t they be with Neymar (perhaps the one Brazilian who had a commendable World Cup), showing off his deft footwork in training.

The craziest bit happens at about the 13-second mark. That’s the type of handling we couldn’t even accomplish in a video game.

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We’re just glad Neymar is happy again.

(h/t 101GG, Image: Getty)

16
Aug

Ronaldinho fan really loves Ronaldinho

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Ronaldinho has many fans, but Giovanny Tocohua might be the biggest of them all. His kit collection could make even the most persistent Hollywood stalkers blush; he’s secured every single jersey the former Barcelona star has worn in his career.

We counted 79 shirts (including the one he’s wearing), charting Ronaldinho’s career from Gremio to Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Milan, Flamengo and finally Atletico Mineiro. Even the commemorative jersey for Ronnie’s 100th cap for Brazil made the collection!

Duly impressed, Ronaldinho posted Giovanny’s picture to his Facebook and Twitter:

There’s an outside chance the fan held Ronaldinho hostage in his basement and forced him to post this, though.

5
Aug

Bastian Schweinsteiger trolls Neymar in Ibiza

We see what you did there, Bastian, you sly dog, you!

While vacationing in Ibiza last week, injured Brazil star Neymar ran into Bastian Schweinsteiger during the German’s 30th birthday party and the two posed for a picture together.

In the pic, Neymar throws up a classic variation of the “hang loose” hand signal, while World Cup champion Schweinsteiger, possibly unbeknownst to Neymar, put up seven fingers - an obvious, shameless taunt invoking Germany’s infamous 7:1 semifinal win over the Selecao in Belo Horizonte.

We can only imagine Neymar’s reaction when he saw the photograph later …

H/T infobae.com

28
Jul

Ronaldinho leaves Atletico Mineiro, is now a free agent

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Former ‘best player in the world’ Ronaldinho is unemployed.

The 34-year-old announced on Monday that he is leaving Atletico Mineiro by mutual consent, and is due to give a press conference on Wednesday to announce his future plans.

Atletico coach Levir Culpi confirmed the news speaking with SporTV.

"I can’t call on Ronaldinho anymore. His cycle with us has ended. It’s unfortunate because he’s an idol to all of us. Everyone loves his football, the way he plays and he’s a very charismatic person," Culpi said.

"But that’s the way it goes. He’s leaving and we must move on without him."

The former Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion scored 28 goals in 88 games with Mineiro, and helped them win their first ever Copa Libertadores title last season. Ronaldinho’s contract with the Belo Horizonte club was set to expire at the end of this year.

While you can now officialy start day-dreaming about Ronaldinho joining Major League Soccer, take in some of his greatest moments at Mineiro:

H/T Goal.com

17
Jul

Mesut Ozil promises to pay for 23 childrens’ surgeries following World Cup win

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(Image: Getty)

German international Mesut Ozil won the World Cup just last week, but now he’s making inroads into winning our hearts.

Ozil initially pledged to pony up for 11 surgeries for children in Brazil prior to the World Cup, as part of the BigShoe campaign:

A generous gesture by itself, now Ozil’s pledge has more than doubled in size since winning the coveted World Cup. Instead of sponsoring 11 surgeries, the Arsenal standout will pay for operations for 23 kids — the same number of players in the German squad. Ozil explained the contribution Facebook:

dear fans,
prior to the #WorldCup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. since the victory of the #WorldCup is not only due to eleven players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. this is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil. #Bigshoe #Brasil2014

The World Cup truly does seem to bring out the best in people, and certainly did in Mesut Ozil’s case … a class player and a class person.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)

14
Jul

Germany’s Kramer can’t remember World Cup final after blow to the head

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A World Cup final is the type of game a player wants to remember every minute of. Unfortunately, Germany’s Christoph Kramer, who took a blow to the head yesterday in a collision with Argentina’s Ezequiel Garay, now says he can’t remember much of it at all.

Kramer took a blow to the face early, and then continued playing for 14 minutes before slumping to the ground. Kramer had to be carried off. (Gonzalo Higuain also took a blow to the head from the knee of German keeper Manuel Neuer in the game, but never seemed to lose consciousness.)

"I can’t really remember much of the game," Kramer told German newspaper Die Welt. 

"I don’t know anything at all about the first half. I thought later that I left the game immediately after the tackle. I have no idea how I got to the changing rooms. I don’t know anything else. In my head, the game starts from the second half."

Concussions are no joke. Post-concussion syndromes have been linked to dementia, depression and death. Lingering injuries from concussions have also ended a number of top players’ careers, including that of former USA forward Taylor Twellman.

FIFA has also been criticized for their handling of head injuries during this past tournament: Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira appeared to be briefly knocked unconscious after a knee to the head, but demanded to be and was allowed to continue playing. 

Kramer’s incident — and his subsequent admission — will heap on more pressure for FIFA to allow independent concussion testing. One solution? Allowing teams to use a free substitute while the player in question is being evaluated. 

(h/t The Independent)

(Image: Getty)

11
Jul

Brazil’s embarrassing World Cup exit provokes unexpected sympathy

Should old acquaintance be forgot? It was never going to be, but I hardly expected to be thinking of my friends from Copacabana so soon after landing back in England, and I certainly didn’t expect to be feeling so sorry for them.

The return home came just hours before the first semifinal and, like hundreds of millions of others across the planet, I watched incredulous as the team of the host nation, the greatest of all soccer nations, concede goals to Germany with a rapidity that would have been surprising in the NBA; let alone a sporting arena that had yielded just 1.25 goals per entire game in the previous round, as things became about as tight and tense as international soccer can get.

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After the magnificent Germans had eased off and started saving their energy for Sunday’s final, they stopped at seven, to which Brazil replied with a gesture that produced one in the closing seconds. I was watching in a riverside pub on the south-western fringes of London, slack-jawed like everyone around me, trying to think of precedents but being able to think only of the folks with whom I’d seen all the previous Brazil games.

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