19
Sep

No bluff: Ronaldo challenges Rafael Nadal to a live poker showdown

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Brazilian soccer icon Ronaldo has thrown down the gauntlet in a poker duel against Rafael Nadal.

If that sounds completely random, fear not. The two stars actually squared off head-to-head in last year’s European Poker Tour Prague Charity Challenge, which raised nearly $130,000.

The 14-time Grand Slam champ emerged victorious in the first meeting at the tables, and Rafa isn’t short on confidence heading into his next challenge:

"… one year later I’m more confident with my skill level. I really enjoy playing poker and the challenge of learning as quickly as possible, so I can’t wait to get back into training on my game," Nadal said, via the Daily Mail.

But “Il Fenomeno” isn’t backing down despite Nadal already having bested him, saying, “This time it will be different, though, because I have been improving on my poker strategy and will be more prepared.”

PokerStars.com are putting on the event, which will broadcast live on Sept. 22.

(h/t Daily Mail)

Image provided by Getty

10
Sep

Daniel Agger donates to help send Denmark team to Homeless World Cup

Denmark was trying to send a team to the Homeless World Cup, which kicks off in October in Chile, but had come up short 20,000 kroner (about $3,500). They team had already raised a lot of money, so new donors were hard to come by and time was running out.

In stepped Daniel Agger.

The Danish international asked an Ombold board member — the organization sending the Denmark team to the tournament — how things were going. When he found out they were in need of money to be able to fund the trip, Agger didn’t hesitate to tell them he’d give them the money.

"You just tell me where and when to spend the money; and also if there is anything else I can do," Agger said.

What a selfless and wonderful act, Mr. Agger.

(H/T The Guardian)

5
Sep

Arsenal steps up to support #RainbowLaces initiative with hilarious video

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In partnership with Paddy Power and Stonewall, a gay rights charity, Arsenal have stepped up to help “kick homophobia out of football” with the #RainbowLaces campaign. Everton were the first EPL team to join the cause, and hopefully more sides will throw their support behind it.

With hopes of raising awareness of the issues surrounding homophobia in football, Arsenal teamed up with Paddy Power and Stonewall to produce a short video that is as funny as it is effective.

Gunners stars Olivier Giroud, Mikel Arteta, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla all feature in the clip. And just to give you a little taste of what’s in store, here’s what the PP blog had to say from behind the scenes of the taping:

The director, Jim Gilchrist, asked Olivier Giroud to take inspiration for his line from a certain Hollywood blockbuster.

“What is Zoolander? I do not know Zoolander,” came the bewildered reply from the 27-year-old Chambery-born striker.

“Should I just act more French?”

We don’t want to spoil any more of the punchlines, so just give the video a watch.

Players are being urged to to show their support by lacing up with rainbow laces over the Sept. 13-14, or Rainbow Lace weekend.

And remember … COWABUNGA!

(h/t Reddit, Image: Getty)

4
Sep

Teen cancer patient scores for Villarreal in charity match against Celtic

imageVillarreal may have beaten Celtic 4-2, but no one was talking about the score line.

The Spanish club hosted a charity match to benefit the ’United for Hope’ project, which helps children with cancer. 

One of those kids had the game of his life. Thirteen-year-old Gohan, who has dreamed of being a professional footballer, started the match for Villarreal. He also scored a clever goal just after kick-off.

Take a look at Gohan’s day with the club: 

I think the man of the match was an easy choice.

(h/t Bleacher Report)

(Image: @VillarealCF)

31
Jul

Class act: Spanish 3rd division team dresses to the nines for charity match

Cultural Leonesa, a Spanish 3rd division team, turned some heads when they unveiled their dapper new kits: tuxedo shirts.

But now, we’ve finally gotten a chance to see the high-class gear in action and it is every bit the fashion statement we were hoping for.

Check out some video highlights of the penguin suits in action, especially the goalie’s stylish and sharp white tux.

The team wore the uniform as part of a charity match to benefit the local mining industry and celebrate the club’s 90th year.

Although, someone must have forgotten to tell the competition that it was a black tie affair.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)

31
Jul

Norwegian football club gets big boost from super fan’s estate

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(Image via @FLFart)

A Norwegian football club just got a big boost to their bank account thanks to a local fan.

Erling Andreassen, who passed away at the age of 91 in July, left nearly all his estate to his local club in Vang, Norway: FL Fart.

(Okay, yes, funny name, have a laugh — can we move on now?)

The estate totals nearly four million Norwegian Krone ($636,000) and will go into the coffers of FL Fart. The club is best known for their successful women’s team, which is playing in Norway’s top tier women’s league.

The team issued a statement on the “magnificent” gift, saying the board hasn’t decided how the funds will be allocated, but it will be brought up at their annual meeting to figure out how to best use them. For a club of such a small size, this donation will go a long way.

And since you’re still chuckling about the club name, “Fart” translates as “speed” in Norwegian.

(H/T Who Ate All The Pies)

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)

29
May

You can now buy the gems made out of Pele’s hair

Back in April, it was revealed that Pele was working with Diamantes Brilho Infinito to create a statue to commemorate memorable goals and moments in his career.

The gems were created with carbon from Pele’s hair. No, don’t ask us how or why. Just go with it.

Now, the diamonds are available for purchase online. And don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

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The whole thing is entirely bizarre, but Pele also announced on Twitter on Thursday that the proceeds from the diamonds are going to charity, so at least there’s that.

You keep doing you, Pele.

6
Apr

Watch: Young teen spreads joy of football with charity

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Our friends at The Original Winger have known about Ethan King for years, and it’s high time you do, too.

Ethan is a 14-year-old who made waves when he started his own charity four years ago. That’s right, he was just 10 at the time. Ten years old. 

"Charity Ball" sets out to deliver high-quality soccer balls to impoverished children. In four years, Ethan has helped hand-deliver over 4,000 soccer balls to kids who couldn’t afford them all over the world.

Now, a delightful mini documentary by DressCode captures Ethan’s efforts to make other childrens’ lives a little more joyful. The doc follows around Ethan as he makes his latest trip to Mozambique, in tow with Borussia Dortmund defender and philanthropist Neven Subotić.

We won’t do it any justice talking about it, you should just watch it, and share:

Pass The Ball from dress code on Vimeo.