Lionel Messi’s hometown bans parents from naming newborns ‘Messi’


You probably haven’t heard of Hector Varela but he is the proud father of Messi. Not Lionel Messi, but Messi Daniel Varela. Hector needed two weeks to get special permission from the authorities in the south Argentinian region of Rio Grande (Patagonia) to name his son after the Barcelona maestro. 

That news has prompted Rosario, the hometown of the original Messi, to ban the use of Lionel’s surname as a first name because it would be too confusing.

The director of the Civil Register of the Santa Fe province, Gonzalo Carrillo, insists naming a new-born son Messi is “against the law” although he accepts the Messi Daniel Varela case may upset his plans.

However, proud father Hector is delighted that he got through the red tape. He told Mundo Deportivo: “I am Messi’s father. Many people chose Lionel as a name for their sons after Messi, but this is more obvious.”

Another Messi is born, but how many more will follow?

Image used from Getty.

(H/T Deadspin)


Ghana star Muntari hands out money to disadvantaged Brazilians

While Ghana’s efforts in holding World Cup favorites Germany to a draw in the group stages has granted them ‘hero’ status on the pitch, their recent excursions off the pitch deserve even more recognition.

After being given special permission from national team manager Kwesi Appiah, Ghana and AC Milan star Sulley Muntari was seen handing out money to one of Brazil’s poorest communities.

Muntari, a key fixture in the Black Stars side, also signed autographs and posed for photos in the Maceio neighborhood.

While Brazil’s hosting of the World Cup has come under question due to the rife poverty throughout the country, the efforts of Muntari and those alike will hopefully go towards highlighting one of the country’s biggest problems.

Thumbs up, Sulley!

(H/T Metro)


This is what happens when pro footballers play against children

The only way to make a scrimmage between young kids and real, actual footballers somewhat competitive is to outnumber the professionals by a large margin.

But even then, it’s never really fair fight. It does, however, lead to really amusing plays and goals, like this one from John Terry:

Let’s see them try that one against a real team and see how far they get.


This is what happens when two pros take on 55 kids

Thanks to a Japanese game show, we get to watch professional footballers Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) and Hiroshi Kiyotake (Nurnberg) take on 55 children by themselves.

Skip ahead to the 1:45 mark to see if three goalkeepers can stop Kagawa’s breakaway.image

SPOILER: It doesn’t end well for the kids.

(H/T Sports Grid)


Steven Gerrard put on the spot by 10-year-old Liverpool fan

In one of our favorite recurring segments, Kop Kids presents another sit-down interview with a young fan and a club superstar.

Here we see 10-year-old Reds fan Finn getting a chance to sit down with Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard.

Some highlights:

  • What Gerrard has on his Christmas list
  • Which players give Gerrard the most cheek
  • The England captain’s favorite actor is Robert De Niro
  • Gerrard can’t stand sprouts
  • Young Finn gets the exclusive on Gerrard’s breakfast
  • The boy actually has a pretty righteous shot!

The whole video is so darn cute that’s it worth watching by itself, but Finn actually gives a pretty informative interview. All we can say is: Enjoy!

(h/t Reddit)


Spoof story dupes soccer fans into needless outcry


CBC Radio program This is That caused a stir over the weekend with a segment that claimed an Ontario athletic association removed the ball from youth soccer games, thus ensuring everybody wins.

The This is That piece hit the blogosphere, and the pallbearers for athletic integrity readied themselves to lower the proverbial casket. There’s only one problem: This is That is a satirical program, comparable to a Canadian version of The Onion.

To be fair, the hoax included some totally believable quotes, such as:

"We want our children to grow up learning that sport is not about competition, rather it’s about using your imagination. If you imagine you’re good at soccer, then, you are."

In the same vein, we guess if you imagine a completely ridiculous story is true, then, it is.

Oh, wait.

(h/t Deadspin)

(Image: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)


Aston Villa launches new “Royal Baby” merchandise line


That didn’t take long, did it?

It’s considered common knowledge by now that Prince William - the proud new father of a royal baby boy - is a fan of Birmingham-based soccer club Aston Villa. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that the club is looking to cash in on the royal link by releasing a new line of “Royal Baby” merchandise in its stores.

That’s right, you can now purchase anything from baby socks and bibs to pacifiers, sippy cups and “baby on board” stickers adorned with the club’s logo. The highlight in the collection though is the customized baby jersey with “HRH” emblazoned on the back, standing for “His Royal Highness.”

The team was also quick to congratulate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge via Twitter, claiming the royal baby’s fanhood well before it can even utter his first words:

Whether or not the Royal Baby will grow up to root for his father’s club remains to be seen. In the meantime, we’re certain Villa is going to profit some either way. Let’s be real: what Villain fan wouldn’t want their baby to sport an “HRH” jersey?



Trecker’s Brazilian Travels: Chaos runs supreme

By Jamie Trecker, FOXSoccer.com


Belo Horizonte descended into chaos Wednesday night as protestors clashed with police throughout the town. The Confederations Cup match between Brazil and Uruguay saw over 100,000 people attempt to break the security cordon set up one mile around the perimeter of the Estadio Mineirao, and police and protestors traded blows. One serious injury was reported, and police announced that 15 people had been arrested.

The scenes – with raging fires that claimed businesses, and smoke and tear gas billowing over the sides of the Mineirao – seemed better suited to a war zone than a soccer tournament. Army forces reinforced the police, and ten helicopters were deployed above and around the stadium, creating an eerie scene as kickoff approached.


Photo: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

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