Ex-Valencia president arrested in plot to kidnap successor


Trouble with the law: Former Valencia president Juan Soler (R) was arrested on Wednesday.

Former Valencia president Juan Soler has been arrested in connection with an attempt to kidnap his successor at the club, Vicente Soriano.

According to multiple reports from Spain, Soler spent the night in prison after facing magistrates over his alleged involvement in the plot, but was released on bail.

Under the terms of his bail, Soler, 58, cannot leave Spain while the investigation continues and must go to court every two weeks. He has also been issued a restraining order forbidding him from coming with 15 meters of Soriano.

Soler and Soriano’s contentious relationship escalated in 2009, when Soriano purchased Soler’s shares with the Spanish Primera Division side. Claiming he was still owed money in the transaction, Soler then took Soriano to court.


In happier times: Vicente Soriano (L) purchased Juan Soler’s club shares in 2009.

Investigators believe the kidnapping plot, which Soler is suspected of hiring hit men to carry out, was an attempt to recover the funds in question. Police foiled the plot, however, and instructed Soriano to remain in his home.

Although both men are no longer associated with the Club — Amadeo Salvo is Valencia’s current president — it’s certainly a bizarre turn of events that we’ll be sure to monitor.

Images provided by Getty.


NY Red Bulls have pro rock climber retrieve match ball from roof


Bringing the match ball out to the pitch is a pretty boring affair, and the concept of a man parachuting in has been so overdone. But the New York Red Bulls managed to spice it up for their season opener against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

Acclaimed pro rock climber Sasha DiGiulian scaled the roof of Red Bull Arena to retrieve a match ball that was fixed to one of the rafters, more than one hundred feet off the ground. DiGiulian also unveiled the official Supporter’s Shield Banner from the edge of the roof.

DiGiulian than posted a sick time-lapse video of her climb to Instagram:

Image and H/T: Original Winger


Golazos! Jordan Pro League is bringing the heat lately

It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing Champions League or Jordan’s Pro League. If you score on an over-the-back heel flick from a good twenty yards out, you’re getting on the Blog! On Saturday, Al-Wihdat forward Motaz Salhani did just that, turning in one of the most outrageous and oddest (or is it luckiest?) goals you’ll ever see against Al-Ramtha.

But wait: there’s more from the Kingdom! That’s right, the JPL has graciously given us a two-for-one ‘Golazo Special’ over the past seven days.

Last Sunday, Al Ramtha were on the right side of a ridiculous goal when right-back Suleiman Al-Salman scored an absolute cracker from his own side of the field against Al Arabi:

Forget the Premier League! We all might need to start watching the Jordan Pro League regularly.


Japanese star Hisato Sato scores absurd goal in J-League

Japanese star striker Hisato Sato has scored a lot of goals during his lengthy career.

The 31-year-old holds the record for most goals scored in the J-League. And he scored the fastest goal in the J-League. But this one? Sato should get an award just for scoring this jaw-dropping beauty.

Since Sato has a tendency to score absolutely mind-blowing goals, it’s possible he tops this one before he hangs up his boots. But the back-to-goal-flick to no-look-spin-volley combo won’t be so easy to match, even for him.

H/T SB Nation


Paralyzed teenager to take first kick at 2014 World Cup

H/T NESN.com

You’d be forgiven for assuming that the likes of Neymar or Pele would be involved in taking the first kick at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Instead, it’s something quite different, yet incredibly special and unique. A teenager paralyzed from the waist down is set to kick off the huge spectacle in Sao Paulo by taking the ceremonial first kick!

You read correctly. With the help of the world’s most advanced mind-controlled exoskeleton, the yet-to-be-chosen lucky teenager will take the first kick on perhaps the world’s most prominent sports stage.

The ambitious idea is designed to showcase the Walk Again Project - a nonprofit international collaboration dedicated to researching ways to overcome paralysis through technology. The project itself explains the process, helped through the wearing of a “robotic body suit”, here:

"The candidate teenage kicker will be trained in Virtual Reality to control technology that will eventually allow them to kick the ball at the world cup [sic]. They will do this by wearing a non-invasive headpiece that detects brain waves."

For more on the Walk Again Project, check out this story from the Washington Post.

Pretty incredible stuff.

imageImage via Twitter/@IndyStarSport


Winter wonderland delays Galatasaray-Juventus match

Hail. Sleet. Orange balls. Orange paint. All to no avail.

In a scene reminiscent of the famous “Snow Bowl” World Cup qualifer between the USA and Costa Rica earlier this year, UEFA was forced to abandon Tuesday’s Champions League match between Galatasaray and Juventus when hail and heavy snow forced the teams off the field.

Fans of the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles are allowed to jeer referee Pedro Proenca’s decision. This never would have happened in the NFL, right?

The game will now be played early Wednesday morning (live on FOXSoccer2GO at 8 am ET) after a severe hailstorm interrupted the winner-takes-all encounter in Istanbul. A statement published on the official UEFA Champions League Twitter account read:

"The #UCL fixture between @GalatasaraySK & @juventusfc has been abandoned after a snow storm caused the pitch to become unplayable. According to article 11.04 of the competition regulations, the remaining match time must be played either tomorrow or on a reserve date or other date set by the UEFA administration. A further UEFA update confirmed the fixture would resume on Wednesday afternoon at 1300CET (1200GMT)."

Check out this amazing time-lapse video of the events as they unfolded, and have a nice cup of cocoa.


Cristiano Ronaldo to open museum of… Cristiano Ronaldo?


World superstar Cristiano Ronaldo revealed on Tuesday that he is opening a museum dedicated to himself on Madeira, the Portuguese island where he was born.

Ronaldo said he will be in Madeira’s capital Funchal on Dec. 15 to open the museum, which will showcase memorabilia from his star-studded professional career. Aside of the 11 club titles he has won, Ronaldo’s trophies on display could include one Ballon d’Or, two European Golden Shoes, one FIFA Puskas Award and seven UEFA Team of the Year nods.

According to the AFP, there is also a spot reserved for a second Ballon d’Or, should Ronaldo win this year’s award. He is considered the front-runner along with Franck Ribery,

Already one of the all-time greats at the age of 28, Ronaldo began his youth career on his home island at local club FC Andorinha, where his father worked, and Nacional, one of two Madeira-based clubs currently playing in Portugal’s first division. At age 12, Ronaldo moved to Lisbon and developed into a young star at Sporting, catching the eye of Manchester United when he was just 18. The rest, as they say, is history, all of which we figure will be displayed in the new museum.

While the self-dedicated museum looks, shall we say, just a bit narcissistic, it actually speaks to Ronaldo’s desire to help his home island. Madeira’s economy should definitely get a boost from all the visitors who are likely to make the trip.


Image provided by Reuters.


Partizan supporters set rivals’ stadium on fire

The “fiery” rivalry between Serbian clubs Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade is considered by many to be one of the most intense in the world, if not the most. The latest edition of the “Eternal Derby” more than lived up to the billing.

With home side Red Star up 1-0 early in the second half, Partizan fans  began throwing flares on the pitch. OK, pretty standard rivalry etiquette so far. But then, the supporters began lighting several fires in their own cheering section.

Actual fires.

More and more fires started in the away section, and before long the referee had to stop play until smoke cleared the stadium. Fire trucks were brought in to quell the flames, before the match could restart.

Despite all of their fans’ efforts, Partizan still lost to Red Star. And they probably deserved that.

H/T WorldSoccerTalk


Kuwaiti soccer ref throws punch, kick then sends off bevy of players

The Kuwaiti Premier League is no place for bullies.

The violent scene from Al-Arabi against Al Nasar, where a group of enraged Al Nasar players took special exception to a penalty being called, can attest to that.

In an effort to presumably change the referee’s mind, Al Nasar players crowd around the official in a furor. It should be noted that we have no recollection of this type of persuasion ever being effective, but let’s continue.

To his credit, the ref does what he can to pacify the situation before finally snapping. He reels off what appears to be a left-handed jab that grazes No. 11 of Al Nasar. The player, probably acting on soccer instinct, falls to the ground like Mike Tyson just stuck him with a haymaker.

As tensions continue to escalate, No. 11 makes a miraculous recovery and resumes confronting the ref, who throws a kick quick at the player before remembering he literally holds a trump card for this situation.

The referee begins doling out red cards like he’s playing blackjack, managing to even send a Sheikh to the stands before it’s all said and done.

Finally, in the ultimate display of sportsmanship, Al Nasar’s No. 9 drills the ball at the referee following Al-Arabi’s successful penalty attempt.

No. 9 was shown red, but escaped any physical punishment.

(h/t WhoAteAllThePies)