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

30
Apr

"We are all monkeys" banana selfie trend was pre-planned

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It turns out the social media explosion after Dani Alves’ brilliant act of eating a banana thrown at him by a racist fan wasn’t as spontaneous a reaction as we all thought.

According to Spanish newspaper AS and the Associated Press, his Brazilian teammate Neymar, who has been the target for racial abuse often this season, hatched a plan a couple of weeks ago with the help of a team of advisors, including Neymar’s father. The plan was that next time Neymar had a banana thrown at him — something that would inevitably (and sadly) happen — he would eat it.

It turned out that Alves was a target of this disgusting act before Neymar. The act of eating the banana was spontaneous, as Alves said he was “just trying to use a positive attitude to counter a negative attitude.”

But Neymar jumped at the opportunity to launch the campaign, posting a photo and the pre-planned hashtags #weareallmonkeys and #somostodosmacacos, conceived by Brazilian marketing firm Loducca.

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Guga Ketzer, a partner at Loducca, said:

Actions speak louder than words. A gesture needs no translation and what we’re seeing is that this has gone viral, globally. The concept was for Neymar to eat the banana, but in the end it was Alves, and that works just the same.

The best way to beat prejudice is to take the sting out of the action so it is not racist repeated. We created #weareallmonkeys #somostodosmacacos, with the gesture of eating a banana, and it has been turned into a movement.

Following Dani Alves’ impulsive on-field meal and Neymar’s pre-planned reaction, soccer players, fans and even politicians around the world began uploading pictures of themselves eating bananas to help take a stand against racism. These were not planned.

The fact Neymar’s reaction wasn’t as impulsive as we originally thought shouldn’t matter much. Though the ‘Banana Selfie Movement’ may have lost some of its romance, it still managed to get the word out against racism in a positive, sweeping way.

28
Apr

Dani Alves backed by football world following banana incident

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Dani Alves had barely finished eating his banana when support for his brilliant anti-racism stunt began pouring in. (If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the video.)

After the Barcelona defender munched on a banana thrown at him by a bigoted fan during Sunday’s match at Villarreal, his girlfriend Thaissa Carvalho quickly started a trend that took social media by storm.

Carvalho Instragrammed a picture of her entire family posing with half-eaten bananas, along with the hashtag #somostodosmacacos:

Alves’ injured Barca teammate Neymar joined the movement soon thereafter, adding the English translation of the hashtag - #weareallmonkeys - for his millions of followers. He wouldn’t be the last.

Soon enough, Alves and Neymar’s fellow professional footballers all over Europe joined the fray with pictures of them eating bananas, including Luis Suarez, Hulk, Marta and Sergio Aguero:


Not only did people around the world take a stand against racism with him, but Villarreal has also acted swiftly against the fan who threw the banana.

12
Apr

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably watched Lionel Messi and Dani Alves playing keepy-uppy before Barcelona’s Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc de Princes by now.

Proving that they also possess world class abilities - after all, Ajax did play in the Champions League this season - starlets Christian Eriksen and Siem de Jong showed off their keepy-uppy skills during a club training session midweek. Even more impressive, forward Kolbeinn Sigþórsson got into the mix and added a “special ingredient” to the long range session.

Talk about some serious skills, let’s hope that this trend continues unlike others, errr, Gangnam Style, errr, the Harlem Shake.

2
Apr

PSG and Barcelona fought out a 2-2 draw in their first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, with the Parisians leveling it up on the very last shot of the game — quite dramatic of them.

Earlier, however, we saw the goal of the day courtesy of Lionel Messi and an absolute beauty of a pass by Dani Alves. Check out Alves’ ridiculous outside-of-the-boot pass and Messi’s sweet strike to finish it off.

Unfortunately for Messi and Barcelona, the greatest in the world went on to miss the second half due to a hamstring injury — ouch. Read more on that right here.