8
Apr

Pitbull, J-Lo unleash official Brazil World Cup anthem

imageGetty Images

Well, it’s finally here. The official 2014 World Cup song, recorded by none other than Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez. We have to admit we weren’t expecting “We Are One (Ole Ola)” to be quite so catchy. 

Then again, isn’t that the point of these songs? To make them so catchy that by the end of the group stage you’re ready to be committed to an insane asylum?

Although it might break the record for number of times the word “world” is used in a song, ‘Mr. Worldwide’ and J-Lo’s jam isn’t half bad. Time to brush up on your whistling!

Side note: We give a slight edge to Shakira’s unofficial anthem. Which do you prefer?

6
Apr

Barcelona fans unfurl FIFA-defying tifo

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See that, Sepp Blatter? You don’t mess with Barcelona!

In response to FIFA handing the Catalan heavyweights a one-year transfer ban for violating international transfer rules regarding minors, the fans at the Camp Nou unfurled a giant, defiant tifo ahead of their match against Real Betis. It read: “La Masia No Es Toca,” or “La Masia is not to be touched.”

La Masia, of course, is Barcelona’s fabled youth academy that has been dragged in the mud a little bit as a result of the ban. Though FIFA will not bat an eyelash to this display, one thing it really can’t touch is the academy’s greatest ever product - Lionel Messi - who scored twice in a 3-1 win.

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Images: Reuters

3
Apr

Pepsi releases melodious, star-studded World Cup commercial

Pepsi released its World Cup commercial for this summer and, unsurprisingly, plenty of stars make an appearance.

The ad follows around a Pepsi-wielding Brazilian teen, who creates a beat while causing mischief around town. Along the way, he runs into Lionel Messi, Kun Aguero, David Luiz, Jack Wilshere, Sergio Ramos and a really gray Robin van Persie, each of whom he would apparently much rather annoy than ask for an autograph or share a Pepsi with.

Seriously, how much of a jerk is this kid? Who goes around yanking on people’s newspapers, kicking people’s soccer balls down massive hills, and reaching over a bus driver’s shoulder to honk the horn? Where are your manners?!

Okay, so the beat is admittedly very catchy, and Janelle Monae does kill it with her cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” But we still prefer the way Pepsi used to do World Cup advertisements.

In 2002 and 2006, for instance, the sugarwater manufacturers had a selection of World Cup All-stars battle a team of Sumo wrestlers and Bavarian polka band, respectively. The prize being? Pepsi, of course:

26
Feb

Adidas pulls World Cup shirts with sexual innuendos

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Adidas has agreed to stop selling controversial World Cup shirts that promote “sexual tourism” after a formal complaint from the Brazilian tourism board on Tuesday.

The shirts in questions picture a bikini-clad woman with the tag line “Looking to Score,” while another reads “I (heart) Brazil” with an image of a thong bikini inside the heart. Both were limited edition T-shirts only available in the United States, according to Adidas.

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While these shirts may have gotten the ‘Sepp Blatter Seal of Approval,’ they didn’t sit well with the hosts.  Ahead of the World Cup, the Brazilian government has campaigned strongly against the country’s reputation as a destination for sex tourism.

For more on this story, go here.

16
Jan

The infamous Ronaldo/Messi photoshop continues to evolve

imageWe’ve all seen it, right?

Shortly after the Ballon d’Or announcement, the following Photoshopped image spread like wildfire, picturing Ronaldo with both his and Lionel Messi’s girlfriend next to him, while his defeated rival abjectly stares into space:

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That was funny. But have you seen this latest one?

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It’s okay, Leo. You’ll never sit alone.

Image via Twitter/

13
Jan

The oddest ballots cast for 2013 Ballon d’Or

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Arguably more exciting than the actual announcement of the FIFA Ballon d’Or winner is the immediate release of the full voting results. Because every year, some of the ballots cast by the national team coaches, captains, and media members are downright laughable, like they don’t even know their votes are made public.

This year turned out to be one of the closest races ever. Cristiano Ronaldo (1,365 points) edged out Lionel Messi (1,205) and Franck Ribery (1,127), as all three were separated by less than 250 points, the equivalent of 50 first-place votes. The voting could have been even closer, too, were it not for some ridiculous ballots among the 541 voters.

Without further ado, here are the most bizarre findings:

  • Of course, the finalists who had a vote chose not to pick their rivals. Ronaldo’s votes: Radamel Falcao, Gareth Bale, Mesut Ozil.
  • Messi’s votes: Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Neymar. Hmmm, wonder why?
  • Georgia captain Jaba Kankava has not heard of Messi, Ronaldo or Ribery. His top three were: Iniesta, Andrea Pirlo, Edinson Cavani.
  • Ethiopia captain Degu Debebe Gebreyes’ choices: Xavi, Pirlo, Thomas Muller. Also interesting.
  • Yaya Toure received three nods for Player of the Year, from Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Mauritania captain Dominique Da Silva.
  • Bhutan has a lot of love for the Germans. Team captain Passang voted Mesut Ozil for Player of the Year, while coach Dorji Khandu voted for Thomas Muller.
  • Where’s the D? China coach Fu Bo and Madagascar captain Tahina Randrianarisoa voted for Thiago Silva. Mozambique captain Ivan Dario and Israel coach Eli Gutman for Philipp Lahm.
  • No bias at all: Italy’s Gigi Buffon and Claudio Prandelli both voted for Andrea Pirlo. San Marino captain Andy Selva did, too.
  • Must be the money! New Zealand coach Ricky Herbert picked Gareth Bale as his Ballon d’Or winner.
  • Media member Geniy Tulegenov of Kazakhstan liked two Bayern teammates ahead of Ribery, who he voted third: Arjen Robben (1st) and Thomas Muller (2nd).

If you think we missed some, you can look over the full list of votes here.

Photo provided by Action Images.

13
Jan

Congratulations, Cristiano Ronaldo!

3
Jan

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