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.
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.
We’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:
That was funny. But have you seen this latest one?
It’s okay, Leo. You’ll never sit alone.
Image via Twitter/@rickybuscaglia
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:
If you think we missed some, you can look over the full list of votes here.
Photo provided by Action Images.
Very proud to win the Ballon d’Or for the second time, it means so much to me. I thank my teammates. pic.twitter.com/INcV1VjgDx— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano)
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona)
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.
Image via Twitter/@IndyStarSport
Say what you will about Ronaldinho, but he’s far from washed up.
The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain standout turned back the clock on Wednesday, scoring a ridiculous take free-kick golazo during Atletico Mineiro’s Club World Cup semifinal match against Raja Casablanca.
Unfortunately for Atletico Mineiro, Raja Casablanca would go on to defeat Ronaldinho’s squad 3-1 in high-end offensive thriller at Stade de Marrakech in Morocco. As you can imagine, the jam-packed stadium celebrated with joy after their home side’s stunning victory over the defending Copa Libertadores champions.
Even Raja Casablanca players seized the opportunity to grab a piece of history and snatched off equipment from the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year. Not settling for just his jersey, Casablanca players asked for (and received) the Brazilian legend’s boots!
Raja players looked like kids swarming when a piñata finally bursts open. Take a look:
And kudos go to Ronaldinho, who was under no obligation to be such a good sport. We doubt there are many players who would be so gracious in the wake of a tough loss. “Tis the season of giving after all.
Raja Casablanca players fighting each other after the game for Ronaldinho’s boots & shirt. pic.twitter.com/YMfpW8l0ox— Football Funnys (@FootballFunnys)
FEMEN staged one of their infamous interventions on a German soccer talk show on Wednesday, with two young ladies rushing the stage to protest the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.
The hosts seemed more bemused by the protest than anything, and by FEMEN’s standards, this was positively tame.
The video is SFW — if your workplace also allows you to watch things like The Jerry Springer Show.
Miroslav Stoch won last year’s Puskas Award (Image: Getty)
On the same day FIFA released the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or (shocker, it’s Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery), the final three candidates for the esteemed Puskas Award were also announced. Annually given to the player who scored the year’s best goal, the original group of ten candidates has been narrowed down to golazos by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Neymar and Nemanja Matic.
Whereas the Ballon d’Or is voted on by a select group of journalists as well as national team managers and captains, the Puskas Award is determined entirely by you, the fans. Another public vote on the day of the Ballon d’Or awards, January 13th, will decide the winner. You can find instructions on how to vote on FIFA’s website.
Here are the finalists: