21
Aug

French soccer broadcasters go where no cameramen have gone before

The secret is out!

French television network Canal+ has unveiled the truth behind their live broadcasts of professional soccer.

Take a look at the lengths the cameramen will go to get that perfect camera angle on the game-winning goal.

The clever video is part of Canal+’s promotional push advertising their coverage of Ligue 1, Champions League and the Premier League with the tagline: “We will always do more for the sport.”

Does this mean should start expecting cameramen lineups at the beginning of each game?

9
Aug

Bastia open up their Ligue 1 season with a long-range golazo

Christopher Maboulou made quite the splash in his debut for Bastia in France’s top flight of football. Say hello to the club’s new midfielder: 

A long-range looping strike isn’t a bad way to make a first impression at your club.

Another angle shows just how off-guard the goalkeeper was. But then again, who expects anyone to shoot from there? Take a bow, Christopher.

UPDATE: Maboulou also ended up scoring the game-tying goal to salvage a point for Bastia. Not a bad day’s work.

(Vine: SB Nation, GIF: Reddit Soccer)

5
Jul

What’s in a name? Brazilian boy named after multiple French legends

Being named after one of your parent’s heroes is hardly a new phenomenon.

World Cup hero James Rodriguez was famously named after fictional secret agent “James Bond,” while soccer legend Edson Arantes do Nascimento (Pele) was named after American inventor Thomas Edison. So, it’s a normal practice, we’re sure you will agree.

However, being named after five — yes, FIVE — separate legends?That seems a bit much.

It is, however, every day life for seven-year-old Brazilian youngster Zidane. Or, to give him his full name: Zinedine Yazid Zidane Thierry Henry Barthez Eric Felipe Silva Santos.

Phew!

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The boy’s father, Petrucio Santos, is to blame for the 10-word-strong name. With Zidane born so soon after France’s victory over Brazil at the 2006 World Cup, Petrucio showed his appreciation and love of the country the way he felt best.

Petrucio, a shopkeeper from Maceio, told G1:

"I was won over by the friendliness of French people. I decided to learn the language to be able to speak it without sounding ridiculous if I visit again!"

Spare a thought for little Zidane though, who doesn’t even know most of his own name. "I don’t know [the rest of my names] yet. I never learned them," said the confused young boy.

As well as Zidane, Henry and Barthez, Petrucio included tributes to Eric Cantona and Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari — Silva Santos being the family name.

When asked which player he’d prefer to be named after, it wasn’t Neymar, David Luiz or Thiago Silva on the young lad’s lips.

"I would have loved to be named Luiz Gustavo," little Zinedine Yazid Zidane Thierr … ahh, we give up.

(HT: G1 Globo)

5
Jul

World Cup Diary: Nation’s hope, apprehension continues for another day

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RIO DE JANEIRO —

The scene at the Delirio Carioca Bar, tucked away on a side road behind the Copacabana Beach, was replicated all over Rio de Janeiro. Friends and neighbors gathered round televisions on street corners or in what they call “pe sumo bars” — it literally means dirty foot bar in a nod to being homely and unpretentious — out in the open air as they summoned all the goodwill they could muster in the name of the Selecao. It wasn’t a cross-section of life. It was all life; From babies to grandparents and everyone in between, decked out in yellow and green and drenched with a heady combination of hope and apprehension.

Buses by the side of the road were parked up, bumper to bumper, stalled for the duration of the game as drivers got out to join in this vital communal moment. There was nobody to take anywhere anyway. Everyone stopped. Friday in Rio was an official World Cup day. A national holiday is declared either when Brazil play a home game, or when there is a World Cup match on at the Maracana. So this was a double reason for the city to give itself in completely to this tournament.

Read More

20
Jun

World Cup Day 9: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Well, it’s official: the United States are still very much alive at the World Cup while England and Spain have already crashed and burned after just nine days of competition.

Meanwhile, CONCACAF is 4-1-2 through the first half of the group stage, and Costa Rica is one of the first four teams to advance to the Round of 16. Just like we all predicted.

Yup, it’s certainly been a strange — and impossibly fun — tournament. Check out the best tweets of the day in our latest installment of “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:”

THE GOOD

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Heading into the World Cup, most folks felt that the UEFA representatives would struggle in Brazil while picking South American teams to thrive in the tropical conditions. That’s certainly been true to an extent, but it seems we all overlooked the real story: CONCACAF.

Not anymore. Now that Costa Rica has shocked the world (twice), this World Cup could become CONCACAF’s finest hour. With Mexico and the United States enjoying favorable odds of joining Los Ticos in the Round of 16, we could see three nations from CONCACAF advance past the group stage for the first time in history:

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27
May

Adidas stages public demolition of France’s 2010 World Cup bus

imageLes Bleus are trying everything to be less of a wreck this summer (Getty Images)

France’s last World Cup campaign will forever live on in infamy.

Aside from losing all three of their group games in South Africa, the team notoriously walked out on manager Raymond Domenech and boycotted practice following the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka and a training-ground dust-up between Patrice Evra and an assistant coach. The players’ revolt shamed an entire nation, spelled the end of Domenech’s reign, and curtailed the international careers of several members of the squad.

Monday, in an effort to eradicate the ghosts of Knysna - the site of France’s forsaken South Africa camp - adidas came up with a clever ploy: demolish a replica of the very bus the players so infamously boarded in protest four years ago.

Check it out:

Brilliant!

All that was missing was Anelka, Evra and maybe a few others from the disgraced squad occupying the bus, but we shall see in a few weeks’ time whether or not this will bring France better fortune in Brazil.