25
Sep

Lionel Messi opts for pizza, Pique a fan of Nutella sandwiches after games

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(Image illustration: FOXSports.com)

It could be suggested that our obsession with soccer players borders on the absurd. For instance, take the quasi-firestorm that was drummed up after a reporter from Spanish newspaper Libertad Digital leaked a photo of Barcelona’s post-game meal selections.

Seems a bit bizarre to snap a photo of what players eat after a game, but look! Look at what these guys chow down on!

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(Image: Libertad Digital)

Lionel Messi has his eyes on a pizza (which is the biggest hit), although La Pulga opts for plain cheese. A few players (like Mr. Shakira, Gerard Pique) selected Nutella, a chocolate and hazelnut spread, to make a tasty sandwich.

Perhaps the most surprising reveal? Take a guess at who has the biggest appetite. If you guessed Luis Suarez, you’re wrong.

None other than diminutive midfield maestro Andres Iniesta, with an order of a ham and cheese pizza alongside a chorizo sausage and cheese sandwich, seems to have the biggest stomach.

Perhaps it seems like a lot, but consider how much running around these guys do, they can eat whatever they want.

Now, who said a picture of a menu would be boring?

(h/t Daily Mail)

19
May

Shakira makes Gerard Pique forget of Barcelona’s shortcomings

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How do you get over losing the La Liga title on the final day, in your own stadium no less?
  • Step 1: Fly to Vegas
  • Step 2: Visit your lover, who happens to be Shakira, at the Billboard Music Awards
  • Step 3: Receive a giant smooch from Shakira and all the sadness mysteriously disappears
Man, it must be nice to be Gerard Pique.

Image courtesy of Getty
25
Apr

Golazo! Nike strikes gold with “Winner Stays” commercial

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of actually being one of our sports idols? We’re not sure where the practice of saying an icon’s name when playing pick-up came about, but we’ve all done it.

Nike Football found a way to cash in on this schoolyard quirk, and the result is gold. Watch “Winner Stays” for yourself to see and review our favorite highlights from Nike’s ‘Risk Everything’ football campaign:

  • The kid calling out “Neymar” for pulling a totally non-Neymar move and shying away from a one-on-one
  • Double the “David Luiz”
  • A possible World Cup preview with “Pique” tackling “Neymar,” his Barcelona teammate!
  • "Zlatan" insisting "Zlatan" take a free-kick
  • Cameos from Kobe Bryant, Anderson Silva, and Jon “Bones” Jones
  • "Iniesto!"
  • And of course, Ronaldo having the support of the one fan who matters most:

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Irina Shayk! It’s good to be Ronaldo.

Image provided by Nike Soccer/Nike Football

12
Mar

Gerard Pique to Shakira: No more music videos with men

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Ever wonder why Shakira and Rihanna teamed up to make that sultry “Can’t Remember to Forget You” video? Guess what: it was all Gerard Pique’s fault.

According to an interview with Billboard Magazine, the Voice coach isn’t allowed to perform in music videos with other men anymore, per request by her baby daddy Pique.

"He’s very territorial," Shakira told Billboard. "Since he no longer lets me do videos with men, well, I have to do them with women."

Shakira went on to say, “It’s more than implied in our relationship that I can’t do videos like I used to. It’s out of the question, which I like, by the way. I like that he protects his turf and he values me, in a way that the only person that he would ever let graze my thigh would be Rihanna.”

And as you can see below, Rihanna does indeed, uh, graze her thigh.

It’s pretty clear Shakira has her fair share of admirers, all of which will be disappointed to hear the news that’s she’s being so closely protected by her man:

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Be careful, kid. Pique probably won’t like that.

H/T to Billboard

9
Oct

Special Inside Look: Spain’s Ciudad del Futbol

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Image provided by Dermot Corrigan / FOX Soccer

MADRID, SPAIN

Wednesday evening in Madrid — and hundreds of kids are training at the Spanish football federation’s Ciudad del Futbol campus. Their sessions over, they grab a quick drink of water, then quickly gather in the small stand beside the suburban facility’s biggest pitch, to watch national coach Vicente del Bosque run his World Cup holders through their paces ahead of their crucial upcoming qualifiers for the 2014 finals.

The young spectators cheered and squealed as their heroes completed a light warm-up, then a series of ‘rondos’ — piggy-in-the-middle-style exercises where good technique is key and a sense of humor helps. Being a public session, no tactical secrets were displayed, but Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta had recovered from minor knocks to take part. Spain looks ready for the clashes with Belarus in Mallorca on Friday, and then Georgia in Albacete next Tuesday, when four points will seal qualification for Brazil next summer.

 If, as expected, Spain win on Friday, del Bosque may use the Georgia game for experimentation and give Swansea city attacker Michu a first cap. The Swansea attacker told reporters at the Cuidad de Futbol on Wednesday morning that he’d been a little awestruck at first when training alongside so many world champions — but was now ready to stake his claim for a regular squad spot.

Image provided by Getty

“When you step out on the grass, with the [World Cup winner] star on your chest, the sensation is indescribable,” Michu said. “I was a little nervous to be playing with the best players in the world, but you settle down quickly. I am here to make the most of the opportunity — and to help Spain qualify for the World Cup.”

The gap between Michu’s press conference and training left time to visit the impressive campus’ excellent museum — which shows visitors just what soccer means in Spain. The exhibits begin with a search for the sport’s origins in ancient China, Egypt, Greece, Mexico and Scotland, then fast forward to the early 20th century as young king Alfonso XIII oversees its introduction here.

Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas and Fernando Torres — dressed in period gear — guide you through a time tunnel to a 1930s pre-Civil War dressing room. Among the other life-sized dioramas is a 1950s film-set from when General Franco’s regime “persuaded” Real Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano and Barcelona’s Ladislao Kubala to star in feature length propaganda pictures.

Big sections cover the 1964 European Championships, which Spain won; and the 1982 World Cup, which Spain hosted but flopped at. The tour ends on a high — with the Henri Delaunay [European Championship] and Jules Rimet [World Cup] trophies on display, alongside jerseys and footballs from their victories in the last three major international tournaments. There’s also the actual 2010 final locker-room flipchart, with del Bosque’s detailed handwritten instructions for defending Holland’s set pieces.

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Image provided by Dermot Corrigan / FOX Soccer

Once qualification is assured for next year’s tournament, del Bosque can ponder how to best retain the trophy. Selection decisions must be made on players including Michu, Casillas, Torres, David Villa, Carles Puyol, Juan Mata, Koke, Isco and – most controversially – Brazilian-born Diego Costa.

But all that can wait for now. Wednesday’s session ended with a friendly mini-game, before the sun set behind the nearby Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, and the players, children and journalists headed home for their suppers.

Another day at one of world soccer’s most important nerve centers — with Brazil 2014 on the horizon.

27
Aug

The Land of FC Barcelona

Who wouldn’t want to go hang out on an island with Lionel Messi, Neymar, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol? Well, except for Real Madrid fans.

This fantastical world only exists in the dreams of Barcelona fans, but that’s exactly what Barca and Qatar Airways created in their latest advertisement: The Land of FC Barcelona. It seems like a pretty wonderful place to go take a vacation, especially with Pique as the customs officer, Neymar making sure you don’t lose your luggage, Messi giving lessons in the performing arts and Iniesta creating beautiful wall paintings with a soccer ball. Also, who could turn down tickets to a showing of Das Golden Boot? Not us!

Better start saving up that vacation time now just in case this dreamland ever becomes a reality.

1
Jul

Shakira sighting at Confed Cup thanks to Pique red card

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Stating the obvious, absolutely nothing went right for Spain in their 3-0 loss to hosts Brazil in the Confederation Cup final. Spain not only gave up three unanswered, but also missed a penalty kick and received a red card.

The silver lining? Shakira got some face time as her significant other Gerard Pique was walking off the pitch for his rough foul on Neymar. Clearly, the pop star, who shares a child with the Barcelona star, wasn’t very happy.

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Here’s what former England international Gary Lineker had to say about it: