10
Apr

Colombian kid bursts into tears upon meeting idol Radamel Falcao

Warning, you might want to get your Kleenex handy before watching. This video will surely make your heart melt.

Adding reason No. 1,234 why we love Radamel Falcao to the list.

Falcao, who tore his anterior crucial ligament back in January, is currently in Madrid rehabbing his left knee and remains hopeful of returning for Colombia before this summer’s World Cup. Yet, Falcao’s hectic schedule didn’t stop him from helping make a young fan’s dream come true.

Thanks to the Revel Foundation, Michael Steven, a 13-year-old aspiring footballer from Bogota, Colombia, met with the Colombian superstar in an emotional meeting that made the Monaco ace himself come to tears.

Michael, who admits to having over 130 photos and newspaper clippings of Falcao in his bedroom wall, cried uncontrollably upon setting eyes on “El Tigre” and refused to let go of his soccer idol with his mighty grip. Emotions run deep later in the clip when Michael touches Falcao’s knees (2:32), wishing for the striker’s speedy recovery to help Colombia’s World Cup hopes.

Pause. Reach. Grab. Tissue.

H/T: fundacionrevel.net

16
Jan

Neymar leaves Barcelona match with ankle injury

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When Neymar went down in the 23rd minute in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey match against Getafe, Culés held their breath and feared the worst.

The rising Barca star was down for several minutes being tended to by the club physios after awkwardly rolling his ankle. He needed assistance off the pitch, clearly unable to put much weight on his right ankle.

Barcelona confirmed the initial reports that Neymar sprained a tendon in his ankle, but more tests will be conducted on Friday. Hopefully it’s nothing worse, and the injury won’t keep him sidelined for too long. Until then, Barca fans and Brazilians will continue to hold their collective breath:

31
Dec

Sandro sends terrifying warning to Charlie Adam

This tackle by Stoke’s Charlie Adam has Tottenham midfielder Paulinho sidelined for up to a month. It’s not the first time Adam has seemingly gone after Spurs players, including a couple of incidents involving Gareth Bale.

Adam took to Twitter to clear the air:

Paulinho’s fellow Brazilian teammate, Sandro, had a message for Adam as well, using his own Twitter and Instagram accounts to send a menacing warning:

imageCharlie Adams - THE BEAST IS WATCHING YOU!!! - @sandroraniere

Adam may be a little more cautious next time he takes on Tottenham.

9
Nov

Javier Zanetti gets hero’s reception in Inter’s comeback win vs. Livorno

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Last April, we feared it was the end for Javier Zanetti. The Inter and Argentine legend ruptured his Achilles tendon in a late-season match at Palermo, and at age 39, many thought his career had come to a tragic close.

Boy, were they wrong.

Six months after vowing he would return, Zanetti made his long-awaited season debut in front of Inter’s home fans. Coming on in the 82nd minute with Inter leading Livorno 1-0, Zanetti received a standing ovation from the San Siro crowd. It would be “Pupi’s” 604th Serie A appearance (second most all-time behind Paolo Maldini), all for Inter.

And here’s some real fan footage, minus the cheesy background music:

The now 40-year-old Zanetti had the fans back on their feet just minutes later, when he started the move that led to Yuto Nagatomo’s stoppage-time clincher. This time, everyone went nuts:

Image provide by Getty.

3
Nov

Lloris incident proof that BPL needs to rethink protocol on head injuries

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Hugo Lloris should never have stayed in the game.

The Tottenham goalkeeper was momentarily knocked out cold after his head violently collided with Romelu Lukaku’s knee, but incredibly returned to see out the match in favor of substitute Brad Friedel.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas defended his decision to keep Lloris on the field to Sky Sports after the match:

The medical department was giving me signs that the player couldn’t carry on, because he couldn’t remember where he was. But he was quite focused and determined to continue, so when you see this kind of assertiveness it means he is able to carry on, and that is why it was my call to delay the substitution… The call always belongs to me. Brad [Friedel] was ready to come in but the person Hugo is, there were enough signs for him to continue.

That is simply the wrong answer. Concussions cannot be taken this lightly.

All efforts by Lloris to stay on the field should have been thwarted by the Spurs’ medical staff, his manager, his teammates, the referee, anyone. The fact he was allowed to play on is not only an indictment on Villas-Boas for failing to protect his player, but also proof that the Premier League needs to rethink its policy on head injuries.

Currently, the BPL’s policy is as follows:

Any Player, whether engaged in a League Match, any other match or in training, who having sustained a head injury leaves the field of play, shall not be allowed to resume playing or training (as the case may be) until he has been examined by a medical practitioner and declared fit to do so.”

Sunday’s incident proves that this policy is utterly worthless. As Villas-Boas said, the medical team did not want Lloris to continue. It was his call.

How can the Premier League allow this to happen? A new policy, and indeed a league-wide education on head injuries and its serious short- and long-term effects, needs to be put in place.

Perhaps they should take a page out of Major League Soccer’s book. Per MLS rules, any player who suffers a head injury such as Lloris’ would immediately be substituted. He would then have to be deemed symptom-free and cleared by a neuropsychologist before resuming any type of activity.

Former MLS star Taylor Twellman, who suffers from post-concussion syndrome, was one of the first to call for change via Twitter:

Twellman is right. Players will always try to play through injuries, whatever the type - it’s how they are wired. In cases of head injuries, it’s the job of the managers and the doctors to prevent them from doing so. And it’s the league’s job to make that a requirement.
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Images by Reuters

3
Oct

Pepe gets head stapled, returns to match after ugly collision

Crimson mask!

During Real Madrid’s Champions League match against Copenhagen on Wednesday, bruising defender Pepe, for once, found himself on the short end of an aerial collision. Suffering a huge gash over his right eye, Pepe was writhing in pain for several minutes before trainers came on to staple him back together.

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You tend to have a little less sympathy when something like this happens to a guy who is notorious for dishing out horror tackles and general roughhousing. Still, you must commend Pepe for his toughness on this occasion.

Pepe later took to Twitter to thank his doctors and tell his fans he’s doing well:

28
Sep

Iranian player’s leg snaps in half (GRAPHIC)

This intense video is making the rounds in cyberspace. Before hitting play, make sure that you or those around are sitting down. You’ve been warned:

Al Ahli’s 34-year-old Iranian star Ferydoon Zandi may or may not have just seen his soccer career come to a crushing end, literally. According to reports, Zandi was contemplating a return to Iran’s national team in an effort to participate in next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Legs are definitely not supposed to bend that way. Brutal. Just brutal. We’re just glad whoever uploaded this video spared us the slow-mo replays.

Everyone at FOX Soccer wishes Zandi a safe and speedy recovery.

H/T 101GG

19
Sep

Dortmund keeper chips teeth after colliding with goalpost

Borussia Dortmund’s back-up goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak got his first taste of the Champions League on Wednesday, and he promptly earned some battle scars, chipping his two front teeth after a nasty collision with the goalpost.

Langerak was called into action against Napoli after Roman Weidenfeller was sent off just before halftime, and later in the match found out just how touch Champions League life can be. Langerak went full stretch to try and stop Lorenzo Insigne’s glorious free kick golazo in the second half, but received a mouthful of aluminum instead.

Despite losing the match and a fragment of his pearly whites, Langerak was still upbeat, proudly showing off his new smile on Instagram:

Ouch!

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1
Sep

Jozy Altidore’s absence creates cause for concern for US, Klinsmann

By Kyle McCarthy

The absence of Jozy Altidore from Sunderland’s 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday creates some cause for concern for United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann ahead of the upcoming qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.

Sunderland announced Altidore missed the defeat at Selhurst Park with a hamstring injury on its official Twitter feed. The extent of the injury remains uncertain:

He is expected to link up with his American teammates in Miami and receive further evaluation by the U.S. medical staff, a U.S. Soccer spokesperson confirmed on Saturday.

Altidore’s importance to the side in recent months makes the diagnosis particularly influential. The former AZ striker has scored in each of his past five appearances, including a hat trick in the 4-3 victory at Bosnia-Herzegovina on Aug. 14. His recent form (he leads all scorers in the Hexagonal with three goals) and his status within the ranks leaves Klinsmann with a quandary if he is, for some reason, unable to feature.

Landon Donovan’s return to the ranks creates additional depth and flexibility in the attacking third, but Altidore plays a particularly vital role given his willingness to lead the line. Most of the players at Klinsmann’s disposal – including Donovan and captain Clint Dempsey – prefer to drift into dangerous areas from a variety of angles and operate in the space underneath a center forward. Altidore instead provides the touchstone required to allow other players to thrive. And there is no player in the current squad capable of replicating those exact contributions.

If Altidore cannot feature against Costa Rica or Klinsmann opts to hold him out to provide him with more recovery time (or sidestep a potential second booking), then the Americans must figure how to adapt without him.

There isn’t a simple answer to the quandary. Eddie Johnson probably presents the most natural swap – he isn’t a prototypical target player, but he does stave off defenders and surge behind the line – on a night when the Americans might have to soak up some pressure. Dempsey supplies the primary alternative given his dexterity and the potential opening created for Donovan, but a tethered position up front reduces his ability to influence the game in other ways. And Klinsmann – as evidenced by his willingness to deploy Johnson on the left side of midfield and use DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Evans at fullback – possesses the imagination to explore other options as well.

Klinsmann will certainly hope he does not have to pursue any of them. Altidore remains the firm first choice up front. But he will have to wait and see whether Altidore’s health will dispel any uncertainty in the coming days and permit him to take his usual place up front in San Jose on Friday night.

Images: Getty Images