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?

18
Aug

Andre Ayew forced out of match after bleeding through two kits

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Olympique Marseille lost 2-0 to Montpellier in their season home opener at the beautifully renovated Stade Velodrome. To add insult to injury, striker Andre Ayew was forced off in the strangest of circumstances early in the second half.

The Ghana star had suffered a head wound during the first half that caused him to bleed all over his crisp, white jersey - a big no-no in all of professional sports. Luckily, kit managers always plan for unforeseen events such as this, and Ayew promptly received a spare shirt to finish out the half.

Alas, the wound reopened in the second half, and once again the referee required Ayew to change his kit. However, with no third No. 10 shirt available (you have to finish the match with the same number as you started), Ayew found himself in an unsolvable quandary. The kitman hopelessly tried to turn a No.33 kit into a No.10, but the referee was not impressed, and so new Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa angrily had to take off one of his key attacking players for the final 38+ minutes with his side chasing a deficit. Bloody hell!

H/T Yahoo!Sports

Photo: Getty

18
Aug

The worst corner kick of all time?

Quickly-taken short corners are a nice change-up to the usual set-piece routine, but it helps when you actually strike the ball.

Nantes midfielder Serge Gakpé failed to do just that this weekend, instead taking out the corner flag and drawing raucous laughter from the crowd. Surely this must be one of the worst corners you’re ever likely to see:

To be fair, that darn corner flag really does get in the way sometimes. Anyone remember this gem from Armenia’s Aras Ozbiliz last year?

Vine: @necroute

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)

29
Jun

Ajaccio fan puts up house and family for auction to keep Ochoa

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We’ve seen soccer fans do some crazy things for the clubs and players they love, but this supporter has shown some extraordinary commitment.

Desperate to raise the funds necessary to keep Mexico’s heroic keeper Guillermo Ochoa, one Ajaccio fan has gone above and beyond the call of duty by putting his house and its entire contents (including wife and children) up for sale on a French auction website.

With Ochoa regarded as one of the success stories of this World Cup following his outstanding display in the group stage against Brazil, you can imagine a list of suitors lining up to take him from the Corsican club.

One thing we can’t be sure of is how this fan’s family will react to this ridiculous stunt!

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(HT WAATP via Football France)

12
May

Zlatan’s acceptance speech has teammates dying from laughter

imageImage: AP

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has dominated the French first division ever since his transfer to PSG two years ago but French, the language? Not so much.

After picking up his second straight Ligue 1 Player of the Year trophy on Sunday, as well as the ‘Top Scorer’ and ‘Best Goal’ awards (a hat-trick for Zlatan, as per usual), PSG’s Swedish superstar wanted to give his acceptance speech in the native tongue.

But while Zlatan is fluent in five languages, French isn’t yet one of them, and teammates Salvatore Sirigu and Marco Verratti couldn’t help but crack up in the audience:

29
Mar

This might be the strangest pitch invader yet

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes Betty Boop.

During Marseille’s 1-1 draw with Sochaux, a fan interrupted Mathieu Valbuena while he set up to take a corner kick.

Why would someone would bring this doll into a soccer stadium? You know what, don’t answer that. We probably don’t want to know.

H/T 101GG

27
Mar

Rejoice, world! The Zlatan stamps are now on sale

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As we first told you in November, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been immortalized by the Swedish Postal Service (Posten) with his own line of stamps. And on Thursday, after an excruciating four-month wait, the stamps finally went on sale, obviously to roaring success.

Football fans all over the continent have been flocking to their local post offices for the first time in probably a decade. Posten’s Head of Stamps Britt-Inger Hahne told TT news agency that five million stamps have already been sold in advance.

“The French are particularly interested,” Hahne said. “One customer ordered 1,500 packages for his French friends.” (Okay, we’re not sure if that means 1,500 Facebook “friends” or actual friends, but regardless, that’s a lot of stamps!)

Zlatan himself has been overjoyed at the thought of seeing his big schnoz on the bills he will receive. In November, he said:

It’s a great honour to be on a postage stamp and I’m very happy and proud to have been chosen. I usually receive bills and they seldom have nice stamps. Maybe that will change now.”

As you can see, the Zlatan stamps all feature images of him in action with the Swedish national team, and two of them capture the iconic bicycle kick he scored against England, which won the FIFA Puskas Award in January for Goal of the Year.

Image: Getty

6
Mar

Zlatan praises Matuidi wonder goal

Blaise Matuidi scored a ridiculous goal for France in their friendly against the Netherlands yesterday. The entire soccer world took notice, and for good reason.

The best way to describe it is a no-look spinning scissor kick, but it’s better if you just watch it:

The stunning strike even caught the attention of PSG teammate and soccer god Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Only Zlatan can get away with talking in third person while complimenting another player. Because Zlatan does what Zlatan wants.

21
Feb

Monaco defender gets ultimate revenge

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When Layvin Kurzawa took a thunderous cleat to the chest in the 83rd minute of Monaco’s Ligue 1 match against Reims, it looked like he might not be able to continue.

But after a minute of agony — and watching offending Reims player Aissa Mandi being sent off — Kurzawa soldiered on, and boy, did it pay off.

On what would be the final kick of the match, the 21-year-old scored the game-winner, securing a crucial three points in the race for the Ligue 1 title.

The lesson here: Don’t mess with Layvin Kurzawa.

Image courtesy of Getty