28
Aug

Legia Warsaw fans fire back at UEFA with amazing tifo over Champions League ruling

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After having its UEFA Champions League qualification tossed out on a pretty bogus technicality, Legia Warsaw were steaming mad.

To recap, Legia Warsaw blasted Celtic in their Champions League playoff to the tune of a 6-1 aggregate win, but the Polish side were deemed to have fielded an ineligible player late in their second-leg win. As a result, Celtic were reinstated, and Legia Warsaw were dropped to the Europa League.

To make matters worse, Celtic did absolutely nothing with the extra chance they were given at Champions League glory, losing to Slovenian side Maribor in their playoff earlier this week.

So, yeah, Legia Warsaw’s fans were none too pleased with UEFA. Luckily, they channeled their frustration into creativity and put together an amazing tifo. Ahead of Legia Warsaw’s Europa League playoff match against Aktobe, they busted out this:

The tifo meet all the requirements needed to send a message to UEFA: A gigantic, greedy pig holding a “6<1” sign with a caption of “Because football doesn’t matter, money does” with the backdrop of the UEFA logo?

Message received.

(h/t 101GG)

13
Jul

David Luiz receives heartwarming letter from little girl after Brazil’s loss to Germany

Following Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 defeat to Germany at Belo Horizonte last Wednesday, it would have been easy to lambaste the players for their dreadful effort and performance.

However, one little girl showed maturity beyond her years by sending a letter of support to captain on the night David Luiz:

Translation, via ESPNFC:

“Hi David Luiz, My name is Analuz. I saw all of the Brazil games in the World Cup and I liked it a lot watching you play. I think that you don’t need to be sad because you played well and did the best you could. You were a great captain. Life is like this, sometimes people lose and sometimes people win but people only need to be happy.

David Luiz, you are my champion.

Analuz Penna Reale”

David Luiz had a response for the girl:

“Many thanks Princess Ana Luz, loved your letter! And I thank all Brazilians for all the support! I’ll never give up my dreams, and I will always strive to give back all that love I receive!

God bless you all!”

The Brazilian players are unlikely to get over their embarrassing defeat for a while, but forgiveness will help.

(H/T: NESN)

Image provided by Reuters.

8
Jul

Argentine-born Dutch Queen faces rough World Cup semifinal

The World Cup semifinal could get tense in the Dutch royal home.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his wife, Argentina-born Maxima, might be sitting on opposite sides of the couch on Wednesday when the Netherlands takes on Argentina in Sao Paulo.

The Twitter-verse is at least having fun with the idea.

Take a look at some of the craftier posts:

Publicly, at least, Maxima is a proud fan of her adopted country.

Earlier in the tournament, she joined her husband in Porto Alegre to watch the Netherlands’ 3-2 win over Australia and celebrated with the team in the locker room afterwards.

The Dutch government told The Associated Press on Monday that the couple will not fly to Sao Paulo to watch Wednesday’s match in person.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

7
Jul

Colombia receives heroes’ welcome in Bogota after World Cup campaign

The Colombian national team captured the imagination of many a fan during the 2014 World Cup, but we doubt even they expected this grand of a reception upon their return to Bogota.

The streets of the capital were a sea — no, an ocean! — of yellow, blue and red. The star of the team, James Rodriguez, remains the tournament’s current top goalscorer with six goals, and was arguably the top performer overall. It was also James who couldn’t resist getting in on the latest craze.

Why not take a selfie after all, when there are over 100,000 people screaming your name behind you?

Could you imagine if the Cafeteros actually won the thing?!

(H/T: 101GreatGoals; Image: Getty)

6
Jul

Heartbreaking! Cute little girl cries over hearing of Neymar’s injury

Be honest, when you heard that Brazil’s talisman and face of the 2014 World Cup 2014, was injured and would no longer be able to play in the tournament, did you shed a tear?

If so, you’re not alone.

We doubt you’re as cute and adorable as little Brazil fan Ana Bella, however. After Ana’s mother informed her of Neymar’s devastating injury and abrupt end to his tournament, little Ana’s eyes begin to tear up. Asking “Cadê ele?” (“where is he?”), she can no longer hold back the tears. Before you know it, she’s in floods.

We feel your pain, Ana. We all do.

(H/T: WhoAteAllThePies)

6
Jul

Neymar addresses his legion of fans after World Cup heartache

In Brazil’s potentially World Cup 2014 defining moment vs. Colombia on Friday, Neymar fractured his vertebra that essentially ended his glittering tournament.

As their top goalscorer and standout performer, the 22-year-old Barca star was Brazil’s engine who are hoping to finally win a World Cup on their home soil.

Neymar will do his best to lead them through, though. In an incredibly emotional video, Neymar addressed his millions of fans, promising them that his World Cup dream is not over, just postponed.

"Brazilian people, players, coaches and fans, this is a very tough moment. It’s hard to express my thoughts in words.

"I want to tell you that I’ll be back on the field as soon as possible. I would like to thank you for your support and affection expressed through the messages that have been sent to me.

"My dream is not over yet, it was interrupted due to a move but it is still alive. I am sure my team mates will make sure I can achieve my dream which is to be champion.

"Another dream of mine was to play on a World Cup Final but I won’t be able to do it now – although I’m sure that my team mates will win and be champions along with me and we Brazilian people will be celebrating this achievement.

"Thank you all, hugs."

A touching sentiment, and one that could well inspire Brazil to go on and reclaim the biggest trophy in international football as a result.

Best of luck on your return, big guy.

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

2
Jul

Tim Howard gets call from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

United States men’s national team goalkeeper Tim Howard became America’s favorite bailout plan on Tuesday night, and with good reason.

The USA netminder made 16 heart-stopping saves in USA’s 2-1 defeat Belgium — the most by any goalkeeper in a World Cup match since 1966. His exploits set the internet ablaze and got fans calling for the renaming of the Ronald Reagan Airport in his honor.

Now, the Pentagon joined in on the praise with Secratary of Defense Chuch Hagel calling the USA soccer hero after Hagel’s “Secretary of Defense of the United States of America” Wikipedia page was replaced with an image of Howard in action.

Per an official release from the United States Department of Defense:

“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called United States men’s national team goalkeeper Tim Howard to thank him for defending the United States of America at the World Cup. Secretary Hagel congratulated Howard on his record-breaking game and a great run in Brazil. He invited Howard and the entire team to come to the Pentagon later this year. He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real secretary of defense.”

And that’s not all! 

Later, President Barack Obama also dialed up Tim Howard, as well as captain Clint Dempsey to commend the team for their valiant performance.

30
Jun

Patience is a virute! Fan gets second chance to attend World Cup final

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It has taken sixty-four years but one World Cup fan will finally get to attend the final match of the world’s biggest tournament.

Brazilian Joedir Sancho Belmont had tickets to the 1950 World Cup final in which Brazil lost 2-1 to Uruguay — but he was unable to attend because he chose to look after his dying mother.

Now the 85-year-old has been given a second chance.

Belmont offered his original ticket to FIFA when he heard of their plans to open a new museum. FIFA accepted and, in exchange, gave him three tickets for the 2014 final.

Awesome, right?

This year’s final will be played at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, the scene of the 1950 heartbreak.

Note to self, always, ALWAYS save ticket stubs.

(h/t NPR/Reuters)

Photo courtesy of Action Images.