4
Jul

World Cup Day 20: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Tuesday was a day of mixed emotions at the World Cup, to put it lightly.

First, we watched a snooze-fest of a quarterfinal between European foes Germany and France. Hours later, we took in an absolute thriller between Brazil and Colombia. On the one hand, we got the dream semifinal match we hoped for; on the other, we lost arguably the two best players of the World Cup to get there. 

Fourth of July provided plenty of fireworks, albeit in Brazil. To recap what you may have missed, check out our “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” from Day 20:

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Brazil vs. Germany for the right to play in the World Cup final. Do we need to say more?

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How did we get to this tasty treat of a semifinal?

First, Germany toppled rival France on Mats Hummels’ textbook header in the first half. And when we say textbook, we mean Germany literally wrote the book on headers. “Fact of the Day:”

So Germany, again, “head” to the semifinals. In fact, it is the first country to reach four straight World Cup semis:

Oh yeah, and this is still happening:

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Later, Brazil and Colombia collided (literally) in what was one of the most wide-open, free-flowing games of football we’ve seen thus far. It was chaos, it was physical, and it was A LOT of fun:

Read More

11
Jun

Betting on the World Cup: Some crazy prop bets to throw money at

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Got some cash to burn? Or just really don’t like a particular player or a team?

Most online betting sites let you wager on your favorite (or least favorite) teams, the likely tournament winners and top players. 

And then there’s the fun stuff. And the truly insane.

Here’s a roundup of some of the wackier prop bets you can make on the World Cup through betting site Paddy Power:

  • Luis Suarez to outscore the entire England World Cup Team — 7/1
  • Lionel Messi does not score a goal — 12/1
  • Cristiano Ronaldo does not score a goal — 9/2
  • Neymar does not score a goal — 5/1
  • Andrea Pirlo to score direct from a free kick outside the box during any match — 2/1
  • Any goalkeeper to do a scorpion kick — 66/1
  • Player fails a drugs test during the tournament — 6/1
  • Any English player to cry when eliminated — 2/5

We’re no gambling experts at the FOX Soccer towers, but it’s pretty safe to assume that Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar will NOT be held scoreless in Brazil this summer.

H/T Paddy Power.

Image provided by Action Images

9
Jun

Neymar makes young pitch invader’s day at Brazil training

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This lucky kid got to dribble next to Neymar. (Image: @fcb_OneTouch)

There may not be a more likable soccer star right now than Neymar Jr.

Brazil’s World Cup poster child saved a young pitch-invading fan from being taken away by security at the Selecao’s training session on Monday, and instead brought 8-year-old Bernardo Nunes over to meet his idols and snap some pictures.

Neymar has a history of doing this, too. In a March friendly against South Africa, the Barcelona forward came to the rescue of another young pitch invader, even getting his teammates to hoist the boy up in the air for a night he’ll never forget.

With acts of kindness like these, it’ll be hard for anyone to root against Neymar during this World Cup, especially with it being held in his home country.

3
Jun

Neymar is ready for the World Cup

imageNeymar had one goal and two assists against Panama. (Action Images)

Brazil played its penultimate World Cup warm-up match against Panama on Tuesday, though it also could be described as Neymar’s own personal tune-up game. 

The Selecao’s great hope used the game to play himself into tournament form, opening the scoring with a magnificent free kick in the first half, then conjuring up a magical back-heel assist for Hulk in the second.

Pin-point accuracy? Check.


Back-heel touch? Check and check.

Brazil won the friendly match, 4-0, but more importantly, Neymar’s confidence is through the roof right now. Can the World Cup start already?

2
Jun

Neymar scores cheeky penalty kick in Brazil training

If Brazil need someone to take a penalty kick during the World Cup, expect Neymar to assume the responsibility. And don’t be surprised to see some trickery, as well.

During a recent training session, the Barcelona forward fooled the (admittedly disinterested) goalkeeper with a brilliant new technique: striking the ball with the left foot while winding up with the right.

It’s important to reiterate that this is Neymar we’re talking about. We could totally see him get away with this in a real match, though it remains to be seen if he would really risk it.

You’re not Neymar. So please don’t try this out at your Sunday league games. Or it might end up looking a bit like this:

H/T Yahoo!Sports

7
May

Neymar reacts to World Cup selection with childlike joy

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Here’s a hot breaking news update: Neymar Jr. was among the 23 players named to Luiz Felipe Scolari’s World Cup squad. Okay, so we all knew that already. Like two years ago, at least.

Still, the fact Neymar was always a lock to make the team didn’t make the selection any less special for him. Someone filmed the young star’s reaction to when Scolari called his name out at the press conference, and just look how happy he is:

D’aww, see? They’re just like us! (Except…you know, we don’t get picked for World Cup squads.)

Image: Reuters

5
Feb

Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Carlos Tevez and Adnan Januzaj all celebrate their birthday today

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Happy Birthday, boys!

Cristiano Ronaldo, the reigning world player of the year, turns 29 years young today, and even the great Zlatan Ibrahimovic took a minute out of his day to personally congratulate CR7 on Twitter:

Ronaldo responded brilliantly:

Your move, Zlatan.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s Barcelona rival Neymar was also born today, albeit seven years later. Two mega stars born on one day? Not bad! Thankfully, they will spoil us with their amazing goals for many more years to come, but take a look back now at their already incredible careers:

And if that wasn’t enough birthday candles for one day, Carlos Tevez (30) and Adnan Januzaj (19) are also celebrating their birthdays today. Clearly, there must be something very special about February 5th!

12
Dec

Neymar breaks through in Champions League

Neymar scored the first Champions League goal of his career on Wednesday, helping Barcelona snap out of their slump with a resounding 6-1 victory over Celtic.

The result itself meant nothing; Barcelona were established as group winners while Celtic were already eliminated. But for Neymar it was a special day, not only because he finally opened his Champions League account in his sixth game.

Neymar must have enjoyed the taste of Champions League success, because the 21-year-old Brazilian promptly went on to score two more goals to notch his very first hat trick at Barcelona. The two goals after halftime were particularly sweet, too:

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It was a day of significant firsts for Neymar, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he produces many more nights like this in the future.

Barcelona fans’ reaction over Neymar are probably best summed up with this:

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12
Aug

Neymar’s girlfriend shakes her stuff on live TV

Neymar’s girlfriend apparently moves just as well as her boyfriend.

Bruna Marquezine, the 18-year-old flame of Neymar, showed off some racy dance moves on the Brazilian celebrity dance show “Quadradinho de Quatro.” An actress since childhood, Marquezine is certainly used to being in the spotlight, but we’re not sure how Neymar will feel about this particular bit.

Some men might get a little uneasy about their girlfriend showing off the curves for all the world to see, especially with some creep grinding up on her.

(H/T Marca.com)

18
Apr

Neymar becomes comic book character

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It’s official. Neymar is now a comic book character in Brazil.

Joining other Brazil stars who have become a reading option to children across the country - Pele, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo to name a few - the 21-year-old starlet announced the new ”Neymar Jr.” comic book on Thursday in partnership with leading Brazilian cartoonist Mauricio de Sousa.

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Neymar will be portrayed as a young child with his own football-playing friends and his well-known Mohawk hair style. The first issue is called ”A Boy With Talent.”

Watch the official comic book unveiling below: