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


Mourinho defends Chelsea’s gift penalty vs. West Brom


(Photo: Action Images)

West Brom were robbed of their first win at Stamford Bridge in 35 years on a controversial late penalty call Saturday.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Ramires went down in the box after bumping into Baggies defender Steven Reid. There was contact, but quite clearly no foul. It actually seems like Ramires started to fall before making any contact with Reid. Referee Andre Marriner took a few seconds before pointing to the spot, Eden Hazard stepped up, and coolly slotted home to tie the game, 2-2.

A gift, everyone would agree. Except Jose Mourinho, of course.

"Yes, I think it was a penalty. I watched it from different angles. I’m sure it was a penalty," said Mourinho, who on the late goal remained unbeaten at home as Chelsea manager.

Hate him or love him, you’ve got to admire “The Special One” for his guts, to say outrageous things like this. Even better, Mourinho then began complaining about the officials, suggesting that Chelsea were actually the ones wronged!

Mourinho said Marriner had “a very unhappy game” and that “[West Brom’s] second goal was a big mistake by the ref” He claimed Chelsea should have gotten a free kick before the second goal, and that the Blues should never have been down.

Mourinho trying to spin another story? That’s so unlike him!


English sides set PK shootout record by converting first 29 penalties

Taking penalty kicks in a shootout is a stressful enough affair. So imagine taking one after the previous 29 were converted, which had set a new English record in a PK shootout.

Andover Town forward Claudio Herbert was in just that undesirable position, before getting his second PK of the shootout saved.

"I didn’t realize the magnitude, it was a bit of a blur, the keeper pulled off a great save," 20-year-old student Herbert told BBC Sport. "I was just thinking ‘oh no, it’s going to be on TV - I’m going to miss a penalty on TV’."

Herbert became the involuntary footnote after English non-league sides Andover Town and Brockenhurst combined to score on their first 29 kicks in the shootout, which was confirmed by the FA as a new English record and believed to be a world record.

Despite his historic miss, Herbert says he would have no qualms about taking another spot-kick.

"I never thought I’d have to take the 30th penalty in a shootout. I’ve been involved in penalty shootouts before, but nothing like this. There was not so much pressure. I would definitely take another one. I’d never shy away from taking a penalty."

The previous English record was 27 consecutive spot kicks when Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge faced off in a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy first-round match in 2011.

H/T 101GG


Pajama party! Pepe Reina takes Balotelli’s shirt to bed

Image courtesy of Reuters

Disturbing news has reached the eyes and ears of the FOX Soccer news room. Wait for it….Pepe Reina is sleeping in Mario Balotelli’s AC Milan jersey.

We have yet to discover whether the article of clothing has been washed (we hope so) but the story has been confirmed by the Liverpool goalkeeper himself. Reina became the first keeper to save a Balotelli spot-kick during Napoli’s 2-1 win at the San Siro last month and then plucked up the courage to ask the Italy striker for his jersey after the game.

Reina said: “After saving Mario’s penalty I couldn’t not ask for his shirt. It was a historic event. He gave me it and I’ve brought it home to create an unusual pair of pajamas. I sleep with his shirt and Napoli shorts.” 

What does Reina’s wife Yolanda Ruiz make of it all? We have yet to find out, but would this sort of thing constitute grounds for divorce? We think so.


Worst PK attempt ever?

In a match between Brazilian teams America Sao Paulo and Votuporanguense, we may have witnessed one of the worst penalty kicks in history. It was a questionable penalty call to begin with, but America midfielder Pilo made matters that much worse.

He seems to have forgotten the golden rule that you are actually supposed to kick the ball towards the goal, not backwards.

Is there a worse penalty miss out there?