28
Sep

Bayern players evacuated from Moscow hotel after fire alarm

Bayern Munich are in Moscow to face Russian champions CSKA on Tuesday in the Champions League, and their trip got off to a rocky start as the hotel briefly evacuated everyone in the wee hours of the night due to a fire alarm.

The team were ushered out wrapped in blankets, but judging by Pep Guardiola’s selfie, didn’t seem too bothered by the unexpected wake-up call.

They’ll surely be hoping for no more surprises for the rest of their stay, however, as Bayern are the big favorites even on the road. Bayern won both their Champions League meetings with CSKA last season.

17
Sep

Referees, Pep Guardiola commit Champions League fashion taboos

image

If it’s one thing we learned on Matchday 1 of the Champions League, it’s that people are not loving the new referee kits.

It’s not just that they’re ugly. During the Dortmund-Arsenal match, it was difficult to tell where the ref even was at times.

Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that we can’t tell if they’re actually a referee or just a random fan who got lost on his way to his seat and nobody bothered to stop them?

image"Somebody, stop that fan! Oh … it’s you.

Yeah, maybe that’s it.

Sadly, the official’s new threads were not even close to being the biggest fashion disaster this week. 

That honor belongs to none other than Bayern manager Pep Guardiola.

Always dressed to the nines on the sidelines, this time Pep forgot about a small but critical component to his outfit:

THE ZIPPER! OMG! SOMEBODY TELL PEP HIS FLY IS OPEN!!

Not a good look. Not a good look at all.

Images provided by Getty

10
Sep

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are bickering again and it’s fantastic

imageLittle did we know Mourinho was showing off Guardiola’s bald head. (Getty)

Jose and Pep are our favorite “frenemies” in the world of soccer, and their feud added a new chapter this week at a UEFA coaches summit in Switzerland. 

It turns out that even being in the land of neutrality couldn’t stop the two from bickering. The fight reportedly started over the length of the grass on the pitch. Guardiola thought the length of 3 cm was too long, and wanted it reduced to 1.5 cm, and be watered before every game. This would, according to Pep, make the play faster and more beautiful.

From TZ, the rest of the exchange went as follows:

"Everyone has his style of play, which should be respected," Mourinho responded. "Football can be spectacular in several ways."

"The beauty of football depends on the coach," Guardiola replied. "It seems to me that Mourinho prefers the result to the spectacle. I know to him that’s all that matters."

And it doesn’t end there. El Confidencial reports that Mourinho hit back at Guardiola with a cheap shot about his lack of hair.

"When you enjoy what you do, you don’t lose your hair, and Guardiola is balding. He doesn’t enjoy football."

This is just classic Mourinho. It’s not entirely clear if he actually said this, but we’re really, really hoping he did. 

11
Aug

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is everywhere and it’s wonderful

You’ve probably seen your Facebook feed full of videos of friends, family, celebrities and athletes all dumping buckets of ice-cold water over their heads. It’s the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and it’s taking over social media.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, it goes like this: If you are challenged by a friend who has just doused themselves in freezing water, and you either don’t accept, or fail to post your video within 24 hours, you must donate cash to ALS research. Simple enough.

The movement has taken off, and has raised more than $1 million since it kicked off on July 29th. And of course, many soccer players and coaches have gotten involved. Here are a few of our favorites.

The important thing to note in Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter’s challenge is his call-out to Pep Guardiola, handshake motion and all. Well done, Mr. Porter. You’re up, Pep.

Next up, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando. We think his kid’s enjoyed this quite a bit.

And the hands-down winner comes from Robbie Keane. There is just so much going on here, and we have so many questions, but it’s better to just no dwell on them and watch:
7
Aug

Josep Guardiola snubs Caleb Porter after MLS All-Stars beat Bayern Munich

by Thomas Hautmann

On a night that was meant to celebrate the best soccer players in North America and the return to action of Bayern Munich’s World Cup stars, it was a sour moment after the MLS All-Stars’ 2-1 victory that had everybody talking.

Furious over a pair of late, reckless challenges on his players, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola refused to shake hands with All-Star coach Caleb Porter after the final whistle, instead giving him the ol’ Dikembe Mutombo finger wag. Guardiola then showed Porter the cold shoulder all the way to midfield as he bee-lined to accost the referees, the American following his counterpart in vain. The rest of Bayern’s coaching staff also refused to shake hands with Porter.

It was an over-the-top and childish reaction from the Bayern manager, whose image as a class-act might suffer a bit Stateside. But, to play devil’s advocate, you can also understand his beef.

Bastian Schweinsteiger was lucky not to pick up a serious injury after Will Johnson’s clumsy tackle left the Bayern star in a heap and forced him off the field. As was Xherdan Shaqiri after Osvaldo Alonso’s cringe- and almost red-worthy offense earlier in the second half.

Guardiola boiled with anger on the sidelines, presumably already irked that he had to make his returning stars available in the first place for a glorified friendly. Schweinsteiger and the rest of Germany’s World Cup stars had only been under Guardiola’s care for a day, having flown halfway around the world to arrive five hours before kickoff, only to make 10-15 minute cameos. To lose a key man to injury now would be a bitter blow, and for what?

All things considered and given the heat of the moment, Guardiola’s anger at full time can be justified, if not his immature way of dealing with it. Porter, after all, wasn’t the one who committed the challenges.

The All-Star coach took the high road after the game while addressing the rough play:

“I understand completely why there was some emotion there,” Porter said.But we certainly didn’t mean to do anything negative in the game. We have the utmost respect for their players. Pep, the guy is an idol of mine. There were a couple tackles that went wrong.”

And the two coaches did put out the fire just moments later in the tunnel:

However, by then the Twitterverse had already exploded.

Was Guardiola’s finger wag and handshake snub inexcusable, or do you give him a pass in the heat of the moment and considering the circumstances? We’ll let you be the judge:

Image via Getty

15
May

Iniesta, Guardiola and other Barcelona greats pay tribute to Carles Puyol

With nagging knee injuries dragging him down, Barcelona legend Carles Puyol reluctantly called it quits on Thursday.

As the curtain closes on a memorable 15-year career in the top flight, Barcelona put together a touching video to thank the shaggy captain for his services.

Barcelona legends, current and former, all got together to pay tribute to Puyol in the video above. Watch and enjoy.

(FC Barcelona)

29
Jan

Manchester United set to enter Kroos control

Just a couple of days remain before the January transfer window slams shut, and the rumor merry-go-round is certainly in full swing.

One of the main protagonists of this transfer window has been David Moyes’ Manchester United, following their early-season struggles. They don’t look likely to stop spending after snaring Juan Mata from rivals Chelsea, and now they’re looking at another world class midfielder.

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Toni Kroos can leave Bayern Munich, opening the door to a move to Old Trafford.

Also in today’s round-up, there’s news of an alleged Arsenal bid for Julian Draxler from Schalke. Read about it and more on today’s Paper Chase.