13
Apr

Former friends meet after marital drama, and tensions boil over

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It wasn’t long ago that former teammates Maxi Lopez and Mauro Icardi were close friends, sharing memories and vacations together. Just seven months ago, they were pictured together on a boat, smiling and relaxing:

Since then, their relationship has turned sour, and it boiled over during Inter Milan’s 4-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday. But what was it that caused the friends to part ways? Two words: Wanda Nara.

Lopez and Nara were married in 2008, and have since had two children together. They seemed the picture of a perfect, happy family, but soon Nara began a very public affair with Icardi:

At first, it seemed that Lopez was handling it well, telling Argentine media TyC:

“It has been a very difficult time in my life and I cried a lot, but it all passed thanks to football. It was not a normal break-up, but at the end of the day nobody died. All I want now is to spend time with my children. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll face Icardi on the field and we’ll have a good laugh about it.”

Well, that day came on Sunday, and it’s safe to say Lopez was not laughing.

Apparently Lopez was unhappy with Icardi posting images on Twitter of himself with Lopez’s two children that he had with Nara.

"I can understand that, being a public figure, he publishes photos. But I`m not comfortable with my kids being in those photos," Lopez said in comments to Sky Sports.

The snubbed handshake wasn’t where the drama ended. During Sunday’s match, Icardi scored twice, and definitely used his celebration to rub it in a little. And, there was a scuffle on the field that both players were involved in.

In the end, Icardi got the best of his former friend and teammate — leaving with both the win and the girl.

(Image via Getty, H/T DirtyTackle)

15
Sep

Genoa coach channels inner Rambo, spies on city rivals

Before Sunday’s derby match against Sampdoria, a Genoa youth coach was caught spying on their city rivals’ training session in “full military attire,”  leading to what might be the greatest press release in the history of professional sports.

Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Sampdoria fans saw or overheard some rustling in the trees bordering the training pitch. A member of the club’s staff then decided to look into the matter, and after a quick chase discovered the spy hiding behind a tree. The man turned out to be none other than Luca De Pra, a Genoa youth coach and “popular figure in the city.”

Luca De Pra captured spying on Sampdoria training

Sampdoria later posted this image of De Pra on their official web site, along with the following statement:

That the derby is a question of nerve, tactics and strategy we already knew, but frankly we could never expect that it could turn into a scene of espionage.

Like Rambo hidden among the branches on the hill, Luca De Pra, Genoa goalkeeping coach and man of noble footballing ancestry, failed to overcome Sampdoria’s intelligence and counter intelligence operations.

However, no prisoners were taken, and no blood was shed. Once tracked down and caught red-handed, the opposing side’s soldier was let free to return to base. You should always forgive your enemies, as nothing annoys them more.

Just brilliant stuff.

As for Genoa, the club has come out and said that this battleground tactic was all De Pra’s idea and suspended the coach indefinitely. The best part? Genoa didn’t seem to need any help whatsoever, cruising to a 3-0 win on Sunday.

15
Jul

Retiring Player Assists Son For Goal In Farewell Match

After a career that included stops in countries as diverse as Italy, Spain and Turkey, Argentine playmaker Ariel Ortega returned home to put an end to a lengthy career, but not before passing the torch to his young son. Let the adorable-ness ensue.

Ortega, who began his career with Argentine club River Plate, was honored with a farewell match this past weekend. Former teammates and colleagues such as Romario and Javier Saviola took part. However, the real highlight was that Tomasito, Ortega’s young son, was included in the roster as well.

During the second half of the farewell match, Ortega found himself near the top of the 18-yard box while his son found an opening just in front of goal. Ortega passed the ball to his son, and Tomasito, with all the confidence of a long-time professional, slotted the ball past a diving goalkeeper.

The moment proved to be a bit overwhelming for Ortega, who began crying while embracing his son.

Here’s to a career just ending, and another just beginning.