22
Aug

Santos teenager pulled from stands to score match-winning goal

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Image: Divulgação Santos FC

by Thomas Hautmann

Sixteen-year-old Santos youth player Gabriel headed to the senior side’s Copa do Brasil match on Wednesday to watch it with his father. Soon, however, Gabriel found himself on the pitch, shirtless, celebrating his late match-winner.

After another Santos player was scratched from the squad after using a nasal decongestant (who knew that counted as doping?), Gabriel was pulled from the stands and included on the Santos bench for the Round of 16 first leg against Gremio. After having already practiced with his youth side earlier in the day, a relaxing evening with his father was therefore put on hold. According to the Rio Report, Gabriel told reporters:

"I was playing a video game at home and came to watch the game with my father and only knew I would play when I got here. It was a present."

As fortune would have it, the young Brazilian striker got the call to inspire his teammates midway through the second half in a scoreless game. And, in the 82nd minute, Gabriel swept home Montillo’s low cross for the match-winning goal. It was only his seventh professional match.

Watch the goal below:

Scroll to the 4:19 mark

Expect to hear more from Gabriel, who has already received the promising nickname ‘Gabigol’ (just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?).

Gabigol has represented Brazilian’s youth national teams since age 14, and the professional contract he signed with Santos last year includes a whopping €50 million buy-out clause.

In comparison, Neymar’s deal to Barcelona netted Santos a cool €57 million this summer.

2
Aug

Barcelona to Wear Kits Designed by Artist with Down syndrome

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While much of the interest surrounding this Friday’s friendly match between Barcelona and Santos concerns Neymar’s potential debut with his new club, fans might be taken aback by a unique lettering on the back of Barcelona’s jerseys. 

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Designed by Anna Vives, a local artist with Down syndrome, the striking font will only be used during this single match. The shirts will be auctioned after the match, with the proceeds going to the Itinerarium Foundation, the organization where Anna works. 

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Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Anna said of the club:

I am very grateful to the club and its foundation, who have helped me raise awareness about the typography and who have opened many doors. The font is not just mine, but the result of a team effort, which is why we so identify with Barcelona and its values.

Starting August 3rd, fans will be able to lodge their bids on both Anna’s site, where they can also purchase a variety of items featuring the font, as well as via eBay. Additionally, fans can learn more about the Itinerarium Foundation by visiting their official site.

(Via: DirtyTackle)

4
Jun

Neymar gets “Blessed” tattoo to celebrate joining Barcelona

Images via @barcastuff

To celebrate his move from Santos to Barcelona, Neymar decided to get a tattoo to let everyone know just how he feels. Before Brazil’s international friendly vs. England, the 21-year old had the word “blessed” tattooed below his neck.

Let’s hope the stay at the Nou Camp goes well to avoid any nasty ink removal procedures.

29
May

His move to Barcelona has been sealed, so to commemorate what is likely his last training session with his boyhood club, Neymar attended the emotional session with a camera on his head.

Yes, a camera on his head.

The Brazilian trickster released a teaser of the footage on his official YouTube account for his fans to peruse.

Who’s excited for the full feature then?

26
May

Neymar sheds tears at final game with Santos

Less than 24 hours after Neymar revealed he’ll be leaving Santos for Barcelona this summer, he suited up against Flamengo for his final match with the club.

It was obviously a tough decision for the Brazilian starlet to leave his home country and the club that he’s been playing with ever since he was inducted into their youth academy. His emotions got the best of him prior to the match, and he couldn’t hold back the tears.

The 21-year-old will be joining the Catalans after this summer’s Confederations Cup, and is set to sign the five-year contract on Monday.

25
Apr

Neymar’s father alerts Europe’s elite

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Radamel Falcao, Robert Lewandowski and Edinson Cavani have been dominating the headlines lately, but one player that has been quiet on the transfer rumor front is back with a bang. The father and agent of Neymar has said Santos’ Brazil star will be joining a European team next year. But where is he going. Click here for this story and more of the best gossip from the UK press. 

8
Apr

FIVE POINTS: LIGA MX (JORNADA 13)

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Franco Arizala, Jaguares (Action Images)

1. Where were all the goals?: This particular weekend did not offer up much for the neutrals: eight games on Saturday and Sunday produced 10 combined goals. Three of those affairs ended in scoreless draws. And the one shootout of the weekend – the five-goal thriller on Friday night – leaned on a unique set of circumstances to generate all of that action in the final third…

2. Injuries threaten to sidetrack Chivas’ Liguilla push: Guadalajara manager Benjamin Galindo once again turned to a raft of reserves to carry his tattered side through a match. Unlike the Súper Clásico defeat to Club América last weekend, Chivas still looked capable of handling a visit to Jaguares on Friday. The shoddy back four – once again stripped of Héctor Reynoso (hamstring) – disagreed as it somehow squandered the advantages created by a pair of Rafael Márquez Lugo goals and an ample share of the ball. Franco Arizala’s winner nine minutes from time incited celebrations in Chiapas and left tattered Chivas two points off the pace in the playoff race.

3. Tigres spurns yet another chance to pull clear at the top: Ricardo Ferretti’s side wasted a glorious opening to compile a genuine cushion over second-place Atlas (0-0 draw with Morelia) and third-place Club América (1-1 draw with Puebla) with a victory against lowly Club León. The resulting 0-0 draw instead maintained the modest two-point advantage over Atlas heading into the final four weeks of the season. Ferretti and his players have yet to taste defeat in 13 Clausura matches, but they must take care of business to ensure they do not somehow allow Atlas or América (two points further back) to overtake them in the next few weeks.

4. So much for potential distractions for La Máquina: Cruz Azul could have turned its attentions to Wednesday’s Copa MX final against Atlante a few days early with a first title since 1997 on the horizon. Instead of dropping its guard ahead of the trip to Querétaro, Guillermo Vázquez’s side erased the deficit created by Diego de la Torre’s early marker and secured three valuable points in the battle for a Liguilla place. A similar triumph in Cancún in midweek would end the lengthy drought and strengthen Vázquez’s tenuous position significantly.

5. Home slip leaves Gallos Blancos with a relegation mountain to climb: De la Torre’s early goal provided hope of a critical result in the battle against relegation. Victory against Cruz Azul – plus the expected away defeat for then-bottom side San Luis in Cancún – would have drawn Querétaro within three points of safety with four matches to go.

No such luck for the bottom feeders on this weekend, though. Nicolás Bertolo and Javier Orozco snatched the points for Cruz Azul in the second half on Saturday night. And then Luis Rodriguez struck with a quarter of an hour to play at Estadio Andres Quintana Roo on Sunday night to give San Luis its first road victory of the season.

The unfortunate sequence of events left Querétaro seven points behind Atlante in the race to avoid relegation. Barring some sort of miracle over the next few weeks, Gallos Blancos will spend next season in Ascenso MX.

Results: Jaguares 3 – Chivas 2 (Friday); América 1 – Puebla 1,  Querétaro 1 – Cruz Azul 2, Pachuca 1 – Pumas 2, Tigres 0 – León 0, Atlas 0 – Morelia 0, Tijuana 0 – Santos 0 (Saturday); Toluca 1 – Monterrey 0, Atlante 0 – San Luis 1 (Sunday).

— By Kyle McCarthy