19
Apr

One-legged soccer player inspires World Cup commercial

imageImage via Coca-Cola

Get ready to choke back the tears, because this is one heck of a story.

Nico Calabria was born with only one leg, but the rare disability has never inhibited him from achieving greatness on and off the field. Using forearm crutches now after learning how to play soccer, basketball or even how to ice skate with the help of a prosthetic leg, Nico still excelled competing against two-legged peers, even at the varsity high school level.

Now 19, Nico has become one of the best players on the United States National Amputee Soccer Team and an inspiration to anyone with a pulse. Six years ago, Nico became the first person to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on crutches, raising more than $100,000 for charity in the process. (Now that kid’s got some upper body strength!)

Inspired by Nico’s amazing journey, sports drink makers Powerade have now featured him as part of their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, and the ad is perfect. Watch:

For more on Nico’s story, check out Coca-Cola’s profile on him.

H/T Huff Post

30
Mar

Player in Ukraine may have saved opponent’s life after collision

Something truly amazing happened in the Ukrainian Premier League today.

Dynamo Kiev midfielder Oleh Husev was knocked unconscious when he collided with the Dnipro goalkeeper’s knee. But not only was he out cold, his tongue seemed to have blocked his airway.

By stroke of luck or fate, Dnipro’s Jaba Kankava was nearby and knew exactly what to do. What happened next is both chilling and astonishing:

As of now, there hasn’t been any word on Husev’s condition, but regardless of outcome, it’s pretty clear that Kankava’s reaction could have saved his life.

UPDATE:

More video surfaced from the opposite angle, and it’s somehow more intense than the first. It also shows Husev being transported to the hospital and walking in under his own power. While we don’t know the extent of his injuries, it looks like he’ll be just fine — largely in part because of Kankava’s actions.

(H/T SB Nation)

16
Mar

Golazos! Jordan Pro League is bringing the heat lately

It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing Champions League or Jordan’s Pro League. If you score on an over-the-back heel flick from a good twenty yards out, you’re getting on the Blog! On Saturday, Al-Wihdat forward Motaz Salhani did just that, turning in one of the most outrageous and oddest (or is it luckiest?) goals you’ll ever see against Al-Ramtha.

But wait: there’s more from the Kingdom! That’s right, the JPL has graciously given us a two-for-one ‘Golazo Special’ over the past seven days.

Last Sunday, Al Ramtha were on the right side of a ridiculous goal when right-back Suleiman Al-Salman scored an absolute cracker from his own side of the field against Al Arabi:

Forget the Premier League! We all might need to start watching the Jordan Pro League regularly.

6
Mar

Zlatan praises Matuidi wonder goal

Blaise Matuidi scored a ridiculous goal for France in their friendly against the Netherlands yesterday. The entire soccer world took notice, and for good reason.

The best way to describe it is a no-look spinning scissor kick, but it’s better if you just watch it:

The stunning strike even caught the attention of PSG teammate and soccer god Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Only Zlatan can get away with talking in third person while complimenting another player. Because Zlatan does what Zlatan wants.

22
Feb

Hamburg player serves up wicked knuckleball goal

Hamburg haven’t had many reasons to smile this season — they sit in 16th in the Bundesliga — but were given several in their 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund today.

In particular, this insane knuckling shot from Hakan Calhanoglu in stoppage time put the icing on the very tasty cake.

Jurgen Klopp’s reaction says it all. Even he can’t be mad at that.

H/T SB Nation Soccer

15
Feb

Milos Jojic scores on very first touch in Dortmund debut

Borussia Dortmund remained fairly quiet during the January transfer window, only picking up young Serbian international Milos Jojic from Partizan Belgrad. Maybe that’s all they needed.

Jojic scored on his first touch in his first appearance for BVB, taking just 17 seconds after coming off the bench to open his account in a 4-0 win over Frankfurt. Now that’s a debut!

Okay, so it wasn’t the most spectacular goal in the world, but it was historic: Jojic broke the Bundesliga records for fastest goal by a substitute, and fastest debut goal. The 21-year-old also stirred up glorious memories for Dortmund fans.

In the 1997 Champions League final, Lars Ricken (also 21 at the time) needed just 16 seconds after coming off the pine to score a screamer against Juventus on his first touch. The goal was the fastest by a substitute in Champions League history and was voted Dortmund’s “Goal of the Century” by fans:

18
Dec

Raja Casablanca players ransack a willing Ronaldinho for memorabilia

Say what you will about Ronaldinho, but he’s far from washed up.

The former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain standout turned back the clock on Wednesday, scoring a ridiculous take free-kick golazo during Atletico Mineiro’s Club World Cup semifinal match against Raja Casablanca.

image

Unfortunately for Atletico Mineiro, Raja Casablanca would go on to defeat Ronaldinho’s squad 3-1 in high-end offensive thriller at Stade de Marrakech in Morocco. As you can imagine, the jam-packed stadium celebrated with joy after their home side’s stunning victory over the defending Copa Libertadores champions.

Even Raja Casablanca players seized the opportunity to grab a piece of history and snatched off equipment from the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year. Not settling for just his jersey, Casablanca players asked for (and received) the Brazilian legend’s boots!

Raja players looked like kids swarming when a piñata finally bursts open. Take a look:

And kudos go to Ronaldinho, who was under no obligation to be such a good sport. We doubt there are many players who would be so gracious in the wake of a tough loss. “Tis the season of giving after all.

14
Nov

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo provide back-heel extravaganza

Not much needs to be said about the video above. Not much CAN be said about the video above.

All you need to know is that YouTube user HeilRJ03 compiled an array of back-heel goals off the dexterous feet of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo. This compilation comes just in time as the intergalactic giants are set to meet in Friday’s crucial World Cup qualifying match between Portugal and Sweden.

It’s a shame that one of these stars will miss next summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Fortunately, we have this footage to relieve us of our sorrows. Just hit play and enjoy.

(h/t 101GreatGoals)