16
Jan

The infamous Ronaldo/Messi photoshop continues to evolve

imageWe’ve all seen it, right?

Shortly after the Ballon d’Or announcement, the following Photoshopped image spread like wildfire, picturing Ronaldo with both his and Lionel Messi’s girlfriend next to him, while his defeated rival abjectly stares into space:

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That was funny. But have you seen this latest one?

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It’s okay, Leo. You’ll never sit alone.

Image via Twitter/

13
Jan

The oddest ballots cast for 2013 Ballon d’Or

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Arguably more exciting than the actual announcement of the FIFA Ballon d’Or winner is the immediate release of the full voting results. Because every year, some of the ballots cast by the national team coaches, captains, and media members are downright laughable, like they don’t even know their votes are made public.

This year turned out to be one of the closest races ever. Cristiano Ronaldo (1,365 points) edged out Lionel Messi (1,205) and Franck Ribery (1,127), as all three were separated by less than 250 points, the equivalent of 50 first-place votes. The voting could have been even closer, too, were it not for some ridiculous ballots among the 541 voters.

Without further ado, here are the most bizarre findings:

  • Of course, the finalists who had a vote chose not to pick their rivals. Ronaldo’s votes: Radamel Falcao, Gareth Bale, Mesut Ozil.
  • Messi’s votes: Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Neymar. Hmmm, wonder why?
  • Georgia captain Jaba Kankava has not heard of Messi, Ronaldo or Ribery. His top three were: Iniesta, Andrea Pirlo, Edinson Cavani.
  • Ethiopia captain Degu Debebe Gebreyes’ choices: Xavi, Pirlo, Thomas Muller. Also interesting.
  • Yaya Toure received three nods for Player of the Year, from Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Mauritania captain Dominique Da Silva.
  • Bhutan has a lot of love for the Germans. Team captain Passang voted Mesut Ozil for Player of the Year, while coach Dorji Khandu voted for Thomas Muller.
  • Where’s the D? China coach Fu Bo and Madagascar captain Tahina Randrianarisoa voted for Thiago Silva. Mozambique captain Ivan Dario and Israel coach Eli Gutman for Philipp Lahm.
  • No bias at all: Italy’s Gigi Buffon and Claudio Prandelli both voted for Andrea Pirlo. San Marino captain Andy Selva did, too.
  • Must be the money! New Zealand coach Ricky Herbert picked Gareth Bale as his Ballon d’Or winner.
  • Media member Geniy Tulegenov of Kazakhstan liked two Bayern teammates ahead of Ribery, who he voted third: Arjen Robben (1st) and Thomas Muller (2nd).

If you think we missed some, you can look over the full list of votes here.

Photo provided by Action Images.

13
Jan

Congratulations, Cristiano Ronaldo!

13
Jan

FIFPro World XI consists exclusively of Bayern, PSG, Real and Barca players

imageLast year, for reasons we’re still trying to comprehend, every single member of the FIFPro World XI came out of La Liga. This time around, there thankfully was a little more diversity, though some will undoubtedly still complain over an apparent La Liga bias amongst the players who voted.

The biggest gripe will probably come over the inclusion of Xavi — over the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger or Arturo Vidal — who for his standards experienced a down year, and was completely taken apart by Bayern Munich’s midfield in last season’s Champions League.

Liverpool fans, too, will be frustrated that Luis Suarez was not rewarded for his fantastic form, although you can’t argue against Zlatan Ibrahmovic either. Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos keeps getting a spot in the World XI (it’s his fourth inclusion) despite probably having been sent off for challenges on every player who voted for him.

The 2013 FIFPro World XI:

GK: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

DEF: Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (Paris St-Germain), Dani Alves (Barcelona)

MID: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Photo: Getty Images

29
Nov

Zlatan: I don’t need trophy to know I’m the best

Ever the model of modesty, Paris Saint-Germain talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his unrivaled track record of humility after PSG’s  2-1 win against Olympiakos.

It’s trophy season, and despite his awesomeness, Ibra isn’t expected to be a finalist for the Ballon d’Or. But that doesn’t matter to Zlatan, as seen in the video above.

Zlatan even managed to get a bit of a rib in on his contemporaries, saying:

No, it’s nothing that I think about. It seems very important for other players, but for me it’s not important. I know what I feel about myself and I know what I think about myself. … I don’t need a trophy to tell myself that I’m the best.

Boom! Another day, another slice of humble pie served up by Zlatan. You’ve got to love him.

(h/t 101GG)

20
Mar

As if we needed another reason to love Ronaldinho even more, the Brazilian superstar took some time after his training regimen to practice his freestyle skills with a lucky young fan.

As the video proves, ‘Dinho still possesses the skills that made him a former Ballon d’Or winner and the most feared footballer on the planet (just ask Real Madrid circa 2005-06).

The young kid held his ground against the ex-Barcelona star, executing a fine bicycle kick during the 0:45 mark. 

11
Jan

Adidas sees Nike’s special CR7 cleats and raises with these Messi boots

Well you knew this was coming.

Just one week after Nike released these special edition bad boys to commemorate Cristiano Ronaldo’s stellar 2012 season, Adidas comes out with these awesome Messi Ballon d’Or boots:

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The special F50s display just four numbers, for each year Messi won the Ballon d’Or. Each is engulfed in its own “Sun of May,” the symbol found in Argentina’s national flag.

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If shoes could slap each other in the face, that’s what just would’ve went down.

9
Jan

Golden Messi

Lionel Messi is a pretty humble guy — especially compared to his rival, Cristiano Ronaldo — and he doesn’t frequently brag about his incredible achievements.

On Facebook today, we saw one of those rare occasions where the now four-time Ballon d’Or winner boasted just a little bit. Check out his jaw-dropping trophy case.

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Not too shabby. But even in this clear show of his impressive achievements, the little genius still displayed his constant sense of modesty.

"Thanks to everyone for being by my side in this beautiful moment of my career!”