16
Oct

High school player chooses Neymar meet-and-greet over $10K payout

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Meet Neymar, or bag a cool $10,000 instead?

For most, that’s likely a tough decision. But for Americas High School (El Paso) junior Rhiannon Conelley, the choice was easy.

The 16-year-old student-athlete won a contest put on during the World Cup by Brazilian soft-drink outfit Guaraná Antarctica, with the grand-prize being her choice between a free trip to Spain to meet her idol, or 10 grand in cash.

"I just wanted to meet Neymar, I thought that was more important than the $10,000. Everyone disagrees with that, but I’m sticking to my guns," she said, via the El Paso Times.

Conelley, her varsity team’s goalkeeper, won the contest by submitting a photo of her in a Brazil kit doing some juggling tricks, and of course, holding a tasty can of Guaraná Antarctica:

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(Image: MeetNeymar.com)

The junior beat out thousands of entrants by claiming 4,113 votes, nearly 1,000 more than second place.

Although it’s not determined exactly when Conelley will get to meet Neymar, she, her mother and her team’s soccer coach will all fly to Spain to link up with the Barcelona phenom.

So, what will she say when she finally gets to meet her idol?

"I’ll ask him if he wants to marry me," she joked to the El Paso Times, then backpedaled.

"I don’t want to scare him too much," she said. "I don’t want him to call security to kick me out."

(h/t El Paso Times)

13
Oct

Low Blow: Brazil’s Dunga makes ‘cocaine nose’ gesture to Argentina assistant

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Rivalries don’t get much bigger than Brazil and Argentina, and the hostility was on full display during Saturday’s “friendly” match in Beijing.

Brazil manager Carlos Dunga got in a heated exchange with an assistant on Argentina’s bench during his Selecao’s 2-0 win, appearing to accuse him of using drugs. Media reports in Argentina claim Dunga’s actions were directed at Tata Martino’s assistant Jorge Pautasso and insinuated that he “snorts cocaine like Diego Maradona.” Low blow!

When asked about the controversial gestures, Dunga gave an even weaker excuse. Translated from Globo:

"I was speaking about the pollution, here your nose is always blocked. I was not speaking about drug use. We represent the national side, and I think the fans want a competitive, fiery team. If you want a quiet, more restrained side, then they can hire someone else."

Riiiiight. You see? Dunga was just really, really upset about the Chinese air pollution, for which the Argentine bench was obviously responsible. Got it.

H/T Deadspin

Image provided by Getty

9
Oct

Ronaldinho kicked balls at defenseless people

It’s unclear why Ronaldinho was kicking balls at people’s heads while they attempted to walk on water, but it doesn’t really matter.

Those guys had to know what was coming at them, right?"I didn’t do it on purpose," Ronaldinho says after pegging one guy right in the skull.

Sure, Ronnie. We totally believe you. It’s not like you’re one of the best in the world at hitting a ball exactly where you want it to go or anything.

(H/T SB Nation)

15
Sep

Fans of club in Brazil copy Japan’s post-game clean-up practice

While Japan didn’t win any matches in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, their fans won the hearts of many around the globe with their unique post-game ritual.

After every match, the Japanese fans stayed after and cleaned up their section of the stadium. It was a truly heart-warming thing to see. And it looks like one Brazilian club took notice and adopted this practice.

After Atletico-PR beat Vitoria 2-0 on Sunday, their fans stayed after the match to help clean up the Arena da Baixada. The club even gave the supporters 20,000 trash bags to aid their efforts.

We’re hoping this is a practice that catches on at stadiums around the world!

(H/T DirtyTackle)

11
Sep

Rio de Janeiro favela features world’s first pitch powered by players

We’re all used to Pelé doing the remarkable, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Brazilian soccer legend has partnered with Shell to unveil something truly mind-blowing: A pitch that’s powered by players.

That’s right. Nestled in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, there’s now a pitch with floodlights that are powered by the kinetic energy of the players on the pitch. Per Shell:

Special tiles under the pitch surface to capture the energy generated by football players’ movement. This energy is then stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the pitch to convert into renewable electricity for the pitch’s new floodlights.

How awesome is that? Take a look at the before and after shots of the once rundown pitch in the Morro da Mineira favela.

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imageWe’re not sure if there’s a timer on those lights … but something tells us they likely won’t be going out anytime soon.

(h/t Metro, images via Shell)

6
Sep

Neymar shows his good and bad side vs. Colombia

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Neymar returned to the Brazilian national team on Saturday against none other than Colombia, the side that ended his World Cup campaign, to the horror of an entire nation. 

Exacting revenge on Los Cafeteros, the Barcelona playmaker proved to be the same difference maker we’ve become accustomed to seeing and scored the only goal of the friendly, a lovely free kick in the 83rd minute:

However, Neymar also provided one of the low-lights of the affair.

As we all know, not only is Neymar a great footballer, but also a good actor. He showed off his skills once again by rolling over one or two too many times after a pretty routine foul:

C’mon, Neymar.

We love ya, kid, but please ease up on the theatrics.

GIF via Pies

Image provided by Getty

3
Sep

Neymar shows off a mesmerizing bit of skill at Brazil training

The World Cup — and particularly that little 7-1 defeat at the hands of eventual champs Germany — certainly was a forgettable tournament for the Brazilian national team.

We wouldn’t blame the Brazilians if they still felt a bit of an emotional hangover from the letdown ahead of their friendly on Friday against Colombia.

It looks like they’re in good spirits, though. And how couldn’t they be with Neymar (perhaps the one Brazilian who had a commendable World Cup), showing off his deft footwork in training.

The craziest bit happens at about the 13-second mark. That’s the type of handling we couldn’t even accomplish in a video game.

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We’re just glad Neymar is happy again.

(h/t 101GG, Image: Getty)

16
Aug

Ronaldinho fan really loves Ronaldinho

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Ronaldinho has many fans, but Giovanny Tocohua might be the biggest of them all. His kit collection could make even the most persistent Hollywood stalkers blush; he’s secured every single jersey the former Barcelona star has worn in his career.

We counted 79 shirts (including the one he’s wearing), charting Ronaldinho’s career from Gremio to Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Milan, Flamengo and finally Atletico Mineiro. Even the commemorative jersey for Ronnie’s 100th cap for Brazil made the collection!

Duly impressed, Ronaldinho posted Giovanny’s picture to his Facebook and Twitter:

There’s an outside chance the fan held Ronaldinho hostage in his basement and forced him to post this, though.

5
Aug

Bastian Schweinsteiger trolls Neymar in Ibiza

We see what you did there, Bastian, you sly dog, you!

While vacationing in Ibiza last week, injured Brazil star Neymar ran into Bastian Schweinsteiger during the German’s 30th birthday party and the two posed for a picture together.

In the pic, Neymar throws up a classic variation of the “hang loose” hand signal, while World Cup champion Schweinsteiger, possibly unbeknownst to Neymar, put up seven fingers - an obvious, shameless taunt invoking Germany’s infamous 7:1 semifinal win over the Selecao in Belo Horizonte.

We can only imagine Neymar’s reaction when he saw the photograph later …

H/T infobae.com

28
Jul

Ronaldinho leaves Atletico Mineiro, is now a free agent

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Former ‘best player in the world’ Ronaldinho is unemployed.

The 34-year-old announced on Monday that he is leaving Atletico Mineiro by mutual consent, and is due to give a press conference on Wednesday to announce his future plans.

Atletico coach Levir Culpi confirmed the news speaking with SporTV.

"I can’t call on Ronaldinho anymore. His cycle with us has ended. It’s unfortunate because he’s an idol to all of us. Everyone loves his football, the way he plays and he’s a very charismatic person," Culpi said.

"But that’s the way it goes. He’s leaving and we must move on without him."

The former Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion scored 28 goals in 88 games with Mineiro, and helped them win their first ever Copa Libertadores title last season. Ronaldinho’s contract with the Belo Horizonte club was set to expire at the end of this year.

While you can now officialy start day-dreaming about Ronaldinho joining Major League Soccer, take in some of his greatest moments at Mineiro:

H/T Goal.com