#TBT: Lionel Messi’s La Liga debut

Ten years ago Thursday, Lionel Messi was handed his La Liga debut for Barcelona by then-manager Frank Rijkaard. Only 17, the baby-faced Argentinian played all of eight minutes coming off the bench for Deco against Espanyol, becoming the second-youngest in club history to wear the Blaugrana kit.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Take a look at Messi throughout the years by heading here!


Drink it like Beckham! Superstar gets his own Scotch


He was the world’s highest-paid footballer not too long ago and is married to Posh Spice. He has his own line of underwear and men’s fragrances. Heck, he even has his own MLS franchise now! Once in a wile, David Beckham must ask himself, “What don’t I have?”

The answer: his own liquor.

Well, at least until now, because “Golden Balls” is linking up with British drinks giant Diageo to release a new scotch called Haig Club. A bottle of Beckham’s drink of choice will run you about $65 and is said to have hints of butterscotch and toffee flavor, which sounds delicious. However, drinking this scotch will not make you a better footballer (just to be perfectly clear).

Terms of the partnership — including whether or not Beckham is actively investing in the brand — weren’t disclosed, but a Diageo spokesperson said the global superstar, along with business representative Simon Fuller (yes the American Idol producer), would help develop the brand, its strategy and positioning.

“David Beckham and Simon Fuller are renowned for breaking boundaries and shaking up markets in every sector in which they work,” Diageo’s Global Head of Premium Core Spirits David Gates said in a released statement. “We are immensely proud to partner with them on our first large scale grain whisky innovation.”

Celebritiy tie-ups in the liquor industry is clearly what’s hot in the streets nowadays. Diageo has already teamed up with Sean “Diddy” Combs to buy upmarket tequila DeLeón, while George Clooney and Justin Timberlake have also put their names on tequila brands recently.

Beckham added: “The House of Haig has a rich history and I’m proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years. Working closely with Diageo, we look forward to collaborating on Haig Club, valuing and treasuring the Haig traditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come.”

H/T NY Post

Image provided by Getty.


#USWNT star Alex Morgan is engaged!

Alex Morgan is officially tying the knot, breaking the hearts of millions of guys. The lucky man is Houston Dynamo midfielder Servando Carrasco.

Congratulations you two!

And sorry to break the news, boys.


U.S. Women’s soccer team hitchhikes with fans after bus breaks down

Ahead of Sunday’s friendly against Brazil, the U.S. women’s soccer team held a final practice session at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday. Afterward, the team bus broke down, and not wanting to waste any time getting back to their hotel, the players decided to hitch rides back from a few lucky fans. One can imagine how difficult it must have been to persuade them!
The players expressed their gratitude via Twitter, and from the looks of it, the trip to the hotel was probably a lot more fun than a bus ride would have been.

How can you pay them back? How about deating Brazil to finish 2013 with an undefeated record, therewith extending your record 76-match home unbeaten streak? Sounds like a pretty good deal.


Sergio Ramos serenades girlfriend on TV, makes all other boyfriends look bad

What is it with soccer stars surprising their ladyfriends on TV and bringing them to tears?

Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos, who has never been afraid to showcase his harmonious side, came up with the great idea to surprise his girlfriend on national TV with a nice little ditty seen above.

Pilar Rubio, Ramos’ girlfriend and guest on the show “El Hormiguero,” couldn’t contain herself when Casanova himself came out crooning with guitar in hand.

The oldest celebrity trick in the book, but it works every time. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)


Cristiano Ronaldo asks district attorney to drop charges against hugging pitch invader

Hugs can go a long way these days.

According to Miami news station WPLG Local 10, Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly asked prosecutors to drop charges against the young fan who was arrested after running onto the pitch to hug him during a preseason match at Sun Life Stadium.

19-year-old Ronald Gjoka, a Palm Beach State Community College student from Albania, first won Ronaldo’s affection during the International Champions Cup final against Chelsea, when his lengthy hug visibly struck a cord with the global football icon. And apparently, Gjoka left such a big impression on him that Ronaldo now penned a letter to help the fan escape punishment for his “pitch invasion.”

From Local 10:

"I understand your position and the importance of enforcing rules and law," Ronaldo wrote in a letter to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. "However, I respectfully request that you and your office reconsider this decision and dismiss the two criminal charges this young man faces."

The two charges Gjoka faces are trespassing and disorderly conduct, and according to his lawyer he could face “problems with immigrations and his college if the charges aren’t dropped.”

Here’s to hoping that Ronaldo’s noble act — refreshing in this day and age, to say the least — will be enough to do just that.

H/T Dirty Tackle


Landon Donovan exclusive coming your way!

FOX Soccer Daily debuts on FOX Sports 1 this coming Monday at 4pm ET, and we’re starting things off right! Our host Julie Stewart-Binks secured an exclusive interview with the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, in which the USA star touches on several topics, including his plans for the future.

For more information on America’s new home for soccer, including where you can find FOX Sports 1 on your TV, check out FOXSports1.com!