28
Jun

Lionel Messi’s grandfather slams grandson over his World Cup form

Most people have run out of superlatives for Lionel Messi’s performances on a soccer field. “La Pulga” (The Flea) has taken the World Cup in stride — four goals in three games — and catapulted Argentina into the Round of 16, where they will now face Switzerland.

His goal-scoring prowess, however, wasn’t enough to impress his top critic: Antonio Cuccitini, his grandfather.

The striker’s grandpa wasn’t too pleased with his famous grandson’s performances in Brazil 2014 thus far. Cuccitini told AS.com:

"I think he’s been pretty poor. In Spain, he’s got more zip, he goes around 22 players. He needs to get his spark back. Right now Leo isn’t running, I’m not convinced by him. I’m truthful and I don’t have time for hot air.”

Ouch! That’s gotta hurt.

Despite three “man of the match” performances, does Messi’s grandad really think the four-time Ballon d’Or winner isn’t putting the effort in? That’s a stretch and one that we can’t believe.

Even so, Cuccitini did offer some helpful words of encouragement for the Argentina superstar and showed us that he does have a heart.

“You can’t demand everything,” Cuccitini said. “He’s not God, who can do it all. … Keep your chin up, you’ll do great, I love you lots.”

(H/T: NESN)

Image provided Mundial Deportivo/Twitter/AP

16
Apr

Carlos Tevez to skip watching Argentina play during World Cup, will visit Disney World instead

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When Argentina kick off their World Cup campaign on June 15 against Bosnia-Herzegovina, it’s widely expected that Carlos Tevez will not be on the Albiceleste’s roster. A little more surprising: Tevez is not even planning on tuning in!

The excluded Juventus striker revealed to Argentinian news site Cronica.com.ar. that he has other plans this summer:

"I don’t think I will watch my national team play at the World Cup," Tevez said. "I’ve already bought tickets to go with my wife and my three children to Disney World. They deserve that trip and I have very clear in my mind where my place is."

Disney World, really?

"I will nevertheless be Argentina’s number one fan," Tevez added, not realizing perhaps that ‘number one fans’ usually watch their team’s games.

Okay, we can all agree that Disney World is a magical place, but for Tevez to not root on his own national team at the World Cup kind of seems strange, and also tastes a bit like sour grapes.

The 30-year-old Tevez played for Argentina at the last two World Cups, but has not featured for the team since missing a penalty that saw his national team lose to Uruguay in the quarter-finals of the 2011 Copa America. However, Tevez insists there is no grudge between him and national team manager Alejandro Sabella.

From TeamTalk:

"We (Tevez and Sabella) were together during my time in Brazil when I was at Corinthians (Sabella was assistant coach to Daniel Passarella)," Tevez said. "We had a fantastic rapport. We never had any problems and our relationship was cordial and very good.

"Everyone asks me why I’m not in the team but I cannot answer that question because I would be lacking respect. Things are as they are and that’s that.

"I think he (Sabella) is convinced of his selection and that’s very good. If he has to win, he will do so with his convictions and he shouldn’t do something he doesn’t feel is right. It wouldn’t be good for him to select me now!

"My wife asked me to travel to Disney with the children and I want to give her that joy once I win the scudetto with Juventus."

Should Argentina make a deep run in the tournament, however, it’s entirely conceivable that Tevez would change his mind and watch his country in the knockout stages. Nobody can be in Disney World for an entire month, can they? Right?

Composite: FOX Sports/Julie Ahn & Cheryl Hasegawa

31
Mar

Italian player to adopt baby abandoned on a train

Sassuolo foward and family man Antonio Floro Flores may not consider himself a hero, but for one little boy, he will be.

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Floro Flores, his wife and three children. (Photo via @FloroFlores83)

According to Football Italia, a baby believed to be three or four days old was found abandoned in a bag under a train seat. When Floro Flores heard of the story, he was so moved he inquired about the young child. After attempts to find the birth parents failed, the on-loan Sassuolo forward began the process to officially adopt the boy.

“After seeing the profile of little Francesco, we followed what our hearts told us,” Floro Flores said on Twitter. “Before being a player, I am a father. I’m certainly not a hero! We are going through the regular procedures.”

What a guy.

1
Nov

Diego Maradona takes swipe at former son-in-law Sergio Aguero

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You always hear stories about nightmarish in-laws, but what if your former father-in-law is Diego Maradona?

Not a good situation, but it’s the position Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero finds himself in. And he certainly isn’t in Maradona’s good graces.

After a four-year marriage, Aguero and Maradona’s daughter, Giannina, called it quits, and it seems that things were less-than-amicable.

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Speaking with Argentine radio, Diego called Aguero a “wimp, who I don’t even want to name.”

For his part, Aguero took the high road when responding to the comments via Facebook:

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"It was always clear to me that Benjamin (son) was above everything. I was never, ever okay with my personal life being out in the public eye. This is why I spoke to those close to me, and advised that they refrain from making comments. "

Aguero added: “I never spoke in these topics before. This is the first and last time. I hope everyone understands.

"For everyone’s own good and well-being, especially Ben, we need to resolve this in an amicable manner. This is what’s worked for me so far, no need to change it up."

H/T Metro

Images provided by Getty.

20
Jul

Nothing unites a team quite like walking over hot coals

Team-building exercises in the preseason are customary for pretty much every team in every sport. But whereas most coaches would probably use snug, easy activities like trust-falls or the infamous “human knot,” Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino led his straight team into the fire, literally.

Pochettino opted to have his players do something a bit more unorthodox while training in Spain: walk over hot coals!

That’s right, in a sport where a player’s most valuable weapon is their feet, he made his players walk across a path of fiery coals. Sounds crazy right?

In truth, the entire team seemed to really enjoy the bonding exercise, following their manager one-by-one over the “trail of terror” with various chants — or just wild shouts— of self-encouragement. Laughs were had by all, and thankfully no feet were too severely burnt for the following training sessions!