22
Jul

GIF: Lewandowski scores in first test as Bayern player

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This summer has produced yet another arms race between the elite clubs in Europe. Real Madrid signed James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, Barcelona scooped up Luis Suarez, and Chelsea reloaded with the likes of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.

Bayern Munich? They’ve been rather quiet, but for good reason.

The German champions did their best business back in January, when it was announced that Robert Lewandowski would join them on a free transfer. You’d be forgiven to have forgotten about him, since he couldn’t star at the World Cup and all.

But on Monday against third-division side Duisburg, in his first test as a Bayern player, the Polish goal machine announced his arrival with an impressive goal:

GIF via Pies

18
Jul

Luis Suarez forgets keys and is locked out of home in Spain

Since biting Giorgio Chiellini, Luis Suarez has been on a bit of a roller coaster. He had his appeal rejected, but then secured a move to Barcelona. However, because of his ban, he cannot be unveiled with his new club.

So Suarez is stuck in limbo while waiting in Spain for his eventual unveiling and introduction to the press. While he waits, he’s staying with his in-laws in Castelldefels outside of Barcelona.

Well, today we’ve learned that even a person as successful and wealthy and talented as Luis Suarez forgets his keys sometimes. Whoops:

The eager fans outside the house didn’t mind, of course, and Suarez obliged many of them with autographs and pictures. But man, the guy just can’t seem to catch a break these days. 

It sure seems like biting gives you bad karma. Who knew?

(H/T Off The Post)

30
May

Lionel Messi surprises fans with completely adorable hugs

Ever since shows like Candid Camera and Punk’d came around, people everywhere are skeptical when presented with a situation that seems too good to be true.

This is especially true when a person is surprised by their sporting idol.

Head and Shoulders filmed a stunt in which people were dared to hug whatever came out of a special box. A knight, an astronaut, an elderly women; you name it, it came out of that box.

But then, a surprise guest made an appearance:

You can see the gears turning in their heads. "Is that really Lionel Messi? I mean, really? It can’t be. Maybe? YES IT IS LIONEL MESSI!"

Eventually, everyone accepted it was truly Messi standing in front of them, and they hugged him like they’ve never hugged before. D’awwwww.

(H/T SB Nation)

30
May

Cinderella-esque Spanish team buys Barcelona’s unused confetti

When Barcelona took on Atletico Madrid in the final La Liga match of the 2013-14 season, they bought red and blue confetti to prepare for a potential league win. As we all know now, they in fact lost the league to Atletico, so all that celebratory paper was going to go to waste. 

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The 2013-14 team picture for Eibar. (Twitter: @sd_eibar)

In comes Eibar, a Spanish team that has won two promotions in two years, and clinched promotion from the Segunda Division to La Liga next season. However, because of recently introduced financial regulations, the club cannot be promoted unless they raise 1.7 million euros by August 6. Ouch.

They’ve done everything possible to help hit this number, including selling individual shares online for 50 euros. But the small-town club still have a ways to go, so they’ve taken all possible cost-cutting measures to help with the fundraising, including purchasing Barcelona’s unused confetti at a deep discount:

imageEibar’s colors just so happen to be the same as Barca’s (Image: Getty).

The confetti would’ve gone bad — apparently, it lumps together when unused — so Barca was happy to unload it for a small fee.

Good luck in your quest for promotion, Eibar. We’re rooting for you.

(Via abc.es)

30
Apr

"We are all monkeys" banana selfie trend was pre-planned

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It turns out the social media explosion after Dani Alves’ brilliant act of eating a banana thrown at him by a racist fan wasn’t as spontaneous a reaction as we all thought.

According to Spanish newspaper AS and the Associated Press, his Brazilian teammate Neymar, who has been the target for racial abuse often this season, hatched a plan a couple of weeks ago with the help of a team of advisors, including Neymar’s father. The plan was that next time Neymar had a banana thrown at him — something that would inevitably (and sadly) happen — he would eat it.

It turned out that Alves was a target of this disgusting act before Neymar. The act of eating the banana was spontaneous, as Alves said he was “just trying to use a positive attitude to counter a negative attitude.”

But Neymar jumped at the opportunity to launch the campaign, posting a photo and the pre-planned hashtags #weareallmonkeys and #somostodosmacacos, conceived by Brazilian marketing firm Loducca.

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Guga Ketzer, a partner at Loducca, said:

Actions speak louder than words. A gesture needs no translation and what we’re seeing is that this has gone viral, globally. The concept was for Neymar to eat the banana, but in the end it was Alves, and that works just the same.

The best way to beat prejudice is to take the sting out of the action so it is not racist repeated. We created #weareallmonkeys #somostodosmacacos, with the gesture of eating a banana, and it has been turned into a movement.

Following Dani Alves’ impulsive on-field meal and Neymar’s pre-planned reaction, soccer players, fans and even politicians around the world began uploading pictures of themselves eating bananas to help take a stand against racism. These were not planned.

The fact Neymar’s reaction wasn’t as impulsive as we originally thought shouldn’t matter much. Though the ‘Banana Selfie Movement’ may have lost some of its romance, it still managed to get the word out against racism in a positive, sweeping way.

23
Apr

Barcelona-themed candy confiscated because they’re full of drugs

A master candy maker was arrested along with eight other people as part of a big drug sting involving chocolates in the shape of the Barcelona shield.

But what do candy and drugs have in common? A whole lot:

The national police of Spain nabbed the makers of these treats in a an operation to take down a drug ring in Alicante and Valencia region. Not only did the bust find gourmet chocolates filled with weed and hallucinogenic mushrooms, but lots of cash, speed and cocaine as well. That’s quite the haul.

So, if you’re in Spain looking for Barca chocolates filled with drugs, you’re out of luck.

(H/T SB Nation, Story via The Local)

12
Apr

Iniesta ignores young pitch invader while she hugs him

We’re sure that Andres Iniesta normally loves the support of his fans, but when a young girl ran onto the field to hug her idol after Barcelona’s loss to Granada on Saturday, we can’t blame him for trying to brush her off.

Her timing was less than ideal: it was during a TV interview. After a loss. To a team that hasn’t defeated your club since 1972.

Come on, kiddo. Not cool.

You have to give her credit for her commitment to the hug. That girl has a death-grip on Iniesta’s waist. But was it worth the inevitable months of being grounded?

11
Apr

Manchester United fans experience every emotion possible in just 22 seconds

This season hasn’t been kind to Manchester United fans. After more than two decades of success under Sir Alex Ferguson, the sudden dip in form (and position on the table) has left Red Devils’ fans in a pit of despair.

When the once-fearsome club took on mighty Bayern Munich on Wednesday, no one expected Patrice Evra to score a stunner to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Euphoria. Tears of joy. Cloud nine. Hope.

But just 22 short seconds later, United fans came crashing back to Earth. Mario Mandzukic shut down the party before it even had a chance to really get started.

It was hard enough for United fans watching from afar to digest what unfolded on their televisions; for the supporters at the Allianz Arena, the pain was tenfold.

It’s the hope that kills you.

(H/T SB Nation)