15
Apr

Anti-violence team named after pope has two players sent off in first game

imageImage: Victor R. Caivano/AP/PA

Oh, the irony!

Papa Francisco FC, an Argentinian soccer team named after Pope Francis and set up to promote non-violence in the sport, had two of their players sent off in their first-ever match.

The Buenos Aires-based club was founded to serve as an inspiration for others in Argentinian football, which is plagued by violence and gang activity across all levels (it’s so bad, in fact, that Lionel Messi cried about it in a recent TV ad). The team is nicknamed “The Saint of the South” in honor of His Holiness, and the team motto, according to president Jorge Ramírez is “no hooligans, no violence and no insults.”

However, in the club’s first game — which took place in the Catholic holy site of Lujan to boot — it appears the team did not act very saintly at all. And it’s safe to say that the Pope won’t change his allegiance from San Lorenzo to Papa Francisco FC anytime soon.

H/T The Guardian

14
Apr

Sub runs onto pitch to block goal, kind of gets away with it

Entering the field of play when you’re not supposed to is generally frowned upon — even more so when you stop an almost-certain goal from being scored.

A player in Iran did just that, and it actually kind of worked out for him. He was sent off, but his team kept all 11 players on the pitch, and their opponents didn’t score the ensuing direct kick. Win-win.

But honestly, the biggest question we have after watching that is why the sub didn’t just save it with his hands. It’s not like he wasn’t going to be caught.

(H/T Guardian)

13
Apr

Fan bares all to distract Diego Costa’s PK attempt against Getafe

Warning: The image and video below contain partial nudity.

Fans will go to extreme lengths to distract players on opposing teams, but this is one of the most shameless we’ve seen.

When Diego Costa stepped up to take a penalty kick for Atletico Madrid against Getafe on Sunday, one dedicated fan dropped trou in an attempt to throw Costa off.

It worked.

Read More

12
Apr

Rob Ford ruthlessly cracks penalty kick past youth soccer player … twice

image

(Image: Getty)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is rarely short of headlines. Instead of listing his many exploits … we suggest you just Google the peculiar public figure.

The latest comes to us from an event at a youth soccer camp in Toronto. Mayor Ford drops by the camp, and in the video below you’ll see he challenges the kids to see who wants to step between the posts and take on “Fordnaldo” mano-a-mano.

The end result is nothing short of what you’d expect from Ford.

The politician absolutely catapults a shot past the boy. After making the kid find a seat (probably in an attempt to save his own life), he lines up another. He even engages in a little bit of smack talk!

So, does Ford take it easy on try No. 2? You know, let the kid get a stop so everybody wins? Nope. He cracks another one, this time hitting the top of the net and leaving the kid helpless yet again.

Good on you, Rob Ford. Prove to everyone you truly are an athletic force to be reckoned with!

image

(Image: Imgur)

Ah, yes, still some work to be done.

(h/t Bleacher Report)

5
Apr

Man gets taped to Newcastle lamp post in Sunderland kit on stag night

Chances are, this is not how you would envision your bachelor night to go.

A groom-to-be was taped up to a lamppost by his friends in the middle of Newcastle this weekend, wearing, of all things, a full Sunderland kit. (The outfit was complemented by a cartoonish helicopter cap, a nice touch.)

The brave stag, who remains unidentified, thus spent his last night of “freedom” getting honked at and ridiculed by hundreds of strangers in Newcastle. Sounds fun!

H/T Pies

31
Mar

League Two side lose in 89th minute because of wacky own goal

It just wasn’t in the cards for Oxford United on Saturday.

The League Two side are in the hunt for a promotion playoff spot, along with their weekend opponent Dagenham & Redbridge. With only six weeks left in the season, every point is crucial. After making it almost the full 90 minutes without conceding, this happened:

Ouch. Not only is that one of the more unfortunate own goals we’ve ever seen, it was the game-winner — and put Oxford’s playoff spot in jeopardy.

Daggers boss Wayne Burnett joked after the match, “It was a brilliant goal, we’ve been working on that all week,” he said.

We doubt the U’s and their fans were laughing.

(H/T Oxford Mail, WAATP)

29
Mar

This might be the strangest pitch invader yet

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes Betty Boop.

During Marseille’s 1-1 draw with Sochaux, a fan interrupted Mathieu Valbuena while he set up to take a corner kick.

Why would someone would bring this doll into a soccer stadium? You know what, don’t answer that. We probably don’t want to know.

H/T 101GG

29
Mar

Pele, CR7 fight for fans’ affection in airline ad

image

It’s always humbling to find oneself in the presence of greatness. But what if two equally-great stars happen to be on the same flight?

Emirates Airline explores that very scenario in a new advertisement that comes just in time for the World Cup.

In the ad, Cristiano Ronaldo emerges from a fancy first-class bathroom and walks over to the even fancier onboard bar, when he overhears two fellow passengers whispering to each other. Cracking a smile, Ronaldo figures they’re talking about him like two giggly schoolgirls. But when the two talk about the “three World Cups” he’s won, the Portuguese star suddenly realizes he was mistaken. At that moment, the great Pele appears, smirking all the way as if to say “Calm down, rookie. They’re here for me.”

But to show that Emirates “connect all football fans,” no matter who they might adore, a third, younger passenger appears and asks for a picture with Ronaldo, presumably not recognizing the great Pele, which is absurd. The two legends smile at each other like, coming to the understanding that “hey, we are both so awesome.”

And then they all fly off to Brazil together, happily ever after. Because who wouldn’t be if they can afford a seat on that ostentatious airbus!

Watch the ad below:

27
Mar

Rejoice, world! The Zlatan stamps are now on sale

image

As we first told you in November, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been immortalized by the Swedish Postal Service (Posten) with his own line of stamps. And on Thursday, after an excruciating four-month wait, the stamps finally went on sale, obviously to roaring success.

Football fans all over the continent have been flocking to their local post offices for the first time in probably a decade. Posten’s Head of Stamps Britt-Inger Hahne told TT news agency that five million stamps have already been sold in advance.

“The French are particularly interested,” Hahne said. “One customer ordered 1,500 packages for his French friends.” (Okay, we’re not sure if that means 1,500 Facebook “friends” or actual friends, but regardless, that’s a lot of stamps!)

Zlatan himself has been overjoyed at the thought of seeing his big schnoz on the bills he will receive. In November, he said:

It’s a great honour to be on a postage stamp and I’m very happy and proud to have been chosen. I usually receive bills and they seldom have nice stamps. Maybe that will change now.”

As you can see, the Zlatan stamps all feature images of him in action with the Swedish national team, and two of them capture the iconic bicycle kick he scored against England, which won the FIFA Puskas Award in January for Goal of the Year.

Image: Getty