19
Jul

Artist has Gotze what it takes sketching Germany’s World Cup hero

His extra-time goal against Argentina in the World Cup final sent the German nation into a state of hysteria, and now artist Heather Rooney has immortalized the face of Mario Gotze in a sketch.

Similar to Germany’s performance in the final, it starts slowly, but comes good at the end.

What a work of art — not unlike Gotze’s goal to win the World Cup.

Heather has drawn several other famous footballers, and you can see more of her brilliant work here.

17
Jul

Mesut Ozil promises to pay for 23 childrens’ surgeries following World Cup win

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(Image: Getty)

German international Mesut Ozil won the World Cup just last week, but now he’s making inroads into winning our hearts.

Ozil initially pledged to pony up for 11 surgeries for children in Brazil prior to the World Cup, as part of the BigShoe campaign:

A generous gesture by itself, now Ozil’s pledge has more than doubled in size since winning the coveted World Cup. Instead of sponsoring 11 surgeries, the Arsenal standout will pay for operations for 23 kids — the same number of players in the German squad. Ozil explained the contribution Facebook:

dear fans,
prior to the #WorldCup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. since the victory of the #WorldCup is not only due to eleven players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. this is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil. #Bigshoe #Brasil2014

The World Cup truly does seem to bring out the best in people, and certainly did in Mesut Ozil’s case … a class player and a class person.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)

15
Jul

Per Mertesacker leads Germany’s World Cup stars in funky dance routine

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We already knew Per Mertesacker has moves like Jagger, so it’s no surprise that the Arsenal dance machine made a triumphant return at Germany’s World Cup victory parade.

The Gunners defender kicked off the celebrations in style by strutting his stuff down the green carpet, with the rest of his boy band backing him up with grace:

It should only be a matter of time before Mertesacker lands a spot on “Let’s Dance,” Germany’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Thomas Muller on the other hand….

(Image: Reuters/ GIF: BVB Turkiye)

14
Jul

Germany’s Kramer can’t remember World Cup final after blow to the head

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A World Cup final is the type of game a player wants to remember every minute of. Unfortunately, Germany’s Christoph Kramer, who took a blow to the head yesterday in a collision with Argentina’s Ezequiel Garay, now says he can’t remember much of it at all.

Kramer took a blow to the face early, and then continued playing for 14 minutes before slumping to the ground. Kramer had to be carried off. (Gonzalo Higuain also took a blow to the head from the knee of German keeper Manuel Neuer in the game, but never seemed to lose consciousness.)

"I can’t really remember much of the game," Kramer told German newspaper Die Welt. 

"I don’t know anything at all about the first half. I thought later that I left the game immediately after the tackle. I have no idea how I got to the changing rooms. I don’t know anything else. In my head, the game starts from the second half."

Concussions are no joke. Post-concussion syndromes have been linked to dementia, depression and death. Lingering injuries from concussions have also ended a number of top players’ careers, including that of former USA forward Taylor Twellman.

FIFA has also been criticized for their handling of head injuries during this past tournament: Uruguay defender Alvaro Pereira appeared to be briefly knocked unconscious after a knee to the head, but demanded to be and was allowed to continue playing. 

Kramer’s incident — and his subsequent admission — will heap on more pressure for FIFA to allow independent concussion testing. One solution? Allowing teams to use a free substitute while the player in question is being evaluated. 

(h/t The Independent)

(Image: Getty)

12
Jul

Pope Francis, Benedict XVI will remain neutral in World Cup final

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With the World Cup final nearly upon us, supporters from the two teams that make up the fixture — Argentina and Germany — will be desperate for some divine intervention to see them to glory. Unfortunately, though, they won’t be able to call in any favors from two of the holiest men on the planet.

Pope Francis — who is Argentine — nor his predecessor, ex-German Pope Benedict XVI will be supporting their respective nations.

“Popes are above such things,” Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said, via The Boston Globe. “They can only hope for the best team to win.”

Their decision to remain impartial may come as a shock to many, considering the first pontiff from Latin America is an avid soccer fan who roots for the Saints of San Lorenzo back in Buenos Aires. Since his election in March, Pope Francis has accumulated a growing collection of soccer jerseys tossed to him by fans at his public appearances.

Although neither is willing to side with either nation, the Pope is expected to catch the action, according to Roxana Alfieri, who worked with Pope Francis in Argentina.

“He will surely watch the match; I have no doubt about it,” Alfieri said. “He used to listen to San Lorenzo on the radio and enjoyed following all the big events on TV.”

(H/T NESN)

Photo provide by Getty Images. Information from The Associated Press was used in this post.

11
Jul

Brazil’s embarrassing World Cup exit provokes unexpected sympathy

Should old acquaintance be forgot? It was never going to be, but I hardly expected to be thinking of my friends from Copacabana so soon after landing back in England, and I certainly didn’t expect to be feeling so sorry for them.

The return home came just hours before the first semifinal and, like hundreds of millions of others across the planet, I watched incredulous as the team of the host nation, the greatest of all soccer nations, concede goals to Germany with a rapidity that would have been surprising in the NBA; let alone a sporting arena that had yielded just 1.25 goals per entire game in the previous round, as things became about as tight and tense as international soccer can get.

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After the magnificent Germans had eased off and started saving their energy for Sunday’s final, they stopped at seven, to which Brazil replied with a gesture that produced one in the closing seconds. I was watching in a riverside pub on the south-western fringes of London, slack-jawed like everyone around me, trying to think of precedents but being able to think only of the folks with whom I’d seen all the previous Brazil games.

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10
Jul

Angry Brazil fan smashes TV after defeat to Germany

Fans in Brazil have their own ways of dealing with the humiliation of their country’s 7-1 defeat to Germany - some cried, some booed, and some went a whole lot further.

One particularly enraged Brazilian supporter just couldn’t hide his emotions and went to work on destroying his television.

After ripping the flatscreen from the wall, the fan decides to repeatedly drop the tube - most likely a smash for every goal conceded. Unfortunately, in his fit of rage he’s lost all sense of reasoning and despite the best efforts of one of the family members they’re unable to stop the madness.

Unfortunately for TV sets in Brazil, it doesn’t seem to matter whether the Selecao wins or loses. After their Round of 16 win over Chile in penalties, this poor flat screen suffered the same fate: