6
Jul

Neymar addresses his legion of fans after World Cup heartache

In Brazil’s potentially World Cup 2014 defining moment vs. Colombia on Friday, Neymar fractured his vertebra that essentially ended his glittering tournament.

As their top goalscorer and standout performer, the 22-year-old Barca star was Brazil’s engine who are hoping to finally win a World Cup on their home soil.

Neymar will do his best to lead them through, though. In an incredibly emotional video, Neymar addressed his millions of fans, promising them that his World Cup dream is not over, just postponed.

"Brazilian people, players, coaches and fans, this is a very tough moment. It’s hard to express my thoughts in words.

"I want to tell you that I’ll be back on the field as soon as possible. I would like to thank you for your support and affection expressed through the messages that have been sent to me.

"My dream is not over yet, it was interrupted due to a move but it is still alive. I am sure my team mates will make sure I can achieve my dream which is to be champion.

"Another dream of mine was to play on a World Cup Final but I won’t be able to do it now – although I’m sure that my team mates will win and be champions along with me and we Brazilian people will be celebrating this achievement.

"Thank you all, hugs."

A touching sentiment, and one that could well inspire Brazil to go on and reclaim the biggest trophy in international football as a result.

Best of luck on your return, big guy.

12
Apr

10-year-old boy back on the pitch after losing part of his leg in accident

In October of last year, 10-year-old Adrian Grajeda lost part of his right leg after a car drove through a fence at his school, and debris from the crash hit him while he was playing soccer.

Adrian showed more bravery in that moment than most people do in a lifetime, helping to save another young child that was on the field.

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"Three witnesses recall Adrian helped a girl, he pushed a girl out of the way of the car so the item struck him not the little girl," his mother told KESQ.

Four surgeries and seven blood transfusions later — including his leg being amputated below the knee — Adrian has returned to action with the help of a prosthetic leg.

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"I hope I can get better with my legs, so I can shoot better and get better at running," Adrian told KESQ. That will be difficult with his current prosthetic, which doesn’t bend at the ankle. But that doesn’t mean that Adrian will give up any time soon. This kid is a warrior, and has unmatched positivity.

"I mean I can’t really bend at the ankle, so I can’t shoot with my right foot, but it’s cool because I can still walk," he said.

Adrian’s family is trying to raise money to help him get an athletic prosthetic so he can continue improving his game. You can find ways to help here.

10
Apr

Colombian kid bursts into tears upon meeting idol Radamel Falcao

Warning, you might want to get your Kleenex handy before watching. This video will surely make your heart melt.

Adding reason No. 1,234 why we love Radamel Falcao to the list.

Falcao, who tore his anterior crucial ligament back in January, is currently in Madrid rehabbing his left knee and remains hopeful of returning for Colombia before this summer’s World Cup. Yet, Falcao’s hectic schedule didn’t stop him from helping make a young fan’s dream come true.

Thanks to the Revel Foundation, Michael Steven, a 13-year-old aspiring footballer from Bogota, Colombia, met with the Colombian superstar in an emotional meeting that made the Monaco ace himself come to tears.

Michael, who admits to having over 130 photos and newspaper clippings of Falcao in his bedroom wall, cried uncontrollably upon setting eyes on “El Tigre” and refused to let go of his soccer idol with his mighty grip. Emotions run deep later in the clip when Michael touches Falcao’s knees (2:32), wishing for the striker’s speedy recovery to help Colombia’s World Cup hopes.

Pause. Reach. Grab. Tissue.

H/T: fundacionrevel.net

16
Jul

Meet Arsenal’s tour hero: The Running Man

This is just one of those fantastic heartwarming stories that emerges from pre-season tours. Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny narrates the tale of The Running Man who kept up with the Gunners’ coach during their Asian Tour in Vietnam and got to meet his heroes through sheer persistence.

Simple, but brilliant.

8
Jun

Belgium captain Vincent Kompany gets an eyeful

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The expression ‘taking one for the team’ could not be more apt in the case of Vincent Kompany who played for an hour of Belgium’s 2-1 win against Serbia with a concussion, a broken nose and a fractured eye socket. The Manchester City defender was clattered by Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic half an hour into the game and needed treatment on the sidelines before the Belgium skipper carried on. He tweeetd this picture of himself later and said: “What wouldn’t you do for your country, eh?”

Captain Fantastic or what?

Via @VincentKompany

7
May

Gareth Bale is trying to trademark his goal celebration as a logo

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Gareth Bale has filed an application with the Intellectual Property Office to trademark the heart-shaped hand gesture that he throws up to the camera after pretty much every single goal he scores.

It seems clear that Bale will try to put the logo on merchandise for fans to snatch up (the application mentions jewelry, leather goods and clothing).

One thing we’d like to know: What if Bale screws up his own trademark in the heat of the moment? Does the placement of the other fingers matter? That would be embarrassing.

And perhaps we’re reading into this too much, but the “11” in the middle means Bale won’t want to change his kit number. Maybe it’s a signal he isn’t planning on leaving Tottenham any time soon — a change in club often means a change in number.

Well, unless it’s to Real Madrid. Number 11 is held by Ricardo Carvalho. His contract is up this summer…

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1
May

Portland Timbers make 8-year-old’s wish come true

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Eight-year-old Atticus Lane-Dupre loves soccer. Last fall, he started to feel pain while playing with his team, The Green Machine. He was diagnosed with cancer (Wilms’ tumor) and missed the last game of the season as a result of the treatment he was receiving.

Atticus’ wish was simple: To play in a scrimmage against the Portland Timbers with The Green Machine.

Without hesitation, the Timbers teamed up with Make-A-Wish Oregon to grant Atticus’ wish. On Wednesday morning, a select group of Timbers players played against Atticus and The Green Machine at JELD-WEN Field.

We’ll let the video take it from here:

More than 3,000 fans showed up to cheer on Atticus and The Green Machine as they beat the Timbers 10-9, with Atticus scoring four goals on Wednesday. What a stunning display of support from the Portland community. They gave him a day he’ll never forget.

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Images and video courtesy of Major League Soccer.