30
May

Disabled young fan impresses David Luiz, makes Neymar cry

Brazil have begun their training camp ahead of this summer’s World Cup, and yesterday they had a very exceptional visitor.

imageThe teen reads his letter to The Selecao. (Image: @HotspurRelated)

Leonardo Marques Tome, a 17-year-old who was born with arthrogryposis, stopped by their session to read the players a letter about his story, and show off his juggling skills. 

Not only was David Luiz very clearly impressed with the boy’s skills, the letter read to the team even brought Neymar to tears.

imageNeymar gets emotional after hearing the boy’s story. (Image: AP)

It’s not as if Brazil needed any more motivation in this summer’s tournament, but this brave youngster surely has them pushing just a little bit harder.

(H/T Dirty Tackle)

21
Aug

Manager wakes up from coma after hearing his team won their first match

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Wayne Thorne with wife Mandy (via @BathSport)

A devastating car accident left Larkhall Athletic manager Wayne Thorne in a week-long coma. All it took for him to wake up was his wife uttering those sweet three little words: Honey, we won.

Thorne had just begun his second season in charge of the semi-pro club when, on his way home from his second job as a kitchen fitter, a head-on collision left him with a ruptured artery in his heart, 16 crushed ribs, a punctured lung, a broken sternum, a dislocated and broken hip and pelvis, as well as a fracture below his left knee.

Lucky to be alive, Thorne underwent a series of surgeries that induced a coma. He remained unresponsive for a week, up until his wife and brother let him know the club had won their opening match of the season. Larkham beat Bridport 4-3 after storming back from a 1-3 deficit.

In an interview with The Guardian, Mrs. Thorne added:
"On the first Saturday Larkhall had a game and me and his brother told him the score and he opened his eyes. I know studies have shown that they can hear you and me and his brother truly believe he heard us. It was brilliant to see, because he absolutely loves his football and is so dedicated to Larkhall Athletic.”
Who says sports can’t heal all wounds?

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Thorne (fourth from the bottom right) in Larkhall’s team photo. Image via WAATP
10
Aug

Dutch team finds new way to motivate players

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This might get the boys to give that extra 10 percent.

Starting what may soon become a trend across the European soccer landscape, Eredivisie side NEC Nijmegen has come up with a special reward for its “Man of the Match” recipient — a personal car wash serviced by three bikini-clad beauties.

After a preseason friendly against La Liga side Osasuna, NEC’s first MOTM prize winner Victor Palsson promptly tweeted out a picture to make his teammates fume with jealousy:

The club is hoping that the idea will make a difference in the players’ performances. After finishing in 15th place last season, just four points above the relegation playoff places, any extra motivation would be deemed helpful.

But a car wash might not be for everyone, so just in case, we’ve come up with a few extra MOTM rewards that might galvanize your players to go the extra mile:

  • The Zlatan Ibrahimovic sweater - a real collector’s item.
  • A dinner date with Luis Suarez at a vegetarian restaurant, relax.
  • Seasons 1 and 2 of Breaking Bad on DVD - For those who were dumb enough not to have seen this show already.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s autobiography, “I Am Zlatan.”
  • Get your taxes done by Uli Hoeness for free.
  • One tin of Cristiano Ronaldo’s special secret hair gel.
  • Free acting lessons with Neymar.
  • A close shave from Fabien Barthez.
  • Two tickets to Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial match…wait, that already happened? Isn’t he still playing?
  • New $4,000 pair of Swarovski crystal encrusted boots.
  • A pet pig. On second thought, maybe not.
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.

26
Apr

Stu Holden is finally back on track

It’s been a long and tiring road of recovery for Stuart Holden.

Ever since Jonny Evans’ studs destroyed his knee in March 2011, Holden has been battling to get to full strength and fitness. He faced several setbacks with his knee in his rehabilitation process, but has finally made it back onto the pitch. FOX Soccer spoke with Holden, his brother Euan and girlfriend Karalyn about his recovery process, and now his return to playing.

He hopes to help Bolton get back to Premier League, and contribute to the U.S. men’s national team in the near future — he has his sights set on the World Cup in Brazil.

Part one:

Part two:

15
Feb

Ronaldo sheds flubber, comeback in the works?

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We’ve chronicled Ronaldo’s weight loss extensively, but this time we have proof regarding the Brazilian’s remarkable transformation.

You see, “El Phenomenon” participated in Brazil’s “Celebrity Fit Club” since last September and astonishingly lost nearly 20kgs which has led many to speculate if the former Real Madrid star is contemplating a return to the beautiful game.

We can neither confirm nor deny this rumor, but the fact remains Ronaldo looks in terrific in shape and we can only hope that he continues with this healthy lifestyle.