16
Oct

#TBT: Lionel Messi’s La Liga debut

Ten years ago Thursday, Lionel Messi was handed his La Liga debut for Barcelona by then-manager Frank Rijkaard. Only 17, the baby-faced Argentinian played all of eight minutes coming off the bench for Deco against Espanyol, becoming the second-youngest in club history to wear the Blaugrana kit.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Take a look at Messi throughout the years by heading here!

8
Oct

U.S. Soccer makes perfect tribute video to Landon Donovan

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This Friday marks the final time Landon Donovan will strip on a USA jersey, as the 32-year-old will captain Jurgen Klinsmann’s side in a friendly match vs. Ecuador.

To mark this emotional occasion, U.S. Soccer has put together a touching tribute video for its all-time leader in both goals and assists. And it couldn’t be more perfect:

Here’s hoping No. 10 will go out with a goal or two to ring out his international career in style. We’ll miss you, Landon.

23
Sep

Nottingham Forest to honor late Brian Clough with green sweater tribute

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Brian Clough made them fashionable back in his day.

The beloved late manager, who led Nottingham Forest to two European Cups, a league title and four league cups, was famous for wearing green sweaters (the English call them “jumpers”) on the sidelines.

On Wednesday, Forest will pay tribute to their legendary coach with a beautiful gesture for their League Cup tie at Tottenham. Each traveling fan attending the match at White Hart Lane will be handed a replica green jumper to wear.

From The Guardian:

All Forest fans traveling on official club coaches to the fixture will be given replicas of Clough’s famous fashion accessory to mark the 10th anniversary of his death on 20 September 2004.

John McGovern, Nottingham Forest’s club ambassador, said: “Brian was simply the best. There will never ever be anyone in football quite like Brian again. He is synonymous with Nottingham Forest and to see 1,000 Forest fans in green jumpers at such a high-profile game will be a fantastic way to mark the anniversary.”

The jumpers will be handed out by representatives of the Nottingham-based sponsors of the competition, Capital One.

Image provided by Reuters

7
Aug

Soccer community reacts to Landon Donovan’s retirement

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Landon Donovan’s announcement that he will retire at the end of the season was met with an outpouring of respect and adulation from his teammates, both past and present. Even his old Premier League club Everton checked in to send their best regards!

Check out some of the reaction on Twitter:

7
Aug

USA, MLS legend Landon Donovan confirms he will retire at end of season

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Landon Donovan confirmed on his Facebook page that he will retire at the end of this Major League Soccer season:

After careful deliberation and after many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last season as a professional soccer player…

I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have played a role in the remarkable growth of MLS and US Soccer during my playing career. And while my career as a player will soon be over, rest assured I will stay connected on many levels to the beautiful game.

As we enter a transformative time for the sport, I will do everything I can to help the continued growth of soccer in the United States. I look forward to making a difference, pursuing my passions and meeting all of you along the way in this next phase of my life.

Donovan, 32, will go down as the greatest American soccer player ever. He owns the United States men’s national team all-time records for goals (57), assists (58), and starts (140), and is only second to Cobi Jones with 156 caps:

Donovan also holds the all-time goalscoring record in MLS (138 goals), which he broke earlier this summer, and is second place all time in assists (124) and game-winning goals (38):

For more on Donovan’s pending retirement, go here!

28
Jul

Ronaldinho leaves Atletico Mineiro, is now a free agent

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Former ‘best player in the world’ Ronaldinho is unemployed.

The 34-year-old announced on Monday that he is leaving Atletico Mineiro by mutual consent, and is due to give a press conference on Wednesday to announce his future plans.

Atletico coach Levir Culpi confirmed the news speaking with SporTV.

"I can’t call on Ronaldinho anymore. His cycle with us has ended. It’s unfortunate because he’s an idol to all of us. Everyone loves his football, the way he plays and he’s a very charismatic person," Culpi said.

"But that’s the way it goes. He’s leaving and we must move on without him."

The former Ballon d’Or winner and World Cup champion scored 28 goals in 88 games with Mineiro, and helped them win their first ever Copa Libertadores title last season. Ronaldinho’s contract with the Belo Horizonte club was set to expire at the end of this year.

While you can now officialy start day-dreaming about Ronaldinho joining Major League Soccer, take in some of his greatest moments at Mineiro:

H/T Goal.com

28
May

Cuauhtemoc Blanco bids farewell to Estadio Azteca, spells doom for Mexico

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Cuauhtemoc Blanco, one of Mexico’s proudest sons, took a final bow in his final match in Mexico colors at the Estadio Azteca.

It was an emotional testimonial for the 41-year-old schemer, though it also signaled an ominous sign for El Tri fans right before the 2014 World Cup kicks off in two weeks time.

Blanco, who earned the starting nod for Mexico against Israel on Wednesday night, got a full 38 minutes and was arguably El Tri’s best player on the pitch. And Twitter agreed:

Blanco undoubtedly served as the center of attention in Mexico’s superfluous 3-0 victory over the Israel and as the rallying point for El Tri’s final match on home soil. The former Club America legend relished the opportunity to play his part one last time.

Yet somewhere in the world, you can’t help but think that Group A rivals Brazil, Cameroon and Croatia are licking their chops.

Image provided by Mexsport Agencia Fotográfica.

15
May

Iniesta, Guardiola and other Barcelona greats pay tribute to Carles Puyol

With nagging knee injuries dragging him down, Barcelona legend Carles Puyol reluctantly called it quits on Thursday.

As the curtain closes on a memorable 15-year career in the top flight, Barcelona put together a touching video to thank the shaggy captain for his services.

Barcelona legends, current and former, all got together to pay tribute to Puyol in the video above. Watch and enjoy.

(FC Barcelona)