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)

10
May

Diego Maradona wants you to know he’s lost some weight, again

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Okay, more like a lot of weight. And per Diego’s own words, all those pounds were shed under his own power, not with the magic of Photoshop (or weight-loss surgery).

You have to admit, Diego looks pretty incredible right now, even if we don’t know just how much he sucked his stomach in for the picture. Just compare it to the shape he was in literally only a year ago:

imageImage: Getty

Of course, now the question is: How long will it last? Maradona is notorious for fluctuating in size like Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor. He’s like a human accordion.

Case in point? This was him looking spiffy at the 2010 World Cup:

imageImage: Reuters

And then here he is in 2011, back to his lovable balloon size:

imageImage: Reuters

So, yeah. Keeping the weight off is half the battle.

We wish you all the best with your latest body transformation, Diego. Just remember, we love you no matter what your size.

imageMaradona in March 2005. Max Air? More like No Air (Image: Reuters).

1
May

Corinthians pay tribute to F1 legend Senna before match

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It has been 20 years since a tragic accident in the San Marino Gran Prix took the life of Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna. The extraordinarily talented driver was from Sao Paulo and an avid fan of the club.

Although Senna’s career was cut short at just 34 years of age, he was a sporting hero to millions of Brazilians.

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Before their match on Wednesday night, the team walked out of the tunnel carrying replicas of the helmet Senna used to wear. It was a moving tribute to a man who so many in Brazil revere:

The players weren’t the only ones involved in paying their respect to the late Senna. Fans in the stadium created signs and banners for him as well:

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Photographs courtesy of Action Images.

21
Apr

Messi’s son has cute, customized ‘Papi’ jersey

Lionel Messi’s son Thiago has his own adorable, customized Messi jersey with “Papi” on the back, according to an Instagram post by Messi’s girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo.

The picture was accompanied by the message: “Con vos en todas 👊👊,” or “With you in everything.”

Awwwww!

9
Apr

Drink it like Beckham! Superstar gets his own Scotch

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He was the world’s highest-paid footballer not too long ago and is married to Posh Spice. He has his own line of underwear and men’s fragrances. Heck, he even has his own MLS franchise now! Once in a wile, David Beckham must ask himself, “What don’t I have?”

The answer: his own liquor.

Well, at least until now, because “Golden Balls” is linking up with British drinks giant Diageo to release a new scotch called Haig Club. A bottle of Beckham’s drink of choice will run you about $65 and is said to have hints of butterscotch and toffee flavor, which sounds delicious. However, drinking this scotch will not make you a better footballer (just to be perfectly clear).

Terms of the partnership — including whether or not Beckham is actively investing in the brand — weren’t disclosed, but a Diageo spokesperson said the global superstar, along with business representative Simon Fuller (yes the American Idol producer), would help develop the brand, its strategy and positioning.

“David Beckham and Simon Fuller are renowned for breaking boundaries and shaking up markets in every sector in which they work,” Diageo’s Global Head of Premium Core Spirits David Gates said in a released statement. “We are immensely proud to partner with them on our first large scale grain whisky innovation.”

Celebritiy tie-ups in the liquor industry is clearly what’s hot in the streets nowadays. Diageo has already teamed up with Sean “Diddy” Combs to buy upmarket tequila DeLeón, while George Clooney and Justin Timberlake have also put their names on tequila brands recently.

Beckham added: “The House of Haig has a rich history and I’m proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years. Working closely with Diageo, we look forward to collaborating on Haig Club, valuing and treasuring the Haig traditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come.”

H/T NY Post

Image provided by Getty.

16
Mar

Lionel Messi becomes Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer

imageImage: Getty

Lionel Messi scored a hat trick at Osasuna on Sunday to become Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer at the tender age of 26! Twenty-six! Messi equaled and overtook Paulino Alcantara’s record with his 369th and 370th goal, the later added a third for good measure.

What. A. Legend.

Check out the hat trick below:

If you’re into math, Messi needed only 452 games to break the record, scoring an average of .82 goals per match. Simply amazing. As a reward, he gets to wear these bad boys soon:

To celebrate Messi’s club goal record, @adidasSoccer unveils limited edition #Messi370 #adizero F50. #teamadidas pic.twitter.com/hXD68JXsZw

With Messi now having run out of club records to break, he’ll set his sights on the all-time La Liga goalscoring record next. With 233 goals to his credit, he is 19 goals shy of Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra. Look for the Argentinian magician to break that sometime early next season.