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!

25
Sep

Lionel Messi opts for pizza, Pique a fan of Nutella sandwiches after games

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(Image illustration: FOXSports.com)

It could be suggested that our obsession with soccer players borders on the absurd. For instance, take the quasi-firestorm that was drummed up after a reporter from Spanish newspaper Libertad Digital leaked a photo of Barcelona’s post-game meal selections.

Seems a bit bizarre to snap a photo of what players eat after a game, but look! Look at what these guys chow down on!

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(Image: Libertad Digital)

Lionel Messi has his eyes on a pizza (which is the biggest hit), although La Pulga opts for plain cheese. A few players (like Mr. Shakira, Gerard Pique) selected Nutella, a chocolate and hazelnut spread, to make a tasty sandwich.

Perhaps the most surprising reveal? Take a guess at who has the biggest appetite. If you guessed Luis Suarez, you’re wrong.

None other than diminutive midfield maestro Andres Iniesta, with an order of a ham and cheese pizza alongside a chorizo sausage and cheese sandwich, seems to have the biggest stomach.

Perhaps it seems like a lot, but consider how much running around these guys do, they can eat whatever they want.

Now, who said a picture of a menu would be boring?

(h/t Daily Mail)

28
Jun

Lionel Messi’s grandfather slams grandson over his World Cup form

Most people have run out of superlatives for Lionel Messi’s performances on a soccer field. “La Pulga” (The Flea) has taken the World Cup in stride — four goals in three games — and catapulted Argentina into the Round of 16, where they will now face Switzerland.

His goal-scoring prowess, however, wasn’t enough to impress his top critic: Antonio Cuccitini, his grandfather.

The striker’s grandpa wasn’t too pleased with his famous grandson’s performances in Brazil 2014 thus far. Cuccitini told AS.com:

"I think he’s been pretty poor. In Spain, he’s got more zip, he goes around 22 players. He needs to get his spark back. Right now Leo isn’t running, I’m not convinced by him. I’m truthful and I don’t have time for hot air.”

Ouch! That’s gotta hurt.

Despite three “man of the match” performances, does Messi’s grandad really think the four-time Ballon d’Or winner isn’t putting the effort in? That’s a stretch and one that we can’t believe.

Even so, Cuccitini did offer some helpful words of encouragement for the Argentina superstar and showed us that he does have a heart.

“You can’t demand everything,” Cuccitini said. “He’s not God, who can do it all. … Keep your chin up, you’ll do great, I love you lots.”

(H/T: NESN)

Image provided Mundial Deportivo/Twitter/AP

5
Jun

Trinidad & Tobago player bows down to Lionel Messi, literally

We all have idols, and very few of us actually get to meet them face to face. In the rare occasion that it happens, the reactions range from uncontrollable joy to stunned silence.

When Trinidad & Tobago faced Argentina on Wednesday, one player used the handshake line as his opportunity to show respect to his idol, Lionel Messi.

Was this the most appropriate setting for Ataullah Guerra to actually bow down to Messi? Probably not. Then again, it’s not often one gets this rare opportunity, so we can’t really blame him for taking advantage of the situation.

But we doubt Messi will receive the same treatment from his opponents in Brazil.

(H/T @FootballVines)

30
May

Lionel Messi surprises fans with completely adorable hugs

Ever since shows like Candid Camera and Punk’d came around, people everywhere are skeptical when presented with a situation that seems too good to be true.

This is especially true when a person is surprised by their sporting idol.

Head and Shoulders filmed a stunt in which people were dared to hug whatever came out of a special box. A knight, an astronaut, an elderly women; you name it, it came out of that box.

But then, a surprise guest made an appearance:

You can see the gears turning in their heads. "Is that really Lionel Messi? I mean, really? It can’t be. Maybe? YES IT IS LIONEL MESSI!"

Eventually, everyone accepted it was truly Messi standing in front of them, and they hugged him like they’ve never hugged before. D’awwwww.

(H/T SB Nation)

24
May

Adidas launches World Cup ad during Champions League final

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Adidas unveiled their official World Cup TV spot during halftime of Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final, and of course it didn’t disappoint.

With the tagline “All In or Nothing,” the ad features some of adidas’ biggest clients - Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Özil, Luis Suárez, Robin van Persie and Xavi - and is directed by “City of God” director Fernando Meirelles. And yes, none other than Kanye West is on the 1s and 2s.

Watch it below:

21
May

Young Aberdeen fan sends club list of his desired transfer targets

A boy can dream, right?

Nine-year-old Boyd Gibson sent Aberdeen FC a list of players he’d like his favorite club to pursue in the summer transfer window, and it’s brilliant! 

A couple things to note here:

  • Clearly Boyd sees Aberdeen playing with a bold 1-2-7 formation next season. Thiago Silva should be able to hold it down by himself back there. It is only the Scottish Premier League…
  • He must be a huge Dortmund fan. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, of all people, is the third name on his list, beating out the likes of Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale.
  • This kid’s spelling is impeccable. Don’t lie, you and I both would have sabotaged this entire list at age 9.
  • Kris Boyd! Really though!

H/T Reddit

19
May

Barcelona shut out of La Liga Best XI

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Trivia question: When was the last time Lionel Messi was excluded from La Liga’s official ‘Team of the Year?’ Better question: When’s the last time nobody from Barcelona made the Best XI?

Well, since the Liga Nacional de Futbol Profesional (LFP) only introduced that distinction in 2008, the answer to both questions would be ‘never.’ Until now.

Yup, this season the LFP have shut out Barca completely. Even stranger, only one Real Madrid player made the team: Cristiano Ronaldo. In place of the usual pack of players from the two La Liga behemoths? A whole gang of Atletico Madrid stars; seven of the eleven come from this year’s champions, while two Athletic Bilbao players also made the cut. Here’s the full squad:

GK:  Thibaut Courtois, Atletico Madrid

DEF: Luis Filipe, Atletico Madrid; Diego Godin, Atletico Madrid; Aymeric Laporte, Athletic Bilbao; Juanfran, Atletico Madrid.

MID: Koke, Atletico Madrid; Ander Iturraspe, Athletic Bilbao; Gabi, Atletico Madrid; Ivan Rakitic, Sevilla.

FWD: Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid; Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid

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Weird, isn’t it?

Images: Best XI (LFP) & Messi (Reuters)