9
Nov

Javier Zanetti gets hero’s reception in Inter’s comeback win vs. Livorno

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Last April, we feared it was the end for Javier Zanetti. The Inter and Argentine legend ruptured his Achilles tendon in a late-season match at Palermo, and at age 39, many thought his career had come to a tragic close.

Boy, were they wrong.

Six months after vowing he would return, Zanetti made his long-awaited season debut in front of Inter’s home fans. Coming on in the 82nd minute with Inter leading Livorno 1-0, Zanetti received a standing ovation from the San Siro crowd. It would be “Pupi’s” 604th Serie A appearance (second most all-time behind Paolo Maldini), all for Inter.

And here’s some real fan footage, minus the cheesy background music:

The now 40-year-old Zanetti had the fans back on their feet just minutes later, when he started the move that led to Yuto Nagatomo’s stoppage-time clincher. This time, everyone went nuts:

Image provide by Getty.

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

Some fans show how unhappy they are with their club by booing or jeering players. Some fans boycott games. The fans of Serbian second division Mačva Šabac show their disdain in an altogether different and far more harrowing way though.

On the morning of their game on Sunday against Bane Raška, club officials found something catching their eye in the center circle of the pitch. Much to their shock, a crucifix had been buried into the grass by perpetrators who had broken in the night before.

Even more worrying is the message displayed on the crucifix, translated as “Second division or this”.

Šabac managed to win their weekend encounter, putting themselves just two points behind second place in the league. There’s certainly better ways to motivate your side though, surely?

Check the video above for the footage. Creepy!