11
Sep

Rio de Janeiro favela features world’s first pitch powered by players

We’re all used to Pelé doing the remarkable, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Brazilian soccer legend has partnered with Shell to unveil something truly mind-blowing: A pitch that’s powered by players.

That’s right. Nestled in a favela in Rio de Janeiro, there’s now a pitch with floodlights that are powered by the kinetic energy of the players on the pitch. Per Shell:

Special tiles under the pitch surface to capture the energy generated by football players’ movement. This energy is then stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the pitch to convert into renewable electricity for the pitch’s new floodlights.

How awesome is that? Take a look at the before and after shots of the once rundown pitch in the Morro da Mineira favela.

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imageWe’re not sure if there’s a timer on those lights … but something tells us they likely won’t be going out anytime soon.

(h/t Metro, images via Shell)

29
May

You can now buy the gems made out of Pele’s hair

Back in April, it was revealed that Pele was working with Diamantes Brilho Infinito to create a statue to commemorate memorable goals and moments in his career.

The gems were created with carbon from Pele’s hair. No, don’t ask us how or why. Just go with it.

Now, the diamonds are available for purchase online. And don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

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The whole thing is entirely bizarre, but Pele also announced on Twitter on Thursday that the proceeds from the diamonds are going to charity, so at least there’s that.

You keep doing you, Pele.

10
Apr

Pele diamond statues created from his own DNA

Yes, this is really a thing.

For the bargain price of $7,500 you can now own a special World Cup souvenir — a diamond figurine made of diamonds that actually contain DNA extracted from Pele’s hair.

A total of 1,238 of these special edition statues will be available for purchase, one for each goal Pele is said to have scored in his legendary career.

4
Apr

Jon Stewart gushes after Pele gives him a 1970 World Cup jersey

Even heroes have heroes of their own. Brazilian superstar Pelé opened up about his idol — Dondinho, his father — on The Daily Show last night.

Pelé reflected on the first time he saw his father cry, back in 1950.

"[I saw my father crying], and I asked him, ‘Why are you crying?’

'Brazil lost the World Cup.'

'I'm going to win one World Cup for you, don't worry.'”

Yeah, he fulfilled that promise (and then some).

And from Jon Stewart’s reaction to the extraordinary gift the Brazilian legend gave him, it’s safe to say Pelé is one of his idols:

We feel you, Jon.

29
Mar

Pele, CR7 fight for fans’ affection in airline ad

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It’s always humbling to find oneself in the presence of greatness. But what if two equally-great stars happen to be on the same flight?

Emirates Airline explores that very scenario in a new advertisement that comes just in time for the World Cup.

In the ad, Cristiano Ronaldo emerges from a fancy first-class bathroom and walks over to the even fancier onboard bar, when he overhears two fellow passengers whispering to each other. Cracking a smile, Ronaldo figures they’re talking about him like two giggly schoolgirls. But when the two talk about the “three World Cups” he’s won, the Portuguese star suddenly realizes he was mistaken. At that moment, the great Pele appears, smirking all the way as if to say “Calm down, rookie. They’re here for me.”

But to show that Emirates “connect all football fans,” no matter who they might adore, a third, younger passenger appears and asks for a picture with Ronaldo, presumably not recognizing the great Pele, which is absurd. The two legends smile at each other like, coming to the understanding that “hey, we are both so awesome.”

And then they all fly off to Brazil together, happily ever after. Because who wouldn’t be if they can afford a seat on that ostentatious airbus!

Watch the ad below:

11
Jan

Ouch! Pele broke Sylvester Stallone’s finger while filming ‘Victory’

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No one will ever question Sylvester Stallone’s toughness on the silver screen. Stallone’s most painful moment during his blockbuster movie career, though, might come as a bit of a shock.

During a recent promotional interview for ‘Grudge Match’ with the BBC, the Hollywood legend recalled a humbling experience while filming the 1981 classic ‘Victory.’ In the film, Stallone played the role as an American POW goalkeeper, starring alongside soccer greats Bobby Moore, John Wark, Ossie Ardiles and Pele:

Stallone told the BBC:

"That was one of the low points of my life. What a butt-kicking I got! I still have a broken finger from trying to block a penalty by Pele.

"He put on a pair of World War II shoes which were steel-tipped, and the ball was like a cannonball - it was twice as thick and heavy as footballs are today. He was telling me he was going to take a shot and I thought ‘It’s soccer, what’s the big deal? It’s easy.’

"He came to take one penalty shot and he told me exactly where he was going to put it, so I stood there but the ball still flew past me before I could move.

"He put it literally right where he had said. He did it again, and it ripped through the back of the net and broke a window in the barracks where we were filming. I went ‘Are you kidding me?’ I found a new kind of respect."

Sounds painful. Then again, what did Sly expect when attempting to stop the greatest player of all-time from scoring?

(H/T Dirty Tackle, BBC)

Images provided by Getty

21
Nov

Neymar so great that Brazilian cocaine bears his likeness?

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This latest Neymar story is one we certainly didn’t see coming, but this picture from the folks over at 101GG.com pretty much tells you all you need to know:

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Yep. Those reportedly are vials of cocaine bearing Neymar’s picture. The purpose of putting the Brazilian wunderkind on the containers? Why, to indicate the quality is “great” of course, according to an arrested drug dealer.

We can only imagine what types of narcotics have a Pelé or Garrincha picture on them.

Just say no.

(h/t 101GG)

8
Nov

Exploring the National Football Museum

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

It started on the first floor, in the middle of the room on a pedestal under glass. “Footballeur” is a little-known ceramic sculpture by Pablo Picasso, and it greets you at the National Football Museum in the center of the city. Among the artworks, quotes from some of soccer’s greats line the walls—complete with the odd spellings common to a pre-Autocorrect era. It occurred to me, in this microcosm of art and history, that sometimes soccer is not just a sport, but also a lens through which one can view the world and the past.

The museum strikes a balance of stuff and substance, much like what humanity has managed to produce since the rules were written down in 1863 by Ebenezer Cobb Morley. (The NFM has a copy; as it happens, we saw the original Laws of the Game as part of the British Library’s current display in London.) Through the interactive exhibits (which cost a bit more than admission, which is free) for the kids, ephemera for the true nerds and collectors, exhibits of social movements’ effects on the game for the history buffs, and hundreds of tidbits of triumphs and tragedies on and off the pitch, one begins to see the evolution of a beautiful game mirroring the evolution of a little planet growing more and more connected.

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But, at the end of it, I had certainly learned a lot about soccer. Some highlights and conclusions:

— A short video told the story of a women’s league formed in Britain’s WWI munitions factories. It had a lot of similarities to the now-defunct Women’s Baseball League in the US: They were kicking instead of base running and they didn’t wear skirts, but they had a similar amount of grit and tenacity. A woolen outfit from around 1895 for women footballers was also on display. It looked itchy.

— Speaking of grit, after watching a short video about Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird, AKA Lord of the FA Cup (with caps in nine of the first ten finals), I have determined he is deserving of an action figure.

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— Soccer certainly has never lacked for schlock. One of the sponsors is the toy manufacturer Subbuteo, and there is a massive a toy case encompassing everything from early metal figurines, to the plastic tabletop game, to FIFA 13. Upstairs unfolds what can only be described as a groovy collection of George Best memorabilia. From his Mini Cooper to his super 70s workout record, the evidence suggests that Best was not only the first soccer superstar, but that he endorsed everything.

— The museum doesn’t skimp on tactics, however. There was a childishly-satisfying phone you could pickup to get tactical advice from famous managers while discovering how ball and boot constructions have changed play over time. (They’re not as heavy.) There was a moving exhibit about the football tragedies that have occurred on British soil, from Ibrox to Hillsborough, juxtaposed with notes and designs from some of the most prominent stadium designers, next to an original Wembley turnstile. I imagine the pictures of men standing drinking up against the crush barriers (before stadium seating was mandated in the top-flight) would bring back many memories to those who attended.

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After perusing remnants of these rich histories, I feel a little guilty about the favorite fact I learned. Near a Pele jersey and a fashion-forward vintage sweater from West Germany, there was a silly little interactive stand, with holes covered in black fabric for children to stick their hands in to find the World Cup. Encased beside it were a leash and dog collar; above, a drawing of a dog and a sign that read: “Help Pickles find the World Cup!” So there you have it: My favorite new fact is that the Jules Rimet trophy was stolen prior to the 1966 World Cup in England, and was subsequently found in a hedge by a dog named Pickles out for a walk. He was honored for his heroism.

Maybe society has been through so much in the 150 years that league soccer has existed that, taken all at once, it can be a bit overwhelming. I doubt if I read even a half of what was on display. But there must be something buried deep in the human psyche that explains why we just want to sit around and watch animals do things on the Internet, or men run around on a field and kick a ball. It’s simpler and far more relaxing than trying to make sense of George Best’s workout records.

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Images provided by Shanna Van Volt

20
Sep

Colombia fans implore Pelé to not pick them as favorites

Brazilian soccer legend Pelé is as iconic as it gets in the global game. Widely considered as the best soccer player ever, it would stand to reason that his blessing of a team ahead of a World Cup would be welcomed.

Evidently, it isn’t.

Colombian fans have taken up a grassroots effort to dissuade Pelé from naming Los Cafeteros as favorites heading into the 2014 World Cup. The hashtag of choice? #PeléFavoritosNo

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As noted in the video, the last time Pelé picked Colombia to succeed in the World Cup, 1994, the team failed to emerge from the group stage and crashed out unceremoniously from the competition:

Upon reviewing “O Rei’s” track record, it makes sense why the video refers to him as the “Anti-Nostradamus.” On separate occasions, Pelé picked Germany, Spain and Brazil to have varying degrees of success, and he whiffed on them all.

So what happens if the Colombians falter in Brazil? Well, it looks like they won’t have Pelé to blame.

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(Image: Getty Images/Slaven Vlasic)

(h/t Kckrs)