11
Aug

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is everywhere and it’s wonderful

You’ve probably seen your Facebook feed full of videos of friends, family, celebrities and athletes all dumping buckets of ice-cold water over their heads. It’s the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and it’s taking over social media.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, it goes like this: If you are challenged by a friend who has just doused themselves in freezing water, and you either don’t accept, or fail to post your video within 24 hours, you must donate cash to ALS research. Simple enough.

The movement has taken off, and has raised more than $1 million since it kicked off on July 29th. And of course, many soccer players and coaches have gotten involved. Here are a few of our favorites.

The important thing to note in Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter’s challenge is his call-out to Pep Guardiola, handshake motion and all. Well done, Mr. Porter. You’re up, Pep.

Next up, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando. We think his kid’s enjoyed this quite a bit.

And the hands-down winner comes from Robbie Keane. There is just so much going on here, and we have so many questions, but it’s better to just no dwell on them and watch:
7
Aug

Josep Guardiola snubs Caleb Porter after MLS All-Stars beat Bayern Munich

by Thomas Hautmann

On a night that was meant to celebrate the best soccer players in North America and the return to action of Bayern Munich’s World Cup stars, it was a sour moment after the MLS All-Stars’ 2-1 victory that had everybody talking.

Furious over a pair of late, reckless challenges on his players, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola refused to shake hands with All-Star coach Caleb Porter after the final whistle, instead giving him the ol’ Dikembe Mutombo finger wag. Guardiola then showed Porter the cold shoulder all the way to midfield as he bee-lined to accost the referees, the American following his counterpart in vain. The rest of Bayern’s coaching staff also refused to shake hands with Porter.

It was an over-the-top and childish reaction from the Bayern manager, whose image as a class-act might suffer a bit Stateside. But, to play devil’s advocate, you can also understand his beef.

Bastian Schweinsteiger was lucky not to pick up a serious injury after Will Johnson’s clumsy tackle left the Bayern star in a heap and forced him off the field. As was Xherdan Shaqiri after Osvaldo Alonso’s cringe- and almost red-worthy offense earlier in the second half.

Guardiola boiled with anger on the sidelines, presumably already irked that he had to make his returning stars available in the first place for a glorified friendly. Schweinsteiger and the rest of Germany’s World Cup stars had only been under Guardiola’s care for a day, having flown halfway around the world to arrive five hours before kickoff, only to make 10-15 minute cameos. To lose a key man to injury now would be a bitter blow, and for what?

All things considered and given the heat of the moment, Guardiola’s anger at full time can be justified, if not his immature way of dealing with it. Porter, after all, wasn’t the one who committed the challenges.

The All-Star coach took the high road after the game while addressing the rough play:

“I understand completely why there was some emotion there,” Porter said.But we certainly didn’t mean to do anything negative in the game. We have the utmost respect for their players. Pep, the guy is an idol of mine. There were a couple tackles that went wrong.”

And the two coaches did put out the fire just moments later in the tunnel:

However, by then the Twitterverse had already exploded.

Was Guardiola’s finger wag and handshake snub inexcusable, or do you give him a pass in the heat of the moment and considering the circumstances? We’ll let you be the judge:

Image via Getty

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)

29
Jan

Manchester United set to enter Kroos control

Just a couple of days remain before the January transfer window slams shut, and the rumor merry-go-round is certainly in full swing.

One of the main protagonists of this transfer window has been David Moyes’ Manchester United, following their early-season struggles. They don’t look likely to stop spending after snaring Juan Mata from rivals Chelsea, and now they’re looking at another world class midfielder.

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Toni Kroos can leave Bayern Munich, opening the door to a move to Old Trafford.

Also in today’s round-up, there’s news of an alleged Arsenal bid for Julian Draxler from Schalke. Read about it and more on today’s Paper Chase.

18
Dec

Bayern president lured Guardiola while on trip selling sausages

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Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness revealed an interesting story on Wednesday, saying he convinced current manager Josep Guardiola to become the European champions’ new coach during a trip to sell sausages in the United States.

Yes, you read that right folks.

According to the Bayern chief, Hoeness held talks with the former Barcelona coach last year in New York, although only after first flying out as part of a private business venture for the family’s business.

In an interview, Hoeness revealed to Bild that he used the opportunity to secretly sound out Guardiola, who took a year’s sabbatical away from football:

"It was partly a business trip for my company," said Hoeness, who runs his family’s sausage factory. I went to Chicago first to visit Aldi. I knew that Pep was about to fly to Barcelona for his holidays and that a meeting there would have been far more dangerous, so we decided I would meet him in the States, where the risk of being spotted was smaller.

"I wanted to take him out for a meal, but that night, Alex Ferguson was dining in the very same restaurant. It certainly would not have been funny had he seen me and Pep together."

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The trip, according to Hoeness himself, was a complete success. Bayern which officially confirmed in early-January that Guardiola had agreed to become Bayern’s new coach. Hoeness added:

"I had the signed contracts with me He just wanted to get to know me better. Of course it was an extraordinary trip. Nobody really expected Bayern to appoint Guardiola.

"We didn’t believe he was being serious with us either for a long time. What we are seeing now is a consequence of those few hours in New York."

Seems like a successful business trip that power brokers can only dream of.

FOXSoccer.com’s newswire services contributed to this report. Images provided by Getty and FOX Sports respectively. 

3
Nov

Bayern Munich eye Aguero swoop

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After an impressive goalscoring start to the season, Sergio Aguero appears to have gained some admirers. Heading the list of clubs looking to sign the Manchester City forward are reigning European Champions, Bayern Munich. With the Bundesliga giants failing to be convincing in attack at present, the Argentine could be the long-term solution. We’ve also got the latest on Sami Khedira and Ilkay Gundogan. Click here for these and more rumors from the UK press.