16
Aug

Ronaldinho fan really loves Ronaldinho

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Ronaldinho has many fans, but Giovanny Tocohua might be the biggest of them all. His kit collection could make even the most persistent Hollywood stalkers blush; he’s secured every single jersey the former Barcelona star has worn in his career.

We counted 79 shirts (including the one he’s wearing), charting Ronaldinho’s career from Gremio to Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Milan, Flamengo and finally Atletico Mineiro. Even the commemorative jersey for Ronnie’s 100th cap for Brazil made the collection!

Duly impressed, Ronaldinho posted Giovanny’s picture to his Facebook and Twitter:

There’s an outside chance the fan held Ronaldinho hostage in his basement and forced him to post this, though.

5
Aug

Bastian Schweinsteiger trolls Neymar in Ibiza

We see what you did there, Bastian, you sly dog, you!

While vacationing in Ibiza last week, injured Brazil star Neymar ran into Bastian Schweinsteiger during the German’s 30th birthday party and the two posed for a picture together.

In the pic, Neymar throws up a classic variation of the “hang loose” hand signal, while World Cup champion Schweinsteiger, possibly unbeknownst to Neymar, put up seven fingers - an obvious, shameless taunt invoking Germany’s infamous 7:1 semifinal win over the Selecao in Belo Horizonte.

We can only imagine Neymar’s reaction when he saw the photograph later …

H/T infobae.com

10
Jul

World Cup Diary: Saving kids in Brazil, one game at a time

RIO DE JANEIRO —

Watching a group of girls bellowing out the Brazilian national anthem from the top of the hill at the high point of Vidigal favela, the slogan on the back of their t-shirts was mightily powerful: “I am somebody.”

It felt particularly poignant as one of the girls, Aninha, articulated how not so long ago she felt more like a nobody. Aninha is 12 years old. Her life has been turned around by football. Aninha comes from Penha, in northern Rio, one of the toughest areas in a tough city still troubled by violence and drugs — despite the fact that a pacifying unit arrived in 2010 to try to clamp down on the traffickers who held the streets in their reckless grip.

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The 2014 World Cup has certainly captured the imagination of the children of Vidigal favela.

The idea that Aninha might make something of herself did not occur to her for much of her life, until she discovered a project called Favela Street. Their mission is to use football as an escape, an alternative, to the life that seemed inevitable to someone like Aninha. Reformed drug traffickers are trained to coach football to kids who are at risk of falling in with dangerous crowds. Through the project they find friends, empathy, and positive motivation.

"Before the project I was just hanging around in the streets with nothing to do," Aninha explained. "I didn’t want to know nothing about nothing. Maybe I kicked a ball around but I didn’t have any focus. Now I do. Now I know exactly what I want to do." She grins broadly as she explains she wants to be a professional football player. In answer to the question as to who she most admires, she does not choose Neymar, the national poster boy. Her role model is Marta, the Brazilian who is the shining light of the women’s game who was voted the best player in the world five consecutive times.

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Brazil legend Bebeto was one of the main attractions at the Street Child World Cup.

Aninha and some of the new friends she now describes as “family” represented Brazil in the Street Child World Cup, which took place in Rio a couple of months before the FIFA event that is a multi-million dollar industry rolled into town. More than 230 former street children from around the world, representing 19 different countries came to compete. The Brazilian girls won, although for Aninha the opportunity to meet people from all around the globe was an additional success that was profoundly meaningful.

 The seriousness of the situation some of these children find themselves in was tragically exposed when one of the players was killed. Rodrigo was due to captain the Brazil boys’ team at the Street Child World Cup. He had managed to tear his life away from the streets — but was shot by drug traffickers. It was his 14th birthday.

With the World Cup up and running, on the eve of Brazil’s quarterfinal victory over Colombia, Aninha and her friends got the opportunity to take on a group of illustrious opponents. Some ex-internationals, the likes of France’s Patrick Vieira, Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro, England’s Glenn Hoddle and Ian Wright, played in mixed teams with the girls on Ipenama beach.

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Stars such as World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro and England legend Glenn Hoddle were at Ipenama beach.

Frankly, it spoke volumes that the girls were not overwhelmed by the experience. These ex-pros didn’t mean a great deal to them, but the Favela Street kids enjoyed the kick-around with fearlessness and zest. They were not easily fazed. At the age of 12, Aninha, and her friends, take a lot in their impressive stride.

Photos from provided by Getty Images.

8
Jul

World Cup Day 22: Brazil vs. Germany

Beer 7, Caipirinha 1. 

It’s safe to say none of us have ever seen anything like what happened in Belo Horizonte. We went into the first World Cup semifinal thinking Brazil would give Germany a good fight without its injured superstar Neymar and suspended captain Thiago Silva, yet it wasn’t even Klose

Instead of our usual segment here on the Blog, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” we’re just going to track Germany’s humiliation of the hosts in one timeline. After all, what we witnessed on Tuesday can be described as good, bad and ugly all at once!

So without further ado, here are the top Tweets from Germany absolving their 2002 demons and then some:

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First, Thomas Muller delivered again to give Germany a dream start, by tapping in from their first corner kick of the match. It’s Muller’s fifth goal of the tournament and tenth over two World Cups. He’s 24 years old, mind you. 

Little did we know what was about to transpire:

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Twelve minutes later, Miroslav Klose made it 2-0 for the Germans. With that goal, Klose eclipsed the great Ronaldo to stand alone as the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer:

And then, all of a sudden, the floodgates opened…

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Read More

13
Jun

Here’s what Sao Paulo sounds like during a Brazil World Cup match

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s an absolutely massive soccer tournament called the World Cup going on in Brazil.

Brazilians are obsessed with soccer, and in case you had any doubt (really?), the video above puts that to rest.

Shot in Sao Paulo, a city that boasts a metropolitan population of over 20 million, the video captures the city’s reaction to Thursday’s World Cup opening match between Brazil and Croatia (also held in Sao Paulo).

The event is so massive that the streets are almost entirely empty. We’re assuming the rare car or person you see is the sucker that drew the short straw reluctantly going to replenish on beer beverages.

There’s not much else to say other than press play, and enjoy the horns, whistles, fireworks and unfiltered adulation as Brazil mounts their comeback.

THIS is the World Cup.

(h/t reddit)

12
Jun

#TBT: Brazil, the forever home of Joga Bonito

The long four year wait is finally over and 2014 World Cup is upon us. In case you hadn’t heard, this edition of the tournament is being held in Brazil, the home of joga bonito.

Many impostors may try to emulate their unique style, but there is only one Brazil. Their rhythm is matched to music — and it’s quite the catchy beat:

If this doesn’t get you dancing in your seat, you might want to check your pulse.

9
Jun

Neymar makes young pitch invader’s day at Brazil training

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This lucky kid got to dribble next to Neymar. (Image: @fcb_OneTouch)

There may not be a more likable soccer star right now than Neymar Jr.

Brazil’s World Cup poster child saved a young pitch-invading fan from being taken away by security at the Selecao’s training session on Monday, and instead brought 8-year-old Bernardo Nunes over to meet his idols and snap some pictures.

Neymar has a history of doing this, too. In a March friendly against South Africa, the Barcelona forward came to the rescue of another young pitch invader, even getting his teammates to hoist the boy up in the air for a night he’ll never forget.

With acts of kindness like these, it’ll be hard for anyone to root against Neymar during this World Cup, especially with it being held in his home country.

7
Jun

Julio Cesar gets emotional again, and it’s incredibly touching

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You’ll always know if Cesar happy, sad or mad (Image: USA Today).

It’s no secret that Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar is an emotional guy. He’s never hidden how he feels, whether it’s a happy moment — like joining QPR — or a sad one, like losing in the World Cup.

So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the accomplished keeper let the tears flow again, this time as he bid farewell to his Toronto FC teammates.

Sure, he’d only spent a few months with the club and played in just seven matches, but it’s clear the Canadian club made a huge impact on him. Before Cesar shipped off to Brazil for this summer’s World Cup, the team presented him with a touching gift, and the waterworks couldn’t be stopped:

You can see just how much his time at TFC meant to him. For a guy who’s won just about everything a player could dream of in his lengthy career, it’s sweet that even something as seemingly small as a framed photograph can make him break down.

But even with all of his accomplishments, Cesar still doesn’t have the elusive World Cup. If Brazil go all the way this summer, let’s hope someone’s got a box of extra-strength tissues close by.

(H/T 101GG)