11
Sep

Puebla prepares for Liga MX match wearing wolf masks

It’s no secret that Puebla manager José Luis Sánchez Solá — also known as “Chelis”— has always been a bit of a character. Whether it’s his brutal honesty in interviews or even quitting live on air, we’ve come to expect the unexpected from him.

So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Chelis deployed some strange tactics in one of Puebla’s training sessions this week:

So, why exactly are his playings wearing wolf masks while they train? We’ll let Chelis himself explain:

"When they play the ball like a dog will do, they will fight to steal it and defend it," he said on the club’s website.

Puebla is fighting to avoid relegation from Liga MX this season, so at this point, whatever works, right?

You can see the masks in action below courtesy of our friends over @TheBuzzerOnFOX:

10
Sep

Sprinklers shower TV commentators before Switzerland-England match

The world got a front row seat to the hazards of touchline reporting earlier this week, and it didn’t disappoint.

ITV commentators Lee Dixon, Ian Wright, Glen Hoddle and Adrian Chiles were analyzing England’s game plan prior to the Three Lions’ 2-0 victory against Switzerland at St. Jakob-Park in Euro 2016 qualifying. Then, unexpectedly, the sprinklers were turned on and showered the English pundits on live television before the match:

Splash!

We understand the importance of gamesmanship. We just didn’t know that it applied to members of the media as well.

H/T NESN

10
Sep

Lionel Messi’s hometown bans parents from naming newborns ‘Messi’

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You probably haven’t heard of Hector Varela but he is the proud father of Messi. Not Lionel Messi, but Messi Daniel Varela. Hector needed two weeks to get special permission from the authorities in the south Argentinian region of Rio Grande (Patagonia) to name his son after the Barcelona maestro. 

That news has prompted Rosario, the hometown of the original Messi, to ban the use of Lionel’s surname as a first name because it would be too confusing.

The director of the Civil Register of the Santa Fe province, Gonzalo Carrillo, insists naming a new-born son Messi is “against the law” although he accepts the Messi Daniel Varela case may upset his plans.

However, proud father Hector is delighted that he got through the red tape. He told Mundo Deportivo: “I am Messi’s father. Many people chose Lionel as a name for their sons after Messi, but this is more obvious.”

Another Messi is born, but how many more will follow?

Image used from Getty.

(H/T Deadspin)

4
Sep

Young fan thinks he can win the Champions League with Leeds United

Seven-year-old Zack Webb thinks pretty highly of his managerial skills. He may well be the next Jose Mourinho or Josep Guardiola, but for now, he’s just a young boy with big dreams.

Unless Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino decides to take him up on his offer:

It has been a decade since Leeds United have been in top flight football. At this point, might as well give the little fella a shot, right?

(H/T Deadspin)

3
Sep

Neymar shows off a mesmerizing bit of skill at Brazil training

The World Cup — and particularly that little 7-1 defeat at the hands of eventual champs Germany — certainly was a forgettable tournament for the Brazilian national team.

We wouldn’t blame the Brazilians if they still felt a bit of an emotional hangover from the letdown ahead of their friendly on Friday against Colombia.

It looks like they’re in good spirits, though. And how couldn’t they be with Neymar (perhaps the one Brazilian who had a commendable World Cup), showing off his deft footwork in training.

The craziest bit happens at about the 13-second mark. That’s the type of handling we couldn’t even accomplish in a video game.

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We’re just glad Neymar is happy again.

(h/t 101GG, Image: Getty)

30
Aug

Schalke tip cap to miners with awesome new stadium tunnel

Schalke have paid homage to the mining community that supports their side by revamping a tunnel in the Veltins-Arena stadium to look like a coal mine.

The club is nicknamed “the Miners” because of the area’s history of mining, and it’s pretty awesome to see Schalke embracing it.

With clubs like Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich lining up in the dark, imposing tunnel alongside Schalke’s squad, we’d say the pregame intimidation factor gets a bump in Schalke’s favor.

Let’s just take one more look at that:

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Awesome stuff.

(h/t Metro)

28
Aug

Legia Warsaw fans fire back at UEFA with amazing tifo over Champions League ruling

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After having its UEFA Champions League qualification tossed out on a pretty bogus technicality, Legia Warsaw were steaming mad.

To recap, Legia Warsaw blasted Celtic in their Champions League playoff to the tune of a 6-1 aggregate win, but the Polish side were deemed to have fielded an ineligible player late in their second-leg win. As a result, Celtic were reinstated, and Legia Warsaw were dropped to the Europa League.

To make matters worse, Celtic did absolutely nothing with the extra chance they were given at Champions League glory, losing to Slovenian side Maribor in their playoff earlier this week.

So, yeah, Legia Warsaw’s fans were none too pleased with UEFA. Luckily, they channeled their frustration into creativity and put together an amazing tifo. Ahead of Legia Warsaw’s Europa League playoff match against Aktobe, they busted out this:

The tifo meet all the requirements needed to send a message to UEFA: A gigantic, greedy pig holding a “6<1” sign with a caption of “Because football doesn’t matter, money does” with the backdrop of the UEFA logo?

Message received.

(h/t 101GG)

27
Aug

Cosmin Moti: The Champions League’s newest sensation

Merely an afterthought at the beginning of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League shuffle, Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Steaua Bucuresti wound up turning into a true thriller.

The drama really kicked off when Ludogorets scored just before Spanish referee Alberto Undiano blew for full time, sending the contest into extra-time. With an apparent affinity for heightening drama toward the end of a period, Ludogorets then had their keeper, Vladisov Stoyanov, sent off with a red card.

Out of substitutions and with a penalty shootout looming, the team turned to central defender Cosmin Moti to save the day. And boy, did he:

Moti donned backup keeper Ivan Civorovic’s keeper shirt, but it may as well have been a cape. Not only did Moti step up to take his side’s first kick of the penalty shootout (with his goalie gloves on!), he drilled it past his counterpart.

Then, the new Champions League star went on to save not just one, but two Steaua penalties to seal the win. Moti’s heroics earned lowly Ludogorets their first-ever berth in the Champions League group stage.

Here’s to hoping Moti and his scrappy side keep the hits coming against some other big boys.

20
Aug

Man gets Man U tattoo because his name is already “Mr. Manchester United”

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Quite possibly the nuttiest football fan in the world, “Mr. Manchester United” — yes, that is his actual, legal name — now has United’s club badge tattooed on his forehead.

Our sources say that Mr. Manchester United got the tattoo out of fear nobody knew exactly just how big his love for Manchester United really was….

In all seriousness, the fan did offer an explanation for this to The Sun, and it is hilarious:

'The tattoo's my ID card,' he said. 'People don't look at me in a funny way, they look in admiration.' 'Now, whenever someone asks my name, I point to my forehead and smile. It makes me stand out and proves my loyalty to United,' he added.

Earlier this year, Zdravkov Levidzhov won a 15-year legal battle to change his name to Mr. Manchester United.

Mr. United drew inspiration for his name - and life - change after watching the Red Devils’ victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final… on TV. (He wasn’t even there? Some fan!)

Oh, and his cat’s name is “David Beckham.” Of course it is.

(H/T and Image: The Sun)