31
Jul

Men’s Health declares Cristiano Ronaldo “Fittest Man Alive”

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That’s a lot of muscle and not a lot of fat. (Image: @MadridSportsES)

Cristiano Ronalo is shirtless again — we know, we know, you’re shocked — and this time it’s on the cover of Men’s Health magazine’s September issue. They’ve declared him the Fittest Man Alive, and really, when you break down the numbers (or just use your eyeballs) it’s hard to argue otherwise.

Just a few nuggets from his spread in the fitness magazine:

-Ronaldo runs more than six miles per game
-His body fat is in the low single digits (well, duh)
-In a typical game, he sprints 33 times at a top speed of about 21 mph
-He can kick that ball at 80 mph (surprised he hasn’t broken a net yet)

Okay, we get it Cristiano. YOU’RE IN SHAPE. Can you stop showing off now? The rest of us are feeling self-conscious.

Here’s a look behind the scenes of his cover shoot, in case you want to feel even worse about your own physique:

31
Jul

Class act: Spanish 3rd division team dresses to the nines for charity match

Cultural Leonesa, a Spanish 3rd division team, turned some heads when they unveiled their dapper new kits: tuxedo shirts.

But now, we’ve finally gotten a chance to see the high-class gear in action and it is every bit the fashion statement we were hoping for.

Check out some video highlights of the penguin suits in action, especially the goalie’s stylish and sharp white tux.

The team wore the uniform as part of a charity match to benefit the local mining industry and celebrate the club’s 90th year.

Although, someone must have forgotten to tell the competition that it was a black tie affair.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)

31
Jul

Norwegian football club gets big boost from super fan’s estate

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(Image via @FLFart)

A Norwegian football club just got a big boost to their bank account thanks to a local fan.

Erling Andreassen, who passed away at the age of 91 in July, left nearly all his estate to his local club in Vang, Norway: FL Fart.

(Okay, yes, funny name, have a laugh — can we move on now?)

The estate totals nearly four million Norwegian Krone ($636,000) and will go into the coffers of FL Fart. The club is best known for their successful women’s team, which is playing in Norway’s top tier women’s league.

The team issued a statement on the “magnificent” gift, saying the board hasn’t decided how the funds will be allocated, but it will be brought up at their annual meeting to figure out how to best use them. For a club of such a small size, this donation will go a long way.

And since you’re still chuckling about the club name, “Fart” translates as “speed” in Norwegian.

(H/T Who Ate All The Pies)

31
Jul

U-20 Mexico/Northern Ireland match ends in violent brawl

A tournament match-up between Mexico and Northern Ireland Under-20s turned very, very ugly on Wednesday.

The teams were facing off in Northern Ireland in the Milk Cup, an annual week-long international youth tournament, when the game devolved into full-team brawls. Twice.

The fighting started in the 57th minute, and deteriorated into violence with three players getting red cards.

The brawling started again with three or four minutes left on the clock and resulted in one Mexican player aiming a kick at the head of a Northern Ireland player.

The referee opted to blow the final whistle when order was finally restored.

In total, three Mexican players and one from Northern Ireland were sent-off for fighting during the match and all four were later suspended by the tournament organizers.

On Thursday, Mexican FA issued an apology for the team’s behavior, while Northern Ireland team manager Stephen Craigan said Mexico shouldn’t be invited back to the tournament. He’s got a point:

"It was not nice. There were young kids here from around the world. They were here to watch a football match, they do not expect to see that. Mexico did it last year, they had a man sent-off for punching. They have a history of it. I have to be careful what I say, but I would like to think Mexico will not be back at the Milk Cup."

Northern Ireland came out of the melee with a 2-1 win, and will win the tournament if they beat their final opponent, Canada.

(h/t BBC Sport)

29
Jul

Carles Puyol seems to be enjoying his retirement so far

If you ever wondered what retired professional soccer players do when they go on vacation with their stunning WAGs, maybe these posts from Carles Puyol’s girlfriend Vanesa Lorenzo will shed some light.

Apparently, some highly advanced hotel room yoga is on the agenda:

Perfect balance…

OK, now we’re slowly approaching Sarah Marshall-Aldous Snow territory…. (Come on, you can see it!)

Enjoy retirement, Carles! We’re sure you will.

23
Jul

New blood: Shaw, Herrera open up about Manchester United’s plans

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Luke Shaw (L) and Ander Herrera (C) will hope to play key roles in Louis van Gaal’s plans at Manchester United this season (Photo: Getty Images).

Manchester United’s year of redemption begins on Wednesday night as they kick off their preseason against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (live, FOX Sports 1, 10:30 p.m. ET).

After the disastrous 2013-14 campaign, wherein the then-defending champions slumped to seventh place in the Barclays Premier League, veteran manager Louis van Gaal has replaced David Moyes and will endeavor to bring the Red Devils back to the top.

Ahead of the match, FOX Soccer caught up with United’s two big summer signings, midfielder Ander Herrera and defender Luke Shaw, in the first one-on-one interviews with each player since their transfers.

First up is Ander Herrera, who came over from Athletic Bilbao:

Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ander, what made you want to join Manchester United?

Ander Herrera: “I am in Manchester United because this is maybe the biggest club in the world. Because Man United have given me the possibility to play at the highest level. I am looking forward to playing here because Louis van Gaal is one of the best coaches in the world.”

LS: Have you spoken to van Gaal? What is he expecting from you?

Ander Herrera: “I think that Louis van Gaal wants that all the midfielders to always want to keep the ball, keep possession, to be an offensive team, always want the ball, never… One moment, I am going to search in Internet! [Pause.] One moment… [Pause.] Hide! Never hide from the ball! Always attack, because he thinks Man United supporters want always to win and be an offensive team.”

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The Red Devils attempted to sign Ander Herrera last summer but failed to complete the deal, with reports suggesting the transfer had been interfered with by pranksters pretending to act United’s behalf (Photo: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images).

LS: Does he see you more as an attacking midfielder? Or more of a box-to-box guy?

Ander Herrera: “My qualities, my style is offensive. But I think that I can defend as well. I think that if we want to win, to achieve our objectives, we have to defend with all the team, all the players.”

LS: What is the most important thing United have to do this year to compete for the Premier League?

Ander Herrera: “We have to run like a humble team and be compact and work hard to be a good, professional team. I think Man United has a lot of qualities. If you defend hard, after you will be able to play like a big team.”

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21
Jul

Open champ and Man United fan Rory McIlroy booed by Liverpool locals

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Rory McIlroy dominated the Open Championship this past weekend, leading from start to finish en route to his third major golf championship of his career. But the 25-year-old did make one grave error: He took a moment during his acceptance speech to mention his allegiance to football club Manchester United.

The problem? The Open was held at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Whoops!

Needless to say, the Merseyside locals were none too pleased:

That’s a one-stroke penalty, Roy!

19
Jul

Seattle Sounders made Xander Bailey’s wish come true and it’s beautiful

Xander Bailey had his Make-A-Wish dream come true in a big way on Saturday — and on his birthday, no less. The 19-year-old from West Virginia has been dealing with cystic fibrosis since he was a baby while also playing soccer for most of his life.

His dream? Meet his favorite soccer player, Seattle Sounders star Clint Dempsey.

His reality? Not only did Xander meet Dempsey, but he signed a contract with the Sounders, trained with the team and even spoke with the media. The Sounders pulled out all the stops.

But it didn’t stop there. As Seattle geared up for a pre-season friendly against Tottenham Hotspur, Xander was named to their active roster and started against the English club.

Hey, Brad Friedel, maybe give the kid a break and let that one slip through?

Even the fans got involved, creating a banner for their club’s newest signing. 

What an unbelievable few days for Xander and his family. Bravo, Seattle. Bravo.

19
Jul

Clint Dempsey earns spot on FIFA 15 Cover

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Seattle forward Clint Dempsey returned from the World Cup to find out he had landed another honor: a place on the cover of FIFA 2015.

Dempsey is the first American player to land on the cover of the game since Landon Donovan in 2011. He will share the duties with Lionel Messi when the game hits the shelves in September.

"It’s crazy," Dempsey said in a phone interview on Friday. "It’s really cool. I was a fan of the game growing up, playing with my friends. Going from playing the game with my friends to being able to play with my own player in the game and now being on the cover, it’s something that’s pretty special. It’s an honor."

It is also a sign of Dempsey’s cultural relevance in a World Cup year and the increasing influence of MLS on the whole. The popularity of the game — and the presence of the U.S. captain on the cover of it — offers yet another entry point for emerging fans. If Dempsey’s presence prompts more players to opt for MLS sides instead of Barcelona or Real Madrid, then it is exactly the sort of development that can help the league moving forward.

Those broader concerns matter in the long term for a league still seeking to expand its foothold among the general population, but the cachet afforded by Dempsey’s place on the cover reaps immediate benefits, too.  

"I’m super excited that Clint’s on the cover," Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin said. "I think the fans not only in Seattle, but throughout America will really like it and appreciate because Clint is such a familiar face in soccer, especially in America. I think everybody’s really going to like it. I’m excited to see the response."

Dempsey dons his Sounders FC alternate jersey on the XBox version of the cover (Seattle has the Xbox logo on the front of its kits) and wears his international jersey on the PS4 cover.

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Photos courtesy of EA Sports

19
Jul

Things are getting hilariously bad for Blackpool FC

Earlier this month, Blackpool FC had to cancel their pre-season tour due to a lack of players. No, seriously, they only had eight on their active roster. Embarrassing, to say the least.

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Blackpool — including five trialists — takes on Penrith. (Image: @BlackpoolFC)

But then on Saturday, the club faced Penrith in a preseason match, and things went from bad to absolutely knee-slapping hilarious. With only eight players, the Seasiders had to find a way to fill out their roster. So “Trialist” came to the rescue.

Not only did Trialist dominate the starting lineup, he had a pretty stellar game. Well, at least one of them did. We’ve no idea who.

Well done, Mr. Trialist. We look forward to hopefully learning your name (and some of the other anonymous Blackpool players) soon.