19
Apr

One-legged soccer player inspires World Cup commercial

imageImage via Coca-Cola

Get ready to choke back the tears, because this is one heck of a story.

Nico Calabria was born with only one leg, but the rare disability hasn’t stopped him from achieving greatness in the sport that he loves. Playing soccer with a prosthetic leg at first before opting to use forearm crutches, Nico has competed — and even excelled at — varsity high school soccer, playing against boys who have both their legs.

Now 19, Nico has become one of the best players on the United States National Amputee Soccer Team and an inspiration to millions. When he was 13, Nico also became the first person to ever summit Mt. Kilimanjaro on crutches, raising more than $100,000 for charity in the process.

Inspired by Nico’s amazing journey, sports drink makers Powerade have now featured him as part of their 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, and the ad is perfect. Watch:

For more on Nico’s story, check out Coca-Cola’s profile on him.

H/T Huff Post

18
Apr

Wolves win over Rotherham nearly abandoned because of pitch invasions

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Perhaps Wolverhampton fans should take lessons from Brentford fans on how to properly invade the pitch, because on Friday they almost cost their club the match for spending too much time on the field.

The Wolves defeated Rotherham in a wild 6-4 victory, but it wasn’t without frequent interruption.

The invasions started small…

…but slowly got more and more out of hand, and eventually resulted in two huge invasions in the final minutes of the match:

Luckily for the club and that obnoxious group of fans, the referee was incredibly patient, because the madness could have cost them the match.

Wolves have said they expect a fine, and condemned the fans, but let’s be honest: they’re just as excited as everyone who ran onto the pitch on Friday. After all, they’re going back to the Championship!

(H/T SB Nation)

18
Apr

Brentford gain promotion to Championship, both fans and players go nuts

League One side Brentford FC needed all the stars to align to secure promotion to the Championship on Friday.

First, they had to beat Preston North End. Check:

Next, they needed both Leyton Orient and Rotherham to lose. Orient’s match ended just before the Bees won, so that result was secure.

But could Wolverhampton beat Rotherham? This video contains that answer pretty definitively:

And of course, no promotion would be complete without emotional fans letting it all out on the pitch:

Finally, after all was said and done in the Bees’ 2013-14 season, the players went down to the pub to celebrate with their loyal supporters. Party on, y’all. You deserve it!

Congratulations Brentford. It’s been a long time since you’ve been in the Championship — more than two decades — so enjoy while it lasts.

18
Apr

This is what happens when pro footballers play against children

The only way to make a scrimmage between young kids and real, actual footballers somewhat competitive is to outnumber the professionals by a large margin.

But even then, it’s never really fair fight. It does, however, lead to really amusing plays and goals, like this one from John Terry:

Let’s see them try that one against a real team and see how far they get.

18
Apr

Gareth Bale issued speeding ticket for brilliant solo goal

The local police in Valencia have quite the sense of humor. After Gareth Bale score his absurdly amazing solo goal to give Real Madrid the Copa del Rey trophy, the cops issued him a fake but totally hilarious speeding ticket.

Well played, Valencia cops.

Not only that, but there’s some great humor in the details as well.

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Registration: 11
Class: Much
Scores: and assists
Model: Not at the moment

And because you know you want to watch it again, the goal that prompted the clever ticket:

H/T r/soccer

14
Apr

Sub runs onto pitch to block goal, kind of gets away with it

Entering the field of play when you’re not supposed to is generally frowned upon — even more so when you stop an almost-certain goal from being scored.

A player in Iran did just that, and it actually kind of worked out for him. He was sent off, but his team kept all 11 players on the pitch, and their opponents didn’t score the ensuing direct kick. Win-win.

But honestly, the biggest question we have after watching that is why the sub didn’t just save it with his hands. It’s not like he wasn’t going to be caught.

(H/T Guardian)

13
Apr

Former friends meet after marital drama, and tensions boil over

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It wasn’t long ago that former teammates Maxi Lopez and Mauro Icardi were close friends, sharing memories and vacations together. Just seven months ago, they were pictured together on a boat, smiling and relaxing:

Since then, their relationship has turned sour, and it boiled over during Inter Milan’s 4-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday. But what was it that caused the friends to part ways? Two words: Wanda Nara.

Lopez and Nara were married in 2008, and have since had two children together. They seemed the picture of a perfect, happy family, but soon Nara began a very public affair with Icardi:

At first, it seemed that Lopez was handling it well, telling Argentine media TyC:

“It has been a very difficult time in my life and I cried a lot, but it all passed thanks to football. It was not a normal break-up, but at the end of the day nobody died. All I want now is to spend time with my children. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll face Icardi on the field and we’ll have a good laugh about it.”

Well, that day came on Sunday, and it’s safe to say Lopez was not laughing.

Apparently Lopez was unhappy with Icardi posting images on Twitter of himself with Lopez’s two children that he had with Nara.

"I can understand that, being a public figure, he publishes photos. But I`m not comfortable with my kids being in those photos," Lopez said in comments to Sky Sports.

The snubbed handshake wasn’t where the drama ended. During Sunday’s match, Icardi scored twice, and definitely used his celebration to rub it in a little. And, there was a scuffle on the field that both players were involved in.

In the end, Icardi got the best of his former friend and teammate — leaving with both the win and the girl.

(Image via Getty, H/T DirtyTackle)