4
Jan

Nakamura knocks bride and groom off a wedding cake

Japanese game shows never cease to provide us with golden entertainment. Today’s example: Free kick master Shunsuke Nakamura attempting to knock a bride and groom off of the top of a wedding cake.

It’s no secret that Nakamura has a spectacular ability to hit inch-perfect free kicks.

So why not see if he can do the near-impossible and hit a small cake topper off of a fake wedding cake that moves up and down and is obstructed by balloons in just 10 minutes? Simple.

Well, not exactly. Even Nakamura needed several attempts and even a little extra time until he eventually nailed it:

We’re not exactly sure what the stakes were here, but Nakamura couldn’t have been more relieved to have finally hit his target. We wonder what wacky challenge he’ll attempt next.

(Via r/soccer)

27
Nov

US-born Julian Green makes Bayern senior team debut

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Bayern Munich won its tenth straight Champions League game on Wednesday at CSKA Moscow, breaking the all-time record shared with the 2002-03 Barcelona team. In the final minutes of the victory, 18-year-old German-American Julian Green celebrated a milestone of his own — the highly-touted forward made his senior team debut for the reigning treble winners.

Green, who was born in Tampa, Florida but moved to Germany at age 2, has featured for both the U.S. and German national teams at youth level, and is yet to decide on his national team allegiance for the future. It is clear that both federations would love to secure the services of the phenom, though he is provisionally tied to Germany after having played for them in the Under-19 European Championships this summer.

Green has dominated the German Regionalliga (fourth tier) this season, scoring 15 goals and six assists in 18 matches for Bayern’s reserve team. His torrid form earned him a senior team contract earlier this month, and on Wednesday his first few minutes of action under Pep Guardiola. Green became the sixth-youngest Bayern player to debut in the Champions League, even beating out several of the team’s top stars, including Philipp Lahm, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos.

Here’s the full list of Bayern’s top 10 youngest players to make their Champions League debut:

  1. David Alaba (2010): 17 years, 8 months, 15 days
  2. Berkant Goektan (1998): 17 years, 9 months, 18 days
  3. Roque Santa Cruz (1999): 18 years, 30 days
  4. Samuel Kuffour (1994): 18 years, 1 month, 29 days
  5. Bastian Schweinsteiger (2002): 18 years, 3 months, 12 days
  6. Julian Green (2013): 18 years, 5 months, 21 days
  7. Toni Kroos (2008): 18 years, 10 months, 1 day
  8. Breno (2008): 18 years. 11 months, 17 days
  9. Philipp Lahm (2002): 19 years, 2 days
  10. Thomas Muller (2009): 19 years, 5 months, 27 days

With the exception of busts Berkant Goektan and Breno, every player on that list went on to have long, successful careers, and most of them (save for Santa Cruz) did so with Bayern. If that is anything to go by, Green is set for a sparking career!

8
Oct

Swedish player causes stir with Pop Idol performance

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Image courtesy of Getty

Chances are you haven’t heard of Kevin Walker but he is causing a bit of a stir in his native Sweden. The 24-year-old midfielder has a day job with second division side GIF Sundsvall, but has dreams of playing on a bigger stage — as a pop star.

Walker is proving to be a smash hit on the Swedish version of Pop Idol, but his appearances have not gone down well with opposing teams. The reason? Channel TV4 owns the rights to both the program AND match broadcasts, and ordered GIF Sundsvall’s game against Assyriska to be moved to a Sunday so that it didn’t clash with Walker’s live performance the day before.

Niklas Klingberg, a midfielder with rival club Degerfors, branded the decision “ridiculous” and Robert Laul, a writer for Swedish sports paper Sportbladet, called the situation “unprecedented in Swedish football history.”

There’s no doubt Walker, whose dad used to play for English side Gillingham between 1977 and 1981, sings like a bird but he’d better watch out on the pitch for those unhappy with being messed around with. Listen to Walker’s audition and see if the decision was worth it:

H/T 101 Great Goals

11
Aug

17-year-old hat trick hero becomes the latest Belgian shooting star

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Getty Images

Add Zakaria Bakkali to Belgium’s “golden generation.”

The 17-year-old winger was added to Belgium’s national team squad for their upcoming friendly against France on Thursday, just a day after scoring his first goal for PSV in a Champions League qualifier. Bakkali followed that up with this impressive hat trick for against NEC over the weekend, announcing himself to the world:

There’s got to be something in the Belgian water, right?

After producing the likes of Eden Hazard, Christian Benteke, Axel Witsel, Marouane Fellaini, Simon Mignolet, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku— all of whom are 25 or younger — the Belgians’ seemingly endless talent pool has gotten even richer with the arrival of Bakkali. Are the Rode Duivels suddenly on the verge of becoming one of the world’s best teams?

Maybe so, at least on paper. One thing is for certain: expect Bakkali to play in the Premier League very soon. A Premier League team without a Belgian these days is like a ship without a sail.

24
Jun

Babies are balling out of control in “little big shots” commerical

Canon has released a new commercial promoting their new camera; the idea is that big talent can be stored in little things. To help get the idea across, they’ve rolled out a set of infants showcasing incredible soccer skills.

These babies may or may not have had some help from computer animation, but it’s still impressive seeing these little guys pull off some amazing tricks.

Rumor has it that Arsenal has already tried to sign each and every baby in this commercial.

Bold strategy, let’s see how it pays off for them.