23
Aug

2022 World Cup final set to be played in city that doesn’t exist yet

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In case you don’t have enough doubts over Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, listen to this: the proposed site for the final is set in a city that doesn’t even exist yet!

Funded by the oil-rich Qatari government, the city of Lusail is currently being built from the ground up by around 20,000 workers at an estimated cost of $45 billion.

According to CNN, the government hopes the city will be completed by 2019. Lusail is expected to then contain a commercial district, a lagoon, four islands, two marinas, an upscale shopping mall, a hospital, a zoo, two golf courses, housing for 250,000 people and, of course, the stadium.

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From CNN:

Residents and visitors will get around via a light-rail network, a water-taxi system and a network of underground pedestrian tunnels. And all the energy, communications and transportation systems will be run with the help of computers from a single command center, making Lusail a “smart” city that can automatically adapt to changing traffic and weather conditions.

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Well then, that should ease all your concerns, especially those about the labor laws in Qatar….

H/T Deadspin

All images via CNN

12
Aug

Landon Donovan is the latest athlete to have a “Short Memory”

It was a tough summer for Landon Donovan. The United States legend was left off of the World Cup roster in what would turn out to be his last chance to play in the world’s biggest tournament.

Some might say it was a summer to forget for the LA Galaxy star. Well, for Foot Locker’s latest edition of athletes with short memories, it literally was just that.

Donovan joins Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen on the list of greats that that have simply “forgotten” the worst moments of their careers. 

"I’m the captain!" Apparently it’s not just short memory that’s afflicting Donovan, but "revised" memory as well.

11
Aug

Ibrahimovic helps Swedish learning disabled team get to Brazil for INAS World Cup

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(Image: Facebook.com/UnknownSwedes)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may not have been able to lead his country to the World Cup this year, but he’s not going to let that happen again.

He’s now the official ambassador for Sweden’s football team for the learning disabled, named “The Unknown Team.”

The team, which qualified for the INAS World Cup in Brazil was having trouble raising funds to get the players to Brazil. So they reached out to Sweden’s soccer stars asking for auction-able items.

But Ibrahimovic decided to do better than a signed jersey, saying "What the hell are you going to do with a shirt? How much is it to go?" The striker then decided to pay the whole bill upfront, which was about 350,000 kronor ($51,000).

According to the Swedish football federations's website, Ibrahimovic was more than happy to help his fellow countrymen realize a dream.

"Football should be played by anyone, regardless of gender, disability or not," Ibrahimovic is quoted as saying. “And when we missed the World Cup, I was deeply disappointed, but when I heard about ‘The Unknown Team’ I said to myself that I wanted to do everything in my power to help them to experience the World Cup. There was nothing to think about. Now I get to experience the World Cup through them.”

The INAS World Cup begins on August 11 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)

10
Aug

England’s Beth Mead hits screamer in Under-20 Women’s World Cup

A month ago, we were watching what we thought were the final phases of the “World Cup of Goals.”

Instead, it looks like it’s far from over. The ladies at the Under-20 Women’s World Cup have picked up right where the men in Brazil left off - scoring worldies left and right.

First, France’s Claire Lavogez defied physics with a hit that rainbowed over the keeper to finish off a beautiful team move. And now, England’s Beth Mead goes on and does this:

You might want to start watching this tournament!

7
Aug

Work of art! France Under-20 women score beautiful team goal

Maybe you watched the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night, or maybe you tuned in to the Under-20 Women’s World Cup bout between France and Costa Rica instead. If you missed the latter, then you also missed the best goal of the day.

Check out this beautiful team goal from France that ends with Claire Lavogez’s nifty lob of the Ticos keeper, going off the crossbar and in:

With goals like that, the Under-20 Women’s World Cup is sure to pick up a few more viewers, we hope!

H/T SBNation

26
Jul

Too cute! James Rodriguez teaches daughter his World Cup dance moves

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James Rodriguez became a household name this summer by winning the World Cup Golden Boot and securing a mega-million transfer to Real Madrid. Before all that, James also did countrywoman Shakira proud by breaking out some excellent dance moves after each of his World Cup goals.

And now, James is passing his talents on to his young daughter.

How cute is this:

H/T BleacherReport

20
Jul

Whoops! World Cup trophy damaged at afterparty

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The German national team apparently celebrated their fourth World Cup title a bit too hard last weekend.

According to DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, part of the World Cup trophy was damaged at the Rio afterparty!

"At one spot a small piece was chipped off, but don’t worry. We have specialists who can fix it," Niersbach told German news magazine Spiegel.

The culprit? A mystery. Niersbach joked that a thorough and persistent investigation was conducted, but proved inconclusive.

Good thing the damaged trophy wasn’t the original! Because no World Cup champion actually gets to keep the real deal, FIFA representatives had already taken the original version back for safekeeping before the team even left the Maracana.

19
Jul

Artist has Gotze what it takes sketching Germany’s World Cup hero

His extra-time goal against Argentina in the World Cup final sent the German nation into a state of hysteria, and now artist Heather Rooney has immortalized the face of Mario Gotze in a sketch.

Similar to Germany’s performance in the final, it starts slowly, but comes good at the end.

What a work of art — not unlike Gotze’s goal to win the World Cup.

Heather has drawn several other famous footballers, and you can see more of her brilliant work here.

18
Jul

The top 5 social media moments of the World Cup

Yes, we know it’s already been almost a week since the final. So? We can’t get over it, okay?

5. Robin Van Persie’s diving header

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After RVP’s signature goal against Spain, we all should’ve known. This was going to be the World Cup of Goals. In fact, Brazil ended up equaling France ‘98 for the most goals ever at a singe World Cup, few as pretty and none as unique as the flying Dutchman’s.

4. Costa Rica, CONCACAF takes world by storm

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First the World Cup’s Cinderella beat Uruguay, then Italy. Then they sealed England’s elimination, and waltzed all the way to the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Mexico and the United States also did their qualifying region proud. (We’ll forget Honduras was there). CONQUERCAF, indeed!

3. Tim Howard’s goalkeeping performance for the ages

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America’s No. 1 made 15 saves against Belgium in the Round of 16, the most saves by a World Cup goalie since 1966. And though the USA didn’t advance, he did become the best internet meme of the World Cup, and that has to count for something.

2. Luis Suarez mistakes Giorgio Chiellini for chicken parmesan

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We don’t need to explain this one, do we? Heck, Suarez even inspired his own version of Pac-Man! Sometimes, some things are just so bad that they’re great.

1. Fuleco just can’t hide his excitement

Sorry, nothing could ever beat this. Fuleco has locked down the title of most outrageous World Cup mascot of all time.

17
Jul

Mesut Ozil promises to pay for 23 childrens’ surgeries following World Cup win

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(Image: Getty)

German international Mesut Ozil won the World Cup just last week, but now he’s making inroads into winning our hearts.

Ozil initially pledged to pony up for 11 surgeries for children in Brazil prior to the World Cup, as part of the BigShoe campaign:

A generous gesture by itself, now Ozil’s pledge has more than doubled in size since winning the coveted World Cup. Instead of sponsoring 11 surgeries, the Arsenal standout will pay for operations for 23 kids — the same number of players in the German squad. Ozil explained the contribution Facebook:

dear fans,
prior to the #WorldCup I supported the surgery of eleven sick children. since the victory of the #WorldCup is not only due to eleven players but to our whole team, I will now raise the number to 23. this is my personal thank-you for the hospitality of the people of Brazil. #Bigshoe #Brasil2014

The World Cup truly does seem to bring out the best in people, and certainly did in Mesut Ozil’s case … a class player and a class person.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)