Zico on Brazil’s Downfall

In an exclusive interview with Haaretz, Brazilian legend Zico talked about the current problems that plague the Pentacampeões as well as what changes he would implement as FIFA president.

“The Brazilian national team currently has a problematic coach and on the field is a team that plays without joy and without the technique of the past. [Coach Carlos] Dunga had good results in the friendly games, but terrible results in the important games. He didn’t work with the clubs and that is a problem: he arrived at the national team without success or even experience at club level.

“But the problem is with the Brazilian players. They leave Brazil every year in larger numbers and at younger ages. Because they leave so early, they lose the Brazilian approach to the ball and the Brazilian technique; they are maybe more tactical, but they lose the authentic identity of Brazilian soccer that everyone loves in Brazil and worldwide,” lamented Zico.

“They go to play everywhere in the world, in places where soccer is completely different. They play in places where they don’t know the language and it takes time to adjust to the place, the fans, the language. That’s the reason, in my opinion, why the boys aren’t playing in the Brazilian style that we’re used to. They live well, increase their tactical understanding, but lose the light Brazilian approach, the magic of the ball at the foot. And, thus, Brazil has become not Brazil, to my sorrow.”

 

RONALDO’S NEW NIKE BOOTS

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Inspired by the volcanic Portuguese island Madeira where the player was born, the lava-inspired print of the new Nike Mercurial Superfly Cristiano Ronaldo Savage Beauty Boot is “one of the most intricate Nike has ever produced on a pair of boots”.

“Madeira will always be close to my heart,” says Ronaldo. “I’m so happy to represent my island all over the world. It’s a fantastic feeling.” The Mercurial Ronaldo Cleats feature a knitted upper with NikeSkin for ultimate control in all weather conditions. The trademark Dynamic Fit collar is made for a sock-like feel, combined with a tongue-less design.

For the lulz

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According to a report by Italian tabloid La Prealpina AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli could be sued by 40 year old cougar after he allegedly released compromising pictures of her on to his Facebook account.

Her lawyer, Giovanni Tonelli, told The Sun: “My client has been left severely traumatized. She couldn’t believe it when she saw these intimate pictures had been posted online.”

“She asked for them to be removed but they were still being shared.” Balotelli could not be reached for comments but it is obvious he did it for the lulz.

U.S. Soccer to Host Copa America Centenario

Federation Joins CONMEBOL and CONCACAF in Presenting 100-Year Anniversary Edition of South American Football Championship

CHICAGO (Oct. 23, 2015) – The U.S. Soccer Federation will partner with The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and the Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol (CONMEBOL), to host the prestigious Copa America Centenario, a tournament that marks the 100-year anniversary of the South American Football Championship.

Featuring the top stars from both regions, including five-time World Cup champion Brazil and three-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi of Argentina, the event will be held from June 3-26 in venues across the United States.

Serving as the Local Organizing Committee, U.S. Soccer will work with CONMEBOL, CONCACAF and the soccer community in the U.S. to organize and execute the event. U.S. Soccer will immediately begin securing venues for the tournament and planning the operational aspects of the event. Earlier this year, 24 metropolitan areas showed interest in hosting matches during the tournament and submitted a proposal to U.S. Soccer. A minimum seating capacity of 50,000 is required for tournament venues.

More than 40,000 fans have already signed up to receive ticketing information and U.S. Soccer will provide updates in the near future.

To ensure there is a transparent governance structure in place to oversee the management and execution of the tournament, all three parties agreed to create a new Executive Committee to govern the event. The Committee, which will be made up of two representatives from CONMEBOL, two representatives from CONCACAF, and one representative from U.S. Soccer, will oversee policy decisions for the tournament and facilitate greater financial transparency regarding funds collected for broadcasting and sponsorships.

As part of the tournament’s new governance structure, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL have reclaimed their respective broadcast and sponsorship rights for this event by ending their relationships with Datisa, S.A. The Confederations will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) publicly to ensure transparency and accountability in the selection of new commercial partners.

The 2016 Copa America Centenario will feature six teams from CONCACAF, and all 10 teams from CONMEBOL: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

From CONCACAF, host USA and Mexico are automatic qualifiers, while Costa Rica (2014 Copa Centroamericana winner) and Jamaica (2014 Caribbean Cup winner) qualified this fall. The final two teams will be determined through a playoff in the near future.

Uruguay has won the most Copa America titles with 15 since the tournament began in 1916 as the South American Championship of Nations.

Pele Celebrates his 75th Birthday

Spanish newspaper Marca got in touch with World Cup and Brazilian legend ‘O Rei’ Pele, celebrating his 75th birthday in India, for a quick interview on modern football.

On La Liga: “We watch all of the La Liga games in Brazil and, as it stands, it’s one of the best leagues on the continent”.

On Brazil: “Brazil have the best players in the world. The problem is that most of them play overseas and that makes it difficult to build a national team capable of challenging for everything”.

Are Messi and Ronaldo on a par with Pelé? “In my honest opinion, I think that every player has his era and, right now, Leo and CR7 are the best”.

On Messi: “I think that Messi is an example of determination and perseverance. He didn’t have it easy when he was young”.

On Ronaldo: “He’s an outstanding goalscorer, he just never stops. I admire that in him”.

On Diego Costa choosing Spain over Brazil: “The modern game allows players to make a choice and I respect his decision”.

Has there ever been a better player than Pelé?“Please forgive my lack of modesty, but I’ve never seen a player as good as Pelé was in 1970”.

Bastian Schweinsteiger’s NAZI Action Figure

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German international Bastian Schweinsteiger is reported to be upset at Hong Kong doll manufacturer, Dragon in Dream, for making a Nazi Action Figure with a a striking resemblance to him.

The Manchester United midfielder told BILD magazine that he was specially upset at “the lack of a proper Kung Fu grip.” Schweinsteiger’s management company put the matter into the hands of their German-based lawyers earlier this week.

The dolls, named ‘World War II Army Supply Duty – Bastian’, are made in China by Dragon in Dream. The company told Bild any resemblance was “purely coincidental”.

“We don’t sell any figures which resemble footballers. It is a complete coincidence that the figure ‘Bastian’ looks like Schweinsteiger,” a spokesman added. “We thought that all Germans look like that. Bastian is also a very common name in Germany.”

Makes sense to me. Now, if only Dragon in Dream can make a Pancho Villa doll that resembles Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez I’ll have my Christmas wishlist completed.

 

Don’t hit Send

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I work on TV trucks for a living, so I can sympathize with this poor soul who let this one slip. It happens, it has happened to me, but not this bad.

The closest was years ago when I first started in TV. I worked on Super Show Deportivo, a weekly NFL show, and we did a year recap. Luckily I caught the error before it aired. We had a graphic that said este ano en la NFL. A Little line makes all the difference.

For the record, I beleive the number of putos on both teams to be a little high.

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