The Knee of God

…we could get into the specifics of why this brawl occurred and why this dude was dropped.

Maybe another time…just remember not to fuck with Maradona.

IMWT

Brah-zuca

Fanmail keeps pouring in and it seems like everyone is following our run to the cup to these days.  A handsome link provided by Ashu describes the qualities of the Brazuca: Adidas’ spherical offering to the footballing Gods of 2014.

New ball to showcase talent in World Cup

“Physics experts believe the new soccer ball created for the 2014 FIFA World Cup starting next week is a “keepers’ ball”. The new ball, called Brazuca, should be much more predictable than the 2010 World Cup ball, Jabulani, which was less-than-affectionately labelled a ‘beach ball’ because of its sometimes erratic flight path.”

The article summary as quoted above and published in Science Daily is fairly diplomatic but the truth is that the Jabulani was an absolute piece of shit. It should also be noted that millions of dollars and the collective of will of a team of scientists should be devoted to bettering humanity by curing ills rather than making a fucking ball that you kick into a net. What was wrong with the balls of the 90′s? Remember that Pele learned his trade with a ball made out of rags.

One wonders what the balls of yore were like. Watching old videos it appears that the old balls were heavy, or at least did not hold air very well. What kind of antiquated tech went into these non-bouncing leather-wrapped pig bladders?

 

Rivelinho didn’t care, nor did Pele it seemed. Check out Pele’s blast at 2:09. Well, anyway the vid won’t load and you have to watch it on youtube. On a sidenote: it’s FIFA’s channel and the content is surprisingly good. The video of note is a short blurb on Rivelhino and his magical moustache. There are some great scenes of WC 1970 shot on film it seems and not the grainy, hazy tv feed that one is used to. Magical stuff, brah.

Mas mas que nada…

“Never grow up my friends”

-credo of the manchild.

“I see your Nike commercial and raise you one,”

“Also, 5:41 Timmy Howard,”  says the DJ

 

Although, probably the best soccer-themed video ever made is this one:

Props to Campos and Bradley Wright-Phillips’ dad at the end.

Mas Que Nada

The Tournoi de France of 1997 lies forlorn and forgotten by many, the VHS tapes of which lie gathering dust beneath an old TV at my parents’ house. Perhaps best remembered for Roberto Carlos’ epic free kick, the banana blast heard round the world, Le Tournoi was like a precursor to the Confederations Cup: a friendly tournament held in the host nation as a sort of dry-run to the cup. Brazil, France, England, and Italy all vying for little piece of nothing or just maybe some confidence in the real tourney.

Sad it is that Le Tournoi has been forgotten, for the football was epic. The hi-jinks of Romario, of Barthez, of the young and still-talented David Beckham, and of Del Piero and Company promised a tournament that would erase the memory of 94′s flaccid penalty kick final. Brazilian football neared its zenith, sporting a menagerie of magicians and jesters channeling the spirit of ’82. Alas, it was not meant to be. Romario was left off the squad and France beet the Selecao in the final to take home the cup. More 1990 than 1970 and the world wonders what 2014 will bring.

Italy vs. Brazil 3-3 and one of the best games of the 20 years. Coincidentally, Le Tournoi de France was the last time England won anything. They have not come close since. Every game can be found on youtube and they are all worth watching.

And let us not forget…

Cantona!

The Road to Brazil

dude..the trick at 1:50! fucking mindblowing man!

haha best thing I’ve seen all day.

..much better than this:

Montes is a fucking retard for going in like that in a friendly a week and a half before the WC.

Anyway, the ‘old man’ in the first vid is this dude named Sean Garnier, a Frenchman and the reigning world soccer freestyling champion, whatever that means. Here he goes up against Neymar, making him humble:

Word up, this is basically just dancing with a soccer ball, which is tits in my book. And on a side note, we seem to be liking the Neymar more and more everyday as he exhibits just a hint of personality, more so at least than the dullard Messi and the Narcissist CR7. Will he become the peoples’ champion and heir to the Maradona throne? Only time will tell and it just may be the only reason to tune into this season’s World Cup.

Yedlin Brooks Bedoya

The US National Soccer team will fail in Brazil. That is our prediction and we believe that they will not so much fail but fail fairly miserably without aplomb, or even verve. It doesn’t really matter anyway because we’re all grown men watching a child’s game but it’s fun and we like to watch it and make predictions. Sure, we will even spend thousands of dollars on plane tickets and Cachaça and travel to distant lands for it so it must matter a little bit, right? The DJ reminds us that we still must live our lives with just a little passion, for what else is the point?

We’re all Americans here for the most part and as such we enjoy cheering for our countrymen. I’m sure people cheer for Brazil in Brazil and for Spain in Spain, for Italy in Italy, for les Bleus in France. The US National team will be painful to watch this summer, indeed they have been excruciatingly painful to watch for a really long time. As horrible as the 1994 US National Team was it is forever seared into memory as the most entertaining American team to ever take the pitch, a colorful cast of oddballs and amateurs bumbling their way to the knock-out stage with personality and luck. Leonardo fractured Tab Ramos’ skull and US Soccer has never been the same.

With the exclusion of Landon Donovan, the 2014 US National Team World Cup roster is virtually unrecognizable. Who the fuck are these guys? Sure, we recognize a few names. Clinton Dempsey comes to mind. Timothy Howard. We’re even familiar with the goal-scoring journeyman Christopher Wondowloski. At a stretch, we can recall a quality cross made by Mix Diskerud. But who the fuck is Alejandro Bedoya? DeAndre Yedlin? John Brooks?

Landon Donovan is an easy cat to hate, what with his constant whining and what-not, but the fact remains that he is the most recognizable American soccer player of all time. We remember Tab Ramos, but no one else does. And for all of his so-Cal douchiness Donovan was the most entertaining and productive American player to watch over the past decade and perhaps ever. For the all the chat about Lando Donrisian having lost a step or two, remember that speed does not a great player make and that young Landon, now old Landon, has grown and matured into a very, very good soccer player. The same cannot be said for so-called better players, once hailed as prodigies, who fizzle out too soon. 

Watch Donovan’s pass at 3:54. A perfectly weighted, delectable one time touch pass which completely destroys the Costa Rican defense. It looks painfully simple and to the unappreciative eye  is just a forgettable blip which comes before Brek Shea’s awful, sloppy finish, but the truth is that few players have the ability to make a pass like that; for it is not just the pass itself but the drawing of the defenders away from the streaking Shea, the hitting of the ball one time on the half volley at the just right time, and the sheer accuracy of the pass which defines Donovan the player of today, how good he is, and how much he has grown as a player. With the exception of maybe Bradley, there is no one else on the US team that can make a pass like that. And indeed, it is likely Bradley who will captain the ship come June; and while we support him in his captaincy, there is no mistaking who is really behind the wheel.

 

Gods of Brazil

garrinchalegs_250x350

 

garrincha_106268_display_image

Will Neymar channel the ghost of Garrincha?

Ah, what a world it is we live in today! Strange days they say, indeed, yet stranger still were the days of yore when gents like Garrincha roamed the pitch!

Football was still a business back then, but more of a game it seemed. Simpler. Twas a time when a man like Garrincha, a bowlegged alcoholic, could dazzle the world and engage millions; create a style and define the Brazilian game for decades to come, all through the power of will and a personality that would impart itself on the game. A true artist, man!

The game has changed somewhat, and some still show flashes of brilliance.

We have the likes of CR7, a brilliant player no doubt yet more athlete than artist. We’ll be watching footballing greatest villain come WC time, rooting both for and against the man everyone loves to hate. We salute you, CR7!

cristiano-ronaldo-406-real-madrid-diving-goal-celebration

We have Lionel Messi, another special one who seems to trade his FIFA player of the year trophy with CR7 every season. We’ll see what happens come June but no one is betting on the Argentines to take home the coveted Cup. Messi is alright, brilliant even, but a sort of tarnished brilliance that lacks bravado or panache. A little guy though, and more artist than athlete, and for that we salute you!

SNF0916A620_1651083a

We have footballing newest fad, Garreth Bale. The DJ says that he’s Welsh, and thusly will not be travelling to Brazil this summer as a participant in football’s grandest tourney. Good, I’m glad. Garreth has a nice touch but is more monster than maestro. A thick-necked British skyscraper, we salute you not!

gareth-bale_2557915b

Ah, but back to Garrincha! Such a devil!

“hey you ever heard of Garrincha?
dude…reading a little bit more about his life. epic. ran over his dad, killed his mother in law, had 14 kids, had a huge dong, died of alcoholism, was retarded, and won two world cups. 
…also had deformed legs from having polio as a child. and lost his virginity to a goat”
Indeed, Garrincha was some sort of God it seems, yet more man than God, but a God nonetheless. This is fine by us as such demigods paint the pitch with an artists touch! We salute you sir, the little bird!
A strange specter indeed, the ghost of Garrincha!
Yes, but a specter not to be feared, rather adored, and we hope that a certain Neymar will inherit such, and channel one of football’s forgotten Gods and make us all forget the likes of CR7, Messi, and the repugnant Bale.
Neymar
 ¡Do Brazil!  ¡Ao Maracanã!