There is only one Zlatan so not much needs to be said here. He is as unpredictable as they come. He finds the back of the net in ways unimaginable to most.
The incomparable Nelson Mandela is gone. The towering political and civil rights legend has been lavishly eulogized over the past 24 hours, and he’s deserved every shred of praise he’s received. So allow this to act as the 91st Minute’s acknowledgement of Mandela’s otherworldly impact on the planet he left behind.
It’s only appropriate that on the heels of the latest World Cup draw, we look back at Mandela’s uplifting message before the 2010 World Cup in his own backyard.
Well, it happened. You spent lo those many hours in the shade of night refreshing that World Cup draw simulator with shame and fear etched onto your face. It took 214 times, but you finally hit that magical Switzerland-Algeria-USA-Croatia group, and your heart sang. And then you ran it again. And night descended again.
And so it was. Friday’s World Cup draw was the sum of all American fears. Ghana (ouch). Portugal (Ronaldo? Really?). Germany (*explodes*). The game locations: Recife (on the coast, not bad). Natal (a short trip up the coast, I’ll take it). Manaus (THE AMAZONIAN HEART OF DARKNESS).
Let’s stop with the niceties. This wasn’t ideal. But was it as bad as it seemed? Let’s take a look. Flip on those rose glasses now, if you please.
This video is two years old, but it’s a recent discovery for me, and I’ll be honest. I feel like Ponce de León probably would’ve felt had he actually found the Fountain of Youth. Because this is an incredible work of art.
I don’t toss around superlatives lightly (wait, that’s exactly what I do), but this is my favorite video on the internet. Bar none. Period. When he swaps places with Beckham and puts a FK into the back row, it’s as though Beethoven has revisited us in ball form and regaled us with a concerto in unbelievable.
Excuse me for a minute. I’m going to watch it again.
On Wednesday, Everton won at Old Trafford for the first time in more than 20 years, a 1-0 victory that rattled the cage of embattled manager David Moyes. While Everton manager Roberto Martinez continued his rapid ascension, things are suddenly looking bleak for Alex Ferguson’s successor and the man Martinez replaced.
You could hear it from the stands, of course. Toward the end of the game, Everton fans showered Moyes with joyous chants of “You’re getting sacked tomorrow.” Which is ballsy and more than a little stupid to yell at the guy who kept you relevant in the Premier League for a decade.
Apparently Moyes agreed.
Take this for what you will, but Everton supporter David D. Wallbank ran into Moyes in the team hotel after the game, and Moyes, apparently quite drunk, railed off some interesting words toward Everton supporters. Wallbank’s Twitter account appears to be gone (it isn’t loading at the time of this posting), but his tweets live on. To wit.
Moyes just called everton fans a disgrace in the hotel to me — David D. Wallbank
(@daveywallbank) December 4, 2013 Moyes was fuming. In the lowry now. After 11 years he said they are a f***ing disgrace
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 4, 2013 Moyes said ‘if that’s how they want to play it they’ll regret it’
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 4, 2013 R u happy efc r doing well Moyes ‘I’m delighted…Roberto is a great guy’
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 4, 2013 Moyes ‘after 11 years it’s a disgrace how the fans treated me tonight. From how I found them to how I left them…..a f***ing disgrace’
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 4, 2013 if anyone who knows me knows I don’t lie. Not seeking attention so please no abuse. I just tweeted what I was told to my face!
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 4, 2013 my friend asked moyes ‘how have you adjusted to the step up?’ Moyes ‘Fine, day by day one day at a time’
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 5, 2013 not even joking my twitter has melted….its like I have tweeted something illegal or I’m in trouble. Moyes obviously upset, at first calm
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 5, 2013 People asking why I have tweeted a private conversation. I am not seeking attention. But I love EVERTON and its worth sharing. #efc
— David D. Wallbank (@daveywallbank) December 5, 2013 Basically Moyes is now drunk, security whisked him away (honest) Just had 5 mins with Chris Woods…is anyone interested #efc
Jozy Altidore has endured a pretty bumpy patch at Sunderland, as you’ve read here. Sunderland have been bereft of creativity and Jozy’s often languished up top.
Finally, his English goal drought came to a stop Wednesday at home against mighty Chelsea. Jozy wheeled around wonderfully and finished in that nonchalant way he’s fashioned over the years.
FC Nordsjælland and Randers fought to a 1-1 draw on Sunday in Danish top league action. But the best part wasn’t the game. It was this errant shot a fan attempted to back heel and whiffed on, only to watch the ball carom off the steps and knock his drink out of his hand. The stuff dreams are made of.
By now, you’ve no doubt seen that adidas’ new Brazil 2014 match ball, Brazuca, is out. It’s a flashy ball for a nation of flashy soccer players, and it seems to fit the aesthetic for what Brazil is attempting to project. It’s a little nebulous for my taste, but not too many complaints from this nook of the internet.
Anyway, in honor of the occasion adidas put out this Vine rolling through each of its match balls since Mexico 1970. In general, it seems the match ball has evolved from paneling to structured webbing to this sort of liquid design that better accentuates the ball’s roundness.
You’ve read about the combatants. Now it’s time to vote.
Over the last five days, we’ve profiled five women’s teams that we’ve deemed the best national title-winners to ever suit up. These range from plucky upstarts to dominant undefeated behemoths. Now it’s up to you to decide which team is the best ever. From Abby Wambach to Mia Hamm to Megan Rapinoe, we’ve got the last two decades of USWNT greats represented.
We’ll keep this poll open through the end of the Women’s College Cup and tally up the votes for a Monday reveal of the best of all time.
Without further ado, here’s a look back at the choices. Happy voting.
FIFA had an excruciatingly boring ceremony on Tuesday to make official the pots for Friday’s World Cup draw. As you’ll notice, it’s imbalanced. FIFA stole from Pot 2 to feed Pot 4, which actually makes life even more difficult for the Americans. If that was even possible.
Almost every permutation of every draw results in the U.S. finding itself in a group of volatility. If the USMNT can find its way into Switzerland’s group, they’ll avoid the likelihood of a horrific grouping. If not, there is almost a 100% certainty that they’ll be drawn in with two other teams (at least) with a frightful array of talent.
If you want to give yourself nightmares for the next three nights, run through this now-updated WC draw simulator. You most likely won’t get what you’re looking for.