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Sports Video

Take The Ball, Pass The Ball: trailer for documentary on Barcelona’s Guardiola years

Watching FC Barcelona from 2008 to 2012 was like watching a performance art piece. The way coach and former Barcelona player Josep “Pep” Guardiola had the Blaugrana pass and move, with the added dynamics of Lionel Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta was just extraordinary.

“I don’t like it when a player says, ‘I like freedom; I want to play for myself.’ Because the player has to understand he is part of a team with 10 other players. If everyone wants to be a jazz musician, it will be chaos. They will not be a team, and nothing will be possible.”

Pep Guardiola

The team collected 14 trophies in four years, including the Treble of a La Liga title, Spanish Cup, and Champions League title in the 2008 – 2009 season. Hear the story straight from the players who lived it: Thierry Henry, Eto’o, Xavi, Iniesta, and more. Take the Ball, Pass the Ball. This documentary looks monumental.

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Sports

Mexico’s WWII anti-Nazi propaganda poster

1 nil

(h/t @rabihalameddine)

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Sports

The British Museum adds Mo Salah’s boots to its collection

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Image via the British Museum

In preparation for the Champions League final this Saturday, the British Museum has decided to include the football boots of Mo Salah in the Egyptian collection.

The Egyptian star scored the most goals in a Premier League season with 32. The museum’s curator said the boots were “a modern Egyptian icon, performing in the UK, with a truly global impact.” However, others like Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass finds the opportunism inappropriate, saying “If the British Museum wanted to honor Salah, it should have built a museum for him or put the shoe in a special room.”

You be the judge.

Below are some of Salah’s top goals from the 2017 – 2018 season.

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Quotes

Pele on individuality 

“I think that a young person can belong to a group and yet retain their own individuality, not be a follower.”
— Pele

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Photography Sports Uncategorized

Tanzanian photographer John Kiyaya

Photo by Tanzanian photographer John Kiyaya, considered to be the “father of East-African ‘streetstyle’ photography.”

(thx @sanaa)

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Sports

Is Escape to Victory the best football movie of all-time?

Before he released Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone played goalie for the Allied Prisoners of War in the 1981 soccer (football) movie Escape to Victory along with fellow Hollywood star Michael Kaine and football legends Pele, Bobby Moore, and Ossie Ardeles. It’s considered by some to be “the greatest football movie ever made.

Pairing world-class athletes with movie stars on the same team had its challenges. Pele told Michael Caine:

“Give me the ball and try to kick me to make it as realistic as possible.”

Pele made Cain look better than he was, so Caine returned the favor. He made acting sound easy, even for Pele, who couldn’t speak fluent English.

“Once I’d said to them, ‘Come on, don’t worry about it, just say the lines,’ everything went like clockwork.

The most bizarre thing about the movie though is why a rising celebrity like Stallone would participate in a film about soccer, still a niche sport in the United States to this day. At least his position on the field was realistic — America does produce exceptional goalies!

Perhaps Stallone just wanted to be celebrated in another hero’s journey. Maybe he cared about US World Cup qualification – the USMNT qualified for the 1990 World Cup after a 40-year absence. Theories aside, just look at Stallone’s incredible save to defeat the Nazis!

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The value of extra time

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Extra time is invaluable.

The winning goal is often scored in extra time.

A revelation comes to fruition near the end of the meeting.

“Did we miss anything?” one might ask.

Extra time allows (necessary) time to fill in the gaps.

PS: In Our Time has a fantastic session after the show where the participants talk about things they missed.

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Uncategorized

Football (soccer): More than a game

The American media (aka ESPN) finally realizes that they can’t ignore the world’s most popular game. Football (soccer) and especially the World Cup makes all other sports look trifling.

In what other sport can you truly gather the world’s best talent and pit them head to head? The Olympics is global but there are only so few athletes per competition. Basketball is a world sport but the US players still retain hegemony.

Football flattens the world. Everyone participates, all because the cost of goods (a ball) is cheap and people can play anywhere. But the game is also inherently beautiful.

The passing, moving, one touches, and finishes are glorious to watch. Football is a philosophy. Its lessons provide tools for life: never stop moving, think ahead, show extreme passion, and compete individually but do it as a team.

Football is more visceral than other games. It’s tied to nations and therefore politics and identity. Today’s France/Germany game is an unavoidable reminder of the World Wars even though it really has nothing to do with it.

The thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football.

Terry Pratchett

Football is bigger than the game on the field. It is a mirror of art, life, and politics all mixed into one. As essayist Aleksandar Hemon once wrote, “An average life seldom contains more than twenty World Cups.” Life is a series of World Cups.

There’s only one world, one game, and it’s football.

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Uncategorized

First Touch

Everybody admired the way Zinedine Zidane touched the football because he was always two steps ahead. He saw the future before it happened and just worked backward to execute.

You can galvanize a player’s effort and refine his/her skills but you can’t teach them instinctiveness. That comes from years of extra practice.

The beauty of the first touch is that it appears effortless. Sometimes plays happen without even touching the ball at all. Talent is one thing but instinct inspires all the magic.

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Uncategorized

“Share the wealth with your fans..b/c the league without the fans would be nothing.”

The Economics Of Premier League Soccer