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.”
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.
Every four years Adidas redesigns the official ball for the World Cup. This year’s ball is called The Telstar 18
, a perfect sphere that designed to reduce wobbling.
The Telstar 18, the design for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, is as close to a perfect sphere as you can get. It has subtle pimples and six thermally bonded panels designed to avoid knuckling, which is the characteristic bobbing and weaving movement when a ball is kicked without spin. All 32 teams have been able to play with it since November in preparation for the tournament, which runs from June 14 to July 15. But despite its similarities to the old ball, players have grumbled about the Telstar 18. Compared to the last few World Cup balls, the Telstar 18 is very similar to the ball used for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It won’t fly quite as far down the pitch, and will wobble in the air a little differently, but aerodynamic testing suggests it will be more stable in the air overall.
Adidas tested the balls using wind tunnels, trying to mimic the unpredictable nature of a Ronaldo or Messi kick. Some say past designs weren’t so sturdy and may have given some teams an advantage. The 2010 South Africa World Cup ball, known as the Jabulani, fit the short-passing style of the World Cup winners Spain.
Despite the ball’s aerodynamic optimization, one thing is certain: the goalies always hate it.
I kind of feel sympathy for the players and especially the goalkeepers that have to get used to a new ball,” Goff says. So far the Telstar 18 has received criticism from a few goalkeepers that played with it starting in November, unhappy with how it moves in the air and the way the surface feels. Goalkeepers, unlike every other player on the pitch, have to predict where the ball will go in order to block it, while also not having the freedom to run around the field to adjust as the ball flies. That means goalies often have the most complaints about a new design. “Every time there’s a World Cup and a new ball the goalkeepers complain, because they’ve been given a new ball,” says Goff.
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.
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!