Who Ate All the Pies Archives for January 2015

Official: Newcastle United Sign Anderlecht Defender Chancel Mbemba In £8m Deal

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By Alan Duffy

Steve McClaren's summer spending continued with Newcastle United's signing of Anderlecht defenderChancel Mbemba. The 20-year-old DR Congo internationalwas a stalwart for the Belgian giants last season and is Steve McClaren's third signing of the summer, following the purchases of Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Serb striker Aleksandar Mitrović.

Boca Juniors Fans Absolutely Erupt As Carlos Tevez Scores First Goal Back In Blue And Gold (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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As you may recall, the Boca Juniors fans were fairly keento turn out and welcome prodigal son Carlos Tevez back onto home soil upon his recent returnto La Bombonera.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that Tevez's first goal was met with similar scenes of intense jubilation, with the former Juventus striker getting himself off the mark (again) witha goal in Boca's 3-0 win overBanfield in the Copa Argentina on Wednesday evening.

Dedryck Boyata Keeps Celtic’s European Dream Alive, Celebrates By Knocking Ballboy Over (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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A single, 82nd-minute goal from Dedryck Boyata was enough to secure Celtic aslim 1-0 victory overQarabag FK in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier in Glasgow last night.

The powerful header, Boyata's second goal inthe tournament since signing from Man City a month or soago, ensured Celtic travel toAzerbaijan for the second leg next week with the narrowest of advantages tucked under their collective belts.

British Student Reveals Teaching Samuel Eto’o To Speak Russian Was A Bit Of A Nightmare

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By Chris Wright

The British student hired to teach Samuel Eto'o to speak Russian during hisAnzhi Makhachkala has admitted that she spent months home-schooling the striker without having a single clue who he was or what he did for a living.

Rebecca Prew, a 23-year-old Russian and French graduate from Leeds University, was brought in to help Eto'o learn the basics of the Russian language during his second year at Anzhi in 2012.

‘It’s A Big Challenge But Don’t Be Scared’ – Eric Cantona Pledges Support For Bath City Fans’ Buyout Campaign

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By Chris Wright

Never one for being backward in coming forward when it comes to social activism, Eric Cantona has pledged his support to Bath City fans in their ongoing attempts to fund a communitytakeoverof their cash-strapped football club.

With the non-league side currentlydangling over the edge of afinancial precipice, Bath City fans have launched the Big Bath City Bid (BBCB) crowd-funding campaign in the hope ofraising the £750,000-£1.

Transfer Balls: Man City Set On Stones, Arsenal Go Big For Busquets, Tottenham Eye Liverpool’s Lambert

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man CityStrike For Stones

While Chelsea ready a third bid for John Stones, Manchester City are now set to throw their hat into the ring for the Everton centre-half.

Pandemonium: Didier Drogba Given Raucous Airport Welcome By Hundreds Of Montreal Impact Fans (Video)

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By Chris Wright

It seems to have taken him a fair old while, with an abortedmove to Chicago Fire in there somewhere, but Didier Drogba is now a Montreal Impact player having signed with the MLS side earlier in the week.

Touching downinCanada for the first time yesterday afternoon, Drogba was greeted by frenzied throngs as hundreds of fansstampeded throughMontreal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport to get a look at their hero.

11-Year-Old Ballboy Takes Over As Manager Of Non-League Side And Masterminds 1-1 Draw Against Bolton

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By Chris Wright

AFC Fylde of the National League North tussled their way to a 1-1 draw against Championship opponents Bolton Wanderers last night athoroughly respectable result masterminded entirely by the club's new manager.

Fresh-facedDaniel Fryer took charge of Fylde for the very first time against Bolton and didn't look out of place in the dugout despite the fact that he had no managerial experience whatsoeverup until a few hours before kick-off.

Zinedine Zidane Scores Try During Madcap Football/Rugby Hybrid Charity Match (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Just as they did two years ago, Toulon rugby club staged another bizarre football/rugby hybrid charity match yesterday evening, this time with theveterans of France's1998 World Cup-winning side providing the opposition.

The likes of Zinedine Zidane, Didier Deschamps, Robert Pires and Claude Makelele all reunited to turn out for Les Bleus XI, withZizou even coming down an acute case of white line fever at one point, going over for an impressive solo try that began in his own half.

Cristiano Ronaldo Pulls Off Sassy ‘No Look’ Pass As Real Madrid Limber Up In Shanghai (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Normally we'd consider the 'no-look' pass to beone of the daftest innovations in the history of football, what with it serving no purpose whatsoever 99% of the time you see it trotted out.

That said, we couldn't help but be impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo's playful version, as pulled off during this afternoon's Real Madrid training session in Shanghai.

Stevan Jovetic Bids Farewell To Man City On Instagram, Takes Special Care To Thank Stuff And Junk And Like, Whatever

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By Chris Wright

With a move to Inter Milan in the offing, Stevan Jovetic took to Instagram to bid farewell to his Man City cohorts after two largely anonymous seasonsatthe Etihad as is the done thing these days.

The departing Montenegrin striker took special care to thank the City players and all the people he'd worked alongside for the past two years and stuff and junk and like, y'know, whatever.

Official: Southampton Borrow Steven Caulker From QPR On Season-Long Loan

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By Chris Wright

Desperate for a bit of defensive bolstering,Southampton have borrowed Steven Caulker from QPR for a season.

The Saints were originally sounding out the possibility of nabbing Calum Chambers back from Arsenal, but were turned away at the door.

Instead Caulker, who is still only 23, has been signed up on a year-long loan deal, though there is hushed word that an £8million permanent transfer may follow thereafter.

FIFA Corruption Exhibition To Open, Rather Fittingly, At National Museum Of Organized Crime

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By Chris Wright

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A museum exhibition centred around the current corruption scandal engulfing FIFA is to go on display in Las Vegas in September.

Rather fittingly, the permanent installation is to go on display at the city'sNational Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement informally known as 'The Mob Museum'.

Michel Platini Confirms He Will Stand For FIFA Presidency To ‘Give FIFA Back The Dignity It Deserves’

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By Chris Wright

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"You come at the king, you better not miss"

UEFA's grand poobah Michel Platini has confirmed he plans to stand against Sepp Blatter as a candidate for the FIFA presidency at the magnificently named Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich next February.

Newcastle Fans Launch Own Replica Shirt As Wonga-Free Alternative To Mike Ashley’s Official Club Mechandise

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By Chris Wright

A disenfranchised group of Newcastle United fans have banded together and launched a new, "supporter-led" home shirt for fellow fans to buy as an alternative to the official club merchandise.

The rather smart Magpie Brand shirt (see above) provides similarly despairing Toon fans with the option to proudly show theircolours without lining Mike Ashley's pockets.

Brazilian Defender Shown Red Card For Wearing Same Shirt Number As His Teammate (Video)

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By Chris Wright

In one of the oddest dismissals of 2015 so far, Mogi Mirim defenderPaulãofound himself on the receiving end ofa red card when he decided, for reasons unknown, to swap his shirt number athalf-time during his side's 3-2 homedefeatagainstBragantino in the Brazilian Serie B on Tuesday evening.

Transfer Balls: Tottenham Yearn For Ashley Young, PSG Launch £28.5m Di Maria Bid, Chelsea Chase Telles

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Tottenham Yearn For Young

Tottenham's quest for a winger now sees them eyeing a move for Ashley Young, according to the Mirror.

Jose Mourinho Keeps Classy Rafa Benitez Feud Alive By Responding To Wife’s Quips With A Fat Joke

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By Chris Wright

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Great. It looks as though the long-running and always entertaining feud between Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho has farted back into life. They just couldn't let it lie, could they?

It all began yesterday when Benitez's good lady wife, Montserrat Seara,quipped that her husband had spent his life clearing up after Mourinho having followed him into the managerial breach at Inter Milan, Chelsea and now Real Madrid.

Football Songs: The Red Stripez Release Catchy Ditty To Celebrate Southampton’s First Ever Europa League Match (Video)

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By Chris Wright

With their beloved club's first ever game in the Europa League (against Vitesse Arnhem) coming up on Thursday, Southampton fans James Knight and Mark Lawrence has joined forces to create a song about the momentous occasion.

Knight, who goes by the stage name'Scarlet Soho', and Lawrence, aka 'Broken Links', together make up The Red Stripez the band responsible for this summer's biggest Europa League-themed club banger, 'Southampton In Europa'.

Eden Hazard Tears Through Barcelona To Score Marvellous Solo Goal At FedEx Field (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Chelsea and Barcelona toiled their respective ways to a 2-2 draw in Maryland yesterday with the Premier League side going on to just about edge it in the subsequent penalty shoot-out.

It was Eden Hazard who opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a lovely little solo virtuoso effort.

Official: Arturo Vidal Completes £28m Move To Bayern Munich (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

It is done. Arturo Vidal is officially a Bayern Munich player. The Chilean has signed a four-year deal with the Bundesliga champions, with Juventus receiving a reported £28million in return.

Here he is doing a bit of colouring-in while he waits for the adults to finish speaking.

Shit Football Kits Of Yesteryear: Chesterfield Town’s Patriotic ‘Union Jack’ Strip, 1892 (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Hunker down children, for youhave an incredibly tenuous introduction coming your way. Here we go...

Just ten short yearsafter the town itself became the first inEngland to bewholly lit by electric street lights, Chesterfield Town FC further lit up the world of association football by adopting an incredibly patriotic, if ever so slightlyludicrous new kit.

The Baffling Bungle Of Angel Di Maria’s Man Utd Career: What Is And What Should Have Never Been

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By Chris Wright

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Alas, it looks for all the world like Angel Di Maria's brief Premier League adventure is at an end.

Despite his scheduled post-season annual leave elapsing, the Argentinian winger has not joined his Manchester United colleagues on tour in America and is expected instead to sign for PSG before the week is out thus bringing to a prematureconclusionhis largely barrendalliancewith English football, one year into a five-year contract.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Close In On Pedro, Arsenal Beat Chelsea To Callejon Signature, Tottenham Plan Double Swoop For Berahino And Bolasie

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Pedro Eager For Man Utd Move

The Independent reports (via Marca) that Pedro is eager to join Manchester United.

David Busst Shows Off His Scars 19 Years After Suffering Horrific Broken Leg Against Manchester United (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

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In one of football's most famouscases of nominative determinism, David Busst splintered his leg while playing for Coventry against Manchester United at Old Trafford in 1996.

It was, and remains to this day, one of the most harrowing incidents Pies has ever witnessed on a football pitch.

FIFA: Sepp Blatter Deserves To Win A Nobel Prize, So Says Vladimir Putin

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By Chris Wright

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Sepp Blatter has received a Nobel Prize endorsementfrom the one person left on the planet who still views the FIFA presidentas a morally upstanding, above board, straight-laced kind of fellow that personbeingRussian overlord Vladimir Putin.

Chelsea: Jose Mourinho Pranks His Backroom Staff With Phoney Team-Building Exercise (Video)

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By Chris Wright

While limbering up for a friendly against Montreal Impact this week, Chelsea managerJose Mourinho the little scamp decided to undermine thecollective will of his backroom staff by pranking them with a phoney team-building exercise after training.

Mourinho began by sitting his unsuspecting victims down in formation and asking them to pretend they were all on board a bus, leaning back and forth and steering with imaginary wheels, etc, etc knowing not that they were about to be chilled to the very bone!

Aaron Ramsey And Erik Lamela Join Messi, Ronaldo And Scots Teen Robbie Muirhead On UEFA’s Goal Of The Season Shortlist (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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Two Premier League stars have made it onto the UEFA shortlist for their 2014/15 Goal of the Season. Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey gets the nod for his cracking long-range volley against Galatasaray in the Champions League while Spurs schemer Erik Lamela's fabulous 'rabona' againstAsteras Tripolis in the Europa League is also included.

Mascots Swarm Around Cristiano Ronaldo Before Real Madrid v Inter Milan Game in China, Leave Toni Kroos All On His Ownsome (Photos)

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By Alan Duffy

Before Real Madrid 1-0 win against Inter Milan in China on Monday, the local mascots made it very clear which Madrid player they liked the best.

Fiveof the excited youngsters (one is hidden in the photo above) decided to stand in front of the Portuguese legend, leaving the likes of poor old Toni Kroos looking like a Billy-no-mates.

Arsenal Fan Calls Out Man Utd For Overstating Their FA Cup Credentials

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By Alan Duffy

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Arsenal fan Jeremy Livingston has forced Manchester United to update their website after the eagle-eyed Gooner spotted an error concerning the Red Devil's FA Cup record.

The United website had claimed that the club had won the FA Cup "a record 11 times".

Official: Stoke City Sign Another Barcelona Boy In Shape Of Ibrahim Afellay

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By Chris Wright

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The improbable Barcelona-to-Stoke City transfer migration path has been trodden once again this afternoon with the news thatIbrahim Afellay has joined the Potters on a two-year deal.

Marc Muniesa, Bojan Krkicand recent arrivalMoha El Ouriachi have all swapped the Camp Nou for the Britannia of late as Mark Hughes continues to change the entire footballing ethos of the once-lumpy Premier League side.

Official: New York Red Bulls Rescue Shaun Wright-Phillips From The Football Wilderness

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By Chris Wright

New York Red Bulls have signed Shaun Wright-Phillips, describing him as a "former English Premier League standout" on their official website.

In fact, the news is pretty much all in the past tense, largely seeing as though Wright-Phillips hasn't actually been seen in the flesh for several years before today.

Official: Aston Villa Complete £12m Deal To Sign Jordan Ayew

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By Chris Wright

Aston Villa's almost Newcastle-esque raid on French football has continued apace this afternoon with the signing of Jordan Ayew from Lorient.

The 23-year-old Ghanaian international winger has signed a five-year deal with Villa and joins fellow Ligue 1 recruitsJordan Amavi and Idrissa Gueye (formerly of OGC Nice and Lille respectively)on the books.

Real Madrid Tell Manchester United Target Sergio Ramos He Will Not Be Sold ‘Under Any Circumstances’

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By Chris Wright

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Real Madrid have toldSergio Ramos that they are unwilling to sell him under any circumstances after the unsettled centre-half met with the club's president, Florentino Perez, inGuangzhou on Sunday afternoon.

Ramos was widely reported to have informedPerez of his intentions toleave Real after a tense meeting at the club's Valdebebas training ground a month or so ago.

Borussia Monchengladbach Tweet Gamer After Sacking Him On Football Manager 2015

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By Chris Wright

You know how it goes with Football Manager: Five seasons of over-achievement, impressive league finishes, European qualification, a couple of cup finals and then bang three dodgy results in a row and you're gone.

It's a cut-throat business, is virtual football team management.

Harsh: Liverpool Crop Mario Balotelli Out Of ‘World Class Talent’ Tweet (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

In plugging an exclusive interview with Adam Lallana, Liverpool's official Twitter account used a photograph of Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho and new £32.5million signing Christian Benteke to illustrate the kind of "world class talent" the midfielder can't wait to link up with this season.

Oldham Athletic Friendly Disrupted By Massive Swarm Of Bees (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Kick-off of Oldham Athletics's pre-season friendly against Blackburn Rovers over the weekend had to be delayed by several minutes after a throng of unwanted guests stormed the pitchand set up camp in one of the goalmouths.

Whileinspecting the pitch before the game, the referee noticed that one of the goals had beenbesieged by a gigantic swarm of bees.

Official: Manchester United Sign Argentina Goalkeeper Sergio Romero On Freebie Deal (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

While a continent slept soundly in its beds, Manchester United went out and made another bloody signing last night, bringing in Argentinian international goalkeeper Sergio Romero on a freebie...

Good morning, Europe!

American Soccer Fan Makes Small Yet Critical Error When Buying His Frank Lampard Replica Shirt (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

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Hardly doing the 'clueless American soccer fan' stereotype any favours, this (presumably NYCFC) fan was spotted milling aroundin Charlotte on Sunday afternoon wearing his new Frank Lampard replica Man City shirt.

There was, however, one small yet critical error on the back of the aforementioned jersey.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Elbows John Terry In The Head During PSG’s Clash With Chelsea In North Carolina (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic maywellhave been looking for some kind of revenge against Chelsea in North Carolina on Saturday. The Swede saw red for PSG against the Blues in last season's Champions League Last 16 clash, with the striker subsequently calling the Chelsea players who surrounded the ref at the time as "babies".

Skinflint Jose Mourinho Claims Premier League Rivals are ‘Buying The Title’ (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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Never one to let a lack of self-awareness get in the way of a good pop at a rival, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has spoken of how the Blues' Premier League rivals are all "buying the title".

Mourinho made his comments after his side had beaten PSG on penalties in their International Champions Cup clash in North Carolina.

AC Milan Centre-Back Philippe Mexes Scores Outrageous Acrobatic Volley Against Inter Milan (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Philippe Mexes seems to bea one-of-a-kindcentre-back who specialises in but two things: getting himself sent-off at every available juncture and scoring absolute smashers from the edge of the box. There is nothing in between.

Marco Reus Dumps Leonardo Bonucci On His Backside On Way To Scoring Fine Solo Goal For Dortmund v Juventus (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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Looking back to his best after an injury-strewn year, Dortmund playmaker Marco Reus netted a superb solo goal in his side's friendly against Juventus. Already a goal up in the game in St. Gallen, courtesy of astrike fromPierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Bundesliga giants doubled their advantage with a fine breakaway goal.

World Cup 2018: England Face Scotland, Wales Meet Republic Of Ireland As Qualifying Draw Throws Up Mouth-Watering Clashes

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By Alan Duffy

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The EURO 2016 qualifying campaign is yet to finish but already plans for afoot for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On Saturday afternoon, the draw was made for the qualifying stages with some intriguing combinations thrown up.

Most fascinating of all is Group F, which sees England go head to head with Scotland.

Man Utd Fan Trolls Liverpool Crowd With Funky Dance Moves In Malaysia (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

During Liverpool's pre-season 1-1 draw with a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpar, one brave Manchester United fan decided to wind up the Reds' crowd with a slammin' dance routine.

Eventually, a Liverpool fan gets him to sit down and wear a Malaysian scarf. However, by that stage, the United fan, wearing the club's new jersey, had made his funky point.

Italian Third Tier Minnows Launch Optimistic Bid To Save Mario Balotelli From The Liverpool Doldrums

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By Chris Wright

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As his client continues to dwindle idly at Liverpool, it's no secret that Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola has been busy beavering away this summer attempting to engineer the ever-depreciating striker a move away from Anfield.

Football Art: Paralysed Artist Paints Brilliant Thierry Henry Portrait Using Nothing But His Mouth (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

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Having been paralysed from the shoulders down at the age of17 after diving into shallow water while on holiday in Portugal and suffering a broken neck, Henry Fraser has had to overcome a motherload of adversitysince that fateful day in 2009.

Cristiano Ronaldo Caught Standing On Tip-Toes To Appear Taller In Real Madrid Team Photo…Again (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Façadeis very important to Cristiano Ronaldo. We know this. This is fact.The man is groomed to within an inch of his life.

Indeed, it was only last summerthat the Real Madrid superstarwas spotted tryingto boost his height while lining up for a team photo before the Spanish Super Cup by standing on his tippy-toes in the back row.

Europa League: West Ham Scrape Through On Pens Against Maltese Giants Birkirkara (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

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After earning a place in this season's Europa League qualifiers courtesy of a Fair Play award, West Ham have apparently decided to cast off the shackles of discipline andget a bit naughty, guv'nor. Having already seenDiafro Sakho sent off in the previous round, James Tomkins saw red in the Hammers' near-disastrous 2nd Round 2ng leg clash with Maltese minnowsBirkirkara on Thursday evening.

Real Madrid ‘Keeper Keylor Navas Turns Yaya Toure Inside-Out With Hellacious Clothesline (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Man City are currently trailing 0-3 to Real Madrid down as the first half of their friendly draws to a close in Melbourne, with Karim Benzema,Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe doing the business for Rafa's merry men.

However, Real's early game plan appeared to centre around nullifying City's danger men by any means possible at least if Keylor Navas brutal clothesline from hell on Yaya Toure was/is anything to go by.

Ajax Surprise Fans By Reuniting Them With Club Legends In Touching Video

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By Alan Duffy

Now this is rather lovely. Iconic Dutch lcub Ajax have produced a touching video where fans of the club are reunited with their heroes.

Three Ajax legends, Romanian defender Cristian Chivu (1999-2003), Dutch midfielder Richard Witschge (1996-2003) and Swedish striker Stefan Pettersson (1988-1994) surprise the fans who adored them as kids withsome rather sweet results.

Man City Launch Cosmic 2015/16 Away Kit With ‘Blue Moon’ Sleeves (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Man City have unveiled their new away strip for 2015/16 this morning and press-ganged their new golden child, Raheem Sterling, into showing it off for them.

Unfortunately, with £49million blown on hiring the model, it looks like City were short of 50p to stick in the 'leccy meter.

Europa League: Romanian Club Torment Opponents Legia Warsaw By Dressing Ballboys In Celtic Shirts (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Romanian side FCBotosani came up against Legia Warsaw in the Europa League qualifying rounds last night and, knowing that the odds were stacked against them, attempted a subtle act of trolling in order to put their Polish opponents off their stride.

As you may recall, UEFA ejected Legia from last season's Champions League despite them pounding Celtic 6-1 on aggregate in the qualifying rounds afterthe Polish club unintentionally fielded an ineligibleplayer for the last four minutes of the second leg.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Splurge £80million On Ronaldo, Arsenal Eye Lewandowski, West Brom Take Punt On Diaby

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man Utd Ready Mega-Bid For Ronaldo

According to the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United's free-spending summer could end with the mother of all signings.

Retro Football: The Incredible Team Sheets For Sir Stanley Matthews’ Farewell Testimonial, 1965 (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

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After 19 years of faithful service split across two stints, 28th April, 1965 saw Stoke City lay on an extraordinary extravaganza of a farewell testimonial for the club's most famous son, Sir Stanley Matthews, on his retirement.

As well as the 35,000 fans in attendance at theVictoria Ground,the stadium was chock full of Eurovision television cameras and radio services from around the world.

VfB Stuttgart Coach Bans Players From Wearing Headphones For The Oddest Reason

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By Chris Wright

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Like many a new coachbefore him, newly-appointed Stuttgart bossAlexander Zorniger has attempted to stamp his authority by clamping down on a few of thelooseraspects of his players' conduct and discipline.

As such, Zorniger has forbid forbidded forbade forbaden banned his players from wearing their headphones in public though he has done so for the oddest of reasons.

Gabonese Political Party Criticise Lionel Messi For Dressing ‘Like He Was Going To The Zoo’ While Meeting Their President

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By Chris Wright

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Squeaky clean Lionel Messi has caused a bit of a stir in Gabon, chiefly for turning up for a whistle-stop public appearance in the country looking anything but earlier in the week.

The visitwas supposedly organised by Samuel Eto'o, a close friend and advisor to Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba who gaveMessi a VIP tour of the capital city, Libreville, before the Barcelona star was asked to lay the first stone of a new stadium being built for the 2017 African Nations Cup.

Chelsea Spanked 4-2 By New York Red Bulls As Asmir Begovic Endures Nightmare Debut (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Jose Mourinho was left fuming last night after Chelsea binned a 1-0 lead to go on and lose 4-2 against New York Red Bulls in a pre-season friendly out in Harrison, New Jersey.

With Chelsea going in a goalup at the break, £8million signing Asmir Begovic came on toreplace Thibaut Courtoisbetwixt the sticks for the second half and proceeded to concede four goals in 45 minutes as the Blues wound up on the wrong end of a 4-2 defeat.

Xherdan Shaqiri Scores Fantastic Goal From Corner Spot In Inter Milan Training (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Not that it amounts to a hill of beans, but Xherdan Shaqiri scored a really rather satisfying goal during Inter Milan's open training session in China yesterday.

Now, we're not talking about the first nifty little goal he scores in this 'ere video, or the second, or the third, or the perfectly-weighted through-ball he plays for the fourth goal.

Gold Cup: Defeated Semi-Finalists Panama Brand CONCACAF ‘Thieves’ After Mexico Benefit From Yet More Dodgy Penalties (Photos & Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Having just about squeaked through to the last four of the Gold Cupthanks to a decidedly iffy/convenient 124th-minute penalty decision against Costa Rica in the quarters, Mexico repeated the feat to see off plucky Panama in thesemi-finals in Atlanta and it did not go down well, not one little bit.

Official: Liverpool Sign Christian Benteke For £32.5million As Reds’ Summer Spending Spree Continues

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By Alan Duffy

Christian Benteke's protracted move to Liverpool finally reached its conclusion on Wednesday evening, with the Aston Villa striker agreeing a long-term dealfor a hefty fee of £32.5million.

By offering that sizeable amount for the 24-year-old, the Reds triggered his release clause, meaning poor old Villans' boss Tim Sherwood was helpless in his quest to hold on to his star man.

‘Leaving Tottenham Was The Stupidest Decision Of My Career’ – Rafael Van Der Vaart Gets All Misty Eyed

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By Chris Wright

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As he continues to sashay ghostlike into the twilight of his professional career, Rafael van der Vaart has been in a reminiscent mood of late.

After enjoying something of a renaissance at Tottenham, the Dutchman's prodigal return to Hamburg in the summer of 2012 didn't quite pan out as he'd envisioned and it would appear that the 32-year-old still longs to recapture the giddy magic of his White Hart Lane days.

Craptastic Football Mascot Of The Day: Pachus The Gopher (CF Pachuca, Mexico)

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By Chris Wright

Today's dip into the murky waters of ropey football mascots takes us to Mexico where we'll becoming face to rubbish, moth-eaten face withPachus, long-time mascot of Liga MX side CF Pachuca.

Pachus is supposed to be a gopher (Pachuca are nicknamed 'Los Tuzos' The Gophers), though he looks more like a mangy old bulldog with a lifelong addiction to sleeping pills and the number of Stuart McCall's barber.

Bournemouth Unveil New Luminous Pink Kit, Vow To Donate Percentage Of Profits To Breast Cancer Charity

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By Chris Wright

Bournemouth have rolled out abrand new third kit for their 2015/16 Premier League tilt and, being the jolly good sorts they are, have also announced that a portion of the profitswill be donated to a worthy cause.

The kit in question is the svelte little luminous pink number you see afore you,the luminous colour being your first (and only) clue as to whom will be receiving theaforementioned donation.

Transfer Balls: Llorente Man Utd’s ‘Surprise’ Target, Xabi Alonso Set For Emotional Liverpool Return, ‘Mystery Striker’ In Arsenal Sights

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Llorente Man Utd's 'Surprise' Target

Manchester United are tracking striker Fernando Llorente, according to the Mirror.

Rio Ferdinand Issues Special ‘Don’t Go’ Plea To David De Gea Via Medium Of 1990s Italian Dance Music (Video)

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By Chris Wright

With Real Madrid still hoveringominously overhead like vulturescircling rotting carrion, David De Gea's future at Manchester United is very much still of the 'massively uncertain' variety.

Like many United fans, Rio Ferdinand is concerned about the situation regarding the club's goalkeeper.

FIFA: English Comedian Simon Brodkin Charged With Trespassing After Showering Sepp Blatter With Fake Money

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By Chris Wright

Simon Brodkin, the English comedian responsible for one of the greatest sporting images of our time, is to be charged with trespassing by Swiss authorities after barn-stormingSepp Blatter's news conference on Monday and showering the FIFA president in fake bank notes.

Memphis Depay Scores First Goal For Manchester United In 3-1 Win Over San Jose Earthquakes (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Seems like the Premuier League's new signings are all going great guns in pre-season, with Memphis Depay scoring his first goal in Manchester United colours during Tuesday night's 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes.

With Sir Alex Ferguson watching from the stands, Juan Mata got the ball rolling for United after 32 minutes before Depay pounced on a duff back-pass to double their lead five minutes later.

Esteban Cambiasso Bids Farewell To Leicester After Rejecting New Deal

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By Alan Duffy

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Leicester City's'Player of the Year' in theirdramatic relegation-dodging campaign last season, Esteban Cambiasso, has bid farewell to the Foxes. The 34-year-old's one-year-deal came to an end this summer and now the Argentine midfielder has decided not to sign a new deal.

Joe Hart Channels Kevin Pressman To Score Thunderous Penalty In Shoot-Out Against Roma (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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It took a penalty shoot-out but Manchester City just about edged outRoma in the pre-season friendly in Melbourne this morning that began with Raheem Sterling opening his City account after just two minutes.

The game finished 2-2 after 90 minutes and as such went straight to penalties, with Hart both saving (a particularly crap Panenka attempt fromSeydou Doumbia)and scoring a spot-kick as City tucked away five penalties to Roma's four to emerge victorious.

Pippo Inzaghi Superfan Gets Enormous Tattoo Of AC Milan Legend’s Name And Number Across His Back (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

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Milan fan Antonio Dell'infante is perhaps understandably besotted with FilippoInzaghi having grown up watching Super Pippo bangingin goal after goal after goal for his belovedRossoneri.

It's an image forever emblazoned in the mind's eye of football fans of a certain vintage: Pippo, half-beserk, on the very edge of tears and flailing away to the corneras if he'd just stepped barefoot on a Lego brick before applying the finishing touch.

Shit Lookalike: St Pauli’s Excellent New Goalkeeper Shirt & The ‘Saved By The Bell’ Opening Titles

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By Chris Wright

Behold the bewildering neon majesty of St Pauli's new goalkeeper shirt for 2015/16, which was obviously cobbled togetheron the day that everybody in the Hummel design department dropped acid and sat around watching retina-searing 90s teen soaps allafternoon.

Shit Football Kits: Norwich City’s New 2015/16 Third Strip Is An Absolute Eyesore (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck...

What a miserable sight. No wonder Mr Mulumbu looks so disenchanted.

In fact, all Norwich's kits for next season are equally hideous and all entirely the same colour...

Guys, we appreciate that nobody else in the Premier Leagueplays in canary yellow and green but still, we can't help but feel you're kind of missing the point here.

Off To A Flyer: Raheem Sterling Scores Three Minutes Into His Man City Debut (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Well, that didn't take long, did it? In fact, it took Raheem Sterling two minutes and 17 secondsto score his first goal for Manchester City on his debut against a fairly strong Roma side out in Melbourne...

Three minutes is all it took for Sterling to score his first #mcfc goal.

Official: Newcastle Complete £12m Deal For ‘Crazy’ Serbian Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic

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By Chris Wright

After a few days of wrangling, Newcastle have finally announced this morning that they've completed the signing of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic a man who looks suspiciously like a hit-man for the Albanian mafia.

Mitrovic, 20, has signed a five-year deal atSt James' Park after arriving from Anderlecht for a fee reported to be somewhere in the £12million region.

Friendly Between Zola All-Stars And KFC Soweto Turns Into One Gigantic Showboat Fest (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Stuck for something to do, local sides Zola All-Stars and KFC decided to have a dust-upat the Nike Training Centre in Soweto, Johannesburg, recently.

After a fairly mundane first minute, the "skills friendly" (yep) quickly turned into one gigantic showboating mess, with all the players showing off their quick feet and their finest freestyle frippery which is great if you're into that kind of thing, we suppose.

Julio Rey Successfully Sabotages His Own Big Move To Deportivo La Coruna With Insulting Tweet From 2012

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By Chris Wright

"What's got two thumbs and has just learned a valuable life lesson the hard way?"

Having spent the entirety of his young career bobbing in and around the Spanish fourth tier, it looked all but certain that Julio Rey was about to secure his big move to Deportivo La Coruna over the weekend in fact, as you can see,Deportivo even had Rey'sofficial unveiling portraitstaken and everything.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Splurge €100million On Muller, Chelsea Ready For Rahmann, Aston Villa Vying For Adebayor

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man Utd Splurge €100million On Muller

German outlet Sport1 have quite the juicy story here, claiming that Manchester United have bid a whopping€100million for Thomas Muller as their summer spending spree continues.

USA Women’s World Cup Star Alex Morgan Appears On FIFA 2016 Cover

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By Alan Duffy

Fresh from helping the USA to WWC glory in Canada, striker Alex Morgan now finds herselfalongside Lionel Messi on the cover of the US version of FIFA 2016 after winning a fans' vote (the same vote which put Liverpool'sJordan Henderson on the UK cover).

While some fans are disappointed that WWC final hat-trick hero Carli Lloyd won't be gracingthe cover, the decision to include women's teams in the actual game-play (as well as on the cover) is a big step in the right direction for the EA Sports franchise.

Sepp Blatter Pelted With Money As Prankster Lee Nelson Gatecrashes FIFA Press Conference (Photos & Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Sepp Blatter was briefly interrupted while garbling on at hisFIFA press conference this afternoon when British comedian (and we use that term incredibly loosely) Lee Nelson usurped the FIFA president by bombarding him with money.

Done Deal: Bayern Munich Sign Arturo Vidal From Juventus For £26m

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By Chris Wright

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Arturo Vidal is a Bayern Munich player, having signed from Juventus for 28 million squidoodles.

This is good enough for us. The Guardian wouldn't lie about such things, would they?

Juventus' Arturo Vidal joins Bayern Munich as £28m fee agreed http://t.

Bolton Fans Attempt To Crowd-Fund Signing Of Adam Le Fondre, Current Total Stands At £645

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By Chris Wright

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Crowd-funding. Everybody's bloody well at it, or so it seems.

Anyway, after being toldoutright thathe has no future at Cardiff, Adam Le Fondre is currently in the process of securing himself a move away, with a return to Bolton reported to be on the cards.

Liverpool: Mario Balotelli’s Pre-Season Preparations Are About As Intense As You’d Expect (Video)

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By Chris Wright

With the rest of the Liverpool squadlimbering up for the new season out in Australia,Mario Balotelli has been left to his own devices back at home.

Still, it's not like the shot-shy striker hasn't taken it upon himself to get into fighting shape for the 2015/16 campaign.

Sad Day: Championship Manager Legend Cherno Samba Announces Retirement From (Actual) Football

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By Chris Wright

'Tis a sad, sad day. It is with remorse we are duty-bound to inform you that Championship Manager legend Cherno Samba has chosen this day, Monday 20th July 2015, to announce his retirement from (actual) football.

Real-life Cherno Samba was something of atransientfigurehaving originally come to the fore as a ridiculously prolific goal-scorer at schoolboy level, the 14-year-old striker was initially snapped up by Millwall and went on scoring for fun as part of their academy side and as part of the England youth set-up from the Under-16s right up to Under-20 level.

Chelsea Pump Out Their New White 2015/16 Adidas Away Kit (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Chelsea have finally got round to squirting out their new away kit for 2015/16 the strip "the champions will be wearing when they're out of town", according to the Adidas blurb.

The shirt ispredominantly white, with various blue and red details dotted around the place.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Brings The House Down At Arsenal Q&A Session With ‘Nicklas Bendtner’ Joke (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Arsenal are currently gadding about in Singapore on their pre-season jolly and, as was to be expected, the banter is rife.

During a club Q&A session, the compère put a supporter's question to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, asking the midfielder which one Gunners legend he'd like to have playing alongside him in the current team.

Transfer Balls: Arsenal Eye Dzeko Deal, Man Utd Pick Up Pedro, West Brom Want Liverpool’s Lambert

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Arsenal Dead Keen On Dzeko

The Star tells us that Arsene Wenger's quest for a new striker has led the French tactician to the Eithad Stadium.

Ronaldinho Arrives 48 Minutes Late To His Official Fluminense Unveiling Ceremony

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By Chris Wright

After an 11-month jaunt in Liga MX with Queretaro, the great Ronaldinho travelling circus has returned from whence it originally came after its 35-year-old ringmaster agreed a deal to join Brazilian side Fluminense a week or so ago.

Obviously starting as he means to go on, Ronaldinho was almost an hour late to his grand unveiling on Sunday afternoon, which took place shortly before kick-off of theRio de Janeiro-based club's big derby against localrivals Vasco da Gama at the Maracana.

“There Is The Disappointment Of A Club Making A Statement To The Press And Making It Openly” – Everton Boss Martinez Irked By Chelsea Move For Stones

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By Alan Duffy

Coming in the wake of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's public admittance that the west Londoners had lodged a bid for Everton defender John Stones, Toffees' boss Roberto Martinez has expressed his frustration at the Blues' public announcement over a potential deal.

Football Vine: Man City’s Natasha Flint Scores 50-Yard Cracker For England Women U19s vs Spain

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By Alan Duffy

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Women's football certainly seems to be the place for long-range wonder-strikes these days. Coming not long after Carli Lloyd's superb WWC final goal for the USA against Japan, England U19 star Natasha Flint bagged a long-range cracker of her own at the weekend.

Jonathan Calleri Scores With The Mother Of All Rabonas For Boca Juniors vs Quilmes (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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We're not sure we'll ever see a better rabona goal than this beaut netted by Boca Junior's Jonathan Calleri.

The 21-year-old netted the goal on 53 minutes in his side'sclash againstQuilmes, a game which saw Carlos Tevez make his first start in his second spell with theXeneizes.

Petr Cech Makes Debut For Arsenal In 3-1 Asia Trophy Win Against Everton (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Petr Cech lined out for Arsenal for the first time in Singapore on Saturday, helping his new side to a 3-1 win against Everton in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy. The game, played in front of a record 53,000 crowd at the National Stadium, came afterStoke City had beaten a Singapore XI 2-0 to claim third-place, courtesy of goals from Steve Sidwell and Marko Arnautovic.

Former Arsenal Midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong Sent Off In Russia For Reacting To Racist Abuse (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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Emmanuel Frimpong never quite made the grade with Arsenal, with the Ghanaian international now plying his trade in the Russian Premier League with Ufa.

Russian football is no stranger to racism and in Ufa's clash with Spartak Moscow on Friday, Frimpong reacted to vile'monkey chants'from the opposition fans, with the 23-year-old flipping the bird in retaliation.

Colywn Bay FC Have Their Home Ground Invaded By Herd Of Moo-rauding Cows (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Welsh non-league side Colwyn Bay FC had their pre-season plans plunged into mildperil mild perilwe say! on Fridaymorning when the club's groundsman arrived at their stadium to find the premises had been broken into overnight.

With a friendly against Bolton Wanderers coming up this weekend, Colwyn were dismayed to find that theirLlanelian Road ground had been forcefully entered by a group of intruders, clad almost entirely in black, who pushed their way throughthe gateand ran amok for almost two hours.

‘I Felt Like A Kid Again’ – Steven Gerrard Scores On MLS Debut As LA Galaxy Trounce San Jose Earthquakes (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Wearing his Liverpool shinpads under his socks, Steven Gerrard scored on his MLS debut as LA Galaxy spanked San Jose Earthquakes 5-2 at the Stubhub Centre.

After finding themselves 2-0 down after 25 minutes, Galaxy clawed one back through a Robbie Keane penalty before Gerrard popped up at the back post to sweep home the equaliser from 10 yards in the 37th minute.

Official: Aston Villa Turncoat Fabian Delph Completes £8m Move To Man City

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By Chris Wright

Less than a week after declaring himself faithful unto Aston Villa, Fabian Delph has gone back on his word and signed a five-year deal with Manchester City who paid Villa a reported£8million for the privilege.

Apparently City wooed Delph by giving him100,000 weekly reasons to ditch Villa after their initial attempts at seduction were snubbed.

Sampdoria’s Bizarre New Kit Features Little Speaker In The Badge That Chants When You Press It (Video)

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By Chris Wright

In what must surely rank up there as one of the most bizarre kit launch gimmicks we've ever come across, the limited edition version of Sampdoria's new Joma home kit comes with a little hiddenspeaker hidden inside the badge that emits a club chant when you touch it.

Irked Local Woman Builds Fence Right Down The Middle Of Otelul Galati’s Training Pitch (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

"Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to completely screw up a football pitch we go"

Over in Romania, the Otelul Galati players that turned up for training at the crack of 10 o'clock this morning were greeted by a surprise new addition to theirZoltan David training complex a big bloody fence plonked right down the middle of the main pitch.

U-Turn: Fabian Delph’s Man City Move Is Back On Just Six Days After He Pledged His Future To Aston Villa

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By Chris Wright

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"Et tu, Fabian?"

Remember last week, when Fabian Delph officially went on record to pledge his future to Aston Villa with a defiant statement on the club website in a bid to nix the swirlingrumours he was about to ship out and join Manchester City?

Online Campaign Launched To Put Raheem Sterling’s Face On The New £20 Note

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By Chris Wright

Just when we thought we were out, the Raheem Sterling vortex goes and sucks us right back in.

A couple of intrepid young pranksters have launched a campaign to make Man City's new £49million trinket the new face of the English £20 note.

The plan is to hijack the Bank of England's ongoing search for public nominations as to who should be the next person to grace their big purple notes

Simon Connor and Stephen Cross are hoping to corral people into voting for Sterling en masse on the following grounds:

1.

Pre-Season Larks: Arsenal Nail The Swimming Pool Header Challenge Out In Singapore (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Well, it certainly looks like Per Mertesacker and the rest of the Arsenal troupe are havinga lorra, lorra laughson their pre-season jaunt way out east inSingapore...

Arsenal's pre-season in one video = pic.

Spurs And Stripes: Tottenham Launch New 2015/16 Under Armour Away Kit (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Tottenham have a new away kit for 2015/16, which is set to be strutted out in public for the first time when Christian Eriksen and the chaps go up against theMLS All-Stars in ColoradoonJuly 29th...

Here's the new goalkeeper change strip, as modelled by Wristy McBreakerson over there.

Official: Younes Kaboul Joins Sunderland Despite Being Very Rude About Them A Few Years Ago

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By Chris Wright

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"I'm so very happy to be here"

The transfer of Younes Kaboul from Tottenham to Sunderland went through yesterday evening with the French centre-half signing a three-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

The £4million deal was struck despite Kaboul or more precisely, his agent once having some rather unflattering things to say about the Black Cats after finding himselfthe subject of a bid from Roy Keane's side back in the summer of 2008.

Transfer Balls: Arsenal Splurge £40million On Benzema, Newcastle In Driving Seat For Austin, Tottenham Hoping For Moses’ Chelsea Exodus

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Arsenal Splash Out £40million On Benzema

The Sun keep alive the Benzema-to-Arsenal story, claiming that the Gunners are now readying a £40million bid for the Real Madrid star.

An Excitable Mamadou Sakho Joins Liverpool Crowd At Open Training Session, Gets Top Signed By Adam Lallana (Vine)

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By Alan Duffy

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Ah, nothing like some pre-season japes! During Liverpool's open training session in Brisbane, cheeky Franco-scamp Mamadou Sakho decided to jump into the crowd and plead for an autograph from team-mate Adam Lallana.

Eventually, Lallana did indeed do the honours, signing the Frenchman's vest.

Brazilian Legend Kaka Rolls Back The Years With Fine Solo Goal For Orlando City vs West Brom (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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Despitehaving a rather well-stocked trophy cabinet (including a World Cup winners' medal, a Champions League title and a Ballon D'Or), injuries rather blighted what should have been Kaka's peak years. After a season back at Milan in 2013/14 followed by a short stay in Barazilw ith Santos, with the former Real Madrid star is now plying his trade in MLS with Orlando City.

Liverpool Trigger Christian Benteke Buyout Clause By Chucking £32.5m At Aston Villa

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By Chris Wright

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It would appear that Christian Benteke leaving Aston Villa is little more than a formality nowwith Liverpool said to have triggered the Belgian striker's release clause this very afternoon.

It's being widely reported (first by the Liverpool Echo) that Liverpool have lodged a buyout-busting £32.

Blue Steel: Diego Costa Models The Ever-Loving Bejesus Out Of Chelsea’s New 2015/16 Home Kit

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By Chris Wright

Chances are you all clockedit weeks ago thanks to the several waves of leaks that went before this afternoon's big reveal but still, here's Chelsea's new blue home strip for 2015/16 for the minuscule number of people that haven't seen it yet...

If it's not blue, it will be.

So Long Santiago Vergini, We Hardly Knew Ye – Routinely Amusing Sunderland Defender Joins Getafe On Loan

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By Chris Wright

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There we were, merrily going about our morning;bright of eye, ruddy of cheek. Nae a cloud in the sky nor a care in the world.

Then, then came the awfulnews through...

Vergini loaned to Spanish club http://t.

Gold Cup: Trinidad & Tobago Salvage Remarkable 4-4 Draw As Group Finale Against Mexico Ends In Minute Of Rubbish-Strewn Madness (Photos & Highlights)

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By Chris Wright

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After a fairly mundanefirst-half that saw just one goal plundered,the second half of last night's CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage tie between Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago proved to be an absolute jamboree.

Indeed, all holy hell broke loose after the break with sevenfurther goals scored in total goalsthat saw El Tri wind up squandering a 2-0 lead to draw 4-4 in the very last minute of the game.

Football Art: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar Et Al Re-Imagined As Ye Olde Time Footballers (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

The scallywags over atPaladar Negro have re-imagined the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and a few more star names from either side of the El Clasico divide as footballersfrom a bygone era complete with period-correct facial hair, etc.

Some of the trading card-style photoshop jobs are more convincing than others if we're brutally honest, but nevertheless we enjoy the fact that someone out there has taken the time to make them all a reality.

Manchester United: Victor Valdes Hits Back At Louis Van Gaal On Twitter As Row Over Commitment Issues Escalates

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By Chris Wright

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With the incredibly tedious Raheem Sterling saga wrapped up, English football was in desperate need of another ongoing narrative. We had to wait one day. One lousy stinkin' day.

As you've no doubt heard by now, the friction between Manchester United managerLouis van Gaal and his second-choice goalkeeper Victor Valdes is escalating slowly but surely.

Thierry Henry Wanders Through Premier League History In Cracking New Sky Sports Advert (Video)

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By Chris Wright

It's not often we find ourselves complimenting Sky Sports but their new advert for their upcoming 2015/16 Premier League coverage really is deserving of praise.

The commercial has Thierry Henry meandering through various key moments in Premier League history like the ghost of punditry future.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Hell-Bent On Benteke, Arsenal Reel In Roma Starlet Romagnoli, Milan Fancy Fellaini

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By Alan Duffy

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Man Utd Hell-Bent On Benteke

Another big name looks set to join Manchester United this summer, with Christian Benteke set to move to Old Trafford.

Craptastic Football Mascot Of The Day: Elvis J. Eel (Southend United)

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By Chris Wright

Introducingthe one and onlyElvis J. Eel, erstwhile mascot of Southend United and a truly sorry, sorry sight if ever there was one..

We can imagine the board meeting:

"Chaps. We need a new mascot. Something that embodies Southend's never-say-die spirit, ournoble, warrior-like ethos and the faint fishy aromathat envelopes the town.

Olivier Giroud Politely Requests ‘Man To Man’ Chat With Thierry Henry After Arsenal Criticism

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By Chris Wright

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"I just think you don't win enough second balls, sunshine"

The svelte Gallic falcon that is Olivier Giroud has politely requested a "man-to-man talk" with Thierry Henry to manfully and respectfully discuss the Arsenal legend's criticism of his fellow countryman during the latter half of last season.

Original Claret And Blue: West Ham Unveil Beautiful New Umbro Away Kit Inspired By 1901 Jersey (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

West Ham have launched their new away kit for 2015/16 with a bit of help from Mark Noble, Aaron Cresswell and new signing Dmitri Payet a celebratory kit thatgoes hand-in-hand with their new 'Boleyn' home strip.

Inspired by the Hammers'1901 jersey and marking the imminent culmination of the club's 112-year residency at Upton Park, Umbro have smashed it out of the groundand into the carpark once again with this stunning little claret and blue or should that be blue and claret?

Man Utd New-Boy Memphis Depay Named Best Young Player In Europe By France Football

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By Alan Duffy

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Following hot on the heels of the Soccerex Index which named Raheem Sterling as the best young player in Europe, the much-respected France Football has published its very own list of the Top 50 young European talents.

Manchester City new-boy Sterling has to settle for third place in these rankings, with Manchester United's Memphis Depay taking top spot ahead of PSG's Brazilian defender Marquinhos.

Transfer Balls: Pedro Prepped For Chelsea Move, Di Maria Destined For PSG, McCarthy Moving To Man City

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By Alan Duffy

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Pedro Prepped For Chelsea

Chelsea will wrap up the signing of Pedro next week, according to the Star. The Barcelona winger has struggled for game time behind the Messi-Suarez-Neymar forward line and is now looking for a move away from the Nou Camp.

Rivaldo And His Son, Rivaldinho, Both Score In Same Brazilian League Game

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By Chris Wright

He's retired more times than Frank Sinatra over the past few yearsbut Rivaldo, at the grand old age of 43, is back in business and playing for Brazilian second tier side Mogi Mirim the Sao Paulo-based club he began his professional career with andis currently the honorary president of.

Frank Lampard Shells Out $500 To Buy English Fans Tickets For NYCFC Game After Chance Meeting

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By Chris Wright

Sidelined with a calf injury as things stand, Frank Lampard is being forced to wait to make his big New York City FC debut, but the former Chelsea man is already making his presence felt about the place, if only by virtue of his random acts of kindness.

Indeed, Lampard shelled out around $500 to treat a group of 20 British NYCFC fans to tickets to his side's MLS clash against Toronto FC over the weekend after meeting the students by chance.

Official: Raheem Sterling Completes £49m Move From Liverpool To Man City

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By Chris Wright

It's over. It's finally...over.

Manchester City are delighted to announce the signing of @sterling31 from @LFC. Full story: http://t.co/ZfCmmLNl5s #WelcomeRaheem #mcfc

- Manchester City FC (@MCFC) July 14, 2015

The moment @sterling31 put pen to paper at #mcfc.

Arsenal Reveal New Gold Away Kit With Another Massive Launch Event, This Time In Singapore (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Several weeks after unveiling their new home togs for 2015/16, Arsenal have waited tojet out ontheir pre-season tour of the emerging Asian marketsto officially launch their new away kit at a similarly overblown launch event in Singapore.

There were countdowns and big screens and camerasand massive, faintly glowing football shirt statues and then the players came out dressed in the new shirt.

Liverpool: Jordan Henderson Plays In Adam Lallana With Sublime Rabona Assist Against Thai All-Stars (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Yes, you read that correctly;Jordan Henderson. Rabona assist.

We stumbled acrossthis live update from the Telegraph and naturally assumed somebody must've made some kind of terrible error...

Jordan Henderson lays on a rabona assist for Lallana to put Liverpool three nil up: http://t.

Seeing Iker Casillas In A Porto Shirt Is Going To Take A Bit Of Getting Used To (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Well, this is going to take some getting used to: Iker Casillas in his new Porto shirt...

Tantos títulos numa só foto. / So many trophies in a single picture. / Tantos trofeos en una solo foto. #FCPorto pic.

Paderborn’s New Signing Marcel Ndjeng Scores Monstrous 50-Yard Volley In Pre-Season Friendly Against Bolton (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Gearing up for the imminent 2. Bundesliga campaignafter being relegated from the top tier last season, Paderborn staged a friendly against our very own Bolton Wanderers on Monday evening, with the German side running out as 4-1 winners.

Umbro Furnish Everton With Slinky New Monochrome 2015/16 Away Kit (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Thanks to the fine folks at Umbro, Everton have a new away kit for 2015/16 and, in our own humble opinion, it is really rather smashing...

No templates. That's what we love most about Umbro's return to the fore. No bloody templates.

Here's a few detail shots of the kit, which will be sported in public for the first timeon 18th July in the Barclays Asia Trophy.

Steven Gerrard And Frank Lampard First Two Players Named In 2015 MLS All-Star Team Despite Having Never Played In MLS

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By Chris Wright

'Tis the annual MLS All-Star game (against Tottenham) coming up on July 29th and, as is the done thing these days, the majority of the first XI has been selected by a fan vote, with two additional selections then made by MLS commissioner Don Garber.

The Fan XI consists of 10 players voted for by the fans and onefinal selection made and we kid you not on the basis of which MLS player has been used to score most goals on FIFA 15 over the past year, which is Obafemi Martins.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd In For Lewandowski, Liverpool Move For Medel, Tottenham Bid For Batshuayi

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Louis Likes Lewandowski

Louis Van Gaal's summer splurge is set to continue, according to the Telegraph, with Robert Lewandowski in the Red Devils's sights and set to follow in the footsteps of United new-boy Bastian Schweinsteiger.

‘I Feel A Bit Deflated’ – Grimsby Town Fan Found Guilty Of Assaulting Steward With Inflatable Shark

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By Chris Wright

Just like that, Greater London gets its first ever reported shark attack

AGrimsby Town fan has beenfound guilty of assaulting a football steward with an inflatable shark.

The incident occurred during Grimsby's 3-1 win over Barnet in the Conference at the tail end of February.

Shit Football Ink: Fan Has Tattoo Of ‘Arsene Wenger Riding On A Dog’ After It Came To Him In A Dream (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

We're slightly late on the uptake here but somehow this little gem slipped by us earlier over the weekend...

It's the dog that gets me pic.twitter.com/PNS8Q2yD96

- FootballFanCast.com (@FootballFanCast) July 9, 2015

According to the Daily Mirror, the utterly baffling tattoo was inspired by a dream that the bloke in question had about Wenger riding through the streets during Arsenal's 1998 double celebrations on the back of a dog.

Boca Juniors Unveil Returning Hero Carlos Tevez At La Bombonera (Photos & Video)

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By Alan Duffy

Carlos Tevez was introduced to the Boca Juniors faithful on Monday night after the Argentinian returned to his boyhood club.

A packed La Bombonera welcomed the 31-year-old, who left the club 11 years ago ahead of a trophy-laden career with Corinthians, Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus and er, West Ham United.

Tinkerman Returns: Leicester City Appoint Claudio Ranieri As New First Team Manager (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Leicester City have appointed Claudio Ranieri as their new first team manager...

BREAKING: We're delighted to introduce Claudio Ranieri as our new First Team Manager! #lcfc #WelcomeClaudio pic.twitter.com/ftjvCUz3Yh

- Leicester City (@OfficialFOXES) July 13, 2015

The Foxes said they were holding out for a big name and they got themselves one.

‘Early Morning W*** On The Beach’ – Phil Neville Attempts To Tweet In Spanish (With Inadvertently Explicit Results!)

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By Chris Wright

"You'll never guess what I've been up to this morning lads!"

Bedding down and settling into life in Valencia, Phil Neville decided to greet the new day by attempting to Tweet in the native tongue.

Attempting to alert his followers that he'd just been for an early run down the beach, Fizzer inadvertently got himself into a bit of a sticky situation.

Official: Manchester United Complete £24m Deal For Morgan Schneiderlin (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

And just like that, it was two...

#mufc is also pleased to announce @SchneiderlinMo4 has joined from Southampton. #WelcomeMorgan pic.twitter.com/SqDQXS35Xd

- Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 13, 2015

Morgan Schneiderlin has joined Manchester United from Southampton for a fee of £24million.

Official: Manchester United Sign Bastian Schweinsteiger From Bayern Munich (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Oh jolly dee, the signings are coming thick and fast today!

As of a few short moment ago, good old Bastian Pigstacker is now officially a Manchester United player...

#mufc is delighted to announce the signing of @BSchweinsteiger from Bayern Munich on a 3-year contract.

Transfer Balls: Man City Pining For Pogba, PSG Drawn To Di Maria, Roma Dead Set On Dzeko

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man City Still Pining ForPogba

Manchester City remain keen on Paul Pogba, according to the Star. The Juventus midfielder is Europe's hottest property and has also been linked with both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Fenerbahce New-Boy Robin Van Persie Mobbed By Fans At Airport (Photos & Video)

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By Alan Duffy

While Louis Van Gaal's summer spending spree looks set to continue, with Morgan Schneiderlin likely to join up with new-boys Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian and Bastian Schweinsteiger, ex-Red Devil Robin Van Persie is starting a new chapter in his career.

The Dutch striker touched down in Istanbul ahead of his move to Turkish giants Fenerbahce and was greeted by a rather excited (and big) crowd.

World Cup Star Fara Williams Nets Long-Range Cracker For Liverpool vs Arsenal (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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Fresh fromthe heady heights achieved at the 2015 Women's World Cup, it was back to business for England's bronze medal-winning players at the weekend, with record crowds turning out to watch the WSL.

At Borehamwood, current title-holders Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-1, with England star Fara Williams netting this long-range beauty.

Fund-Raising Campaign Launched To Send Heartbroken Young Man Utd Fan To Watch Robin Van Persie’s Fenerbahce Debut

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By Chris Wright

Yesterday, four-year-old Manchester United fan LouisDiamond went viral as the kids may or may not say any more after a video of him reacting to news of Robin van Persie's move to Fenerbahce did the social media rounds.

After having the bad news broken to him by his parents, poor Louis was unable to hold back the flood and promptly set about bawling and pointing longingly at the poster he'd drawn of the Dutch striker his favourite United player.

Mesut Ozil Chalks Up Another Priceless Assist As Arsenal Star Pays For 11 Brazilian Children To Undergo Life-Saving Surgery

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By Chris Wright

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All in a day's work...

Mesut Ozil has come up with yet another priceless assist after it emerged the Arsenal forward has stumped up for an entire football team's worth ofBrazilian schoolchildren to undergo potentially life-saving surgery.

Official: Asmir Begovic Completes £8m Move To Chelsea’s League Cup Team

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By Chris Wright

Asmir Begovic has officially joined Chelsea from Stoke City and he bloody well has the scarf to prove it...

.@ChelseaFC is delighted to announce the signing of Asmir Begovic from Stoke City... http://t.co/KkMOeBzIWk pic.

‘I’d Rather He Join Barca’ – Iker Casillas’ Mum Reckons Her Son Is Far Too Good To Play For Porto

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By Chris Wright

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Iker Casillas is currently in the midst of sobbinghis way through a massively emotional farewell press conference at the Bernabeu after his slightly surprising move to Porto was confirmed by Real Madrid yesterday.

Casillas is leaving Real after 25 years of service came to end amid a general miasma of acrimony oncethe veteran began losing his grip on his long-held No.

Raheem Sterling ‘Highly Unlikely’ To Go On Tour With Liverpool After Man City Lodge Late £45m Bid

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By Chris Wright

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Looks like Liverpool are facing a last-minute split decision on Raheem Sterling after Man City reportedly lodged a late £45million bid for the troublesome little urchin this morning.

After ducking out of training with a conveniently timed bout of illness midweek, yesterday Sterling still found himself named in Liverpool's pre-season squad that isdue to fly out to Bangkok later today.

LA Galaxy: Robbie Keane Steals Steven Gerrard’s Debut Thunder With Sweet, Sweet Goal Against Club America (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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LA Galaxy continued their pre-season preparations with a friendly against Mexican side Club America last night, with Steven Gerrard pilfering the headlines by making his debut for his new employers.

However, it wasfellow Liverpool alumni Robbie Keane who got Galaxy up and running on their way to a 2-1 victory with a sweet, sweet goal on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Carlos Quintero's 7th-minute opener for America.

Official: Man Utd Sign Torino Full-Back Matteo Darmian On Four Year Deal

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By Alan Duffy

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Having failed to sign Liverpool new-boy Nathaniel Clyne and with Brazilian Rafael not impressing Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United have been eager to sign a top-class right-back. And in the 25-year Matteo Darmian, they have done just that.

New York Holds Ticker Tape Parade For Triumphant USA Women’s Football Team (Photos)

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By Alan Duffy

Fresh from battering Japan in the final of the 2015 Women's World Cup, the triumphant USA squad were rewarded with an incredible ticker-tape parade in New York. The UNSWNT became the first female sports teamto ever garner such a parade in NYCafter bagging their third world title.

Man City Target Fabian Delph Pledges Future To Aston Villa With Official Statement

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By Alan Duffy

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Despite Manchester City's much-reported efforts to secure the services of Fabian Delph this summer, the Aston Villa captain has finally (and officially) pledged his future to the Villans.

Reports that the England midfielder had asked new team-mate Micah Richards about the Citizens added to the fact that the 25-year-old didn't travel with Villa to their pre-season training camp in Portugal, all pointed to a move to Manchester.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Seal Schweinsteiger Deal, Man City Dead Set On Delph, Liverpool’s Johnson Headed For Stoke

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man Utd Seal Schweini Deal

According to the Manchester Evening News, Bastian Schweinsteiger is on his way to Old Trafford.

Official: West Ham Sign Angelo Ogbonna As Much-Needed Cover (For Their Dimwit Chairman)

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By Chris Wright

West Ham have signed Angelo Ogbonna from Juventus. The fee is undisclosed, though believed to be somewhere in the £10million region.

Here's the Italian centre-halfposing in his new work clothes at The Academy...

BREAKING: The Hammers are delighted to confirm the transfer of Angelo Ogbonna from Juventus http://t.

Jordan Henderson Voted As New FIFA 16 Cover Star Alongside Lionel Messi

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By Chris Wright

He was leading the EA Sports fan voteby a country mile last time we checked in and now the polls are closed and it's official:Jordan Henderson will be starring alongside Lionel Messi on the UK cover of FIFA 16.

This, added to his appointment as Liverpool's new club captain marks an historic day for mediocre midfielders the world over.

10 Football Teams Sponsored By Theme Parks

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By Chris Wright

We've covered football teams sponsored by bands in the past but now, what with Hull City's big announcement this morning (more on that in mo'), Pies thought we'd have a look at other clubs that have forged high-rollin' sponsorship deals with theme parks in the past just to show Tigers fans that they're not alone.

Ding Dong: Edinson Cavani And Gonzalo Jara ‘Bum Poke’ Incident Immortalised In Doorbell Form (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

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As you no doubt recall, Chile's semi-final victory over Uruguay in the quarter-finals of the Copa America was somewhat overshadowed by the conduct of their centre-back Gonzalo Jara.

Jara attracted scornfor attempting to give Edinson Cavani a neighbourly prostate examination in the middle of the pitch.

Jordan Henderson Officially Sworn In As New Liverpool Club Captain (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

With Steven Gerrard swanning off to retire slowly in Los Angeles and absolutely nobody else to choose from, Liverpool haveofficially appointed Jordan Henderson as their new club captain...

#LFC can confirm that Jordan Henderson has today been officially appointed captain of Liverpool Football Club.

English Secondary School Manage To Break News Of Yohan Cabaye’s Crystal Palace Move Before Anyone Else

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By Chris Wright

Yohan Cabaye signing forCrystal Palace is undoubtedly the biggeststoryon the transfer radar this morning, though it would appear that news of the French midfielder's move was actually broken not that it came as a major surprise by a rather unlikely source.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Hungry For Muller-licious Move, Juventus Ogle Ozil, Arsenal Close In On Benzema

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Mullerlicious Man Utd

Manchester United are readying a £60million bid for Thomas Muller, according to the Star.

Official: Crystal Palace Sign Yohan Cabaye For Club Record Fee

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By Chris Wright

It's done. Signed and sealed. Yohan Cabaye is a Crystal Palace player...

BREAKING: #CPFC are delighted to announce the signing of Yohan Cabaye on a three-year deal. #WelcomeCabaye pic.twitter.com/R1petCwcbq

- Crystal Palace FC (@CPFC) July 10, 2015

The fee?

Real Madrid Recruit Danilo Struggles With Customary Kick-Ups At Bernabeu Presentation (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Steady as you go there, sunshine

Having paid a handsome fee to acquire him from Porto back at the end of March, Real Madrid finally got round to presenting Danilo, their new No.23, to the public earlier this afternoon.

Upwardly Mobile Wales Enter FIFA Top 10 Rankings

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By Alan Duffy

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Chris Coleman's in-form Welsh side have made it into the Top 10 of the FIFa rankings for the first time in the country's history.Their current ranking bests their previous high of 22nd while they were outside the top 100 as recently as August 2011.

On This Day In 2001: €76m Galactico Zinedine Zidane Signs For Real Madrid

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By Martin Cloake

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At the time, he was the undisputed best player in the world – and for a world record €76million fee, Real Madrid secured the services of Zinedine Zidane on this day back in 2001.

Zidane was an exceptionally gifted midfielder who had won two Ballon d'Ors, a World Cup and European Championship with France and back-to-back Serie A titles with Juventus.

Zenit Pre-Season Friendly Temporarily Interrupted By Horde Of Invading Ducks (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Zenit St. Petersburg have uploaded the full highlights of their pre-season friendly againstLudogorets to their Youtube channel this morning and it would appear that the match was notable for one reason and one reason only being temporarily brought to a stand-still by a horde of marauding ducks.

Argentinian ‘Keeper Rodrigo Cervetti Drops Almighty Clanger With Absolute Classic Of The Genre (Video)

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By Chris Wright

In which, over in the Argentinian third tier, Comunicaciones 'keeper Rodrigo Cervetti sets the tone for the 5-0 thrashing his side are about to receive at the hands of Atlanta by conceding the opening (own)goal of the game in truly spectacular fashion.

Having collected the ball in his own area under minimum pressure, Cervetti takes his time, assesses his options and duly sets about lobbing it directly into the back of his own net.

Gold Cup Gaffe: Canada Striker Cyle Larin Files Truly Horrendous Open-Goal Miss Against El Salvador (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Canada drew 0-0 in their openingCONCACAF Gold Cup game against El Salvador last night.

This is despite striker Cyle Larin finding himself 12yards out from a completely abandonedEl Salvadorian goal-mouth at one point during the first half.

Transfer Balls: Van Persie Primed For Fenerbahce, Chile Star Aranguiz On Way To Chelsea, Adbennour Eyed By West Ham And Liverpool

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Van Persie Primed For Fenerbahce

Robin Van Persie's proposed move to Fenerbahce has moved a step closer to actual happening, according to the Mail.

Iker Casillas Set For Porto Move After Real Madrid Sponsors Bwin Accidentally Confirm His Departure

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By Chris Wright

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It looks like Iker Casillas' 25-year association with Real Madrid is finally on the verge of coming to an end, with MARCA reporting that Porto have reached an agreement to pluck the 34-year-old goalkeeper from the only footballing bosom he's even known.

‘I Couldn’t Kiss Another Badge’ – Marcell Jansen Retires Aged 29 Through Nothing But Sheer Loyalty To Hamburg

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By Chris Wright

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Former Germany internationalMarcell Jansen has announced his early retirement today, aged just 29 not through injury, but through nothing but sheer loyalty to the team that released him at the end of the season, Hamburger SV.

Jansen spent 14 years at Borussia Monchengladbach as a youth before moving on to Bayern Munichfor a single, largely unremarkable season in 2007/08.

Damien Duff Set To Sign For Hometown Club Shamrock Rovers, Asks For Wages To Go To Charity

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By Chris Wright

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Damien Duff and his signature 'been chasing chickens around the farmyard all morning' look

Nothing has been finalised quite yet but it's being reported that Damien Duff is on the brink of signing for his hometown side Shamrock Rovers, based inDublin.

Incroyable! Crystal Palace Agree £10m Fee As Yohan Cabaye Deal Edges Ever Closer

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By Chris Wright

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Rumours have been percolating for several weeks but it looks like one of the most unlikely transfer deals of the window so far may just be edgding towards completion.

According to the BBC, Crystal Palace have summoned up the chutzpah to lodge a £10million bid (rising to £13million with add-ons) for PSG midfielder Yohan Cabaye, and the Ligue 1 champions have only gone and bloody well accepted it!

Swansea To Subsidise All Away Tickets Next Season So Travelling Fans Will Never Pay More Than £22

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By Chris Wright

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Swansea City have announced that, for the duration of the 2015/16 Premier League season, the club are going to subsidise tickets for every single one of theiraway fixtures meaning that fans will have to pay no more than £22 to get in.

Tottenham Announce Plans For Huge New Stadium With Retractable Pitch (And 500 More Seats Than Arsenal!)

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By Chris Wright

The big news coming out of Tottenham today (other than the acquisitionof Toby Alderweireld, of course) is that the club have finally got their act together in terms of their long-proposed new stadium.

After hitting a few sticking points regarding the land around White Hart Lane, it would appear that Spurs are finally moving forward with the gigantic overhaul after posting an updated set of design plans on their official website.

On This Day In 1941: Dario Gradi Was Born, One Of The Most Extraordinary Talent Spotters In English Football

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By Martin Cloake

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It's a very happy 73rd birthday today to Dario Gradi, a man who truly has made an outstanding contribution to league football in England and even had the MBE to prove it.

Born in Milan, Gradi moved to England as a youngster and played for non-league sides Sutton United and Tooting &Mitcham United before becoming assistant coach at Chelsea in 1971.

Japanese Fitness Bods Use 3D Printer To Create Lifesize Model Of Cristiano Ronaldo (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

For reasons we're not even going to pretend to comprehend, there is now a 3D printed, full-scale model of Cristiano Ronaldo in existence...

View image | gettyimages.com

The model the one on the right, we think wasknocked up as part of the launch promo for the latest Japanese fitness widget Ronaldo has put his name (and face, and entirely hairless abdomen) to,the MTG SixPad.

Junior Dian: Young Tonbridge Angels Player Dies After Collapsing During Pre-Season Friendly

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By Chris Wright

We're sad to report that tragedy befell last night's pre-season friendly between non-league sides Tonbridge Angels andWhyteleafe FC.

Junior Dian, a 23-year-old player on trial with Tonbridge, collapsed 20 minutes intothe second half of the game and, despite the "heroic efforts" of the physios and paramedics on hand, later passed away in hospitalin the early hours of Wednesday morning.

New Balance Roll Out 2015/16 Sevilla Kits, Complete With ‘Cyber Yellow Tornados’ And ‘Broken Stripes That Signify Unity’ (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

New Balance haverevealed the new Sevilla home, away and third kits for 2015/16 and rather lovely they all are too.

The kit collection is part of the club's ‘Comienza Una Nueva Era' (A New Era Begins) campaign, which they are using to celebrate their assault on theChampions League after several successful whirls in the Europa League of late.

Official: Tottenham Sign Toby Alderweireld From Right Underneath Southampton’s Snouts

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By Chris Wright

We suspect we haven't heard the last of this, but Tottenham have this morning announced that TobyAlderweireld has signed a 4.5-year contract with the club after coming through a medical unscathed yesterday afternoon...

SIGNED: We are delighted to announce the signing of @AlderweireldTob from Atletico Madrid.

Dani Alves Claims Pep Guardiola Wanted To Coach Brazil At 2014 World Cup

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By Chris Wright

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"Pssst. Dani. Can I let you into a little secret?"

Dani Alves has revealed that Pep Guardiola had a secret yearning to take charge of Brazil for the 2014 World Cup and that his ex-Barcelona coach even drew up a comprehensive strategy to transformthe Seleção into world champions again.

Transfer Balls: Darmian Destined For Man Utd, Cabaye Captured By Crystal Palace, Lacazatte Linked With Liverpool

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Darmian DestinedFor United

Manchester United are close to securing the services of Italian international Matteo Darmian, according to the Mail.

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling Named Most Valuable Young Player In Europe

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By Alan Duffy

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Football industry experts Soccerex have named Liverpool's wantaway attacker Raheem Sterling as the most valuable young player in Europe. The 20-year-old, linked with a move to Manchester City, tops the 'Soccerex 20 Football Value Index', which ranks players under 21 in Europe according to a whole list of factors includingage, position, club, contract length, injuries and technical quality (all seems a bit made up to me).

Did You Know? 5 Terrific Trivia Titbits About Pelé

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By Martin Cloake

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As we previously mentioned, today marks 58 years since Pele, who many still consider the greatest footballer to ever play the game, made his international debut for Brazil.

While his goal-laden story has been played out many times over the years, here are five facts you may not have known about Senhor Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

Smooth Operator: Cristiano Ronaldo Finds Lost Phone In Las Vegas, Tracks Down Owner, Takes Her Out For Dinner

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By Chris Wright

For maximumeffect, set this playing before reading on...

Right, now that the mood music is sorted let's press ahead.

Cristiano Ronaldo is currently gadding aboutin Las Vegas, making the most of his dwindling summer holiday beforethe bitter grind of pre-seasonbites once again.

On This Day In 1957: Pelé Makes His Debut On The World Stage, Aged Just 16

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By Martin Cloake

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A lifetime of record-breaking began on 7th July 1957 when Edson Arantes do Nascimento made his international debut for Brazil against Argentina, aged just 16 years and 9 months.

The goal the player better known as Pelé scored that day made him the youngest person ever to score in international competition at that time.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Ogle Oblak, West Ham Tempted By Townsend, Citizens To Finally Seal Sterling Deal

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man Utd Ogle Oblak

Manchester United are heading back to Spain to find a replacement for David De Gea, according to the Star.

Classic Moments: Phil Brown Can’t Help But Wonder If Andrea Pirlo Is Homophobic, 2012 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

With Andrea Pirlo finally leaving Italian football for pastures new yesterday, Pies' thoughts inevitablyimmediately turned to Phil Brown.

Why? While discussing Pirlo's apparent reluctance to move to thePremier League on BBC Radio Five live back in 2012, it was world-renowned psychologist, anthropologist and noted scholar Brown who was the first to offer his deep thoughts on the matter.

Pacific Games: Mighty Micronesia Manage To Concede 114 Goals In Opening Three Matches

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By Chris Wright

We are Micronesia, none shall pass

As you may or may not have heard, the Micronesianfootball teamhit thenewsover the weekend after finding themselves on the wrong end of the biggest winning scoreline ever recorded in international competition.

Cristiano Ronaldo Treats Us To Another Unsettling Advert For Latest Japanese Fitness Contraption (Video)

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By Chris Wright

All greased up and ready to roll

Saints be praised, Cristiano Ronaldo has bestowedthe world with another one of his bizarre Japanese fitness adverts.

Following in the wake of hisutterly ridiculous "facial fitness" cheek-toning device, Cristianois now shilling the MTG Sixpad an electronic mat designed to miraculously give you the perfectRonaldo-likemidriffwithout any of the rigorous athletic training and/or strict conditioning work.

Official: Barcelona Sign Atletico Madrid Schemer Arda Turan During Toothless Transfer Ban

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By Alan Duffy

Barcelona have signed Atletico Madrid's hirsute schemer Arda Turan for a fee of 34million Euros.

The deal has been completed despite the Catalan giants' current FIFA ban which was supposed to stop them signing any players in 2015. However, once again Barca have sidestepped the ban, albeit with the fesity Turan not available for action until January.

James Milner Inherits Iconic Liverpool No.7 Shirt From Keegan, Dalglish And Suarez (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

The deal was tied up days ago, but Liverpool have just got round to taking their first photos of James Milner wearing the club colours this afternoon.

As well as the customary Melwood Lean, Milner has also been bestowed with the vaunted Liverpool No.7 jersey as worn by the likes of Kevin Keegan,Kenny Dalglish,Peter Beardsley and Luis Suarez before him.

Official: Juventus Wave Goodbye To Their Maestro As Andrea Pirlo Completes Move To New York City FC

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By Chris Wright

It's ufficiale, at least as far as Juventus are confirmed...

UFFICIALE @Pirlo_Official proseguir la carriera @NYCFC, dopo 4 anni in bianconero: http://t.co/I31LR93SjF pic.twitter.com/UjhoKdT6RM

- JuventusFC (@juventusfc) July 6, 2015

The Bianconeri have announced that Andrea Pirlo hascompletedhis move to New York City FC.

BK Frem And St. Pauli Fans Join Forces To Remove Nails And Screws From Pitch After Vandals Attack Stadium (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

As part of their respective pre-season campaigns, German second tier side FC St. Pauli travelled to Denmark to square off against third division BK Frem on Sunday for a friendly.

Both clubs are well known for their socialist, inclusive philosophies and have struck up a mutual admiration over the past few years.

Juan Roman Riquelme Admits His Only Career Regret Is Turning Manchester United Down

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By Chris Wright

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Goddamnit, we were *this* close to having Juan Roman Riquelme playing in the Premier League. *This* bloody close.

Indeed, the mesmeric Argentinian midfielder has admitted that if he has one regret looking back over his long and storied career, it's that he didn't take up the offer to sign forManchester United in 2006 when the club came a-sniffin'.

Official: Watford Sign Etienne Capoue As Tottenham’s Great Fringe Midfielder Exodus Continues

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By Chris Wright

Coming days after Lewis Holtby and Paulinho were allowed to swan off toHamburg andGuangzhou Evergrande respectively, it seems that Tottenham's great fringe midfielder exodus is finally upon us with the news that Etienne Capoue has joined newly-promoted Watford on a four-year deal.

On This Day In 1960: Yugoslavia Shock France With Extraordinary Comeback In Nine-Goal Euro Thriller (Video)

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By Martin Cloake

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One of the most dramatic matches in international competition history took place on 6th July, 1960, at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

The occasion was the semi-final of the first ever European Championships, then called the European Nations Cup.

CD Guadalajara Follow Rayo Vallecano’s Lead With New Anti-Homophobia LGBT Home Kit (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

CD Guadalajara have become the second Spanish club to make a stand against homophobia by splashing the LGBT rainbow across the front of their new strip,following in the tolerant footsteps of Rayo Vallecano.

Third division side Guadalajara released their new home stripat the Madrid Pride festival over the weekend.

Toby Alderweireld Dispute The Latest In Long Line Of Ugly Football Transfer Ding-Dongs

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By Martin Cloake

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As Southampton continue to slug it out with Tottenhamand Atletico Madrid over who has the legal right to buy or sell defender Toby Alderweireld, here are five other famous football transfer disputes that got distinctly U-G-L-Y before being resolved.

Luis Nani: Remembering The Good Times

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By Chris Wright

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Much-derided and oft-mocked for being soft as warm Dairylea, Luis Nani is now on the cusp of leaving Manchester United after eight years on the payroll.

The 28-year-old Portuguese winger, who spent last season on loan at Sporting Lisbon, has been subjected to thecustomary 'terrifying Turkish airport greeting' this morning ahead of completing a £3.

Transfer Balls: Benteke Bound For Liverpool, Pedro Primed For Arsenal, Wijnaldum Wanted By Newcastle

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Benteke Bound For Anfield

Liverpool's summer spending-spree looks set to continue with Christian Benteke next in line for a move to Anfield.

Women’s World Cup Final – The Best Bits: USA 5-2 Japan (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

An amazing 13-minute hat-trick from Carli Lloyd fired the USA to a deserved 5-2 win against Japan in the Women's World Cup final.

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The game was only three minutes old when the unmarked US captain fired home from a superbly worked corner from Megan Rapinoe.

Steven Gerrard Plies LA Galaxy Supporters With Free Beer Before His Grand Unveiling (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

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Looking dapper from his napper to his feet, Steven Gerrard was officially unveiled as an LA Galaxy player during the half-time break of his new side'sJuly 4th match against Toronto.

Gerrard took to the pitch halfway through Galaxy's 4-0 win to introduce himself and tell everybodythat he can't wait to get his boots on and start playing, etc, etc.

Manchester United: Robin Van Persie Agrees Personal Terms With Fenerbahce

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By Chris Wright

After seeing his role reduced gradually over the course of last season, it would appear that Robin van Persie is on the verge of leaving Manchester United for pastures anew...

Exclusive: Van Persie agrees terms with Fenerbahce http://t.

Women’s World Cup – The Best Bits: Germany 0-1 England (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

England secured a historic third-place finish after narrowly beating Germany on Saturday night, courtesy of yet another Fara Williams spot-kick.

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Tinkerman Mark Sampson started with three centre-backs for the game, with Jo Potter dropping in alongside Steph Houghton and Laura Bassett.

Alexis Sanchez Seals Historic Copa America Success For Chile With Cheeky Panenka Penalty (Video & Vine)

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By Alan Duffy

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In Santiago on Satruday night, Alexis Sanchez became the second player to win a major tournament courtesy of a Panenka penalty after, er,Antonin Panenka.

After a tight and tense final between the hosts and Argentina, which saw Chile edge proceedings but Gonzalo Higuain miss a good chance late on, the 2015 tournament went to penalties.

Official: Galatasaray Sign Arsenal Selfie-King Lukas Podolski On Three-Year Deal

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By Alan Duffy

He of the thunderhammer left-boot and rampant social media shenanigans, Lukas Podolski, has officially joined Turkish giants Galatasaray for a piddling £2.8million...

The 30-year-old is the third most capped German player(125 games) and the thrid highest scoring German international of all-time (48 goals) but he struggled to hold down a regular starting berth with Arsenal.

Chelsea’s Brave New Stadium Looks Like A Beautiful Amphitheatre From The Distant Utopian Future (Images)

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By Chris Wright

Having seen their original plans to convert Battersea Power station into a new 60,000-seater stadium with a chimney on each corner scotched back in the summer of 2012, Chelsea returned to the drawing board and set about dreaming up exciting new ways to spruce up Stamford Bridge instead.

Official: Chelsea Sign Radamel Falcao On Year-Long Loan Deal

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By Chris Wright

It's (finally) official, Chelsea have signed Radamel Falcao on a one-year loan deal from Monaco with an option-to-buy chucked in for good measure...

Welcome to @ChelseaFC, @FALCAO! #CFC pic.twitter.com/DC007mF6MN

- Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 3, 2015

Whereas Manchester United paid him £265,000-a-week for the pleasure last season, it's being reported that Chelsea are 'only' shovelling around £130,000 into the Colombian's personal account every seven days.

Classic Moments: Luis Suarez Makes ‘The Best Save Of The 2010 World Cup’ (His Words) To Send Ghana Packing

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By Chris Wright

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First of all, apologies are due as this was originally intendedto go out as an'On This Day' piece yesterday but yours truly completely bungled it. May the good Lord strike me asunder as penance for my sins.

Anyway, July 2nd not 3rd markedthe fifth anniversary of the dark and stormy day that Luis Suarez truly ascended to the upper echelon of global sporting pantomime villainy.

Man City Players Pose For Selfies With Several Lucky Fans To Help Launch New 2015/16 Home Kit (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Graphic design by Frank, aged five

It's hardly coming as much of a surprise seeing as though it was leaked days ago, but today Man City have officially rolled out their brand new home kitfor 2015/16.

In the interests of doing something a little different, City launched their new strip with a bit of help from a select group of lucky fans who won the chance to be the first people to lay their eyesthe new design through the Nike Football app.

The Official Highlights Of Sporting KC’s 6-2 Slobberknocker Against FC Dallas Are A Hoot! (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Having watched their side run well and truly wild onFC Dallasin theUS Open Cup on Thursday evening, Sporting KC's media team gleefully set about cobbling together a highlights package of the 6-2 slobberknocker.

Feeling that the highlights needed just that extra sprinkling of pizzaz to truly do theperformance justice, Sporting KC dubbed Good Ol' Jim Ross and Jerry 'The King' Lawler in to provide the commentary.

‘I Love You All As Players’ – Al Pacino Records Special Copa America Message For Argentina (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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It would appear that Al Pacino has been seriously getting into the Copa America these past few weeks, with the veteran actor even feeling compelled to record a special video message for the Argentina squad going into their semi-final against Paraguay.

Transfer Balls: Man Utd Keen On Coleman, Tottenham Move For McCarthy, Bayern Discuss Di Maria Deal

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man Utd Think Coleman Is The Mustard

Having lost out on Nathaniel Clyne, Manchester United have turned their attention to Seamus Coleman, according to the Star.

‘You’re Nicer Than Beckham’ – Steven Gerrard Charms Los Angeles Paparazzi (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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With a new chapter in his footballing career about to be begin with LA Galaxy, former Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is getting to grips with some pretty intense media coverage.

After a night out at Craig's restaurant in West Hollywood, the poor chap was besieged by local paparrazzi and autograph hunters.

Mundial Magazine Presents: Toto Schillaci At Italia ’90 – The Flame That Burned Twice As Bright

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By Naomi Accardi

(Illustration : Davey Blackett,@daveyblackett)

25 years ago, on Saturday 9th June in Rome's Stadio Olimpico, Italy were 75 minutes into a dour 0-0 against Austria. With the host fans restless and Gianluca Vialli and Andrea Carnevale unable to break the deadlock, Azzuri coach Angelo Vicini whistled to Salvatore Schillaci and told him to get warmed up.

The Tale Of Martunis: Sporting Lisbon’s Latest Signing Has One Hell Of A Back Story!

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By Chris Wright

On Wednesday afternoon, Sporting Lisbon swore a 17-year-old Indonesian lad by the name of Martunis into their academy. Nothing overly exciting aboutthat, you may argue.

However, the Portuguese club's latest acquisition comes with one hell of a back story a tale of tragedy, hardship, loss and incredible fortitude.

‘I Am Not Corrupt And I Will Go To Heaven One Day’ – Guess Who?

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By Chris Wright

Time for a little game. See if you can correctly guess who said those very words in an interview with German magazine Bunte.

Your first clue is that this poor, innocent man of faithhas been put through the wringerof late having seen a good many of his closest friends and acolytes getting themselves nabbed on high-level corruption charges.

AC Milan’s Mad New 2015/16 Third Kit Shorts Are Refreshingly Insane (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

AC Milan's new 2015/16 third kit. The shirt is fairly standard fare but read those shortsand weep...

Apparently, the tonal shorts feature the colours associated with the ongoingMilan Expo 2015, which is nice.

Here's a little close-up action.

Transfer Balls: Van Persie Dumped In Secret Deal By Man Utd, Arsenal Splash Out £19m On Carvalho, Man City Bid For Bellarabi

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Man Utd To Jettison Van Persie

Robin Van Persie is being sold by Man Utd behind his back, according to ex-Netherlands international Pierre vanHooijdonk.

Charlton Captain Johnnie Jackson Tasked With Hand-Delivering Season Tickets In Del Boy’s Old Van (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Charlton Athletic have come up with a novel way to give their season ticket sales a bit of a boost.

With the launch of the#PlayerPledge campaign, the Addicks are planning to reward fans by press-ganging members of their squad into performing dares and forfeits for every 100 season tickets sold.

Women’s World Cup – The Best Bits: Japan 2-1 England (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

England suffered semi-final heartbreak late in the early hours of Thursday after losing 2-1 to Japan, courtesy of a last-minute freak own-goal.

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Mark Sampson's side started brightly, with Jodie Taylor going close early on.

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Stoke City Agree €17m Fee With Inter Milan For Xherdan Shaqiri

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By Chris Wright

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Word on the wire specifically the Sky Italia wire is that Stoke City have agreeda fee with Inter Milan for Xherdan Shaqiri.

It's being reported that the Potters have shaken hands with Inter over a€17million deal for Shaqiri and are now currently waiting for the Swiss winger to flutter his eyelashes their way.

Done Deal: Nathaniel Clyne Officially Signs For Liverpool (First Photos)

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By Chris Wright

As far as Liverpool are concerned, Nathaniel Clyne is officially signed, sealed and delivered.

Southampton are reported to have received around £12.5million for Clyne, which stacks nicely on top ofthe £50+ million Liverpool chucked at them last summer.

Rayo Vallecano Pay Tribute To ‘Society’s Unsung Heroes’ With Life-Affirming New Away Kit (Photo)

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By Chris Wright

Pies' favourite Spanish football team have once again cemented their place in our hearts with the unveiling of their new away kit for next season.

With love and equality very much in the air at the moment, Rayo Vallecano have produced a shirt that pays tribute to 'the unsung heroes of society' with each band on the rainbow sash representing a different aspect of social struggle.

Agadoo: Five Football Chants That Owe It All To The Song Once Dubbed ‘The Worst Of All Time’

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By Martin Cloake

How's about you Agadon't, lads?

"Like the school disco you were forced to attend, your middle-aged relatives forming a conga at a wedding party, a travelling DJ act based in Wolverhampton" – that's how music magazine Q once verbalisedwhat it thought of Black Lace's 1984 novelty hit Agadoo after voting it 'The Worst Song Of All Time'.

Bournemouth Snap Up Old Timer Sylvain Distin On Freebie Deal Following Everton Release

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By Chris Wright

The deed is done. Sylvain Distin has signed for newly-promoted Bournemouth on a freebieafter being released by Everton at the end of the season.

The 37-year-old French centre-half has signed a one-year deal with the Cherries,therefore becoming theclub'ssixth signing of the summer as they gear up for their debut season in the Premier League.

West Brom’s New 2015/16 Kit Launch Video Is More Than Just A Little Bit Weird

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By Chris Wright

Like many of their Premier League peers, West Brom have decided to roll out their new home kit for next season with the help of a flashy Youtube trailer.

Unlike many of their Premier League peers,however,West Brom have eschewed the usual 'look at this shiny new stuff' templateand instead opted to hype their 2015/16 strip by posting a minute-long clip of Gareth McAuley being wrongly sent off instead of Craig Dawson against Man City last season.

No Mean Feat: Umbro Re-Launch Speciali Eternal Boots By Somehow Making Us Empathise With Pepe (Video)

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By Chris Wright

To help bolster the re-launch of the Speciali Eternal, Umbro have roped in Real Madrid's (seemingly reformed) hatchet man Pepe to regale us with the story of his first ever pair of football boots a pair of trusty Specialis.

In the following video, Pepe chats with his father about the struggles and hardships he went through to support his son's dream of making it as a pro.

Done Deal? New York City FC Hastily Delete Andrea Pirlo’s Profile From Club Website After Jumping The Gun Slightly

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By Chris Wright

It's hardly the best kept secret in the footballing sphere, but it would appear that Andrea Pirlo's imminent move from Juventus to New York City FC is still only 99.99999% done.

The MLS side chucked Pirlo's official player profile up on their club website this morning, which immediately set tongues a-wagging that the transfer had officially gone through.

Transfer Balls: Man City Miss Out On Pogba And De Bruyne, Benteke Desperate For Liverpool Move, Chelsea Bid £8m For Begovic

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By Alan Duffy

Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day's football tittle-tattle so you don't have to...

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Citizens Miss Out On Pogba And De Bruyne

Manchester City look set to miss out on both Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne, according to the Mirror.

Ashley Young signs new contract with Manchester United

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Manchester United have agreed a new three-year contractwith Ashley Young.

The new deal is seen as a reward for Young's performances last season. The winger started more league games in 2014-15 than in his previous three years at the club.

Of course, the highlight was not Young's sharp shooting (13 goals in 115 appearances), rather that of a bird who dropped a turd in Ashley's mouth.

Euro U21s: Sweden Lift Trophy After Shoot-Out Win Against Favourites Portugal (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

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Portugal's highly-rated youngsters fell at the final hurdle in Prague on Tuesday night as outsiders Sweden won the EURO 21 final on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

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The much-covetedWilliam Carvalho, who was a star of the tournament, saw his spot-kick saved byPatrik Carlgren to give the hard-working Sweden a 4-3 shoot-out victory and seal the Scandinavians' first-ever success in junior football.