International football

Videos

Chelsea Behemoth Nemanja Matic Scores Incredible Acrobatic Volley Against Portugal (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Proof that his talents extend beyond simple, diligent midfield roadblockery, Nemanja Matic displayed a level of grace hitherto unseen by Chelsea fans to score an outlandish acrobatic overhead kick against Portugal.

Indeed, it was something akin to watching a water buffalo flawlessly perform the most delicate ballet routineever devised.

Confusion All Around As Wrong National Anthem Played Before El Salvador Friendly (Video)

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By Chris Wright

There was confused looks all around before yesterday's friendly between El Salvador and Argentina in Washington DC when the good folks at the FedEx Field accidentally played the wrong anthem just as the Salvadorian players clenched their fists over their hearts.

Euro 2016: Rep Of Ireland 1-1 Poland – Late Late Long Strike Saves Irish At Aviva (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Republic Of Ireland 1-1 Poland Euro 2016 Qualifiers 30th March 2015

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A last-gasp Shane Long equaliser secured a point for Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday night, a result which keeps the Boys In Green in the hunt for a place in the finals next year.

Euro 2016: Scotland 6-1 Gibraltar – Minnows Make History But Fletcher Hat-Trick Keeps Scots On Track (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Scotland 6-1 Gibraltar Euro 2016 Qualifiers 29th March 2015

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Steven Fletcher, a man in the spotlight for the wrong reasons recently, registered Scotland's first hat-trick in 46 years on Sunday, as Gordon Strachan's men battered new-boys Gibraltar.

Euro 2016: Northern Ireland 2-1 Finland – Green And White Army March On After Lafferty Double (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Northern Ireland 2-1 Finland Euro 2016 Qualifiers 29th March 2015

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A Kyle Lafferty brace kept Northern Ireland will in the hunt for a place at EURO 2016 after an impressive display against Finland.

Mixu Paatelainen's visitors started brightly but eventually the hosts made the breakthrough just after the half-hour mark, when Lafferty volleyed home from a Niall McGinn header.

Euro 2016: Israel 0-3 Wales – Bale Bags Brace As Dragons Roar In Haifa (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

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Israel 0-3 Wales Euro 2016 Qualifiers 28th March 2015

Wales produced a superb performance in Israel on Saturday, with their 3-0 win firing Chris Coleman's side to the top of Group B.

Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring just before the break, courtesy of a superb looping header after the Arsenal man was set up by Gareth Bale.

Euro 2016: England 4-0 Lithuania – Kane Scores On Debut As Three Lions Stroll At Wembley (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

England 4-0 Lithuania Euro 2016Qualifiers 27th Match 2015

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England continued their 100% winning start to the Euro 2016 qualifiers with an easy win at home to Lithuania.

Despite the clamour for his inclusion from the start, Tottenham hitman Harry Kane was handed a substitute's role by Roy Hodgson.

The Miracle Of Aarhus: Jose Altidore Bags Goal And Assist While Nicklas Bendtner Nets Hat-Trick As Denmark Beat USA 3-2 (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

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The idea of former Hull and Sunderland striker Jose Altidore and ex-Arsenal hitman Nicklas Bendtner having their own personal duel in a full international match seems rather fanciful, no? Well, you shower of cynics, on Wednesday night that's just what happened at theNRGi Park in Aarhus.

Random Great Goals: Germany Momentarily Rocked As Liechtenstein Score Their Greatest Ever Goal, 1996 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

We don't claim to be experts on the subject but we're guessing that the list of "beautiful goals scored by the Liechtenstein national side" isn't exactly Ulyssean in length especially what with them only scoring 68 goals in their 158-gameexistenceand all.

Puskas Award Runner-Up Stephanie Roche Nets Another Cracker (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

That famous goal for Peamount United in October 2013 catapulted Stephanie Roche into the spotlight and resulted in the Dubliner bagging runner-up spotfor the 2014 FIFA Puskas Award, behind James Rodriguez and his World Cup stunner.

More recently, the 25-year-old signed for US club Houston Dash, but on Wednesday Roche produced another fine moment of goal-scoring prowess.

Random Great Goals: Ray Wilkins Gets His Lob On Against Belgium At Euro 1980 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

England's outstandingly handsome Euro 1980ensemble

Largely remembered for his proto-Cleverley propensity to go sideways and a textbook case of male pattern baldness, Ray Wilkins could also play a bit in his day as a CV boasting stints at Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan duly attests.

Random Great Goals: Jari Litmanen & Mikael Forssell Combine To Devastating Effect Against Norway, 2000 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Perhaps football'smost underrated and under-appreciated world class player, Jari Litmanen was a regalthingto beholdin full flight even as he moved into his late 30s and early 40s.

We join Litmanen at the latter end of his prime here as we see him combine effortlessly with the man who was supposed to usurp him as the crown prince of Finnish football, Mikael Forssell, to put Scandinavian rivals Norway to the sword in August of 2000.

Didier Drogba Almost Suffers Apoplexy While Watching Ivory Coast’s AFCON Penalty Shoot-Out Victory (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Safe to say, Didier Drogba celebrate Ivory Coast's nail-biting African Cup of Nations victory last night like a man who hadn't won one for 23 years and absolutely skied a penalty last time they made it to the final...

A video posted by didierdrogba (@didierdrogba) on Feb 8, 2015 at 2:49pm PST

Guy in the back is obviously a Ghana fan.

Ivory Coast Win First AFCON Title In 23 Years After Goalkeeper Boubacar Barry Scores Winning Penalty (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Madness. Utter madness. Ivory Coast have won their second African Cup of Nations title (the first coming way back in 1992) after beating Ghana 9-8 on penalties in the 2015 final.

The match itself was roughly 120 minutes of goalless pish which just so happened to be followed by one of the most nervy, teeth-chatteringly tense penalty shoot-outs we've seen in a good while.

Random Great Goals: Ilie Dumitrescu And Gheorghe Hagi Combine Effortlessly Against Argentina, 1994 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

As 10,11 combos go, you could definitely do worse

From back when Romania was fab, here's Ilie Dumitrescu and Gheorghe Hagi combining ridiculously elegantly (thanks largely to a couple ofinch-perfectreverse passes from the latter) to score Romania's second goal in their famous 3-2 win over Argentina in Pasadena in the second round of the 1994 USA World Cup.

African Cup Of Nations: DR Congo ‘Keeper Robert Kidiaba Busts Out Trademark ‘Bum Shuffle’ Dance (Video)

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By Chris Wright

Finding themselves 2-0down with just 30 minutes of their African Cup of Nationsquarter-final yesterday, the Democratic Republic of Congo staged a thrilling comeback in the final half-hour eventually screaming back to win 2-4 thanks to a 25-minute goal storm thatculminated with a couple of late effortsfromJoel Kimwaki and Dieumerci Mbokani.

Random Great Goals: Paolo Wanchope At His Gangly, Meandering Best vs Uruguay, 2001 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

You could be forgiven for thinking that hisstampeding slalom shuffleagainst Manchester United in 1997 was the only goal Paulo Wanchope ever scored given that everything else seems to have paled with time, but it's fair to saythe lanky strikerdid a steady trade during his prime.

Veteran Socceroo Tim Cahill Scores Superb Overhead Kick Against China (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

Veteran attacking midfielder Tim Cahill made his mark on the 2014 World Cup courtesy of a magnificent volley against the Netherlands and in this year's Asian Cup, the former Everton man is doing it again.

In Australia's quarter-final clash with China, Cahill perfectly executed an overhead kick following a corner to give the Socceroos a 1-0 lead.

Random Great Goals: Steve Bull (England) vs Czechoslovakia, 1990 (Video)

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By Chris Wright

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Steve Bull scored a club record 306 goals (including 18 hat-tricks) over the course of his legendary 13-year stint at Wolverhampton Wanderers, though he only ever made one full appearance in the English top flight and that came for West Brom as a 19-year-old in 1986 theseason before he moved to Molineux.

Football Vine: Tim Cahill Picks His 10-Year-Old Son Out In The Stands With An Impressive Pass

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By Chris Wright

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Spotting his 10-year-old son Shae up in the stands after warming-up before Australia's Asian Cup victory overKuwait, Tim Cahill demonstrated that his passing radar is still in fine, working order by lumping a ball directly into the little nipper's arms from 30-odd metres away.

Vine

Euro 2016 Vine: Russia ‘Keeper Igor Akinfeev Floored By Flare As Clash With Montenegro Abandoned

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By Alan Duffy

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Unfortunately, there have been quite a few unsavoury incidents in the Euro 2016 Qualifying campaign so far,with the behaviour of Croatia's fans against Italy back in November one particular shocking.

However, inPodgorica on Friday night, things hit a new low when a flare thrown from the Montenegrin fans' hit Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev right after the kick-off.

Football Vine: Aussie Enforcer Mile Jedinak Scores Fine Free-Kick Against Germany

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By Alan Duffy

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Famed for his physical presence in the middle of Crystal Palace's midfield, hirsute anchorman Mile Jedinak also has a penchant ofor fine free-kicks. Against World Champions Germany in Kaiserslautern on Wednesday evening, the 30-year-old curled home a classy free-kick on 50 minutes to put the Socceroos 2-1 up (Marco Reus andJames Troisi scored in the first-half).

photos

Cristiano Ronaldo Covers Portugal Teammate’s Car In Tin Foil…With A Little Help From His Sponsors (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

With the Portugal squad limbering up for tomorrow evening's Euro 2016 qualifier against Serbia, arch prankster Cristiano Ronaldo took an hour or two out of his preparation time to hit international teammate (and fellow Nike-sponsored athlete) Ricardo Quaresma with the mother of all arch pranks.

Looks Like Roy Hodgson Is Planning To Start Harry Kane For England Against Lithuania (Photo Evidence)

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By Chris Wright

A little bit of super sleuth work from the chaps over at Squawka has revealed that it looks very much as though Roy Hodgson is planning to hand new cap Harry Kane his first England start against Lithuania on Friday especially if the subtle clues contained in this 'ere photo are anything to go by.

Oranje Crush: The Netherlands’ New 2015 Away Shorts Are Fantastic (Photos)

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By Chris Wright

Courtesy of the good people at Nike, the Netherlands have got themselves a new away kit for 2015 and we overall suppose it's nice enough in a fairly straightforward White/Oranje kind of way...

But the shorts oh, the shorts...

Beautiful. They hark back to a simpler time, a better time in kit design the early-to-mid 1990s where the Ribena was always spiked and absolutely anything was fair game.

St Patrick’s Day Special: 10 English Footballers Who Played For The Republic Of Ireland

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By Chris Wright

As you may have noticed by now, it's St Patrick's Day, so as a nod to all things Gaelic, Piesthought we'd have a little look-see at those gentlemen who, despite being born in England, decided to represent the Republic of Ireland with pride much like Saint Paddy himself.

AFCON 2015 Semi-Final Ends In Farce After Equatorial Guinea Fans Riot (Photos )

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By Alan Duffy

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Fair dues to Equatorial Guinea for stepping in at the last minute to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but my word did the authorities make an unholy mess of Thursday's night's semi-final between Ghana and the hosts.

With the Black Stars 3-0 ahead and cruising towards a mouth-watering final clash with Cote D'Ivoire, a section of the Equatorial Guinea fans started to rain bottles down on both the nearby Ghana fans and the pitch itself.

World Cup

Officially The ‘Worst Team In The World’, Bhutan Play First Ever World Cup Qualifying Game…And Win!

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By Chris Wright

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Despite being ranked as the 209th best international side in a field of 209 sides, Bhutan recordeda remarkable shock win to get their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign off to a flyer!

Having only joined FIFA in 2000, Bhutan are currently officially rankedthe worst team in the world yet still managed to battle their way to a 1-0 victory over Sri Lanka who are perched a lofty 36 rungs higher on FIFA's ranking ladder in their first ever World Cup qualifying fixture in Colombo on Thursday.

Qatar 2022 World Cup Set To Be Played At Christmas As FIFA Prepare To Make Final Call

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By Chris Wright

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It's been nothing but an abject palaver since the decision was made, but now a FIFA task force has specifically recommended that the 2022 World Cup be played in November/December to prevent players shrivelling like sun-dried tomatoes in Qatar's 40°c summer heat.

Sports Photo Of The Year 2014: Lionel Messi Flirts Longingly With The World Cup…

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By Chris Wright

Taken during the aftermath of the World Cup final at the Maracana back in July, this 'ere photo of Lionel Messi longingly eyeing the one golden trinket that has so far eluded him has been voted as the 2014 Sports Photo of the Year...

"Myyyy preciousssss"

Entitled "The Final Game" and taken by Bao Tailiang for the Chengdu Economic Daily, the photo has won first prize in the Sports Singles category of the 2015World Press Photo Contest.

Germany Successfully Pull Off ‘Fake Fumble’ Freekick That Famously Went Belly Up At The World Cup

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By Chris Wright

The original, and worst

Aired as part of the 'Die Mannshaft' film that aired in Germany this week, viewers were treated to a clip of footage of the Germany national side recreating the needlessly convoluted set-piecethey so famouslymade a complete dog's dinner ofagainst Algeria at the World Cup over the summer.

fail

CAF Make Dog’s Dinner Of Picking Their 2015 African Cup Of Nations ‘Team Of The Tournament’ Best XI

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By Chris Wright

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With the Africa Cup of Nations coming to a dramatic close on Sunday evening and Ivory Coast snaffling their first title since 1992, all that was left for CAF to do was publish their list of individual award winners.

Football GIF: Come, Marvel At The Wonder Of This Spectacular Dive From CONCACAF U-20s Championship

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By Chris Wright

Spotted during Trinidad & Tobago's CONCACAFU20 Championship game against Panama at the weekend: T&T'sAkeem Humphrey managing the incredibly impressive feat of elbowing his opponent in the face not once but twice, before panicking and hitting the deck himself, rolling around and screaming into his hands like he'd just been hit by a Vauxhall Astra.

The Rest

England Squad For Lithuania Qualifier And Italy Friendly Hit By Force 12 Harry Kane!

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By Chris Wright

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Roy Hodgson has announced his England squad for next Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and the Italy friendly the Tuesday thereafter and... *drum roll please* ...Harry Kane has received his first ever senior call up.

First Time Scotland Call-Up Matt Ritchie Admits He’s Never Actually Been To Scotland

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By Chris Wright

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On the back of an impressive season so far with Bournemouth, winger Matt Ritchie received his first international call-up earlier this week after finding himself included in the Scotland squad for next Wednesday's friendly against Northern Ireland as well theirEuro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar the following Sunday.

Football Art: Monument To England’s Failure Sells At Auction For £425,000

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By Chris Wright

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An artwork by Italian sculptor Maurizio Cattelanwhich lists every England football defeat between 1874 and 1998 has sold at auction for £425,000.

According to Art Daily, the sculpture was sold to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby's on Tuesday morning via a French-speaking member of staff.

Football GIF: USA Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Has Definitely Still Got ‘It’

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By Chris Wright

Despite the rarest of natural phenomena occurring during the game: a Jozy Altidore goal, the USA went down 3-2 against Chile last night in Rancangua (their third straight loss)thanks to a second-half brace from former Liverpool wingerMark Gonzalez.

However, the Yanks' night was brightened somewhat by an impressive display of touch on the sidelines, with coach Jurgen Klinsmann pulling off a strange double-bubble back-heel flick to excite and delight.

Snapshot: Uruguay’s U20 South American Championship Mascot Attempts To Sneak Into Brazil’s Team Photo…

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By Chris Wright

Not content with a place in his own side's pre-game team photo, "Batu", the slightly horrifyingmascot for the ongoing U-20 South American Championship in Uruguay, also attempted to cunningly sidle his way into Brazil's official team shot before kick-off.

Jordan Striker Ahmad Hayel ‘Develops Hypothermia’ After Being Made To Drink Three Litres Of Water Before Doping Test

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By Chris Wright

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Ever drunk so much water you developed hypothermia and slipped into a sort of semi-coma?

Yeah, us too.

Indeed, that's exactly what is alleged to have happened to Jordan striker Ahmad Hayel after last night'sAsian Cup game against Iran.