International football

England

106 Caps And Out: Frank Lampard Retires From International Football With Immediate Effect

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By Chris Wright

By 'eck, the "Golden Generation™" are dropping like flies. First Steven Gerrard throws in the towel and now Frank Lampard goes and announces that he's retiring from international football with immediate effect at the grand old age of 36.

Remember, that Golden™ midfield pairing that famously couldn't operate on the same pitch as each other?

114 Caps And Out As Steven Gerrard Announces Retirement From International Football

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By Chris Wright

After picking up his 114th and final cap against Costa Rica at the World Cup, England captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect.

Gerrard told theFA website:"I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won't pull on the England shirt again.

England Drop To 20th In FIFA Rankings, Three Lions’ Lowest Position Since 1996

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By Alan Duffy

FIFA's rankings aren't always the most accurate, with their complex formula of coefficients and points meaning that it occasionally throws up an anomaly or two.

However, following England's dismal show at the 2014 World Cup, the Three Lions' fall from 10th to 20th is within the realms of believability.

World Cup

World Cup Flop Eden Hazard Asks Google To Remove Negative References To His Shoddy Performance Against Argentina

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By Chris Wright

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has requested that Google removed all references and ratings of his underwhelming performance for Belgium against Argentina in the quarter-finals of the World Cup under the European Union's "right to be forgotten" ruling.

Belgium lost the game 0-1 with Hazard largely criticised for failing to make any kind of impact despite his billing as one of the tournament's top stars.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Forks Out £30,000 To Send Sweden’s National Disabled Football Team To World Cup In Brazil

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By Chris Wright

"You're welcome, world"

After being asked for signed shirt to raffle off in order to raise the necessary funds, Zlatan Ibrahimovic hascut out the middle man and simply donated the entire wodge of money required to send Sweden's "mildly mentally retarded" (we've no idea if that's the official team title, but we're at the mercy of Google translate here) men's national team to their World Cup.

New Brazil Coach Dunga Will Not Accept Branded Hats, Dyed Hair Or Crying On His Watch

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By Chris Wright

Like a cigar-chewing, crew-cutted drill sergeant, new Brazil coach Dunga has been laying down the law to his Selecao, indirectly informing the likes of Dani Alves and Neymar that flouncy crap like dyed hair, branded baseball caps and crying will no longer be permitted on his watch.

FIFA Object To F1 Ace Nico Rosberg Using World Cup Image On Helmet for German Grand Prix

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By Alan Duffy

FIFA have once again endeared themselves to the sporting public by stopping German Formula One driver Nico Rosberg from celebrating his nation's World Cup win by featuring an image of the World Cup trophy on his helmet. The 29-year-old Mercedes driverwas planning to unveil the new helmet at this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim and posted a picture of it on Twitter.

World Cup GIFs: Every Dirty, Rotten Dive From Brazil 2014 Presented In Smogasbord Of Deceit

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By Alan Duffy

Those bastions of morality and upholders of justice in the world of football, The Golden Dive, have collated GIFs of every single horrible dive in the 2014 World Cup to give us a smorgasboard of cheats which makes for embarrassing viewing.

Which one is you favourite?

Boffins At Visualizing.org Produce Superb Graphic Of Every Injury Sustained In The 2014 World Cup

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By Alan Duffy

Not being the brightest, some of this confuses me. However, I'm sure you clever Pies' readers will understand every single dot and line on this fascinating illustration of all the injuries in Brazil this summer. Brought to you by the boffins at Vizualizing,org, it's a fabulous, complex piece of work.

World Champions Germany Return Home And Kick Back At Berlin Bash (Photos)

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By Alan Duffy

In front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, World Champions Germany celebrated their victory with their fans in quite a spectacular event. And don't they deserve it. Since (and including) the 2002 World Cup, Germanyhave finished2nd, 3rd, 3rdand1st in the World Cup.

World Cup Vine: Victorious Germany Unveil World Cup To Fans In Monumentally Uber-Cool Fashion

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By Alan Duffy

Not only did they play the best football in Brazil, but the Germans are also rather deft at celebrating it seems. Although, to be fair they have had a lot of practice over the years. Here, captain Phillip Lahm along with four other World Cup winners, unveils the trophy itself to German fans in a quite fabulous way.

2014 World Cup Magic Moments Recreated By Richard Swarbrick In Superb Animation (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

It's sad to think it's all over now but sit back and watch yet another magnificently classy animation from Richard Swarbrick, aka @Rikkileaks. This is wonderful stuff and will make you miss Brazil 2014 already!

More of @RikkiLeaks handiwork on Pies.

Brazilian TV Host Gets Emotional After Congratulating His Country On Successful World Cup Hosting

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By Alan Duffy

Poor old Ricardo Rocha, Brazilian football TV host, couldn't hold back the tears when summing up what the 2014 World Cup had meant to his country. At the end of an impassioned rant, he said:

I congratulate the people of Brazil for this World Cup.Before, we had a lot of strikes, many problems, but we've shown what the Brazilian people are about.

FIFA Mix Up ‘Biggest Name’ With ‘Best Player’, Give Lionel Messi 2014 World Cup Golden Ball

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By Alan Duffy

Even poor old Lionel Messi looked a little sheepish when collecting the Golden Ball award last night after Argentina's final defeat against Germany.

Out of a pool of nominated players including Germany's Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Philipp Lahm, Argentina's Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Angel Di Maria as well as Neymar, Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez, FIFA's technical team (along with members of the media) somehow decided that the Albiceleste captain had been the most consistently good player of the tournament.

World Cup: Germany 1-0 Argentina (AET) – Super Mario Fires Germans To Glory In Rio (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Germany 1-0 Argentina World Cup Final 13th July 2014

And so a quite superb World Cup comes to an end with Germany, the best team in the tournament, deservedly lifting the trophy and thus becoming the first European side to win it in the Americas.

Russian Comedian Vitaly Zdorovetskiy Does Semi-Streak During World Cup Final (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

The general consensus seems to be firmly against streakers and other loons who run onto football pitcvhes during games. However, I'm a quite a fan of this silly yet harmless behaviour.

During the World Cup final in Rio, Russian 'prankster'Vitaly Zdorovetskiy managed to get onto the pitch where the half-naked headcase, who had the words 'natural born prankster' scrawled on his chest, was quickly caught by security.

World Cup Snapshot: The Goal That Won The World Cup…..

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By Alan Duffy

Just when it looked as though the 2014 World Cup was going to be decided on penalties, up steps Bayern Munich forward Mario Goetze to score a superb winning goal in extra-time. That goal gives Jogi Loew's side a deserved fourth World Cup title and makes then the first European side to win it in the Americas.

World Cup Vine: Benedikt Howedes Luck To Escape With Booking After High Challenge On Pablo Zabaleta

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By Alan Duffy

The last time these two sides met in a World Cup final in 1990, bothPedro Monzon andGustavoDezotti saw red for the Argentinians. Fast forward to the first half of the 2014 final and a high challenge by Germany's Benedikt Howedes could have, with a more strict referee, have also seen red.

Danny Murphy Voted Best World Cup Pundit, Andy Townsend Picks Up Wooden Spoon

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By Alan Duffy

There seems to have been just as much debate this summer about the World Cup pundits as there has been about he actual football, with a number of 'co-commentators' and in-studio guests driving us all up the walls.

Anyway, the Media Blog people have conducted a rather interesting survey of their own on the popularity (or not) of the BBC and ITV pundits, with ex-Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy's ego-free, charming style bagging him the gong for most popular pundit.

Germany Uber-Fan David Hasselhoff Makes Hoff-Tastic Parody Of Dr Dre Beats World Cup Advert (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

You gotta love the Hoff, a man who has always been able to laugh at himself. And in this spoof of the Dr Dre Beats World Cup ad, the Knight Rider icon, along with his daughter, camps it up in support of his beloved Germany. Good stuff!

Video: 101gg

World Cup: Brazil 0-3 Netherlands – Hosts Humiliated Again As Dutch Bag Bronze In Brasilia (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Brazil 0-3 Netherlands World Cup Third Place Play-Off 13th July 2014

Any hopes Brazil had of regaining some of the pride lost in that 7-1 mauling by Germany were ruthlessly extinguished within the first 16 minutes of their 3rd Place Play-Off against the Netherlands.

Losers Brazil Literally Erased From History In Clever Montage Of Germany’s 7-1 Semi-Final Victory (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

Well this is rather clever. All seven of Germany's goals in that historic drubbing of Brazil are given a rather cruel makeover, with all the Brazilian players deleted from the proceedings, to make an obvious but fair point. Although Arsenal fans will be rather unhappy about Mesut Ozil being erased for his assist which set up Sami Khedira.

Argentina v Netherlands Semi-Final Snorefest Re-Imagined In Darkly Humorous Animation (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

The second-semi final in the 2014 World Cup was never going to hit the heights of Germany's bizarre mauling of Brazil. However, the 0-0 draw between Argentina and the Netherlands was a particularly dull affair, with neither Lionel Messi or Arjen Robben able to shine.

The 200% World Cup: Brazil 2014 By Numbers

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Our resident obsessive-compulsive Dotmund has been busy drawing other things biting other things, and so has let World Cup artwork slide. Which is a relief to everyone. However, his real love in life is lists and attempting to ascribe numerical order to chaos. This is because he's an idiot, or has too much time on his hands, or both.

World Cup: Netherlands 0-0 Argentina (2-4 Pens) – Messi Makes Final As Dutch Suffer Spot-Kick Sadness (Photos & Highlights)

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By Alan Duffy

Netherlands 0-0 Argentina (2-4 Pens aet) World Cup Semi-Final 9th July 2014

After the incredible goal-fest of the first semi-final, this last-four clash between the Netherlands and Argentina could only disappoint and disappoint it did. It was a dour affair which saw the two sides cancel each other out.

fail

Four Players Sent Off As Vicious Brawl Breaks Out During U16s Match Between Northern Ireland And Mexico (Video)

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By Chris Wright

They may have only been kiddywinkles, but there were some truly horrendous scenes during last night's U16s Milk Cup game between Northern Ireland and Mexico in Belfast.

As the Belfast Telegraph report, a vicious little brawl broke out during the 57th-minute of the match as Northern Ireland prepared to take a corner.

Snapshot: Steven Gerrard Given Fond Farewell By Vietnamese Newspaper…

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By Chris Wright

After retiring from England duty on Monday, Steven Gerrard was given a fitting farewell bythe sport section of the Vietnam News after his 14 years of dedicated service...

Nearly chaps.

Seriously, how could you not know that Steven Gerald is a professional footballer?

Argentina

The 2014 World Cup Final: Winning By Design

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It took until the twenty-second minute of extra-time at the end of the match to settle it once and for all, but by the time the full-time whistle blew in the Maracana last night, there was already a reasonably firm consensus on the matter. The best team over the course of the tournament had, in the end, won it.

The 2014 World Cup Final – Germany vs Argentina, Live!

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Good evening, fans of sport, spectacle and populist nationalism, and welcome to the 2014 World Cup Final. This evening, Germany play Argentina in Rio de Janeiro for the right to declare themselves The Best International Football Team In The World Over The Last Four Weeks, and, as we have been throughout the remainder of the tournament, we're here with live coverage of a match that is likely to be remembered as The Most Tweeted Football Match Of All-Time.

The 200% World Cup: Netherlands vs Argentina, Live!

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Good evening, sports fans! I guess the first quiestion that I have to ask is this: have you recovered from last night? I certainly haven't, and will return to the subject once last time in order to briefly mention that we will most likely remember where we were yesterday evening for the rest of our lives.

The Rest

England’s Horrible Squad For Opening Euro 2016 Qualifier Announced – Fabian Delph, Jack Colback And Danny Rose All Called Up

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By Chris Wright

With Wayne Rooney officially installed as England's new skipper, Roy Hodgson has announced his squad for the upcoming friendly against Norway at Wembley on 3rd September and the opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland five days later.

It's horrible.

Snapshot: Al-Hilal Fans Produce Magnificent Tifo In Asian Champions League Quarter-Final

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By Alan Duffy

TheKing Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh looked incredible during Al-Hilal's quarter-final Asian Champions LEague clash with Qatar's Al-Sadd.

The game, watched by a capacity 63,500 crowd saw Salman Alfaraj score the only goal of the game to give the Saudi side a one-goal advantage going into next week'ssecond-leg.

15-Year-Old Sensation Martin Odegaard In Line To Become Norway’s Youngest Ever Player

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By Chris Wright

Having taken time out from looking afterhis Tamagotchi and blastingrad wheelies on his bike to rip up the Tippeligaen for the last couple of months, it now looks likeStromsgodset's teenage sensationMartin Odegaard is pretty much nailed-on to become Norway's youngest ever international player at the grand old age of 15.

Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben And Cristiano Ronaldo Shortlisted For UEFA Player Of The Year Gong

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By Alan Duffy

How many bloody awards are there these days in football!? Well, UEFA's dismally named "Best Player In Europe Award" for 2014 has thrown up the trio of World Cup winning sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer, World Cup diver Arjen Robbenand World Cup flopping muscle-Mary Cristiano Ronaldo as the players shortlisted for the award this year.

Football Vine: Claire Lavogez Nets Cracker For France At Women’s U20 World Cup

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By Alan Duffy

What a cracking goal this is. Claire Lavogez was the scorer for France vs. Costa Rica in the Women's U20 World Cup in Canada.

Lavogez bagged a brace in the game as Les Bleus strolled to a 5-1 win, with this strike on 38 minutes the best of the game.

Vine: Robyn

Snapshot: This Is How Holland Chose To Present Their New Management Team Of Hiddink, Blind & Van Nistelrooy…

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By Chris Wright

This is how the KNVB introduced the new management team in charge of the Dutch national side: have new coach Guus Hiddink, along with his assistants Danny Blind and Ruud van Nistelrooy, dress up all smart and then squeezethemselves onto a park benchin the middle of a forest somewhere.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Gives Olof Mellberg Rousing Send-Off As ‘Best Swedish Defender Ever’ Announces Retirement

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By Chris Wright

After 18 years spent shoring up defences for the likes of Aston Villa, Olympiakos, Juventus andVillarreal, veteran centre-half Olof Mellberg announced his retirement yesterday at the grand old age of 36 after agreeing to pulp his contract with FC Copehagen.

German World Cup-Winning Captain Philipp Lahm Retires From International Football With 113 Caps (Video)

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By Alan Duffy

He may be only 30-years-old, but Germany's World Cup winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to call time on quite a fantastic international career and focus on his club football with Bayern Munich. The full-back finishes with 113 caps, a haul only Lother Matthaus (150), Miroslav Klose (137) and Lukas Podolski (116) can better.

The 200% World Cup: The Final Word – Fun, Wasn’t it?

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It was a measure of how entertaining the 2014 World Cup finals were until then that the second-round tie between Argentina and Switzerland got such horrible reviews. No two hours of football containing 43 (count ‘em) attempts on goal should be completely written off, however putrid some of them were (hello, Josip Drmic).

The 200% World Cup: Brazil’s Chastening Evening

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It was a defeat that many had seen coming. Lacklustre in the group stages and a little fortunate in each of their two previous knockout matches, this had not been the Brazil team that the country had promised itself for this tournament. The nature of Brazil's capitulation at the hands of Germany last night, however, was a jolt to the system for everybody who witnessed it.