As the world's most important soccer blog with "Futfanatico" in the URL, everyday my email inbox is flooded with folks who want to pay money to be published at this site. Prestige. Page rank. Blow. Being published at Futfanatico is a doorway to all of these things. Earthly riches beyond your comprehension.
FIFA was back in the news this week, which almost always means a good hearty laugh followed by a sustained period of crying.
This week, we found out that the report conducted by American investigator Michael Garcia into the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was, in fact, a practical joke.
It turns out the feds - both the FBI and IRS - have been looking into worldwide soccer corruption for a time now, with former US Soccer/CONCACAF/FIFA exec Chuck Blazer as a major informant. It is not a source of personal pride that I've shared a meal with this man, that I have been through the FIFA campus and buildings in Zürich.
Ladies and gentleman, get out your brooms and lift up your rugs, because it looks like the best we will get out of FIFA's internal investigation over the selection of Qatar as World Cup 2022 hosts is a "statement" from the governing body in a couple weeks. So sayeth the white-washer.And the best part of FIFA's stated reason for keeping the findings of this investigation secret?
For many people, whilst football has continued to grow around the world, one thing still seems to be shrouded in mystery. How do you bid to host the World Cup? As viewing figures continue to grow across the world, the games global reach now spans everywhere from South Korea to Ghana, from Qatar to Belgium and FIFA has responded by taking the competition to new territories.
It seems that the ramifications of the FIFA vote in December 2010 to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar are still being felt across the football world. Whilst there was no denying it was a left field decision by the executive committee, it wasn't as if the Middle East had never held a sporting event previously.
So, after the obligatory hoo-haa in Moscow, the powers-that-be in FIFA revealed the emblem for the 2018 World Cup, and very, very red it is too. Indeed, to me it looks like a very shy duck, but it's still quite cool!
And while we're at it, here's a look back at the all the previous World Cup emblems which is quite nice!
It wasn't an empty threat. And it certainly wasn't a joke. 40 of the top international world players have made good on a threat to take legal action against FIFA for its use of artificial turf in next year's Women's World Cup.
FIFA can no longer ignore the campaign of Abby Wambach and other women's players from across the soccer landscape, as the group filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Ontario tribunal court against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA).
A German inspection agency has come to the conclusion that the now famous vanishing spray used during 2014 World Cup matches contains parabens, a chemical linked with health issues. The agency, Technischer Überwachungs-Verein (TueV), issued a statement on the concern saying, "In its present form, the product is not usable in Germany and the European Union.
Last batch of those recent LD quotes: One match for the national team that you consider a signature match? Signature match? I'd probably pick two. One was against Germany in the ‘02 World Cup. I think I played well, except for not scoring. And two, I think would be the ‘09 semifinal against Spain.
Since Landon Donovan's final USMNT game is Friday night in East Hartford, CT, it's time to talk about legacies. Yes, the well will certainly run dry on this topic in short order, but before it goes as bare as the Aral Sea, examining Landon's legacy is important. Whether he is the best player to ever represent the Stars and Stripes is debatable.
BILD: Striker set for cheap Arsenal transfer in January - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Lukas Podolski's nightmare at Arsenal may be soon coming to an end. One of the most reliable sources in Germany, BILD, has reported today that the striker will be allowed to leave the Emirates Stadium in January for a startlingly low price of€5 million in January.
Sepp Blatter: Mistake to give Lionel Messi 2014 World Cup's Golden Ball - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
Yes, you read that headline right. I mean, I still don't know how to react to it. Ok, let me relay the story first. The FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said that it was a mistake to give Argentine superstar Lionel Messi the 'Golden Ball' award in the 2014 World Cup, and that Germany goal keeper Manuel Neuer should have got the award instead.
Why Iker Casillas Should Not Longer Be Spain's Number 1 - originally posted on Soccerlens.com
The Real Madrid sidesince the turn of the milleniumhas seen multiple changes. Big-name managers and players have come and gone, and the glory days have vacillated too. The same can be said for the Spanish national side as well.
Now that I've entered this odd nether region between a blogger and free-lancer, you've seen my writing pop up at several sites around the webs. As you may have suspected, unlike at Futfanatico, those posts get edited by a person and I get paid. That's created a dynamic where I pitch ideas to editors, some of which they like, some they don't.
After decades of darkness, soccer has grabbed a solid foothold in the US. In recent times, more and more fans have grown enamored of the beautiful game. However, many have only seen the game on TV. They have questions about what to do and what not to do when going to games. Some harbor preconceived stereotypes and prejudices.
Spanish-language television station Telemundo has announced that they will be broadcasting the 2018 FIFA World Cup here in the United States. The NBCUniversal Television Group station will be taking over the U.S. Spanish-language World Cup broadcasting rights from Univision. Not only will Telemundo be airing the world's largest soccer tournament four years from now, but they will also begin broadcasting additional FIFA soccer events starting in 2015.
Landon Donovan (leftover quotes from when I spoke to him before his final international game)
Assuming you don't score against Ecuador, goals against Mexico will bookend your international career. Yeah, that's a good story. Could you speak on that - and also, were you watching when Mexico was on the brink of elimination from the World Cup last year?
Less than an hour from now, the USWNT will kick off against Mexico for a berth in Women's World Cup 2015. Even with Alex Morgan out injured, it is not quite the line-up one might expect. - Greg Seltzer
According to a study conducted by the good people at the University of Colorado Boulder, footballers with wider faces are more likely genetically speaking to score more goals than players with pathetic, weedy little thin faces.
Researchers analysed the facial constructs of 1,000 players from each of the 32 nations which took part at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, measuring each player's "facial-width-to-height ratio" (FWHR) i.
Arsenal's injured schemer Mesut Ozil picked up a "Sport For Good" prize last night at the annual Laureus awards following his decision to pay for23 Brazilian children to have life-saving surgery this summer.
The midfielder, who has somewhat struggled to find his best form with the Gunners as well as having to deal with a messy court case involving his own father this week, explained his decision to donate his World Cup-winning bonus to the seriously ill kids, saying:
"We had the idea to help 23 children, because we had 23 players in the squad.
It's every Englishman's dream to be the person who leads their country to World Cup success from the pitfalls of despair to the tears of joy and open-top bus parade around Central London. If you aren't one of the managers of the big boys this dream will also be an impossible reality. However for Mike Bassett, this becomes his reality.
This past weekend, the Brazilian national team beat Argentina 2-0 in a friendly in Beijing. With players based in Europe and South America, why on Earth did they travel so far to play one another? After all, the two countries are neighbors on the same continent. The simple answer is, of course, money.
You shall once again find my writing far from home the lovely soccer TV show Soccer Gods (Mondays at 10 on the Fusion channel) has a corresponding site which has graciously agreed to host my slightly edited brainfarts on Mexican soccer. This is a regular thing. No, we're not married but we're very canny about our Facebook relationship status.
Andreas Brehme was an intrinsic part of the Germany team that won the World Cup in 1990 having scored the winning goal in the final against Argentina, though it would appear that life for the former Bayern Munich left-back is far less salubrious these days.
According to reports in the German press, Brehme got himself into considerable debt after retiring from active duty last working in football during a short, ill-fated stint asGiovanni Trapattoni's assistant at VfB Stuttgart in 2005.
As you may well recall, Christoph Kramer got himself well and truly knocked into the middle of next week during the World Cup Final after a brutal collision with Argentina'sEzequiel Garay.
Kramer was knocked unconscious for several moments after colliding head-first with Garay's shoulder, though was eventually allowed to play on after being assessed by the medics on duty until being taken off in the 31st minute after his teammates noticed theBorussia Mönchengladbach man was visibly doolally.