You knew it was happening: there's an animal involved in the Champions League Final. After Paul the 'Pus caused a mild ruckus in Germany in particular, it should come as no surprise that Wembley's civil war will feature another majestic creature. Next up for its 15 minutes is Nelly the elephant, who predicts Bayern will win.
Jurgen Klopp just might be the best thing in football right now. His team is a collection of progressive, brilliantly gifted youngsters, the quality belying their age, but play just like one would expect of kids who should be on their way into the real world, and his enthusiasm often matches theirs.
There's every chance you've seen it, even beyond and football sites. Were this anything but a match against Moldoba, this is a foul which could incite wars.
Taras Stepanenko, soon-to-be-suspended member of the Ukrainian national team, leaps in to attempt to win the ball. In one of football's finest displays of dichotomy of intent versus action, he cleats the opponent in the face with full force.
Despite knowing nothing about the situation being mentioned surrounding Anfield, this is a wonderful series of photos put together by The Guardian. Apparently these are the remnants of Liverpool's practice of buying up property around Anfield:
In the mid-90s Liverpool began buying houses around their Anfield ground and leaving them empty, with the intention of expanding the stadium.
The above advertisement was thrown up near Stamford Bridge. They weren't poking fun at Fernando Morientes in the senior leagues, either.
Fortunately for Torres, the ad board was illegal and has been removed. Roman Abramovich is currently attempting to determine whether or not the same action can be taken against Fernando himself, or if he can actually buy that burger van and employ Fernando there.
At no point are Harlem Shake videos condoned, but anything with Dimitar Berbatov acting as Dimitar Berbatov gets the nod. Fulham did their own version of the movement which has consumed YouTube, and Dimitar is just, well...he's just himself.
But he's also a talented artist, somewhat falling in line with his on-field persona.
Italian comedy show La Iene sent an emissary to Paris to ask for the autographs of some PSG stars. Only the photos were Photoshopped with the player's head on the body of another man. Doing things with yet another man. They're not flattering, no.
It's in Italian, but the reactions from the players are good enough without speaking the language.
David Beckham made his Paris St Germain debut in a cameo appearance against Marseille yesterday and he actually impressed. Having completed possibly the most photographed warm-up routine in the history of world football, the former England captain came on as a 76th minute substitute for Javier Pastore with the score at 1-0.
After departing their title celebrations, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Robin Van Persie all hopped in a cab. A blue cab. Etihad decided to use the photo in an ad in the Manchester Evening and everybody comes out looking like winners; Etihad for its humor and Manchester United for, well, actually being the winners.
Every single club should attempt one of these challenges. Probably. There's a bit of appeal in making someone like Wayne Rooney, one of the most gifted players on the planet, look like a fool. But watching, say, Momo Sissokho attempt to volley blind and somehow managed to murder a child standing off camera probably has less appeal to the mass public.
This weekend will see the official unveiling of the caxirola, Brazil's answer to the vuvuzela their own official instrument/soundtrack to the 2014 World Cup. Because taking the most annoying thing about the World Cup in South Africa and constructing their own is a brilliant idea.
On Sunday, Vitoria will take on Bahia, where the 'instrument' will gets its official unveiling.
This is brilliant. Less the fact that Neymar has his own comic strip now and more the potential for its plot lines when he's successfully ripped from the bosom of his beloved Santos by a big overseason club after Brazil 2014 or so. The already published at least it appears - A Boy Who Avoids the Evil Thieves of Europe is a very solid head start.
Two of the best teams to have graced not only La Liga but the world football stage are undoubtedly are the 'first' galacticos of Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola's Barcelona team of recent years. But which team exactly boasted the best possible squad? Starting with Real, huge fortunes were spent on the likes of Luis [.
Given the holy surroundings of Argentina's two greatest footballing products, Diego Maradona (having inspired the Church of Maradona) and Lionel Messi (the linear nature of Messiah and all), Pope Francis, also of Argentina and a fan of San Lorenzo, was bound to kick the internets into action. He did indeed, even inspiring some of Argentina's print editions.
This wins, hands down, for the best YouTube "highlight reel" in football history. (Alright, it's close.) How many wo/man hours go into this sort of art? Is it as laborious as it seems or when you're good, you're just good?
The only gripe is they forgot to separate each highlight with a scene of Ronaldinho partying at a club.
Lassi Hurskainen is the Finnish goalie who played collegiate soccer in America, but became (internet) famous for his trick shot videos which made it to YouTube. Which makes him more successful than nearly any other player from a US college, but that's neither here nor there.
The validity of those videos has been called into question.
A Welsh fisherman named Andrew Cassidy has been, err, discovered in Pembrokeshire. The guy cannot be less than 300 pounds, yet moves like a majestic creature in the afternoon with nothing but his little red ball.
There's bound to be a photo of him at a svelte 160 lb young footballer surfacing on the internet shortly, proving the old adage, "Form is temporary, class is forever, especially when that form is a geometric shape.
While shooting some video in Castellammare di Stabia, near Napoli, this week, someone caught a nun playing football with a little boy. Given the location and the fact that she's pretty decent, this has elicited comparisons to Maradona. Because a woman of God is begging to be associated with someone who's known as much for his drug use, womanizing and gluttonous lifestyle as he is his prowess as a footballer.
What began as a harmless he said, they said between Goran Pandev and FIFA has become a somewhat bigger deal today with FIFA covering its tracks and Goran Pandev calling them out on altering the results of an award. That award is the FIFA World Coach of the Year, won by Vicente Del Bosque.
If we've learned anything over the last week, it's that the playing conditions in Kazakhstan are often subpar. They look like a recreation of the film The Perfect Storm, really lots of deep water, swirling winds, and eventually, the combination of the two. (That's next week.)
So the football leagues of Kazakhstan probably lack a sort of top tier landscaping crew. No one's watering the grass with unicorn tears, trimming it blade-by-blade with diamond encrusted shears blessed by Martha Stewart, and the drainage system is probably lacking. Lacking, non-existent...same thing.
The people who whip up these fancy second-tier finals (UEFA. They're called UEFA.) concocted a nice little PR thingamajig by pairing one fan from Benfica and one fan from Chelsea with a top notch freestyler in a race through Amsterdam to the Arena. They would hope to determine a winner through various stuns and what-nots.
Fans of Rapid Wien took unhappiness with the club's performances to the next level. The eighth level, to be exact those eight levels of bricks sit in front of the entrance to the club's offices, placed there by fans of the club. Blockading the club's offices is a pretty good way of voicing one's dissent, really.
Nike really has done some incredible videos in the recent past. Their campaign with the Dutch national team over the last years was excellent, and the Guy Ritchie first-hand cam in which we get into the eyes of a superstar was top drawer as well. They've just signed a deal with Roma and their initial offering is an introspective look ahead of the Coppa Italia final, which happens to be a derby.
He got fat. He got skinny. Now he's slightly fluffy again. But it doesn't matter, because the skills haven't faded and he can still move for a big man. In a friendly in Brazil he put on the boots and darted past the statue in defense while finishing deftly with his left. The tank's not empty, so get this man a contract.
Hokeun Choi is an artist/designer from Seoul, South Korea with a love for football. And it's brilliant. And it's really just brilliant. And you should just click on this list and cycle through all his pretty things.
He seems to be a rather big fan of The Original Ronaldo, which leaves me wondering: are those his lips in the gun handle above?
Arguably the best goal you'll see from a teen the name's Sebastian Driussi this year. Probably the best goal you'll see this month. Possibly the most spectacular failed save in an under-17 match in some time, too.
But definitely a question as to whether the Argentina goalkeeper is actually Lionel Messi's older brother.
This footage, several levels below "I swear it's a UFO!" home VHS, is amazing for the simple fact that it provides a description of what the hell happened beforehand. The creator deserves a high-five for this alone.
The keeper saving a penalty and scoring a goal on the resulting boot is pretty damn impressive too.
There are plenty of claims for Luis Suarez simply being misunderstood. It might be true. What is definitely true is that he does some pretty stupid stuff from time to time and even more in-between which has seen some of football's better suspensions over the last few years.
A German filmmaker was tumbling through some archive footage from seven years ago when he came upon some reel of a precocious young child at a youth tournament he was covering for an eventual documentary. The kid, 17 years old and in the youth setup for Schalke, appeared to be so promising the filmmaker focused on him for a little bit.
Who would've thought that in a match featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, the best backheel would come from someone at the bottom end of the La Liga table? Probably a lot of people. Because that's just how things work sometimes.
Nevertheless, in what seems like it was probably an excellent game 3-3 draw with a late, 93rd minute Portuguese equalizer by Fabio Coentrao the cannoned Greek goal was cannoned into the net by Eden Ben Basat after a fancypants backheel flick by Tomer Hemed.
After Diego Milito went down, Inter went scouring the globe for an established striker without a contract in the hopes that he would never have to play, simply exist as a warm body...just in case. They brought in John Carew for a trial, seemingly ready to give him a contract. He failed the medical, however, and he was jettisoned back to Norway.
This is less mass brawl than some kind of psychological experiment. In the Qatari Star League, Nene positively hammers Houssain Kharja in the head for using his shoulder as a steering device. Kharja then calmly does absolutely nothing but tattle to the referee. Seven seconds later, he's escalated to an enraged flying Bruce Lee homage which will see him suspended for a solid length of time, along with Nene.
Way too often goalkeepers are likened to cats for making routine saves with the ball buried right into their chest cavity. This goalkeeper has true feline skills. You know, because it's a real cat and all. More, this cat doesn't just save the ball, but it also has phenomenal technique. But can it handle crosses into the box?
It might not be the Harlem Shake, but anything's better than that right now. Maybe the Lebanese Referee Scamper could become the latest global trend. All it requires it running around while people attempt to bitch slap you. And thus a meme was born. See? Easy.
They're not exactly going to be looking for prizefighters on Lebanese pitches anytime soon, are they?