Young Kids Recreate Famous Soccer Photographs #BadBoysFC

From George Logan:

This was a personal project with photographer George Logan.

A series of lighthearted photos that recreate infamous footballing
moments, with kids. We wanted to ask whether a game that has
increasingly courted controversy over the years, with ever growing
salaries and celebrity lifestyles, is still creating the right role
models for Britain’s youth to copy.

What an idea! This guy has been getting a lot of press for these photographs and he deserves it. He took these pictures to convey a certain message and I could care less what that message is. I just find it hilarious seeing young kids recreating these pictures. The top picture is definitely the Mario Balotelli recreation. The real picture was ridiculous when it happened and it makes sense seeing a child recreate it. At least if a child had done it he could have been excused for his childish behavior. Mario Balotelli is just a child who never grew up.

h/t 8 by 8


Penalty Pressure with Müller, Gerrard, Suárez & Coentrão

Only the coolest can handle a penalty on the ultimate stage. Find out what it takes, from Thomas Müller, Steven Gerrard, Luis Suárez and Fabio Coentrão.

Penalties have the potential to be heartbreaking. In fact in New Jersey, the high school soccer state finals can end in a tie after overtime because (allegedly) they do not want games to end in penalty kicks because a player runs the risk of shouldering the blame of losing the game for his team if he misses a crucial penalty kick. Now of course professional sports finals can’t end with “co-champions” so penalty kicks are necessary. However, any player who has taken a penalty kick knows that they are not as easy as they look. You could take a million penalty kicks in practice but nothing can replicate the pressure of a penalty kick. That’s why there are only a few players on each team trusted with taking them. Steven Gerrard has buried a lot of penalty kicks in his career but if Jamie Carragher had taken those same penalties Liverpool’s record this past decade would have looked a lot different. At the end of the day, if you aren’t confident enough to take a penalty kick then don’t take it because by that point you have lot the most important part of the penalty kick battle, the mental battle.

Suarez Has Burned His Last Remaining Bridge


Source: Metro UK

Around this time last year there were rumors that Luis Suarez wanted to play in the Champions League. Could one blame him? To even the most casual fan it was obvious he was an immense talent who deserved the chance to play in the best soccer league on the world. When the rumors of interest from Real Madrid came there were some fans that felt maybe Luis Suarez deserved to leave.  Of course every Liverpool fan knew he was irreplaceable, and that without him Liverpool stood very little chance of making the Champions League; but in the world of sports there is no loyalty, so if Suarez was going to leave at least it was for one of the best clubs in the world willing to pay top dollar. Then Real Madrid’s interest tapered off and Arsenal came in with a low-ball offer specifically designed to trigger the release clause in Suarez’s contract, a release clause that should not have been public knowledge (Did Suarez’s camp tell Arsenal about the release clause?). When Suarez began to pressure the club to sell him to Arsenal the fans and ownership were in an uproar. Why would Liverpool sell their best player to a rival in their own league for less than he’s worth right before the end of the transfer deadline when he could not have been applicably replaced? The entire idea was ludicrous and it reflected poorly on Luis Suarez because he was trying to leave a club that had stood up for him doing his two suspensions and put them in a tight spot as he left. Thankfully for Liverpool, it kept Suarez at the club and they came in second place in the 2013/2014 season because of his goal-scoring prowess. Luis Suarez even signed a new contract and seemed to be happy with the club that had brought his career to new heights.

Then the season ended and the rumors began anew. Before the 2013/2014 season Luis Suarez dreamed of playing for Real Madrid and in the Champions League. Suddenly now it’s Barcelona, Spain that he has always wanted to play. According to people in Suarez’s camp he has always dreamed of living and playing in Barcelona because Sofia has family there. A reason that seems odd when he was willing to move to London last year. Once these rumors began it was obvious that Luis Suarez was not a man of his word. He would say anything to leave Liverpool. There may be no loyalty in professional soccer anymore but there should at least be honesty. The lies that Luis Suarez has been telling have finally made no doubt about his character and his intentions. Suarez was not done yet though. After spreading gasoline over his last remaining bridge at Liverpool he went out and bit Giorgio Chiellini and got suspended for four months. This meant that he would be unable to play for Liverpool till the end of October. Therefore, if he stayed at Liverpool they would be without their most prolific striker for two crucial months but if they sold him then his price would be driven down because of his suspension and proclivity for future suspensions. It is no wonder Liverpool refused to make a statement after the incident. The club and its fans are clearly tired of standing up for a player who shows no appreciation for them putting their reputation on the line. Make no mistake about it, Liverpool has a lot to lose by putting their respected reputation on the line, and they did it twice for him. Continue reading Suarez Has Burned His Last Remaining Bridge

Here Comes The Suarez Memes/Gear!!!

I’m a Liverpool fan and I love[d] Suarez but this incident is just too much. I understand it probably has a psychological element to it but I have to believe that he can control it somehow. What is even worse is that in the past few weeks there have been numerous rumors circulating about how he wants to leave Liverpool for Real Madrid and Barcelona and how it would be a dream move for him. Liverpool is the only club that has had his back through thick and thin and I bet they are tired of doing it. This incident definitely drives down his price and who knows if Barcelona, Real Madrid, or any team out there would be willing to pay the money they were willing to before this incident. Of course the internet responded in the only way it knows how, through memes:

Buy Shirt Here

Suarez Plays 1-v-1 Against Boy with Down Syndrome at Local Park

As a die hard Liverpool fan I have tried in vain to explain to soccer fans that Luis Suarez is not the villain he is depicted as. Sure his passion sometimes boil over and causes him trouble but deep down he is a genuine human being. This story proves my point. In the middle of the media maelstrom surrounding his biting of Ivanovic Luis suarez saw a 7 year old boy with Downs Syndrome playing with a Liverpool ball in the park and started playing one-on-one with him. The parents were worried at first until they realized that this strange man was none other than Luis Suarez. Sometimes we let ourselves get carried away by fitting soccer players into pre-defined archetypes that prevent us from seeing them as human beings with both positive and negative characteristics. Like Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho proved they are genuine people last week with their condolences to Shawn Kuykendall’s family and friends, so too does Luis Suarez with his random act of kindness towards this little boy. Read more about the story over at Soccerly who first reported the story.

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World Cup Betting Odds

For you hardcore soccer fans who cannot wait until Friday’s World Cup draw, here’s a little fodder to feed your World Cup appetite until then. Once the World Cup field was finalized following Uruguay’s victory over Jordan, oddsmakers wasted no time in setting the initial lines for various World Cup-related bets. The folks at were kind of to compile the betting lines from the most popular international betting websites (seen here). As I’m sure these lines will change after the groups are drawn on Friday, I’ll keep my comments brief.

Odds to Win

  • Brazil – 16:5
  • Germany – 5:1
  • Argentina – 11:2
  • Spain – 6:1
  • Belgium – 12:1

It comes as no surprise that Brazil, the host nation, winner of the 2013 Confederations Cup, and most successful country in World Cup history, is the early favorite to win the tournament. Soccer historians will note that a European team has never won a World Cup in South America, and it appear the oddsmakers have taken this into account. Interestingly enough, Spain is only given the fourth highest odds to win the World Cup, behind Germany and Argentina. I feel that I am as high on Belgium as anyone, and even I feel that 12:1 is too generous for them. Belgium’s last major tournament appearance came in South Korea at the 2002 World Cup, so none of their players, talented as they may be, have any experience playing at this stage. At 12:1 odds, I’d stay away from Belgium.

Other Notable Odds:

  • Mexico – 125:1
  • Chile – 33:1
  • Portugal – 28:1
  • Netherlands – 20:1

Now that Mexico has qualified for the World Cup, I believe 125:1 is a bargain for them. There are only about a dozen teams who are talented enough to realistically win the World Cup, and, despite their troubles during qualifying, Mexico is one of those teams, especially if Carlos Vela elects to suit up for El Tri in Brazil. If you are interested in taking a chance on a team to win outside of the favorites mentioned above, consider the next three bets. Chile is a sneakily good team lead by Alexis Sanchez who will be playing on their home continent and will earn a good payoff if they win the World Cup. Portugal, boasting the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, seem to be underrated given their difficulties in qualifying, but Ronaldo is talented enough to carry Portugal deep into the tournament. Finally, the Netherlands seems like a great bet at 20:1. There are few teams as talented as them, and their players have experience advancing to the World Cup finals. The Netherlands strikes me as the bet with the most value of any team.

Player of the Tournament

  • Lionel Messi -10:1
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 10:1
  • Franck Ribery – 16:1
  • Mesut Ozil – 16:1
  • Neymar – 16:1
  • Luis Suarez – 20:1
  • Andres Iniesta – 25:1
  • Sergio Aguero – 25:1
  • Robin Van Persie – 33:1

Looking at the list of player of the tournament candidates, Messi and Neymar jump out to me as the best bets. Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar are three of the best players in the world, are all extremely exciting, and capable of scoring goals. I think they are all likely to light up the tournament, but I see Argentina and Brazil making deeper runs into the tournament, which will propel Messi and Neymar to the forefront of the player of the tournament race. I’d personally steer clear of Ribery and Ozil at the odds listed above. I like Van Persie at 33:1, particularly if the Netherlands can pile on goals in the group stages and advance to the semi-finals in Brazil. I think Luis Suarez is primed for a big tournament so 20:1 seems fair to me for a player of his ability. Finally, I’m surprised Arjen Robben is not on the list. If he emerges as a candidate with 50+:1 odds, I would strongly consider betting on him. Also, look out for Oscar at 75+:1 odds.

Other Notable Odds

  • Germany to finish in the top three – 9:5
  • Brazil to win World Cup and Messi as Golden Boot – 33:1
  • Romelu Lukaku for Top Goalscorer – 28:1
  • Thomas Muller for Top Goalscorer – 25:1
  • Diego Costa for Top Goalscorer – 16:1
  • Luis Suarez for Top Goalscorer – 14:1

Unlike France or Italy, Germany consistently advances to the semi-finals of the World Cup and almost never flames out early in the group stages. Boasting one of their strongest teams in history, I like the 9:5 odds for Germany to finish in the top three. In one of the more obscure bets available, I believe the combination of Brazil winning the World Cup and Messi winning the Golden Boot is a steal at 33:1. Both events represent the most likely outcomes so 33:1 odds seems like strong value.

The remaining bets mentioned above relate to the top goalscorer of the tournament. I believe the four players listed above comprise the right combination of elements necessary to lead the tournament in scoring – capable of scoring many goals in the group stages, play for a team that will advance deep in the tournament, and are the team’s primary goalscoring threat. Lukaku is a risky pick, given his inexperience, but he seems like a prime candidate to break-out at the World Cup, and Belgium is a team that may score in bunches during the group stages if they are placed in a weaker group (which is likely since they are a seeded team). Muller has already scored many goals at the World Cup and is likely to be the main beneficiary of a potent German attack who has a history of lighting up the scoreboard at the World Cup. Costa is a unique selection since he has yet to play for Spain, but he could serve as the focal point of the Spanish national team in place of his aging teammate, David Villa, and his enigmatic compatriot, Fernando Torres. Costa fits the bill of a guy whose team it likely to advance far and of a player who will be supplied plenty of opportunities to score. Suarez, as mentioned above, is a supremely talented player who has experience in the World Cup and is the most prolific scorer not named Messi, Ronaldo, or Neymar so I like his odds as well.

Well, that is all for now. Hopefully, this satiates your World Cup appetite on Friday.


Luis Suárez Uncovered: the Liverpool striker on his difficult early years

The Guardian newspaper (UK) is releasing excerpt from the book Vamos Que Vamos written by Ana Laura Lissardy, a Uruguayan-Italian journalist and author, which contains life stories of some of the players from the Uruguayan national team who played in the South Africa World Cup in 2010. One of the first stories the Guardian is serializing is the life story of Luis Suarez and how he got to where he is today. This excerpt does a great job of humanizing Luis Suarez and helps explain, but not excuse, why he is as volatile as he is. This article is definitely worth reading and let’s hope the ones that follow are just as interesting. I’m curious to know more about Diego Forlan’s life as well.