Former German Goalkeeper Offered Professional Wrestling Contract By WWE

Above is Tim Wiese, former goalkeeper for Hoffenheim and the German international team. Surprisingly, he did not always look like that. In fact he had a normal build for the majority of his career, as pictured below.

According to Wiese, during the latter part of his career he became more and more stressed as he became a backup goalkeeper and as fans began to protest against him. These fans blamed Hoffenheim’s struggles on him. Therefore,

“Despite having a contract that ran until 2016, Wiese‚Äôs contract was mutually terminated in January this year, allowing the 32-year-old to concentrate on his new hobby. ‚ÄúI had to deal with all the negativity, and lifting weights is fun,‚ÄĚ he added.

Once he was out of his contract, he began to focus on bodybuilding which led him to transform into the massive giant you see in the picture at the beginning of this article. News of his exploits made its way to the offices of the WWE which has since offered him a contract to become a professional wrestler. At the moment Tim Wiese is mulling it over but he would be a fool to turn the offer down. From the looks of it he would be the perfect WWE villain.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/sep/16/tim-wiese-germany-goalkeeper-wwe-wrestling-offer

1860 Munich To Wear Jerseys For Oktoberfest Inspired By Traditional Bavarian Dress

I thought these gimmicky jersey’s were limited to minor league baseball teams in the US? Oktoberfest is an important part of German culture but there has to be a more subtle way they can honor the holiday. These¬†garish¬†jerseys are having the desired effect though, they are helping put 1860 Munich in the headlines alongside their more popular neighbors Bayern Munich. If only they could do so with their play instead of their weird jerseys.

Post World Cup Rankings Update

With the close of the 2014 World Cup comes the ending of the biggest International Soccer competition until Russia in 2018. ¬†This tournament caused the biggest movement of FIFA’s rankings until the next¬†major tournament, so these rankings should be relatively stable until CONMEBOL’s¬†Copa America (2015/2016) or UEFA’s Euro (2016). ¬†Copa America and Euro will of course result in changes, but only for certain regional confederations, whereas the World Cup helps and/or hurts every FIFA team in the world. ¬†Let’s get into these preliminary rankings, starting with the prediction for the new top 30:

Predicted rankings 14 July 2014
Predicted rankings 14 July 2014

Below is a chart showing how teams entered the World Cup Finals and how the final results moved them around:

Predicted Top 30 Changes
Predicted Top 30 Changes (ordered by pre-World Cup rankings)

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Given that Spain, England and Italy were all bumped from the tournament in the Group Stage, Spain fared quite well only dropping to number 8. ¬†Italy and England were not so lucky, falling to 18th and 25th respectively. ¬†The impressive tournament performance by CONCACAF teams advancing to the knockout stage (Mexico, USA and Costa Rica) only allowed Costa Rica to move up from 28th to 23rd. ¬†The United States dropped from 13th to 22nd and Mexico held at 20th. Those European teams that made it out of the Group Stage did quite well, especially the Netherlands (15th to 3rd), France (17th to 6th) and Belgium (11th to 5th). ¬†Of course, these are all predictions using the FIFA Prognosis Tool (better than WebMD) and will be either blown out of the water or confirmed come Thursday when FIFA is set to release their next rankings update. ¬†IF these predictions hold true, the highest ranked team that is not a member of UEFA or CONMEBOL is…Algeria, at 19th in the world. ¬†I’ll bet nobody called that one.

 

Check in after FIFA releases their new rankings this Thursday for a comparison of FIFA using FIFA math and my attempt at using FIFA math.

FIFA Rankings Update

FIFA won’t be officially updating the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings until after the World Cup Finals are over (July 17th to be exact). ¬†Here at the93rdminute, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to provide you with (approximate) updates to the World Rankings as the world progresses through the next four rounds of games. ¬†You might be saying, “How on Earth can those brilliant minds at the93rdminute, my favorite soccer blog, know what the rankings will be?!?!?” and the answer is…math! We are using the FIFA Ranking Prognosis Tool, which can be found here. Essentially, the tool allows you to calculate your favorite national squad’s possible ranking points by inserting the results of recent matches. ¬†For more on how the ranking points are determined, see here.

Below you can see the top 30 teams before the World Cup, with their estimated ranking points after the group stage.

As of 26 June 2014
As of 26 June 2014

The next image displays the newly ordered rankings, which has Colombia taking over first place and not surprisingly Spain falling off the top of the mountain.

As of 26 June 2014
As of 26 June 2014

There are a few surprises with how the math works out, like the USA dropping two spots and losing ranking points, Brazil barely staying in the top 10, and England and Italy plummeting. ¬†Although J√ľrgen and the boys advanced to the knockout stage, they only managed a win against Ghana, the worst ranked team in the group. ¬†A draw against Germany or a win against Portugal would have been a net gain of 50-100 ranking points, putting the Yanks near the top 10! ¬†Math is crazy, I know. ¬†Brazil played a relatively weak group (Mexico, Croatia and Cameroon ranked 20th, 18th, and 56th respectively) and didn’t exactly blow them all out of the water. As for England and Italy, they have had better group stage experiences that is for sure.

We will be updating this after every round (or more often) throughout the World Cup and see how it compares to the official rankings in a few weeks. Keep coming back to the93rdminute for all your FIFA-related mathematical skepticism!

Gedion Zelalem: Next USMNT Star?

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Gedion Zelalem.

Not many people outside of the fan-bases of Arsenal and the German National Youth squad have heard the name. ¬†At only 16 years old – soon to be 17 on Sunday – Zelalem, along with a number of national team managers, will be hoping to catch a glimpse of the youngster’s talents as he is set to potentially partake in this afternoon’s FA Cup match for Arsenal. ¬†He has yet to play for the Gunner’s senior squad since he was signed at ripe age of 14 – aside from a few appearances in Arsenal’s preseason Asia Tour this past summer.

However, the little people saw of him in Asia was still enough to create excitement about the future of Arsene Wenger’s latest wonderkid. ¬†Hailed at the Emirates as the “next Fabregas” (not even Ozil has received such accolades), the promising midfielder certainly displays the innate ability to pick the perfect pass – likened to Cesc as he was making his way up the Arsenal ranks at a similar age. ¬† ¬†After watching his brief skills video, he certainly displays impeccable control and a calmness while in possession of the ball that most 16-and-under players do not.

Now, how does he fit in the USA National team conversation you ask? ¬†It turns out, despite his allegiance to Germany’s U-16 squad, Zelalem will have a tough decision in the near future as he is eligible for a trio of international teams . ¬†His parents are both Ethiopian, where he would be eligible to declare his national squad allegiance. ¬†The Ethiopian coach is hoping he chooses his family heritage and plays for the African side in the coming future. ¬†In addition, since being born in Berlin, Germany where he and his family resided until age 8, Gedion has the option of continuing his climb up the ranks and into the German Senior National team.

His USA roots are also documented.  From age 9 until 15, his family lived in Washington where he even participated in training with the USA U-15 squad.  He was limited to strictly training with the team as he was only considered a permanent resident of the USA and not a citizen.  USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has personally contacted the player to try to sway his decision towards the Yanks.

Should he declare for the USMNT, it could be the creative boost the US needs to propel them even further up the world ranks. ¬†Even if he remotely resembles a player the caliber of Cesc Fabregas, the US have never had the likes of such player in their squad. ¬†Donovan, Bradley and Dempsey are all very good midfielders and the best the US has seen; however, Zelalem – should he live up to his potential – would be the most creative US player ever. ¬†Right now, the US lacks that special player who creates goals for others who, in turn, makes the players around him better – think Fabregas, Ozil, Iniesta, or even what Mario Gotze did for Borussia Dortmund. ¬†Yes, Michael Bradley is the closest player to this currently, but most of the USA’s goals are still set-pieces and individual one-on-one efforts (ex. Donovan). ¬†Throw in any of the players mentioned above to the US team now and it’s hard not to dream of the possibilities.

It’s difficult for US fans to forget the “potential” of Freddy Adu at about the same age. ¬†However, as far-fetched as Zelalem becoming world-class for the USMNT seems, Arsene Wenger has nurtured similar talents while bringing up Fabregas and, most recently, Jack Wilshere through the Arsenal ranks. ¬†Therefore, the biggest question at this point is probably not in the player’s ability, but more with the fact that he has to choose the USMNT over Germany – a national team who is constantly among the World Cup favorites and Ethiopia – while not a football powerhouse, is still where his family heritage began. ¬†At this point, the best we can do is hope Jurgen can recruit the kid and then worry about fulfilling his potential down the road.

Below is one of his YouTube highlight videos which shows clips mainly from the four matches he was apart of during Arsenal’s preseason tour. ¬†Despite all the variables, it’s hard not picturing him playing for the stars and stripes. ¬†But as a Gooner, I’m also excited to see him in regular season action this afternoon.