Football Champions

Amp

Spain vs Paraguay was nice and controlled for most of the game, with Spain passing and Paraguay defending, and me expecting penalty kicks. But then it came to life between the 58th and 60th minutes, when both teams had a penalty saved by the opposition keeper, and everyone woke up.

First Gerard Pique gave Paraguay a penalty by trying to pull Oscar Cardozo’s arm off in the 58th minute:

But a clearly nervous Cardozo took the spot kick himself, and saw it saved Iker Casillas.

From there Spain went up to the other end of the field where Antolin Alcaraz… Continue reading

Portugal looked equal to Spain for much of this game, and had their share of chances. Cristiano Ronaldo had a couple of strikes at Iker Casillas, and there was a moment where Tiago’s shot forced Casillas into a weak parry that almost allowed Hugo Almeida to beat him to the rebound. But only almost.

The longer the game went on, the more possession Spain seemed to have. Pass, pass, pass. Yet Portugal’s defence – unbreached in the group stage, even against Brazil – was a securely closed door. Secure that is until Andres Iniesta and Xavi unpicked the lock with… Continue reading

There are two absolutes in football:

i. The ball is round. ii. Pele is wrong about everything.

So if you’ve filled out your bracket, get ready to cringe. And if you have’t…what’s wrong with you?Pele has spoken on his feelings regarding this World Cup, and in the process put the Pele hex on a couple of teams dominating brackets:

“At the moment, we have Spain in Europe and Brazil in South America. They are the two best teams — no doubt.”

Everybody and their sister has Brazil and Spain somewhere in or near the final it seems, but… Continue reading

If you’re a Netherlands fan, then you’re going to like this. Even if you’re not, you’ll probably think it’s still a bit good, and wish your team could have one. Dutch design students Bas van de Poel and Daan van Dam have created a reversible Netherlands shirt, with the face of a celebrating player on the inside.

So if you’re wearing one of these when the player scores you just lift the front of the shirt over your head and suddenly you’re wearing that player’s celebrating face. Which sounds a little bit serial killer, but actually looks superb. Here’s how… Continue reading

That goal? Surely not. Many forget that Maradona didn’t take one off after his dazzling heroics and choice words from the English in ‘86. In between the quarterfinal of legend against England and final against West Germany, there was a semifinal against Belgium. Sure, Belgium has scraped through twice by the very skin of their teeth and Maradona’s Argentina was Maradona’s Argentina, but one doesn’t make a World Cup semifinal entirely undeserved. (We know, England.)

Meanwhile eight years after Maradona’s Goal of the Century, Saudi Arabia’s Saeed Al-Owairan did the very same – from much deeper in the pitch. Both… Continue reading

FIFA News

Two-time FIFA World Player of the Year and FIFA World Cup winner Ronaldinho has retired from professional football, bringing to an end a two-decade career on the pitch adorned with medals, trophies an [read]

Trinidad and Tobago will be the setting for the ninth edition of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship, which begins on Thursday, with three places at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup up for [read]

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 moved a step closer on Wednesday 17 January, with the announcement of the match schedule. [read]

In the hunt to win the first ever MLS Cup, New York Red Bulls have already made a new signing – two-time Grand Finalist Michael Labelle. [read]

As they chase a first FIFA Women's World Cup in the wake of humbling two-time champions Germany, Iceland are reaping the benefits of significant FIFA Forward-supported investment. FIFA.com hears [read]

Having evolved from a supreme penalty box poacher to a recognisable sports broadcaster and social media heavyweight, we sat down with former England striker Gary Lineker to talk FIFA World Cup memorie [read]

Argentina star Angel Di Maria speaks with www.sc.qa (the website of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for delivering the infrastructure and host country operations [read]

Former Dutch international and current FIFA Chief Officer for Technical Development Marco van Basten speaks to FIFA.com ahead of the Fifth FIFA Executive Football Summit in Amsterdam. [read]

Captain of the USSR team at Sweden 1958, who also scored the Soviets' first ever goal in FIFA's most prestigious competition, Nikita Simonyan speaks with FIFA.com to revisit the World Cup 60 [read]