Dirty Tackle

  • (RealMadridShop.com)

    At this point, it's almost a foregone conclusion that Tottenham will sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a record-breaking amount of money. But with Real honoring club legend Raul with Thursday's Trofeo Bernabeu match against Al Sadd, the climax of the Bale circus was briefly put on hold so the spotlight could be placed on Raul. Except someone at the club's official online shop ruined that noble plan by accidentally listing "11 Bale" as a category in the "shop by player" section of the site.

    Of course, this might not be confirmation of Bale's imminent arrival at Real Madrid to claim the vacant No. 11 shirt. It could be a hack or an employee jumping to conclusions or a manifestation of Gareth Bale's desperation to join the club, but it's there. Until someone frantically removes it.

    Previously: Real Madrid prematurely create profile for Luka Modric

    Read More »from Real Madrid’s official online shop prematurely names Gareth Bale on squad list
  • Cruzeiro's Everton Ribeiro helped his side to a 2-1 lead over Flamengo in the first leg of their Copa do Brasil round of 16 tie with a that would make Ronaldinho proud (if he didn't play for rivals Atletico-MG). With Cruzeiro already up 1-0, Ricardo Goulart saved the ball from going out (or didn't?) with an off-balance but perfectly placed pass to Everton, who lobbed the ball over the defender's head to set himself up for a volley that left the goalkeeper flat-footed. Globo clocked the shot at 94.2 km/h (58.5 mph).

    The whole sequence couldn't have been more perfectly executed and the goal would prove to be the difference as Flamengo went on to score their only goal in the 68th minute. But the best part of the whole thing was the reporter who chased Everton down and held a microphone in his face like he was trying to feed it to him while he celebrated.

    Read More »from Cruzeiro’s Everton Ribeiro scores with spectacular sombrero volley
  • While most European managers attack referees after the final whistle with their sharp tongues, a youth coach in Tehran chose the more direct approach of using his fists.

    Earlier this week, the man officiating a tie between two Iranian youth teams irked one of the coaches with a few contentious decisions. The tiny manager—seen in the video above in the tiny green shirt—started a verbal slanging match and was duly sent off.

    His temper hadn't settled by full-time, as he stormed back onto the pitch to confront the ref, who immediately reacted by shoving his angry assailant. This started a Peter Griffin and the Chicken-style brawl, which carried on off the pitch, down the tunnel and under the stands...

    Read More »from DTotD: Iranian youth team coach brawls with referee
  • Poker face. (Getty)

    Arsenal beat Fenerbahce 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League playoff, throwing a bit of cold water on the criers and irate finger pointers who were in full meltdown mode after their loss to Aston Villa last weekend. But whatever positive reinforcement the much needed win provided was dented by manager Arsene Wenger's post-match comments. Instead of showing his many doubters that he sees the light and knows what must be done, he just provided more fuel for his growing number of critics.

    First, Wenger admitted that "there is absolutely no chance" of Arsenal signing Luis Suarez. Which is hardly surprising. But then the man who has only made one signing all summer (a 20-year-old free transfer) and lost his first match of the new season with an injury depleted side once again showed that he's living in a fantasy land where the eight trophyless years for Arsenal haven't happened.

    "Quality-wise we don't need anybody but number-wise we are short," Wenger said, apparently with a

    Read More »from Arsene Wenger compares transfer market to poker, says he’s not good at poker
  • Neymar scores first Barcelona goal in Spanish Super Cup

    Neymar made an unassuming competitive debut at the Camp Nou as a 63rd minute substitute in Barcelona's 7-0 win against Levante, but just three days later he again came off the bench and this time made a quick impact. With Barca trailing Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup thanks to an early David Villa revenge goal, Neymar again came off the bench, this time in the 59th minute. And he promptly scored an equalizer, his first goal for Barca, just seven minutes later.

    Dani Alves found his countryman with a looping cross that set up Neymar to head it in on the far side of the goal.

    That was the good news for Barca. The bad news was that Lionel Messi was taken off at halftime, apparently for thigh/hamstring injury. But that's the scary thing about Barcelona now. Even when Messi's not there, Neymar is ready to strike.

    Read More »from Neymar scores first Barcelona goal in Spanish Super Cup
  • David Villa quickly scores with beautiful volley against Barcelona

    Barcelona sold off 31-year-old David Villa to Atletico Madrid for a paltry €5 million just three seasons after paying €4o million to acquire him. It didn't take long for Villa to punish Barca even further for letting him go, as he scored with an incredibly skillful volley in just the 12th minute of the Spanish Super Cup first leg.

    Before the match, it was all love as Villa got a few kisses from his former teammates. But it takes a lot more than some shows of affection to keep David Villa from scoring goals on you...

    Read More »from David Villa quickly scores with beautiful volley against Barcelona
  • As if Arsenal weren't already banged up enough (both physically and in the morale department), Laurent Koscielny took a boot to the face in the 30th minute of the first leg of their Champions League playoff against Fenerbahce. Pierre Webo was shown a yellow card for the high kick as Koscielny attempted to head the ball. The bloodied Arsenal defender had to leave the match because, well, he got kicked in the head.

    This came after a restless night in which Fener supporters lit flares and made noise outside Arsenal's hotel. Which was still a much friendlier reception than they've been getting at the Emirates lately.

    Read More »from DTotD: Laurent Koscielny gets kicked in the face by Fenerbahce player
  • Football manager in coma opens his eyes when told his team won

    (@BathSport)

    A football manager who spent a week in an induced coma after a devastating car accident opened his eyes when his wife told him that his team won their first match of the season.

    According to the Bath Chronicle, Larkhall Athletic manager Wayne Thorne suffered a ruptured artery, 16 crushed ribs and shattered his hip and pelvis in the accident which happened while he was driving home from his day job as a kitchen fitter. But his wife Mandy credits news of Larkhall's 4-3 win in their first match of the Western Football League Premier Division season for the physical response.

    From the Guardian:

    Mrs Thorne tweeted: "We have told Wayne the score & when Gaz said Lyno scored he opened his eyes."

    Doctors told her that her husband was lucky to be alive. "Football and sport and being active, that has been his life, so when he was in his coma we were told to talk to him," Mrs Thorne said.

    "On the first Saturday Larkhall had a game and me and his brother told him the score and he opened his eyes.

    Read More »from Football manager in coma opens his eyes when told his team won
  • Harlem Gnohere (right) not looking all that fat.

    It's often hard for fans and commentators to to remember that footballers are people too, and not just fictional characters that solely exist for their amusement and derision. RTL Belgium's Stephane Pauwels had one of these moments during Charleroi's 2-1 loss to KV Kortrijk last weekend when he told viewers that French striker Harlem Gnohere (known as "Bison") was "Fat as a pig. He is 15 kilograms too heavy and he's going nowhere."

    Gnohere took offense to the comment, especially since it was said on a television broadcast, so he consulted a lawyer and decided to stand up for himself while also trying to bring some good out of the situation.

    From Reuters:

    In a statement from the club on Wednesday, Gnohere demanded that any apology should be made in public. He said he would drop potential charges if Pauwels also made a sizeable donation to a children's charity.

    Pauwels has since responded by saying on Twitter: "Harsh, yes, that's football. OK, I should have said 'a few too many kilos'.

    Read More »from French footballer demands apology, charitable donation for being called ‘fat as a pig’ on TV
  • Newly promoted Ukrainian Premier League side Sevastopol faced Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on Saturday night, but the ultras behind the goal were not the most welcoming of hosts.

    As Dnipro attacked in the 55th minute, the rowdy fans orchestrated a mass shower of flares and seats, all of which somehow managed to avoid seriously injuring the players. The supporters weren't trying to help their own defense by making it difficult for Dnipro to score, but were protesting against their own club director Viktor Moskvitina.

    Read More »from Ukrainian ultras throw flares and seats on the field while away team attacks their goal
  • (Getty)

    Wigan defender Leon Barnett scored a 90th-minute equalizer to complete a second-half comeback from 2-0 down against Doncaster. Barnett, who has now scored twice in three games this season to bring his career total to 10, celebrated his timely contribution by channeling Hulk Hogan and tearing open his shirt to either express his fierce and overwhelming joy or his powerful discontent with shirt sponsor 12Bet.

    Of course, once the moment faded and it was time to resume the match, Barnett was left with a bit of a problem...

    Read More »from Wigan’s Leon Barnett scores late equalizer, celebrates with intense shirt rip
  • Though he's only 22, Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann has already scored a number of wonderful goals in his career, but none as special on a personal level as the one he scored against Lyon on Tuesday. With Real Sociedad visiting the club he supported as a boy for the first leg of their Champions League playoff, Griezmann was determined to make the most of the occasion. And he did that with a spectacular scissor kick to put Sociedad up 1-0 in the 17th minute.

    Before the match, he explained what the experience meant to him. From UEFA.com:

    "For me, Lyon has been my club since I was a kid," he said. "I used to come to see all the Champions League matches here with my father. Seen from Spain, Lyon are a club that counts, a historic club.

    "The moment I stepped on the Stade de Gerland pitch, I felt a lot of emotions," Griezmann added. "I even pointed out the spots in the stands where I used to sit. I can't wait until I put my boots on tomorrow. But there's no feeling of revenge: I just want to play. This will be my first competitive match in France with Real Sociedad - and to top it off, it'll be a Champions League match."

    But while Griezmann was feeling all warm and fuzzy, teammate Haris Seferovic did his best to try and show him up in the 50th minute with Sociedad's second goal...

    Read More »from Antoine Griezmann with brilliant scissor kick against boyhood club in Champions league playoff
  • This is Pep Guardiola wearing lederhosen

    (FCBayern.de)

    We knew this day was coming. Bayern Munich's annual lederhosen and beer promotional photoshoot for sponsor Paulaner Brewery would provide our first chance to see the club's new Catalan manager, Pep Guardiola, in the traditional Bavarian garb and it did not disappoint.

    Behold!

    Read More »from This is Pep Guardiola wearing lederhosen
  • (Jeffery A. Salter for Sports Illustrated)

    Mario Balotelli graces the rather sensational cover of the latest Sports Illustrated issue, walking on the water of a Miami pool with his arms outstretched. The cover, which labels Mario "The Most Interesting Man in the World" reads: "He is Italian, the face of AC Milan, friend to popes and prime minsters [he met his first pope last week and knows former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi because he owns Milan], subject of racist hate and wild adulation, he is African, the face of the new Europe, a red card waiting to happen, the best young striker in futbol."

    Strange use of the word "futbol" (instead of the more appropriate "calcio," "football" or even "soccer") aside, it's rare for a non-American footballer to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated (Pele and Maradona have both done it). The Grant Wahl story that goes with the Balotelli cover serves as an introduction to Mario for the poor souls who are unfamiliar with him — summarizing his complex history in the spotlight

    Read More »from ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ Mario Balotelli walks on water for Sports Illustrated cover
  • Club Atlético Lanús hosted Estudiantes in the Argentinean Primera División on Monday night, and quickly fell behind to a goal involving some of the most comical defending seen in South America since... the previous day.

    Lanús took thirteen minutes to equalize via Lautaro Acosta, who celebrated along with strike partner Santiago Silva by running to the sideline and putting on firefighter's helmets. They may have earned some laughs for their emergency services impersonation, but they were metaphorically burned by referee Andres Merlos, who gave them both yellow cards.

    One may not think that FIFA rules prohibit the parody of fire rescue professionals, but the killjoy section of the laws of the game state that a player must be cautioned if "he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item" during a celebration. Unless an orphanage burned at the same time, it still seems a little harsh.

    Video H/T: 101GG

    Read More »from Argentinean strikers booked for celebrating goal with firefighter’s helmets
  • (UEFA)

    Less than a year after beating Barcelona 2-1 in the Champions League group stage and making Rod Stewart cry tears of joy, the Scottish champions have lost the first leg of their Champions League playoff tie against Kazakh side Shakhter Karagandy 2-0. Rod Stewart's reaction to the loss remains unknown, since he probably didn't make the trip to Kazakhstan for the match.

    Celtic were out of sorts from the start, as they were unable to have main sponsor Magners grace their shirt due to Kazakhstan's ban on promoting alcohol. Instead, they wore the logo of Tipperary Natural Mineral Water, which is owned by Magners' parent company. Meanwhile, Shakhter sacrificed a sheep for good luck ahead of the match. Clearly all of this gave the back to back Kazakhstan Premier League champions a mental edge that they capitalized on by scoring their first goal in just the 12th minute. They added a second in the 77th minute, delighting the 20,000 fans at Shaktyor Stadium and ensuring that Celtic would have

    Read More »from Celtic lose to Kazakh champions in first leg of Champions League playoff
  • (Getty)

    Just three months since David Moyes left Everton, his club for 11 years, to become Sir Alex Ferguson's replacement at Manchester United, he's attempted to do some transfer business with his old club. And it wasn't very well received. According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton called Man United's £28 million joint bid for Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini "derisory and insulting." The following is a transcript of 2013 Man United manager David Moyes negotiating with 2012 Everton manager David Moyes for the two players.

    Man Utd Moyes: Hello, this is David Moyes, manager of Manchester United.

    Everton Moyes: Hello, David! This is David Moyes, manager of Everton. How are you?

    Man Utd Moyes: Quite well, actually. Won the Community Shield and beat Swansea 4-1. How are things at Accrington?

    Everton Moyes: Everton, David.

    Man Utd Moyes: Right, Everton. Everton. Well, I'll get to the point since I have a dinner with Justin Timberlake in half an hour. He lets me call him JT because we're

    Read More »from DT Exclusive: David Moyes negotiates with David Moyes for Fellaini and Baines
  • Barcelona couldn't have gotten off to a much better start to the season, beating Levante 7-0 with six of those goals coming in the first half. Lionel Messi scored two of those first-half goals, including one from the penalty spot, but in an unusual twist, he was slowed down by the bodily functions of a mere mortal before the end of the match.

    When the two sides emerged from the dressing rooms for the second half, a nauseous Leo Messi doubled over, spitting and dry heaving on the pitch. He did try to power through and keep playing, but he was eventually subbed off for Andres Iniesta in the 71st minute. A rare occurrence for the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

    After the match, new Barcelona manager Tata Martino explained the decision to give Messi a rest (via Reuters):

    "I had already spoken to Messi about it. The season is very long with many games and he is intelligent and understands it is necessary," Martino said. In an evenly-balanced match no one would take him off...but it is

    Read More »from Lionel Messi was dry heaving during Barcelona’s match against Levante
  • Rangers player accused of betting against his own team by Scottish FA

    (Getty)

    Rangers midfielder Ian Black has been accused by the Scottish FA of betting against his own team three times between March 2006 and July 2013. Black, who previously played for Inverness and Hearts before joining Rangers after the club's liquidation and reformation in 2012, has also been accused of betting on his own team 10 other times and matches in which he had no connection 147 times.

    From STV:

    The player will be asked to attend a hearing at Hampden on Thursday, September 12. He has until Monday, August 26 to provide evidence to the governing body.

    Footballers registered in Scotland are prohibited by the Scottish FA from betting on any football match.

    If found guilty, players can be fined from £500 to £1,000,000 and can be either suspended or expelled from playing professional football.

    Though betting against your own team is always a clear no-no, this is another reminder of the murky relationship football has with the gambling industry. The Scottish FA itself allows bookmaker

    Read More »from Rangers player accused of betting against his own team by Scottish FA
  • Neymar reacts to Barcelona’s domination of Levante from the bench

    (Getty)

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...whoa. Whoa. What just happened here? Did Harry Potter abduct me in the night and take me back to 2009? I just sat on the bench and watched Barcelona score six goals IN THE FIRST HALF against Levante. Without me. "End of an era" Barcelona. Barcelona that lost in the Champions League semifinals 7-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich. Barcelona that now has a new manager from Argentina called Tutu or something. I don't even know his name yet because it's the first day of the season and the score is 6-0 after 45 MINUTES while I'm sitting here like the sixth member of One Direction.

    I was supposed to save this club. Yeah, they won the league last year 15 points clear of Real Madrid, but everyone was still all like, "Yep, Barcelona's done now. They're over. Better stick bendy straws in our ears and finish the home lobotomy we have to be doing to think something as completely stupid as that." Still, I was going to be the guy who keeps Messi at the top. I was going to come in and be that guy. And then I was going to surpass him in every way imaginable. But that was going to be later, after he loves me and develops an insatiable lust for exotic hams and doesn't care anymore.

    Anyway, this is just ridiculous. They didn't beat anyone 7-0 last season. No one. They played Levante twice last season and only won 5-0 in those two matches combined. I know that because I just checked since I'm sitting on the bench, drawing on my finger with a pen and watching them score six goals against Levante in one half. And now it's halftime and I'm still here by myself because I have no idea what to do with my life anymore.

    Read More »from Neymar reacts to Barcelona’s domination of Levante from the bench