In the opening episode of the newest, most extravagant HBO television series, The Young Pope, the decidedly Neapolitan Cardinal Angelo Voiello, anticipating his upcoming meeting with the Holy See, lays out on a desk his three smartphones. Each is emblazoned with a slightly different cover. The Naples Trinity, Voiello calls them: the attacking trident which set Serie A on fire. Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne and Gonzalo Higuain.
Criminally underrated throughout his career, due in large part to having to play behind two of the greatest ever in Xavi and Andres Iniesta for Spain, Santi Cazorla's recognition has only grown in the last two seasons, primarily because of his devastating absence. While many fans were not aware of him when he moved to Arsenal from Malaga in 2012, he has always been a favorite among players and coaches in his native country.
2016 has come and gone in a flash. For football fans, it's been a fairytale year with many surprises. Here are the most amazing moments that unfolded in the past year.
There will never be another series of transfers like FC Barcelona’s 2013 and 2014 plundering of some of the best soccer players the world has seen in quite some time. During that Summer of endless spending, Barcelona came away with Luis Suarez, Neymar, Ivan Rakitic, goalies Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo and important role players Jeremy Mathieu and Rafinha.
Barcelona had its eyes set on deep domestic and continental runs. While they were mindful of the future, more important was the immediate success of the team. It certainly paid off.
Apparently Chapecoense player Neto has woken up from his coma following the team's tragic plane crash in Colombia. That's the good news. The bad news is what happened after he woke up. It will rip your heart out.
Per ABC News:
Upon gaining consciousness after almost two weeks, Neto asked who won the final of the Copa Sudamericana and why he was unable to play, team doctor Edson Stakonski said.
Twin sisters Sabrina and Monica Flores achieved a remarkable feat in and of itself by both playing at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. What’s even more sensational is the fact that Sabrina represents the USA while her twin sister plays for Mexico. Accordingly, the two squared off in the tournament quarterfinals.
When Jurgen Klinsmann was first appointed USMNT boss five years ago, people expected him to come over and shake things up. It was widely understood that he was not some kind of miracle worker, however, there was a clear expectation that his pedigree would motivate players and that he’d introduce a stylish flair into the team by nurturing the next generation — undoubtedly the most talented crop of footballers this country had ever seen.
“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled. Each evening we see the sun set. We know that the earth is turning away from it. Yet the knowledge, the explanation, never quite fits the sight.”
― John Berger, Ways of Seeing
For Brazilian photojournalist Gabriel Uchida, football has always been in the blood. It's been ever-present throughout his life; the fixed ground upon which he stands while his profession and search for greater understanding drives him across the planet.
When one wants something more than anything in the world, one has to make sacrifices. This is especially the case for professional athletes.
Leicester City players are not your typical footballers. Their game is different, and in many respects, very simplistic. Yet, it’s just that simplistic style that may have given them an edge over other teams – and qualified them for the Champions League.