We’ve come to understand that VAR is going to get weird. There are going to be suspensions of play that feel strange, there are going to be offenses that are bizarrely non-reviewable, there are going to be goals disallowed for offenses in the buildup that’ll feel mysteriously idiosyncratic. It all comes with the power of time travel.
But the one surreal use of VAR we never expected would be the one ending with the brandishing of a straight red card to the wholesome Kaka, which happened on Saturday. This wasn’t your classic sending off — it was weird as s**t.
True greatness knows no boundaries. It cannot be confined to the lines of a soccer field. It can appear anywhere: in a Rio de Janeiro favela, a dusty African village or an elite European academy.
OR, on a boat, anchored somewhere idyllic, surrounded by other boats. Francesco Totti graced the pitch professionally for more than 20 years and, now retired, needs an outlet for his incredible passing skills. Thus, boats.
Liverpool are horrible at defending set pieces. I don’t have any facts or figures to back up that statement, but every commentator says the same thing and I don’t see them pointing to any evidence. It’s just accepted that, like every other team on the planet, they cannot defend a great set piece.
Warning: This video is heartbreaking for everyone but CSKA Moscow fans. In the 91st minute of a scoreless Champions League playoff first leg between CSKA and Swiss club Young Boys, defender Kasim Adams Nuhu attempted to head the ball back to his keeper. Only his keeper was already coming out to receive the ball.
You can guess what happened next.
Is this the worst way to lose a game in stoppage time you've ever seen?
Touching is good. It’s a display of endearment, a bonding behavior, an affectionate act.
Touching is bad. It’s a display of aggression, a divisive behavior, a violent act.
Contrary to popular belief, referees are people too. They like good touch. They don’t like bad touch. On Sunday, Cristiano Ronaldo did a bad touch. The referee didn’t like it. Ronaldo is suspended five matches.
It never ceases to amaze me that with a 23-year-old Lionel Messi entering the height of his powers as a footballer, the Argentine Football Association decided to put Diego Maradona in charge of the national team for the 2010 World Cup. In his previous managerial experience, Maradona had collected three wins, eight draws and 12 losses, good for a win percentage of 13%.
Portland Timbers fans will be crushed to hear that the hipster-est football hipster in the known universe has been discovered, and he wasn't found at Providence Park.
Rather, the most hipster man in football was spotted at Estadio Corona on Sunday at Santos Laguna's clash with Veracruz. Bask in this man's ironic glory:
Cristiano Ronaldo is an incredible footballer, blessed with size, speed, strength, foot skiils and awareness that would be the envy of pretty much anyone. Luis Suarez is also blessed in all these categories, just not as much as Ronaldo.
There is one skill, though, in which Ronaldo will never match Suarez's unbelievable talent: acting.
Ronaldo and Suarez each attempted dives during Sunday's Spanish Super Copa first leg. Suarez won a penalty (which Lionel Messi converted), but Ronaldo was given his second yellow card and dismissed from the match.
So what went wrong?