It’s been more than 10 years since that infamous night in Berlin, where, in the 110th minute of Zinedine Zidane’s final professional match, the French captain was sent off for battering Marco Materazzi with his bald head.
Men's World Cup
You don’t ever work on your toe poke, admit it. It’s not a skill you frequently pull off after telling your mates which corner your about to put your shot in during warmups. You’d be called a child and laughed off the pitch, your ambitious toe punt looking nothing like a clean hit off the laces or a swerving effort with the instep.
But contrary to accepted reasoning, the toe poke is actually the hallmark of a genius. Legends like Ronaldo, Romario, Ronaldinho, Andriy Shevchenko and Diego Maradona all had the infamous action down cold.
When Jack Skellington grew tired of organizing Halloween Town’s Halloween celebration in Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, the ghost skeleton proceeded to plot and scheme over how he could take charge of Christmas as well. Unable to understand the spirit of the holiday and personally impulsive to a fault, Jack almost ruined Christmas for everyone.
This recent international break has proven, once again, why South America is the toughest qualifying process of any continent on the planet. On Thursday, Brazil trounced Argentina 3-0, Venezuela put up five on Bolivia and Peru handedly laid waste to Paraguay, 4-1. Then on the following Tuesday, Ecuador beat that same Venezuela team 3-0, that same Bolivia team beat Paraguay 1-0 and Argentina rebounded to shut Colombia out in a 3-0 win.
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.
In a little over a year, the United States has witnessed some truly awful results under the leadership of Jurgen Klinsmann, but the back-to-back defeats to Jamaica and Panama to end a poor 2015 Gold Cup, defeat to Mexico at the 2015 CONCACAF Cup and historic 2-0 loss to Guatemala in the fourth round of World Cup qualifying all pale in comparison to Tuesday night’s capitulation in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Thomas Muller’s incredible return of 32 goals from 49 matches in all competitions for Bayern Munich last season had many prognosticators envisioning a brilliant Euro 2016 campaign for the German attacker. However, Muller’s inability to score and poor form throughout Germany’s six matches made him one of the tournament’s biggest disappointments.
While Muller has scored braces against Norway and the Czech Republic in World Cup qualifying, he hasn’t yet managed a goal in the Bundesliga, a drought that’s now surpassed over 500 minutes of football.
The USA suffered their first home World Cup qualifying defeat since 2001 on Friday night, losing 2-1 to Mexico in Columbus for the opening game of the Hex.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann made unexpected changes coming into the game. He sent out a 3-5-2 formation instead of the usual 4-4-2, causing some players to play out of their positions. The new formation had three center backs in defense with Matt Besler, John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez.
On a day when we've questioned everything and discussed some of the stranger red card offenses in the history of the game, this should come as no surprise. In Sunday's draw between Greece and Bosnia we witnessed one of the most ridiculous red cards of all-time. The culprit was Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, who earned a second yellow by stripping Greece's Sokratis.