Today, the Millennium Stadium in the Welsh capital of Cardiff will play host to the biggest game in club football, the Champions League final. You probably already know that. What you probably do not know is that the venue was once at the mercy of a hex which doomed one side whenever they played a major final at the stadium.
When it comes to the heart-stopping, heartfelt and hilarious moments we love about soccer, we tend to focus on what unfolds on the pitch. It follows logic that a substitution -- an activity occurring on the periphery -- would not warrant much more attention than the obligatory clap that comes with one player's exit, another's entrance and some extra time tacked on to the end of the match.
Well, that’s that then. Football made a good run at it, but it's over now. Francesco Totti has played in his final professional match, and while it went exactly as Roma had hoped sporting-wise (they achieved direct qualification to next season’s Champions League), it was easily the worst day in the club’s history.
Francesco Totti's lap of honour pic.twitter.com/YhL4SqG1Yz
From The Simpsons to Charlie Brown and Shrek to Tarzan, we've compiled a list of footballers who may or may not have been the insipriation behind these characters. Take a look at the 11 footballers who most look like cartoon characters.
We're not in Kansas anymore. Although, from the looks of it, the dust devil that carried away a soccer goal in Lillehammer, Norway might rival a twister in Lawrence, Kansas.
Not that the citizens of Lillehammer seem all that frightened by the dust devil that whirls through the parking lot of a sports facility and then interrupts a soccer match.
In fact, in Norway this type of occurance is known as a "Værfenomen" – literally, weather phenomenon – and the logical thing to do as soon as you spot one is to giggle and jump directly into its path.
Italian football has a crisis on its hands and I’m not even sure they realize how serious it is. For the better part of a decade now, with the exception of Juventus, Italy’s Serie A has been in decline. League officials would like to blame the country’s aging stadiums or the lack of a lucrative television deal - and those are valid points - but the real issue is much more serious.
Italy does not have a football problem. Italy has a race problem.
Sulley Muntari, whose exceptional professional career has seen him play extensively for Udinese, Inter and AC Milan, was booked for reporting racial abuse from the stands and subsequently walked off the pitch in protest in Cagliari.
Sulley Muntari walks off pitch at Cagliari (playing for Pescara, Sunday) after yellow crd for reporting racist abusepic.twitter.com/tTtZLUQ7Ip
Soccer fans are the best fans in the world — unless they decide to actually disrupt the game.
An international friendly took place in Paris on Monday, March 27th between African rivals Senegal and the Ivory Coast. The match was cut short after fans invaded the pitch and confronted the players on the field. The group of spectators made their way into the stadium by climbing over security fences and running past guards.
The footballing world has been left shocked and saddened by the death of 27-year-old Derry City captain Ryan McBride. The defender had led his side out in a 4-0 victory in the League of Ireland on Saturday but was found dead at home on Sunday.
McBride was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1989 and was seen as the perfect captain for the club. “He epitomized everything about our club and our city,” said Derry City chief executive Sean Barrett.