Injuries are a part of sports. So it’s only fitting that as you train for soccer, you should also train to avoid injuries. Injury prevention for kids is particularly critical as over 1.5 million kids injure their knees and ankles every year. ACL injuries in kids especially are on the rise, with a 400% increase in the last decade.
Soccer is increasingly a young person’s game. More and more focus is being put on youth soccer to create the next Lionel Messi, Christian Pulisic or Mallory Pugh. So what do you give as a gift for the budding soccer star in your life? We here at The18 have put together a list of the 18 best soccer gifts for kids to answer just that question.
Georghe Hagi had a knack of scoring from anywhere on the pitch. Like Steph Curry, give him a few feet and he could launch a shot from anywhere inside his own half — and usually score. Now the Romanian legend’s 19-year-old son is doing the same with Fiorentina, which beat Chievo Verona 3-2 in a youth match thanks to an unlikely Ianis Hagi goal.
Despite finally ending his La Liga goal drought against Malaga on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo is having a no-good, very bad season so far in Spain. Luckily, Cristiano Jr. is here to pick up the slack.
Ronaldo posted a video on Instagram of his son hitting a sweet free kick in a youth game. Gosh, I wonder where he learned to do that?
You could forgive Stefan Frei for suffering from a professional hangover following his heroics in the 2016 MLS Cup final. The 31-year-old native of Switzerland's legend is forever woven inside the fabric of the league following that save on Jozy Altidore in the second half of extra-time, one of seven saves for Frei in a performance that saw him named MLS Cup MVP.
If we’re being perfectly honest here, this all really boils down to the quality of the assist in the final passage of play. The clipped, first-time dink hits the runner in stride and leads to the goal, but we mustn’t play down how the runner managed to streak unmarked into the area in the first place. That was accomplished via a somersault.
It’s a perfectly executed somersault simply because the footballer turned gymnast didn’t break his own neck. I think that’s really the only standard that exists with regards to this particular acrobatic exercise.
Here at The18, I’m in charge of the children. I keep tabs on all the babies, I have baby skills — why can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?!
One of the most important jobs a manager must accomplish in order to be successful is earning the respect of his or her players. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, including but not limited to leading by example through hard work, displaying superior soccer knowledge while gameplanning, showing players they are truly cared for or displaying actual soccer skills to impress players.
The ship has probably sailed on that last bit for England U-21 manager Aidy Boothroyd. Look what Everton youngster Ademola Lookman did to Boothroyd in training.
Qatar actually won some soccer and all it took was a field player making an impressive save in a penalty shootout. After the goalie was sent off with a second yellow card for coming off his line during the shootout, a field player came in and saved the retaken shot to lift Qatar’s U-19 team over Iraq.
Alex Collado, born in the city of Sabadell in Catalonia (the birthplace of Sergio Busquets), joined La Masia back in 2011 as a 12-year-old. The central midfielder has since risen through the club’s youth ranks, appearing for Barca’s Juvenil A (the premier U-19 side and the final stage of progression at La Masia) throughout the 2016-17 season as a 17-year-old.
Collado played a vital role in Barca’s run to the semifinals of last year's UEFA Youth League, which culminated in a 2-1 defeat to eventual champions Red Bull Salzburg.