So far, anyway — and that’s no offense to Siphiwe Tshabalala and his brilliant strike that broke the seal on the World Cup scoring sheet, either. Brazil wound up beating North Korea, 2-1, and it was Maicon’s brilliant knuckle/curve thingy that started the festivities off.
Such a brilliant goal is worth breaking out the vuvuzelas for. Hell, it’s even worth downloading the iPhone vuvuzela app, just so you can join in the fun.
Apparently, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore got my message about nuking the Spanish team from orbit, because in what could be one of the more improbable victories in Team USA’s soccer history, the boys from the United States absolutely shocked the on-a-35-game-non-losing-streak Spanish by the score of 2-0. The lead video features Dempsey’s second goal which put the game out of reach.
Well, that was… improbable. Nevertheless, after what might have been two of their worst international showings since the 1998 World Cup, the United State miraculously advanced to the knock-out round of the Confederations Cup after a stirring 3-0 victory over Egypt. As improved as the United States looked against Egypt, they would not have advanced without a little help from their soccer-playing friends from Brazil.
The above video is of Brazil’s third goal, one that could be described along the same lines as a Mortal Kombat fatality move. In their 3-0 win against an all-of-a-sudden impotent American team, Brazil was their normally-brilliant selves, while controlling just about every aspect of the game. As I was watching bits and pieces of the game (thanks, ESPN 360), I was struck by just how uneven these teams were. During the parts I saw, the Brazilians completely controlled the ball, as well as the flow of the game. Sure, Team USA had a couple of late shots hit the post, but by then, it was entirely too little, too late.
The game also ended the failure that was Team USA’s trip the Confederations Cup. In two games, they gave up six goals, while scoring only one. Not only that, but this year’s trip to South Africa could very well serve as a precursor of what Team USA can expect at next summer’s World Cup. Yes, there is talent on their roster (Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, among others), but it pales in comparison to the Spains, Brazils and Italys of the world.
Although he’s probably much more familiar with the surroundings than you or I will ever be, soccer God Pele was reminded why the movie City of God was an accurate portrayal of ghetto life in Brazil. In what sounds like a scene in the aforementioned movie, Pele was robbed at by a number of armed youths in Sao Paulo, Brazil while traveling to his coastal home.
Both Pele and his driver were unhurt.
By the way, if you haven’t seen City of God, get thee to Netflix or other video store. Immediately. If not sooner. In light of Pele’s misfortune, here’s a nifty little four-minute montage of his forgotten greatness, including an awesome bicycle-kick goal at the 30-second mark.
Bonus: a shot from the movie Victory is also in that clip. I’m not sure if movie footage should count.
By now, you’ve probably seen the pictures of Laisa Andrioli, a 20-year old soccer player for Brazil’s National Women’s team, going around the net. If not, you are in for a treat, especially when you consider her apparent allergies to articles of clothing. That’s right, Laisa made headlines and heads turn as she appeared in a men’s magazine wearing, well, not much at all… except maybe her Sunday suit.
Really, I can’t think of anything else to add except for the fact that I could only find a couple of images to share with you because of her fondness of nudity. Although, the thought occurred to me that we could maybe get away with some pixelization if necessary. Alas, wiser heads prevailed so I’ll just leave you with these two images but I would suggest you checking out the rest of her pictorial.
It’s well worth the visit, as long as you won’t get into trouble. Congratulations on your IEC award, Laisa. Let’s hope there are more contributions from you or your teammates.