Real Madrid’s Marcelo Takes Knee & Raises Fist in Solidarity with BLM Movement After Scoring Goal Against Eibar

Marcelo is taking a new in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement…

The 32-year-old Brazilian soccer player and Real Madrid left-back took a knee and raised his fist after scoring in the team’s 3-1 La Liga victory over Eibar on Sunday.

Marcelo

Marcelo tallied the Real Madrid’s third goal of the day — pouncing on a poor clearance and beating Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic with a low, driven shot from the edge of the penalty box. 

He then immediately dropped to his knees, lowered his head and raised his right fist — a gesture which is often seen as a symbol of the Black Power movement that gained prominence in the United States in the 1960s and ’70s and associated with the current Black Lives Matter movement.

The display comes as players, clubs and leagues throughout the sport have expressed solidarity in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man, who died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minnesota. Floyd’s death has spurred demonstrations against racial injustice around the world.

Several clubs paid tributes earlier this month to Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement on their warm-up shirts prior to league matches. Marcus ThuramJadon SanchoAchraf Hakimi and United States international Weston McKennie have been among the players who have showed their support. And last week, the Premier League announcedit will allow players to replace the names on the back of their jerseys with the words “Black Lives Matter” for one round and that teams will wear a patch to show support for the movement for the rest of the season.

FIFA, whose rules prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on equipment, made a rare public statement last week in which it urged competition organizers to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players for solidarity during matches.

Real Madrid Phenom Rodrygo Makes History with Hat-Trick Against Galatasaray

Rodrygo is proving age is but a number while making history…

The 18-year-old Brazilian soccer player and Real Madrid forward scored a blistering hat-trick as his team pummeled Galatasaray 6-0 at home on Wednesday to take a giant step towards qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages.

Rodrygo

Rodrygo put the 13-times European champions ahead in the fourth minute by turning two defenders in the area and firing into the bottom corner to score for the first time in Europe’s elite competition.

Rodrygo struck again in the seventh by nodding home a cross from compatriot Marcelo, completing the fastest double in Champions League history.

Real Madrid didn’t ease off after their rampant start and extended their lead in the 13th minute with a typically cheeky ‘Panenka‘ penalty from captain Sergio Ramos.

Karim Benzema netted their fourth on the stroke of halftime, knocking the ball into the net after another thrilling piece of play from Rodrygo.

Benzema struck again from close range in the second half to move on to 50 Champions League goals for his club, moving ahead of Real great Alfredo Di Stefano as the Spanish side’s third top scorer in Europe’s top competition.

But the night belonged to Rodrygo, who rounded off a dream home European debut at the Santiago Bernabeuby completing his treble in added time, racing towards goal and exchanging passes with Benzema before tapping into the net.

Rodrygo, who became the second-youngest player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League after Real great Raul, was serenaded by the home crowd.

“Hearing the Bernabeu singing my name is a dream come true,” Rodrygo said. “I’m so happy, it has been a joyous night but I must try and stay calm.”

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane praised the youngster’s performance.

“When he has the chance to play, he plays well and he’s done it again,” Zidane said. “It doesn’t surprise me, we all know the quality he has. He came here to do what he’s doing. This is just the beginning. Let’s hope he carries on like this. We need to stay calm with him.”

Real Madrid, who picked up only one point from their first two games in the competition, are second in Group A with seven points from four matches.

Their next opponents Paris Saint-Germain are at the top with 12, with Club Brugge third on two and Galatasaray bottom on one.

Victory over PSG, who have reached the last 16, would send Real Madrid into the knockout stage with a game to spare.

David De Gea Among 55 Players in Contention for FIFPro and FIFA’s World XI

David De Gea is in the running…

The 27-year-old Spanish soccer play, a goalkeeper for Premier League club Manchester United and Spain’s national team, is among the contenders in the reckoning to feature in FIFPro and FIFA‘s World XI.

David De Gea 

FIFPro and its affiliated player associations asked professional footballers to pick a team from the best players in world football last season.

It will include one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers who were the best at their position in 2017-18.

Once the 55 players have been selected, the XI will be unveiled by FIFA and FIFPro during the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony in London on September 24.

De Gea, on a five-man shortlist that includes last year’s winner Gianluigi Buffon, is joined by Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba.

Other Latino players on the list include Barcelona‘s Philippe Coutinho, Real Madrid‘s Isco (Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez) and Manchester City’s David SilvaAndres Iniesta, who left Barcelona for Japan’s Vissel Kobe, is on the list for the 12th year in a row. He has already won nine World XI awards, including last year’s.

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos— who lifted Real Madris’s third successive Champions League trophy, at the expense of Liverpool– also appears on the list alongside his Madrid teammate Marcelo.

The 20-strong list of defenders also includes Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba. Daniel Alves and Ramos are on the list for the 12th consecutive time, level with Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm. All three now share the record among defenders.

This is the 14th edition of the World XI.

Here’s the complete list:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Thibaut Courtois, David De Gea, Keylor Navas, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Defenders: Jordi Alba, Dani Alves, Daniel Carvajal, Giorgio Chiellini, Virgil van Dijk, Diego Godin, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Dejan Lovren, Marcelo, Yerry Mina, Benjamin Pavard, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Kieran Trippier, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane, Sime Vrsaljko, Kyle Walker.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Andres Iniesta, Isco, N’Golo Kante, Toni Kroos, Nemanja Matic, Luka Modric, Paul Pogba, Ivan Rakitic, David Silva, Arturo Vidal.

Neymar Returns to FIFPro World 11 Team

Neymar is officially back on the list…

The 25-year-old Brazilian soccer star, a forward for Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team, joins Gianluigi Buffon and Leonardo Bonucci as the new names in the 2017 FIFPro World 11, joining the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neymar

Neymar returns to the World 11 after a year’s absence, replacing his former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.

Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Buffon was named to the team for the first time since 2007, ending a four-year reign by Bayern Munich‘s Manuel Neuer.

AC Milan’s Bonucci is the only new defender since last year’s awards, receiving the honor for the first time at age 30. He edged out Barcelona’s Gerard Pique, who FIFA said was the closest player left out.

Messi and Ronaldo were both named to the team for the eleventh straight time, sharing the record for the most appearances since the world players union’s award began in 2005.

Barcelona’s Messi received the most votes with 22,229 — only 14 more than Sergio Ramos, who made the team for a sixth straight edition and seventh overall.

Real Madrid had the most players on the list with five as Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Marcelo retained their spots along with Ramos and Ronaldo.

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus)

Defenders: Dani Alves (Brazil, Juventus/Paris Saint-Germain), Leonardo Bonucci (Italy, Juventus/AC Milan), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Marcelo (Brazil, Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Luka Modric (Croatia, Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona)

Forwards: Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Neymar (Brazil, Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)

César Stops Two Penalty Shootout Kicks to Help Brazil Defeat Chile

World Cup 2014

Júlio César is being heralded as Brazil’s saving grace…

The 34-year-old Brazilian footballer, the national team’s goalkeeper, emerged as Brazil’s hero on Saturday after Brazil squeaked past Chile 3-2 in a penalty shootout to advance to the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals.

Julio Cesarorld

After the teams played to a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, César – a goalkeeper for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Toronto FC – stopped penalty kicks by Mauricio Pinilla and Alexis Sanchez. The match then ended when Gonzalo Jara’s blast clanked off the post.

Brazil’s shootout goals came from David Luiz, Marcelo and finally Neymar, who calmly fired a strike into the left part of the goal after first trying to gauge where Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo would be moving.

The match was played on even terms until the 18th minute, when David Luiz scored from just a few feet away from the goal line after Thiago Silva headed the ball his way following a corner kick.

It initially appeared that the ball had gone in the net off Jara’s foot.

Chile got the equalizer in the 32nd minute when Eduardo Vargas took advantage of a Brazilian defensive blunder and centered the ball to Alexis Sanchez, who fired a perfectly placed strike past a diving César.

Brazil then had a couple of chances before halftime, but a header by Neymar was deflected away by Jara and then a blast off the foot of Fred sailed over the crossbar.

In the 54th minute, Hulk appeared to score the go-ahead goal when he received a cross and fired a shot past Bravo. But English referee Howard Webb waived it off and gave the forward a yellow card, ruling that he had lowered the ball with his arm.

Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari then sent on Jo and Ramires to replace Fred and Fernandinho, respectively, but they were unable to provide the creative spark needed to break down Chile’s resistance.

Bravo’s heroics also were key to keeping the match tied, as he stopped a header from Neymar and a powerful strike from Hulk before the end of the second half.

In extra time, Brazil dominated ball possession but had no answer for Chile’s all-out defensive tactics.

La Roja also proved dangerous with the few chances it had, with Pinilla blasting a shot off the crossbar shortly before the end of extra time.

With the win, the Brazilians, who are seeking their sixth World Cup title, advance to a quarterfinal match on July 4 against Colombia, which defeated Uruguay 2-0.

Messi Wins Record Fourth Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi is officially in a league of his own…

The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol has become the first four-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s Player of the Year award, after breaking the world record for most goals in a year with 91 goals for Barcelona and Argentina.

Lionel Messi

Messi won for the fourth straight time, beating Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo and his fellow Futbol Club Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta in voting announced Monday. His 91 goals topped Gerd Mueller‘s mark of 85 for Bayern Munich and Germany back in 1972.

Messi received 41.60 percent of the points in votes by national team coaches and captains plus selected media. Ronaldo got 23.68 percent and Iniesta 10.91 percent.

“To tell the truth, this is really unbelievable to get the fourth award. I am so nervous,” Messi said in Spanish, wearing a black tuxedo jacket and bow tie, both with a white polka-dot pattern in an unexpectedly flamboyant touch.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann and captain Carlos Bocanegra both voted Messi first, as did Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy.

Zinedine Zidane of France and Ronaldo of Brazil were voted FIFA Player of the Year three times before the award merged in 2010 with France Football’s Golden Ball, given to the European player of the year. The Golden Ball, or Ballon d’Or, was won three times by Michel Platini of France and Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten of the Netherlands.

Vicente del Bosque was voted top men’s coach after leading Spain to its third straight title in a major tournament, the 2012 European Championship. Del Bosque got 34.51 percent to win over Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho (20.49), who won last year, and Pep Guardiola (12.91) who won in 2011 and retired from Barcelona last spring.

The three men’s Player of the Year candidates were on the World XI All-Star team chosen by the FIFPro group of players’ unions, comprising 50,000 members worldwide.

They selected a team composed entirely of players from Spanish clubs, with nine repeating their selection from one year ago.

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas was selected as goalkeeper, joined on defense by teammates Sergio Ramos and Marcelo and by Barcelona’s Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. Iniesta was joined in midfield by Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso. Messi led the attack with Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid‘s Radamel Falcao. Marcelo and Falcao replaced Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney from the 2011 team.