When we start talking about “that really ridiculous thing” that FIFA president Sepp Blatter said or did … we always have to say which one.
To the long and painfully undistinguished list from the mouth of world soccer’s top executive, today we add a new entry.
Blatter spoke last week at Oxford University in England. Near the end, he needlessly mocked Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, poking fun at the globally recognized attacker’s on-field demeanor, which Blatter seemed to portray as some sort of robotic soldier. And the FIFA chief poked fun at Ronaldo’s “hair dressers.”
Here’s the video:
In all honesty, this isn’t up there with some of Blatter’s real doozies, like suggesting that women’s soccer would improve its popularity if the players wore “tighter shorts.” An all-timer, that one.
It was just so completely avoidable. Blatter’s latest failed bit was in response to such a softball question. There was almost no way the FIFA chief could get himself in trouble over such a relatively benign query, which boiled down to: “Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?”
Yes, he was going to upset some Real Madrid fans, or some Barcelona fans. But that’s just debate-at-the-pub material. It’s kindergarten stuff compared to some of the real “dodgy” and “shady” that so frequently envelops FIFA’s world. And yet, Blatter found a way.
Ronaldo was alerted to the video on Tuesday. And he clearly wasn’t happy with it. (Blatter later apologized via his own Twitter account.)
Christian Pulisic sat out Friday’s 2-1 Dortmund defeat against Stuttgart. Coincidence? Perhaps.
However, the club’s struggles are apparent as Dortmund’s winless run extended to four matches and their gap from Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich could be up to nine points by the end of the weekend.
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BVB was without several of its top talents for the match, including U.S. Men’s National Team star Pulisic and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but it’s Dortmund’s defending that continues to be the side’s biggest issue.
Stuttgart struck after five minutes when Chadrac Akolo broke the deadlock off of an embarrassing blunder by Marc Bartra and the Dortmund defense.
Bartra attempted a routine back pass to goalkeeper Roman Burki during the early moments of the match, but his ball back proved to be way too strong and deflected off of Burki and into the path of Stuttgart forward Akolo (video below).
Dortmund atoned for the former Barcelona man’s mistake just prior to halftime when Maximilian Philipp equalized, but it took just six minutes into the second stanza for Josip Brekalo to restore the Stuttgart advantage.
David Moyes has given Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez assurances that he’ll have the opportunity to compete for a starting role with the Hammers, but the Mexican international will have to wait a bit for a chance.
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Hernandez, 29, is currently nursing a hamstring strain, leaving his status for this weekend against Watford in doubt.
“I think everyone knows he [Chicharito] has got a hamstring injury,” Moyes said during Friday’s press conference. “It could take a week, it could take two weeks.”
Moyes didn’t mince words recently when speaking about Chicharito and other players within the squad, essentially pointing out that no player will be awarded a starting role simply because of their stardom.
Hernandez has scored four goals in 13 matches this season for West Ham, who currently sits 18th in the Premier League. The Hammers have won just two matches to start the 2017/18 campaign and sit on nine points.
Miami FC quickly put itself on the U.S. soccer map in two short seasons, and much of the club’s success can be attributed to manager Alessandro Nesta.
[ MORE: Chris Coleman steps down with Wales, expected to take Sunderland job ]
The former Serie A defender has managed the club in its first two years of existence, but Nesta’s time in South Beach is coming to an end.
Nesta revealed on Friday that he won’t be returning to the NASL club in 2018, as he prepares to fnd a “new challenge” in his managerial career.
With NASL’s future as a league very much up in the air, Nesta could be seeking a more stable position entering 2018, especially given that his name has been thrown around with several MLS jobs over the last few months.
It isn’t always the score at the end of the match that matters, and Orlando City proved that with its recent friendly to benefit those affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico.
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Orlando City faced off with the Puerto Rico national team on Nov. 4, which the Lions won 6-1, but it was the club’s humanitarian efforts that proved to be the real story from the event.
The club announced that it raised $327,530 from the match, with all proceeds from the event going directly to the Puerto Rican people.
“I’m very proud of what our Club and our partners were able to accomplish,” Orlando City SC owner Flavio Augusto da Silva said in a team statement. “What we did meant more than just raising funds for Puerto Rico. Once again, we came together as a community to rally behind something bigger than us all.”