The $30 million World Cup winers receive in prize money pales in comparison to the renown and legacy that accompanies soccer’s most prestigious team honor, but that doesn’t mean others can’t get creative with how they incentivize their teams at Brazil 2014.
Take Dutch company Ruimtevaartbedrijf SXC. If you haven’t heard of them, there are a couple of reasons. Not only is there that name, but the company’s in the still nascent commercial space flight industry, with their service’s first flight not scheduled to lift off until next year.
That hasn’t stopped SXC from soliciting its first passengers: The Dutch national soccer team. If the Oranje bring home the nation’s first world title, SXC is prepared to send all 23 players and head coach Louis van Gaal into space.
From company co-founder Michiel Mol, via reporting by The Independent:
“As a company of Dutch origin, we are mega proud of the achievements of Oranje in Brazil. An unearthly performance deserves an unearthly reward!
“We are going to try to take the players literally to a higher level – 103 km!
“[We’ll take] the whole selection of 23 players and of course, Louis van Gaal.”
Van Gaal in a space suit? Yes, please, though given the current state of commercial space travel, best not send all 23 played up at once. Or at all.
Give SXC credit, though. This is a tried-and-true way to get your name out there: Offer something free and slightly outlandish to the winners.
Even if Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie never reach near-Earth orbit, we know what SXC is, now.
Relax Manchester City fans, Sergio Aguero is okay.
Aguero, 27, started up top in City’s 3-1 win over Southampton on Saturday as the Citizens momentarily went top of the Premier League ahead of the late game between Leicester City and Manchester United.
[ VIDEO: Vardy sets PL record ]
Even though Aguero didn’t get on the scoresheet, his movement caused Saints plenty of problems and despite Shane Long halving the deficit following Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph‘s first half goals, City rallied and won 3-1 thanks to a late Aleksandar Kolarov strike.
All that aside, Aguero limped off injured in the second half and with a League Cup quarterfinal and big games in the PL and UEFA Champions League coming up, fears over the Argentine’s fitness once again surfaced.
Speaking to the media after the game Pellegrini revealed that Aguero should be fine.
“Kun [Aguero] came off as a precaution. I spoke with him before the game and we said he would play 65 minutes,” Pellegrini said. “He has a kick in his heel, but nothing important. I was very pleased with the team’s reaction. It was important to get three points against a team who were unbeaten away. We were a little nervous until the third goal, but I’m happy with the performance and the result.”
Aguero missed six weeks of action from October to November after a hamstring injury when playing for Argentina and whenever he’s been out of the team, especially over the past 12 months, City have missed him desperately. In that regard it is understandable that Pellegrini took no chances when Aguero went done with a slight injury against Southampton.
[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Vardy ]
Pellegrini also lamented referee Roger East for a few peculiar decisions, as both his side and Saints could’ve had penalty kicks in either half for handball incidents in the box. With City facing Hull City in the League Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday, Pellegrini’s players must now recover as he hinted at the importance of making the final four of the competition he won during his first season in charge.
The Internet exploded at around 12:50 p.m. ET on Saturday after Jamie Vardy — yes, Jamie Vardy — broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record for most consecutive games with a goal.
[ WATCH: The goal | The game — Leicester City vs. Manchester United ]
Yes, an Englishman is back atop the charts. An Englishman who was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before heading to Leicester.
He’s perhaps the reminder, as Rio Ferdinand Tweeted below, that the most unlikely of scenarios is still not impossible.
He did it. He actually did it.
Jamie Vardy made Premier League history on Saturday, scoring for the 11th consecutive game to become the first player in history to achieve that magnificent feat.
[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Vardy ]
Tied with Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy heading into Leicester’s clash against United on Saturday, it took Vardy just 24 minutes to set the new record as Christian Fuchs played a delicate ball in-behind United’s defense and Vardy did the rest.
[ MORE: Can Vardy, Leicester achieve unthinkable? ]
Watch the video below to see the King Power Stadium erupt as a truly memorable moment arrived.
Now, the next record for Vardy to break is from the 1931-32 English top-flight season, before the PL was formed. Sheffield United’s Jimmy Dunne scored in 12-straight games way back then.
Anyway, congratulations Mr. Vardy for making PL history.
This was an all-timer.
Bournemouth came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit only to watch Ross Barkley hand Everton a one-goal lead with a score in the final minute of stoppage time.
[ MATCH RECAP: Bournemouth 3-3 Everton ]
But after fans were cleared from the field, Junior Stanislas provided the dramatic answer for Bournemouth to force a 3-3 draw at Dean Court.