Remember when Sergio Ramos dropped the Coppa del Rey while celebrating Real Madrid’s victory in the Spanish cup? And how the bus then drove over the trophy? Well, Germany have managed something even more embarrassing.
Yes, Die Nationalmannschaft have managed to take a piece out of the World Cup. When Germany returned home with the trophy, wild celebrations ensued in Berlin, complete with a dramatic unveiling of Philipp Lahm holding the prize aloft.
But somewhere amidst all the jumping, frolicking and merriment-making, the Cup sustained a bit of damage. In fact, a small piece of it is now missing, as the German Football Federation president president Wolfgang Niersbach revealed.
“At one point, a small piece of our World Cup trophy was chipped off,” Niersbach told Die Welt. “But do not worry! We have specialists on the case who can fix it. We have investigated persistently who it was that damaged the trophy, but the investigation was concluded without a result.”
So no one wants to ‘fess up to breaking the big prize, huh? That’s very surprising. But whoever the culprit is, they can find comfort in knowing that at least they did not destroy the real thing. Unlike the Jules Rimet trophy, which Brazil was allowed to keep after winning their third World Cup in 1970, the current FIFA World Cup Trophy cannot be won outright.
What Germany took home is a replica, made of bronze and plated with gold, rather than the solid gold cup that presumably sits behind locked gates and armed guards. Still, you’ve got to imagine someone is feeling a bit sheepish right about now, as that trophy is a rather nice souvenir to be putting on display.
Sixteen teams remain in the battle to clinch the Premier League’s first European place of next season’s tournament, and we have some tremendous battles on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday in the EFL Cup (formerly the League Cup).
Today we focus on the 24 hours ahead of us, focusing on Tuesday’s five matches and allowing the Manchester Derby, West Ham-Chelsea, and Southampton-Sunderland to percolate a bit.
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That’s not to say we don’t have a pair of giants dueling on Tuesday. Liverpool is three wins away from a return to the final, where the Reds fell in penalties last season. Standing in their way is Tottenham Hotspur, a deep squad which won’t have to worry much about a quick turnaround from Saturday.
That said, the Reds didn’t have to play at all last week, while this will be Spurs third match in a week. Spurs have been to the EFL Cup final thrice since 2008, and one of two teams (Chelsea) to make three finals this decade. Liverpool will start Simon Mignolet between the sticks.
The remaining four EFL Cup matches include at least one team outside the Premier League.
— Arsenal will host USMNT midfielder Danny Williams and Reading.
— Hull City is off to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City.
— Newcastle United is leading the Championship, and will get a visit from Preston North End in the first of two matches between the two sides this week.
— Norwich City will pay a visit to Elland Road and Garry Monk‘s Leeds United.
FC Dallas has two jewels of its triple crown all set, having claimed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.
One of the key reasons the club was able to sustain its pace this season was Mauro Diaz, 25, who shone even as Fabian Castillo shockingly left the club before the stretch run.
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A River Plate product, Diaz gave FCD seven goals and 15 assists over 32 appearances before tearing an achilles tendon last week.
Diaz underwent season-ending surgery, but his teammates made sure he was a part of the champagne celebration by heading to his very nice-looking house for an early morning visit.
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There was some eye-popping moments in the Premier League this weekend, yet still very little debate who shone brightest.
Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a pair of Goal of the Month competitors in the same day in the Potters’ 2-0 win at Hull City on Monday.
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The first was a curling wonder from distance, while the second came from a bit closer as the big-calfed Swiss attacker bamboozled the Hull wall and goalkeeper.
The Potters are up to 16th in the Premier League table with nine points.
HELSINKI (AP) Fans of IFK Mariehamn have gathered in the main square of the remote Finnish town to celebrate their team’s surprise league title.
“I feel very proud,” the club’s managing director, Peter Mattsson, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that “thousands” were expected to turn up for the party.
Watched by more than 4,000, Mariehamn clinched the Finnish title on Sunday with a 2-1 home victory over Ilves, from the industrial city of Tampere.
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Mariehamn held off 11 other teams, including the traditionally strong Helsinki club, HJK, and defending champion SJK from western Finland. It ended three points clear of second-placed HJK for its first league title.
Local media dubbed the team “Leicester” after the surprise English Premier League champions last season.
Mariehamn, which has a population of 11,500, is the capital of the Aland islands off the southwestern Finnish coast