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World Cup

A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story

alan mcloughlin pic Gary Mackay’s goal for Scotland sent Ireland to Euro ’88. A facile win in Malta secured passage to our first ever World Cup in 1990. Play-offs, where the job was virtually done in the first leg, earned us the right to compete on a global stage in 2002 and 2012. The World Cup in America was different though. Irish footballing lore is peppered with iconic goals that stay at the forefront of every Republic fan’s memory. Whelan against USSR, McAteer against the Netherlands, Keane versus the Germans, even O’Shea in Gelsenkirchen. And another of those standout strikes came in Belfast in 1993. For the hero of that hour, his toughest fight was yet to come. His newly released autobiography has already been nominated for the Irish Sports Book of the Year. Continue reading →

When East Beat West

east germany 2 October 3rd is celebrated in Germany as Unity Day. When Joachim Loew’s football side triumphed in Brazil, it marked their first global title as a unified state. East and West only ever met in one World Cup, at the 1974 edition held in West Germany. Of course, East Germany were drawn in the same group as the tournament hosts. In their first and only appearance at the finals, the East shocked the watching world by beating the reigning European champions. Continue reading →

Adidas Brazuca Final Rio

10329014_10154307820740551_4898998667338599455_n Adidas’ official match ball of the World Cup final has been updated. The Brazuca Final Rio will be used only once in the last game of the competition when Germany face Argentina on Sun 13 July, in the Estádio Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro. Continue reading →

Brazil’s Hooligans, The Dark Side of the Beautiful Game

uchida 8 Forget what newspapers say about Brazilian hooliganism. I’ve seen and been living it for years. I didn’t need to read or hear about it. Nobody had to tell me how it is to be in a train or a bus with your mates when rivals attack, I myself have already lived it. For many times I also had to run from police even though my photographer card was on my chest. Brazilian photo-journalist Gabriel Uchida explores the dark side of the beautiful game. Continue reading →

Neymar Loss Causes Outbreak of Emotion

neymar baby The loss of their star player is hitting all Brazilians, both young and old. It was all a bit too much for this little baby with the news that Neymar was in hospital. Meanwhile, the player himself issued an emotional rallying call to his teammates to fulfill his dream of becoming a World Cup champion. Continue reading →

Mondiali Impossibili – World Cup Time Travel

7Messi-marte Every World Cup tournament causes us to recall finals gone by. With Brazil giving us one of the most memorable competitions in recent history, new Italian online magazine Marte.com has transported some of the protaganists of the current World Cup into classic iconic pictures from past editions with the help of digital artist Antonella Iozzolino. Continue reading →

One Centimetre From Glory, Pinilla’s Tattoo

tattoo Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla has had an image of THAT shot which struck the crossbar against Brazil tattooed on his back. In the final minute of extra-time, the strike from the edge of the box crashed off the bar saving the hosts from elimination. Pinilla also missed a penalty in the shoot-out defeat but it was the last drama of extra-time that will remain with him. The inkwork is accompanied by the line ‘One centimetre from glory’. Continue reading →

June 30, 1990: Italy 1 Rep. of Ireland 0

jack italia 90 On this day in 1990, in our first ever World Cup, Ireland lost out by a solitary goal in the quarter-finals to the tournament hosts Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Within days the Irish team would land in Dublin to a crowd of over 500,000 people in scenes that likely wouldn’t have been bettered had they won the competition itself. Continue reading →

When East Beat West

east germany 2 At the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, East Germany were drawn in the same group as the tournament hosts. In their first and only appearance at the finals, the East shocked the watching world by beating the defending European champions. Continue reading →

The Beautiful Game Of Thrones

tumblr_n6xmv5IcDW1taahkjo2_1280 Every four years, the bravest warriors from all the corners of the Seven Kingdoms converge to battle for The Throne. Watch the strongest showcase their skills on the battlefield MAracana in the Land of Reos. Valar morghulis, winner takes all. thebeautifulgamers.tumblr.com Continue reading →

World Cup Legends: ‘A childhood dream’

pele Amar Shah’s family ran a sports store importing footballs from Pakistan so he grew up re-enacting World Cup moments with his mates. When Adidas released a historical match-ball series for the 2010 World Cup, on a dare from his wife, he set about a mission: to have a World Cup winning legend sign each ball in the collection. This is his story. Continue reading →

Neymar, Portrait of the Artist

neymar art He’s the darling of the Brazilian national team and the poster-boy for a host nation desperately in need of a World Cup good news story. In Europe, they question if he deserves the hype after a difficult first year at Barcelona but his personality is at odds with the reputation that preceded him. As we saw in last year’s Confederations Cup, Neymar Jr could be about to light up the tournament and live up to the legend that it seems has already been created for him. Continue reading →

We’ll Leave It There So

billo He’s been the steady hand guiding generations of football fans through some of the most heady days in Irish sport. After decades on our television, and 36 years tearing his hair out with everyone from Denis Irwin to Don Givens on RTE’s football panels, Bill O’Herlihy is embarking on his final World Cup as anchor. ybig.ie look back at some of Billo’s memorable moments. Continue reading →

June 11, 2002: Rep. of Ireland 3 S. Arabia 0

duff saudi arabia Robbie Keane’s early strike sent Ireland on their way to the second round but nerves weren’t settled until a goal from the unlikeliest of sources, centre-back Gary Breen. Damien Duff, one of the stars of the tournament finally got on the score-sheet to seal the win and give us one of the most iconic celebrations in Irish sport. Continue reading →

O Canarinho: The Most Iconic Shirt in History

10294412_10152501176183767_209850273929590421_n Known ‘O Canarinho’ The Little Canary, it is one of the most iconic images in sport. Yellow flashing with blue on bronzed skin, dancing, darting, with a ball moving like paint strokes. Zig-zags, turns, pass, pass pass. Brazil. The cradle of football. Movers. Masters. The jersey of the Selecao epitomises soccer and the World Cup, and when the tournament kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12, millions will wear the beloved shirt in a nation besotted with the beautiful game. And yet, the garment wouldn’t exist – certainly not in its current form – without the devastation of Brazil’s loss in the 1950 World Cup final and the subsequent imagination of a 19-year-old from the city of Pelotas. Continue reading →

Marco on Marco

reus puma Marco Reus says Germany can bring that famous trophy back this summer. Interviewing himself, Reus talks about the group of death, confirms Germany’s unshakable belief in themselves and offers his opinion on who will win the World Cup this year. Continue reading →

Sergio on Sergio

aguero puma Sergio Agüero believes he can win the Golden Boot this summer. Find out about his first memories of the World Cup and how the sensational striker can be stopped on the pitch, when Sergio talks to Sergio. Continue reading →

Cesc on Cesc

fabregas puma Cesc Fàbregas believes the Spanish national team can repeat its success from 2010. How does a team get over a first match defeat, what other opponents are to be looked out for and why is Spain not scared to face Brazil? Find out and see the most intimate interview Cesc has ever given as he interviews himself. Continue reading →