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The Week in Pictures: December 22 – December 28, 2015

Dec 29, 2015

Weekly news in pictures

With no end of news breaking around the world last week we take a moment to revisit some of the biggest stories of the week

In the Vatican at midnight on Christmas Eve, the night before the day celebrated as marking the birth of Jesus Christ, a significant figure in Christianity a religion followed by some two billion people around the world, Pope Francis preached against what he called “a culture of indifference” and “a society so often intoxicated by consumerism & hedonism, wealth & extravagance, appearances & narcissism” and called upon members of the Catholic church to be devout and “act soberly”.

In Paraguay the President, Horacio Cartes, freed up relief funds to the value of $3.5 million and declared a state of emergency after heavy rains that began on December 18th caused massive and widespread flooding in the region. Some 20,000 people had to be evacuated in neighboring Argentina, and thousands more were left homeless in both southern Brazil and northern Uruguay after local rivers burst their banks. It is the worst flooding in the region for years displacing over 150,000 people.

In Victoria, Australia, massive fast moving bush fires devastated communities in both Wye River and Separation Creek last week, and also caused the evacuation of the town of Lorne as some 5,500 acres were set ablaze by a lightning strike on the 19th of December. One in three houses in the effected towns has been left uninhabitable with 1,600 people evacuated as a precaution against sudden wind shifts endangering them. Hundreds of firefighters were called in from across the country to tackle the blaze.

In sport Southampton gave Arsenal a 4-0 spanking at St. Mary’s in the English Premier League last week a result from which manager Arsene Wenger claims they will bounce back as they play Bournemouth at home on Monday evening. Will they manage it or become yet another of the mighty teams to hit a slump in performance? You’ll have to read our daily news pages to find out but in the meantime lets look again at some of the big stories we covered from around the world last week.

1. Bayern Munich appointed Carlo Ancelotti as the replacement of Pep Guardiola, and transfer rumours have already started spreading.

ancelotti bayern

New coach presenting piece from his CV (Photo: EPA)

2. Host Steve Harvey crowned the wrong Miss Universe, mistakenly giving it to Miss Colombia when the rightful winner was Miss Philippines.

miss universe mistake

There can be only one… the right one. (Photo: bbc)

3. NBA commissioner Adam Silver called for the legalization and regulation of daily fantasy sports and sports betting, arguing that there is unmet consumer demand.

adam silver supportsd betting sites and fantasy sports

If people would like to place bets, then they should have the opportunity to do so.. (Photo: Peter Yang via abs news)

4. A forward for Boston University was banned for the season amid university hockey gambling controversy. Another player on the team is rumored to have been involved.

nick roberto betting scandal

Nick Roberto, BU player (Source: Youtube)

5. “The Prince Clown of Basketball”, Gobetrotters’ legend Meadowlark Lemon dies at the age of 83.

meadowlark lemon dies

Shaq, one of the first to pay respects (Twitter)

 

Meanwhile an unidentified forty year old driver was detained by police after crashing his car into a tax office with enough force that the vehicle continued on through the wall and into the neighboring store a funeral home. When questioned the driver claimed that he was attempting to “travel through time” at the time of the impact with the thankfully deserted businesses, and no one was hurt during the incident, including the driver from Nashville who was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.

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Rivaldo and Son Rivaldinho Score in the Same Match

Jul 16, 2015
Rivaldo and Son Rivaldinho

The 43-year old world champion came out of retirement to play for Mogi Mirim (EuroSport)

Rivaldo and son, 20-year-old Rivaldinho played together for Mogi Mirim last year. That is the club where Rivaldo jump-started his career in the early nineties.

And that is the club where he became club president in 2008. He also returned as a player twice for them. However he decided to finish his playing career recently. But it was tough for him, as Mogi Mirim struggled.

After a while Rivaldo returned to the team that was on the bottom of the Brazilian Serie B table. Since then, they are unbeaten in two games. Moreover, Rivaldo and son both scored against Macae most recently. The World Cup winner contributed to all of his team’s three goals. He scored one himself and his son bagged a brace. Some sort of football history was written there.

The Guardian: Former Brazil star Rivaldo and his son both score in same league match

Mogi Mirim club president Rivaldo and son, Rivaldinho both play for the Brazilian Serie B outfit. Against Macae both of them got on the scoresheet in a 3-1 victory, as keen followers of live sports results might know.

Rivaldo, who is 43-year-old, retired before. However he has reactivated himself to help his struggling team. Mogi Mirim are unbeaten since Rivaldo’s return two games ago. They also moved from the bottom of the table, gambling news report.

Rivaldo and son

Everybody has the best memories about playing football with Dad..

The World Cup winner was playing for Barcelona at the peak of his career. Now he spent 50 minutes on the pitch to get involved in all three of his team’s goals. He contributed to his son’s diving header with a key pass in the build-up as early as the third minute.

Rivaldo and son, Rivaldinho then scored two more. The former world class player found the net from the spot in the 17th minute. Then Rivaldinho converted a one-on-one towards half-time. A late Macae comfort came from Pipico in the 81st minute then. Rivaldo said after the match that he was “grateful and happy”.

BBC.com: Rivaldo: World Cup winner and son score in same Brazilian match

A Brazilian second-tier game saw Rivaldo and son, Rivaldinho scoring both. Like fathers, like sons. The World Cup winner contributed to all of Mogi Mirim’s goals. Rivaldo is also club president there. He decided to come out from a short retirement recently to help his team.

Rivaldo set up the assist before his son’s header with a key pass in the third minute. Then he scored from a penalty, before his son registered the third. Many of those who follow sports scores might remember famous father and son moments. There was Briand and Nigel Clough, Cesare and Paolo Maldini, but none of them played together.

Rivaldo and son, van der Sar, Zidane, Kluivert

Rivaldo and son Rivaldinho are far from singular with the family tradition (Brunch News)

The 17-year-old Eidur Gudjohnsen replaced his father, Arnor, 34 then, in an Iceland international game in 1996. They weren’t together on the pitch though like Rivaldo and son. Ian Bowyer and his son, Gary represented Hereford United together in the 1989-1990 season. The same goes for Alec Herd and his son, David, who played together for Stockport County in the 1950s.

ESPNFC.com: Rivaldo and son Rivaldinho keep it in the family in Brazil second division

The Rivaldo moment that many gambling blog readers recall first, would be his overhead kick for Barcelona. Then maybe his brace against Denmark at the FIFA 1998 World Cup. Only until the Mogi Mirim match, where Rivaldo and son, Rivaldinho scored both in the Brazilian Serie B.

Rivaldo played for Mogi Mirim in the early nineties, before making himself a name in Europe. Now he is trying to help them as club president, and after a short retirement, once again as a player. Rivaldo and son already played together last year for Mogi Mirim. However this is the first time that both of them scored.

Rivaldo and son training

No slacking the practice when Dad is there to see.. (Gazeta Press)

At the peak of his career, Rivaldo was elected World Player of the Year. Now he is 43, and acting as Mogi Mirim president since 2008. He was an active player until 2014, but then he opted to retire. However that was cut short. He couldn’t watch his team struggling from the terraces. He came back to play and Rivaldo and son wrote history together.

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Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino is the Right Replacement for Sterling

Jun 25, 2015
firmino liverpool

New asset (Photo: Liverpool Instagram via DailyMail)

As we are edging closer to the point when the deal involving Raheem Sterling and a big stack of cash would be announced, Liverpool braced themselves with the acquisition of Roberto Firmino, who might be arguably a better player than the English youngster. The Brazilian, who leaves Hoffenheim for Liverpool, is obviously compared to Sterling after the Merseyside club stated that they will spend GBP 25 million (29 with potential bonuses) on him. However, if the Reds are serious about getting back to the Champions League, they should rather be looking for the new Luis Suarez, not the new Sterling. In Firmino though, they might have found something similar to the world class Uruguayan – maybe not that many goals, but less controversy for sure.

The Telegraph: Who is new Liverpool signing Roberto Firmino?

With Roberto Firmino, the new Brazilian acquisition from Hoffenheim, Liverpool could be back in contention for Champions League qualification next season. Firmino is usually plays as a number ten and in this role he has become one of the most dangerous players in the Bundesliga in recent seasons.

He is not a well-known player amongst English followers of sports scores, but he has the potential to become one of the stars of the Premier League. Firmino is currently at Copa America, where he already registered a goal in the group phase. If Raheem Sterling will complete his transfer to Manchester City, Liverpool will be left with another great player instead plus GBP 20 million cash – not a bad business at all. .

Though Firmino was playing in a not very impressive mid-table team last season, he racked up seven goals equaling Sterling’s record, and created 10 goals for his teammates, which is three more than the tally of Liverpool’s number 31. In the past two Bundesliga seasons only Borussia Monchengladbach’s Kevin Bruyne (26) was able to register more assists than the Brazilian (21), according to online gambling news.

The Guardian: Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino: a thiever of balls who never stops running

Hoffenheim sporting director Ernst Tanner scouted Roberto Firmino in 2010 December, when the 19-year-old was playing in the Brazilian second-tier. He revealed that he was far from being overwhelmed by the Brazilian, though it was clear that he had a potential to further improve his skills. .

Ernst Tanner Hoffenheim

Ernst Tanner , sporting director , Hoffenheim (Photo: Bruno Schlatter, FuW)

Tanner said, “It was strange because during some exercises he would just, without any apparent reason, just fold … but instead of making a big deal out of it and getting angry, he listened carefully to his coach and learned from what he had done wrong. That impressed me.” 

As several European clubs were interested in Firmino, the members of the Hoffenheim board felt a bit like casino winners when they managed to sign him in the following month for EUR 4 million. In the tiny Baden-Württemberg city he found the perfect place to settle in, and he was able to continue his development without any pressure.

ESPNFC.com: Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino: Seven things to know about Brazil forward

After Liverpool reached an agreement with Hoffenheim about the transfer of Roberto Firmino, the 23-year-old would become the second most expensive signing in Liverpool history with GBP 29 million. Firmino shares his birthplace Maceio with Mario Zagallo, who, as keen followers of live sports results might know, won the world cup twice as a player and once as a coach with Brazil. .

He launched his professional career at Figueirense in 2009 when he was 17, and scored his first goal next year. He produced eight goals in his first full season and helped his team to get back to Serie A after spending two years in the second-tier. After that year he signed for Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, and was named as Bundesliga breakthrough player of the season in 2014. .

Firmino set up 21 goals in the last few season, the highest tally amongst Brazilians playing in the top five European leagues. In November he was called up to the Brazilian national team and he made his debut against Turkey. He was lucky regarding injuries so far as he was able to play in 33 out of 34 Bundesliga matches for Hoffenheim in the past three seasons.

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Brazil Ready for the Copa America

Jun 12, 2015
Brazil is among the contenders of Copa America

Brazil is among the contenders of Copa America

The Selecao played his last warm-up game before the Copa America against Honduras. Brazil won 1-0, but the most important thing was Danilo being injured and the inclusion of Dani Alves to the team to replace the Porto defender. Neymar also joined the action for the second half of a rather uneventful match. To making an excuse towards supporters who jeered after the game, Robinho expressed that their moderate display was all right regarding this was their last game before the Copa, and they had to spare most of their energy. For the best of the Copa, the biggest stars of South America are in excellent shape, so this year’s tournament should be most certainly an event to watch.

 

The Guardian: Neymar returns as Brazil beat Honduras in final Copa América warm-up

 

Brazil defeated Honduras 1-0 in a game that wrapped up the preparations for the Copa America. Neymar teamed up with the other players from the squad on Monday, only two days after he scored Barcelona’s last goal in the Champions League final in Berlin, where the Catalans defeated Juventus, as keen followers of sports scores know.

Neymar is expected to lead Brazil to glory (Photo: Proven Quality)

Neymar is expected to lead Brazil to glory (Photo: Proven Quality)

Neymar replaced Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho at half-time, however Brazil already have scored the only goal of the match that time, as Roberto Firmino found Noel Vallarades’net in the 33rd minute. Brazil controlled the game that was played in constant rain, however they had few chances, which is always a reason to be critical for the supporters of Brazil.
Robinho argued that they were keeping the best for the tournament ahead of them. He said, “We eased off the throttle a bit because we know the Copa America is the most important thing for us. The team is practically ready. We’ve been improving match after match.”

 

Sky Sports: Roberto Firmino strikes in Brazil’s final Copa America warm-up

 

Brazil beat Honduras 1-0 through Roberto Frimino’s strike in the first half. That was Brazil’s last friendly game before the Copa America, and it cost them default right back Danilo who injured his ankle early on. He is out for the tournament and Dunga instantly called up Barcelona’s Dani Alves to replace him, latest gambling news report.

Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game played in Porto Alegre. The Hoffenheim midfielder put the ball into the net between the goalkeeper’s legs after a clever one-two between Filipe Luis and Philippe Coutinho in the 33rd minute. That was virtually the only exciting moment in the first half of a rather dull game played in steady rainfall.

Neymar, who joined the team on Monday after the final of the Champions League, had a disallowed goal and a great chance after he took the field in the second half. Brazil has won all of its last 10 games since Dunga took over the team after the humiliating 7-1 defeat against Germany in the semifinal of the World Cup last summer.

 

WhoScored.com: Player Focus: Copa America Superstars in Fine Form Ahead of Chile 2015

 

Johan Cruyff stated when he coached Barcelona that the season after the World Cup was virtually always unpredictable, as the best players, who participated in the tournament, were exhausted. He said, “Everyone in the squad who played in the World Cup – I think there’s about 13 of them – has been injured for a short or a long time. It can’t be coincidence.”

Neymar, Messi and Rodriguez (Photo: TalkSport)

Neymar, Messi and Rodriguez (Photo: TalkSport)

However this season was an exception for many and the Copa America could benefit from that, as all the biggest South American stars including Leo Messi, Neymar, James Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez are in excellent shape. This would increase the prestige of the tournament for any of those who follow live sports scores in Europe.

A tired Messi was seemingly in power saving mode for the most of the World Cup last summer, always to strike in the most important moment, however after assessing his physical condition he is back at his best regarding his game and his fitness too. Neymar injured in the World Cup against Colombia, but he is also as good as ever, contributing vastly to Barca’s treble and Brazil could also capitalize on his outsanding form.

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Chile Will Never Have an Opportunity like This Again

Jun 12, 2015
Chile National Football Team is Ready for Copa America

Chile National Football Team is Ready for Copa America

Chile participated in the first edition of the Copa America 99 years ago in Buenos Aires, still they did not won a single tournament yet. Now they have an excellent squad featuring world class footballers and capable of playing the fastest and most intense pressing game around. Chile uses an approach that is arguably the most up-to-date in football, though they will be under exaggerated pressure playing in front of their home crowd. Chile came very close to eliminate Brazil in the World Cup last year, and though they were unlucky then, their time might have come to achieve something big.

 

The Guardian: Chile host Copa América with best chance to end 99-year wait for title

 

Chile participated in the very first edition of the Copa America in Buenos Aires in 1916 together with Brazil, Uruguay and the hosts, Argentina. Uruguay, being arguably the best national team in the world that time, won that tournament and added 14 more Copa titles later, while Argentina captured 14 titles and Brazil also managed to win 8 Copas to date.

And Chile did not win one. But now they have probably the best chance to alter this record. They have top quality players in Claudio Bravo, Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez, with a compact team that can play in 3-4-1-2 and 4-3-3 as well, always pressing and dictating a very high tempo.

They almost eliminated Brazil last summer in the round 16 of the World Cup, but the crossbar and the penalty shootout favoured the hosts then. However, Chile’s time might have come finally, though the injuries of Mauricio Isla and Eduardo Vargas hurts their chances according to latest gambling news.

 

ESPNFC.com: The Copa America: A summer of vindication and redemption awaits

 

The current Chile national team is the most talented the country ever had, so, as they will be playing on home soil, they will have as good a chance to win the Copa America they will never have again. Not to mention the strength of their group which is the easiest in the tournament, also featuring Ecuador, Mexico and Bolivia.

Alexis Sanchez is optimistic (Source: Daily Star)

Alexis Sanchez is optimistic (Photo: Daily Star)

The prolific striker of Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez said that “The time has come to achieve big things.” However, this tournament will be also about the two South American giants. After Brazil were humiliated by Germany 7-1 in the semifinals, and Argentina were just beaten by Joachim Low’s side in the final, both teams have something to prove at the Copa.
The latter won its last trophy 22 years ago, and was struggling in the previous edition of the Copa at home. However they were able to find a way to bring out the most from Lionel Messi since, and the No. 10 is arguably in the best form of his career, which might be easily the best form in any football player’s career ever, according to many followers of sports scores.

 

WSC.co.uk: Pressure on Chile to end Copa América hoodoo

 

Though Chile has been present at the Copa America since it was first organized in 1916, they have never won the competition. Nations like Peru, Bolivia and Colombia were all had the opportunity to celebrate a Copa victory but this never happened with Chileans before. However, now they have a real chance to experience that feeling.

Jorge Sampaoli is aware of expectations (Photo: Elgrafico Chile)

Jorge Sampaoli is aware of expectations (Photo: Elgrafico Chile)

Chile hosted six Copas before, but they only reached the final once. National team coach Jorge Sampaoli, realizing the level of expectations amongst the fans, planned to take the squad to Europe to prepare for the tournament properly. However they opted to stay at home instead, placing the team’s facilities and the roads nearby under heavy security surveillance.

A Chilean TV station tried to make pictures of the squad’s training by deploying a drone, however when the device flew over the training pitch, Sampaoli ordered his team to leave the field. All media workers were also banned from the training center immediately, gambling news report.

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CBF Claims Dunga Has Full Control over Team Selection before Copa America

May 20, 2015
Dunga Brazil football coach

Dunga Brazil’s team football coach

After a story emerged from the Brazilian media about a Cayman Islands-based marketing company influencing team selection of the national side, the federation denied the allegations. They acknowledged however the existence of the contract that was discussed in the report, but emphasized that the actual head coach of the national team picks the best players before every game Brazil is involved in.

After the national team’s coach, Dunga has called up Liverpool star playmaker Philippe Coutinho to the squad preparing for the Copa America, the fans of Brazil and the Reds are curiously waiting to see the midfield trickster playing alongside Neymar. Coutinho struggled when on national duty so far, but now he has to take his game to a new level for club and country.

ESPNFC: Brazil says squad selection done solely by coach, not marketing partners

The CBF, the Brazilian Football Confederation denies that a marketing company, that buys the commercial rights of every friendly game of the Brazilian national football team for 1 million dollars, would also name the line-up of the Selecao. The CBF reacted to alleged details of its contract with a Cayman Island-based firm published by a Brazilian newspaper.
According to the report, there would be a fifty percent cut from the fee the company usually pays to CBF per matches if players like Neymar are left out of the team. However, CBF stated that “the criteria for selecting the squad for the matches of the Brazilian team are, and always will be, with the coach”.

They did not deny the existence of such agreement, saying “The contract between the CBF and ISE is not a secret and large parts of it have been published before”. CBF’s statement also emphasizes that coaches always select the best players available naturally, not because of the influence of a marketing company.
The contract between CBF and International Sports Events on behalf of the federation was agreed by former president Ricardo Teixeira, who stepped down from his position in 2012. He quit after he was accused with corruption together with former president of the FIFA, Joao Havelange, as many who follow sports scores remember.

Rushthekop.com: Copa America Important For Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho will have a shot to prove his skills to South America and the world at international level this summer, wearing the special yellow shirt of Brazil. Gambling news reported earlier this month that Brazil head coach Dunga left out Chelsea’s Oscar from the squad due to injury, and picked Coutinho, that came as a surprise for many.
Dunga expressed that he expects the little magician to entertain Brazilian supporters like he does with the people of Liverpool. He said, “There is a lot of talk about Coutinho here in England because of what he is doing with Liverpool. I would like to see the Brazilian fans clamouring for him too.”

When he got the opportunity before, the playmaker failed to deliver for Brazil so far. However, with a bunch of strong performances under his belt and with a considerable growth in confidence, Coutinho will have a chance to develop his game further playing alongside stars like Barcelona’s Neymar and Orlando City’s Kaka.
Coutinho was named to the PFA Team of the Year and was arguably Liverpool’s most important player in this year’s campaign. After the departure of Steven Gerrard and possibly of Raheem Sterling, Coutinho’s role will be increasingly important for the Reds. His new experiences with the national team in Chile might help him to offer even more for Liverpool.

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10 facts about the FIFA World Cup you probably didn’t know

May 27, 2010

2010-fifa-world-cup-mascot-zakumi

1. Brazil has appeared in more World Cups (18), won the more matches (64), and won more Cups (5) than any other country.

2. Since the first World Cup in 1930, a total of 31,051,828 fans have attended the Finals.

3. July 31 was declared a national holiday in Uruguay after they won the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

4. Shirt swapping was officially prohibited in 1986 because FIFA did not want players to bare their chests on the soccer field.

5. Europe and South America are the only contents to produce World Cup winners.

6. The youngest World Cup player was 17 year old Norman Whiteside (Ireland) and the oldest was 42 year old Roger Milla (Cameroon).

7. Mexico has lost the most matches in World Cups Finals history (22).

8. During WWII, to prevent the Nazis from stealing the Jules Rimet Trophy, Dr. Ottorino Barassi, an Italian sports official, smuggled the trophy from the bank in Rome and hid it under his bed.

9. The winners of the 2010 World Cup will receive $30,000,000 prize money

10. The official 2010 World Cup Mascot is a green and gold leopard man named Zakumi.

FIFA World Cup Betting Odds

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Top 10 Soccer Players in the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa

May 10, 2010

1. Lionel Messi

Brazil Argentina Wcup SoccerTeam: Argentina

Age: 22

Position: Striker

Current club: Barcelona

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

cristiano_ronaldo

Team: Portugal

Age: 25

Position: Winger

Current club: Real Madrid

3. Wayne Rooney

Wayne-Rooney

Team: England

Age: 24

Position: Striker

Current club: Manchester

4. Kaka

kaka

Team: Brazil

Age: 28

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Real Madrid

5. Xavi

Xavi

Team: Spain

Age: 30

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Barcelona

6. Didier Drogba

drogba

Team: Ivory Coast

Age: 32

Position: Striker

Current club: Chelsea

7. Andres Iniesta

andres-iniesta

Team: Spain

Age: 25

Position: Winger

Current club: Barcelona

8. Fernando Torres

torres

Team: Spain

Age: 26

Position: Striker

Current club: Liverpool

9. Steven Gerrard

4153392

Team: England

Age: 29

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Liverpool

10. Michael Essien

michael-essien

Team: Ghana

Age: 27

Position: Midfielder

Current club: Chelsea

2010_FIFA_World_CupSee FIFA World Cup betting odds and 2010 football FIFA World Cup Betting Odds

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