Let the games begin.
With only hours until the World Cup draw that we’ve waited years for - the World Cup draw which will effectively decide your team’s fate next summer - we thought it was a decent idea to offer a few tips that could come in handy while you struggle to maintain your composure. We can’t make any promises, but if you follow these tips, we’re sure you’ll make it through at least the first hour of coverage. After that, it’s on you.
We attended the European launch of the 2014 Brazilian National Team Kit, where David Luiz spoke about his passion for Brazil and their iconic ‘Canarinho’ jersey. We wanted to know more about the Brazil shirt and how leading brands are preparing for the World Cup, so we caught up with Nike Football’s Creative Director Martin Lotti, a man behind a massive project.
AFR: The Brazil shirt is arguably Nike’s most iconic international jersey, so when designing the home kit for the World Cup host, what were the most important characteristics that couldn’t be lost, even when creating a new design?
Martin Lotti: We spent a lot of time traveling in Brazil, absorbing the culture, as well as meeting up with athletes. There were two very clear things that stood out the most: 1) the yellow (the colour of the shirt) and 2) the crest.
In fact, several footballers grabbed the crest and said “this what I’m fighting for. This is the heart and soul.”
Penrith Football Club, founded in 1894, are members of the Ebac Northern League Division One, the 9th tier the English league pyramid. In 2009, they relocated to a new stadium at Frenchfield Park after the development of Penrith New Squares took over the site of their historical home, Southend Road. Nathen McVittie grabbed his camera and propped it up right next to the pitch to experience Penrith FC for the first time.
In Nathen’s words: "Penrith is a pretty small town. The new stadium is only a five minute walk from my family’s house. I was trying to get to as many football games in England as I could before I had to fly back to New York, and it hit me that everything I had seen up to that point was of a fairly high standard. I wanted to capture something local, something gritty that captured the essence of non league football.
I wasn’t looking to capture immaculate photos, quite the opposite. I wanted to reflect exactly what I was seeing on the pitch— imperfection. It was actually my first ever Penrith game, even though I spent the best part of 20 years there. It was my Nick Hornby moment; I realized I would watch any game, anytime, anywhere.”
It’s nice having a former professional footballer at the office. Davis Paul, who played for the Chicago Fire in MLS, made tremendous use of his lunch break at the GoPro HQ earlier this week.
With the world’s eyes turning to Brazil for this week’s World Cup draw, we’ll be discussing whether the country will in fact be ready to host 32 teams once next Summer comes round. After a series of missed deadlines, a tragic disaster at the stadium that’s due to host the opening match of the tournament, and the country attempting to construct more stadiums than it needs to, how much of a realistic possibility is it that everything won’t be completed in time?
Moving back across the Atlantic, we’ll also be profiling Fulham’s new boss (and his somewhat animalistic instincts), take a look at what has been dubbed the Football League’s “Black Monday”, and also check in on Serie A to see why the wheels are starting to come off for Roma, and how 12,000 school children have been putting Juventus’ ultras to shame.
That’s the message ahead of the summer. “Ouse Ser Brasileiro”, because nobody plays like the 5-time World Cup winners. Whether it’s evading 20 foot tall Uruguayans (or Argentines?) with a fake rabona or making a goal line clearance by turning into an anime character, Nike went two-footed into the surreal. Check the full spot here.
By Will Giles
When François Hollande won the French presidential election in May 2012, it marked the first time in 20 years that the increasingly right-leaning country had voted for a left-wing leader. However, for a president seeking to reduce the gap between the wealthy and the not-so wealthy, Hollande’s plans are certainly threatening to compound the economic inequality in France’s premier domestic league.
One of the key policies in the socialist’s manifesto was a 75% tax on annual earnings above one million euros (£850,000), and it was one that struck a chord with a public frustrated by Nicolas Sarkozy and his tax breaks for the rich.
Seven months after Hollande’s election, however, his flagship ‘supertax’ was deemed unconstitutional in court. Having championed it so fervently during campaigning, it came as no surprise that Hollande opted to revive the tax, reworking it as opposed to discarding it.
The restructured legislation will, if passed, take responsibility away from the individual and place it with the employer, making companies pay the 75% tax rate on their employees’ earnings. Despite retaining its popularity in public opinion polls, Hollande’s amended supertax has unsurprisingly drawn criticism from the larger corporations, with some of the strongest displeasure coming from France’s leading football clubs.
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