The Calm and The Storm: Lionel Messi’s Moment

By Anthony Lopopolo

When he was a kid, Lionel Messi used to take a one-hour siesta in the afternoon. He would sleep 10 hours a night. He wasn’t really bothered. 

He is still a pretty calm guy at 27 years old, by accounts of his teammates and those around him. “You see him warming up and he’s as calm as a kid who’s going to play on the field around the corner,” said Fernando Signorini, Argentina’s fitness trainer, in the book Messi: A Biography. The Maracanã, the World Cup final, is not exactly a game on a field around the corner, but it is his last frontier, the chance to be fully embraced by the country he left when he was 11, to share the same mantle as Maradona.

Messi understands this moment. “My hopes and dreams are being fulfilled due to the hard work and sacrifice of a team that has given everything from match one,” he wrote on Facebook. But this feels almost more about his own legacy than it does about Argentina.

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Brazil vs. Germany, without Brazil

Brazil didn’t show up against Germany. So, naturally, here are Germany’s seven goals against Brazil in an alternate universe where Brazil literally didn’t show up.

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More Than Just a Flag
The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.
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Regardless of color, creed, or orientation, we’re all fans, and we’re all family. [Posted by Nathen]

More Than Just a Flag

The World Cup is often portrayed as an event that brings a diversity of countries together, but it’s not just the teams, so much as the diverse people who make up each of those countries.

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We made it. AFR has arrived at the World Cup!

A Football Report has just landed in Rio in time to catch a match at the legendary Maracanã.

We have just under a week to see as much as we can— faces, fans and of course, football, courtesy of Budweiser. As always, we’ll be using #whereisfootball to document it. Tag along with us. [Posted by NathenPhoto by Mark Forrer]

Google x The World Cup

Whether it’s welcoming Pirlo to the Amazon, a bit of father’s day football, or celebrating a rematch of the World Cup final, Google have created unique homepage animations for every match.

The Cost of the Cup, by PEZ
Addressing the current emotions surrounding the World Cup in Brazil, the sketchbook of French artist PEZ captures the heart of the issues at hand.
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Depicting the opinions of many Brazilians who consider the cost of the World Cup to be excessive, PEZ uses line, shape and an instantly recognizable figure to represent a typical favela buckling under the weight of geopolitical concerns and currency. [Posted by Nathen]

The Cost of the Cup, by PEZ

Addressing the current emotions surrounding the World Cup in Brazil, the sketchbook of French artist PEZ captures the heart of the issues at hand.

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Predicting the World Cup with the Soccer Power Index (SPI)

With the World Cup only a day away, all eyes are on Brazil. From tournament previews to the bookmakers’ odds, everyone is trying to figure out who will impress and who will fall flat on the grandest stage.

Fortunately for us, we’ve managed to procure the one thing that can definitively offer us the answers: The Soccer Power Index.

The Soccer Power Index was developed by ESPN and is a tool almost too powerful for the eyes and minds of men. It is the world’s first sporting precog. Its knowledge is earth-shattering, its power unmatched, its validity unquestionable.

The only question is: Can you handle it?

The Soccer Power Index is three feet tall and weighs 27 pounds (just over 12 kilos). It was being transported to Brazil from its birthplace in Bristol, Connecticut when we were able to make our move just outside of Bridgeport. We jostled it free from ESPN’s truck, scooped it up, and never looked back. After hours of decryption (nice try, Paul Carr), a number of trips to a local hardware store, and a regrettable number of human sacrifices, the SPI finally opened up to us, its captors, and told us everything. Our findings are below:

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The Game Before The Game

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Bounce by Guillaume Blanchet

Two years of travel. Two years of play. Filmmaker Guillaume Blanchet has journeyed across the world with a ball at his feet. Through sand, grass, concrete and snow, the ball always bounced back. And thankfully, Guillaume brought his camera along for the ride.

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