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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The Passing of a Generation

By Zack Goldman

Call it what you’d like: The end of an era, the collapse of a dynasty, or just, plainly, expected.

Whatever you term Spain’s past week, it was not what they had in mind when arriving in Brazil to defend the World Cup that they won with such heart and tenacity in South Africa four years ago.

It had all started so well.

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Against All Odds: Atleti in the Camp Nou

Anthony Lopopolo was at the Camp Nou, camera in hand, to capture some of the scenes over the weekend.

A few seconds after Alexis Sanchez scored that first goal for Barcelona, an Atletico Madrid fan tucked underneath an overhang in Camp Nou held his head in his hands and couldn’t control the tears. He thought it was over.

Both Diego Costa and Arda Turan had gone off with injuries. It looked like Atletico were going to lose the league in the final game at Camp Nou. Then Diego Godin scored off a header, and the fan leapt. He was leading chants the rest of the game, a small section of Atletico supporters in the bottom corner of the stadium.

After the final whistle, signaling a the title-clinching draw for Atletico, a Barca fan turned around and shook his rival’s hands. Those remaining applauded Atletico. They know what it takes to win.

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A Guide to the Past and Present of World Cup Powers

You know the hype is hitting its peak when there are more teams than days left until it all kicks off.

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A crown for a new king who couldn’t be stopped

He was shoved out. He could have dived. He could have taken the foul and slowed the game down. Instead, he stayed on his feet, knowing more than anyone that nothing could stop him. Gareth Bale stepped up, and now there are no doubts. Madrid will remember this one legendary run for years to come. [Art by Kendall Henderson. Words by Eric]

Dissecting Paulino - Barça’s first and the Philippines’ last goalscoring machine

By Gustavo Gutiérrez-Mercado 

He is, alongside Hidetoshi Nakata and Ji-Sung Park, one of the finest footballers the Far East has given to the world. Chronicles of that time describe him as a skilful forward; thin, but strong-legged. Paulino Alcántara, product of the marriage between a Spanish soldier and a Filipina, was born in Iloilo City, the Philippines, on 1896; two years prior to the independence of the archipelago from Spain and subsequent occupation by the U.S.

Although registers from the era don’t give away a precise date, Alcántara moved to Barcelona alongside his family at the beginning of the 20th century; being that same city where he started and ended his footballing career. But what’s so remarkable about him?

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Reimagining the World Cup, by James Taylor

The World Cup is quickly approaching, with kick-off in Rio de Janerio less than one hundred days away. That said, there’s still plenty of time to remember and admire the past. In a poster series commemorating previous World Cups, Manhattan-based graphic designer, James Taylor, reimagined posters for each tournament, using era-specific design principles to illustrate the unique style of each World Cup. You can find the whole collection on Pennarello Design[Posted by Maxi

Looking back to look forward: EURO 2012

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Spanish football vs. Fans who watch games illegally

The message from La Liga: When you watch games illegally, you’re hurting your team. In mostly hilarious ways.

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