In some ways, you have to feel bad for João Pedro. In others, you can’t help but laugh at the Cagliari striker for not knowing better. After the João Pedro free kick fiasco against Lazio on Thursday, either reaction is appropriate.
Early in Cagliari’s visit to Lazio, the referee blew his whistle for a foul about 30 yards from Lazio’s net. João Pedro stepped up and smashed the free kick straight into the back of the net.
It was a flabbergasting shot, rifled straight into the upper 90.
And it didn’t count.
Who’s a better athlete, a professional soccer player or a pro baseball player? Mal Pugh and her baseball-playing boyfriend set out to scientifically prove who is the better athlete.
Pugh, the young USWNT star who scored in and won her first Women’s World Cup last summer, is dating Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson. The sports power couple was featured in a recent video on MLB’s YouTube page pitting the two against each other in a series of challenges.
The goal was gaping for Kerem Demirbay. Kai Havertz had just struck the crossbar, but the ball bounced kindly to Demirbay wide open in the six-yard box. It was impossible to miss.
Well, almost impossible.
Center back Nico Elvedi never gave up on the play and against all odds recovered in time to get a foot to Demirbay’s shot, clearing the ball off the line in spectacular fashion.
Nico Elvedi Goal-Line Clearance
With the Bundesliga’s restart just over a week away, it’ll be fascinating to see the differing levels of fitness on display when, for example, Borussia Dortmund hosts Schalke in the Revierderby on Saturday, May 16. After over two months off, it’s only natural that some players will have taken better care of themselves, while others might need an extra week or two to last more than 60 minutes.
No decade in the Bundesliga’s 57-year history has been as thoroughly dominated by one club as Bayern Munich’s reign over the last 10 years. Apart from Borussia Dortmund’s back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012, the rest of the 2010s were steamrolled by Bayern.
Over this period, the club routinely landed players in the Bundesliga's top 10 scorers each season. The notable examples include Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller, Mario Gómez, Mario Mandžukić and Robert Lewandowski.
Goal #100: An acrobatic side volley that’s made to look effortless. Goal #99: A velvety first touch loaded with purpose, a graceful cut beyond a defender and a curled finish inside the far post.
And now there are 98 superior goals?! As Ray Hudson once said, “The insane becomes the routine with this man.”
Over the course of the last four years, Sadio Mané has become world-renowned while shining for Liverpool. He’s now a two-time PFA Team of the Year selection, a Premier League Golden Boot recipient, the 2019 African Footballer of the Year and a UEFA Champions League winner.
If you ask Lionel Messi who the best player on the planet was last year, he’ll tell you it was Mané.
Before clicking play on the video above, you obviously know what goal comes in at number one in this countdown. One could argue that Giovani dos Santos’ chip in the 2011 Gold Cup Final is still, to this day, setting the USMNT back further and further. We’ll never truly know the lasting repercussions of Tim Howard, Eric Lichaj, Michael Bradley, Carlos Bocanegra and Jermaine Jones being simultaneously ruined by Dos Santos, but I’ll tell you one thing, the United States still hasn’t recovered.
There will come a day when the USMNT boasts a world-class striker. I might not be around to see it, but that day is coming.