Barcelona Sign Second-Largest Shirt Sponsorship Deal Ever

Barcelona have signed a new shirt sponsorship deal with Rakuten, an electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo. The deal will pay Barca almost $60 million per year for four years, with the option of a one-year extension and even more money should certain bonus criteria be met.

Barcelona’s current deal with Qatar Airways, a partnership which began back in 2011, currently nets them around $35 million per year, but the Catalan side are now set to nearly double that yearly income with Rakuten as the primary sponsor.

It’s Official: There Will Be No Alcohol At The 2022 World Cup

While the focus has rightly been on corruption allegations in the bidding process, bribery, money laundering, forced labor, human rights abuses, the host country’s stance towards members of the LGBT community and climactic conditions resulting in a contentious decision to move the tournament to November and December, Qatari officials have come to another controversial decision by forbidding the consumption of alcohol “on the streets, squares and [in] public places” at the 2022 World Cup.

Sacramento Close To New MLS Expansion Deal, But St. Louis Still In The Running

St. Louis and Sacramento are both making moves to secure an MLS expansion team, but the future for each city is still unclear.

Back in April 2016, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber had said that he wanted to decide on Sacramento’s bid for an expansion team before Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson left office. That is only a few weeks away, and nothing has happened.

2016 MLS Attendance Makes It The Sixth-Most-Attended League In The World

Building off a record breaking 2015 season that saw an average attendance of 21,558, the 2016 MLS season managed to set another landmark by edging that total with an average attendance of 21,692 fans per game.

The growth of MLS is exemplified by this being the third consecutive season that the record has been broken. Leading the way for MLS is the Seattle Sounders (42,636 fans per game), Orlando City (31,324) and New York City FC (27,196).

Lionel Messi Reads Tweets About Himself And It’s Adorable

Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates, including Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic, took a moment to read tweets about themselves in an ad campaign for the new 2017 Audi Q2. Fortunately for the Barca players, this was nothing like Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segment.

The players read tweets containing strange tags that ultimately praised them as footballers and individuals. The highlight of the two-minute video is watching Messi awkwardly praise himself.

NWSL Champion Creates Training App That Puts You In Control

Repetition, repetition, repetition. You always hear professional athletes talking about getting their "reps" in, as they put in countless hours behind the scenes to truly become masters at their craft. But not everyone has a personal trainer or coach giving them a training regimen to follow, and a common message from coaches to young, aspiring athletes is to spend time outside of practice honing your skills. 

What Happened To Serie A?

It's no secret that Serie A’s UEFA coefficient has been in decline for over 15 years. The UEFA coefficient, used to determine how many teams from each domestic league are entered into competitions such as the Champions League and Europa League, is based on the European success of a club within the last five years.

Despite Everyone's Best Efforts, FIFA Continues To Be FIFA

It's nearly impossible to get a large group of people to agree on something, anything. If you can make a significant portion of the population agree on a thing, you are doing something very special. Soccer fans, for example, cannot agree on which formation is best, which player is best, which manager is right for which club or how much money a player is worth. The only thing soccer fans universally agree on is FIFA is trash, and that is because FIFA is doing something very special.