Informational/Did You Know
Scoring a hat-trick in Europe’s premier club competition is no mean feat, especially so as an adolescent teenager between the ages of 13 and 19. The list of players to have accomplished the goalscoring achievement reads like a who’s who of the world’s greatest talent since the tournament’s adoption in 1992.
In fact, only 18 players have multiple Champions League hat-tricks to their name, with both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo having accomplished the task a staggering seven times. Nobody else has recorded more than three.
We’re entering the second week of FIFA corruption trials for three men in New York City and already the court cases are providing more entertainment than an HBO series. The FIFA scandal keeps getting weirder, and that’s not really a good thing for fans of the game, but it’s great for fans of an interesting narrative.
For those who watched any of this fall’s 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, you might’ve noticed one distinct trait which unified the entire playing field. Whether the teenagers on show played for India, Mali, Honduras or New Caledonia, they all tried their best to look like Neymar.
With socks worn above the knees, a right wrist covered in orthopedic tape, hair shorn on the sides and left to do whatever up top, you could tell the youths were focused on the task at hand but also in a revery over what their tattoo sleeves would look like come their 18th birthday.
And so it’s settled. On November 15, Peru claimed the final spot in the 32-team field for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, bringing us to the final event before the June 14 kick off at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow: the draw to determine the eight groups of four for the finals.
Generation Z . . . psh. Am I right my Baby Boomers? Baby Boomers . . . cripes. You feel me my Gen Z-ers? But not so fast — I’m here to bridge the incommunicable divide between those that’ve had the same job out in the ‘burbs for 50 years now and those that’ve hopped between three jobs over the past week in Gentrified City.
Football will be our olive branch, and footballers turned managers will be our common ground. For boomers, sit back and enjoy the nostalgia. For Generation Z, look at Antonio Conte without any hair!
Following a 1-0 defeat to Sweden on Friday, Italy is on the brink of failing to qualify for the World Cup for just the second time in the national team’s history. Italy must rebound in the return leg on Monday in Milan if the Azzurri want to reach a 19th World Cup.
While Pelé is often considered the greatest goal scorer of all time, he does not top the charts on any one league’s all-time scoring list. Lionel Messi hasn’t been able to equal Pelé or Diego Maradona by winning a World Cup, but he does sit on top of the all-time scoring list for one of the best leagues in the world.
The United States, Mexico and many other countries across the globe will line up to play some relatively meaningless friendlies next week. They could be some of the last international friendlies if a UEFA-led project comes to fruition and forever reshapes the landscape of international football.