#TBT FIFA Sports Blog: Brazil’s Pele

With the 2014 World Cup winding down in Brazil, it’s only fitting that today’s #TBT FIFA sports blog remembers Pele – universally considered soccer’s greatest player ever.

Here’s a chapter excerpt from my Favorite Single Named Athletes sports comic book that acknowledges the incomparable Pele.
…..Mention the name Edson Arantes de Nascimento and only staunch soccer fans will recognize it.

However, say the simple name Pele, and nearly everyone on the planet, whether soccer fan or not, will immediately recognize this extraordinary Brazilian.

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Soccer Royals Advance to World Cup Semi-finals

In yesterday’s penalty kick shootout victory over Costa Rica, Netherlands star striker Robin Van Persie was held in check and failed to find the back of the net in 120 minutes of action.

Ironically, so were other celebrated scorers from the three other high powered teams whose recent victories enabled their countries to also advance to the 2014 World Cup Semi-finals.

Neither Thomas Muller of Germany, Lionel Messi of Argentina nor Neymar of Brazil were able to score in their sides’ respective wins. Like Van Persie, Muller, Messi and Neymar were heavily marked during their entire matches.

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2014 US Soccer Team: Big Winners in Brazil

The 2014 United States Men’s National Soccer Team will need to wait another four years for the next opportunity to potentially hoist its first World Cup trophy.

Though eliminated yesterday in Salvatore, Brazil from this year’s competition, the Yanks still came away winners.

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2014 World Cup: Argentina’s Lionel Messi

No one disputes that this tiny Argentine is the greatest soccer player in the world. Sorry, Ronaldo, Neymar and Muller.

Lionel Messi’s collection of four Ballon d’Or Trophies for FIFA Player of the Year testifies to why #10 is the most watched player in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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Stoppage Time in Soccer at 2014 World Cup

Stoppage Time in soccer is one of the real mysteries of life!

Intrigued, but uninformed new American soccer fans watching the 2014 World Cup action in Brazil must be scratching their heads when they hear sportscasters announcing stoppage time near the end of a half or game. They must be thinking…

Exactly why is it called Stoppage Time when the game clock continues to run at the end of the half or in the overtime period – backwards – I might add?

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US Soccer Advances in World Cup & Digital Popularity

Battered, bruised and bereft of energy, a hard scrapple Team USA survived the heat, humidity and heavyweight hitters in the highly competitive Group G , otherwise known as the Group of Death, in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The Americans earned the opportunity to advance into the single elimination round of 16 against a very formidable Belgium side, winners of Group H.

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Ronaldo Helps Portugal Tie USA at World Cup

Held in check for 94 minutes and 30 seconds of the USA versus Portugal World Cup match in Manaus, Brazil last night, Cristiano Ronaldo’s “magic feet” never found the back of the net nor provided the brilliance that every fan expected from the world class striker.

However, with only 30 seconds remaining in stoppage time, only one of the 2013 Ballon d’ Or trophy winner’s “magic feet” was required to brilliantly cross the ball into the box to find teammate Valera for a diving header past US goalie Tim Howard.

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Undersized World Cup Stars Prove Bigger Not Always Better

The extraordinary play in this year’s World Cup of some of international football’s best players refutes a timeless adage.

On the soccer pitch of Brazil’s stadiums, Lilliputians like 5’6″ Lionel Messi of Argentina, 5’7″ Philipp Lahm of Germany, 5’7″ Alexis Sanchez of Chile, 5’7″ Dries Martens of Belgium, 5’8″ Giovani dos Santos of Mexico and 5’9″ Neymar da Silva Santos of Brazil have made a mockery of the common misconception in sports that “bigger is always better.”

These scintillating stars have proven that if we used the same logic that “bigger is always better,” then we’d want bigger headaches, bigger holes in our pockets and even bigger cases of jock rash.

This weekend’s World Cup games showed that you can never measure the indomitable spirit that drives athletes, regardless of their physical size.

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Missing 2014 World Cup Story Lines

In its first week of group play, the 2014 World Cup has satisfied nearly every eagerly expectant international football fan.

From high scoring matches (like Holland’s 5 – 1 thrashing of Spain) to nail-biting nil – nil finishes (like yesterday’s Brazil versus Mexico scoreless tie), the quadrennial event has failed to disappoint.

However, the preponderance of press coverage dedicated to the USA’s stunning victory over Ghana as well as the tournament’s marquee, goal scoring stars like Messi, Ronaldo, Van Persie, Mueller and Neymar has unintentionally kept other obvious World Cup stories quietly beneath the media’s radar in Brazil.

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