World Cup Open Post: Hosted by Benedict Cumberbatch’s love letter to Ronaldo

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You guys have been begging for some kind of coverage of the World Cup, so here you go. This is sort of a hodge-podge Open Post for today’s football game between the USA and Portugal. For those of us in the US, it will air on ABC at 3 pm EST 6 pm EST. It’s a pretty big deal here. I mean, it’s not life-or-death or even Super Bowl-level of excitement, but people are more excited about the World Cup than ever before. It’s been a slow burn, and I think part of the reason today’s game has been hyped over the past few days is because the US won their first game against Ghana. Suddenly, we got excited when we started winning.

So, what are our chances? I think they’re better now that A) we’ve already won one game and B) Portugal got their asses handed to them by Germany. Portugal is apparently pretty beat-up – Cristiano Ronaldo is playing injured, and some of their best players aren’t able to play today. So, will the US win? Sigh… probably not, but I’ll be rooting for them. USA! USA!

Speaking of Ronaldo… Vimeo has released a quickie documentary about Ronaldo and how he’s The Biggest Deal in football these days. I wouldn’t care except the documentary has been narrated by… Benedict Cumberbatch. Otters appear at the strangest times. Here’s the trailer for the documentary, with Benedict’s dulcet tones working their way into your panties.

Nice. Still, I hope the American boys make Ronaldo cry. PLEASE!

Oh, I’m including some photos of tiger and lion cubs at Guaipo Siberian Tiger Park in China. These were some of the first images I found when I was looking for “World Cup” photos. I enjoyed them! I’m also including some photos of Ronaldo and some of the American team. My guy is Kyle Beckerman – I love his dreads!

PS… Am I the only one watching the games and thinking, “Wow, the Iranian team is HOT”?

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet, WENN.

 

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241 Responses to “World Cup Open Post: Hosted by Benedict Cumberbatch’s love letter to Ronaldo”

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  1. Miss M says:

    Hottest teams: Italy, Netherlands, Spain and England. Greece has some fine players. Suarez from Uruguay. Some of the French and Swiss players are hot too.

  2. A.Key says:

    I take back everything, BC really does need a job stat …

  3. Mathis says:

    Love Ronaldo, Benedict? not so much. There has been at least half a dozen of documentaries about Cris, won’t be that much a miss.
    I’ve been rooting for Portugal for a long time, but they just aren’t r right this tournament(psychologically and physically speaking, they are far from their form of, say, the 2012 Euro Cup), and half of their key defence players can’t play against America, poor babies:(

  4. Annabelle says:

    Me and my friend had a discussion about the World Cup a few days ago and which team was more likely to win. She said Netherlands and I said Germany.

  5. sunnyeze says:

    yup, i found the iranians hot looking too, with surprisingly on par footie skills with argentina (yesterday’s match). too bad messi had to score that last gasp goal. hottest player in World Cup though? I would say Giroud from France

  6. Molly says:

    I never really got into soccer because it seemed pretty uneventful (low scoring) but this world cup has changed my mind. Everyone gets so excited in the stands and the players throw such hissy fits its amazing. And not only are the players so much more gorgeous than American football players but they clean up very well.
    Russia, Netherlands, and France are my teams.
    (Aleksandr Kerzhakov & Olivier Giroud *swoon* )
    Ronaldo does nothing for me. He reminds me of Ricky Martin.

    • Sarah says:

      im the opposite. i never got games with high scoring. i visited a basketball game and was cheering when they scored. and then they scored and scored and scored and scored…it was pretty boring to me when basically every shot scores and you have results like 98:110.

      a goal in football means quite something. it also makes for a very intense and exciting end game phase. best example germany: ghana last night. 2:2 and both teams were very close to another goal which would have meant the victory. you also have a lot more close calls where everyone sucks in their breath and huge WOAH go through the stadium.

      i also like football more than american football because they have so many breaks and always the same setup from where they start. football seems more fluid with less breaks.

      • Aysla says:

        I’m the same, Sarah. There’s no suspense in high-scoring games. I was on the edge of my seat with Ghana vs. Germany, a lot rides on every single goal. I scared my dogs with my loud, but relieved “YES!!!!” when Ghana scored their two goals.

        I’m always pro-African and pro-Latin American teams, but my wish for this World Cup is anyone but Germany (and Brazil, although I love Neymar), and preferably a country that hasn’t won before.

        Fun fact: Only 8 countries have won the World Cup. Brazil has won 5, France 1, Germany 3, Italy 4, Argentina 2, Uruguay 2, Spain 1, England 1.

      • SpookySpooks says:

        Everyone seems to hate Germany? Why? They are in my top 3.
        I don’t like France and England.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        @Spooky, I’m Portuguese , don’t ask me to like them, for obvious reasons… :D

      • Aysla says:

        Spooks, my reasons for disliking the German team are not totally rational and don’t really make sense even to me haha… but alas, I just really don’t like them and never have (although I respect the hell out of Klose).

        Come to think of it, I think it would be really fun if Colombia won. Can you imagine their epic World Cup win choreography? Preferably set to this song:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdktZJ-Qijk (one of the most famous and recognizable Colombian cumbias).

        Oh please please, World Cup Gods, give us great choreography!

      • Isadora says:

        I was rooting for Spain but as they have messed up big time I’m now rooting for Germany! :)

  7. Asra says:

    Hahah you made me laugh! I AM IRANINAN!
    Our boys and girls are HOT

  8. oh dear says:

    what do you guys think of uruguay’s tight shirts? lol and croatia’s coach does clean up rather well too lol

  9. ashley says:

    The iranian team is hot,especially the goal keeper! Wow!

  10. Tiffany27 says:

    THOUGHTS:
    - The Iranian team is BEAUTIFUL
    - I hate Ronaldo
    - Mats Hummels is also beautiful
    - The US has a really good shot due to Germany tying with Ghana
    - The boyfriend is Dutch so GO ORANGE!!!

  11. Tiffany says:

    And somewhere Morgan Freeman is thinking, ‘ Stop taking my job, dammit’.

  12. sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

    Thanks Kaiser for a post on Football, the World Cup.. Sorry, but I’ll be rooting for Portugal and Cristiano, though they haven’t played very well lately… I think they are basically worn out.. Most of our players play in teams that have won cups here in Europe (whether country’s cups or others), so high pressure all year long…. Let’s see how it goes….

    Oh Kaiser, for some reason, don’t know if it’s my connection , the video get’s stuck in the middle… :) it’s like a scratched CD, just wanted to know if it happened to anyone else…

    Cristiano, cubs and Benedict.. and footbal?? Dream come true…

  13. sure says:

    If Italians still had Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta the other players could go home.

  14. Kay says:

    I’m from Seattle so my favorite Americans are Deuce (Dempsey) and yedlin. My hubs is such a big Dempsey fan he literally came running into the house when he read the twitter rumors that deuce was coming to Seattle. I think he almost cried when they announced his signing. I am sooo excited for today’s game. The day is going to drag by! Go USA!

  15. Vickyt says:

    Hi Kaiser, can we please have a Hot Guy Friday, World Cup edition? There are some truly gorgeous men on the field this year. Or can we have Hot Guy Friday every few months instead of every Friday to build the anticipation? I miss the vintage royal scandal posts too.

  16. sunsetsnow says:

    I was at the gym when the Uruguay and Costa Rica game was on last week. All of us girls were crowded around the tv in one section on our exercise machines. Guys kept strolling by to see why so many girls were in one section, and none of us paid them any attention. It was funny! Each guy they showed on the teams was hotter than the one before.

  17. OhDear says:

    I was rooting for England, but, well, England.

    I adore Ronaldo but won’t say anything more lest I jinx anything.

  18. Hazel says:

    My Highlights so far:
    Best Hair: The French team with their shaved and gelled hair
    Best Beard: Andrea Pirlo of Italy
    Best Goal: Van Persie’s diving header
    Worst Goalie: Iker Casillas (What happened Iker?)
    Best Diving: Muller of Germany
    Best Metrosexual: Cristiano Ronaldo
    Best Anime Character: Neymar

    • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

      It happens… Casillas usually plays well, but if the defense players aren’t playing well too, no goalkeeper can do a good job… :)

      • Sighs says:

        Ha. He was doing poorly all on his own. That one goal was completely his fault.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Own goals happen to everyone, I remember the German goalkeeper (not this one – it was a few years ago – from the national team, i think) scoring one because the ball got stuck to his glove… He was throwing it forward to the team players, and sent it backwards, made a 180º curve with his arm, he run after the ball, but he was too late… Cristiano Ronaldo has already scored 1 too…

      • Sighs says:

        Did you see the Germany game yesterday? The keeper waffled the ball. I don’t know if he just lost hold of it, but had to end up kicking it just to get it away. It was funny. He seemed to think it was funny as well. At least he has a sense of humor about it.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Didn’t watch, some of the games are transmited on private networks, don’t feel like paying to watch games.. too expensive…. Oh, you should check own goals in youtube… it’s hilarious… Some are just too funny… there’s one that the goalkeeper catches the ball in between his legs while laying on the floor, he tries to get up, and when he does, he ends up scoring…

      • Cricket says:

        So true! Iker had no confidence, u could see it on his face before the match vs. Dutch began! I felt so bad for him. It’s also sad Puyol wasn’t playing. He seemed to be the anchor of the team last time. Ramos and Pique are horrible defenders! Ramos thinks he should be scoring goals and Pique is just a superstar.

        Spain is my team and I’m sad they crashed and burned so soon. I didn’t think they would get far this year but at least out of the group stage. I can’t understand why the coach played Diego Costa so much and left Fabregas, Villa….hell even Torres on the bench for all, most of match, and why was Xavi benched during the Chile match? They had no rhythm…..so sad :(

      • Isadora says:

        @Cricket: I also don’t understand why Fabregas was left out. He can be one hell of a player if he’s in good form. But then.. the whole team was not in form, it was very sad. :-( And I feel so bad for Iker Casillas, love the guy.

    • OhDear says:

      Spain seemed burnt out, IMO. They probably haven’t had a proper break from club and national team duties in years.

    • SpookySpooks says:

      I believe Fred from Brazil takes the best diving award :hides before Eve sees the comment:

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        lol…. I don’t think you need to hide @Spooky..
        @Eve knows about football a lot.. :) And she’s a fairplayer…. :)

      • Eve says:

        Oh, come on…you know I don’t like Fred and aknowledged that he faked that penalty — by the way, he was HEAVILY criticized by the Brazilian media (and mocked at the social ones). Both him and the coach (Scolari) were also criticized for not admitting the penalty didn’t happen.

        I still think the Japanese referee was merely incompetent and failed to see Fred’s ways. I don’t think he was ill-intentioned.

        What really surprised me was seeing an experienced referee (Italian Nicola Rizzoli), considered one of the best in Europe making so many mistakes during that match between Holland and Spain — there was no penalty for Spain and Holland’s third goal (while legit) happened at the exact moment Van Persie was committing a foul (he was practically throwing himself at Casillas).

      • SpookySpooks says:

        Yeah, I’ve seen that one. A lot of experienced referees are making mistakes, the guy from NZ at yesterday’s game is also highly regarded.

      • Eve says:

        But New Zealand, the country, doesn’t have a strong league so I wouldn’t be surprised if their referees made any mistakes. What I find amazing (AND annoying) is seeing seasoned, experienced referees — who work in very strong, competitive leagues — making mistakes.

        The referees have been criticized a lot around here. The only one I liked so far was the Dutch one (Kuipers).

      • Sighs says:

        I can’t believe they disallowed that Bosnia goal. He was totally and completely onside. The reffing has been horribly inconsistent.

  19. Ag-UK says:

    Renaldo too much grooming and waxing for me. None on the English team and they never had a hope in hell I do t care how many flags people are putting in their cars. Gone are the days with Melberg , Freddie and Thierry.

    Come on USA.!!!! I think Dutch or Getman hope not though as I work for a German company too much smugness

    • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

      Yes, Ronaldo is vain, but he’s not a bad person overall…. He’s a good kid….

      • Isadora says:

        Really? I don’t know him that much (no interviews and such) but he’s just too funny with all his hair adjusting and petulant glances. The Portuguese team wouldn’t be the same without him.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        @Isadora some people dislike him because of his vanity with the hair and the looks, he seems petulant, it’s true.. He takes his job more serious than people might think, he works to win… But he’s very much into charity, especially in Madeira island (where he’s from), though he never speaks about it; he does give a lot of money to foundations, he takes really good care of his family (even helped his ex-brother-in-law, when he was no longer part of the family)… People judge him only for his attitude on the field, but down deep he’s quite humble… and very, very hard-working… Once, I read on an article about him, that he trains even during holidays, he set up a whole gym at home… He doesn’t give many interviews, he prefers to stay out of the radar… All the gilrfriends he’s had, his family met them all… I respect him… He comes from a hard background, but his mother taught him well… He takes family serious, doesn’t go around chasing every single woman, never heard rumours about it either…I look at him and I’ve always seen the marying, faithful type of guy, you know… Guess he’ll have that with Irina, he seems to genuily love her… He’s a good kid.. And a greater player.. he worked very hard for it….

      • Essa says:

        I am glad there is someone who sees past Ronaldo’s vain attitude. He is not as bad as he is perceived by most people. People just love to hate him and love to love Messi while i think the latter is the bad one.

  20. daniela says:

    no one is talking about my team, Nigeria. the iranian’s are hot, I felt relieved when I saw that they held argentina to a draw for a long while before that late equalizer. meanwhile our goal keeper, vincent enyeama is the best. lord knows we would ve been out by now if not for him

    • Hiddlesgirl85 says:

      @daniela: Thank you! I was just coming on here to make a post about Nigeria. I am beyond elated about their progress in these games! And yes, Nigeria’s goal keeper has been beyond perfect too. He really saved us at the end of the game against Bosnia. Babatunde is also great! Hopefully, after these games, Nigeria can climb closer to their 1994-, 1996-level of soccer greatness.

      Are you Nigerian as well?

    • SpookySpooks says:

      To be fair, Džeko’s goal was legit and Negerija’s goal was under a faul. Bosnia should have won.

  21. Arie says:

    Here I’m rooting for Uruguay and France, but my man is Antoine Griezmann. Also liked Memo Ochoa. And Iran’s goalkeeper. And Spain’s 14. I really liked Iker but his goalkeeping turned me off.

    • Hazel says:

      Griezmann could be cast as an extra in the Lord of the Rings. He has such delicate elfin features.

    • Cricket says:

      #14 Xabi Alonso… Love him but he played horribly this WC :(

    • Elina says:

      Oh my, now that you mention Uruguay, I got to say that Cavani really got me all hot and bothered. Even though it was Suarez who scores both goals but as the commentator said, Cavani is the real beast on the field. He assists Suarez first goal, securing their area with such precise tackling. And don’t get me start about his body… those eight packs. **panting**

    • unamadridista says:

      @Arie,

      Don’t judge Iker’s goalkeeping from this WC alone. This man didn’t start in his domestic league, and only played in Copa and Champions League matches and made miraculous saves in both (google them, he’s a Saint). From goalkeeping perspective he only made 4 technical mistakes, the rest is no keeper (unless he’s got elastic arms) could stop. Not to mention, he’s having an existential crisis with his club and the buzz around Madrid is that he might leave after this upcoming season is over, and he’s been at the club since he was a kid, so imagine how much it means to him. Being relegated to the bench hurt his confidence and deprived him of time at the net that other keepers in WC have had.

      But yes, Don Alonso is drool-worthy as usual. Forever my #14, and he’s very intelligent and articulate to boot. Total package! He played badly but he’s given his all to 3 major competitions this year, and didn’t get much of a break since La Liga took forever. He’s also going to leave international competitions to focus more on being his best for the club. I’d rather have a player who gives more to club than country (my dad also didn’t do too well on international duty, but did everything for the club, so I guess I admire players who show similar mentality) He’s the ultimate master of the midfield on his good days though. To know him is to love him :-)

      • Cricket says:

        Sing it sister! Iker is a living legend! And Xabi Alonso for anyone new to the games, check out the flying karate kick de Jung from ND gave him in WC final in 2010! I can’t think of many who would have sucked it up and played on and well. And let’s also not forget it was Xabis PK that was the only goal for Spain this WC. I didn’t know he was giving up playing for country to focus in club. Makes me sad :(

        I love the fans cheer for him when he played for Loverpool…. A-L-O-N-S-O it’s ALONSO… XABI XABI XABI ALONSO!!

    • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

      Why are people being so harsh on Casillas? And other players too?? We’re talking about the best teams of the world… It’ not easy,.. Casillas had a rough couple games, it happens to the best…

  22. Ostone says:

    Thank you for the World Cup post!

    • Akua says:

      Thank You guys for rooting for my country Ghana …with all the economic challenges being faced here ,the world cup is our only source of happiness ..advancing in the tournament means the world to us and makes us forget our issues …

      PS :we believe Rihanna jinxed our team during the Gh vrs USA match …that she supports us cos of Kelvin Prince Boateng ..lmaoo..i know that’s ridiculous cos the team was just being complacent and that cost us the game ..lol

  23. Miss M says:

    I know I should root for USA, but I can’t help, but root for Ghana. They had financial difficulties to come here and I was happy with their game against Germany yesterday. So, I hope Portugal wins tonight and Ghana beats Portugal. This way they still have a slim shot to go to the next phase. I hope USA beats Germany.

    • Hiddlesgirl85 says:

      Ghana has been really good. I really hope they make it to the next phase as well! I just wish they had somehow (miraculously) won their match yesterday — that would have been super!

    • Aysla says:

      Me too! I was so happy that Ghana was able to give Germany a run for their money, and even tied (Klose, you magnificent beast, damn you!). I also love Ivory Coast, I just really hope at least one African team gets through the group stage. There are a lot of teams that really have no business being in the World Cup, though… and I’m probably going to offend some people with my list, but here they are:

      Honduras & Ecuador (on paper, two of the worst teams in the Cup and their games were boring to watch to boot), USA (blasphemous of me to say, I know, but I really feel like their win was such a fluke… the one thing really going for them is their stamina, otherwise their passes are so inaccurate, and their strategies and skills mediocre), Nigeria (unimpressed with their performance so far), Iran (plays way too defensively), and Switzerland (what happened????? Their last game was agonizing to watch).

      The surprise of the World Cup is Costa Rica, hands down. A lot of people who know their football dismissed Costa Rica going into the Cup (me included), only to be proven so incredibly wrong. Another surprise is Mexico, considering their dismal qualifying games prior to the Cup. Ochoa is a sensation! Some incredible goal keeping this Cup, including Ghana’s goalie in their game against Germany (Dauda) and Costa Rica’s goalie (Navas). Team USA do have Tim Howard going for them though, he’s very good.

      • Sighs says:

        My US team is a never ending source of joy/agony, but they really are much better than they were 4 years ago. unfortunately Michael Bradley had an uncharacteristically bad game, and as he is our engine, it really affected the whole team. He is going to be mesmerizing today because I am willing it….at least, he better be, or I’m going to hunt him down. ;)

      • Miss M says:

        I am shocked that Nigeria is not playing at all. As for Costa Rica and Mexico, what great surprises! Speaking of Mexico, best soccer fans ever. My friends who went to the game loved their enthusiasm.

    • OhDear says:

      Come sit by me, we’ll be “traitors” together.

      I read that the Ghana government had rationed electricity that week so that everyone could watch the match.

    • Valois says:

      I have a thing for underdogs, but Ghana’s Boateng is such a horrible person, I just can’t root for his team.

  24. Brickyard Ute says:

    I know Beckerman’s wife and she is the most lovely person. He is a stud, a real team player without the diva attitude. Looking forward to today’s match. Go USA!!

  25. The Iranians are hot (especially the goal keeper)….but I am in love with mexico and vargas…GO MEXICO, if not, I hope the winners are a team that has never won before.

  26. Aysla says:

    Just curious, what channel is everyone watching the World Cup on? And what song do they play before/after games?

    I’m watching the games on Univision, and they wisely chose to forgo the official world cup song (which I hated) and instead used a non-World Cup affiliated song, Adrenalina (Wisin ft. J-Lo and Ricky Martin, who looks so ridiculously gorgeous and handsome in the music video). Very catchy.

  27. Godwina says:

    “PS… Am I the only one watching the games and thinking, “Wow, the Iranian team is HOT”?”

    Nope. But then, it’s soccer players. Hair and stems, man. Hair and stems.

  28. Eve says:

    I’m with Kaiser: the Iranian players are super hot. And I LOVE that their goalkeeper is completely dressed in black — there are so many bright, neon colours it hurts the eye.

  29. Mimi says:

    I´m german, and I always hope that Jogi Löw doesn´t pick his nose, it´s so embarrassing!

  30. Nympha says:

    I hope you guys win! Hop on to the train of football fever!

  31. M.A.F. says:

    A. Most of the soccer teams are hot. Those men w/their tight, lean bodies. Yummy. And for the fact that they are wearing an uniform that fits and it’s falling around their ankles (looking at you Basketball & Baseball teams)

    B. I will be watching this match at an Irish Pub in So. Cal because nothing says “Go Team USA” like an Irish Pub.

  32. unamadridista says:

    I don’t get all the snark Cristiano. I used to not like him, but he’s kind of like the Mr. Darcy of football when it comes to first impressions. I’ve interviewed a lot of footballers, and let me tell you, Messi is by far and wide the rudest, while the maligned Cristiano is the sweetest, most genuine guy. He may be vain, but he’s not arrogant at all. His interview revived my career when he could have simply refused to do it, and maybe I’m a little biased toward him because of that, but when a player goes above and beyond for you, it changes your perspective of him. Plus, he has never known my father, but he played the same position as Cristiano at Madrid and on the anniversary of his death, he always remembers to do little things to commemorate him. It just shows you that great players don’t just leave their mark on the pitch, they really touch the lives of people on and off of it.
    And whoever upthread said he’s botox-ing his eyebrows, no need to spread fake rumors, he gets them professionally waxed, like he does with the rest of his body. Nothing wrong with that, even though it would feel strange (speaking for myself) to be with a man who goes to salon more often than I do.

    I hope Italy stays in this Cup a bit longer. I do have a soft spot for incomparable GG Buffon and Pirlo. Sigh…they make this game so orgasmic.

    • SpookySpooks says:

      Oooh, who else did you interview? Do tell! I like Cristiano, he doesn’t seem like a bad person, just a tiny bit vain, but I guess most pro athletes are.
      Was Messi really rude? What did he do?

      • unamadridista says:

        @Spooky,

        Whoo, can’t list them all, it’ll take forever, but a lot (some though I’ve only managed to cover when they have already stopped playing professionally but are still involved in the industry).

        Most people are surprised when I say Messi was the rudest (they expect him to live up to his image). He may be a nice guy and all but by the time I started covering football professionally, he had quite the reputation in the industry for being a diva and act very badly when things don’t go his way. My magazine used to have these annual awards and one of them was for best foreign player in La Liga. Messi got that award 3 times, but not consecutively and once it went to another Argentine player (who’s really close to Messi), but instead of being happy for him, he refused to grant the magazine any interviews until a year later (when he received this award once again). There was also this one editor I used to work with who LOVED Messi, huge fan, and during one of the meet-and-greets with the award winners, Messi coldly rebuffed him when he was introduced. I mean, he didn’t even ask for an autograph or anything, so I don’t know what that was all about. With me personally, he was late to every interview (five hours one time) and once cancelled at the last minute. When you have a regular column and a deadline, things like that make you look bad professionally, and after a year of that I opted out of assignments that involved him. Maybe he just didn’t like our magazine? But it was always very pro-Messi and majority of the staff always voted for him for Best Foreign Player award, so I don’t get it.

        Other times, he’s shown very bad attitude with coaches. Pep and him used to get into it all the time, and he had such passive-aggressive tactics. One of my ex boyfriends said that during team talks, there was always power plays between Messi and Pep. Sometimes, when Pep said he couldn’t do something (like get a Coke), Messi would get up, go to the vending machine, get his drink and drink it right in front of his coach, and ask him what he’s going to do about it. One time when he got subbed out, he acted like a spoiled child and on the team bus, he started texting to Pep things like “I guess I’m not an important part of the team”, etc and it would always get very confrontational. My ex said the atmosphere became so uncomfortable that he asked to go on a loan to a team in Germany. A close friend who passed away (may he rest in peace), said when he coached Messi, he couldn’t tell him to do anything. Granted, that man had no authoritative bone in his body, but he also got bad attitude for subbing him out once and was berated so much that he played Messi in later games even when he wasn’t 100% fit just to avoid another confrontation (he hated confrontations).

        The recent incident was with Messi’s US charity tour Messi and Friends last summer in US. He cancelled LA event and then jetted off to party in Vegas after giving a very weak excuse through his publicist. Then at Chicago’s match a lot of fans paid for premium tickets for the meet-and-greet after the match, but he left as soon as he was subbed out and went straight to Ibiza. So there was no meet-and-greet, and many were so disappointed, and he never offered any gesture to make up for it. It was so disorganized and he didn’t even seem to care. Contrast that with the way Cristiano went on to defend a fan in Miami, whose pitch invading tactics (he ran onto the pitch to hug Cristiano) landed in him in trouble with the law and compromised his immigration status in the US.

        After so many years of dealing with it 2006-2012, in my experience Messi’s been the rudest, while many others had such great attitude and genuinely liked talking to me and sharing their stories. Of course, Messi’s not the worst (a lot of players were on a whole different level of bad), but definitely nothing like the image he likes to portray of himself.

      • SpookySpooks says:

        My God, Messi sounds horrible. I always thought he was a nice guy.

        Have you met any Croatian players?

      • Cricket says:

        Una….

        The press here hardly covers futbol so it’s very hard to get a gauge of who the players really are off the pitch. I’m in shock to read this about Messi and now feel scammed by him. Thanks for removing the rose colored glasses for me!

        Oh, and if we r talking hot coaches, who can beat Pep! He is hot!!!,

      • Eve says:

        @ SpookySpooks and Cricket:

        I’m surprised you guys knew nothing about Messi’s “diva” reputation. He’s famous here for that– and also for being “moody”.

        Yesterday there was this thing on ESPN Brasil where people would choose (via their website) the best player so far — they showed the pictures of Messi, Robben and Benzema. The journalists at the round table laughed when one of them pointed out that Messi, for once, was smiling in the picture shown.

        Journalists who are covering the World Cup said that Argentina played its second match with a line-up CHOSEN by Messi (and not their coach), the one he wanted because it suited him (the way he usually plays) best.

        As for being the best player on the planet (he probably thinks he is)…I don’t really care what some people say, he’s not the “new Maradona”. I may have been just a kid but I actually SAW Maradona playing, live on TV. Nope, Messi’s not even close to that.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Oh yeah, Maradona, Eusebio…. great players… It was a shame Maradona’s ending…… And Eusebio’s death this year..

      • Cricket says:

        Good morning Nighty!

        Agreed! Iker has become the buzzword for blame for no valid reason. As stated over and over, Ramos and Pique sucked as defenders and aside from Xabi’s PK, where were their goals?!

        Even the US commentator was calling out Iker last night during the US game, saying Spain went home bc of their keeper.

      • Cricket says:

        Eve….

        Only thing I’ve ever seen on US TV was a fluff piece on Messi on a show called 60 minutes. Messi spoke in Spanish and was all done via a translator so much lost.

        I loved Diego coaching last WC! He was so entertaining! Maradona was amazing!

        And I loved watching Ronaldinho play too. Wonder if Messi disliked him as well at barca! Geez, I’m really on the train of disliking him now! If you guys tell me Puyol is a jerk too, I shall cry :(

      • unamadridista says:

        @Cricket,

        Don’t worry, Puyol is an absolute sweetheart! Although his ex says he was really possessive and jealous. I’ve never seen or heard other evidence of that personally, but from professional experience, he’s a gem of a man.

    • Cricket says:

      Una…

      Thanks for the insight. CR sounds like a great guy and that was very cool of u to share with us! I wasn’t trying to spread rumor about him Botox his eyebrows, just having some snark but in all honesty, something does look different in his face beside his eyebrows.

      That’s a,so shocking to hear Messi was rude, he seems like he would be a humble down to earth guy but u never know.

      Have u ever met, interviewed Iker?

      • unamadridista says:

        Yes, I have. Iker is one of my favorites! He represents Madrid so well — a true captain and leader, and he’s actually the most humble guy out of all the players I interviewed. In Madrid, I saw him so often out and about, and he’s always so gracious to all the fans that come up to him — it’s a joy to watch him with them.

        CR looks the same to me, but never does he come off on screen/photos the way he does in person. He’s just absolutely disarming in person, way too magnetic for his own good. Maybe he tried a weird facial or something? He used to have skin problems and the recent fad is that one facial that tightens pores, but leaves your face looking like you’ve had botox in some places. When I tried it once, people thought I started messing with my face because it made it unnaturally tight looking. He also tans and never uses sunscreen, bad boy!

      • Cricket says:

        I’m so happy to hear Iker is the real deal and deservedly San Iker :) being a yank, there aren’t many people here who even know who he is ;) after they won the WC and he kissed Sara on TV, the American news discussed it but called him Iker (eye-Kerr). OMG! So annoying!

        That facial sounds crazy but if it works, way cool! Up thread someone said Irina needs to bring him coconut oil, so true , that stuff is awesome!

    • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

      Oh, finally someone who doesn’t hate him… He’s vain, but a god kid.. I keep saying this all the time…

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        oh, out of curiosity, his name is C.Ronaldo in honour of USA President Ronald Reagan.. His father had great admiration for Reagan…

      • Cricket says:

        I think that is part of CR7 charm. He loves to ham it up and doesn’t care if the crowds like him or not. I wish him well, he is a great player.. Do u think he really dated Kim K? Anyone remember that brief fling?

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Nahh…. that’s a lie… Rihanna called him gay last year because he didn’t want anything to do with her… For God’s sake, he has Irina… Rihanna doesn’t have mirrors at home… Irina is hot…

      • Cricket says:

        Nighty.. Great match! I think u got lucky but it is what it is. You can thank Bradley for it…..on to Germany now. Will be a blow out game!

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Didn’t watch the last 12 minutes.. actually thought we’re going to lose… But there isn’t much hope.. Germany has to win against US and Portugal against Ghana… We’re playing poorly and there are also many injured players… And the coach is an idi*t…

        *Bradley, thank you!! Now you have to do the same against Germany, twice… *

        :D

      • unamadridista says:

        @Cricket, yeah Kim K thing was a lie, he was pursuing Irina at the time. I think they just partied at the same place in Madrid and the press just took it there. It’s a bit of a liability of being spotted around him, everyone assumes you’re involved in some way or other, even when it’s purely platonic or coincidental.

        @sonalaceae,
        is it bad that I want him to save himself for the upcoming season and just get out of this competition as soon as possible? After Copa and Champions League, I’m surprised he has any legs left.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        @unamadridista, you’ll have him… doubt Portugal will win against Ghana for 4-0 or 8-0. or whatever, depending on Germany, USA results…
        I don’t know how any of our players still have legs.., they were in all sorts of competitions….
        But it is a little bit bad that you wish that… ;)

    • Backwards says:

      I am a United fan so I have the upmost respect for him. He is a fantastic person. I met him once at the children’s christmas party at Old Trafford when I was a child. He stayed for ages and made sure everyone got autographs and photos. Most players take photos and sign your jersey and walk off. He talked to everyone and looked genuinely interested in what everyone wanted to say to him. Messi may be a great player but i’ve never heard anyone describe him with the affection Ronaldo has. Messi is too busy avoiding his taxes….

    • OhDear says:

      Thank you for the insights, makes me like him even more.

      A shame about Messi, though there have been rumors/stories how he’s a bit passive aggressive (the alleged text to Pep to get Zlatan out of Barca, for example).

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        passive/aggressive…?? What rumours??

      • unamadridista says:

        Yep, he’s very passive-aggressive. He texts a lot of his grievances and pulls all kinds of stunts to get his way. That’s why the minute he pouts, they jump to renegotiate his contract. Zlatan is not the only one he got out of Barca. One of the up and coming strikers at La Masia got packed off to some club in third division when he was making his way through B team and considered as Messi’s sub. After losing one Clasico, he insulted a player in the parking lot (pretty confrontational for a passive-aggressive guy), insulted an assistant coach, and threw a nasty used tissue at one of the staff members. I can fill a book with this stuff, but it just makes me sad that a player who’s so admired would act like this. The rule is this from what I’ve seen: if you’re on his good side, he’ll treat you nicely, but if you cross him…look out.

      • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

        Definitely I prefer CR7 with his hair worries and “petulant” looks.. Had no idea Messi was like that, but I never liked him much…

    • Nympha says:

      unamadridista, thanks for the insight! I had little idea Messi was such a diva, here goes any respect I might have had for him. And good to know that Ronaldo is a good guy.
      I’m also with you on rooting for Italy, I love GiGi and Pirlo, and Balotelli too (although he is a bit too naughty). Have you by any chance ever met any of the Italian players? I would love to hear any first-hand details!

      • unamadridista says:

        Oh, those Italian men! I’ve definitely had my fair share of experience with them for Serie A coverage (that league also has the hottest, wickedest referees). I’m afraid I’ve let my professionalism slip on more than one occasion, and most of the time I’ve been no better than some fan-girl (especially around certain naughty Juve men, who drove me beyond all bounds of morality and propriety). So I’m afraid, I’m bad for professional details here as they’re heavily influenced with personal ones.

        I’m no Balotelli fan, but his life story is really touching. Hopefully, he’ll mature more.

      • Nympha says:

        Could you share the personal ones then, maybe? Sorry, I’m just such a sucker for Italian players. :)
        I hope Balotelli matures more, too. He is gifted, but he sometimes steps over the line, and he is so young yet under such a pressure as the most promising forward player in the national team. I have sort of maternal instinct towards him, although I’m just a few years older. Stupid, I know.

      • unamadridista says:

        @Nympha,

        I get that maternal instinct too! Sometimes when they lose I just want to hug them and bake them cake and cookies.

        Well, I don’t want to name names for personal stories, but they all involve Juve players. One I interviewed when Pep wanted him at Barca (but that didn’t work out). He’s known to be super family-oriented and not much of a womanizer, but when he transferred to Juve, I met him again at a press conference. A magazine I worked for was shutting down and had all kinds of scandal surrounding it, so I was not in the greatest mood, and during the presentation conference, I was practically in tears. Afterwards when press stuff was over, we were leaving and he called me back and was really concerned why I was bawling my eyes out, and then proceeded to tell me how he remembered me from my Champions League coverage and invited me to have dinner with him at his hotel. He offered good advice and really listened. Over dinner, he discovered my passion for wine and he invited me to his vineyard. A week later we go there and I got way more than just wine samples! I know he was married at that time, but I couldn’t resist because I admired him soooo much!

        Few years later, he was having a book launch party for his autobiography and invited me and THE teammate of his (whom I adore with all my heart forever and ever, ever) was there too. I interviewed him before and he was always very flirtatious and with a wicked sense of humor, but despite innuendoes nothing ever happened since we had very brief interactions in competitions that constrained our interview time. So I was beyond thrilled to finally see him informally! He was going through separation (why would anyone want to be separated from him, I’d never know) and we ended up spending the weekend together, and I came to one of his matches (as guest for once, not press corp). I must have had the biggest cheshire cat grin on face for months after that. I still do just remembering that! I tried to resist them and keep things professional, but the fan-girl in me won out both times! Even if I won’t see them again (which I probably won’t as I’m transitioning to a new career), it was definitely worth it, something to reminisce about when I’m an old lady in a rocking chair.

      • Nympha says:

        Wow, lucky you! I am speechless. Going to be in such a dreamy mood today, lol.
        Thank you so much for sharing!! Perfect old lady in the rocking chair story. :)

  33. ray's girl says:

    I usually don’t like guys with dreads, but he is making me feel things.

  34. zyfoo says:

    ronaldo who???????? GO MESSIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII AND YES THE IRANIAN TEAM IS HOT :)

  35. sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

    Well, bye Portugal…. have to change nationality for the rest of the World Cup..Who will I choose…???

  36. Backwards says:

    Portugal are playing very poorly. USA are having a bad game of it and are still managing to control it.

    • sonalaceae (Nighty) says:

      Between the injured and the fools… choose (talking about the portuguese team and I’m portuguese…)

    • Aysla says:

      Portugal has been playing very dismally from the get-go, and Ronaldo is playing injured… I’m in the U.S. but I couldn’t help but cheer when Portugal scored that last goal (I’m sympathetic towards Portugal because of how much I’m liking Ronaldo these days). I do have a bone to pick with the Portuguese team though, and the awful, awful goalie who mostly stood around for that first goal… not to mention the non-existent defense! It hurts my heart =(.

  37. Nympha says:

    OMG, 30 seconds more and Portugal would be going home, but NOOOOO!

  38. elle says:

    Hotest players:
    Vasily from russia… Granit xhaka from switzerland.. Raul meireles from portugal. James from colombia. :)

  39. elle says:

    Colombia for the win you guys!!!!
    I love this site , btw. My first time commenting here & kaiser is my fave & i love all the people that comment on here. I feel like going all kanye kardashian right now about the WC & my love for kaisers posts but i wont.

    Oh & he iranian captain is sexyyyyyy. I want him

  40. Cricket says:

    I loved this post today! Thanks ladies, all over the globe for the great, insightful and respectful banter! Until tomorrow!

    Hup Holland!

  41. Sarah says:

    Oh that game had me holding my breath! What a heartbreak in the end. At least we didn’t loose! I think that will be the hardest thing for the US media to explain because we don’t do ties in sporting events past pewee leagues.

  42. AmyLynne says:

    My poor heart can’t take that tying goal :(

    One question though, because I’m unfamiliar with the rules. The ESPN commentators said that four minutes had been added to the end of the game. About 45-60 seconds into those four minutes, they said another minute had been added, which I took to mean it wasn’t there originally. Is that customary, to reevaluate after time is already added? Or did the commentators just make a mistake? Without that extra minute there would have been no goal, so it’s just so annoying!

  43. Adrien says:

    Ronaldo ain’t cute. Have you seen his feet? Ack! Sorry, I’m just bitter today, don’t touch me.

  44. Chris says:

    I couldn’t care less who has the hottest players, just as long as the team I back puts the ball into the back of the ol onion bag. And on that note I’ve backed Uruguay to win the whole thing at the juicy odds of 41-1.
    Luis SUAREEEEEEZ! :)

  45. Nene says:

    On Ronaldo… I think you guys should cut him some slack cos his ‘extreme’ grooming and stuff happened since he got with Irina Shayk. I swear the ‘change’ in Ronaldo started a 3-4 yrs ago when he met the model and I’d bet Irina wants to turn him into a model too : probably the next David Beckham.
    Imho I hate when guys are perfectly groomed, it goes from sexy to sleazy and try-hard.

  46. Illyra says:

    I don’t follow football, but had to do a search of the Iranian team anyway. All I can say is “WOW”… they certainly ARE sexy!

  47. drea says:

    It’s unfortunate that Cris is surrounded by a so-so team. On the other hand, having the weight of his superstardom onboard sometimes hinders the team’s cohesion. Either way, Portugal aren’t due for top 4 WC contention for quite a few more years, not until they develop a more promising new crop of stars.

    Oh sorry, was I supposed to limit my comments to hotness? Lawlz yeah, I can do that too. Cris is hot, he’s (depending on your club allegiances) the best or second best football player in the world, and yes, I am in that loooong queue of women who would hit that any which way any day. Although I must say that am somewhat bothered that his eyebrows are more groomed than mine.

  48. Chem says:

    Rafa Márquez , Xabi Alonso and Marcelo are HOTTTT!!!!