Cristiano Ronaldo has scored an incredible Hat Trick Vs. Sweden in a match on 11/19/2013. Cristiano Ronaldo scored all three of the goals against Sweden occuring at 50′ 77′ and 79′. Winning this game qualified Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
On October 20th, 2013 Midfielder Tim Cahill, #17 of the New York Red Bulls, scored the fastest goal in Major League Soccer league history against the Houston Dynamos. After only 8 seconds into the game, Tim Cahill scored the first and deciding goal of the match, leading the New York Red Bulls to a 3 – 0 victory against the Houston Dynamos. The assist came from Dax McCarty off of the opening kick off and set the tone for the game. Cahill executed a perfect run down the right wing of the field, received the long ball from his defender, and beat the Houston Dynamo keeper with a beautiful right footed shot to the right side netting from about 22 yards out. This was such a well executed goal, that it would have been one of the highlights of the season even if it hadn’t taken place after only 8 seconds. Cahill will certainly be a player to keep your eye on in the upcoming 2013 MLS playoffs.
Andres Iniesta Lujan is a center midfielder for the La Liga team, FC Barcelona and also plays on the Spanish National Team. Iniesta was born on May 11th, 1984 in Fuentealbilla, Spain. Iniesta’s Soccer career began to flourish at the early age of 12 when he drew the attention of scouts all across Spain while playing for Albacete Balompie in a 7 v 7 junior tournament. Iniesta’s parents were friends with Enrique Orizaola, the FC Barcelona youth coach, and in 1996 persuaded him to let Andres attend the Barcelona youth academy. In 1999 Iniesta lead the Barcelona youth team to victory in the Nike Premier Cup with a game winning goal in the last minute of the game and was ultimately named the player of the tournament.
Iniesta continued to develop as a player under the FC Barcelona soccer club, moving up to the Barcelona B squad in 2001 and remained on the squad through 2003. Iniesta made a few appearances as a substitute during the 2002 – 03 season for FC Barcelona and finally became a fulltime member of the squad during the 2004 – 05 season. During the 04-05 season Iniesta played in 37 of 38 games (25 appearances were substitutions), more than any other player on the team, scoring 2 goals on the season. An injury to Xavi Hernandez in the 05-06 season gave Iniesta the opportunity to make more regular starts for FC Barcelona at the center midfield position. Barcelona ended up winning a league and Champions league double in 2006 and coach Frank Rijkaard praised the contribution that Iniesta made to the team that year.
The 2006 – 07 season was Iniesta’s highest scoring season on record scoring 9 goals on the season. (He tied this record in 2010-11). Coach Frank Rijkaard moved Iniesta all around the pitch during the season, playing as a left wing for the first time in the Champions League he scored twice against Levski Sofia. Iniesta was able to switch his number from 24 to 8 after fellow teammate Ludovic Giuly left the team. In 2007 there was rumor by the Spanish newspaper Marca that Iniesta would be moving to Barcelona Rivals Real Madrid. Iniesta publically denied the claims stating “I’ve been told about that and I’m very surprised. I cant do anything about it, but I’d like to insist once again that I want to stay here (Barcelona). When I say I want to retire in Barca, I say it with all my heart. And my wishes are above everything else.” In 2008 his contract was renewed firming his spot on the team until 2014 raising his buy-out clause to €150 million. In 2007 Iniesta was ranked the fifth most consistent player by Don Balon, a Spanish Soccer Magazine, and fourth in 2008. He also placed ninth in the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year voting.
Midway through the 2008 season Iniesta suffered an injury to his leg which kept him out of the season from November to January of 2009. On February 5th of 2009, Iniesta made his 250th appearance in a Barcelona jersey in a match against Mallorca in the Copa del Rey (King’s Cup), an annual competition for Spanish soccer clubs. Barcelona went on to win the 2009 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United with Iniesta playing a crucial role in the game at the center midfield position. Iniesta was a candidate for the 2009 FIFA Ballon d’or along with teammates Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez and was one of 5 nominees for the World Player of the Year award. In 2009 Iniesta extended his contract with Barcelona until 2015, and his buyout clause was raised to €200 million. In 2012 Iniesta was once again a candidate for the FIFA Ballon d’or but came in second to teammate Lionel Messi. Iniesta was named the best player of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League. Iniesta’s ability to create space and find passing lanes serves as a vital part of the Barcelona offense, and will remain one of the greatest players to watch in all of soccer.
Here’s an excellent highlight reel for Andres Iniesta:
Wayne Mark Rooney was born on October 24th, 1985 in Croxteth Liverpool, England to parents Thomas Wayne and Jeanette Marie Rooney and is of Irish descent. Rooney has two younger brothers Graham and John, all of which attended Our Lady and St. Swithins primary school, and the De La Salle Humanities College, a boys voluntary aided secondary school in Liverpool. Wayne Rooney currently plays as a forward for the English Premiere League club Manchester United, wearing number 10, and is a member of the England National team.
Wayne Rooney’s early soccer career began when playing for the Liverpool Schoolboys, a team which he held the club record of 72 goals in one season until it was recently broken in May of 2010. When he was 9 years old Rooney moved from the Liverpool Schoolboys to the Copplehouse Boys’ club, a part of the Walton & Kirkdale Junior League, scoring 99 goals in one season and gaining the attention of Bob Pendelton, a scout for Everton F.C. After being recruited by Everton Rooney scored 114 goals in 29 games in the Under 10’s and 11’s and by the age of 15 he was playing for Everton’s under 19’s. In 2002 Rooney scored 8 goals in 8 games for Everton leading up to the clubs victory in the Youth Cup Final. Rooney worked his way up to the senior Everton team and made his league debut on August 17th, 2002 becoming the second youngest first-team player in the team’s history behind Joe Royle. His first senior goal for Everton came on October 2nd, 2002 when he scored twice in a 3-0 victory against Wrexham in the League Cup, Making Rooney Everton’s youngest ever goal scorer at the time. On October 19th, he scored a last minute game winner against Arsenal becoming the youngest player to score in a Premier League match at the time. Rooney was named the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2002, which is awarded to the sportsperson aged 16 or under as of January 1st of that year, who has made the most outstanding contribution to the their sport in that year.
In August of 2004 Rooney was offered a £12,000-a-week contract from Everton, but his agent refused the offer. After hearing of the refusal, Manchester United and Newcastle United began to compete for a contract with Rooney. Manchester United eventually won the contract bid with an offer of £25.6 million. Rooney was only 18 at the time of the offer, making it the highest offer ever paid for a player under the age of 20. Rooney wore number 8 for Manchester when he made his league debut on September 28th, 2004 scoring a hat trick and an assist in a 6-2 victory against Fenerbahce in the UEFA Champions League. Rooney became the youngest player to ever score a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League. Although the 2004 season ended without winning a trophy, Rooney won the PFA Young Player of the Year award and was Manchester United’s top league scorer with 11 goals.
In 2007 Rooney was given number 10, formerly worn by Ruud van Nistelrooy ex Manchester United player and the third highest goal scorer in Champions League History. On October 4th, 2008 Rooney became the youngest player in league history to make 200 appearances. He became the 20th Manchester United player to score at least 100 goals for the club on August 22nd 2009. On January 31st, 2010 Rooney scored his 100th Premier League goal against Arsenal (Rooney’s 1st Premier League goal also came against Arsenal). Later during the ‘09-‘10 season Rooney was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award, an award given to the best player of the year in English Soccer. Rooney continues to play for Manchester United and the English National Team in 2013 and will continue to impress with his incredible goal scoring ability.
Here’s a great video highlighting the skills and goal scoring ability of Wayne Rooney:
Ronaldinho de Assis Moreira or more commonly known as just Ronaldinho or Ronaldinho Gaucho was born on March 21st, 1980 (Age 33). Ronaldinho currently plays for Atletico Mineiro a Brazilian football club out of Belo Horizonte, State of Minas Gerias, and also plays for the Brazilian national team as an attacking midfielder or forward.
Ronaldinho Gaucho was born in Porto Alegre, the state capital of Rio Grande do Su, to mother Dona Miguelina Eloi Assis dos Santos and father Joao de Assis Moreira. Ronaldinho’s father Joao died when Ronaldinho was eight years old from a heart attack while swimming in the family swimming pool. Ronaldinho’s older brother, Roberto de Assis Moreira, signed a deal to play soccer for the Brazilian club Gremio, based in Porto Alegre, and their family was offered a villa in Guaruja, a more affluent section of Porto Alegre, in an attempt to get Roberto to stay with the club. Ultimately Roberto’s career was cut short due to a knee injury
At the early age of 8, Ronaldinho’s soccer skills began to blossom. He gained an interest in playing futsal and beach soccer, but was first noticed by the media in a match where his team won 23-0 and all 23 goals were scored by Ronaldinho. His first big game was in 1997 during a U-17 World Championship match in Egypt where he scored two goals off of penalty kicks. Ronaldinho’s professional career began when he was 18 with the Gremio youth squad, the same club that his brother Roberto had played for. Arsenal noticed the skill that Ronaldinho had in 2001, but ultimately the deal fell through because Ronaldinho could not obtain a work permit as he was a non-EU player without enough international matches to be eligible. Ronaldinho ended up signing a 5 year contract with Paris Saint-Germain in 2001 to the tune of €5 million, was given the number 21, and made his Lique 1 debut on August 4th, 2001 in a 1-1 tie versus Auxerre. He spent the remainder of the season alternating between bench and starting roles, and scored his first goal on October 13th, 2001 in a 2-2 draw versus Lyon.
In 2004 FC Barcelona offered Ronaldinho a €30 million offer after failing to pick up David Beckham. Ronaldinho made his La Liga debut for FC Barcelona in a 2-0 victory against Milan in a friendly match at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington DC scoring 1 of the teams 2 goals. Ronaldinho was injured during the season, but returned to the team during the second half of the season to help FC Barcelona secure a 2nd place league finish. Ronaldinho won his first league title in the 2004-2005 season with FC Barcelona and was named the 2004-05 FIFA World player of the year award on December 20th 2004, and again in 2005.
Ronaldinho was offered £25.5 from Manchester City and ended up signing a three year contract with A.C. Milan, an Italian Serie A powerhouse, for approximately £5.1 million a year. Ronaldinho scored his first goal for A.C. Milan in a 1-0 victory versus Internazionale Milano. Ronaldinho finished his first season with A.C. Milan with 10 goals and 32 appearances. His second season with A.C. Milan started off slow but ended up finishing the season as arguably the best player for the team.
On January 11th, 2011 Ronaldinho ended up signing a deal to move to the Campeonato Brasilerio Serie A League for Clube de Regatas do Flamengo, a Brazilian soccer club based in Rio de Janeiro. Ronaldinho scored his first goal for Flamengo on February 6th, 2011 against Voavista. On May 31st, 2012 Ronaldinho sued Flamengo claiming that they had not paid him for months and cancelled his contract with the club. He then made a surprise move to Atletico Mineiro on June 4th, 2012 just 4 days after leaving Flamengo. Ronaldinho continues to play for Atletico Mineiro as #10 and plays as an attacking forward/midfielder.
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro (Commonly known as Cristiano Ronaldo) is a Portuguese soccer player who is currently a forward for the Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid. He was born on February 5th, 1985 in Funchal, Maderia, Portugal to parents Maria Dolores dos Santos Averio and Jose Dinis Aveiro. His second given name, Ronaldo, was chosen after President Ronald Reagan, who was his father’s favorite actor.
Ronaldo’s soccer career began at the early age of 8 when he played for the amateur team Andorinha that his father was the equipment manager for. A year later he then signed with C.D. Nacional, a Portuguese soccer club based in Funchal. As a member of the C.D. Nacional team he won a championship in 1995. After his championship run, he was offered a 3 day tryout by Lisbon, Portugal based team Sporting CP (Commonly known as Sporting Lisbon) and was offered a contract with the team.
When he was 15, Ronaldo was diagnosed with a racing heart (Tachycardia), which is defined as a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. This condition was one that could have potentially ended Ronaldo’s career, but was admitted to a hospital where he underwent a laser procedure that cauterized the area of his heart that was causing the problem. Ronaldo recovered quickly from this procedure and began training again shortly after.
In November of 2002 Arsenal F.C. based in Holloway, London expressed interest in the young Cristiano Ronaldo and invited him to come visit the Shenly Training Center to meet with Arsene Wenger and the coaching staff for Arsenal. Before Arsenal could sign the young player, he came to the attention of Alex Ferguson of Manchester United when Ronaldo and Sporting CP defeated Manchester in a 3-1 victory during the inauguration of the Sporting CP stadium, Estadio Jose Alvalade. Manchester United ended up Signing Cristiano Ronaldo to the sum of €15 million, and was the first Portuguese player to ever play in Old Trafford with Manchester United. When he signed, he initially requested to have the number 28, which was his number on the Sporting CP squad, however his coach, Alex Ferguson, told him that he would wear #7. Ronaldo was not too happy about the number at first as #7 had formerly been worn by great players like David Beckham, Bryan Robson and George Best and was ultimately forced to live up to the number. Ronaldo scored his first goal for Manchester United on November 1st, 2003 on a free kick in a 3-0 win over Portsmouth. He later scored Manchester United’s 1000th Premier League goal on October 29th, 2005 in a 4-1 loss to Middlesbrough. In 2005 he was voted FIFPro Special Young Player of the Year award by his fans.
Cristiano Ronaldo continued to play for Manchester United until July 1st, 2009 when he Joined Real Madrid, the Spanish soccer club based out of Madrid, Spain. Ronaldo signed a 6 year, £80 million deal with a €1 billion buy-out clause, becoming the most expensive soccer player in history. Ronaldo was to wear #9 for Real Madrid, and was presented the jersey by former Real Madrid soccer legend Alfredo Di Stefano. He made his debut for the club on July 21st, 2009 against Shamrock Rovers in a 1-0 victory for the team. Ronaldo’s first goal for Real Madrid came a week later with a penalty shot against LDU Quito in a 4-2 victory.
Ronaldo is heralded as the best modern-day soccer player, along with Lionel Messi, and his style of play is often described as fast, tricky and strong. The winger and striker has incredible dribbling skills and hits his free kicks with power and pace. His ability to score with both his head and his feet make him a threat no matter what the circumstance. Cristiano Ronaldo continues to play for Real Madrid and is one of the most entertaining players to watch in all of the soccer world.
Neymar da Silva Santos was born February 5th, 1992 in Mogi das Cruzes, Sao Paulo, Brazil to Neymar da Silva, Sr. and Nadine Santos. Inheriting his name from his father, who was a former soccer player himself, Neymar’s father has been his adviser throughout his development as a soccer player. He is currently a forward for the Brazilian National Team and Santos FC in the Brasileriao Serie A.
As a child, Neymar began playing soccer at a very young age and was offered a contract to the youth academy of Santos FC in 2003. The Santos FC youth academy has fostered players like Diego Walsh, Elano and Bruno Coutinho Martins. When he was fourteen, Neymar went to spain to try out for Real Madrid, and passed the trial for his possible move to Spain. Santos FC ultimately paid 1 million Brazilian reals to Real Madrid in order to keep Neymar on the team. At age 17 he was finally awarded a spot on the Santos FC first team making his debut on March 7th, 2009, playing the last 30 minutes of the game. One week later, Neymar scored his first goal for Santos FC against Palmeiras in the Campeonato Paulista semi-final game. Neymar and the Santos FC club ended up winning the Campeonato Paulista in 2010 and Neymar was named the best player in the competition. In his first season, Neymar ended up scoring 14 goals over the course of 18 games.
Often compared to Pele, who also came from the Santos Youth Academy, Neymar, is one of the greatest young talents in the sport of soccer that the world has ever seen. Neymar thinks of Pele as a role model and doesn’t like to make comparisons with Pele. Pele belives that Neymar is in fact a better player than Lionel Messi, but lacks the experience that Messi has. Neymar aspires to be like his Idols, Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, Wayne Rooney of Manchester United, and Andres Iniesta and Xavi, saying “I like to watch good football so I like to watch good players. I like Cristiano Ronaldo, Iniesta, Xavi and Wayne Rooney.” Neymar was ranked as the most marketable athlete in the world by SportsPro Magazine.
Neymar describes his style of play like that of Garrincha, a right winger and forward known to be the best dribbler in soccer history , and who won the World Cups of 1958 and 1962. Neymar is commonly known for his creativity, passing, finishing skills, exceptional dribbling and his explosive nature. Although still a young soccer player, Neymar has already received some very big contract offers from European powerhouse soccer clubs such as West Ham United for £12 million and later from Chelsea to the tune of £20 million.
Santos FC renewed Neymar’s contract at the end of 2011, securing his position with the team until after the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Due to his extreme talent, many speculate that he will never become a player the likes of Pele while playing for Brazil and as such may soon be looking for a move to a European team to fulfill his dream. Obstacles that Neymar needs to overcome to become one of the greatest soccer players ever are his temperament and his tendency to be selfish with the ball.
Check out the video below to see some of Neymar’s greatest moves!
Often heralded as one of the best, if not the best, soccer player in the world, Lionel Andrés “Leo” Messi currently plays forward for FC Barcelona and serves as the captain of the Argentina National Team. Messi was born on June 24th, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina, the largest city in the province of Santa Fe in central Argentina, to parents Jorge Horacio Messi and Celia Maria Cuccittini. He is the third of four children with two older brothers, Rodrigo and Matias, and a sister, Maria Sol.
Messi’s career as a soccer player began at the early age of five when he started playing soccer for Grandoli, which was a local soccer club coached by his father. After two years of playing for Grandoli, Messi switched to a team in his home city of Rosario, the Newell’s Old Boys. As a member of the Newell’s Old Boys (Who became known as “The Machine of ‘87”) the team lost only one soccer match over four years. Messi’s early career as a soccer player came to a fork in the road when he turned 11 and was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. After learning about his talent, Carles Rexach offered Messi a tryout for FC Barcelona and ultimately agreed to cover Messi’s medical bills for treatment of his growth hormone deficiency.
From 2000 to 2003, Messi continued to develop as a young prospect as a team member of the FC Barecelona’s Junior Infantile B and Cadet B & A. Messi continued to work his way from FC Barecelona’s Juvenil B, to Juvenil A, to FC Barelona C team, then B. At the age of 16, Messi started his first game with the club in a friendly soccer match between Barcelona and Porto. Within a year of his first start he made his official league debut in a match against RCD Espanyol becoming the third youngest player to ever make a start for FC Barcelona. His first goal came against Albacete Balompie and earned him the record of the youngest player to score a goal for FC Barcelona in a La Liga game. (Which was later broken by Bojan Krkic, who scored from a Messi assist) Messi continued to play for FC Barecelona, and as of 2013 is still an active member of the club.
Messi’s style of play is characterized by a low center of gravity which allows him to be more agile than most players. He is notably a strong finisher with great pace, dribbling, balance and passing ability. Messi is dominantly a left footed soccer player and his short, strong legs enable bursts of speed coupled with his quick feet giving him the ability to maintain great ball control even at full speed. It’s almost like the ball stays glued to his foot even when running at full speed, having possibly the best ball control skills of any player.
Lionel Messi has an accomplished list of awards that he has won throughout his years as a soccer player, including:
As a member of FC Barcelona he has won the La Liga 5 times, the Copa del Ray 2 times, the Supercopa de Espana 5 times, the UEFA Champions League 3 times, the UEFA Super Cup twice and the FIFA Club World Cup twice.
As a Member of the Argentia National Team he has won an Olympic gold medal in 2008 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2005. He was runner up in the 2007 Copa America and placed third in the U20 South American Youth Championship in 2005.
Some of the Individual soccer awards that he was won throughout his career include: the FIFA Balloon d’Or 3 times, the Ballon d’Or 1 time, FIFA player of the year 1 time, World soccer young player of the year 3 times, World soccer player of the year 3 times, the Onze d’Or 3 times, the IFFHS Worlds top goal scorer twice, the IFFHS Worlds best top division goal scorer once, the Goal.com Player of the Year soccer award twice, El Pais King of European soccer 4 times, the ESPY Best International Athlete once, the European Golden Shoe twice, the UEFA Best soccer player in Europe award 1 time, the UEFA Club Footballer of the year award once, the UEFA Team of the year award 5 times and the European Golden Boy award once.
At only 25 years old, Messi has won many different cups, set many different records and continues to amaze people both on and off the field. Lionel Messi is certainly a player to keep your eye on in the years to come as he continues to develop as a player.
Here is a great soccer video documenting some of the more incredible soccer plays that Lionel Messi has ever made.