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It’s Time for Wesley Sneijder to Widen His (Soccer) World

Two people walk down the same street together and see something happen. Incredibly, it’s entirely possible that these two people will have vastly different reactions and, therefore, reach two vastly different conclusions to said event.

Ready, set, go.

“Galatasaray have terminated the contract of Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder.”
–Goal.com

What does the statement above mean?

The initial response indicates bad news for Dutch superstar Wesley Sneijder. Has to, right? When contracts are terminated, regardless of profession, that isn’t good news. However, having followed Mr. Sneijder’s comments recently, the opposite is actually true in his case. As a matter of fact, the “termination” was a mutal decision made between Mr. Sneijder and his now former Turkish club Galatasaray.

After making his 131st cap for the Netherlands national team (a record) during a revitilizing (and desperately necessary) 5-nil win against World Cup qualifying foe Luxembourg last month, signs emphatically point towards the 33-year-old #10 preparing for a third consecutive World Cup run next summer in Russia.

What does this projection mean?

Galatasaray is a good club, but not the one that will best condition the undervalued world-class veteran for what could possibly be the last best chance for his home country to try to win its first World Cup for a generation. Along with Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie (also 33 years-old), this explosively dynamic golden trio still have what it takes to hoist the greatest trophy in soccer. But the youngsters/next generation of the Oranje have to dramatically step up their game just to qualify for next summer’s competition.

It’s still an “if” at this point in qualifying, but possible.

Wherever Wesley Sneijder takes his talent to next, that club will have one of the most creative and dangerous #10 playmakers in the world. He can pass with precision and vision and score at seemingly any moment.

Here are a few examples of the now free agent finding the back of the net throughout his career for both club and country.

And Wesley Sneijder has Turkish club Galatasaray to thank for permitting him to build on his career once more at a critical juncture. Plus, Wesley Sneijder should get to fly on Turkish Airlines at least one more time…

Any chance to listen to Morgan Freeman’s voice, I’ll take it.

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Happy Monday

This blog post will forever change your perception of the phrase, “putting your own spin on things.”

Individually, we all have something unique to offer. And once we discover and understand this distinctive gift within ourselves, then we have the potential to change things in substantial (even unforgettable) ways.

Okay, enough with the ambiguous set-up.

Check out this impossible free kick that Brazilian Roberto Carlos, somehow, made possible against France back in 1997.

Yes, Roberto Carlos owns the crazy surreal free kick. True story. However, there are plenty of other incredible things we can do that can spark the same kind of awe and amazement…

like disproving gravity.

Well, you’ll never know what you can do unless you try (not disproving gravity, but something equally awesome).

Have a Better Week Than Last Week.

Predictable? Yes. Unstoppable? Also Yes.

What is it the kids say these days? “Flashback Friday”?

For one very specific reason, I’m glad the kids do. Actually, I’m technically happy for five specific reasons. But those added four take a back seat to the aforementioned one on this Friday. And don’t worry, you’ll see why and how I arrived at that conclusion shortly.

If you survived that linguistic adventure, then congrats! In human speak, Bayern Munich hosted Arsenal for the first game of the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League. Due to the very nature of the home-and-away game setup, the home side has the burden of scoring many goals while not conceding the always valuable away goal.

The bad news is that Bayern Munich did let one of those away goals slip past their goal line (even after an incredible penalty kick save by Manuel Neuer).

The good news is that Bayern Munich managed to score one…two…three…four…yes, five goals against Arsenal at their Fortress of Winning (a nickname I’m trying out) known as the Allianz Arena!

Ladies and gentlemen, the aforementioned one moment isolated for this “Flashback Friday”comes from two days ago. But trust me, it’s definitely worth the immediate flashback treatment.

(Watch the entire highlight to see the ball’s ridiculously awesome path to the back of the net)

Wait, I thought Arsenal’s nickname was “The Gunners”?

I say that because it looks like Arjen Robben’s left foot should be the one declared a sharpshooter with laser precision.

SoccerFestWasTheBest

Today’s edition of “Throwback Thursday” is a very special one.

As a nine year-old who was (and still is) an enthusiastic soccer fan, attending SoccerFest at the Los Angeles Convention Center was amazing. The United States went all-in for promoting the world’s game to its skeptical American sports audience. By hosting the World Cup tournament, Americans got to see and experience the beautiful game up close and personal.

Granted, SoccerFest was more than 20 years ago. But I still vividly remember walking up to the glass case with THE World Cup trophy inside, which was stop-in-your-tracks mesmerizing. I had an unforgettable time on this special birthday trip with my Dad. This included playing beach soccer, recording a video of me saving shots from the world’s best strikers on a VHS tape, taking home a beautiful poster that was signed by the artist (who was #22 for the USMNT) and getting my very own Soccer America magazine cover.

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While I may be biased here, the kid dribbling the soccer ball at the :22 and :24 second mark looks really familiar…

I still think the U.S. jerseys from the 1994 World Cup were awesome. The jerseys are definitely better than anything Nike has designed (a generous term) lately. The full kits proudly (and boldly) showcased America in red, white and blue, stars and all.

And regarding SoccerFest, the star was definitely my Dad.