Tag: Brazil

Football’s back! Six unmissable storylines to look out for in 2017-18

At last, it’s back! The real football has returned! From now until late May of next year, it’s non-stop, full-on, unadulterated football and we at Icons.com could not be more excited.

After all, this season has the potential to be bigger, better and more exciting than ever. And not just in England. Let’s not forget the thrills that await around the continent; in Spain, Germany, Italy and France, where the best footballers on the planet do battle in front of the biggest crowds for the right to claim the world’s most coveted prizes.

In fact, with so much going on around the world on the opening weekend of the season, you could be forgiven for not knowing where to start or what to look out for. Well, it’s lucky we’re here then, isn’t it? Here are six things you need to keep an eye on this season.

 

1. Bem-vindo Neymar Jr

So, it actually happened. With Neymar Jr’s switch from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for €222million, world football’s transfer record has been broken by a factor of two. Our office stopped in its tracks to watch – perhaps a little out of disbelief – as the mercurial Brazilian forward was presented in front of the world’s media last week. With a glitzy unveiling in front of a sell-out crowd days later, the Parc de Princes has had more than a little Hollywood about it over the past month.

This season the 25-year-old will surely set his sights not only on a sweep of the domestic titles on offer at his new club but also a shot at one or both of the two individual honours that would certify his superstar status: the Ballon D’or and FIFA’s The Best Award. Will the football gods also write a mouthwatering script that reunites him with Barça in the UEFA Champions League? It may be time to start warming those balls…

 

2. The main event

Speaking of the UEFA Champions League, this season’s race for club football’s most sought-after prize promises to be as thrilling as ever. Real Madrid made history at the end of last season as they became the first team to successfully defend their title but Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo aren’t quite content with just two-in-a-row. The Spanish champions have won the famous tournament in three of the last four years and they’ve developed a taste for success.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are back, adding three previous winners and two of the competition’s most storied teams to the mix. Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have a great knack of inspiring magic on European nights but can the trophy really return to the North West as early as this season?

Not if the rest of Europe has something to say about it. A certain aforementioned Brazilian seems dead-set on making his mark at PSG but to get to Kiev they may have to return to the scene of last season’s most remarkable tie: Camp Nou. All this while Carlo Ancelotti plots Bayern Munich’s return to the European throne and Gianluigi Buffon prays for one last shot at the trophy that has always eluded him.

As an official UEFA licensee, Icons.com is the proud home of official UEFA Champions League signed memorabilia.

 

3. A six-horse race

The Premier League is getting stronger in competitive terms, there’s no doubt about that. Almost all of the world’s best managers are taking charge of talented, hungry and exciting teams in England’s topflight and that means the title could go almost anywhere.

In Manchester, Pep Guardiola is building an attack-minded team at City with the signing of Monaco’s Bernardo Silva to add to Sergio Aguero’s goals, while United have a new hitman in the form of Romelu Lukaku. Liverpool are still a side of pure pace up front and should be an entertaining watch considering their attacking prowess.

Meanwhile, in London, Antonio Conte has one of the world’s most exciting attacking midfielders in Eden Hazard and Mauricio Pochettino will just be happy that both Harry Kane and Dele Alli (see below) have gone the summer without their heads being turned. Arch-rivals Arsenal have satisfied the wishes of their fans with the purchase of Alexandre Lacazette and the retention of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil (at the time of writing, anyway). So, who exactly is supposed to be the frontrunner here?

Find out who we fancy to come out on top in our special 2017-18 season predictions blog.

 

4. Dele’s big year

The breakout season is history, the sophomore slump was nowhere to be seen. Now the most exciting young talent at both Tottenham Hotspur and England can stretch his legs and really show us what he’s got. Gunning for a hat-trick of PFA Young Player of the Year awards – and perhaps the main gong too – Dele Alli faces a season of much promise.

Playing in front of potentially 90,000 fans at Spurs’ temporary home of Wembley Stadium won’t faze the England regular, nor will the prospect of a second season in the UEFA Champions League group stages. In fact, knowing the boy-wonder personally from our signing sessions, we’re not sure exactly what could faze him, if anything. Here is a confident 21-year-old who has the world at his feet. Which reminds us, isn’t there some sort of big international tournament coming soon?

We are immensely proud to have an official contract with Tottenham and England sensation Dele Alli. For exclusive signed products, visit Icons.com today.

 

5. All the world’s a stage

Ah, yes, the FIFA World Cup. Next summer sees the return of the biggest football tournament on the planet and with potentially one last chance at winning that most coveted trophy, the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will be desperate to deliver glory to their respective countries. Neymar Jr, Philippe Coutinho, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Dele Alli will be among the young but established stars hoping to capture the world’s attention and with the talent on offer it promises to be a tournament full of drama.

Whisper it but England look to be stronger than in recent years with Wayne Rooney surely determined to bow out of international football on a high alongside a stellar mix of young and experienced players mostly plying their trade in the Premier League.

Capture the spirit and excitement of the FIFA World Cup with officially-licensed FIFA World Cup signed memorabilia, exclusive to Icons.com.

 

6. La Liga’s on a knife-edge

Madridistas could be forgiven for still being a little hungover when their domestic season starts with a Supercopa Clasico on Sunday evening. Last season, Real won their first league title since 2012 and became the first team in history to retain the UEFA Champions League. Their supremacy is currently unquestioned but this season their hated rivals will want revenge.

Lionel Messi’s ultra dramatic, last-gasp winner in the sides’ pulsating encounter at the Bernabeu merely fanned the flames that could well spark all-out war this term. Barça haven’t experienced for years the upheaval they’ve suffered over the past few months with Neymar Jr gone and now a new man at the helm. Who knows how Ernesto Valverde plans to stop the Zidane juggernaut?

 

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Behind the Signing: Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo sign for Icons!

Here at Icons.com, we are very lucky to get to work with the world’s best footballers. It’s something we’re immensely proud of and at our most recent signing session we added two new names to our unbeatable roster. So, here’s what happened when we met the legendary Brazilian duo of Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo.

The summer is a busy time of year in the world of football. Though there’s little to no action on the pitch, clubs across the country and around the world are hard at work signing players for the season ahead. But, on Friday July 14th, in a plush hotel in central London, Icons.com captured the signatures of the two summer recruits to beat them all. We signed Brazilian legends Roberto Carlos and Rivaldo.

Known the world over for their style and flair on the pitch, this iconic pair were two of the world’s very best players during the 90s and 00s. Meeting the duo for the first time was an eye-opening experience as we shared time between their duties at the Star Sixes tournament – a meeting of some of the greatest names in world football.

It was an early start for us all but by 9am we were buzzing to meet two absolute legends. First up: Roberto Carlos.

The signing happened very quickly, as we got word the former Real Madrid full-back was ready for action. Instructed to nip up to the 11th floor and join him in his room, our team – well-versed in the art of a speedy signing session – got things underway. As self-confessed kit nerds, seeing all sorts of historic shirts, boots, balls and photos was a sight to behold. But seeing them personally signed by a FIFA World Cup and three-time UEFA Champions League winner made it all the more exciting.

During this time, we reflected on what a great player Roberto Carlos was; a truly unique defender who lit up the game. How much would the powerful defender cost in 2017, we wonder? A stalwart of Real Madrid, Carlos still holds Los Blancos‘ record for appearances made by a foreign player. No mean feat when you consider the Galaticos that have passed through that great club.

After a few quick pictures with Roberto we were out the door ready and raring for the arrival of Rivaldo.

As we got the lift down to the lobby, former Liverpool, West Ham and Portsmouth goalkeeper David James stepped in to greet us. The legendary England shot stopper had a quick chat with our team and we wished him luck for the tournament. Luck that didn’t quite catch, mind, as an England team even featuring Steven Gerrard couldn’t win the tournament on home soil. We make it 51 years of hurt now…

Of course, our team are no strangers to footballing superstars but a day up close and personal with this many legends of the game was still one to relish. Topping it off: FC Barcelona and AC Milan hero Rivaldo.

A true gentleman, the 1999 Ballon d’Or winner breezed through our signing session with every bit of the class he brought to the football pitch. Still as lean and fit as ever, the legendary attacker gave great care and attention to the products he was signing – fastidiously dotting his i’s and paying particular regard to ensuring he signed with the correct squad number. We signature buffs loved that!

Adding his beautiful autograph to a superb collection of items, it was time for Rivaldo to be whisked away to face China at the nearby O2 Arena. Three-nil or four-nil for Brazil, we asked. It wouldn’t be that easy, he replied quite diplomatically.

It was 7-0.

 

For our full range of Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos signed products check out Icons.com now!

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Why We Love Ronaldinho, The Smiley Samba Star

Let’s face it, everyone loves Ronaldinho.

The former Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona and AC Milan legend is one of our heroes here at Icons.com. The Brazilian embodied the samba style that defined a generation, while winning a UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup winner’s medal with that trademark grin on his face and a song in his boots.

Because it wasn’t just his outrageous skill and unstoppable flair that made him great. Oh no. It was the way he played the game as if still on the rough streets of Porto Alegre, dribbling the ball past his dog Bombom or scoring 23 goals for his local youth team. He made seasoned defenders in the prime of their distinguished careers look like schoolchildren. He baffled goalkeepers.

So, to celebrate the launch of our brand new and exclusive range of Ronaldinho signed items, we’ve compiled a short list of why it is we love him. Of course, there are innumerable reasons why football fans adore the man who for a period in the mid-noughties was the hero of every street footballer, but we’ll leave it to you to tell us what we’ve missed from our list…


He’s good at football in all its forms

Table football is a real thing and of course Ronaldinho is good at it.


He set up Leo Messi for the Argentine’s first ever goal

It shouldn’t have been legal for Barcelona to have these two on the same team.


He’s scored some pretty outrageous goals himself

The goal of a lifetime for most; just another standard, gravity-defying overhead kick for this man.


Some of them will stay with us forever

Even today’s stars struggle to re-create the Ronnie magic…


His control of the ball was absolute

This deserved more than simple applause, Frank. Come on.


No, seriously, footballs obeyed his every command

This is what Ronnie called ‘a warm up’.


He was pretty good from dead ball situations

Simply unstoppable.


But he still found joy in scoring the simplest of tap-ins

That poor, poor keeper.


He’s still got and will probably never lose it…

Hands up if you think a 37-year-old Ronnie could still do it for your team…


Shop from our full range of 100% authentic Ronaldinho signed items by visiting our dedicated R10 page…

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Get Free Delivery On All Pele Signed Memorabilia!

#PeleWeek

All throughout this week we at Icons.com have been celebrating the extraordinary life and astonishing career of Brazilian football’s biggest and most iconic name: Pelé.

The three-time FIFA World Cup winner is frequently hailed as the greatest player of all time and it’s the combination of his mesmerising on-the-pitch skills and dignified demeanour off it that have made the Brazilian among the most popular Icons ever. He remains the only player to have ever won three FIFA World Cups and is one of just four men to have scored in two FIFA World Cup finals. He found the net an astonishing 77 times in 91 matches for his nation and in 1959 he scored 127 goals.

At the 1970 FIFA World CupPelé led Brazil to what was arguably the greatest tournament performance ever. Alongside fellow Seleção icons Jairzinho, Rivelino, Carlos Alberto and Tostao, the forward displayed the devastating blend of artistry and ruthlessness that guided Brazil to their Azteca destruction of Italy in the final. It was Pelé‘s Brazil in a nutshell: beautiful but brutal and ultimately glorious.

Signed-and-Dedicated-By-Pele

Ahead of our latest signing with this giant of the game, which is set to take place on September 19, Icons.com is delighted to offer free worldwide delivery on all Pelé signed memorabilia.

This excellent offer includes signed and dedicated shirts: the ultimate and most unique gift for any football lover.

To get free delivery on any Pelé signed item just add the code PeleFreeShip when you get to the Icons.com checkout. It doesn’t matter where you live – be it Pelé‘s hometown of Três Corações in Brazil, or somewhere a little further afield – our offer applies worldwide, so grab yourself a bargain today and celebrate this legendary footballer with us.


Memorabilia signed by Pele



The Phenomenon Signs Again: Ronaldo Returns For Icons

 

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

All the best footballers have nicknames. Lionel Messi is “The Flea”, Diego Maradona “The Golden Boy”, while Sergio “Kun” Aguero is named after a Japanese cartoon character. Then there’s Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima. He, rather aptly, is “The Phenomenon”. The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year was the star striker of a golden generation of Brazilian footballers who triumphed at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. And while those may have been the glory years for this outrageously talented number nine, wherever he went throughout his career – be it Internazionale or Real Madrid – Ronaldo just kept doing what he did best; scoring goals.

It’s exactly why the Brazilian has such a cult following even today, five years after his retirement from football. And because we at icons.com love bringing you products from the world’s greatest players, we made sure to get a wide range of fantastic items signed by The Phenomenon himself.

This, of course, is not the first time Icons have met with the now 39-year-old. We have, in fact, been working with Ronaldo for over thirteen years and since our last signing session, he’s been a busy man. A Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme and co-owner of North American Soccer League side Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Ronaldo still finds time to travel the world watching football and was only too happy to chat away about the game he loves.

All throughout our session the former Galactico striker was in a high spirits, laughing and joking with our team as he signed our selection of shirts, photos, boots and balls.

ronaldo-brazil-back-signed-shirt

Adding his signature to a number of items that serve to chronicle his outstanding career at the very top of the sport, Ronaldo seemed to be moved by our selection of photos, recalling great goals in FIFA World Cups, astonishing performances in the UEFA Champions League and remarkable personal honours from a career spanning eighteen years. In fact, he seemed to like a number of items so much that he asked our team if he could take a few away for himself.

Ronaldo-Signed-Nike-FootballICRNSB1-Ronaldo-Signed-Black-Nike-Tiempo-Boot

With a handful of goodies to remember another thoroughly enjoyable and successful signing session, Ronaldo bid us farewell and left to enjoy more of his his favourite city, Madrid, a place in which he spent five great years tearing up La Liga with his Galactico team-mates. That left our team with the all-important task of delivering the excellent variety of exciting products to icons.com for you to enjoy. With more coming over the next few days, keep an eye for our full range of Ronaldo signed products and take it from us; these are not-to-be-missed products from a true legend of football.

For our full range of Ronaldo signed products check out icons.com now!

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Memorabilia signed by Ronaldo



Neymar Jr Returns! Brazilian Talisman Signs With Icons Again

Neymar-Jr-Signing-Session-Icons

We saw Neymar for another special signing session on August 6th 2015 in Barcelona. Once again a pleasure to work with, the Brazilian offered the highest level of professionalism possible. Regarded as one of the most exciting talents to hit the international stage in years, Neymar Junior has the world at his feet. The Brazilian boy wonder is part of the most dangerous attacking force on the planet and in 2015, Neymar is set to take the world by storm once again with Brazil and Barcelona.

At just 23 years of age, Neymar has achieved more than some footballers do in their entire careers. Dubbed “the new Pele” by the great man himself, the young forward quickly amassed plaudits following his Santos debut aged 17. In his first three seasons with Santos, Neymar won three consecutive league titles and was awarded Player of the Year each campaign. He also beat Wayne Rooney and Leo Messi to the prestigious FIFA Goal of the Year award in 2011 for a skilful run and calm finish against Flamenco. At just 18, Neymar made his debut for the Seleção and now just five years later is the focal point and captain of the Brazil national side. He was a constant goal threat at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil before injury ruled him out of the semi-finals. The forwards’s style is rooted in the street football he played growing up in Sao Paulo; all sharp touches, stylish step-overs and incisive flicks.

Joining Barcelona after a sensational 2013 Confederations Cup, Neymar settled quickly, reaching double figures in goals for the Catalan giants in his first season. Neymar’s quick-footed flair and incredible pace make him a joy to watch; but it’s his devastating finishing that looks set to make him a legend and Icon for years to come.  He now partners Leo Messi and Luis Suarez in the most feared strike force in the world and one that led Barcelona to an unprecedented treble in 2015, ending the season with a personal 39 goals in all competitions.

Other superstars such as the likes of Xavi Hernandez, Ronaldinho and retired World Cup winner Ronaldo have all identified Neymar as the next best player in the world. Will 2015 see Neymar inherit that title from the man who just so happens to be a teammate?  Whatever the outcome, fans are in for a treat as the best players in the world vie for football’s top prize.

New range of signed Neymar Junior memorabilia

Neymar has been signing with Icons since 2012, just before his £71.5 million move to Spain.

Neymar memorabilia is hugely popular on icons.com and we are delighted to stock products carrying the authentic Neymar Junior autograph. These include current and previous Barcelona and Brazil shirts as well as seminal photographs and posters signed by all three of the amigos. Don’t miss out on these ultimate collector’s items, a must-have for any true Barcelona fan.


Memorabilia signed by Neymar



The Greatest Sides Never To Win The World Cup: Brazil 1982

Who cares about the also-rans? Nobody remembers the losers, right? Wrong. They do when they were as talented as… Brazil 1982.

Icons-Memorabilia

Why were Brazil great in 1982?

If ‘Joga Bonito’ was established by the Brazilian World Cup-winning side of 1970, the team that manager Tele Santana assembled twelve years later cultivated it. The players loved the ball and the ball loved them back. Every touch was a caress. Every pass was played with such delicate precision.

The sublime samba skills of Zico, Eder, Socrates, Junior and Falcao were stunning to behold. This was pure footballing nirvana: silky smooth passing and movement interspersed with fancy flicks, spectacular long range strikes, and perfectly executed, curling free-kicks.

1982 World Cup
Initially, Brazil looked unstoppable playing some heaven-sent football based around the beguiling ethos: you score two, we’ll score three. In the first group stage they toyed with the opposition and scored for fun, netting ten times in their games against the Soviet Union, Scotland and New Zealand. The second phase saw them drawn in the ultimate ‘Group of Death’ alongside Argentina and Italy, only the winner progressing. After a sumptuous 3-1 demolition of the defending World Cup holders, it came down to an all or nothing match up with the Italians.

What went wrong?

Because of the better goal difference, Brazil only needed a draw against Italy in the final group game. Even back then, most managers would have adjusted their game plan accordingly, particularly against a team like Italy that had a counterattacking philosophy to begin with. But manager Santana didn’t believe in that. Brazil did their thing. And while the romantic in you says it was right to do so, the fact is that it cost them the game. And with that the World Cup.

In perhaps the greatest World Cup match of all-time against Italy they went behind three times to strikes by Paolo Rossi. Despite scoring two stunning goals through Socrates and Falcao, and needing only a draw to reach the semi-finals, it was too high a mountain against a well-organised defence. Brazil went out, and the world wept.

What happened next?

Zico called that game against Italy “the day football died.” As far as his vision of football is concerned, he was correct.

Brazil began soul-searching again, divided between those who wanted a more European-style game and those who believed they should stick to Santana’s vision. They would oscillate between the two. Four years later Santana would return on the World Cup, together with much of the ’82 team. But by that stage they were a spent force.

At the 1986 World Cup a new South-American star was born, but he didn’t play for the Brazilian team. His name? Diego Maradona.

Other posts in this series:
Hungary 1954
Portugal 1966
Holland 1974



Why We Love Brazil’s 1970 FIFA World Cup Squad, The Greatest Team Ever

It is the good old Friday afternoon discussion in the pub: what has been the greatest football team ever? We are giving you 5 reasons what made the 1970 FIFA World Cup™ Brazil team so special.

1970-World-Cup-Brazil-squad-is-the-greatest-team-of-all-time

#1: Revenge for 1966 FIFA World Cup™ 
The 1966 FIFA World Cup™ had been a huge blow for Brazil. Following the victories in ’58 and ’62, a new FIFA World Cup™ trophy was all that matters. But it ended in disaster. No win meant a particularly un-Brazilian first round exit, and the team was in complete disarray. They took the ultimate revenge four years later.

#2: A glorious exhibition of attacking football
“What this team needs are great players, players who are intelligent. Let’s go with that and see where it takes us.” Brazil manager Mario Zagallo realized that his role was one of overall management, not specific tactics. It led to one of the most sensational explosions of style and offense in the prestigious history of the tournament. Brazil had once again proved that force of personality could overwhelm the system.

#3: World Cup’s most thrilling attacking force
Starplayer Pelé was joined by thrilling wingers Jairzinho and Rivelino, playmaker Gerson, the nascent talent of midfielder Clodoaldo and skipper Carlos Alberto, a superb exponent of the art of the attacking full-back. Centre-forward Tostao was there, too, his career saved by an eye operation. Together they formed the World Cup’s most thrilling attacking force.

#4: Most memorable match in FIFA World Cup™ history
The group stage of the 1970 FIFA World Cup™ brought together first and foremost champions England and favourites Brazil. The match between them is regarded as one of the best in FIFA World Cup™ history – certainly among first round matches. Brazil won 1-0 thanks to a Jairzinho goal after a fine attack, but the game is also remembered for the “save of the century” by Gordon Banks from a Pelé header.

#:5 The best team goal in FIFA World Cup™ history

 

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