Tag: Liverpool

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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The Icons.com 2017-18 Season Predictions

So, here we are again. When Leicester City travel to Arsenal on Friday night to open the 2017-18 Premier League season, it’ll be the first of 380 league matches that stretch over ten months and determine the fates of twenty topflight clubs. Win roughly 25 of your 38 matches and you’ll be in with a shout of the title; avoid losing more than 20 times and you should, in theory, stay up. It’s as simple as that, right?

Well, not quite. This is, after all, one of the most unforgiving leagues in all of world football. It’s a division in which the title defence of the two previous champions ended in finishes of 10th and 12th respectively. Where a team with five UEFA Champions League winners amongst its ranks could only muster a measly 13th place in 2016-17. And where a side who finished some 32 points shy of last season’s champions have spent nearly £100million on new recruits over the summer.

This is indeed a brutal league. But that’s exactly why it attracts the biggest audiences, a number of the biggest stars and most certainly the biggest names in management. For the likes of Mourinho, Conte, Pochettino, Klopp, Wenger and Guardiola, this weekend’s action offers the potential first step towards the ultimate glory. But to whom the trophy will go is anyone’s guess.

Giving it our best shot, we, the staff and partners of Icons.com, are back again to answer (or at least attempt to answer) the burning questions on everyone’s minds ahead of the big kick-off. But don’t just take our word, get involved on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages by giving us your predictions for the season ahead. You can hardly do much worse.

And, of course, be sure to check out our fantastic range of signed items from Premier League stars past and present – available right now on Icons.com.

It’s make or break time for Pep Guardiola in Manchester

Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Chelsea (2nd), Liverpool (3rd), Arsenal (4th)
Relegated: Huddersfield Town, Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion
Overachievers: Everton – The Toffees have spent big but have invested well this summer. Wayne Rooney‘s return brings valuable experience to a dressing room packed with new and exciting faces.
Underachievers: Arsenal – Last year I predicted that because the Gunners had spent nothing they would falter. This year, despite the purchase of Alexandre Lacazette, the same problems will persist. Wenger should have left years ago.
Golden Boot: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Signing of the season: Ederson (Manchester City) – The Brazilian youngster is an improvement on former keepers at the Etihad.

FA Cup winners: Chelsea
League Cup winners: Liverpool

UEFA Champions League winners: FC Barcelona
UEFA Europa League winners: AC Milan

Random prediction: Lionel Messi will become only the fifth player ever to have won five Pichichi trophies after he finishes the season as La Liga’s top scorer.

Dan Jamieson, CEO

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Liverpool (2nd), Chelsea (3rd), Manchester United (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: West Ham United – The Hammers have finally bought a striker with bags of Premier League experience.
Underachievers: Southampton – After years of gradual progress, decline will finally set in at St Mary’s.
Golden Boot: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City)
Signing of the season: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – I always go for Liverpool‘s big money signing…

FA Cup winners: Chelsea
League Cup winners: Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League winners: Liverpool. Come on, we can all dream!
UEFA Europa League winners: Manchester United will retain the trophy after dropping out of the UEFA Champions League at the group stages.

Random prediction: Barcelona will improve despite the departure of Neymar Jr. They’ll wrestle the Spanish title back from Real Madrid.

Wayne Rooney has returned to Everton – could his experience bring success to Goodison?

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League winners: Manchester United
Top four: Manchester City (2nd), Chelsea (3rd), Tottenham Hotspur (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Chelsea – A paper thin squad coupled with the return of UEFA Champions League football should make life tough for the Blues but Eden Hazard will keep them winning.
Underachievers: Manchester City‘s backline – Pep’s back four will improve on last season but they’ll still leak plenty of goals.
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Signing of the season: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) – The Serbian will make a big difference for United but if Liverpool can sign a central defender the title is in the bag.

FA Cup winners: Liverpool
League Cup winners: Liverpool

UEFA Champions League winners: Paris Saint-Germain – Neymar Jr will take the Parisians that one step further they need this year.
UEFA Europa League winners: Villarreal – Though Arsenal will surely walk it if only they try.

Random predictions: Dele Alli‘s rise to superstardom continues, earning him a big money move at the end of the season for, let’s say, £200million. From March onwards, a number of players will feign and/or elongate injuries in order to be fresh for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. One of Nathan Redmond or Tom Davies sneaks onto England‘s plane for Russia.

Alistair Hunter, Senior Editor

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester United (2nd), Arsenal (3rd), Chelsea (4th)
Relegated: Burnley, Huddersfield Town, Stoke City
Overachievers: Newcastle United – The Rafa Revolution rolls on. In fact, he even manages to take a handful of points from former employers Liverpool and Chelsea.
Underachievers: Stoke City – Mark Hughes wins the sack race feeling the absence of the brilliant Marko Arnautovic. The rest of the bottom half chews them up and spits them out.
Golden Boot: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Signing of the season: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City) – Manchester City fans will thank their lucky stars for that buy-back clause as the exciting young forward links up with Jamie Vardy to devastating effect.

FA Cup winners: West Ham United – Slaven Bilic’s side overcome Championship opposition in the Final.
League Cup winners: Cambridge Unit- ah, no, we’re out already. Okay, let’s go with Manchester City.

UEFA Champions League winners: Real Madrid – No-one thought back-to-back titles could be done. Why can’t they make it three-in-a-row with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at the top of their game?
UEFA Europa League winners: Lyon – The French side weren’t too far off last season and this year the Final takes place in their own back yard.

Random prediction: A goalkeeper will get on the scoresheet at some stage this season. Liverpool sacrifice the topflight for a deep run in the UEFA Champions League as they reach the semi-finals. Cambridge United win automatic promotion from League Two.

Icons favourite Dele Alli: world football’s next £200million player?

Joe Turnbull, Editorial Intern

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Liverpool (2nd), Tottenham Hotspur (3rd), Manchester United (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Stoke City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Newcastle United – Rafa Benitez is experienced at Premier League level. I wouldn’t bet against him taking the Toon into the top ten.
Underachievers: Chelsea – Friction between Antonio Conte and the board will be their downfall. New boy Alvaro Morata won’t click and injuries will deplete their squad, leaving the Stamford Bridge side languishing in sixth.
Golden Boot: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Signing of the season: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) – Though he cost a lot of money, the Belgian brings guaranteed goals. Lukaku is a fantastic player who will step up to the plate and may even give Jose a long run in the UEFA Champions League.

FA Cup winners: Liverpool
League Cup winners: Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League winner: Bayern Munich
UEFA Europa League winner: AC Milan – After the summer the Rossoneri have had, it’s difficult to see past them. The English clubs will represent themselves well.

Random prediction: Neymar Jr carries Paris Saint-Germain all the way to the Final but they come up just short to Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Matt Sheppard, Editorial Intern

Premier League winners: Chelsea
Top four: Manchester City (2nd), Arsenal (3rd), Tottenham Hotspur (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Newcastle United – Rafa will finally get to show exactly why he decided to stick by the Toon Army following their relegation the season before last.
Underachievers: West Ham United – There’s lots of hype around the Hammers’ big-name signings but most of them will prove well past their sell-by date.
Golden Boot: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Signing of the season: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City) – The Portuguese international will form a partnership with Kevin de Bruyne that turns into quite something.

FA Cup winners: Arsenal
League Cup winners: Manchester City

UEFA Champions League winner: Real Madrid
UEFA Europa League winner: AC Milan

Random prediction: Pep Guardiola will resign at the end of the season, following a failure to land the league or UEFA Champions League. Nathaniel Chalobah will be on that plane to Russia next year.

Italian giants AC Milan are well fancied for UEFA Europa League glory

Chris Jinks, A1 Sporting Memorabilia

Premier League winners: Arsenal
Top four: Chelsea (2nd), Manchester City (3rd), Liverpool (4th)
Relegated: Burnley, Swansea City, Huddersfield Town
Overachievers: Arsenal – Without the distraction of trying (and repeatedly hopelessly failing) to win the UEFA Champions League, the Gunners focus on domestic matters. Momentum stays with the team early in 2018 when they would usually falter.
Underachievers: Manchester United – Mourinho has made a number of big money signings but The Special One will be unable to get the team to gel. Without a trophy, Jose gets grumpier by the day.
Golden Boot: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea)
Signing of the season: Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) – In a time when we have £200million players, Wenger still finds a bargain in this free transfer.

FA Cup winners: Chelsea
League Cup winners: Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League winner: FC Barcelona
UEFA Europa League winner: Villarreal

Random prediction: Arsene Wenger will call it a day having finally won the league, bowing out on a high. (I’m going to keep predicting this each year until it’s true!)

Harm Jan Deuring, De Hand van Maradona

Premier League winners: Manchester City
Top four: Manchester United (2nd), Tottenham Hotspur (3rd), Arsenal (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Burnley, Watford
Overachievers: Huddersfield Town – The Terriers do what many believe to be impossible: they avoid relegation.
Underachievers: Chelsea – Morata for Diego Costa is a mistake while Eden Hazard will be sorely missed during the opening weeks of the season. Liverpool will also struggle under the weight of their busy schedule.
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United) and Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) share the honour.
Signing of the season: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United) – The Serbian is the missing link in Jose’s midfield. Tottenham‘s first signing of the season will be a close second – whoever it may be!

FA Cup winners: Arsenal
League Cup winners: Surprisingly, a side outside the top six!

UEFA Champions League winner: Real Madrid
UEFA Europa League winner: AS Monaco

Random prediction: Alexis Sanchez will stay at the Emirates but will have a disappointing season. No-one in the Manchester United squad will be banned for more games than Jose Mourinho himself.

Is this the year Arsene Wenger finally wins back the Premier League title?

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Premier League winners: Manchester United
Top four: Manchester City (2nd), Chelsea (3rd), Arsenal (4th)
Relegated: Brighton & Hove Albion, Huddersfield Town, West Bromwich Albion
Overachievers: Crystal Palace – Frank de Boer guides the Eagles to a nice finish alongside the big boys.
Underachievers: Tottenham Hotspur – The Wembley hoodoo comes for Spurs again.
Golden Boot: Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Signing of the season: Javier Hernandez (West Ham United) – The Mexican is an absolute steal for what he’ll do on the pitch and pure highway robbery for what he’ll do for the club in the North American market.

FA Cup winners: Manchester City
League Cup winners: Everton

UEFA Champions League winner: Chelsea
UEFA Europa League winner: Celtic

Random prediction: My prediction that Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic would move to the Premier League didn’t come true in 2016-17 but he will crush it in Germany this season, becoming one of the darlings of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. That move to England will be a superstar signing come the summer of 2018.


So, that’s what we think will go down during this season’s Premier League campaign. But what do you think? Send us your predictions by getting in touch via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages!

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



Bid For Our Incredible Luis Suarez Signed and Match Worn Liverpool Shirt

Luis-Suarez-(Liverpool)

During his three-year stint at Liverpool, striker Luis Suarez proved to be one of the most electrifying talents to have ever graced the Premier League. Redmen the world over will remember the Uruguayan’s time at Anfield for his all-action approach to the number nine role; his exceptional array of unforgettable goals and performances; and his fierce devotion to the club. To this day, El Pistolero remains a Kop icon.

Why are we telling you this? Well, if you’re a Liverpool fan and you agree with all that, then we have an incredible opportunity for you. For the next three days, we at icons.com are running an auction exclusive to Facebook in which you can bid for a Luis Suarez signed and match worn Liverpool shirt.

That’s right, this shirt wasn’t just signed by the man himself, it was genuinely worn by him during a match, too. And not just any match, either. Suarez wore this particular shirt during Liverpool’s pulsating 3-2 victory over Manchester City at Anfield on April 13th, 2014.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Premier League

Above: Luis Suarez celebrates as Liverpool score during their 3-2 win over Manchester City at Anfield on April 13th, 2014.

It was just one of several extra-special match worn shirts available to buy on icons.com but now it’s up for auction and you can place your bid right now on our official Facebook page.

The 2013-14 Premier League campaign was a memorable one for Liverpool fans, as Suarez and company made fans dream of the title but were cruelly denied over the final few hurdles. Despite the heartache, Redmen will remember a number of incredible matches during that exceptional season, and none more so than this excellent victory over eventual champions Manchester City.

Suarez was crucial that day, leading the line with a typically powerful performance that had the Manchester City back-line on edge throughout the game. Wearing their iconic red home kit with a special edition badge paying tribute to the 96 supporters who died at Hillsborough in 1989, Brendan Rodgers’ team dug deep to produce an emotional victory that few fans at a packed Anfield that day will soon forget.

Luis Suarez Liverpool Shirt

Above: Icons has a long-standing relationship with former Liverpool hero Luis Suarez. Here he signs a Liverpool shirt for us in 2011

Typifying our tremendous relationship with the striker, who has been signing with Icons for over six years now, Suarez later gifted us his shirt from that remarkable game and it could soon be yours.

All you have to do to be in with a shot of owning this amazing piece of sporting memorabilia is place your bid for the shirt on our dedicated Facebook Auction page. If your bid is above the minimum reserve price and it’s the highest of all the bids placed before Sunday March 6th, you’ll win the auction and become the new owner of this very special item.

So, what are you waiting for?

Head over to our Facebook page now and get yourself involved in the auction – which is hotting up with each new bid.

But if all that sounds like a bit too much excitement, you can always just head to icons.com and check out our Luis Suarez signed memorabilia range. We’ve got loads of awesome products available, ranging from signed Liverpool and Barcelona shirts and photos, to signed boots and balls.

Follow Icons on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for all our latest blog posts, chat and competitions.


Memorabilia signed by Luis Suarez



Icons Weekend Football Preview: Barcelona Out To Extend Unbeaten Run; Aguero In Top Of The Table Clash

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-ATLETICO

It’s almost the weekend! And that means, as always, there’s a full card of top class football to look forward to. Football that involves our Icons doing what they do best – being iconic. So who’s playing where and when? With a run-down of what our friends are up to this weekend, it’s the Icons Weekend Football Preview

Don’t forget to let us know who you’ll be supporting by getting in touch with our social media team. Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and let them know how your favourite Icon has gotten on over the course of the weekend. Let’s get started!

 

Sunderland vs Manchester United

Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (R) celebrates with Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in London on February 7, 2016. / AFP / Ian Kington / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata travel to Wearside to take on Premier League strugglers Sunderland this weekend and we’re confident that at least one of them will be on the scoresheet during Saturday’s early kick-off. Rooney has scored three goals in United’s last two matches against the Black Cats, while Mata has scored twice in their last three meetings. Louis van Gaal’s side will arrive at the Stadium of Light hoping to keep up their good form and a win here will keep the Red Devils in touch with the top four – at least two of whom are guaranteed to drop points on Sunday.

Details: Premier League, Stadium of Light, Saturday 12:45pm, BT Sport 1 HD


Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao

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Real Madrid have scored 19 goals in five games since Zinedine Zidane took charge and a whopping 16 in three home games at the Santiago Bernabeu and with Gareth Bale nearing a return to full fitness it’ll be down to Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez to continue the scoring in this deceptively tricky clash against sixth-placed Athletic Bilbao. Ronaldo will no doubt be in the mood, having picked up the Pichichi Trophy for finishing last season as the league’s top scorer during the weekend. How many will he and Real get this weekend?

Details: La Liga, Santiago Bernabeu, Saturday 3pm


Aston Villa vs Liverpool

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool scores their first and equalising goal from a free-kick during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between West Ham United and Liverpool at Boleyn Ground on February 9, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Philippe Coutinho scored a wonderful free-kick midweek as Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup against West Ham United but, despite defeat, Jurgen Klopp’s young side looked strong and can take plenty of positives into this match at bottom of the table Aston Villa. Klopp will look to Coutinho for more magic this weekend and the Kop boss was full of praise for his Brazilian star recently. “I don’t know many teams who he can’t play for,” Klopp said of Coutinho. We can’t think of many either!

Details: Premier League, Villa Park, Sunday 2:05pm, Sky Sports 1 HD


Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur

Manchester City v Leicester City - Premier League

Two of the Premier League’s most deadly strikers will face off at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon as Harry Kane and his Tottenham side travel to face Sergio Aguero and Manchester City in this mouth-watering top of the table clash. Aguero has scored six in his last four league games and Kane is on form too, with four in his last four Premier League outings, so expect goals from this match – one that could go a long way in deciding where the Premier League trophy ends up come May.

Details: Premier League, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 4:15pm Sky Sports 1 HD


Barcelona vs Celta Vigo

Barcelona v Valencia - Copa del Rey Semi Final, First Leg

Luis Enrique’s Barcelona broke a club record on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw in the Copa del Rey at Valencia. The draw not only sealed their place in history – with the team reaching a record 29 consecutive games unbeaten in all competitions – but also the final of the Copa. Superstars Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta were all rested for that game so we expect that foursome, fresh and on form, to come into this match against an overachieving Celta Vigo side eager to extend their lead at the top of the table.

Details: La Liga, Camp Nou, Sunday 7:30pm, Sky Sports 1 HD


Who will you be watching this weekend? Let us know!

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Kop Idol Jamie Carragher Signs For Icons

ZZ-Jamie-Carragher-Icons-Signing-Session-January-2016

It’s not hard to see why Jamie Carragher is so beloved by Liverpool fans. A fiercely loyal and remarkably determined competitor, “Carra” played 737 times during a career spanning sixteen seasons and not once did he turn out for a team other than the Reds. His devotion to the Anfield side notwithstanding, Jamie’s often underrated talent, leadership and charming everyman personality elevated him from stalwart central defender to a homegrown hero adored by the Kop.

For all these reasons and more, Icons were eager to meet with the man himself for a private signing session at the office of his charity, the 23 Foundation, on Wednesday January 27th – a mere day before Jamie’s thirty-eighth birthday.

Jamie-Carragher-77-of-106-(1)

Lining the walls of the Foundation’s plush yet homely headquarters were a number of photos chronicling Jamie’s distinguished career in professional football. Striking images of a young Jamie sat alongside memories of Liverpool’s celebrated treble-winning season of 2000-01 and, of course, plenty of photos from that famous night in Istanbul.

As the signing began, Jamie happily chatted away about Liverpool’s penalty shoot-out victory over Stoke City in the previous evening’s Capital One Cup semi-final clash at Anfield. While talking up the Reds’ chances of winning the competition at the Wembley final on February 28th, Carra himself appeared on the television behind us. Joking with current Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp about injuries, Jamie suggested he could be brought back into the fold to help out the injury-ravaged squad. “I need players who can go for 120 minutes,” Klopp laughed.

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Though these days he may not be able to stay the course of a full match with extra time, Jamie was certainly more than capable of giving his all for 120 minutes – and more – back in his prime. On no occasion was this more true than on May 25th, 2005 in Istanbul. The events of that night, as Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League in the most dramatic style, will live long in the memory of any Red. That’s why we wanted to deliver signed products from Jamie that commemorate that incredible night; products like his front signed Istanbul shirt; the dual signed official programme; and the framed “2005 Champions League Winner” photo.

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With another successful signing winding down, Jamie revealed to us that he was to spend the weekend in Milan, watching the Derby della Madonnina at the San Siro. It came as no surprise that a man who has such an undying passion for football would want to spend the weekend of his birthday watching Inter take on AC in one of the sport’s biggest fixtures.

But what did shock us was the fact that Jamie would be going as a paying punter, a fan in the stands. Here is a man who has won nearly everything there is to win in the club game, has lifted Europe’s biggest trophy and is adored by one of the world’s biggest football clubs. Yet true to his roots, passionate and humble as ever, Carra would be back out on to the stands, watching the game he loves.

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

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Memorabilia signed by Jamie Carragher



Icons Launch Exclusive ‘Signed & Match Worn’ Section

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Icons work with the world’s best players and today we are proud to launch our new and exclusive signed and match worn section. These are authentic, unique, game-used items direct from some of the greatest players on the planet. But how do you know these shirts are the real deal? 

Icons has and always will be dedicated to the highest standards of authenticity and our brand new signed and match worn range is no different. There are just a few simple questions you have to ask yourself as a customer to put your mind at rest when buying these items.

 

Does the supplier have long-standing and official relationships with the players?

Just a glance at the Icons homepage will tell you we have been working with the world’s best for over a decade and a half. We have official contracts with Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale and have been working with Cristiano Ronaldo for over ten years now. No one else in the world can claim such partnerships, with Icons a step ahead at every turn. We also have established relationships with the likes of Neymar Jr, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta and many more.

Does the supplier have photos of the player with the match worn shirt?

Icons is proud to provide clear photos of the player with the exact shirt they played in and have signed. This sort of endorsement is what elevates Icons above the rest. Our signed and match worn shirts are also dated, where possible. These dates were hand-written by the players themselves as a way to officially stamp said shirt as match worn from that specific match on that specific date.

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Do the shirts have any unique identifiers?

All our match worn shirts have unique identifiers establishing them as the products worn in the matches we say they are. Our Barcelona match worn shirts have an authentic tag on the hem of the shirt, which contains a serial number with nine digits, the year of the season and the iconic Nike tick. Our Luis Suarez Liverpool shirt bears the official Hillsborough 25th Anniversary crest that was specifically created for that game and has not been worn since. And our Andres Iniesta Spain shirt bears text under the badge, confirming the match opponents, date and location for example.

What about Certificates of Authenticity?

Anyone with a word processor can create a COA. All our items come with a Certificate of Authenticity, which include the details of the signing session and a photo of the player signing the product line at the signing session, where available. We introduced numbered, sequential Icons holograms to add to the COA security. They are uniquely printed on two sided black card so as to be unphotocopiable too. Details of our company are registered with Companies House and our company number is 06791294 – this is always displayed on the COAs. We are easily traceable and subject to UK law. So, if you can’t find a company’s details on its website then proceed with caution and remember you will have no claims in the courts. Our CEO personally signs every COA and we never reproduce signatures, even for this small task.

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Do they have licenses with official bodies?

Icons were awarded the world’s first ever signed football memorabilia licence by FIFA in 2010 so we could produce our range of iconic signed World Cup products. We went on to create a range for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and have been awarded the rights for the forthcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. In July 2012, Icons was awarded the first ever official licence for the UEFA Champions League and have renewed for 2015-18. Our rights now also include the UEFA Europa League so together our ranges incorporate the entire history of elite European club competition. We were also given the first ever UEFA European Championships memorabilia licence in 2015. As such, we’ve just launched our official UEFA EURO 2016 France range. If the governing bodies of world and European football deal with Icons, why would you buy signed items from anywhere else? Icons are looking to bring you match worn shirts from these tournaments so as to be able to combine our licences with these coveted products. Sign up to the Icons newsletter to find out first about this.

 

So remember when buying match worn items, does it have:

  • A COA and hologram with it?
  • A photo of the player with the item?
  • A signature from the player in question?
  • Where possible a date tying it to the specific game?
  • Identifiable patches or manufacturers details marking it as a match issue shirt?

 

Icons Shop Ltd is the world’s leading football memorabilia company and Icons.com the most trusted brand in the game. Authenticity is everything to us, as it is everything to our customers. So check out our exclusive and exciting match worn range featuring genuine shirts worn by the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta and Gareth Bale.

 

For our full range of match worn products, check out icons.com now!

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Luis Suarez Signs With Icons Again

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After such a successful year, it’s no surprise that Luis Suarez is ready and raring to go again as the 2015-16 season commences, starting with Barcelona’s Super Cup Final against Sevilla in Georgia. Former Liverpool hero and now an integral part of Barcelona’s attacking triumvirate, Luis Suarez is a natural born winner. Tireless in the pursuit of victory, Suarez was vital in Barcelona’s treble triumph of 2015, contributing 25 goals and 24 assists in just half a season.

Most notable were his performances in Barcelona‘s lime coloured away shirt. First scoring two sublime goals against PSG in the Champions League Quarter Finals, and secondly against Bayern Munich where he assisted twice, putting it on a plate for Neymar Jr on both occasions. He was also key in dismantling Manchester City in the previous round of the competition, scoring two goals in 14 first half minutes at the Etihad.

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The Uruguayan only seems to get better and with icons such as Messi, Neymar and Iniesta around him, that progress does not look like stopping any time soon. The future certainly looks bright for Luis Suarez and Barcelona. Slotting into the deadliest attacking trio on the planet, Suarez has achieved so much in just half a season’s playing time. Having seemingly left the controversy of his past behind him, Suarez’s dynamic play and lethal finishing has added a new dimension to a revamped Barcelona. Can anyone snatch the Champions League, La Liga or Copa Del Rey away from Catalonia? It seems obvious that ‘El Pistolero’ will have something to say about that.

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In his homeland, Suarez is lauded as a national hero. Alongside Diego Forlan and Edinson Cavani, he has helped forge one of the deadliest strike forces in international football and will soon lead the line as the team’s star man. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa he played an important role in Uruguay‘s fourth-place finish, scoring three goals, and also blocked an extra time goal bound header with his hands during the quarter finals against Ghana. He was dismissed, but Uruguay went on to triumph via penalties. His jubilant celebrations afterwards attracted criticism from some, but for others, emphasised Suarez’s best qualities: he is a champion and a patriot, at all costs.

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Suarez has been signing with Icons.com for 4 years now, ever since he first came to Liverpool in 2011. Luis Suarez memorabilia is hugely popular on icons.com and we are delighted to stock products carrying the authentic Luis Suarez autograph. These include current and previous Barcelona andUruguay 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 Luis Suarez



We’re Back! The Icons.com 2015-16 Season Preview

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24:  John Terry of Chelsea celebrates with the trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 24, 2015 in London, England. Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 24: John Terry of Chelsea celebrates with the trophy after the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 24, 2015 in London, England. Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Ladies and gentlemen, we did it. We got through the summer break. It was tough, sure, but it’s over now. You can put down those barbeque tongs, stick the sun lounger back in the shed and forget all about that fence you probably weren’t going to paint anyway. Because this weekend, in stadiums across the country and around Europe, the football – the proper football – returns. And this season, like almost every season before it, threatens to be one of unmissable drama.

With Premier League legends Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Robin van Persie all parting ways with the English topflight, there’s never been a better time for new icons to emerge and big summer moves aplenty at the Etihad, Old Trafford and Anfield mean there are no shortage of fresh faces among the familiar stars.

At Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea – with leading lights in Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas – bid to become the first team since 2009 to defend their Premier League crown. But they face a strong challenge from a reinvigorated Arsenal, perennial contenders Man City and a much-strengthened Man United, who have added over £83million of talent over the summer.

Meanwhile, a Gerrard-less Liverpool have flashed their cash and captured Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Nathaniel Clyne, among others, while Tottenham will be hoping for more of the same from frontman Harry Kane, who emerged as one of English football’s most exciting young strikers following a frenzy of goals last term.

Newly promoted Watford return to the topflight after an eight year exile while Norwich City look promising after their swift return and there’s more than a sense of intrigue about Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, who were excellent as they romped to the Championship title.

On the continent, there’s more glory expected for Barcelona, led by the irresistible and seemingly unstoppable ‘MSN’ trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar. As ever, Luis Enrique’s side will need to see off Clasico rivals Real Madrid but with Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale at his disposal, new boss Rafa Benitez must feel confident of a strong challenge.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 06:  (L-R) Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar of Barcelona celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

BERLIN, GERMANY – JUNE 06: (L-R) Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar of Barcelona celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and FC Barcelona at Olympiastadion on June 6, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

The German title race, as in France and Italy, is decidedly less open. With the additions of Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa, Bayern will be incredibly hard to catch, though Kevin de Bruyne’s Wolfsburg and Dortmund – with hipsters’ choice Thomas Tuchel taking over from former hipsters’ choice Jurgen Klopp – will try their level best to keep up.

Paris Saint-Germain look certain to retain their Ligue 1 crown, as Angel Di Maria joins Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani and David Luiz – a deep run into the latter stages of the Champions League is the aim.

Juventus will start clear favourites in Italy but the Old Lady has lost some of her favourite sons over the summer with Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Vidal heading away to varying corners of Planet Football. Rudi Garcia’s Roma have been improving season-on-season and could challenge Juve’s dominance should their squad stay healthy throughout the season.

Beside the Premier League, we should look then to the Champions League for competitiveness, where any number of around five or six teams could feasibly triumph. Though MSN make Barcelona the hot favourites, a lack of domestic challenge could help the likes of Bayern, Juventus and PSG, who’ll each be looking to improve on the continent. Whoever wins, we’re doubtless in for a treat as the best in the world vie for the ultimate prize.