Tag: Brazil

We Predict… The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

‘Like Christmas for football fans’. This year, that oft-used description of the FIFA World Cup is as apt as it’s ever likely to get as, for the first time in its glittering history, we head for a winter tournament in the desert dunes of Qatar.

It will surely feel a little strange to have the world’s biggest and most iconic football competition take place in November and December. But a FIFA World Cup is a FIFA World Cup. You won’t catch any of us complaining when the month-long festival of football finally gets underway.

Especially because there’s simply too much to look ahead to. This may very well be one of the last FIFA World Cup appearances for the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. But certainly not the last for Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Jr, Pedri, Phil Foden and other mercurial young talents.

Indeed, Qatar will play host to a heady mix of superstars all chasing the same thing – the ultimate glory some might say – the prize every footballer wants to win. For some, their legacy may depend on winning it. For others, the chance to lace up for a FIFA World Cup is a prize itself worth savouring.

But who’ll take the top honours? And who’s about to breakout on the biggest stage? Well, that’s where our staff come in… sort of. Here are our predictions…

But first! You’ll want to check out our incredible collection of official FIFA World Cup memorabilia comprising signed and unsigned items from stars past and present – available right now on Icons.com.

Argentina are well-fancied with their talisman’s name on many people’s lips

Dan Jamieson, CEO

Winners: I think ARGENTINA have a good mix of youth and veteran talent, tournament-winning experience at the most recent Copa America, and a certain Mr Messi to pull the strings while others doing the running.
Runner-up: Can you imagine the hype before a Ronaldo v Messi final? Though I think its actually PORTUGAL‘s supporting cast who will take centre stage as the tournament goes on.
Surprise Package: With Luis Suarez and Darwin Nunez up top, URUGUAY guarantee action, controversy and no defender knowing what the hell is coming next.
Surprise Early Exit: SPAIN find themselves in a tough group and lack the goals to get them out of sticky situations.

Golden Ball: I’ve got Argentina as my favourites and I think lots of games could come down to penalties. With that in mind, I’m going with EMI MARTINEZ who, don’t forget, won the Golden Glove at the Copa America.
Young Player of the Tournament: Remember the name: Argentina’s ENZO FERNANDEZ. He’ll be coming to a Premier League team soon…
Golden Boot: Strangely both overrated and underrated, we are big fans of JOAO FELIX at Icons and hope he can emerge from CR7’s shadow.
Golden Glove: See above: EMI MARTINEZ.

England will… do as their ranking suggests. We’re fifth in the world so we’ll give it all we’ve got and come close to winning a quarter-final, taking the lead but losing on penalties.

Bold prediction: Penalties will decide many of the most crucial matches as teams conserve energy, keep men behind the ball and take their chances in the lottery that is the shootout.

Brazil are the bookmakers’ favourites led by a stellar cast of attacking talent

Ben Soley, Head of Sales

Winners: As well as a typically star-studded strikeforce featuring Neymar Jr, Vinicius Jnr, Richarlison and Raphinha, this BRAZIL team also has a strong (albeit ageing) defence and midfield spine.
Runner-up: BELGIUM’s next generation is already coming through (I’m looking at you Charles de Ketelaere), and I’m backing the old guard of Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku to make the final.
Surprise Package: SERBIA have a sturdy keeper in Vanja Milinkovic-Savic and mainstay midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (no relation) but it’s their front-line which is really noteworthy. Dusan Vlahovic and Aleksandar Mitrovic are amongst the most feared goal scorers in their respective leagues.
Surprise Early Exit: Four of the last five defending champions haven’t got past the group stages. The holders never do well. It seems wild to suggest, but FRANCE will sorely miss Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante, heading home before the end of the quarter-finals.

Golden Ball: LIONEL MESSI is in great form and it’s his last FIFA World Cup tournament – surely the stage is set for a fairytale goodbye?
Young Player of the Tournament: PEDRI. This kid is the real deal. I saw him live recently and he blew my mind.
Golden Boot: MEMPHIS DEPAY does not have the easiest of groups but I expect the Netherlands’ record-scorer to play at least four games and take penalties.
Golden Glove: EDOUARD MENDY.

England will… go out in the quarter-finals in return to form for FIFA’s fifth-best ranked team.

Bold prediction(s): A meagre three goals will be scored across both semi-finals, as the long season and high stakes force teams to play it safe. Penalties will decide at least one of those semi-finals. Mitrovic will get more goals than cards when he plays. Achraf Hakimi will score a Goal of the Tournament-worthy screamer.

As defending world champions, close attention will be paid to Kylian Mbappe’s France

Mike Davis, Financial Director

Winners: ARGENTINA. I think the Messi Factor will be too strong for the rest of the field to counter.
Runner-up: Messi will face Cristiano Ronaldo and PORTUGAL in a superstar final.
Surprise Package: URUGUAY will cause a stir.
Surprise Early Exit: I think FRANCE’s individuals will fail to click in defence of their title.

Golden Ball: BRUNO GUIMARAES
Young Player of the Tournament: AURELIEN TCHOUAMENI
Golden Boot: LIONEL MESSI
Golden Glove: ALISSON BECKER

England will… fail to inspire and exit at the quarter-final stage.

Bold prediction: Germany will fail to qualify from their group.

Few teams possess a midfield talent like Kevin De Bruyne – could Belgium be dark horses?

Alistair Hunter, Senior Editor

Winners: Never before has a FIFA World Cup been played at this time of year, throwing a lot of the usual prep work to the wall. Given the unusual build-up and the fact we’re due an underdog winner, I’m going with BELGIUM.
Runner-up: You’ll struggle to find a bigger Lionel Messi fan than I so it will be difficult for me when ARGENTINA come one shy again.
Surprise Package: I believe… I believe that… I believe the USMNT will go on a superb run to the quarter-finals – just in time to inspire a new generation of fans ahead of their hosting duties at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Surprise Early Exit: FRANCE are the world champions at doing exceptionally well at one FIFA World Cup then crashing out amid scandal and controversy at the next. Plus ça change.

Golden Ball: Competition officials won’t be able to resist the chance to hand LIONEL MESSI another award. Anything for a photo with the great one.
Young Player of the Tournament: FC Barcelona midfielder PEDRI is primed to take the next step into superstardom.
Golden Boot: Given the scoring opportunities England’s group present, HARRY KANE must have the best shot (pun fully intended).
Golden Glove: There’s no better name – nor better fairytale story – than that of REMKO PASVEER. Is it possible to be a rising star at 39-years-old?

England will… advance through to the latter stages of this tournament in miraculous fashion. A semi-final loss to Belgium will be reminiscent of their deep run at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Bold prediction(s): A VAR-related scandal will suspend a knockout game for long enough that the players temporarily leave for the dressing rooms while officials frantically try to resolve the situation. In search of a dramatic late equaliser, a goalkeeper will hit the post.

Boasting a plethora of young talent, Spain are likely to be contenders for the world title

David Cox, Head of Operations

Winners: SPAIN have an all-round solid team with a plethora of up-and-coming stars. Look out for Gavi at this tournament!
Runner-up: Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema will lead FRANCE to a second consecutive final.
Surprise Package: DENMARK always seem to show up when it comes to tournament football.
Surprise Early Exit: Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent interview will have an effect across the whole of PORTUGAL‘s camp.

Golden Ball: I may be slightly biased but no-one can pass a ball like KEVIN DE BRUYNE.
Young Player of the Tournament: GAVI is going to be one of the world’s best.
Golden Boot: KARIM BENZEMA. Unplayable on his day.
Golden Glove: Ederson won’t be first choice (who knows why?!) so best go for Brazil’s second choice, ALISSON BECKER.

England will… reach the quarter-finals and crumble. 

Bold prediction: More than one bicycle kick will be scored at the tournament.

No FIFA World Cup can be complete without Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo

Jamie White, Digital Content Producer

Winners: I think this FIFA World Cup is catered for a South American winner. For me, BRAZIL have the strongest squad and have the best chance in the hot conditions.
Runner-up: I just did a tournament predictor and my second favourite, Argentina, will meet Brazil in the semi-finals while on the other side of the draw I fancy PORTUGAL to make the final.
Surprise Package: SENEGAL. I fancy an African team to become the tournament’s surprise package.
Surprise Early Exit: SPAIN or GERMANY have a tough group with Japan – I feel like there could be a surprise casualty there!

Golden Ball: After our recent signing session with LIONEL MESSI, word has it he is fully focused on the FIFA World Cup and with his form going into Qatar I fancy him to have a great tournament.
Young Player of the Tournament: I think JUDE BELLINGHAM will be a stand-out player for England, or if Germany do well, I fancy Jamal Musiala to shine as one of the competition’s best players.
Golden Boot: LIONEL MESSI, closely followed by Darwin Nunez or Vinicius Jr.
Golden Glove: ALISSON BECKER is the best keeper in the world in the best team at the tournament.

England will… go out in the quarter-finals. The Three Lions will beat Iran comfortably in the opening game, then make difficult work of both the USA and Wales in the groups.

Bold prediction: Japan to knock out a heavy-hitter in Spain or Germany.

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez is one of many icons likely playing in their last FIFA World Cup

Ryan Butterworth, Head of Video Content

Winners: ARGENTINA‘s form over the last few years has been great. With their team and, of course, Lionel Messi, I think they will just edge the tournament.
Runner-up: I think we will see a PORTUGAL vs Argentina final – the battle of the GOATs! It’s a match made in heaven and could be the final decider between two greats. Portugal look very strong all over the pitch. 
Surprise Package: URUGUAY are a solid team across the pitch. I think they have been underestimated and may shock the world.
Surprise Early Exit: FRANCE. I think the FIFA World Cup curse will be back. We have seen it previously and, in most tournaments, a big team falls early.

Golden Ball: BERNARDO SILVA
Young Player of the Tournament: VINICIUS JR
Golden Boot: DARWIN NUNEZ
Golden Glove: EMI MARTINEZ

England will… make it to the quarter finals. I think we will give it everything but fall just short with a 1-0 or 2-1 defeat.

Bold prediction: Japan shock the competition and top their group!

Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez is among the frontrunners for FIFA’s Golden Glove award

Dan Rushton, Customer Support

Winners: ARGENTINA haven’t been beaten in 35 games and I can’t see any team at these FIFA World Cup finals that can break that streak. Lionel Messi is going to lead his nation to their third world title.
Runner-up: Holders FRANCE are still more than capable of winning it with the likes of Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele but may fall at the final hurdle.
Surprise Package: MOROCCO have one of the best right-backs in the world in Achraf Hakimi and if Hakim Ziyech is in form they could be the team to watch.
Surprise Early Exit: It’s bold but I’m thinking GERMANY. They have a tough group! 

Golden Ball: I just have a feeling that LIONEL MESSI going to smash it this year. His club form is improving, which will only benefit Argentina.  
Young Player of the Tournament: I can’t name a better young midfielder at the tournament than JUDE BELLINGHAM. This is a massive year for Jude and I think he’ll carry on impressing on the biggest stage.
Golden Boot: KARIM BENZEMA will bag plenty of goals in the group stage and early knockout stages.
Golden Glove: I think Portugal will have a tough time defensively and I think DIOGO COSTA will be called upon a lot – he will have to make some huge saves.

England will… be passionate… but the football will be bland. They’ll get to the quarter-finals and get knocked out by stronger opposition. 

Bold prediction: Cristiano Ronaldo will be hungry for success – he’ll be back. 

England star Jude Bellingham is expected to catch the eye for Gareth Southgate’s men

Will Franklin, Sales Executive

Winners: I see ARGENTINA winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Lionel Messi will lift the trophy to complete a phenomenal career. 
Runner-up: The final will be an all-South American affair with Argentina coming out on top of BRAZIL
Surprise Package: I believe SWITZERLAND will have another great tournament. 
Surprise Early Exit: 2014 winners GERMANY will struggle at this year’s tournament.

Golden Ball: LIONEL MESSI
Young Player of the Tournament: JUDE BELLINGHAM
Golden Boot: KYLIAN MBAPPE
Golden Glove: Aston Villa’s number one, EMILIANO MARTINEZ

England will… have a solid tournament, hopefully. That said, I can’t help but think we’ll be too defensive in the big games.

Bold prediction: Spain have a great young squad – I think they’ll reach the semi-finals.

Doha’s Lusail Stadium will play host to a highly-anticipated final on December 18th

Dan Hunt, Accounts Assistant

Winners: I think ARGENTINA will win. They haven’t lost a game for three years and Messi will triumph at the final FIFA World Cup he plays in.
Runner-up: If PORTUGAL win their group I think they will lose in the final.
Surprise Package: URUGUAY have a good squad and have a chance to go a long way in this tournament – maybe even win it.
Surprise Early Exit: FRANCE have been struggling recently in the UEFA Nations League so their FIFA World Cup curse may continue.

Golden Ball: LIONEL MESSI
Young Player of the Tournament: PEDRI
Golden Boot: LIONEL MESSI
Golden Glove: EMI MARTINEZ

England will… bottle it, as usual, and lose in the quarter-finals.

Bold prediction: Japan will eliminate either Spain or Germany in their group.



Dispatches from Russia: A FIFA World Cup Diary

“What were you expecting? A grizzly bear playing a balalaika and drinking vodka?”

“No, I was expecting a paunchy man in a tracksuit named Vasya to throw me in his trunk and drive me to Mordovia.”

“Oh, so you know Vasya?”

****

Expectation. It’s a word you hear a lot in the build-up to a FIFA World Cup. Especially if you happen to live in England. Are our expectations too high? When do we expect to go out? Should we expect penalties? Do we expect trouble in the host country?

More often than not, there’s only one way to find the answers to these questions. And that’s exactly why I was so excited to get the chance to experience the FIFA World Cup through my own eyes – to see the answers unfold on the pitch in front of me and to find out what it’s really like in a foreign country that to so many appears cold and unwelcoming.

Sure, you could argue that I’ve not come to the real Russia. Right now, Russia is in its Sunday best. It’s a Russia that’s been told to behave and be polite to outsiders. And yet, in Saint Petersburg, where I started my FIFA World Cup adventure a few days ago, I still found, and continue to find, that my expectations were far removed from anything even resembling the reality of Russia.

A hotbed of football fandom, the FIFA Fanfest in Moscow sits in front of the stunning State University building.

Though I can’t speak for the rest of the country, Saint Petersburg and Moscow have appeared to be almost ultra-friendly and cosmopolitan. There are no brutalist Soviet office blocks. No scary skinhead men spoiling for a scrap. Instead, in Saint Petersburg in particular, I found Venetian canals, vape shops and and hipster burger joints.

Replace the cyrillic signage on the city streets and you could fool me that this was Copenhagen.

Then comes the football. You can’t move for football out here. There’s FIFA World Cup bunting, plant pots decorated like the classic Telstar football. Zabivaka, the official FIFA World Cup mascot, is everywhere. When I arrived in Moscow, Brazil’s match against Costa Rica was streamed live in the carriages on the metro. Everyone here wants to know who you’re supporting and who you think will win the tournament.

Which brings me to Argentina. I was lucky enough to be in the stadium for the Marcos Rojo rescue act. I have been to many stadiums and many matches around the world. I’ve even been to three UEFA Champions League finals. But the noise, the atmosphere, the palpable tension giving way to sheer joy and elation when that goal was scored was something I’d never experienced ever before.

Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg sits at the end of a mile-long island near a children’s theme park and a vast expanse of parkland. On Tuesday, it was overrun by Argentines in search of a miracle.

The Argentines have come here in mind-boggling numbers, all praying for the same miracle. They hope – perhaps against all logic and reason – that Lionel Messi alone can deliver a spectacular upset. Because it’s not Argentina against the world right now. It’s Argentina against themselves.

As a massive Messi fan, I hope he can bring them glory. I hope he can do it for every single Argentine I have met on this extraordinary trip. I hope he is able to do it for Carlos and his friends, who bought me a beer in Copenhagen airport just because I had an Argentina shirt in my bag. I hope he can do it for the old guy I met in Saint Petersburg, who told me he was among the few people he knows who prefers Messi to Diego Maradona. I hope he can do it for the lads in the Moscow FIFA Fan Fest with the Newell’s Old Boys banner.

I hope, just as much as I do for England, that they don’t expect too much.


Shop from our full range of official FIFA World Cup signed memorabilia today.

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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 UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup winner’s medals 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 what it is we love about 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.



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.

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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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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.