Tag: Official Licenses

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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CLOSED | WIN a framed boot signed by Dele!

Guess what? It’s giveaway time again! Last month, over 50,000 Eden Hazard fans from around the world entered our competition to win shirt signed by the Chelsea star. Now we’re at it again, offering you the chance to win an amazing prize from another of our official signing partners – Spurs’ fans’ favourite and England‘s rising star Dele!

Icons has an exclusive signing contract with the midfield ace, meaning Icons.com is the only place to get authentic Dele signed memorabilia. But this is your chance to take home a signed and officially UEFA Champions League framed boot completely free!

It could not be simpler to enter this great giveaway and you can throw your hat in the ring as many times as you like. Just follow the steps below and you’ll be in with a shout of taking home this stunning prize.

TO ENTER VIA FACEBOOK:

1) Like BOTH Dele’s official page AND Icons’ official page

2) Comment on THIS post from Dele’s page

OR TO ENTER VIA TWITTER:

1) Follow BOTH Dele’s official account AND Icons’ official account

2) Retweet THIS tweet from Dele

OR TO ENTER VIA INSTAGRAM:

1) Follow BOTH Dele’s official account AND Icons’ official account

2) Comment on THIS post from Dele

This competition will close at 12pm on Friday November 17th and a winner will be announced in the following days – so make sure to get your entry in before it’s too late!

The framed boot, measuring 34inches (H) x 30inches (W) x 1.5inches (D), comes complete with an official UEFA Champions League Certificate of Authenticity. The COA shows Dele with the boot in question as well as providing the date and location at which the shirt was signed – so you can be sure this is the real deal! For more information, check out the boot on Icons.com.

A fans’ favourite, 21-year-old Tottenham Hotspur and England star Dele has been on a seemingly unstoppable rise ever since his time at Milton Keynes Dons and his range of authentic signed items features in Icons’ flagship memorabilia ranges: our official UEFA Champions League rangeofficial FIFA World Cup collection and Official England Licensed Memorabilia.


TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. The Promoter of this prize draw is Icons Shop Limited (registered in England under company number 06791294 and with its registered office at 65 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LS) (the “Promoter”).
  2. The Promoter is offering those who enter this promotion a chance to win a Dele Alli Official UEFA Champions League Signed and Framed Black and Blue Adidas ACE Purecontrol Boot (Product SKU ICDASB5UCLF on Icons.com). All entrants will also receive 10% off all Dele Alli signed memorabilia on Icons.com with the discount code delealli10.
  3.  Entrants must be aged 14 years or over. This promotion is not open to any employees of the Promoter or any of their affiliate companies, their families, agents or anyone else connected with this prize draw.
  4. Multiple entries per person are permitted. Entries will be accepted on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram, provided they fit the entry criteria outlined in these terms and conditions (paragraphs 5, 6 and/or 7). However, entries submitted on behalf of another person will not be accepted and joint submissions are not allowed. Incomplete, illegible, misdirected or late entries will not be accepted.
  5. To enter this prize draw on Facebook, entrants must “Like” the official Facebook page of Dele Alli (facebook.com/DeleOfficial) and “Like” the official Facebook page of Icons Shop Limited (facebook.com/iconsfootball) as well as commenting on the competition post on Dele Alli’s official page.
  6. To enter this prize draw on Twitter, entrants must “Follow” the official Twitter page of Dele Alli (twitter.com/dele_official) and “Follow” the official Twitter page of Icons Shop Limited (twitter.com/iconsfootball) as well as “Retweeting” the competition post on Dele Alli’s official page.
  7. To enter this prize draw on Instagram, entrants must “Follow” the official Instagram page of Dele Alli (instagram.com/dele) and “Follow” the official Instagram page of Icons Shop Limited (instagram.com/icons_memorabilia) as well as commenting on the competition post on Dele Alli’s official page.
  8. No purchase is necessary to enter this promotion, however internet access is required.
  9. The promotion is open to entries until 23.59 on 17th November 2017 (the “promotional period”).
  10. Only one winner will be drawn. The prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and non-exchangeable and there is no cash alternative offered.
  11. The Promoter reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value. In the event of unforeseen circumstances or circumstances outside its reasonable control, the Promoter reserves the right to modify or discontinue this promotion without prior notice, be it temporarily or permanently.
  12. The winner will be selected from all valid entries received during the promotional period. The draw will take place no later than seven days following the end of the promotional period.
  13. The winner will be notified within five days of the draw via the social network platform on which they entered the competition. They will be asked to provide a postal address to which the prize will be sent. If the winner fails to respond and/or to give a valid address within 5 days of this notification, or declines their prize, a redraw will take place from the remaining valid entries to select a new winner (however, this five-day period may be extended at the Promoter’s sole discretion). If the winner declines their prize, or fails to respond within the required period, they forfeit any right to the prize.
  14. The prize will be sent via post to the address supplied within two weeks following provision of the winner’s address in accordance with paragraph 13.
  15. The name and county of residence of the winners will be made available on request to anyone sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Promoter as the address set out above within 10 weeks of the closing date of the promotion.
  16. The Promoter does not accept responsibility for network, computer or software failures of any kind and has no responsibility for lost, delayed or misdirected entries.
  17. The Promoter reserves the right to exclude any entries the Promoter in its sole discretion considers to be inappropriate, unrelated or offensive and to disqualify any entries if the Promoter, at its sole discretion, believes that there has been an attempt to manipulate or tamper with the operation of the promotion (including, without limitation, by setting up multiple email, Facebook or other social media accounts in order to submit multiple entries).
  18. By entering this competition you agree that the promoter may store and use the data you enter into this competition and contact you. You agree that the promoter may store and use any image and/or comment you post as your entry for this competition, and may use your name and competition entry in its social media channels and website (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and icons.com), worldwide and without limit of time. You understand that you won’t have any right to preview or pre-approve the content (and, that you won’t be entitled to any kind of payment) in the event that it is used by Icons as noted above.
  19. Except for the purpose of carrying out the promotion, the Promoter will not use entrants’ personal data without the express consent of the entrant. See http://www.icons.com/about/help/privacy-policy.html for our full privacy policy.
  20. You agree to be bound by the decisions of the Promoter, which are final in all matters relating to the promotion. No correspondence will be entered into in respect of the Promoter’s decisions.
  21. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed exclusively in accordance with the laws of England and the parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England, including the seeking of all injunctive or ancillary relief actions.

Shop from our full range of 100% authentic Dele signed items by visiting Icons.com today…

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



CLOSED | WIN an Eden Hazard signed and framed Chelsea shirt!

We’ve teamed up with one world football’s biggest stars for a giveaway that’s not to be missed! That’s right, we’re offering you the chance to win an official UEFA Champions League framed Chelsea shirt signed by the one and only Eden Hazard!

Icons has an exclusive signing contract with the Belgian attacking ace, meaning Icons.com is the only place to get authentic Hazard signed memorabilia. But now we’re giving a shirt away for nothing!

It could not be simpler to enter this great giveaway and you can throw your hat in the ring as many times as you like. Just follow the steps below and you’ll be in with a shout of taking home this stunning prize.

TO ENTER VIA FACEBOOK:

1) Like BOTH Eden Hazard’s official page AND Icons’ official page

2) Comment on THIS post from Eden’s page

OR TO ENTER VIA TWITTER:

1) Follow BOTH Eden Hazard’s official account AND Icons’ official account

2) Retweet THIS tweet from Eden

OR TO ENTER VIA INSTAGRAM:

1) Follow BOTH Eden Hazard’s official account AND Icons’ official account

2) Comment on THIS post from Eden

This competition will close at midnight on Sunday October 1st and a winner will be announced in the following days – so make sure to get your entry in before it’s too late!

The framed shirt, measuring 34inches (H) x 30inches (W) x 1.5inches (D), comes complete with an official UEFA Champions League Certificate of Authenticity. The COA shows Eden with the shirt in question as well as providing the date and location at which the shirt was signed – so you can be sure this is the real deal! For more information, check out the shirt on Icons.com.

A fans’ favourite, 26-year-old Chelsea and Belgium star Eden Hazard has twice won the Premier League title and his range of authentic signed items features in Icons’ flagship memorabilia ranges: our official UEFA Champions League range and official FIFA World Cup collection.

For more information on our exclusive deal with Hazard, click here.


Shop from our full range of 100% authentic Eden Hazard signed items by visiting Icons.com today…

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



How to buy a genuine Lionel Messi signed shirt: A guide to avoiding fakes & unofficial dealers

When searching through Ebay and around the web for a Lionel Messi signed shirt you will be presented with a wide range of items and sellers. Naturally, without the proper experience or research, there can be many potential pitfalls involved in buying signed football memorabilia. So, here are some handy tips to abide by…

The most obvious of which is to be sure of the authenticity of the item. Many sellers will tell you a player has genuinely signed their product. But how can you know for sure that you are not purchasing a fake or printed signature? The techniques used by fraudulent sellers can be very convincing and it is not always easy to identify a fake. So, when you buy a signed Lionel Messi shirt from Icons, we try to put your mind at ease by providing you with the following:

  • An Official Messi Signed Merchandise certificate – Icons is the only place you can buy officially licensed Lionel Messi signed memorabilia. All of our products are supplied with a hologrammed Certificate of Authenticity, which provides key information and shows a photo of Lionel Messi signing the item.
  • Photo proof – We are happy to provide a wide range of photos that clearly show Messi at a closed signing session arranged and conducted by Icons.
  • Video proof – Icons have a unique style of authentication video, which showcase both our products and our connection to the players who sign for us.
  • Signing date & location – We know exactly where and when our items were signed and we’re more than happy to disclose this information for the sake of authentication. All our items come from closed signing sessions, ensuring not only the authenticity but also the quality of each autograph.

When you are looking for Lionel Messi signed shirts online, you should use these points as a checklist from which to compare other sellers. If they can’t provide any of these things, ask yourself why not?

 

More information about Icons Shop Ltd

Icons Shop Ltd is the world’s leading football memorabilia company and Icons is the most trusted brand in the game. Authenticity is everything to us, as it is everything to our customers.

In 2014, Icons launched the first ever individually licensed memorabilia range: the Official Lionel Messi Signed Merchandise collection. We are the only company Lionel Messi and his management team trust to work with and the 2015-16 season marks the tenth year of Icons’ working-relationship with the Argentine superstar. In fact, we signed with him when he had just broken into the Barcelona first team, way back in 2006.

All Icons products come from private signing sessions in which the player is paid a fee for their service. We never, ever accost players outside the training grounds and we never, ever buy products from companies who do this. We deal directly with the players’ trusted representatives. Very often the players will donate the fees to either a charity of their choosing or a foundation to which they are directly associated. And because we have worked with the players and their agents for many years, they trust us and often personally recommend us to one another.

For all these reasons and more, you can rely on Icons as a trusted source for signed memorabilia, so if you’re looking for a Lionel Messi shirt that has been signed by the man himself, we suggest you look no further.

 

Click here to view all our officially licensed Lionel Messi signed memorabilia.

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