Tag: Sport

Barcelona and Spain Legend Andres Iniesta Signs For Icons Again

Fresh from our signing with Lionel Messi – and an exceptional performance from Barcelona at Camp Nou – the Icons team were hard at work again on Sunday night as we met with four-time UEFA Champions League winner, two-time UEFA EURO finals conquerer and 2010 FIFA World Cup hero Andres Iniesta in central Barcelona for the second of three signings with Barca’s best.

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Though he may be advancing in age, Andres seems to be as good as ever in his inimitable role as Barcelona’s pass master. The Spaniard was superb in his side’s 4-0 demolition of Real Sociedad on Saturday afternoon (for which Icons must again thank our friend Lionel for pitch-side tickets), and after a historic 2014-15 season in which he and his Blaugrana cohorts cantered to domestic and UEFA Champions League glory, Andres looks to be on track for another remarkable season.

It’s no wonder he was in high spirits as we begun our session.

The 31-year-old merrily added his autograph to our excellent range of new products, including Barcelona home shirts from the previous two seasons, away kits from 2014-15 and 2008-09, and Spain tops from 2013.

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With a collection of his favourite music playing in the background – including Leeds-based rockers Kasabian and Spanish duo Estopa – Andres also signed our latest Nike boots, photos of some of his most glorious moments in the football and, perhaps most exciting of all, two extra special match-worn shirts.

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The first of which came directly from Spain’s 2-0 victory over England in the nations’ recent friendly in Alicante on November 13. Andres played a pivotal role during the first half that evening as his side eased to victory over Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions and further showcased their strength in depth ahead of next summer’s UEFA EURO 2016 tournament in France.

Soon after Andres signed his matchworn Barcelona shirt from the recent Clasico in which he and his Barca teammates humiliated Real Madrid with a 4-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeau. It was Andres that evening who, as per usual, pulled the strings as Barcelona ran riot against their La Liga rivals. Proving his enduring class, Andres sprayed the ball around the park with consulate ease and deadly accuracy before scoring with a fierce strike at the end of a typically devastating Barca move.

Andres-Inesta-Matchworn-Barcelona-Shirt

This is a truly special item and will be available on icons.com very soon – so keep your eyes peeled.

After all our products were signed, Andres happily posed for photos with the Icons team before being whisked away – presumably to bed before an early morning training session. A training session Icons might get to have a sneak of, as we prepare to complete our hat-trick of Barcelona signings with the addition of a certain Luis Suarez on Monday morning.Andres-Inesta-Icons

Phew! What a weekend!

Be sure to check out icons.com for all our latest products from Andres, Leo and Luis as we continue to bring you the world’s best signed memorabilia from the world’s best footballers in the build-up to Christmas 2016.

Photos courtesy of Matt Hardy. For more images of Icons’ visit to Barcelona, visit www.matthardyphotography.co.uk.

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Memorabilia signed by Andres Iniesta



Neymar Jr Returns! Brazilian Talisman Signs With Icons Again

Neymar-Jr-Signing-Session-Icons

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

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

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

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

New range of signed Neymar Junior memorabilia

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

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


Memorabilia signed by Neymar



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.



We Predict… The 2015-16 Season

 

It feels like an age since Chelsea lifted that Premier League trophy, bringing the 14-15 Premier League season to a close. It’s been a busy summer for almost every club but here we are, at that exciting stage again; the beginning of a new season! Who will emerge as champions? Which signings will prosper? Which will flop? Here is how everybody at Icons thinks the season will pan out at home and abroad…

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Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League top four: Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City, Manchester United

La Liga: Barcelona

Champions League: Barcelona

F.A Cup: Southampton

League Cup:  Arsenal

Relegation: Aston Villa, Norwich, Watford.

Surprise Package: Sterling and Harry Kane have poor seasons. At least 2 Premier League managers go before Christmas.

Dan Jamieson CEO and Managing Director

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich – Pep finally gets it right

FA Cup: Liverpool

League Cup: Man City

Premier League bottom 3: West Ham, Sunderland, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Everyone is saying Bournemouth so that’s boring, how about Sterling to live up to the price tag? Crystal Palace to push for Europe

Negative surprise packages: Louis Van Gaal to be gone by this time next year having spent a third of a billion pounds on everything apart from what they need

Random predictions: The UEFA Champions League is more enjoyable on BT Sport than ITV and no one misses Andy Townsend

 

Ben Soley, Sales and Marketing Manager

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, City, Manchester United, Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero, if he can stay fit

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Barcelona

FA Cup: Man United

League Cup: Man City

Premier League bottom 3: Watford, Bournemouth, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Sterling to start 30 games and get double figure goals. Rooney to break England goal scoring record against Switzerland.

Negative surprise packages: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United). Depay to have great opening 10 games and then go off the boil.

Random predictions: three managers sacked by Christmas day, Mitrovic to be sent off at least twice for Newcastle, Balotelli to leave Liverpool – celebrations go wrong and fire engines called to Anfield after fireworks mishap.

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Hazard

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Real Madrid

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Stoke

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Leicester, Watford

Positive surprise packages: Jurgen Klopp to manage in Premiership in 2015/16 season

Negative surprise packages: Sam Allardyce to return as Premiership manager

Random predictions: Arsenal to beat Chelsea in a Premiership game to prove Community shield win was not luck or a fluke.

 

Jack O’Neill,  Editorial Intern

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League winners: FC Barcelona

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Manchester United

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Leicester, Watford

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth to survive by playing positive attacking football. Diego Costa to miss the first month of the season getting a hamstring transplant. Never gets injured again. Jack Wilshere to look on in envy from the Arsenal medical table.

Negative surprise packages: Southampton to become the new Everton and push the top 4 all the way. Everton to become the new Southampton and lose all their best players.

Random predictions: Alan Pardew to lose his cool once again and punch Jose Mourinho on the touchline. Hazard / Oscar / Willian to outscore the Three Amigos in the Champions League.

 

Alistair Hunter, Editorial Intern

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City

Premier League top scorer: Diego Costa

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League winners: FC Barcelona

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Aston Villa

Premier League bottom 3: Sunderland, Watford, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth to escape relegation on the final day of the season; Newcastle and Aston Villa will be reinvigorated – the latter especially so.

Negative surprise packages: Claudio Ranieri will be sacked before Christmas, sending Leicester into a tailspin they fail to recover from. Roberto Firmino will score fewer than five goals for Liverpool, putting more pressure on Brendan Rodgers.

Random predictions: A goalkeeper will score at some point this season. Alan Pardew will have a quiet and controversy-free season.

 

Harm Jan Deuring, Social Content Co-ordinator

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City

Premier League top scorer: Hazard

La Liga winners: FC Barcelona

Champions League: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Manchester City

Premier League bottom 3: Watford, Norwich City, Leicester City

Positive surprise packages: Stoke City playing Brazilian samba football. Spurs impress with youngest team ever, but will end fifth again.

Negative surprise packages: Liverpool, Southampton

Random predictions: Louis van Gaal will get his own dictionary, Depay will do better than Di Maria.

 

Scott Hutchison, US Partner

Premier League top 4: Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United

Premier League top scorer: Harry Kane

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Chelsea

FA Cup: Chelsea

League Cup: Everton

Premier League bottom 3: Norwich, Sunderland, Leicester

Positive surprise packages: Bournemouth stay up, and Matt Richie is the reason why.

Negative surprise packages: Every single signing (aside from Milner) Brendan Rodgers made this summer for Liverpool.

Random predictions: Brendan Rodgers is on the hot seat by week 8.

 

 

 



He’s Back! Gareth Bale Signs For Icons.com Again

Icons met Gareth Bale for the fourth time for an exclusive signing session. This time in lovely Cardiff whilst he was on international duty with Wales.

Gareth-Bale-Signing-session (2)

Icons were given a hospitable welcome by the Welsh FA before meeting with an equally friendly Gareth. Bale signed a collection of Real Madrid, Spurs and Wales shirts for Icons, as well as his latest Adidas boot. Just a few days after our signing session, he scored the winning goal for Wales against Belgium and brought his country a step closer to qualifying for EURO 2016.

Icons have been signing with Gareth since 2011, as part of our “Stars of the Future” programme. Now Gareth is the world’s most expensive player having signed to Madrid for a cool Euros 100 million, but he’s still the same, down to earth man he was we when we first met him.

Do not forget to watch our special Gareth Bale signing video:


Memorabilia signed by Gareth Bale



Cristiano Ronald & Icons Celebrate A Decade Together

We saw Cristiano Ronaldo for another private signing session on February 12th in Madrid, marking Cristiano’s tenth(!) year working with Icons.

Cristanio-Ronaldo-Signing-Session

In that time Cristiano has done it all – winning three Ballon d’Ors, two UEFA Champions League titles, two FIFA World Club Championships four League titles in two countries and broken countless goal scoring records at European and international level along the way. Yet Cristiano remains just as sincere and humble as when we first met him at the age of 20 in Manchester, in 2005.

Great pleasure

Cristiano has always been a pleasure to work with, offering the highest level of professionalism. Cristiano even turns up for the signing early, thankfully the Icons signing team are as ready as he is. Cristiano is friendly with everyone, and jokes with those in the room in English, Spanish and Portuguese, a testament that this is a man who is more than just a footballer.

New range of signed Cristiano Ronaldo memorabilia

In this special signing, celebrating his ten years with Icons, Cristiano signed Real Madrid home shirts, a new retro style Portugal shirt as well as a very limited number of Manchester United Shirts. Cristiano also signed two boot styles for us, including his new black Nike Victory V boots, which look absolutely stunning in silver permanent marker.

Finally, Cristiano signed a range of Madrid photos showing him celebrating his recent third Ballon d’Or win, scoring in El Clasico against Barcelona and breaking the record for most goals in one Champions League season on the way to Real Madrid’s famous La Decima title.

And do not forget to watch our special Cristiano signing video:

 



Neymar Jr Signs Icons Once Again!

Having been the first to sign with Neymar Jr. in 2012, we are pleased to announce our latest signing with the Brazil and Barcelona star. Regarded as one of the most exciting talents to hit the international stage in years, Neymar Jr. has the world at his feet.

Here you find the full, exclusive range of Neymar Jr. signed products. And do not forget to watch our video below we shot during the signing session!


Memorabilia signed by Neymar



Gareth Bale Signs For Icons.com Again!

Icons met Gareth Bale for the third time in three years this week in Cardiff whilst he was on international duty with Wales.

Gareth-Bale-Signing-Session

Icons were given a hospitable welcome by the Welsh FA before meeting with an equally friendly Gareth. Bale signed a collection of Real Madrid, Spurs and Wales shirts for Icons, as well as his latest Adidas boot. Being the first signing Gareth has done since helping Madrid to their La Decima, Icons have a collection of special itemscelebrating his UEFA Champions league final winning goal against Atletico Madrid.

Icons have been signing with Gareth since 2011, as part of our “Stars of the Future” programme. Now Gareth is the world’s most expensive player having signed to Madrid for a cool Euros 100 million, but he’s still the same, down to earth man he was we when we first met him.

 


Memorabilia signed by Gareth Bale