Tag: World Cup

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 Predict… The 2014 FIFA World Cup

It’s that time again. Who is going to win the World Cup? Who is going to score for fun? Will there be suprises and disappointments? Here are the Icons team’s expectations for the World Cup in Brazil.

Dan Jamieson, Managing Director

World Cup winners: Germany

Runner-ups: Argentina

Top goal scorer: Sergio Aguero

Early exiters: Spain, Portugal, Italy

Surprise packages: Teams – South-Korea, Japan, Colombia. Players – Raheem Sterling, Marouane Fellaini, Shinji Kagawa.

Random predictions: Rooney to be dropped by the England’s last game, Klose to level Ronaldo’s goalscoring record, Brazil to fall short due to lack of flair.

 

Margaret Plunkett, Head of Customer Service

World Cup winners: Argentina

Runner-ups: Brazil

Top goal scorer: Sergio Aguero or Karim Benzema

Early exiters: Portugal, Spain

Surprise packages: Teams – Ivory Coast, Belgium, Chile. Players – Paul Pogba.

Random predictions: England to finish at least 1 game with 10 men, Germany to be knocked out in quarter final’s, Ivory Coast to reach the semis.

Ben Soley, Marketing and Sales Manager

World Cup winners: Brazil

Runner-ups: Argentina

Top goal scorer: Lionel Messi or Fred

Early exiters: Netherlands, Uruguay

Surprise packages: Teams – Switzerland, Bosnia. Players – Aturo Vidal, James Rodriguez.

Random predictions: Messi to play against CR7 at some point, Oz to concede 10 or more in the group stages, England’s youth to beat Italy or Uruguay, Brazil and Spain out in the semis.

 

Scott Hutchinson, US Partner

World Cup winners: Argentina

Runner-ups: Germany

Top goal scorer: Sergio Aguero

Early exiters: Brazil, Spain

Surprise packages: USA to get revenge vs. Ghana, finish level with Portugal, get a respectable result vs. Germany, and advance into the knockout stage.

Random predictions: England beats Italy outright, the English nation turns from sour pessimists to unbridled joy and support.

 

Edward Freedman, Chairman

World Cup winners: Argentina

Runner-ups: Spain

Top goal scorer: Lionel Messi

Early exiters: England, Cameroon

Surprise packages: Teams – Japan, Colombia. Players – Wayne Rooney (because he will be dropped when it doesn’t matter).

Random predictions: During every press conference, Roy Hodgson will be defending the English performance by blaming the heat.

Harm Jan Deuring, represents Mainland Europe

World Cup winners: Brazil

Runner-ups: Uruguay

Top goal scorer: Karim Benzema or Robin van Persie

Early exiters: England, Spain

Surprise packages: Teams – Japan, Colombia. Players – Keisuke Honda.

Random predictions: During every press conference, Louis van Gaal will make clear (read: shout!) to English journalists he will not answer any questions about ManU-related transfer rumours. “That is a stupid question!”

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

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

Icons-Memorabilia

Why were Brazil great in 1982?

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

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

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

What went wrong?

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

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

What happened next?

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

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

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

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



Introducing Our Official FIFA World Cup™ Range!

The draw is done, the stage is set – the 2014 World Cup is now just around the corner, with a mere 184 days between now and kick off. As anticipation mounts, Icons are proud to announce the launch of our official licensed FIFA World Cup™ Collection featuring signed memorabilia from the tournament’s most brilliant entertainers past and present.

World-Cup-Range

From Diego Maradona and Pele to Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi, sports fans can now mark what promises to be a tournament to remember, hosted by the spiritual home of football, with authentic autographed shirts, photos, boots and more from the World Cup’s biggest ever superstars. Each product comes in special gold-lined framing designed to evoke the gold of the coveted World Cup trophy, making for Icons’ classiest collection yet.
Can Messi add to his trophy the cabinet the one prize that has so far eluded him, a World Cup winner’s medal? Are Cristiano’s formidable talents enough to carry a Portugal side that struggled through qualification out of the group stage? With Wayne Rooney at his peak, can the Manchester United man put the disappointment of previous World Cup campaigns behind him? With this tournament set to be Andrea Pirlo’s last, can he bow out in style with a winner’s medal? So many questions hang over the impending tournament but one thing’s for sure – there’s simply no better way to celebrate the greatest event in world sport than Icons’ official FIFA World Cup™ collection.
Look out for new additions to the collection in the coming months as the tournament nears – we’ll be adding exclusive new players and products. Stay tuned. In the meantime, click here to check out the first part of the collection – our World Cup legends range.
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