Goals. Lots of goals.

Last night I dreamt that Summer was over, and the football/soccer season was on again. It was great.

Today, in intermittent gaps in essay writing, I watched these videos to recapture the essence of my dream. Only when I dreamt I was, as is my custom, between the sticks.

There are some amazing goals in this little collection.

And while we’re on the subject of football highlights – here’s some Messi. This is quite incredible – lesser players go down from lesser challenges.

And here are all his goals from last season.

It’s incredible how often he dribbles past the hapless goal keepers.

That’s all fixed by this amazing non-Messi moment.

And then there’s these.

It’s moments like this that a Foxtel subscription starts to look really attractive.

Meet Bulgaria’s Best Footballer…

Bojinov? Berbatov? Stoichkov?


Boiko Borisov. The nation’s prime minister. Who, at 52, turns out occasionally for a third string Bulgarian league team. Which apparently speaks volumes about the quality of Bulgaria’s football leagues.

He’s been nominated in a novel protest vote in Bulgaria, where the citizens are revolting. Actually, I’m sure they’re quite nice. But they’d like more money spent on football…

The Beautiful Game

Barcelona play a beautiful style of football. It is mesmerising.

Allas is a YouTuber who is devoting his energy to studying what makes them tick. The production quality of some of these is low, but if you’ve ever wanted to understand the way modern football is played – get on this…

A lot of what they do revolves around the brilliance of Lionel Messi.

The economics of football (soccer) substitutions

An economist’s study of the optimal timing of substitutions in football matches (spanning a bunch of 2009/10 leagues) discovered the following:

Dr. Myers analyzed the substitutions and ensuing results of every game played during the 2009-10 season in the top English, Spanish, Italian and German professional leagues, as well as the 2010 Major League Soccer season and the 2010 World Cup. He concluded that if their team is behind, managers should make the first substitution prior to the 58th minute, the second substitution prior to the 73rd minute and the third prior to the 79th minute. Teams that follow these guidelines improve—score at least one goal—roughly 36% of the time. Teams that don’t follow the rule improve about 18.5% of the time. He noted 1,037 instances the rule could have been applied and found that managers abide by it a little less than half the time. He also found that the timing of subs has no effect on the team ahead in the score or if the match is tied.

Via Freakonomics, more at the Wall Street Journal.

Shirt of the Day: Burger King

Lets face it. Burger King has a creative advertising department. One campaign encouraged Facebook users to trade ten friends for a burger, they put together the subservient chicken campaign… I could go on. And I will.

Remember that zombie shirt from a couple of days ago? Well Burger King has topped it.

Soccer (or football to the purists) players have been throwing shirts over their heads to celebrate goals for years.

Burger King noticed.

Youtube Tuesday: Goal

I think this might become a regular feature if I can find at least one YouTube (or other online video repository) video worth posting each week. The guy doing the kicking is the same guy in the Super Mario Kart Video I posted a couple of weeks ago. He’s obviously very talented – if this video is to be believed.

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