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adidas and Chelsea launch 2014/15 home kit

Introducing “Forever Blue”, the new campaign from adidas and Chelsea Football Club designed to launch the new home kit for the 2014/15 season. Chelsea Football Club and adidas are delighted to unveil the new home kit for the 2014/15 season, which is available now for pre-order.

325463 (1)The launch is accompanied by an exciting new campaign, ‘Forever Blue’, featuring a stunning video in which five Chelsea players are captured in their favourite Chelsea moment and immortalised in unique sculptures.

Narrated by manager, Jose Mourinho, the video references iconic goals, saves and celebrations that will live long in the memory. It features Petr Cech’s penalty save from Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger which set up our first Champions League success in 2012, Fernando Torres’s opening goal against Benfica in last season’s Europa League final, Gary Cahill’s volleyed strike against Spurs, Oscar’s wonder goal against Juventus and most recently Eden Hazard’s hat-trick against Newcastle in the Premier League.

The campaign, which follows on from last year’s memorable “It’s Blue. What else matters?” imagery, sees the players eventually breaking free from their sculptures to reveal the new kit for the 2014/15 season, ready to create many more moments that will be Forever Blue.

The new shirt is designed using engineered fabric showing contrasting blue tones on the front panel, including a two-tone striped design, and also includes the latest premium adidas technologies such as the industry-leading breathable material – ClimaCool. The design takes inspiration from club kits in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Chelsea FC Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said: ‘We are very proud to have once again worked with adidas to deliver a standout campaign to launch our new home kit for the 2014/15 season. The creative theme of “Forever Blue” and capturing those memorable moments that will live in the minds of our players and fans is a great way to bring the new kit to life.’

Petr Cech added: ‘The players all love to get involved in these campaigns and the idea of being “Forever Blue” is something that everyone at the club can relate to, as we all have our own unique memories from our careers. I know that my moment in the Champions League final will stay with me forever and I am excited to see that my sculpture will help me share that moment with the fans.’

325471 (1)adidas Brand Director, Nick Craggs comments on the new launch:”Chelsea Football Club is steeped in history. History is made with every goal, assist, tackle and clean sheet. The players at the club are adding new chapters to the history of the Premier League every week. Working with the players and identifying their moments over recent years in adidas shirts, we have managed to create a compelling campaign that will remain with the club forever.

“It is not just about wearing the shirt; it’s what you do in the shirt. For the fans. For the team. For the colour and for the future.”

The new kit is available for pre-order now at www.chelseafc.com/foreverblue, ahead of its arrival in stores on April 30.

Big weekend ahead for Nedbank Cup Semis

This Saturday will see Bidvest Wits, Orlando Pirates, Maritzburg United and Kaizer Chiefs battling for a place in the Nedbank Cup final to be played in just over a fortnight’s time.

Tickets for all the 2013/14 Nedbank Cup semi-final fixtures are available at various selling points.

Tickets can be purchased at Computicket and Shoprite Checkers countrywide at R60 for open stand and R100 for Grand stand.

For the Harry Gwala Stadium: The Grandstand tickets will be on sale at the MUFC Club offices, Supersave Supermarket and OK Mini Market in College Road. The Corporate Suites will be on sale from the Club Offices at R 25 000.00 per suite.

The semi-finals will both be played on Saturday, 03 May 2014 and football fans are urged to book their seats  quickly for the two matches, as tickets are selling fast.

Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs will kick-off the semi-final showdown at the Bidvest Stadium (15h00) while a Steve Komphela-led Maritzburg United will welcome Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates to the Harry Gwala Stadium. Kick-off is at 20h15.

Sundowns is focused on winning the league

It's true when they say iKhosi alipheli umoya, in a space of a week in order to destabilize Mamelodi Sundowns FC there has been sooo much drama.

1. Our game against SuperSport United was postponed for as they call it FairPlay.
2. Two cheap magazines; Drum and Move suddenly published the story about Teko “The General” Modise as if it happened last week and he's the first person to divorce in South Africa, but yet the unsettlement between Katlego “Killer” Mphela and Kaizer Chiefs senior players has been kept under the carpet.
3. Ben 10 lobala saga.
4. Now after a month we whipped their Zebras butt they are now throwing allegations that Hlompho Kekana was not supposed to play as he was sitting on four yellow cards prior to that game.

I wonder what's going come next... Hmmmm let me see*thinking*... Oscar supports Mamelodi Sundowns. News flash we have a very focus team and they are more focused than ever and nothing will stop them to achieve their dream of becoming the Generation of winners!

So sit down you have a draw to play tomorrow in case you forgot!!! Sundowns is in me and its part of who I am!!

By Joseph Teko

Nike Revolutionizes Speed With New Mercurial Superfly

Continuing the storied history of the boot that transformed the industry, Nike launches the new generation of the Mercurial to match the speed of today’s game. 

The new boot, unveiled today by Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid, is born from four years of R&D in the Nike Sport Research Lab.  Driven by insights from the world’s fastest athletes, the Superfly is created to revolutionize speed.

First unveiled in 1998, the original Mercurial was a radical and unprecedented piece of design that established Nike as the leader in football boot innovation. With the new Mercurial Superfly, Nike has created not just another cutting-edge boot but a leap forward for on-pitch speed.

“With its new design innovations, the 2014 Superfly makes a quantum leap forward in what high performance boots can be – and what they can help players achieve,” said NIKE, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker at the Madrid unveiling. “Fueled by Nike Flyknit technology and with a bold new silhouette, the Mercurial Superfly will be the boot of choice for the game’s fastest players.”

Since its debut, Mercurial boots have been synonymous with speed. The Mercurial Superfly is designed for the player who is always a step ahead of his marker and the game itself. This boot allows players to unlock their potential and earn that split second that can open up the game.

“Innovating for the game's best is the very soul of Nike. It is the fundamental pillar of who we are,” said Trevor Edwards, President of the Nike Brand, at the unveiling. “And as players get faster and stronger, we challenge ourselves to keep improving – because sport is about constant progression – and so is the Nike brand.”

“Today is the culmination of that journey as we head toward Brasil,” Edwards said. “It’s a journey of innovation fueled by our deep-rooted passion for the game. Like the players we design for, when it comes to the World Cup we hold nothing back. Because when the eyes of the world are upon you, you have to bring your best. At Nike, we live for these moments; it’s what we do. We know the dreams of entire nations rest on our athletes’ shoulders, so we ensure they have what they need to succeed. Every day we challenge ourselves to live up to their ambition. They choose brilliance. And so do we.”

The Mercurial Superfly’s revolutionary design is driven through Nike’s most advanced technology: Nike Flyknit. A new three-knit weave puts less material between the foot and the ball to enhance players’ touch – a vital element when operating at high speeds.

The high-top Dynamic Fit Collar, which radically transforms the Mercurial silhouette, is designed to create a better fit and a heightened sensation of the boot as an extension of the foot.

“Players have told us that the Mercurial fits like no other boot,” said Phil McCartney, VP of Sport Performance Footwear. “It feels like an extension of the body because the Dynamic Fit Collar integrates the foot, the ankle and the lower leg. It removes distractions and allows the player to be quicker to the ball and quicker with the ball. This is the huge advantage of Flyknit: We can tune a boot to match a player’s attributes.”

Other vital breakthrough additions include Superfly’s Brio cables, which are knitted directly into the upper and locked into the outsole. By connecting this tendon-like support to the heel, the Superfly acts like a slingshot that helps propel the player forward.  In addition, a new, more-flexible full-length carbon plate helps players to more efficiently transmit power through the ground.

Added studs at the boot’s heel offer stability, and extra traction has been placed at the toe to give players more grip and propulsion during the critical final 10 percent of their stride.

“During the four years that we developed the new Superfly, we kept hearing the same message from our players: The game has changed,” McCartney said. “It’s more intense than at any time in history. Players are fitter, stronger, more athletic and more technical than ever before. Based on those changes, our players told us they needed to be faster.”

“We’ve delivered the boot for this new game because we know what a split second means. It can mean the difference between qualifying for the next round and elimination. It can mean the difference between being a champion and being a footnote. At Nike, we design boots to bring out the champion in all of our players. That drive and pursuit of perfection has led us to today and the Mercurial Superfly.”

The Mercurial Superfly is available to pre-order at nike.com from May 26, and on sale from June 12.


Nike Launches “Winner Stays,” Second Film In The Risk Everything Football Campaign

Today, Nike launched the second part of its ‘Risk Everything’ Football campaign for 2014 with a film called “Winner Stays.”   While Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr. and Wayne Rooney are back, they are now joined by a host of other football superstars and a few special guests.

Davide Grasso, Chief Marketing Officer for Nike, comments: “We connect to players’ passion for the game, whether it is the world’s best in Brasil or players in the park or street. ‘Winner Stays’ taps into an experience that every young player around the world will recognize – competition with friends and the idea of playing with your heroes or pretending to be them.”

The film opens on a park with two teams challenging each other in a pick-up game where the winner stays on. Straight away as the challenge is set, the stakes are raised: “Guess I’m Cristiano Ronaldo then,” says one. His opponent responds saying, “Yeah? Well I’m Neymar.”

In a split second a seemingly simple game between friends has become a grudge match of sorts, aided by the unique skills of some of the world’s greatest footballing talent. As the match develops, players call out the names of players to possess their specific skill, and before we know it Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain have joined the game.

Ronaldo scores a screamer to send his team 1-0 up and taunts one of his opponents, saying “The crowd goes wild,” upon which a crowd is revealed cheering behind him. His rival is not deflated and points out that 50,000 are screaming his name. As they banter the young player changes his shoes in to the Magista, a boot that’s not even out yet. Ronaldo counters to give us the world’s first glimpse of the new Mercurial Superfly.

The match continues and more players join the action: Gerard Pique makes a last-ditch tackle, David Luiz appears to be cloned, and a mix-up sees one boy’s dream of becoming Andrés Iniesta shattered in a fun moment of mistaken identity. This is a match for the ages. 

Neymar breaks free to lob the keeper to make it 1-1 and the real Iniesta adds to his team’s tally by scoring a volley to make it 2-1. Rooney responds with a long-range effort to make it 2-2 and the Jumbotron announces “Next Goal Wins!”

As time is running out and both teams cautiously try to avoid any mistakes, the last remaining player yet to transform is brought down inside the box by David Luiz. Ronaldo steps up to take the penalty but is pushed aside by the brave youngster, who seizes his moment to risk everything and take responsibility for the game-defining moment.

“We’re proud of our history of inspirational, fun football campaigns that become one of the talking points around big tournaments. We believe in fearless, exciting joyful football and that’s the point of view we want to get across ” Grasso added.

“Nike players play on the edge because they know great moments spring from attempts to try something unique and out of the ordinary. We watch the game for these moments because they inspire us to create our own,” Grasso added.  “This is what Risk Everything is about. If you are prepared to take those risks, there is no telling what you can do.”

The full list of players featured in the film is: Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Wayne Rooney, Zlatan  Ibrahimović, Gonzalo Higuaín, Eden Hazard, Andrea Pirlo, Gerard Piqué, Andrés Iniesta, Mario Götze, Thiago Silva, Thibaut Courtois, Tim Howard, David Luiz and… David Luiz.

“Winner Stays” also features a host of other athletes and special guests including Kobe Bryant, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Irina Shayk and The Incredible Hulk.

“Winner Stays” creative by Wieden + Kennedy. 

Brazil teaches the world how to discover football talent

According to FIFA, Brazil is the world’s number one producer of outstanding young talent. This may not be a surprise but their criteria of discovering football talent is.

Reports from Brazil reveal that the philosophy of youth development is now based on the criteria to find gems for football’s most probable future trends and not for present standards.

Brazilian scouts and selectors are looking for very young players at U5 to U10 who can do more tricks with the ball, show creative moves, intelligently improvise in more difficult play situations and demonstrate strong individualism.

“We need different talent for the time when football will be played differently – 10 – 12 years from now.” – says Emmanuel Prada, a youth expert.

These very young players are involved in 3v3 or 5v5 games where the winner is not important as the objectives of those games are purely about ball skills, creativity and clever moves. The time Brazilian children spend with the ball is 2-3 times longer than conventional norms and that’s essential.

It is not too late for the South African Football Association (SAFA) to revamp the ill-conceived youth development plan of Dr Robin Petersen – dispose of irrelevant and illogic aims/procedures – and adopt a viable and effective model, similar with Brazil’ superior solutions. The country deserves it!

By Ted Dumitru

What’s the benefit of have a 16 team league?

I keep wondering and thinking to myself "what's the benefit of have a 16 team league and running
it in a European calendar?"

I missed the explanation for this and I'm struggling to find how this is beneficial to South African football.

Ever since this 16 team league, our national team has struggled, the junior sides have gone extinct and just generally the standard of the games has dropped, has gone stale with all the teams defending and more obviously, the fans have had enough, we can't bare it anymore.

And the August to May calendar also creates all sorts of fixture problems because other teams are participating in CAF competitions.

So, I just want to know or understand exactly, what is our football gaining from these two arrangements?

By Vuyisani Mbi

Nike Showcases 2014 Football Innovations

Nike today unveiled its entire collection of footwear, apparel and equipment innovation for players and fans, inspired by the upcoming summer of football in Brazil.

“This summer is the ultimate moment for the beautiful game, and the ultimate moment for Nike to revolutionize product design,” said Mark Parker, President and CEO. “Moments like this summer in Brazil allow us to supercharge our innovation as we look to provide athletes with every advantage on the world’s greatest stage.”

All home and away kits for the ten federations that will wear Nike in Brazil were showcased at an event in Madrid. The kits combine high-tech innovation to keep players cool, such as laser-cut ventilation, engineered mesh and Nike Dri-FIT technology. They are also environmentally sustainable, with each kit made from fabric that comes from recycled plastic bottles. Visually, each kit features cultural design elements unique to each country.

Nike has also created a collection for players to wear throughout various moments during the tournament.  Dubbed the “athlete journey” collection, and overseen by Martin Lotti, Creative Director for Nike Football, outfits players all the way from warm-ups, anthems, playing and training, to media appearances, travel and downtime in the training camp.

“The overall goal was to create iconic and memorable pieces for the players to wear throughout their time in Brazil,” said Lotti.  “This is the biggest moment in their football careers; we wanted to deliver players our very best product to help them perform their best on-pitch and inspire them off-pitch.”

“We first sat down to work out which moments during the tournament were most in need of a specific outfit, then met with the players and federations to develop the products and styles. We want to elevate each moment through premium products and styling.”

“For training, the players will have the best innovation we have to offer. The Select Training Top, Perforated Shell, LS Mid-Layer Tee, Woven Jacket and Short will all be in the players’ kitbags,” Lotti explained. “This is innovation that performs as well as it looks. Players tell us that if they look good, they feel good and play well.”

Lotti and his team also designed and curated a wide range of off-pitch lifestyle pieces linked to each federation for fans.

The off-pitch styles include: The N98 Track Jacket, The Nike League Polo, Nike Tech Pant, Tech Fleece Full Zip Hoody, The IRD Saturday Jacket and Tiempo ’94.

The pinnacle piece in the collection combines Nike heritage and the latest in innovation for life; The Tech Fleece N98 Track Jacket aligns the classic N98 silhouette, first introduced in France 1998 by The Selecao, with the most current innovation piece from the Nike Sportswear catalogue – Tech Fleece. This item was created for Brazil, England and France - Nike federations who have enjoyed success in previous tournaments.

“These collections allow players to be unified and stylish off the field, and are also available for fans to show their support,” said Lotti.  “But we also know football inspires people everywhere, so we haven’t just focused on the players, and have collaborated with the larger Nike design community on various special projects connected to this summer.”  

Amongst those projects inspired by football is a collaboration with the Nike SB team and graphic artist Flip. The collaboration encompasses three limited edition jerseys for Brazil (home and away) and the U.S. (away). The shirts use the same performance materials and innovations as the Official Match jersey –worn by the players on the pitches this summer. The special skate jersey will be worn in this summer’s Nike SB World Tour by athletes including Luan Oliveria and Sean Malto.

Lotti’s team also worked with the Women’s Training team, Nike+, Hurley and Jordan Brand teams to create pieces inspired by football in Brazil.

Hurley will offer national team versions of their iconic Phantom boardshort for the Brazil, U.S. and French teams. Each short is designed to graphically reference the national team shirts whilst delivering the best in surf performance innovation.

For female fans, the Women’s Training team created “Tights of the Moment” inspired by the Brazil, France, England and U.S. teams, as well as a special version of the Nike Free 1.0 Cross Bionic with graphics that connect with each of the tights.

Jordan Brand created a special edition version of the Air Jordan 6 to celebrate Brazil’s quest for their sixth star.

“Neymar loves Jordan. Jordan loves Brazil and the style of play. The team chose the Air Jordan 6 as a nod to the Brazil team going for their sixth victory,” said Lotti.

The larger Jordan Brand collection inspired by Brazil will be released in the coming weeks.

Also included in the showcase is the Nike+ FuelBand. Created in a Yellow Gold METALUXE edition. Created just for the players and staff of the Brazil, England, France and U.S. teams, this version features the federation logo engraved on the gold clasp and a ‘picahau’ graphic engraved on the golden ‘doors’ of the product.

The graphic also appears on a limited edition version of the Nike Ordem Ball, which launched in late 2013 and is the ball of choice for all Nike’s federation partners. Nike is also the official ball supplier to the Barclays Premier League, La Liga, Serie A (Italy) and all competitions run by the CBF.

Nedbank Cup semis tickets on sale

Tickets for the 2013/14 Nedbank Cup semi-final fixtures are now on sale.

The semi-finals will both be played on Saturday, 03 May 2014 and football fans are urged to book their seats on time for the two matches.

Tickets can be purchased at Computicket and Shoprite Checkers countrywide at R60 for open stand and R100 for Grand stand.

For Harry Gwala Stadium: The Grandstand tickets will be on sale at the MUFC Club offices, Supersave Supermarket and OK Mini Market in College Road. The Cooperate Suites will be on sale from the Club Offices at R 25 000.00 per suite.

Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs will kick-off the semi-final showdown at the Bidvest Stadium (15h00) while a Steve Komphela led Maritzburg United will welcome Soweto Giants Orlando Pirates to the Harry Gwala Stadium. Kick-off is at 20h15.
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