• A Russian priest has identified what he believes to be at the heart of all the ills of football.

    Alexander Shumsky, writing on Russian People’s Line, a Christian website, called coloured football boots "a homosexual abomination" and that players who opted for red, orange, blue, yellow or green footwear were promoting a "gay rainbow."

    Shumsky wrote: “Wearing pink or blue shoes, [the squad] might as well wear women’s knickers or a bra.

    “The liberal ideology of globalism clearly wants to oppose Christianity with football. I’m sure of it.

    “Therefore I am glad that the Russian players have failed

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  • Neymar masks to be handed out at Brazil semi

    Neymar may not be on the pitch for Brazil's World Cup semi-final against Germany, but he might be in the stands.

    Or, perhaps more accurately, lots of people who look a bit like him might be in the stands. In a move that is presumably designed to show support for their stricken star, the Brazilian Football Federation is encouraging fans in Sao Paulo on Tuesday to wear masks of the Barcelona forward's face.

    Indeed, a campaign has been launched, and as with all good campaigns these days, it has a hashtag - #SomosTodosNeymar.

    Neymar maskss

    The big problem is that the masks themselves, which can be downloaded

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  • GIF: Messi the magician

    At times it seems as though Lionel Messi has about four feet, such is the skill with which he negotiates his way past scores of defenders and buries the ball in the back of the net.

    And ahead of Argentina's semi-final against Netherlands on Wednesday, our GIF wizard Chris Edser chose to demonstrate that very fact with another great piece of work.

    See more of his GIFs at www.chrisedser.com

    Read More »from GIF: Messi the magician
  • GIF: Can you guess the wacky World Cup hairstyles?

    The hairstyles of the World CupThe hairstyles of the World Cup

    Our GIF genius Chris Edser has been at it again, this time having a look at some of the best haircuts at the World Cup. See more of his work at www.chrisedser.com

    Can you guess who the stars are??

    Here are some of the names you should be looking out for...

    Marouane Fellaini

    Guillermo Ochoa

    Neymar

    Paul Pogba

    Mario Balotelli

    Juan Cuadrado

    David De Gea

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Kyle Beckerman

    Arjen Robben

    Read More »from GIF: Can you guess the wacky World Cup hairstyles?
  • Jose Mourinho has backed FIFA's decision not to ban Colombia star Juan Zuniga for his back-fracturing foul on Neymar.

    The governing body were under pressure to impose a sanction on Zuniga after he ensured Brazil's poster boy will miss the remainder of the World Cup, but Mourinho says that would have been unjustified, even if Zuniga was trying to scare his opponent when challenging him from behind.

    [MOURINHO: THE CHANGE BRAZIL MUST MAKE TO WIN WITHOUT NEYMAR]

    "Zuniga in my opinion was a pressing situation from behind where the player is going to try to be obviously aggressive," said Yahoo's

    Read More »from Zuniga ‘wanted to scare Neymar, but doesn’t deserve ban’ – Jose
  • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Stamford Bridge hero Oscar is the key to Brazil coping without Neymar when they face Germany in the World Cup semi-finals on Tuesday night.

    [CAN WILLIAN REPLACE NEYMAR?]

    Superstar Neymar has been ruled out after fracturing his back in the quarter-final win over Colombia, and Mourinho says a shift in tactics will help Luiz Felipe Scolari replace his most influential player.

    "It depends always what the coach has in his mind," Mourinho said in his capacity as Yahoo's Global Football Ambassador. "It also depends on the strategy the coach has for the game - what

    Read More »from Jose Mourinho: The change Brazil must make to win without Neymar
  • Often some of the funniest, most interesting and quirky moments at huge sports events go almost unnoticed, rarely featured in reports or blog posts.

    So here are five ridiculous things you may not have already seen or heard about from the last few days in Brazil with the World Cup throwing up some wonderful stories.

    Did you see anything particularly noteworthy that passed off without mention? Feel free to bring it to our attention in the comments section below...

    - - -

    1) CHILE STAR'S UNBELIEVABLE FREE-KICK - World Cup hero Jorge Valdivia scores amazing set-piece from almost off the pitch


    Read More »from 5 crazy things you missed: Star’s unbelievable free-kick, a magic Messi moment
  • The best World Cup ever? Not even close

    There was something objectionable about the piercing assertion that 2014 was the greatest World Cup ever, even before the first two rounds of the knockout stages conspicuously failed to meet the standard necessary for a very good World Cup, never mind a great one, never mind the greatest.

    The judgement was, depending on whose mouth or fingers it emerged from, arrogant, giddy, infantile or desperate. Most of all it was premature. The group stage of the World Cup was great fun, and if you didn’t enjoy it you probably need to see a GP. But you cannot have a great World Cup with a poor ending any

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  • Team psychologist keeps Brazil grounded

    The Brazil players talk to their team psychologist about all sorts of issues, some totally unrelated to football, captain Thiago Silva has said.

    Brazil have employed a sports psychologist, Regina Brandao, to help them through the World Cup and she has been holding group therapy sessions at the team training camp.

    "With Regina we speak about all sorts of things, even things that aren't related to football, to make sure we're at ease," Thiago Silva saidahead of Tuesday's semi-final against Germany which he will miss due to suspension.

    "If we're not at ease off the pitch then things might not

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  • Can Brazil repeat 1962 to claim World Cup?

    Brazil have won a World Cup after losing their best player and they will be looking to the memory of 1962, when Pele was injured against Czechoslovakia, as an omen to get them over the loss of injured talisman Neymar.

    Pele tore a thigh muscle midway through the first half of the Brazil's second game in Chile, a 0-0 draw with the Czechs. His replacement was a 22-year-old called Amarildo - nicknamed 'The Possessed' - who scored both goals in the 2-1 win over Spain in their next match and another in the final.

    Garrincha was another who took up the slack, scoring four goals in the next three

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