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Mesut Özil pays for 23 sick Brazilian children to have surgery

Germany midfielder Mesut Özil has announced that he will sponsor the surgeries of 23 sick children in Brazil to thank the Brazilian people for their hospitality during the World Cup.

Prior to the tournament, Özil pledged to pay for the surgery of 11 Brazilian children as part of the BigShoe charity campaign, a German initiative which raises money to operate on children in need around the globe.

A generous gesture by itself, now his pledge has more than doubled in size since winning the coveted World Cup.

Instead of sponsoring 11 surgeries, the Arsenal star will pay for operations for 23 kids in reference to the number of players that formed winners Germany's squad.

The 25-year-old explained the contribution on his Facebook page.



Each player on the German team is expected to receive a bonus of €300,000 for winning the country's fourth World Cup title.

Earlier reports suggested that Özil had donated money to the children of Gaza in the wake of the recent conflict in the Middle East, but his representative has since denied the story.

Özil's agent Roland Eitel told the International Business Times: "The claim that Mesut donated money to Gaza is not true. Maybe in the future, who knows? He donated money to causes in Brazil and he is now on holiday."

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WTF! Arsenal fan makes awful custom 'Mertescielny' shirt

Clearly torn between getting the name of centre-backs Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for his new Arsenal away shirt, one Gooner opted for a mash-up of both.


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Barça legend Johan Cruyff critical of Luis Suárez signing

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has criticised Barcelona over the signing of Luis Suárez, believing it will take the team further away from their renowned brand of football.


Suárez is set to sign a five-year deal with the Catalan giants after the club reached an agreement with Liverpool over a deal said to be worth in the region of £75 million.

The controversial striker is now expected to play alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar in what many would consider a formidable front-three.

However, Cruyff is concerned that the trio cannot play in the same team due to their selfish nature.

"I am happy that Germany won the World Cup. They are playing the kind of football that Barcelona are distancing themselves from," Cruyff wrote in his column for Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"That feeling has only gotten stronger with the signing of Luis Suárez. He is a great player, but has a complicated character.

"I don't know how they plan to play free-flowing attacking football with Messi, Neymar and Suárez in one team. They are all players who rely on their individual actions.

"In signing him (Suárez), the club are showing a preference for individual genius over a team that plays great football.

"The style of play they developed under Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola is being abandoned."

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Germany's Christoph Kramer 'can't remember much' of World Cup final

Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer is a world champion but unfortunately, he doesn't remember most of Sunday's World Cup final win against Argentina.


Like winning a World Cup betting, the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder was drafted in for his first competitive start at international level after Sami Khedira hurt his ankle in the warm-up.

But Kramer was knocked out cold in the 14th minute after taking a shoulder to the jaw from Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay.

The 23-year-old walked in two different directions on the way off the field, but was shamefully allowed to play on when he came to.

He then continued playing for 14 minutes before slumping to the ground and was finally taken off.

"I can't really remember much of the game," Kramer told German newspaper Welt.

"I don't know anything at all about the first half. I thought later that I left the game immediately after the tackle. I have no idea how I got to the changing rooms. I don't know anything else. In my head, the game starts from the second half."

The fact that Kramer was allowed back onto the pitch is frightening and incredibly dangerous.

It's suggested by the Sports Legacy Institute that the human brain needs at least two weeks to recover from a concussion - not two minutes.

Athletes who have played on after suffering a concussion have experienced many awful repercussions, including dementia, depression, and death.

Lingering injuries from concussions have also ended a number of top players' careers, including that of former USA forward Taylor Twellman.


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Germany become world champions again

Germany are world champions for the fourth time and first as a unified nation after a 1-0 extra-time win over Argentina at the Estádio Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.


Tens of thousands of Argentinians had flooded the iconic stadium hoping to see Lionel Messi inspire his team to a glorious win in the home of their fiercest rivals Brazil.

It did not take for this game to live up to its pre-match billing as the ball flew from one end to another amid a backdrop of raucous noise, particularly from the Argentinians.

Gonzalo Higuaín thought he had given Argentina the lead after 29 minutes when he tucked away Ezequiel Lavezzi's cross, but he was in an offside position and the goal was ruled out.

It was still goalless after 90 minutes, so became the seventh World Cup Final to go to extra time.

Argentina were preparing for a penalty shoot-out when substitute Mario Götze produced a moment of magic in the 113th minute to secure victory for the Germans.

The Bayern Munich playmaker controlled André Schürrle's cross with his chest before sweeping a volley past Sergio Romero from close range.

The triumph ended Germany's 24-year wait for ultimate glory, having lost the 2002 final to Brazil.

"We had the best team in the tournament," Germany captain Philipp Lahm told reporters.

"We made significant progress in the tournament again and again, did not let any setbacks get us down and stuck to our path.

"In the end, we stand as world champions. It's an incredible feeling. The team remained calm and patient, knowing we'd get our chance."


Having only turned 22 last month, Götze is the youngest World Cup Final scorer since his countryman Wolfgang Weber in 1966 against England.

He told FIFA.com: "It's an unbelievable feeling, I don't know how to describe it.

"I just took the shot and didn't know what was happening. It's unbelievable. For us, the dream has become reality.

"I'm very proud of the team and extremely happy about everything that happened in Brazil.

"Every player in our team deserves named here and we're very proud to have won this trophy."

Die Mannschaft are also the first European team ever to win a World Cup on South American soil.

Germany boss Joachim Löw said: "We've always played good football and I believe that over this tournament, over seven matches, we've shown the best performances of any of the teams here in Brazil.

"The boys have also developed a team spirit which is unbelievable."

The World Cup trophy was not the only piece of silverware Germany collected after the match, with Manuel Neuer receiving the Golden Glove given to the tournament's best goalkeeper.

"We are so happy and our unity throughout the tournament was wonderful," said Neuer.

"I have always given my all for the team and the credit for this success goes to everybody. Now we must celebrate."

Meanwhile, Messi was surprisingly awarded the Golden Ball as the best player at the tournament after scoring four goals, none of which came in the knockout stages.

The Barcelona ace told reporters: "Golden Ball is not important. All I wanted was to lift the cup.

"We played a good game against a very good team. We deserved more, but we could not take the cup back home."

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Here's brilliant responses to #JasperCillessenSitsOnThings hashtag

Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has become an overnight internet sensation, thanks to Twitter.

Playing against Brazil in the World Cup's third-place play-off on Saturday, Cillessen was spotted leaning against his goalpost shouting directions to teammates in preparation for a Brazilian free-kick.

Still, despite the innocent act, the Internet swiftly got in gear, debuting the hashtag #JasperCillessenSitsOnThings and spawning dozens of memes.

Here's some of the best.









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RVP gives away medal & captain's armband to Dutch superfan De Oranje Generaal

Following the Netherlands' 3-0 win over Brazil in Saturday's World Cup's third-place play-off, captain Robin van Persie decided to gift his medal and captain's armband to his country's most devoted fan.

The Manchester United ace presented his medal to a fan named Winfried Witjes - also referred to as De Oranje Generaal by the Dutch fans.

After being handed his third-place medal by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, van Persie went over to the stands where he handed Witjes his medal and his captain's armband.

For more than 25 years, Witjes has travelled the world to attend the vast majority of the Netherlands' matches dressed in full orange uniform.



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Do you know North Korea will play Portugal in World Cup final today?

A spoof video has appeared online showing North Korea's state news broadcast telling their football fans that the national team have reached the World Cup final in Brazil - despite not qualifying for the tournament.

According to the video, the isolated nation beat Japan 7-0, USA 4-0 and China 2-0 in the group stages, before going on to reach the final against Portugal.


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Arjen Robben turns down offer to join Louis van Gaal at Man United

Arjen Robben has revealed that he declined the offer to follow Dutch boss Louis van Gaal to new club Manchester United.


The Netherlands ran out convincing 3-0 winners against hosts Brazil on Saturday to clinch third place at the World Cup, and now van Gaal will jet to Manchester to take over at Old Trafford.

Robben was arguably Netherlands' standout performer in the tournament and was clearly one of van Gaal's favourites, but the 30-year-old looks unlikely to leave Bayern Munich.

He told Dutch TV station NOS: "After the match he did ask me to come to Manchester.

"I'm very happy with where I am now. I told (van Gaal) that.

"Van Gaal is the best coach I've had, we've got a very special relationship but I will not make a transfer.

"I'm at the right place at Bayern so that has nothing to do with Van Gaal or United."

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There's World Cup trophy-shaped rock in Thailand

Pa Hin Ngam national park in Chaiyaphum province, Thailand, has become something of a tourist attraction lately because of one rock which is shaped like the World Cup trophy.

There's World Cup trophy-shaped rock in Thailand
There's World Cup trophy-shaped rock in Thailand
There's World Cup trophy-shaped rock in Thailand
Photos: AP

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How to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'

Inspired by an article by Slate, Dare FC (the football team belonging to London creative agency Dare), decided to show the world how the starting line-up arm crossing extravangza should be done properly.

This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
This is how to do proper 'World Cup arm-folding'
Photos: Dare FC

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David Luiz gets adorable letter from young Brazil fan after World Cup heartbreak

David Luiz may have found himself the scapegoat for Brazil's 7-1 humiliation by Germany, but according to one young fan, the defender is still her "champion".

The Paris Saint-Germain man left the pitch in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday night in flood of tears after Brazil's humiliating 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany.

The scene prompted nine-year-old fan Analuz to write a letter for Luiz telling him not to be sad - complete with a brilliant drawing.


Here's a full translation of the letter (via The Mirror):

Hi David Luiz,

My name is Analuz.

I saw all of the Brazil games in the World Cup and I liked it a lot watching you play.

I think that you don't need to be sad because you played well and did the best you could. You were a great captain.

Life is like this, sometimes people lose and sometimes people win but people only need to be happy.

David Luiz, you are my champion.

Analuz Penna Reale


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Pic of the day: Most intimate goal celebration you'll see all season

Danny North and Aaron Greene simply couldn't contain themselves after scoring a goal in Sligo Rovers' 4-0 win over Banga Gargzdai in the Europa League on Friday.


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