TIME World Cup

Beautiful World Cup Fan Nabs Modeling Contract After Picture Goes Viral

Guess sometimes it does pay to root for a losing team

Updated Thursday, July 10 at 1:50 pm ET

Belgium may have gotten the boot from the World Cup after falling to Argentina last Saturday, but one of the team’s fans reportedly scored big. After a photo of 17-year-old Axelle Despiegelare cheering on her country’s team during the group stages went viral, she captured the attention of beauty brand L’Oreal Professionnel.

And on Tuesday, the Red Devils supporter told her thousands of Facebook fans (17,603 at the time of this writing) that she officially nabbed a modeling contract. A representative for L’Oreal Professionnel informed TIME on Thursday that it was a one-time contract and has been completed. The company has no plans to work with her again.

Despiegelare appears in number of promotional videos for the beauty brand on their Facebook page, in which she’s referred to as “ la plus belle des supportrices de la coupe du monde,” or the most beautiful World Cup supporter. Guess sometimes it does pay to root for a losing team.

 

 

TIME

Cheer Up, Brazil: Here Are 7 Other Infamous Sports Blowouts

The Seleção got hammered by Germany in the World Cup, but plenty of other sports teams have also suffered abject humiliation

Brazil’s loss to Germany in Tuesday’s World Cup game was a defeat of epic proportions. The 7-1 loss is the largest margin of defeat in the tournament’s semi-finals history.

To be fair though, lopsided scorelines sometimes happen. Just ask the dozens of professional teams who’ve been blown out in the past. Even the Miami Heat, one of the NBA’s current powerhouses, has a stain on their name; in 1991, they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers 148-80. It’s a blowout record they hold, still.

So in an effort to ease the hearts of Brazil fans, here are 7 other teams who’ve lost in infamous blowouts.

TIME World Cup

World Cup Players’ Crazy Haircuts

From mohawks to dreadlocks, these World Cup players have quite the array of styles

TIME World Cup

The Best World Cup Meme Was Ripped Off by One of Twitter’s Worst Accounts

The modified Brazilian flag rather accurately summarizes the host country's humiliating 7-1 semifinal defeat to Germany — but who created it?

Brazil lost to Germany in absurd, ridiculous and unprecedented fashion yesterday. The Germans scored five goals in 18 minutes before eventually winning the semifinal matchup 7-1. Predictably, the game provided everyone with anguished photos, clever headlines and tweets. Lots and lots of tweets. 35.6 million of them, per Twitter data. But one amusing take stood out above all the others:

Now under ideal circumstances, this altered version of Brazil’s flag would be lauded for its creativity and flawless execution, and @zoowithroy would be the one getting all the credit. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, self-described entertainment website Men’s Humor had other ideas. The #brand (for lack of a better term) tweeted the image from its Twitter account to its 3.13 million followers, but left out one very important detail: any sort of credit.

zoowithroy.com

 

Predictably, Mr. Zoo With Roy wasn’t too pleased about this, and rightfully called out Men’s Humor (best known for tweets like this and this — and other that are far more offensive) for its appropriation of his content. Men’s Humor eventually pulled the tweet, but offered no sort of public apology or retraction for not providing credit for the image in the first place. Men’s Humor did not respond to request for comment.

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot to be done about all this. Anonymous Twitter accounts like Men’s Humor that make a business out of clicks don’t have any interest in crediting anyone else with the work that they steal — it only muddles their otherwise pristine tweets. But it’s encouraging that the outrage over the theft reached the point that Men’s Humor felt compelled to delete the tweet. Brazil likely wishes it had that option for yesterday’s semifinal.

TIME World Cup

Blitz Breakdown: How Mighty Germany Ripped Apart Brazil

World Cup Team Germany
German team celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup semifinal against Brazil on July 8 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Martin Rose—Getty Images

The German team scored an historic five goals in 18 minutes of play

sportsillustrated

By Liviu Bird

A match’s opening period is dicey for analytical purposes. It usually can’t be analyzed too thoroughly because teams may settle in slowly or make tactical adjustments to respond to an opponent. Not so much for Germany on Tuesday.

Germany needed very little time to acclimate to its World Cup semifinal, demolishing Brazil 7-1 after a strong first 30 minutes, which included five goals in an 18-minute span for the ages.

For Brazil, World Cup reams turn to worst nightmare in semifinal rout

Germany controlled the match through calculated, choreographed pressing in its front block, as well as targeted ball movement in possession. The style wasn’t too surprising, considering the pressing emphasis in the Bundesliga recently, with Jurgen Klopp’s gegenpressing at Borussia Dortmund and Pep Guardiola’s system at Bayern Munich.

The magnitude of the result, though, will be shocking for decades to come, especially because Brazil was on the front foot in the first five minutes, winning a corner kick within 60 seconds of kickoff. Germany fired warning shots in transition, and after riding the initial chaos of Brazil’s energetic start, it put Brazil in a stranglehold.

Germany’s main defensive posture was a 4-1-4-1 medium block, drawing its line of confrontation just above the center circle. Brazil couldn’t build out of the back, playing long balls into the strong German defense or over the touchline. An inability to create was a constant theme for Brazil this tournament, minus Neymar’s individual brilliance.

WATCH: Germany thrashes Brazil in historic fashion to reach World Cup final

The fourth German goal resulted from Khedira and Kroos’ direct central pressure, as Dante played a poor short pass to Fernandinho, who had his back to the field and no outlet. That was the only first-half goal that came from the middle, as the other four were created wide.

Germany’s first good chance was in the seventh minute, exploiting the space Marcelo vacated when he bombed down Germany’s right flank. With Thomas Muller and Philipp Lahm running the channel and Mesut Ozil tucking in from the left, Germany built 53 percent of its attacks down the right.

The corner kick that led to the first goal also came from using the space Marcelo conceded. He could only recover and knock the ball out for a set piece. As Brazil scrambled to regain defensive positioning in transition, the player on the ball in that wide space had an array of options.

Simply Stunning: Three Thoughts on Germany’s 7-1 semifinal rout of Brazil

This is where the analogy of football as chess comes in. Rehearsed team movements cause reactionary movements in the opponent, leaving spaces to attack. Germany created seven scoring chances in the first half hour to Brazil’s zero, mainly through Khedira and Muller down the right.

The Germans looked for a vertical initial ball to catch overlapping players in transition. In instances where that was nonviable, they built up through short passes and quick movements.

Despite having clear control of the match, Germany never maintained the majority of possession statistically. It was a pragmatic approach that kept the ball away from Brazil’s top block and allowed square passes by Brazil’s defenders that led to nothing.

Still, possession elements were especially noticeable on Germany’s second and third goals.

GALLERY: Germany 7, Brazil 1: The headlines in Rio de Janeiro

On the second, Muller ran in from his wide starting position, slashing through the back line to create a central opportunity. Marcelo kept him onside as the only Brazilian defender inside the penalty area, and Klose was on hand for a simple layoff, as he was behind the ball but ahead of the center backs.

Marcelo struggled defensively all night, a product of his focus on getting forward too high and too early. Germany exploited him as the weak link in the back four, and Brazil never adjusted despite facing similar attacks the entire first half-hour.

GALLERY: Brazil fans react to semifinal demolition

On Germany’s third goal, two more typical elements of a possession system emerged: a central overload and playing between lines. Ozil moved to create a 5-on-3 advantage in the middle, and Lahm overlapped on the right.

Muller stayed between Brazil’s holding-midfield block and defensive line from build-up to finish, constantly looking over his shoulder to check his positioning in respect to his opponents’. Nobody tracked his run, and although he whiffed his shot at the top of the penalty area, Toni Kroos made a similar movement just behind him and finished emphatically.

The team-first emphasis and selflessness in this German attack is strongly reminiscent of Spain in the height of its golden generation that crashed to earth this World Cup. Players interchange effortlessly and pass fluidly — such as on Germany’s fifth goal, capping 30 minutes of misery for Brazil — rather than go for glory alone.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari: Loss to Germany was ‘worst day of my life’

It should come as no surprise with six Bayern Munich players in the lineup that Germany’s emphasis on organized pressing and fluid play between opposing lines is Guardiola-flavored, possession-based football at its best.

Germany has always been difficult to beat on the big stage; Tuesday’s performance was anchored in a typically detail-oriented tactical approach. However, the particulates of this German machine are meshed with tiki-taka characteristics to give the team a tilt toward a more flexible Spanish style of play.

In a lot of ways, Joachim Low has created an evolution of Vicente del Bosque’s dominant force from much of the last decade. Kickstarted by Jurgen Klinsmann after Germany’s embarrassing winless group stage at Euro 2004 and fine-tuned by Guardiola coaching the majority of the team’s starting lineup all club season, this is perhaps what Germany needed to take the next step for the first time in 24 years and win another World Cup.

The most obvious holdover characteristic from great past German teams is this group’s winning mentality, also seen in the early 4-0 destruction of Portugal and in resilient performances against scrappy challengers the United States and Algeria.

When Brazil finally scored Tuesday, in second-half stoppage time while facing a 7-0 deficit, Neuer slapped the ground in frustration. Schweinsteiger openly berated Ozil for missing an obvious chance moments before conceding. That goal was all that stood between Germany and perfection in Belo Horizonte, a shutout the only flourish missing from a cold, ruthless machine’s devastation of a pressure-laden team collapsing under the weight of its own emotional expectation.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

GALLERY: Brazil’s Having a Bad Day

TIME viral

Ref Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Violations in NYC

If only we could do this to everyone who displays poor subway etiquette

Taking a cue from World Cup refs, comedian Yoni Lotan decided to dash around the streets of New York City to charge pedestrians with various penalties. Transgressions included taking selfies in inappropriate places and donning the wrong footwear.

He seems to camp out in popular tourist areas like Times Square and the Theater District, so he’s mostly handing out penalty cards to visitors rather than New York residents. This makes sense, because tourists are more likely to play along, whereas New Yorkers would be more likely to tell him to, you know, get outta here. Still, we kind of wish the city would hire real referees to hand out yellow cards to people who do things like lean their entire bodies against the pole in a crowded subway car.

(h/t Digg)

TIME World Cup

Messi in Motion: All Eyes on Argentina’s Star Striker

The World Cup semifinal match, which pits Argentina against the Netherlands, promises to be a nail-biter. But as the two teams battle it out, there's one player who's bound to steal the show. Lionel Messi, widely considered the best player in the world, is Argentina's trump card. Captain of his team, and with a string of record-breaking wins, the formidable striker appears unstoppable. Whether the Netherlands will beat the man who Diego Maradona called his successor remains to be seen

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: July 9

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

In the news: Israel airstrikes Gaza; President Obama's $3.7 billion request to handle border crisis; Citigroup to pay $7 billion for shoddy mortgages; Which Muslim Americans leaders the NSA and FBI spy on; GOP's 2016 Cleveland convention; Germany beats Brazil 7-1 in World Cup

  • “Rockets continued to fall over central Israel on Wednesday and Israel carried out more airstrikes in Gaza, as the military and political confrontation between Hamas and Israel showed no signs of abating.” [NYT]
  • “President Barack Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion Tuesday to handle the thousands of child migrants on the southern border, and he’d like lawmakers to treat the emergency request as a simple matter of human compassion.” [TIME]
    • “Now Republicans have leverage, and they have a few requests of their own. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wants to require employers to verify electronically that new hires are in the country legally and the government to put in place an electronic entry-exit system at points of entry at the border…” [National Journal]
  • “The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.” [The Intercept]
  • “The Justice Department and Citigroup are close to a deal for the bank to pay about $7 billion to settle allegations it sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis …” [WSJ]
  • “More than 100 faith leaders asked President Barack Obama on Tuesday not to include a religious exemption in his upcoming executive order to ban job discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation among federal employees.” [TIME]
  • Lawrence Lessig on His Super PAC to End Super PACs [TIME]
  • 5 Reasons to Be Delighted and Worried About a GOP Convention in Cleveland [TIME]
    • “Democrats are considering hosting their convention in Birmingham, Cleveland, Columbus, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix, with a decision expected early next year. Cleveland will likely be cut from contention now that it has been selected by Republicans.” [TIME]
  • House GOP Stuck on Obamacare Alternative [Politico]
  • Teachers Union Turn Against Democrats [NYMag]
  • “Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has upset some Democratic senators by backtracking on his commitment to put spending bills on the floor this summer.” [Hill]
  • The Craziest, Costliest Political Campaigns Are the Ones You’ve Never Heard Of [WaPo]
  • “Germany beat Brazil 7-1 on Tuesday, ending the host country’s run in the World Cup semifinals. The German team scored four goals in less than seven minutes (23′, 24′, 26′, 29′). Germany’s Miroslav Klose also became the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer during the game. ESPN reports that this is just second time ever that Brazil has conceded 7+ goals in a game. (The first was against Yugoslavia in 1934.) It was also the worst ever loss by a host country.” [SI]
TIME Malaysia

A Malaysian Legislator Tweets Praise to Hitler After Germany’s Soccer Triumph

This photo taken on May 19, 2010 shows M
Malaysian lawmaker Bung Mokhtar Radin and his second wife Zizie Ezette arriving at a Shari‘a court in Kuala Lumpur on May 19, 2010 AFP/Getty Images

The politician has refused to apologize for the tweet, claiming that the German squad "fought" like Hitler in its 7-1 World Cup semifinal victory over Brazil

A Malaysian member of Parliament, Bung Mokhtar Radin, has refused to apologize for a tweet that paid tribute to Adolf Hitler following Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup semifinal.

Bung wrote, “Well Done..Bravo…Long Live Hitler…” after Germany’s soccer triumph, prompting outrage from the Malaysian Twitterverse.

The German ambassador to Malaysia, Holger Michael, also weighed in. “We strongly reject the distasteful and unacceptable allusion to the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler,” he tells TIME.

But Bung showed no remorse during a Wednesday interview with the Star. “I don’t know what’s wrong with people sometimes. Hitler is part of history and the German team fought like how he did,” he said.

Bung added that the tweet was just for fun and suggested that everyone needed to get a better sense of humor.

“I think people nowadays should transform their mentality. Whatever I tweet people hit me. They are not hitting me because of Hitler, but because I am Bung Mokhtar,” he claimed.

TIME World Cup

Germany Crushes Catastrophic Brazil 7-1

APTOPIX Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Germany
A Brazil soccer fan cries as Germany scores against her team at a semifinal World Cup match as she watches the game on a live telecast in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, July 8, 2014. Bruno Magalhaes—AP

The host country's fans went from stunned to comatose, like they were stuck in a bad dream

Brazil’s World Cup dream didn’t just end in the semifinal; it was shattered spectacularly into tiny yellow pieces. A fast and tactical German team shredded Brazil’s largely absent defense five times in 18 amazing first-half minutes to walk into the finals.

Brazil entered the game without its leading scorer, Neymar, and its defensive captain Thiago Silva but with the backing of its passionate crowd. But the Seleção went out of the game with its reputation as soccer’s most creative force in tatters. A team that hadn’t lost at home since 1975 suffered a defeat that was almost unthinkable.

The hammering began 11 minutes into the game when Brazil failed to mark Thomas Mueller on a corner kick—a criminal lapse against any German team— and Mueller took his time to sweep the ball past goalie Julio Cesar. The goal silenced the roaring home crowd but it was hardly a disaster. Croatia had scored first against Brazil in the opening game. Until that time, Brazil had held its own, even starting by brightly bringing its attack into Germany’s end.

But the Seleção was also ceding massive amounts of space on the field, as it had done against Colombia. But Germany is certainly not Colombia and soon began running into gaps in the Brazilian lines with menace. That menace turned to 2-0 when Miroslav Klose collected Mueller’s pass deep in the Brazil box and after Cesar blocked his initial shot he had an easy time pushing the rebound past the hapless keeper. The goal made Klose the all time leading World Cup scorer with 16.

The crowd went from stunned to comatose but they were soon to be shaken out of this bad dream by something even worse. Hardly a minute later, Dante, in for Silva, fed a hospital ball to Fernandinho 40 yards in front of his own goal. Fernandinho was dispossessed and Germany was down Brazil’s throat again. Kroos easily slotted home a couple of passes later. Barely two minutes after that, Brazil failed to clear a rolling ball delivered across its own 18 yard box and Toni Kroos smacked a left footer past Cesar. By the time that Sami Khedira collected Germany’s fifth goal in the 29th minute after exchanging passes with Mesut Oezil, Brazil’s defense had been reduced to numb spectators who looked as if they had just watched a horrific car crash.

The Brazilians were whistled off the pitch by the crowd that loved them at the start of the game. “It looks as if it’s 11 against 9,” noted television commentator Steve McManaman. It looked worse than that.

At the half, Brazil benched the execrable Hulk and replaced him with Ramires and took Fernandinho out for Paulinho. The changes, if way too late, injected some life into Brazil, and within the first 10 minutes of the second half produced three great goal scoring chances. But Manuel Nueur’s twin, point-blank saves against Paulinho signaled that there would be no miracle comeback. Instead, with Brazil taking increasing risks, Germany piled on more goals. Substitute Andre

Schuerrle added two well-taken goals before Oscar managed a hardly-a-consolation goal in the 90th minute. The Brazilians walked off the field in tears; history will not be kind to them.

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