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Neymar, Paul Rodriguez And Other Elite Athletes Open Up About The Influence Of Kobe Bryant

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“He’s always trying to take your heart out. And you’ve gotta be ready for that.”

After 20 seasons in the NBA, Kobe Bryant is finally hanging up his sneakers. Throughout his two-decade tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bryant built a reputation for being a fierce – borderline homicidal – competitor. Bryant wanted to be the very best, and if you weren’t down with it, he set out to destroy you, whether you were a friend or foe. After all, that’s why Kobe started comparing himself to the Black Mamba, a deadly snake whose bite can potentially kill someone in less than an hour. (Apparently no one had the courage to tell Bryant that it’s lame to give yourself a nickname.) Nike rounded up some of the greatest athletes of the last decade to describe Kobe’s impact on their lives, including Brazilian soccer star Neymar, pro skateboarder Paul “P-Rod” Rodriguez and Argentine soccer player Javier Mascherano.

READ: This Baller Proved Mexicans Don’t Just Excel At Baseball, Boxing And Soccer

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Rumor Has It That Luis Suárez Is Hoping To Make The Jump From Barcelona To The MLS

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Rumor Has It That Luis Suárez Is Hoping To Make The Jump From Barcelona To The MLS

luissuarez9 / Instagram

Former Uruguayan teammate and friend, Nicolas Lodeiro, told Major League Soccer (MLS) that Barcelona forward Luis Suárez, 32, “wants to come to MLS.” Suárez and Lodeiro are both native to Uruguay and have played alongside each other at Ajax and during international matches like the 2019 Copa América. Lodeiro, who currently plays midfielder for the Seattle Sounders, is hoping Suárez comes to play for the Sounders. It wouldn’t be the first time Suárez speaks with the Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey. While Lodeiro and Suárez were together at Copa América this summer, Suárez reportedly overheard Lodeiro get frustrated with his English while on the phone with Lagerway. Suárez grabbed the phone and translated the transfer negotiation that landed Lodeiro in The Emerald City. Now, Lodeiro is hoping Suárez will follow suit.

“Sooner or later he’ll come to MLS. Well, hopefully,” Lodeiro said Thursday. “He likes the league. He’s always asking me things about it. Hopefully, he can also play for Seattle Sounders. It may be a more difficult task. I think it’s only a matter of time before he’s out here.”

The FC Barcelona star’s contract is set to expire in 2021, but it may happen sooner than planned.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

The club just spent nearly $150 million on young striker Antoine Griezmann. “It’s not strange if they’re looking for or want to bring in another striker. That’s the reality of football,” Suárez told Ovacion. “It will be better for me because it will place demands on me. It’ll be better for the club because it’ll boost competition,” he told the Uruguay outlet. Suárez has been urging Nou Camp manager Ernesto Valverde to release him from his contract during the January transfer window. The club may want to recoup Suárez’ annual salary to offset the costs of signing Griezmann.

“There will come a time when my age won’t allow me to be at the high level that it is needed for Barcelona,” Suárez added during his Ovacion interview. “It has been five years with the same pressure and I always try to respond in the same way,” he said. “It’s not easy to come to play at a club like this and win your place. You have an exam every three days. There’s no rest and a bad day isn’t forgiven.”

Rumors that Suárez may join America’s Major League Soccer are competing with rumors that he’d play for Argentina.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

“He told me maybe he comes in seven years,” Sounders’ manager Lagerwey joked in late 2016. “That was his quote, so maybe that’s when his contract runs out…I told him we’d love to have him whenever he’s ready.” Argentina is certainly vying to claim the superstar for their own. Both Boca Juniors and San Lorenzo are trying to woo Suárez. San Lorenzo’s vice president recently made Suárez a club member and gave him a team shirt. Of course, Suárez could relocate his family back to his home country of Uruguay and play for Nacional.

Basically, everyone wants Suárez to come to play for them, and it’s no wonder why.

Suárez has won 18 trophies during his career.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

Of those trophies, six are league titles. It was Suárez who ended Lionel Messi’s six-year streak by winning the 2016 La Liga’s Pichichi Trophy. He’s scored 467 career goals for the various clubs he’s played for and for his country, Uruguay. His career started when he was just 14 years old and started playing for Nacional. By the time he was 19, Groningen bought him from Nacional and he happily moved to the Netherlands. He wanted to be closer to his then-girlfriend and now-wife, Sofía Balbi, who lived in Barcelona. They started dating when Suárez was just 15 years old. They married six years later and now have three children together. 

It wouldn’t be the first time Suárez was courted in the middle of a contract.

Credit: @luissuarez9 / Instagram

When Suárez was playing for Ajax, he was placed on a suspension after biting a player, and being dubbed the “Cannibal of Ajax.” During his suspension, Liverpool offered Ajax a $30 million offer, the club’s most expensive signing at that time. Despite a second biting incident, Suárez went onto be named the Player of the Year during the 2013-2014 season. It seems the only reason Suárez would stay with Barcelona is that his wife’s family lives in Barcelona.

READ: Here’s How Luis Suarez Pissed Off His Former Team During A Semi-Final Match

After A Nearly 3 Decade-Long Career, Shakira Is Giving Us A Well Deserved Documentary And We’re LIVING

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After A Nearly 3 Decade-Long Career, Shakira Is Giving Us A Well Deserved Documentary And We’re LIVING

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Shakira first gained fame in her native Colombia in the mid 1990s. And as a young millennial who grew up to her music, it’s hard to believe that the singer’s been such an iconic presence in Latinx music for almost three decades now. Shakira has built a name for herself as an entertainment powerhouse, this Latina has changed pop culture and reigns supreme as the hip-shaking queen. This year, she’s back from a vocal injury with a whole documentary —which will be premiering in theaters this month. 

In November 2017, Shakira suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage.

After a vocal injury which forced the singer to postpone her first tour in seven years — and her first since becoming a mother to two sons— Shak is ready to bounce back with a documentary that brushes on her vocal-cord hemorrhage injury, but mainly follows her in her 2017 tour ‘El Dorado’.

El Dorado, in 2017, marked her first U.S. trek in seven years. The run, however, was delayed for several months until Shakira recovered from her injury. 

We’ll get to see the Colombiana perform all of her classics. 

The 30-second trailer for the documentary, opens with shots that capture Shakira’s difficult recovery. But the rest of the trailer is packed with shots teasing the singer’s iconic return as she dances across the stage, plays guitar, beats the drums and sings to her classics “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever.”

Shakira took control of 100% of what went down during her ‘El Dorado’ tour.

instagram @shakira

Much like Beyonce did in her Homecoming show and ‘documentary’, this Latina diva took absolute control of every aspect of her live show: from the lighting to the musical arrangements to the choreography. “I want to look sexy as hell, or I cancel this!” yells Shakira with zeal to her crew during rehearsal in a scene of the film —and we can relate on a deep spiritual level.

In contrast to Beyonce though, and other superstars of her level, on this tour Shakira had no backup dancers, “I wanted the freedom to improvise,” she says to the camera during the film. The set design was purposefully minimalistic —inspired, she says, by Anton Corbijn, one of her favorite visual artists, who has directed music videos for U2, Metallica, and Depeche Mode.

The documentary was co-directed by the singer and will feature a lot of clips from her 2018 show in LA.

Shakira co-directed Shakira in Concert with James Merryman, and much of the movie was filmed at the pop star’s August 2018 concert in Los Angeles. The film will also feature behind-the-scenes clips and narration from Shakira.

Latinx music fans will also get to see other singers who have collaborated with Shakira.

instagram @nickyjampr

Fans of reggaeton are in for a treat! The documentary also features a few behind-the-scenes moments of Shakira in the studio with Maluma and Nicky Jam, writing and recording their songs ‘Perro Fiel’ and ‘Chantaje’ together. We’ll get to catch glimpses of her interacting with her family —aka her hottie of a husband, Gerrard Pique— and her band during rehearsals and between concerts. Viewers will even get to see her dancing and singing aboard her private plane, still brimming with adrenaline after performing the nightly two-hour-long show.

El Dorado won’t be available on streaming platforms just yet —the singer has something much bigger planned.

Instagram @shakira

Unlike other pop-star documentaries, El Dorado won’t be immediately available on streaming services or DVD. Shakira wanted her fans to have a communal fan experience by screening it in theaters. Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour will be shown in more than 2,000 theaters in more than 60 countries on the same day. Alongside the film, there will be a live album of the tour coming out this week as well. 

Shakira dedicated ‘El Dorado’ to her fans.

instagram @shakira

The entire project, the film and album, is a gift to fans who have been with her through thick and thin and who, Shakira says, are the true protagonists of El Dorado. “When an artist decides to go on tour, in a way, he or she needs reaffirmation,”  she said. “We need to confirm that there’s people out there loving us, worshipping what you do. . . . [There’s] a very narcissistic motivation behind all of that.”  “When I came out on tour this time, there was none of that. I just wanted to do it for them, because they were there for me.”

Tickets for Shakira in concert are available on the film’s website. Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour will premiere internationally on November 13th