Things That Matter

20 Hottest Soccer Players From Latin America Playing In The World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is taking over Russia and we’re helping you narrow down your choices if you’re stuck on who to root for. Start trading and coming up with your roster thanks to some of the hottest World Cup players that will take the field representing their home countries in Latin America! Ole-ole-ole-o heyyy cuties!


1. Neymar: Brazil

CREDIT: neymarjr / Instagram

Neymar is going into the World Cup with the largest social media following and judging from this post on Instagram, we know why. We are praying he stays as #blessed as his back tattoo throughout this tournament and doesn’t get injured like in the 2014 World Cup. We need as much screen time as we can from Brazil’s favorite son.

2. Javier Hernández: Mexico

CREDIT: ch14_ / Instagram

Javier Hernández, better known as Chicharito, is one of the players Mexico is hanging its hopes on to make it out of the “fifth game curse.” We’re also holding out hope we can shoot our shot with the striker.

3. Jonathan Dos Santos: Mexico

CREDIT: jona2santos / Instagram

We’d like to be a fly on the wall behind 28-year-old midfielder for El Tri and the LA Galaxy. Jonathan Dos Santos’ smoldering gaze has us like 😍 😍.

4. Carlos Vela: Mexico

CREDIT: carlosv11_ / Instagram

Our third player we’re featuring from Mexico’s national team member is forward Carlos Vela. We’re ready to be his loyal supporter no matter who takes home the trophy.

5. James Rodriguez: Colombia

CREDIT: jamesrodriguez10 / Instagram

Between James Rodriguez’s million-dollar smile, freckles and salsa moves, it’s hard to not be a fan of Colombia’s national team. We are hoping he scores some goals during the World Cup to have more reason to sway his hips in front of our TV screens.

6. Radamel Falcao: Colombia

CREDIT: falcao / Instagram

Helping to lead Colombia’s national team along with James is striker Radamel Falcao. We would meet him at midnight in Paris, in Russia or really any place TBH. Just look at those toned arms! 

7. Paulo Dybala: Argentina

CREDIT: PauloDybala / Instagram

One of the fresh faces on Argentina’s national team is 24-year-old Juventus forward Paulo Dybala. We’re ready to melt away in those baby blues on and off the pitch.

8. Franco Armani: Argentina

CREDIT: francoarmani34 / Instagram

With Argentina’s main goalkeeper Sergio Romero out with an injury, Franco Armani has a chance to come out of the goalie box and straight into our hearts. Standing at a towering  6′ 2″, we could stare at this tall glass of agua all day long.

9. Giorgian De Arrascaeta: Uruguay

CREDIT: g10dearrascaeta / Instagram

Uruguay doesn’t usually make headlines when it comes to who will make the finals, but now we’re interested in finding out the odds of its national team advancing just so we can see more of 24-year-old Giorgian Daniel De Arrascaeta. Make sure to keep on his speedy skills as an attacking midfielder.

10. José Giménez: Uruguay

CREDIT: josemariagimenez / Instagram

It looks like Uruguay’s central defender José Giménez is a little chilly in this photo. We are up and ready to give him a big 🐻 hug to keep him warm!

11. Alisson Becker: Brazil

CREDIT: alissonbecker / Instagram

What do we have to do to get Brazil’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker to dive after us? Should we stand closer to the penalty box? All in favor, raise those hands. 👋 👋 👋

12. Patrick Pemberton: Costa Rica

CREDIT: @PPemberton01 / Twitter

We know Costa Rica’s goalkeeper Kaylor Navas gets all the glory, but let’s give a shout out to the reserve goalkeeper, Patrick Pemberton. He’s a little shorter than your average goalie, but what he lacks in height, he makes up in muscle. We’ll take it.

13. Bryan Oviedo: Costa Rica

CREDIT: bryanoviedo8 / Instagram

This Tico has told his fans to relax and not stress after Costa Rica faced two back-to-back defeats. Ok, Oviedo, we see you. Looks like our blood pressure is going down just by staring at that smile.

14. Jaime Penedo: Panama

CREDIT: jaimepenedo / Instagram

Goalkeeper (are you noticing a trend?) Jaime Penedo plays for Panama’s national team and we are memorizing the TV schedule to make sure we don’t miss him blocking those instep kicks. Based on his Insta posts, he likes to eat pasta and fine foods. Pasta, soccer and good looks? Sounds like the true #dreamteam.

15. Roman Torres: Panama

CREDIT: romantorres29 / Instagram

Can Panamanian defender Roman Torres celebrate like this each time Panama scores a goal at the World Cup? Like, just take a look at those washboard abs! I-C-O-N-I-C.

16. Pedro Gallese: Peru

CREDIT: pedrogallese1 / Instagram

Survey says…goalkeepers must be some of the most easy-on-the-eyes position when it comes to soccer. Peru’s Pedro Gallese is a concrete example of that. Look at his physique! Tall, muscular with lean muscle. Where can we sign up to buy a Peruvian national jersey?

17. Yoshimar Yotun: Peru

CREDIT: yoshiyotun / Instagram

This is Peru’s first time heading to the World Cup in 36 years. Will Yotun help his team proceed to be a Cinderella story? Who knows, but one thing we do know is that he sure looks dreamy in this fairytale setting. 😍

18. Lucas Biglia: Argentina

CREDIT: fc.lucasbiglia / Instagram

Hey Lucas Biglia, you need to stop biting Argentina’s jersey because this photo is making us bite our lips. 🙊 ☺️ Will the midfielder help Argentina get to the final? We’ll keep watching until the very end if Biglia has the ball.

19. Philippe Coutinho: Brazil

CREDIT: phil.coutinho / Instagram

Philippe Coutinho is another soccer player on the lengthy list of married World Cup players *but* we can still daydream about playing a little touch soccer with him. Or maybe footsies? Dream until your dreams come true, people!

20. Nicolás Tagliafico: Argentina

CREDIT: tagliafico3 / Instagram

This 25-year-old has been named “the new Javier Zanetti,” but you can just call him your new crush. Why so serious Nicolás? You just probably received hundreds of new stans!

Which soccer player is your favorite on this roster? Let us know in the comments! Please share your World Cup moments using #WorldCup2018 #ShowUsYourColors.

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

Entertainment

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Soccer Clubs Has Banned The Use Of The Homophobic Chant That Has Gone On For Far Too Long

VillasArmy / Twitter

U.S.-based Mexico fan group Pancho Villas’ Army has inserted a “no goalkeeper chant” clause into the group’s membership and made abstaining from shouting the anti-gay chant a condition for buying tickets for games in their section, in a bid to help put an end to the chant often heard in stadiums when the Mexico national team plays.

This could be progress towards finally ending the homophobic chant heard all too often at Mexican football games.

The group, Pancho Villa’s Army, made the announcement banning its members from yelling the chant.

Credit: @villasarmy / Twitter

In an open letter to its members, the group says: “One area where I think we can improve upon is the infamous PU%* Chant. For me and many others, it is no longer relevant to debate what the word means or doesn’t mean. Its simply a matter of respect and common courtesy. We should do our best to be good guests at all the stadiums that welcome us.”

The group notes that fans already follow several other rules. So what’s another rule if its meant to make sure everyone feels more comfortable.

The group has even added the rule into its code of conduct. In their letter they add: “Moving forward, we will adopt a  “No Pu%^ Chant” clause into our membership rules and code of conduct. While our code generally covers the chant we will specifically list it as unacceptable conduct. The same clause will be inserted into our ticket purchases pages. We already informed all PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a standing, cheering, and singing section. The same page will now inform potential PVA ticket purchasers that our section is a NO PU&% CHANT section too.”

All of this comes as the Mexican team and Mexican fans come under increased scrutiny for the homophobic slur.

Credit: @MikeMadden / Twitter

A section of El Tri fans regularly shout an anti-gay slur as the opposition goalkeeper runs up to take his goal-kick and the federation has been fined on multiple occasions by FIFA because of it, although it was stamped out at Russia 2018 after an educational campaign from the federation, fan groups and players, as well as the threat of Fan IDs being taken away.

But the chant was heard regularly during Mexico games in the United States this summer at the Gold Cup.

Fans that have bought tickets for Mexico’s game on Sept. 10 against Argentina in San Antonio, Texas and don’t want to adhere to the policy will receive a refund for their tickets.

The group says the decision is about being inclusive of all fans, including those from the LGBTQ community.

“It’s about people joining who wish to create an environment that feels welcoming to our LGBTQ Mexico fans,” reads the statement. “As an organization that has LGBTQ leaders and members we take this charge very seriously.”

The reaction on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive with soccer fans from around the world celebrating the announcement.

Most on Twitter were thrilled that at least one group was taking the steps necessary to address the issue. They’re going directly to their members and making it a condition of membership to stop using the chant.

FIFA has warned soccer federations all over the world, including Mexico, that discriminatory chanting will activate the “three-step procedure” that could lead to the abandoning of World Cup qualifying matches if the chant is heard. The referee would first stop the match, then suspend it and eventually abandon it if the discriminatory behavior doesn’t cease. Yet at nearly every game of El Tri you’ll still hear the chant.

Many pointed out that PVA will be on the right side of history with this new rule.

Despite there being an ongoing debate among fans if the chant is meant to be homophobic or not, people are realizing that all fans should be comfortable – and, yes, that includes those from the LGBTQ community.

And as one of the first fan clubs to issue an official rule, Pancho Villa’s Army will have been seen as a leader on this issue. So bravo PVA! And thank you.

READ: Why Do Mexico’s Football Fans Keep Going Unpunished For Shouting Homophobic Slurs At Opposing Players

Some People Think Brazil Rigged Copa America In Their Favor Since They Were The Host Nation

Entertainment

Some People Think Brazil Rigged Copa America In Their Favor Since They Were The Host Nation

lucasfigfoto / cbf_futebol / Instagram

For the first time since 2007, Brazil has won the ultimate South American soccer tournament, Copa America. Brazil played against Peru in their home Maracaña stadium on Sunday, July 7 with a solid 3-1 victory. That small fact means something even bigger for Brazil. The country’s team has won the title every single time it has hosted the tournament. While some folks think that the tournament is rigged in Brazil’s favor, there were quite a few factors that were not in the winning team’s favor.

Neymar, arguably Brazil’s best player, had to sit out of the game due to an ankle injury.

Credit: naymarjr / Instagram

Neymar and his son sat very close to President Jair Bolsonaro, albeit on the sidelines. Fans have remarked on how upset Neymar looks to be benched. He had ruptured a ligament in his ankle just days before the game in a friendly match against Qatar last week.

Forward Gabriel Jesus, who scored for Brazil, was sent to the bench after a foul.

Credit: dejesusoficial / Instagram

With 20 minutes left in the game, Gabriel Jesus was sent to the bench for his second yellow card. That means that Brazil had ten players to Peru’s eleven, and still beat them.

“Brazil deserved the victory,” Peru coach Ricardo Gareca said.

Credit: lucasfigfoto / cbf_futebol / Instagram

“We played better than we did in the previous match. We have improved as a team,” an encouraged Gareca told reporters. “We still have to improve more, but we are on the right track.”

Neymar’s replacement, Everton, was named player of the final.

Credit: lucasfigfoto / cbf_futebol / Instagram

“I gave everything I had today,” said Everton. Nobody, not even coach Tite, could have imagined that Everton would even be playing in the final, let alone carry the team. You’ll see his head in the bottom left corner of the image above.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi publicly called the Copa América referees “corrupt.”

Credit: leomessi / Instagram

After a bizarre red card against Messi during the third-place playoff against Chile Saturday, he told reporters, “I feel a lot of anger because I think I did not deserve that red card because I think we were playing a very good game. We were ahead, but, as I said recently, unfortunately, there is a lot of corruption, the referees. We leave with the feeling that they did not allow us to be in the final, that we were ready for better.” 

Defensive midfielder, Carlos Henrique Casemiro, had a classy response to Messi’s comments.

Credit: casemiro / Instagram

This Twitter user is throwing shade back at Messi for his comments. “Those with a mouth can say what they want. It’s not up to me to speak, it’s a delicate subject,” the soccer player told reporters. “It’s not for me to say if the refereeing was good. We need to congratulate Peru for the good Copa America they had.”

While Brazil is celebrating a victory, they’re also commemorating a historic loss against Germany.

Credit: @anapgeller / Twitter

Known on The Internet as #7x1Day, on July 8th, 2014, Brazil lost the FIFA World Cup to Germany in a disgraceful 7-1 loss. Germany scored four goals within the first six minutes of the game, and it got worse from there. At the last minute, Brazil scored a consolation goal but ultimately lost big. That game marked the end of a 62-match home unbeaten streak going back to the 1975 Copa América when they lost to Peru.

Of course, the Internet is doing its thing.

Credit: @TrollFootball / Twitter

Obviously, @TrollFootball is trolling us all with this screen grab from that infamous Germany-Brazil game. Latinos definitely came out to call BS on this claim. At the time, Germany’s jerseys looked pretty similar to Peru’s and have enjoyed a redesign.

Even Jesus is wearing a Brazil jersey now.

Credit: @BleacherReport / Twitter

And also, apparently, holding a gleaming trophy that’s shining brighter than Jesus himself! They say we create a God of our own understanding. This is how Rio’s God is looking–freshly outfitted and winning.

Felicidades a Brasil!!! 🇧🇷

Credit: @BiaFuracaoReal / Twitter

Brazil’s streets were flooded with fans after the victory, and we don’t think they’ve stopped partying since Sunday. Enjoy it!

READ: Brazil’s Soccer Reina Marta Trumps Germany’s Miroslav Klose For All-Time World Cup Scoring Record

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