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Zlatan Ibrahimovic Messi Should 'Absolutely' Join MLS

9/18/2018 12:10 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says he's a big fan of David Beckham's plan to bring Lionel Messi to MLS -- telling TMZ Sports the Argentinian superstar should "absolutely" come to the U.S. in 2020. 

Beckham is reportedly targeting Messi to lead Inter Miami for the team's inaugural season in 2020 -- and there's talk Becks is willing to write a MASSIVE check to get the deal done. 

Of course, Messi is in the middle of a deal with Barcelona -- which doesn't end until the end of the 2020-21 season ... but hell, anything's possible if the price is right. 

Enter Zlatan ... who left Manchester United to play for the L.A. Galaxy earlier this season -- and seems to be loving it. 

So, when we saw Zlat leaving Avra in Beverly Hills on Monday -- We asked what he thought about Messi possibly following his lead. 

He likes it. 

Meanwhile, you see the insane goal Zlatan scored this weekend? The 500th goal of his career??

Insane. 

 

UCLA Women's Soccer Players Continue Kneeling Protest ... 2nd Season In a Row

9/14/2018 7:52 AM PDT
Breaking News

Two UCLA women's soccer players took a knee during the national anthem before their game Thursday ... and the school tells TMZ Sports its coach is still fully in support of their protests.

Defenders Kennedy Faulknor and Kaiya McCullough -- along with 2 others on the sideline -- dropped to a knee at midfield during the song ahead of their clash with LMU. The pic was captured by Fred J. Robledo

The women have been demonstrating since last season -- and clearly haven't been dissuaded by the constant attacks on kneelers by people like President Donald Trump, who has constantly called for harsh penalties on those who don't stand for the anthem. 

But, UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell has publicly supported the players from the jump. 

"It's about supporting the cause of racial justice and equality in the world," the coach said to the Pac-12 Networks last fall.

"I love that our team is socially active. We're politically active and we support them across the board."

You'll remember, Colin Kaepernick started the movement back in 2016 -- but the Bruins joined in the protest shortly after Donald Trump called the kneeling NFLers "sons of bitches" in 2017.

FYI ... UCLA is an Under Armour school, but it's clear its players are still riding with the Nike-backed Kaep -- especially after Trump blasted Colin yet again earlier this month.

Cristiano Ronaldo My New Undie Ad's Got Balls

9/12/2018 6:33 AM PDT
Breaking News

Honest question ... what's the first thing you looked at when you saw this picture?

Thought so. 

Anyway, here's Cristiano Ronaldo stripping down to his skivvies for his brand new CR7 underwear campaign ... which features the soccer superstar trying to look sexy in a ball pit. 

Is it working? (Spoiler: Yes)

It's the 10th season of Ronaldo's line which started in 2014. Clearly, the Juventus striker believes there's nobody better to model his high-quality underwear than himself. He's right. 

“This was one of the most fun shoots ever! I'm a big kid at heart and it's not every day you get to jump into a giant ball pit," Ronaldo says.

"CR7 Underwear makes you both look and feel good, so I wanted the new campaign to capture that and have a fun and light-hearted feel!”

"My new Fall/Winter range combines optimum fit with cool, edgy design in some of my favourite colours."

Disclaimer -- CR7 underwear will not help you look or play like Ronaldo. 

Soccer's Hugo Lloris Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving ... After Pukey Arrest

9/12/2018 6:00 AM PDT
Breaking News

You could say Hugo Lloris was caught green handed ... because prosecutors say the soccer superstar puked on himself the night he was arrested for drunk driving.

The captain of the World Cup champion France soccer team pled guilty in a British court Wednesday morning stemming from an August 24 arrest.

During the hearing, prosecutors detailed the events of the evening -- and it's clear, dude was HAMMERED.

Officials say the goalkeeper was pulled over in his Porsche at 2:20 AM after cops noticed he was "not moving smoothly, and was travelling at a slower speed than expected."

He almost hit several parked cars and then ran a red light.

When cops pulled him over, "Officers observed his speech was slurred, he was helped from the vehicle by an officer, he was unstable on his feet, and there was evidence of vomit at the scene."

Gross.

A breathalyzer showed his blood alcohol was more than TWICE the legal limit.

Ultimately, the 31-year-old Tottenham star was hit with a $65,000 fine and his license will be suspended for 20 months.

His attorney issued a statement saying Lloris didn't intend to get drunk that night -- but fans at a restaurant kept buying him drinks.

The attorney also said, "On July 15 he was arguably the proudest man on the planet. Just 40 days later, he was arrested. He experienced the indignity of being handcuffed and put in a police station overnight. The spectacular fall from grace is not lost on Mr. Lloris."

Alexi Lalas Chad Ochocinco is Crazy Enough ... To Be MLS Goalie

9/10/2018 4:06 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chad Ochocinco wants to be an MLS goalie ... and Alexi Lalas says he already has one major keeper skill mastered ... he's crazy!!

We spoke with Lalas about Ochocinco's 2-year plan to try out for David Beckham's new expansion team in Miami ... and surprisingly, he's not completely shutting down the idea -- he actually thinks 85 could be ready SOONER than 2020.

"The only thing I know about goalkeepers is that they're crazy," Lalas says. "So he'll fit right in!"

"He doesn't need 2 years, he's crazy now! I love him!"

As for Ochocinco seeking the career change at 40 years old ... Lalas seems shocked, but it's clear he's not putting it past the guy to actually follow through with it.

But, if Beckham comes calling for Lalas? You gotta check out his answer. 

Chad Ochocinco I'm Training To Be MLS Goalie ... 'Dead Ass Serious'

9/8/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chad Ochocinco's first go-around with the MLS didn't go so well ... but he's got a new plan to make the futbol league -- telling TMZ Sports he's coming back as a keeper!!

And, yeah, he says he's "dead ass" serious.

Remember ... Chad once tried out for Sporting Kansas City during the NFL lockout in 2011 -- and actually got in a reserve game ... but the MLS told him "thanks, but no thanks" afterward.

Now ... Chad's telling us he's got a new way to revive that soccer dream ... getting set to return to the pitch as a goalie for David Beckham's Miami club -- which kicks off its inaugural season in 2020.

"I really think I can be exceptional at goalie with the proper training for the next two years," Chad says.

"So, when Beckham has his team, I'm going to go try out for goalie. Period."

It makes sense ... dude is a freak athlete who caught everything that came his way as an NFL wideout for 11 seasons -- so why not?!

As for those doubting him ... Chad didn't give the haters a definitive "Kiss The Baby" -- but he did further explain to us why he's confident it'll all work out.

David Beckham Shirtless & Hungry After Dropping New MLS Team's Name!!!

9/5/2018 5:16 PM PDT

David Beckham crushed this poolside pose and burger ... after revealing the name of his brand spankin' new MLS team.

Becks ditched the shirt, grabbed some shades and headed to the pool Wednesday in Miami. A perfect way to celebrate the announcement of the name and new crest for his pro football club, Inter Miami CF.

The team's official title is Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami ... a name chosen to help reflect the 305's Spanish-speaking community. Beck's team will launch in 2020, six years after the plan to bring a team to Miami was hatched. 

You'll remember -- Beckham joined the L.A. Galaxy back in 2007 -- and, when signing his deal, negotiated a way to one day own a future expansion team.

As for Becks at the pool -- look no further for any gym motivation -- dude is looking absolutely shredded at 43.

Nike Drops New Kaepernick Commercial ... With Serena & Odell

9/5/2018 10:29 AM PDT
Breaking News

Nike isn't backing down from its Colin Kaepernick ad campaign -- they just released a brand new 2-minute commercial featuring the QB -- and it's slated to air during the NFL season opener. 

The spot features Colin narrating inspiring messages about overcoming the odds while real video of really inspirational athletes plays on the screen. 

Colin references Serena Williams and praises her as "the greatest athlete ever" -- while throwing similar compliments at stars like Odell Beckham, Shaquem Griffin and the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team. 

Regarding Odell, Colin says ... 

"Don't picture yourself wearing OBJ's jersey. Picture OBJ wearing yours."

Regarding Shaquem, Colin says ... 

"If you have only one hand, don’t just watch football, play it at the highest level."

Regarding LeBron James, Colin says ... 

"Don’t become the best basketball player on the planet. Be bigger than basketball." (while video runs showing LeBron opening his new school in Ohio)

Regarding Serena, Colin says ... 

"And, if you’re a girl from Compton, don’t just become a tennis player. Become the greatest athlete ever. Yeah, that’s more like it."

It's the second phase of Nike's "Just Do It" ad campaign featuring Kaep -- a deal that we're told was put together in the last several weeks. 

We're told the deal put together by Mark Geragos and Ben Meiselas also includes a new custom Kaepernick shoe and apparel line. 

No word on when that's supposed to drop. 

As for the commercial, a source with knowledge of the situation tells us the plan is to air the commericial at some point during the Falcons vs. Eagles broadcast on NBC. 

Alexi Lalas Clint Dempsey Was Great ... But, Mia Hamm Was Better!!

8/29/2018 1:16 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Sorry, Clint Dempsey -- you had a great career ... but it still doesn't compare with Mia Hamm's -- so says soccer legend Alexi Lalas.

Alexi spoke with TMZ Sports after Clint hung up the cleats Wednesday ... and when we asked about greatest U.S. soccer players of all time -- Lalas told us Nomar Garciaparra's boo was better than Clint.

"You can put Mia Hamm higher than Clint Dempsey," Lalas says.

Don't feel too bad for Clint ... Lalas did have a bunch of great things to say about him when it came to MALE players -- even if he had him behind Landon Donovan in his rankings.

"If I needed a goal scored in a World Cup Final, I would go to Landon Donovan," Lalas says.

"But, if I needed someone to have my back in a bar, I'm going with Clint Dempsey."

Alexi appreciated Dempsey's care-free, on-field attitude too ... and you gotta hear the expletive-laced quote that he says sums up Clint perfectly.

Team USA's Clint Dempsey Retires from Pro Soccer

8/29/2018 9:13 AM PDT
Breaking News

Team USA soccer legend Clint Dempsey is hanging up his cleats -- announcing he's retiring from professional soccer. 

"'After a lot of thought, my family and I have decided that this is the right time for me to step away from the game,” 35-year-old Dempsey said.

"I’d like to thank all of the teammates, coaches and support staff that I’ve worked with throughout my career. It has always been my dream to make it as a pro. I’m grateful to have been on this ride."

Dempsey first appeared on the Team USA World Cup squad back in 2006 -- and became a leader due to his aggressive and passionate style of play. He scored goals in 3 consecutive World Cup tourneys (2006, 2010 and 2014). 

Dempsey is tied for 1st as the U.S. Men's National Team all-time leading scorer with 57 international goals. He's tied with Landon Donovan

Among active international soccer players, Dempsey only trails Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and David Villa in most goals scored. 

He was drafted by the New England Revolution in the 2004 MLS Draft. He was later loaned to Fulham of the Premier League and scored 50 goals during his time with the team. 

Dempsey then went to Tottenham Hotspur from 2012 to 2013 -- notching 7 goals in 29 appearances. 

From there, it was back to the MLS where he finished up his career with the Seattle Sounders. 

"I would like to thank all of the fans who have supported me throughout my career with the New England Revolution, Fulham, Tottenham, Seattle Sounders and the U.S. Men’s National Team," Dempsey said. 

"Y’all have always made me feel at home, and it is something that I will always remember.”

Salute. 

Donald Trump Meets With FIFA Prez ... Red Cards The Media!!

8/28/2018 2:50 PM PDT
Breaking News

Donald Trump learned what a red card was for on Tuesday ... and POTUS waited about 2 seconds to use it on the White House reporters! 

The playful ejections all went down in the Oval Office, where D.T. played host to FIFA president Gianni Infantino for a celebration of North America landing the 2026 World Cup.

Gianni gifted #45 with his own personalized futbol jersey ... and then brought out the referee cards -- and the exchange that ensued between the two was as hilarious as it was predictable.

"In soccer, we have referees. And they have cards," Infantino explained.

"Yellow cards and red cards. Yellow card is a warning, and when you want to kick out someone, this one right here."

Trump couldn't grab the red card fast enough ... nearly chucking it at the media assembled in the Oval Office!!

Good times.

Alexi Lalas Basks In Wayne Rooney Trash Talk ... I Made Him Better!

8/26/2018 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Remember when Alexi Lalas said Wayne Rooney was washed up -- and explained why it would be a mistake for D.C. United to sign him???

Yeah, so do we ... that was in May before Rooney joined the MLS and SET THE LEAGUE ON FIRE!! Since then, Rooney's been a beast on the pitch -- so we went to Lalas to see how he felt about being so wrong.

His response was amazing. 

"This would not be the first team that should be paying me in order to be motivating their players," Lalas joked ... "So I say, 'You're welcome D.C. It's my gift to you, it's my gift to you, Wayne, and my gift to soccer.'"

The 32-year-old has already racked up 3 goals and 3 assists in the 8 games he's played with D.C. United -- and the team is 5-2-1 in games Rooney has played in. 

Plus, the INSANE play Rooney made during the August 12 game against Orlando City S.C. went crazy viral and some are hailing it as one of the greatest plays in MLS history. 

It all went down during stoppage time of a 2-2 tie ... when Rooney chased down an opposing player around midfield, stole the ball with a slide tackle and fired up a 50-ish-yard cross to a teammate who headed the ball for the game-winning goal. 

Ya gotta watch ... it's nothing short of spectacular. 

On a serious note, Lalas says Rooney's presence is making his teammates better -- and the sky is the limit for D.C. United. 

Long story short ... yeah, Lalas knew his Rooney prediction was WAY off -- but sometimes it's better to be wrong. 

France's Hugo Lloris World Cup Champ Arrested for Drunk Driving

8/24/2018 6:41 AM PDT
Breaking News

Hugo Lloris -- the star goalie on France's 2018 World Cup championship team -- was arrested for drunk driving in London, officials say. 

The 31-year-old superstar -- who's also the goalkeeper for Tottenham -- was pulled over around 2:20 AM on Friday morning for a routine traffic stop ... but cops suspected he was plastered. 

Officials say Lloris took a breathalyzer -- and failed -- and was arrested on the stop. He was hauled to the Charing Cross Police Station where he was booked and spent 7 hours in custody. 

Lloris was later released on bail and is due back in court on Sept. 11. 

Lloris was scheduled to play for Tottenham in their next game on Monday night -- unclear if he will be suspended due to the arrest. 

The guy is an absolute stud on the pitch -- he's the captain of the French national team and Tottenham and is widely considered one of the best goalkeepers on the planet.  

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