Let’s give a Hoddle debut to Son Heung-min’s parents to celebrate him winning the Puskás Award.
Ramble of the Day
In normal times, I find the ballots of The Best FIFA Football Awards a little bit more interesting than the ceremony itself. In the spirit of 2020, I was more attracted to the idea of judging the backdrops of the many virtual invitees to the award show. Naturally, there were a lot of inoffensive, if completely boring white backdrops. There were also a few that were clearly at their clubs’ training facilities, situated in front of giant logos of their clubs.
There were some that revealed a bit more about either the person or the people designing those particular facilities. FIFA president Gianni Infantino was the first to join remotely, and he did so with an artificial backdrop. I find all artificial backdrops slightly distracting and don’t really like them, but it’s on brand and the production value is high enough so he can have it.
Many people were checking in from less branded parts of their clubs’ training grounds, which provided an interesting enough look at the interior design of these places. Son Heung-min was at Tottenham’s training center when he won the Puskás Award, and this looks like a very cozy corner of the place. I’m really loving that blue wall (especially after seeing it in Spurs’ video of Son winning the award).
Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp was at the club’s new training ground, along with the players honored yesterday. It looks decent enough, but the framing is more about whoever is in front of the camera and less so his surroundings.
Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze also seemed to be at her club’s training facility. I have no idea if this spot actually overlooks a nice view or not, but it looks pretty nice at night in its simple modernity.
There was also one particular aesthetic that the Netherlands’ Sarina Wiegman and Leeds’ Marcelo Bielsa went for — coach in a closet. Wiegman had the nicer of the two, though my opinion is influenced greatly by the fact that we never got a close up of Bielsa’s set up. This might not be a closet, but there’s a lot of storage and it looks quite organized.
Then, there were a few who were at home, and two really nailed it. I feel like, with a bit more work on staging, Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema might’ve made the cut, but she cut her Christmas tree and a fascinating looking painting out of the frame. One of those champions is Ciro Ferrara, who came with a fully lit Christmas tree. The lights actually blink, which made it better.
The real champion, though, is Antonio Cabrini. Not everyone can manage sticking just a few of their accolades (there are many more) in their Zoom background, but if you’ve got it, you absolutely should elegantly flaunt it.
tl;dr: A recap of the backdrops of the remote invitees of The Best FIFA Football Awards.
Stay informed, watch this: BBC Breakfast interviews Marcus Rashford and his mother Mel Maynard on their struggle with food insecurity, and the work they’re doing to help others battling it
Links of the Day
CAS reduced Russia’s doping ban, but it will still run through the end of 2022 and includes the World Cup in Qatar.
Bayern’s Alphonso Davies was racially abused on social media.
Sheffield Wednesday players have not been fully compensated for the month of November.
The FA charged Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani with using “insulting and improper” language in his Instagram stories.
A longer read: Stephanie Yang on the Washington Spirit’s trip to Qatar and how it contributes to the country’s continued sportswashing efforts for All for XI