This week, our sports investigator Joshua Jayde has been forced off with an ankle injury, so the manager has called in Brian Gu to step up and take his place.
The story of João Félix
For 126-million Euros, 19-year old footballer João Félix Sequeira signed a seven-year contract this summer with Spanish club Atletico Madrid.
Now, I’m going to skip the hassle of any long prelude and just go straight to the point of saying that’s certifiably crazy. That’s an amount where defenders will be afraid to tackle this kid because he’d be worth more than they ever will across their entire careers.
But the truth is João Félixis not even the most expensive teenage transfer in footballing history. Kylian Mbappémade a permanent move to PSG last summer for a staggering 150-million Euros. But what was different about that move was that Mbappé had already spent three years playing top-flight football with Monaco, and his move came with an initial one-year loan period with the option for PSG to buy at the end of it. In other words, PSG bought him with the knowledge he would perform at the standard they valued him at.
What was different about João Félix’s move was that he had only spent one year in top-flight football. In other words, Atlético Madrid were going all-in on a 126 million gamble.
It was one that fans would soon come to initially regret when João Félix limped off the field after sustaining an injury in his debut, which was only a preseason friendly. Surely that must have given upper management a heart attack or two.
Soon after though, João Félix made a speedy recovery, even in time toimpress in his next preseason game, looking creative and intelligent on the ball, as well as creating a strong link-up with veteran front-man Diego Costa. All of this is great news for Atlético Madrid, who now only have 125.5-million Euros left of value to claim back from the young lad.
Red Bull, it Gives Verstappen Wings!
Max Verstappen is on fire. After driving his car to victory at the German Grand Prix (GP), and claiming the first pole position of his career in Hungary, it is evident the 21-year old Formula 1 driver has an illustrious career ahead of him. But perhaps most exciting of all, what the Hungarian GP showed us was that Verstappen was a true contender we’ve been waiting for to challenge the unstoppable Lewis Hamilton.
At 37 years old, it’s been nearly 20 years since Serena Williams first topped the female world tennis rankings in 2002, and all these years later, she’s refusing to slow down for anyone on her court.
You probably remember the controversial women’s final of the 2018 US Open, where she lost to Naomi Osaka in two straight sets. Two straight sets were all it took to shoot Naomi Osaka from obscurity to internet fame. The infamous altercations between Williams and the umpire vilified the veteran in people’s eyes. At a fresh age of 21, Osaka was the perfect person to take the mantle which Williams was preparing to leave behind.
Now fast forward to the recent Canadian Rogers Cup quarterfinals. Osaka meets Williams for the first time since that infamous defeat. And this time around, it was Williams that handed her opponent the defeat of two consecutive sets she received only a year prior. It seems that at 37 years of age, it’s still not time for the old guard to move aside just yet.
Introducing: the Paradigm Shift
Jon Moxley, aka Dean Ambrose, recently signed for infant company All Elite Wrestling in May, shortly after his contract with professional wrestling giant WWE expired. A huge fan-favourite from Vince McMahon’s sports-entertainment empire, moving to AEW was a shock that no-one could have truthfully foreseen – with Moxley himself labelling it a ‘Paradigm Shift’.
‘Shift’ seems like an understatement; it’s a revelation that’s taken the paradigm of professional wrestling, and dropped it on its already concussed head. When have you ever heard as sportsman as globally marketable as Dean Ambrose gamble it all at the pinnacle of their career to join a new, unestablished company in his prime? It’s a statement all right – one threatening to restore wrestling to its old glory days of mayhem, rebellion and unparalleled fun.
Since then, Moxley has lit the world on fire, winning the US Heavyweight title in Japanese promotion NJPW, becoming a bankable short-term star for them during this transitional period.
See, the thing is, the four stories I’ve told today are more interconnected than even I initially imagined. And it unlocks the key to understanding the everlasting appeal of sports. Because whether the adversity is financial pressure, age (young or old) or working security, everybody loves a good underdog tale.Even Atlético Madrid for that matter, who’ve gone to the liberty of valuing it at 126 million Euros.