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Icons' 2013-14 Season Predictions

by Al 14. August 2013 08:03

It's that time again. After a summer of European grounds empty but for the odd testimonial match, the new football season returns at last this Saturday (17 August). And not a minute too soon - between Jose Mourinho's surprise Chelsea return, David Moyes' new era at Manchester United and a busy transfer window for Europe's big guns there's a sense that 2013-14 will be the most open and exhilirating campaign in years. But who'll come out on top? Here's the Icons team's tips to succeed.

Dan Jamieson, Managing Director

Premier League top 4:

1) Chelsea 2) Manchester City 3) Manchester United 4) Liverpool

Premier League top scorer: Sergio Aguero

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Everton

League Cup: Cardiff

Premier League bottom 3:

18) Stoke City 19) Hull 20) Crystal Palace

Championship teams to come up:

1) QPR 2) Watford 3) Wigan

Surprise packages: Club - Cardiff City, Player – Coutinho, Kagawa both after taking a season to settle in

Random predictions: Coutinho to be player of the year, Wenger to not be Arsenal manager this time next year, World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina 

 

Kyle Diller, US Marketing

Premier League top 4: 

1) Manchester United 2) Chelsea 3) Manchester City 4) Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League top scorer: Robin van Persie

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Manchester United

League Cup: Arsenal

Premier League bottom 3:

18) Aston Villa 19) Stoke City 20) Crystal Palace

Championship teams to come up: 

1)Watford 2) Notingham Forest 3) Wigan

Surprise packages: Club - Cardiff City, Player - Wilfried Zaha 

Random predictions: Southampton to finish in the top half of the table

 

Ben Soley, Marketing and Sales Manager

Premier League top 4:

1) Chelsea 2) Man City 3) Man Utd 4) Spurs

Premier League top scorer:  RVP / Aguero

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: PSG

FA Cup: Man City

League Cup: Arsenal

Premier League bottom 3:

18) Sunderland 19) Palace 20) Hull

Championship teams to come up:

1) QPR 2) Watford 3) Wigan

Surprise packages: Wilfred Bony, Victor Wanyama and Norwich

Random predictions: Steven Caulker to score on his debut, Liverpool fans to spend next summer worrying who will steal Phillipe Coutinho from them, Ben Soley to win the Icons Fantasy League title in April

 

Scott Hutchinson, US Partner

Premier League top 4:

1) Chelsea 2) Man United 3) Man City 4) Arsenal

Premier League top scorer: Aguero

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Chelsea

FA Cup: Chelsea

League Cup: Millwall 

Premier League bottom 3:

18) West Brom 19) Palace 20) Hull

Championship teams to come up:

1) QPR 2) Blackpool 3) Leeds

Surprise packages: Luke Shaw, Romelu Lukaku

Random predictions: Rooney scores more goals than RVP in 13-14, Liverpool fans to spend next summer wondering if anyone will (please) buy Phillipe Coutinho from them, AVB gets canned from Spurs

 

Edward Freedman, Chairman

Premier League top 4:

1) Chelsea 2) Man Utd 3) Man City 4) Arsenal

Premier League top scorer: RVP

La Liga winners: Barcelona

Champions League winners: Bayern

FA Cup: Arsenal

League Cup: Swansea

Premier League bottom 3:

18) Hull 19) Cardiff 20) Crystal Palace

Championship teams to come up:

1) Reading 2) Derby 3) Wigan

Surprise packages: Premier League manager sacked within 4 weeks

Random predictions: Rooney transfer to Chelsea

 

Al Horner, Editorial

Premier League top 4:

1) Chelsea 2) Man City 3) Man United 4) Tottenham

Premier League top scorer: Robin van Persie

La Liga winners: Real Madrid

Champions League winners: Bayern Munich

FA Cup: Tottenham

League Cup: West Ham

Premier League bottom 3:

18) Sunderland 19) Cardiff 20) Hull City "Tigers" (Ugh)

Championship teams to come up:

1) Reading 2) Wigan 3) Brighton

Surprise packages: Zaha, Coutinho, Navas

Random predictions: England to miss out on World Cup qualification

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Icons' 2012-13 Goal of the Season award: Robin van Persie

by Al 11. June 2013 12:49

It was just meant to be. Who better to secure the goal that would confirm Manchester United as champions of England once more than Robin van Persie, scorer of so many vital goals in the 2012-13 campaign? And what better way to score it? Thirteen minutes had passed in a April 23 game where victory would land the Reds their 20th Premier League title when the Dutchman, already with one goal to his name, darted across a helpless Aston Villa back line to meet a stunning 50-yard Wayne Rooney pass, thumping it first time from the edge of the area past Brad Guzan.

By the time he completed an astonishing first half hat trick in the 33rd minute, the Old Trafford faithful were still in a state of shock. In terms of technique, precision and power, it was up there with anything witnessed at the ground in recent years - which with Manchester United, a team whose attacking football breeds all kinds of breathtaking moments, is really saying something. Not since Rooney's famous bicycle kick against Manchester City in 2011 had a United player scored a goal as both meaningful and spectacular. Sir Alex Ferguson called it "the goal of the century".

"It was a great pass from Wayne for a start. He had to spot my run because I went in front of Ron Vlaar," the 29-year-old told MUTV after the final whistle. "It was straight into my path. I was counting my steps. The only thing I had to do was time it right and keep my body straight, level with the ball. You need to be a bit lucky with those goals because most of them go over or wide. That didn't, which was a big relief."

The goal ended any realistic chance of Aston Villa stopping United in their tracks on their march to a title, and Manchester City fans - hoping Ferguson's side would slip up, as they did a year previous with several points in hand over their rivals - let out a final sigh of defeat. Robin van Persie, United's number 20, had delivered United title number 20.

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Icons Legend of the Week: Wayne Rooney

by Al 3. October 2012 10:38

“Remember the name, Wayne Rooney!” exclaimed commentator Clive Tyldesley as one of the most exciting talents in English footballing history burst onto the scene ten years ago aged just 16, putting an unbeatable curling shot past Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman. He needn’t have bothered. In the decade since Rooney has never left the limelight. Remember him? Since 2002 you’ve been hardly able to avoid him.

The 26-year-old has scored a mesmerising 199 career goals to date and won almost every bit of silverware at club level there is to collect. Having moved to Manchester United from Everton in 2004 he has powered Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to four Premier League titles, two League Cups and a famous Champions League triumph in 2008 picking up along the way a wealth of personal accolades:  PFA Players’ Player of the Year once, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year twice, EPL Goal of the Season three times and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year to name but a few.

But there’s more to Rooney than his trophy cabinet. A bullish forward known for his charges at defenders and thunderous finishing, there’s a directness to the England international that makes him a thrill to watch, perhaps even more so than his counterparts in Spain and beyond. Leo Messi is beautiful to watch. Rooney is exhilarating, the explosive Michael Bay action movie to the Barcelona star's elegant art flick.

There have been English forwards arguably more talented but few more fascinating. Michael Owen may have been won the prestigious FIFA Balloon D’or player of the year award in 2001 but his career soon faded. Rooney meanwhile has maintained the incendiary form of his early years for a decade now with only occasional blips.

Though his career has been chequered by personal life scandals and intrusions of the press that have sometimes led to dips in form he always comes back stronger. When in 2010 it was alleged he had solicited prostitutes while his wife Colleen was pregnant his form dropped and he fell out with United boss Ferguson that led to him handing in a transfer request.

His time at the top is over, predicted critics. But months later he was back to his electrifying best and putting away an astonishing overhead kick that was to set his place in Premier League folklore in stone. A deflected David Silva effort had put Manchester City within sight of a crucial point in the battle for the 2010-11 title when a 77th minute cross from Nani found Rooney for him to power into the net with jaw-dropping technique. The goal was later voted the best Premier League finish since its inception some 20 years ago. “If I could have bottled the buzz, it would make the best fizzy drink ever,” remarked the striker in his recent autobiography.

Rooney has also proved his maturity as he has grown older. Though he was famously sent off in an international match against Montenegro putting a dent in England’s Euro 2012 hopes before the tournament had even began, the 26-year-old has otherwise curbed his volatile temperament. The striker went the entirety of the 2011-12 season without a booking for United and his disciplinary record so far this campaign is equally clean.

Some argue that the downside of conquering his temperament is he has lost a certain fieriness in pursuit of the ball. But there’s no debating that Rooney has evolved into a more commanding player as his United career has progressed. His pass completion rate now consistently sits above the 80% mark and he is equally happy providing – as he is scoring as his elated reaction to his two assists for new strike partner Robin van Persie in last night’s Champions League tie proved.

All that is left for Rooney to achieve is international glory. The forward has been notoriously unlucky on the world stage, with injuries and suspensions ritualistically popping up prior to tournaments. But with Roy Hodgson earlier this year marking the Man United man out as a future England captain and an exciting new breed of players coming through the ranks including Tom Cleverley and Jack Wilshere, a long-awaited tournament triumph may not be too far off.

That might seem a stretch of the imagination after a succession of humbling tournaments, but if there's one thing you should know about the illustrious Wayne Rooney, it's never write him off.

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Pirlo, Iniesta, Ronaldo: The best of Euro 2012

by Al 25. June 2012 05:18

An Andrea Pirlo masterclass and another painful penalty shootout, and England are heading home early from Euro 2012. You might expect Icons' London HQ to be a sombre place today, but instead of wallowing in England-induced misery, we’re doing our best to look on the bright side...

While Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney may be packing their bags, we are delighted to have three international Icons competing in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. We're all about the world's best players at Icons, and these three are probably the best of the tournament so far.

Andrea Pirlo
“I always believed I was number one and I believe I have demonstrated it again this season,” so said Andrea Pirlo before he had even kicked a ball at the Euros. That self-confidence and class was all too evident for England last night, as his sublime 'Panenka' penalty rolled into the net past a helpless Joe Hart. Pirlo's form in Poland and Ukraine has been superb. As well as his stunning man-of-the-match performance in the quarter-final against England, he contributed two assists and a beautiful goal from a free-kick as Italy qualified from Group C along with Spain. We are delighted to have his signed Italy shirt available for pre-order HERE.

Andrés Iniesta
At Barcelona, a certain Leo Messi tends to grab the headlines, but for Spain at Euro 2012, there can be little doubt that Andrés Iniesta has been the main man. Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has been criticised for flooding his side with midfielders at the expense of an out-and-out striker, but with playmakers of Iniesta's quality at his disposal, who can blame him?! Iniesta has been the crucial difference for La Roja throughout the tournament. He is a player capable of unpicking even the most crowded defences, and was named man-of-the-match in their Group C games against both Italy and Croatia. Buy his signed shirt, boot or photo HERE.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Last but certainly not least is Cristiano Ronaldo. The irrepressible Portuguese has got people thinking he might just win Portugal the trophy on his own. After a superb brace against the Netherlands in Group B and a brilliant headed winner in Portugal’s quarter-final against the Czech Republic, the Portugal skipper finds himself as the tournament’s joint-top scorer with three goals, and faces a mouth-watering semi-final clash against Iniesta’s Spain. Never one to pass up an opportunity to score, Ronaldo has had more shots at Euro 2012 than the entire England squad combined. Get 1/3 off his signed Portugal photo HERE.

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View Icons' full range of signed Euro 2012 products HERE

Follow Icons on Twitter @icons_football

Euro 2012 Predictions Competition: win a signed boot!

by Al 7. June 2012 06:35

Euro 2012 is almost upon us, and Icons are offering you the chance to win a fantastic signed prize from one of its biggest stars. All you have to do is predict the winner of Euro 2012. If your prediction is successful, you could be the proud owner of a signed boot from Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney or Andrés Iniesta.
To enter click HERE - it only takes 30 seconds!

So, will Iker Casillas and Spain retain their title? Or maybe you fancy France? Or Germany? Or England, Russia or Poland? Make your pick and enter the competition here.

Good luck! And make sure you follow Icons on Twitter @icons_football and 'like' us on Facebook for competition updates.

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Leo Messi wins European Golden Shoe

by Al 21. May 2012 09:57

Another day, another reason to congratulate the phenomenal Leo Messi. The Barcelona forward has been named winner of the ESM Golden Shoe for his staggering record tally of 50 league goals in 2011-12.

Messi finished four goals clear of last year's winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, to claim the second ESM Golden Shoe award of his career. Messi appeared in all but one of Barcelona's 38 league games this season, scoring six hat-tricks and notching two four-goal hauls. The Argentinian, who previously won the Golden Shoe in 2009/10 with 34 goals, has scored a remarkable 72 goals in all competitions this season.

Despite scoring six more goals than his winning tally of 40 last season, Real Madrid's Ronaldo has had to settle for 2nd place. And to round off a top three of Icons, Arsenal's Robin van Persie came in at 3rd with 30 goals. Manchester United Icon Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, finished 6th with his 27 strikes.

ESM Golden Shoe standings

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 50 x 2 = 100
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 46 x 2 = 92
3. Robin van Persie (Arsenal) 30 x 2 = 60

4. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke) 29 x 2 = 58
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan) 28 x 2 = 56
6. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 27 x 2 = 54
7. Mario Gomez (Bayern München) 26 x 2 = 52
8. Bas Dost (Heerenveen) 32 x 1.5 = 48
8= Falcao (Atletico Madrid) 24 x 2 = 48
8= Diego Milito (Inter Milan) 24 x 2 = 48
8= Burak Yilmaz (Trabzonspor) 32 x 1.5 = 48

Rules

Only the leading five countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, France and England – in the UEFA rankings have two as their multiplier. This is to emphasise the difference in (international) performance level between clubs from those countries and those of other nations.

A player cannot play first in a summer league (e.g. Norway) and then in a winter league (e.g. Spain) and combine the points totals for each season.

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Leo Messi wins 2011 Ballon d'Or

by Al 10. January 2012 06:36

We are delighted to congratulate Icon Leo Messi on winning his third consecutive Ballon d'Or award. The 24-year-old Barcelona and Argentina superstar beat team-mate Xavi and Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to land the prestigious title of world's best player. 

After legends Marco van Basten, Michel Platini and Johan Cruyff, Messi becomes the fourth player to win the award three times. And at such a young age, he is perfectly placed to smash the record set by his predeccesors in years to come. 

Messi played the starring role in Barcelona's Champions League triumph last season, and was named man of the match in the final against Manchester United. He also won the Primera División with Barcelona, as well as the the UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup and Spanish Super Cup. 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Brazil legend Pele and UEFA president Michel Platini were among a host of leading football figures to lavish praise on Messi at the awards ceremony in Zurich. 

At Icons we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Leo, having conducted our first signing with him when he was just 18. We met up with him for our sixth signing session together in December 2011. You can see our full range of signed Messi products here.

We are also proud to say that six of the FIFA 2011 World XI are on the Icons roster. Iker Casillas; Xabi Alonso; Andres Iniesta; Wayne Rooney; Cristiano Ronaldo; Leo Messi - the world's best six-a-side team?!

The rest of the World XI is made up of Sergio Ramos; Gerard Pique; Dani Alves; Nemanja Vidic and Xavi. We are working on adding more of those names to our list, so sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter for the latest news!

Messi leads Icons named on Ballon d'Or shortlist

by Al 1. November 2011 08:28

We are delighted to see our Icons making up nine of the 23-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d'Or. Barcelona and Argentina's Leo Messi is the overwhelming favourite, and will match Michel Platini's record of three consecutive Ballon d'Ors if he is triumphant. Last year there were five Icons on the shortlist. This year we have grown. Let us know who you would like to see next on the site by getting in touch on Twitter or Facebook.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman to have been nominated, and is one of only five players connected to the Premier League on the shortlist. Of those five, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero only played half of 2011 in England, while ex-Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas now plays for Barcelona. In Spain, Barcelona lead the way with an incredible eight nominees, while rivals Real Madrid boast five.

Which Icon will be crowned World Player of the Year? Here is the complete shortlist:

Eric Abidal (France), Barcelona

Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Manchester City

Karim Benzema (France), Real Madrid

Iker Casillas (Spain), Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Real Madrid

Dani Alves (Brazil), Barcelona

Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Anzhi Makhachkala

Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Barcelona

Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Inter Milan

Andres Iniesta (Spain), Barcelona

Leo Messi (Argentina), Barcelona

Thomas Muller (Germany), Bayern Munich

Nani (Portugal), Manchester United

Neymar (Brazil), Santos

Mesut Ozil (Germany), Real Madrid

Gerard Pique (Spain), Barcelona

Wayne Rooney (England), Manchester United

Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Bayern Munich

Wesley Sneijder (Holland), Inter Milan

Luis Suarez (Uruguay), Liverpool

David Villa (Spain), Barcelona

Xabi Alonso (Spain), Real Madrid

Xavi (Spain), Barcelona

Every player has a hero: Wayne Rooney's is Diego Maradona

by Dan 5. November 2010 09:47

Every football fan has a hero, the one player they grew up idolising and that's why so many people love our products when they get them as gifts. When we met Wayne Rooney for our exclusive signing he asked us who we were going to be having signings with in the build up to the World Cup. We mentioned that we'd be doing a signing with the legendary Diego Maradona and asked us for a dedicated shirt.  As we blogged before Diego was more than happy to oblige as he's a big fan of the Man United and England star too.

What links Diego and Wayne?

And so when representatives of Icons met up with Wayne again last week we were pleased to hand over the signed, framed Icons Maradona shirt with a personal dedication to Wayne.

Wayne Rooney signed shirt by Maradona

Here's a pleased Rooney with his new present, which he'll hang on his wall, just like all the other football fans in the world who get a piece of memorabilia from their heroes through Icons.

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Icons at World Cup 2010

by Steve 3. June 2010 09:17

And so we're almost there...  The Greatest Show On Earth is just days away.  For the next month all that exists is the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  Lifetime memories will be made, dreams will come true and icons will rise to become legends.  But who will be remembered as the stars of 2010?

The chances are it will be a player who has signed with Icons.com in the last year. Click on the incredible list of players set to star in this summer's tournament below, and also legends of past World Cups.


World Cup 2010 Stars

World Cup Legends


Whoever makes the move from the first list to the second this summer, and whatever happens over the next month, you can guarantee that you'll never forget it.

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About Icons Memorabilia

Welcome to the icons blog, we'll be regularly posting here about what's going on with our star signings and what new products have arrived

We love what we do so we'll also be talking about what's going on in the world of football and sport in general.

We'd really appreciate your feedback and comments too.

Cheers - The icons.com team.

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