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Messi's Dad: 'Lionel always played for fun'

Lionel Messi is one of 55 soccer superstars featured in Bruno Pisano's book, "My Son The Soccer Player: The Secrets of the World's Greatest Players as Told by Their Parents." In this excerpt, Pisano spoke with Jorge Messi about his son's early years.
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Keys to keeper confidence

It's perfectly normal to feel nervous before a game, but keepers need to clear their head of negative thoughts. How they go about doing this depends on the individual.
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Proud parents of great players offer insight

"The worst thing for a kid is to be on the field and hear his father screaming from the sidelines, and the kid has to look over and see that."
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Playing in 'small spaces' and speaking of Barcelona

"I think we really need to get better in small spaces," said Claudio Reyna, U.S. Soccer's Youth Technical Director, in the wake of the U.S. men's failure to qualify for the Olympics.
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Mia Hamm's advice for girls, parents and coaches

American sports icon Mia Hamm debuted for the U.S. national team at age 15 in 1987. She helped the USA to two World Cup and two Olympic titles. The 158 national team goals she scored before retiring in 2004 remain a world record. We asked Hamm to reflect on her early years and offer advice for coaches, parents and young ...
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How refs can deal with spectator abuse

Abuse from the sideline is a very sad component of some youth soccer games. Many soccer refs quit during their first two years of officiating with verbal abuse from the touchline being the No. 1 reason for quitting.
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What's the future for the multi-sport athlete?

Specialization is common and accepted in most professions. At some point in time Albert Einstein probably decided to focus on theoretical physics, Tom Brady focused on football rather than baseball, and Yo-Yo Ma chose the cello over the double-bass. The world is better for their decision.
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From Flamengo to Futsal: Insights from Brazil's Beautiful Game

Spending soccer time in other countries is always an education in itself. Whether it has been England, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Mexico, or Brazil there are things I learn that always contributes to my continued education about this beautiful game.
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