Football and art rarely come together, but when they do it's a thing of beauty.
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A brilliant new sculpture has gone on display at the FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich that is made solely from reused football boots.
The 1.7 metre high piece, entitled "Meant to Bond," is also notable for being created by a former player in the shape of ex-Arsenal, PSG and Germany international Josephine Henning.
Henning, who won an Olympic gold medal with Germany during her career, gathered 50 pairs of boots from female players around the world to assemble her sculpture, which signifies the common bond shared between all footballers around the world.
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FIFA World Football Museum displays "Meant to Bond" sculpture by Olympic champion Josephine Henning After hanging up her boots at the age of 28, former Germany international Josephine Henning has now turned her attention to the creative arts. One of her works has just gone on display in Zurich: the "Meant to Bond" sculpture fashioned by the Olympic gold medallist and European champion is featuring in the permanent exhibition at the FIFA World Football Museum from 10 March to 15 May 2020. @fifamuseum video credits @valentinhenningofficial
The former defender retired at the age of 28 and has since turned her hand to art, producing a portfolio of works directly inspired by the game she loves.
Indeed, Henning regularly visits stadiums to capture the bustling colours and atmosphere of matchday, with Cologne's RheinEnergieSTADION hosting one of her recent artistic excursions.
The FIFA World Football Museum is proud to welcome the "Meant to Bond" sculpture by former German international and Olympic champion Josephine Henning to the exhibition. https://t.co/Ypk3Gmefqh— FIFA Museum (@FIFAMuseum) March 9, 2020
The 30-year-old has also painted at Braga's Estadio Municipal and even Real Madrid's grand old Bernabeu ground.
Obviously, Henning has a long way to go in the sculptural stakes before she scales the lofty heights of Cristiano Ronaldo's abstract magnum opus, but she's definitely on her way.
Boot tracking goes to the next level
Adidas, EA Sports and Google are teaming up together in a bid to blur the lines between real world football and video games even further.
Launched this week, the Adidas GMR is an innovative, interactive insole that players can turn on, slip inside their boots and then use their real-world performances on the pitch to boost their ratings in FIFA Mobile Ultimate Team.
Play connected.— adidas Football (@adidasfootball) March 10, 2020
Introducing #adidasGMR, a brand-new innovation created in partnership with @EAFIFAMOBILE and Jacquard™ by @GoogleATAP.
Enabling you to impact your game, through real-world play.
Exclusively available now: https://t.co/TCDkwkjI4J pic.twitter.com/1kHiakwEpz
The Adidas GMR can be placed inside any footwear and then used to complete a series of footballing challenges, with the information generated by the inbuilt Google Tag technology unlocking various in-game rewards and boosts in the wearer's FIFA Mobile Ultimate Team account.
The GMR tag utilises advanced machine-learning algorithms to measure kick power, shot accuracy, distance run and top speeds reached -- each contributing toward their own performance milestones.
For example, one of the first available challenges is "Master Finisher," which sees players tasked with taking 40 powerful shots in the penalty box within a week to earn coins and skill boosts.
Things have come a long, long way since Sensible Soccer.
Mayweather headed for Newcastle?
Boxing icon Floyd Mayweather has emerged as a somewhat unlikely candidate to take over Newcastle United.
The 43-year-old was appearing at an event in the city when he was asked whether or not he'd be interested in buying the club from current owner Mike Ashley.
Mayweather x Newcastle 👊🖤 pic.twitter.com/pq8wfRqH3p— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) March 9, 2020
"In the U.S. we call it soccer but the Newcastle football team is an unbelievable team," Mayweather responded. "If the people want me to buy the Newcastle team, let me know."
Given the popularity of the current ownership regime at St James' Park, we think we can already guess the general consensus.
Newcastle have been up for sale for a while, with Ashley reportedly keen to recoup his money and sever his ties -- though nothing has come to fruition as yet.
Indeed, it wasn't too long ago that WWE supremo Vince McMahon was linked with a $500million takeover bid, so maybe the idea of Mayweather seizing the reigns isn't quite as far fetched as it first appears.