World Cup Offbeat: Zlatan In New York, Dutch Family’s Day Out, Messi’s Good Luck Charm & England’s Return

    We’re two days late here (sorry!), and we bitingly apologize. This week’s Offbeat Column, the Ibrahimovic family vacations in New York, Van Persie’s daughter steals the show in Van Gaal’s Dutch camp, Thiago Messi could be his dad’s lucky charm and the Rooneys visit Concorvado (without Wayne, of course).

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    After a funny campaign in Brazil to get Zlatan Ibrahimovic to attend World Cup matches got to a sordid start (he was seen with PSG chief at the England-Italy game), the Swedish striker was spotted shopping in New York with his family.

    The 32-year-old was pictured sightseeing with his wife Helena Seger, as well as with sons Max and Vincent.

    The Swedish striker, who has scored 48 goals in 96 internationals, has been forced to sit out the World Cup after his side failed to beat Portugal in their World Cup play-off last year.

    French fans also got into the humour by holding up a banner with the words : “Zlatan, we miss you” before a game.


    Robin van Persie may have scored three times in the Dutch’s World Cup campaign, but it may due to some help from his daughter, Dina, who has been seen at all the Dutch training sessions recently.

    Van Persie was a spectator for Holland’s 2-0 win over Chile on Monday after picking up yellow cards in wins over Spain and Australia.

    However, he kept spirits up with his daughter and messed around with a football in the centre circle ahead of Louis van Gaal’s side’s last-16 clash with Mexico on Sunday.

    The Man United striker has two children – daughter Dina, 5, and Shaqeel, 8, with his wife Bouchra van Persie, a Dutch-Moroccan woman.

    His family are often spotted in the stands watching their father proudly, including at the World Cup qualifiers in the Netherlands.


    Meanwhile, Argentina may be through to the knockout stages of the World Cup, but the focus of the action has undoubtedly been on Lionel Messi.

    His double against Nigeria in their 3-2 win this week captured the imagination of fans all over the world, including his own family.

    Perhaps it’s Messi’s lucky charm, but the 27-year old Barcelona wizard’s girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo was watching from the stands of Porto Alegre along with their 19-month-old son Thiago. The beautiful Roccuzzo, 25, who has been dating Messi since 2009, turned up at the stadium wearing a jersey of the Argentinean national team.

    And of course, Thiago was knitted out in the same jersey to support his four-time FIFA World Player of the Year father.

    The families of the Argentinean team were flown into Brazil for the matches via private jet alongside the WAGS of Sergio Aguero and Sergio Romero, who both attended the same game.

    Last week, Messi expressed his sentiments towards his son in an Instagram photo with Thiago, accompanied with the message : “Como te extrañaba mi amor ! I missed u so much!”

    The team enjoyed a rare ‘families day’ dinner, with players and staff coming together to enjoy a meal during the World Cup break day.

    She may not have expected England‘s early elimination from the World Cup, but Wayne Rooney’s wife – Coleen – was certainly making the most of her time in Brazil.

    Coleen blended into fellow tourists when she took her sons to see Brazil’s most famous landmark, the Christ the Redeemer statue on Sunday.

    The 28-year-old WAG held Rooney’s older son, Kai’s hand as they walked towards the statue.

    However, following The Three Lions elimination after a 0-0 draw to Costa Rica, the WAG was pictured pushing a stack of suitcases through Manchester airport after flying home with her family on Wednesday.

    Coleen, her two sons, her parents Tony and Colette, and her brother landed four hours after the England national team – including her husband Wayne – were seen arriving at the same airport.

    Wearing grey skinny jeans, a patterned top and a white jacket, Coleen wheeled her excess baggage towards a waiting vehicle while her mother tended to her two young boys.

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