Mes: agosto 2018

World Cup Fever is beginning to reach high pitch, excuse the pun, throughout the world. In early May however, drivers sporting flags on cars and those draping large banners from bedroom windows could only be considered as premature flagulators. Now, as the World Cup is about to begin, flag waving and associated football mania seem much more acceptable. This year, Father’s Day (June 18th 2006) coincides with the World Cup. Dads and grandads everywhere can look forward to a wide variety of soccer related gifts.

World Cup Gifts for Soccer fans

World Cup Gifts can be found in many shapes and sizes which can be fun, practical and useful. General gifts for football supporters include flags for cars, large flag banners, hats and t shirts, stationery and mugs. National team football shirts are also likely to be a great hit amongst fans as is the 2006 Official World Cup football, great for those needing to go and play out their skills after watching a match.

Gadget Gifts

For gadget lovers that are also football fans there are a wide variety of novelty gifts available to celebrate the World Cup, including inflatable armchairs and giant inflatable balls, football TV remote controls and blow up beer buckets. Gadget style toys such as a choking referee bendy toy (for those feeling the urge to throttle a ref during a match) are a great idea for the fun loving person.

World Cup Stress Relief

Gamers may also enjoy the World Cup 2006 Fifa games which are available for most platforms, including PS2, DS, Xbox 360 and PSP. These enable the players to play matches with world class players of their choice and vent off their stresses via a gamepad.

Got the T shirt?

For the fashion conscious, there are many football clothing gifts available including home and away team shirts, shorts, football boots and a multitude of fashion accessories such as mobile phone charms, caps and bags.

Shoppers Dream

Online and down the High Street, World Cup gifts are everywhere. Gift shopping for football fans during the World Cup season is probably a dream. You shouldn’t have to look far to find something suitable!

World Cup 2006.Gift ideas for football fans.

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They are back! ¡Ya están aquí! Ja són aquí!
👋 Leo Messi
👋 Gerard Piqué
👋 Jordi Alba
👋 Sergio Busquets

🔵🔴 Força Barça!







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The North West Province of South Africa is situated in the western Magaliesberg and provides plenty to see and do in the popular holiday destinations such as Rustenburg.

Rustenburg, which translated literally means “town of rest”, is the third oldest town of the former Transvaal Province. The city has been chosen as one of the host cities for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2010 and will be staging games at the 40,000 Royal Bafekong Stadium previously used for the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Just half an hour’s drive from here will find you at the glamorous Sun City complex and its enormous range of leisure options. The complex providing an excellent combination of golf, game and gambling, as well as world class hotels, is the perfect choice for any holiday in South Africa. Close by the Pilanesberg Game Reserve provides travellers an excellent chance of spotting the “Big Five”.

To appreciate the history of this area then you should visit Mafikeng and in particular its museum, which has exhibits relating to the Siege of Mafeking, the Barolong people and San (Bushmen) which are interesting. In addition, the pretty towns of Lichtenburg, Klerksdorp and Potchefstroom are of particular interest.

At the Pilanesberg National Park, you will discover the crater of a long extinct volcano with an amazing alkaline complex created from activity over 1290 million years ago. This is one of the largest volcanic complexes in the world and its rare rock structure and type make it a unique geological feature. This area has survived ages of erosion and can be seen high above the surrounding bushveld plains. It is possible to see the early existence of man in the numerous Stone and Iron Age sites throughout the park.

On the parks undulating hills and stretching open plains, you can get a glimpse of the ‘Big Five’, an abundance of animals and over 360 bird species. As well as the ‘Big Five’ you may also spot the nocturnal brown hyena, cheetah, hippo, crocodile and even sable.

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The FIFA Club World Cup is no longer a proper measure to decide the best club team in the world.

Because of huge investments in European soccer in the last decade the European clubs (UEFA) have a big money advantage over the rest of the world and can buy the best players which gives them a big advantage over the other confederations. Moreover, the format of the tournament is set to favor UEFA and South America (Conmebol) which is unfair to the other teams.

The problem is that the competition has failed to keep up with changes in the game and has therefore lost its relevance and purpose.

PURPOSE OF THE TOURNAMENT

The competition was started in 2000 (when it absorbed its predecessor the Intercontinental Cup) and was formed as a yearly competition to showcase the best local talent from the various confederations. The idea was that the winners in each continental tournament would compete against each other and the winner crowned as the best club team in the world. This was the theory but in practice it has turned out differently.

Previously the best non-European players pursued their careers in their home countries and were unknown to foreign audiences. The Club World Cup gave these players a chance to showcase their skills on the world stage and at that time there was parity between clubs in Europe and South America.

Conmebol teams won the trophy in the first three years of the competition but after that the European teams dominated and the balance of power shifted to Europe.

DAVID vs GOLIATH

The beginning of European domination coincided in the early part of the current century with a massive influx of investment in UEFA soccer at club level. The fallout from this is that today there is a great disparity of income between European clubs and the other confederations.

The winner of the European Champions League earns much more money than the other continental tournaments combined. Real Madrid made $70.1 million last season for winning the UEFA Champions League. In contrast San Lorenzo made $6.1 million for winning Copa Libertadores (Conmebol), ES Setie made $1.8 million for winning the African (CAF) Champions League and in Asia Western Sydney Wanderers made about the same for defeating Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal over two legs (YAHOO SPORTS – Why does the Club World Cup still struggle for relevance?; by Peter Staunton, December 12, 2014).

With such money on hand, the best talent that money can buy are in Europe’s major leagues, lured by the lucrative contracts that these leagues have to offer. This means that Europe has at its disposal its own talent and whatever the rest of the world has.

The biggest losers in the exodus of soccer talent to Europe are Brazil and Argentina which are the leading exporters of players, so what is Europe’s gain is South America’s loss.

Accordingly, every other side at the Club World Cup is at a disadvantage in comparison with Europe’s Champions League holder. The tournament has evolved from being a rivalry into a battle of David versus Goliath, between European clubs represented by what is tantamount to a World eleven made up mostly of the best international players and the minnows, comprising what is left over after the best of their talent have been siphoned off by the big UEFA clubs.

The current champion, Real Madrid, is a combination of some of the most expensive and best international players coming from Spain (Casillas and Sergio Ramos), France (Benzema and Varane), Portugal (Ronaldo and Pepe), Germany (Kroos), Brazil (Marcelo), Colombia (Rodriquez), Wales (Bale) and Mexico (Chicharito). This assembly of players is hardly representative of the local game in Spain. For three players, namely, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriquez the club paid $367.8 million. Only twelve clubs in the world possess a squad of players whose market value is worth more than the total cost of these three.

Compare that to Auckland City FC one of its competitors in this year’s Club World Cup which is a team of mere amateurs having full-time occupations outside of soccer.

A look at some of the previous champions reveals the heavy foreign component of their squads. In 2010 when Inter Milan (Italy) won the cup, only 5 players in their squad of 23 were Italians while the rest were mostly from South America. Even the television commentators failed to keep up with the changes as they still referred to the Inter team as ‘the Italians’.

In 2011 Barcelona won the cup and 10 of their 23-man squad were from overseas.

BIZARRE FORMAT

Another big problem with the tournament is that teams from UEFA and South America are given a bye to the semi-finals and start playing even after some of the sides are eliminated. This is intentionally done so that only the biggest clubs face off in the final. So far only teams from those two continents have won and only one team from outside has made it to the final, namely, last year’s surprise finalist TP Mazembe, a Congolese side.

Given the money advantage enjoyed by UEFA and the bizarre format that is currently in place, the Club World Cup can hardly be called the fairest of competitions and the winner cannot legitimately be called ‘the best in the world’ anymore than the winners of the former Intercontinental Cup which was limited to UEFA and Conmebol. The tournament has lost its importance and is hardly bragworthy. Some years ago I won a dancing contest but the other contestants couldn’t dance, so was my victory something to brag about?

Some parity needs to be restored to the competition. Brazil and Argentina have started to raise wages in their local leagues to entice their players to remain at home. That is a start but in addition to that, FIFA must limit the number of foreign players available to each team to, say, two and change the format so that all competing teams play the same number of qualifying matches. Failing this, it is pointless to continue the competition in its present form.

Victor A. Dixon

December 23, 2014

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📍 AT & T Stadium, Dallas 🇺🇸

💪 Getting ready for Barça v Roma
💪 Entrenamiento previo al partido
💪 Entrenament previ al xoc contra la Roma

#TheMagiciansOfTheBall








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Though there are a large number of sports that find their way to the hottest class, it’s Soccer that causes the greatest adrenaline rush. The game has numerous legendary players to its credit. Nevertheless, there are a few that are renowned the world over for their unfathomable sportsman spirit and some of the very best game skills which they have put up. Here is taking a glance at some of the very best football player of all times.

When it comes to football player’s one name which you cannot manage to avoid at all is Diego Armando Maradona. He is one of the best soccer players in the entire world. He is the one who helped bag the world cup trophy for Argentina in the year 1986. Maradona is stated to have the finest World Cup Goal to his credit till date. Argentina triumphed over England soccer team, with a striking goal of Maradona which he pursued single handedly right from the halfway line to finishing score. This goal is still popularly known as as the ‘goal of the century’ by FIFA. In the same game itself he bagged yet another goal to his credit as recognized and renowned as ‘hand of the god’ goal.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento is another well-known soccer player of all times. Commonly addressed as Pele, this healthy and fit soccer player is said to have unequalled gaming skills required for winning championships. With 500 goals to his credit, Pele has helped bring home 3 world cups for his country- Brazil. He is one of the very few young World Cup winning football players. In fact Pele brought laurels to the country by winning world cup at young age of 17.

Adding to the long list of best soccer players is another name-Johan Cryuff. He is 1 of the skilled British football players of his times. He is well known for his mastery and expertise in gaming techniques of balance and dribbling. It is thus no surprise that even accomplished defenders found it impossible to stop him from striking a goal. However, the career of this legendary player faced a downhill in its later stages when he was trapped in problems like gambling, womanizing, alcoholism and many more.

Yet another well known football player of all times is Zinedine Zidane. This player is said to be 1 of the most talented soccer players of his generation. He played a big role in making France win the world Cup in 1998. Furthermore, he contributed to the victory of France in European championship of 2000. He has been awarded with the title of European Footballer of the Year in 1998. To top it all, he was the indisputable winner of the title- FIFA World Footballer of the Year, thrice in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

There are a lot of soccer players who’ll make a mark and then fade away in oblivion. However, the aforementioned ones will continue to stay etched in memory of one and all.

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In 1999, Nigeria won the right to host the 12th edition of the FIFA World Youth Championship. That was the year; the Flying Eagles were tagged “wobbling and fumbling”. They started their World Cup campaign on home soil on a rather embarrassing note, with a 1-1 draw against lowly rated Costa Rica with Julius Aghahowa scoring the opener in the 20th minutes of play, before picking up their act against Germany, whom they defeated 2-0. The goals were scored by Ganiyu Shittu and Hashimu Garba in the 69th and 81st Minutes respectively.

Their last group match was against Paraguay, and they fumbled before a capacity crowd that had come to cheer them to victory. The game against Paraguay ended in favor of Paraguay 2-1 with Ganiyu Shittu scoring the consolation goal in the 38th Minutes of play. The Flying Eagles however managed to qualify for the round of 16 by the skin of their teeth.

In the round of 16, the Flying Eagles labored to secure a 1-1 draw against Ireland with the equalizing goal coming from diminutive striker Pius Ikedia in the 70th Minute. The game then went into penalty shoot out, and millions of Nigerians had their heart in their mouth throughout the duration of the kicks. It eventually went in the way of the Flying Eagles who scrapped through 5-3. Pius Ikedia, Gbenga Okunowo, John Aranka, Eddy Dombraye and Ganiyu Shittu all converted their spot kicks. Thomas Heary of the Republic of Ireland missed his spot kick to set a Quarter final pairing between Nigeria and Mali.

The Flying Eagles had their work cut out, as found the Malians too hot to handle in the quarterfinal clash played at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu eastern Nigeria. The Malians were so ruthless in the quarterfinal clash, that they inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the hapless Eagles who could not fly when it mattered most. The chief tormentor of the Flying Eagles was Malian enterprising midfielder Seydou Keita who later emerges as the Adidas Golden ball award winner.

The defeat of the hapless Flying Eagles caused a lot of uproar in the sporting circle, with the eventual sack of Dutch Coach Thijs Libregts from the technical crew of the Nigeria U-20 National team. The team had a lot of potentials, but they could not fully utilize their full potential. Some notable players from that team include: Joseph Yobo, Rabiu Afolabi, Julius Aghahowa, Haruna Babangida and Late goalkeeper Sam Okoye.

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🤔What would you pack in your suitcase for the 2018 US Tour?
🎒 Here’s what Arthur Melo has in his! 🕶️👕🎮

🤔¿Qué meteríais en vuestra maleta para la Gira?
🎒 ¡Esto es lo que lleva Arthur Melo! 🕶️👕🎮

🤔Que hi hauria a la teva maleta per la Gira?
🎒 Això és el que porta Arthur Melo! 🕶️👕🎮

🔵🔴 #TheMagiciansOfTheBall

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