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For us younger folks, Brazil soccer is great because that’s how it’s meant to be…we take that as a natural order of things, having grown up with the Brazilian soccer team’s successes in the World Cups of the 1990s.

But the myth of Brazilian soccer was born a lot earlier, in times when soccer started to become a worldwide “plague” and there are a lot of people who attribute this internalization of soccer to the Brazilian team of the 50s, a team that was lead to success by one of the most preeminent figures in sports, the famous soccer player Pele.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Pele climbed a steep mountain from living his youth in a poor Brazilian family, to becoming one of the most beloved figures in the modern history of sports. His father was a footballer himself, playing for Fluminense in the Brazilian league and it was only natural that young Pele would follow his father’s footsteps in the game.

He wasn’t always known as Pele though. Rumor has it that this nickname was given to him in primary school, as he kept misspelling the name of one of his favorite players at that time, Vasco Da Gama’s goalkeeper Bile.

His schoolmates gave him this new nickname and mostly made fun of him, so he obviously disliked it; so much that he punched the fellow classmate that coined the nicknamed. However, in time, he gradually became used to it and even started liking it and it wasn’t long before everyone knew the soccer wonderkid as Pele.

Living in poverty, he couldn’t afford soccer equipment, nor a soccer ball. He shined shoes for an extra coin that would help him and his friends stitch up a newspaper-filled sock to use as a football. He formed a team with his neighbors from the Sete de Setembro street and even participated in a youth tournament, where the team earned the nickname “the shoeless ones” because none of the kids could afford to waste their walking shoes (if any) on playing soccer.

A few years later, each member of the team worked hard for the extra money to get a proper pair of shoes and renamed their team to Ameriquinha. Participating in numerous youth tournaments with Ameriquinha, Pele made a name for himself at a tender age for his prowess in front of goal, becoming top scorer in almost all of these tournaments.

At the tender age of 15, he caught the eyes of one of the biggest teams in Brazil, FC Santos, who offered him a contract and by 16 he was already a member of the senior squad. He spent almost his entire career at Santos, since European transfers weren’t that popular back, although the final 2 years of his career were spent at New York Cosmos, before Pele finally hanged his boots.

Pele made his debut in the Brazilian soccer team in the same year he debuted at Santos’ senior squad, when he was just 16 years old. Amazingly, he was taken on to the 1958 World Cup squad, at age 17, becoming the youngest player in the competition. He even scored a crucial goal in the quarterfinals against Wales, a goal which took Brazil past that stage and into the semis.

But Pele was saving the best for the final: meeting Sweden, he scored a magnificent goal, lobbing the ball past a defender and volleying it into the net, eventually winning the final for Brazil. After the match ended, the effort and the joy bundled up and the 17-year old Pele couldn’t take it, passing out on the field and needing medical attention.

As a soccer player, Pele attended 3 more World Cups, between 1962 and 1970, winning the first and latter. He was the first player ever to score in 4 different World Cups and in 1970 he achieved a unique performance that boosted him to the heights of international soccer: he scored 1,000 official goals for club and country.

Although many dispute this record or try to bring it down, saying that soccer wasn’t as defensive or tactical back than as it is today (which is partially true), his merit of being a major stand pole on the international soccer stage between the mid 50s all the way to the late 70s should not be undermined. Named best soccer player in the World and athlete of the 20th century, Pele now acts as an ambassador for soccer and fair play.

Haiti & Olympics

Did you know… Haiti’s shooters — Ludovic Valborge, L. H. Clertmont, Astrel Rolland, Destin Destine, C. Dupre, Eloi Metullus & Ludovic Augustin — won a bronze medal at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games — making it the first black nation in the globe to win a Summer Olympic medal. This medal made Haiti the poorest country ever to win an Olympic medal. Surprisingly they do it in an island where there are few sports facilities. Certainly the Caribbean team was a “dark horse” in France.

Katherine Dunham & Haiti

Did you know… The island nation of Haiti was once home to Katherine Dunham, one of the most successful dancers of the 20th century. Undoubtedly she loved Haiti. America’s Katherine Dunham had long been fascinated by the Haitian culture and traditions. Her book “Island Possessed” ( 1969 ) is a tribute to this Caribbean nation. In 2002 she, who was born in Glenn Ellyn ( Illinois, USA ), forced the world to pay attention to the Haitian-boat people. Today Katherine is a national heroine in Haiti.

National Symbols

Did you know… Since 1804 Haiti has had four national flags.

World-famous Haitians

Did you know… Wyclef Neluset Jean — Haiti’s image abroad — is a world-renowned Haitian musician. Currently he is a Haiti’s advocate in the world.

Haiti & the United States

Did you know… Washington has close ties to Haiti. Since the 1930s, many American leaders have visited Haiti. In this context, president Franklin Delano Roosevelt ( 1933-1945 ) traveled to Haiti in 1934. Sixty-one years later, Bill Clinton became the second American president to come to Haiti. President Clinton arrived in Port-au-Prince to confer with Jean-Bertrand Aristide ( country’s president ). On the other hand, Colin Powell, Secretary of State, went to the country in 2004. In 2008, Laura Bush, America’s First Lady, was the guest of honour of the Haitian government. Subsequently, Hillary Clinton, current Secretary of State, accepted an invitation to visit Haiti. In Port-au-Prince, she , who visited the country in 1998, met with high-ranking Haitian officials.

In the mid-1990s, Jimmy Carter, 2002 Nobel Peace Prize and former U.S. president, played a key role in bringing an end to military rule in Haiti.

Population

Did you know… Five decades ago Haitians could expect to live 39 years. Today they can look forward to 60.

Women & Power

Did you know… In Haiti females were allowed to vote from 1950 — Women make up a majority of the population. Over the past decades, this Caribbean nation has had two female leaders. In 1991 Ertha Pascal-Trouillot — one of the world’s shortest-serving women presidents — became the first black woman president in the Western Hemisphere. Four years on, Claudette Werleigh was named Head of Government by Haiti’s Head of State Jean-Bertrand Aristide. On the other hand, Michaelle Jean, Canada’s Governor-General, was born on the island of Haiti. She has lived in Canada since 1968. In 2006 Michaelle went to Port-au-Prince.

Geography

Did you know… Haiti is about the size of Maryland. This country has been described as the “Pearl of the Caribbean”.

Africa & Haiti

Did you know… In 1967 Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Africa, arrived in Haiti for an official visit. During his visit to the first black nation in the world, Selassie met with Francois Duvalier, President for life of Haiti.

History

Did you know… In the early 1800s Haiti became the first black republic on the planet. Before Haiti became a state, it had been a French colony.

Haiti & the FIFA World Cup

Did you know… In 1974 Haiti lived up to their reputation as one of the best teams in the Caribbean by winning the Concacaf Cup. Haiti became the first Caribbean soccer team to take the Concacaf title breaking a 30-year strong hold by Mexico. During that regional tournament, Haiti also qualified for the global championships in Munich, West Germany. The country had never qualified for a major soccer tournament before. This international title gave Haiti a moment of joy and glory. In Europe, Haiti and Zaire — today the Democratic Republic of the Congo ( Africa ) — were the first black republics to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in the 20th century.

Haiti & Miss Universe Pageant

Did you know… Haiti’s contestant, Gerthie David, who speaks French & English, came close to winning the Miss Universe pageant in San Salvador ( El Salvador, Central America ) in the mid-1970s. Surprisingly Gerthie — who was the country’s third representative — became the second black woman to qualify for the finals in MU. Apparently Haiti’s Gerthie David was supported by two international judges — Sarah Vaughan ( an American-born Grammy-winning singer ) and Jean-Claude Killy (a former Olympic champ and current Olympic leader ). According to a newspaper of San Salvador, Miss Haiti was one of the 11 favorites to win the global title. She had surprised and delighted many at this international beauty pageant. On the other hand, in 1977, for the first time, Haiti sent a non-black woman to compete in the MU in the Dominican Republic.

Culture

Did you know… Haiti participated at the 1967 Montreal World Exposition in Canada, along with 70 nations. Likewise, it sent a national delegation to the African Festival in Dakar ( Senegal ) in the 1960s.

When it comes to soccer the cleats play an important role for the players. The cleats are essential, but are ignored by many players. Having a perfect pair for the ground you play on can help you a lot and benefit you in numerous ways. There are certain circumstances in which using the wrong soccer cleats may prove dangerous. Selecting a pair which is comfortable to you is more important rather than buying the one your favorite player wears. There are various kinds of cleats that are available which are suitable for the right seasons and the right ground which you play on.

Rules

The soccer cleats were developed in the 19th century, which actually had studs on them. The first soccer cleats were worn by the king of England in the 16th century. The modern cleats have replaceable studs which makes them convenient to use. According to the rules that apply to the game internationally the players are not compelled to wear cleats. The players can choose to wear anything other than cleats on an artificial turf. The cleats are pretty important when they are to be worn on the grounds with natural grass.

Types

There are different types of cleats you need to know about when you are going to play on different ground conditions. The firm ground cleats (FG) are used on the grounds with dry and natural grass surfaces. As nowadays artificial turfs are used so the companies are producing the cleats which are artificial grass friendly. The soft ground cleats (SG) should be worn on the grounds where the studs penetrate the ground which will give you a good grip. The hard ground cleats (HG) are used on the hard surfaces. The AT- Turf shoes are the priority of the players playing on the artificial turf due to its conical studs. If you are playing soccer indoors then the IN-indoor cleats are perfect for you as they are hard as the rock.

Material

Players like to choose the materials of the cleats in which they are comfortable. The K-leather is a material which molds to the comfort of your foot and it is durable for a long time. The material of this type of leather is soft. There is an option for natural leather as well. The upper area of the cleats is made from leather or goat or calf skin. The synthetic leather cleats are widely in use nowadays with the improved quality of being waterproof. The mesh is used in the cleats which gives a lightweight body.

Categories

The cleats are provided with specific materials in the areas which are used to pass and control the ball are categorized as control cleats. The power cleats have some kind of technology in the zone, which is used to hit the ball. The speed is introduced to the cleat by keeping it lightweight. The heritage cleats contain materials which are used to keep them durable.

It is pretty obvious that sport keeps advancing at rapid levels; Access to better equipment, more training tools, strength and conditioning, gym time, summer leagues, spring leagues, elite leagues, camps, etc. This increase in access to resources, in my opinion, has caused more issues than benefits. Youth are now being specialized earlier into their sport and position. This has caused an increasing number of players to burn out and we are seeing increasing numbers of basketball players with overuse injuries.

According to Canada Basketball’s Long Term Athlete Development Model (LTAD), every motor development course I took through University, and the alarming amount of research: WE ARE SPECIALIZING OUR ATHLETES TOO EARLY! Our basketball youth need to develop and perfect ALL motor patterns, not just the ones specific to basketball. In my opinion, the best thing we can do for our youth is allow them to explore a variety of activities and sports (Cross Training). This variety allows them to work on different motor patterns (so we work on movement as a whole) but also allows our youth to become proficient in different settings.

The benefits of cross training include movement for life, reducing chance of injury, performance enhancement, and reducing athlete drop/burn out. We need to keep our basketball athletes healthy, engaged, and performing well on the court. That is why I felt the Steve Nash Training Day Commercial is so relevant to basketball and the importance of Cross Training. Steve Nash is one of the most gifted athletes in the NBA who LOVES what he does, is great at a variety of sports, and has fun doing it. I believe Steve Nash’s involvement in cross training, as a child and teenager, plays a significant role in his success and longevity as a basketball athlete.

It is our goal as strength professionals, coaches, volunteers, parents, and supporters to give our basketball athletes a healthy environment to enjoy! If your child likes basketball, they will drift towards basketball as they get older. Early specialization for our youth will reduce their performance, career longevity, and place them at risk of injury. Let’s encourage our youth to try soccer, lacrosse, baseball, track, etc.

At Prehab we understand the importance of developing movement patterns first. We understand the importance of perfecting movement. What we do today, may not be specific to basketball, but is part of the basketball athlete’s long term development. Cross Training just might be the performance enhancement tool you were looking for!

Are you a rugby fan? Then you probably know what Australia and New Zealand means to Rugby World Cup. What would it be like if both teams weren’t included in the world cup?

This is practically what HB Studios has done. What the company has done is take their previous version of Rugby 08 from the PlayStation 2 four years ago, and zapped it up with new graphics and changed a few minor items which no one will ever notice. They gave it a new name and released it onto the market at an unacceptable high price. Now who could be more devious than that? Seems like the latest NATO fiasco in Libya has taught them that the masses are easily duped.

If you like tri-nations, super 15, and other rugby games that are not in the world cup would you still be interested? Rugby World Cup 2011 contains none of these and only 5 modes. The world cup, single international tests, warm up tours, some international tests,, penalty shoot-outs, multi-player games, but only two people can participate. Half the teams don’t feature any of the current world class players, but faceless characters no one even knows. So in reality you getting half a world cup for full price. Of course, you can name the players through the games editor function, but with no faces to the characters, is that any fun?

The gameplay is equally pathetic. There are not enough options on the filed. You are severely limited in what you can do, leaving you frustrated and disappointed that you were caught yet again. If you played FIFA world cup you no doubt were dazzled by the fabulous gameplay that left soccer fans gaping in awe and admiration. Now why can’t rugby fans be treated similarly and get something worthwhile?

If you play the game in multi-player mode then it becomes a little more interesting. The controls respond adequately and the moves are easily picked up. If you love rugby then playing in this mode will give you hours of fun and enjoyment despite some of the flaws inherent in the game. You will be able to perform most major maneuvers like side-step, shoulder charges, etc, and most of your enthusiasm won’t be dampened after all. You can also choose to play online with players on the Internet, something which was lacking in the PlayStation 2 edition. The crowd seems a little pathetic. Lots more could have been done to improve the game, but once again, the developer put its own interests first, looking for a fast, easy cash cow and what better than to dupe the rugby world?

If you do get hold of the game and find it vastly disappointing, then don’t despair. Rugby Challenge is due for release soon and rumor has it that the game is awesome and features so much exciting choices you will forget Rugby World Cup 2011 as a bad dream.

Experience the glorious past and the vibrant present of FC Barcelona through pictures and news readily available online. Apart from the official club website, exciting and breathtaking FC Barcelona pictures are in abundance in several blogs, news sites, and websites dedicated to the club. Check out the latest FC Barcelona news in the top news sites in the world as well as in the official and other unofficial websites.

Futbol Club Barcelona, nicknamed Barça, is not as much as a football club as it is a Catalan institution. Founded in 1899, it is one of the best Spanish clubs with Real Madrid as its closest rival. At present, it home to other sports teams apart from the football club.

FC Barcelona is said to be the most popular football club in the whole of Europe. Some surveys show that it has a fan base of 44.2 million fans in the football-crazy continent alone. Hence, FC Barcelona news and Barça rumors are in great demand online. Fans are also racing to shoot photos of their beloved club during matches and sell them online. Online buyers are faced with several options.

Track Record

Barça is among the big three Spanish football club. Alongside Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, it has never been relegated or demoted from the La Liga, the premier league in Spain. All in all, the club has lifted 18 La Liga titles, a record of 24 Spanish Cups, two League Cups, and seven Spanish Super Cups.

In European leagues, FC Barcelona has won four UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups, two European Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, and three Inter-Cities Fairs Cups.

Camp Nou

The home stadium of Barça is Camp Nou, also referred to as “Nou Camp.” Constructed in 1957, it has witnessed hundreds of football matches against visiting clubs since 1857. Camp Nou is rated by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) as a five-star stadium. It can hold up to 98,772 people and is the biggest European football stadium.

Camp Nou is one of the preferred hosts of UEFA Champions League Finals. The club won their very first game at their new stadium in 1957. They thrashed Legia Warsaw of Germany, 4-2.It was built from 1954 to 1957 and was designed by a group of three architects. The stadium has also been the venue for several major music events.

There are plenty of FC Barcelona pictures with Camp Nou as the background available to fans. They come in colored and black-and-white. Sometimes, the pictures are able to capture the club in their most intense action. There is drama, joy, love, and passion in pictures. You could also easily find group and individual photos.

Latest News

In the most recent Barça news, the club bulldozed Malaga in a pre-weekend La Liga match. The resounding win catapulted the club to the topmost position in the league standings, six points ahead Real Madrid. They are slated to next face Valladolid but their recent triumph over Malaga is bound to boost their spirits prior to their anticipated UEFA Champions League quarterfinal fixture against Germany’s Bayern Munich. Browse online for photos and the latest news of the match.

Fantasy football is one of the most popular adult games on the internet. With the millions of people already involved in fantasy football, there are still many that do not know how to actually play fantasy football. It’s not difficult at all to play and it makes the sport a little more interesting.

First, you will need to choose a website that has fantasy football like; yahoo, CBS, ESPN, or NFL. These are the more popular websites, but there are plenty of more options, just type in “fantasy football” in your search engine. Once a website is selected and the free registration process has been fulfilled then your ready.

Next, you’ll have to choose a league, and there are literally millions of leagues available under two basic categories, either free or pay and whether the league is open to the public or a private league. Just starting out, a free and public league is recommended. Leagues are categorized under many different parameters such as geographical areas, interests, favorite teams, cultures, etc….. Before you choose a league, the details of the draft will be displayed. Make sure you are available on the day(s) and will have the necessary time available for the entire length of the draft. Once you have selected a league and have agreed to the draft date, you will be entered into the league and your own personal web page. You’ll be able to customize the page to your likeness and you’ll have access to everything you’ll need to be successful or at the very least, have some fun!

You’ll also have access to draft preparations, you can go to the actual draft room and you can also do mock drafts or practice drafts, so you can get a feel for how the draft works and learn the options available to you while waiting for your turn to pick. There are many useful options available during the draft and before the draft even starts. So, go in there and check out some things.

On the draft day, try to log in about 20 minutes before the draft starts. Fantasy football is based on real active NFL and NCAA players and how well or how bad they perform in their perspective games. So, you’ll want to focus on players that do well in their games. Players will be listed in rank order at the following positions; quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight-ends, kickers, and defenses/special teams. There will be a certain number of required positions to fill and a certain number of optional reserve players to obtain. All you have to do is click on the desired player when it’s your turn. If for any reason, you are unable to attend the draft or is late, then your team will be automatically picked for you until you log in. Once the draft is over, your initial team is set. If the draft didn’t quite turn out as planned, all is not lost. There is the option to trade players and free-agents (players that didn’t get drafted) are always available throughout the season!

The “hard” part is done and you now have a fantasy football team, congratulations, now what? You will have more players than you are allowed to play at a time, per week. So, with that in mind, all you have to do is make the weekly difficult decision of whether to start ‘em or sit ‘em, and that’s about it! Sit back and try to enjoy the games with the hopes that your players do well. Later, during the season, you may want to make some adjustments, depending on how good or bad your team is performing, by means of trading players and picking up free-agents.

You don’t have to commit to spend countless hours on the computer every single day to be successful at fantasy football, but you do have to commit to spend 5 to 10 minutes per week, and that’s just to change your line-up, if that’s even necessary.

I have been playing the game for several years now. I’ve won some and I’ve lost even more, but that doesn’t change the fact that I enjoy it each and every year!

Topless women’s soccer has a potential to become widely watched throughout the world. This new concept in the football game can draw a large size of audience. This is another exciting and strange update on how it is being played. From the street soccer games, this new idea of the game can evolve into a new sport’s phenomenon. This new approach in playing this game is indeed one of the most interesting to date.

This innovation can generate much excitement to people who watch the game right where it happens and even through television and internet. The excitement that every game provides is beyond compare, and if this new and fun way of playing soccer is injected to the game, the crowd will certainly go nuts while watching.

In topless women’s soccer, most of the spectators wear big smiles on their faces. Since most of the viewers are men, this can be a new treat for them. This type of game features women who are literally naked. They have to show skin or wear nothing on top of their bodies. These women play football in the out field with just a brush of body paint to cover their private parts. The body paints are often used to draw the dominant colors of the team they represent. Sports apparels are not applicable in this type of soccer game, so do not expect to see long socks, football shoes, shorts and jerseys. The only thing these women wear is a piece of thong panty which makes the audience scream like there’s no tomorrow.  

While it is undisputed that the origins of modern soccer, or football, originated in Britain, there is a great deal of evidence that points to this beloved game as having an older history.

Where did the game of soccer really begin, and how old is it? To understand how many different varieties of “soccer” there are, you need to understand a bit about the older versions of the game and how they have evolved.

Below, you will find a list of the predominant cultures that had a variety of soccer, and learn how each one differs from what we play today. And no, they never used anything like Lotto shinguards back then either!

  • Chinese Soccer History
  • Japanese Soccer History
  • Egyptian Soccer History
  • Greek/Roman Soccer History
  • British Soccer History

Chinese Soccer History

To many, this is the oldest version of soccer to exist. However, there is quite a lot of controversy of whether or not this is the oldest, or Japan’s version is the elder. The Chinese version of the game, originally named “Tsu Chu”, involved players on a field that had to hit a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole. Like Soccer, no hands were permitted during the play of the game, and it was considered an honor to be a member of a team.

The Emperor of the Han Dynasty, when the game was developed, was an avid player and fan, and spread the popularity of this game all over China during his reign. This roughly dates back to 300 B.C., although there is controversy on the subject of dating, which could result in the origins of the game being as far back as 5000 B.C. Regardless, this version of Soccer is extremely old. Despite that, there is still a version of Tsu Chu played today. While the two games are similar, Tsu Chu has had no effect on the modern version of the game, as it was originally developed and created for play in Great Britain.

Japanese Soccer History

Kemari, the Japanese version of “Soccer”, is perhaps one of the most different forms of the sport, in comparison to modern soccer. Kemari was a game of “Keep it up”, much like modern hacky sacks, although used with a larger ball that was stuffed with saw dust. This version involves a “pitch”, or the field, designated by the selection of four trees, the cherry, maple, pine and willow. Many great houses in Japan would grow trees to have a permanent pitch, or field, established.

Kemari was normally played with two to twelve players. Established in roughly 1004 B.C., it vies for position of the oldest game with China’s Tsu Chu. In fact, China’s Tsu Chu players and Japan’s Kemari players were the first to have an “International” game of their versions of Soccer, which is dated to have occurred in roughly 50 B.C., although a definite date of 611 A.D. is known. Regardless, this game stands with China as a sister sport to Soccer, while it never affected the modern version of the game.

Egyptian Soccer History

While not much is known about Egyptian Soccer, or other ball games, it is thought there was a version of a type of ball game played by young women during the age of Baqet III. On his tomb, images of this sport were depicted, although no one is certain how the game was played or whether or not it truly affected the outcome of modern soccer. Recordings of this game date as far back as 2500 B.C., although not much more is known asides the fact that it was played with a ball. The lack of information on the sport and how it was played has eliminated it from runnings as the first evidence of a game similar to soccer.

Greek/Roman Soccer History

Perhaps the closest relative to modern soccer are the games that were formed by the Greeks during the prime of their culture. They had numerous varieties of football style games, some of which required hands, some of which forbade hands. In the end, after the Roman conquering of Greece, the game Harpastum is what modern soccer would be based from. This game, probably a modified version of the Greek’s “Harpaston”, which translates roughly to handball. While grossly misnamed, this game is what is considered to be one of the precursors to modern soccer.

British Soccer History

In Britain during the 8th century, soccer was created, not as a recreational sport, but as a war game. One of the stories of the original roots of the sport comes from when a Danish Prince was beheaded, and his head was used as a ball and was kicked around. Ever since this ‘legendary’ tale, villages and other communities would play a game where they would have to kick a ball to a specific goal. It was a violent game, where injury and death were not uncommon, but it was popular nevertheless. In fact, it was so violent, that in 1331, King Edward the III passed laws to try to stop the playing of the game. It did not work, however, and the sport continued on.

There are even stories of soccer games that involved hundreds upon hundreds of players. In these games, there were many deaths, some resulting in the hundreds. It wasn’t until 1815 when Eton College set up a series of rules for the game that it became less violent and more of a true sport. At this time, other colleges and universities took up the banner and began to play under similar rules. Later, the rules were evaluated and judged, and the Cambridge rules were created as a result in 1848. In the Cambridge rules, shin-kicking, carrying the ball and tripping were all forbidden. Rugby rules allowed these aspects, and the two varieties of soccer, or football, split to form their own followings.

On October 26, 1863, London schools and sports club sent representatives to the Freemason’s Tavern, where the Football Association was formed. Rugby supporters left this association to form the Rugby Association. This is where the birth of modern soccer began. In 1969, the Football Association finalized the modern game of soccer by forbidding the use of hands in the game.

The term “Soccer” was coined when someone was asked if he was a Rugger, which is a Rugby player. The -er signified that the person participated in a a particular sport. The individual, Charles Wreford Brown, replied with “Soccer!”, taking the phrase from Association, SOC, and adding the -er. The term stuck. While British individuals still call the game Football, Americans and other countries call it Soccer, especially if they have heavy support in American Football present. Ever since the foundation of the Association, “Football” has risen in popularity, becoming one of the best love games in the history of Earth. Now, hundreds of thousands play the sport, although it lacks the initial violence present at its creation.

FC Barcelona has Europe’s biggest football/soccer stadiums. Built in the 1950s, Camp Nou, or the New Camp has earned the fans of Barcelona the nickname of “Les Cules” – literally meaning “the arses” as the opposing supporters could see the back of the bums on seats of the loyal Barça fans from outside the stadium. Match day is a fantastic day out, especially against bitter rivals Real Madrid, or local derby matches against RCD Espanyol – indeed such is the draw of the venue, that the last world tour of U2 was performed here, due to the enormous capacity – around 99,000 people, with plans already approved to increase the capacity to 106,000. So how do I get to see a match, I hear you cry?! Well relax; there are some foolproof techniques you can employ before resorting to those ticket websites.

First of all, you can try the official website. Tickets go on sale approximately 2 weeks before match day, and you can be lucky and find seats this way. Alternatively, if you’re already in town, you can make your way down to the ticket office at the stadium – with such a high capacity, it’s rare for games to sell out – unless we’re talking about the previous fixtures of Real Madrid or a semi final in the Champions League, of course! However, this information is readily available on the website or any affiliate program of Barcelona. What I’m going to reveal are the tricks.

Season ticket holders to FC Barcelona can only ever give their ticket back to the club, or maintain that ticket with the surname. So many older generation season ticket holders, simply hold on to their relatives’ season tickets and sell on these seats on match day. Let me explain. Say my father and his 4 brothers were all season ticket holders, but of those 5 siblings, only 1 had children (me). I would renew those season tickets each year, due to their privileged location within the stands, and simply turn up 30 minutes before kick off each home game and sell on those tickets for face price, with the guarantee of having better view than the box office tickets and probably paying off my own season tickets from the profits by the end of the season. This is perfectly legal within the eyes of the club and the governing bodies of football, as long as money doesn’t change hands. So those clever OAP’s you see hanging around the metro station are the ones with the best tickets! The security guards at the turnstiles know the score, but as long as they haven’t seen money changing hands, then its fine by them. This is the best way to get tickets for the match, as you are effectively escorted in by the seller (you will sit next to them), so no security risks with regards fake tickets. It does however, have its risks in that if anyone sees you pay for the ticket, then you run the risk of losing your money and the ticket.

Tickets for matches are released to the general public after the FC Barcelona Members can buy them. You pay an annual subscription to the club if you can’t get a season ticket (based on my previous paragraph, you won’t be surprised to hear that the waiting list for a season ticket extends back to the 1970`s) and then have first refusal for the tickets before the public. In this way, many “touts” will buy up their share of the ticket allocation, often meaning they take all of the second tier seats in the stadium or the second best seats, after the season ticket holders. They then have a mark up of around 5 Euros per ticket, which for the majority of tourists is a steal, considering the better seat you will be able to get for this first time experience.

My final tip is again, not one that is well publicised and although this means that you don’t have the choice of the better seat allocation, it’s an official way of going about getting a ticket. You may be surprised to hear that ATMs or cash machines of the bank “La Caixa” also sell FC Barcelona tickets. The Catalan bank sells concert tickets, opera entrances and theatre stalls, so it’s no surprise to be able to find seats for the football, either. The reason why I left this tip for last is that due to the previous methods, the Cash point tickets are usually always the last to be sold, meaning you will have the cheapest seats (therefore be higher up in the stadium) which is not to put you off, as any seat in the stadium is well worth the price, but just so that you know you have various options. This option, for example, is great for larger groups who all want to stay together, as it means tickets can be bought in bulk – this way guaranteeing adjacent seating arrangements.

My last tip is to wrap up warm if you happen to go to a winter fixture! Although the winters in Barcelona are fairly mild, the height of the stadium coupled with its geographic location means that often the wind chill factor is very high within the stadium.