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football

10 players who could be on the move before the Transfer Window closes

There is always a late surge in activity in the English Premier League transfer window and this summer will be no different.

Deals concluded over the coming days could have a major bearing on the season ahead, so it’s worth contemplating any potential moves before having any long-term Premier League bets via Paddy Power mobile or your chosen brand.

Joe Hart

Current club: Manchester City

Possible destination: Everton

After a disastrous showing for England at Euro 2016, Joe Hart found himself overlooked for Manchester City’s opening game of the Premier League campaign against Sunderland and their Champions League qualifier against Steaua Bucharest.

With Everton looking for a long-term successor to Tim Howard, a move to Goodison Park could suit all parties, particularly with Hart’s England place in jeopardy.

2016-08-18 15_39_06-Joe Hart Current club_ Manchester City - Google Search - Opera

Shkodran Mustafi

Current club: Valencia

Possible destination: Arsenal

A 4-3 home defeat to Liverpool highlighted just how short of defensive options Arsenal are at present and emphasised the need to address the issue before the close of the transfer window.

Despite some rumours that the deal is dead, the name at the top of the Gunners wish-list would still appear to be Shkodran Mustafi.

Shkodran Mustafi
Img: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shkodran_Mustafi.jpg

Jose Fonte

Current club: Southampton

Possible destination: Manchester United

Jose Fonte is looking for a last big contract and having been a key member of Portugal’s successful Euro 2016 campaign, he’s now in a position to secure such a deal.

A move to the Manchester United is a distinct possibility, given that Jorge Mendes is the agent of both Fonte and Jose Mourinho and has plenty of previous when it comes to doing deals with the Red Devils.

Jose Fonte
Img: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tom-Desktop-9761.jpg

Roberto Pereyra

Current club: Juventus

Possible destination: Watford

Argentinian attacking midfielder Roberto Pereyra was only a bit-part player for Juventus last season, so a move for the 25-year-old was always likely.

Watford will be well aware of Pereyra from his time at Udinese (the Pozzo family’s other club) and a fee of around £13 million should seal the deal, with the only issue being the terms of the contract.

 

RomeluLukaku

Current club: Everton

Possible destination: Chelsea

Signed by the Toffees from Chelsea for £28 million two years ago, it was widely believed that Everton had paid a premium for RomeluLukaku.  After a couple of prolific seasons on Merseyside and transfer fees spiralling ever higher, Everton are seeking well over double what they paid before they consider selling.

RomeluLukaku
Img: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Romelu_Lukaku_2014-05-03.jpg

KalidouKoulibaly

Current club: Napoli

Possible destination: Chelsea

With John Terry being in the twilight of his career and Kurt Zouma still recovering from injury, Chelsea look short in central defence.

Senegal’s KalidouKoulibaly was a regular for Napoli last term, so a transfer fee somewhere north of £40 million will be required to secure the services of the 25-year-old.

KalidouKoulibaly
Img: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalidou_Koulibaly

Christian Benteke

Current club: Liverpool

Possible destination: Crystal Palace

Christian Benteke’s move to Liverpool for £32.5 million from Aston Villa last summer simply hasn’t worked out and he is clearly surplus to requirements.

Crystal Palace remain front-runners for the Belgian, despite having had two bids rejected.  A third offer will surely be forthcoming.

Christian Benteke
Img: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christian_Benteke,_Aston_Villa_striker_(10679803106).jpg

Alexandre Lacazette

Current club: Lyon

Possible destination: Arsenal

A £30 million bid has already been rejected by Lyon for Alexandre Lacazette and a hat-trick on the opening day of the Ligue 1 season will only have increased their valuation of him.

Lacazette seems keen on a move though and with Arsenal in need of more firepower, this is a deal that could still be concluded before the end of the month.

Alexandre Lacazette
Img: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lacazette_(3).JPG

Nemanja Nikolic

Current club: Legia Warsaw

Possible destination: Hull City

Rarely has a Premier League club been more in need of new recruits than Hull City, with at least half-a-dozen new players needed by the end of the month.

One player who would fit the bill is Legia Warsaw’s Nemanja Nikolic.  The Hungarian striker was top-goalscorer in the Polish Ekstraklasa last season with 28 goals.  At a reported £3 million, he would be a low-cost addition.

Nemanja Nikolic
Img: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nemanja_Nikolić_(born_1988).jpg

Marcelo Brozovic

Current club: Inter Milan

Possible destination: Stoke City

Midfielder Marcelo Brozovic seems certain to leave Inter Milan by the end of the current transfer window, with Stoke City leading the hunt for the Croatian’s signature.

Inter are looking to cash-in on Brozovic, but refuse to sell to Serie A rivals Juventus, meaning a switch to the Premier League looks a distinct possibility.

Marcelo Brozovic
Img: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brazil_and_Croatia_match_at_the_FIFA_World_Cup_2014-06-12_(36).jpg
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club football football history Top 10

Top 10 Real Madrid Legends | Greatest Real Madrid Players

The remarkable history of football has its own some part at the great Santiago Bernabeu stadium. There seems to be some kind of enchanted path that leads here and entice the world’s greatest footballers eventually to become one of the Real Madrid Legends. Being one of the most successful football clubs in the world and as a richest franchise Real Madrid have never been short of possessing the starring lights of the sport.

Founded in 1902 by some college pals, the institution is a little more than 100 years has grown into a thriving sporting brand. The world has witnessed some amazing talents over the years, combining to make them one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the history of the sport.

There are different thoughts while selecting greatest Real Madrid players. Some believes, only one of the current team’s players are able to take a place alongside the greats of the club. Yeas of course, Its Cristiano Ronaldo, who have already smashed a number of records, and you all know that the most expensive player in the game is still charting out his course among the stars. He will definitely be changed time to time for reaching the twilight of his career.

There may be confusion for selecting at least two or three Real Madrid Legends to complete the list according to your own choice, but I can assure that there should certainly be no malice in the celebration of some of the best players ever to play the game.

10 Real Madrid Legends:

Here we are trying to build a short list of top 10 Real Madrid legends or you can say ‘Greatest Real Madrid players’ for your reading pleasure. I believe, now is a good time as any to rank Los Blancos’s greatest players of all time. But we are carefully avoiding the term ‘rank’ as we hesitate to do so for such great and legendary players of time. Better we maintain the serial as to the timeline of their entrance at the club.

Let’s take a look at the best of the Real Madrid players to have donned the famous White shirt.

#Santiago Bernabéu de Yeste (1911 – 1928)

Top 10 Real Madrid Legends | Greatest Real Madrid Players, Santiago Bernabéu
Santiago Bernabéu | image credit – Wikimedia/Nationaal Archief, Den Haag

Position: Foward
Matches played: 79 official matches
Goals: 68

The name Santiago Bernabeu can never be replaced to be considered as the greatest to be associated with Real Madrid. Definitely its difficult to understand how much he achieved as a player, surely following his playing days are remembered today with Real Madrid as the superpower of world football. The club owe their status and triumphs to this legendary one man. He will forever be emblazoned across the battlefields of modern and future Real Madrid greats.

Santiago Bernabéu also had a long and much less well known period as a Real Madrid player before transforming as the president of the club. Mainly he played as a midfielder/ forward and showed great quality. His physical strength, his goal scoring ability and his total commitment to the team were what characterized him as one of the Real Madrid legends.

Santiago Bernabéu spent 16 seasons as a Madrid player, although he is most famous as an extremely successful president of the club, he won many honors including nine Regional Championships and one Spanish Cup. In 80 official matches for the Whites, he scored the hugely impressive figure of 70 goals. But most interestingly, at the time of his trial for Madrid, he was almost selected as the goalkeeper. But his brother Marcelo knew him well and told –

“You either play as center forward or you don’t play”

#Alfredo Di Stéfano Laulhé (1953-1964)

Alfredo Di Stéfano, Real Madrid players
Alfredo Di Stéfano | image credit – Wikimedia/Puertomenesteo

Position: Forward
Matches played: 396 official matches
Goals: 308

For some, the greatest player in Real Madrid is Alfredo Di Stéfano. But surely he is the player most responsible for establishing Los Blancos’s connection with the Champions League. You should always need to consider his tendency to score in big games aside from his obvious goal scoring ability. He used to score at least one or more goals in every single European Cup Final. Probably his versatile nature is the most unnoticed feature in history. He was capable of playing in attack, midfield, and defense and could adjust to whatever his team needed him to be and was the man that made his side tick.

Di Stéfano ended his illustrious career with 2 Ballon d’ors, 5 European Cups, and 8 La Liga titles. Many believe, there will never again be a player like this man and he deserves to be known as one of the Real Madrid Legends of all time. He blessed the club with such unrepeatable feat of winning five consecutive European Cups which amazed the international football world.

Again he is the only player in the world to own a Super Ballon D’Or. In 1989 he received the trophy, which is surely to be found in the Real Madrid Museum.

The only word in Di Stéfano’s dictionary was ‘win’. His total career at Real Madrid was full of success. Eighteen trophies in eleven seasons and 308 official goals made him a symbol of the club and the idol of the Madridista worldwide. Real Madrid absolutely dominated Spanish and European football at the time. Alfredo Di Stefano certainly falls into that category. You can’t imagine the makeup of Real Madrid without some mention of the Argentine, there is enough written in the history books of the game that tells you why Alfredo Di Stefano is considered one of the best.

#Francisco Gento López (1953-1971)

Francisco Gento, greatest players of Real Madrid
Francisco Gento | image credit – Wikimedia/NL-HaNA, ANEFO

Position: Left winger
Matches played: 601 official matches
Goals: 182

If you have any question, why Gento is on this list of top 10 Greatest Real Madrid players of all time, we can offer you only two words and that is “6 European Cups”. But if you want to know more about his brilliance at the game, it will definitely take a whole book to describe.

Francisco Gento is arguably the best left-wingers of all time. Quite surprisingly, he had the pace to rival the modern day Ronaldos and Bales. His dribbling ability was quite to put Messi to shame, but most of all, the crossing accuracy that would make David Beckham’s jaw drop. He used to play alongside the likes of Di Stéfano, Raymond Kopa, and Ferenc Puskas to make Real Madrid the greatest team in the 20th century football history.

Gento probably got trophies more than any other legends in this list. He started his playing for several teams in his native Cantabria. And his brilliant performances there soon led to his transfer to Real Madrid in 1953, surely to be acknowledged as another most important signings in the history of the Whites. For many years he was also the most capped Spanish player.

Also Read: Top 10 most successful champions league teams

                 Top 10 fastest soccer players

#Ferenc Puskas Biro (1958-1967)

Ferenc Puskas, Real Madrid greatest footballers
Ferenc Puskas | image credit – Wikimedia/Rossem, Wim van

Position: Forward
Games played: 262
Goals scored: 242

This time the story is different while signing. As an old (already 31 years) and overweight man from Honved Budapest, Real Madrid fans did not expect great things from Ferenc Puskas Biro. But eventually they were all proven wrong. Not only did he amass one of the greatest goal to game ratios in footballing history, but he also led Madrid to 5 La Ligas and 3 European Cups.

Puskas had an extraordinary eye for goal and ability on the ball has made him a Real Madrid legend for anyone who knows an ounce of the clubs glorious history. Now a days we often get surprised that he remains strangely an unknown to anyone not a fan of The Whites. From my understanding, he deserves to be talked about in the same breath as Pele and Maradona.

Puskas dazzled Whites’ fans with his gentlemanliness, charm, friendliness and brilliant performances on the field. As a forward he broke all the goal-scoring records, earning himself the nickname of ‘Pancho’ or ‘Cañoncito pum’. Undoubtedly he is one of the greatest strikers in history, probably the best left foot ever to be seen at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. With his signing Madrid completed the legendary group already formed by Alfredo Di Stéfano, Kopa, Rial, Santamaría, Gento and Domínguez. He became the protagonist in the unstoppable Real team of the 1950s and 60s, striking up a fearsome partnership with Di Stefano.

#Hugo Sánchez (1985-1992)

Hugo Sánchez, best soccer players in Real Madrid
Hugo Sánchez | image credit – Wikipedia/Óscar Gutiérrez Aviña

Position: Forward
Matches played: 282 official matches
Goals: 208

Hugo Sánchez flies into this of Real Madrid legend players with an eye-popping goal scoring record of all time. The Mexican possessed an incredibly keen sense of where the back of the net was. He managed to pick up 3of his Pichichi trophies with the Spanish giant club.

Hugo Sánchez was actually better known as a flair player. According to some well-established references, he is probably one of the greatest proponents of the bicycle kick in the history of the very sport. When Hugo Sánchez scored a bicycle kick against Logrones, the then Madrid coach Leo Beenhakker had to say –

“When a player scores a goal like that, play should be suspended and a glass of champagne offered to the 80,000 fans that witnessed it.”

Again, Hugo Sánchez’s finishing was incomparable and he scored goals throughout his career. The statistics will always show him as one of the best forwards in the history of Real Madrid. Some say the perfect striker for the team led by the ‘Quinta del Buitre’.

Obviously Hugo was an integral part of one of the golden periods in the club’s history and is still fondly remembered by the fans for his acrobatic shots. He was named the best footballer of the 20th century in North and Central America by the IFFHS, and earned 75 caps for Mexico. No doubt, just like at Real Madrid, Hugo Sánchez is a legend in his homeland.

#Raúl González Blanco (1992 – 2010)

Raúl González, Real Madrid footballers of all time
Raúl González | image credit – Wikimedia/Jan S0L0

Position: Forward
Games played: 741
Goals scored: 323

Here we have one of the most lethal strikers of all time, not only for Real Madrid but also in respect of the total football world. Raúl only achieved greatness in Real Madrid. He went on to win 6 La Liga titles and an incredible 3 Champions Cups, all the while being the captain and top goal scorer. Raúl also possessed an underrated amount of flair and work ethic. May be he didn’t have that much of technical abilities as others on this list, but surely deserves his place in the pantheon of Real Madrid legends for his unbelievable eye for goal.

Day by day, Raul Gonzalez became the Real Madrid symbol. He also became an example for everyone, putting in the maximum effort in every game, irrespective of the opponent. Undoubtedly an excellent role-model for anyone who has ever dreamt of being a football player.

Ever since he was a child, Raul showed a passion for football, and he excelled, a champion in the making. Acclaimed in Spain, he conquered Europe. Gonzalez is the man who was the face of Real Madrid for much of the last decade and an integral figure for the club even when Florentino Perez looked to introduce the galaxy of stars at the start of the 2000s. Raul rightfully sits alongside the other greats of legendary status, but he is undoubtedly the king of kings for Real Madrid in the 21st century.

#Roberto Carlos da Silva (1996 – 2007)

Roberto Carlos, Real Madrid players
Roberto Carlos | image credit – youtube/CRAZY SKILLS

Position: Left back
Games played: 527
Goals scored: 68

Roberto Carlos, the Brazilian, so dearly he holds the club to his heart, the left-back was quoted as saying late in his career that he would return to the Bernabeu to play for free. History of football will surely remark him as the most attack-minded defender in the world when in his pomp. But most of all, Carlos was capable of the odd spectacular goal against Tenerife in February 1998. He was the fine defender, able to use his pace to get him out of difficult situations.

Many believes, his left foot was essential in Real Madrid’s conquest of more than ten titles. Carlos will always be remembered for his friendly nature, regularity, prodigious speed and tremendous power.

The integration of Roberto Carlos within the team in 1996 was very successful. He played 11 seasons with the Whites, winning many major trophies, in particular three European Cup titles. And still he holds the Whites all-time record for most number of games by a foreigner at Santiago Bernabeu.

Also Read: Top 10 famous football tournaments in the world

                 Top 10 best penalty takers in the world

                 Top 10 best active free-kick takers in football

#Iker Casillas Fernández (1999-2015)

Iker Casillas, greatest players of Real Madrid
Iker Casillas | image credit – youtube/greatest players of Real Madrid

Position: Goalkeeper
Games played: 725 official matches

May be you have already seen, Real Madrid’s official website calls him “the best goalkeeper in our history”, and definitely it’s hard to disagree with them. Casillas had the lightning reflexes and a one-on-one ability second to none along with humility, composure, and leadership qualities that have made him Madrid’s best ever captain. Yes it has been a long time for him to stay at Bernabeu. The number of trophies he has lifted is too large to count and needs no re-telling. I think every Madrid fan has a special place in their heart for The Saint.

Casillas arrived at the club aged 9 and wore the Whites shirt for 25 years. Day by day he became one of the benchmarks in the club’s history, winning the respect, affection and admiration of Madrid supporters along with all the football lovers all over the world. In addition to those triumphs he also won 1 World Cup and 2 European Championships with the Spain first team.

Hopefully, Madrid fans will never forget the images of the captain lifting those trophies. He was included in the FIFA FIFPro World XI on 5 occasions and was also named best goalkeeper in the world 5 times by the IFFHS. His impressive sporting career has been recognized with the Prince of Asturias Award for Sports, the Royal Order of Sports Merit and the Community of Real Madrid’s Gold Medal.

Taking over the captaincy following the departure of Raul, Casillas has followed on the same path as his predecessor and become an outstanding representative and one of the Real Madrid legends forever. He is to be considered as one of the great players of modern football.

#Zinedine Zidane (2001-2006)

Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid greatest footballers
Zinedine Zidane | image credit – youtube/sports HD

Position: Midfielder
Games played: 227
Goals scored: 49

Genius. Magician. Mercurial. These are just some of the words one thinks of when hearing the name Zinedine Zidane. Some even want to say, putting Zidane in the same sentence as those words is a compliment to those adjectives! Yes! Exactly such brilliance is not an exaggeration, and he is easily one of world football’s most technically gifted players of all time. Zidane is undoubtedly an absolute delight to watch. His artistry on the pitch was not just for mere show however, as he scored a brilliant volleyed goal against Bayer Leverkusen to win Real Madrid “La Novena”.

In fact, Zidane is the only player in this list of Real Madrid legends to get back to the club as manager. As currently he is flying high with the Los Blancos for another triumph to come in time. Zinedine Zidane has marked an era in world football with his elegance and technical skills. The French midfielder won everything that could possibly be won, both with his clubs as well as with the French national team.

Zidane guided ‘Les bleus’ to victories in the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship. These triumphs confirmed his status as the world’s best player and awoke an interest in Real Madrid. Florentino Perez, completed his signing –

“I wanted to win the European Cup and I wanted to win it with Real Madrid”,

-he declared during his official presentation as a Madrid player.

Believe me there occurred no mistake, one year later he won the European Cup title, the only trophy he was missing, scoring the decisive goal against Bayer Leverkusen. On some level, you’ve got to admire a club who can cast such a spell over the footballing greats of time. Zidane’s ability on the pitch was nothing short of art, and definitely not that strange kind of art that highlights everything that was wonderful about the beautiful game.

#Cristiano Ronaldo (2009-Present)

Cristiano Ronaldo, best soccer players in Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo | image credit – youtube/Soccer LeGends

Position: Wide Forward

I know, many of toy may conflict here with me, not for the ability but for some previously said arguments about legend football players of any individual institution. As a current player of Real Madrid some of you may disagree with me to put the name Cristiano Ronaldo in the Real Madrid legends list. But truly speaking, Cristiano Ronaldo is nothing short of a legend to conquer his position among the greatest Real Madrid players of all time.

His sheer desire to win, incredible individual ability, and unparalleled goal scoring record can answer for him. Signed for a then world record 80 million pounds from Manchester United, few could have guessed the monumental impact that he would have. With absolutely no stability in teammates and managers, Ronaldo went on to put up the most ridiculously consistent numbers in Los Blancos’s history-whilst simultaneously winning titles and keeping us competitive with Barcelona.

It is obviously not an overstatement to say that Ronaldo has made Los Blancos relevant again. Some have already taken him as the greatest ever player of Real Madrid. Definitely Cristiano Ronaldo is that kind of player, who is destined to make history. Since he arrived at the Bernabéu from Manchester United, his goal scoring figures have just kept on improving to the delight of Madrid fans. Again he wants to further improve the already illustrious lists of honors won by the greatest club of the 20th Century.

Also Read: Top 10 highest earning footballers in history

                 Top unknown facts on Cristiano Ronaldo

Categories
Top 10

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in The World 2018

In searching the most popular sports in the world we can go through one of the few common ways of mapping. In other words we can name or define our search as most watched sport in the world. In such case, we can try to measure the amount of fans around the globe for each type of sport.

There is also another famous option like considering the most popular sports in the world by participation. In this case we will have much more difficulties. As we have to determine, how many people are playing each sport? Again we have to sharply consider the average amount per country.

Here we are accumulating the analysis that reflects about sports over media, off which people are mostly interested in. Mostly we depend on specific data from around the world in 2018. Regional popularity is considered for greater insights, where the fan base is located around the world.

Most popular sports in the World wiki:

It is better here to proclaim that this list can be changed according to some related parameters. Again we are asking for your favour to believe the mere estimations.

10. American Football

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World, football, american obsession, NFL
American Football ; image credit pixabay.com

Approximated number of fans: 400 million

Regional popularity: Europe, Africa, Asia, America, Australia

In other words this game is commonly referred as the national obsession of millions of Americans. Most probably these millions have propelled the sport into the most popular sports in the US. Its impact is negligible outside of North America.

Analysing many estimations from various sources, we conclude of around 400 million fans around the globe for this particular sport. But the surprise is, nearly half of the total are counted from the United States and Canada.

It is believed that American football was actually evolved from Rugby in the late 19th century. Mainly, the sport was seen as a club or collegiate sport. Then, in the year of 1920, everything had just changed after the establishment of NFL.

Generally there are two variants of this game. One is the Canadian Football or the Canadian version. And the other one is well known as the Arena League Football. Mostly players are seen to move between these leagues at times.

Some historic teams: the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steele-rs, San Francisco 49ers

Previously said, most of the teams are from North America. But NFL is arranged every year in England and other countries of Europe via NFL Europe. Recently more and more Australian and African people are getting interested about the game. And still very fewer from the Asia.

The sport is played by two teams of eleven players. The rectangular field is 120 yards long and 53.3 yards wide with goalposts at each end. Surprisingly an oval ball, which is carried on hand is known as the football. And the offense attempts to advance with the ball down the field. There are option of either running with the football or passing it through the posts. The offense must advance it at least ten yards in four downs to receive a new set of four downs. If they fail to continue, they have to turn over the ball to the opposing team.

9. Basketball

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World, MVP, basketball, most watched, most famous
Basketball ; image credit pixabay.com

Approximated number of fans: 400 million

Regional popularity: America

Basketball developed in America in the late 19th century. Mostly Americans dominated the first century of the sport. Unfortunately the game has slowly spread throughout the world. But still, other countries like Argentina, Lithuania and Australia have developed great talent. They all have become competitive now a days.

Urbanisation of the whole globe has strongly affected its growth everywhere. Probably basketball is one of very few sports that can be played in minimal space. And urban environment is always lacking a little more space. With 400+ million spectators around the globe Basketball is now at 9th in the list of top 10 most popular sports in the world 2018.

Winning MVP title is considered the most precious in the sport Basketball. Top talents from countries like France (Tony Parker), Germany (Dirk Nowitzki), Canada (Steve Nash) and Spain (Pau and Marc Gasol) are building their career in America. While those who are unable to make it into the American National Basketball Association (may be on the down slope of their career) are attracted to the other international leagues.

Some people claim, Basketball as the 3rd most popular sport in the world with 2-3 billion fans from US, China, Canada and Philippine. But please keep that for later proclamation. Now on, I believe we can go through our present conclusion.

Basketball is played on a rectangular court. There are two teams, each consisting of only five players. Both the team’s objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop. The hoop is 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter and 10 feet (3.0 m) high, mounted to a backboard at each end. During regular play, a team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the basket. Field goal scores two games only for the shooting team. But if the player is outside the three point line and successfully shoots through the hoop, then it is three point counted. And at the end of the game, the team with the most of the points wins.

8. Golf

 Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World, popular games, sport, popular sports, most watched, golf

Golf ; image credit pixabay.com

Approximated number of fans: 450 million

Regional popularity: Europe, Asia, America, Canada

It is believed that golf started at the age of 13th century. But it wasn’t solidified as sport then. In Scotland, the sport was promptly banned by King James 2nd before the early 1400’s. People often say, this sport is possibly the only one where its home of origin is still used as a playing ground, the Old Course at St. Andrews has been used for the last 500 years for golfing.

The nature of competition in this game is very much indirect. May be that is another crucial issue for its potential amount of fans. Unlike all the other sports in the list, opponents are never face to face in contest with each other, which creates a lack of conflict or perceived competitiveness among them. In this very sporting arena American players are mostly dominant.

Some famous American golfers: Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer

Now a days, a number of Asian countries have begun to catch up.

With more than 450 million fans from Europe, Asia, America and Canada, we can easily keep Golf in our most popular sports in the world wiki list.

Golf is a precision club and ball sport. Competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course. They always have to try for the fewest number of strokes. In the rules of Golf, the sport is defined as

“playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules”.

7. Baseball

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World, baseball, most watched sport, most popular game
Baseball ; image credit en.wikipedia.org

Approximated number of fans: 500 million

Regional popularity: America, Japan

Baseball was basically developed from the game of rounder’s in England. This particular sport has one of the longest-standing codes of play. But you can also notice that the major rules have not changed since 1901. In the year of 1876, the National League (the first formal league) was founded. At that time it was consisted of American teams only.

The game is a direct competition of single players, commonly termed as the batter and pitcher. But this another team game. That’s this game can be considered as a very unique one. Recent times, the sport has developed fans across the world. It has become the leading spectator sport in Japan. Some of the Central and South American countries celebrate this popular sport as their national sport.

All of these countries frequently provide talent to the Major League Baseball. Now a days, Cuba is respected as a world power in this game. They have already won numerous Olympic Gold. On the other hands, the Japanese have won two out of three World baseball Classics.

Most successful and popular in America: the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals

There are around 500 million fans in US, Cuba, Japan and Dominican Republic. Baseball is now at 7th in the list of top 10 most popular sports in the world 2018.

Baseball is another game played between two teams of nine players. One of the teams are selected for batting and the other for fielding. Both the teams attempt to score more runs than its opponents. The batsman has to hit the ball thrown by the pitcher with a bat. After hitting, he again needs to move counter-clockwise around a series of four bases, named as first, second, third and home plate. When the runner advances around the bases and returns to home plate, a run is scored.

6. Table Tennis

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World, most popular sport, watched, table tennis, sport ranking
Table Tennis ; image credit www.flickr.com

 

Approximated number of fans: 850 million

Regional popularity: Europe, Africa, Asia, America

Table Tennis is that sport which is hugely popular in China. And gradually it is gaining acceptance in Europe. The sport is around not more than a century. But it was quickly adopted in mainland Asia.

Like soccer, part of the attraction of the sport is the ease of play and inexpensive equipment. The Chinese have been dominating the international play. Especially for the women. No non-Chinese woman or women team has ever gotten a gold in any international competition since 1992.

Now a time, Table Tennis have almost 850 million fans all-round the globe. Mostly from Asia, specifically China. These huge 850 million fans reassures its minimum 6th position in our most played sports around the world list.

The sport Table Tennis is often called ping pong. The game is played between two or four players. A lightweight ball is hit back and forth using table tennis rackets. Makeshift nets are usually set up on a plank of wood. The simple wooden panel hard table is divided by the net. Except for the initial serve, players have to return the ball before the second bounce towards them, on their side of the table. Again he have to ensure the ball bounces on the opposite side.

5. Volleyball

Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World, most watched sport, popular, volleyball
Volleyball ; image credit www.flickr.com

Approximated number of fans: 900 million

Regional popularity: Europe, Australia, Asia, America

Volleyball is one of the simplest sport, which is played almost all over the world. All you need to play the game is a ball and a net. You can play it anywhere, grass, cement or sand. The surface is very much negotiable. So, it is well predictable that the simplicity of this sport is mostly responsible for its global popularity. Especially you can feel lucky when you don’t need to worry about the surface selection.

Volleyball was first introduced into the Olympic Games in 1964. One variant of this sport, beach Volleyball was introduced in 1996. One interesting thing about this game is, there is no dominating country for long range of time. Traditionally, Volleyball has been evenly matched over the years. Numerous countries have won medals.

But the beach Volleyball is something, which is more popular in America and Brazil. So, naturally these two countries dominate the particular sporting arena. Recant time, these two have won probably 20 of possible 30 medals together.

Accumulating all the fans around the world, especially from Asia, Europe, Australia and America we can estimate 900 million for the sport.

Volleyball is a team sport. Two teams of six players are separated by the net. Grounding the ball on the other team’s court is point. Each team tries to score under some organised rules. The game has been a part of the official program of Summer Olympic Games, started from 1964.

4. Tennis

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Tennis ; image credit www.flickr.com

Approximated number of fans: 1 billion

Regional popularity: Europe, Asia, America

Tennis is considered as one of the top ranked sport now a days. The game features solo competition. Historians claim that the sport was originated before the 14th century. King Louis X of France built an indoor Tennis court for himself. Probably it was at the age of early 1400’s.

But the modern rules were introduced into the game at the middle of the 19th century. The game has never been truly dominated by a single person or country. We can easily figure out this by accounting the Number One Ranked player over the last ten years.

Across the Men’s and Women’s tours, 14 different players from 8 different countries have been representing the title. May be this is another cause of it’s being that much popular everywhere.

Famous Tennis Stars:
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova

With around one billion fans Tennis, because of the spectators from Asia, Europe and America, Tennis is considered one of the most watched sport in the world.

Usually people play Tennis against a single opponent (singles). Sometimes it is played between two teams of two players each (doubles). A racket strung with cord is used to strike the hollow rubber ball. The ball is usually covered with felt. The opponents are separated by a net. The objective of the game is to play the ball into the opponent’s court in such a way that he/she is unable to return good.

3. Field Hockey

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Field Hockey ; image credit www.flickr.com

Approximated number of fans: 2 billion

Regional popularity: Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia

The sport was developed both in Europe and Asia at the age of 3rd century B.C. in the 19th century England, modern rules were introduced into the game. The rules quickly spread out inside the English colonies.

In the mid-20th century, India and Pakistan dominated the sport. But the later part of the decade, Netherlands and Australia were seen to take over as the major force. Field Hockey is often seen as a female dominating sport in North America. Across the other portion of the globe it’s still considered as male-dominated.

Currently Field Hockey is the 3rd most popular sport on earth. According to 2015 statistics, around 2.2 billion fans from Europe, Asia and Africa prove the fabulous popularity of this sport.

Some people often call this sport a family game. Two teams play against each other by trying to manoeuvre a ball into the opponent’s goal. The ball is actually a puck and it is driven by the hockey stick. Typically the Field Hockey or the Ice Hockey is referred to simply as Hockey in many areas.

2. Cricket

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Cricket ; image credit www.flickr.com

Approximated number of fans: 2.5 billion

Regional popularity: Asia, Australia, UK, Africa

Thanks to the British Empire, cricket has spread across the globe. References from various sources indicate that it may have been played as far back as the 16th century. But it took a one more century to be fully completed and being codified. It was near around 1700’s.

Cricket is actually popular across through the ex-British colonies. We can name them particularly.

India and neighboring countries, Southern Africa, West Indies, the British Isles and the countries of Australasia.

The game is played with large teams and long range of time, sometimes up to 5 days in length. Previously and mostly matches are usually played by county or national teams. Though there have been some famous clubs across England, India and Australia.

In case of Cricket you can’t determine age old favorites. There is definite ups and downs in this sporting arena. Currently England Australia, India and South Africa can be considered as the top favorites.

The 2.5 billion Cricket fans are spread throughout the globe, mostly in Asia, UK, Australia and Africa.

Obviously Cricket is a bat and ball game played between two teams, each consisting of 11 players. A 22-yard rectangular long pitch is taken inside a particular diameter round field. Both the teams take it in turns to bat. The batting team attempts to score runs, while the fielding team tries to defend them within as less runs as possible. Each turn is known as an innings.

Three different formats are played in Cricket.

Test Cricket (5 days), ODIs (1day), and T20 (around 4hrs).

It is believed, after introducing the T20 format, Cricket has gained a lot more popularity across the world as it takes less time with complete entertainment.

1. Soccer

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Soccer ; image credit www.flickr.com

Approximated number of fans: 3.5 billion

Regional popularity: Europe, Africa, Asia, America

Finally we have tracked down the most popular sport in the world and no surprise it is Soccer. The simplicity combined with the ease of play makes this the most popular game. Another thing to reconsider that this is undoubtedly the most watched and also the most played sport in the world.

Somewhere this sport is known as the Football and somewhere particularly in America it is Soccer. But as we have already stated the Game American Football above, we are using here the term Soccer.

At the prehistoric ages there was a different version of the sport. Just kicking of a ball towards a target. But at the mid-19th century a proper code of rules and regulations was developed in the British Emperor.

The popularity of the game has created an incredibly rabid fan base. Almost every towns are growing their own clubs to call their own pledge allegiance. There is no particular powerful club or International teams. But according to some greater achievements we can declare some as top favorites.

Top favorite International Teams: Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy

Top favorite Club Teams: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, AC Milan etc.

Is soccer the most popular sport in the world? The answer is easily predictable.

Soccer has almost 3.5 billion spectators or fans around the globe. These huge amount of fans are spread out in almost all the countries of Africa, Asia, America and of Course Europe. There is an association of Soccer which is commonly known as FIFA.

Soccer is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. So many statistics claim that over 250 million players from 200 countries play this game. That’s why this is the most popular sport in the world 2018.

In case of Soccer the field is rectangular with a goal post at each end. The objective of the game is to score goal at opponent’s post. Player can use any part of the body except the arms and hands. The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms. But he would also have to be cautious about the penalty area, commonly known as the D box.

Most Famous Sports in the World (Most Watched):

The concept of sports took birth at the ages back around 2000 BC. At that time, probably gymnastics was one of the most popular sports in the world as well as one of the first of its kind. Sports were simple games of endurance and skill in those days. In such prehistoric ages, sports were like some competition for the entertainment of the crowd.

Sometimes games played the role of training grounds too. And we all know, most of these sports had ritualistic meaning to their cultures, some were incredibly violent and deadly. The early Mesoamerican ballgame was one of these kinds.

And now at this very article we will attempt to conclude regarding the most viewed sports around the globe as the most popular sports in the world. We will simply try to determine the number of fans, most definitely which is estimated through participation and media coverage from each corner of this sporting earth. I confess, we are unwillingly relying on the existing data sets to arrive at the most accurate conclusion. But we can still hope that we are getting the result pretty good.

This list is developed after well enough web research, also from some authentic related sites. Almost all of these authors have acknowledged that they have taken into account the population of countries. And mostly depended on general surveys or discussions on the internet world.

List of top 10 most popular sports in the world:

rank Sport Estimated Fans Regional Popularity
1 Soccer / Association Football 3.5 Billion Europe, Africa, Asia, America.
2 Cricket 2.5 Billion Asia, Australia, UK.
3 Field Hockey 2 Billion Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia.
 4 Tennis 1 Billion Europe, Asia, America.
 5 Volleyball 900 Million Europe, Australia, Asia, America.
 6 Table Tennis 850 Million Europe, Africa, Asia, America.
 7 Baseball 500 Million America, Japan.
 8 Golf 450 Million Europe, Asia, America, Canada.
 9 Basketball 400 Million
 10 American Football 400 Million Europe, Africa, Asia, America, Australia.

In terms of fans, Soccer is clearly the most popular sport in the world. We can easily get the idea every four years, when it’s time for FIFA World Cup. Authentic information about the 2006 World Cup Germany, claims that over 30 billion people at that time watched that tournament. definitely this stat has been far changed now a days. Yes off course, I know the count is surprisingly more than the world’s total population. But the technique is presenting the figure as an accumulated audience, which means people are counted each time they watch more than one game.

Most popular sport undoubtedly differs from country to country. Like, there are so many more other sports popular most in so many more other countries, not football. We can also find out that statistics too, for specific sports for specific country. But that’s another deal..

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Top 10 French footballers of all time

Wearing the traditional colours of blue, white and red, the colours of French national flag, they are colloquially known as Les Bleus (the Blues). France national team played their first official match in 1904. Since then the national team won one FIFA World cup title, two UEFA European Football Championships, one Olympic tournament and two FIFA Confederation Cups. Currently they are holding 19th position in FIFA ranking. There are so many prominent French footballers holding their glory alongside with The French national team. Today we are here to present top 10 French footballers of all time.

The list of top 10 French footballers of all time:

10. Franck Ribery (2006-present, 16 goals in 80 caps)

Some may suggest that Ribery is overrated, but the nominee of last year FIFA Ballon D’or won virtually every honour at club level. Currently he has become a key figure of Bayern Munich Club. With Bayern Munich he has won four Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokals , one Champions League and a world club cup.

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Franck Ribery in action ——image via: commons.wikimedia.org

In the international football Ribery has turned in some eye catching performances. In 2006 world cup, the match against Spain, his first goal was particularly memorable as he scored it in the first knock out round.

9. Lilian Thuram (1994-2008, 2 goals in 142 caps)

The defender, Lilian Thuram was a key member of France’s Golden period. Besides he also won trophies in France, Italy, and Spain. In the club football, the majority of his success came with Juventus, with whom he won two Serie A titles and Italian Super Cups.

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Lilian Thuram—image via: cm0102.com

Although he was not known for scoring goals, but his two knocks was regarded with great values for the French team. In 98’ World cup in France with the host losing 1-0 in the semi-finals, Thuram fired in an unexpected brace to carry his nation to the final, where they overcame Brazil.

8. Eric Cantona (1987-1995, 20 goals in 45 caps)

Eric Cantona’s international career was littered with controversy as he fell out with team managers-Henri Michel and Aime Jacquet. Nevertheless Cantona still managed himself to score 20 goals for his nation, which included 2-1 win over Sweden in World Cup qualifying.

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Eric Cantona, Manchester United legend——–image via: 18yardbox06.blogspot.com

After being controversial in Ligue 1 following a string of incident, he flew across the channel and joined in Leeds United to win the 1992 title. After that he joined Manchester United and became an old Trafford legend by winning four premier league titles and two FA cup titles. Surprisingly he was an star in England, not in France.

7. Patrick Vieira (1997-2009, 6 goals in 107 caps)

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Patrick Vieira celebrates after scoring goal—-image via: www.theguardian.com

Being an integral part of the France’s Golden era, Vieira was regarded as one of the world’s best mid-fielders. Although he played as a substitute in 98’France world cup, but he was a key player to the national team when they won European Championship two years later.

He made himself a vital figure in Arsenal with which he won three premier league titles and four FA Cups.

6. Jean-Pierre Papin (1986-1995, 30 goals in 54 caps)

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Papin scoring for AC Milan—-image via: thegentlemanultra.tumblr.com

It was sad for a player of his talent being a member of French side branded ‘ the Cursed generation’ with Michel Platini retired Zinedine Zidane struggling to establish himself. But Papin had proven his quality at both Club and International level. He was so popular in Marseille, that the Italian Club AC Milan offered a record fee of 10 million pound to secure his service in 1992.

5. Just Fontaine (1953-1960, 30 goals in 21 caps!!!)

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Just Fontaine , above all—image via: www.sportskeeda.com

France may have finished third in 1958 World Cup, but Fontaine made his glory written in the world cup history. He scored a stunning 13 goals in that tournament which is a still standing World Cup record. His quartet of strikes during the playoff encounter against West Germany was a firing performance in that tournament.

He made his debut match memorable by scoring a hat-trick against Luxemburg in a 1954 world cup qualifier. Fontaine was the leading goal scorer in 1958-59 European Cup with 10 goals. His most successful period was spent with the French club Stade de Reims.

4. Thierry Henry (1997-2010, 51 goals in 123 caps)

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Thierry Henry flying in the wind—-image via: www.picgifs.com

Thierry Henry is France’s leading goal scorer of all time by a 10-goal margin. Henry’s international career is full of glorious matches. He scored three goals in France ’98 world cup and added another three in Euro 2000. In 2006 world cup it was Henry’s goal that defeated the defending Champion Brazil.

Many feel that, he is the best player English Club Arsenal ever got. Henry achieves the position with dignity in the list of top 10 French footballers of all time.

3. Raymond Kopa (1952-1962, 18 goals in 45 caps)

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Raymond Kopa—-image via: lgnds.net

By beating players like Pele, Garrincha and his teammate Fontaine , Kopa won the player of the tournament award in 1958 World Cup. One year later, the French master also won FIFA Ballon D’or. The Frenchman lifted the European Cup on three occasions in 1950s alongside Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano. He remains in Pele’s list of top 125 greatest living footballers of all time.

2. Michel Platini (1976-1987, 41 goals in 72 caps)

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Platini with Ballon D’or—image via: en.wikipedia.org
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Young Platini—-image via: www.theguardian.com

Michel Platini’s finest performance came during 1984 championships. He guided the hosts to their first international trophy while France scored 14 goals, nine of which came from Platini in that tournament.

In the club level, he helped Juventus with his stunning goal to win their first ever European Cup against Liverpool in 1985.

1. Zinedine Zidane  (1994-2006, 31 goals in 108 caps)

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Zidane’s header in 98 world cup finals—-image via: www.bbc.co.uk

The hero of 1998 world cup, ‘Zizou’ has experienced such contrast emotions in two world cup final that no one ever did before. The world cup hero scored two goals of three that sunk Brazil in 1998 world cup final. And dramatically eight years later against Italy in 2006 world cup finals, he made himself the villain of all when he was sent off for headbutting Italian Marco Materazzi. France was defeated on penalties. It was Zizou’s last match as a professional footballer.

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Zidane with the World Cup——-image via: www.japonkale.com

His glittering career includes two Serie A with Juventus and a La Liga crown with Real Madrid.

In 2002 champions league final, Zidane fired an unstoppable volley into the Bayer Leverkusen net. The goal was regarded as one of the best ever scored in any match. And Zinrdine Zidane places no 1 position in our list of top 10 French footballers of all time..

Also Read: Highest sold football kits 2014/2015

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Lionel Messi, is this time for Argentina?

The world cup count down has begun with digital clocks around all over Brazil marking the seconds remaining before kick-off of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Argentine manager Alejandro Sabella is expected to reveal his final squad within next few days. This agenda is dominating by a press fracas over the ‘people player’ Carlos Tevez and a worry due to Gonzalo Higuain’s recent injury.

Carlos Tevez or Lionel Messi?

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Lionel Messi in action—image via: en.wikipedia.org

Although ,Tevez has enjoyed a superlative season with Juventus, he has never been part of Sabella’s national project. It is indeed a fact that has become a bone of contention generating minor demonstrations and widespread emotional outburst in some circle.

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Carlos Tevez, in a mood of despire—-image via: www.flickr.com

The possible clash with Lionel Messi, if not personally in terms of position they occupy on the pitch, may be among the reasons why it is unlikely he will be included now. Messi is being hailed as the axis around which the squad must turn without having expressed himself at all on this subject. Whatever works for Messi is what works for Argentina.

Messi is the hope:

 The four times Ballon D’or winner, Lionel Messi, 26 is still a bit of an unknown quatity for his country. He may not be a natural leader, but his boy-next door demeanour and by now renowned economy of words hide the power behind his name. The fact is Lionel Messi has become the centre of expectation, whether he overtly executes his influence or simply by osmosis makes whoever happens to be the manager try out the system in which he appears more comfortable.

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Lionel Messi , the Hope—-image via: pt.wikipedia.org

For years the Argentine outcry was why Lionel Messi deliver with the nation as he did with Barcelona. Now even Barcelona is no longer deemed an adequate model to aspire to.

The history:

In 2002, under the leadership of Marcelo Bielsa, Arentina saw one of the quickest exits in memory with them failing to get past the group stage, the smoothest ride to World cup finals the country has ever known.

Since the last world cup victory in 1986, the quest for the right formula has evaded many managers. In 1978, Argentina’s first world cup victory was under the managerial nous of Cesar Luis Menotti. Menotti defended the beauty of an attacking game above everything. He dared leave the 17- year old Maradona out of the squad completely, feeling a solid team could work just as well with out a single genius.

Failing of the Greats:

The footballing discourse has not changed for long time since. The bi-valued approach is ever present, not just in terms of style but also in the culture. Pro-government and anti-government, Boca or River, touchy passes vs dirty antics,

 All approaches tried since, have failed to win the world cup. Jose Pekerman, Alfio Basile, Sergio Batista, Daniel Passarella and of course the God of Football himself, Maradona all failed to lighten the nation.

No more dispute please!

Perhaps it is time to stop focusing on indiviguals, whether Tevez and Messi can co exist in no 10s is less serious than whether a country so geared to rising little boys for international sale can start to produce some defenders as well as some attacking mid-fielders in the long run.

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Argentina football team in the last World Cup—-Image via: en.wikipedia.org

There will be a profound structural changes within the establishment which has remained in power for over three decades could well be afoot if Lionel Messi fails to deliver the actual world cup back to the Football Association.

Lets see what Lionel Messi brings for his supporters in this world cup.

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FWA Footballer of the Year: Luis Suarez

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FWA player of the year: image credit ‘mail online’

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been awarded the FWA Footballer of the Year. It is said that he has completed his redemption from outcast to hero by winning this title, given by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA).

Last month he was awarded the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) player of the year. Now, by winning another title, his honor probably doubled.

The honor follows an astonishing turnaround for Luis Suarez. The 27-year-old Uruguayan finished ahead of team mate Steven Gerrard and Yaya Toure of Manchester City in the poll. But he began this season serving the remainder of a 10-match ban, which was imposed for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

Yes definitely he missed the first five games of the season. But now he is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 30 goals with two matches remaining. And Luis Suarez will play against Gerrard and England in the World Cup in Brazil next month.

Although with all his attributes, Luis Suarez couldn’t sustain Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge. Manchester City have already won the Premier League.

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Luis Suarez: image credit ‘ja.wikipedia.org’

Of around 300 members, Luis Suarez polled 52 per cent of the vote. He got only two, last year.

FWA chairman Andy Dunn told Sky Sports,

“He did only receive two votes last season,”

He also added,

“Our voting opened just 12 hours after the biting incident at Anfield last season, so that was taken into account”

FWA Footballer of the Year is not only based on player’s achievements on the pitch. It also depends on their behavior throughout the season.

Dunn continued,

“His behavior throughout the season has been very good”

“There is an element of redemption – allied with those 30 goals and the sensational talent he has displayed all season -and it has made him a very popular choice.”

Luis Suarez becomes the 10th Liverpool player to win the award. One of their previous winners of WFA award, Ian Rush praised Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers for this. The way he handled a difficult period at the start of this season, is really praiseworthy.

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Suarez in Liverpool: image credit ‘th.wikipedia.org’

Rush told Sky Sports,

“Suarez was training by himself and the manager welcomed him back and said you are one of the players now”

“The manager could have handled it differently. And Luis Suarez has repaid him.”

Ian Rush was the FWA Footballer of the Year in 1984. He also praised Luis Suarez for his work. Rush indicated about his huge influence on the Liverpool team attempting to win the title after a long decade.

He added,

“I think he has made a big difference to Liverpool’s players – not just himself.”

FWA Footballer of the Year award is the oldest of its kind in world football. It was first awarded in 1948 with Stanley Matthews the first recipient.

Past FWA Players of the Year are listed below:

FWA Player of the Year

Season

Player

Club

1992/93 Chris Waddle Sheffield Wednesday
1993/94 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers
1994/95 Jurgen Klinsmann Tottenham Hotspur
1995/96 Eric Cantona Manchester United
1996/97 Gianfranco Zola Chelsea
1997/98 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal
1998/99 David Ginola Tottenham Hotspur
1999/00 Roy Keane Manchester United
2000/01 Teddy Sheringham Manchester United
2001/02 Robert Pires Arsenal
2002/03 Thierry Henry Arsenal
2003/04 Thierry Henry Arsenal
2004/05 Frank Lampard Chelsea
2005/06 Thierry Henry Arsenal
2006/07 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United
2007/08 Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United
2008/09 Steven Gerrard Liverpool
2009/10 Wayne Rooney Manchester United
2010/11 Scott Parker West Ham United
2011/12 Robin van Persie Arsenal
2012/13 GarethBale Tottenham Hotspur
2013/14 LuisSuarez Liverpool
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Can Cristiano Ronaldo power Portugal to World Cup glory?

On Wednesday Cristiano Ronaldo broke another world record and became his country’s all-time top international goalscorer with 49 goals in 110 appearances. In Portugal’s 5-1 friendly win over Cameroon Ronaldo scored twice and he played down the significance of his latest achievement saying,

” I do not look to beat records. This happens naturally, with a lot of effort, dedication, with the excellent national team we have, a good coach. I knew that sooner or later it was going to happen.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo goal celebration —-image via: www.beinsports.tv

In spite of his modesty in this occasion, there is surely one achievement he could not possibly play down were he to claim it. He would become one of the indisputable all-time greats in football if Ronaldo could lead Portugal to World Cup glory in Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Ronaldo does not need a World Cup win to be considered great, claimed by Jose Mourinho. He may be saying the truth but it does not mean that Ronaldo, the 29 year old cannot be a World Cup winner.

Received wisdom suggests that in terms of quality Portugal are on a similar level to England and are thus it is highly unlikely for them to win the world Cup. However, anything is possible with a player of Real Madrid star’s quality. Cristiano Ronaldo has proved that several times. He is the type of player who can beat teams on his own, as he displayed in last November when his stunning hat-trick sent Portugal to the World Cup at the expense of Sweden.

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Cristiano ronaldo in action against Cameroon—-image via: www.goal.com

In addition, his displays in EURO 2012 were equally impressive as Portugal reached the semi-finals only to be edged out on penalties by eventual champions and 2010 FIFA World Cup winners, Spain. The group stage of that game Portugal defeated the Netherlands, the beaten finalist of 2010 FIFA World Cup with Ronaldo’s stunning class. And Ronaldo is more furious and strong and skilful than he was in 2012. He is currently holding the FIFA Ballon D’or. In this season of La liga he scored 23 goals in 22 matches and 11 goals in six champions’ league appearances.

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cristiano ronaldo after breaking the record—-image via: www.indiatimes.com

The reason Portugal are rare seen as legitimate contenders for the World Cup are because of the rest of the squad. But having some qualities in the squad it needs a little help for Ronaldo to reach his full potential. Players like Raul Meireles, Edinho and Fabio Coentrao, fellow goalscorers offered him a good support in the game against Cameroon. Monaco’s Joao Moutinho was a great help two years ago in Poland and Ukraine and if he finds that kind of forms once again Portugal could go far. But being the key player of Portugal, everyone will be looking for something special from Cristiano Ronaldo in every game they play in Brazil this World Cup. The history could be made if Ronaldo can see Portugal deep into the tournament.

Although there is certainly some huge pressure on Cristiano Ronaldo, if anyone could power an unfancied side to World Cup glory in this summer, it would be certainly him.

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USA Soccer Team will play against Belgium in pre-world cup closed-door friendly

The US men’s National Team (USMNT) has added another friendly match to its world cup preparations. They will take on Belgium on June 12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The closed –door match will take place just four days before the Americans take on Ghana in world cup 2014.

This agreement will give both national teams some final competitive testing. Pre world cup matches are always good for the main tournament. Already FIFA have announced the event.

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USA Soccer Team: image credit www.flickr.com

“It will be a kind of training session for each side.”

Belgium Football Federation expressed their expectation per FIFA.

USA Soccer Team expects a full-blown friendly. But it sounds more like a scrimmage. Both the managers should assure their squad to remain sharp. They also need to keep fit both their key players during the final domestic match and after starting the group event of world cup.

Last May in Cleveland, both the teams faced off in a friendly match. USA Soccer Team loses the game. Christian Benteke provided the second half pair of goals which leaned Belgium to a 4-2 win.

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Belgium National Team : image credit commons.wikimedia.org

Some believes that match is the main reason for this agreement. That game probably is inspiring both the teams to train together so close to the Brazil world cup 2014.
The USA Soccer Team was set to battle Nigeria, Turkey and Azerbaijan in the United States. These matches were to earn the ticket for the trip to world cup 2014.

Jurgen Klinsmann, the manager for USA Soccer Team has placed a major emphasis on current form. He will make up his line-up decisions based on the friendly matches and training sessions.

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USA vs Belgium : image credit commons.wikimedia.org

So there are chances of making or breaking of certain players to the final events. The decisions will be provided from the closed-door match probably. The midfield and the outsides of the back line positions are up for grabs.

Many people considers group G as the “Group of Death”, this year. The USA Soccer Team is in a group alongside Portugal, Germany and Ghana. So the United States have to earn three points against the black stars in the opening match. May be this will become the key to survive in group G.

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USA vs Belgium : image credit msn.foxsports.com

Belgium is in Group H. They are with Russia, Algeria and South Korea. This group is much easier to navigate. Belgium will definitely hope the final training session with the USA Soccer Team is crisp and clean.

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Lucas Podolski, Germany’s secret weapon

Can Lucas Podolski secure his chance?

There were some serious doubts over the German winger Lucas Podoloski after Euro 2012. Although the German scored just twice for Germany in last 18 months, his over all potential for German national team is totally undoubted.

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Lucas Podolski, Germany’s secret weapon—-image via: commons.wikimedia.org

Germany may have an abundance of world class attacking options, many of whom will be ahead of Lucas Podolski. Marco Reus is certainly not a secret anymore after his heroic performance against Real Madrid and he is in great form over few months. Another Mesut Ozil is a kind of player who needs no introduction at all. Ozil has been a cornerstone for German national team since 2009. It was Thomas Muller being the youngest player to score five goals in 2010 world cup since the legend Pele. As a favorite of Low’s opponents can more or less expect Mario Gotze as a threat.

lucas podolski, lukas podolski latest news, germany podolski
Podolski can be Germany’s cornerstone—-image via: hu.wikipedia.org

Lucas in Low’s eye:

It is unlikely that Lucas podolski to start, while so many other international superstars are available to Joachim Low. But Low is looking increasingly to be an impact substitute like a surprise package just like Lucas Podolski can be.
Low has been loyal historically to certain long standing players, from Klose to Per Mertesacker to podolski. The issue was never their current form in the club. With Low mentioning him as ‘ indispensable’ , podolski has continued to make appearances for his country, despite his recent drought of goals.
After managing 112 caps for Germany , Podolski will be Low’s first choice of attack. Julian Draxler’s stagnation at Schalke and Andre Schurrle’s inability to make much impression in Chelsea will make Podolski’s path smooth.
Although in recent years, he has often lacked confidence and precision and it has become increasingly easy to forget the impact that Podolski can have. But he has the potential to offer some unique qualities of attack and that may be very useful in the upcoming world cup tournament. He may prove very useful to the German team. His shooting power is definitely unmatched to any current German international except Reus, a better finisher with stronger leg.

lucas podolski, lukas podolski latest news, germany podolski
Podolski, will he make the blow?—–image via: commons.wikimedia.org

 

Will it be his last World Cup?

Lucas Podolski has had the chance to work on his partnership with his Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil and they certainly now have a chemistry unlike any other pairing in Low’s team. Ozil was quite a helping hand for podolski in Arsenal as he’s been a menace to opposing defenses, latching onto through passes from the playmaker on the left wing.
Podolski has been to the world cup twice and he perfectly understands the magnitude. It can be his last World cup, as his 29th birthday is knocking. After joining Arsenal, the 2014 FIFA World cup Brazil will be his first international match. He may not be a good starter, but he will be the Germany’s secret weapon off bench in Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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Brazil fired by anti-World Cup protests: Rio and Sao Paulo are burning

With the FIFA World Cup coming in less than a month, the Brazilian government has sent in the tanks to restore order amid anti-world cup protests against the hosting cost of this international football competition. The riot police have fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo who marched against that demand. Some protesters hurled stones while others burned tyres and blocked roads.

anti-world cup protests, rio riot
The protests across Brazil—image via: usa.chinadaily.com.cn

The cause of their anger was that billions of dollars are being spent on next month’s FIFA World Cup, rather than social projects and housing. Including Brasilia, the anti-world cup protests also took place in other cities in Brazil. Among others, teachers and civil servants also join in the protest across Brazil.

In Rio, hundreds of people were marching in rush-hour traffic on a main thoroughfare. The Rio riots drew the attention of the world as Rio de Janeiro will be hosting the final match of the FIFA World Cup 13 July.

Another city, Sao Paulo, hosting the inauguration match against Brazil and Croatia, was affected when the protesters cut off access to the Avenida Paulista.

 The federal troops arrived in the World Cup host city of Recife on Thursday, as the state police are on strike demanding better pay in that city.

Protests are more frequent:

The number of people protesting on the street was much lower than during similar anti-world cup protests last year. Although some of the activists promised that the demonstration would get bigger and more frequent as the World Cup gets closure. More than a million people took to the street last June over poor public services, corruption and the vast cost of World Cup hosting.

sao paulo demonstrations
Brazil on fire—image via: www.bbc.co.uk

According to BBC the Brazil government is looking closure to the protests as it indicates a security challenge for them. In addition the with the World Cup and the Presidential election coming in the same year, many groups are spotted to put pressure on the current government.

‘No panic, just protest’

The head of the Homeless workers movement Guilherme Boulos said,

“Our goal is symbolic. We don’t want to destroy or damage the stadium.”

On the other hand the Government was trying to downplay the scale of Thursday’s protest, arguing it was not linked with the upcoming World Cup at all. On behalf of the government, Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo said ,

” I’ve seen nothing that is related to the (World) Cup”.

He was assuring that there’s no reason to panic in receiving three million Brazilian tourists and 600,000 foreign visitors for the World Cup tournaments.

sao paulo brazil city, world cup protest
The peaceful protest—image via: abduzeedo.com

The anti-world cup protests were planned along with a range of strikes, including the one by the police force in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. On the third day of strike the army was deployed to provide additional support after some robberies and looting.

The local media reported that total 234 people were arrested in the last 24 hour.

The Brazilian leaders had believed that the World Cup and then 2016 Olympics in Rio would put a spotlight on the country. They show the advances over the past decade in improving its economy and pulling tens of millions out of poverty cycle.

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5 Stars missed FIFA 2014 World Cup

1. Petr Cech:

Petr Cech, misses world cup
Petr Cech, the wall—-image via: theshedender.com

This Chelsea player has long been established as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. With over 100 international caps Cech has proved a veritable rock for his country, Czech Republic. His strength and reliability coming out on corners and set pieces. You have to earn a goal against stunning reflexes. Strikers will be happier that Petr Cech is not around Brazil. Petr Cech is one of the finest stars missed FIFA 2014 world cup.

2. Christian Eriksen:

Christian Eriksen, 5 stars missed the World cup
2. Christian Eriksen—-image via: www.fmsweden.se

Major tournaments like World Cup usually reveal a rising star, such as 20 year-old EnzoScifo for Belgium and Michael Laudrup for Denmark in 1986. When Laudrup shone in Mexico, he was just 21, the same age as Christian Eriksen is now. Eriksen is seen as the future of Denish football as his silky skill and quick-thinking brain has drawn comparisons to the legend Laudrup. The Denish must be disappointed not to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He is indeed one of the stars missed FIFA 2014 world cup in our list.

3. Gareth Bale:

Gareth bale, gareth bale misses world cup
Gareth Bale—–image via: www.thetimes.co.uk

 

 

The Wales winger Gareth Bale will be hoping he doesn’t follow the footsteps of his illustrious countryman Ryan Giggs-who won everything with his club Manchester United but never played in a World Cup. Bale had a stunning last season with 21 goals for Spurs, fair enough to draw the attention of Real Madrid. His combination of power, searing pace and incredibly hard shot make him a nightmare to defend against. Defenders in Brazil world cup will be thankful to him for his absence. He is one of the stars missed FIFA 2014 world cup.

4. Robert Lewandowski:

Robert Lewandowski, Robert Lewandowski misses world cup
Robert Lewandowski —-image via: soccerlens.com

This Borussia Dortmund striker outshone Cristiano Ronaldo when he scored four goals against Real Madrid in the last season’s Champions League semifinals. He has scored 63 goals in 110 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund and he is widely regarded as one of the best forwards in Europe. Unfortunately, Poland ended up finishing fourth in a tough qualifying group leaving the chance for England, Ukraine and Montenegro.

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Zlatan Ibrahimovic misses world cup
Zlatan Ibrahimovic—-image via: en.wikipedia.org

His fans are saying,

‘ there is no point of watching the World cup because Ibrahimovic won’t be playing in it.”

Zlatan, the 32-years is in the best form of his career. His reputation of making some spectacular goals are well known to his fans, like the martial arts-style volleys, dipping shots from all angles, his overhead kicks from 30 meters out.

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Top 10 highest paid footballers in the English Premier League

10. Samir Nasri (Manchester City)

highest paid footballers, samir nasri
Samir nasri , flying in the wind —–image via: www.independent.co.uk

Samir Nasri’s big money move to Manchester city made him sure that his wages soared up. Currently he earns £ 140k per week and he rounds off the top 10 list of highest paid footballers in English Premier League.

Also read: Top 10 Most Popular Sports in the World

 

Nasri scored a goal on the last day of 2013-2014 campaign helping his team to win the league title.

9. John Terry (Chelsea)

 highest paid in football, John terry
John Terry—image via: uk.eurosport.yahoo.com

Chelsea’s Captain, Leader and Legend’ John Terry, age 33 is the English Premier League’s highest paid defender. He earns £150k per week playing for Chelsea.

Also read: Top 10 highest paid soccer players 2014

 

In the previous campaign of premier league Terry was back to his old self and he is looking to carry on that form as long as possible.

8. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

10 highest paid footballers, Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil, the Gunner’s gun—-image via: www.standard.co.uk

Mesut Ozil is getting the salary of £160k  per week for Arsenal. The gunners’ future hopes are pinned on this man and that’s why they made him their costliest player.

Also read: Top 10 unknown Neymar facts

 

He is holding the no 8 position in the list of highest paid footballers in English Premier League.

7. Fernando Torres (Chelsea)

 highest paid in football, fernando torres
Torres’s goal celebration, nice to watch—-image via: houndsports.com

The Spanish striker, Torres earns £175k in a week. But there may be always a dispute about his performances as well as the justification of the money he is currently earning.

Also read: Top 10 English Premier League rivalries

 

6. Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

highest paid footballers, Eden hazard
Eden Hazard, the thunder storm—image via: www.zimbio.com

Eden Hazard is currently earning £185k per week and Chelsea may have to breach the £200k if they intend to keep him out of the reach of PSG. Eden Hazard is a kind of footballer who is tipped to be a future Ballon d’OR winner and typically he is the highest paid footballer in Chelsea.

Also read: Top 10 English Premier League transfers in 2014

 

5. Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

richest footballer in the world, Luis Suarez
Suarez, the SUPERSTAR—-image via: www.emirates247.com

As a star player he needs to be happy and for keeping their star player happy they handed him a £200k per week contract.

Also read: Top 10 Managers in English Premier League history

 

There were some speculations surrounding his immediate future. But that contract extension put an end to all as Suarez brought Liverpool back into the Champions League after a five year hiatus.

4.Robin Van Persie (Manchester United)

highest paid footballers, van persie
Van Persie—–image via: www.zimbio.com

Van Persie earns £200k per week and he proved his worth by helping Manchester United clinch their historic 20th league title in 2013.

Also read: Top 10 Richest Football Clubs in 2014

 

On this list of highest paid footballers in the English Premier League, he kicks off the Manchester United domination.

3. Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

highest paid in football, Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure, Citizen’s pride—image via: metro.co.uk

Yaya Toure also earns £200k per week and yes, he isn’t the highest paid player in the Manchester City squad! Yaya was undoubtedly City’s best player of the 2013-14 season which saw them win the league title twice in the three years span.

Also read: Top 10 young footballers in EPL

 

 Barcelona might be kicking themselves now for letting Yaya go.

2. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

highest paid footballers, aguero
Sergio Aguero, city’s goal machine—–image via: www.laacib.net

Manchester City have made their no 1 striker, Sergio Aguero the highest paid player in the squad. Earning £220k a week he gifted the team some moments like the stoppage time win which won them the title in 2012. Surely his purse will keep getting bigger.

Also read: 10 unknown facts about Lionel Messi

 

1. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

highest paid football player, Rooney
Wayne Rooney, the Highest payment holder—-image via: www.premiershipticketsonline.com

At early in the premier league season there were some rumours surrounding Rooney’s proposed move to Chelsea. Manchester United made sure they held on to Rooney by making him sign a new five year contracts which worth £300k per week. Thus Rooney is the on the top of our list of highest paid footballers in the English Premier League.

Also read: 7 amazing facts about Cristiano Ronaldo 

Top 10 best-selling football club shirts

What do you think? Who should be paying the highest in your opinion?

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Dengue fever concerns for World Cup in Brazil

Dengue, a threat in brazil world cup football 2014:

dengue, dengue fever
Dengue prevalence throughout the world, some areas of Brazil in red zone—–image via: en.wikipedia.org

The new research suggests there are some concerns about the FIFA World Cup, taking place in Brazil later this summer, could result in serious outbreaks of dengue fever. A study carried out by international scientists has revealed the cases of dengue outbreaks could be set to soar over the summer, as approximately 1 million football fans will be travelling across Brazil between 12 cities from 12 June to 30 July.

The research of Dengue fever:

dengue hemorrhagic fever,  dengue, aedes mosquito
Aedes mosquito, carrier of dengue—-image via: commons.wikimedia.org

From the explanation of Dr. Rachel Lowe, the lead researcher from the Catalan Institute of climate sciences in Barcelona, there are the possibility of a large dengue fever outbreaks during the World cup in Brazil. She also suggested that the outbreaks is capable of infecting visitors and spreading dengue back to their country of origin. Although it depends on a combination of many factors, including large numbers of mosquitoes, a susceptible population and high rate of mosquito-human contact, the concerned authority should treat it as a threat.

Areas affected by Dengue in Brazil:

Three certain areas of Brazil may be most affected while the football fans visiting there for watching the matches. These three locations are Natal, Fortaleza and Recife. If England wins its group, they will play in Recife on 29th June.

Dengue and Brazil:

brazil world cup football 2014, brazil tourism
Tourists in Brazil should be conscious —-image via: www.flickr.com

However, warnings of dengue have been issued to 553 areas throughout Brazil, after analyzing the data relating to rain fall, average temperature, altitude and density of population recorded between 1981 and 2013.

Since 2000, dengue fever is a prevalent problem in Brazil, with more cases –around 7 million in total-in this country than anywhere else in the world.

Dengue is a viral infection and it is carried by Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue fever can quickly develop into a serious life threatening condition named ‘Dengue Haemorrhagic fever’. No preventive vaccines or other treatments are available currently to fight the disease.

The preventive measures of Dengue:

The researchers have urged the tourists to use mosquito repellent take advantage of air-conditioning systems and consider using screens to shield themselves from aedes mosquitoes.

As these warnings have come before the tournament begins, local Brazilian authorities have taken the chance to prepare enough preventive measures.

It is being advised that if anyone does return home ill following the world cup, they must seek immediate treatment from a doctor as soon as possible to prevent the disease from spreading further.

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Top 5 tactical teams in FIFA World Cup 2014

As the world cup gets firmly on the horizon, the anticipation is building ahead of the first match of the tournament between host Brazil and Croatia on June 12.

Brazil are certainly be the favorite. But they will face major competition on home. There are plenty of challengers threatening them. Today we will focus on top 5 tactical teams in FIFA World Cup 2014.

Top 5 teams with their different tactics:

5. Argentina:

Argentina is a team with the richest collection of attacking players on their side. Diego Maradona or Sergio Batista shove as many of them as possible into the side and hope their collective talents will somehow win it out. Funny, isn’t it? But this time, learning from mistakes, Alejandro Sabella built solid base and then started to add the marvels.

fifa world cup 2014, messi and aguero
the duo of Messi and Aguero will be the key—-image via: indianexpress.com

Argentina always have the problems of defense. The back four may lack the star quality of the forward, but it does have Javier Mascherano with Fernando Gago and Angel Di Maria shuttling alongside him. His main role will be to link to a dazzling front three; Gonzalo Higuain with Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero.

Argentina thus stays in the list of top 5 tactical teams in FIFA World Cup 2014.

4. Chile:

The coach Jorge Sampaoli has proved so popular in Chile as he described himself as a ‘disciple’ of Marcelo Biesla.

Like Biesla he often uses three backs that allows his midfielders to press the opponents as early as possible. Jorge Sampaoli will change the shape according to the opposition, just like Biesla, 3-4-1-2 sometimes becoming 4-3-3.

fifa world cup 2014, tactical teams in fifa world cup 2014,
Jorge Valdivia, Chile’s weapon of attack—–image via: celebrityhairstylez.com

The changes that are made are all about identifying the patterns of the opponents and then looking to disrupt their natural rhythm as far as possible.

The front three is formed highly mobile with Alexis Sanchez cutting from the right, Eduardo Vargas on the left and Jorge Valdivia in central position.

However, for their technical aspects of playing they gain the position in our list of top 5 tactical teams in FIFA World Cup 2014.

3. Germany:

As it has been since the quarter-final of EURO 2008, the shape of German team will be 4-2-3-1. But it is only the part of story.

The Coach Low has abandoned a centre-forward to play with a false nine eight times over the past two years.

Mario Gomez misses his chance for the squad while Miroslav Klose, at 36, could be given the opportunity to add to his 14 goals in World Cups. It seems likely that Low will start with Thomas Muller and Marco Reus on the flank, Mario Gotze as a false nine and Mesut Ozil as the playmaker.

fifa world cup 2014, mesut ozil, german tactical football
Mesut Ozil, the playmaker for Germany—-image via: www.theguardian.com

On the contrary, the front four isn’t necessarily great at tracking back, which can expose the back four. Low’s attempt to make German team more proactive which has coincided with such defensive lapses that no side finished top of its qualifying group in Europe conceded more goals than Germany.

2. Mexico:

With a struggling qualifying for the World Cup, the new coach is now attempting to use players from the domestic league. He has returned to the system they used in 2010 World Cup, which in turn was essentially the style Ricardo La Volpe used in Germany in 2006 World Cup.

In some sense the formation is a 5-3-2, but there are some natural fluidity to this shape, with Rafael Marquez stepping out from the centre of defence and the two wing-backs, Paul Aguilar and Miguel Layun, providing the width.

Deep in the midfield, Juan Carlos Medina sits to provide a fixed point, while Herrera is

fifa world cup 2014, Javier Hernandez
Javier Hernandez——image via: awfulannouncing.com

committed to a front two, usually Oribe Peralta and Javier Hernandez, so the formation can shift into 3-3-2-2 or 4-2-2-2 depending on whether the wing-back or Marquez advance.

1. Spain:

The Brazil-born striker Diego Costa gives Spain a bustling, physical edge up front and it may be the end of the False nine upon his arrival.

However, Spain has an embarrassment of riches in the middle. There has always been something slightly awkward about Xabi Alonso and role of disrupting the Barcelona trio Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

But if Cesc Fabregas and David Silva are included in the team, does the team lack pace, is it just full of neat midfielders who hold the ball firmly.

fifa world cup 2014, Cesc Fabregas,  fifa world cup football 2014,
Cesc Fabregas and David Silva , the duo, the key for spain—-image via: justfootballers.blogspot.com

Spain, the previous champion leads as the most influential team in the list of top 5 tactical teams in FIFA World Cup 2014.

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FIFA World Cup 2014: Bastian Schweinsteiger in Injuries, Worry German Squad

German midfield general Bastian Schweinsteiger left Bayern’s final Bundesliga match of the season with a knee injury. The injury gave the German fans another anxiety ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The need of Schweinsteiger:

German’s are desperate in need of Schweinsteiger to be fit in their campaign for world cup. It has been a season of many absences for the German and none is giving a guarantee that he will be fit to start the Brazil campaign.

bastian schweinsteiger, schweinsteiger
bastian schweinsteiger, the integral part of German team—-image via; www.zimbio.com

Schweinsteiger, the 29-year-old will celebrate a decade in the German Squad just before their opening Group G game against Portugal on June 16 having won his 101st cap in the 1-0 win over Chile in last March.

A defensive midfield shoo-in for country as well as club, Schweinsteiger’s presence for Bayern Munich this season has been restricted by a trio of injuries.

Injury became part of his life:

In the preseason period back to back ankle surgeries hampered him badly. Then in January he suffered an inflamed knee ligament at a training camp in Qatar.

Bastian Schweinsteiger returned with a vengeance on his full 90 minutes appearance in mid-March when he curled home a free-kick for the winner as Bayer Leverkusen lost 2-1 in Munich.

bastian schweinsteiger, bastian schweinsteiger injury, bayern injury
Schweinsteiger in injury—-image via: www.4-4-2europe.com

While playing against Arsenal at home, he scored in 1-1 draw as Bayern reached the Champions League Quarter-finals 3-1 on aggregate, then netted in their 2-0 league win at Mainz.

Bastian Schweinsteiger gained valuable match fitness in 2014 as he played only 16 of Bayern Munich’s first 27 league matches. In the Champions League semifinals Bayern Munich was defeated by Real Madrid. The match put a great deal of psychological blow and the knock to the knee last weekend didn’t help.

German coach Joachim Loew said,

“with his class and experience, he has a big influence on our game.”

By measuring his value he added,

“When he is able to play 90 minutes, with his confidence on the ball and tactical awareness, Other players respond when they see Bastian is playing well.”

He is the part of German Strategy:

Schweinsteiger claimed his 7th German league title when Bayern Munich finally confirmed Bundesliga champions with a record seven games to spare.

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm switched from right-back to accompany him in the defensive midfield and Joachim Loew could repeat the action in Brazil too.

Loew lacks defensive mid-field options to partner Schweinsteiger with Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira struggling with a knee injury.

bastian schweinsteiger, bayern munich
Schweinsteiger—–image via: hiilkubad.com

The options like Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan has not played since August with a back injury while Dortmund’s Sven Bender is out with a pelvis injury. They all face a race against time to be fit for Brazil.

Bayern Munich’s Toni Kross has proved himself a better option as he has had a stellar season in the attacking midfield role for the European Champions and he may be dropped back into the number six position or Philipp Lahm could be moved across from right back.

No replacement for Schweinsteiger:

When Germany finished third at the 2006 World Cup on home soil, Schweinsteiger played a key role for the team. At Euro 2004, Schweinsteiger at the age of 19, had his debut.

He was awarded man-of-the –match with two long range strikes in the 3-1 play-off win against Portugal and he nearly finished with a hat-trick.

Just before the last World Cup when Michael Ballack was injured, Schweinsteiger filled his midfield role and when fit, he is Loew’s first choice in midfield.

In claiming a fourth World Cup title in Brazil, he will be the heart of Germany’s bid.

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Radwanska’s shock exit in Roland Garros, Paris

Croatia’s Ajla Tomljanovic made history in the French Open by knocking out the third seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 in the third round. This defeat meant that the French Open’s all top seeds had been ousted inside six days, with top seed Serena William losing in the second round and second seed Li Na departing in the first round.

Agnieszka Radwanska, french open
Agnieszka Radwanska—–image via: www.veooz.com

Improving from world ranking 495 to 78, she makes herself the biggest ranking improvement by any player in the top 100.

This year, she lost in the third round at the Australian Open but more recently failed to qualify for the draw at Madrid and Rome in the buildup to Roland Garros.

On the other hand, it was the first time for Radwanska as she had failed to make it past the third round at a grand slam since the Frence open 2012. Last year at Wimbledon, she ended up as semi-finalist, quarter-finalist at Australian Open and French Opens and at the US open she made the fourth round.

This year French Open has become remarkable being the first Grand Slam in the open era where the top three players all failed to make the last 16. In this French Open, fourth seed Romanian Simona Halep is the top seeded player left in the draw, having reached the third round on Thursday.

Russian Maria Sharapova, the seventh seed dodged the debris to inflict a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing on hapless Argentine Paula Ormechea. Sharapova won 54 points to 17 for her opponent with the South American taking just three points in the second set.

In men’s side second seed Novak Djokovic made his fourth round with a tough 6-3,6-2,6-7,6-4 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic. The 2012 runner-up, Djokovic next faces either French Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz for a place in the quarter-finals.

Novak Djokovic, french open
Novak Djokovic—-image via: ibnlive.in.com

Roger Federer, the 2009 champion and the fourth seeded player defeated Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov with a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 win and reached the last 16.

Roger Federer will face Ernests Gulbis of Latvia for a place in the quarterfinals.

Federer will play Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis for a place in the quarterfinals.

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football

Maracanã – Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho – Rio De Janeiro

There are very few sporting arenas in the world that can be rightly claimed as truly historic monuments. Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho, or the Maracana as it is commonly known, with its expansive seating capacity and sublimed architecture, is undoubtedly one of them.

Mário Filho is the official name of the stadium which was given after the honorable Carioca journalist, (brother of Nelson Rodrigues). The popular name of this stadium is procured from the Maracanã River, whose origin is in the jungle-covered hills, crossing different neighborhoods of Rio’s North Zone. The word ‘Maracanã’ is derived from the indigenous Tupi–Guarani which refers to a parrot that inhabited the region.

Once the largest stadium in the planet, housing crowds of up to 200,000 attendances ever seen in the chronicle of the game, the Maracana now has a minimized capacity of 73,531 for Brazil world cup 2014. Still, this remains the country’s biggest football ground. There are in fact only a few stadiums in the world that can match this one.

rio de janeiro fifa world cup 2014 maracana stadium old view

Initiated on August 2, 1948, with the laying of the cornerstone, 1,500 workers were engaged to construct the stadium. Near around two thousand workers were added in the final months. In spite of having come into use in 1950, the works were properly concluded in 1965.

Jornal da Noite is known as The A Noite newspaper mirrored  the towering sense of pride felt by all the Brazilian citizens at the time:

 “Brazil now has the largest and the best stadium in the world. Today we have a truly incredible setting where the total world can admire our sporting splendor and capability.”

Established for the 1950 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho, pledged the venue for that year’s truly unforgettable decider between the host nation and Uruguay, maybe the dramatic most chapter in the history of the competition.

However, Maracana represents an almost impregnable fortress for the Brazilians and has taken on mythical proportions within the realm of South American football.

Some of Brazil’s greatest ever players, Zico, Romario, Garrincha, and, obviously Pele have all graced the sacred ground where devoted crowds of up to 183,000 mean only the very toughest sports admirer survive.

It can be considered as the most evocative and wretched chapters in the stadium’s history came on January 20, 1983, when one of the all-time greats of Brazilian football, Garrincha passed away and his remnant was brought to the stadium. A couple of Thousands of fans were present there to respectfully bid the final farewell to the Idol.

Certainly, the saddest moment in the history of Brazilian football was met by a spectral, haunting silence in the extensive stadium. Media all over the globe entitled the shocking defeat as the Maracanazo, a term which is still used for a visiting team wins at the stadium.

João Havelange, former president of FIFA expatiated like,

“Grown men cried after the game. Some left just before the end, thinking Brazil as champions. But by the time they were at the main gates, their dreams were gone up in smoke,”

Some can still say that Brazil has never actually avenged the defeat, but on July 16, 1989, a goal by Romario was fair enough to beat Uruguay in the final of  Copa America on the same ground.50 years after the legendary Maracanazo, in 2000, the stadium again hosted the final of the first FIFA Club World Cup.

Second most popular tourist attraction of Rio de Janeiro, the Maracana always attracts football fans from all over the world, even at the time of its renovation. Visitors here at Rio can watch unfold the stadium even take a miniature piece of the old stadium away with them as a souvenir.

And after all these unavailing words we can terminate with the great Pele:

“The Maracana is a unique place for all Brazilians, bu for me it is really something else. This is where I scored my very first goal for the Auriverde, against Argentina, and as a matter of fact I also scored my 1000th goal later at this home. Almost 1,700 people have played on that ground and the aura of the place is spectacular.”

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Cricket recent t-20 world cup

Gangnam celebration after unbelievable victory against Australia in T20 world cup 2014

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 West Indian batting storm surprisingly ejected Australia from the previous World T20 in Sri Lanka 2012. They have done so again after Darren Sammy pulled off a remarkable heist in Mirpur, T20 world cup Bangladesh 2014.

West Indies now have two wins from three matches and are in a strong possibility to reach the semis. Meanwhile Australians are teetering on the brink of elimination right after their second successive defeat.

team celebration

With a defeat under each of Australia and West Indies’ belts, on Friday the two teams meet in the World T20 knowing another loss here will seriously hinder their every chances of concluding it to the semi-finals. The Baggy Greens gesticulated their attacking intent from the very beginning with openers Aaron Finch and David Warner putting on 33 for the opening partnership in just 22 balls. However Finch, Warner, Shane Watson and George Bailey had all just departed before the halfway journey to the innings. Glenn Maxwell came up with his typical smashing type, with three sixes in 45 from 22 balls, but he went back to the pavilion in the 12th over only at 100. Brad Hodge kept the score moving, with 35 from 26 and Brad Haddin made a very late flurry with 15 from 7 balls.

In their reply, Chris Gayle gave West Indies a dazzling start to their chase of 179 but they spluttered half way and Australia were firm favorites.  Marlon Samuels went cheaply, but Bravo extracted out 27 from 12 balls before Sammy hit Mitchell Starc’s 2nd last over of the innings for 19 and then back-to-back sixes off Faulkner clinched the victory. This time it was West Indies’ highest successful chase in T20, replacing the 170 they chased against the same opposition at Oval in World T20 2009.

Gangnam celebration

Anyway the memorable event happened exactly after the match when Chris Gayle celebrated West Indies’ T20 win with seriously aggressive Gangnam Style. It was something like winning a war. Mostly it was a kind of war environment because of the counter comments of both the captains.  Though Gayle was reported with this type of celebration a few more times, this time it came with such aggression that nobody could believe without watching live. You can watch it here.

Australian team was shattered by the loss, and this left them winless from their first two games. Even victories in their remaining two matches against India and Bangladesh may not be enough to progress to the semi-finals. On the other hand West Indies now have every chance to advance to the semi-finals and maybe defending their title, won in Sri Lanka 2012 where Gayle monstered Australia in the semi-final with 75 off 41 balls. Australia now can certainly fly home wondering how on earth they can win this elusive trophy ever. They can hope for Gayle’s retirement before the next tournament and might try another time.

West Indies will next face Pakistan on Tuesday, with Australia almost concluding their campaign against India on Sunday.