Friday, 30 April 2010
Almost every culture around the world has some type of connection to the history of football/soccer. Such cultures as the Ancient Greeks, Persians, Vikings, The Chinese, Japanese, and many more, has played a game that is very similar to today's football/soccer. For instance, The Chinese played "footballer" games dating as far back as about 3000 years ago. However, it was in England that soccer / football really began to grow in popularity. After becoming popular in England, soccer became a widely loved sport throughout the world. The celebrated FIFA World cup led the way to the rise of soccer stars, and conferred world soccer records holders such as the player who has scored the most goals in world cup soccer history.
Brazilian professional footballer Ronaldo Nazario de Lima has scored the most goals in Fifa World Cup history. Ronaldo Luís Nazario de Lima, more generally known as Ronaldo, was born in September 18, 1976. In 1993, Ronaldo began his professional soccer/footballer career playing for Cruzeiro. In his single year with Cruzeiro, he accumulated 12 goals in 14 games and led the team to win their first Copa do Brasil championship. After playing with Cruzeiro, in 1994, he joined with the Dutch football team PSV. In 1996, in his final year with PSV, Ronaldo aided the team to win the Dutch Cup.
Ronaldo is also an established national footballer for Brazil. He has played in 97 international games, accumulating 62 goals and standing 15 goals away from the Brazilian national scoring record. He was also a member of the Brazilian team that won the 1994 and 2002 World Cups. During the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo became the highest goal scorer in the history of the World Cup with his fifteenth goal.
Nicknamed 'O Fenômeno,' which is translated as ""The Phenomenon" in English, Ronaldo made the number 9 famous and made it tantamount with the position of center forward. During his footballer career in Europe, Ronaldo became one of the most celebrated 'strikers' throughout the world after he won his first Ballon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year in 1997, and then once more in 2002. He is also one of only two players to have won the FIFA Player of the Year award three times. In 2007, he was named as one of the best starting eleven of all-time by France Football and was named to the FIFA 100, a list of the greatest footballers compiled by his fellow Brazilian soccer star, Pelé.
To many contemporary footballers, Ronaldo is a living icon who has been credited with encouraging a stronger marketing interest in soccer throughout the world, particularly because of his relationship with Nike who had in the past spent their marketing resources and time primarily on Basketball.
The soccer that we know and love today was shaped during the 1960s. Increased media coverage and TV broadcasts has made the game more popular than ever before. With soccer stars such as David Beckham in the spotlight, the popularity of soccer will continue to grow.
No matter where one lives, or how people call it, either soccer or football, everybody knows what the FIFA World Cup is all about. This famous competition went on last time in Germany, having Italy as the World Champion, and news coverage abounded about the players, the coaches, famous plays and daily match results. Coverage of the 2006 World Cup could be found in newspapers all over the world!
The history of World Cup Soccer can be traced back to 1904 in Paris, where on May 21, FIFA, also known as the Federation Internationale de Football Association, was founded.
Representatives from seven different countries became members of the federation at this time, and those countries included France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. As years passed, more and more countries joined, and the United States became a member in 1913.
The very first World Cup
was held in 1930 in Uruguay. Other host countries for this famous sporting event have included France, Italy, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, England, Chile, Sweden, Brazil and Switzerland.
For the year 2006, the destination for World Cup Soccer was Germany. Cities in Germany which hosted events include Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Gelsenkirchen Hanover, Cologne, Munich, Leipzig, Kaiserslautern, Nuremburg and Stuttgart. Stadiums located in these host cities where tournament games were played include the Berlin
Stadium and the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, among others. Many of these stadiums are so large that they can accommodate crowds of up to 600,000 spectators!
Although the majority of the fans who love World Cup Soccer do not reside within the United States, many Americans enjoy the coverage of this world-wide known event that the nightly news and morning newspapers afford them. This event is so very popular that it has its own website, its own magazine, and commands massive media coverage, both on television and in print.
The 2006 World Cup had 32 different teams competing, with teams representing six different continents. The teams are referred to as "squads", and each one of them consists of 23 players. That makes the total number of individual players who competed a whopping 736!
People from all over the world travelled to Germany to witness this awesome sporting spectacle. Tickets were sold out in record time, and commanded astronomical prices. Depending upon the host city, as well as what type of seating is desired, ticket prices ranged from 1,000 to 150,000 euros. Some tickets were also available online.
Estimative shows that the 2006 World Cup was attended by approximately 8 million fans, and host cities planned "Fan Fests" to make sure that all visitors stayed entertained in between matches. Some of the different featured events for Fan Fest included live concerts, spa getaways, street parties, beach club extravaganzas, cookouts, fan game days, and much, much more.
Germany is a great country steeped in history, art, and beautiful natural wonders. Those who went to the World Cup in 2006 surely had the time of their lives, and for those who weren't able to be part of it, you can start saving your money for the next World Cup, in 2010! No matter who wins, it will always be an unbelievable experience.
I will not write here as a specialized soccer guru. My younger son has just 8 yeas old and I have seen him and his friends to ply soccer and thought: how did he and all of those kids learn to play soccer?
Well, frankly, that is a mystery. And that mystery took me as an important question: how Brazil kids learn to play soccer? I think there is not a simple reply to that question. In fact, if we knew that answer the Brazilian soccer should ever gain the soccer world cup. But, as the entire world knows, it is not right.
However, there are some things that make us intrigued, not because at Brazil we have Pele, widely regarded as one the greatest footballer of all time, either because the Brazil national football team, five times world-wide champion soccer. This curiosity appear when we see kids playing soccer without shoes, in the streets, improvised fields, of land, sand, gram, wherever, with a sort of unstoppable dribbling and goals.
Ronaldo, Ronaldinho Gaucho, both so-called the best world futboll player, they played football with special skills since childhood. They are identified as a rising star. What do they have of fellow creature with millions of Brazilian children? I do think this soccer learning begin around 3 or 4 yeas old. I ask some kids how do they learned to play soccer and they answered me it was with their fathers. Maybe at this age they became conscious about football skills. Anyway, I think the father and a ball as present it takes the boy to awake for the soccer.
Nowadays, we can also say that the girls, in a lesser ratio, are awaked for soccer. But the ratio of boys without a doubt still is bigger. On the other hand, soccer is a form of socialization of the child. It is a strong element in such a way to make new friendships, even to solidify oldest one. And those friendships can be consider too an element of initiation at the art of to play soccer. When we observe small football play and we find natural players, making its dribbling, showing its affinities and abilities with the ball, we have to imagine that beyond the soccer schools, the domestic learning environment has been basic in the learning of these children.
In a way, to play soccer with my son is very good and it takes me a sentimental player. My abilities are not the same ones of when I also was a child already, at my first moment of learning of the soccer art. I remember the football play through the street of my house. The memories came to me facing me at my past. But these memories are collated with my present day, when I see my son to give me one dribbling underneath of my legs, to mark a goal and to saying that he is a champion. Well, I do think he is.
Wolney H Filho
Subbuteo is a set of table top games simulating team sports such as football (soccer), cricket, both codes of rugby and hockey. The name is most closely associated with the football game, which for many years was marketed as "the replica of Association Football". The "Subbuteo" name is derived from the neo-Latin scientific name Falco subbuteo (a bird of prey commonly known as the Eurasian hobby), after a trademark was not granted to its creator Peter Adolph (1916–1994) to call the game "Hobby"
The availability of Subbuteo was first announced in the August 1946 edition of The Boy's Own Paper. The advert offered to send details of the new game but no sets were available until March 1947. Also in August 1946 Peter Adolph lodged an outline patent application for the game which was not finalised until May 1947. After the early adverts it is rumoured orders started to pour in as Adolph set about converting his patent idea into a deliverable product.
The first Subbuteo sets, known as the Assembly Outfits, consisted of goals made of wire with paper nets, a cellulose acetate ball, cardboard playing figures in two basic kits (red shirts with white shorts, and blue shirts with white shorts) and bases made from buttons weighed down with lead washers. The story is that Peter Adolph found one of his mother's coat buttons and used Woolworth buttons for the early set bases. No pitch was provided: instead, the purchaser was given instructions on how to mark out (with chalk, provided) a playing area on to a blanket (an old army blanket was recommended). The first sets were eventually available in March 1947, several months after the original advertisement appeared. The first figures were made of flat cardboard cut out of a long strip. Later these card players came in press-out strips before being replaced with the two-dimensional celluloid figures, known to collectors as "flats".
Early production of Subbuteo was centered in Langton Green near Tunbridge Wells, in Kent. In its early years, Subbuteo had a fierce rivalry with Newfooty, a similar game that had been invented in 1929 by William Keeling of Liverpool. In the run up to Christmas 1961 Adolph introduced a three-dimensional handpainted plastic figure into the range. After several design modifications, this figure evolved by 1967 into the classic "heavyweight" figure pictured below. Newfooty ceased trading in 1961 after a failed television advertising campaign but its demise is not thought to be linked to the launch of the moulded Subbuteo players. There were several further evolutions of figure design. In 1978 the "zombie" figure was introduced to facilitate the machine painting of figures. After much negative feedback, the zombie figure was replaced in 1980 by the "lightweight" figure, pictured above, that continued until the 1990s. After England's World Cup victory in 1966, Subbuteo designed a special pack containing all the teams that got further than the group stage, namely quarter-finals and above. This particular set is now difficult to come by and is very expensive. The company was very popular until it suddenly stopped production. The idea was bought by Hasbro and is now making teams again, in the form of flat 'photorealistic' cards on bases, rather than the old-style figures. Subbuteo also made other things for the collector, such as stands to create a stadium, cups, crowds, police figures and much more.
Playing Subbuteo is a physical simulation of the sport, involving dexterity and skill in flicking the playing pieces, which stand on weighted bases, across the tabletop mat towards the ball, which is oversized and stands nearly as high as the players. What makes the game different from most other tabletop sports games are the hundreds of team kits and accessories. While most games feature only two teams (usually "red vs blue" or "white vs black"), Subbuteo has several hundred team designs, all for real teams. While some team colours could naturally be used to represent different teams, such as reference 001, which could be used as many teams, including Manchester United and Nottingham Forest, there are many unique kits, such as Sampdoria or Soviet Union, and even unpainted models. There are also many additional accessories, such as new balls and goals, special figures for free kicks and throw-ins, stands and crowd, streakers and policemen, floodlights, and TV cameras. Subbuteo also has a long-established competitive circuit, where it is known by the term sports table football. There is a world governing body, FISTF, and a World Championship every year.
Rules of Subbuteo
The rules of Subbuteo table football are an attempt to correspond closely with the game itself. However the simplifications involved in some ways complicate things further. Players maintain possession as long as the figure they flick makes contact with the ball and the ball does not subsequently hit an opposing figure, although the same figure cannot be used for more than three consecutive flicks. Shots at goal can be taken once the ball is over the 'shooting line', a line parallel to and equidistant between the goal line and half-way line. Goalkeeper figures are attached to a rod that fits underneath the back of the goal. The offside law is in effect, but only pertaining to figures that are forward of the opposing team's shooting line (as opposed to the half-way line, as in actual football).
Thursday, 29 April 2010
The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup, and the first staged in 12 years due to World War II. Brazil was chosen as the host country by FIFA in July 1946. It was also the first tournament that the trophy itself would be referred to as the Jules Rimet Cup, to mark the 25th anniversary of Rimet's presidency of FIFA. It was won by Uruguay, who had won the inaugural competition in 1930, clinching the cup by beating the hosts Brazil 2–1 in the deciding match of the four-team final group (this was the only tournament not decided by a one-match final).
Because of World War II, the World Cup had not been staged since 1938; the planned World Cups of 1942 and 1946 were both cancelled. After the war, FIFA were keen to resurrect the competition as soon as possible, and they began making plans for a World Cup tournament to take place. In the aftermath of the war, much of Europe lay in ruins. As a result, FIFA had some difficulties finding a country interested in hosting the event, since many governments believed that the world scenario did not favour a sportive celebration, and also (more importantly) that the resources that would have to be put into organizing the World Cup could not be diverted from other more urgent fronts. For some time, the World Cup was at risk of not being held for sheer lack of interest from the international community, until Brazil presented a bid at the 1946 FIFA Congress, offering to host the event on condition that the tournament take place in 1950 (it was originally planned to take place in 1949). Brazil and Germany had been the leading bidders to host the cancelled 1942 World Cup; since both the 1934 and 1938 tournaments had been held in Europe, football historians generally agree that the 1942 event would most likely have been awarded to a South American host country. Brazil's new bid was very similar to the mooted 1942 bid and was quickly accepted.
Having secured a host nation, FIFA would still dedicate some time to persuading countries to send their national teams to compete. Italy was of particular interest: the Italians were the long-standing defending champions (winners in 1934 and 1938), but the country was rebuilding from the end of World War II, and at first there was little to no interest in the country in participating. The Italians were finally persuaded to attend, although rumours have had it that FIFA had to cover all travelling expenses in order for Italy's national team to be able to come to Brazil and play.
With Italy and Austria, two successful pre-war teams had not been subject to international sanctions, while Japan, still under occupation, and occupied and partitioned Germany had not been permitted in time to compete or qualify. The French-occupied Saarland had been accepted by FIFA two weeks before the World Cup, several months before (West) Germany's DFB was reinstated, while Soviet-occupied East Germany had not even founded a football association yet.
The British nations were invited to take part, having rejoined FIFA four years earlier, after 17 years of self-imposed exile. It was decided to use the 1949-1950 British Home Championship as a qualifying group, with whoever finished first and second qualifying. England finished first and Scotland second, but the Scots withdrew as they were not British Champions.
Turkey and India, also withdrew after qualifying, with India refusing to go because FIFA would not allow the team to play barefoot. France and Portugal were invited as replacements but declined. Initially France agreed to play but they worked out that the venues for their two group matches were over 3,000 kilometres away from each other. The French told the Brazilians that they would stay at home unless the arrangements were changed. The Brazilian Federation refused and France withdrew. Therefore, even though 16 teams were originally going to participate, after the withdrawals only 13 teams were left to take part.
Originally, the tournament format would be that the 16 teams be divided into four first round groups (or "pools" as they were then called) of four teams, with the group winners advancing to a final group stage, playing in round-robin format to determine the winner. However, because only 13 teams competed, this left two first round groups with four teams, another with three teams, and the last group with only two teams. The draw took place in Rio de Janeiro, on 22 May 1950. In fact, the entire tournament was arranged in such a way that the four first round groups had no geographical basis. Hence, several teams were obliged to cover large distances to complete their program, although Brazil was allowed to play two of its three group matches in Rio de Janeiro while its other game was in (comparatively) nearby São Paulo.
A combined Great Britain team had recently beaten the rest of Europe 6-1 in an exhibition match and England went into the competition as one of the favourites. However, it was not to be, as they went crashing out in a shock 1-0 defeat by the United States (when the score appeared in English newspapers, many thought it was a misprint) which, combined with their 1-0 defeat by Spain, led to England being eliminated.
The final group stage involved the teams who won their groups: Brazil, Spain, Sweden, and 1930 FIFA World Cup champions Uruguay, who were making their first World Cup appearance since winning the inaugural tournament. The World Cup winner would be the team that managed to finish on top of this group. The final group's six matches were shared between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Brazil played all its final group matches at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio while the games that didn't involve the host nation were played in São Paulo. Brazil won their first two matches with a 7-1 thrashing of Sweden and 6-1 rout of Spain. Before the decisive match, Brazil was sitting on top of the final group and had one game left to play against Uruguay, in second and only a point behind. On July 16, before a huge home crowd of 199,954 (some estimated as 205,000) in the Estádio do Maracanã, the host nation only had to draw against Uruguay and the trophy would be theirs. After such crushing victories over Spain and Sweden, it looked certain they would take the title, especially as the home nation went ahead in the second minute of the second half, thanks to a goal from Friaça. However, Uruguay equalised and then with just over 11 minutes left to play, went ahead 2-1 when Alcides Ghiggia squeaked a goal past Moacyr Barbosa, and Uruguay was crowned World Cup champions for a second time. This stunning defeat surprised Brazil and is referred to as the Maracanazo.
The average attendance of nearly 61,000 per game, aided greatly by eight matches (including five featuring hosts Brazil) held in the newly-built Maracanã, set a record that would not be broken until 1994. Not counting the Maracanã matches, the average attendance was a still-impressive 37,500. However, the only venues that saw crowds comparable to or greater than those in recent World Cups were the Maracanã and São Paulo. Other venues saw considerably smaller crowds.
George Best - Football Legend
George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional football player, best known for his years with Manchester United. He was a winger whose game combined pace, acceleration, balance, two-footedness, goalscoring and the ability to beat defenders. In 1968, his annus mirabilis, he won the European Cup with Manchester United, and was named the European Footballer of the Year. When fit, he was an automatic choice for the Northern Ireland team, but he was unable to lead them to the World Cup qualification, despite being capped 37 times and scoring nine goals.
In 1999, he was voted 11th at the IFFHS European Player of the Century election, and 16th in the World Player of the Century election. Pelé named him as one of the 125 best living footballers in his 2004 FIFA 100 list and Best was named 19th, behind Gerd Müller, at the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll. In his native Northern Ireland, the admiration for him is summed up by the local saying: "Maradona good; Pelé better; George Best."
He was one of the first celebrity footballers, but his extravagant lifestyle led to problems with alcoholism which curtailed his playing career and eventually led to his death in November 2005 at the age of 59. His cause of death was multiple organ failure brought on by a kidney infection, a side-effect of the immuno-suppressive drugs he was required to take after a liver transplant. In 2007, GQ named him as one of the 50 most stylish men of the past 50 years.
Early Years and Family
George Best was the first child of Dickie Best (1920–2008) and Anne Best (née Withers) (1923–1978), and grew up in Cregagh, Belfast. Best had four sisters, Carol, Barbara, Julie and Grace, and a brother, Ian. Best's father Dickie died on 16 April 2008, in the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Northern Ireland. He had been admitted to hospital four weeks earlier. Best's mother Anne died from an alcoholism-related illness in 1978, aged 55.
In 1957, at the age of 11, the academically gifted Best passed the 11 plus and went to Grosvenor High School, but he soon played truant as the school specialised in rugby. Best then moved to Lisnasharragh Secondary School, reuniting him with friends from primary school and allowing him to focus on football.
He was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals. Of his nine international goals four were scored against Cyprus and one each against Albania, England, Scotland, Switzerland and Turkey.
On 15 May 1971, Best scored possibly the most famous "goal" of his career at Windsor Park in Belfast against England. As Gordon Banks, the English goalkeeper, released the ball in the air in order to kick the ball downfield, Best managed to kick the ball first, which sent the ball high over their heads and heading towards the open goal. Best outpaced Banks and headed the ball into the empty goal, but the goal was disallowed by referee Alistair Mackenzie.
Best continued to be selected for Northern Ireland throughout the 1970s, despite his fluctuating form and off pitch problems. There were still glimpses of his genius; in 1976, Northern Ireland were drawn against Holland in Rotterdam as one of their group qualifying matches for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Holland – midway between successive World Cup final appearances – and Johan Cruyff were at their peak at the time. Five minutes into the game Best received the ball wide on the left. Instead of heading towards goal he turned directly infield, weaved his way past at least three Dutchmen and found his way to Cruyff who was wide right. Best took the ball to his opponent, dipped a shoulder twice and slipped it between Cruyff's feet – nutmegging arguably the best player in the world at that time. Best was considered briefly by manager Billy Bingham for the 1982 World Cup. However, at 36 and with his football skills dulled by age and drink, he was not selected in the Northern Ireland squad.
More to Come...