#ThrowbackThursday: UEFA award winners. All-time favourite player? 🏆 #UCL
#ThrowbackThursday: UEFA award winners. All-time favourite player? 🏆 #UCL
Football is one of the finest sporting activities fancied globally. The fun of the game is heightened, especially by the numerous leagues and championships. Anti-sports citizens in a country magically fall in love with the football game when they see their fellow countrymen adorned in their national colors determined to play enthusiastically for their homeland. The most succinct part of the football game that can break the heart of supporters and football enthusiasts is the taking of a penalty kick. In fact, it is one of the most high-pressure situations that sometimes leave an entire nation glued to the screen of a television set! When a team gets that opportunity to win via penalty shootout and is missed, the pain that ensues is very unbearable. The aftermath pain or guilt is normally placed on the player who kicked the penalty, the coach who selected the penalty kicker, and sometimes on the entire team. However, when a football team plays a football game and the team loses the match on penalties, who should bear the ultimate blame?
Generally, penalty kickers are ultimately blamed for missing penalty kicks. The furious supporters vent their rage on the player and sometimes extend it to their innocent family members. Such was the case of the recent Senegalese and Liverpool star, Sadio Mane. After missing the all-important penalty kick against Cameroon, angry supporters ransacked his house and that of his relatives, destroying their property and other belongings. As a result, his family members had to seek refuge from the security personnel in the country for fear of loss of their lives. A similar situation happened in Ghana when the captain of the Black Stars failed to bury the game by scoring the last- minute penalty kick against Uruguay to take the team to their first semi-final in the 2010 FIFA world cup. The player and his family were hooted at, bitterly insulted and humiliated by some angry Ghanaian supporters. Unfortunately, some players had to pay with their lives as it happened to Andre Escobar of Colombia for scoring an own goal in the 1994 World Cup! These untold pains vented on penalty kickers are very disgusting, inhumane, cowardice and a misunderstanding of the essence of the sporting activity.
Football, like any other sporting game, is supposed to be a recreational activity. It is aimed at bringing unity amongst people and cultures. The nature of the game’s competitiveness, demands that one team wins and the other loses. This is part of the rudiments of the football game. Thus, when a team misses a penalty kick by one of their players, the blame and guilt must not be vented on the player, neither should it be placed on the shoulder of anyone. Winners of penalty kicks are just fortunate and lucky persons. Scoring a penalty kick is not a yardstick to evaluate the football skills and expertise of a player. After all, some of the world’s greatest footballers of all time have missed important penalty kicks. Classic examples are that of the Italian Roberto Baggio, who missed a penalty kick decider in the 1994 world cup as well as the French, Michel Platini’s penalty miss against Brazil in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Did the penalty kick miss of these iconic figures in the football sporting game make them less talented or skillful in the game? Certainly not! It would be unjust and an act of betrayal on the part of supporters of teams and nations to be furious against penalty kickers, coaches, or the entire football-playing teams.
It must be reckoned that players who missed penalty kicks already bear personal guilt which imposes heavy burdens on them. For instance, Roberto Baggio still can’t forgive himself of the penalty kick he missed in the past two decades and over! Ghana’s captain Asamoah Gyan has vowed not to take penalty kicks as a result of the deep scar his penalty miss at the 2010 World Cup has left in his heart! Therefore, why should supporters and fans of the football game aggravate their pain by taking injurious actions against the lives, personalities, families and possessions of penalty kickers, their coaches as well as their entire teams?
Supporters of the game must always remember to exhibit the spirit of unity, solidarity, and communalism to the entire team and support them in thick and thin moments. Of course, true and patriotic supporters of the football sporting game must rejoice with their teams when they win and more importantly weep with them, as it were when their teams lose. The aftermath pain and guilt that comes as a result of the heartache of a penalty miss must be borne by all- the playing team and supporters. This would help in deepening the essence of the football sporting game as a recreational activity aimed at fostering unity amongst the diverse people and cultures of the world.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championship is a popular series of Grade I thoroughbred horse races held annually at different locations. Inaugurated in the year 1984, it is governed by Breeders’ Cup Limited. Although initially it was a single day event, from 2007 onwards it was extended to a span of 2 days. Prior to its expansion, it was deemed to be the richest day in sports.
Founded in 1982 by John R. Gaines, primarily the event was conceived as a year-end championship for North American thoroughbred racing but it also draws top notch race horses from across the globe. The racetrack consists of turf, dirt as well as all weather and depending on the race type, the purse ranges anywhere from $500,000 to $5 million.
In 2007, a total of $20 million was awarded but in 2008, the amount plunged to $17 million. The Day 2 of the Breeders’ Cup as of 2008 is considered to be the second richest day in sports, with the Dubai World Cup Night leading the way as the richest single day event in sports. The Dubai World Cup is also a Thoroughbred racing event, featuring 6 races and a swaggering purse worth $21 million in the year 2008.
As compared to the audience turnout at other stake races, the Breeders’ Cup occupies the fifth position in North America in terms of attendance. Contrary to the popular misconception, the Breeders’ Cup Grand National Steeplechase is not run by the Breeders’ Cup Limited, although it has a licensing agreement to use the name ‘Breeders’ Cup’.
As of 2006, the Breeders’ Cup included 8 Grade I races. Later in 2007, 3 races were added to the event; the Dirt Mile, the Juvenile Turf and the Filly and Mare Sprint. All the three races are run the Friday before the remaining 8 races. During 2008, yet again 3 more new races were incorporated. These comprise of the Turf Sprint, the Juvenile Filly Turf and the Marathon.
This glorious equestrian event is reckoned to be the World Cup of thoroughbred racing. Online horse race games simulate this stupendous equestrian event with the help of virtual Breeders’ Cup contenders. Just like in the real world, great champion horses from different parts of the world meet every year to compete and win; you too can win a virtual Breeders’ Cup by contesting virtual Breeders’ Cup contenders.
Some of the legendary virtual Breeders’ Cup contenders that you can run in online games include popular names like Street Sense, Stevie Wonderboy, War Pass, Go For Wand, Arazi, Precisionist, Azeri, Lady’s Secret, Curlin And Ghostzapper.
Three Real Madrid C.F. summer signings. Favourite? 😎
1. Marco Asensio Willemsen
2. Isco Alarcón
3. Toni Kroos
The key player in the World Cup final will be __________
Real Madrid C.F. get their hands on the main prize for a third consecutive season! 🏆3⃣
Wearing their white colored away kit, Man U kicked off as the stronger side with Cristiano Ronaldo threatening to score five minutes into the game. But with Barca midfielders Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez possessively controlling the ball, Man U soon lost control. Iniesta in his Nike T90 Laser II football boots paved the way for the opening goal when he found Samuel Eto’o, who deftly hit the net.
Red, white and blue
The atmosphere in the stadium was electric as fans from both sides came out in full support of their favorites dressed in their team colors. The stands seemed draped in shades of red, white and blue! The new Nike FC Barcelona home soccer gear saw a return to traditional vertical stripes of red and blue, said to be “designed to inspire the kind of football the club’s famous for – spirited, passionate and oozing Catalan pride!” And did it work! Post half time, midfielder Lionel Messi headed the ball over Edwin Van der Sar and clinched the second goal. He seemed adequately thrilled with his brand new boots – custom made Adidas F30i – and happily kissed them!
Certainly More than a Club!
On the one side, Man U could boast of star players like Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez and Berbatov, on the other side, Barca dominated with the likes of Messi, Henry, Eto’o, Xavi and Iniesta. If the Catalan greats, Barca, scored 100 goals at the Liga, Messi, Henry and Eto’o were responsible for 69 of them! Maybe the white away kit wasn’t too lucky for Manchester United as they saw their dream to win their third Champions League trophy shatter. While the Catalans struck gold with their new look – a V-necked Nike Dri-Fit shirt that has the Catalan flag on the back of the neck and the label ‘Más que un club’ (More than a club) sewn inside. Barca stuck to its policy of not having a sponsor’s logo on their soccer shirts; something they have been adamant about ever since the club was formed. But they retained the UNICEF logo as part of the deal to not take any money, but use it to fund UNICEF’s humanitarian programs.
Three Cheers for the Champions
With this win, Barca now has three trophies to its credit – the Champions League, Liga and the Copa del Rey. Celebrations broke out on the streets of Barcelona when the team returned home. Thousands of ecstatic fans followed the open topped bus that had ‘Tricampeones’ (Three times Champion) emblazoned on it. To mark this special occasion, the players wore commemorative shirts with the words ‘Copa, Liga y Champions’ along with the team members names stamped on it.
Forgetting all protocol, the players ran onto the pitch of Camp Nou stadium and proudly held the three trophies up to their supporters who sang and chanted in reciprocation! The evening was sealed with another lap of honor, this time to the tune of Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ and crackling fireworks!
Whoever said what’s in a name seemed to have got it all wrong! A name, a number, a color – this is what champions are made of…
When Jordi Alba finally signed on the dotted line after months of negotiation, Futbol Club Barcelona had agreed to pay Valencia a hefty sum of 14 million euros. Although some people wondered whether the decision would be just money down the drain, some people believed that Alba’s comeback to the Barcelona squad would help boost the team. The 23-year-old Catalan giant was certainly enthusiastic about winning titles with Barça.
Alba’s signing to FC Barcelona is a homecoming in many ways. He was brought up at FC Barcelona’s youth academy and therefore familiar with the Barça philosophy of how football is played. However, with so few positions available in the squad, he was released in 2005 and continued at UE Cornella for two years before being signed to Valencia for six thousand euros; he was loaned to Gimnastic de Tarragona in 2008-2009, before returning to Valencia, where he made his first team debut in September 2009.
Although Jordi Alba made over one hundred appearances for Valencia, he enjoyed a fairly low profile before Euro 2012. However, his generous efforts coupled with his fervent defending and swift runs propelled the Catalan into the spotlight, and made fans see the potential and passion of Alba as he became one of the most influential players in the tournament.
The overwhelming domination of football in Spain by Barcelona and Real Madrid means that many of the players selected for the national squad tend to be from those two clubs. Anyone who makes it into the squad from any other Spanish club has to be a really outstanding player, more proof that Alba will make it at Barcelona. And Alba replaced a good player, Joan Capdevila, and created a name for himself and his potential to succeed in one of the most successful teams anywhere in the world in the 21st century.
During the Euro 2012 championship, the brilliant performance by Jordi Alba was noticed by people across the world, and many elite clubs in Europe suddenly sat up and noticed. Thankfully, Barcelona’s representatives had already been negotiating with Valencia for several months before that and his Euro performance must surely have helped inflate the 14 million euro transfer fee.
Jordi Alba shares a good bond with Andres Iniesta, who together with Xavi Hernandez and Lionel Messi, became the engine that made Barcelona work during Pep Guardiola’s era. Those who followed the Euro 2012 championship should be aware of how well Alba and Iniesta gelled, offering smart interchanges, quick passing and constant plays that were a treat to watch.
Liverpool FC legend Steven George Gerrard was the one to hand Naby Deco Keïta the famous No8 shirt… 🙌
The best No8 in #UCL history is ______
🇫🇷🆚🇦🇷 Leo Messi or Kylian Mbappé to reach World Cup quarter-finals? 🤔