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Ten Songs About Paris That Could Help The French Celebrate The World Cup

The World Cup was the dominant topic of the sports world last week but, as not even a lukewarm fan of soccer, I saw only about ten minutes of the action. The only reason I happened to see that limited segment is because a game ran over the estimated time, which pre-empted the Judge Judy episode I had intended to watch.

Nevertheless, a snippet of the post championship game caught my eye and, more importantly my ear. As the video played the Croatians, after a heartbreaking loss in the final round were heard singing a song I immediately recognized.

It was the Oasis hit “Don’t Look Back In Anger” from the British band’s most popular album, What’s the Story Morning Glory. It is the second most famous song from that record, trailing only the classic single “Wonder Wall.”

I found it somewhat of an odd tune for the runner-up in the World Cup, but it made me contemplate what song their victorious opponents would choose. Those in the winner’s circle could celebrate by playing some well-known song the mention the capitol of their country, the European nation of France.

Here are ten songs that mention that very city in their titles.

Let’s Tango In Paris by the Stranglers

This is one of the acoustic numbers from Feline, the 1980 album that marked the punk rock band’s definitive transformation into a more accessible sound.

Free Man In Paris by Joni Mitchell

“Help Me” and “Chelsea Morning” combined with this classic to make Court and Spark the most commercially successful album of the folk songstress.

Crimes of Paris by Elvis Costello

French landmarks like the Eiffel Tower are mentioned in this fine track from the Nick Lowe produced Blood and Chocolate.

Une Nuit A Paris by 10cc

A three part musical epic, this opener sets the stage for the group’s breakthrough album The Original Soundtrack.

Paris 1919 by John Cale

After leaving the Velvet Underground Cale made many solo records, none better than the one from which this title track comes.me

I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris by Morrissey

The city of love would not appear to be a likely destination for the frequently melancholy singer of the Smiths, but here he figuratively embraces it.

Dreaming of Paris by Van Dyke Parks

In addition to producing great discs by Phil Ochs, Harry Nilsson and Biff Rose, Parks demonstrated here and on other tracks from Songs Cycled that he could make great records of his own.

Going To Paris by the Waterboys

It was not as big a hit as “The Whole of the Moon”, but it is more representative of the typical sound of the alternative British band.

I Love Paris by Frank Sinatra

Ella Fitzgerald made the song a standard, but Old Blue Eyes is responsible for my favorite rendition.

Leaving For Paris by Rufus Wainwright

The son of Loudon and sister of Martha has made many good records of his own, as this track proves.

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1983 – The Road of Kapil’s Devils to a World Cup

No! I am not going to bore you with a story every child in India can tell you. I want to ponder a little on the Indian cricketing fortunes before the actual win. I watched an interview of Imran Khan recently and he said that India’s win of 1983 was a higher achievement than his team’s (Pakistan) 1992 victory in Australia. The simple reason he gave was that the quality of opposition in 1983 was higher. This Khan is not someone who will praise an Indian achievement easily. This should give you some idea about the magnitude of this achievement. And how important this man Kapildev was to Indian cricket!

The way Indian cricket developed since the British Raj will give you an idea that they were basically docile cricketers who played on docile wickets against strong and aggressive opponents. The test record of India around independence is terrible and I believe they played not to win but to not lose too badly. I think Pataudi Jr with a positive head to head record was the first captain that sort of instilled a fighting spirit in the team and a desire to win. Not to say that there were no aggressive players in the Indian team. In fact, India’s first captain was C K Naidu who was a big guy and a big hitter. He flayed the MCC team in an innings of 153 in 2 hours that people still remember. He hit 11 sixes in the innings. He must have scared the living daylights out of the MCC bowlers. But winning in cricket consistently is not just about one man’s heroics. Those were different times and possibly it was a different scenario. The transition of Indian cricket team continued with Sunil Gavaskar who although not aggressive by nature was an excellent thinker of the game and took the Indian cricket forward with quality batsmanship and captainship.

In came Kapildev in 1979 and a world-class aggressive pace bowler and all-rounder arrived giving India the aggressive edge that it lacked. India played in the 1975 world cup but the only match they won was against East Africa. The next match they won was in 1978. Of course, there wasn’t much one-day cricket played those days. This was followed by another terrible world cup in 1979 where they failed to win a single match. But slowly with the support initially from Karsan Ghavari and Roger Binny onto Madanlal, Sandhu and Mohinder Amarnath Kapil found pace bowling partners. Not life threatening quick bowlers but accurate and they could swing the ball. Now in the 1983 world cup team, except Sandhu all these bowlers were all all-rounders; this was another plus. Kapil himself had several qualities. Apart from being a world-class all-rounder, he was a great motivator. And that unbelievable hitting ability which can be matched only with Vivian Richards from his generation I think. Different batsmen mind you and Kapil was less reliable as a batsman than Viv but, when he came off, very very effective indeed. This man, out of nowhere, when everyone was ridiculing the Indians, installed a belief in the team that they could win. And they actually started winning matches in the Prudential Cup 1983. That innings against Zimbabwe and the catch of Viv Richards in the final tells you that this man was awake and was game to the possibility of a world cup win when mere mortals would have given up.

He was supported wholeheartedly by the team in 1983. Boy, if the opponents had stepped into the Indian dressing rooms and, understood the good old Hindi, they would have realized who was going to win. The press and the opponents just kept thinking Indian victories on the road to finals were a fluke. Just about everyone in the team contributed to the team cause in one way or the other. This world cup win came against sides that were truly great such as West Indies and Australia. Other good teams such as Pakistan, England put their claim forward but there was no stopping the Kapil’s devils.

Like after every great victory the team had a lean period and Kapil lost captaincy as well. But the great man kept performing either with the bat or with the ball and sometimes both. There was a term for him in Indian cricket called “Dada” cricketer meaning he was like a big brother of the team. He could win matches from hapless situations just with his cricketing abilities alone. The way Kapil played his game, free of care and with just the goal in mind brought the team together to give the country its greatest sporting triumph till date!

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Does Soccer Superleague Hold The Key To One Europe?

If there is one common thread interwoven throughout all European cultures, it must be soccer, right? Perhaps in popular theory. But the conventional wisdom now hangs in the balance as the quest for the almighty buck – that is, the supreme euro – has eroded the very fabric of soccer (no offense to Pete Rozelle, but let’s call it what it really is: football). As “European integration” becomes a buzz word for the 21st century, football will likely play an integral role in either facilitating or decelerating this cultural, political and economic merger of countries.

Football club owners have offered to help the cause by composing a framework for the future European SuperLeague, which would consist of the region’s most elite franchises. Europe has already made a transformation in showcasing athleticism, whether its unbridled fans are willing, as investors assemble to protect their shares in perhaps the most anticipated “cash cow” in sports entertainment.

However, even top football officials have their doubts. FIFA president Sepp Blatter, arguably the most powerful man in football worldwide, has stated his strong opposition to a breakaway superleague.

Regardless, sports business experts insist that any successful venture in football integration would require the solidarity of ownership policies and fan participation. True, the former condition is already growing at an explosive pace. Corporate investors have estimated the economic feasibility of supporting ESL franchises in various cities across Europe. Plans have already been proposed to compete with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) in forming the most marketable superleague. Media Partners International, a Milan-based consulting firm, has garnered over $1.2 billion investments from JP Morgan to sustain the ESL for the first three years. Judging from the success of professional sports in the United States, there is no telling of this league’s untapped potential.

If any doubts of European football’s growth still remain, then consider the burgeoning of players’ salaries. Inter Milan recently acquired Italian striker Christian Vieri for an estimated $43 million, dwarfing the annual payroll of most professional franchises. And the issue of whether Vieri deserved more or less than, say, Michael Jordan (excluding endorsements) is irrelevant. For now, football club owners can afford these superstars because consumers are compliant to rising ticket prices.

However, ESL owners must not discount the relationship between European fans and their revered teams. Football, for countless decades in each country, has supplied a measurement of national identity. As Europeans, during the integration process, ponder the potential void of national traditions, football remains their sole source of patriotic autonomy.

If the ESL passes, then UEFA would be subject to drop one of its Cup competitions, likely the Cup Winners Cup. More importantly, UEFA stands to sacrifice two underlying principles which have sustained the organization’s existence – a commitment to divide Cup proceeds in an equitable manner for all clubs, and to televise all games free of charge to European subscribers.

The ESL would consist of Europe’s top 32 (mostly large market) teams competing in a comprehensive tournament to determine the European football champion. If the league is supervised by UEFA, it will comprise of little commercial influence – in which case, some officials suggest that a league without proper promotion or relegation will lose people’s interest in less than three years. But the traditionalists insist that UEFA’s policies, although diplomatic in nature, serve to protect the institution of football from an onslaught of manipulation by massive corporations.

Even if the ESL and its large market teams are successful in growing the sport of football to unprecedented financial and social levels, there will undoubtedly be significant ramifications to the remaining franchises. Once again, the argument of revenue disparity between small and large market teams will assume center stage. Instead of George Steinbrenner clashing with Bud Selig, it will be two others bickering – without regard to the fans, any sport’s key ingredient.

The decision of what ownership structure to emulate remains undetermined. The real challenge, at this point, is securing the support of the regional community. It is clear that the combined prowess of European cultures, not the individual national interests, will ultimately ensure the success of supranational football. Owners cannot and will not force an unnatural medium of sports entertainment to their consumers. Most business leaders in the European Union have recognized that integration comes at a cost – a lesson that football club owners are about to discover.

Despite the European Commission’s diplomatic efforts to balance competition with equal protection, the fussbudgets will continue to question the motives of not only owners but also everyone else involved.

The fruition of ESL may or may not advance European integration, but the fight to protect one of Europe’s most treasured assets – football – will surely accomplish the task.

[Originally Printed: Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, 7/24/99]

© 2007 LineDrives.com, Michael Wissot,

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Tag the biggest Leo Messi fan you know! #UCL

Tag the biggest Leo Messi fan you know! 👍 #UCL

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History Of Soccer – Interesting Facts

Soccer has become increasingly more popular in the United States in the last 30 years, with nearly 3 million children between the ages of 5-19 now playing in youth soccer leagues throughout the nation.

Soccer began in England in the mid-1800’s, and was originally played by the higher, more aristocratic English classes in their boarding schools and private clubs. The ease and inexpense of the sport quickly moved it ahead as a sport for the masses however. Today soccer is ranked as one of the world’s leading sports for commoners.

The London Football Association was founded and 1863 and is responsible for standardizing game rules throughout Europe. In less than 20 years, professional players and teams were hitting the field.

Soccer began to spread throughout Europe almost immediately, with Spain, Germany, Italy, and France all taking up the game b the early 20th century. As interest in the sport grew throughout the world, so did an interest in formal competition. In 1900, the first soccer game was played at the Olympics, with medals introduced just eight years later. Professional players, however, were exempt from competition in the Olympic Games for more than 80 years.

In 1904, The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), was formed, followed by the first World Cup international competition in 1930. A round-robin style tournament that pits teams from individual nations against each other every four years, the World Cup has grown into an international affair, with nearly 200 teams now seeking admittance. Only 24 are permitted to compete.

Although it took the United States years to enter the soccer arena on a widespread basis, the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) was formed in 1913. Unfortunately, most Americans preferred watching (and playing) a different form of the sport — American football — until a Brazilian named Pele, (considered to the greatest soccer player of all time), joined the N.Y. Cosmos team in 1975. With such an amazing player to watch in America, popularity of the sport grew throughout the states, until his retirement in 1977, when soccer once again took a backseat to football. Following Pele’s retirement, the North American Soccer League slowly lost fan support, finally dissolving in 1985.

It wasn’t until the men’s World Cup competition, was held in the United States in 1994, that soccer interest was renewed among American youth. The Major League Soccer (MLS), was founded in 1993, and began its first season in 1996 with 10 teams and 32 regular season games. More than 3 million fans watched the playoffs that year. By 1991, women were finally allowed to play on a professional level, when the Women’s World Cup competition was introduced for the first time.

The interest in youth soccer remains strong throughout the United States today. Sports teams and leagues are now available in nearly every American community. From pee-wee players who aren’t even in school yet, to semi-professional high school teams, players of all interest and abilities are now hitting the soccer field for both spring and fall competition. The U.S. Youth Soccer, a division of the USSF, now includes nearly 3 million official players.

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Favourite 2018 World Cup moment?

Favourite 2018 World Cup moment? 😎







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The Oldest International Stadium in Football – The Racecourse Ground

The Racecourse Ground: Wrexham

The Racecourse ground situated in Wrexham, North East Wales is the oldest International Football Stadium in the World and has been the venue for some of British Football’s most historic memories. The following article details the fascinating history of the stadium.

The Racecourse Ground (“Y Cae Ras” in Welsh language) is the long term home of Wrexham Football Club who currently ply their trade in the Blue Square Premier league, the Racecourse is the largest stadium in this league with a capacity of 15,000, however this is currently reduced to 10,500 due to the kop stand being closed awaiting renovation to take the ground to being an all seater venue. In early 2010 Super League (Rugby League) side The Crusaders relocated to Wrexham and now use The Racecourse Ground as their home base.

In the 1800’s the Ground was owned by Wrexham Cricket Club and was a venue for Cricket and Horse Racing (hence the grounds name). In 1872 Wrexham Football Club was born and thus the ground became a football stadium. In those days however it was less of a “stadium” due to the lack of facilities. The first stand to be built was the kop terracing in the 1950’s whch is the oldest remaining part of the gound. The current away supporters stand (Eric Roberts Builders Stand) was built in 1978 following Wrexham’s most successful period on the pitch. By this time floodlights had already long been installed. In 1999 the ground was brought to it’s current standards with the completion of a 3500 capacity, modern designed stand including restaurant and bar facilities. The current capacity of 15000 is dwarfed by the record recorded attendance of amlost 35,000 people to witness an FA Cup tie against Manchester United in the 1950’s

The Racecourse Ground’s most distinguishing fact is that it is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as being the oldest International Football Stadium in current use. Over the years it has hosted many Wales International matches meaning the roll call of world greats to have graced the Racecourse changing rooms is long and distinguished. The Raceourse ground was the venue when Wales beat England 4-1 in the then Home Nations Tournament, a game still oft referred to and featured on television programmes. Similarly the Racecourse ground is featured annually on the weekend of the FA Cup third round having been the venue for the greatest FA Cup giant killing of all time when Wrexham beat current league champions Arsenal 2-1 in 1990.

The ground is no stranger to club level European football either, Wrexham enjoyed many ventures in the European Cup Winners cup and in recent years Welsh sides Bangor City and Total Network Solutions have used the venue for their European ties.

The Racecourse ground is also a favourite rugby venture. Currently the home of Rugby league team “The Crusaders” it has also been used by Rugby Union region “The Scarlets” as well as playing host to World Cup Rugby League and International Rugby Union matches.

The future of the Racecourse ground is that Wrexham Football Clubs owners plan to redevelop land behind the top end of the ground into student accommodation whilst rebuilding the kop stand into a multi purpose stand. The future may be different from the past but it is certain that the history and memories of the ground will live forever.

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©️®️ @juventus know all too well what @cristiano can do… Can he do it for them…


✨©️®️✨ @juventus know all too well what @cristiano can do… Can he do it for them?!

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