Year: 2018

All You Need to Know About the 2018 FIFA World Cup

With the regular football season almost over, the world’s biggest footballing event, the FIFA World Cup will be underway in a few days time in Russia. Russia are first time World Cup hosts and as a result their national team was given an automatic qualification. Like the previous editions, this World Cup will also have 32 teams drawn from around the world competing for this coveted cup.

Road to Russia

The road to Russia had a few surprises which makes the 2018 World Cup even more interesting. The biggest story was the Italian national team also known as the Gli Azzurri did not qualify for the first time in more than 60 years. For many people the World Cup is certainly going to feel different without the green, white and red of the Italians. The USA and Netherlands were other big names which did not qualify for this edition of the World Cup. Another country which captured the hearts of many people around the world was Egypt’s qualification. They were led by their talisman and Liverpool striker Mo Salah which ensured they participate in this year’s World Cup.

The Competition

The tournament starts on the 14th of June where the hosts Russia will play against Saudi Arabia in the first group phase match. The World Cup will be played in 11 different cities and the final will be held in the capital Moscow on the 15th of July 2018. The event will be televised worldwide and is expected to have viewership in the hundreds of millions. Recent political happenings did initially threaten to spoil the World Cup mood but thankfully the political tensions have eased and the mood is definitely better.

Rivalries

The World Cup is also the stage where we are reminded of the great rivalries in football. One such rivalry is the one pitting Messi and Ronaldo who play for Argentina and Portugal respectively. Ronaldo has done better at the international stage by winning the previous edition of Euro Cup but if any of the two wins this World Cup then it will surely cement their career to legend status.

Favorites

If there is one thing that we learned in the previous World Cup in Brazil where the hosts were taken apart by Germany is that anything can happen. However, we also must leave some room for speculation and this years world cup is truly interesting. One of the strong favorites is Spain who won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Another strong contender is the Germany national team who are the current defending champions.

The world cup is an event which changes mere mortals to idols which are talked about for generations and sadly it also takes other players from superheroes to people who are talked about in hushed tones. For a tournament that comes only once in 4 years, it is expected that every team and each individual player will give everything to achieve success at the biggest stage. Expect a range of emotions from disappointment, joy, surprise, grief, hope and everything in between. Similar to other World Cup editions, new world-beaters will be created and some legends will fade away. Fun fact about this world cup is that 50% of the bets have come from New Zealand, which is surprising because they are not your typical big gambling nation but in recent years their gambling has exploded, to learn more about this phenomenon check out this resource on New Zealand gambling/betting.…

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi, Born on 24th June 1987 in Rosario is an Argentine-born soccer player who has won the FIFA player of the year 5 times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015). Messi began playing soccer when he was a young boy. He joined Newell’s Old Boys in 1995, a top division youth team based in Rosario. His remarkable skills gained the attention of big clubs worldwide. When Messi was 13, his family moved to Barcelona where he started to play for the under 14 team of FC Barcelona. In his first season at the junior team, he scored 21 goals after playing only 14 matches. Because of his phenomenal skills and talent, he graduated to the top level team and at the age of 16, he played his first unceremonious debut for FC Barcelona main team during a friendly match.

Lionel Messi was named the youngest goal scorer and official player in the 2004-05 season at the age of 17 in Spanish top football division La Liga. At that time he was 1.7 meters (5 feet and 7 inches) and was 67kgs (148 pounds), but he was well balanced, strong and flexible when in a football field. Messi was a natural left footed player, precise and quick in controlling the ball making him a profound pass distributor and he easily created his way even through defenses that were well packed. He was officially granted the citizenship of Spain in 2005. In the year 2006, Barcelona and Messi won the European club championship usually known as the Champions League.

As he continued to play soccer in Barcelona his skills and play improved rapidly all through the years. By the year 2008 Messi was among the world top dominant players. In the voting for the top FIFA World player of the year, 2008 Messi came second after Christiano Ronaldo who was then playing for Manchester United. The 2008-09 season was one of the best for Messi has he helped Barcelona capture three major titles in just one season. That season Barcelona won the Champion League, Copa del Rey a Spanish main domestic cup and La Liga championship. That season in just 51 matches he scored 38 goals and he won the FIFA World Player with a record verge. In 2009-2010 season he scored 34 goals in national games and they won the La Liga league again. He was named FIFA Ballon d’Or winner again that year. Messi has continued with his top form up to date still playing for Barcelona helping them winning different cups and scoring many goals for the club.

Despite having a dual citizenship for both Argentina and Spain he remained a key member for his national home team in Argentina since 2005. In 2005 he played at the FIFA World Youth Championship in which Argentina emerged victorious and in 2006 he represented his country in World Cup. He also helped his national team reach the quarterfinals in the 2010 World Cup and in 2014 he played a great role in making Argentina reach the World Cup finals. Currently, Messi is still playing for FC Barcelona and he is still among the top football players presently and in History.…

The Best Bundesliga Players in the History

Gerd Muller
Gerd Muller is an all-time top scorer in Bundesliga. He is among the best strikers in the history of this premier Germany league. He netted 365 goals out of the 427 games. Muller played for TSV Nordlingen in 1963 before joining Bayern Munich for the rest of his career in Germany. He managed to win four Bundesliga titles, three European titles, four German Cups and seven Golden Boots. Muller was named the European Footballer of the Year and also won the Golden Boots at the 1970 World Cup.

Oliver Khan
Oliver Khan was a goalkeeper who didn’t take losing a match lightly. Even though he was a goalkeeper, Khan used to control the game from his box. He could be seen giving players a piece of his mind especially after they made mistakes. Oliver Khan started his career in Bundesliga at Karlsruhe before joining Bayern Munich in 1994. He retired from active football in 2008. During his time, Khan lifted eight Bundesliga titles, six domestic titles add a Champions League trophy. He was named the best player in the 2002 World Cup.

Robert Lewandoski
Robert Lewandowski is one of the foreign players who have built their names in the Bundesliga. He is among the all-time top scorers in Bundesliga. Up to now, Robert has won three Golden Boots and he is a one-time winner of Bundesliga player of the year. He has played for Borussia Dortmund and he currently plays for Bayern Munich.

Lothar Matthaus
Lothar Matthaus is rated among the best midfielders in Bundesliga. He played for Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich recording a stellar performance in both clubs. Apart from winning seen league title, Lothar Matthaus was also named European Player of the Year and Germany’s Player of the Year. He is also the 1991 FIFA player of the year making him the only German who has ever won it.…

History of Bundesliga

Bundesliga has evolved for over the past 50 years to become part and parcel of Germany lifestyle. It is the biggest sporting product in Germany. Apart from that, it is also a successful business franchise. There’s no doubt that Bundesliga is among the best football league both in Europe and in the world.

However, this success did not happen in an overnight. It took many years for Bundesliga to attain its current status. There are names that must be credited for this success. Read on to learn about the history of Bundesliga.

Early Years
Bundesliga was founded in 1962 in Dortmund and the first session of this league was played in 1963. During those days, football was viewed as a game that was played by eleven friends. It was founded by the German Football Association though now it is under German Football League.

The Growth of Bundesliga
From there, many things regarding Bundesliga football in general changed. For instance, Goalkeepers were not allowed to wear gloves and substitution was only introduced in 1967. Only three games were televised while the events of other fixtures remained unknown.
During those days, the scoreboard was operated manually and the stadium stands were made of wood. Both the players and other football professionals in the Bundesliga earned a maximum of 1200 Deutschmark.

World Class League
From this history, Bundesliga has grown to be the source of excitement and at the same time tension in Germany and even beyond the borders. Millions of people follow it whether it lives in the stadiums or on televisions.

With time Bundesliga started getting financial support from various sources. They included gate revenues, television broadcast revenue, and brands that sponsored the teams. The finances allowed the teams to attract skilled players and retain the talented ones. This was different to the past years where most German players sought for greener pastures in other leagues. Also, the availability of finances enabled the clubs to construct world-class facilities.

In the recent years, Bundesliga has continued to dominate the international scene. Some of the German clubs that have built a name at the international level include Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen among others.

Promotion and Relegation
In every season, two teams that are at the bottom of the Bundesliga standings are relegated and replaced by the top two finishers in 2 Bundesliga. The third team from the bottom of the Bundesliga standings will play the third-placed team I the 2 Bundesliga. The winner takes a position in the Bundesliga.…