Similarity is how top managers thrive. Mourinho has been successful with big money clubs — Porto big money for the Portuguese league , Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid have all afforded him petty big transfer budgets and he has generally come up trumps.
He had a defensive team working under a really tight budget and working his scouting team hard to find bargains at Everton.
I think that Klopp is a manager who has a vision for how he wants his team to play and he understands his matchbook. Borussia Dortmund played hard at the transition or breakdown and to achieve this, Klopp and his team worked on fitness levels.
The players were able to get back into formation quickly and break at pace when they win the ball. I think that trying to achieve this mid-season is far more difficult to do than when putting in the ground work in pre-season.
Leeds United fans have been blessed with a number of memorable goalkeepers over the years. In fact, a good number of the Elland Road faithful would probably rather have one or two of the goalkeepers listed below between the posts rather than the erratic Italian this year.
While Higgs was forced to play second fiddle to the Danish shot-stopper for the majority of the season, the frankly dashing veteran played a crucial role in the club getting over the finish line during the final few weeks of the campaign, including that now famous victory over Bristol Rovers that saw the Whites book a return to the second tier of England football.
The majority of the squad that secured promotion back into the Championship will long be remembered fondly by Leeds fans — Gary McSheffrey aside — and not many gained as much of a cult following as Casper Ankergren.
Having arrived at the club from Brondby in , the Dane went on to make over appearances for the club, establishing himself as a fan favourite during his three year stay at the club.
Playing in a team that struggled to get out of League One despite spending the majority of their time in the third tier being tipped for promotion to the Championship by most sportsbooks throughout his time in Yorkshire, Ankergran will long be remembered fondly by Leeds fans.
Sports fans, you are truly blessed. Where once upon a time your reading material was limited solely to newspapers, magazines and books, today there is an absolute wealth of great content online — on websites and blogs, and also via magazines in digital format.
Yes, for those sporting fanatics who cannot get enough of their passion, who live and breathe sport, they are spoilt for choice when it comes to reading.
Here are just five of the very best reads, both in print and online. Arguably the most respected sports media brand in the world, Sports Illustrated has long been established as the voice of authority in US sport.
Its coverage is comprehensive: A visionary concept, The Blizzard is the discerning read for football lovers. Fight fans have had a near constant reading companion in the form of Boxing News, the weekly boxing bible that was launched back in The website has an excellent section devoted to training, showing sparring sessions and other gym work, as well as nutritional advice.
Already established in Paris, the UK version hit the streets in — handed out for free around tube and mainland rail stations every Friday morning in London.
What set it apart from the thin, free newspapers already in circulation was the quality of the publication — full colour, genuinely well written, A-list sporting superstars on the cover and interviewed within.
Over the years the Guardian has evolved into a near-perfect platform for sports fans. While other UK media broadsheet heavyweights — notably The Times — moved to a subscription model, the Guardian has kept its content free.
Best of all is the Sports Network, which showcases great writing from other websites. The first noticeable one will be a requirement for site users to sign our terms and conditions.
We are a free site and we work hard to maintain our quiz database and all revenue generated through ads has to date gone back into improving the site.
The other major notable change will be the default switching of our Leaderboard from All time to Monthly scoring. Other improvements will see more text added to individual pages, a request a quiz subject button and an improvement in making it easier to write a quiz question.
As always if you have any suggestions on how we can improve the site please get in contact and let us know.
So off to Wolfsburg he went. On the face of it Chelsea looked to have done a good bit of business. A smart move indeed by the German team.
A quite considerable feat when playing for an unfashionable club in a league with high calibre players such as Robben, Ribery, Muller et al.
In 80 games in Germany while on loan at Bremen and the latterly with Wolfsburg KDB scored 23 goals in 80 games while playing as an attacking midfielder.
Not a bad ratio given the standard of the league. Chelsea are looking less smart than when then originally sold KDB.
Their rivals are stronger and they will now have an opposing player itching to prove the special one wrong. What are the odds now on City pipping Chelsea to the title?
At least they can be comforted by the sell on clause in the Wolfsburg deal. Oh wait a minute they forgot to include one! Given the ease with which Chelsea secured the title last year many may feel this a surprise prediction.
But Chelsea had an almost perfect season last year out with top class additions in the form of Fabregas and Costa hitting the ground running and improving the level of an already very good team.
The addition of Sterling will have many critics but he is after all one of the best young players in Europe, this will the likely arrival of De Bruyne will improve City offensively.
If Auergo stays fit and Silva continues to weave his magic I think the title will be heading to the Blue Camp. Despite tmy reservations above Chelsea are still a very good side with a great deal of strength in depth.
I see them finishing second and possibly getting into the semis of the Champions League — something that will distract them from their League campaign.
Jose is too good a manager to bet against. On paper the Gunners bar one exception up front have a potentially title winning team. They proved in the Charity Shield this year and last that they can beat the league winners on their day.
However doubts remain for me. Two excellent spells broken up with a dreadful run will see them third. In disclosure I am a Liverpool fan!
My view is that as things stand Liverpool can only ever be better than last season and the signings brought in by Rodgers indicate as such. A lot will depend on two things:.
If Rodgers still has a job after 10 games given how unkind the fixture list has been to Liverpool with regards to away games early on.
United have also strengthened but as things stand they only have one recognised striker in Rooney. An injury to him and what then?
United were worthy of their fourth place last year but they also had no European football to contend with. I see this as a rocky challenging season for the Red Devils.
The massive influx in TV money from the Sky deal will see all EPL teams improve in quality making the race for the Top 4 even harder than ever before.
The EPL is the league to be in as it pays and as a result it will mean that those challenging for the top 4 not being able to take any team for granted.
Last year I predicted the title race to be a straight fight between the two richest clubs of the league i.
Manchester city and Chelsea. Manchester city drew level for a short time but that was the only occasion during the whole of last Season that any team can close to toppling Chelsea.
However, this time around I expect it to be different. Also, Chelsea works with a small pool of players which can be a cause of concern for Jose Mourinho.
Manchester City has addressed the area that made their offence predictable and easy to defend. That area was the lack of pace in the team.
The left side of defensive midfield is what City has added pace to with the recruitment of Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling.
However, the club has addressed this key issue with activity in the transfer market. Van Gaal has done well to add experience and quality to the squad with the recruitment of two world-class players like Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger.
Also, United will not miss Di Maria too much as Dupay looks real quality. Arsenal have recruited well this season but until and unless Arsene Wenger changes or compromises a bit on his football philosophy, I cannot see Arsenal winning the league or even genuinely challenging for the title.
What an interesting league the MLS is becoming. More and more legendary players are jetting off to the US for their career swansong.
The league now boast an array of stars who, although past their best would collectively form an awesome team. Two iconic players for Liverpool and Chelsea respectively who went head to head through their careers will continue to do so across the Atlantic.
Who will fare the best in MLS? Will Lampard continue to beat Gerrard in the scoring stake? As you can see from the above stats Lampard has scored more goals throughout his career than Gerrard, albeit having played more games so I guess you would expect that.
What is interesting is if you divide goals by games Lampard gets a score of 0. Quite simply there is nothing in it. Although Gerrard will benefit from a standard of football below that of the Premier League and the pace and the intensity will be below that experienced in England.
This is how Brendan Rodgers deployed him in the last couple of years anyway. His game and his extraordinary goals record he scored time in games for Chelsea resolves around being in the right place at the right time.
For this his natural game should allow him to continue to do so with a general lowering of standard. There is one final consideration — the quality of the team and their teammates.
It is all well and good Lampard being in the right place at the right time if the ball is there! Yes they have some big names in Villa, Pirlo and Lampard but what of the other 8 players on the pitch?
But if I was a betting man I would still go for Lampard over Gerrard on this one. Although most of the focus will be on who will be crowned Premier League champions at the end of season, it is always fascinating to watch how the three promoted teams fare in their attempts to establish themselves as a top flight club.
Fans of Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich will hope that they will not go straight back down to the Championship, and will be backed by neutrals who root for the underdogs.
It has been a remarkable few years on the South coast at Bournemouth who have gone from being on the brink of exiting the Football League to reaching the Premier League in the space of five years.
Eddie Howe has done a wonderful job on a fairly limited budget to create a dangerous side that score plenty of goals from all areas of the pitch, and although many expect them to find the leap from the Championship to the top flight too much to handle, Bournemouth have more than enough about them to surprise everyone and give the big guns a real run for their money.
With confidence sky-high at the Goldsands Stadium and the quality of free-flowing football they play, Howe has the ability to keep Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Many were left surprised by the breakdown between Watford and Slaviska Jokanovic who was instrumental in guiding the club to the Premier League, but the appointment of Quique Sanchez Flores could prove to be a masterstroke.
Lithuania number one Giedrius Arlauskis has also arrived to provide competition for Heurelho Gomes, and with more arrivals at Vicarage Road expected, they could have the quality to avoid going straight back down.
It remains to be seen what style of football Watford will play under their new manager, but if Quique Sanchez Flores has the same effect with the Hornets that he did with Valencia between and , then they could survive comfortably.
Norwich, like Watford, may be able to call upon previous Premier League experience in an effort to become accustomed to life as a top flight club again.
Their promotion via the play-offs is largely thanks to the wonderful job that Alex Neil has done since replacing Neil Adams as manager at the start of ; the Canaries surged up the Championship table as they lost just three of their twenty-two league fixtures, before getting past Ipswich and Middlesbrough to seal their return to the Premier League.
Norwich have added midfield powerhouse Youssouf Mulumbu to their squad, but although they have the quietest of the three promoted teams in the transfer market so far, they already have a squad that is more than capable of competing at the highest level.
Then why not try our first ever football stadium quiz. If you love it leave a comment and we may well add it as a new weekly feature.
Love quizzes about football? Then visit our click on our logo site and get quizzing! The internet has revolutionised the way in which we do many things in life, not more so than Mecca Bingo.
Ever since the launch of the world wide web there has been an ever growing array of gambling options online from the casinos, to the betting exchanges all the way through to traditional sports betting.
Phone accounts and trips to the local bookmakers for the afternoon are a thing of the past and with a simple click of the mouse you can now gamble more easily, more quickly and on a wider range of sports than ever before.
There are number of ways in which this change has affected the punter. The first is simple convenience. One-time account creation on many of the websites online and then the world is your oyster.
Easy simple procedures to place bets, user-friendly websites and all from the comfort of your own armchair. No need to walk to the bookmakers in the pouring rain or make last minute phone calls.
Everything is there just a button away. This has of course opened up the market to much more competition which has lead to better value for punters.
Gone are the days of walking between local bookmakers or browsing lengthy Ceefax pages to compare odds. Now with the click of a button you can sample odds from a range of bookmakers to choose the best value.
This of course means that the companies start to entice customers with better odds, bonuses and special bonuses. All playing into the hands of you…the punter.
Never has there been such value on the markets. In essence, the world of sport has been opened up to punters via the world wide web. No longer do you have to hold the bookmakers queue up by enquiring about a price on a random golfer in a tournament the other side of the world.
The odds for any event can be seen with the click of a button regardless of whether it is a local racing meeting, an international soccer match or even events such as the Eurovision Song Contest…..
This has increased profits for punters, ensured your sporting expertise can be put to use and made watching hose obscure sports on late night TV Channels even more enjoyable.
As well as this the internet has allowed bookmakers to open up everything in each sport to bet on from the winning distances to the number of yellow cards in a match.
In-play betting has transformed the industry and now millions of pounds are staked during games when punters can see the way things are developing.
Laying bets instead of placing them has benefited punters all over the globe and it has taken off massively as the internet has grown. Make some money by laying the bet.
In essence therefore, the World Wide Web has opened up options for gambling, convenience and value for the punters and the betting industry and bookmakers in general have been forced to adapt and offer an better all round service to the punters.
Who do you think is the best football or soccer team playing right now? When Neymar signed with Catalonian giant FC Barcelona, the financial details were at the time unknown, but the impact for the present and future of the club was correctly assumed to be great.
It was also viewed as a leg up during the offseason of their cross-country rivals, star-studded behemoths in their own rite, Real Madrid.
The question remains then, who is performing better for their respective clubs almost two full years into their tenure? Also pertinent to ask is who is getting more value for their money so far, and who projects to perform better in the future and thus receive better value?
While Bale has changed positions across his professional career, he remains a stalwart, athletic powerhouse that has the skills of someone you would expect to be smaller and more nimble.
His speed in particular stands out as, by all accounts, he is one of the fastest players if not the fastest in all of European football.
Both play with an ambidexterity that makes it seem like they do not possess a dominant side, but in reality Neymar plays the centre-right while Bale has gone from the left back position to a left wing attacker.
Overall, he is a physical specimen to be reckoned with. In contrast, Neymar incorporates traditional Brazilian flair in his game, relying on quick changes of pace and direction along with some masterful footwork that got him recognized in the world of football as a prodigy from a young age.
Like Bale, he is a wizard from the spot, a true threat from almost any area on the field from the free kick. While he plays on the opposite side of the field from Bale, he tends to occupy the centre more.
He is a true playmaker, and a threat to do almost anything with the ball when you factor in his quickness and ability to feign and deke effortlessly.
He has been compared in style of play with such luminaries as Ronaldinho and Pele, both compatriots. That said, let us delve into the numbers.
Each holds a distinctive advantage depending on which season you look at, and over the aggregate of almost two full seasons, their output in terms of assists and goals over time played is almost equal.
During his first full season at Real, Bale averaged over one goal or assist 1. His last season in La Liga has been plagued with nagging injuries as he has generally been less consistent, which is not to take away from his playing a key role in winning La Copa del Rey and the Champions League trophy the season prior.
In both deciding matches, he nailed home the capper with the go-ahead goal. By that measure, his signing has been a success.
Neymar did not mesh as well with his club at Camp Nou his first season, which is not to say that it was a failure — far from it. His signing at an age three years younger than Bale was looked upon something for the present as much as for his future potential, which he was dripping with, and that projection is now paying dividends.
While team success was harder to come by last season, his side stands on the brink of a rare treble, with just several more days to decide the ultimate outcome, which might just be a season for the ages.
This bodes well for the future of the Catalonian side. That said, the two have been almost exactly equal in that particularly statistical category, only separated by 0.
By this measure, Bale slightly edges Neymar out in terms of value per total goals plus assists, but that is likely to change in the coming seasons.
Neymar shines as a celebrity for one of the most football-crazed, largest nations on earth. He has been praised as a role model as a man of faith in an at least nominally religious country, as well.
Bale has been praised by former coaches and teammates past and present for his quality of character. When coming over to La Liga, he moved with his high school sweetheart and their baby daughter.
Overall, both of these players are phenomenal in their own right. Only time will tell who has the brighter future, but both have already accomplished much in their relatively short time in football, and it is a near certainty that more awards will be lavished on them both.
In an increasingly digital world it is perhaps unsurprising that the betting industry has grown at such a rapid rate.
With so many platforms that now facilitate gambling, such as mobile and computer, players are not restricted to how and when they want to bet.
The market is booming and extremely lucrative. One thing that has not changed however is the most popular betting opportunity. Attracting all ages, the chance to back your favourite club with hard earned cash provides a thrill almost like no other.
Unsurprisingly, football clubs have clicked on, developing a commercial marketing strategy that mutual benefits all. Fans also benefit by becoming increasingly aware of the opportunities provided by multimedia betting.
They are also often given exclusive offers for joining their clubs betting partner. So just how big has betting and casino sponsorship become in football?
If not, visit Pokies Palace for one of the best choices around. This is all despite strict legislation from the Gambling Act which forbids advertisement of casinos and betting services that are not based with the EEA or are part of the Gambling Commission White List.
The success of these relationships has even resulted in football leagues being sponsored by betting and casino companies. There have been major criticisms of this increasing trend.
Some have questioned the morality of betting sponsorships, whilst others have blamed clubs for gambling addictions and other side effects of the activity.
Strict legislations from the Gambling Act, as previously stated, have policed this well, however, and have protected players influenced too severely by the sponsorship.
As the football betting world continues to economically grow, there is no doubt that this type of sponsorship will become even more of a common trend, especially with the introduction of mobile gambling at sites such as Mobile Pokies Online.
The football betting industry is a rapidly increasing business. Financial losses are a natural cap on this enjoyment however. The first, and most important, step for any football punter is a website called oddschecker.
Oddschecker compares prices for every market of every match, giving punters an easy opportunity to always get the best odds. The useful site also includes details of all free bet offers and new account specials.
Understanding the best football betting markets is also incredibly important. The vast majority of losing gamblers are those who place numerous small staked accumulators.
They predominantly feature a wide range of teams, from a random list of divisions. Those more successful stick with singles and doubles, and usually these tend to be in the lower leagues rather than the Premier League.
First, last, and anytime goalscorers are almost always priced up at odds that do not follow their statistical scoring records. Any successful football punter will stress the importance of analysing statistics before gambling.
Spending hours analysing statistics on all markets may not sound like fun, but it gives you the best chance to be profitable.
After becoming accustomed to statistical betting you subconsciously become able to weigh up whether a bet represents good or bad value. Whilst many may disagree, statistically speaking you are likely to lose more money by betting on football than playing online fruit machines.
Finally, as previously mentioned it is essential to remain disciplined and efficient in your betting. By setting a limit each month of how much you are prepared to gamble, any potential net losses are instantly minimised.
Efficiency can be measured through always taking the best odds, limiting selections to either a single or a double, and thoroughly researching before placing the bet.
Oh and remember, bet with your head,, not your heart! Drama, passion, guts, goals, tears and joy. Words cannot express what this one game means to different people.
Religious differences aside the clubs are long term rivals and the prospect of future derby clashed must wet the appetite of all football fans.
Although the basis for the term is unclear, the words Old Firm make the hairs on the back of the net stand up. Almost league titles between them, domination of the domestic game and success in Europe as not stopped the Old Firm game being the decisive point of the season.
One may be higher in the league, another may reach a cup final but the season will be judged on the games that matter and to Rangers and Celtic fans that can only mean the Old Firm.
Memorable games dominate fans minds such as the thrashing Celtic dished out in , the win Rangers returned in the same year and the record Celtic win the in the s.
Each fan has their own personal memory of a game that captures the entire footballing world. Trouble has marred the clash and the police presence for the match is higher than in any other British derby.
Violence marred matches in the Cup Final when fans brawled on the pitch and in objects were thrown around Celtic Park. The occasions though are rare and it is the football that often does the talking.
Many players have attempted to play for both sides, some with more respect than others but the people, players and fans of Glasgow are expected to nail their colours to one mast.
Green and White of Celtic of the Blue of Rangers. The joys of the Old Firm game were taken away from fans as Rangers suffered demotion and had to reform from the lower ranks to the Scottish Leagues.
Celtic fans may have taken joy in the troubles of their bitterest rivals but deep down felt a gaping void as the season began with the traditional countdown to Old Firm Day.
The passion will return, the teams will contest the title again and the footballing world will be treated to the joy, passion and excitement of the Old Firm game.
There are a number of potential six-pointers left on the fixture list that could make all the difference in deciding who survives and who falls, and with just three points separating the five beleaguered teams, every goal matters.
However, consecutive defeats have seen them slide to the foot of the table, with a poor run of four games without scoring illustrating that Burnley may ultimately lack the firepower to survive.
It could be argued that Queens Park Rangers have considerably under-achieved this season for a team who have the seventh highest wage bill in the Premier League.
Fixtures against West Ham, Leicester and Newcastle present wonderful opportunities to pick up three points, but trips to Liverpool and Manchester City limit their survival bid to just three games.
One considered dead and buried, Leicester have seemingly resurrected their chances of Premier League survival following a run of three consecutive victories.
Facing Burnley, Newcastle, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers on the final day of the season could be the fixtures that Leicester target to pick up three points in, with games at the King Power Stadium against Chelsea and Southampton posing much tougher tests.
Their remaining fixtures do not favour either them, with tough games against Crystal Palace, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United providing limited opportunities for three points.
The penultimate game of the season against Burnley at the KC Stadium could be their best chance of securing three points, although Hull cannot afford to rely on other results to go their way in their current predicament.
Dick Advocaat has been tasked with the responsibility of saving a capsizing ship, with one win in their last ten games putting Sunderland in real danger of relegation.
Their derby win against Newcastle should have been the springboard for survival, but the dramatic collapse against Crystal Palace sent them back down to earth with a bump.
Love Man Utd or a simply a a clever sod! Then try some more quizzes on our site: The combination of football and holidays is an irresistible one for many young players and fans, and even though the UK seems unable to land the World Cup it is undoubtedly one of the top soccer nations in the world.
From stunning new grounds such as the Emirates and Wembley to classics like Anfield and Molineux, the British football enthusiast is spoilt for choice.
The legendary players who have graced these grounds started at tournaments as seven and eight year olds, testing their skills at holiday resorts and leisure centres across the country before taking their talent to the big leagues.
Pontins Holiday Park in Southport is the venue for accommodating one of the largest youth tournaments in the UK, which usually attracts more than teams.
The footy action itself caters for boys and girls from the ages of U7 through to U18s, and is now in its 12 th year.
Part of the reason for its longevity is the combination of sport and entertainment, with an indoor pool, go-karts, a climbing wall and other activities setting up players for the evening entertainment.
Coastal locations lend themselves perfectly to football tournaments, and none better than a town known as part of the English Riviera alongside the beautiful Brixham and Paignton.
Nottingham Forest remains the only club to have won the European Cup more times than the English league title, while Notts County is the oldest football league club.
So a football tournament in Clough and Collymore country needs to be a decent one. Thankfully this annual football festival from May 23 to 31 for players of all categories is one to savour.
The Goliath of UK football tours: Truly one for the football disciple. The North-East of England is known for its passionate football fans and this is based on the intense local rivalry between Newcastle United and Sunderland.
For hundreds of years the Mackems and Geordies have collided in derby matches that bring the region to a standstill. The Red and White stripes of Sunderland meeting the Black and White stripes of Newcastle is an annual fixture that fans eagerly anticipate and that always serves us a treat for the neutrals.
Only ten miles apart, the Tyne-Wear derby has a famous history. The sides first met in and the passion was evident from the off, taken to a greater extent in when Sunderland dumped Newcastle out of the FA Cup.
Since then the derby has been evenly matched with both teams recording over 50 wins and there being a similar number of ties.
The matches themselves tend to be passion filled and unpredictable. Shearer being dropped to the bench, the rainy night on which Quinn and Phillips dominated the show at St.
James, the and the Kerian Richardson free kick all stay firm in the memory. The rivalry extends beyond the game itself as fans taunt each other over silverware.
Sunderland fans point to the FA Cup victory as evidence of their superiority whilst Newcastle fans can gloat at the runners-up spots in the Premier League and Champions League appearances.
Sunderland fans took great joy in the s when Newcastle found themselves relegated to the lower league but just like the neutrals, part of the Mackems were upset that they would not get the annual joys of derby day.
Players who had crossed the divide are few and far between but the likes of Paul Bracewell, Stephen Caldwell, Titus Bramble and Lionel Perez have been embraced by fans.
Newcastle fans will remember the famous afternoon at St James Park when Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan lead the Toon Army to a famous victory but lately it is the Black Cats who have had the more to cheer about.
As the popularity of domestic football began to grow in Australia, the AFC decided to reinvent the top flight of the club game in the country by launching the A-League in to replace the National Soccer League.
The hope was that the A-League would bring in new fans, players, sponsors and interest. Indeed since that inaugural season in , the A-League has indeed been a success.
Currently, 10 teams compete in the league, 9 from Australia and 1 from New Zealand, and season on season attendance and TV viewers have continued to rise.
As well as producing domestic stars the A-League has attracted a range of footballing legends from around the world to ply their trade in the division.
To add excitement up until the final moments, the league involves a total of 27 rounds culminating in a play-off to crown the league champions.
With major sponsors on board, including league sponsors Hyundai, the future for the A-League looks bright! One of the major attractions of the A-League has been its unpredictability which has resulted in a total of 6 different champions since inception.
In 10 years that is an impressive total compared to other leagues ad gives every fan hope that one day their team will lift the crown.
Has the A-League though achieved one of its aims of widening the horizon for Australian Football and increasing the global audience?
The answer must be a resounding yes. This has been aided by the attraction of players with world class reputations.
Alessandro Del Piero came to the league on a multi million dollar deal that made headline sports news across the globe. Add in legends such as Romario and Robbie Flower and not to mention the world famous home brewed players including Harry Kewell, Brett Emerton and Joshua Kennedy and it is clear the league has raises its standards.
The league continues to grow and the future in terms of a global audience is very bright indeed! The league, although young, has already established its own legends.
Several players have become households in Australia after playing over times in the division. Carl Veart is the answers to a common Australian Trivia Question by scoring the first goal in the league for Adelaide United and between them Archie Thompson, Shane Smeltz and Besart Bersiha have broken scoring records time after time.
In essence the A-League is growing into a division worthy of time, respect and attention. Just like in non-football nations such as American and India, the injection of money, sponsors, new leagues and world class players has risen the profile of the game and no one can now ignore the league.
Pele once said that a team from Africa would have won the World Cup by Just as the MLS became a major world league attracting talent and attention, the A-League is starting to grow and with highly charged atmospheres, competitive matches and unpredictable outcomes, any football fan will be giving themselves a treat by paying a little more attention to what is going on down under.
England moved one step closer towards Euro qualification after a thrashing of Lithuania at Wembley. England cannot still remain complacent about an automatic qualification spot given that there are still five matches left in the campaign, but it realistically puts them on the verge of a place in the finals.
Wayne Rooney and the rest of the team celebrated each of the four goals with passion. Later, the Manchester United striker said that other teams will be frightened about the form shown by England is their early exit from the World Cup However, there is a danger of the nation once again becoming complacent just before a major tournament.
England have come up against only one team in the top 30 of the world FIFA rankings — Switzerland — in this period. A more accurate assessment of the team will be available as they take on the likes of Italy and France in Despite the lack of top quality opposition, it is fair to say that the team has been playing with a lot of speed than before.
The team now enjoys bundles of energy through the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson. After having been a team that relies excessively on the finishing skills of Rooney, England may have a great alternative in the form of Harry Kane.
The Tottenham striker has scored an impressive 29 goals in all competitions for Tottenham this season. He announced his international debut in style after scoring within 76 seconds of being introduced as a substitute in the game against Lithuania.
Welbeck may not necessarily have the finishing skills to be a top player at international level, but it appears as if Kane can certainly be moulded into one.
Aside from Kane, manager Roy Hodgson will also be looking forward to welcoming Daniel Sturridge back to the team. The quartet are certainly a huge upgrade in terms of quality over the previous crop of England strikers like Peter Crouch or Andy Carroll.
Hodgson was expected to be sacked from his role after a very disappointing World Cup, but he has certainly given himself a lot of positive reviews in the last few months.
Just like England, Antonio Conte has also been able to infuse some life into the Italian team after a disappointing World Cup. They have won all but one match since their early departure from Brazil A disappointing result against the Italian team will not be the end of the world for England, as Hodgson will be without a number of his important players.
Instead, backup players like Ryan Bertrand have been drafted into the squad for this trip to Italy. Hodgson confirmed before the international break that he did not intend to overwork the players, who have already played a lot of games for their clubs, in friendly matches.
Before the match against England, Italy will be concentrating on their Euro qualifying match against Bulgaria.
The trio of Norway, Italy, and Croatia are almost certain to qualify following the latest round of results, but it is still unclear if Italy will be able to secure an automatic qualification spot.
The three teams are separated by just one point. Sterling has suffered a toe injury, but he is almost certain to feature against Arsenal next weekend when the Premier League returns.
One of English footballs most notorious and passionate rivalries, unlike the others, is based not on location but on success.
The annual fixtures between Liverpool and Manchester United are infused with a passion not derived from locality, but form the size of the trophy cabinet.
Indeed, this rivalry is more of a modern development as, although major clubs compete fiercely with each other across the land, the fight to be crowned as the most successful club in England has fused this rivalry.
Post War Top Flight Finish comparison. Anfield was home to some of the finest teams of the s and s and with total domination in the league and European success they were the undeniable kings of Europe.
Keegan, Souness, Dalglish , Hughes……the names that are drip off the tongue. Whilst the Kop was awash in success and silverware.
Down at Old Trafford United were having mixed fortunes. Still one of Englands biggest clubs success was thin on the ground, with an unexpected relegation and inconsistent form.
Then the turn around came…. Indeed, with the coming of the Premier League in United surpassed all records. League title after league title, cup after cup, Champions League success and a place at the very highest spot in world football.
Liverpool fans had to watch has their crowns were taken, records were smashed and United were the team everyone talked about. During the Premier League era Liverpool could not muster together the form or quality to win the division.
Although always in and around the top 5 Liverpool never mounted a serious challenge until the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and United had it all their own way.
Liverpool did have success in Europe and domestic trophies but the domination of United in the league, that Liverpool once dominated, was a bitter pill to swallow.
Liverpool fans clung onto the past, citing figures and statistics of how they were still England number 1 team.
United fans teased and hunted records, making a big deal about every Liverpool record that was beaten. This success rivalry led to the games between the pair being tinged with venom, passion and excitement.
United, although involved in their own city derby, looked to the Liverpool game as the marker for their season. Liverpool looked to the United game for a chance to take the champions down a peg.
So who do you think are the biggest and the most successful of the two? We currently have representation from 83 countries but we are looking for more.
As for players from club teams, the amount is well over and growing all the time. Come and join us and take your club and country to League and Cup glory!
Check us out on twitter: The romantic view of a row of fathers standing along the touchline in their coats on a crisp Sunday morning, happily watching their youngsters playing junior football, is a pleasant thought.
Some stand stoically watching their son or daughter dispatch goal after goal, others get rather animated as the action heats up, and in certain circumstances there may even be other spectators of interest.
As organiser there are several responsibilities that you have to take into account, but it need not be your sole responsibility.
Mums and dads can help with administration, organising a venue, and fundraising, among other tasks.
The venue needs to be somewhere with, as a bare minimum: Decide who will take part and get the invitations sent out early — a summer event but not during the summer holiday could be ok, but be wary of hot temperatures.
Try to organise it for a weekend when little else is going on in the area. Five or seven a side games on a small pitch or pitches is the easiest option.
Someone will need to be on-hand for each individual game, to referee and observe from a safety point of view.
A mini league system might be fair, as it gives teams several short minutes at the most games. All entry information should be sent to the teams in good time.
Set up a Twitter account where interested parents can ask quick questions. You might even get requests for stalls from small local businesses, selling hot food and drink, football boots and so on.
A trophy will be needed for the winning team, which should be engraved at a later date. Financial fair play has ensured that plenty of book-balancing needs to take place before an outlay is made on buying a player.
Did Manchester City and its Premiership rivals miss the chance of a bargain by looking for the right player abroad using currency conversion rates?
That means that clubs in some countries can take advantage of dominant currencies: Sunderland spent much of January seeking out a striker, for instance, before identifying Jermain Defoe as the new man to lead their line.
That deal went through on January 16 but if the deal had gone through eight days earlier, the pound would have been worth three cents less against the Canadian dollar.
Perhaps Arsenal and Leicester had a better idea by hunting for new talent in eastern Europe: For the signing of Andrej Kramaric , that would amount to around 1.
But the best deal a club could have found in January would have come from Russia. Clearly, then, there is a lot of value to be found in being choosy about where you buy your players from.
In terms of scouting for a summer bargain, though, where should clubs begin looking now? Currently the currency looking ahead with dread is the euro.
A new bout of quantitative easing, bumpy roads to recovery and the possibility of a collapse have all rocked the single currency in At the moment, most commentators do not see the euro returning to strength any time soon, instead questioning when it might hit parity with the dollar.
There are many teams in London and hence many derbies. Every week you can look at the fixture list and see teams from the capital squaring of across the division.
But none of the derbies have ever quite managed to match the North London derby for passion, hype and excitement. Something magical happens when these two sides meet, and their rivalry is one of the bitterest and most passionate in the English game.
In the Premier League era, since the foundation of the division in , Arsenal have been the dominant side.
Spurs fans have had to watch as Arsenal won leagues including the unbeaten season , qualified for the Champions League year in and year out and won domestic trophies.
Indeed, up to the start of the season Spurs had only managed to finish above their rivals on two occasions. However, Spurs managed their own success winning the League Cup and moulding players like Gareth Bale into world beaters but the team were always fighting hard for their place in the upper reaches of the table.
Only in the s did Spurs manager to cement themselves in the Top 6 and turn into Champions League contenders, the gap truly began to close and the North London rivals are closer in the table than ever before.
From the very first meeting in until the Present day the North London derby has created memories, made heroes, caught out villains and provided entertainment for all to see.
White Hart Lane and Highbury now the Emirates have never been as electric as when the locals are in town and the fans seek out the fixture first when the list is published.
A manager can be having a great season, but defeat in the North London derby can have fans turning. Recent times have seen some exciting matches as both teams throw caution to win.
Who can forget the draw in or the back to back wins Arsenal recorded at the Emirates in later years. Perhaps the most memorable game occurred in at White Hart Lane when a dominant Arsenal side emerged victors in one of the Premier Leagues most thrilling matches.
Whatever the occasion, whenever these two sides clash there is passion, joy, tears and emotion. This is one derby even neutral fans never want to miss.
Both teams are Premier League mainstays and with transfer fees paid out on world class players, strong youth policies and a long tradition, we will be treated to the North London derby, with all its glamour and passion for some time to come.
Stood cheering on your side, freezing cold. Except, whilst February might be approaching the minuses in the crowd, the pitch has its own micro-climate, because the Premier League is hotting up, none more so than in the race for the Golden Boot.
There have been some ruthless finishers in the top flight this season, with Diego Costa scoring seven goals in his first four games.
It looked like that was the race over with 34 games still to play, but with 19 of those taken up, the tortoise is certainly approaching the hair, well if you can call Sergio Aguero and Alexi Sanchez tortoises.
His partnership with Cesc Fabregas has already become one of the most lethal in Premier League history, and hats can certainly be tipped towards Jose Mourinho for his work in the market this summer.
He will of course be more focussed on getting his side out of the bottom three and remaining in the Premier League, but the more goals he scores the more likely that will happen.
Perhaps one of the signings of the season, Alexis Sanchez has been a revelation scoring 12 and laying on 7 in just 20 Premier League starts. With 14 goals in 15 games and four assists, Aguero may have the edge on Diego Costa, despite his flying start.
Surprisingly, Aguero has yet to win the Golden Boot with third being his highest placed finish. Much overshadowed by the more popular leagues in England, and a lesser extent Scotland, football in Northern Ireland has been unfairly overlooked by those outside of the country.
But the league in Northern Ireland is taken very seriously by locals with loyal fans travelling the nation to support their clubs. The top flight in Northern Ireland has undergone several name changes, being known as the Irish Football League until when it was rebranded as the Irish Premier League.
Throughout the season 12 teams compete in the NIFL Premiership , who also have domestic competitions including the prestigious Irish Cup to contend with.
Cliftonville , Glentoran and Linfield have played in an impressive season each of league football are their names are known around the continent as they have made appearances in prestigious European competitions.
The likes of Portadown and Coleraine have long histories whilst the NIFL Premiership now also boasts newer clubs such as Warrenpoint Town and Ballinamallard United to give the league a strong competitive edge.
Results are unpredictable, leagues tend to be separated by few points and the title race grips the country come the end of May.
Linfield fans have had the most to cheer throughout their history and their 51 titles are only bettered in Europe by Rangers of Scotland. In fact since winning their first crown in the club have won more than double the titles of their nearest rival, Glentoran who had won 23 titles.
Although names like Joe Gormley, Rory Patterson and Curtis Allen may not be household names in the rest of the UK, in Northern Ireland these men have grown into legends through their prolific scoring in the league.
But it is not just the league that provides football action in the country but its the same teams that have dominated the prestigious Irish Cup.
Again, Linfields record of 42 cup wins is close to a European Record and together with Glentoran they have dominated the competition.
Cup Final days rings its own traditions, customs and it seems like the whole of nation tunes in. With a passionate following, a strong supporter base and clubs steeped in tradition, Northern Ireland has a rich footballing heritage and a league to be proud of.
Former footballer Jimmy Bullard. According to reports, McIndoe promised returns of 20 per cent each month to those that invested in his scheme that promised exclusive access to private jets and nightclubs.
However, after filing for bankruptcy back in October , it emerged that McIndoe used most of the money to gamble on hundreds of sports matches.
These incidents cost the Italian leagues hundreds of millions in revenue and almost crippled the game inside the country.
As well as being home to some of the top footballers in the world, Real Madrid has been a stable business enterprise with a clean image for more than a decade.
This ability to dodge any proverbial bullets has allowed Real to dominate both on the pitch and in the stock markets. Football is certainly one of the most entertaining sports in the world when things are going smoothly.
However, when characters such as McIndoe bring the game into disrepute, it can certainly smudge the make-up of the beautiful game.
Despite our best efforts people still dont know about our quality and free, yes that is free app. Based in the famous Bernabeu Stadium , Madrid are ranked as the most valuable sports club in the world.
This is based on years of success on the pitch, countless silverware and a wide range of superstar players donning the famous white shirts.
Success domestically includes being one of only three teams never to have been relegated from the top flight of Spanish football and have won an astounding 79 domestic titles.
This success continued through the s when Madrid won a staggering 8 La Liga titles and a sixth European Cup, and into the s, when they claimed 5 more La Liga titles.
A brief dry spell at the start of the s ended in when Madrid claimed the first of five back to back championships, but despite sustained domestic success the European Cup continued to elude Madrid until under Jupp Heynckes.
An eighth and ninth Champions League title followed in and , as a team containing superstars such as Raul and Roberto Carlos proved irrepressible domestically and in Europe.
Since their first league win in , Real Madrid have won a staggering 32 League Titles and consistently find themselves in the Top 3.
Coupled with 19 Copa del Rey titles Real Madrid have been a domestic force in every season in which they have played. Without question Real Madrid are the most successful club in European competitions.
Each season Madrid continue to spend big to maintain their success and with the likes of Cristinao Ronaldo, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale arriving in recent seasons to add strength to the team, their success looks set to continue.
But, is Van Gaal the right manager to lead Manchester United, who have been struggling ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as their manager, to new glory?
A guarantee for success? Ferguson had an extremely successful run with Man United, but the generation of players he had the privilege to manage already ended their careers — at least most of them have.
And the players that make up the team today do not live up to the expectations, so far. Yes, he probably is the ultimate football player.
They then asked them about what moments they believe transformed them from boy-to-man and it seems the transformation from boy to the ultimate man can be signalled by All the answers have been compiled into an infographic that you can take a look at here:.
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