m88 bale was 14 at the time.. Coleman started him as an inside-left but the licence to roam, to interchange with the hard-working striker Hal Robson-Kanu and to drift to the other side, was pronounced.
Bale’s goal took his tally to 17 for his country, which is already five more than that of Ryan Giggs, the other great icon of modern Welsh football. The atmosphere was hot 20 minutes beforehand; at kick-off time, as the fine rain came down and the electro blared over the PA system, it pulsated.
On the occasion of his 50th cap, the Real Madrid forward looked relaxed and he enjoyed himself, apart from his final 15 minutes or so on the field, when his muscles tightened into knots. As an aside, Giggs finished his career with 64 caps; Bale has reached the half-century at the age of 25. How could he have failed to see Gareth Bale, lurking on the fringes of the six-yard box?
Bale struck fear into Belgium’s defensive players. The Welsh celebrations were long and loud.
This was a seismic game for Wales, comfortably the biggest since November 2003, when Mark Hughes’ team had lost 1-0 to Russia in the Euro 2004 play-off second-leg. They had titans at the back. Belgium had arrived as the second-ranked team in world football. Bale had his seventh goal in seven international appearances and Wales had something to protect, something to fire them towards the Euro 2016 finals.
The vocal Belgium fans also played their part, some of them dressed as devils. He and Wales are on the brink of their first major championship since the 1958 World Cup.
Nainggolan looked frightened to go too near him. And they had Bale.
All eyes were on Bale from the moment he tore out for the warm-up, red socks rolled down to his ankles. But Wales had a tremendous collective resolve, which they showed during the second half, in particular. When he charged forward in the 33rd minute, he glided past Nainggolan as though he were not there.
The plan here was to get Bale on the ball and with his head up; the space in front of him. It is different with Bale.
Rafael Benítez, the new Real manager, was in the crowd and he watched Bale decorate the early stages with some stylish moves and trademark bursts. When it did, Bale spoke in those soft tones and said very little. His star status feels total in these parts, and the trappings are everywhere. But his focus did not waver. They had conceded only one goal during the current campaign. Chris Coleman, the Wales manager, had said that Bale had the ability to “change the game in a second”. He had time to think about the situation; perhaps too much time. They had not lost a qualifying tie since October 2011. Black speedos, red body paint, horns; it was a strong look.
Bale covered some ground and by the 70th minute of the backs-to-the-wall second-half effort, he had begun to cramp. The image of Vadim Evseev, the Russia No2, rising early on to head the decisive goal is freeze-framed in the memories of all those present. That was one of those nights with which Wales supporters have become wearily familiar, when the dreams turn to dust. It did not matter.
Cardiff City Stadium had been transformed into a patriotic bearpit, with giant images of the Wales players at the top of the stands behind the goals and the Football Association of Wales’ qualification motto “Together Stronger” also prominent. With Giggs, there was the thing about him not playing in friendlies – Sir Alex Ferguson had an influence there – and some Wales fans never truly took him into their hearts.
What a night this was. So did those of just about everybody inside this raucous stadium.
The moment that Radja Nainggolan looped his header back towards Thibaut Courtois, the Belgium midfielder wanted his time again. The crowd loved it.
Bale’s did not. Other Belgians backed off him. It sucked the life out of the Millennium Stadium. The composure, as he took a touch on his chest before stroking low through Courtois’ legs with his weaker right foot, was breathtaking. They are building something that has captured the imagination of this nation. At times in the first half, it was remarkable to see how much room Bale had.
Nainggolan certainly saw him as the ball travelled towards the Wales talisman and his heart turned a somersault. With a few minutes to go, he was withdrawn to a hero’s ovation. Coleman has shaped an impressive supporting cast around him but nobody can be under any illusions as to who is driving this squad, who is central to the battle to overturn 57 years of history, one that is marked by nightmares and near misses.
Bale was the symbol of the evening, of the hope that had sprung so urgently since the 3-0 away win over Israel in March. In the media, there had been a long wait for a video clip of an interview with him to drop on Thursday afternoon. Here was that second. He left everything on the field and his confidence spread to his team-mates. They had Eden Hazard and a host of stars. His first touch was a Cruyff-turn to bamboozle his one-time Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Jan Vertonghen, while his next involvement was to nutmeg the Belgium left-back
m88 this will teach you how to win fantasy football in the best way possible.
Cheat guides are guides to form of the existing and available NFL players. This is one of the main enduring reasons as to why football games have actually inspired a similar rush in the form of the major fantasy football league games which fascinate people to a great extent. Tags: Soccer Shirts, Football JerseysHow To Best Buy A Football Shirt Online By: vikram kumar – Buying soccer jerseys is now very easy. These are guides that rank the different players based on their accomplishments in different leagues and events of fantasy football. This means that these cheat guides will help the people in winning a lot of useful football games. There are so many clubs in the game that it gets a li … You do not need to watch only sports channels on TV. Tags: football shirt, Buy Football JerseyFootball Shirts For Soccer Players And Soccer Fans By: vikram kumar – One of the most popular sporting events is soccer. Visit: Fantasy Football
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m88 Abel Xavier (Portuguese full-back recently banned for failing a drugs test) – 8 games for Bari in the 1995-96 Italian season, followed by 58 games in La Liga for Oviedo between 1996 and 1998. played 18 games for Barcelona in 2004 before returning to Italy, and he now plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premiership where he has played 40 times.
Patrick Kluivert (Dutch striker) – 27 games for AC Milan in 1997-98, 182 for Barcelona in La Liga from 1998-2004, then 25 for Newcastle in the 2004-05 Premiership season. He then returned to Spain to play for Valencia, but has since moved back to Holland.
Savo Milosevic (Serbian striker) – 91 games for Aston Villa in England from 1995-98, 72 for Real Zaragoza in Spain from 1998-2000 and 31 for Parma in Serie A from 2000-01. Since then he has returned to Spain where he has played for various clubs, including a return to Zaragoza.
Michael Reiziger (Dutch full-back) – 10 games for AC Milan between 1996 and 1997, 173 for Barcelona in La Liga from 1997-2004, and 22 games for Middlesbrough (seems to be a theme!) in 2004-05 season. He also played for Liverpool and AS Roma, and currently plays for Middlesbrough.
Christian Karembeu (French defender) – played for Sampdoria in Serie A from 1995-97, Real Madrid in La Liga from 1997-2000, and Middlesbrough in England in the 2000-01 season.
Edgar Davids (Dutch midfielder who plays in goggles!) – 15 games for AC Milan from 1996-98, with a lot more for Juventus after that…
Didier Deschamps (captain of France in their 1998 World Cup victory) – 124 games for Juventus in Serie A from 1994-99, 27 for Chelsea from 1999-2000, before finishing his career at Valencia where he made 8 appearances in La Liga.. He completed the set when he joined Everton in 1999, where he played 43 games. He now plays back home in Holland.
I had a good think and managed to come up with a handful..
fun88 Leroy Sane, just 19 years of age, was the next beneficiary of the home side’s reluctance to put pressure on the ball.
The midfielder was allowed both time and space to take aim and curl a quite sumptuous effort into the far corner past the watching Casillas.
Real, unbeaten at home in the Champions League since April 2011, remained vulnerable, particularly at the heart of the midfield.
It was one of those midfielders, Luka Modric, back from injury, whose mistake gave Huntelaar the opportunity to set up a pulsating finish.
Modric’s loose pass allowed the forward to take the ball in his stride before unleashing an unstoppable effort which crashed in off the underside of the crossbar.
As the whistles rang out, those in blue poured forward with the impressive Sane forcing Casillas into a fine stop as the visitors edged closer and closer to an all important fifth goal.
With the clock ticking down, Schalke threw everyone forward in search of a dramatic winner — but when the ball broke to Benedikt Howedes, the defender could only fire his shot straight at Casillas.
The referee’s whistle brought relief, though the howls of derision from the home supporters gave the players an idea of their recent failings.
“Getting through to the next round is very important for us, sometimes you have to suffer and this will make us stronger,” said Modric.
“We have to get back to playing the way we were at the start of the season, we have a lot of quality and I think that we’re going to see a much better Real Madrid in the next game.”
Porto power through
In the night’s other game, Porto trounced Swiss side FC Basel 4-0 to secure a 5-1 aggregate victory.
Porto, winners in 2004 under Jose Mourinho, eased home courtesy of goals from Yacine Brahimi, Hector Herrera, Casemiro and Vincent Aboubakar.
“You have to applaud the entire team for this fantastic performance against a very difficult opponent who came here determined to qualify,” Julen Lopetegui, the Porto coach, told reporters.
“We deserve to be in the Champions League quarterfinals even if we came through qualifying.
“I am very happy and very proud of my players who showed a lot of character.”
. Fabio Coentrao, the left-back, produced a fine cross and Ronaldo eased away from his marker to head his second of the game.
That should have been that for Schalke, at least Real might have felt that way when Karim Benzema put his side ahead for the first time on the night.
The Frenchman danced his way through the defense before coolly netting Real’s third of the evening with eight minutes of the second period played.
While Real continued to threaten in attack, its defense remained suspect. Story highlightsReal Madrid qualifies for the quarterfinals of European Champions LeagueCristiano Ronaldo scores twice in 4-3 defeat by SchalkeReal wins 5-4 on aggregate following 2-0 first leg successPorto through to last eight following victory over BaselFollow us at @CNNSport and like us on Facebook
The 10-time-winner escaped a humiliating exit from the tournament after going down 4-3 at home to German side Schalke allowing it to sneak through 5-4 on aggregate.
Had it not been for Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice to ensure his place as the record goalscorer in European football competitions, then it could have been far more embarrassing.
As it was, Real’s players were met with the waving of handkerchiefs and whistles on an evening which threatened to spiral from disaster into ignominy.
Real’s malaise has been well documented but this latest chapter, where it was hugely fortunate to escape with its hands still on the trophy, offered yet more questions than answers.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team have endured a difficult few weeks, but if his players had arrived at the Bernabeu hoping to silence the sniping critics then they failed miserably.
This was a dire display from one of the most expensively assembled teams on the planet, who but for arguably the world’s greatest player, would have succumbed to one of the most embarrassing defeats in the club’s illustrious history.
Make no bones about it – Real was rumbled. Schalke, produced a fine performance, full of courage, energy and a zest which their opponent could scarcely match.
Had it not been for one player on the opposing side then perhaps this would have been one of the most famous nights in Schalke’s history.
Unfortunately, that one player was Ronaldo.
As lethargic and lackadaisical as Real was throughout the contest, Ronaldo’s two goals, both headers, ensured its place in the next round.
Nobody has scored more goals than Ronaldo in European club football — his 77th and 78th taking him to the top of the chart ahead of his nemesis, Lionel Messi.
His latest efforts may not have been the most spectacular, but they were so very precious given the nature of the tie.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg in Gelsenkirchen, Real was firm favorite to progress.
No team in the history of the competition had lost the first leg 2-0 at home and managed to progress — and Schalke appeared unlikely to alter that statistic.
Coached by Roberto di Matteo, who led Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012, Schalke arrived hoping to give a good account of themselves, according to the Italian.
Fifth in the German league, this was hardly a team which was supposed to send Madrid into a meltdown — and yet that’s what came to fruition.
But, given the recent form of the Carlo Ancelotti’s side, perhaps this was not so unexpected.
Last weekend’s league defeat at Athletic Bilbao brought about a new wave of criticism for Ancelotti.
Toppled from the summit by arch rival Barcelona, Real has struggled in recent weeks for consistency by its own high standards.
Its astounding 22-game winning streak was curtailed by Valencia on January 4 and the style and swagger which was so evident during that run soon fell away.
A 4-0 defeat by champion and city rival Atletico in February was difficult to stomach as was the defeat in the Basque country to Bilbao — but Real’s problems stretch beyond results.
Real began slowly, in fact, slowly would have been an improvement on what was quite a dreadful opening period.
Those in white shirts appeared to be running in slow motion as Schalke took the contest to its opponent with a zest and spirit which Real could not match.
Having already fired several warning shots, Schalke finally made the breakthrough its energy and enterprise deserved when Christian Fuchs fired home after good work by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Real, abject in the extreme, appeared bereft of ideas, short on confidence and as if those on the field had merely stumbled upon the stadium’s turf without actually meeting one another.
Fortunately, in Ronaldo, Real has a man who has power beyond those of his fellow mortals.
Schalke’s lead lasted just five minutes — Ronaldo finding both time and space inside the penalty area before heading home from close range. Yet, what followed, was another example of Real’s fragility.
First, Huntelaar, once a Real player, pounced upon Raphael Varane’s dreadful backpass only for his effort to lack the necessary power.
Soon after, the Dutchman struck the crossbar with a fine volley from 25-yards which left Iker Casillas, the Real goalkeeper, clutching at thin air.
Schalke sensed its opportunity and with four minutes of the first half it finally struck when Max Meyer, the 19-year-old, fired home after Casillas had fumbled Huntelaar’s effort.
Real was reeling — and yet it was Ronaldo once again who got it out of trouble.
That strike, his 40th of the season, should have settled the home side down
Exercise rider Willie Delgado gallops Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., Wednesday, May 14, 2014. Murray won 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The Seahawks won 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. 28, 2014.
San Francisco 49ers’ Anthony Dixon dives into the end zone for a touchdown run during the first half of the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Jan. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). 19, 2014. 19, 2014. Robin van Persie’s diving header that foretold the demise of reigning world champion Spain was spectacular. (AP Photo/Mark J. Beckett pitched the first no-hitter of his career and the first in the majors this season. outdoor track and field championships in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, June 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps, File)
Espanyol’s goalkeeper Francisco “Kiko” Casilla makes a save during a Copa del Rey soccer match between Real Madrid and Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
Florida State forward Okaro White (10) shoots as Miami’s Rion Brown, bottom, and DeQuan Jones (5) defend during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Friday, March 9, 2012, in Atlanta. (Victor R. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, left, celebrates after scoring the winning goal with Kyle Clifford, right, past New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, of Sweden, during the second overtime period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals, Friday, June 13, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Britain’s Andy Murray eyes the ball as he plays Kazakhstan’s Andrey Golubev during the first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, is followed by his teammates Estonia’s Tanel Kangert, center, and Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang, left, as the pack rides in pouring rain during the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 208.5 kilometers (129.6 miles) with start in Maubourguet and finish in Bergerac, France, Friday, July 25, 2014.
10ThingstoSeeSports – Washington Nationals first baseman Tyler Moore makes a diving catch for the out on a foul ball hit by New York Mets’ Eric Young Jr. Cellular Field on March 31, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Britton Colquitt #4 of the Denver Broncos celebrates their 26 to 16 win over the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. Brazil’s Gabriel Medina won over US Kelly Slater. Like Flipper catching fish, he launched himself horizontally into the air to get his head to a long pass from left back Daley Blind, sending the ball arching over stranded Spain goalkeeper and captain, Iker Casillas.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)
10ThingstoSeeSports – The New Zealand rugby team dance after winning the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament against England in Hong Kong, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland kisses the forehead of his Danish ex-girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki after the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday Jan. (Darko Bandic/AP)
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 07: Shabazz Napier #13 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates on the court after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship at AT&T Stadium on April 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. 14, 2014. Terrill)
Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman celebrates with fans after after the NFL football NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. The White Sox defeated the Twins 5-3. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled for May 17 at Pimlico. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett, center, is doused by second baseman Justin Turner, right, after Beckett pitched a no-hitter baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, May 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. Los Angeles won 6-0. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
FILE – In this June 13, 2014 file photo, Netherlands’ Robin van Persie heads the ball to score during the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and the Netherlands at the Arena Ponte Nova in Salvador, Brazil. Montano, a four-time national champion in the 800, came in last in her heat with a time a 2 minutes, 32.3 seconds. 19, 2014, in Seattle. (Matt Slocum/AP)
Second placed Magdalena Neuner of Germany, center, in action during the women’s 12.5 km mass start at the World Cup Biathlon ski race in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, Sunday, March 9, 2008. 10, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. during the first inning of a baseball game at Nationals Park, Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Washington. The Spurs won the NBA championship 104-87. Caivano/AP)
Russia’s Vera Bazarova and Yuri Larionov compete in the pairs free skating at the European Figure Skating Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, Jan. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Mini driver Stephane Peterhansel and co-pilot Jean Paul Cottret, both of France, race through the dunes during the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally between the cities of Calama and Iquique, Chile, Tuesday, Jan. AFP PHOTO / GREGORY BOISSY (Photo credit should read GREGORY BOISSY/AFP/Getty Images)
Flavia Pennetta of Italy bites the net in frustration during her fourth round match against Angelique Kerber of Germany at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan center, is joined by his daughter Sydney, left, and son Draven, right, during a news conference after Game 5 of the NBA basketball finals against the Miami Heat on Sunday, June 15, 2014, in San Antonio. 19, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday, Aug. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)
CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 31: Oswaldo Arcia #31 of the Minnesota Twins and fans watch as a home run ball hit by Alejandro De Aza of the Chicago White Sox sails out of the park during the Opening Day game at U.S. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
Australia’s Owen Wright gestures as he rides a wave during the finale of the 14th edition of the Billabong Pro Tahiti surf event, part of the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) world tour, on August 25, 2014 in Teahupoo, on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 15: National League All-Star Andrew McCutchen #22 stands in the on deck circle during the 85th MLB All-Star Game at Target Field on July 15, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
10ThingstoSeeSports – Hank, the unofficial mascot of the Milwaukee Brewers, plays with a player’s bat on the field before an opening day baseball game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves at Miller Park, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Milwaukee. 19, 2014.(Eugene Hoshiko/AP)
Alysia Montano, left, who is 34 weeks pregnant, competes in the quarterfinals of the 800 meter sin the U.S
m88 he was the fundamental factor in the team,” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said.
Germany’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, left, winner of the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper, stands with Argentina’s Lionel Messi, right, winner of the Golden Ball award as the tournament’s top player, after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Then, game by game, Messi’s influence started waning.
“I think he deserves it because he played an extraordinary role. In the next game, against Belgium, he started the movement that resulted in Gonzalo Higuain’s first-half winner and helped Argentina keep possession as the Belgians tried to level the score.
RIO DE JANEIRO – Lionel Messi’s final act in the 2014 World Cup was lifting a free kick high over the bar, wasting Argentina’s last chance to equalize in the final against Germany.
“He’s been there for quite a while already, in the pantheon of the greats,” Sabella said, when asked to compare Messi with players like Maradona and Brazilian legend Pele.
This was supposed to be Messi’s World Cup, just like the 1986 tournament belonged to another Argentine great, Diego Maradona.
But after carrying his team through the group stage in Brazil with four goals, Messi seemed to run out of steam.
Messi has won everything there is to win with club team Barcelona, but many critics say he needs a World Cup title to be considered among football’s all-time greats.
In the final Sunday, he created chances but, like the rest of the team, lacked the finishing touch to turn the game for Argentina.
Man-marked by Nigel de Jong, Messi struggled to find space in the semifinal win over the Netherlands, and besides a few runs and deft passes into the area against Germany, he didn’t have a big impact on the final.
The free kick he curled inside Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama’s left post was a masterpiece.
Martin Meissner, AP
Against Switzerland he had little impact until extra time, when he drilled a hole in the Swiss defense and set up Angel Di Maria’s winning goal. Germany won the match 1-0.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi scratches his head as he goes up to get his runners-up medal after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
Messi stood out in an otherwise mediocre Argentine team in the group stage, scoring against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran and twice against Nigeria.
He was a picture of disappointment after the 1-0 loss as he collected the trophy for the tournament’s best player.
It was far from a fitting finish for the four-time world player of the year.
12bet Only 12 teams have managed to win the competition more than once and the record for most wins is held by Real Madrid with a tally of 9. In terms of country wins the Champions League has been held the most in Italy, Spain and England with 12 titles for Spain and Italy and 11 titles for England.
The current Champions League champions are Inter Milan but the 2010/2011 competition is already underway and so it will not be long until there is a new title added to this list. Given all this it is no surprise that the Champions League is considered the biggest and best club football competition in the world.
Champions League Winners List
Since the Champions League competition began in 1955 there have been 21 different clubs who have lifted the trophy. Both Valencia and Stade Reims have reached the Champions League final twice but lost on both occasions. As ever Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid have been ranked as favourites for the competition. Even if a club lost every match in the group stage of the Champions League they would still walk away with EUR3.3 million.
What’s more, participating clubs also receive TV revenue on top of prize money which again is highly lucrative considering that the Champions League final is the most watched sporting event in the world with around 100 million global viewers. However, after Inter Milan and Bayern Munich defied bookies and reached the final last year anything could happen is this year’s Champions League!
. 2 teams qualify from each group through to the knockout stage of the Champions League. In its current form the Champions League also allows more than national champions to enter with countries such as England and Spain having 4 teams qualify for the competition.
Champions League Prize Money and TV Ratings
The European cup is a highly lucrative competiton for football clubs in the modern era with Champions League prize money reaching up to EUR36.4 million for a championship winning campaign. Here is a list of all the Champions League winners:
Football Team – Times Won – Years WonReal Madrid – 9 titles – 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002AC Milan – 7 titles – 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007Liverpool FC – 5 titles – 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005Bayern Munich – 4 titles – 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001Ajax – 4 titles – 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995Barcelona – 3 titles – 1992, 2006, 2009Inter Milan – 3 titles – 1964, 1965, 2010Manchester United – 3 titles – 1968, 1999, 2008Benfica – 2 titles – 1961, 1962Juventus – 2 titles – 1985, 1996Nottingham Forest – 2 titles – 1979, 1980Porto – 2 titles – 1987, 2004Celtic – 1 title – 1967Hamburg – 1 title – 1983Steaua Bucuresti – 1 title – 1986Marseille – 1 title – 1993Feyenoord – 1 title – 1970Aston Villa – 1 title – 1982PSV Eindhoven – 1 title – 1988Red Star Belgrade – 1 title – 1991Borussia Dortmund – 1 title – 1997It can be seen that Real Madrid and AC Milan have been most prolific in the Champions League throughout history, but in the modern era Barcelona have dominated with 3 wins in the last 18 years. It started out as a straight forward knockout football competition in 1955, in which only the club champions of each European country could enter.
In its modern form the Champions League has 3 stages; First there is the qualification stage for the clubs who do not qualify automatically, then when the main competition begins there is a group stage consisting of 8 groups of 4 teams.
What is now known as the UEFA Champions League began life as the European Champions Club Cup and did not change its name to the Champions League until 1992
However, after Inter Milan and Bayern Munich defied bookies and reached the final last year anything could happen is this year’s Champions League!
What is now known as the UEFA Champions League began life as the European Champions Club Cup and did not change its name to the Champions League until 1992. Even if a club lost every match in the group stage of the Champions League they would still walk away with 3.3 million.
What’s more, participating clubs also receive TV revenue on top of prize money which again is highly lucrative considering that the Champions League final is the most watched sporting event in the world with around 100 million global viewers. Both Valencia and Stade Reims have reached the Champions League final twice but lost on both occasions. 2 teams qualify from each group through to the knockout stage of the Champions League. As ever Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid have been ranked as favourites for the competition. It started out as a straight forward knockout football competition in 1955, in which only the club champions of each European country could enter.. Here is a list of all the Champions League winners:
Football Team – Times Won – Years WonReal Madrid – 9 titles – 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002AC Milan – 7 titles – 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007Liverpool FC – 5 titles – 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005Bayern Munich – 4 titles – 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001Ajax – 4 titles – 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995Barcelona – 3 titles – 1992, 2006, 2009Inter Milan – 3 titles – 1964, 1965, 2010Manchester United – 3 titles – 1968, 1999, 2008Benfica – 2 titles – 1961, 1962Juventus – 2 titles – 1985, 1996Nottingham Forest – 2 titles – 1979, 1980Porto – 2 titles – 1987, 2004Celtic – 1 title – 1967Hamburg – 1 title – 1983Steaua Bucuresti – 1 title – 1986Marseille – 1 title – 1993Feyenoord – 1 title – 1970Aston Villa – 1 title – 1982PSV Eindhoven – 1 title – 1988Red Star Belgrade – 1 title – 1991Borussia Dortmund – 1 title – 1997It can be seen that Real Madrid and AC Milan have been most prolific in the Champions League throughout history, but in the modern era Barcelona have dominated with 3 wins in the last 18 years. Only 12 teams have managed to win the competition more than once and the record for most wins is held by Real Madrid with a tally of 9. Given all this it is no surprise that the Champions League is considered the biggest and best club football competition in the world.
Champions League Winners List
Since the Champions League competition began in 1955 there have been 21 different clubs who have lifted the trophy. In terms of country wins the Champions League has been held the most in Italy, Spain and England with 12 titles for Spain and Italy and 11 titles for England.
The current Champions League champions are Inter Milan but the 2010/2011 competition is already underway and so it will not be long until there is a new title added to this list. In its modern form the Champions League has 3 stages; First there is the qualification stage for the clubs who do not qualify automatically, then when the main competition begins there is a group stage consisting of 8 groups of 4 teams. In its current form the Champions League also allows more than national champions to enter with countries such as England and Spain having 4 teams qualify for the competition.
Champions League Prize Money and TV Ratings
The European cup is a highly lucrative competiton for football clubs in the modern era with Champions League prize money reaching up to 36.4 million for a championship winning campaign
Germain. He has only scored 35 goals in 135 games for Chelsea, and notoriously took 903 minutes to score his first goal for the Blues.
He could never recapture the same form at Madrid, and after 4 largely disappointing seasons, he was sold back to AC Milan in 2013.
From: Atltico Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 60 million (USD 79 million) in 2013
Radamel Falcao shot to fame by winning the Europa League and the Portuguese Primeira Liga, with Porto, and then carrying on in the deadly goal scoring vein after transferring to Atltico Madrid. The relatively recent boom caused by foreign investors in European football has caused the transfer fees to shoot up dramatically over the last few years, reflected in the fact that the world record has been broken three times in the last four years. His height, strength, and taekwondo training also allow him to out muscle defenders, and score numerous headers.
Figo was part of a ‘golden generation’ for the Portuguese national football team, but couldn’t win any trophies with the Seleco das Quinas.
He is renowned for his supreme athleticism, combining blistering speed with a surprisingly sturdy frame, long distance shooting, and dead ball prowess. When he moved to Tottenham Hotspur from Southampton in 2007, he was gradually converted into a left winger, the position he currently occupies.
Transfer Fee: Euro 58 million (USD 79 million) in 2011
Having started his career at his hometown club Atltico Madrid, Spanish marksman Fernando Torres became one of the most feared strikers in the world, at Liverpool, scoring 81 goals in 142 games for the Reds. He is extremely quick, and is an expert shooter, passer, crosser, dribbler, and header of the ball. His 2013 transfer to French club AS Monaco became the French Ligue 1 transfer record, until it was broken by Cavani’s purchase by Parisian club Paris St. When he decided to cross over the divide into Manchester City in 2009, the blue Mancunians had to pay what was then, the highest amount ever paid by an English club for a player.
Real Madrid’s dominance of this list is more a reflection on their owner Florentino Prez than the club’s traditional policy. His transfer is the highest a Brazilian club has received for a player.
The German is one of the best playmakers in the current footballing world, and has earned widespread acclaim for his passing and dribbling skills. His move to Chelsea in the January 2011 transfer window not only alienated him to Liverpool fans, but resulted in a severe loss of form. He is viewed as the most important player for Brazil in their preparations for the 2014 World Cup on home soil.
He is an excellent traditional “no. He was crucial in Porto’s Primeira Liga-Europa League double in 2011.
To: Real Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 75 million (USD 65 million) in 2001
Universally regarded as one of the best footballers ever, Zidane broke the world transfer record when he moved to Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid in 2001. He is also considered one of the best all-round forwards ever to play the game. Crespo’s transfer remains the highest amount exchanged between two Italian clubs as well as the highest transfer fee paid by an Italian club.
According to a Forbes compilation, three transfers have exceeded the 100 million dollar mark when adjusted for inflation. The 2013 season, his last for Tottenham, was, statistically, by far the best season of his career. Torres was renowned for his finishing ability, being able to score with either foot, and his head.
Zlatan Ibrahimovi. He scored 55 goals in 203 games for Tottenham, and by moving to Real Madrid, linked up with the next candidate in this list.
Transfers are also shrouded in the uncertainty regarding the amounts paid to external agencies, such as the player’s agents, third-party ownerships, etc. Zidane was replaced at Juventus by Lazio playmaker Pavel Nedved, who was, in turn, replaced by Valencia’s Mendieta.
The transfers have been listed according to their non-inflation-adjusted value in Euro, with non-inflation-adjusted values in USD provided in brackets.
Zidane is one of the few players to have scored two goals in a World Cup final; he scored a brace in the 1998 World Cup final to help France win the trophy on home soil.
Most Expensive Transfers in Soccer History
Zidane’s transfer is still the third most expensive ever when converted into Euros.
Figo was the first ‘galactico’ bought in Real Madrid’s infamous strategy of assembling the best international stars and the best homegrown talents. He couldn’t match his performances for the Spanish team, at Lazio, though there were some inevitable moments of brilliance. Jose Mourinho, his manager at Madrid for 3 years, summed up zil’s ability and importance to the team when he said, “There is no copy of himnot even a bad copy”.
From: Manchester United and third-party owners, Media Sports Investment
To: Manchester City
Transfer Fee: Euro 53 million (USD 65 million) in 2009
The tenacious Argentine, Carlos Tevez, had become a crowd favorite at Manchester United due to his energetic displays for the red half of Manchester. Despite the inflated prices in the transfers in the second half of the 2000′s and the first few years of the 2010′s, the transfers of Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo during the first galcticos era stand tall. He was renowned for his passing, acceleration, and high rate of scoring, despite not playing as a conventional striker.
To: Real Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 62 million (USD 56 million) in 2000
Yet another entry for Real Madrid, this transfer caused controversy due to the rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Germain in the same transfer window.
To: Atltico Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 47 million (USD 58 million) in 2011
Radamel Falcao’s success and ability can be seen by the fact that he commanded two of the highest transfer fees in history (though none broke the world record). He was particularly noted for his heading ability and instinctive finishing.
From: Manchester United
To: Real Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 94 million (USD 130 million) in 2009
One of the best footballers ever to grace the game, and the heartthrob of almost every woman in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo made history in 2009 by commanding an GBP 80 million fee. The excitement brought about by a new signing is one of the most primal feelings in the football world, as is the deep sorrow and anger caused by the departure of a fan favorite. Before the days of the two transfer windows, transfers could be made any time during a season. Figo’s transfer remains the highest amount a Spanish club has received for a player.
The striker became similarly popular at City, and played an important part in their title win in 2012. Falcao arrived in Europe on the back of an excellent season for River Plate in Argentina, and became an instant hit at Portuguese giants, Porto. Kak remains the most expensive South American player ever.
Falcao is considered the best finisher in the current game. He is also an accomplished goal scorer, and has been his club’s top scorer for the last two seasons. Cavani is considered one of the best goal scorers in the modern game, having scored at least 15 goals for the last 5 years. He is also able to play well with either foot, unlike most footballers.
From: Inter Milan
Transfer Fee: Euro 69 million (USD 102 million) in 2009
Ibrahimovi is one of the most successful nomads in soccer, having played for 7 clubs in 5 countries. This makes calculating the exact cost of a player quite difficult.
Almost unbelievably, Gareth Bale started his professional career as a defender, utilizing his pace at left back. The top trump among the already overflowing pack of aces was the Welsh wing wizard, Gareth Bale.
Ibrahimovi is considered among the elite players of his generation, and has excellent scoring ratios at all his clubs. 9″, excelling in holding up the ball and distributing it intelligently. He was loaned to Barcelona and Middlesbrough between 2002 and 2004; Middlesbrough bought him permanently in 2004.
From: Tottenham Hotspur
To: Real Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 100 million (USD 132 million) in 2013
The 2013 summer transfer window saw quite a few club records, 1 league record, and the world record smashed. Two of them were made in the same transfer window! Here are the costliest transfers in soccer history.
Mendieta had impressed massively in Spain, but his much-vaunted purchase failed to take off in Italy. The World Cup- and Euro-winning French legend went on to win numerous trophies for Real Madrid, including the 2002 Champions League, where Zidane himself scored an iconic winner in the final.
Ronaldo was educated at the Sporting Lisbon youth academy, which also trained legends such as Luis Figo. Anticipation, excitement, joy, and sorrow all condensed within the span of a few weekssuch is the nature of the modern soccer transfer window.
Kak gained fame during his highly productive 6 years at AC Milan, where he was untouchable in a quasi-striker role. He is comfortable playing with either foot, and despite being only 5′ 10” tall, is a renowned header of the ball.
From: Real Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 50 million (USD 56 million) in 2013
The German playmaker was an excellent performer and a crowd favorite at Madrid, but had to make way for the marquee signing of Gareth Bale in 2013. Though the plan never quite worked out, galcticos such as Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo (the Brazilian one), and Beckham made Real Madrid an instantly recognizable brand all over the world, and produced some outstanding football.
He is an excellent dribbler and goalscorer, and was the top goalscorer at the 2011 South American Youth Championship at the age of 19. Despite the heavy outlay to sign the striker, he didn’t fit tactically into Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, and frequently clashed with the coach.
Since joining Real, Ronaldo has been one of the most prolific forwards in the game, having scored 202 goals in 202 games (at the time of writing) for the prestigious Madrid Meringues. He was instrumental in Milan’s success in the mid-noughties, and scored 95 goals in 270 games for the Italian giants. This was the most expensive transfer in soccer until then, and, adjusted for inflation, remains the costliest at USD 140 million.
Transfer Fee: Euro 56.5 million (USD 60 million) in 2000
Crespo’s transfer to Lazio in 2000 broke the world record before Luis Figo’s move to Real Madrid trumped it.
At his peak, Torres used his pace and dribbling ability to great effect in Rafa Benitez’s counterattacking unit, and struck up a legendary partnership with Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard. When Figo returned to Camp Nou, Barcelona’s home stadium, with Real Madrid in 2002, a fan threw a pig’s head at him. He was bought by Manchester United from Sporting, after they sold David Beckham to Real Madrid, and, despite initial misgivings, went on to cement his place among United’s all-time greats.
To: Paris St. This is the highest goals-to-games ratio in the history of the proud club.
Transfer Fee: Euro 57 million (USD 74 million) in 2013
Hailed as a wonderkid right from his first steps as a professional footballer, Neymar showed the material behind the hype in a victorious 2013 Confederations Cup campaign, before signing a lucrative deal with Spanish champions Barcelona, right after the Confederations Cup. After Bale signed for Madrid, after a protracted transfer saga, zil signed for Arsenal on the deadline day of the 2013 summer transfer window.
Following the stellar 2011 season, Falcao was sold to Atltico Madrid, where he went on to win another Europa League title, before moving on to Monaco.
Transfer Fee: Euro 48 million (USD 56 million) in 2001
Mendieta’s sale to Lazio was precipitated by Juventus’ sale of Zidane to Real. He also played for Inter and AC Milan, on loan from Chelsea, and scored two goals for AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final. He is the only player to score a goal in the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier continental club championship, for 6 different clubs.
His transfer is the most expensive transfer between two English clubs as well as the highest any English club has paid for a player.
The Great DiegoDiego Maradona is the only player to have broken the world record for transfers twice, first moving to Barcelona in 1982, for USD 7.6 million, and then to Napoli in 1984, for USD 10.5 million.
Transfers in football are one of the craziest aspects of the modern global behemoth the sport has become. However, disputes with the manager meant he was sidelined, and was sold to Juventus in 2013.
From: AC Milan
To: Real Madrid
Transfer Fee: Euro 68 million (USD 98 million) in 2009
Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, or Kak, was the world’s most expensive player for a few days, signing for Real Madrid days before the Spanish club splashed the cash again to bring Ronaldo for a new world record. Germain
Transfer Fee: Euro 64 million (USD 84 million) in 2013
Edinson Cavani rose to fame in Napoli, scoring more than 30 goals in each of his three seasons in Naples, before making a big-money move to nouveau riche Paris St. With the advent of the transfer window, the rumor-mongering, speculation, and activity has been concentrated into 16 weeks of absolute madness.
From the days of Giuseppe Savoldi becoming the first player to cost more than a million pounds in 1975, we have now come to a time when transfer records are dangerously close to the 100 million pound mark, having crossed the USD 100 million barrier a long time ago! This incredible rise has occurred due to the constant inflation and the influx of TV money into domestic leagues in the late 20th century.
Like Bale, Ronaldo is a supremely fit athlete. Cavani won the 2011 Copa America with Uruguay.
Crespo was one of the best strikers in the world around the turn of the millennium, and played for three Italian clubs between 1996 and 2003. Clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris St. Germain, and Monaco are often criticized by soccer purists for their adverse influence on the development of young, homegrown players, and the irreversible upward trend of the transfer fees.
Transfer windows can often be more engrossing than some soccer games! Transfer sagas such as those of Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale, and Luis Surez provide some spice to an action-starved fan’s summer life. Despite the high fee, his 2009 transfer to Barcelona, remarkably, did not beat the world record, since Cristiano Ronaldo had been signed by Real Madrid earlier in the same window. The 2000 transfer, which was a world record at the time, incensed Barcelona fans, who had adored Lus Figo during his 5-year stay at the Catalan club
Legendary players, like Kaka, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the likes make life worth living for soccer fans. The injured Martin Thomas was replaced in the Newcastle goal first by Chris Hedworth, then by Peter Beardsley.
Some of the most famous soccer players include Pele, David Beckham, Diego Maradona, Bobby Charlton, and Ronaldo.
The word “soccer” was coined in the late nineteenth century from a shortening of ASSOCIATION FOOTBALL plus -ER.
Only 8 countries have ever won the World Cup: Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, France, England, Italy, Spain, and Germany.
Few More Facts and History
The official ball of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is the Jabulani, which means “rejoice” in Zulu. What makes this sport so interesting are the tit bits that happen on and off the field.
Facts about Soccer
A Manchester City fan was banned in 1995 from bringing dead chickens into City’s Maine Road ground. In fact, I guess each major soccer tournament and country has its own set of such snippets. He used to celebrate City goals by swinging the birds around his head.
A referee at a friendly match in Brazil drew a revolver and shot dead a player who disputed a penalty decision. The referee escaped on horseback.
Until 1913, goalies wore the same colored jersey as their teammates.
At sixteen-years, Diego Maradona made his appearance for Argentina.
Soccer being one of the most popular game has been dotted with amazing anecdotes over the years. Thousands of fans throng the stadiums during the English Premier League (EPL) or the Major league Football (MLS). The article below presents some interesting soccer facts.
The beautiful game of soccer, i.e., football, as it is called globally, is one of the most awe-inspiring games ever invented. Here are some perhaps known and probably some interesting facts.. This was just a minuscule of what happens on the football pitch. Mirren in 1978 for swearing at a lady.
European Teams have reached the final of every World Cup except in 1930 and 1950.
Ryan Giggs’ dad was a professional Rugby League player.
The most number of goals scored by one player in a single soccer match was 15 by Ronaldo from Brazil.
World Cup referees take a crash course in swear words – especially English, and give a RED CARD if they hear offensive language.
Soccer is one of the most interesting and popular sports. Mny teams had complained that it moves too quickly.
In 1997, Nigerian international Celestine Babayaro broke his leg while celebrating a goal in his Chelsea debut during a pre season game.
A throw-in may be legal as long as some portion of each of the thrower’s feet is either behind or on the touchline. This means the thrower’s heels may be on the touchline with his/her toes on the field.
The world’s oldest club is Sheffield FC was formed in 1857.
FIFA (Federation International Football Association) is recognized as the international leading organization of soccer and is located in Switzerland.
The player with the most cards in World Cup play is Zinedine Zidane (France), with 4 yellows and 2 reds.
Sir Alex Ferguson was fired by St. I hope you found this piece of information interesting and alluring.
The first set of rules for soccer were made by the London Football Association in 1863.
West Ham defender, Alvin Martin, scored a hat-trick against three different goalkeepers in the 8-1 win over Newcastle in 1986
The team colours are red and white, and the cannon is their symbol even still today. Arsenal is a team with a long history and a deep connection to their roots. Way bigger than Manchester United, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and AC Milan. Now that Arsenal have balanced the books and operated to a budget over the past few years in order to pay for their new stadium, Arsene Wenger looks set to make a lot of transfer news this summer as he loosens the purse strings and adopts a much more aggressive transfer policy in Arsenal’s business as evidenced by his recent purchase of Koln’s Lukas Podolski who looks like he will form a formidable partnership with Robin Van Persie in Arsenal’s attack. The site is entrenched in Arsenal history because of its innovative and memorable launch and has recently updated its service to now also include a mobile device optimized version of Gooner News providing the same cutting edge Arsenal news. Arsenal FC are one of the most successful clubs in English football having won 13 First Division and Premier League titles plus 10 FA Cups. Today, Arsenal fans can access the best Arsenal news all in one place by visiting Gooner News to see the many featured blogs and websites that are dedicated to bringing you all of the latest and greatest in Arsenal news when it happens. The club changed its name from the Royal Arsenal Football Club to Woolwich Arsenal Football And Athletic Company Limited when it became a limited liability company in May 1893 and then dropped the “Woolwich” a year later. Initially the team was based out of Woolwich where they were founded, but as the team grew, they moved in 1913 to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. It has been easy to see how so many people have become avid fans of Britain’s famous Arsenal football club, because of the beautiful way they play under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger and with players like club legends Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Tony Adams, Patrick Viera, Emmanuel Petit, Lee Dixon, and David Seaman and more recently and now Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas Thomas Vermalen, Alex Song and Theo Walcott. Any fans of The Gunners know that their long standing rivalry with Tottenham Hotspur is always making plenty of news. GoonerNews.com is proud to announce that it has been providing the latest Arsenal Newssourced from the very best British and international news sites and fan blogs to Gooners everywhere around the world for eight long years now. The Gunners began as Dial Square and were founded in 1886. The same applies to their rivalry with other London teams like Chelsea, Fulham and QPR plus the big North Western teams like Manchester United and Liverpool. They got their name from the company the players worked at, the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, south-east London and the team was renamed to Royal Arsenal shortly afterwards. Also, the Gunners are only the second side ever to finish an English top division season unbeaten (they did it in the 2003-04 season) becoming known as “the invincibles” in the process.
When it comes to Arsenal FC, fans are easy to please so long as they have access to the right information at the right time. Following that they would move to the stadium currently referred to as their home stadium, The Emirates, which can hold over sixty thousand fans. Now you can use ipads, ipods, iphones and any other tablet or phone to view the optimized version and enjoy Arsenal news in a simple, easy-to-use format. Follow this and all the other Arsenal news as it happens at GoonerNews.com – the internet’s legendary Arsenal news site.
Visit us to get everything you need about Arsenal News as it happens!
Arsenal is a professional football club in Great Britain and is considered among the elite of European teams. Before you view the website for your next dose of Arsenal news however, carry on reading here to find out a brief history of your favorite football team.. When you become a fan of the Arsenal, seemingly you want to know everything about them as soon after the news has happened as is humanly possible seemingly. Eight years of cutting edge Arsenal News always served up in the simple, intuitive user friendly format. GoonerNews.com has watched the growth of Arsenal News on the internet over the past 8 years and seen it reach record levels with Arsenal being far and away the most written about, searched for and read about football team on the internet. The team is based in Holloway, North London and they are affectionately referred to by their fans as “The Gunners”. Fans of “The Gunners” are affectionately known as “Gooners” hence the site name – Gooner News. The cannon is the team’s symbol from when the team originally arose from the armament factory, as is their nickname, The Gunners. GoonerNews.com is the original website for Arsenal news ever since its launch at Highbury in 2004 where a team of 12 beautiful models handed out flyers promoting the internet’s new Arsenal News service Gooner News. Hopefully Podolski’s signing will encourage the Dutchman to resign for the Gunners as his signature is vital if Arsene Wenger hopes to attract more top talent to The Emirates and stop the exodus of stars like Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri as in past off- seasons
i always speak of the truth no matter the news.so i guess for me it doesnt make any difference at all..but if u talk about the media or something,then re concider the fact that news and truth dont belong together there
It waspreviously worth about 20 million pounds ($30 million) a year,one of the most lucrative sponsorships in English sport.
Europe’s largest soccer clubs are now major brands whichattract international sponsors and have fans around the globe.
London-based Standard Chartered has been Liverpool’s mainshirt sponsor since the 2010/11 season and the new deal runsuntil the end of the 2018/19 season.. The club has won 18 English leaguetitles, second only behind Manchester United, althoughLiverpool’s last was in 1989/90.
($1 = 0.6690 pounds) (Reporting by Steve Slater; editing by David Clarke)
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
LONDON, April 21 English soccer club LiverpoolFC has renewed its sponsorship deal with Asia-focused bankStandard Chartered Bank for another three years, theysaid on Tuesday.
Standard Chartered was attracted to Liverpool by its strongsupport in Asia, where the bank makes most of its profits, andit has run promotions with the club in markets includingThailand, Korea, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The partnership was strained in 2012 after Liverpool and itsstar player Luis Suarez were embroiled in a racism row. StandardChartered intervened to help resolve it.
Liverpool is England’s most successful club in Europe withfive European Cup wins
They have gathered momentum under Raul Castro, who became president in 2006 after ill health forced his brother to step down.
That was about 10 times more than Fidel Castro freed a month after the visit of John Paul II, in January 1998.
In return for its support, the church has been given greater access to the state media, and is allowed to distribute its publications within the island. In 2010, it opened its first seminary in Cuba in half a century.
The official Communist Party daily Granma published the decision by the Council of State to free 3,522 prisoners “on the occasion of the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis.”
The Catholic Church is the sole independent institution allowed to function in the country, and it has emerged as a key intermediary in the island’s transition to a post-Castro era.
Beneficiaries include inmates over age 60, those under 20 with no previous record, the chronically ill, women, and foreigners whose countries have agreed to take them back.
The pontiff’s arrival — always a major political event in the communist-ruled island — comes amid a historic rapprochement between Cuba and the United States that Francis helped to bring about.
In Cuba, he will visit Havana, the northeastern city of Holguin and Santiago de Cuba on the southeastern end of the island. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE” src=”http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/plugins/jquery-image-lazy-loading/images/grey.gif” data-original=”http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Pope-Francis-3.jpg” width=”432″ height=”287″>
In 2010, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, the head of the Cuban church, played a key mediating role in the release of about 130 jailed dissidents, opening a dialogue that has continued ever since.
They were selected “by the nature of the acts for which they were jailed, their behavior in prison, the time of punishment and health concerns,” Granma said.
The numbers reflect warming relations between church and state since John Paul’s visit. A visit by Pope Benedict in March 2012 prompted the government to release nearly 3,000 in December 2011.
Cuba pardons thousands of prisoners ahead of papal visitby AFP
September 12, 2015 Pope Francis waves during an audience with participants of an international pilgrimage of altar servers on August 4, 2015 in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican
I retired last year, and I thought this was a good time to, to sell it,” Ferguson added.
The cellar consists almost 75 percent of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, a French Burgundy which Christie’s International Director of Wine David Elswood said “is probably the wine in vogue, the wine of the moment in terms of demand.
The collection of about 5,000 bottles assembled by one of soccer’s most successful managers will be sold along with memorabilia signed by Ferguson and has a pre-sale estimated value of 3 million pounds ($5 million), the auction house said.
He says it became a ritual to treat visiting managers to a glass of his finest, and to accept gift bottles in return.
“So hopefully that’s going to draw the attention of not just Alex Ferguson fans but wine fans too,” he told Reuters.
(Editing by Janet Lawrence)
“People keep saying, ‘What was the best moment of your life as a manager?’ and ’99 is without question,” Ferguson is quoted as saying in an interview with Elswood to promote the sale.
“There was always this thing about my career that I never had won the Champions League, so to win it in the way we did win it was absolutely fantastically special. The cellar spans every year of Ferguson’s career with United from 1986 until he retired in 2013. And it coincided with a vintage; you were talking about Romanee-Conti ’99, a really special year. It includes lots from 1999, the year United won a treble of the English Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup, a feat never previously accomplished and not duplicated since.
“And all of a sudden, two or three years ago, when I’m going through the portfolio, we realise this has got to be an amazing amount of wine. You have to have outside interests to distract you from the intensity and the pressure you come under as a football manager.
LONDON To take his mind off the pressure of “the beautiful game”, retired Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson collected vintage wines that will be sold at auction starting in Hong Kong in May, Christie’s said on Wednesday.
“Even though the rivalries are intense, you have to find that moment where you can say, ‘Look, the game’s a game – let’s carry on with our lives,’” Ferguson said.. About a third of the cellar will be offered in London in June and about 10 percent through Internet sales later that month.
“Even if you disregard the Alex Ferguson connection the quality of the wine, the type of wine, is generally what sells very strongly in Asia at the moment,” Elswood said.
Christie’s said Ferguson had declined to be interviewed directly about the auction, but he also told Elswood that he took up wine collecting in 1991 during a visit to France and it developed into a way to relieve the stress of his job.
“Taking an interest in wine allowed me to have an interest outside the game. I think we deserved that,” Ferguson is quoted as saying in the conversation with Elswood.
He expects big interest among Asian buyers, who have been snapping up top-flight wines for years and where about 60 percent of the lots will be on offer on May 24
‘I really wanted to play the game. He will do a great job.
Van Gaal handed Xavi his debut back in 1998 and his positive comments were echoed by Iniesta, who the Dutch coach put in the first team when he was still just 17.
Xavi comes on for his Barcelona debut in 1998, an opportunity handed to him by Van Gaal
Iniesta said: He has been a fundamental person in my career and a key coach in my development.
‘He gambled on me as a player when there were some really big name players in front of me and thats why he will always be special to me.
The Dutch coach has been on the wrong side of Spain internationals Victor Valdes, David de Gea and Ander Herrera recently.
He made Victor Valdes train with the United youngsters earlier this summer; he has consistently over-looked Herrera despite the former Athletic midfielder having the backing of most United fans; and he has had De Gea watching the start of the season from the stands.
The Dutch manager hasover-looked Ander Herrera (left) at times, to the annoyance of many United fans
David de Gea (centre) has spent this season watching from the stands due to his desire to join Real Madrid
He also incurred the wrath of former Barcelona player Hristo Stoichkov recently when it seemed Manchester United might sign Pedro.
Stoichkov said: I would never play for Van Gaal. Hes mediocre.
He destroyed Barca and is destroying Man United. He will make them very strong in the Premier League and in the Champions League. ByPete Jenson for MailOnline
Published: 11:57 GMT, 9 September 2015 | Updated: 16:56 GMT, 9 September 2015
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has received the backing of two Barcelona legends who both believe he will be a success at Old Trafford despite an unconvincing first year in charge.
Xavi and Andres Iniesta both played under Van Gaal at the Nou Camp and lavished praise on their former boss.
The Spain internationals labelled United’s manager ‘fantastic’, ‘ahead of his time’, and a ‘special’ manager, after he gave both men their Barca debuts.
Barcelona legends Xavi (right) and Andres Iniesta (centre) have both come out in support of Louis van Gaal
The Barca pair were both given their first chance at the club by the Dutch manager when he was in charge
The Manchester United boss finished fourth last season at the club, and his methods have been criticised
They criticise him on a human level because he is very direct or because he seems arrogant,’ Xavi told Diario Sport in Doha, where he now plays for Al Sadd.
‘But you have to know him as a coach on a day-to-day basis. Van Gaal will ruin him as a footballer.
Former Barcelona forwardHristo Stoichkov, pictured in 1997, has blasted Van Gaal (right)
Stoichkov (left) played under Van Gaal during his second spell at Barcelona in the 1990s
De Gea was due to face his boss on Wednesday before the afternoon training session as the pair look to repair the damage done by the keepers failed attempt to move to Real Madrid.
De Gea hinted that he is still not sure if he will be welcomed back into the first team for Saturdays meeting with Liverpool when he said after his return to competitive action in Spains 1-0 win over Macedonia.
I felt good out there,’ he said. Now I have to keep working hard and lets see if I have the same luck with my club.
Share or comment on this article . With what he has done to [Victor] Valdes he has shown he is a bad person.
‘Hopefully Pedro will listens and does not go there. For me he is fantastic.
He was ahead of his time back then; he worked to perfect the training sessions and improve the team technically and tactically 20 years ago he was a very complete coach.
‘In time he will do a very good job at Manchester United
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