Browsing: Soccer

Soccer Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho

Soccer Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are two names that will always knock your head when it comes to a debate over the world’s best football manager. These stars have two very contrasting persona’s, two unparallel football philosophies and ideologies and  had two different clubs in their baggage FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF. These clubs were the starting point of their so very infamous football battle. The battle of the decade! Their enmity is all in its prime stage with the English Premier League.

The true competitors in every sense, these managers prove that anything is possible in war. From challenges targets to heart full acceptance, they show sportsmanship to the core. If there is anyone who can beat Sandeep Maheshwari in his motivating speech are these two players who know best how to motivate a group of individuals in their toughest times. Both the managers have around a dozen titles to their credit. The pace with which both have been working to establish a name in the game and their efforts have well worked since both these players are termed as the gods of Soccer.

Soccer Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho

Their game is well praised because of their style and their entertainment quotient. Both of them are believed to win the game in style with increasing the adrenaline rush of the spectators with all the tension they augment to the game. They hold the credit of bringing some really awesome talent to the surface. A casual football fan I bet had no idea of who Pedro Rodriguez or Sergio Busquets were. The reality is very different now with them being the soccer sensations people look up to these days. All credits go to Pep Guardiola for this; he brought some really talented footballers in the limelight.

The Argentine, the highest goal scorer, the sensation and the heartthrob Lionel Messi gives all the credit to Pep Guardiola for the level he has attained today. He in his very honest remarks states that Pep has been the sole guiding force for his success today. Jose Mourinho is no way less. With him being the first to receive the FIFA World Coach of the Year Award, he has for sure a lot of credentials to boast about. He is regarded and very highly seen as the next best after Argentine manager Helenio Herrera.

With both the managers having a Manchester to prove their worth this Premier League , they need to be on their heels because this time, it’s all about equals proving to excel. Jose Mourinho with the Manchester United and Pep Guardiola with the Manchester City, have something like a common stage to prove this time. The world will again experience the spectacle these two create with their team on the field. Let us see who comes with a shining armor, takes over the other and prove his worth to the world. Another interesting coincidence would be they being appointed by two different clubs during the same time. Maybe the world wants to see how these two people shape the league this year. The world counts on some worthy individuals and these individuals have the world counting on them.

The stadium is set. The teams are ready to play and hopefully, win. The managers shake hands. A ninety minutes tension overtakes them and they do the player mind game to see who wins. A nine-month league offering a lot more just a football game. It is about proving, to the world and to oneself, that football is a gentleman’s game. For the rising gentleman, for the excitement of the league, for the league… from the August 2016!

The Battle of the decade! Then and now!

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Soccer – Jose Mourinho can lead to growth of Manchester United

Soccer – Jose Mourinho can lead to growth of Manchester United, After a turbulent tenure as the manager of premier English football club, Manchester United, Louis Van Gaal bids adieu as the charismatic Jose Mourinho steps in to fill the shoes. After a prolonged dry spell in 2015, with ManU losing four games in a row, confidence in Van Gaal to steer the team to former glory started dwindling. Hope in him was soon shattered as United lost to Southampton this January and fans, the team and Van Gaal himself realized it was time for him to leave. Just then, Mourinho, the superstar of the managerial sphere, showed interest.

There were equal parts apprehension and excitement among the fans as Jose Mourinho was declared manager for Manchester United for three years, starting 27th May 2016. The mixed emotions were well-placed as Mourinho is everything that ManU worships but also gives reasons to be wary of him. Mourinho’s astute tactical approach and stellar record of having won one more Champion’s League than any English manager ever makes him a dream come true.

Soccer – Jose Mourinho can lead to growth of Manchester United

His leadership, management, and adaptability increase the chances of success for the team dramatically. His influence and untainted track record are sure to steer a number of promising players to the team’s vanguard as they would find the incentive of not only Manchester United’s magnificent name and legacy but also of playing under, arguably, the best manager in the game. Manchester also gives its manager the financial liberty to bring in virtually any player he deems fit.

Jose Mourinho is cocky and that too unabashedly. His attitude resonates perfectly with the team and its fans who believe that ‘if you are good at something, it’s perfectly okay to be cocky.’ His controversial exuberance identifies well with United’s own style and has helped fans warm up to him, even if from a distance. Mutual detestation for Liverpool only adds a cherry to the cake. Mourinho’s entry brings confidence to the dressing room as well as the stadium. The team is counting on reaping the tactical advantage and experience that he brings to redeem them from a largely unimpressive recent record.

There is heated speculation regarding team composition under the new manager. Mourinho is sure to make some substantial changes with players joining in as well as exciting. Among the most likely contenders to join the team are Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is moving this summer. His expressed desire to continue playing under the manager after a brief spell at Inter Milan could result into his addition to the team. Another addition could be Gonzalo Higuain. Manchester needs to start stacking up on goals fast and Higuain could be just the man for the job. Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane could be another beneficial addition to backline of the team and Mourinho being a fan, could strike up a mutually beneficial deal. He is likely to look for a squad that can adapt to both 4-2-3-1 as well as 4-2-2 formations. As for the exits, Juan Mata emerges as an obvious choice for Mourinho as Mata does not do well with his rugged style. Marcos Rojo may get cut to owing to his continued disappointing performance.

Just like anywhere else, there is a dichotomy of opinions. Some fans are apprehensive of Mourinho’s leadership as he is ex-Chelsea, a prominent ManU rival. His record of leaving a club after three years and the club falling to ruins also does not do much to gain their confidence. However, when stacked against the merits Mourinho commands, these apprehensions seem to fade. Even though he has a lot up his sleeve and could tremendous results with a seasoned club like Manchester United, only time will tell what fate has in store for Jose Mourinho as the new manager.

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Euro 2016: Battle for the quarterfinal- Portugal Vs Croatia

Euro 2016: Battle for the quarterfinal- Portugal Vs Croatia, In the third face off of last 16, Portugal will take on Croatia on Saturday night. Portugal needs Cristiano Ronaldo’s magic performance again like he did against Hungary to grab a third successive draw for the group stages.

Croatia has delivered the unexpected performances and finish top of Group D as they beat Turkey and then upset the favourites Spain.

All the Portugal’s players are fit and Coach Fernando Santos will play with his full-strength in the match. Left-back Raphael Guerreiro, who has suffered the muscle problem, has recovered well.

Croatian midfielder Luka Modric is likely to return after recovering from his groyne problems. He had also missed the match against Spain.

Euro 2016: Battle for the quarterfinal- Portugal Vs Croatia

Nikola Kalinic has scored against the Spain it is up to the Coach Ante Cacic to decide whether to recall striker Mario Mandzukic or not.

MATCH FACTS

One-to-One

  • Portugal has not conceded any goal and scored six and have won all three previous encounters with Croatia.
  • Portugal met Croatia at Euro 1996 the last meeting at a major tournament where Portugal won the group game by 3-0 at the City Ground in Nottingham.
  • In 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland was the last time when both sides have faced each other in where Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal led Portugal to a win.

Portugal

  • Drawing all three of their group game, Portugal set a record and is the first team to draw all their group games at a European Championship finals.
  • Portugal has played 31 games without ever winning the tournament in the history of the European Championship which is more than any other team.
  • Portuguese are unbeaten winning seven games out of their last 10 competitive fixtures.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored five and Nani scored two out of last seven goals scored by Portugal at the European Championship.
  • Portugal conceded all three of the goals against Hungary were struck from outside the penalty area. This is first that has happened since 1980 at the European Championship.

Croatia

  • The Croats have won six games, lost only one and three draws of their last 10 games at the European Championship.
  • In their last ten internationals, Croatia is also unbeaten in their last 10 internationals winning eight and two draw which is also the longest current run of any team at Euro 2016.
  • In 1998 World Cup, Croatia has won a knock-out game, the first at the major tournament.
  • At Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Croatia has registered a 3-1 victory against Jamaica at the 1998 World Cup.
  • Ivan Perisic has scored four goals and assisted three goals at major tournaments – only Davor Suker has a better record for Croatia who scored nine goals and one assist.

 

Portugal

Goalkeepers: R Patrício (Sporting CP), A Lopes (Lyon), E (Dínamo Zagreb).

Defenders: Vieirinha (Wolfsburg), Cédric (Southampton), Pepe (Real Madrid), R Carvalho (Monaco), B Alves (Fenerbahçe), J Fonte (Southampton), Eliseu (Benfica), R Guerreiro (Lorient).

Midfielders: W Carvalho (Sporting CP), D Pereira (Porto), J Moutinho (Monaco), R Sanches (Benfica), A Silva (Sporting CP), A Gomes (Valencia), J Mário (Sporting CP)

Forwards: R Silva (Braga), R Quaresma (Beşiktaş), Nani (Fenerbahçe), C Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Éder (Lille).

 

Croatia

Goalkeepers: D Subasic (Monaco), L Kalinic (Hajduk Split), I Vargic (Rijeka)

Defenders: V Corluka (Lokomotiv Moscow), D Srna (Shakhtar Donetsk), D Vida (Dynamo Kiev), S Vrsaljko (Sassuolo), G Schildenfeld (Dinamo Zagreb), I Strinic (Napoli), T Jedvaj (Bayer Leverkusen)

Midfielders: L Modric, M Kovacic (both Real Madrid), I Rakitic (Barcelona), Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Perisic (both Inter Milan), M Badelj (Fiorentina), Marko Rog, Ante Coric (both Dinamo Zagreb)

Forwards: M Mandzukic (Juventus), N Kalinic (Fiorentina), M Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb), D Cop (Dinamo Zagreb), A Kramaric (Hoffenheim)

 

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Second Quarterfinal Euro 2016: Wales Vs Northern Ireland

Second Quarterfinal Euro 2016: Wales Vs Northern Ireland, In the second quarterfinal of Euro 2016, Wales and Northern Ireland will be meeting for the first time in the knockout stages of a major tournament. It will the first appearance of both the teams who had last made it to the knockout rounds of a major tournament since the 1958 World Cup.

Wales will be considered as favourites after their historic performance against Russia.

Good news for both the team as Wales and Northern Ireland have fully-fit squads and will likely to play with their full strength. Wales’ manager Chris Coleman is in a dilemma which player play with Gareth Bale up front out of Sam Vokes, Jonny Williams and Hal Robson-Kanu.

Second Quarterfinal Euro 2016: Wales Vs Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill could will go with the same squad that played against both Ukraine and Germany in Paris. The winners of this match will play against Hungary or Belgium in the quarter-finals.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Northern Ireland have won a single match in their eight matches against Wales. They lost four and four were draw. In May 1980, they have registered their last victory against Wales.
  • Both teams have met on 95 occasions. Wales have won 44 times to Northern Ireland’s 25.
  • Northern Ireland is ranked 25th while Wales is 26th in the world.

Wales

  • In their last two major tournament participations, Wales have reached the knockout stages.
  • They have lost only two of their eight games at major tournaments by a one-goal margin; 0-1 to Brazil in 1958 and (1-2) England in 2016.
  • After Thomas Hassler, Gareth Bale is the first player to score two free-kick goals in one European Championship.
  • Wales were the top scorers with six goals in the group stages along with Hungary who also scored the same. Out of those six goals, four of their goals came in the first half.
  • In this tournament after the 56th minute, Wales conceded three goals so far have all come – they’ve also all been scored by substitutes.
  • Aaron Ramsey is the main key player for Wales has scored or assisted three of Wales’ last five goals.
  • More than any other team, they had 22 shots on target in the group stage.

Northern Ireland

  • Since 1958 World Cup, this is the first appearance of Northern Ireland in the knockout stages of a major tournament.
  • In the 1982 World Cup, they finished at the top but they then failed to make it out of the second round of group stage matches.
  • Northern Ireland have only won six matches out of their last 15 internationals, two lost and six were ended with a draw. The two defeats they suffered have come in their last three games against Poland and Germany.
  • After the lost against Romania in November 2014 in their last 16 internationals, Wales haven’t conceded more than one goal.
  • Seven goals Northern Ireland scored out of 10 goals in competitive games have come four from corners and three from indirect free-kicks.

Wales

Goalkeepers: W Hennessey, D Ward, Owain Fon Williams

Defenders: Ben Davies, N Taylor, Chris Gunter, A Williams, James Chester, A Richards, J Collins

Midfielders: A Ramsey, Joe Ledley, D Vaughan, Joe Allen, D Cotterill, J Williams, George Williams, A King, D Edwards.

Forwards: G Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu, S Vokes, S Church.

 

Northern Ireland

Goalkeepers: R Carroll, Alan McManus, M McGovern

Defenders: Craig Cathcart, J Evans, G McAuley, L McCullough, Conor McLaughlin, A Hughes, L Hodson, Chris Baird, P McNair

Midfielders: S Davis, O Norwood, Corry Evans, J Ward, S Dallas, Niall McGinn, S Ferguson

Forwards: W Grigg, K Lafferty, C Washington, J Magennis

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How to improve soccer in India?

How to improve soccer in India?, Football has been reportedly being played in India since at least 1949 and was also the national sport at one point in time but despite the humongous success the sport garnered under the tutelage of Syed Abdul Rahim during the period from 1951-1962, also known as “The Golden Era of Indian Football”, this global sport has not made it’s marked on the modern Indian audience.

The reason behind which can probably be the underdevelopment of the sport at the basic level itself. It can be safely said that soccer in India will improve if some definitive steps are taken to improve the basic infrastructure of football, if there is more foreign exposure and some obvious media promotion since it has always been in the backdrop, some media exposure will definitely have a marked impact on the audience. This article will further elaborate on all the above-stated points.

How to improve soccer in India?

The Indian audience has always looked at football as more of an “American” or some sort of a foreign sport forgetting that they do have a great history attached to it and that India has been home to some of the oldest football clubs in the world and the third world’s oldest competition, the Durand Cup.

There has been leagues like The Indian Soccer League(ISL) which has been a welcoming change for the Indian audience because the Indian audience has always passionately followed different football clubs from all over Europe and are generally very well aware of the happenings of the international football but don’t pay any heed to the Indian football. The ISL, however, has helped changed that outlook towards football and there is comparatively a much larger number of the audience now showing interest.

Another perspective that has to be taken into account is the lack of infrastructure for football, India only has a handful of proper football stadiums compared to the other countries, moreover, the lack of proper coaching apparatus also adds to the cause. The level of infrastructure, with the exception of a few sporting venues such as the Salt lake stadium and J.L.N. stadium, remains barely up to date when compared to the other disciplines such as cricket. Along with the sporting equipment, the training methods are also primitive. Improving these aspects is basically trying to develop the sport from the grassroots level, which should definitely have positive outcomes.

Another reason, why it is not as famous as other sports is the lack of media attention, we barely see any football star featuring in advertisements or movies which give an impression that it is not as successful a sport as maybe say, cricket. The ISL, as was said above did garner some media attention but again it was still on a comparatively smaller scale when compared to IPLs. What needs to bring into focus again is that the Indian audience is more inclined towards cricket when it comes to sports, probably because it has a rigid foundation called the BCCI, and a strong foundation is what is needed to go a long way.

The problems are far too many and deep-rooted if one must say, the lack of youth participation, coach education, foreign exposure, technical know-how, talent identification, career support add to India’s poor stature in World Football but the good thing is that all these problems can be tackled and ISL has been a major step in the development of the sport, it has brought with itself the much needed attention and  has the people talking about football hoping that it does not become one of the mere corporate businesses while keeping the mainstream football under shadows.

Yes, the condition of the sport in India at the present time is not praiseworthy but if the sport is developed at the grassroots level and if the forces pulling it down are tackled and handled effectively, India will definitely see a noticeable growth in the field of football as well, if the youth is encouraged more to take it up as a serious sport, and if the talent is given the right amount of support then why not, we’ll soon see Indian football rise again to glory, just like it has risen before.

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Euro 2016: Battle for the quarter-final France Vs the Republic of Ireland

Euro 2016: Battle for the quarter-final France Vs the Republic of Ireland, The battle for the quarter-final will be more intensified as France face the Republic of Ireland in the round of 16 in Lyon on Sunday to make a place in the quarterfinals.

TEAM NEWS

France is to recall key players such as N’Golo Kante, Dimitri Payet, and Blaise Matuidi who were given the rest in the draw against Switzerland.

Republican’s full-back Stephen Ward has been suffering an ankle problem so that he might not able to play today.

Euro 2016: Battle for the quarter-final France Vs the Republic of Ireland

Forward Jonathan Walters has undergone through an Achilles injury who has missed the last two games but has returned to training and could be in the squad for the match.

MATCH PREVIEW

France has given the rest to several key players in their final game and have had a week to prepare for the last 16, and will set to play with fresh mood against opponents. The Republic of Ireland will play their second “knock-out” game in the space of five days to play in Lyon.

Martin O’Neill’s won their ‘do or die’ match against Italy on Wednesday and Robbie Brady’s header sent them through. Since 2002 World Cup, Republic of Ireland have progressed beyond the group stage and will play a knock-out game for the first time at a European Championship finals.

Neill has a good defensive side and set-pieces could be a crucial weapon against a France. In their last four games, they have faced a total of just two shots on target including a friendly against Scotland.

MATCH FACTS

One-to-One

  • Republic has never won a single game in their last five games against France. France won two and two were drawn.
  • In 1981 World Cup qualifier, France suffered their last defeat against the Republic of Ireland who won 3-2 at Lansdowne Road.
  • Irish side has scored only one goal out of four, France scored three in the last five encounters between them.

France

  • In 2004 European Championship, France finished at the top of their group for the last time, when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Greece.
  • France is ‘Lions of Home’ since they are unbeaten winning two and two draws in their last 15 games on home soil at major tournaments.
  • In 2000 Euro Championship, France won their last knock-out game was the final against Italy. Since then, they have lost against Spain in the last Euro 2004 and lost against Greece in 2004.
  • At Euro 2016, their opponents have not taken a shot on target in their last 205 minutes of action.
  • France scored nine goals out of their last 10 goals at European Championship goals after half-time.
  • In this Euro, they have scored three goals in the 89th minute out of their four goals.

The Republic of Ireland

  • This is the first ever appearance of The Republic of Ireland in the knockout stages of the Euro Championship.
  • They have registered their second victory ever when they defeated Italy on Wednesday, they have beaten England in 1988 which is their first ever victory.

France

Goalkeepers:  Hugo Lloris, B Costil, Steve Mandanda

Defenders: P Evra, Lucas Digne, C Jallet, Laurent Koscielny, E Mangala, BacarySagna, Adil Rami, S Umtiti

Midfielders:  M Schneiderlin, Y Cabaye, N’GoloKante, B Matuidi, Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko

Forwards:  Andre-Pierre Gignac, O Giroud, Kingsley Coman, A Griezmann, Anthony Martial

The Republic of Ireland

Goalkeepers:  K Westwood, Randolph, S Given

Defenders:  C Christie, S Coleman, R Keogh, Ciaran Clark, John O’Shea, S Ward, Shane Duffy

Midfielders: James McClean, A McGeady, James McCarthy, G Whelan, Jeff Hendrick, Stephen Quinn, D Meyler, Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan, J Walters

Forwards: Shane Long, R Keane, Daryl Murphy

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