Football As a Popular Sport

Football, or Soccer, as it is known in many parts of the world is a sport or game that is played between two teams, each containing eleven players. A rectangular field with goal posts at either end into which opposing teams must kick goals into forms the outline of the game. There are a set of rules governing the game, although much has changed in the way the game is played now.

It is easily the world’s most popular sport considering that over 300 million players from over 200 countries around the world are involved in the sport.

The origin or invention of modern-day football throws up interesting and sometimes controversial details. It was largely believed that Britain or England is where the game was first played in the medieval period and it gradually spread throughout Europe. A game involving a ‘party of boys playing a ball’ was first observed in the 19th century in England. However, the Chinese claim that the sport in England is largely drawn from a similar game played in China several centuries earlier. Unlike most other sports of that time, this was played on ‘foot’ and not on horseback, hence the name ‘football’. But there are vast dissimilarities between the two versions.

The rise and popularity of the game cannot be questioned and several hugely prestigious events and tournaments are held throughout the year in various countries. Professional football has seen the rise of several athletes playing the game at the highest levels with huge fan followings for the numerous teams. The English Premier League football season is a highly awaited even and has football lovers thronging stadiums to witness between their favorite teams manned by professional football players from many nations.

‘Soccer’ is the term associated with football in the US and it is claimed to have been coined from the English shortened slang for its formal name, Association Football or ‘assoc’.

Like many other sports and games where vast amounts of money and authority are involved, football has seen its share of infamy and scandals in recent years. The likes of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and superstar Michel Platini have been accused of corruption and are facing suspensions and total bans. Several aspects like code of conduct, loyalty, conflict of interest and accepting gifts and commissions are part of the charges leveled against the highest ranked officials in the game.

Over the years, the dominance of South American players in the game has slowly been replaced by several European players but the game continues to be extremely popular even as a street sport as it does not require much equipment or infrastructure.

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English Premier League Players to Watch For This Season (2008-2009)

Season on season stars are born in the most prestigious and glamorous league of the world. Be it goal-machine Cristiano Ronaldo or the prolific Chelsea scorer Didier Drogba or Liverpool striker Fernando Torres, everyone plays for a reason. Fame, money and substance follows the best in the breed.

Now let us look at the players who are favorites for this season of Barclays Premier League :

1 – Cristiano Ronaldo

Club: Manchester United

Position: Winger

The best and safest bet to put your money on is Cristiano Ronaldo. He has been the buzz of the summer regarding his transfer to Spanish club Real Madrid. And why not, we are talking of a player who scored 42 goals in a season, winning his team both Premier League and UEFA Champion’s league. With the news that he’s going to stay ateast for one more season at Old Trafford ManU fans can expect their third consecutive Premiership title this season.

While Sir Alex Ferguson is yet to sign a striker for the team (most proabaly Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov), Ronaldo along with Wayne Roonay and Tevez forms one of the most lethal forward line-up to face with. If he continues his scoring streak, he surely is the best that Premiership can offer this season.

2 – Didier Drogba

Club: Chelsea

Position: Striker

He has done it before and he can do it again. To win big games for Chelsea. A prolif striker of the ball Didier Drogab is the only player whose presence gives Chelsea any hopes of winning titles this season.

With both Premiership and UEFA Championship’s loss to rivals Manchester United being very close, Drogba will be accompanied this time by ex-Barcelona

playmaker Deco to fill up th gaps. World Cup wiining coach Luis Felipe Scolari will also accompany them for the titles this season.

3 – Fernando Torres

Club: Liverpool

Position: Striker

Right man in right time at wrong place describes ace Liverpool striker Fernando Torres the best. After his wonderful season in 2007/08 Liverpool couldnot afford any titles as they lack players in other sections of the field.

This year, with Robbie Keane partnering him towards the goal post Liverpool can hope of any miracles. But Torres is the key player, and if he scores 40+ goals and Keane adds some then who knows, they might pull off something. Afterall football isn’t always prediaction.

4 – Cesc Fabregas

Club: Arsenal

Position: Central midfielder

Young and refreshing, Cesc will return to Arsenal with winning memories of Euro Cup winning. Arsenal has lost its top players this summer, but Samir Nasri’s inclusion in the team could do some young-wonders for Arsenal.

Cesc Fabregas’s performance, both in international and club football has been promising, but comparisons of him with Thierry Henry is like expecting a lot from the young legs.

5 – Jo

Club: Manchester City

Position: Striker

This Brazilian International is no easy customer to deal with. All of 21, the product from South American soccer giant Brazil, Jo will have to play a huge role in Man City because of their financial problems to bring in good players.

6 – Peter Crouch

Club: Portsmouth

Position: Striker

The tallest player in EPL with 6’7″, Crouch is considered by many as a under-rated player. With a goal per game ratio of 2 for national team England, his presence in Liverpool was nothing more than a substitute. He surely has found a right place to play in.

This was our list of some players to watch out for this season. Let us know which players found a place in your list of favorites.

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Unforgettable European Games

In 1981-1982 Universitatea Craiova played in European Champions Cup, the old name of Champions League of today. After two double games against Olimpyakos Pireu and BK Copenhagen, Craiova had as a guest the great German football team which was Bayern Munich a team in which were players like Breitner, Rummenigge an so on.It was a dramatical game with a stadium of 45.000 places full of Universitatea Craiova’s fans. Our team lost this game with 1-2 but this was just a preview for the next year. The year of the most important European performances for this great Romanian fooball team.

In 1982-1983 Universitatea Craiova played in UEFA Cup. The first game was against AC Fiorentina. A team of the well known World Champion Antobelli. Universitatea was the winner (3-1 and 0-1) and in the second tour we encountered Shamrock Rovers. 2-0 and 3-0 were the results and for the 3rd tour the well known France team was meant to came in Craiova.

Girondins de Bordeaux lost this double game against this legendary Romanian team (0-1 and 2-0). In the 4th tour 1FC Kaiserslautern came in Craiova. After 2-3 in Germany we did a 1-0 in the minute 82 and Universitatea Craiova was preparing for UEFA Cup semifinals. Stefanescu and Breitner

Benfica Lisboa was the team who put an end to this beautiful dream. We managed a full of hope 0-0 in Portugal. But in Romania we missed only 45 minutes for the great final. Ilie Balaci scored in the 15th minute of the game by a great execution from a free kick. In the second time of the game Benfica succeeded a draw and this team went in the final. This performance was never done by a future team from Craiova.

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Players – Djibril Cisse

His full name is Djibril Aruun Cissé. He was born on 12 August 1981 in Arles, France. His playing position in the field is Striker.

At the age of 11 He began his career at Nîmes Olympique in 1993. Afterward Cissé went to Auxerre still in the youth team. Gérard Houllier brought him to Liverpool. For the period of his time at Anfield Cissé played 49 matches with 11 goals; although he was at times played on the wing of right side.

He experienced playing football with some senior clubs: Auxerre (1993-1996), Liverpool (2004-2006), Marseille (2006-2008), Sunderland (loan) (2008-2009), Panathinaikos (2009 – till now).

Djibril Cissé is a French soccer player of Ivorian ancestry. Cissé is renowned mainly for his acceleration and pace, in addition to his hairstyles that always attention-grabbing. He has held the title of Lord of the Manor of Frodsham from the time when 2005.

At the age of 15 Cissé signed for Auxerre club, and in May 2002 made his international first appearance in opposition to Belgium. In May 2003, along with Auxerre, he triumphed for the French Cup and a month afterward the Confederations Cup with France. In the French Ligue 1 in the 2001-2002 and 2003-2004 season, Cissé was the top scorer making 70 goals in 128 league matches for Auxerre club.

Here are the lists of his honors he achieved as long as his career as a soccer player. The honors with the club are Auxerre (Coupe de France: 2002-2003); Liverpool (UEFA Champions League, 2004-2005), (UEFA Super Cup: 2005), (FA Cup: 2005-2006); Panathinaikos (Greek Super League: 2009-2010). And for the country is FIFA Confederations Cup: 2003.

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