6 Interesting Facts About Manchester United FC You Probably Didn’t Know Before

Manchester United FC is probably one of the most successful professional football clubs on the planet. Also known as The Red Devils, the club is based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. Here are some interesting facts about Manchester United you probably have never heard before.

Fact #1 – Manchester United was not the first choice for the football club’s name.

When founded in 1878, the club was named Newton Heath LYR Football Club after the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. The name was changed to Manchester United Football Club on 24 April 1902 due to change in ownership.

Fact #2 – The Red Devils is the first English team to compete in The European Cup.

Despite the fact that the Football League objected the participation of English football teams in the European Cup, Manchester United took part in the 1957 European Cup as the first English football team to do so. Before they were beaten by Real Madrid on the way to semi-finals, the club beat Anderlecht FC from Belgium with a score of 10-0. This is remains their biggest win to date.

Fact #3 – The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed 8 players’ lives.

The plane crash that happened on 6 January 1958 cost 8 of The Red Devils players their lives. They are Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, Geoff Bent, Eddie Colman, David Pegg, Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor, and Billy Whelan. After winning a match against the Red Star Belgrade FC, the plane carrying the team players, officials, and journalists crashed in Munich, Germany. A total of 23 passengers were killed in that accident and several others were injured.

Fact #4 – The club holds many title records.

This football club holds the record for most top-division titles (19 times), most Premier League titles (12 titles), most FA Cups (11 cups), and the most FA Cup Final appearances (18). The Red Devils is also known as the first English football team to win the European Cup in 1968.

Fact #5 – The Red Devils lacks of UEFA European Cup.

Despite the fact that the Manchester United managed to get into the quarter-finals in 1984-1985, the team has never succeeded in winning any UEFA European Cup.

Fact #6 – The team is now under the most successful manager of the English football history.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson started managing club in November 1986, Manchester United has successfully won 27 major honors. This Scottish football manager received the honorary title Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the Queen of England in 1983 and upgraded into the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995.

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Mr Sachin Tendulkar is the Master in All Formats of Cricket

Sachin Tendulkar’s 32-ball 63 against Delhi Daredevils is his fourth 50 in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The knock fetched the Mumbai Indians skipper his third Man-Of-The-Match award in New Delhi at the Ferozeshah Kotla on 17th March, 2010.

Mr. Tendulkar, who hit his sixth 50 in 22 matches in the shortest form of cricket (T20) the game in Firozshah Kotla pitch on 17th March, 2010 and moved to second position behind swashbuckling Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya with an aggregate of over 600 runs. Tendulkar has 632 (ave. 33.26) from 22 matches while Jayasuriya scored 765 runs for Mumbai Indians.

We can say that Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is superhit in all format of cricket i.e; Test Cricket, One day International (ODI) and most entertainment cricket T20. IPL is the biggest platform for new player who can perform and get entry card for National team.

Overview of Mumbai Indian Performance in IPL3:

# It is a single unbeaten team in IPL3.

# He recorded their second win in five games over Delhi.

# Saurabh Tiwary (61 of 37 balls) has posted his fourth 50 in Twenty20.

# Tiwary has batted extremely well in the third edition, recording successive fifties apart from maintaining a strike rate of 162.85.

# Virender Sehwag has completed his 700 runs in the IPL — 713 (ave.28.52) in 28 matches. He is the second player for Delhi Daredevils after Gautam Gambhir (901) to achieve the feat.

# Dinesh Karthik and Adam Gilchrist share the IPL record for most stumpings (10).

# Mumbai Indians’ 98-run triumph is the biggest winning margin by runs in the third IPL edition, bettering Chennai Super Kings’ 55-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders Tuesday.

# Team Scored (218/7) the highest runs in the Indian Premier Leage (IPL).

# Mumbai, with their successive 200-plus scores, became the first team to record two totals of 200-plus in this edition.

# It is the best by any team against Delhi Daredevils, surpassing Rajasthan’s 192 for nine at Mumbai on May 30, 2008.

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Travel Tips for Quito, Ecuador

Information

– Confederate Books

My favourite Bookstore in Quito. Sells and buys. Friendly US-Owner. Big choice of used Lonley Planet books.

(Calama 410 y J.L. Mera, (02) 2527890)

Activities

– TeleferiQo / Rucu Pichincha (admission $4)

The hike to the Rucu Pichincha (4700m) from the top of the TeleferiQo is a good opportunity to acclimatize oneself. Besides that you enjoy an amazing view over the whole city of Quito. Be sure to be at the teleferiQo station punctual at 9 oclock, to avoid waiting and to profit from the clear sight, which often lasts only till noon.

(Calle Arnulfo Araujo y A v. Occidental, (02) 3250085)

– Soccer Game (admission $8)

Quitos two best teams – Liga Quito and Nacional Quito – both have their own stadium. While playing against smaller Teams like Cuenca the stadiums arent fully crowded and fans are peacfull and laidback. The games are spectacular and visiting a game in Quito is a must for every footballfanatic. There are mostly two games a week (for example Wednesday and Sunday). Buy the newspaper «El Commercio» to check the dates. Buy the tickets right at the stadium (tribune around $8)

(Estadion Atahualpa (Nacional Quito) Av. Naciones Unidas y 6 de Diciembre)

– Daytrip to the hot springs Papallacta (admission $7)

The thermal bats of Papallacta are my favorite place in Ecuador. Luxurious, modern and clean you could spend the whole day in the different pools which vary from ice-cold to boiling-hot and are located in a lovely landscape between high mountains. Theres also an icy river through the complex, where you can cool down. To go there catch a bus at the Terminal Terrestre (2 hours ride) and ask the driver to drop you off at the road to the baths in Papallacta. When returning to Quito you sometimes have to wait more than an hour for a Bus to Quito.

– Museo Solar Inti Nan (near Mitad del Mundo – admission $2)

Interesting experiments right on the equatorline and fascination outdoor exhibition. When driving to Mitad del Mundo head out directly to this place 300m east of the official Mitad del Mundo Monument.

– I don’t recommend: Mitad del Mundo Monument

The Monument is not on the equatorline and I see no reason to visit this very touristic site.

Courses

– Spanish School Lector Academia

An excellent and reasonable priced German/Ecuadorian-run spanish school located in the northern region near the airport. Offers activities like city-tours and daytrips. Also arrange stays in friendly hostfamilies all located in the quiet and secure northern area.

(Calle Yumbos N50-270 y Fernando Dávalos, (02) 2276220)

– IE Internacional del Espanol

Offers trainings for spanish-teachers and publishes excellent spanish grammatic- and excercice-books for selfstudying. Good opportunity to improve your spanish on the road.

(Pinto E4-358 y Amazonas, (02) 2564910)

Tours

– Gulliver

I joined their two-day tour to the Cotopaxi ($160). Perfect organization. I can also recommend their Hosteria PapaGayo in the Cotopaxi-area to spend the night before Climbing Cotopaxi or Illiniza.

(JL Mera z Calama, (02) 2529297)

– Positiv Turismo Ecuador Trips

Swiss-run agency, which offers well-organized trips and Galapagos Cruises. I joined their Cuyabeno-Rainforest Canoetour and was really happy about everything. Friendly people.

(Voz Andes N41-81 y M. Echeverría, (02) 2440604)

– I don’t recommend: Rainforestur

Went to the Illiniza Norte with them. Organization was a catastrophe (see LP Thorntree Topic). Definitly a bad agency with an unfriendly owner.

Sleeping

– L’Auberge Inn (single room with private bathroom $10)

Swiss-run quiet place with garden, internet, in-house agency and pool table. Rooms can be cool at night. Excellent Pancake for breakfast.

(Av Colombia N12-200 (near Old-Town and Mariscal), (02) 2552912)

– Hostal Charles Darwin (single room with private bathroom, Cable-TV and breakfast around $30)

Quiet location, garden, near the Mariscal area, friendly service.

(La Colina 304, (02) 2234323)

Eating

– Seven Eleven

Modern european-styled bar and restaurant. Eventhough the (strictly electronic) music is terrible loud, its worth a visit because of the excellent, reasonable priced and beautiful arranged dishes. Try the Filet Mignon ($5).

(Calama E619 y Reina Victoria (Mariscal), (02) 2556234)

– Los Troncos Steak House

Visit this Argentine Steakhouse for delicious grilled meat. The steaks are as juicy as the prices are, but if you don’t mind spending $20 for the best «Lomo Fino» (Steak) in Ecuador this is the right place for you

(Av. de los Shyris 1280 y Portugal (near Parque Carolin), (02) 2437377)

– Pizzeria Milano

This Swiss-Italian run Pizzeria serves the probably best and only real italian-style pizza in town (Big Pizza $5)

(Calama y 6 de Diciembre (Mariscal, right before the 6 de diciembre corner))

– I don’t recommend: Ch Farina

In a restaurant of this popular Pizzeria-Chain i’ve got sort of food poisoned after eating pizza and salad.

Entertainment

– Santino Club

While the bars and discos in the Mariscal area are overcrowded with tourists, you’ll be the only gringo in the several places in front of the Swissotel (Av. 12 de Octobre 1820). Discoteca Santino is crowded with young, well-dressed locals who dance to Salsa, Cumbia and Merengue till dawn. Admission $10, for this amount you can order drinks at the bar. Bouncers are rough: Dress well and be in female company.

(12 de Octubre y Baquerizo Moreno, (02) 2248078)

Getting Around

– Panamericana Internacional (Buses to Cuenca, Loja, Guayaquil, Machala, Huaquillas, Pasaje, Manta, Esmeraldas)

Most comfortable Buses, own terminal near the Mariscal so you can avoid the chaotic Terminal Terrestre where all the other buses leave.

(Av. Cristobal Colon y Reina Victoria), (02) 2553690)

– Trans Esmeraldas (Buses to Atacames, Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Salinas, Lago Agrio, Coca, Ibarra, San Lorenzo, Manta, Machalas, Huaquillas)

Modern and comfortable buses leaving from an own terminal near the Mariscal.

(Santa María 870 y 9 de Octubre, (02) 2505099)

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David Beckham in MLS – Good or Bad?

With the insane amount of hype surrounding David Beckham’s debut in the MLS and America, everyone has been mezmerized by Beckham’s international stardom. Furthermore, with his lovely wife, Victoria, by his side, I don’t see how anyone could be anything but ecstatic by their arrival. However, as a result of all this, one question has been left unanwered, even by the most cynical critics. That question is whether or not the MLS’s inclusion of David Beckham is a good thing. Here’s what I think:

For Soccer:

David Beckham coming to the MLS is great for soccer. Some say that losing such a great player and star will somehow hurt the European soccer scene. But that is not going to happen. Not only is the best soccer still being played in Europe, but also the number of superstars in its respective leagues is rising daily. Yes, Beckham is a force to be reckoned with, on and off the field. But with players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldhino Gaucho, Lionel Messi and Steven Gerrard filling Beckham’s shoes, there are still plenty of quality players to captivate the soccer’s viewing public. So, no, Europe is not going to suffer. Just think if Barry Bonds left the MLB. Is he a great player? Of course! But the league wouldn’t be all that different if he were to leave. The other superstars would pick up the slack.

On the other hand, the MLS is going to benefit beyond anything it could possibly imagine. Not only is Beckham a great player on the field, but his rockstar-like popularity off of it will bring hoards of new viewers to the MLS. Opponents of this notion may say that international superstars have come to the MLS in the past, making very little impact on the progress of the MLS in America. Very true. But, usually international players who make the transition are very much past their prime. Take for instance Youri Djorkaeff, Roberto Donadoni and Lothar Mattheus. Every single one of these players was a great player in his day. But when they were in the MLS, they were over the hill. None had stellar performances in the MLS and each retired soon after arriving. Conversely, Beckham is still in his prime. Last year, due in large part to his efforts, Real Madrid won the Spanish La Liga championship. Also, in his absence from the English national team, the Three Lions suffered tremendously; something that went away upon Beckham’s return. His picture perfect cross to Peter Crouch in England’s Euro 2008 qualifier against Estonia is a skillful reflection of just how good Beckham still is. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that can deliver a cross like that. So, this move is great for the MLS. They are getting a player with absolutely brilliant skill who will also bolster the league with his fame.

For Beckham:

The MLS is undoubtedly going to benefit from this move, but will Beckham benefit as well? Well, yes and no. His wallet is definitely not going barren anytime soon, what with the 5-year, $250 million contract he signed with the LA Galaxy (something that has not gone unnoticed by his wife «Posh Spice» who is known for living up to her ritzy name). Moreover, his children will probably benefit as well. While England is by no means a country in dire straits, the US is the most powerful country in the world and offers its citizens countless opportunities. Growing up in America will allow the Beckham children every chance they could ever want.

However, in terms of his career, David Beckham made the wrong move. As previously mentioned, Beckham is still as skillful as ever. And let’s face it, the MLS is an inferior league to the giants in Europe. So, I feel, as do many serious soccer fans, that Beckham’s introduction to the MLS is sort of a slap in the face. It is just sad. He is simply too good for the MLS. Imagine if Michael Jordan had left the NBA after his 6th successive NBA title to play in the Italian basketball league. Murmurs of «say it ain’t so» would be heard all around the country. A similar situation is unfolding in Europe. European soccer fans cannot believe that Beckham would stoop to the MLS’s level. Honestly, it is kind of pathetic.

So, is Beckham in the MLS a good thing or a bad thing? Both. It just depends on how you look at it. It is great for the MLS. And it is even good for Beckham to a certain extent. But, as far as his career is concerned, David Beckham’s swan song has come prematurely.

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Lionel Messi – The Greatest Footballer Ever?

The footballing world watched on in utter amazement and delight yesterday as Messi’s Barcelona put 7 goals past a hapless Bayer Leverkusen side in a UEFA Champions League game at the Nou Camp. For the first time ever, we saw one person score 5 goals in a Champions league game and it so happened to be no other person than Lionel Messi.

Yes, the number of goals may be a new record which I think he can better in the years ahead, but it’s more the manner and the sheer class with which he scored the goals that made many a football enthusiast admire this rare talent that has emerged in this generation.

Of course, we all knew about his ability already but his display yesterday has put him in another League. The way in which he made the difficult act of scoring spectacular goals look so easy was just a joy to watch. One was a left foot lob, another a delightful right foot lob, then a careful control from an acute angel, a laser-guided placement with his left foot and then a drive through a number of opposing players. His unique sense of picking the right moments in games to do what he does best is simply quite extraordinary.

He has often been compared with the Legendary Pele and his fellow country man Diego Maradona as to who is the greatest player ever but I will dare to say that even these legends will secretly admit that it’s just a matter of time before this boy from the backside of Rosario, Argentina supersedes their achievements if he hasn’t already done so. Considering the fact that Messi is only 24 years of age and has at least 10 years of top flight football in him, the prospect of what he could achieve can be incredible.

It’s almost inconceivable that the world would never have seen what happened yesterday had it not been for the Barcelona scouts who intervened to save his career when he was being given up on. River Plate, one of the biggest clubs in the Argentine First Division who wanted to sign him from Newell Old Boys Club in Rosario, soon discovered that his inability to endure playing for 90 minutes was due to the absence of a growth hormone that hindered his normal physical development as a person. He looked so tiny for his age at the time that, they were not sure if he could develop physically to meet the demands of the modern game even though his talent was never in dispute. The money needed to put him on a special dieting programme was just too much they couldn’t afford it. They gave up on him but thankfully, he was spotted and taken to Barcelona’s La Masia’s training academy and the rest, they say, is history.

Talking about humble beginnings, his first contract was signed on a white handkerchief because his Dad was so frustrated with the directors of Barcelona at the time due to their indecision about his son’s future that, he gave Charles Rexach, the Director of football at the time a brief window of opportunity to make up his mind. Either they give him an answer there and then or forget about Messi forever once they fly back to Argentina. His exploits today has proven that it doesn’t matter where you begin in life but rather, it’s about you believing in your unique abilities and giftings given to you by God regardless of your size, age, race or gender.

As great as the current Barcelona team is at the moment, it is my firm conviction that if you pluck Messi out of this team, they would not have achieved as much as they have. He brings a certain quality to the team which puts them way above any other team at the moment. When games are tight, he is the only one that can come up with some special instinctive play capable of breaking down opposing teams whereby creating opportunities to score goals.

The flip side of the above argument is that, even the greatest players will find it very difficult to perform at their optimum when they are either surrounded by mediocre players or the team they find themselves in doesn’t play to their strengths. This may well be the reason why he is yet to hit the same dizzy heights with the Argentine National Team as he’s done time and time again with his Club side.

With all that he’s achieve so far, hearing him speak just makes you believe why he may go on to accomplish much more. He seems to exude this important virtue of humility which is vital not only to help get you to the top of your game but more importantly, to stay there. There isn’t any air of «superstardom» about him. His lifestyle is just simple, both on and off the pitch. I’m yet to hear any news about Messi involved in any «off the pitch» incidents that you so often associate with English Premiership players. He just seems to enjoy playing in huge stadia as much as he did when he played on the streets of Rosario.

So is he the greatest player ever? The legendary Pele seems to think he is the best by far in the world at the moment. Most football Managers, fellow professionals and the football community at large seem to think he is the best ever even though he’s yet to lead Argentina to Word Cup glory. I would not dispute that either. I think we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He is simply sublime.

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