No Premier League Side in the Semi-Final of the Champions League! Is it a Sign of EPL's Fall?

Firm followers of UEFA competitions and most especially the Champions League, can attest to the reality that there have been EPL sides in the semi-final of the champions league for the previous six seasons ie 2003-2009.
In the past six seasons, EPL sides regular in the champions league (Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC) have all way featured in the semi-final of the champions league in the past six seasons, which made English and even foreigners marvel at their absence this season, in the semi-final of Europe's elite club competition.

In 2005, Liverpool (the all red) and Chelsea (the true blues) locked horns in an entertaining semi-final with both sides led by managers who have managed his team for barely the two seasons, Liverpool went on to win the encounter, after a closely contested semi-final match. Liverpool eventually emerged triumphant in that year's Champions league, after defeating Ac-Milan in an epic final which saw one of the greatest comebacks in football history, 3-0 to 3-3 and then victory.

The proceeding year, Arsenal featured in both the Semi-final and final of the Champions league, to mark a turn-around in their footballing history, but were not so lucky to win the trophy after only qualifying for their first final match in the champions league. They battled with Barcelona in that year's final, ie 2006 final, but got beat by 2 goals to 1, with Jens Lehmann sent off in that match.

In 2007, Liverpool and Chelsea once again were drawn to do battle in the semi-final of the 2006/2007 season. With the first leg drawn to be played at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea had the opportunity of progressing, and they took full advantage of the home factor by defeating Liverpool by a lone goal after a highly contested fixture. At Anfield, Liverpool played with caution while also surging forward in search for the goal that will put them on level terms with Chelsea, luckily for Liverpool the goal came. A low cross from Steven "general" Gerard found an unnamed Daniel Agger, who sliced ​​the ball through the bodies of Chelsea players and bang into the net early in the first half. Liverpool preserved the one goal lead even after 90 minutes until the extra time was over, then it was time for the ultimate decider; penalty kicks, Pepe Reina was the hero of the day as he saved the deciding spot kick to send Liverpool into the final for the second time in three seasons and a replay of 2005 final with AC-Milan, that dispensed Manchester United in the other semi -final clash by 5 goals to 3 on aggregate.

The final was a highly anticipated one, as two of Europe's power homes in club football go head-to-head to decide the winner of the 2007 Champions League, historically two Pippo Inzaghi goals, which made him the highest goal scorer in the Champions league , won Ac Milan the trophy for the seventh time in their footballing history.

The following year saw the best from English teams in the Champions League. All four English representatives made it to the quarter final, with three (Liverpool, after ousting Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United) out of the four progressing onto the semi-final, Liverpool were already dumped by fellow English team Chelsea. The progress of Chelsea into the final in 2008 was the first time that they were playing in the Champions League's final; they battled with Manchester United for the coveted trophy, matched United strength for strength, skill for skill, technique for technique, but were just unlucky to miss out in the spot kicks, as United went on to win their third and Sir Alex Ferguson's second UEFA Champions League trophy, which also aided Cristiano Ronaldo in winning the world player of the year award.

The year 2009, saw a different football style displayed by a team. 2009 Champions League was won by Barcelona of Spain, after showing the footballing world how the game should be played; neat defending, accurate passing, and clinical finishing: characterized the play of Barcelona en-route to winning the trophy for the third time in their history, after triumphs in 1992 and 2006.

2010 came with a lot of promise for the English sides, after bright starts from all the sides in their respective groups; Liverpool won its first game against Debrecen at Anfield, by a lone goal scored by Dirk Kuyt, which made him the club's third highest goal scorer in Europe with 12 goal to his name. Chelsea also won its first game against FC Porto by a lone goal scored Nicolas Anelka, in a dull encounter due to the water soaked pitch.

Manchester United did not do badly in its first game; same was the case for Arsenal, all the English representatives representing well to the delight of English stalwarts. Things started becoming shaky as the competition progressed further to its crucial stage. Liverpool were ousted very early in the competition, as they were ousted in the group phase, even before the last group game. The victory of Fiorentina over Olympique Lyonnais in the game before the last, mean Liverpool were forced to the Europa League were they solace recently, making an impressive run to the semi-final, having not scored lower than three goals on aggregate in the previous rounds, ie round of 32, round of 16 and quarter final, which has earned them a clash with Athletico Madrid away in Spain.

Chelsea were next up for elimination, after a partly successful run in the group onto the round of 16. Chelsea had great scares during a few of their group phase games, Athletico Madrid was in one of them, where they had to settle for a 2 all draw after going through Didier Drogba, only to see a Sergio Diego Aguero brace give Athletico the lead, but Drogba proved to be very clinical in finishing when he slotted his second past Athletico's goal. The most surprising of Chelsea's group phase result came on the last day of the group. Apoel Nicosia making only its debut in the Champions League held all conquering Chelsea, with a full first team squad, to a 2 all draw at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal had the most impressive group phase performance where they picked up 16 of the 18 available points in a group which considered of Olympiakos, Standard Liege, and Az Alkmaar, which are low pedigree teams with frequent Champions League due to inability to make it through the preliminary.

Manchester United, I would say, had an indifferent group campaign. Had a great start, but flattered during the crucial mid games, needed the last game to confirm qualification but put thread any doubts into the thrash after a Michael Owen hat-trick canceled out Edin Dzeko's opening goal, for VFL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford.

With the progress of three tops teams from England into the round of 16, hopes and expectation were extremely high. The English teams, however, did not get the perfect draws, Chelsea were billed to face Inter-Milan, tutored by Jose Mourinho, Manchester United drawn to do battle with 7 times European champions, Ac-Milan, and Arsenal getting a re- match of the 2009 group game against Porto Fc, 2004 winners.

The first legs saw the English teams face real test of strength, skill and technique.

Manchester United were tested for all the mentioned above against Ac-Milan, first in Giuseppe Meazza, San Siro and then in Old Trafford, but then they emerged victorious on both legs, winning 7-2 on aggregate, with Wayne Rooney scoring four of the seven goals, ie 2 goals in each leg.

Arsenal had a similar situation, against Fc Porto, the Portuguese representatives giving them a good run for their money, most especially in Portugal, where the first leg was hosted, which Fc Porto won by 2 goals to 1, in a match which Porto's second goal by Falcao, was a bit controversial, appearing to be an offside goal.

At Emirates stadium, Arsenal shown no mercy, firing 2 goals past Helton in goal for Porto in quick success, and at half time, it was Arsenal 2 Porto 1. Porto started brightly in the second half of the game, attacking Arsenal from all angles of the pitch. As the game grows, Arsenal became for more confident, and began playing like the Arsenal we are using to watching in league games. Samri Nasri thread the Emirates into ecstasy, when he dribbled past three Porto defenders and slotted past helpless Helton, who tried to rush out to prevent the goal, but all to no avail. Super sub, Emmanuel Eboue, came on minutes later and sealed the victory, with a clean finish, after he outran the Porto defenders and was set up by Andre Arshavin, with only the keeper to beat, he rounded him neatly before netting Arsenal's four to cap a fine performance from truly smoking guns. Nicklas Bendtner, who had earlier netted 2 superb strikes, added a third to mark his first hat trick in his Arsenal career.

It was not a bed of roses for Chelsea neither, as they had to suffer defeats in the hands of Inter-Milan on both legs, which put paid to their Champions League campaign. At the magnificent Giuseppe Meazza, Inter tested Chelsea for wits, work rate and technique, as both teams played out their lives to progress in the competition. Chelsea collectively outplayed, but all the "ball possession" could not fetch them the win which they set out to achieve. The ball possession favored Chelsea in the first leg match, but these were translated into goals although they were translated in the goal attempt, shot-on-goal, and so on. Of all the teams which started European campaign in September, Liverpool can be deducted to be the most disappointing of all, due to the fact that it was knocked out in the group phase.

Currently, there are only two English teams in European competition, Liverpool FC and Fulham FC and they both have interesting fixtures in the semi-final, having to face Athletico Madrid and Hamburg, respectively.

There is the possibility of an all English Europa League final, a feat which has not been achieved for over 6 seasons.
The absence of premier league teams In the semi-final of the champions league, in my own estimation, does not connote the fall of the premier league, rather the sole reason is the reality that we have come to face, which is the fact that teams form other countries have sat down and reviewed the methods of English teams, which they have applied, and it has worked magically and very effectively too.

English teams were totally outclassed, outpowered nor outplayed, but rather the element of luck was against them, and also the English teams have had a good run in the past, so let other teams enjoy same, so people will not say the Champions league is an English competition. The English teams will rise up to take what's rightfully their, which is the prestige it has earned over the years, a prestige which in my estimation, is in jeopardy considering theability of making it to the semi-final of Europe's elite club competition.

Upon this I determine, the absence of English teams in the semi-final of the champions league is by no means equal to the fall of the premier league, and which which other league is so unpredictable as the premier league? A league where any team can beat any team, home or away; name the league.

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FC Barcelona Facts – History of Spanish Giants

FC Barcelona, one of the world’s richest and most successful clubs, has a rich history and a culture that is synonymous with the Catalonian part of Spain. Founded in 1899 by a group of English, Swiss and Spanish footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has grown in stature with every passing day since its inception and managed to achieve the highest stature in club football by winning all the trophies that is possible by the side to win. Here are a few more interesting FC Barcelona facts for the readers’ digest.

Since its inception, the club has won many trophies in both domestic and big competitions. Barcelona has been a club with arguably the best forward line in modern football. Back in 1910 when the club was relatively new and was full of players unknown and no fan following, they used to play matches with local clubs. It was back in the same year when they participated in the first ever UEFA competition. This was followed by a collaboration with the Football Association of Spain. Barton along with a host of other clubs propounded the theory of inventing and creating a new league for the top tier of Spanish football where teams would participate and the ultimate winner would be the best club of Spain.

Barcelona along with Atletic Bilbao and arch rivals Real Madrid remain the only 3 teams till date to have never been relegated from the top tier of Spanish football. Barcelona always has a political history as the club considered to be the heart of Catalonia, which had been an area of disturbance in Spain as the region openly resisted the policies set by the Capital of Spain, Madrid. Catalonia has always been a part of Spain and it was during the late 2000 when the Spanish government allowed Catalonia to break away from Spain and create their own state. Barcelona, till date, has won a sextet and ten Champions League trophies which is in itself a big feat.

Barcelona saw real progress back in 1978 when Nunez was appointed as the president of the club. His main objective was to make Barcelona a world-class team and a brand throughout the world. He remained at the club for 22 years and had set stringent wage policies to make sure that no Ayer becomes bigger than the club itself. He let go of star players likes of Romario, Ronaldo and Maradona just because he would not meet the unrealistic demands set by them back then. The team became invincible under the leadership of Johan Cruyff as he built a dream team consisting of a core of Spanish and English players like Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman.

The Barcelona team became a dream team and Cruyff’s tactics was highly appreciated as he would bring the ideology of introducing total foot for the first team in the game. After the resignation of Nunez as president, the La Porter saw the club decline further. They won back their lost glory in 2008 when the club came back to the mainframe with the signing of Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho who decimated Real Madrid single-handedly. What followed after being the exponential meteoric rise of Lionel Messi through the amateur ranks at the club and it went on to win the Champions League along with La Liga and the Copa del Ray.

The club is ranked among the richest club in the world with a net property of nearly 2 billion pounds. Barcelona is a club to be feared and continues to hold the legendary status.

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Canon Inc

Canon Inc is a Japanese founded company that operates worldwide in specialising the manufacture of imaging products such as Digital Cameras, Photocopiers and Computer Printers. Canon was originally founded under the name Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in 1937 Tokyo Japan by four optical technology pioneers known as Takeshi Mitarai, Goro Yoshida, Saburo Uchida and Takeo Maeda. The name Canon conversely dates further back than the company formation date. In 1934 Canon was a prototype for a 35 millimeter camera, Japan’s first, with a focal plane shutter. In Japanese it was known as «Kwanon». Canon now has headquarter functions as wide as America, Europe (split between London and the Netherlands), Africa, the Middle East, Japan, Central Asia and Australia.

Today, Canon manufactures for the business and for the consumer with products such as printers, scanners, binoculars, digital cameras, film cameras, SLR cameras and lenses. Less famous products attributable to the Canon brand include medical equipment, optical equipment, broadcast lenses and x ray devices.

Canon Inc is a pioneer in laser printing technology and solutions. Canon were the principle makers of industry accepted laser print units. The engine from the Canon LBP-CX model was adopted by models created by Apple and HP to good effect. Later Canon engines such as LBP-SX, LBP-LX, LBP-EX, LBP-PX were also used more widely than by Canon inc themselves.

Canon as a company is respected as being at the forefront of business environmental activities. ‘Clean Air Cool Planet’ conducted a survey of companies based no their effects on climate change and listed Canon at the top of that list. Canon is proud of it’s Corporate Socail Responsibility policy that emphasise their being a part of the bigger issue on green policies. Canon also prioritise ethics, attitudes, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, education, science and social welfare.

Canon Inc is widely recognised due to their extensive sponsorship activities, particularly in Europe.In the mid 1980’s Canon was the sponsor of the English Football League and has since been a sponsor or European wide competitions such as the Champions League and the UEFA cup. The Organisation was consistently a contributory sponsor the World Cup at tournaments between 1978 and 1998. Spanning not just Europe but worldwide, Canon are a sponsor of Formula One car racing until 2012 having previously been involved with the Brawn Racing team in 2009 and F1 Williams. Outside of Sport Canon sponsors Fashion weeks and Paris, London and Milan with regularity.

The position of Canon Inc in the market place is as a reliable supplier of up to date technology in the world of printing and optical software. It has considerable market share of the consumer market for home printers and digital cameras as well as the the medium to large office for industry size printers and photocopiers. The global marketing of Canon coupled with their reputation for being «green» in an ever demanding environmentally friendly world means they are likely to maintain a position at the forefront of the market for mnay years to come.

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Players – Diego Milito

His complete name is Diego Alberto Milito. He was born in Bernal, Argentina on 12 June 1979. Diego Milito is a professional soccer player and now become a part of national team of Argentina. In club level, he presently plays for F.C. Internazionale Milano. In the field of arena, he is always played as a center-forward.

For international career as professional player, Milito made two goals on his first appearance in opposition to Uruguay in 2003. He participated for Argentina national team in the 2007 Copa América competition.

Milito is so powerful with a keen eye for goal. And he is considered as one of the finest headers of the ball in the modern game. In addition, he is also considered as a productive and consistent striker. His nickname is Il Principe (Italian for «The Prince»).

During his career as a professional soccer player, he ever played for some senior clubs. Some of them are Racing Club (1999-2004), Genoa (2004-2005), Zaragoza (2005-2008), Genoa (2008-2009), and Internazionale (2009- ). He got some honors with his clubs. And some of his honors are Primera División Argentina (Apertura 2001 with Racing Club), and Serie A: 2009, Coppa Italia: 2010, UEFA Champions League: 2010 (with Internazionale).

At Real Zaragoza, Diego Milito was a captain for the club, taking over this position from Gabriel who leaved for Barcelona in 2007. In the La Liga 2006-2007 season, he was one of players who got the top scorers. His goals assisted the club to a sixth position finish in the league.

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