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luni, 23 noiembrie 2015

David Beckham and Horia Tecau

sâmbătă, 14 noiembrie 2015

David Beckham support Paris / France

David Beckham and other football players are among celebrities around the world who have offered their support to France in the wake of the barbaric terrorist attacks in Paris which killed at least 127 innocent people.

Former England footballer Beckham, 40, joined dozens of A-list stars in sharing a photo of the Eiffel Tower under #PrayforParis – which has seen internet users come together to show solidarity with France. It comes after at least 127 innocent people were killed in a string of sickening terrorist attacks in the French capital which included gunmen storming four busy restaurants and a packed concert hall, and suicide bombers targeting the State de France sports stadium.

joi, 12 noiembrie 2015

Explaining the Premier League's Popularity in the United States

Saturday and Sunday mornings used to be bereft of quality sports television in the United States. Today, the television sets that were once oppressed with bad children’s cartoons have been liberated.
Today, they are glued to the English Premier League in record numbers. Let’s examine why the EPL is so popular in the United States.
After all, it’s entirely possible that the Premier League isn’t the best football league in the world any longer. English teams have not had the success of other global giants like Bayern Munich or Real Madrid on the Champions League stage.
Nor do they have the best couple of players in the world. Instead, La Liga boasts the world’s biggest stars in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Still, in the United States, the Premier League is king.
The most obvious explanation is the similarity in languages. At a very base level, it’s easier for Americans to watch English football because it’s presented in English. Sure, there are subtle differences between the way English is spoken in the US and Great Britain, but both nations can understand one another.
Contrast this to La Liga, whose players conduct their interviews predominantly in Spanish. The broadcasts are in English, but there are still things lost in translation.
It’s more comfortable for Americans to watch native Spanish speakers give their interviews in struggling English than be subjected to an interpreter. Perhaps it’s American arrogance, but it is reality.
The presence of Brits in the US also plays a large role in the Premier League’s success there. Think of those original Premier League fans now living in the States as missionaries of a sort.
They have traveled to America and preached the good news of the Premier League. The ease of language between the two groups made for easily shared fan experiences. US citizens were converted by British, Premier League missionaries.
Still it’s more than commonality of language that allows the Premier League to thrive in the US. The more significant reason that Americans have gravitated to the EPL in record numbers is the passion of the league.
Compare the Premier League to another ultra-popular sport in the US, SEC football. American football in the Southeastern Conference is one of the most valuable TV commodities there is. It isn’t because the southeastern part of the United States features the country’s largest media markets. Instead, it’s valuable because it is a high level product that fans are passionate about.
When you think about it the atmospheres that surround Premier League fixtures and SEC football are quite similar. Both events have extremely passionate fan bases that border on lunacy while supporting their favorite team.
Both drive the discussion of the national media. Scores of citizens from both countries derive at least a portion of their identity from their fandom. When Americans turn on the Premier League they see something that resonates with them. They see the passion and spirit of competition that they appreciate so much in American sports.
What’s perhaps even more interesting is the room the Premier League has to grow in the United States. There’s already significant chatter about holding EPL fixtures in the US and from my seat, that seems inevitable. The League continues to get more and more exposure too. First it was ESPN carrying a few games a weekend, and now NBC provides access both online and on television to every Premier League fixture each week.
The Premier League has grabbed the attention of millions of US fans. Part of it is the commonality in language, but the majority of it is the passion that English fans show for their domestic game. That’s what captures the fascination and ultimately the fandom, of American fans.


It’s amazing what 12 months can do to you. This proves no surprise to the recently crowned South American champions Chile and the side who outside Argentina and Brazil were South America’s best team in the World Cup. Although in the tournament in Chile, Los Cafeteros were poor in the four games they played as James Rodriguez, Radamel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and others were not in the best form of the tournament. 

Moving forward into this vital match in Santiago, the Real Madridmidfielder is back but will be without the Juventus midfielder and Chelsea striker in Cuadrado and Falcao who are suffering from suspension (red card vs. Uruguay) and injury. He’ll be a key player to watch alongside goalkeeper David Ospina and center back Jeison Murillo to keep the South American champions at bay.

Chile is in the best moment in their country’s sporting history. Currently undefeated since the maiden Copa America title with wins against Brazil and Peru respectively, players such as Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas, Jorge Valdivia, Claudio Bravo and many others will be looking to secure another three points at home against this slightly weakened Colombia side, but it’ll be a tough match especially with the necessity that Colombia must get points in Santiago.

After beating  Brazil  and  Peru  at the beginning of the qualifiers, the selection of  Chile  will look to continue their strong start on the way to  Russia 2018  this Thursday night when measured with an irregular  Colombia  in Santiago.

The team coached by  Jose Pekerman  are immersed in several internal conflicts and have fallen many criticisms of coffee players after the final loss to  Uruguay  in Montevideo. No doubt that this meeting will be a game that could hinge consolidate Chile on top positions or scoring to Colombia in full in contention for the top of table.


The set of Sampaoli is already working with full squad on the grounds of Juan Pinto Duran and casildense has the entire squad since Tuesday. While the list did not change much compared to past meetings, Chile must find ways to meet two of their strongholds in the middle ground such as  Marcelo Diaz  and  Charles Aranguiz .
The wheel of  Hamburg  is suspended for this match after receiving two yellow cards in the first qualifying duels while the player  Bayer Leverkusen  is still recovering from an injury to the Achilles heel suffered in training the German side. As seen in the latest practices, Francisco Silva  Diaz would take the place as the most while defensive midfielder  Matias Fernandez  would run a mixed role and developing a more creative role.


The whole of Colombia, on the other hand, beat Peru in the debut but was much criticized for his performance against an opponent who proposed absolutely nothing in Barranquilla. The questions continued after losing 0-3 to Uruguay in Montevideo, a game where the growers were completely overcome both physical and footballing.

The team coached by Pekerman will have some absences for this match. In addition to players like  Abel Aguilar  and  Edwin Valencia  which are still recovering from injuries,  Radamel Falcao is also unavailable after suffering prior to a meeting of the muscle problem  UEFA Champions League  with Chelsea. The good news, however, is the return of  James Rodriguez  after the Real Madrid midfielder's first two games of the qualifiers was lost through injury.


Chile:  Claudio Bravo; Francisco Silva, Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara;Mauritius, Matias Fernandez, Arturo Vidal, Jean Beausejour; Jorge Valdivia; Alexis Sanchez and Eduardo Vargas.
Colombia:  David Ospina; Santiago Arias, Jeison Murillo, Cristian Zapata, Frank Fabra; Carlos Sanchez, Edwin Cardona, Fredy Guarin;James Rodriguez; Carlos Bacca, Teofilo Gutierrez
The match will take place at 20.30 hrs (local) in the  National Stadium of Santiago de Chile.


Neymar in training. (Photo: Andre Mourao / Mowa Press)
It’s quite amazing to see how these two traditional continent rivals have not faced each other in a competitive match since 2009, during the qualifiers for the World Cup in 2010. Nevertheless, the biggest international rivalry in the world is back in World Cup qualifying and for the first time in 10 years, it’s back at the Estadio Monumental de Nuñez, a stadium where Argentina has not lost to Brazil ever in these qualifiers.

In that match in 2009, Diego Maradona was the manager of theAlbiceleste at the time and he took his out Buenos Aires to go north to Rosario in the idea that Estadio Gigante de Arroyito would be more intimidating than that of the River Plate’s home stadium and it didn’t work. Brazil got their first win in Argentine soil in World Cup qualifying with a 3-1 win.

Six years on, the rivalry is renewed once again but this time, it’s a bit less invigorating because of the lack of equal depth within both nations. That isn’t to say that the bitterness has been eased or anything like that, but you look at the sides that both teams will probably put on the pitch Thursday evening.
Dunga, who coincidentally was the manager for Brazil in the 2009 outing, is under pressure to get points at this stage despite only getting four points in the first two games, following a loss to Chile and win against Venezuela. The Seleção  will have its inform and influential star Neymar back after serving his suspension from the Copa America that barred him from competitive international matches. He will join the likes of ideally the same squad that was put together last month, but have the absences of Marcelo andMarquinhos. It’ll be interesting what Dunga will put out that night regarding where the Barcelona winger, Douglas Costa and Willianwill play.

For Argentina, they will be without five key players for the match against Brazil. Lionel Messi, who has been suffering an injury since September, Sergio Agüero, who suffered an injury inside a few minutes against Ecuador and the trio Carlos TevezEzequiel Garayand Pablo Zabaleta, who suffered injuries for their respective clubs as well as Javier Pastore, who is suffering from conjunctivitis. 

Who’s going to step up as the striker for Gerardo Martino’s men? The in-form Gonzalo Higuain is back for the first time since the Copa America and will play in the middle alongside Angel Di Maria and possibly Ezequiel Lavezzi as the wingers. Ever Banega will most likely slot in for Pastore while Facundo Roncaglia and Ramiro Funes Mori will be Zabaleta and Garay’s replacement.

The pressure is on for the home side having on achieved one point following a loss to Ecuador at home for the first time in 22 years and a draw in Paraguay, the last World Cup and Copa America finalist are desperate for three points, especially against their samba rivals.