How Sometimes Ignorance In Tennis Is Bliss!

fter trashing Guillermo Canas 6-0, 6-3 in the MUTUA MADRILENA MASTERS MADRID 2007, Federer made the following comment; «I was especially disappointed with the Miami loss, so to beat him later in the year after two tough losses is nice.»

To me that answer did not make one bit of horse sense! Why would Federer be upset to have lost in Key Biscayne, Florida (U.S.A.)? when the altitude is about only 3 Meters (9 Feet) above sea level, the courts are relatively slow, the balls do not move at all, the humidity and heat are unbearable, breathing is a torture, the wind blows from every direction, all in all conditions that highly favored a marathon type player from torrid and humid South America like Cañas, with an extremely low unforced error percentage (the so called «paparra»*).

Roger’s more honest answer would have been «Yep, Miami hurt but Indian Wells hurt even more because I was playing under conditions that favored me, with an altitude of about 500 FT (167 M) and weather identical to my city of birth, Basel 853 FT (260 M), on pretty quick courts, with fast high bouncing topspin shots, rather low skidding balls on my slices and volleys, but in the end Canas still nailed me!»

In conclusion to the question, Roger Federer could have said; «Even though those two defeats hurt me, in Madrid at an altitude of about 1,969 FT (656 M) with all other conditions in my favour, fast moving balls high boucing on quick tennis courts, very low skidding balls on my slices on my attacks and volleys, plus the key factor of playing on an indoor tennis court which virtually and effectively reduces Canas defense capabilities by about 50% when the defense is indeed the core of his game, I knew that no matter how bad I played, chances were 95% in my favor that I would win.» (Note- The 5% left in Canas favor would be in case of a Federer injury!)

This would have made plenty more sense to me, what about you?

In reference to «high altitude play» 1,800 FT (600 metres) is not a real challenge even though it does affect play, but anything at the 3,000 FT (1,000 M) and above sea level should be approached with much respect and longer then a 3 day preparation should be planned. As a tennis player here are some places to watch for; Mexico City, Mexico 7,349 FT (2,240 M), Quito, Equador, 9,200 FT (2,800 M), Johannesburg 5,751.3 FT (1,753 metres), Lima depending on location up to 5,079 FT (1,548 M), Gstaad 3’150 F (1,050 M) and a few others.

Altitude play can be a real curse or a blessing depending on how well you adapt and the type of game you play. Altitude training (sometimes simulated altitude in pressurized systems) is a blessing because, done the right way** and at the right times in the year, can lead to the natural gain of red blood cells which are so much in need for top performance.

The more an athletes body is at the top of its fitness, the greater care you have to take with it. In some ways an athlete’s body is like the strings on a violin. As you fine tune it, the sound produced can be sublime, but, with the increase in sound quality, the risk of breaking the strings is much higher as well.

Of course there is a lot more to it then what meets the eye in tournament play. Knowledge of the conditions and quick adaptation to the environment you are going to play in; court surface, court size, back-drops, colours, wind patterns, tennis balls, lighting, sun position, shoes, racket string tension, clothing, sleeping plus drinking water, nutrition, mental preparation, regeneration and more…are all fundamental.

An early arrival of 2 to 3 days before the tournament begins allied to proper nutrition, physical and tennis training, can definitely make a huge difference in the outcome of your performance in a tennis tournament. The no respect of this rule at ATP/WTA professional level, many times leads to injuries and often to the surprise early exit of seeded players, who were late arrivals due to overloaded schedules, final play in a previous tournament and a myriad of other reasons.

In the tennis high altitude tournament play the scenario is no different, even though some believe if you can’t train at altitude for at least two or preferably four to five weeks, prior to the tournament, your next best choice appears to be to compete immediately. But, since most athletes compete at their worst 24 to 48 hours after arriving at altitude, in my opinion you should keep in mind that everyone is in the same boat (exception, the ones born and who lived many years in high altitude) therefore an early arrival of at least 3 days before the tournament should be enforced and give you a small edge by passing the 48hr threshold.

As far as Federers comment, of course he knows what’s going on, but he has to say something to the hungry press and certainly it will not be the real truth that he keeps for himself in the only place he can have true privacy for his pains and tribulations on the tour, his heart!

*In South America a tennis «paparra» is «el que passa mil y una pelotas (bolas)» the one that gets a thousand and one balls over the net without making a mistake. In short, «the tennis players nightmare»!

** For example, living at high altitude 6,000 FT (2,000 M) or above and training at lower altitude between 3000 FT (1,000 M) and 4,200 feet (1,400 M), with proper medical supervision (iron intake, VO2 max, lactates and other important controls), should bring the best results.

– NOTE WELL, this is NOT a training plan, nor advise for unsupervised athletes or anyone else. An individual professional training plan, professional advise and medical supervision before, during and after training is a must! DO NOT and I repeat, DO NOT try high altitude training alone, trying it alone can put YOUR LIFE AT RISK, so DO NOT DO IT without a highly qualified professional training team and medical support!

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Personal Life of Football Stars

Raúl González

Raúl grew up in a modest neighbourhood of Madrid, in the suburb Marconi de San Cristóbal de los Ángeles. His father, don Pedro, was a fan of Atlético Madrid, the club where he started playing after a short period in San Cristóbal’s team. Atletico Madrid coach didn’t notice anything special about him because he was very thin and weak. Raul later turned to Real Madrid’s C team and quickly made it to the first team in 1994/1995 season. Raúl possesses a distinctive celebration, with each goal acclaimed by a kiss of his wedding ring, an acknowledgement to his wife Mamen Sanz. They have four sons: Jorge (February 25, 2000), who is named after Jorge Valdano, Hugo (November 20, 2002) and twins Héctor and Mateo (November 17, 2005). He likes reading, especially the books of Arturo Pérez Reverte, and listening to all sorts of Spanish music. He also enjoys hunting and watching bullfighting.

Luís Nazário de Lima ‘Ronaldo’

Ronaldo was born in Bento Ribeiro, a neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Like many of his contemporaries, he began to play football in the streets of his neighbourhood.

In April 1999, Ronaldo married Milene Domingues. The marriage lasted four years and ended in divorce. The couple had a son, Ronald (born 2000). In 2005 he got engaged and married Brazilian model and MTV VJ Daniella Cicarelli, who became pregnant but suffered a miscarriage, their relationship lasted only 3 months. He is currently dating brazilian model Raica Oliveira. Besides being of interest to tabloid journalists, Ronaldo’s relationships with women apparently have a deep effect on his performances on the pitch. A soccernet.com article by Andrew Downie assessing Ronaldo’s fitness ahead of the 2006 World Cup pointed out a correlation between the striker’s form and the happiness of his love life, noting that his most prolific periods of goalscoring have coincided with the times when he was happily married In 2005 Ronaldo became co-owner of A1 Team Brazil, alongside Brazilian motorsports legend Emerson Fittipaldi. The team participates in the newly launched A1 Grand Prix series, with Nelson Piquet, Jr., Tony Kanaan and João Paulo Oliveira as drivers.

It is rumored that Ronaldo is considering leaving Real Madrid, expressing discomfort with their fans at the stadium. He has been linked with a return to former club F.C Internazionale, where he has often spoke of his desire to one day return. AC Milan could also show some interest in his name, especially after Andriy Shevchenko has left for Chelsea F.C.

Major League Soccer has also expressed interest in signing him. According to reports, Ronaldo turned down a ten-year, $120 million contract from the New York Red Bulls of MLS, saying

Right now I have a contract with Real Madrid and I’m only thinking about the World Cup, but without a doubt, the American market is one of my goals for the future.

(It was reported on ESPN during the broadcast of the Brazil-Croatia match on June 13 that the Red Bulls actually denied making Ronaldo an offer.)

Michael Ballack

Ballack is 6′ 2 ½» (189 cm) tall and weighs 179 lbs (80 kg). He and his girlfriend Simone have three children – Louis, Emilio and Jordi.

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira ‘Ronaldinho Gaúcho’

Ronaldinho was born on March 21, 1980 in Vila Nova, a poor suburb of Porto Alegre, Brazil. He was the youngest of three children. Ronaldinho’s mother Miguelina is a former salesperson who later studied to become a nurse. His father João was a shipyard worker and amateur footballer for Cruzeiro. The family moved to a more affluent district of Porto Alegre when Ronaldinho’s older brother Roberto signed to play professional football for Grêmio. João died when Ronaldinho was 8, after suffering a heart attack while swimming in the family’s pool. Injuries ended Roberto’s career prematurely, and he now manages Ronaldinho. Ronaldinho’s sister Deisi works as his press coordinator. Ronaldinho’s son, named João after his father, was born on 25 February, 2005. João’s mother is Janaína Nattielle Viana Mendes, a former dancer on the Brazilian television show Domingão do Faustão.

In his childhood, Ronaldinho’s skill in football began to blossom due to his particular interest in futsal and beach football, which later developed into a fondness for more standardised football. His first brush with the media came after a 23 goal flurry against a local team, at just 13 years of age. His reputation as a footballer was built up through his childhood, particularly since he was a prolific goalscorer in the Egypt 1997 under-17 world championship. His stylish play at the tournament also caught the eye of many. He is a huge fan of Brazilian music, and occasionally plays the drums and sings with friends in Barcelona.

David Beckham

In 1997, Beckham started dating the Spice Girl Victoria Adams and their relationship attracted a great deal of media interest.

He married Adams at Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland on 4 July 1999. The wedding attracted tremendous media coverage. Beckham’s teammate Gary Neville was the best man, and the couple’s son Brooklyn was the ring bearer. The media were kept away from the ceremony as the Beckhams had an exclusive deal with OK! Magazine, but newspapers were still able to obtain photographs showing them sitting on golden thrones. 437 staff were employed for the wedding reception, which was estimated to have cost £500,000.

The Beckhams have three sons: Brooklyn Joseph Beckham (born 4 March 1999), Romeo James Beckham (1 September 2002) and Cruz David Beckham (20 February 2005).

Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite ‘Kaká’

Kaká married Caroline Celico on 23 December 2005 in São Paulo, Brazil. The wedding was attended by fellow players from his national team, as well as other well known international players. Guests included Ronaldo, Adriano, Cafu, Dida, Júlio Baptista and Brazilian national coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. Kaká first met Celico in 2002, and they started dating soon after. The relationship survived Kaká’s move from São Paulo to Italy in 2003, while she was still at school. It is likely that Celico will stay in Brazil in the short-run, but the couple plan to live together in Italy soon. Against the stereotypical trend of football stars, Kaká is proud he was a virgin when he married. Celico’s mother, Rosangela Lyra, is the director of Dior in Brazil.

Zinedine Yazid Zidane

His wife, Veronique, is a former dancer and model of French-Spanish ancestry. They married in 1993 and have four sons named Enzo, Luca, Théo and Elyaz.

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The Football Widow

The official term for a»football widow,» is any woman involved in a relationship with a sports fan (often a follower of football, soccer, or rugby) who pays more attention to the game than to their partner during the sport’s season of play. Football widows usually have little or no interest in the sport themselves.

These women are left to fend for themselves during the NFL season. If you don’t believe me, go to the internet and read some of the football blogs. These poor forsaken women are pouring out their souls to anyone who will listen.

They can be found at the local grocery shopping for their man’s beer, wings and nacho chips. They are easy to recognize because there will be no husband or boyfriend around for miles-the men are at home warming up the couch and big screen television.

Rumor has it that these men sit in front of their television sets so long they begin to grow cobwebs. You will recognize them on Monday morning because they will have spiders nesting in their hair.

I have been an NFL fan for over 30 years. I own NFL memorabilia, pictures and cups of my favorite team. I am a recovering NFL addict and try to limit myself to watching no more than 4 games per week.

Most women don’t understand the madness that overcomes a man during an NFL game.

They can’t explain what makes a grown man put on a Viking helmet or wear a dress and a pig snout and call himself a «hog.»

I don’t understand the madness either. Just the mere thought of a 300 pound linebacker crushing some 200 pound quarterback is enough to send me over the edge.

Being a former addict, I can offer some helpful advice to the football widow. Give your man household jobs he can complete while sitting on the couch. For example, my wife gives me clothes to fold while I watch games.

My final solution is to use this time to bond with your man…since you can’t legally beat him, why not join him?

Ladies, I suggest you go to the library and borrow a football guide. If you become informed, you can sit with your man and enjoy the game with him.

Trust me, he will be impressed when you tell him a sack is when the QB gets tackled behind the line of scrimmage and not what his beer was carried in.

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Play Better With The Right Soccer Cleats For Flat Feet

Flat feet cannot be ignored in any given circumstance. The only way you will remain comfortable when you are flat footed is to find shoes that are designed with the condition in mind. Nobody chooses to have a foot arch or not, but fortunately shoes can be designed to conform to any given shape and offer it comfort. When it comes to soccer, the feet receive lots of abuse when handling body weight during walking and running.

This is a game that involves physical activity and plenty of footwork. Players with balanced feet seem to have an upper hand in it compared to players with feet issues such as flat feet and wide feet. When you fail to adequately dress flat feet, you risk experiencing acute aches and pains. Finding the right shoes with enough support and room for the feet is therefore paramount. You should not miss enjoying your favorite game just because you have flat feet; all you need is a comfortable pair that is designed for flat feet to play better.

Choosing cleats for flat feet

Keep off high arched shoes – You may not have a foot arch, but this does not mean that you choose cleats with a very high arch. Such shoes will only cause you pain; you may even end up with a sore around the arch area which can be uncomfortable and painful. Focus on arch support that will not do you harm during play, moderate arch is the best way to go.

Choose roomy shoes – Flat feet require plenty of space to feel comfortable. Ensure therefore, that you select a size that offers enough space to accommodate the feet and keep you comfortable. It is most advisable that you measure your feet so you are able to select the perfect size for you.

Go for flexible midsoles – This is one of ways of ensuring that your feet remain comfortable. The midsole should not only be flexible but also well-padded to keep your feet at their best. Some cleats are employing orthotics technology to offer more comfort and flexibility.

Get assistance – when you are not very sure which cleats are best for flat feet, it would be a good idea to let a professional offer you the help you need. Just because a shoe is popular and appealing does not always mean it is best for your feet. Reputable soccer cleat stores will have all the details you need and will know which brands offer cleats suitable for flat feet.

No player should be shut out of what they love most simply because of body features they have little control over. Fortunately, manufacturers are coming up with all kinds of features and technologies to ensure that all players get equal chances to put their skills to best practice. Do your research to find cleats that are best for you.

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The Tea Ceremony Around the Globe

2737BC. The passage of time from 2737BC to 2014 is almost incomprehensible to me. The change, the modernisation, the evolution. What is the significance of this date?

This is the year tea was discovered.

Yes, in 2737BC, in China, the Chinese emperor stumbled across a mysterious potion after leaves from the camellia sinensis plant accidentally fell into the water his servant was boiling for him to drink. As a herbalist, he embraced the opportunity to try a new concoction, sipped the delicate liqueur and immediately fell in love; a love that has been shared by billions of people since.

But it is mind blowing to think that tea has been consumed by people for over 4000 years. And perhaps even stranger to think that in Britain, we have only been drinking tea (our saviour, our comfort, our ‘pack-your-kettle-last-so-it’s-the-first-thing-out-the-lorry’) for a short 400 years.

Even so, this is an incredible amount of time to develop the traditions and conventions associated with drinking it, and the tea drinking ritual is one steeped in cultural customs.

It is perhaps a generalisation, but when we think of tea drinking rituals, it is the Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies that immediately spring to mind: formality, silence, connections to nature, tea as a gift, a way of offering thanks or apologies to a relative.

Rule-governed and purposeful tea drinking? The officialism appears alien to us.

On reflection though, perhaps there is ritualism in our own tea consumption. Doesn’t tea follow meal times, help calm our nerves, welcome us home after work, or welcome friends over (imagine not offering a friend a brew after knocking on your door. Ultimate social faux pas), lift our spirits and console us? Although we do not wear robes or kneel down, tea does have significance: comfort, safety, friendship. If this isn’t our tradition, then I don’t know what is.

Tea is not just enjoyed in the countries mentioned above. Tea has successfully bewitched people in every continent across the globe, which has led to it being branded as the second most widely consumed beverage on the planet after water. Tea’s ability to permeate cultures has arguably enabled it to survive these 4000 years, each bringing their own traditions and quirks in which to celebrate this distinctive liquid.

And this is what we will here explore; how tea drinking traditions differ in some of the top tea drinking regions of the world.

China

As mentioned above, in China the consumption of tea is ceremonial. Not only do the Chinese people celebrate tea, but they use tea to formally celebrate or consolidate occasions, such as serving tea at family gatherings, as a symbol of formal apology and as a way of politely addressing and thanking parents for the giving and receiving of partners at weddings.

It is the tastes and aromas of the tea which are at the heart of the ritual. Each utensil is carefully washed or cleansed using the first infusion of the green tea leaves to ensure that the second infusion’s taste is not coloured by any foreign bodies, like dust particles, so the tea is pure.

Importantly as well is the way the tea is poured; slowly, in one motion, across all cups (which are small clay pots) and only half full. The other half of the cup is said to be filled with friendship and affection; therefore binding host and guest in their tea drinking experience.

Japan

In Japan, the tea ceremony centres around the making of Japanese Matcha tea; a green tea ground to a fine powder which is world renowned for its excellent healing powers, high concentration of antioxidants and rather bitter taste.

The ceremony is named Chanoyu and focuses on the aesthetics of tea making rather than the taste or smells, making the experience more of a choreographed performance than a quenching of thirst.

The ceremony’s composition dates back to the twelfth century and involves the host’s serving of the tea, as well as the presentation of the utensils and ceramics used to prepare it, the arrangement of flowers in the space and calligraphy. These items can all be modified by the host to best fit the occasion for which the tea is served. It is also the host’s task to have considered their guests’ view of the tea at every angle in the space, to ensure that their experience will be one of purity, serenity and tranquility: a weighty responsibility.

The thoughtful consideration that is required for a successful ceremony often ensures that the bonds of friendship between the hosts and their guests are strengthened after the experience is concluded.

India.

In India, tea is served on the streets by Chai Wallahs, or ‘tea makers’, who blend their spicy chai tea on their stalls at train stations, bus stations and on every street corner.

Authentic chai is milky, sweet and spicy, made from thick buffalo milk, Assam tea, cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon and often what seems like a ton of sugar. The ingredients can vary, but the ritual of serving generally stays the same: the Chai Wallah brews up all of the ingredients in a large metal pot over open coals which are placed on the stone ground. Once simmering, he pours the liquid through a sieve into a teakettle, then pours the chai into small terracotta pots from a great height. The drinking cups are only used once; consumers throwing them to the ground once they have finished, smashing them to pieces, to allow the clay to get trampled back into the ground.

Chai’s popularity in the UK has steadily grown in the past year (it’s one if our best sellers!) and it’s easy to see why. Chai tea is delicious; warming, spicy, soothing, it’s like Christmas in a cup and yet I drink it all year round! OK, we like to have it our way- we tend to brew Chai with hot water rather than in hot milk and individual consumers choose whether to sweeten delicately with honey- but the resulting comfort is the same.

Equally, much of India’s tea is renowned for its medicinal properties, mainly because of the strong ties to Hinduism and Ayurvedic tradition: a system that inspires us to live by alternative medicine, ultimately governed through a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Tea blends are therefore steeped in a philosophy that inspires the ‘art of living wisely’.

Russia

Rather like the UK, Russia was introduced to tea in the mid-1600s, but whereas we strove to steal the idea from China, the Russian Tsar was given tea as a gift from the Chinese ambassador to Moscow. Of course, he loved it (who doesn’t), and quickly a line of trade was organised between the two countries.

Tea in Russia is not just about the liquid itself but about the heat that brewing the tea gives rise to, and the warmth felt through consumption (Russia can get a little chilly at times). Russia’s tea ceremony is therefore centred around the use of a samovar; a large metal tea urn with decorative handles and a spout.

Typically, the samovar has more than one layer to it. Simple samovars have a bottom layer housing the hot water, which is actually heated by filling the small soldered pipe that runs through the centre of the urn with hot coals. Above this sits a small metal teapot, often of the same metal material, and a concentrated form of brewed tea, zavarka, is made here before being diluted by the hot water from the urn.

Russian Caravan tea (so named as a result of the camel trains that first brought tea to Russia) must be mentioned here. It is the perfect blend to brew in a samovar as the teas used have strong, dark flavours: Chinese Keemun and Formosa Oolong tea, sometimes with hints of Indian black teas like Assam to add a maltiness to the blend.

Morocco

Inshas Allah, ‘with god willing, all good things come with time.’ This is the proverb by which Moroccan people brew their tea and signifies the respect they show to the timely process of making the perfect cup.

Morocco is famous for its Moroccan Mint tea; a blend of Chinese green tea, fresh mint leaves and a lot of sugar (often five times the amount of sugar to the amount of tea!)

The tea making ritual is one of leisure in Morocco and if invited to assist in making the tea, you are honoured. Incense is lit and those who are taking part in the serving wash their hands in orange blossom water before they begin.

Firstly, loose green tea leaves are placed in a round bellied teapot with a conical top and long curved spout, and hot water added. Much like in China, the first infusion (left to brew for just one minute, before being poured into a tall glass) is used as a cleanser, this time for the leaves rather than the flasks, to rid any impurities the leaves may have picked up through travel. After this, the loose tea is brewed before adding the sugar and mint.

The spout is one of importance to the teapot. Curvature to the spout allows for the server to pour the tea from a height of around half a metre into the small glasses below, to create a frothy foam on the tea’s surface.

Tea is served often in Morocco: after each mealtime, when entering some shops, to welcome guests in the home and even to mark business deals.

Iran

Tea is also the national beverage in Iran, with tea drinkers enjoying mainly green tea and black tea to quench their thirst or as a comfort, respectively. No occasion can take place without tea being served and, in many regions of Iran, light coloured tea is a marker of disrespect from the host to the receiver. Principally, Iranians like it strong.

Perhaps it is the liking for a keen strength to tea that has led the people of Iran to discount the water as a part of the tea. Through the use of a samovar, Iranians heat the water and simply use and see it as a way of extracting the aromas and flavours thickly from the leaves.

Typically, tea is drunk from glassware and this is held by the rim of the glass between the thumb and forefinger with the pinkie used to balance. Often, held in the other hand, is a large pipe connected to a hookah, or qalyoon as it’s locally known; a tall, ornate smoking device that uses hot flavoured tobacco and water. In the absence of alcohol, tea houses, where tea and the qalyoon are served hand-in-hand, act as a social hub where young Iranian people can relax and socialise, much like us westerners would do in our local pub.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is another of the world’s biggest tea-drinking countries, with its tradition once again being rooted in the giving and receiving of tea as an act of welcoming and politeness. Guests are offered tea on arrival into a host’s home and it is considered impolite to refuse the beverage.

Kazakhs are known, much like the Russians and Turks, to use samovars to brew and serve the tea; however, differently to the Russians, the server only fills the kasirs (which are small, wide-mouthed saucers), to around half full. This ensures that the tea is always served hot: no one likes a cold cuppa (unless it’s iced, of course).

The guests to the ceremony are then required to pass their empty kasirs back to the female host as a way if thanking her and showing her respect for that which they have received. She then ‘re-half-fills’ the cups and passes them to her guests once more; a process which continues, creating a graceful, rhythmic and visual ceremony, beauteous to behold.

Britain

In Britain, (one might have known!) our tea traditions involve food. These customs were developed in the early 19th century, first by the upper classes who championed Afternoon Tea as a way of bridging the gap between lunch, at 12 o clock, and dinner at 8 o clock. Tea was served at around 4 o clock in the afternoon along with small sandwiches, scones and cakes. Heaven.

High Tea is different, although sometimes (incorrectly) the terms are used interchangeably.

In industrial Britain, workers home from the factories and mines would require immediate sustenance after a day of physical hard labour, and so a substantial meal would be served to them accompanied by a cup of strong, sweet tea at around 5 o clock. This became known as ‘tea’ (which us northerners still to this day sometimes use), and the ‘high’ aspect is a reference to high backed chairs and higher table the lower classes would sit at to enjoy their tea (whereas the upper classes would be seated in low lounge chairs and have their tea served on smaller, occasional tables.)

Taking time to enjoy tea has always been important in this country regardless of class, right up until the invention of the teabag. When the teabag was born, a dip in quality occurred. Beautiful unfurling leaves slowly releasing layers of flavour no longer existed: a throwaway pouch of powdery black dust, bitter to taste and quick-to-brew lay in its place. We are committed to changing that. Lovers of loose leaf, we are promoting taking time out from your day to enjoy the perfect cup of tea, slowly brewed from high quality leaves. We are bringing back the ‘good old days’.

Must-Know Bayern Munich Facts for Readers

FC Bayern Munich is one of the most celebrity football clubs in the world. The club, which is popularly known as FC Bayern or even called FCB, competes in the top-tier of German football system, commonly known as Bundesliga. Without any shade of doubt, Bayern Munich has been the most consistent performer in Bundesliga. They are the most successful entity in Bundesliga. The article is intended to share some amazing Bayern Munich facts with the readers.

Bayern Munich – Story of Success

The club has climbed to the crest of success since its establishment back in 1900. Franz John along with eleven players took the leading role to set up the club. It was in 1932 when the Bavarian side claimed their first national champions title. The club kissed their greatest success in the 1970s. Bayern won the European title in 1974 and successfully defended the same in the next two seasons under great captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer who is considered one of the greatest players football has ever produced.

Among the Bundesliga clubs, Bayern has marched their way to the finals of the UEFA Champions League for the maximum number of times. The club has been the most dominant one in Bundesliga. Though the club was not a part of Bundesliga during its inception, it has won the Bundesliga title for the highest number of time. The club has wrapped up UEFA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, European Cup Winners Cup and also International Cups.

In a word, the club has earned respect and popularity on strength of its success both on national and international level. They have produced several football legends. Several Bayern Munich players were in the World Cup winning German team in 2014.

Bayern Munich – Rich in Resources

Bayern Munich is rich in resources both in terms of money and talent. As per the latest reports, the club is one of the wealthiest entities in the world of football. The club attracts both fresh and experienced footballers from all over the globe. They also nourish the young prospects at their own academy. The club has been managed by a number of brilliant coaches and is currently under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

Rivalry & Jersey

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have become arch rivals since mid of 1990s. Their rivalry has become more infamous as Bayern has been alleged of attracting the star players from Borussia Dortmund in order to maintain their monopoly in Bundesliga. The club’s boys play in ‘red and white’ jersey. A ‘white and blue’ flag is the crest of Bayern.

Stadium & Members

The club has its home ground at the Allianz Arena. Olympiastadion used to be their home ground for 33 long years. Being popular internationally, the club has fans and followers all over the world.

Cricket World Cup Teams Have Many Things To Prove

It is the participating cricket world cup teams that make the event all the more interesting for fans. Well, if their favorite team is not participating in the tournament their levels of interest in the tournament will be low. In the world cup, which will be held in West Indies, all the test playing nations are participating along with some teams that are not very well established in the cricket world. Cricket world cup teams are doing all that they can to try to win the title. After all, this is the only tournament that can give a team the official title of being the world champions. That is not all, that team will continue to be the World Champions for another four years, and till the next world cup is held after another four years.

Among all the world cup teams which are participating, Australia is considered to be the favorites to win the title once again. However, due to the recent reverses suffered by the team at the hand of some other cricket world teams like England and New Zealand have thrown the competition wide open. Now the talk in cricketing circles is that any cricket world cup team can win the trophy and this is mainly due to the reversals suffered by favorites Australia in their run up to the world cup. Cricket is an unpredictable game and no cricket world cup teams or any other team can actually say that they will win a certain tournament.

Each cricket world cup team has players with different types of strengths and weaknesses. So based on these factors and certain other factors teams are making preparations for the big tournament. Cricket world cup team understand that they will be up against the best players of the world and that is why they must give more then hundred percent on the field if they want to help their team win the world cup. Cricket world cup teams are adopting different types of strategies through which they can come to discover the flaws that their team has and work on ways and means to improve on these faults. So it is up to the coach and the other support staff of the team to ensure that their players are fit and performing to their best levels.

Watching recorded video clippings is one way through which cricket world cup teams can improve their performance levels. The entire team can sit together and go through the video clippings of the recorded matches and find out the strengths and weakness of the opposing cricket world cup teams that are participating. The team can build their strategy around these factors and suitable exploit all the weaknesses of the team. After all, every cricket world cup team is taking part in the event in order to defeat other teams and win the cricket world cup.

Other than making all these strategies, cricket world cup team must ensue that they do not suffer from injuries in the run up to the world cup. The teams must do all that they can possibly do to keep their players in great shape during the entire tournament.

UEFA Champions League Group Stage

Summer is over. That only means one thing: the Champions League is back. This year’s joint favourites, Barcelona and Chelsea, have fast become bitter rivals in this competition. That rivalry is certain to intensify since they were drawn into the same group at this early stage of the tournament. The format is as follows: 32 teams contest the group stage, divided into eight groups of four. The group winners and runners-up advance to the knockout stages, the eight third-placed teams move into the UEFA Cup third round, and the eight fourth-placed teams are eliminated. Here is an overview of all the groups with predictions on who we expect to win each group.

Group A: Barcelona (-118), Chelsea (+125), Werder Bremen (15/1), Levski Sofia (250/1)

Maybe the Chelsea-Barcelona rivalry won’t be quite as intense at this early stage. Both teams will advance from this group and there is a good chance they will meet again at a later stage of this competition. Chelsea look noticeably shakier this year. Their previously impenetrable defence looks slightly more lax. That will bode ill for the Blues. But unlike the past few years, with two Premiership titles under their belt, this season Jose Mourinho’s explicit goal is to win the Champions League. Still, we have to side with Barcelona here. They are goal scoring machines and should demolish Bremen and Levski, and they are more than capable of scoring against Chelsea. At close to even money, they are worth backing to win this group.

Group B: Bayern Munich (+125), Inter Milan (+163), Sporting Lisbon (6/1), Spartak Moscow (40/1)

Inter is a big price here and are worth backing. They have added strength, quality and depth to their squad and after the Calciopoli scandal were belated awarded last year’s Scudetto in Serie A. Sporting Lisbon are no pushovers, but Inter can and should get past them. There is one slight worry though. Bayern Munich is the sort of team that can run up the score against weak opponents like Spartak Moscow. If Bayern and Inter are level on points, Bayern could well win this group on goal difference.

Group C: Liverpool (-161), PSV Eindhoven (+450), Bordeaux (5/1), Galatasaray (10/1)

Although they are odds-on, it’s hard to look past Liverpool in this group. They are a well-organized side and lifted the CL trophy two years ago. Manger Rafa Benitez is experienced at European competition and should navigate his team through this group with ease. PSV are a shadow of the team they were last season. There is a good chance they won’t finish in the top two of the Dutch league, let alone replicate their above average Champions League form of recent years. Bordeaux and Galatasaray are second-rate clubs in this competition.

Group D: Valencia (-125), Roma (+150), Shakhtar Donetsk (20/1), Olympiakos (29/1)

It’s hard to understand why Roma are underdogs in this group. They are favoured to win this year’s diluted Italian league. Their squad is a lot stronger this season both on paper and judging by their Serie A results so far. But the Romans face tough Spanish competition in this group. Valencia have a disciplined and experienced Champions League side. They are deadly on the counterattack and stifle the offence of their opponents. This looks like a coin flip between Roma and Valencia, so we’ll take the Italians at odds-against. Keep and eye on Olympiakos. They won’t win this group, but, like many Greek teams, they can be dangerous in their home games.

Group E: Lyon (-125), Real Madrid (+163), Steaua Bucharest (10/1), Dynamo Kiev (50/1)

The collapse of Juventus has benefited no team more than Real Madrid. The Spanish giants picked up a handful more Galacticos and one of the world’s top managers, Fabio Capello. They are serious contenders for both the La Liga and Champions League titles this year. But they will have to get past their nemesis in this tournament: Lyon. The French side are perennially underestimated by the bookmakers despite excelling in European competition. We’ll happily back them again to win this group and possibly the whole thing.

Group F: Manchester United (-275), Benfica (+650), Celtic (13/1), FC Copenhagen (50/1)

Man Utd couldn’t have asked for a more favourable draw. But luck is what they’ll need to get any further than this stage. At this short price, it’s not worth betting on the Red Devils to win the group. Copenhagen are a dangerous team, having knocked Ajax out of this competition. They are a huge price to win the group and are worth a small punt. Benfica are solid as ever in Portugal and experienced in the Champions League. They should claim second spot.

Group G: Arsenal (-161), Hamburg (9/1), Porto (9/1), CSKA Moscow (10/1)

Arsenal were the surprise team of the Champions League last year, going all the way to the final and defying expectations with each match. This year, they seem to be overestimated. The Gunners have not yet settled into their new Emirates Stadium. The squad look noticeably uncomfortable and will take more time to jell. In light of the above, it’s worth looking at the others. CSKA are a huge price at 10/1 and the 2005 UEFA Cup champions must be backed to win this group. Russia is an intimidating place for visiting teams and the Muscovites are more than capable of claiming results from their travels.

Group H: AC Milan (-333), Lille (6/1), AEK Athens (25/1), Anderlecht (33/1)

Milan should cruise through this group with relative ease. They are capable of dismantling virtually any team in the world and opponents like Lille, AEK and Anderlecht are hardly dangerous challengers. Lille are solid in France and might hold Milan to a draw in their home leg. As usual, Greek side AEK will be tough at home too, but they are hopeless on their travels. Anderlecht don’t deserve to be in this competition. Even at this short price, take Milan.

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