PES Games – A History Of Pro Evolution Soccer Part 2

In 2003, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 was released and included a big game play engine update, introducing new features such as the advantage rule and much improved long-ball passing techniques. PES games were now starting to get their hands on lesser European licenses such as the Dutch Eredivisie, but at least this was a start or inroad into FIFA's dominance by Konami.

Pro Evo 3 was the first PES game to be programmed for PC via Microsoft and it was popular, but the lack of online mode disappointed. Further enhancements to the licensing agreement occurred over the next few PES iterations, with many more official teams and players included, but the big one, the Premier League, always eluded Konami – not something FIFA was willing to give up. The Master League (career mode) was expanded and editing options improved, making likenesses even closer to reality.

In 2005 Pro Evolution Soccer 5 finally cemented Pro Evo online, allowing players to play against other PES gamers anywhere in the world. Jubilation reigned in online forums as we finally got real English teams, albeit only two – Arsenal and Chelsea, but again it was a start.

At this point in history PES was still dominant over FIFA, generally getting higher review scores, despite the lack of complete licenses throughout the game. PES stood up so well against the FIFA machine because of the superb two player experience.

Playing against a computer can only ever be so good, as computer AI is still no match for the gaming experience of another human being. It was this sense of randomness and downright fun that kept Pro Evo at the top of the footy charts and this position was further solidified in Pro Evolution Soccer 6, which for many PES fans was the finest hour for Konami.

Pro Evo 6 or Winning Eleven 10 had most of the best elements that have survived to the present incarnation. Fast, fluid, attacking football, a combative tackling mechanic and a slew of new tricks and flicks. To go along with the ever present official Japanese strip, the England National team were now decked out in their official kit as well as other nations. The Xbox version even had next generation high-definition graphics and this would be the last version before Pro Evo made the transition to PS3.

There was no Pro Evo 7, the next installment would arrive in 2007 and the naming convention changed into what remains to this day – Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 or PES 2008. This was the first version to debut on PS3, but still remained on PS2 and the other consoles. High definition graphics enhanced the gaming experience and PES started to move away from FIFA in the player likenesses stakes, although at the same time the complacency led to FIFA closing the gap and it was around these years that FIFA for the first time started to achieve higher review scores, as ironically, it was likened to the PES game play of old.

Even though many things improved, PES games started to struggle during the versions 2008-2012. Improvements in graphics, master league, competitions, licenses and online play, were negated by fussy changes to game play, that made Pro Evo harder, but sometimes less fun. It seemed that the game almost had a cheat mode in player versus computer games on harder skill levels, as it could be almost impossible to win the ball back or keep it against the computer. Keepers would inexplicably parry weak shots straight back out to unmarked strikers for easy tap ins and referees could be incredibly harsh, sending players off for minor offences, whereas it seemed computer controlled players could get away with murder!

The last few years have been repeated 'overhaul' fixes for PES as they've tried to regain top spot. Shingo Takatsuka known as 'Seabass' has come up with multiple buzz words every year as Pro Evo innovates and pushes the limits of the high-definition consoles and what PS3 And XBOX 360 can handle. The online play has improved on PS3 as it struggled at first to catch up to the online system XBOX had in place and now the edit modes, coupled with the skill and efficiency of PES fans means that the lack of licenses is almost irrelevant.

PES games will have their latest blockbuster out in October 2012 and by all accounts, online rumors and playable demos, PES is back. The review scores were close to FIFA last year and although the FIFA machine now exudes a high level of polish and superb game play, if PES 2013 regains some of that magic from the mid noughties, it'll be top dog again this autumn.

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A Perfect Guide to Buy the Best Pair of Sports Shoes

The search for the right kind of shoe for a specific sport can be daunting. Market nowadays is flooded with many options to choose from, but sadly not many of us really know much about buying the right type of shorts shoes.

While every activity demands a specific kind of footwear, above looks and designs, there are few basic ground rules that stay the same and should be adhered to, for the perfect fit.

Here is a list of such rules that apply to both women’s and men’s sports shoes and can make choosing the right one for you easier:

Know your profile

What is the sport that you need the shoe for?

Even if you are looking for a pair for walking or running, it is important to know that even these two activities are different and demand specific shoes.

Be specific with your needs like the sport, ground used for it, body type, etc., when you start hunting for sports shoes for men or women online, or at a brick and mortar store.

Identify your style

Know how you move. Determine how you first come in contact with the ground, especially if you are looking for a sport shoe for walking or running.

Is it the outside of the heel or inside of the forefoot?

Your shoe must have the appropriate cushion to support your movements at every step and avoid injuries.

Know your arch

Do you roll to the inside of the foot, or roll to the outside of the foot, or remain neutral when you run?

The shape of your arch will help you understand the kind of stability your shoe must give. An easy way to know the arch of your foot is to take the «wet test.»

Test 360 degrees

Shoe fitting is more than whether the upper part is wide and long enough. The shoe should not squeeze your foot, and most importantly, all the bones should be sitting on the base of the shoe.

There also must be enough space in the toe box when you stand.

Shop as late as possible

Feet swell during the day and are at their largest in the evening. Buying them in the evening will help you get the most comfortable fit.

If you have bought a pair online, try them out in the evening before making the final decision.

Get measured each time

The size and shape of our feet changes over time as we age. Getting them measured every time is therefore essential for a comfortable fit.

Last but not the least, wear the right sock.

More than fashion, a pair of sports shoes need your attention towards such minute details. Once you have narrowed down the type of shoe you require, you can then choose from the several options available in terms of colors and designs.

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Tips For Buying Soccer Cleats That Will Last Longer

If you are an aspiring player, you may have made a few trips to your local market for buying your favorite pair of soccer cleats. At times, players end up with a pair of cleats that fall apart within a couple of months of purchase. There is no doubt that it's frustrating, but it happens often. To simplify your selection, here are a few tips from experts.

1. The Lifespan of Soccer Cleats

If you buy a high quality pair, it may last an entire season. On the other hand, if you are buying a pair for your son or daughter for training, you are looking at a shorter lifespan. In this case, you should buy them two pairs: one for training and the other for the real game. This may cost a bit more money, but will save you a lot for the long haul.

As far as lifespan goes, mid tier cleats will offer a longer lifespan since they are made from stronger material. Therefore, they don't get damaged due to regular use, which makes them one of the best options for soccer.

2. The Choice of Professional Players

If you really want to go to the next level, we suggest that you invest in a high quality pair, especially a pair that professional player would like to buy. While you can buy the boots that your favorite national soccer player wore, you should do it only after you have considered a few things.

Usually, soccer cleats worn by national players are lighter, which means the cleats are not as durable as they should be. As a result, their boots may encounter tears within a few days or months. But they are offered new pairs right away since they are national players. But you won't have that luxury. So, you should consider this fact before going for a lighter pair of cleats.

3. The High-end Cleats

The price of high-end soccer cleats may be around $ 200 since they are designed with lighter and more durable stuff. On the other hand, mid tier cleats are priced around $ 120. Primarily, these are conservative cleats allowing players to give steady performance.

Note: Make sure you evaluate your other needs as well before spending a big sum on your expensive soccer cleats. This purchase shouldn't disturb your entire budget for the month.

4. Why The lightweight boots

Nowadays, the goal of almost all brands is to launch the next best thing. What they want is to launch cleats that are faster and lighter. For a long time, the focus was on the durability factor. However, the demand has changed. Nowadays, the national players want boots that would help them give their best performance. As a result, most brands have been making boots that are the lightest. And they are expensive too.

So, these are some simple tips for you if you are in search of a pair of soccer cleats that will last longer. Make sure you consider this article before investing in a good pair for your sports needs.

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Creditable or Calamitous? Reflections of a Derby Fan on a Season That Promised Promotion

As this 2014-15 Championship season races toward its conclusion, it’s hard to determine whether it represents success or failure for Derby County Football Club. Perhaps any individual assessment depends on one’s glass being generally half-full, or half-empty. As a Rams fan exiled in the Middle East, but able to see many of their games live or recorded in full afterwards, I haven’t made up my own mind on the matter just yet. This article is intended as a means toward that end.

Last season ended in play-off heartbreak. Derby were, of the play-off quartet, comfortably the form side going into the end-of-season event, and swept aside sixth-placed Brighton 6-2 over two legs. In the other semi-final, a dangerous Wigan side, who had earlier defeated eventual Premier League champions Manchester City in an astonishing FA Cup result, were edged out 2-1 by QPR, whose own form had been anything but convincing during the second half of the season. Derby controlled the Wembley final, and seemed almost certain to win when Rangers were reduced to ten men for a professional foul early in the second half; however, not for the first play-off final in their history, the Rams were defeated by a late winner, the product of two substandard pieces of defending and a wonderful finish by Bobby Zamora.

Such was Derby’s style and momentum, so impressive their individual performances – midfield starlet Will Hughes and prolific target man Chris Martin the most prominent among them – that the bookmakers installed the Rams as pre-season favourites this time around. Prospects were boosted still further when George Thorne, composed loan signing and Wembley man of the match, was signed permanently during the summer. Within days, however, Thorne – already no stranger to injuries in his short career – was ruled out for most of the season after damaging his knee in a friendly against Zenit St Petersburg. Appearing not to trust a whole season’s work to his natural replacement, the experienced John Eustace, Steve McClaren was delighted when the club’s player recruitment team snapped up Omar Mascarell, a stylish holding midfielder on the periphery of Real Madrid’s squad. It appeared to be a real coup, although all parties recognised that the Spaniard would need time to adapt to the greater speed and physicality of the Championship.

The season began with a 1-0 win over newly promoted Rotherham United, courtesy of a fine late strike from Irish midfielder Jeff Hendrick; a victory earned, in no small part, by the exciting contribution of new full-back Cyrus Christie, acquired from Coventry City to replace the solid, but now departed Liverpool loanee, Andre Wisdom. Christie’s defending was at least adequate (if not as impregnable as his predecessor), but it was the newcomer’s marauding runs that led many fans to feel hopeful that, far from the position being weakened, Derby might attain to greater attacking impetus from defence this season.

Of more concern, with Eustace out of favour, was the decision to play Hughes in the team’s apparently non-negotiable holding midfield role. While the player was undoubtedly good enough to play there, it was clear that neither of the more advanced players – Bryson, who many had expected to begin the season playing his football for a Premier League team, and Hendrick – could do exactly what Hughes was capable of further up the field. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the slight Hughes was not as comfortable with the physical side of the position as either the stocky Thorne or the guileful Eustace, and found himself almost sharing the position with substitute Mascarell from very early in the season. The Spaniard’s passing and energy did much to compensate for the evident weaknesses that many had predicted in his game: opponents gave him little time on the ball, and he quickly found himself on the receiving end of some rather combative challenges.

There were warning signs for Derby in a spirited but disjointed second league match at Sheffield Wednesday, which ended goalless. A first defeat followed in the next match, as stylish Charlton outplayed their more fancied guests, winning 3-2 and leaving many to wonder when the Rams would hit the performance levels of the previous season. They were encouraged by a merciless second-half display against Fulham, as Derby pummelled the plummeting Cottagers 5-1. Welcome to the Championship.

The Rams then embarked on an unbeaten run that spanned twelve games, including wins against expansive Bournemouth (2-0), Blackburn (3-2), Bolton (2-0) and Reading (3-0) (the latter three away from home); and resilient draws against early leaders and local rivals Nottingham Forest (1-1), and Cardiff (2-2) at home, a match in which the Rams had trailed by two goals. Derby’s comeback that day was begun by a debut goal from a new season-long loan signing from Liverpool: the fleet-footed and direct Jordon Ibe, whose contribution, with hindsight, seems as significant in Derby’s fortunes as was his premature return to Anfield in January.

That unbeaten run was curtailed by dogged Wigan, who belied their poor early season form by coming from behind to win 2-1 at the iPro Stadium. Derby then played two games in West London, hitting Fulham for five again (this time in the League Cup) before once again throwing away a lead against Brentford who, it seems, have never looked back since their last-minute win that day, courtesy of a fine goal from Stuart Dallas.

Derby needed to find their form – and find it they did, deservedly seeing off Huddersfield 3-2, before arguably their finest performance of the season in the annihilation of Wolves, 5-0 at the iPro. In the next match, Craig Bryson, who had so far struggled to reproduce his high standards of the two preceding seasons, scored a beauty to edge out Watford on their own turf. Suddenly Derby looked ready to seize their opportunity and run away with the league, just as their East Midlands rivals from Leicester had done the previous year.

It wasn’t to be so straightforward, unfortunately. The Rams went into their away match at Leeds, a team Derby had beaten for fun in recent seasons, seemingly unprepared for the grit and graft that would be needed to return with the points. They were outfought, and defeated, 0-2. But Steve McClaren prided himself on a team that could bounce back from disappointment, and Derby erupted out of the blocks against Brighton, winning the game with three first-half goals. In the opposing eleven that day was loanee Darren Bent, a wily, seasoned striker unable to convince then manager Paul Lambert of his right to a place in the Aston Villa side. Derby fans would be glad to see more of the discarded Bent very soon.

The following week, Derby were conquered at the summit by Middlesbrough, after a dour display in the North East demonstrated the worst they were capable of; Boro were organised and clinical, and undid Derby in their first attack, with former Rams loanee Patrick Bamford celebrating his opener gleefully – much to the annoyance of Derby fans, who had always had to overlook his affinity for their hated rivals, Forest. The Rams showed more fight and no little skill against a tidy and pressurising Norwich City side a week later, but were fairly denied a win when they conceded another late goal. The pattern of the previous season, in which Derby had become famed for their indefatigable spirit and late goalscoring, seemed to be shifting in the other direction.

The Rams began the festive period with a thumping win, 4-0 in the Birmingham snow. That was backed up with a revenge reversal of their 2-0 defeat at Leeds, and an excellent 1-0 win at Ipswich. John Eustace, hardly a fixture in the team, was immense in front of the back four, but his late dismissal and injury – from which he has yet to return despite two operations – would lead the Rams into the East Midlands derby once again relying on the unconvincing Mascarell. Even Forest fans approached the match fearfully. Their side had lost the previous season’s fixture 5-0, and the early season pacesetters now found themselves on a run of eight games without a win. Derby, fortuitously ahead but easily the better team before the break, gave a sickening validation of the phrase «game of two halves», and Forest exulted in a deserved shock win that would prolong the tenure of manager Stuart Pearce for a few more weeks. (This represented a bright side for many Rams fans, who were convinced their rivals’ progress would remain stagnant with the former England legend at the helm). Stunned at forfeiting local bragging rights, Derby fans demanded better, and were rewarded with three straight wins against Blackburn, Cardiff and Bolton.

The January transfer window had brought Bent in without a recall clause for his parent club, as well as Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, and Hull City’s Tom Ince, who made an instant impact with a fabulous brace in the 4-1 destruction of Bolton. Leeds United captain Stephen Warnock, still not fit after being injured in the Rams’ 2-0 win over his side, came in to «add experience» to the squad, and presumably to spur the unspectacular Craig Forsyth to higher performance levels. An interesting further addition was the Spaniard Raul Albentosa, who Derby’s recruitment team appeared to have been stalking for some time, and who arrived in Derby having bought out his own contract with La Liga team Eibar, for whom he had offered some impressive performances throughout the season. Unfortunately, a niggling injury would delay Albentosa’s league debut for over a month.

Ince found the net again in an encouraging 2-2 midweek draw at top-of-the-table Bournemouth, where the most significant moment of the match would prove the early replacement of nineteen-goal Chris Martin. He would not return for eleven games; suddenly Bent’s loan signing seemed very important indeed, although a slightly different system of attack was needed to accommodate the latter’s style. The Rams approached the following midweek match at struggling Rotherham knowing that a win would take them back to the summit. Yet, once again, they failed to take their chance, with only a spirited fightback earning them a 3-3 draw, having trailed 1-3. Inspired by the return of George Thorne after seven months on the sidelines, Derby then won back-to-back home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton, and found themselves on top of the league for the third time this season. Despite having repeatedly failed to press home the advantages they had gained, the bookies still made McClaren’s dangerous Derby side favourites for the title. They were to be proved emphatically wrong.

What followed resembles the stuff of nightmares for Derby fans. It began with a lacklustre defeat at Fulham, in which now pivotal loan signing Bent limped off, forcing the industrious and vastly improved Johnny Russell to assume a central striking role that he would retain for the next four games, without once finding the net. In addition, Thorne was again out of action, replaced in West London by the still-misfiring Mascarell. Typically, after the Fulham defeat, McClaren demanded a response. He got one, but not a result; the Rams battered Brighton but somehow contrived to lose the match 0-2. The focus intensified on Derby’s defence, arguably culpable for both goals. A performance and a win were needed when Birmingham came to the iPro, and the Rams picked them off easily, strolling toward a 2-0 victory as the match entered the third of four added second-half minutes. A few hearts were aflutter when the unspectacular Blues won, and converted, a penalty; Rams fans redoubled their whistling for full-time, the match length having already surpassed the additional time indicated. Nevertheless, a team with pretensions of winning promotion would surely be able to see the game out. Birmingham equalised in the seventh minute of injury time. The day ended with four teams on 66 points, separated by goal difference. Derby were still «in the mix», but nobody was quite sure how they were going to stay there on current form. And the games were only getting harder.

Derby went to resurgent Norwich the following Saturday with assistant Paul Simpson vowing that it was time to «win ugly» if necessary. Realistically, most Derby fans would have taken a draw, and when debutant Jamie Hanson’s corner was spilled into his own net by England goalkeeper John Ruddy, that’s exactly what they got. Hanson retained his place for the crucial midweek home match against Middlesbrough. Derby were toothless, loanee Lingard missing the best chance to fall to a white shirt. Once again, Boro were resolute; once again, it was Patrick Bamford, object of fear and loathing in Derby, who settled the match with an excellent finish. Derby were rocking.

The final game before the latest international break would take them to Wolves, hapless victims of the Rams’ finest moment of the season to date. McClaren and Simpson warned that the returns of Thorne and Martin may not be risked before the international break, but Bent was back to take his place at the centre of a truly astonishing refereeing controversy. Through on goal, the returning striker was fouled by Wolves captain and last man Danny Batth. Ince swept the ball into the net. The referee, who had already whistled for the foul, disallowed the goal and awarded a free-kick just outside the area. Rams fans watched in horror as the official, smiling sickeningly, refused to find any card in his pocket for the offender, much less the red one he clearly deserved. In some sort of grotesque tribute to John Ruddy, the normally reliable Lee Grant punched the ball into his own net to help Wolves wrap up a 2-0 win and move to within two points of Derby, who were slipping further from automatic promotion with every match. Fans picked the team apart, looking for an XI who could win the next match at home to high-flying Watford, thereby dragging the Rams’ promotion wagon back on track. Full-backs came under fire most of all, and here it was difficult to make a case for the defence. Left-back Forsyth, far superior defensively than in attack (perhaps surprisingly for a former midfielder), had compounded the injustice at Wolves by facilitating their first goal, inexplicably passing the ball to an opponent in a dangerous position. It was by no means the first time the Scotsman’s distribution had been found wanting during the season.

On the other side, Cyrus Christie was a nerve-shredded shadow of his early-season self. His first-half gift to Watford’s Vydra was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by a Bent penalty, as the Rams’ opponents were reduced to ten men. Christie would not re-emerge after the break. Sadly, nor would George Thorne, attempting his second comeback of the season but lasting little more than twenty minutes. Once again, Derby contrived to throw away a winning position; Watford celebrated their 2-2 draw with delight, strengthening their own push for automatic promotion, while Derby retained their play-off place only on goal difference. The solitary silver lining seemed now to be the brief substitute appearance of Chris Martin, to whose absence so many had attributed the Rams’ slump.

On Easter Monday, with over four thousand Rams fans roaring them on, Derby finally picked up their first win in eight matches, as the talismanic Martin came off the bench to sweep them ahead at lowly Wigan. A typically opportunistic strike from Bent wrapped up the victory, leaving the Rams fascinatingly poised before the following weekend’s home match with Brentford. On paper, it seems the most difficult of the Rams’ remaining five fixtures, of which three are to be played at the iPro. However, with second-placed Norwich already five points ahead, and Watford and Middlesbrough much better placed to take advantage of any slip by the Canaries or leaders Bournemouth, only the most optimistic of Derby fans could reasonably expect automatic promotion at this stage. On the contrary, with Wolves in the best form of the current play-off place occupants, and Brentford able to overhaul the Rams with a win in their head-to-head, Derby still face a fierce battle to ensure their own place in the end-of-season competition that has already caused them so much heartache.

How has it come to this? And does the season represent a success or a failure for the Rams?

On reflection, it is important to consider the weight of expectation that has hung over the team all season. It is true that Derby were formidable during the latter part of the 2013-14 season, playing some scintillating football, and with an embarrassment of (injury-free) riches among their playing personnel. Yet arguably only Hughes and Russell have improved on their performances of the previous season; the immaculate Thorne has managed only three starts; Martin’s contribution has been blunted by the disastrous timing and duration of his injury; and the likes of Hendrick and Bryson have failed by some distance to match their performance levels of the previous season. Some loan signings have contributed much – particularly Ibe – while others have offered mixed fortunes: the injury-hit but prolific Bent; the frequently fantastic but oft-frustrating Ince, whose ball retention has been disappointing but who has scored some wonderful goals; and Mascarell, possessing all the vision and passing prowess one would expect of a Madrid graduate, but without ever providing a satisfactory solution for the role he was brought in to play.

Most attention has centred around the defence. In stark contrast to last season, during which the names of Andre Wisdom, Richard Keogh, Jake Buxton and Craig Forsyth seldom left the team sheet, McClaren has constantly tinkered with his defensive personnel this time around. Some fans have shown little patience with captain Keogh – possibly something of a hangover from his Wembley shocker – but in reality, the full-backs have proved a weaker link for most of the season. Christie, especially, seems particularly low on confidence, while the more self-assured Forsyth perhaps remains optimistic that his own form is solid enough and will improve still further; however, those who have endured his substandard performances throughout the season will likely have been glad of Warnock’s competent league debut at left-back in the victory at Wigan.

Another bone of contention relates to formation. While Derby have been more than a little unfortunate to experience long-term injuries to three holding midfield players (Thorne, Eustace and Mascarell), the lack of alternative playing styles and formations have also been mooted by fans as sources of frustration and failure to overturn teams that have set up defensively against the Rams and gained their rewards by doing so. The recent switch, through necessity, to a 4-2-3-1 has only added weight to this argument, not least because the defensive contribution of Mascarell has been questionable all season, and has almost certainly exacerbated any problems among the defence personnel. The use of Chris Martin behind Darren Bent has been used only fleetingly (albeit injuries have undoubtedly reduced the scope for this), while there is also a strong case for positioning the incisive passing of Hughes behind the front man, a move that has not been tried at all. This is not to suggest that the fans know better than McClaren; yet fans are certainly in a position to recognise what has not been working for long periods of the season. Managers, like players, can be «lucky» – not just in what they and their teams do, but in how they are perceived. Most things McClaren touched last season turned to gold. Such has been the man’s redemption since his ignominious England denouement, perhaps supporters had become over-confident in his ability. His true managerial performance, perhaps, lies somewhere between those two extremes of appraisal.

The mantra from the club, and the local press, remains that a Derby side returning to their best form are capable of ensnaring a promotion place this season. Some will fear that the likes of Will Hughes will be heading to the Premier League very soon, irrespective of how the Rams fare from now until the end of May.

It is never an easy ride being a Derby fan; one cannot sit back and get comfortable.

Derby have never been about coasting, but the rollercoaster.

Madrid: One of the Sexiest Cities

On the night that I arrived to Madrid, I had slowly settled in to my friend David's city center flat. I slipped into bed and cracked open the window of the guest room and a cool Spanish breeze welcomed itself in. As I breathed in the chill midnight air and released a long sigh, I thought to myself, "This place is truly wonderful."

The three months that I had spent in Spain I was able to visit a competent of cities; Madrid, Barcelona, ​​San Sebastian, Bilbao, Toledo, Alcala de Henares, Córdoba, Aranjuez, Móstoles, and Patones (for climbing). Of these cities, I've spent the major of the time in Madrid, and after the trip came to an end, I had come to the conclusion that Madrid is a seriously sexy city.

As discretion, I should add that I am in no way claiming that Madrid is "the" sexiest city in the world (although I'll probably have a few Madrileños who will tell me otherwise). I am simply stating that Madrid is one of the sexiest cities. I also know that I was not the first to visit the cities of Spain and certainly was not the first to explore the subcultures of the country, but Madrid's modern yet historical characteristics were nothing short of charming.

Of all the things I have considered, the following things on the list were the most significant:

Cost of Food:

Food is pretty cheap in Madrid, and while cheap is not often synonymous with sexy, your ability to enjoy luxuries (in some cases even like eating out,) is more probable, especially when your dollar is able to go a little further. In restaurants like "El Tigre", you order a drink and get a free platter of tapas. Granted they're not mind-blowing, you can still have a great time socializing with friends without busting your budget.

Curfew:

When I had to take an early flight to Belgium, I had to take a cab at 4am in order to get to the bus stop in the center of Madrid. I was afraid, very afraid, but also very determined.

Being the smart girl I was, I decided that dressing like I was homeless would be the most effective in deterring criminal. After all, criminals do not mess with other criminals.

As soon as I arrived to my bus stop though, I was both amazed and relieved to see tons of people sprawled all over the streets. I'm not talking 20-something partiers or ravers, mind you. The people have the mindset of work-to-live, not the live-to-work mindset that most North American's are familiar with. That mean two-hour lunch breaks as opposed to our one-hour (or even even half-hour) lunch breaks. Thankfully for me, that also meant that at 3am, all sorts of people of all ages were still out on the street. There was no stigma that only partiers or ravers were out at that hour, people were out simply because they want more time to spend with their friends. How they're still able to go to work in the morning? Do not ask me …

Fashion:

In Madrid, fashion is not reserved for the runway. I'm sorry Vancouver, but you're not winning any rewards here. From what I've observed, people dressed better in Madrid, period. The choice of clothing that was worn on a daily basis, even on a grocery store trip, would be me, trying. I'm not sure if that's knocking Vancouver's style or just my own personal ability to dress myself, but I digress. Does it help that Zara was born in Spain? Probably not.

Patios:

When I'm with friends in Vancouver, hanging out is going for a hike or heading to the beach to soak up the sun. We are after all, located in a spectacular coastal location, surrounded by stunning and chiefly pristine nature … but in Madrid, a city far from nature or the coast, hanging out more often than not intent grabbing drinks at a Patio, or " Terraza "as the locals called it. (That's pronounced Terra (tha), by the way.)

In this Spanish city, chances are there will be a terraza not far from your doorstep, and it will be quite good. It was also here that I learned the art of Patio-hopping. You see, as a North American, when I go to a restaurant to eat, I will eat, and then I will pay and leave. (We do not like to be the inconsiderate jerks that occupy an otherwise empty table.) But when you're in Madrid, you eat, and then you talk with your friends for an hour, and then you order more drinks. When you finally pay and leave, you head to another terraza and get more drinks. I will not lie, it seemed like overkill to me, but that my dear friends, is patio-hopping … (and I also solemnly swear that I am not an alcoholic).

Patio-hopping never-the-less is an art, or in my case, an art of being patient … or the art of not asking why we have to stay for so goddamn long.

Architecture:

Modern yet classical; with a country this old, it's hardly a surprise that a city as metropolitan as Madrid could stay fixed to it's roots. From the Museo Nacional Del Prado (which boasts some of the world's finest arts) to Parque del Retiro (which once belonged to the Spanish monarchy), the architecture somehow still remained relevant to this day. When you feel uninspired, you can also head to the Palacio de Cristal to get some creative stimulus.

Culture:

At the end of the day, I could only chalk it up to culture. The overwhelming feeling of unity, when Real Madrid played against Atlético Madrid in the Plaza de Cibeles during the World Cup of 2014, was enough to explain why the city was so sexy, and it all boils down to passion. Madrileños feel a strong passion towards their city, the same way that Vancouverites feel a strong passion towards the outdoors, and it's a thing I quickly learned to respect. I love my own city of Vancouver to bits, and as an overall outdoorsy girl, I would have it no other way. But after living in a city like Madrid where the allure of the city will reel you in one way or another, I can honestly say that this city will no less place as one of the sexiest cities in my books.

A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player – Frank Lampard

His complete name is Frank James Lampard. He was born in Romford, London, England on 20 June 1978. He is an English soccer player who now plays for Chelsea. His playing in the field is as Midfielder. For his club and national side, Lampard holds the role as vice-captain.

He is regarded as one of the best soccer players in the world. He has got the Chelsea Player of the Year award three times. In Premier League history, he is also is the highest goal scoring midfielder with 129 league goals. With seniors clubs, Lampard experienced playing soccer for West Ham United (1995-2001), Swansea City (1995-1996 as a loan), Chelsea (2001-).

Frank Lampard spent the majority of his early years playing soccer in his local park with the rest of his family. He has constantly been observed as a very determined individual, and that quality was linked with him from an early age.

He was first marked by England U-21 manager Peter Taylor, and his under-21 first appearance came on 13 November 1997 in a competition against Greece. In international career, since making his first appearance in October 1999Lampard has been played 82 times by England, and has made 20 goals. For two successive years in 2004 and 2005, he was selected as England player of the year.

As a professional soccer player, Lampard has won many honors with his clubs. With West Ham United, he won UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1999. and with Chelsea, he got UEFA Champions League (Runner-up: 2008), Premier League (Champion: 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10, and Runner-up: 2003-04, 2006-07, 2007-08), FA Cup (Winner: 2007, 2009, 2010, and Runner-up: 2002), Football League Cup (Winner: 2005, 2007, and Runner-up: 2008), FA Community Shield (Winner: 2005, 2009, and Runner-up: 2006, 2007).

In addition, Lampard also won many individual honors. Some of them are 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year (Silver Award), 2005 Ballon d’Or (Silver Award), FWA Footballer of the Year (2005), UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year (2008), World XI (2005), PFA Fans’ Player of the Year (2005), England Player of the Year (2004, 2005), Euro 2004 (Team of the Tournament), Premier League Player of the Month (2003, 2005, 2008), Barclays Player Of The Season (2005, 2006), Chelsea Player of the Year (2004, 2005, 2009), PFA Premier League Team of the Year (2004, 2005, 2006), Premier League’s Player of the Decade, (2000-2009), ESM Team of the Year (2005, 2006), and FWA Tribute Award (2010).

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