Pre-Season Soccer Training – The Basics

Effective pre-season training is important for all soccer players of any age, whether you play for a team in the Premier League or your local college team and the work done in pre-season can define the competitive season ahead, making the difference between winning trophies or being also-rans.

The Pre-season soccer training schedule should be planned out by the coach in order to maximise each session. Ideally training should begin at least five to six weeks before the season actually starts.

Each training session should start with a thorough warm-up taking care not to strain any muscles in early pre-season. Ideally each session should begin with a five minutes gentle jogging followed by gentle static stretching, followed by more jogging followed by a more intensive stretching session, while taking care not to over stretch and cause damage to muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Stretching for soccer should include all major muscle groups, with a mixture of dynamic and static stretches. Dynamic stretching exercises that are perfect for soccer and include swinging the arms and circling the shoulders, twisting the upper body and swinging the legs as if kicking an imaginary ball, be careful not to over stretch with these exercises. Static stretches do not involve movement of the joint and are essential for the quadriceps and hamstrings. Ballistic stretches which involve bouncing to maximise the stretch are no longer advocated and should be avoided.

Running is excellent for aerobic conditioning and should be encouraged as improved fitness will pay dividends later in the season, this should involve distance work, sprinting and running that involves work with the soccer ball. Dribbling the soccer ball around cones or across a defined area will improve conditioning, speed and ball control at the same time.

Work with the soccer ball can be extended by spending time controlling the ball with the feet, knees and head, a perfect way to practice this is to divide players into pairs and have one player throw the ball while the other controls and returns to his partner .

Each session can be completed with a short game possibly integrating two touch soccer which will improve ball control and passing accuracy and also encourage thinking and movement off the ball. Following the game a cool down with stretching should take place to minimise aching and tired muscles which will aid recovery for your next session.

During early pre-season is it important not to over exert the players and to make the sessions fun which will motivate if players are tired not too push them too much, this can result in injury and lack of enthusiasm. Another important factor for any training session is adequate hydration, ensure all the players have a water bottle and keep adequately hydrated throughout the training session.

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Soccer Cleats Maintenance Tips

It really feels great to have clean, shining soccer cleats while entering into the arena- it boosts our confidence in some discreet manner. But when you’re required to master the sport with lots of practice, on obviously dusty and marshy fields, their cleanliness is hard to perceive. So, you’ll have to be a good boy and start caring for your equipments. Regular cleaning of soccer cleats is very important if you want to ‘keep them happy’ and not degrade sooner.

Now, before you get overly enthusiastic and overwhelmed and go for slamming them straight into a washing machine or a dishwasher or tortures of any sort, read what I have to say for a few minutes. Here, we’ll be discussing tips to clean soccer cleats when they get very dirty. You may clean them in two ways- manually or by using a washing machine.

1. Cleaning Manually

For this method, you’ll require

* A piece of cloth (towel-like texture preferred)

* A boot brush for rubbing flat ends

* A toothbrush for thin crevices

* A vessel full of lukewarm water.

* Washing Powder or Liquid

1. To begin cleaning, first stuff the hollow of the shoes with a newspaper ball to prevent any water seepage into the inner shoe and to make cleaning easier.

2. Unlace the shoes and keep the laces separate for later cleaning.

3. Begin by scrubbing the ‘upper’ and the heel. They are the easiest to clean and form the most of the exposed surface of these soccer cleats. Dip the cloth into the water and simply remove the excess dirt on them.

4. For cleaning the flynet, take some washing powder on the cloth, drench the cloth again and start scrubbing. Little specks of dirt must be removed.

5. There’s naturally a lot of mud accumulated around studs at the outsole. You may use a boot brush to clean this area. If some dirt still remains at little corners, don’t hesitate in using a toothbrush for cleaning that.

6. The region where the outsole meets the upper and heel must be cleaned with a toothbrush.

7. To clean the sock liner, take it out from the inside and the using washing powder, scrub the area. For the laces, dip them into the vessel and rub them therein. The little specks of dirt they may contain must be effaced off.

You are not required to be very gentle, but that doesn’t give you the freedom to treat your soccer cleats savagely.

2. Cleaning in a washing machine

Alright! You may use the washing machine and save yourself from the labor. But for that, you’ll have to keep certain things in mind. First of all, separate the laces and the sock liner from the soccer cleats. Make sure that you’ve placed enough towels or some heavy cloth around them so they do not mess with the walls of the washing machine. Set the temperature to around 30 degree centigrade and go for extra rinse. With all this ensured, you are good to go.

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The Top 5 Aussie Netball Players of the Modern Era

Netball has been a popular sport for over fifty years, and has become one of the major women’s sports in a number of countries. Traditionally, it has been dominated by commonwealth countries, especially Australia and New Zealand. Australia has won ten of fifteen World Netball Championships – including the most recent in 2015 – and has dominated almost every international competition they have played in. It makes sense therefore that the Aussie team contains some of the best netballers in the world. Here are the top five Aussie players of the modern era*:

1. Caitlin Bassett

Often considered to be one of the best goal shooters in netball history, Caitlin Bassett has gone from strength to strength over the past few years. According to most netball experts and major publications, Bassett is the most valuable player in world netball. She has been a part of the Australian Diamonds international team since 2008, and is renowned for her accurate shooting.

Probably the best example of this was in the 2011 World Netball Championships, where she missed just four goals for the entire tournament. Her final score of 151 from 155 shots, going at 97.5%, is considered one of the best individual tournament performances ever. She has a best score of 49 goals in a game, reached twice during her career.

In 2015 Basset was the first goal shooter to win the Liz Ellis Diamonds award, which recognizes Australia’s player of the year. Her 2015 campaign saw her shoot 964 goals in both international and domestic competition, which was a career best. She was also the first Western Australian to be awarded the Liz Ellis Diamonds award.

2. Sharni Layton

Sharni Layton is one of the Diamond’s defensive stalwarts, having held down a position at wing defence, goal defence, or goal keeper since her debut in 2010. She has consistently been among the best players for the New South Wales Swifts, winning their Player’s Player Award in 2014. In 2010, Layton was crowned the best young player of the MARS ANZ championship.

Layton took her game to the next level in 2015, as she was crowned the ANZ Championship Player of the Year. She finished her year as the top Australian defender, with 49 intercepts, 112 deflections, 85 gains, and 36 defensive rebounds. This led to her first selection in the ANZ Championship All-Star team.

Following her break-out 2015 season, Layton has enjoyed a stella 2016. As the Diamond’s acting Vice-Captain for much of the year, she has helped lead the team to a number of important victories, including a those over fellow world heavy weights England, New Zealand, and South Africa. With Layton’s leadership from Goal Keeper, Australia recently bought home the inaugural Netball Quad Series title with a five goal win over New Zealand.

3. Natalie Medhurst

Medhurst has been a part of the Australian team since 2007, and is among the most capped players in history, with 80 international games to her name. She has been a part of three Netball World Championship winning teams, and has won both a gold and a silver medal at the Commonwealth games.

At 32 years old, Medhurst is one of the oldest international players in the world. However, this hasn’t stopped her from continually improving, and it could be argued that she is a better player now than she has ever been. A good example of this is the fact the she was named the Most Valuable Player in the Diamond’s last match, the final of the Netball Quad Series.

Although Medhurst has forged her reputation as one of the world’s best goal attackers and goal scorers over the past decade or so, she has recently begun to play in wing attack more regularly. However when she returns to goal attack, she continues to show why her and Caitlin Bassett form one of the best attacking combinations in the world.

4. Kim Ravaillion

At just 23 years old, Kim Ravaillion has rapidly progressed through netball rankings to become one of the world’s premier centers. She is the only player to have ever made her international debut before her ANZ Championship debut, a feat she achieved at just 19. She has become one of the shining lights of Australian netball, playing important roles in Australia’s wins in the recent Netball Quad Series, the 2015 World Championship, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Ravaillion is one of world netball’s most consistent and exciting young players, and barring injury, we can expect her to take the title as the world’s best at some point in the next few years. With her strong influence in the center of the court, expect the Diamonds to be extremely difficult to beat in the near future.

5. Laura Geitz

Although she has recently taken an indefinite break from netball, as she is expecting the birth of her first child, former Australian Captain Laura Geitz deserves a mention as one of the best players of the modern era. In her 29 games as captain of the Diamonds, she has lost just three. In that time, she has led Australia to gold medals at both the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Netball World Cup. She has shaped the Australian team into the near unbeatable force that they are today.

In 2011 Geitz won the Liz Ellis Diamonds award as the best Australian player, and has probably deserved to win it again since. She is (or was) the second most capped player in the Diamonds squad, behind the evergreen Natalie Medhurst. She is also just the second Queenslander to reach 50 test caps and to captain Australia. Hopefully we will see more of Getiz’s great game in the future!

*Rankings are based on The Guardian’s end of 2015 player rankings. They were judged by a panel of international netball experts, including international coaches.

Lolo Fernandez: A Footballing Genius – A Biography

Lolo Fernandez: One of Latin America’s Most Popular Footballers

Throughout his 12-year career with the Peruvian side, between 1935 and 1947, Lolo Fernández was not a World Cup player such as Obdulio Varela of Uruguay and Brazil’s Leonidas da Silva. Despite all this, he is still an inspirational leader in the history of Peru’s soccer. On the field, he did a lot to stimulate the men’s football in all of the country, one of the most soccer-crazed places on the planet. He was very popular in the outback of Peru, from Trujillo and Ica to Puno and Cajamarca. His passion for his homeland was reflected in all facets of his life.

He began to play soccer before it was a professional sport on Peruvian soil. Football — the world’s most popular sport— was imported by Britain’s expatriates in the second half of the 19th century and is known as Peru’s national pastime.

The oldest and most powerful of three soccer-playing Fernández brothers, he — known affectionately as «Lolo»— is considered as one of the country’s greatest athletes of all time, along with Edwin Vásquez Cam (Olympic gold medalist at the 1948 London Summer Games), Cecilia Tait Villacorta (among the world’s top volleyball players in the past century), Juan Carlos «Johnny» Bello (winner of 12 Bolivarian titles in the early 1970s), and Gabriela «Gaby» Pérez del Solar (silver medal in women’s volleyball at the 1988 South Korea Games).

During Fernández’s tenure with the national side, the Andean republic gained one South American Cup (1939) and one Bolivarian Championship (1938). At the club level, he earned the Peruvian League Cup — nationwide competition— six times with his club Universitario de Deportes, having scored a club-record of 157 goals — a record that remains unique. Also, he was the top goal-scorer in the country’s top division of football teams in 1932 (11 goals), 1933 (9), 1934 (9), 1939 (15), 1940 (15), 1942 (11), and 1945 (16). Additionally, he is one of best-known Peruvians Olympians of all time. He holds the distinction of being the first (and only) top player from that nation to compete in the modern Olympiad.

Peru’s First Genuine Top-Class Athlete

Since then, the apex of his career came in the late 1930s when he was the hero of Peru’s South American Football Confederation Cup win, putting the Peruvian flag on the sporting map and making him one of the most exciting players in the game. A Lolo Fernández-inspired Peru defeated Uruguay in the gold-medal match, a surprise to most fans and sportswriters on the American mainland (Campomar, 2014, Penguin). He had been called up by England’s coach Jack Greenwell. Before the championship, Peru’s sportsmen had never won a continental trophy (equivalent of the European Cup). Previously, this Cañete-born footballer was a member of the 1936 Peruvian Olympic football team, which competed in the Berlin Olympics. Curiously, Western Europe was the first continent to recognize Fernández’s talent. Although his homeland’s squad succumbed in a controversial game against Austria (a match they should have won) during the Men’s Olympic Games Soccer Tournament— the unofficial world cup of soccer at that time— he was regarded as one of the South America’s most celebrated sportsmen (Hilton, 2011).

Back in Peru, he led his own «soccer revolution» in Universitario de Deportes, winning many top division cups, setting off a wave of explosive emotion in Lima, the nation’s capital. In fact, he was one of the first superstars of that club. The national squad and his club had been his first loves. He could have played abroad, but decided to play for the Peruvian side and the Limean club, one of the nation’s premier clubs (Newton, 2011).

In fact, Lolo Fernández was Peru’s first genuine top-class sportsman in the world of sports in a time when some Spanish-speaking republics began to produce world-famous competitors. Already, in 1928, Argentina’s fighter Victorio Avendaño had caught the public’s attention with his Olympic gold medal in the Games of the IX Olympiad in Holland’s capital city of Amsterdam (Grasso, 2013). Two years later, the Soccer World Cup was won by the host country Uruguay— called the Celeste. Meanwhile, the men’s shooting contingent of Brazil picked up a total of three medals at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics in tiny Belgium (Almanaque Mundial, 1976). On the other hand, on March 19, 1938, four Ecuadorans — Ricardo Planas, Carlos Luis Gilbert, Luis Alcivar Elizalde and Abel Gilbert— swept the gold medals at the Swimming South American Tournament (Almanaque Guayaquil, 2003).

The Life and Times of Lolo Fernández

Teodoro Oswaldo Fernández Meyzán was born on May 20, 1913 in San Vicente, Cañete, near Lima, Peru’s capital. He was the seventh of eight children born to Tomas Fernández Cisneros, a farm administrator, and his wife, the former Raymunda Meyzan.

Cañete covers an area of 4,577 km2 — the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It lies around 140 km from Lima. This Connecticut-size territory is blessed with a fertile land and is well-recognized for its African-Peruvian culture, cuisine, fruits and birthplace of notable people such as Héctor Chumpitaz (footballer), Caitro Soto (musician), Enrique Verastegui (writer), and Rolando Campos (singer).

Fernández spent his early childhood on a farm in Cañete. Like many Peruvian children, he became fascinated with the game of soccer at an early age. But not everyone applauded that passion, among them his father.

He invested his life in this sport since he played for his hometown club Huracán of Hualcará in the early 1920s. The then little-known player was the first to arrive to the stadium and the last to leave. In his land, he trained with a lot of intensity. The exercise and fresh air made him feel better.

During his first appearance, he led his club to a victory over Alianza San Vicente in a local event in his native Cañete. His debut could not have been better: he scored the winning goal. The date was August 30, 1923. On that occasion, his play (without being paid a salary) impressed his team-mates early on. He was celebrated throughout Cañete, whose people are addicted to football and other Olympic sports as canoeing, boxing, and track-and-field.

Toward the end of the 1920s, he was allowed to leave his home and went to Lima to live with his elder brother, Arturo Fernández, who had played for Universitario de Deportes after being a member of Ciclista Lima. In this context, Lolo, as he was more often known, was introduced to Universitario by Arturo.

In the Peruvian place, his personal life underwent some significant changes. Unanimously elected player by the club’s chairman Placido Galindo, Fernández signed a contract for 120 soles a month. Relations between he and his new club were excellent and friendly since that day.

He kicked off his career with the Lima-based club when he made his official debut on November 29, 1931 during a friendly match against Deportes Magallanes of Chile. Some young athletes would have been intimidated in such situation, but not Lolo. The Lima-based club, with a young side, was the winner. The Peruvian victory was due largely to Fernández’s leadership. He scored the winner against Magallanes in a 1-0 win. Gradually, his talent was recognized by experts, coaches, and sportswriters in his homeland country. As a player, he was without peer in his generation.

An Athlete In Troubled Times

Like many Latino champions such as Alberto Spencer of Ecuador (football),Mateo Flores of Guatemala (track-and-field) and Chino Meléndez of Nicaragua (baseball), Lolo Fernández lived in a country plagued by political violence, poverty, and economic difficulties. Despite these hurdles, he emerged as one of Latin America’s top athletes in the first half of the 20th century.

In the 1930s, his native country had a record of short-lived governments and eight conservative rulers. By 1933, Peru’s military warlord Luis Sánchez Cerro was killed. At the same time, opposition-led demonstrations broke out in Lima in response to an electoral defeat (Loveman, 1999).

During the global financial crisis, the economy fell into chaos, which was vulnerable due to the nation’s dependence on minerals and agricultural products.

Due to these and other reasons, the country’s sport activities had been all but ignored by the governments. Under this atmosphere, Peru was one of the last countries to make its international debut in the Football South American Championship (known as the Copa America later), having competed for the first in the XI Cup in 1927.Similarly, their athletes could not attend the Summer Olympics between 1900 and 1932. But that wasn’t all. Upon competing in Great Britain in 1948, this Spanish-speaking republic did not have Olympic representation until 1956, despite having Pan American gold medalists —among them Julia Sánchez Deza and Edwin Vásquez— and continental champs.

Western Europe: From Spain to Great Britain

As guests of honor, Fernández and other players from Universitario played for Alianza Lima during a tour of Chile in 1933, accumulating wins over Colo Colo, Audax Italiano, Magallanes, and Wanderers. Lolo also played as a special guest for some foreign clubs such Racing Club,Club Atlético Banfield, and Colo Colo.

Between 1933 and 1934, Fernández went as a member of a Peruvian-Chilean contingent —composed of sportsmen from Alianza Lima, Colo Colo, Atlético Chalaco and Universitario– to Western Europe, where he played 33 men’s football matches (compiling 11 wins, 11 draws and 11 losses) against first-class squads from Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, including Bayern Munich, Newcastle and Barcelona— his first time outside of Latin America (Witzig, 2006). Here, he earned the respect of fans and rivals. Lolo’s performance on the European tour was spectacular: despite his lack of international experience, he accumulated a record of 48 goals!

Berlin: 1936 Summer Olympics

After many obstacles, the Peruvian Olympic team, that included future South American champion Lolo, made a brief but historic trip to Germany to attend the 1936 Summer Games. It was the first time in Olympic history that Peru had sent an athletic contingent to the Summer Games. The nation’s sports officials brought an all-male team to Berlin, with Peruvians competing in aquatics, athletics, diving, basketball, cycling, fencing, modern pentathlon, shooting, and soccer.

There were 22 soccer players and they were Juan Valdivieso Padilla, Alejandro Villanueva, José Morales, Adelfo Magallanes, Víctor Lavalle, Enrique Landa, Eulogio García, Carlos Tovar, Orestes Jordán, Teodoro Fernández, Arturo Fernández, Andrés Alvarez, Arturo Paredes, Segundo Castillo, Teodoro Alcalde, Jorge Alcalde, Miguel Pacheco, Carlos Portal, Raúl Chappel, Pedro Ibañez, Guillermo Pardo, and Víctor Marchena. These players made up the country’s largest delegation in Berlin.

The Lolo’s squad was the first Peruvian team in the Olympic team sports history. Scoring five goals in a 7-2 victory over the Nordic nation of Finland, Fernández played one of his most memorable matches (Campomar, 2014). Without a doubt, he was a genius on the field. Subsequently, they beat Austria (it expected to finish in the top four in these Games). But it wasn’t a clear-cut victory for the Latin American republic (Witzig, 2006).

In the second time, Peru came back and won its match 4-2 after losing to Austria 2-0 in the first time in one of the most controversial games in the history of football (Mandell, 1971). Nonetheless, the Austrian delegation refused to recognize this triumph (Risolo, 2010). They said that Europe’s footballers were threatened by Peru’s attackers during the Olympic match (Murray & Murray, 1998).

Under pressure from Austria, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) pledged to hold other match (Campomar, 2014).

But the Peruvian dictatorship didn’t allow their countrymen to compete again. In an attempt to try to gain popularity within Peru, the nation’s strongman Oscar Raimundo Benavides forced the Peruvian Olympic Committee to agree to withdraw its delegation from the 1936 Berlin Games (Walters, 2012). Despite everything, Fernández was the second top scorer in the Olympic tournament with five goals, alongside Norway’s sportsman Arne Brustad. A year earlier, Lolo earned his first cap for Peru.

The tournament was won by Italy and was followed by Austria (silver medal), Poland (bronze), Norway (4th), Great Britain (5th),Germany (6th), Peru (7th), Japan (8th), Sweden (9th), USA (10th), Taiwan (11th), Egypt (12th), Hungary (13th), Turkey (14th), Finland (15th) and Luxembourg (last).

When the Olympian delegation arrived back in Lima, they were declared «national heroes» (El Comercio, 2009). In the next year, he married Elvira Fernández Meyer and had two children: Marina and Teodoro.

Lolo and the First Bolivarian Games

Despite missing the XI Olympiad in the German capital of Berlin, Fernández worked relentlessly to take part in the Olympic-type Bolivarian Games. The First Bolivarian Sports Games (one of the oldest multi-sport games of its kind) were held in Colombia’s capital of Bogota in 1938. At that year, all Limeans were anxious to see a national victory. Fortunately, there were good news. Fernández captained the Bolivarian winners by capturing the gold medal, providing a moment of enjoy for Peru’s population.

The 1938 men’s squad was the heavy gold medal favorite on Colombian soil. The victory was scored over squads from Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the host nation. This accomplishment was greater than any previously achieved by the national squads. Ecuador was bronze and Bolivia won the silver medal.

Before and after the event, Fernández —his first international title outside his own land— brought his energy and passion to the national team.

Peru kicked off its campaign at Bogota’s Universitario Stadium,on August 8, when they beat Colombia 4-2 with goals of Pedro Ibañez (2), Lolo (1) and Teodoro Alcalde (1). In its second Bolivarian match, the Andean country slaughtered Ecuador 9-1 in a spectacular show of football— biggest margin of victory in the history of Peru’s soccer team. The best player was Alcalde (4 goals). On August 14, Peru blanked Bolivia 3-0. Lolo was the pivot of that game with two goals. This remarkable athlete knew what he needed to do to win the match.

On August 17,Venezuela was eliminated from the Games after losing to Peru 2-1. Before the Peruvian delegation left the stadium, they received a standing ovation.

Why one of Latin America’s Greatest Players Never Play in the FIFA World Cup?

Among Latin America’s greatest players during the first half of the 20th century, Fernández was the only one never to have appeared in a World Cup. There are different reasons why he could not compete in the global sporting event in the late 1930s and the 1940s. In 1938, the III World Cup was overshadowed by an Argentina-led boycott that was followed by almost all South American republics ( Reyna & Woitalla,2004). Officially, Peru did not participate in the international boycott, but it declined to send a delegation. SA boycotted that Cup in response to «Eurocentric policy» of FIFA. Europeans had hosted the last event and the next was scheduled to be held in France in that year. In the following decade, the world of sports was hard hit by World War II and the international events were canceled.

Lima: 1939 South American Championship

The year of 1939 saw a new hero in Latin America’s sport. A son of Cañete attracted admiration when he led Peru to win the (XV) South American Championship for the first time following a win against Uruguay, one of the powerhouses in the world of football since the 1910s. Four years ago, the national side failed to make the semis in the regional event at home. In 1937, Peru finished at the bottom of the six-team tournament.

The 1939 national side claimed the first place to defeat Uruguay 2-1 in the finals. It was a proud day for Peru. The country, under British coach Greenwell was a home grown champion (Campomar, 2014, Penguin). On paper, Uruguay’s background made it a strong opponent —three World Championships from 1924 to 1930, including two golds in the modern Olympics.

It was gratifying to see the progress that had made the national side, who were underdogs from the start. Thanks to this win, Peru became the four nation in the continent to win that event (after Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina), well ahead of Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay.

Fernández was the hero in the Continental Cup on his home soil— his second major international trophy. As well as winning the Most Valuable Player trophy, the Cañete-born striker was the top scorer.

The continental winners were Juan Humberto Valdivieso, Jorge Alcalde, Carlos Tovar, Teodoro Alcalde, César Socarraz, Alberto Baldovino, Pedro Reyes, Víctor Bielich, Juan Quispe, Segundo Castillo, Enrique Perales, Raúl Chapel, Pablo Pasache, Lolo Fernández, Adolfo Magallanes, Jorge Parró, Juan Honores, Pedro Ibañez, Arturo Fernández, Arturo Paredes, Rafael León and Feder Larios.

South American Championships

Back in the 1940s, Fernández, who was nicknamed «the Cannoneer» by the local media due to his aggressive style of play, was member of Peru’s national squad that competed in three South American championships. But he was less successful in these competitions.

Between February 2 and March 4, 1941, the Peruvian contingent participated in the international competition in Santiago (Chile). It was recognized as the unofficial SA Cup. Peru’s 22-man roster included: Gerardo Arce, Manuel Vallejos, Vicente Arce, César Socarraz, Teodoro Fernández, Juan Quispe, Alejandro González, Leopoldo Quiñones, Juan Honores, Carlos Portal, Marcial Hurtado, Enrique Perales, Guillermo Janneau, Roberto Morales, Orestes Jordán, Pedro Magán, Adolfo Magallanes, Máximo Lobatón, and Pedro Luna.

The men’s football tournament was marked by the presence of top-class athletes such as Lolo of Peru, Obdulio Varela of Uruguay, Sergio Livingstone from Chile, and Juan Andrés Marvezzi of Argentina.

The Bolivarian champions didn’t bring home any medals, but Fernández scored three goals and was ranked second to Marvezzi as the tournament’s most prolific scorer (sharing the honor with José Manuel Moreno from Argentina). His homeland’s squad placed fourth in the overall classification, ahead of Ecuador,in the five-team tournament, an event sponsored by the Chilean rule.

On February 9, the Peruvians were defeated by the host nation by a narrow margin (1-0). Shortly thereafter, Argentina won its match against Peru 2-1. The Argentine team was a powerful squad in the Americas and had gained two awards in 1937: The Soccer Pan American Cup in Dallas, Texas (U.S) and SA tournament (as a host country). On February 23, the squad’s star striker Lolo eliminated Ecuador 4-0 and obtained their first points. Fernández scored three goals. Three days later, his homeland’s team, however, could not win their last game. Uruguay won 2-0.The win helped avenge Uruguay’s 1939 loss to Peru.

By 1942, Fernández departed for Uruguay to attend the Latin American tournament (between January 10 and February 7), a year where Brazil was awarded the 1942 World Cup, but the event was cancelled. The men’s soccer of Peru placed a disappointing fifth on Uruguayan soil. The national side was represented by 22 players: Juan Quispe, Antonio Zegarra, Diego Agurto, Juan Soriano, Antonio Biffi, Leopoldo Quiñones, Alberto Delgado, Carlos Portal, Lolo Fernández, Enrique Perales, Luis Guzmán, Pablo Pasache, Teobaldo Guzmán, Tulio Obando, Juan Honores, Roberto Morales, Marcial Hurtado, Pedro Magán, Orestes Jordán, Adolfo Magallanes, Máximo Lobatón, and Pedro Luna.

Following an opening draw with Paraguay (1-1) at the XVIII South American Cup on January 18, Peru suffered defeats against Brazil (2-1) and Argentina (3-1).Over that time, the Brazilian side was a strong rival with a bronze medal in the 1938 global event after his international star Leonidas da Silva (known as the «Black Diamond») led Brazil to its first wins in a World Cup.

On January 28, the Peruvians dispatched Ecuador 2-1 at Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium, which is the nation’s symbol of sport. In the next days, they had drawn 0-0 with Chile after a 3-0 loss to Uruguay in the 65,000-seater Centenario Stadium, one of the most famous of all soccer stadiums around the globe. The Celeste Spanish for sky blue due to the color of squad’s shirt— was all but unbeatable and it was seven-time winner of the SA Cup (1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926 & 1935) (Guevara & Chaname, 1998).

Lolo and his fellow sportsmen did not return to the regional championships until 1947. The Andean republic missed the next two international competitions (1945 & 1946).

In 1947, the Peruvian Soccer Federation sent a Lolo Fernández-led team to Guayaquil (Ecuador) to participate in the international meet. He and his fellow countrymen had drawn with Paraguay (2-2) and Ecuador (0-0), but there were two losses to Chile (2-1) and Argentina (3-2).

In front of over 20,000 persons, on December 20, 1947, Fernández played his last match on foreign soil at Guayaquil’s George Capwell when Peru made a tie of 0-0 with the host nation. He was on Peru’s South American Cup roster at the age of 34. Later on, Colombia —gold in men’s football at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games— was outclassed by a Peruvian side without its star Lolo (5-1).

In the 8-team tournament, the men’s side ranked fifth, behind Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay,and Chile. The country’s roster included 22 athletes: Guillermo Valdivieso, Rafael Asca, Carlos Torres, Guillermo Barbadillo, Luis Suárez, Félix Castillo, René Rosasco, Juan Castillo, Marín Reyna, Andrés da Silva, Domingo Raffo, Lolo Fernández, Enrique Perales, Carlos Gómez Sánchez, Lorenzo Pacheco, Máximo Mosquera, Alejandro González, Ernesto Morales, Luis Guzmán, Eliseo Morales, Cornelio Heredia, and Valeriano López.

In the wake of participating on Ecuadoran soil, Fernández no longer competed in the continental events.

Six National Championships From 1934 to 1949

Before embarking on a seven-month tour of Europe, Fernández was the most outstanding player in the 1932 National Cup with 11 goals. But that wasn’t enough to win the event. A total of eight clubs sent delegations: Alianza Lima, Sports Tabaco, Ciclista Lima, Sportive Union, Sport Progreso, Tarapacá Ferrocarril, Circolo Sportivo Italiano and Universitario.

Soccer became a national level when the domestic tournament began in the 1920s, making it one of the oldest events in the history of Peruvian sport.

By 1933, Universitario’s amateur side again made the final, but was runner-up and their star was top scorer for the second time in a row. Despite the loss, he had captured the attention of the spectators as no other sportsman when he produced nine goals in the men’s football national league.

After winning experience in European countries, Fernández and his fellow Peruvian athletes moved back to Lima to attend the 1934 domestic league. The youthful Universitario side reached the podium in the country’s top soccer division (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). Alianza Lima was extraordinary beaten by the Limean squad, beginning one of South America’s greatest derbies. AL and Lolo’s club are arch rivals and matches between two clubs are referred to as «El Clásico» (Newton, 2011). During that year, Fernández began to make a name for himself in the history of Peru’s football as he was the tournament’s top scorer.

The 1935 event was an event with five soccer clubs. It produced a surprise winner: Sport Boys. Fernández’s squad placed third.

By 1938, Universitario won the bronze medal. In the next year, the Limean side became one of the first clubs of Peru to appoint a foreign manager: Jack Greenwell of the United Kingdom. Under Geenwel’s guidance, Fernández and his fellow mates earned the national football league title with nine wins, three draws and two losses —improving on their third place finish in the past cup (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). Extraordinary, the Cañete-born athlete was the tournament’s dominant player in 1939 (Witzig, 2006).

In the wake of Fernández’s participation in the South American Cup, Universitario came close to a second successive tournament in 1940.

In 1941, the Lima-based club obtained the Peruvian trophy, after a series of home-and-home soccer matches. The Limean squad showed why it was one of the most powerful clubs on home soil. In the finals, there were wins over Atlético Chalaco (1-0) and Alianza Lima (3-1). The championship had been postponed for a while because of Peru’s participation in the South American Cup.

In the mid-1940s, Universitario came the attention when they won back-to-back national championships (Witzig, 2006). After breaking his own personal record of 15 goals in 1939, Lolo picked up a total of 16 goals in 1945. Curiously, these titles can be attributed to the Fernández family: Arturo, Eduardo and Lolo were members of that team.

Assembling one of the most powerful teams in the history of Peru’s football, Lima’s club earned the trophy in 1946. The key to the Peruvian club was the trio of Victor Espinoza, Eduardo and Lolo Fernández. Under a new system of qualifying matches, the Limean side obtained 11 wins.

Toward the end of his career, Lolo and his club recaptured the trophy: it defeated Atlético Chalaco 4-3 to claim the first place in the Peruvian Championship in 1949 (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). In that year, the club celebrated its 25th anniversary.

A Universitario Icon

In contrast to players from other parts of the world, Fernández was not an international player, being one of the few footballers who had stayed with one club (Universitario) his entire athletic career despite several offers from top clubs (including Racing club of Argentina, Peñarol of Uruguay and Colo Colo of Chile). He refused, citing his strong connections to Universitario. This club is one of the most-supported squads in Peru. Curiously, Lolo remains Universitario’s all-time goalscorer with 157 goals.

Fernández, at the age of 40, retired from the world of soccer in the early 1950s during a series of exhibition matches in a stadium built by the country’s head of state Manuel Odría. On August, 30, 1953, his team had a sensational victory over his traditional rival Alianza Lima (4-2). Here, Lolo scored a hat-trick, among the most notable of his more than 157 goals during his career with the Lima-based club.

Before an audience of some 30,000 spectators, Fernández played only six minutes with Universitario during a game against Centro Iqueño, the darkest day for Peru’s football. His presence was symbolic in a memorable event at Lima’s national stadium. He left the national stadium to a roaring ovation.

After retiring from soccer, he worked mostly with top junior soccer teams from Universitario.

After a battle with Alzheimer, on September 17, 1996, Lolo Fernández died in a Lima hospital at the age of 83. It was a great loss to South America’s sport.

Rivaled only by Teófilo Cubillas, he has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards both within and outside Peru, including a museum. The country’s legendary Olympian was immortalized by Lorenzo Humberto Soto Mayor, who wrote a song entitle «Lolo Fernández», a tribute to the Peruvian footballer. On October 27, 1952, the country’s ruler Odría conferred him the Sports Laurels, the highest sports award of Peru. In the early 1950s, the Universitario stadium was renamed in his honor (Witzig, 2006). Within Latin America, several sports-oriented magazines and Spanish-language newspapers have devoted many pages to Lolo.

Lolo Fernández died in the mid-1990s, but the legacy of this Olympic carries on. He was so advanced for his time and place. A man that always worked with love for his homeland country of Peru and a personal hero of mine.

Further Reading

(1)- Almanaque Deportivo Mundial 1977, Editorial América, Ciudad de Panamá, 1976 (Spanish)

(2)- Almanaque Deportivo Mundial 1976, Editorial América, Ciudad de Panamá, 1975 (Spanish)

(3)- Almanaque Guayaquil Total 2003, Editarsa, Guayaquil, 2002 (Spanish)

(4)- Campomar, Andreas. ¡Golazo!: A History of Latin American Football, Quercus, 2014

(5)- —————- Golazo!: The Beautiful Game From the Aztecs to the World Cup: The Complete History of How Soccer Shaped Latin America, Penguin, 2014

(6)- Dunmore, Tom. Historical Dictionary of Soccer, Scarecrow Press, 2011

(7)- «Fuimos Heroes». 170 Años Suplemento Especial, El Comercio, 4 de mayo del 2009 (Spanish)

(8)- Grasso, John. Historical Dictionary of Boxing, Scarecrow Press, 2013

(9)- Guevara Onofre, Alejandro & Chaname Orbe, Raúl. Enciclopedia Mundototal 1999, Editorial San Marcos, 1998 (Spanish)

(10)- Hill, Christopher. Hitler’s Olympics: The Berlin Olympic Games,The History Press, 2011

(11)- Loveman, Brian. For la Patria: Politics and the Armed Forces in Latin America, Rowman & Littlefield, 1999

(12)- Mandell, Richard D. The Nazi Olympics, University of Illinois Press, 1971

(13)- Murray, Bill & Murray, William. The World’s Game. A History of Soccer, University of Illinois Press, 1998

(14)- Newton, Paula. Viva Travel Guides Machu Picchu and Cusco, Viva Publishing Network, 2011

(15)- Parrish, Charles & Nauright, John. Soccer Around the World, ABC-CLIO, 2014

(16)- Risolo, Donn. Soccer Stories: Anecdotes, Oddities, Lore, and Amazing Feats, University of Nebraska, 2010

(17)- Reyna, Claudio & Woitalla, Michael. More Than Goals: The Journey From Backyard Games To World Cup Competition, Human Kinetics, 2004

(18)- Walters, Guy. Berlin Games: How Hitler Stole the Olympic Dream, Hachette UK, 2012

(19)- Witzig, Richard. The Global Art of Soccer, CusiBoy Publishing, 2006

Fantasy Cricket World Cup Gives Unique Experience Of Being Part Of Real One

There is different charm altogether of cricket world cup, after all this event happens after every four years. Being part of cricket world cup is most flourished desire of a cricket fan. What a wonderful thing it would be to a fan if this comes true. Fantasy cricket world cup is such a fantastic medium to fulfill dream of playing cricket by own will. For playing fantasy cricket world cup, you don’t need to go to any ground. You just require an internet-enabled computer and the desire to participate and play. Fantasy cricket world cup fills fans with the enthusiasm, action and emotion of a real world cup.

The websites providing fantasy cricket world cup are innumerable. You need to hunt those websites giving chance to play fantasy cricket world cup. After searching that website, you get yourself registered to become a member to play the game. Each websites has its own rules for fantasy cricket world cup. That attracts even non-cricket lover to play the game as the rules are easy and simple to follow.

There are certain rules followed for selection of players to take part and play fantasy cricket world cup. Points are allotted to players depending on their performances on the field. The points allocated to a player are determined by the contribution of performances in team. The points in the game are scored from actual performance of player in world cup. Fantasy cricket world cup is based on similar format on which the world cup takes place.

There are as many countries in fantasy cricket world cup as those participating in world cup. Each team will have 11 members comprising 5 batsman, 4 bowlers, one all rounder and a wicket keeper. The selection of players must be with the aim of balancing and maintaining the whole team. You have to select 11 cricketers from international cricket squads taking part in the world cup. Fantasy points are scored according to how the players in your team perform in real life.

The team, which accumulates the highest points, will be declared winner. The actual performance on the field will determine the fate of fantasy cricket world cup. There are good chances of wining massive prizes in game. You need to be cautious to select players. You should not be swayed by big names of cricketing world. That can prove a burden in your victory. You must concentrate choosing players of current form.

It can be a good experience for those fans who dream of selecting their own players to play on the field. They have full authority of selecting players from all the teams of the world. They can view it with full enthusiasm and see how their favorite stars are performing on the field. Fantasy cricket world cup takes fans on a ride of thrills and excitement. Being a part of fantasy cricket world cup will be a unique experience for fans. So fans must makes sure that they play the game at least one to get a feel of the real thing.

T20 World Cup Cricket

What will the status of the winners be when they emerge victorious from the tournament this month? It might sound an odd question, but think about how absurd it would be in any other sport. Imagine that six months after the FIFA World Cup, another tournament, also called the World Cup, was played with pretty much the same teams fielding pretty much the same players in a pretty similar tournament format with pretty similar viewing figures (both at the grounds and on the telly), but with 45-minute matches rather than the full 90.

I'm not questioning the existence of T20, because I love cricket, and I understand that this ultra-intense, short format of the game means people can watch a whole game in an evening after work; it gives the game more appealing, more coverage, more peak-time advertising opportunity and hence, more money. It's also a great spectacle.

I just think its going to be weird when there are two world champions of cricket.

Test cricket is, of course, an identical different kettle of fish; tactics and gameplay are wholly different from the one day game. The length of time encounters take, and the massive likelihood of draws, means that a ranking system is the only way to produce a 'world number one team', whereas 50 overs-a-side lends itself to definite results in the finite time of a tournament. 20-20 is very much like 50-50 in its style and ethos: score as many runs as you can as quickly as you can; restrict as many runs as stingily as you can. It, too, can be played in a tournament, which is why we have this second 'World Cup'.

The winners will, therefore, claim to be world champions of cricket, and the best in the shortened version of the game. But the Australia team that lifted the World Cup in the West Indies a few months ago already claim that title. And 'Twenty20 world champions' does not really mean anything, at least yet: so few T20s are played internationally (England has played the most in history with a grand total of 6) India has played just 2) that no-one will really care. Also, the games are so short that a second-rate international team could conceivably lift the trophy. The flaws in a Zimbabwe side could possibly be papered over for three hours at a time that would have unduly caused a collapse over a whole day or more. What if a 'minnow' wins the whole thing? They are played so infinitely by the test-playing nations that the 'world champion' label will be redundant until they play the tournament again.

One solution would be to have an annual or biennial T20 tournament, outside of which international T20 is not played. Then it would be clear that T20, while popular and important, is not of the same caliber and class as the official cricket world cup, in the same way that the Six Nations is keenly contested every year, but with the winning side not making any pretensions to overall global superiority. Maybe the difficulties will disappear as T20 establishes its niche. But the simplest solution this time round, to avoid any argument or confusion, would be if Australia won the discussed thing. Doubtless they will oblige.

The History of the FIFA World Cup Football Trophy

There are many trophies presented for various sporting endeavours today, however one of the most famous of these is the FIFA World Cup. Yet what many people do not realize is that the FIFA World Cup Trophy awarded today has only been in existence since 1974. Prior to this date those nations that were winners of this particular sporting event were presented with the Jules Rimet Trophy instead.

The main reason why a new FIFA trophy was introduced was in 1970 Brazil were awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy outright as they had won this competition three times. As they were presented with this trophy so the FIFA had to arrange for a new trophy to be made to replace it.

The new FIFA World Cup trophy was then presented to the winning Nation in 1974 and this was West Germany who at the time were captained by Franz Beckenbauer. The trophy that they were presented with was designed by Silvio Gazzaniga and produced by Bertoni Milano.

This trophy just like the Jules Rimet one before is very elaborate in design. On the body there are two figures shown holding up the Earth and on its based are engraved «FIFA World Cup» in out pouring letters. The actual trophy is made from 18 carat solid gold and weighs a total of 11lb and measures to a height of 14.4 inches. To ensure that the cup stands correctly the base which measures a width of 5.1 inches has been made from a strong carbonate mineral known as Malachite.

To be able to view the names of the winning nations on this particular trophy it needs to be turned upside down. This is because the names and dates when the trophy was won are engraved on plaques in English on the bottom of the base.

Today there are still enough plaques available to allow a further 9 nations to have their winning details placed on this trophy. It is only after the FIFA World Cup Competition in 2038 will a decision need to be made as to whether this particular trophy should be retired and replaced with a new one.

The biggest difference with this particular FIFA World Cup Trophy is that it is not one that can be won outright as Brazil did with the Jules Rimet Trophy. Today although the winning team are presented with this trophy on the day of their victory they don’t actually get to keep it and instead of provided with a replica.

The main reason for this is that following Italy winning the competition in 2006 after the FIFA World Cup Trophy had been restored it was damaged. A number of days after the trophy had been presented to Italy pictures appeared in newspapers showing a small piece of the Malachite base had broken off. The damage to the trophy was repaired but in order to prevent such a situation in the future the FIFA decided no longer to allow the winning nation to retain the trophy until the next tournament.

The FIFA World Cup Trophy replica that the winning nation now receive is the same size as the original. However, unlike the original these are not made from solid gold but rather they use gold plating instead.

League of Legends Account Creation

Here is a quick guide to League of Legends (LoL) account creation. League of Legends is an awesome MOBA game available online. It is free to play and I guarantee that you will be hooked the moment you try it.

In LoL players are split into teams of 3-5 and get to choose a champion. They then play a match which takes between 20-40 minutes. The goal is to push past your opponents defenses and destroy their HQ (Nexus). There are currently 83 champions available in LoL but there is a new one released about every 3-4 weeks so the game never gets stale. Every single champion also has a unique set of abilities and base statistics which set them apart from all other champions and makes them unique. You also have the ability to purchase items during the match which boost your champions stats further and make them uniquely yours.

For those of you who like being able to level up your character and customize them outside of the match, LoL has you covered as well. As you play matches you will gain experience and IP. Experience increases your summoners level and IP allows you to buy new champions and runes. The max level in this game is 30. As you make your way towards level 30 you will unlock new mastery points and rune slots. You can then buy runes using your IP and assign mastery points to strengthen your character in certain areas of your choice like attack, defense, magic damage, etc.

Ready to get started?

Follow the link at the bottom of this page. It will take you to the League of Legends account creation page where you will get to choose a unique username that will identify you. This is similar to most other video games. Be aware however that the account name you sign up with is not the name you will appear under in the game. You will use this name to log into the game but that is it. After you have downloaded the game client and logged in for the first time you will get to choose your summoner’s name which is the name you will appear under to all the other people playing LoL.

You have now finished League of Legends account creation and are ready to begin playing the game. I have played a lot of video games and I have to say, LoL is one of the best games I have seen so far. So good luck and enjoy, I will see you on the battlefield summoner’s!

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The Top 10 Football Teams in London

There is much to see for those who are interested in football in London. Just to clarify for any readers of this article from outside the UK, football means the ‘beautiful game’, what is commonly referred to as Soccer around the world.

London has a proud tradition of famous football teams with much competition between them to be the top club. There are generally four or five London teams in the Premier League and there are many commentators who believe that this is one of the biggest obstacles to any one of them winning the league. A ‘local derby’ between two London football teams could produce an electric atmosphere and turn current form on its head they are so well contested.

Premier League tickets are sometimes difficult to obtain, but a bit of persistence often gets results. There are a number of ticket agencies that can get them for a price.

In the last decade, both Arsenal and Chelsea have each won the illustrious Premier League title twice and reached the final of the European Cup.

Here are some details about the top 10 football clubs in London and to avoid any accusations of being partisan, they are listed in alphabetical order:-

Arsenal

The Gunners, Arsenal have played in the top division of English football in consecutive seasons since the 1919-20 season. They have been champions on 13 occasions and achieved a unique record for modern times in 2003-04 season when they went the whole season without being beaten.

Arsenal have won the much coveted ‘double’ (league and cup winners in the same season) three times, in 1971, 1998 and 2002

In recent years they have moved to a new venue, The Emirates Stadium, with a 60,000 capacity. The Arsenal Museum is well worth a visit and is open every day.

Brentford

The Bees, Brentford Football Club are currently playing in Football League I. They were founded in 1889 and play their home games at Griffin Park their home stadium since 1904. Brentford’s most successful spell came during the 1930s, when they achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division.

Since the War, they have spent most of their time in the third and fourth tiers of English football. Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have twice been Football League Trophy runners-up.

Charlton Athletic

The Addicks, Charlton Athletic have seen better days. There halcyon days were in the 1930s and 40s. In recent years they have struggled after being relegated from the Premier League in 2005 and then from the Championship in 2008.

They play at The Valley just south of the River Thames in Greenwich. The club was founded in 1905.

Historically, Charlton’s most successful period was the 1930s, when the club’s highest league finishes were recorded, including runners-up of the league in 1937, and after World War II, when the club reached the FA Cup final twice, winning in 1947.

Chelsea

The Pensioners or the Blues, Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905, and play in the Premier League. Chelsea have been champions three times (1955, 2005, 2006), and have won the FA Cup five times, the League Cup four times and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup twice. They reached the UEFA Champions League Final in 2008

Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge in West London and their ground capacity is 42,000.The Chelsea Museum is open most days and is well worth a visit for those interested in museums and football history.

Crystal Palace

The Eagles, Crystal Palace Football Club was formed in 1905. The team plays its home matches at Selhurst Park, where it has been based since 1924. The club is currently competing in the second tier, The Championship.

Crystal Palace’s most recent successful period began in 1988-89, when the club finished third in the Second Division and were promoted to the First Division. Reaching the 1990 FA Cup Final only to lose the replay against Manchester United and finishing 3rd in the First Division in 1990-91.

Since then Palace have been relegated from and promoted to the FA Premier League on a number of occasions, their most recent relegation from the top flight was in the 2004-05 season. This is all despite the club being almost bankrupt in July 2000.

Fulham

The Cottagers, Fulham Football Club was founded in 1879, they celebrated their 125th anniversary in 2004, and are in the top tier of English football, the Premier League. Fulham are the oldest professional football team in London.

In 2009, Fulham had their highest-ever finish in the Premier League, coming 7th to qualify for Europe.

The club has produced many great British footballers including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and Alan Mullery and Jim Langley. They play at the historic Craven Cottage, their home since 1896, a riverside ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham.

Queens Park Rangers

The Hoops or just QPR, Queens Park Rangers Football Club based in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. They currently play in the Football League Championship, and their honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, and being runners-up in the old First Division in 1975-76 and FA Cup in 1982.

Queens Park Rangers Football Club was founded in 1882, and its traditional colours are blue and white. Owing to its proximity to other West London clubs, QPR maintains long-standing rivalries with several other clubs in the area, the most notable of these being Chelsea, Brentford and Fulham with whom they contest what are known as West London derbies.

In 2007 QPR was taken over by Italian tycoon Flavio Briatore and rank among the top 10 richest sporting clubs in the world. Other major shareholders include Lakshmi Mittal & F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. So watch this space!

Tottenham Hotspurs

The famous ‘Spurs’ side of 1961, is still reckoned by many football enthusiasts, to be one of the best football teams in English football history. They achieved the ‘double’ which had not been achieved at that time since Aston Villa won it in 1897.

This has given recent Spurs’ teams a lot to live up to. But Spurs have a long tradition of playing good football so there are many exciting matches at White Hart Lane especially with their close North London rivals, Arsenal.

In 1963, Spurs became the first British club to win a major European trophy – the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In the 1970s, they won the Football League Cup on two occasions and were the inaugural winners of the UEFA Cup in 1972. In the 1980s, Spurs won several trophies: the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield and the UEFA Cup 1983-84. In the 1990s, they won the FA Cup and the Football League Cup and in 2008, they beat Chelsea in the final of the Football League Cup. This victory means that Tottenham have won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United.

Spurs have planned a new stadium to be completed by 2012 and it is expected to be one of the best stadiums in the UK.

Watford

The Hornets, Watford Football Club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. They play in the Championship. The club was founded in 1881, and played at several grounds before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922, where they remain to this day. Since 1997, they have shared the stadium with Saracens Rugby Club. Watford have a long-standing rivalry with Luton Town.

The club is best known for two spells under the management of former England manager Graham Taylor. The first lasted from 1977 to 1987, when the club rose to the old First Division from the Fourth Division. Once in the highest division of English football, Watford finished second in the league in 1983, reached the FA Cup final in 1984 and competed in the UEFA Cup in the 1984-85 season.

The second period spanned from 1997 to 2001, when Taylor took the club from the renamed Second Division to the Premier League in successive seasons. Taylor is currently a non-executive director of the club, and honorary life president alongside Sir Elton John who owned the club during both of these eras and has continued a long association with the club.

West Ham United

The Hammers, West Ham United Football Club have play at Upton Park (Boleyn Ground), in East London since 1904 having been formed in 1895.

They featured in the first FA Cup Final to be held at Wembley in 1923 against Bolton Wanderers. The club have won the FA Cup three times: in 1964, 1975 and 1980. They have also been runners-up twice, in 1923 and 2006.

In 1965, they won the European Cup Winners Cup, and in 1999 they won the InterToto Cup.

Their players are considered an important factor behind England’s triumph in the 1966 World Cup, as England’s captain at the time was West Ham’s Bobby Moore, and both goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters were West Ham players.

West Ham currently compete in the Premier League, their highest finish in the Premier League was 5th in 1998-99.

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