Affordable Birthday Gifts For Soccer Mad Boyfriend

His birthday is approaching and it seems impossible to buy him anything new and fresh. He doesn’t appreciate the clothes you bought him last year and you know he’ll finish off that expensive bottle of wine without even thinking about how much it cost.

This year focus on what he really likes. Every week he’s either at a football match or watching the TV for news and highlights of the weekends games. Maybe he even plays or coaches for a local club. This year, focus on something that really makes him happy, get him a soccer related gift. Never mind the high tech gadgets, costly gizmo’s and expensive trainers. Football is the answer to the perfect gift conundrum.

For a start, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so bake him a cake in the shape of a football or with his favourite teams crest on it. He’ll love that and it will be a great start to his party. If he’s a music lover you can buy CD’s with football songs on, many are team specific and are available from the teams’ online store.

If you are going to buy clothes there are some very tasteful garments with football club insignia on. There are very subtle polo shirts and T shirts that have small club logos on the chest, Alternatively you can go the whole hog and get him a replica shirt. He’ll love to wear this to the match and if he’s already got one you could buy him an away kit.

Perhaps clothing accessories would be a good idea. There are plenty of football scarves and gloves on sale which are great quality and look good. Then there are other football related gifts like player figurines, singing fan toys, board games, card games, posters, frames artwork, leather bags, mouse mats, flags, tea mugs, signed photos of players, garden gnomes, stationery, soft furnishings, glasses, DVD’s of great goals, watches, books, jewellery and party accessories. All of these are branded with the clubs colours and crests and are great gifts for a soccer mad boyfriend.

You can make buying a gift for your football mad boyfriend much easier and stress free by looking into the kind of gifts I’ve mentioned. There are plenty of great websites out there offering great deals on football related gifts.

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5 Things to Look For in Good Soccer Trainers – Choosing the Right Soccer Trainer

When looking for soccer lessons for your kid, group or team, make sure you know what kind of soccer trainer you're looking for. Those of you that do not know too much about soccer may fall prey to 'trainers' that do not know much (or do not care much) about making an impact on your kids' game. The following questions will give you an idea of ​​what to look for in soccer coaches / trainers:

1- Does s / he wear cleats?

As trivial as this may seem, it is an important question. Especially when working in individual training or small groups, soccer trainers should be involved in the drills rather than watching from the sidelines.

2- Is s / he licensed?

Having a license is not an absolute requirement to be a good soccer trainer. In fact, a terrible trainer may have a license, but the opposite does not occur that often. Seasoned, serious trainers will more than likely have a license. At the same time, one should not evaluate trainers by the number of licenses they have. At the end, it's not about the rank but the difference they can make in your players' game.

3- Does s / he come to practice with prepared lessons?

Beware of trainers that show up to practice and "wing it". A good soccer trainer will come to practice with a detailed plan of topic (s) of the day and drills of the day. As a parent, you can ask for it at the beginning of practice and see if the trainer did his / her homework.

4- What is his / her attitude like?

Your player (s) will learn more from an engaging, positive trainer rather than a distant one that is just going through the motions. Soccer is a game. The trainer, as well as the players, should be having fun with it. If you can tell the soccer trainer dreads being there, maybe it's time to move on.

5- Referrals, referrals, referrals …

Do ask for referrals before agreeing to anything. Testimonials on a website are OK, but you want to be able to speak with real parents / coaches who have worked somewhat recently with the soccer trainer.

I sure hope this helped! Let me know if you have any questions.

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Soccer Cleats Spikes – Metal Or Plastic

In football, stability is the most important element of great performance. There is always a need to ensure that the feet are firm underneath if at all you are to be able to throw, kick, catch or twist. This means that every player who values performance should invest in the best pair of soccer cleats. With a good pair, you can be sure of impressive traction in all kinds of fields and conditions. It is for this reason that there are specific soccer cleats designed for different grounds and making the right choice remains most paramount.

Apart from the way the spikes are arranged on the sole, it is also important to consider what they are made of. The two major choices you will find in the market when buying are plastic and metal spikes. You really cannot forget to take into consideration what kind of spikes your soccer cleats come with because they can have serious effects on your performance at the end of the day.

Metal spikes

Metallic spikes have for a long time featured on shoes designed for rugby, soccer, golf, baseball and football. They come in different shapes depending on the sport in question and they also come in varying patterns and lengths. Most are made from steel to offer durability and strength at the same time. Soccer cleats that have metal spikes will usually have them replaceable, so you can detach and replace when they bend or wear out without necessarily replacing your pair completely.

Even though they offer more durability and effectiveness, especially for turf sports, models featuring the metal spikes can be quite expensive. Because they dig deeper, they offer more stability compared to plastic spikes, but they can be loud and cumbersome when used on surfaces other than grass and dirt. They are suitable for adult players who are looking for a long time serving and excellent performance in competitive leagues.

Plastic spikes

These spikes are usually designed shorter in length to prevent breakage considering that plastic is prone to such especially with the pressures that come with the game. The shape of the spikes may vary from one sport to another and they are usually molded onto the soccer cleats soles. Because of their elastic nature, the plastic spikes easily bend when under pressure and may not be as durable as their metal counterparts. They are not replaceable and damages to them could mean replacing the entire pair. They are, however lightweight and quite comfortable even when walking on other surfaces. They are quiet and nondescript, but they are most suitable for younger players who may need to increase shoe size every once in a while.

When buying soccer cleats, it is important to check with your coach because most leagues ban metal spikes. This is because they tend to be more dangerous when it comes to injuries during play. If you are limited to plastic spikes, it would be nice to choose a plastic type that will not break as fast so you can still enjoy your pair for a long period of time.

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Sheer Heart Attack (1974)

For a generation of fans who grew up listening to ‘Radio Gaga’ and ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, it is easy to forget just how much of a hard rock band they were, particularly on their first three records. Drummer Roger Taylor, reflecting in 2014, claimed that they «were like Led Zeppelin with harmonies», as ‘Sheer Heart Attack» shows. In parts as energetic as The Who, in others musically dexterous as Cream, at other times as seductive as Kiss, ‘Sheer Heart Attack» is a fantastic visage of seventies glam metal.

Much of this visage is down to Brian May’s stellar playing, whether it is the choppy chords on ‘Stone Cold Crazy’, the psychedelic riff heard in ‘Flick Of The Wrist’ or, best of all, the long, blistering solos of album opener ‘Brighton Rock’, May’s playing would never sound as good as this again on a future Queen record. This is made all the more remarkable when you consider how many recording sessions May missed, his absence the fault of a bad case of hepatitis, an illness he contracted while touring North America with Mott The Hoople in 1974, a band he paid tribute to on ‘Now I’m Here’.

In his absence, the other three soldiered on as much as they could with producer Roy Thomas Baker in Trident Studios, Freddie Mercury providing many of the songs which made the album’s final cut. A chameleon writer, Mercury threw himself from genre to genre with gusto, from esoteric pop ‘Killer Queen’ to skiffle influenced ‘Bring back that Leroy Brown’ to anthem closer ‘In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited’ (so-called, due to the similar title of another track). Best of all, Mercury wrote the plaintive ‘Lily Of The Valley’ a sombre ballad, its mood only equalled by May’s succulent ‘She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilletoes)’ and funereal ‘Dear Friends’, three light respites from the riff driven energy of the other songs.

Drummer Roger Taylor also contributed ‘Tenement Funster’, a fifties rock ode sung by Taylor giving his best Rod Stewart impersonation. A classic tune of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, it proved to be Taylor’s first truly great song. Taylor also wrote the record’s title track, although fans would have to wait a further three albums before they heard the song, due to its incompleteness in 1974.

Bassist John Deacon, having abstained from previous records, finally recorded one of his own compositions. True, ‘Misfire’ is not en par with the songs of May, Mercury and Taylor, but it proved to have enough musical potential to show that Deacon was far from the band’s Ringo Starr; by their next record, ‘A Night At The Opera’ (1975), Deacon proved himself very much a song-writing equal to the other three.

But as a musician, Deacon truly excels on the record. If May’s guitar playing was the album’s best attribute, Deacon’s thrills were an added incentive. From the jazz frills on ‘In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited’ to the aggressive power playing on ‘Flick Of the Wrist’, Deacon was a very versatile player, a fit match to Taylor’s sparse playing, together a rhythm section capable of equalling Bruce/Baker, Jones/Bonham or Redding/Mitchell.

Queen would record albums of better songs and more cohesion. But there is something special about ‘Sheer Heart Attack’. Dense and exciting, varied and accessible, the band never sounded as good a unit as they did on this record ever again.

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

England FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa

After some of the most disappointing performances in the last few years, England sure will have a point to prove in South Africa. Here’s a closer look that the country’s profile and their chances at FIFA 2010.

England’s national football team is controlled by the Football Association, Wembley in London being their home ground. England is currently ranked 8th in the latest FIFA rankings ahead of the World Cup

Speaking of the past record, England is one of the only seven nations who have lifted the FIFA World Cup trophy. After defeating West Germany 4-2 in the extra time at the finals, England won its first FIFA World Cup in 1966 at their home soil. However, the performance has been average after that, the best being reaching the semifinals in 1990 where they lost to West Germany.

At the FIFA world Cup 2010, England has been placed in the Group C alongside USA, Algeria and Slovenia. They kick start their tournament at Rutsenburg against USA on June 12th after which they play Algeria and Slovenia on 18th and 23rd June respectively.

Having missed out on a place at the UEFA EURO 2008, England bounced back strongly to book its berth at the FIFA 2010 with as many as 9 wins out of their ten group matches. Their only defeat came against Ukraine but till then, their place was sealed.

Dubbed English football’s ‘golden generation’, this could well be the last chance for many of the most successful players the game has ever seen. With an able coach in Fabio Capello, Wayne Rooney and co. would sure be looking to silence its critics. The team has many star players in its ranks. Leading from the front would be their skipper and Manchester United’s star forward Rooney. With other legendary players like the midfield duo Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch, England sure is a team not to be undermined.

A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player – Steven Gerrard

His full name is Steven George Gerrard. He is also called as Stevie G. He was born in Whiston, Merseyside on 30 May 1980. He is a professional soccer player who currently plays for his national team of England and captains for English Premier League club Liverpool. His playing position in the field is as a centre midfielder. But, since in 2007 after the appearance of Torres at Liverpool, Gerrad has been played primarily as a second striker for his club squad, and played as a winger for his national team since 2006.

Gerrard is the current vice-captain of the England national soccer side. Nevertheless, he became a captain for his national at the 2010 World Cup in the nonattendance of Rio Ferdinand who missed the event because of injury.

Gerrard spent his whole career at Anfield. In 1998, he made his first appearance in a competition against Blackburn Rovers. Gerrard made his 100th appearance in European club tournament for Liverpool on 10 March 2009 in opposition to Real Madrid and made two goals in a 4-0 win.

In international level, he made his first appearance in 2000 in opposition to Ukraine. In September 2001, he made his first international goal in the well-known 5-1 victory over Germany in a 2002 World Cup qualifier. Gerrard took part in his first World Cup in 2006, and he was England’s top scorer in the competition.

He has many honors for a professional soccer player. With Liverpool club, he won FA Cup (2000-2001, 2005-2006), League Cup (2000-2001, 2002-2003), FA Community Shield (2001, 2006), UEFA Champions League (2004-2005), UEFA Cup (2000-2001), UEFA Super Cup (2001-2002, 2005-2006).

As an individual player, he won FWA Footballer of the Year (2008-2009), PFA Players’ Player of the Year (2005-2006, PFA Young Player of the Year (2000-2001), PFA Fans’ Player of the Year (2000-2001, 2008-2009), PFA Team of the Year (2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009), FA Premier League Player of the Month (March 2001, March 2003, December 2004, April 2006, March 2009), UEFA Club Footballer of the Year (2004-2005), UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match (2004-2005), UEFA Team of the Year (2005, 2006, 2007), FIFA/FIFPro World XI (2007, 2008, 2009), FA Cup Final Man of the Match (2005-2006), Goal of the Season (2005-2006), and England Player of the Year (2007). Gerrard has been proposed on many occasions for the FIFA World Player of the Year Award and the Ballon d’Or.

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