PES 2013 – The Only Video Game For Footy Fans

PES 2013 by Konami launches on PS3, XBOX 360, Wii and PC this autumn and will give FIFA 12 a run for its money this year if the online rumblings are to be believed. The PES franchise has been around for 16 years and progressed through many iterations both in title and game play style, so what makes Pro Evolution Soccer so popular?

If you live in North America, the chances are that unless you are a die-hard ‘soccer’ fan, this event will simply pass you by, but if you live in the rest of the world, most specifically in Europe, then as every PES fan knows, the football season starts in August, but you only get to play out your own footy fantasies come October, when the latest and greatest version of PES hits the video game shop shelves.

It all started way back in video game time, actually 1996, when Goal Storm was released on the PlayStation. Since then, PES has moved through several naming conventions and the latest update will be called PES 2013. It will go head to head like it has for the past 16 years with Electronic Arts (EA) and their masterpiece – FIFA (12). There are really only these two games vying for gamers’ hard cash every year and if anything that makes the competition even more fierce.

You see the two games have battled it out year on year and this year PES stands a chance of getting back to the top of the pile. It has been languishing behind for the past 5 or 6 years, due in part to complacency, but also the resurgence and downright brilliance of FIFA.

The facts of the case are this your honour;

FIFA (which stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association) as the name might suggest, is an officially endorsed football game, this means that the game comes replete with all the real player names, team names, football kits, competition names and stadia. PES has never had these rights and has had to rely on an editing mode and the ingenuity of the gamers who buy the game to recreate all of the aforementioned details, liveries and stadia. This has fostered a powerful online community purely along editing interests, but when coupled with the obvious game play advantages of PES you begin to see why the popularity of the game is still so high.

So what are these game play advantages?

Well, the trade off in the licensing situation has always been overcome by the sheer beauty of playing PES – it is a game for footy fans. The actual game play has always more closely mirrored the real game, whereas FIFA has traditionally suffered in this area. Playing PES in the first few years was always pure fun, games were high scoring, but varied, FIFA always felt staged and the ball never seemed to behave like a real football, feeling much too floaty. By comparison, PES footballs have always had a weight to them and challenges between players have felt meaty.

An analogy between the two games is to think of FIFA as being a Premier League or Champions League setup, it looks polished and has endorsements coming out of its ears, but it isn’t really true football, it’s a pre-packaged version of the game designed to ensnare glory hunting footy fans, the ones who shout about how great their team is despite knowing nothing about their own teams history.

Pro Evo on the other hand is jumpers for goalposts, dirty knees and eating soggy cornish pasties on a cold, wet Tuesday night away to Barnsley! The analogy might be lost on many and that to some degree proves a point, football isn’t always shiny, multiple step-overs and pink Nike boots, it’s about the teams outside the Premier League who still have fans that turn up for every home and away game, despite not having seen their side win anything for years. That is real football and that is what Konami have tried to encapsulate, despite being based in Japan.

To a large degree they have succeeded, but the line has been blurred between the two games in recent years. FIFA has now moved very close to matching the whole ethos of PES, some say their game play is actually better, I still disagree with that statement, but certainly with the online patches available now to PES gamers, they can sidestep the licensing issue and create photo-realistic players, teams and kits – which means the two games are very much on a collision course to meet in the middle.

Konami have cheered up their fans in previous years by securing licence rights to the England National team, two Premier League teams and various other leagues and players around Europe and the world. This has undoubtedly helped, but give me a fake named Man Red (Manchester united) and quality game play any day over the FIFA version of football. At the end of the day I buy football computer games because I like to play games that recreate the beautiful game, FIFA now does it well, but PES does it better and I’m just hoping that the next instalment of PES 2013 will again give me that option to take the mighty Derby County to European Glory!

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Football Cleats – Speed Demons

Some football cleats are designed for speed! You may argue that you can’t go wrong with a pair of good sturdy football cleats for in any sort of action on a football pitch, but there is so much research in materials while making shoes that it is becoming quite popular to recommend certain types and brands of shoes for certain roles in the field and speed is one requirement for quite a few player positions on a football field.

What are the some of the characteristics of football cleats designed for speed?

· They are low-cut cleats. They do not offer ankle protection, but facilitate better cutting, movement and speed. The mid cut cleats offer some amount of ankle protection, but also allow for speed running and are used by running backs, quarterbacks, etc. It is up to the player which one he feels comfortable in.

· They are lighter. Uppers are in a single layer, and the shoe is built to help players accelerate. The triangular studs at the front of the shoe give more traction while accelerating. Minimum materials are used to maintain the lightness.

· There are filaments which are placed strategically across the topside of the foot, like a suspension bridge, which offer greater support to the foot. Such features are patented technologies of manufacturers. It gives a tight fit, but flexible because it takes on the natural shape of the foot.

· The material for uppers is also an advanced polyester yarn whose weave allows a single, seamless upper that gives greater tenacity. Combined with an injected outsole, this offers speed with lightweight comfort.

· There are insert foams which are shaped exactly like a wearer’s foot, giving a more comfortable fit. This is also a proprietary feature, like the molded tongues which add to the comfort fit in the said models.

Which positions should wear these sorts of cleats and why?

· Quarterbacks moving out of their traditional roles of making accurate passes are having to play the ball more. They need speed and agility, so these cleats are good for them.

· Running Back – where you must get out onto the field and outrun your opponent. They come in handy here as well

· Defensive Back – needs speed and traction

· Tight ends are players who can switch their roles between wide receiver and offensive lineman. Instant speed is required when the catch a pass.

What should a player do before a big game in preparation for it?

· Get a good eight hours of sleep the night before the game.

· Do not have a heavy meal at least a couple of hours before the game

· Mentally get into the week’s game a few days before, stay positive and talk to the coaching staff about strategies along with your teammates.

· On the day of the game, reach at least three hours before. Many players recommend reading the game-day program in detail to calm the mind! Get taped up per your needs with your favorite staff member, after any pregame massages or treatment you may need. Acupuncture works wonders at this last minute of preparation, for nagging pains and aches.

· Jogging round the field and making small cuts to test the cleats for traction and whether they are suited to the surface of the ground and soil conditions is a ritual most footballers can’t do without.

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Soccer Training in the Heat – 5 Tips to Prevent Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

In a hot climate, regardless if you are in this environment all year round or if it is hot in your spring and summer, you still must be able to train at a the highest intensity possible. It is for that reason you need to be aware of your soccer player's physical health.

The most important thing is to keep your players hydrated on a consistent basis. First let us take a look at the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion is the early stage of heat illness and is the most common form you see with soccer training. This occurs after long periods of training in a hot environment.
Heat exhaustion is an early indication that the body's temperature regulating system is becoming overwhelmed. If not addressed immediately it may lead to heat stroke and death.

Soccer players lose fluid through sweating which decrease blood volume. Blood flows to the skin away from the vital organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
Normal or below body temperature
Cool moist pale skin
Headache
Nausea
Dizziness
Weakness
Exhaustion

Heat stroke is the least common and most severe heat related illness. This occurs if you ignore the signs of heat exhaustion. Heat stroke develops when the body's cooling mechanism cannot function due to lack of treatment. Sweating stops and the body cannot cool itself and body temperature rises at a quick rate. Unfortunately if there is no treatment vital organs like the heart, kidney and brain begin to fail. If there is no medical treatment death is imminent!

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Stroke
High body temperature
Red hot dry skin
Progressive loss of consciousness
Rapid, weak pulse,
Rapid, shallow breathing

Here are five things you can do to prevent heat illnesses.

1) Find an area with shade either under tress or a tent. Just getting a player out of the direct heat can help them lower their body temperature.
2) Take a water break every fifteen to twenty minute from soccer training
3) Encourage pre-hydration. Make sure your players have plenty of fluid before soccer training.
4) Immediately after training make sure your soccer players have at least 250ml to 500ml of fluid. At this sports drink is good to have for electrolyte balance.
5) Players should avoid eating anything heavy before they train. The less the stomach contains the less stress on the body during training.

Keep this in mind with younger players. They do not have fully developed sweat glands. Youth Soccer players, until they reach puberty, cool down through urination. Many coaches and parents are unaware of this so keep this mind If you are working with younger soccer players.

Finally, training soccer players until exhaustion in the heat will lead to preventable injuries. Sometimes less is better than more.

Enjoy your training in the heat.

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2010 FIFA World Cup – South Africa, to Be Or Not to Be?

I love football. Football is life. Football is the beautiful game. I am getting rushes of adrenalin to the head already just thinking about the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

In 2010 the entire pumped-up and emotive football world will descend in a riotous show of bliss upon majestic South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Will South Africa be ready for them?

In 2006 FIFA chief Sepp Blatter made it very clear that there was to be no doubt about the 2010 FIFA World Cup being held in South Africa: «Plan A… Plan B… Plan C is that the 2010 World Cup will be staged in South Africa». The only contingency plan that would see South Africa not host the cup would be due to a natural catastrophe. In the same year, on behalf of Blatter in an address to the South African Parliment FIFA communications director Markus Seigler reinforced the notion that South Africa is doing just fine: «You are absolutely on schedule, you’re absolutely on track. You’re even more advanced than the Germans were four years ago…Any doubts are completely unfair. This country – and I know this country – is absolutely capable.» Seigler capped it off with acknowledging that the previous host, Germany, had also faced adversity and added: «At least South Africa’s economy is growing – Germany’s is not.»

In 2008 the rumour mill has not stopped churning out doubts about whether South Africa will host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Word on the street is that the 2010 World Cup preparations have been plagued by a host of problems that could compromise vital deadlines. Stadium construction delays, striking workers, security fears, transport problems and the possibility of power outages are running rampant.

Port Elizabeth stadium is one of the main venues in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is yet to be completed. Next year’s Confederations Cup, a precursor to the competition for the World Cup, was slated to take place in the stadium but has since been pulled out of the Cup.

In an interview in Die Welt newspaper published on Monday July 14th, 2008 Franz Beckenbauer confirmed the event would be held in South Africa: «We in the FIFA executive are doing everything to have the World Cup take place in South Africa, even if we have to shut an eye every now and then. But I am sure that the World Cup in South Africa will take place.»

However, Beckenbauer was out of the loop when it came to any knowledge about FIFA chief Sepp Blatter’s actively searching for countries that would be ale to host the championship in the case of a natural catastrophe. In an interview with Sky News Beckenbauer explained: «Honestly, it was a surprise for me. I myself sit in FIFA’s executive and even I don’t know who are Blatter’s candidates.»

Whether the public is getting a load of double-speak about the whole affair is debatable. But on the bright side, it has been announced that vuvuzelas will not be banned.

Vuvuzelas, sometimes referred to as ‘lepatatas’ are air horns approximately one metre in length made from plastic and commonly seen at football matches all over the world. The name is said to originate from the Zulu for «making noise» although this is hotly disputed. Others say the name originates from the fact it makes a «vuvu» sound when blown, or even comes from the township slang related to the word for «shower».

Kaizer Chiefs supporters’ spokesperson Saddam Maake who is credited with popularising the instrument was overjoyed to hear that the vuvuzela ban had been lifted: «When we got the message that vuvuzelas were going to be banned, we were disappointed. We knew it had become part of our culture and offered free entertainment during matches. I felt over the moon when I heard about the lifting of the ban.»

Critics of the instrument feel that the noise detracts from the game, but Maake explains that people need to be educated about how to use the vuvuzelas correctly: «They have to know that you cannot blow it during moments of silence and when they blow it during the game they should do it to make rhythmic music.»

The first FIFA World Cup was held in 1930 and has gained strength from year to year for every four years, halted only twice in1942 and 1946 by World War II.

In the eighteen FIFA tournaments that have been held seven nations have won the title. Brazil has the most World Cups team, having won the tournament five times. The current World Champions, Italy, follow with four titles, while Germany holds three. The other former champions are Uruguay (winners of the inaugural tournament) and Argentina with two titles each. England and France hold one title each.

The most recent World Cup Finals were held in Germany, where Italy was crowned the champion after beating France in the final.

We’re already half way there. Those two long years are going to creep up on us and we will be looking for cheap ticket deals and packages to South Africa sooner than we think with our hearts pumping like they were shocked by 10,000 volts in anticipation of the spectacular event that the 2010 FIFA World Cup is going to be. Bring on the joy.

Liverpool FC – The History Of The Badge And The Meaning Of The Crest

Liverpool Football Club are one of the most successful teams in English and European football history, and the club not only has massive support in England but also around the world, the club probably has many millions of fans. Liverpool were founded in 1892 and have won 18 League titles, seven FA Cups and famously, they are five times winners of the European Cup and Champions League, combined.

The club badge or crest, is the epitome of this famous club, and the badge on their shirt is often kissed by the players when celebrating a goal or a victory, as a sign of loyalty and love for the club. The badge has changed considerably since the formation of the club well over a hundred years ago, but today’s crest has much significance about the history and tradition of this famous football club.

The club badge is predominantly based on the city’s famous Liver Bird, which has represented the city for many centuries. The mythical bird, which many believe to have been derived from a cormorant, can be seen on the top of the clock towers on the Royal Liver Building, where two famous Liver birds sculptures dominate the building and overlook the River Mersey, and they date back to 1911. Many modern myths have evolved regarding the origin of the Liver bird, but it is widely accepted that they watch over and protect the people of Liverpool and myth dictates that should they ever leave, the river Mersey would burst its banks and flood the city.

The Liver bird dominates the centre of the Liverpool badge, which is placed inside a shield. The image of the Liver bird on the badge has a short head and curved beak, which is more usually associated with a bird of prey rather than a cormorant, but it retains the sprig of laver, a type of seaweed, in its mouth.

In 2008, Liverpool FC attempted to claim copyright for the Liver bird image, but they failed in their attempt as it was deemed that the Liver bird belonged to all the people of Liverpool and not one company or organisation. The Liver bird image is also used by several other organisations.

Above the shield is a representation of the famous Shankly Gates, which were erected outside the Anfield Stadium in 1982, as a tribute to Liverpool’s former and most famous manager Bill Shankly, who had led Liverpool from Second Division mediocrity, to win three League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup. Bill Shankly is regarded by most fans as the greatest Liverpool manager, by the way he transformed the club.

Across the top of the Shankly Gates, and portrayed in the badge, are the words You’ll Never Walk Alone, which is the title of the song by Gerry and the Pacemakers that has been adopted by Liverpool fans as the club’s anthem, this again stems during Shankly’s time as manager, and is still sung reverently by Liverpool fans today.

The twin flames either side of the shield are symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when the fans were crushed due to overcrowding during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest, 766 fans were also injured in the disaster.

The date of the formation of the club is clearly displayed below the shield, and while the club crest has changed a number of times over the years, it symbolises some of the most important events in the history of the club, the badge is worn with honour and pride by both players and fans alike.

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Cric buzz is now accessible through mobile phones. You can obtain the quickest cricket score updates as well as ball-by-ball commentary online at your fingertips, where ever you are. The amazingly fast pace of the commentary ascertains you are informed about the events in real-time. Capabilities include Live Scores, Score cards of just completed matches, Ball-by-Ball Commentary, Series Standings, International Cricket Schedule and Photo Gallery.

Aside from cricket scores, Cricbuzz has several other information on cricket. It has a news category where you can browse through the most recent news surrounding cricket and updates on the action inside and outside the ground. Cricbuzz features all the details including matches, terms, dates and up and coming matches. You may also try Cricbuzz chat, which is a one-of-a-kind option provided by the site for global fans to interact on a common platform. Even more, you can play an awesome online cricket games using the Fantasy Cricket category.

You'll be able to find all these information for all ODIs, Tests, Twenty20 Internationals and well-known competitions such as the Cricket World Cup, Indian Premier League IPL and Champions League. To say the least, Cric buzz is the ultimate place for anyone passionate about cricket.

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