Football Boots Buying Guide

With time, football boots are becoming an essential accessory for football players. These shoes come in thousands of styles, as there are many manufacturers out there. So, which shoes should you go for? Here are some pieces of advice from experts to make it easier for you.

Comfort

Do your feet hurt in your shoes? If you can’t walk comfortably in your shoes, how can you play with them on? In other words, comfort is the first thing that should be considered when buying a good pair.

Price level

You have to set a price limit. In the store, you may be tempted by the thought that you can go for that awesome pair if you spend just a few more bucks. But believe me, you shouldn’t cross the price barrier you set. Most of the time, good football boots come with a price tag of not more than $200. This can be a good price limit for you.

Size Matters

No matter how cheap it may be, don’t grab a pair that is too big for you. While the price may be tempting, don’t make this mistake. Playing in a pair that does not fit you is a sure fire way to lose a game.

Don’t Rely on Big Names

Big names don’t necessarily make the best shoes. Small or less popular manufacturers can also make quite good shoes. In other words, there is no harm in trying on shoes made by less popular brands. As long as they make shoes that meet your requirements, you can buy from them.

Shop Around

Shopping around may ensure you get the best pair at the best price. In the market, you should visit several stores to get quotes and check out different pairs. This is the only most reliable and conventional way of buying the shoes you want.

Avoid Marketing Ploys

Do you want the same brand of shoes that Cristiano Ronaldo put on? If you do, stop. Are you sure the same brand will be best for you too? There is a chance that the pair made by that manufacture won’t fit you. So, this is not the right way to buy a pair of boots, especially for playing football.

Buying Online

While online stores may be cheaper than physical stores, buying shoes from an online store doesn’t seem like a good idea unless the store is trustworthy. The size may be wrong or the appearance may be different from the pictures you saw on their website. Moreover, you can’t try on the shoes you saw on a website. How can you ensure that the boots will be comfortable? Therefore, it’s a good idea that you go to a local store and try on a few good pairs.

There you go! Hopefully, if you re-read these tips before heading for your local store to try on different pairs of shoes, you will not buy the wrong pair. Usually, when people buy from online stores without thinking about the important tips given in this article, they end up with wrong pairs.

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Some Pearls Shine in the Shallow Waters of Qatar’s Sea of Culture

Qatar is gaining ground in the Gulf Countries’ race to become the ultimate cultural destination.

Doha is not a usual cultural destination; the only reasons why people get to visit Doha are pretty much just business or layovers between flights to more exotic destinations, even though curiosity must be growing due to all the fuss around the apparently mysterious winning of the 2022 Soccer World Cup bid.

Together with all other Gulf Countries Doha is taking part in the race to attain cultural credibility. Abu Dhabi, for example, is gaining ground with its magnificent museum projects (including a Solomon Guggenheim and even a branch of the Louvre), but Doha is moving very fast and with a precise strategy.

In the quest for popularity, Doha decided to walk the different path of preserving and enriching its very own culture by fostering Arabic art, which means showing the world that Arabic culture and art is not a world apart, but that it has always been melded with both western and far eastern cultures.

With this objective in mind, this old pearl fishing village got itself two absolute pearls in the Museum of Islamic Art and the Mathaf, but even more are on the way.

Before diving in to the discovery of Arabic arts, you may want to stop first at the Islamic Cultural Center, to get a glimpse of what Islamic culture is about.

The Babel tower shaped building is home to a cultural center which aims to introduce people to Islamic culture. On walking in you will be approached by a friendly officer who will offer you tea and will give you some booklets (in your own language) about Islam and Arabic culture. You then enter the main downstairs room and take a look at the wide graphic on the walls displaying the interaction of Arabic world history with the rest of the world, and the interaction of Islam religion with other faiths. If you spend some minutes reading the short descriptions of Islamic customs and behavior you will be pretty well ready to enjoy the rest of your visit to Doha with a deeper awareness.

The Museum of Islamic Art alone is worth the visit to Doha. Designed by I. M. Pei, the legendary Louvre Pyramid architect, the building looks like a combination of superimposed geometric shapes, culminating in a parallelepiped that almost reminds you of a Qatari woman’s face, traditionally covered by the hijab but revealing her eyes, and protecting the city with her gaze.

When you will walk in, you will be attracted to the wide windows looking over the water with the West Bay skyline in the background. While sitting and having a coffee and enjoying the view, just look around you and discover, glimpse by glimpse, the many aspects of the gravity – challenging architecture.

The collections feature a selection of masterpieces from the 10th century to the present age, organized in a precise journey through the discovery of Islamic art, but the museum also hosts an average of two big exhibitions a year featuring western masters’ masterpieces.

The Mathaf (Arab Museum of Modern Art) is the real surprise. Created to exhibit to the public the extensive H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani’s (The Emir of Qatar) art collection, it opened its doors on the 30th December 2010.

Practical note: if you are new in town you’d better get clear directions to reach it, as the taxi drivers won’t be of any help and you’ll need to reach the edge of the city.

The museum is located in a white anonymous building; you will probably be the only visitor, and in the beginning you will think there is not much more than the theatrical «Animals’ arch» installations in front of the building.

However, when you wander around the many rooms, you will realize how huge and valuable H. E. the Emir’s collection is. So huge that it can’t be displayed all together at the same time, it must be organized in themed temporary exhibitions, providing extensive descriptions to enhance the visitors’ enjoyment of these works of art. You will discover that most modern Arab artists have trained themselves by looking at western art, and you will easily recognize here and there some Miro and Picasso influences, or an Impressionist’s flare. You won’t be surprised when reading the labels that most of the artists have died or are currently living in a western country.

Qatar’s ambition to become a cultural destination is not yet satisfied, and it will reach its climax with the New National Museum project, designed by no less than Jean Nouvel (Torre Agbar, Barcelona). The building will feature the petal-like shapes of the desert rose stone formations found under the desert sand, acknowledging the desert Bedouin cultures of Qatar. It’s meant to become the most iconic building in Doha, and the first thing tourists will spot when landing at the airport. But that is still in the future, we’ll talk about it in a few years time.

Footballer Profile – Robinho

Robson de Souza – known throughout the footballing world as Robinho – was perhaps the biggest surprise addition to Manchester City’s squad in their much publicised quest to enter British football’s elite. When the Brazilian signed from Real Madrid on the last day of the transfer window in the summer of 2008, it made everyone aware of the seriousness of the new club owners’ intentions. This was a genuine superstar coming to the City of Manchester Stadium.

Robinho has always been earmarked for great things – even the incomparable Pelé eulogised about him as a fifteen year old. Playing for the famous Santos club which the legendary Pelé had represented for so long, ‘Robi’, who had been born in Sao Paulo in 1984, quickly became their goalscoring talisman. The kidnapping from her home of his mother in the 2004/05 season, though, had a real impact on his life – even though she was released unharmed it then seemed inevitable that he would leave the country and join other prominent Brazilian players in Europe. At the end of the 2004/05 season, the player was named as the World Soccer Young Player of the Year.

The move came in July, 2005, when Robinho signed for Real, going on to score 10 goals in his first season. Although his undoubted skill was always evident at this time, it was also clear the player was having difficulties adapting to life, and the different style of football, at his new club. With Fabio Capello and, later, Bernd Schuster, Robinho was never really a regular starter for the Spanish team, even though he continued to be in the Brazil team.

The player’s time in Spain came to a distasteful conclusion. Madrid tried to include Robinho as a ‘makeweight’ in the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, against the player’s wishes. When the deal fell through and the Madrid hierarchy decided to offer him a new contract, Robinho refused it.

Despite looking as if he was about to sign for Chelsea, Robinho ended up at Eastlands and Manchester City, seemingly encouraged to join the club because they already had two other Brazilians on the books, Elano and Jo.

Since signing for Manchester City, Robinho has become very popular with the supporters – a popularity helped when he was seen with his wife going into the city on a bus! Many critics felt, during his first season, that his performances were very much better in games at Eastlands than in matches played away from home. Despite this, he scored 15 goals in 41games. This season, however, with the squad having been greatly boosted with the acquisition of more high class players, Robinho has been the victim of a bad ankle injury picked up playing for Brazil and so has missed most of the fixtures.

With Brazil, Robinho remains an important member of the team, scoring 19 goals so far in his 71 internationals, and he is almost certain to be integral in Brazil’s attempts to win the World Cup in South Africa in the summer.

For whom Robinho will be playing then is really anybody’s guess! Ever since his arrival, it seems he has been linked with moves away. Manchester City continually deny that he is on his way to Barcelona, Chelsea or any other number of clubs. City fans, certainly, will be hoping to see the skilful little striker linking up with Adebayor and Tevez to help the club realise their ambitions and qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Who Knows? If they do succeed, then perhaps Robinho might be there again next season.

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Lionel Messi – The Greatest Footballer Ever?

The footballing world watched on in utter amazement and delight yesterday as Messi’s Barcelona put 7 goals past a hapless Bayer Leverkusen side in a UEFA Champions League game at the Nou Camp. For the first time ever, we saw one person score 5 goals in a Champions league game and it so happened to be no other person than Lionel Messi.

Yes, the number of goals may be a new record which I think he can better in the years ahead, but it’s more the manner and the sheer class with which he scored the goals that made many a football enthusiast admire this rare talent that has emerged in this generation.

Of course, we all knew about his ability already but his display yesterday has put him in another League. The way in which he made the difficult act of scoring spectacular goals look so easy was just a joy to watch. One was a left foot lob, another a delightful right foot lob, then a careful control from an acute angel, a laser-guided placement with his left foot and then a drive through a number of opposing players. His unique sense of picking the right moments in games to do what he does best is simply quite extraordinary.

He has often been compared with the Legendary Pele and his fellow country man Diego Maradona as to who is the greatest player ever but I will dare to say that even these legends will secretly admit that it’s just a matter of time before this boy from the backside of Rosario, Argentina supersedes their achievements if he hasn’t already done so. Considering the fact that Messi is only 24 years of age and has at least 10 years of top flight football in him, the prospect of what he could achieve can be incredible.

It’s almost inconceivable that the world would never have seen what happened yesterday had it not been for the Barcelona scouts who intervened to save his career when he was being given up on. River Plate, one of the biggest clubs in the Argentine First Division who wanted to sign him from Newell Old Boys Club in Rosario, soon discovered that his inability to endure playing for 90 minutes was due to the absence of a growth hormone that hindered his normal physical development as a person. He looked so tiny for his age at the time that, they were not sure if he could develop physically to meet the demands of the modern game even though his talent was never in dispute. The money needed to put him on a special dieting programme was just too much they couldn’t afford it. They gave up on him but thankfully, he was spotted and taken to Barcelona’s La Masia’s training academy and the rest, they say, is history.

Talking about humble beginnings, his first contract was signed on a white handkerchief because his Dad was so frustrated with the directors of Barcelona at the time due to their indecision about his son’s future that, he gave Charles Rexach, the Director of football at the time a brief window of opportunity to make up his mind. Either they give him an answer there and then or forget about Messi forever once they fly back to Argentina. His exploits today has proven that it doesn’t matter where you begin in life but rather, it’s about you believing in your unique abilities and giftings given to you by God regardless of your size, age, race or gender.

As great as the current Barcelona team is at the moment, it is my firm conviction that if you pluck Messi out of this team, they would not have achieved as much as they have. He brings a certain quality to the team which puts them way above any other team at the moment. When games are tight, he is the only one that can come up with some special instinctive play capable of breaking down opposing teams whereby creating opportunities to score goals.

The flip side of the above argument is that, even the greatest players will find it very difficult to perform at their optimum when they are either surrounded by mediocre players or the team they find themselves in doesn’t play to their strengths. This may well be the reason why he is yet to hit the same dizzy heights with the Argentine National Team as he’s done time and time again with his Club side.

With all that he’s achieve so far, hearing him speak just makes you believe why he may go on to accomplish much more. He seems to exude this important virtue of humility which is vital not only to help get you to the top of your game but more importantly, to stay there. There isn’t any air of «superstardom» about him. His lifestyle is just simple, both on and off the pitch. I’m yet to hear any news about Messi involved in any «off the pitch» incidents that you so often associate with English Premiership players. He just seems to enjoy playing in huge stadia as much as he did when he played on the streets of Rosario.

So is he the greatest player ever? The legendary Pele seems to think he is the best by far in the world at the moment. Most football Managers, fellow professionals and the football community at large seem to think he is the best ever even though he’s yet to lead Argentina to Word Cup glory. I would not dispute that either. I think we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He is simply sublime.

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How to Manage National Team in Football Manager FM 2010

Football Manager is a series of football management simulation PC games developed by Sports Interactive (SIGames) and published by Sega. The latest version is Football Manager 2010 (FM 2010).

I have managed various national teams in Football Manager, you can manage one club and one national team concurrently in Football Manager. This is essentially 2 teams management. When I’m playing with Manchester United, I am offered to manage Brazil & England team. When I play in Spanish league as Xerez, I was offered manager position for Italy, Spain, and French. I usually don’t apply for this job. If you are winning many league cups as well as UEFA Champions League, you will be offered any of this national manager position instantly by the FA. The position usually will open after major cup such as World Cup or European Cup every 2-4 years. Most managers will get sack after poor performance in this major cup or the manager will resign by himself.

Managing national team is easy. I usually use generic tactic such as 4-4-2 most of the time or 4-1-2-1-2 variation for defence if needed. One thing to keep in mind is to keep winning when you are managing the national team.

Managing the Brazil team is a challenge, you will need to win almost all the time. Any consecutive draw will force the FA to boot you from the team. I was fired when I drew by playing with Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. If you can stay away from Brazil national team. The FA is just too unreasonable I think.

If possible, try to manage the national team which you have the league selected such as If you are managing English League team, try to manage England. Usually there is more young talent in your league that you play with the exception of Brazil.

I usually don’t select the national team player, I just ask a suggestion from my assistant manager to select the team. This option usually is available from time to time. If not, select the best team by using the game filter such as rating etc.

4-4-2 tactic

I mainly used a 4-4-2 formation with both center back/ defender arrow down, wingers has upward arrow, and 1 fast striker downward arrow. The center back usually have man marking and rarely close down position. One of midfielder is played as defensive midfielder with closing down. Other your back will be out of position whenever the other team counter attack your team. The passing is set to short or mix, wide formation and quick tempo. Offside and counter attack is on.

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FC Barcelona Facts – History of Spanish Giants

FC Barcelona, one of the world’s richest and most successful clubs, has a rich history and a culture that is synonymous with the Catalonian part of Spain. Founded in 1899 by a group of English, Swiss and Spanish footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has grown in stature with every passing day since its inception and managed to achieve the highest stature in club football by winning all the trophies that is possible by the side to win. Here are a few more interesting FC Barcelona facts for the readers’ digest.

Since its inception, the club has won many trophies in both domestic and big competitions. Barcelona has been a club with arguably the best forward line in modern football. Back in 1910 when the club was relatively new and was full of players unknown and no fan following, they used to play matches with local clubs. It was back in the same year when they participated in the first ever UEFA competition. This was followed by a collaboration with the Football Association of Spain. Barton along with a host of other clubs propounded the theory of inventing and creating a new league for the top tier of Spanish football where teams would participate and the ultimate winner would be the best club of Spain.

Barcelona along with Atletic Bilbao and arch rivals Real Madrid remain the only 3 teams till date to have never been relegated from the top tier of Spanish football. Barcelona always has a political history as the club considered to be the heart of Catalonia, which had been an area of disturbance in Spain as the region openly resisted the policies set by the Capital of Spain, Madrid. Catalonia has always been a part of Spain and it was during the late 2000 when the Spanish government allowed Catalonia to break away from Spain and create their own state. Barcelona, till date, has won a sextet and ten Champions League trophies which is in itself a big feat.

Barcelona saw real progress back in 1978 when Nunez was appointed as the president of the club. His main objective was to make Barcelona a world-class team and a brand throughout the world. He remained at the club for 22 years and had set stringent wage policies to make sure that no Ayer becomes bigger than the club itself. He let go of star players likes of Romario, Ronaldo and Maradona just because he would not meet the unrealistic demands set by them back then. The team became invincible under the leadership of Johan Cruyff as he built a dream team consisting of a core of Spanish and English players like Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman.

The Barcelona team became a dream team and Cruyff’s tactics was highly appreciated as he would bring the ideology of introducing total foot for the first team in the game. After the resignation of Nunez as president, the La Porter saw the club decline further. They won back their lost glory in 2008 when the club came back to the mainframe with the signing of Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho who decimated Real Madrid single-handedly. What followed after being the exponential meteoric rise of Lionel Messi through the amateur ranks at the club and it went on to win the Champions League along with La Liga and the Copa del Ray.

The club is ranked among the richest club in the world with a net property of nearly 2 billion pounds. Barcelona is a club to be feared and continues to hold the legendary status.

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An Overview Of Serie A Teams

Serie A, also called as Serie A TIM, refers to the top level professional league in the Italian football league system. Founded during 1929-30 season, Serie A is now on its way to complete 87 seasons. Lega Calcio was the organizer of the Serie A competitions until 2010 but Lega Serie A was introduced during the 2010/11 season. It is widely regarded as one of the most competitive football leagues in the world. In accordance with a report by IFFHS, Serie A is the strongest national league all over the globe. Serie A teams have been the highest number of European Cup finalists till date.

The Italian outfits have reached the Europa competition final 26 times, which is a record in the continent. They have wrapped up the title in 12 seasons. As per UEFA’s league coefficient, Serie A ranks fourth among the European leagues and come only next to La Liga, Bundesliga and English Premier League. The ranking is based on the Italian clubs’ performance in the Europa League as well as the Champions League over the last five years. The league was the topper on the UEFA ranking between 1986 and 1988 and also from 1990 to 1339. Let us now take a closer look at the best Serie A clubs.

Serie A Competition

Before 1929, many Italian clubs participated in the top-most level. Till 1922, the earlier rounds were played on a regional basis. Inter is the only club that has played in every Serie A season since its inception.

Best Teams in Serie A

The top-tier Italian league hosts Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan which are considered three of the most popular clubs in the world. All of them are the founding members of G-14 which hosted the most famous and largest football clubs of Europe. It was the only league which had three representatives in the G-14 group. More players have been awarded the prestigious Ballon d’Or during their Serie A spell than any other country league. However, 18 players each from both Serie A and La Liga have received the award FIFA Ballon d’Or so far.

Juventus is considered the most successful Serie A club. The club, nicknamed as the Bianconeri, the Old Lady etc, is the only entity in the world football to have won every continental competition in Europe as well as the world title. Inter Milan became the first Serie A team to have won a treble following their 2009/10 achievement. Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan along with Roma, Lazio, Napoli and Fiorentina form famous Seven Sisters of Italian Football. Juventus is the current defending champions of Serie A title. However, Inter Milan are, at present, the topper on the league table.

Serie A Footballers

Serie A have produced some of the best names in the world football. Diego Maradona, the prince of football, also played in Serie A at Napoli. Paolo Maldini, Michel Platini are among other stalwarts who took retirement from international football. Serie A teams are also big spenders and don’t mind forking out a fortune to capture the star players.

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