Strip Soccer Game – My Favorite Soccer Flash Game

Strip soccer game is an online simple classic puzzle game. Flash games have enormously grown its popularity as an online content in many websites today. Many of these flash games are offered free to play by websites in order to attract web surfers to visit their sites. There are also some sites which offer its visitors to download these games for free.

The strip soccer game is among these games which can be played in the internet. This is a flash game similar to the game of Tetris. The game consists of a portion which shows pictures of showing sexy beautiful girls stripped of their clothes. Some of the girls wear bikinis but some don’t have any clothes at all. The objective here is to make as many points possible in order to see more pictures of these beautiful girls. The player can gather points by forming at least three either vertical or horizontal soccer balls with the same colors. As you increase your points the more pictures will appear.

The game comes with simple graphical interface and can be played just by using the mouse. This game is so simple and fun to play. Though this is a puzzle game, this game should only be played by adults only. It is not recommended to be played by young children because of the obscene photos included in the game.

So if you feel bored and want to have some fun or just to past the time, then this game is the one you need and play soccer in a different way.

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The Tea Ceremony Around the Globe

2737BC. The passage of time from 2737BC to 2014 is almost incomprehensible to me. The change, the modernisation, the evolution. What is the significance of this date?

This is the year tea was discovered.

Yes, in 2737BC, in China, the Chinese emperor stumbled across a mysterious potion after leaves from the camellia sinensis plant accidentally fell into the water his servant was boiling for him to drink. As a herbalist, he embraced the opportunity to try a new concoction, sipped the delicate liqueur and immediately fell in love; a love that has been shared by billions of people since.

But it is mind blowing to think that tea has been consumed by people for over 4000 years. And perhaps even stranger to think that in Britain, we have only been drinking tea (our saviour, our comfort, our ‘pack-your-kettle-last-so-it’s-the-first-thing-out-the-lorry’) for a short 400 years.

Even so, this is an incredible amount of time to develop the traditions and conventions associated with drinking it, and the tea drinking ritual is one steeped in cultural customs.

It is perhaps a generalisation, but when we think of tea drinking rituals, it is the Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies that immediately spring to mind: formality, silence, connections to nature, tea as a gift, a way of offering thanks or apologies to a relative.

Rule-governed and purposeful tea drinking? The officialism appears alien to us.

On reflection though, perhaps there is ritualism in our own tea consumption. Doesn’t tea follow meal times, help calm our nerves, welcome us home after work, or welcome friends over (imagine not offering a friend a brew after knocking on your door. Ultimate social faux pas), lift our spirits and console us? Although we do not wear robes or kneel down, tea does have significance: comfort, safety, friendship. If this isn’t our tradition, then I don’t know what is.

Tea is not just enjoyed in the countries mentioned above. Tea has successfully bewitched people in every continent across the globe, which has led to it being branded as the second most widely consumed beverage on the planet after water. Tea’s ability to permeate cultures has arguably enabled it to survive these 4000 years, each bringing their own traditions and quirks in which to celebrate this distinctive liquid.

And this is what we will here explore; how tea drinking traditions differ in some of the top tea drinking regions of the world.

China

As mentioned above, in China the consumption of tea is ceremonial. Not only do the Chinese people celebrate tea, but they use tea to formally celebrate or consolidate occasions, such as serving tea at family gatherings, as a symbol of formal apology and as a way of politely addressing and thanking parents for the giving and receiving of partners at weddings.

It is the tastes and aromas of the tea which are at the heart of the ritual. Each utensil is carefully washed or cleansed using the first infusion of the green tea leaves to ensure that the second infusion’s taste is not coloured by any foreign bodies, like dust particles, so the tea is pure.

Importantly as well is the way the tea is poured; slowly, in one motion, across all cups (which are small clay pots) and only half full. The other half of the cup is said to be filled with friendship and affection; therefore binding host and guest in their tea drinking experience.

Japan

In Japan, the tea ceremony centres around the making of Japanese Matcha tea; a green tea ground to a fine powder which is world renowned for its excellent healing powers, high concentration of antioxidants and rather bitter taste.

The ceremony is named Chanoyu and focuses on the aesthetics of tea making rather than the taste or smells, making the experience more of a choreographed performance than a quenching of thirst.

The ceremony’s composition dates back to the twelfth century and involves the host’s serving of the tea, as well as the presentation of the utensils and ceramics used to prepare it, the arrangement of flowers in the space and calligraphy. These items can all be modified by the host to best fit the occasion for which the tea is served. It is also the host’s task to have considered their guests’ view of the tea at every angle in the space, to ensure that their experience will be one of purity, serenity and tranquility: a weighty responsibility.

The thoughtful consideration that is required for a successful ceremony often ensures that the bonds of friendship between the hosts and their guests are strengthened after the experience is concluded.

India.

In India, tea is served on the streets by Chai Wallahs, or ‘tea makers’, who blend their spicy chai tea on their stalls at train stations, bus stations and on every street corner.

Authentic chai is milky, sweet and spicy, made from thick buffalo milk, Assam tea, cardamom pods, ginger, cinnamon and often what seems like a ton of sugar. The ingredients can vary, but the ritual of serving generally stays the same: the Chai Wallah brews up all of the ingredients in a large metal pot over open coals which are placed on the stone ground. Once simmering, he pours the liquid through a sieve into a teakettle, then pours the chai into small terracotta pots from a great height. The drinking cups are only used once; consumers throwing them to the ground once they have finished, smashing them to pieces, to allow the clay to get trampled back into the ground.

Chai’s popularity in the UK has steadily grown in the past year (it’s one if our best sellers!) and it’s easy to see why. Chai tea is delicious; warming, spicy, soothing, it’s like Christmas in a cup and yet I drink it all year round! OK, we like to have it our way- we tend to brew Chai with hot water rather than in hot milk and individual consumers choose whether to sweeten delicately with honey- but the resulting comfort is the same.

Equally, much of India’s tea is renowned for its medicinal properties, mainly because of the strong ties to Hinduism and Ayurvedic tradition: a system that inspires us to live by alternative medicine, ultimately governed through a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Tea blends are therefore steeped in a philosophy that inspires the ‘art of living wisely’.

Russia

Rather like the UK, Russia was introduced to tea in the mid-1600s, but whereas we strove to steal the idea from China, the Russian Tsar was given tea as a gift from the Chinese ambassador to Moscow. Of course, he loved it (who doesn’t), and quickly a line of trade was organised between the two countries.

Tea in Russia is not just about the liquid itself but about the heat that brewing the tea gives rise to, and the warmth felt through consumption (Russia can get a little chilly at times). Russia’s tea ceremony is therefore centred around the use of a samovar; a large metal tea urn with decorative handles and a spout.

Typically, the samovar has more than one layer to it. Simple samovars have a bottom layer housing the hot water, which is actually heated by filling the small soldered pipe that runs through the centre of the urn with hot coals. Above this sits a small metal teapot, often of the same metal material, and a concentrated form of brewed tea, zavarka, is made here before being diluted by the hot water from the urn.

Russian Caravan tea (so named as a result of the camel trains that first brought tea to Russia) must be mentioned here. It is the perfect blend to brew in a samovar as the teas used have strong, dark flavours: Chinese Keemun and Formosa Oolong tea, sometimes with hints of Indian black teas like Assam to add a maltiness to the blend.

Morocco

Inshas Allah, ‘with god willing, all good things come with time.’ This is the proverb by which Moroccan people brew their tea and signifies the respect they show to the timely process of making the perfect cup.

Morocco is famous for its Moroccan Mint tea; a blend of Chinese green tea, fresh mint leaves and a lot of sugar (often five times the amount of sugar to the amount of tea!)

The tea making ritual is one of leisure in Morocco and if invited to assist in making the tea, you are honoured. Incense is lit and those who are taking part in the serving wash their hands in orange blossom water before they begin.

Firstly, loose green tea leaves are placed in a round bellied teapot with a conical top and long curved spout, and hot water added. Much like in China, the first infusion (left to brew for just one minute, before being poured into a tall glass) is used as a cleanser, this time for the leaves rather than the flasks, to rid any impurities the leaves may have picked up through travel. After this, the loose tea is brewed before adding the sugar and mint.

The spout is one of importance to the teapot. Curvature to the spout allows for the server to pour the tea from a height of around half a metre into the small glasses below, to create a frothy foam on the tea’s surface.

Tea is served often in Morocco: after each mealtime, when entering some shops, to welcome guests in the home and even to mark business deals.

Iran

Tea is also the national beverage in Iran, with tea drinkers enjoying mainly green tea and black tea to quench their thirst or as a comfort, respectively. No occasion can take place without tea being served and, in many regions of Iran, light coloured tea is a marker of disrespect from the host to the receiver. Principally, Iranians like it strong.

Perhaps it is the liking for a keen strength to tea that has led the people of Iran to discount the water as a part of the tea. Through the use of a samovar, Iranians heat the water and simply use and see it as a way of extracting the aromas and flavours thickly from the leaves.

Typically, tea is drunk from glassware and this is held by the rim of the glass between the thumb and forefinger with the pinkie used to balance. Often, held in the other hand, is a large pipe connected to a hookah, or qalyoon as it’s locally known; a tall, ornate smoking device that uses hot flavoured tobacco and water. In the absence of alcohol, tea houses, where tea and the qalyoon are served hand-in-hand, act as a social hub where young Iranian people can relax and socialise, much like us westerners would do in our local pub.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is another of the world’s biggest tea-drinking countries, with its tradition once again being rooted in the giving and receiving of tea as an act of welcoming and politeness. Guests are offered tea on arrival into a host’s home and it is considered impolite to refuse the beverage.

Kazakhs are known, much like the Russians and Turks, to use samovars to brew and serve the tea; however, differently to the Russians, the server only fills the kasirs (which are small, wide-mouthed saucers), to around half full. This ensures that the tea is always served hot: no one likes a cold cuppa (unless it’s iced, of course).

The guests to the ceremony are then required to pass their empty kasirs back to the female host as a way if thanking her and showing her respect for that which they have received. She then ‘re-half-fills’ the cups and passes them to her guests once more; a process which continues, creating a graceful, rhythmic and visual ceremony, beauteous to behold.

Britain

In Britain, (one might have known!) our tea traditions involve food. These customs were developed in the early 19th century, first by the upper classes who championed Afternoon Tea as a way of bridging the gap between lunch, at 12 o clock, and dinner at 8 o clock. Tea was served at around 4 o clock in the afternoon along with small sandwiches, scones and cakes. Heaven.

High Tea is different, although sometimes (incorrectly) the terms are used interchangeably.

In industrial Britain, workers home from the factories and mines would require immediate sustenance after a day of physical hard labour, and so a substantial meal would be served to them accompanied by a cup of strong, sweet tea at around 5 o clock. This became known as ‘tea’ (which us northerners still to this day sometimes use), and the ‘high’ aspect is a reference to high backed chairs and higher table the lower classes would sit at to enjoy their tea (whereas the upper classes would be seated in low lounge chairs and have their tea served on smaller, occasional tables.)

Taking time to enjoy tea has always been important in this country regardless of class, right up until the invention of the teabag. When the teabag was born, a dip in quality occurred. Beautiful unfurling leaves slowly releasing layers of flavour no longer existed: a throwaway pouch of powdery black dust, bitter to taste and quick-to-brew lay in its place. We are committed to changing that. Lovers of loose leaf, we are promoting taking time out from your day to enjoy the perfect cup of tea, slowly brewed from high quality leaves. We are bringing back the ‘good old days’.

2010 World Cup – Full List of Preliminary National Team Squads

The 32 qualified teams participating in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa have provided a preliminary list of up to 30 players. The teams have till June 1st to provide a final list of 23 players. Provisions are made where players with serious injuries can be replaced up to 24 hours before their team’s first game.

The highlight in any footballer’s career is without a doubt, playing for his country in the World Cup. This week was «a dream come true» for many players and a massive disappointment for others. Thousands of fans in the 32 countries will contest their coach’s controversial decisions to include certain players while omitting others.

World Cup Group A (France, Mexico, Uruguay, South Africa)

Raymond Domenech, the French coach announced a preliminary list of 30 players for the 2010 World Cup. The big surprises are the absences of Benzema (Real Madrid), Nasri (Arsenal) and Patrick Vieira (Manchester City). France and the host country South Africa will face in the opening match of the tournament on 11 June.

In this same group Mexico have chosen a very young squad and will play without the talented Miguel Sabah due to injury. Bafana Bafana’s Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, also sprang some surprises for South Africa, like Israel-based defender Bevan Fransman and prodigal son Benni McCarthy.

As for Uruguay, Oscar Tabarez announced a list of 26 without any major surprises except for the non inclusion of Cristian Rodríguez, possibly for the fact that he would have missed the first two games of the World Cup due to a red card suspension.

World Cup Group B (Argentina, Greece, Nigeria, South Korea)

Diego Maradona’s selection provided some surprises for the Argentines, by picking the unknown trio of Ariel Garce, Sebastian Blanco and Juan Insaurralde, contrasting with notable absences like Javier Zanetti, Cambiasso, Gago, or Lucho Gonzalez. Argentina is drawn in Group A along with Greece, Nigeria and South Korea.

The Greek coach, Otto Rehhagel, named 30 players without any surprises, bringing in Seitaridis and Patsatzoglou after an injury filled season.

Lars Lagerback, the Nigerian coach, made no notable surprises in the 30 man list, maintaining veteran striker Kanu in the squad.

South Korea’ coach Huh Jung-Moo also made no surprises in the 30 choices, maintaining 2002 FIFA World Cup hero Ahn Jung-hwan who will play for a third consecutive appearance on World Cup.

World Cup Group C (England, USA, Slovenia, Algeria)

England were surprised by call-up of uncapped Michael Dawson, and the talented Adam Johnson. Jamie Carragher and Ledley King return to the squad. The two big names that Fabio Capello will not go to South Africa’s World Cup are David Beckham because of injury and Pal Scholes, retired from the England Squad.

The other teams in this group include the USA, Slovenia and Algeria. Coach Bob Bradley did not include Freddy Adu in the US team even though he went for the Confederations Cup. Another absence due to a serious car accident is Charlie Davies.

There were no big surprises from Algeria coach Rabah Sadaane whose team is dominated by a strong Europe based contingent. No surprises from coach Matjaz Kek after chosing 30 for Slovenia bringing in young striker Tim Matavz. This is Slovenia’s second participation in a World Cup.

World Cup Group D (Germany, Serbia, Ghana, Australia)

Joachim Löw of Germany picked his 30-man provisional squad with a few surprises. Two uncapped players, Holder Badstuber and Dennis Aogo, were chosen, while the most notable omission was that of midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, as well as Simon Rolfes, Aaron Hunt and goalkeeper René Adler.

Radomir Antic named seven players, based in England to a very strong looking Serbia squad, with no notable surprises.

For Ghana, Coach Milovan Rajevac picked Chelsea’s Michael Essien who is still recovering from knee surgery. In a similar situation as Essian is John Mensah.

Australia coach Pim Verbeek named 31 players including star forward Harry Kewell still recovering from his latest injury before July’s FIFA World Cup. One surprise call-up was 18-year-old Tommy Oar, who only made his international debut in March this year.

World Cup Group E (Denmark, Netherlands, Cameroon, Japan)

Denmark’s goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was included by Danish coach Morten Olsen, despite suffering a dislocated elbow two weeks ago. Patrick Mtiliga was the surprise inclusion even though he had not played for his country since November 2008.

Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk, left out 33 year old Ruud van Nistelrooy who admitted he was «greatly disappointed» in his rejection. On the other hand its worth taking note of 23 year old Eljero Elia who many believe is Hollands hidden gem.

Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen included Sebastien Bassong, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Alexandre Song who play in the Premier League. Surprise is the call-up of teenager Joel Matip and the exclusion of Ngom Kome. Only three players from the Cameroon League are included.

Japan coach Takeshi Okada’s only surprise was including Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, the Portsmouth goalkeeper who has not played in the national team for 18 months after recovering from a broken leg.

World Cup Group F (Italy, Slovakia, Paraguay, New Zealand)

Marcello Lippi reserved some surprises for the «azzurri» squad when he left out Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Nicola Legottaglie, Luca Toni, Simone Perrotta, and most notably Francesco Totti, while American born Giuseppe Rossi was called up for Italy, the World Cup holders.

Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino called Argentine striker Lucas Barrios who recently became a naturalized Paraguayan. No surprise was the inclusion of strikers Nelson Haedo Valdez and Oscar Cardozo who are in great form, while Salvador Cabanas didn’t make it due to injury.

Slovakia coach Vladimir Weiss is hoping that Martin Skrtel, Filip Holosko and Robert Vittek recover from their injuries in time for the World in South Africa. Curious is the fact that this is Slovakia’s first World Cup appearance, as well as the inclusion the coach’s son Vladimir Weiss into the squad.

New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert did not pull off any surprises, except for the inclusion of midfielder Aaron Clapham. This is the Kiwis second World Cup appearance, the last one being in Spain back in 1982

World Cup Group G (Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast, North Korea)

Brazil coach Dunga probably had the biggest pool of talented players to chose from. This inevitably led to some surprises like the omission of Ronaldinho, Adriano, Ganso, Pato and Neymar into the Selecção (squad) Surprise inclusions were Michel Bastos, and Grafite.

Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz also upset many Portuguese fans by not including goalkeepers Quim and Rui Patrício as well as midfielders João Moutinho and Carlos Martins. Queiroz also picked Pepe even though he is still recovering from knee surgery. Surprise call-ups were Beto, Daniel Fernandes and Zé Castro.

Sven-Goran Eriksson of the Ivory Coast had no surprises in the 29 players to represent their country. Didier Drogba will lead the powerful attacking «Elephants».

North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun will count with some J-League players like Jong Tae-Se, Ahn Yong-Hak and Ryang Yong-Gi. This will be North Korea’s second participation in a World Cup.

World Cup Group F (Spain, Chile, Switzerland, Hunduras)

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque had no surprises in his provisional 30-man squad and included injured stars Andreas Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres for South Africa 2010. Also included in the list is naturalized Brazilian Marcos Senna.

Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa surprised many, when he picked Luis Marin, Jaime Valdes and Charles Aranguiz. Notable names missing are Claudio Maldonado, Hans Martinez and Osvaldo Gonzalez.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Switzerland coach announced 30 names without any surprises. One curiosity is Johan Vonlanthen, 24, who was born in Colombia but has lived in Switzerland since he was 5 years old.

Honduras coach Reinaldo Rueda had no surprises but was forced to replace the injured Carlos Costly by Georgie Welcome. The experienced Wilson Palacios, Hendry Thomas, Maynor Figueroa, David are part of the list.

6 Reasons Why Pele Was Better Than Maradona

Prelude

The Pele versus Maradona debate has been on for some time. The intensity of the debt is such that it generates at least 50,000 online search queries per month.

Acting as the backdrop for what in all actuality is an over – hyped debate is the apparent rivalry that has developed between the two legends concerned, who now seems to be aiming at proving their superior one over the other long after they might still have had a genuine opportunity to do so where it matters most, on the field of play.

The exaggerated profile of Pele vs Maradona stems to a large extent from the unwillingness of soccer opinion leaders (both real and self deluded) to kill the matter naturally by respecting facts that would give each of these two generous athletes their due respect without calling for unavoidably subjective comparisons.

In a field performing only the likes of Di Stefano, George Best, Cruyff, Platini and so on, to be considered one of the best 2 of all time one has effectively become immortal in history of the sport. Indeed, the physical and tactical barriers that today's, and certainly tomorrow's football puts in the way of attempts at super – exceptional individual football performances means that probably no player will come close to appearing as individually outstanding as Edson Arantes De Nascimento and Diego Armando Maradona were each able to. Today's football makes it so near impossible for an exceptional individual playing for an ordinary team to exceed an exceptional team made up of ordinary individuals. The experience of Lionel Messi, currently recognized by FIFA as the best footballer in the world, playing against a Jose Mourinho inspired Inter Milan, is the nearest example to note. It appears that for even the very talented footballers to shine in today's football, they must be playing for above average teams. That neither Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo has so far been able to achieve great success with their national teams is another pointer.

The subject of this article must be served with facts known to those who really know football. The facts that make Pele a more prominent super legend than Maradona must be pointed out, not to fan the flames of controversy, but because they equip soccer with the values ​​that are necessary for it's continued dominance as the world's number one sport.

The facts now follow:

1. UNLIKE MARADONA, PELE WAS EXCELLENT BOTH OFFENSIVELY AND DEFENSIVELY!

It is confirmed that Pele was the unofficial second goalkeeper for his club Santos when the first choice keeper was unavailable. In addition, those who know Pele assert that he could have excelled in any football position he chose. Pele was gifted with exceptional tackling skills for an attacking player. Pele's super fitness, particularly reflected in astounding aerial performances, certainly made him more adaptable to a defensive role than Maradona was.

Of particular note is that Pele excelled in EVERY attacking football department: Shooting (powerful, with both legs), dribbling, heading, passing, feinting.

Diego Maradona, on the other hand, was best known for his super sublime dribbling and passing skills. In is in these departments that he could lay some claim to superiority over Pele, that is, if we ignore the reality that Pele would have done a lot more dribbling if he felt that was what he needed to win matches. Pele was certainly also fantastic at dribbling and passing, but only to the extent of what was necessary to score goals.

That Pele was a two legged player would also naturally give him an edge over Maradona in the dribbling department. Pele's dribbling style was unique in that he appeared to beat players not just with his legs but with his arms which moved in a unique style by his side whenever he was trying to beat an opponent.

The facts show that Pele was a far more versatile player than Diego Maradona was.

2. PELE'S ASTONISHING GOAL SCORING STATS MARK HIM OUT AS THE GREATEST ATTACKING PLAYER OF ALL TIME.

According to FIFA.Com, Pele scored 1281 goals in 1,363 games. If, as some say, the statistic is overrated due to what they consider the low quality of some teams he played against, it should be pointed out that the amazing stats is not the same as the rate over a high number of games. He scored at least 5 goals at at least 6 occasions, 4 goals on 30 occasions, and hat tricks on 92 occasions. If his goals statistics in the world cup matches he played are anything to go by, it is reasonable to suggest that Pele would be the all time leading world cup goal scorer was it not for the matches he missed due to injuries he sustained during the 1962 and 1966 world cups.

Diego Maradona's goal scoring stats on match simply do not match up to Pele's.

Pele is clearly the greatest goal scorer and attacking player of all time, and the stats only confirm this. An examination of his athleticism, skill, versatility, mental strength and focus could be the only rational explanation for his goal scoring rate. Indeed, a lower scoring record would simply have done him no justice whatever.

3. PELE WON 3 WORLD CUPS WITHOUT CONTROVERSY, UNLIKE MARADONA.

A large part of Diego Maradona's legend derives from his magnificent achievements at the 1986 world cup, where he was without doubt the leading star, both for the right and wrong reasons. Maradona's dribble run against England in 1986 in Mexico is rightly considered probably the best world cup goal of all time. His goal against Belgium in the following match is considered one of the best 5 goals ever.

All the above noted, however, and soccer being the cruel sport it sometimes is for the unlucky, Maradona came reasonably close to not having a world cup to his name.

For those who watched Argentina's quarter final match against England at that tournament, they may recall that the English team was of significant quality, possessing Gary Lineker (historical tournament highest scorer), Peter Shilton, John Barnes, Glen Hoddle, and managed by the legendary Bobby Robson. Indeed, save for Maradona, the Argentine team were at least slightly inferior to the English. After pulling a goal back in the 80th minute through Lineker to make the score 1-2, the English were something on the ascendancy.

Had Maradona's clear handball goal not been awarded earlier, the scoreline would have all probability have been 1 -1 by the end of regulation time. Afterall, in the previous match, with Maradona playing, Argentina had only been able to score one legitimate goal against Uruguay.

Had this particular England – Argentina match extended to extra time, anything could have happened. Argentina could have been unlucky not to score a second legitimate goal, while England, showing great character, which often decides matches, could have scored an odd decent second goal or even gone on to win the tie by penalties.

In comparison, Pele's world cup victories were devoid of controversy. Although he only played two matches in the 1962 tournament, Brazil's historic victory could hardly have been hampered by him since he had already scored once before being injured.

4. MARADONA FAILED AT 1 WORLD CUP, UNLIKE PELE.

At the 1982 World Cup, Maradona, already considered the best player in the world at the time, was unable to prove himself a Champion. While it is true that he was harshly marked throughout the tournament, he played in all the 5 games of Argentina, yet Argentina, despite being defending champions, won 2 games and lost 3. This Argentine team contained many of the players who won the previous tournament.

Maradona ended the tournament with a Red Card against Brazil. Pele, on the other hand, was clearly one of the best 3 players in the 2 world cups in which he got to play 3 matches or more.

5. AGE OF MATURITY

Whereas Maradona was not considered mature enough for the Argentine National Team at the age of 17 in 1978, Pele was considered good enough for the Brazilian team at the same age in 1958, and more than justified the chance he was given. Maradona did not actually mature as a top level player until 1986, when he was already 25 years old.

6. PELE WAS A BETTER TACTICAL OPTION

In today's football, managers prefer players who can fit into varying roles as the need of the team and the manager's strategy may require. Surely, an offensively brilliant player who can safely be deployed in a defensive role will be extremely valuable when the team needs to avoid concurring, particularly when the team is a man down.

From every indication, Pele was more of a player who could fit into the game plan of a modern tactician.

To conclude, it is obvious that many of today's younger soccer fans never watched Pele play. This is why Maradona won FIFA's internet poll for player of the century. The Internet is a medium that can not prevent double or multiple votes by the same person. Pele, however, won a poll for Athlete of the Century by the IOC, custodian of the mighty Olympics, a competition he never participated in. The difference between the significance of the 2 awards should be quite clear to the unbiased.

ICC World Cup 2011: India, England, Head To Head In World Cups

Co-hosts India are among the favourites to win the ICC World Cup in 2011. Interestingly, England have also emerged as possible contenders following their title winning exploits at the T20 world cup earlier this year.

Let’s take a look at how the teams have fared against against each other in past world cups. The sides met for the first time at the event in its very first edition in 1975. The match was played at Lords; England won the toss and elected to bat. They piled up 334/5 in 60 overs, on the back of Dennis Amiss’s 137 supported by fifties from Fletcher and Chris Old, apart from cameos by John James and skipper Mike Denness. Fast bowler Chris Old’s fifty underlined the weakness of India’s bowling in which Ghavri gave away 83 runs in 11 overs.

India’s reply was nothing short of a mockery of the game, thanks to a baffling innings of 36 not out in 60 overs by Gavaskar, who took 174 balls to complie his runs. India finished at 132/3, and the 202 run margin of defeat stood as an ODI record for several years. Gavaskar’s innings sparked off debates as to the real motivation behind the opener’s innings.

The sides were placed in different groups in the 1979 edition and did not meet at all as India got knocked off at the group stage. Their next meeting came in the 1983 edition that India eventually won. England won the toss at Old Trafford and electing to bat managed just 213. Kapil Dev was the most successful bowler snaring three wickets and he got good assistance from Binny and Amarnath who got two each. India knocked off the runs required with more than five overs to spare, with Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil notching up fifties.

India co-hosted the next cup along with Pakistan and England and India met in the semi-finals. Once again, England got lucky with the toss and elected to bat. Graham Gooch scored a brilliant hundred as England posted a challenging 254/5 in 50 overs. Maninder Singh with three wickets was India’s most successful bowler. In reply, India collapsed to 219 all out. Azharuddin top-scored for India with 64 runs, while Eddie Hemmings took four wickets for England.

Th next world cup meeting between the sides was at Perth in 1992. England batted first once again and scored 236/9 in their 50 overs with Gooch and Smith scoring fifties. India fell short by just nine runs, despite a 63-run opening stand and a fifty by opener Ravi Shastri. For England, Dermot Reeve and Botham were among the wickets.

The two sides were in different groups in the 1996 cup hosted in the subcontinent, and with England crashing out at the group stage, they did not meet each other. Their next cup meeting was at Birmingham in 1999. India batting first managed 232/8 in 50 overs. Dravid top-scored with a fifty and was well supported by several cameos. When England batted, the Indian bowlers were equal to the task and the hosts were bowled out for 169. Ganguuly with three wickets was the most successful bowler; Srinath, Kumble and Mohanty got two each.

The last world cup encounter between the sides came in 2003 at Durban. India batting first managed 250/9 thanks to fifties by Tendulkar and Dravid. When England batted, Nehra took six wickets to send them crashing to 168 all out – an 82 run victory in which Flintoff with 64 was England’s only saving grace.

Thus, England and India are tied at three games all in world cups. With the two sides placed in the same group in the 2011 edition, their next meeting is scheduled take place on February 28, 2011 at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. Who will win that one?

World Cup 2010 and the Year 2012

As we know that in 2010 there will be great football event, which is FIFA World Cup that will be held in South Africa next June and July. Then what will happen in 2012? Maybe our first mind when hearing 2012 is the movie entitled 2012. As we know that this movie is about the forecast of the end of the world that will happen in 2012. Maybe it will become true or not, but it’s a really great public opinion.

In the movie, we may show that there will be great catastrophes in the world that will kill the majority of the people. Although it is just a movie, but some believes it as becoming reality since the Mayan Forecast says about this. Some people believe about this thing since the some of Mayan forecasts are relevant. But I don’t think that will be great matter to debate whether this will become true or not. Just take it calmly since it’s just a movie. But it’s OK if you believe this.

Back to world cup 2010, the event is attracting great attentions from the football lovers in all over the world. The greatest football event in the world becomes the event to show which team is the best. Some known big teams with good football traditions like Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and Italy will show their best performance to become the king of the world’s football.

In my analysis, the two big teams from Latin America, Brazil and Argentina will easily step forward to the next phase. It’s very realistic since both teams have great talented players. Some of them are young talented players like Lionel Messi from Argentina as the best player of 2009, and Richardo Kaka from Brazil that also has good performance. Meanwhile, in Europe, I see that Italy, Spain, Germany, and Portugal have the same opportunity as Brazil and Argentina. It’s reasonable since they have also great players on the team. The big event of world cup will be great football show that will attract the world’s attention. Finally, my conclusion is that in both years, there will be great events (or just imagination in the case of year 2012) that will make the world influenced.

Is Every Soccer (Football) Player Unique?

1960’s – 2011 comparison (Pele)

There is no doubt that Brazilian striker Pele was the best player of the 1960’s. Pele and Maradona are the two players who are always mentioned when the common question is asked, ‘Who was the best player to have ever lived?’ Pele will often be the answer. So what was Pele like? Pele was a natural goal scorer, the Santos striker was incredibly athletic and his dribbling/balance combination was unstoppable for defenders. His ability to go past defenders at such speed and maintain such balance credited him with many goal scoring opportunities, which more likely than not Pele would score emphatically. Pele had technique, the passing ability of a central midfield maestro, the engine of a Marathon runner and the power of a steam train. His statistics are sensational, 1281 goals in 1363 games.

No one can live up to Pele’s name; Manchester United’s George Best in the 70’s was a similar type of player to Pele but was more a winger than a forward. In the modern era, few have been compared to Pele but none have lived up to the reputation that Brazilian Pele possessed. Alexandre Pato of AC Milan was tipped to be the Pele of this era, but he has to yet to show any phenomenal form to even label him the one of the best strikers today let alone ever lived. Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney is the closest of this decade that we have compared to Pele. Rooney possesses the same power and physique that Pele does, the same ability to pick out a 70 yard cross field ball and the same vision and technique. England striker Rooney just doesn’t have same amount of pace that Pele did which combines with the factor that Rooney doesn’t particularly go past players with skill and flair.

Wayne Rooney has scored goals that you wouldn’t think were possible with the stunning volley against Newcastle and the recent potential goal of the season overhead against rivals Manchester City. Pele scored stunning goals in the 60’s and 70’s for Santos and Brazil, one ‘nearly’ goal that would’ve been one of the greatest goals of all time. His dummy against Uruguay that left the keeper for dead when the ball went one way and Pele went around the other way, but his shot off balance and on a tight angle just went wide.

1970’s – 2011 comparison (Johann Cruyff)

Johann Cruyff was part of the Ajax side that inherited the ‘total football’ philosophy introduced by Dutch coach Rinul Michels. Former Barcelona and Ajax front man Johann Cruyff’s style of play was influenced by the total football approach he conducted to his game. His natural position was centre forward but because of the tactical way the Ajax side played the game, he roamed around and ended up playing on the wing and central midfield more often than not. The Holland striker spent half of the 1970’s at Barcelona for Rinus Michels, where he was crowned European Footballer of the Year at his time at Barcelona in consecutive years.

Cruyff was dubbed the ‘Pythagoras in boots’ because of his ability to pick out passes from angles that looked impossible. Not only did he have an eye for a pass but he had tremendous speed and his ability to accelerate away from defenders which was helped by the ‘Cruyff turn’ named after the Dutch maestro is still a turn associated with football 40 years later.

I don’t think any striker could grace Cruyff’s ability to play in multiple positions to maximum effect so I’ve chosen a playmaker and speed merchant who would grace Cruyff’s technical and physical attributes to his game, Ryan Giggs. Both players in their prime had the ability to go past players with flair and tremendous pace creating goal scoring opportunities. Giggs isn’t as prolific as Cruyff as a finisher but Giggs certainly lives up to the playmaking abilities that Cruyff possessed. Ryan Giggs in his prime was lightening over 5-10 yards and could maintain such frightening pace for 40-50 yards which he shared with Cruyff.

However as football has changed much over the years since Cruyff’s successful days at Ajax and Barcelona, the style of play has changed and there aren’t many similar type of players of Cruyff’s calibre that could play naturally upfront and drop back deeper and still be extremely effective.

1980’s – 2011 comparison (Diego Maradona)

Maradona or Messi? There is no doubt that of today’s game, Lionel Messi is the nearest if not potential candidate to surpass Maradona’s ability as a footballer. Former Barcelona striker Diego Maradona along with Pele is one of the best players to have ever graced this planet. He wasn’t as clinical as Pele but taking nothing away from Maradona he still had a very good goal scoring record for club and country. The style of play on the ball for Maradona and Messi is identical. They both dribble with extreme pace and a very low centre of gravity; they both possess extreme dribbling skills with the ability to have 5-10 touches in the space of seconds to make it impossible for defenders to tackle. Many have questioned whether Lionel Messi could do what Maradona did at Napoli. Maradona won what is now the Italian ‘serie A’ with Napoli with what was a very average squad, Maradona being the pivotal part of the Napoli side and no doubt wouldn’t have been title winners if Maradona wasn’t on their books. Could Messi do a similar fate at Blackburn of the English Premiership, Udinese of the Italian Serie A? Many doubt whether Messi could.

In contrast Messi has achieved a lot more than Maradona at this age having already won the Spanish La Liga 4 times and Champions League 2 times. Messi is only 23, Maradona at 23 won the treble with Barcelona in 1983 and an Argentine title with Boca Juniors in 1981 but that was it. So Messi so far has had a better career on silverware success but Maradona’s achievements at Napoli and on the international arena set him aside to Messi. Infamously, Maradona also has a World Cup to his name in 1986 which Maradona made his name.

There is no doubt that Barcelona winger Messi scores goals from all sorts of angles and all sorts of scintillating runs but Maradona’s second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup has been regarded as the goal of the century by many people. Maradona travelled with the ball 60 metres and took on six English players in the process, rounded England goalkeeper Peter Shilton and scored from a tight angle to beat England 2-1 in the quarter finals of the 1986 World Cup which they went on to win. The ex-Napoli striker also scored the very controversial ‘hand of god’ goal in the same game which has been spoken about ever since. Messi hasn’t really shined on the international stage and if he does, it might be what takes him past his boyhood hero’s status.

1990’s – 2011 comparison (Ronaldo)

He was a natural goal scorer of his era and by far the best striker in his generation for simply scoring goal after goal. Ronaldo played at the highest level through the 90’s and early 00’s, he represented PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and AC Milan in an illustrious career that was disrupted by serious knee injuries.

Brazilian striker Ronaldo was a born goal scorer, he had the ability to go past players with his skill and power but defiantly his threat was in the box. He scored 62 goals in just under 100 appearances for Brazil and has been voted Brazil’s best ever striker since Pele by numerous judging panels. Former Real Madrid striker Ronaldo was indestructible, if he got in the box it was inevitable he was going to score.

As Ronaldo has still being playing till quite recent, there hasn’t been long for anyone to potentially replace Ronaldo’s prowess for being a known goal scorer. However, there a few players that this season in world Football has started to develop their reputation. Javier Hernandez of Manchester United is one striker that could have the potential to live up to Ronaldo’s abilities in front of goal. He already has 16 goals for Manchester United in his first season and is a predator in the box similarly to Ronaldo. It’s doubtful whether Mexican forward Hernandez will have the impact on world football that Ronaldo did, but the Mexican is a very similar striker to what Ronaldo was in his prime.

Barcelona’s David Villa is another striker who is known for his potential in the box. Spanish hit man David Villa has earned his trade at Valencia for several years and finally sealed a move to Barcelona where he already has 21 goals to his name. Villa has also lived up to Ronaldo’s international reputation, having already won the European Championships in 2008 and the World Cup in 2010 with Spain being a key member of the winning side in both tournaments with his contribution of goals.

2000’s – 2011 comparison (Zidane)

One of the most gifted players of this century was French midfielder and former Juventus/Bordeaux midfielder Zidane. One of the most natural players at playing the game, Zidane glided through the game in a nonchalant manner that saw him one of footballs most composed players ever to have graced the game. An out and out central midfielder, Zidane possessed a goal scoring ability from midfield and also the ability to craft out magic in midfield to launch attacks for his side.

Zidane joined Real Madrid from Juventus in 2001 for a world record fee at the time of around 50 million pounds. Zidane enjoyed success in Real Madrid, winning the Champions League and the Spanish La Liga in his 6 years at the club. Not to mention becoming a World cup winner with France in 1998 and a runner up in 2006. Zidane was a tall, strong midfielder at 6’1 he was no fool at defending and wasn’t afraid to challenge for an aerial battle but Zidane came alive in the attacking half and his deft touches on the ball and he seemed to have eyes in the back of his head at times with his awareness of space around him.

Not many footballers have composure as a skill to their game because of the extreme amounts of pressure footballers are put under and now with all the money at stake. However, Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov is one of very few footballers that possess superb composure on the ball which is a very gracious skill to have. Bulgarian striker Berbatov and French midfielder Zidane also share the same style of control and first touch, with Berbatov having one of the greatest techniques in the world today similarly to Zidane in his prime. Although ex-Tottenham striker Berbatov is an out and out forward and Zidane never played upfront, the abilities they both have are very similar. Even their mental approaches are very alike, both are very quiet and don’t particularly talk much when competing competitively. Both have tremendous control on the ball, both have the ability to go past players with the skill on the ball rather than speed or strength.

Great players are easy to come by; it’s the magical players that are hard to come by. Who’s going to replace Barcelona’s Messi’s or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo’s of today’s game in a few years? Football has the ability to produce stars to show on the world stage which is what makes football such an amazing sport to watch.

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