Ronaldo to Replace Brand Beckham?

Experts feel there is currently a need for a central soccer brand. Beckham's 34 years of age and current career phase doesn't exactly make him a hot youth icon anymore. Sure, no one can deny his good looks and knee weakening ability among adults, but he's past the stage of driving 13 year olds crazy. And that's where Ronaldo can step in and fill Beck's shoes. The 24 year old Portuguese has all the right qualities to appeal to kids and teens – he's a looker, has a great body, plays well and is part of an extremely popular and successful team.

If Becks raked in $ 42.5 million through product endorsements last year, Ronaldo earned $ 19.6 million. But now that this 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year has become the world's most expensive player after his transfer from Man U to Real Madrid, his worth has sky rocketed. When Ronaldo was 'unveiled' on the 6th of July at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium wearing Real's soccer uniforms, nearly 80,000 screaming teens and young adults were there to greet him!

Actually, Ronaldo seems to be following in Beckham's footsteps in more ways than one! Becks left Man U for a successful stint with Real, so did Ronny boy! Becks wore the number 7 soccer shirt at Man U, as did Ronaldo after him! Becks was the ultimate youth icon, as Ronaldo is slated to be! If there's anything that can go against this young man, it's his lack of 'family life' and the accusation that he's not much of a team player. This could bring his appeal down among advertisers. Beckham continues to shine in that arena with his image of a happy family man and his reputation as a great team player. For this reason, some experts would like to see Ronaldo settled and married to a nice girl!

But, at the end of the day, it's his on field performance that will determine his success as brand Beckham's successor. After all, you're only as good as your last match … And companies are looking for endorsements from soccer stars so they can associate their product with the star's phenomenal success. As far as veteran football agent, Jon Holmes, is concerned, "Ronaldo is a good looking guy and I would say his level of articulateness is about the same as Beckham's … He is probably a better player than Beckham in that he is more Beckham is a workhorse of a player, Ronaldo seems to be a more natural player. "

Well, let's see if Ronaldo is going to be the next big clothes horse after Becks! Time will tell …

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Soccer Boot Use Tips To Prolong Life And Maximize Effectiveness

Choosing the right boot for playing is very important because it can maximize performance while in the field of play. Size and comfort are some of the most important elements to consider when getting a pair. But in order to keep your boots in good shape for longer so you can continue enjoying maximum effectiveness, you would need to use them in the proper manner. Below are some soccer cleat use tips that can help you achieve just that.

Tip 1 – Wear the right cleats for the right surface type. Soft ground cleats for instance, should not be used on hard surfaces otherwise they will easily wear and tear. Go for ground specific boots or choose a pair that is suitable for all types of grounds for more convenience.

Tip 2 – Loosen up the boot laces. You may want the boot to remain in place but tight laces can be pretty uncomfortable for your feet. Try loosening them to last eyelet only tightening them again up the highest eyelet. A good lace fit reduces stress to forefoot and this makes the fit more comfortable for you.

Tip 3 – Use cleats that are suitable for your foot shape. Your cleats should not be subjected to pressure on areas not designed to take up such pressure otherwise they will break easily. If you have wide feet, then keep off narrow shoes and instead select cleats that are designed for wide feet otherwise you will end up damaging the area where the outsole meets the upper. If possible, try walking around in the new pair just to have a fee before buying.

Tip 4 – Use more than one pair of football boots. It may be an expensive option but giving your cleats, some break ensures that you do not overuse them hence you prolong their life. If you are always practicing and taking part in matches, then using multiple pairs should be a very good idea to extend the life of your boot.

Tip 5 – Replace the studs when there is a need to. Cleats that come with detachable studs can be very reliable. Let the replacement of the studs be dictated by how often you use the boots and the conditions under which you use them on. It would be a very good idea to replace the studs as soon as they start becoming uneven because it is an issue that can throw you off balance and possibly even cause injuries.

Tip 6 – Break in your cleats. It is never a good idea to use your new cleats in a match before you break them in as it can lead to blistering and make your play very uncomfortable. Use them for light exercises and stuff them with newspaper so you break them in without causing any damage to them. It is a process that eliminates the initial tightness that comes with the boots giving you a more comfortable fit when it is time to play a major game.

It is also important that you wash the cleats properly depending on the materials and let them air dry before storing them in the best way.

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Golden Eaglets of Nigeria Came, Saw, But Could Not Conquer at Canada in 1987

Canada is a beautiful country located in North America maintaining of ten provinces and three territories. Canada has a population of approximately 33 million people and has her capital in Ottawa. This beautiful country played host to the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria when the FIFA U-16 tournament was declared opened on the 12th of July 1987. The tournament took place in five major cities: Montreal, Saint John (NB), St.. John's (NF) and Toronto.

The Golden Eaglets landed in Canada brimming with so much confidence, as defending champions of the FIFA U-16 World Cup. With a team made mostly of they played a 1-1 draw with Soviet Union in their first match with Albert Eke scoring the decent equalizer in the 79th minute to share the points, before brushing a side resilient Bolivian side 3-2 in their second match with mercurial midfielder Philip Osundo scoring a hat-trick (24th minute, 66th minute and 77th minute). Their confidence was dealt a great blow with a 1-0 defeat suffered against Mexico. They however qualified for the quarter-final as runner-up despite the loss to Mexico.

In the quarter-finals, they came up against Australia, and they won 1-0 thanks to a second half goal coming from Christopher Nwosu to set up an exciting semi final clash with Italy. The semi final clash with Italy ended in similar fashion 1-0, with the systematic goal coming once again from Christopher Nwosu. The victory greatly motivated the Golden Eaglets were within grasp of a second FIFA U-17 World Cup trophy.

The dream was even disturbed by a determined Soviet Union, who held the Golden Eaglets to a 1-1 draw at regulation time. The Russian had taken a 6th minute lead via Yuri Nikiforov before Philip Osondu equalized for Nigeria in the 11th minute. The game had to be decided via penalties, and it was the Soviet Union that carried the day with a 4-2 triumph, after the Nigerians missed two of their spot kicks.

This was a tournament that brought out the best in a certain Philip Osondu. The mercurial midfield produced some extraordinary display throughout the tournament, that the World Football governing body-FIFA, wave him the "Adidas Golden Ball Award" Peter Ogaba, Fatai Atere, Lemmy Issa and Christopher Nwosu all like a million stars at the competition, despite losing to the USSR in the final. They were tipped as the foundation for the future Super Eagles team, but they never made it beyond the junior cadre. The team was led to the tournament by experienced coach Sebastian Broderick Imasuen.

Equity in Football – The Pros & Cons of the Salary Cap Proposal

The gulf between rich and poor clubs has never been greater. The amount of money circulating in the game has never been greater. The amount of players instantly becoming multi millionaires and buying fast cars and large mansions have never been greater. However, more sadly, the amount of clubs, especially ones with a lot of prestige and history behind them, going under have never been greater.

There’s always something wrong in seeing a football club, especially one which gets packed houses, struggle to break even and compete for a title. Just as the amount of money circulating has increased, the cost of staying in the game has increased as well.

Such large increases in wages put smaller, less rich clubs at a serious disadvantage in terms of challenging for titles and championships. As a result, many of these clubs have been forced to take financial gambles to be able to attract good enough players to remain competitive. This has backfired for some clubs such as Leeds United who in the space of 5 years went from being in the Champions League semi final to the English third division.

The question remains, can this wage spiral be controlled so that it no longer harms the smaller clubs? The answer is yes, and in football it’s being used in just 2 countries in the world: the USA and Australia. Both Major League Soccer and A-League used what is known as a salary cap, which is a limit as to how much a club can spend on players’ wages on a yearly basis.

The main advantage of such a system is that it ensures that each team is competitive despite their revenue and profits. It ensures parity and equity for the players and keeps the fans on the edge of their seats when it comes to challenging for the title as no one is shoo-in.

The major disadvantage of having a salary cap system in place is that it becomes very difficult for a club to retain its players. As a result, championship-winning teams rarely do stay together for another season. This is exactly what happened when Melbourne Victory won the 2006/07 in dominating fashion. The exodus of various players led to Victory having a disastrous season in 2007/08. The salary cap is an even greater disadvantage in football especially if other leagues do not have a salary cap themselves. As a result, the best players and talent will be taken away from leagues with salary caps, leaving fans with the leftovers.

Nevertheless, the risk of losing talent is not greater than the risk of losing clubs forever. While it may be a tragedy for clubs to lose star players due to a salary cap, it will surely ensure that fans still have a club to support.

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The Most Surprising Soccer Transfer of the Season

Twice a year when the transfer window opens, the soccer world goes crazy with players changing clubs and newspapers and soccer websites all over the world speculating on the latest superstars playing the game of musical chairs.

While some big name transfers such as Cristiano Ronaldo’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid finally came to their expected conclusions, one transfer caught my eye this season. That of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move from Italian champions Inter Milan to Spanish and Champions League winners Barcelona, with Samuel Eto’o going the opposite direction.

Now, Ibrahimovic is not a bad player and on his day can be one of the best players on the planet. But he has failed to live up to his massive hype in my opinion. Who can forget the 2 Champions League matches against Manchester United last season where he was virtually anonymous?

Samuel Eto’o on the other hand has proven himself to be one of the most lethal strikers in the world. Only 28, he has his best years ahead of him and unlike Ibrahimovic, doesn’t choke on the big stage. Don’t forget, it was his goal in last season’s Champions League final that started Barcelona on the road to victory.

On top of the player exchange, Inter Milan also received a transfer fee of 45 million Euros. I have no idea how it was done, but Inter manager Jose Mourinho must surely have negotiated the best deal of the season. Or does Barcelona know something that we don’t? Only time will tell.

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