Six Guided Tour Options for Your Paris Trips

Why would I pay for a guided walking tour? There are two good responses to that question:

The first would be that I only have a short time in the city and I want to maximize what I see. Tours can be particularly useful for giving you a nice over view of popular attractions. Which would lead to my second reason for taking a tour – now that I have a good over view of the city I can choose where I want to spend my in-depth time. My last reason for taking a tour would be that I am traveling alone. The group interaction is an added plus for the single traveler. Some of these tour groups even provide tours especially for single women.

These tour groups are not listed in any particular order as far as quality or cost. They are here to provide you with options in planning your trip to France. All tours are in English.

Discover Walks – Their motto is «see Paris with a Parisian. Their tours include:

  • Paris Landmarks
  • Notre DameTour
  • Romantic Paris

Paris Conciergerie Like the concierge desk at a fine hotel, Paris Conciergerie will help you organize your trip. Their tours include:

  • French Wine Introductory Tasting
  • Paris Tour and Eiffel Tower Visit
  • Paris a la Carte
  • Paris Must See Tour – major landmarks and monuments
  • Lunch Cruise Irresistible – a two hour lunch cruise in a glass topped boat.
  • Disneyland Resort Paris
  • Versaille Audio Guided Tour
  • Panorama Paris tour- history and major landmarks
  • Monet’s Giverny
  • Louvre Museum Guided Tour
  • Wine and Cheese Tasting Lunch
  • Fontainebleau and Barbizon Tour
  • Champagne Discovery Tour
  • Loire Valley Castles Tour

Paris Walks «All our guides are university graduates, knowledgeable, professional and enthusiastic about Paris and its history.» Tours include:

  • The Old Marais Quarter
  • The French Revolution Tour
  • The Village of Montmartre
  • The Two Islands
  • St Germain de Prés
  • Hemingway’s Paris
  • Paris Chocolate Tour
  • Several Fashion Walks
  • Private Tours

Classic Walks of Paris Tours vary from broad overiews of the city to themed subjects or to specific areas. Tours include:

  • Classic Walk – overview of the city
  • Da Vinci Code Walk – follows Dan Brown’s novel throughout Paris
  • The French Revolution Walk – follows the gripping tales from the overthrow of the monarchy to the guillotine
  • World War I Walk – Paris’ darkest hours in history
  • Montmartre Walk
  • Latin Quarter Walk
  • Wine Tasting Experience
  • D-Day Beaches Day Trip
  • Paris du Jour – itineraries exclusively for small groups of women
  • Fat Tire Bike Tours
  • City Segway Tours

Private walking tours in Paris Each personalized walk is about three hours long with a small break.

  • Saint Michel District- The Roman and Student Area
  • The Islands ‘ La Cite ‘ and ‘Saint-Louis’ – The Middle Ages
  • The Marais – The Parisian Renaissance and Louis XIV
  • The Tuileries Gardens and the Classic Style of Paris
  • The Covered Passages – Paris of the Empire Period
  • Les Halles – Paris Old and New
  • Paris and The Seine River
  • Montmartre

Rick Steve’s Paris Audio Tours – mp3 and map downloads available at this link – http://www.ricksteves.com/news/travelnews/0602/france_downloads.htm

There are many choices and you may even want to schedule more than one tour. Personally, I am adding the chocolate tour to my «to do» list the next time I am in Paris!

Bonne Vacance!

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Home Personal Trainer – How to Stop Making Excuses and Start Working Out

We all make mistakes and I have no problem apologizing to other people if I should ever let them down. But, a few years ago I decided that there was one person that I was going to stop asking forgiveness of – myself.

Mainly I found myself making excuses for not hitting the goals that I had set for myself. Usually I was more disappointed in the lack of effort than the end result. And, although I always had an excuse – I almost never believed them.

Now, I know you're probably expecting an article about how to lose 30 pounds in 30 days or how to get washboard abs in just fifteen minutes – two times a week.
But, until we get past your main obstacle [making excuses for not working out and eating right], there's no point in giving you tips on how to have sexier legs in high heels.

First, let's get beyond the obvious. You're always too busy or tired to either get to the gym or pack small, healthy meals to take with you to work. Nonsense – you just need to make your health as much a priority as hitting Starbucks everyday.

To get started, put a note on your bedroom closet reminding you to pack a gym bag and healthy snacks for the next day.

Keep your workout outfits simple and comfortable so you don't skip the gym because of a fashion faux pas. Fill a few plastic containers with low calorie snacks and include non-fat cottage cheese and / or a protein shake.

Wake up a half hour earlier a few times a week. Either dust off that piece of exercise equipment you've been using to hang up your winter clothes or just head out the door for a 30-minute walk or bike ride. Trust me, it'll do a lot more to get you going in the morning than that $ 6 quadruple shot latte.

During the day, remember to drink plenty of water and eat one of your small meals every few hours.

Now, the toughie! Getting to the gym after work always sounds good in the morning, but gets less appealing as the day drags on. That's why it's important that you maintain your energy level throughout the day (remember that morning walk and small meals?). Also, I can't overemphasize the importance of eating breakfast because it keeps your metabolism higher throughout the day.

For all of you parents, between daycare issues and soccer games, it may seem hard enough to get dinner on the table – let alone steal a half hour to get yourself to the gym. But, the good news is that a lot of gyms have some kind of drop in kids' area. Plus, given this country childhood obesity epidemic, it's almost never too soon for the kids to join you. As for soccer games, don't forget your running shoes. Take a brisk walk around the soccer complex during half time rather than just standing on the sidelines.

Maybe a lifestyle change like this just seems too daunting. Don't worry. I'll be the first to tell you that it isn't going to happen overnight.

At the start, it's okay to set smaller goals and milestones. Once you start achieving them regularly, work your way up to loftier goals, and so on. I had to do that after my accident – and eventually, I was competing in and winning professional fitness competitions.

Bottom line – no matter what your fitness level, stop making excuses and start doing something. Eventually, you'll stop asking yourself for forgiveness where your health is concerned. But most importantly, you will be happier and healthier – and to most people, those are two of the things that equal success.

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Cheap Soccer Cleats

Football cleats take their name from the cleats or studs on the bottom of the shoes and they are there to provide traction, and also assist in speed, sudden stopping, sharp turns, lateral movements, all of which are in the repertoire of a footballer's legwork . Football cleats are an essential part of a footballer's equipment. They have been around since the year 1526 when King Henry VIII's shoemaker made him a special pair of shoes to play football!

Football cleats have evolved through the dedication of the shoe industry to the game and in their present form as always, are indispensable for anyone who enjoys playing a professional game of football.

The features of a pair of football cleats as opposed to other cleats are the following:

1. Football cleats have a toe stud, more specifically, two studs below the heel and five under the toes and the ball of the foot.

2. They are made of heavier material and construction

3. They have thicker outsoles

4. They are available in three cuts; high, mid and low.

The different parts of a football cleat are

1. Outsole – the base of the shoe containing the studs

2. Midsole – the internal support of the shoe which supports the heel and the foot with cushioning

3. Upper – that part which is visible and attractive with the laces, normally with the brand logo, etc. and made from leather or synthetic leather, designed for lasting long.

With all these features, there are still many more which vary depending on the following playing factors:

Position of play – whether a defender or a wide receiver will determine whether you use a low cut, mid cut or high cut cleat

Type of field – whether astro turf or grass

Rules – whether detachable cleats usually made of metal are allowed for a younger group

Team players – requiring that all have the same color football cleats.

Types of cleats

Cleats may come molded or detachable.

Molded cleats are permanently attached to the outsole, and they are made of hard plastic. They are less expensive and are used by beginners

Detachable stud cleats have longer studs or cleats and they can be removed and changed according to your preference of field positions. Professional players prefer this one. A cleat wrench will be required for this. They are more expensive.

Why are cleats expensive?

· They are made of quality material. Flyknit for example, used on the uppers feels very light as if bare feet when tackling the ball. Yet it offers the required protection and traction, especially because in football fields, they water it to make the ball move smoothly. So the expensive material still has the friction when wet.

· Professional players train one to three hours every day, six days a week. The cleats have to last at least half a season and that is a good estimate.

· Top brands also mean high priced soccer cleats.

Yet, it is easy to get the top brands at discount. There are good deals on older models and it is a good idea to buy football cleats only when there is a discount on or from certain sites which offer cheap soccer cleats, but ones which are branded.

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Qatar To Host The 2022 World Cup

While most of England has been lamenting over their failure to win enough votes to be chosen as hosts for the 2018 World Cup, Qatar has been successful in their bid to host the World Cup in 2022.

Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern country to host the tournament, after they successfully defeated rival bids for the tournament from Australia, Japan and Korea, and in the second round of voting they defeated the United States, who were favourites to host the tournament, by fourteen votes to eight.

Situated in the Persian Gulf within the Middle East, Qatar covers approximately 11,437km2 or 4,416 Sq Miles, bordering Saudi Arabia to the South and the country has a population of approximately 1.5 million people.

In football terms Qatar are ranked 113th in the world and have never qualified for a World Cup Finals. They have appeared in several Asian Cup tournaments and have won the Gulf Cup twice. The closest they came to reaching a World Cup Finals was in 1998 when they narrowly missed out when they lost to Saudi Arabia in the qualifying rounds.

One of the main concerns for teams competing in the competition is the extreme temperatures the country experiences, with temperatures often reaching 40 degrees centigrade, especially during the months of June and July, the moths the competition usually takes place. The Qatar bid committee have provided assurances that the proposed stadiums will have integrated cooling systems that will reduce temperatures to 20 degrees for both players and fans. Cooling systems will also be used for training areas and other areas populated by fans.

As an Islamic state the consumption of alcohol in public is prohibited, but an agreement has been made which will allow the sale and consumption of alcohol in designated areas for the duration of the competition, which many visiting fans will find reassuring.

While Qatar does not recognise Israel as a state, it would allow them to participate in the World Cup should they qualify for the Finals.

There is no doubt that Qatar can afford the World Cup, being a wealthy country due to its large oil and natural gas reserves, this will provide reassurances that the infrastructure will be of the highest standards for the World Cup finals. As a tourist resort, Qatar is rapidly developing and currently has around one million visitors a year, the country is equipped with top class hotels and facilities.

Qatar proposes to build nine new stadiums for the host cities. The 86,000-seat Lusail Stadium, which is yet to be built, will host the opening match and the final.

Indian World Cup Win No Fluke, Suggests Flash Cricket Simulator

Earlier this year, the Indian cricket team won the 2011 edition of the Cricket World Cup. Although India were the favourites leading into the tournament, cricket is a sport where any of the top teams can beat any other on their day. Thanks to the existence of online cricket simulators, we can try to determine what the chances were of India winning, and how the other placings should have gone.

ODI CricSim is a flash cricket simulator that determines the results of matches by crunching over 200 variables from each player’s actual world career, including the average length of a batsman’s innings, the chance of hitting a four or a six on any given ball, the bowler’s strike rate and the bowler’s economy rate. For this experiment I used the ODI CricSim engine to run 1,000 simulated World Cups based on the quarterfinal standings of the various teams. The teams for each match were the same as the teams in the actual world, and in cases where a simulated team advanced when their actual world counterpart did not, the quarterfinal team was used for their next match.

The results were as follows:

First Quarterfinal – Pakistan vs. West Indies:

Pakistan 572
West Indies 428

Second Quarterfinal – India vs. Australia:

India 576
Australia 424

Third Quarterfinal – New Zealand vs. South Africa:

New Zealand 399
South Africa 601

Fourth Quarterfinal – Sri Lanka vs. England:

Sri Lanka 568
England 432

The results from these quarterfinal matchups suggest that New Zealand beating South Africa was the biggest upset of this stage of the tournament. South Africa was the only losing team that the simulator suggested should have won. In fact, South Africa were the team with the highest simulated chance of winning their quarterfinal, which will add more heartbreak to Proteas fans who felt that this tournament was a great chance for their team to break their Cricket World Cup duck.

First Semifinal:

There were four possible matchups for this semifinal, and the following were the predicted chances that the matchup in question would have resulted:

New Zealand vs. England (172 iterations)
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka (same as actual world) (227 iterations)
South Africa vs. England (260 iterations)
South Africa vs. Sri Lanka (341 iterations)

The simulator results were as follows:

New Zealand vs. England: NZL 105, ENG 67.
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka: NZL 134, SRL 93.
South Africa vs. England: SAF 181, ENG 79.
South Africa vs. Sri Lanka: SAF 180, SRL 161.

Second Semifinal:

There were four possible matchups for this semifinal, and the following were the predicted chances that the matchup in question would have resulted:

India vs. West Indies (247 iterations)
India vs. Pakistan (same as actual world) (329 iterations)
Australia vs. West Indies (181 iterations)
Australia vs. Pakistan (243 iterations)

The simulator results were as follows:

India vs. West Indies: IND 197, WIN 50.
India vs. Pakistan: IND 238, PAK 91.
Australia vs. West Indies: AUS 138, WIN 43.
Australia vs. Pakistan: AUS 186, PAK 57.

Final:

There were sixteen possible matchups for the final, and the following were the predicted chances that the matchup in question would have resulted:

India vs. South Africa (157 iterations)
India vs. Sri Lanka (same as actual world) (110 iterations)
India vs. New Zealand (104 iterations)
India vs. England (64 iterations)
Australia vs. South Africa (117 iterations)
Australia vs. Sri Lanka (82 iterations)
Australia vs. New Zealand (78 iterations)
Australia vs. England (47 iterations)
Pakistan vs. South Africa (53 iterations)
Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka (38 iterations)
Pakistan vs. New Zealand (35 iterations)
Pakistan vs. England (22 iterations)
West Indies vs. South Africa (34 iterations)
West Indies vs. Sri Lanka (24 iterations)
West Indies vs. New Zealand (22 iterations)
West Indies vs. England (13 iterations)

The simulator results were as follows:

India vs. South Africa: IND 98, SAF 59.
India vs. Sri Lanka: IND 69, SRL 41.
India vs. New Zealand: IND 63, NZL 41.
India vs. England: IND 54, ENG 10.
Australia vs. South Africa: AUS 65, SAF 52.
Australia vs. Sri Lanka: AUS 57, SRL 25.
Australia vs. New Zealand: AUS 47, NZL 31.
Australia vs. England: AUS 37, ENG 10.
Pakistan vs. South Africa: PAK 22, SAF 31.
Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka: PAK 19, SRL 19.
Pakistan vs. New Zealand: PAK 14, NZL 21.
Pakistan vs. England: PAK 12, ENG 9.
West Indies vs. South Africa: WIN 13, SAF 21.
West Indies vs. Sri Lanka: WIN, SRL 14.
West Indies vs. New Zealand: WIN 8, NZL 14.
West Indies vs. England: WIN 6, ENG 7.

These results give the following percentage chances of winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup, given the quarterfinal standings and given that the simulator is accurate:

India 28.5%
Australia 20.6%
South Africa 16.3%
New Zealand 10.7%
Sri Lanka 9.9%
Pakistan 6.7%
West Indies 3.7%
England 3.6%

It is important to note here that these rankings do not reflect the relative merits of each team, but their chances of winning the tournament given the quarterfinal standings and eventual opponents in the semifinals and final. Perhaps disappointingly for the tournament itself, the two top teams met each other in the quarterfinal stages, robbing it of what would have been a titanic final between the eventual champions and the triple defending champions.

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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Best Football Teams In Bulgaria

Football is religion for this small country. Throughout its communist times, the Bulgarian nation managed to preserve its nationality and freedom exactly through supporting the country’s favourite football club – Levski Sofia named after the apostle of Bulgarian freedom from Ottoman rule, established in 1914. Known under many different names throughout the years, broken down and dissolved in an attempt to subdue the enthusiasm and empower the communist motto «If you’re not with us, you are against us» and stomp on the basic human rights to support a team they love, Levski Sofia football club has managed to perservere and come out on top in today’s society. It has won 26 Bulgarian Championship titles, only beaten by its rival CSKA Sofia. Famous football icons such as Gundi and Gonzo who played internationally have captained the team and have taken it to worldwide fame. Gerena stadium is the main stadium of Levski Stadium with capacity of 19,000.

The other mostly supported Bulgarian team is CSKA Sofia. Its history is a little different to Levski’s as they were the Army’s team in the past – supported by the government in power and managed by the very same. Considering they have won 31 title in the shorter history, founded in 1934, it is only fair to consider the fact that during communist times they were pushed to victories in order to maintain the control of the governing party by proving to the ordinary citizen that the leading party is the almighty powerful tool that is to lead them. If we put that aside, CSKA has provided one of the top quality footballers on a worldwide level, including Hristo Stoichkov and Dimitar Berbatov, one playing for Barcelona, reaching 4th place with Bulgarian national team and winning the Golden Ball award and the other playing for top clubs like Tottenham, Manchester United and Monaco and winning the Champions League, respectively. CSKA Sofia has a great academy for youngsters and is known to promote young footballers and develop them to become great professionals.

The most famous, risen to infamousy football club recently is Ludogoretz. It’s owner is Kiril Domuschiev, a wealthy businessman that funds the club and supplies it with a budget nearly 5 times as large as the second to it in terms of finance. Their main strategy is to acquire footballers from abroad, primarily African regions and Brazil and use them to dominate in the local championship. Results speak for themselves, Ludogoretz has been a champion for the past 4 years since it emerged in the Group A of the Bulgarian football league. They played in the Champions League groups last year narrowly losing to Liverpool and Real Madrid and beating Basel on home turf. The team resembles Manchester City and Real Madrid in terms of management and is the top club in Bulgaria at the moment.

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