How Do You Keep Leather Soccer Cleats In Top Shape?

Leather cleats offer different benefits to players among them durability. A leather upper works amazing in molding to the feet and it therefore offers players that comfortable fit. Comfort is among the elements that can impact on player performance and hence getting the right soccer cleats is of importance. But the best experience does not only rely on selecting the right shoes, but also putting in measures to keep them in good condition so you have a pleasant experience every time you use the boots.

Leather cleats deserve to be accorded good care, especially considering that they can be expensive. If you want to enjoy the durability and functionality of the cleats then you must ensure that you take good care of your pair. It all starts with finding a snug, comfortable fit; remember leather forms to the feet, but does not shrink in length.

Wear and remove the shoes properly

When wearing your leather cleats, loosen the laces so you have an easy time slipping your foot in. Avoid stepping on the heel back when doing this because you will only end up damaging the heel and affect the lifespan. You should also ensure that the laces are untied when removing the shoes.

Get rid of dirt immediately after play

If you have been playing on muddy grounds, always make a point of removing the mud and any other particles as soon as possible. This is something you can simply do by clapping the shoes together and it is something that will help the material breathe and dry appropriately. This simple act will also help keep your bag clean!

Allow them to breathe

The last thing you want is to overuse your soccer cleats. It is most advisable that you change into sandals after games or practice. You should also consider getting more than one pair of boots for your play and practice so you can let them breathe in turns to keep them in good shape. Rotating between shoes reduces wear and tear, especially during soccer seasons.

Clean the leather as appropriate

Use warm soapy water and a cloth to clean your leather cleats. It is important to make sure that the detergent used is mild. Instead of submerging the shoes in the water, opt to brush off the dirt using the damp cloth. Soaking and forcing drying all the time will only cause damage to the material over a period of time. You can pat the shoes dry after the wipe to hasten drying process.

Let the boots air dry

Direct heat may seem ideal in quick drying but it is damaging to leather. Avoid using hair dryers, microwaves and ovens to dry your boots. It is also not advisable to leave the boots out in the sun to dry otherwise you may end up with warped or damaged shoes.

Use the best leather polish

Leather may not need waterproofing but you can enhance protection and keep the color by using the right leather polish. It will nourish the material and give it a soft appeal. After cleaning and polishing, you can use a boot tree to store the cleats so you maintain their original shape.

Camiseta de la 1ª equipación Vapor Match del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19 Camiseta de la 1ª equipación Vapor Match del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19

Highs and Lows of Cricket and a Commercial Break

After some terrific cricket and some horrific related incidents during the first three months of 2018 it’s time now for a commercial break. Well, not exactly though for millions of avid fans! They have been patiently waiting for this most commercially viable form of cricket since the last season. Come April-May for over a decade now, and nobody can stop these fans for going gaga over this movie-styled entertainers of the sport.

Right, we are talking about the 11th Season of the Indian Premiere League-2018 T20 Cricket tournament starting from 7th April till the end of next month. Many fans would be excited this time for the return of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) with the former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni back as captain of CSK and Ajinkya Rahane replacing the tainted Steve Smith as captain of RR while New Zealand captain Kane Williamson replaced the tainted David Warner as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), earlier Shikhar Dhawan was tipped for the post. Pune Rising Supergiants and Gujarat Lions that played for last two years after the two-year suspension of CSK and RR over a cricketing scandal could not qualify this time.

The buying of selling of internationally famed cricketers, euphemistically called auction, saw most of the regular players retained adding some exciting new ones. England cricketer Ben Stokes became the costliest overseas player while Indian pacer Jaydev Unadkat the costliest domestic one-both these players are bought by RR. Some known faces remained unsold including Lasith Malinga, Martin Guptil, Hashim Amla, Ishant Sharma and many others. Destroyer Chris Gayle somehow found a place in Kings XI Punjab in the third and last round of auction. Old warhorse Yuvraj Singh also found a place in this team which is being led this time by a new captain Ravichandran Ashwin. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) discarded Gautam Gambhir who is being lapped up by Delhi Daredevils (DD) as captain. The sensation of the T20 Tri-Series Final against Bangladesh in Colombo on 18th March, 2018, Dinesh Karthik whose 8-ball 29 won India the Nidahas Trophy, becomes the captain of KKR which would definitely cheer a lot of Kolkata fans. India captain Virat Kohli continues to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) while Rohit Sharma is also retained as captain of Mumbai Indians (MI). The inaugural match between MI and CSK will be played in Mumbai on 7th April and Kolkata will see its first match on 8th April between KKR and RCB. The other venues will be Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mohali assigned as hometowns to the different teams.

This commercial break in terms of the IPL-2018 can be viewed as a much-needed relief after the scandalous developments in international cricket recently. While the India Vs South Africa cricket series in South Africa was a high point in competitive spirited cricket the Test duel between the hosts and Australia cricket reached the lowest.

Although India under Virat Kohli lost the 3-Test series against South Africa 2-1 during January, 2018 the cricket was highly competitive with constant ups and downs. India nearly won the series with some superlative bowling performances, and many Indian fans believed that with some more batting application India would have seen the final result in its favour. South Africa won the closely fought first and second Tests while India won the final Test convincingly. And then, the Indians were unstoppable annihilating South Africa both in the one-day and the T20 series. Australia played the Test Series against South Africa during March, 2018 winning the first one and losing the second one. The series was looking up at that point of time despite the ugly off-field confrontation of David Warner with South African keeper Quinton de Kock during the first Test in Durban.

The ball-tampering incident happened on March 24, 2018 on the third day of the third Test being played in Cape Town involving Cameron Bancroft, and then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner-both being in the know as well as in the leadership. The deliberate and cold-blooded tactic shocked the whole world, both cricketing and non-cricketing, with absolute words of condemnation coming from one and all irrespective of the highest or the lowest positions of authority. Cricket Australia was swift in its action, and the implicated players accepted the punishment with lots of public tears, but with no appealing intentions. As per the latest information Cricket Australia wants to put all the lids on this most scandalous happening which is possible because as mentioned the players are not going to appeal against the punishment handed out. Of course, a lot of questions involving this shameful episode would remain unanswered forever.

Meanwhile Afghanistan cricket team qualified for the ICC World Cup-2019 against all odds and beating Ireland in its final outing. The other qualifier is the West Indies, surprisingly.

Indian Premier League – A Cricketing Extravaganza Or Something Else

Cricket has gone through a strong metamorphosis, moving from the 5 day test match pattern to one-day internationals that give 50 overs a team and now, we are into an even more compact format of cricket called T20 or twenty-twenty. The twenty-twenty format shrinks the game further to just 20 overs per team. The present T20 world cup is supposed to be held from 30th April to 16th May 2010. In addition, we also have different competitive events like the Sharjah Cup, the Champion’s Trophy and so on. Given the slew of cricketing events and the massive fan following they have it was only a matter of time before a sports entrepreneur decided to capitalize on this phenomenon and build one of India’s largest sporting extravaganzas of all time. And India being a cricket-crazy nation, the Indian Premier League, which is closely modeled on the hugely successful English Premier League found almost instant fan following.

So, the first installment of the IPL began in 2008, with 8 teams – Delhi Daredevils, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore. The teams are essentially named after specific Indian states, and they are owned by different entities beginning with movie stars, media conglomerates, and industrialists and so on. There was massive media frenzy around the whole event as it started in early 2008, with international players, Indian players all up for grabs and a huge auction following it. The teams were formed and the matches began. The model was interesting in more ways than one. First, players of the same country were being pitted against each other many-a-time. So, as far as the sport went, we could see the magic of Muralidharan along with the keeping of Dhoni in one team. As with seeing Tendulkar and Jayasurya bat on the same side! Secondly, the teams were all tied to different states or cities. So a Mumbai Indians match versus say Kings XI Punjab was played in Mumbai or in Punjab, and somehow the scintillation of watching a Mumbai team in Mumbai or a Deccan team in AP was brought out, much like how fans find watching Man U play at Old Trafford more enjoyable than any other Man U match! It even served to unite a state with the underlying theme being cricket. So, while different teams won and lost at different times, the winner clearly was cricket. At the same time, the whole franchise is valued at over $4 billion!

And so, as is the case with any event that gathers instant stardom and is worth billions of dollars, this one found its controversies as well. Even the Beijing Olympics that were executed to inch-perfect perfection were not spared the controversy, from lip-syncing ceremony performers to instant shutdown of polluting factories. So how can this sporting enterprise be spared?

So, IPL2 – the second installment was mired in controversy over security. The event clashed with General Elections in India and so security was of paramount concern. The Government requested the organizers to postpone the tournament till after the elections, but this was refused since apparently TV rights and slots had been booked. So amid a lot of controversy and hue and cry the tournament shifted to South Africa, leaving a disgruntled Indian Government and disappointed Indian fans in its wake.

IPL3 was not spared as well. When peace talks with Pakistan hit an impasse, some political parties were up in arms against allowing Pakistani players from participating in the IPL. Yet again, the papers screamed out about how some politicians were interfering in sport, and how the unifying spirit of sport was being squandered and so on. Finally newer players were given a chance and the Pakistani players didn’t indeed get a chance to play in IPL3.

Now IPL4 though, attracted controversy before it could even begin and this controversy has threatened the entire existence of the enterprise – the biggest controversy so far.

As per the original plan by the organizers, 2 more teams were to be added to the IPL franchise in 2011 – Pune and Kochi. There apparently have been some wrongdoings in terms of money laundering and corruption underlying some dealings and the way the auctions and franchises have been conducted are allegedly not very transparent. So, the past few weeks have brought out a lot of murkiness in the story to the fore. Now, one of the proposed 2 new teams was Kochi, in Kerala. The IPL chief, Lalit Modi tweeted once revealing the winners of the Kochi team and also commented that a Kerala MP, and Union Minister Dr. Shashi Tharoor was involved in ‘mentoring’ the team. It came to the fore that the winning bidder, Rendezvous Sports World belonged to Dr. Tharoor’s friend, Sunanda Pushkar. What followed was a murky mud-slinging exercise, with allegations of wrongdoing flying on all sides. On one side the union minister was accused of pocketing some money himself, the financial capability of Ms. Pushkar was called into question, the union minister’s involvement was looked upon with suspicion, his friendship with Ms. Pushkar was questioned and just like it takes a pinprick to open up a can of worms, all skeletons came tumbling out of the IPL closet.

The taxmen then stepped up and started scrutinizing the records of the bidding process. The bid documents of two legitimate bidders who lost were interestingly missing. The winning franchise owners were not spared either. Save for a couple of teams like say the Chennai Super Kings with 100% ownership by India Cements, many other teams seemed to have ownership by different entities, some hailing from tax havens like the British Virgin Islands as well! Clearly the IPL had ventured into a lot more than just cricket and unification of the sport.

Dr. Tharoor was asked to step down, since it looked as if the minister was exploiting his governmental powers and the Indian Opposition demanded the same of the ruling coalition. Ms. Pushkar gave up her sweat equity in an attempt to prevent the resignation of the minister. As if that were not enough, the erstwhile BCCI (Board of Cricket Control in India) president Mr. Sharad Pawar and his political party were drawn into the controversy. And when accosted, Mr. Pawar, with whose blessings Lalit Modi had started the IPL franchise, had to disown it all. And then, apparently Multi Screen Media (MSM), an arm of Sony Entertainment Television paid all of Rs. 125 crore or 1.25 billion rupees to World Sports Group (WSG) for broadcast rights. This money apparently has flown to several beneficiaries with ‘political connections’.

The controversy keeps getting murkier and different entities and their nefarious interests keep coming to the fore. And while all this is happening, Mumbai Indians take on Chennai Super Kings in a face/off on Sunday – April 25th. Whether that match is interesting or otherwise, the IPL controversy sure makes for interesting early morning coffee time reading!

What does all this mean for me as an Indian? Well, I was exposed to how a business can take shape out of an Indian fan phenomenon. At school, we had a representative of an IPL team come and give us a talk on their business plan and proposition and that was when I realized how an entrepreneur could capitalize on the two things that stoke the Indian imagination – cricket and glamor. The combination came as a masterstroke. And now, with the whole franchise embroiled in controversy, another Indian phenomenon has come to the fore and that is the quintessential C for corruption which nowadays seems to underline every enterprise that plans to take shoot in India. Till the controversy opens itself up, I guess we at least have enough stories as fodder for the media and enough to fill up newsprint. So no matter who wins this battle of who is the most corrupt of them all, the winner most definitely is the media that finally has one of the juiciest Indian story of all time.

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Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Definitely Not Learn German!

1) The Germans don’t want to talk German to you anyways – the majority

Ask any American, Aussie or Kiwi who has lived in Germany: As soon as the Germans hear that you are a native English speaker, they will be so keen on practicing their English that you will barely have a chance to have any conversation in German. Even if you approach them in German – they will reply in English.

2) The Germans that will talk German to you – a dangerous minority

There is a small minority of Germans that will talk German to you. However, once you find one of those German exhibits, it is very likely that they will not rest until you have perfected every tiny detail and obscurity of German grammar, sentence structure. They will probably also push you to be at least fluent in 10 of Germany’s regional dialects. So think twice about disclosing your interest in learning German to those folks.

3) The Pope & the Champions League

The pope is no longer a native German speaker (if I understand the news right it should be someone from South America right now) so there is not need to learn German in order to talk to the Pope. On the other hand, judging from the current Champions League, I would presume that a German soccer player should be the next world-soccer player of the year. However, I feel it might be Bastian Schweinsteiger who is from upper Bavaria, and thus, will not be able to communicate with you in a proper standard German way.

4) The ultimate German dialect: Kölsch

You will not learn what really matters in a class. My own research indicates that a vast majority of Germans and German residents agree that the regional dialect of the great City of Cologne (City: «Köln»; dialect: «Kölsch»; regional beer: «Kölsch») is the most desirable and fun of way of talking German. However, you cannot learn Kölsch from a book, but you will have to actually come down hang out with the local crowd.

5) German is too difficult anyways

The last and obvious point is: German is just too difficult to learn. If you disagree, please let me know and will post my next blog entry in proper «Amtsdeutsch» and have you guys translate it.

I am not sure if I might have missed some points. Please feel free to let me know and maybe we can continue the list.

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