Making a Guaranteed Sure Bet Profit From Soccer

If we want to find guaranteed profitable sports bets then soccer is a great sports to start with.

Soccer matches are priced up by all the big bookmakers and some nice guaranteed profitable bets are available if you know when and where to look. Sports bookmakers never miss a trick when thinking up new ways to extract your money from you and there are many inventive bets on offer.

Soccer can in many ways be about timing. The earlier the price appears the more likely there will be a sure-bet or arbitrage opportunity (arb).

Bookmakers clearly do a lot of research as soccer has now become a big earner for them. They need to do this as they are only too aware that the serious punters are becoming much shrewder in this market and will exploit any snippets of news that could give them an edge. They advertise heavily in the tabloids.

Whereas in some minor sports there may be only one odds compiler working for the bookmaker soccer is too lucrative for this any many odds compilers will work feverishly setting prices for the big bookmakers. Any European bookmaker worth its salt will offer odds on soccer, its a high revenue turnover sport.

Such is their turnover on the ever increasing soccer betting market that Ladbrokes and other such big bookmakers are willing to take a ‘big’ bet on the outcome of a match. This is clearly great news for the arb maker. This means that the maximum bets they will accept on a bet are a lot higher.

There are many types of soccer bets. Firstly there is the match winner. This is split into 3 results, win, lose or draw. Then there are the first goal scorer and the precise match score. The less obvious bets are half-time, full-time results, total corners, total throw-ins, total numbers of yellow and red cards and so on. In fact anything where odds can be set to will offer a betting opportunity.

So which are the best soccer bets to look for? Firstly forget about predicting the match score, there are too many outcomes. The first goal scorer is a waste of time too. Both these types of bets are heavily advertised but are for mug punters only, the odds consistently being offered are poor, the bookmakers regularly taking over 15% profit on the book. These bets have far too many possible outcomes. We are looking for bets with ideally 2 or 3 possible outcomes.

Other types of bet can throw up the odd arb but the main source of arbs is on the match result over 90 minutes. This is where we should concentrate most of our efforts. Clearly this falls into 3 results, win, lose or draw.

Here is an example:

Team A versus Team B.

Team A Draw Team B

Bet365 3/1

SpotingOdds 9/4

Victor Chandler 11/10

The way to play the soccer market is to open accounts with European bookmakers as the difference in opinion between UK and European bookmakers is a good source of sure bets. They both have strong opinions on this sport. They will price up the sport in their own country and the matches in foreign countries. Anything to make a profit.

Italy, for example is even more soccer crazy than the UK, with newspapers dedicated to the sport. Everyone thinks they know best on this subject and egos get in the way of sensible pricing. This is great news for us. The European bookmakers can be opinionated and where as they may well have greater detailed knowledge of the comings and goings in their own countries they are relying on third parties to collate information on their foreign counterparts.

One good starting point is in midweek games between teams of different nationalities. There is a tendency in punters to get patriotic when it comes to events where the opposition are ‘foreign’. The chances of the home team get talked up and the odds could get skewed in their favour as the weight of money is overly wagered in their direction.

Having said that the big bookmakers offer an early price, they will often advertise it in the national papers and by and large stick to it. This means that a bench mark has been set and subsequent bookmakers may take a different opinion or try to tempt money in their direction by offering different odds. If this were to happen the arb may be available for a considerable amount of time.

There are always discrepancies in odds but clearly bookmakers tend to stick around the same price. They figure there is safety in numbers. But remember they are ‘guessing’ what the odds should be just like you and me. They are basing their opinion on past experience and they might utilise statistical formulae but they still need to form an opinion on the likely outcome.

They can get it wrong and other firms can take a totally different view of the outcome of a game. A totally different view will only result in a slight variation in the odds but this can be enough to offer a sure bet profit.

Another approach is to start with the more obscure games in eg. the Spanish, Italian or Norweigen lower divisions. They can have quite lucrative discrepancies. They will be covered by a number of different bookmakers all over Europe. This does however add a complication. Although quite easy for finding arbs, the mere fact that you concentrate on these obscure matches will throw up the possibility that you are going to get spotted by the bookmakers if you concentrate your action here.

Also they are going to be reluctant to accept high maximum bets on matches where they have done little research. On the other hand it is a training ground for arb spotting and may gain you valuable experience. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of this strategy.

This is a fairly obscure area of betting and if someone was to check your account over a number of months and found solely these obscure foreign matches on your account it could ring alarm bells. The motto here is to dilute the bets by betting on as many different type of sport and events as possible so that your accounts have varied bets on them. This shouldn’t be a problem as many different sports are great for sure bets.

The more prominent European ties will also produce arbs and they are less likely to attract attention to you and the maximum bets will be higher.

As before you cannot control whether the individual bets win or lose but soccer is a 3 way result and so 2 losing bets to one winning one can be useful on your account. The point here is that not many people are interested in the lower European divisions and it may become clear that the betting pattern is a little unusual. This is especially true if your bets towards the maximum permitted.

Injury news can be a lucrative area in soccer. Think about it. If a player fails a late fitness test on a Saturday and he is the teams star striker then this will greatly affect their chances. Recently Alan Shearer turned up to play a premiership game for Newcastle but was declared unfit to play at the last minute. Newcastle were soundly beaten. I am not saying this wouldn’t have happened, I don’t know. But the odds on the game clearly changed the minute this news broke.

Some bookmakers were alert to this and altered prices as the money poured in for the opposition. Some were slow to react or would not have reacted at all. Either way arbs were available. This type of last minute frantic activity is particularly keen on the betting exchanges like Betfair where you can act as the punter or the bookmaker (lay bets).

You can find injury news through one of the many soccer web sites. Alternatively satellite television channels always have comprehensive news coverage of all the games and are quick to offer any ‘off the press’ news. Slowly the bookmakers’ prices will all change, but not all at the same time, only one by one so creating sure bets.

In this scenario where prices are changing bet on the old price first. The new price is the one that wont change the old price is the one that is about to and so may be lost if you are not quick.

To re-emphasise, arb hunting can be all about timing. When the odds are first produced or have reason to change then the arbs are much more likely to appear.

Recently the English referees have become more lenient in the issuing of yellow cards. This had an effect on the prices for the total number of bookings in a game. Some of the bookmakers adjusted their prices accordingly and others did not. This will affect the bet ranges applied for total bookings.

Let’s look at the red and yellow card market. If you didn’t know the yellow and red cards bet is calculated as 10 points for a yellow card and 25 points for a red. A player can get a maximum of 35 points in a match (10 + 25).

The betting here is normally split into 3 ranges. Under 11 points at say odds of 100/30, 11 to 30 points, at 6/4 and over 30 points, the most likely outcome, at about 11/10. This doesn’t vary much unless there is a history of animosity between the teams in which case the odds are adjusted accordingly.

Here is an example:

Team A versus Team B – Total points for red and yellow cards during the match.

Less than 11 points 11 to 30 points Over 30 points

Ladbrokes 100/30

William Hill 6/4

Victor Chandler 11/10

Usually this type of bet will not figure strongly in your plans. Also it is unusual to find information being issued that will affect the total bookings bet. But a simple piece of news like the policy for issuing cards has just changed can affect prices and lead to one or more arb. The conclusion is not to expect too much sure betting activity from the issuing of red and yellow cards but it simple enough to check the odds.

Soccer and the English football league is the basis of a lot of arb opportunities. A Saturday morning is a very hectic time in the soccer season and if you only allocate 3 hours on each Saturday morning, up to half a dozen arbs could appear every week. Equally spending the same time researching prices when they are first issued earlier in the week can equally be rewarding. Have a game plan and concentrate on how you are going to organise your trading activity.

The obscure British matches are more likely to offer an arb than one of the premiership games. This is because there is less information available on team selection and injuries. Bookmakers will spend a lot of time gathering information on the likely result of the premiership games because they are high profile but are less likely to research the more minor games. They tend to try the ‘safety in numbers’ approach and all give a similar price for the games where they have little or no current information on the outcome.

This can lead to some more informed bookmakers, who have a stronger opinion, seeking out the money by offering differing prices. This inevitably leads to arbs appearing. Injury news is clearly a news event that will change a team’s chances, so keep informed of the injury news by looking at one of the many soccer websites that are running.

As mentioned previously foreign games produce arbs on a regular basis. Whether it’s the fundamental difference of opinion between the British and continental bookmakers or just the fact that the foreign ones are going to be better informed about their own matches matters not. Variations in prices occur regularly.

Here are some recent UEFA cup examples:

Celtic versus FK Teplice (Note the odds are in the decimal format).

Celtic Win(1) Draw(X) FK Teplice Lose(2)

Sportwetten 1.45

Canbet 5.50

Canbet 13.00

Here are the odds translated to percentages:

Celtic Win(1) Draw(X) FK Teplice Lose(2)

Sportwetten 68.97

Canbet 18.18

Canbet 7.69

This resulted in an arb of about 5%. If our total stake was £1,000 we would have bet about £690 on Celtic, £182 on the draw and £77 on FK Teplice.

The interesting thing here was that Canbet make up two sides of this arb. Their thoughts were that Celtic were overwhelming favourites to win this tie and priced the match accordingly. Sportwetten, along with other bookmakers, had the Celtic win at 1.45, favourites yes, but not as much as Canbet had thought. Maybe Canbet were trying to attract a lot of money. They were certainly offering what appeared to be generous prices on FK Treplice.

Another example: Benfica versus Rosenborg:

Benfica Win(1) Draw(X) Benfica Lose(2)

Canbet 1.95

SportOdds 3.50

SportOdds 5.50

Here are the odds translated to percentages:

Benfica Win(1) Draw(X) Benfica Lose(2)

Canbet 51.28

SportOdds 28.57

SportOdds 18.18

This resulted in an arb of 2.0%. If our total stake was £1,000 we would have bet about £513 on Benfica, £288 on the draw and £182 on Rosenborg.

Not as lucrative as the previous arb but again one bookmaker, SportOdds, making all the running in terms of two generous prices and Canbet being the make weight in the bet.

These days, the major clubs have big squads and participate in at least three different competitions. Tactical switches of personnel are more common and unpredictable than injury news which is normally known a day or two in advance of a match and will focus on only one player. Be wary of personnel changes, weaker teams being fielded to save the best players for the big games.

As always, the rule is the earlier you can get a price, hopefully by phoning up before the prices are on-line, the more likely a price differential will appear. Also the period before a match results in frantic trading and can lead to price movements. With so many bookmakers offering prices they will not all move as one.

There are so many bookmakers catering for soccer that you are spoilt for choice. Terrestrial and satellite TV. This is fast becoming the best place to pick up to the minute news on injuries and team selections. Satellite TV stations literally show wall to wall coverage of soccer on Saturdays and this can be invaluable when looking for sure bets.

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Football and Violence – Football Or Fireball?

Recently concluded Euro 2008 was widely covered in the international media, but there was another news that attracted lesser coverage and readers. Spain’s Euro 2008 football victory party turned sour when one fan died and nearly 100 suffered injuries during wild celebrations in Madrid.

The victim, a 40-year-old man, was found lying in a pool of blood by street cleaners in the centre of the capital. The initial media reports suggested that he probably suffered a head wound.

After the national team had broken a 44-year spell, Spaniards took to the streets in wild celebrations that lasted well into the following day. Wrapped in Spanish flags fans let off fireworks and honked car horns.

Police tried to stop fans from jumping into the Cibeles fountain, the traditional way to celebrate a football victory and made baton charges to break up isolated rioting in the capital. More than 50 supporters were arrested for acts of vandalism and public disorder. Luckily there was only one reported death.

The game of football has been closely associated with hundreds of death. Many times it was a result of hooliganism or football riots and many times it was an out come of accidents or stampedes or fights among the fans.

Football and violence have been moving closely since many years. In 1314 King Edward II of UK banned football to prevent football related violence. Most of the football playing nations, have witnessed football related deaths from time to time.

In 1968, over 70 people died when crowds attending a football match in Argentina, stampeded after some youths threw burning papers on each others. In 1971, a fight broke out at a match in Brazil, killing four and injuring 1,500.

In 1964, in another football accident more than 300 football fans died and another 500 were injured in Peru in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match between Argentina and Peru.

In June 2006, Germany beat Poland in a world cup finals match, a result that meant Germany qualified for the second round in the finals. The match was marred by violent clashes between German and Polish fans. The police detained over 300 people in Dortmund after clashes broke out. German fans threw chairs, bottles and fireworks at the police. Various groups of German and Polish fans fought with each other in separate clashes. In February 2007 in Saxony, all German lower league matches were cancelled after about 800 fans attacked 300 police officers after a match.

In Turkey, before Galatasaray’s semifinal UEFA cup match with Leeds United A.F.C. in 2000, many fans were stabbed to death following street fights between Turkish and British hooligans.

At the 2006 FIFA world cup in Germany, there were limited incidences of violence, with over 200 preventative arrests. During that time, Police believe that on average each rioter consumed or threw 17 litres of beer.

In more serious situation, police had to protect Libyan fans in the Egypt from missiles being thrown at them by Egypt fans in the tier above them during a match between Egypt and Morocco.

In another football accident 125 people died and hundreds were injured when football fans stampeded at a match in Ghana in 2001. In Johannesburg, South Africa, on 14 January 1991 forty people died when fans surged toward a jammed exit to escape rival brawling fans at a match south west of Johannesburg.

On April 15, 1989 in England, Ninety-five people are killed and at least 200 injured in Britain’s worst sports disaster after a crowd surge crushed packed fans against barriers at the English F.A. Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough stadium.

In thousands of other cases hundreds of fans were stabbed at various places world wide. Many matches faced cancellation and many clubs paid hefty fines. Public property faced destruction in countless events. All these incidents leave the game with a tarnished image. Now most of the football playing nations, are taking extra security measures for various tournaments. Along with the governments, a lot depends on the fans as well. Only they can help curb such violence. A broader and more liberal outlook among fans is needed to make the sport a sporty affair!

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FC Barcelona – The Cruyff Years

Johan Cruyff is a legendary football player known the world over for his aggressive and intelligent style of play. Though he had success in his earlier years, it is when he joined FC Barcelona in 1973 that his star really began to shine.

Cruyff began his career in his home country of the Netherlands playing for AFC Ajax. There he led the team to many victories and memorable performances, but was eventually sold to FC Barcelona for a hefty sum. Cruyff wasted no time winning over the Barcelona fans, stating to the press that he chose Barcelona over their rivals Real Madrid because he didn’t want to play for a team associated with former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. He even named his son Jordi, a traditional Catalan (the region of Spain in which Barcelona is found) name.

Cruyff’s years playing for FC Barcelona were truly memorable and made him an icon. In his first year with the team, he helped them win La Liga for the first time in fourteen years (beating Real Madrid on their own turf along the way) and was also named European Footballer of the Year. It was during this time that he also scored one of his most memorable goals, called «The Phantom Goal» or «Le but d’imposible de Cruyff» (The Impossible Goal of Cruyff). In a match against Atlético Madrid, the football was already past the far goal post and was at about neck height when Cruyff leapt into the air, twisting so that he was facing away from the goal and kicked the ball into the goal with his right heel. This move among others propelled him to godlike status in the eyes of football fans.

Cruyff then spent many years away from FC Barcelona as a player and manager, until finally returning to the club as manager in 1988. When he returned to Barcelona, Cruyff brought with him the so-called «Dream Team». This elite squad was composed of Spaniards Jon Andoni Goikoetxea, Jose Mari Bakero, Josep Guardiola, Txiki Beguiristain, along with international stars Romanian Gheorghe Hagi, Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov, Dane Michael Laudrup, Brazilian Romario, and Dutchman Ronald Koeman.

Under Cruyff’s direction, the Dream Team went on to win four consecutive La Liga titles from 1991 to 1994. They won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1989 and the European Cup in 1992 at Wembley Stadium with a famous free kick goal courtesy of Ronald Koeman. In 1990, the Dream Team won a Copa del Rey, the European Super Cup in ’92, and three Supercopa de Espana.

Cruyff remains FC Barcelona’s most successful manager to date, with eleven trophies to his name. He also has the distinction of being the club’s longest serving manager. He continues to be an advisor for FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta, whom he openly endorsed during the elections. To this day, he is still revered by FC Barcelona fans, who call him «El Salvador» (The Saviour) for his successful run as both player and coach at the club.

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Golden Palace Casino: Boldly Going Where No Online Casino Has Gone Before

Adding to a long list of unusual eBay listings, actor William Shatner (best known as Captain James T. Kirk on television’s Star Trek) sold the kidney stone he passed back in August 2005 to Golden Palace Casino Online Casino. Golden Palace Casino paid $25,000 for the iconic former Captain of the Starship Enterprise’s organ, the funds promptly rerouted to the charity Habitat For Humanity, which helps build houses for low income families.

Golden Palace Casino has, in the internet gambling world at least, become synonymous with the publicity stunt. This is the same online casino that, in August 2005, paid $1,775 for a pierogi (a polish dumpling) bearing the image of Jesus Christ. Upon winning the item, they proudly added it to their growing (and increasingly notorious) collection of modern oddities.

Other cherished artifacts include:

— A Grilled Cheese Sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary ($28,000)

— A 1999 Volkswagen Golf that formerly belonged to Pope Benedict XVI

— Britney Spears’ pregnancy test (yes, used — yuck)

— A metal walking cane that an elderly woman sold in the hopes of convincing her young grandson that his grandfather’s ghost would once and for all leave their house along with it ($65,000).

In early December 2005, the online casino purchased Babe Ruth’s allegedly corked baseball bat from Lelands.com for $103,631. Now, according to Golden Palace Casino CEO Richard Rowe, they intend to saw the bat in half and resolve the long batted-around controversy once and for all.

Golden Palace Casino is even proud holder of the only known property deed to the White House — yes, the actual home of the President of the United States. Won in an auction on eBid.tv in September 2005, this Quitclaim deed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C was also one of the least expensive items the Golden Palace Casino «museum» managed to get its hands on, costing only $43.45.

Golden Palace Casino has even paid to have its name appear in upcoming releases by famous novelists such as Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction writer David Brin (The Postman, the River of Time Anthology) to whom they paid $2,250 for the honor. Dave Eggers, bestselling author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, got $5,471.78 from them for a cameo appearance in his forthcoming novel, The Journey of the Fishes Overland. As with most all of Golden Palace Casino Online Casino’s unique advertising expenditures, all proceeds from this exchange will be donated to charity; in these two cases, it’s the First Amendment Project, a free speech charity.

Amassing an increasingly bizarre collection of modern oddities isn’t the only publicity stunt this online casino is engaged in. Golden Palace Casino:

— Continues to pay out thousands of dollars to individuals to tattoo the Golden Palace Casino logo on various parts of their subjects’ bodies.

— Employs a growing pool of brave and shameless souls to interrupt public sporting events by running naked across the arena with the online casino’s logo and URL emblazoned on their flesh. Folks like Mark Roberts (whose rear end is now more famous than his face could ever have been) have streaked the French and British and US Opens, the World Swimming Championships, the UEFA Cup finals, Ladies’ Day at the Royal Ascot, the World Figure Skating Championship, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece, Super Bowl XXXVIII, and run with the Bulls in Spain — all in the name of good, wholesome, online casino gambling.

— Sponsored Dennis Rodman’s car in the Bullrun USA 2005, a race that matches the exact route of the Cannonball Run in the 1981 Burt Reynolds movie of the same name.

— Sponsored a rowboat team that attempted a 3,000-mile crossing of the Atlantic.

The crew at Golden Palace Casino certainly knows how to draw attention to themselves. And there’s no argument, they know how to raise money for charity!

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Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player – Juan Roman Riquelme

His full name is Juan Román Riquelme. He was born June 24, 1978 in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, an impoverished providence of Buenos Aires Argentina to a family of ten. He is an Argentine soccer player who now plays for Boca Juniors of the Argentine Primera División, and his position on the field is as an attacking midfielder.

In 1995 Riquelme began playing professional football with the Boca Juniors and seven seasons enjoyed with the club prior to being traded to Barcelona. Following a short and not successful stay with them, he moved to Villarreal, and became superstar there, winning a lot of honors. Presently Riquelme continues to play at both the national and international level, and lately won the MVP award at the Copa Libertados.

A longtime Argentine international, Riquelme is best acknowledged for his spells with Boca Juniors and Villarreal. A playmaker, his major assets are his passing and setting the tempo of play.

It was Boca Juniors the club that had it as foremost character, in those that reached three times the Argentinean championship, to be champion of the Cup Libertadores of America in two opportunities, and champion of the Intercontinental Cup of soccer, in the year 2000.

Juan Román Riquelme is considered as a talented player with outstanding field vision. As of 2005, Riquelme is frequently noted as the key factor in Villareal’s explosive 2005 campaign.

Some of honours he received as log as his career are:

2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup (Villarreal CF)

2001 Copa Libertadores (Boca J.)

2000 Argentine Apertura Championship (Boca J.)

2000 Intercontinental Cup (Boca J.)

2000 Copa Libertadores (Boca J.)

1999 Argentine Clausura Championship (Boca J.)

1998 Argentine Apertura Championship (Boca J.)

1997 FIFA’s Football World Youth Championship (under-20)

As concerned as some of his individual honors are Player of the Year of Argentina (2000, 2001, 2008) and Copa Libertadore’s Most Valuable Player in 2007.

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10 Reasons Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo Are Not the Greatest of All Time [GOAT] in Football

For the best part of the last decade, two names have dominated world football (soccer) more than any others; Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. These great rivals have broken countless football records, scored insane number of goals and pushed each other all the way to greatness despite the fact that they are two very different football players, playing two very different styles in two very different roles for two different clubs. The only thing that really connects the two is the ocean of ability that separates them from the rest of the players in the world. There can be no question as to whether the duo belongs in the pantheon of football all-time greats anymore. Although any effort to determine the greatest footballer of all time is subject to generational bias, it should be noted that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are not individually or collectively the greatest football player [s] of all time due to the following reasons;

Cristiano is not the best 'Ronaldo' to play the game: despite his unparalleled achievement in and off the field of play, Cristiano Ronaldo is still not considered the best Ronaldo to have played the game. Ronaldo de Assisi (also known as Ronaldinho) and Ronaldo de Lima (the phenomenon) are the other 'Ronaldos' whose legendary attacking prowess is often compared to Cristiano Ronaldo's. Ronaldo de Lima was a more explosive and complete striker who would have probably been the 'World's Best Striker Ever' if he had stayed injury-free in his footballing career, while Ronaldinho was the entertainer who, at his peak, constantly wowed the footballing world . Cristiano Ronaldo is better than other 'Ronaldos' in terms of constituency over the years, phenomenal goal-scoring rates, overall fitness and prolonged career (due to low rate of injuries) but for sheer skill, explosiveness, superior technical ability, and the' wow 'factor, the two' Ronaldos' are better than Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi is not the best ever Argentine player: It is a well-known fact that for a footballer to be the best ever in the world, he has to be the best ever footballer in his country and sadly, Lionel Messi isn't both . Lionel Messi is not the best football player Argentina has produced. That honor goes to Diego Armando Maradona. Maradona (widely regarded as one of the best football players ever) is a footballing legend that inspired Argentina to a world cup victory and SSC Napoli (in the Italian Football League) to its first and second League title [Scudetti] in its history. He is the scorer of the world's most dubious goal (the 'Hand of God' goal) and the FIFA Goal of the Century. There is virtually a cult around the player in Argentina. Diego Maradona (and Pele) is the benchmark for the illustrious South American nation when a new star comes on to the block. So, while Messi has dazzled on the European stage, passing milestone after milestone and picking up loads of awards, his countrymen regard him as the country second best football player ever.

Both players have never won the World Cup: Although the latter rounds of the modern-day UEFA Champions League would rival the FIFA World Cup in terms of quality, with talents from around the globe focused concentrated in the hands of an elite few, the World Cup still retains substantially symbolic value as a quadrennial competition which pit the best of one nation against the best of another. It is no secret Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have never won (or inspired their respective countries to win) the FIFA World Cup. Cristiano Ronaldo has won an European Cup (The Euros) with his home country, Portugal but has never been to the semi-finals or the finals of the World Cup while Lionel Messi was underwhelming in the 2014 world cup semi-final and final with his home country Argentina eventually losing to Germany. The World (and Messi) was shocked when he was named the best player and awarded the Golden Ball of the tournament. Lionel Messi is also a three-time runner-up in the Copa America competition with Argentina. Most football players such as Zinedine Zidane, Pele, Diego Maradonna, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo de Lima etc. often touted as the world's best ever football player all played dominant roles in the World Cup tournament they eventually won. The same cannot be said presently of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

They are not Football's best Goal-scorers ever: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are efficient, effective and phenomenal goal scorers boasting amazing goal per match ratio but they aren't among the five best goal scorers in football history. Neither of them have scored up more than 700 goals in their respective careers so they cannot be in the company of great players such as Pele, Romario, Josef Bican, Ferenc Puskas (he has a FIFA goal-scoring award named after him), Gerd Muller. The rate of scoring of these legendary players is more impressive than that of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo given they ended their footballing careers with goal tallies well into the 800s. So if scoring goals are what makes footballers great, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, having better players boasting better goal tallies ahead of them, cannot be the greatest footballers of all time.

Both players have been accused of being criminals: They both have tax payment issues with the Spanish authorities (the country they reside and play in) and so have been accused of being criminals. After a lengthy trial that attracted so much publicity due to his status as a supremely gifted sportsman, Lionel Messi (and his father) was found guilty of not paying his taxes to the Spanish government, fined heavily and sentenced to two years in prison (he has since agreed to pay an increased fine rather than have a 21-month suspended prison sentence). His trial, guilty verdict, fine and (suspended) sentence damaged his credibility as a morally upright athlete who could do no wrong and that of his football club (FC Barcelona). Cristiano Ronaldo is also being investigated for tax evasion by the Spanish authorities, might be tried (or not), heavily fined and get a suspended prison sentence.

Their overall goal tallies are padded with too many penalties: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the greatest goal scorers of their generation. They score obscene number of goals in a football season but almost half of the total goals scored both players have come from the penalty spot. In football, penalties are the easiest way to score because it involves only the designated penalty-taker and a goal keeper to beat. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, being the designated penalty-takers of their respective club sides, always take every penalty kick awarded them or their teammates increasing their goal tallies. In 2013/2014 Football season in England, Luis Suarez of Liverpool FC (before he moved to FC Barcelona to become a teammate of Lionel Messi) won the highest goal scorer award in the English Premier League and shared the European Golden Shoe award with Cristiano Ronaldo by scoring 32 goals in 33 games in open play without taking a single penalty. That is a record Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo do not yet hold.

They play for football's most valuable clubs: Messi and Ronaldo play for super-clubs in Spain where the top sides score goals by the hatful. The second millennium's new financial order unfortunately gave birth to the modern super team essentially creating a certain form of predictability in both domestic and continental leagues. Lionel Messi plays for FC Barcelona in Spain while Ronaldo plays for Real Madrid CF also in Spain. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF are extremely rich and dominant football clubs that can afford to buy and stockpile the best and most expensive football talent anywhere in the world and so Messi and Ronaldo are always surrounded and assisted by world-class players to aid in dominating continental club football thus raising their international profiles. Both clubs always have a slew of world-class players at their disposal which leads to utter domination in domestic (Spanish La Liga) and continental (UEFA Champions League) football competitions.

The benefit of playing in the Modern Era: It is almost impossible to compare players of different era in a game that has changed so much over the years. Great footballers like Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo di Stefano played in an era when the game was played at a tempo unrecognizably slower than in the modern era. That does not make them less great than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The game played presently has changed because of changes in rules governing the game and the quality of footballs produced and used. Players in the modern era are also fitter, faster, and stronger than they have ever been, but players (especially defenders) are technically weaker than they have ever been. The Champions League's expansions of the nineties is also an advantage to the modern player: having a group stage allows a margin of error that simply did not exist in the knock out style pre-1995 tournament. It has never been easier for attackers – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo probably would never score 40-60 goals a season in the 1980s when the rules governing the game and footballs used didn't benefits attackers (strikers), and defenders / defenses were littered with world-class talents.

They are a part of football's rich history: We view the history of the game through our own national experiences, or at least we did until the modern era, where we can watch the Spanish league, Messi and Ronaldo every weekend. It is worth remembering that in the 1970s and even into the 1980s, most of Europe just watched the European Cup and UEFA Cup games of their own national teams. So, here is a little suggestion; the next time Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo score a breath-taking goal and someone on Twitter suggests the debate (on the greatest football player) is over, head to YouTube and spend ten minutes watching goals from Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff, Pele, Ferenc Puskas, Roberto Baggio, Eusebio, Alfredo di Stefano and so on. There have been plenty of geniuses in the game, and Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are part of that rich football history.

Generational and positional bias in football: The hunt for the greatest football player in history is like that of the Holy Grail. All footballers (sportsmen) are products of their time. Due to football's developmental stagnation relative to other sport and because there are so many different positions, and so many roles within those positions, it is hard to have a worthwhile conversation about who the best football player of all time is. Since the main objective of the game is to score a goal, the best goal scorers such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will always be near the top of any list about the game's best players.

Conclusion; Don't kid yourself that there won't be another player like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, no-one thought they would see another player like Diego Maradona.

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Missed Goal Scoring Opportunities From Being A One-Footed Soccer Player

As a youth soccer coach and trainer, I have seen the disadvantages of not being two-footed. Because of this handicap many goal scoring opportunities are lost. Sometimes in soccer matches, a ball is played across the penalty area, and all the recipient of the pass has to do is just tap the ball in with the weaker foot, but because of this lack of confidence in that weaker foot, the player reluctantly choose to use his/her stronger foot. You know the rest! The ball is mishandled since the player was not positioned correctly to use the stronger foot, and what should have been an easy goal if the weaker foot was used turns out to be a missed opportunity. These missed opportunities happen a lot in soccer.

I witnessed this during the UEFA Euro 2012 Tournament. On June 9th 2012, the Netherlands played Denmark in group play of the tournament. It was almost the end of the first half and Denmark was already leading 1-0. The Netherlands were attacking. Then a pass from the left side of the pitch was played through to the Netherland’s top striker Robin Van Persie in the penalty area. Everyone familiar with International soccer knows Van Persie is left footed and relies heavily on that foot. The ball should have been handled with the inside of the right foot, but instead Van Persie received the ball with the outside of his left foot and made a bad first touch. His final shot due to the poor first touch was no test for the Germany goalkeeper. In short, Van Persie missed a golden opportunity to equalize for his team.

A finer touch with the appropriate foot may have created a better goal scoring opportunity. However, to his credit, four days later in the Netherlands second group play against rivals Germany, Van Persie scored the only goal for his team in the 2-1 loss to Germany. He received and controlled a pass nicely with his right foot, played it quickly to his left foot. He advanced with the ball with pace, got about four touches with his left foot and scored with an excellent shot outside the penalty area with his right foot (his weak foot). I’m sure he was criticized for not having faith in his right foot four days earlier, but being the top goal scorer that he is; Van Persie made the correct decision in the Germany game by striking the ball with his weak foot which allowed him to earn his first goal of the tournament.

Being two footed is a good attribute for a soccer player to have and coaches at high level look for those qualities in a soccer player. A player that can play with both feet may be in a sense twice as valuable as a player who is one footed. Further, a two-footed striker or forward will be able to score twice as much soccer goals when given the opportunity. Therefore, those soccer players who have the ability to use their weaker foot with competence can be valuable asset to any team.

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Why The Name Ronaldo Is So Popular In The Football Arena!!!

Football, which is also known as soccer, is played by over 240 million people in more than 200 countries.

Over the history of the world game, many players have risen to stardom and greatness. One such player is the famous Pelé, he is a former Brazilian football player who is regarded as one of the world’s greatest players of all time. In Brazil, he is THE national hero. In the world he has been officially declared as the soccer ambassador by FIFA. Other names he is commonly known as include «The King of Football» and «The King Pele». He truly is the footballer of the century.

So what has Pele got to do with the name Ronaldo? Well in the 21st century the name Ronaldo is the most recognized name in the football world. Why? Thanks to the Brazilians we have again been gifted with 2 of the most talented players in the world, Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima and Ronaldo de Assis Moreira Ronaldinho. Together with Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro from Portugal, they all share the name Ronaldo and are the most respected players in the football world today. They are icons similar to Pele that most likely will never be forgotten.

About the 3 Ronaldos:

Cristiano Ronaldo was named after the former US president Ronald Reagan because he was his father’s favourite actor.He started playing football at the early age of 3 and by the time he was 17 he represented Portugal in the under 17 national team at the UEFA Under 17 championship. Ronaldo made his international debut in August 2003. He is now one of the most sort after players.

Ronaldinho means «little Ronaldo» in Portuguese and was originally initially a way of distinguishing him from his fellow Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo. In his childhood years his love and skill for the game began to flourish when he was playing futsal and beach football. Later on this grew into a love for the standard game and at the age of just 13 he was in the spot light when he scored all 23 goals in a 23-0 victory against a local team.

He was awarded the FIFA World Player of the Year award 2 times in a row in 2004 and 2005. Additionally he was also the European Footballer of the Year and the FIFPro World Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima is know as one of the worlds greatest players. He is also known as «The Phenomenon» and was also named by the great Pele as one of the world’s greatest 125 players. At the age of 14 he was recommended for the Brazilian Youth Team and later was transferred for US$6 million to PSV Eindhoven.

So if your name is Ronaldo and you are a soccer player, chances are you will be looked upon with high expectations and will have to live up to the great name.

Bob Zenoti

TheBestRonaldo.com

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Football Stadiums of Istanbul

Turks are one of the nations that are fond of football. They try not to miss any match of their favorite teams, and are avid fans. It is by no means surprising, that in Istanbul there are many stadiums, and the majority of them correspond to the standards of the IOC. The most famous stadiums of Istanbul are Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, Besiktas Inonu Stadium, and Ali Sami Yen Stadium.

Besiktas Inonu Stadium

The project of this stadium was elaborated by an Italian architect Paolo Vietti Violi. It was opened in Besiktas district in 1947, and had 16,000 seats. Then its name was the Mithat-pasha (the drafter of the first Turkish Constitution) stadium, and Ismet Inonu, the follower of Ataturk and the second presdient of the Turkish Republic participated at the opening ceremony. In 1973 the stadium got its new name in honor of Ismet Inonu, and till nowadays it is called Besiktas Inonu Stadium.

The place of the construction is very convenient: the stadium was built on the spot of the Dolmabahce palace stables, near the Bosporus. It is, probably, the only football stadium, where the two parts of the world – Europe and Asia – are seen from. In addition, magnificent views of the Dolmabahce palace and mosque, and the Bosporus open from the upper grandstands of the stadium. After being reconstructed in 2004 according to the standards of the UEFA, the stadium got the highest category Elite.

In the nearest future there will be another reconstruction, when the stadium will nearly completely be pulled down, and a new stadium, with 42,000 seats and transparent slip roof, will be built. Only one grandstand will be restored and preserved – Eski Acik – for it is considered the architectural monument. In addition, architects plan to build near the stadium a 5 star hotel, congress-center, shopping center, and parking area.

This stadium is the host field of the Besiktas football team, but other clubs as Galatasaray and Fenerbahce played here. However, it remains a place, where Black Eagles (an unofficial name of Besiktas players) defeated the teams of Barcelona, Liverpool, Milan, and Paris Saint Germain.

Ali Sami Yen Stadium

This stadium, which hosts Galatasaray football club, was opened in 1964. It was named after the founder of this team and their first president Ali Sami Yen, who later became the President of the National Olympic Committee of Turkey. Now the stadium has only 23,785 seats, and their matches of the European Tournaments Galatasaray holds in the Ataturk Olympic Stadium. However, Ali Sami Yen Stadium remains a place, where Galatasaray won Barcelona, Real, Manchester United, Fenerbahce, and Besiktas.

The unofficial name of Galatasaray players is Lions, and their fans name the stadium Cennehem (hell). Nowadays, Galatasaray meet their opponents with the motto Cennehem Hosgeldiniz, meaning Welcome To The Hell.

The Ali Sami Yen Stadium is in Sisli district, near the street, which leads to the Bosporus bridge. In 2007 Galatasaray started the construction of their new football stadium called Turk Telekom Arena. Besides the stadium with 58,000 seats, there will be built a covered sports hall with 15,000 seats, subway station, shopping center, and parking area.

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The Great World Cup Germany 2006

The 2006 FIFA World Cup (officially titled 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, sometimes referred to as the Football World Cup) finals are scheduled to take place in Germany between 9 June and 9 July 2006. Qualification for the tournament is now complete, with all 32 competing teams confirmed. The 2006 finals are the 18th to be contested.

A total of 12 German cities have been selected to host the World Cup final tournament. The stadium capacities shown are all seated capacities. Many of the stadiums have higher capacities for German domestic football matches as some of the seats are replaced with terraces.Starting from Germany 2006, the winner of the past World Cup had to qualify for the Finals. Only the host nation qualifies automatically from 2006 on.

In the qualification process for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the six FIFA confederations were allocated a share of the 32 spots available on the basis of the strength of their teams. The final distribution was as follows:Europe – represented by UEFA : 51 teams competing for 13 places (Germany qualified automatically as host nation for a total of 14 places) ;Africa – 51 teams;South America -10 teams;Asia – 39 teams;North, Central American and Caribbean -34 teams;Oceania – 12 teams.

For the first time ever, the defending champion (Brazil) does not qualify automatically. The hosts (Germany) will retain their automatic spot. In 1934, the defending champions (Uruguay) declined to participate and the hosts (Italy) had to qualify, but in the tournaments between 1938 and 2002 (inclusive), the hosts and the defending champions had automatic berths.

The original distribution of places between the six confederations called for Oceania to be given one full spot in the final 32; however, this idea was seen as giving Australia a virtually certain place in the finals, being by far the strongest footballing nation in their region. This decision was reconsidered in June 2003 and the previous distribution of places between Oceania and South America was restored.

The main surprises in European qualification at World Cup Germany were the absences of 2002 third-place finishers Turkey (eliminated by Switzerland after a momentous playoff), 2004 European Champions Greece (eliminated by the Ukraine), and established sides Denmark (eliminated by the Ukraine as well), Russia (eliminated by Portugal), and Belgium (eliminated by Serbia-Montenegro and Spain). In Africa, 2002 quarter-finalists Senegal (eliminated by Togo) and established sides South Africa, Cameroon, and Nigeria (eliminated, respectively, by Ghana, C?te d’Ivoire, and Angola) unexpectedly missed the trip to the Finals. The other zones saw no major upsets.While representing Oceania, from the beginning of 2006 Australia is part of the Asian Confederation, and will represent Asia in following World Cups.

If teams are even on points at the end of group play, the tied teams will be ranked as follows:greater number of points obtained in matches between the tied teams,goal difference in matches between the tied teams,greater number of goals scored in matches between the tied teams,goal difference in all group matches,greater number of goals scored in all group matches,a play-off on neutral ground, with extra time and penalties if necessary (in qualifying),drawing of lots (at the final event).This is a change from the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where total goal differential was the first tiebreaker.

Thirty-two years after the last football World Cup in Germany, the 2006 FIFA World Cup will again take place in Germany. For the first time after the reunification of both German states, the entire world will look to the New Germany, situated at the heart of Europe.

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