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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Simple Theory for Soccer Betting

Why is soccer betting popular?

If we were to compare other sports with soccer, soccer has the highest occurrences for weak team to beat a strong team down especially in English Premier League. Let’s turn back the clock; can any of you recall the UEFA Championship final?? Clashed between Man.Utd and Bayern Munich in 1999 where Man.Utd successfully won Bayern Munich by 2 goals during 2 minutes injury time. For those who bet on Bayern Munich, how hard for punters to accept this, unfortunately this is the FACT. Well, as you can see, this is the most interesting part in soccer betting. There is a saying, «a football is round, therefore it might have unpredictable ending».

What is the simple theory in betting world?

Everything in the world is sharing the same natural concept and also follows the same trend. There is no exception for soccer betting. The theory is simple. When a graph makes an incline, of course the line will keep climbing and stop at a stage. No matter how high it reaches or how low it drops, there is always a stop to it. I would confidently say that only in minor cases, the graph will move up and down continuously within a short period of time. As example, you could notice that most market share will always have gradual incline and then follow by long dropping line repeatedly. You could also notice that the rich gets richer and poor gets poorer. In sports betting, I believe some of you did experience before winning streaks which you kept winning non-stop even though you simply put your bet. In contrast when encounter down period, even if you work hard to make analysis or follow the bet of your lucky friends but finally lose too. Why? The only answer is natural concept and trend. We must agree and follow the trend.

How betting trend works in soccer betting?

The rule of thumb is do not be stubborn to confidently place bets on teams that continuously lost and have the thinking that they would make a come back. This is totally wrong. Maybe you will win at the end by follow this type of betting strategy but how much capital you need to have and how much you need to lose before you can win the bet. Based on the trend concept, if a team is keep losing, the graph for them is dropping, we should bet against them until the graph reach a pit stop. In contrast, if a team turnover from lose to win, we should start chase the team to win until stop stage. How simple is it? Win keeps winning and lose keeps losing.

Which team to bet from among of uncountable matches?

When using the trend concept in soccer betting, it is safer if we use it to bet on strong team and only focus on climbing graph. Meanwhile, we put our bet only on strong team when they are in win stage. The reason to choose strong team is they need points to secure their position at the top of the league table. In addition, strong team with higher strength could easily win if victory is a must.

The last but not the least, I am sure you will have doubts on my simple theory – trend. I could tell you that my theory has been proven. I have been using the betting strategy for 2 consecutive years and it really works for me. From my bet statistics, it hits more than 75% accuracy.

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Lolo Fernandez: A Footballing Genius – A Biography

Lolo Fernandez: One of Latin America’s Most Popular Footballers

Throughout his 12-year career with the Peruvian side, between 1935 and 1947, Lolo Fernández was not a World Cup player such as Obdulio Varela of Uruguay and Brazil’s Leonidas da Silva. Despite all this, he is still an inspirational leader in the history of Peru’s soccer. On the field, he did a lot to stimulate the men’s football in all of the country, one of the most soccer-crazed places on the planet. He was very popular in the outback of Peru, from Trujillo and Ica to Puno and Cajamarca. His passion for his homeland was reflected in all facets of his life.

He began to play soccer before it was a professional sport on Peruvian soil. Football — the world’s most popular sport— was imported by Britain’s expatriates in the second half of the 19th century and is known as Peru’s national pastime.

The oldest and most powerful of three soccer-playing Fernández brothers, he — known affectionately as «Lolo»— is considered as one of the country’s greatest athletes of all time, along with Edwin Vásquez Cam (Olympic gold medalist at the 1948 London Summer Games), Cecilia Tait Villacorta (among the world’s top volleyball players in the past century), Juan Carlos «Johnny» Bello (winner of 12 Bolivarian titles in the early 1970s), and Gabriela «Gaby» Pérez del Solar (silver medal in women’s volleyball at the 1988 South Korea Games).

During Fernández’s tenure with the national side, the Andean republic gained one South American Cup (1939) and one Bolivarian Championship (1938). At the club level, he earned the Peruvian League Cup — nationwide competition— six times with his club Universitario de Deportes, having scored a club-record of 157 goals — a record that remains unique. Also, he was the top goal-scorer in the country’s top division of football teams in 1932 (11 goals), 1933 (9), 1934 (9), 1939 (15), 1940 (15), 1942 (11), and 1945 (16). Additionally, he is one of best-known Peruvians Olympians of all time. He holds the distinction of being the first (and only) top player from that nation to compete in the modern Olympiad.

Peru’s First Genuine Top-Class Athlete

Since then, the apex of his career came in the late 1930s when he was the hero of Peru’s South American Football Confederation Cup win, putting the Peruvian flag on the sporting map and making him one of the most exciting players in the game. A Lolo Fernández-inspired Peru defeated Uruguay in the gold-medal match, a surprise to most fans and sportswriters on the American mainland (Campomar, 2014, Penguin). He had been called up by England’s coach Jack Greenwell. Before the championship, Peru’s sportsmen had never won a continental trophy (equivalent of the European Cup). Previously, this Cañete-born footballer was a member of the 1936 Peruvian Olympic football team, which competed in the Berlin Olympics. Curiously, Western Europe was the first continent to recognize Fernández’s talent. Although his homeland’s squad succumbed in a controversial game against Austria (a match they should have won) during the Men’s Olympic Games Soccer Tournament— the unofficial world cup of soccer at that time— he was regarded as one of the South America’s most celebrated sportsmen (Hilton, 2011).

Back in Peru, he led his own «soccer revolution» in Universitario de Deportes, winning many top division cups, setting off a wave of explosive emotion in Lima, the nation’s capital. In fact, he was one of the first superstars of that club. The national squad and his club had been his first loves. He could have played abroad, but decided to play for the Peruvian side and the Limean club, one of the nation’s premier clubs (Newton, 2011).

In fact, Lolo Fernández was Peru’s first genuine top-class sportsman in the world of sports in a time when some Spanish-speaking republics began to produce world-famous competitors. Already, in 1928, Argentina’s fighter Victorio Avendaño had caught the public’s attention with his Olympic gold medal in the Games of the IX Olympiad in Holland’s capital city of Amsterdam (Grasso, 2013). Two years later, the Soccer World Cup was won by the host country Uruguay— called the Celeste. Meanwhile, the men’s shooting contingent of Brazil picked up a total of three medals at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics in tiny Belgium (Almanaque Mundial, 1976). On the other hand, on March 19, 1938, four Ecuadorans — Ricardo Planas, Carlos Luis Gilbert, Luis Alcivar Elizalde and Abel Gilbert— swept the gold medals at the Swimming South American Tournament (Almanaque Guayaquil, 2003).

The Life and Times of Lolo Fernández

Teodoro Oswaldo Fernández Meyzán was born on May 20, 1913 in San Vicente, Cañete, near Lima, Peru’s capital. He was the seventh of eight children born to Tomas Fernández Cisneros, a farm administrator, and his wife, the former Raymunda Meyzan.

Cañete covers an area of 4,577 km2 — the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It lies around 140 km from Lima. This Connecticut-size territory is blessed with a fertile land and is well-recognized for its African-Peruvian culture, cuisine, fruits and birthplace of notable people such as Héctor Chumpitaz (footballer), Caitro Soto (musician), Enrique Verastegui (writer), and Rolando Campos (singer).

Fernández spent his early childhood on a farm in Cañete. Like many Peruvian children, he became fascinated with the game of soccer at an early age. But not everyone applauded that passion, among them his father.

He invested his life in this sport since he played for his hometown club Huracán of Hualcará in the early 1920s. The then little-known player was the first to arrive to the stadium and the last to leave. In his land, he trained with a lot of intensity. The exercise and fresh air made him feel better.

During his first appearance, he led his club to a victory over Alianza San Vicente in a local event in his native Cañete. His debut could not have been better: he scored the winning goal. The date was August 30, 1923. On that occasion, his play (without being paid a salary) impressed his team-mates early on. He was celebrated throughout Cañete, whose people are addicted to football and other Olympic sports as canoeing, boxing, and track-and-field.

Toward the end of the 1920s, he was allowed to leave his home and went to Lima to live with his elder brother, Arturo Fernández, who had played for Universitario de Deportes after being a member of Ciclista Lima. In this context, Lolo, as he was more often known, was introduced to Universitario by Arturo.

In the Peruvian place, his personal life underwent some significant changes. Unanimously elected player by the club’s chairman Placido Galindo, Fernández signed a contract for 120 soles a month. Relations between he and his new club were excellent and friendly since that day.

He kicked off his career with the Lima-based club when he made his official debut on November 29, 1931 during a friendly match against Deportes Magallanes of Chile. Some young athletes would have been intimidated in such situation, but not Lolo. The Lima-based club, with a young side, was the winner. The Peruvian victory was due largely to Fernández’s leadership. He scored the winner against Magallanes in a 1-0 win. Gradually, his talent was recognized by experts, coaches, and sportswriters in his homeland country. As a player, he was without peer in his generation.

An Athlete In Troubled Times

Like many Latino champions such as Alberto Spencer of Ecuador (football),Mateo Flores of Guatemala (track-and-field) and Chino Meléndez of Nicaragua (baseball), Lolo Fernández lived in a country plagued by political violence, poverty, and economic difficulties. Despite these hurdles, he emerged as one of Latin America’s top athletes in the first half of the 20th century.

In the 1930s, his native country had a record of short-lived governments and eight conservative rulers. By 1933, Peru’s military warlord Luis Sánchez Cerro was killed. At the same time, opposition-led demonstrations broke out in Lima in response to an electoral defeat (Loveman, 1999).

During the global financial crisis, the economy fell into chaos, which was vulnerable due to the nation’s dependence on minerals and agricultural products.

Due to these and other reasons, the country’s sport activities had been all but ignored by the governments. Under this atmosphere, Peru was one of the last countries to make its international debut in the Football South American Championship (known as the Copa America later), having competed for the first in the XI Cup in 1927.Similarly, their athletes could not attend the Summer Olympics between 1900 and 1932. But that wasn’t all. Upon competing in Great Britain in 1948, this Spanish-speaking republic did not have Olympic representation until 1956, despite having Pan American gold medalists —among them Julia Sánchez Deza and Edwin Vásquez— and continental champs.

Western Europe: From Spain to Great Britain

As guests of honor, Fernández and other players from Universitario played for Alianza Lima during a tour of Chile in 1933, accumulating wins over Colo Colo, Audax Italiano, Magallanes, and Wanderers. Lolo also played as a special guest for some foreign clubs such Racing Club,Club Atlético Banfield, and Colo Colo.

Between 1933 and 1934, Fernández went as a member of a Peruvian-Chilean contingent —composed of sportsmen from Alianza Lima, Colo Colo, Atlético Chalaco and Universitario– to Western Europe, where he played 33 men’s football matches (compiling 11 wins, 11 draws and 11 losses) against first-class squads from Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, including Bayern Munich, Newcastle and Barcelona— his first time outside of Latin America (Witzig, 2006). Here, he earned the respect of fans and rivals. Lolo’s performance on the European tour was spectacular: despite his lack of international experience, he accumulated a record of 48 goals!

Berlin: 1936 Summer Olympics

After many obstacles, the Peruvian Olympic team, that included future South American champion Lolo, made a brief but historic trip to Germany to attend the 1936 Summer Games. It was the first time in Olympic history that Peru had sent an athletic contingent to the Summer Games. The nation’s sports officials brought an all-male team to Berlin, with Peruvians competing in aquatics, athletics, diving, basketball, cycling, fencing, modern pentathlon, shooting, and soccer.

There were 22 soccer players and they were Juan Valdivieso Padilla, Alejandro Villanueva, José Morales, Adelfo Magallanes, Víctor Lavalle, Enrique Landa, Eulogio García, Carlos Tovar, Orestes Jordán, Teodoro Fernández, Arturo Fernández, Andrés Alvarez, Arturo Paredes, Segundo Castillo, Teodoro Alcalde, Jorge Alcalde, Miguel Pacheco, Carlos Portal, Raúl Chappel, Pedro Ibañez, Guillermo Pardo, and Víctor Marchena. These players made up the country’s largest delegation in Berlin.

The Lolo’s squad was the first Peruvian team in the Olympic team sports history. Scoring five goals in a 7-2 victory over the Nordic nation of Finland, Fernández played one of his most memorable matches (Campomar, 2014). Without a doubt, he was a genius on the field. Subsequently, they beat Austria (it expected to finish in the top four in these Games). But it wasn’t a clear-cut victory for the Latin American republic (Witzig, 2006).

In the second time, Peru came back and won its match 4-2 after losing to Austria 2-0 in the first time in one of the most controversial games in the history of football (Mandell, 1971). Nonetheless, the Austrian delegation refused to recognize this triumph (Risolo, 2010). They said that Europe’s footballers were threatened by Peru’s attackers during the Olympic match (Murray & Murray, 1998).

Under pressure from Austria, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) pledged to hold other match (Campomar, 2014).

But the Peruvian dictatorship didn’t allow their countrymen to compete again. In an attempt to try to gain popularity within Peru, the nation’s strongman Oscar Raimundo Benavides forced the Peruvian Olympic Committee to agree to withdraw its delegation from the 1936 Berlin Games (Walters, 2012). Despite everything, Fernández was the second top scorer in the Olympic tournament with five goals, alongside Norway’s sportsman Arne Brustad. A year earlier, Lolo earned his first cap for Peru.

The tournament was won by Italy and was followed by Austria (silver medal), Poland (bronze), Norway (4th), Great Britain (5th),Germany (6th), Peru (7th), Japan (8th), Sweden (9th), USA (10th), Taiwan (11th), Egypt (12th), Hungary (13th), Turkey (14th), Finland (15th) and Luxembourg (last).

When the Olympian delegation arrived back in Lima, they were declared «national heroes» (El Comercio, 2009). In the next year, he married Elvira Fernández Meyer and had two children: Marina and Teodoro.

Lolo and the First Bolivarian Games

Despite missing the XI Olympiad in the German capital of Berlin, Fernández worked relentlessly to take part in the Olympic-type Bolivarian Games. The First Bolivarian Sports Games (one of the oldest multi-sport games of its kind) were held in Colombia’s capital of Bogota in 1938. At that year, all Limeans were anxious to see a national victory. Fortunately, there were good news. Fernández captained the Bolivarian winners by capturing the gold medal, providing a moment of enjoy for Peru’s population.

The 1938 men’s squad was the heavy gold medal favorite on Colombian soil. The victory was scored over squads from Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and the host nation. This accomplishment was greater than any previously achieved by the national squads. Ecuador was bronze and Bolivia won the silver medal.

Before and after the event, Fernández —his first international title outside his own land— brought his energy and passion to the national team.

Peru kicked off its campaign at Bogota’s Universitario Stadium,on August 8, when they beat Colombia 4-2 with goals of Pedro Ibañez (2), Lolo (1) and Teodoro Alcalde (1). In its second Bolivarian match, the Andean country slaughtered Ecuador 9-1 in a spectacular show of football— biggest margin of victory in the history of Peru’s soccer team. The best player was Alcalde (4 goals). On August 14, Peru blanked Bolivia 3-0. Lolo was the pivot of that game with two goals. This remarkable athlete knew what he needed to do to win the match.

On August 17,Venezuela was eliminated from the Games after losing to Peru 2-1. Before the Peruvian delegation left the stadium, they received a standing ovation.

Why one of Latin America’s Greatest Players Never Play in the FIFA World Cup?

Among Latin America’s greatest players during the first half of the 20th century, Fernández was the only one never to have appeared in a World Cup. There are different reasons why he could not compete in the global sporting event in the late 1930s and the 1940s. In 1938, the III World Cup was overshadowed by an Argentina-led boycott that was followed by almost all South American republics ( Reyna & Woitalla,2004). Officially, Peru did not participate in the international boycott, but it declined to send a delegation. SA boycotted that Cup in response to «Eurocentric policy» of FIFA. Europeans had hosted the last event and the next was scheduled to be held in France in that year. In the following decade, the world of sports was hard hit by World War II and the international events were canceled.

Lima: 1939 South American Championship

The year of 1939 saw a new hero in Latin America’s sport. A son of Cañete attracted admiration when he led Peru to win the (XV) South American Championship for the first time following a win against Uruguay, one of the powerhouses in the world of football since the 1910s. Four years ago, the national side failed to make the semis in the regional event at home. In 1937, Peru finished at the bottom of the six-team tournament.

The 1939 national side claimed the first place to defeat Uruguay 2-1 in the finals. It was a proud day for Peru. The country, under British coach Greenwell was a home grown champion (Campomar, 2014, Penguin). On paper, Uruguay’s background made it a strong opponent —three World Championships from 1924 to 1930, including two golds in the modern Olympics.

It was gratifying to see the progress that had made the national side, who were underdogs from the start. Thanks to this win, Peru became the four nation in the continent to win that event (after Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina), well ahead of Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Paraguay.

Fernández was the hero in the Continental Cup on his home soil— his second major international trophy. As well as winning the Most Valuable Player trophy, the Cañete-born striker was the top scorer.

The continental winners were Juan Humberto Valdivieso, Jorge Alcalde, Carlos Tovar, Teodoro Alcalde, César Socarraz, Alberto Baldovino, Pedro Reyes, Víctor Bielich, Juan Quispe, Segundo Castillo, Enrique Perales, Raúl Chapel, Pablo Pasache, Lolo Fernández, Adolfo Magallanes, Jorge Parró, Juan Honores, Pedro Ibañez, Arturo Fernández, Arturo Paredes, Rafael León and Feder Larios.

South American Championships

Back in the 1940s, Fernández, who was nicknamed «the Cannoneer» by the local media due to his aggressive style of play, was member of Peru’s national squad that competed in three South American championships. But he was less successful in these competitions.

Between February 2 and March 4, 1941, the Peruvian contingent participated in the international competition in Santiago (Chile). It was recognized as the unofficial SA Cup. Peru’s 22-man roster included: Gerardo Arce, Manuel Vallejos, Vicente Arce, César Socarraz, Teodoro Fernández, Juan Quispe, Alejandro González, Leopoldo Quiñones, Juan Honores, Carlos Portal, Marcial Hurtado, Enrique Perales, Guillermo Janneau, Roberto Morales, Orestes Jordán, Pedro Magán, Adolfo Magallanes, Máximo Lobatón, and Pedro Luna.

The men’s football tournament was marked by the presence of top-class athletes such as Lolo of Peru, Obdulio Varela of Uruguay, Sergio Livingstone from Chile, and Juan Andrés Marvezzi of Argentina.

The Bolivarian champions didn’t bring home any medals, but Fernández scored three goals and was ranked second to Marvezzi as the tournament’s most prolific scorer (sharing the honor with José Manuel Moreno from Argentina). His homeland’s squad placed fourth in the overall classification, ahead of Ecuador,in the five-team tournament, an event sponsored by the Chilean rule.

On February 9, the Peruvians were defeated by the host nation by a narrow margin (1-0). Shortly thereafter, Argentina won its match against Peru 2-1. The Argentine team was a powerful squad in the Americas and had gained two awards in 1937: The Soccer Pan American Cup in Dallas, Texas (U.S) and SA tournament (as a host country). On February 23, the squad’s star striker Lolo eliminated Ecuador 4-0 and obtained their first points. Fernández scored three goals. Three days later, his homeland’s team, however, could not win their last game. Uruguay won 2-0.The win helped avenge Uruguay’s 1939 loss to Peru.

By 1942, Fernández departed for Uruguay to attend the Latin American tournament (between January 10 and February 7), a year where Brazil was awarded the 1942 World Cup, but the event was cancelled. The men’s soccer of Peru placed a disappointing fifth on Uruguayan soil. The national side was represented by 22 players: Juan Quispe, Antonio Zegarra, Diego Agurto, Juan Soriano, Antonio Biffi, Leopoldo Quiñones, Alberto Delgado, Carlos Portal, Lolo Fernández, Enrique Perales, Luis Guzmán, Pablo Pasache, Teobaldo Guzmán, Tulio Obando, Juan Honores, Roberto Morales, Marcial Hurtado, Pedro Magán, Orestes Jordán, Adolfo Magallanes, Máximo Lobatón, and Pedro Luna.

Following an opening draw with Paraguay (1-1) at the XVIII South American Cup on January 18, Peru suffered defeats against Brazil (2-1) and Argentina (3-1).Over that time, the Brazilian side was a strong rival with a bronze medal in the 1938 global event after his international star Leonidas da Silva (known as the «Black Diamond») led Brazil to its first wins in a World Cup.

On January 28, the Peruvians dispatched Ecuador 2-1 at Montevideo’s Centenario Stadium, which is the nation’s symbol of sport. In the next days, they had drawn 0-0 with Chile after a 3-0 loss to Uruguay in the 65,000-seater Centenario Stadium, one of the most famous of all soccer stadiums around the globe. The Celeste Spanish for sky blue due to the color of squad’s shirt— was all but unbeatable and it was seven-time winner of the SA Cup (1916, 1917, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1926 & 1935) (Guevara & Chaname, 1998).

Lolo and his fellow sportsmen did not return to the regional championships until 1947. The Andean republic missed the next two international competitions (1945 & 1946).

In 1947, the Peruvian Soccer Federation sent a Lolo Fernández-led team to Guayaquil (Ecuador) to participate in the international meet. He and his fellow countrymen had drawn with Paraguay (2-2) and Ecuador (0-0), but there were two losses to Chile (2-1) and Argentina (3-2).

In front of over 20,000 persons, on December 20, 1947, Fernández played his last match on foreign soil at Guayaquil’s George Capwell when Peru made a tie of 0-0 with the host nation. He was on Peru’s South American Cup roster at the age of 34. Later on, Colombia —gold in men’s football at the 1946 Central American and Caribbean Games— was outclassed by a Peruvian side without its star Lolo (5-1).

In the 8-team tournament, the men’s side ranked fifth, behind Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay,and Chile. The country’s roster included 22 athletes: Guillermo Valdivieso, Rafael Asca, Carlos Torres, Guillermo Barbadillo, Luis Suárez, Félix Castillo, René Rosasco, Juan Castillo, Marín Reyna, Andrés da Silva, Domingo Raffo, Lolo Fernández, Enrique Perales, Carlos Gómez Sánchez, Lorenzo Pacheco, Máximo Mosquera, Alejandro González, Ernesto Morales, Luis Guzmán, Eliseo Morales, Cornelio Heredia, and Valeriano López.

In the wake of participating on Ecuadoran soil, Fernández no longer competed in the continental events.

Six National Championships From 1934 to 1949

Before embarking on a seven-month tour of Europe, Fernández was the most outstanding player in the 1932 National Cup with 11 goals. But that wasn’t enough to win the event. A total of eight clubs sent delegations: Alianza Lima, Sports Tabaco, Ciclista Lima, Sportive Union, Sport Progreso, Tarapacá Ferrocarril, Circolo Sportivo Italiano and Universitario.

Soccer became a national level when the domestic tournament began in the 1920s, making it one of the oldest events in the history of Peruvian sport.

By 1933, Universitario’s amateur side again made the final, but was runner-up and their star was top scorer for the second time in a row. Despite the loss, he had captured the attention of the spectators as no other sportsman when he produced nine goals in the men’s football national league.

After winning experience in European countries, Fernández and his fellow Peruvian athletes moved back to Lima to attend the 1934 domestic league. The youthful Universitario side reached the podium in the country’s top soccer division (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). Alianza Lima was extraordinary beaten by the Limean squad, beginning one of South America’s greatest derbies. AL and Lolo’s club are arch rivals and matches between two clubs are referred to as «El Clásico» (Newton, 2011). During that year, Fernández began to make a name for himself in the history of Peru’s football as he was the tournament’s top scorer.

The 1935 event was an event with five soccer clubs. It produced a surprise winner: Sport Boys. Fernández’s squad placed third.

By 1938, Universitario won the bronze medal. In the next year, the Limean side became one of the first clubs of Peru to appoint a foreign manager: Jack Greenwell of the United Kingdom. Under Geenwel’s guidance, Fernández and his fellow mates earned the national football league title with nine wins, three draws and two losses —improving on their third place finish in the past cup (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). Extraordinary, the Cañete-born athlete was the tournament’s dominant player in 1939 (Witzig, 2006).

In the wake of Fernández’s participation in the South American Cup, Universitario came close to a second successive tournament in 1940.

In 1941, the Lima-based club obtained the Peruvian trophy, after a series of home-and-home soccer matches. The Limean squad showed why it was one of the most powerful clubs on home soil. In the finals, there were wins over Atlético Chalaco (1-0) and Alianza Lima (3-1). The championship had been postponed for a while because of Peru’s participation in the South American Cup.

In the mid-1940s, Universitario came the attention when they won back-to-back national championships (Witzig, 2006). After breaking his own personal record of 15 goals in 1939, Lolo picked up a total of 16 goals in 1945. Curiously, these titles can be attributed to the Fernández family: Arturo, Eduardo and Lolo were members of that team.

Assembling one of the most powerful teams in the history of Peru’s football, Lima’s club earned the trophy in 1946. The key to the Peruvian club was the trio of Victor Espinoza, Eduardo and Lolo Fernández. Under a new system of qualifying matches, the Limean side obtained 11 wins.

Toward the end of his career, Lolo and his club recaptured the trophy: it defeated Atlético Chalaco 4-3 to claim the first place in the Peruvian Championship in 1949 (Almanaque Mundial, 1977). In that year, the club celebrated its 25th anniversary.

A Universitario Icon

In contrast to players from other parts of the world, Fernández was not an international player, being one of the few footballers who had stayed with one club (Universitario) his entire athletic career despite several offers from top clubs (including Racing club of Argentina, Peñarol of Uruguay and Colo Colo of Chile). He refused, citing his strong connections to Universitario. This club is one of the most-supported squads in Peru. Curiously, Lolo remains Universitario’s all-time goalscorer with 157 goals.

Fernández, at the age of 40, retired from the world of soccer in the early 1950s during a series of exhibition matches in a stadium built by the country’s head of state Manuel Odría. On August, 30, 1953, his team had a sensational victory over his traditional rival Alianza Lima (4-2). Here, Lolo scored a hat-trick, among the most notable of his more than 157 goals during his career with the Lima-based club.

Before an audience of some 30,000 spectators, Fernández played only six minutes with Universitario during a game against Centro Iqueño, the darkest day for Peru’s football. His presence was symbolic in a memorable event at Lima’s national stadium. He left the national stadium to a roaring ovation.

After retiring from soccer, he worked mostly with top junior soccer teams from Universitario.

After a battle with Alzheimer, on September 17, 1996, Lolo Fernández died in a Lima hospital at the age of 83. It was a great loss to South America’s sport.

Rivaled only by Teófilo Cubillas, he has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards both within and outside Peru, including a museum. The country’s legendary Olympian was immortalized by Lorenzo Humberto Soto Mayor, who wrote a song entitle «Lolo Fernández», a tribute to the Peruvian footballer. On October 27, 1952, the country’s ruler Odría conferred him the Sports Laurels, the highest sports award of Peru. In the early 1950s, the Universitario stadium was renamed in his honor (Witzig, 2006). Within Latin America, several sports-oriented magazines and Spanish-language newspapers have devoted many pages to Lolo.

Lolo Fernández died in the mid-1990s, but the legacy of this Olympic carries on. He was so advanced for his time and place. A man that always worked with love for his homeland country of Peru and a personal hero of mine.

Further Reading

(1)- Almanaque Deportivo Mundial 1977, Editorial América, Ciudad de Panamá, 1976 (Spanish)

(2)- Almanaque Deportivo Mundial 1976, Editorial América, Ciudad de Panamá, 1975 (Spanish)

(3)- Almanaque Guayaquil Total 2003, Editarsa, Guayaquil, 2002 (Spanish)

(4)- Campomar, Andreas. ¡Golazo!: A History of Latin American Football, Quercus, 2014

(5)- —————- Golazo!: The Beautiful Game From the Aztecs to the World Cup: The Complete History of How Soccer Shaped Latin America, Penguin, 2014

(6)- Dunmore, Tom. Historical Dictionary of Soccer, Scarecrow Press, 2011

(7)- «Fuimos Heroes». 170 Años Suplemento Especial, El Comercio, 4 de mayo del 2009 (Spanish)

(8)- Grasso, John. Historical Dictionary of Boxing, Scarecrow Press, 2013

(9)- Guevara Onofre, Alejandro & Chaname Orbe, Raúl. Enciclopedia Mundototal 1999, Editorial San Marcos, 1998 (Spanish)

(10)- Hill, Christopher. Hitler’s Olympics: The Berlin Olympic Games,The History Press, 2011

(11)- Loveman, Brian. For la Patria: Politics and the Armed Forces in Latin America, Rowman & Littlefield, 1999

(12)- Mandell, Richard D. The Nazi Olympics, University of Illinois Press, 1971

(13)- Murray, Bill & Murray, William. The World’s Game. A History of Soccer, University of Illinois Press, 1998

(14)- Newton, Paula. Viva Travel Guides Machu Picchu and Cusco, Viva Publishing Network, 2011

(15)- Parrish, Charles & Nauright, John. Soccer Around the World, ABC-CLIO, 2014

(16)- Risolo, Donn. Soccer Stories: Anecdotes, Oddities, Lore, and Amazing Feats, University of Nebraska, 2010

(17)- Reyna, Claudio & Woitalla, Michael. More Than Goals: The Journey From Backyard Games To World Cup Competition, Human Kinetics, 2004

(18)- Walters, Guy. Berlin Games: How Hitler Stole the Olympic Dream, Hachette UK, 2012

(19)- Witzig, Richard. The Global Art of Soccer, CusiBoy Publishing, 2006

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14 Weird Pregnancy Facts

So let’s start off with the fact that pregnancy in general is a weird and exciting experience to go through. Isn’t it crazy to think that you’re growing another human being inside you? Mind blowing right? There’s this living creature inside of you moving around which is another crazy experience. I’ve heard people explaining what it supposedly feels like to have a baby move inside you when you really won’t understand until it’s actually happening to you. There are many more things you could possibly experience while being pregnant however, I only touched on a few.

1) When you get to be at about four months pregnant your little, innocent, baby begins urinating inside you! On average, your baby urinates at about a liter a day. Weird right? Oh it gets better! Your little one actually drinks the urine they are excreting!

2) At the end of your pregnancy, your placenta will produce the same amount of estrogen that a non-pregnant woman produces in three years’ time!

3) The longest pregnancy that resulted in a live birth belongs to Beulah Hunter which was 375 days. Nine months is long enough, can you imagine over a year of having that big belly and heartburn?

4) Your heart actually get’s bigger during pregnancy! According to Live Strong, the size of your heart and its position changes during pregnancy. Your uterus expands thus pushing the diaphragm upwards which then pushes the heart farther into the chest cavity. It will increase by about a total of 12% during pregnancy.

5) One in every 2000 babies is born with teeth. These teeth are called Natal teeth and are extremely rare, as you can see by the numbers. Most of the time these Natal teeth have just come earlier in life when their usual schedule doesn’t make an appearance until later on when they receive their baby teeth. So far, there is no known cause for this condition but studies show that there are hereditary links. If a baby is born with teeth and they are not loose in any way then there is no need to remove them because it is not considered a choking hazard unless another reason to remove them becomes evident. Another reason that these teeth might be pulled would be if they are very sharp because they would cause a lot of discomfort to the nursing mother. How scary would it be trying to breast feed a baby with teeth? Ouch!

6) Having a lot of heartburn during your pregnancy? Well it looks like your baby will be born with a full head of hair. Yes ladies, this is TRUE. According to CBS News, a study was done at Johns Hopkins which was published in the journal Birth stating that there is some type of correlation between heartburn and a child being born with hair.

7) Ever heard of having «pregnancy brain»? Well apparently it’s due to the fact that women have less oxygen in their blood which causes this phenomenon. «There is 15 to 40 times more progesterone and estrogen marinating the brain during pregnancy,» says Louann Brizendine, MD. Another factor that supposedly causes «pregnancy brain» is a lack of sleep. No one thinks clearly or functions normally when their going through some sort of sleep deprivation. Bad news is ladies that this fogginess could last up to a year after giving birth! No one can blame you for forgetting things now, it’s a pregnancy thing!

8) If you’re having a little baby girl she develops all of her reproductive eggs that she will ever use in utero whereas little boys don’t develop sperm until they reach puberty years later.

9) Did you know you can actually share your pregnancy symptoms with your spouse or significant other? It’s a term that’s called Couvade Syndrome which is also known as sympathetic pregnancy. This is actually a type of condition where the father-to-be will have similar experiences to you in the sense of some aches and pains along with those crazy dreams that come along with pregnancy. Is your spouse gaining some weight right along with you and having those never ending back pains? Then most likely they are suffering from this condition.

10) Babies can actually cry while their in the womb. This can start as early as the 28th week of gestation. They don’t make any kind of crying noises just yet but they silently cry which makes us want to cry right along with them! There was a study done that recorded ultrasounds of fetuses during the third trimester in which they startled the baby with a low decibel noise against the mother’s stomach which caused the baby to display traditional crying behavior. Such behavior consisted of opening their mouths and gasping irregularly. Makes sense that this can happen though right? I mean, it is rather dark and scary in there.

11) Nipple stimulation is the only scientifically proven method of legitimately bringing on labor. So eating pineapple and spicy food is really unnecessary because that’s not going to cause you to go into labor. Nipple stimulation actually releases oxytocin which is a hormone that causes contractions to start. This hormone also helps your labor to progress. Now don’t think that by doing this that it’s a sure fire way to kick start those contractions into gear, this can only work if your body is primed and ready for labor to actually start.

12) More twins are born in Central Africa then anywhere else in the world. According to Livescience, the central African country of Benin, has the highest average of twin birth rates with 27.9 twins per 1,000 births.

13) A woman’s uterus expands to more than 500 times its normal size over her entire pregnancy! During the third trimester, a woman’s uterus gets to be the size of a watermelon! The human body is truly an amazing thing.

14) Your little fetus can actually get erections in the womb. As parents, thinking about your young child getting aroused isn’t the kind of thoughts we want to have however, these little babies have been caught being aroused during ultrasounds.

As I said previously, there are so many other symptoms that can happen during pregnancy and these are just a few of the weirdest that I found interesting. None of these symptoms put your baby at risk for anything or endangers him or her in any way. These are just some interesting facts that occur thanks to good ol’ Mother Nature. Pregnancy is a mysterious and magical experience that makes you come to appreciate all that the human body is capable of doing to keep your little fetus safe, secure, and growing strong.

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Stop Orders: An Essential Tool For Your Trade Arsenal

It would be quite hard, especially for the regular investor who has a regular forty hours per week job, to trade and profit from the markets if there were no stop orders available to him. This type of order will enable you to place an order in your home broker, or have it placed by your broker, that will define beforehand where you want to get out in case things do wary. It doesn’t matter whether you are on the buy or on the sell side.

Buy stop order

This type of order serves many functions and you will be using it constantly, so it is a good idea to take your time and find out what is this all about. You have probably heard of this before, but in a nutshell, a buy stop order will make you define beforehand under which circumstances you will want to buy a certain stock. So, you define the quantity, the limit date, you maximum price and when the order should be place in the market.

So suppose you want to buy a certain stock that you have seen it the day before whilst doing your studies, but you only want to buy if it breaks yesterday’s high. That can be achievable by using a buy stop order that will mainly be saying to your broker «Ok, if the stock pass this point that I have set, then I want you to put a buy limit or market order». That is it, simple as that.

Conclusion

Buy stop orders are a useful tool and you can use them for either when you want to buy your preferred stock since you believe it will move to higher grounds or, you can buy it back to limit your loss if you were short on that particular stock.

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Paul McCartney – The Beatles – A Biography

James Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942 in Liverpool. He was the first son of Mary and James McCartney. His brother, Peter Michael McCartney, was born eighteen months later. Paul’s mother was a midwife, who died from breast cancer in 1955 when Paul was just 14, this troubled Paul deeply. Paul’s father was a cotton salesman during the day for A. Hannay Co., and a jazz musician with Jim Mac’s Jazz Band at night. Paul did very well in school. He passed his 11-Plus examination in 1957 and entered the Liverpool Institute, a very popular high school. There, he met a younger student by the name of George Harrison whom Paul later brought with him into John’s group, The Quarrymen. As a child, Paul showed no particular interest in music. Both he and his brother were sent to piano lessons, but these didn’t last long. Then he was given a trumpet by an uncle, and he began to teach himself. His musical talent probably came from his father. Of all The Beatles, Paul’s family was the only one with any musical background or interest. At the Liverpool Institute, Paul became popular. His dealings with young girls, however, had little effect on his grades. He was a top student, but he soon found that school was interfering with his social life. Like John and the others, Paul was influenced by early rock songs. Still, it was Elvis that formed the greatest impression on him. Paul first met John through a mutual friend, Ivan Vaughan. Vaughan invited Paul to see The Quarrymen play at the Wooton Parish. c The Quarrymen, and Paul accepted. Paul’s first public performance with The Quarrymen was at a dance at the Conservative Club in Broadway. Paul was supposed to play a solo that night, but for some reason, he never did. What he did do after the dance was play John some songs that he had written himself. John was impressed and later tried to write songs of his own. Neither wrote anything of much value, but the two began collaborating, each egging the other on to better works. From that day until the end of The Beatles, they never stopped, and together they became «Lennon & McCartney,» one of the most renowned song writing duos of the twentieth century. Once they had become established songwriters, Paul and John would often write independently of one another. John’s songs were more raw rock ‘n’ roll, while Paul’s tended to be more romantic. Songs like «Yesterday,» «Michelle,» and «Lovely Rita» are typical McCartney songs. An early agreement between Paul and John assured that all Beatle songs that either wrote would bear the trademark of «Lennon & McCartney.» Paul met Jane Asher at a pop concert at Albert Hall. She was then seventeen. The Radio Times asked her to go along to the concert to give her impressions of The Beatles. After the concert, she was invited back to their hotel for a drink. That night Paul and Jane spent the evening together. «I realized she was the girl for me,» Paul once said. Jane, however, summed up her impression of the boys by exclaiming, «They couldn’t believe I was a virgin. » Paul wanted Jane to give up acting to be with him constantly. She refused. This led to a number of arguments, but Paul was still attracted to her. It was for Jane Asher that he wrote «I’m Looking Through You» and «And I Love Her.» Marriage seemed inevitable, and on Christmas Day, 1967, Paul asked Jane to be his wife. She accepted (Bio..)(Paul Mc…)

In 1969 rumors started to spread that Paul was dead. Rumors of the death were exaggerated. No one knows for sure where the «Paul is Dead» rumor began. Some rumors were spread that Paul had been dead for three years and that he had been replaced by a look a like. Beatles fans everywhere looked for clues that were left intentionally in lyrics, record covers and pictures that would reveal the truth about the hoax.

The idea that Paul McCartney was dead for three years surfaced during the release of Abbey Road in September of 1969. The first indications of the hoax were printed in two Midwestern College newspapers (Iowa’s Drake University Times-Delphic and Northern Illinois University’s Northern Star). Russel Gibb, a Detroit radio jock for WKNR FM read about the story in the college newspaper articles and invented new «clues» for listeners. Listeners called the radio station and claimed to be able to hear secret messages by playing Revolution #9 and other songs backwards. A walrus is a Greek symbol for death. In the song Glass Onion, John Lennon sings, «well here’s another clues for you all, the walrus is Paul,» which connected Paul to his «death».

According to one myth. Paul left the recording studio in anger, following a fight with the rest of the group. Paul stormed out of the studio, jumped into his car and sped off (I Buried P…). All of the clues point to a car accident that reportedly happened prior to Paul leaving the studio in anger. On November 10, 1966 a British newspaper reported that on Wednesday morning at five o’clock someone was involved in a car accident, according to the newspaper the accident was so bad that the body could not be identified in any way. In A Day In The Life, John Lennon sings, «he blew his mind out in a car, he didn’t notice that the light had changed, a crowd of people stood and stared, they’d seen his face before, nobody was really sure if he was from the house of god (in the song god sounds like Paul)(I Buried P…)

Many visual clues were on the Abbey Road LP. The media began reporting the joke as a fact as soon as it was released. The rumors began to grow larger. In October of 1969 McCartney himself made a public appearance in which he stated the breaking up of The Beatles. In a 1970 Rolling Stone interview with John Lennon, Lennon was asked if any of the hidden clues were supposed to have any meaning. Lennon replied, «No. That was bull. The whole thing was made up.»

The Beatles enjoyed attention. They were jokers; maybe they were just having a little fun with their fans. Some people today still believe that Paul is dead because of the many convincing clues. No evidence shows that any of the members were behind the hoax. No one can prove that it did or didn’t happen. The fact of the matter is that Paul is alive today. He is currently married to an ex-model. He is touring the concert world. And he is still a Living legend.

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Do You Need a Set Top Box? Australia is Getting More Free to Air Channels

As you are aware we already have ABC1, SBS One, Seven, Nine, and Ten which have been broadcasting in digital spectrum since January 1, 2001. When digital television launched on 1 January 2001, the majority of households did not know of or were unable to buy a set top box in order to receive the signal. Households not already using digital televisions will need to purchase a set-top box (stb) in order to continue receiving a television signal. We also have ABC2, SBS Two and the sports channel One. Recently we started to receive Nine’s new entertainment channel Go!

If you are purchasing a new digital television or set top box, the Australian government has developed a scheme where labels are attached to digital equipment for sale in retail outlets. People who have not yet invested in a freeview television or set-top box, or signed up to a cable or satellite service, have until 2013 to ensure they can receive digital television signals and new digital channels coming up. Channel Seven has a yet an unnamed extra channel which is due to air later this year and the ABC will follow on December the 4th with ABC3 a channel dedicated to children’s TV. This will bring the total to 11 free-to-air channels.

The six free-to-air licensees Seven, Nine, Ten, WIN, Prime, Southern Cross and the two public broadcasters, ABC and SBS, introduced a common marketing platform, Freeview, last November, hoping to drive viewers to digital television before the analog signals are switched off in 2013.

To receive the best possible viewing experience delivered by high definition television programming, you will need either: a high definition set-top-box coupled with a high definition display device such as a television, monitor or projector,   or a high definition integrated digital television. Once you purchase either a digital television set top box or integrated digital television there is nothing more to pay. So far, only 45 percent of the population has switched over, either by connecting a digital set top box to the existing television or buying a new TV. Because the new channels are in the digital format, viewers that are not digital ready will not be able to receive them on their analogue TV.

While some of the content on the new digital channels is duplicated from the main channels to which they are tethered, there is a significant amount of new content, including critically acclaimed programs Beautiful People, Boy meets girl and The Wire on ABC2 and Vampire diaries, Curb Your Enthusiasm, New episodes of Survivor and Weeds on Go!

Ten has invested in a portfolio of sport on One, including AFL, swimming’s FINA world championships, motor sport, golf, baseball and triathlon, while SBS Two has shown the 2009 Tour de France and Ashes Series and will follow with the 2009-10 season UEFA champions League matches.

The government may give vouchers to television viewers who have not moved to digital television by the time the analogue broadcasting network is switched off in a few years, to help defray the cost of buying a digital set-top box. The switch to digital television has led thousands of people to throw out their tvs, in spite of the fact that older televisions can still receive a digital signal by adding a set-top box.

If viewers experience disruption to their viewing in this time of change, I recommend you access the set-up menu of their digital television or digital set-top-box and «rescan» using the automatic tuning function. This will give you all the up to date channels that are out there, and solve any problems you may have with existing channels. Happy digital viewing!

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Football As a Popular Sport

Football, or Soccer, as it is known in many parts of the world is a sport or game that is played between two teams, each containing eleven players. A rectangular field with goal posts at either end into which opposing teams must kick goals into forms the outline of the game. There are a set of rules governing the game, although much has changed in the way the game is played now.

It is easily the world’s most popular sport considering that over 300 million players from over 200 countries around the world are involved in the sport.

The origin or invention of modern-day football throws up interesting and sometimes controversial details. It was largely believed that Britain or England is where the game was first played in the medieval period and it gradually spread throughout Europe. A game involving a ‘party of boys playing a ball’ was first observed in the 19th century in England. However, the Chinese claim that the sport in England is largely drawn from a similar game played in China several centuries earlier. Unlike most other sports of that time, this was played on ‘foot’ and not on horseback, hence the name ‘football’. But there are vast dissimilarities between the two versions.

The rise and popularity of the game cannot be questioned and several hugely prestigious events and tournaments are held throughout the year in various countries. Professional football has seen the rise of several athletes playing the game at the highest levels with huge fan followings for the numerous teams. The English Premier League football season is a highly awaited even and has football lovers thronging stadiums to witness between their favorite teams manned by professional football players from many nations.

‘Soccer’ is the term associated with football in the US and it is claimed to have been coined from the English shortened slang for its formal name, Association Football or ‘assoc’.

Like many other sports and games where vast amounts of money and authority are involved, football has seen its share of infamy and scandals in recent years. The likes of former FIFA President Sepp Blatter and superstar Michel Platini have been accused of corruption and are facing suspensions and total bans. Several aspects like code of conduct, loyalty, conflict of interest and accepting gifts and commissions are part of the charges leveled against the highest ranked officials in the game.

Over the years, the dominance of South American players in the game has slowly been replaced by several European players but the game continues to be extremely popular even as a street sport as it does not require much equipment or infrastructure.

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Middlesbrough is Back at the Top Table of English Football

The Pride of the North East

Pride of the North East is a richly deserved title given Middlesbrough Football Club's recent results, sharing the spoils away to title contenders Arsenal and Manchester City.

Few people outside the north east expected Boro to make a fist of it amongst the big boys feasting at the top table of English football this season. Although the club might lack a glut of star players and expensive signings, what they do possess is one of the brightest young coaches in the game, having honed his coaching skills under the watchful eye of Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, at a time when his star burnt brightly in the firmament. As you'll discover later, Mourinho was linked with another famous Middlesbrough coach as he took his first tentative steps in his coaching career.

When Aitor Karanka was appointed as Boro's first foreign manager in November 2013, the club may have appeared to be taking a gamble on raw talent, rather than playing it safe with a trustworthy pair of hands with extensive experience of the British game. A lack of success at the hands of Gordon Strachan and Tony Mowbray, may well have influenced their thinking.

This leads me to reflect on a period in Boro's history, when the club's hierarchy in their wisdom decided to turn towards Malcolm Allison, who at one time just like Karanka was considered to be one of the brightest young coaches of his generation. The difference being, that when Big Mal turned up at the old Ayresome Park stadium in October 1982, his star as a visionary coach was very much on the wane.

Ironically when Malcolm Allison was manager of Portuguese side Vitoria Setubal just before his dramatic arrival on Teesside, he was aided by former Boro conditioning coach Roger Spray and an ambitious young coach by the name of Jose Mourinho. While the special one's stock might be currently on the decline, as was the case with Big Mal during his fateful spell with Boro, few would argue that in their heyday, they were the brightest coaches of their era. As a fitting tribute to Big Mal, who sadly departed from this world in October 2010, Roger Spray holds him in such high esteem as to consider him as influential as Mourinho and Arsene Venger!

The club being in dire financial straits further compounded the depression enveloping the Boro faithful. While neighbors Sunderland were given the tag of 'Bank of England' in the late 1950s due to their abundance of cash, the early 1980s was a time for drastic financial measures at Ayresome Park.

When you consider that the club is today valued at around £ 87 million and that the incumbent English manager by the name of Southgate opened the floodgates and splashed a whopping £ 13.6 million on the record breaking signing of Brazilian Afonso Alves during the 2007-08 season , Allison's antics seems to belong in a long forgotten distant past!

When Big Mal was lured to Teesside by ambitious chairman Mike McCullagh, the club was bottom of the old second division, attracting gates of only 5,000, half a million pounds in debt and losing £ 12,000 a week!

Today the average attendance at the Riverside is an impressive 30,000 in stark contrast with the poorest crowd since the Second World War of only 5,435 that witnessed their home game against Fulham in March 1984. Almost inevitably this led to Allison being relieved of his managerial duties. With Middlesbrough having finished in sixteenth position in the old second division during his first season, the club's heroic effort in holding Arsenal to a 1-1 draw in their FA Cup fifth round home tie, represented the zenith of his short stint with the club. Unfortunately time was not of the essence and Big Mal failed in his quest to revive the sleeping giant of the North East!

The manager's antics and double standards were reminiscent of scenes familiar to viewers of the Carry On films of that period. In keeping with his reputation for an insatiable appetite for stunning birds and the high life, Allison was in his seventh heaven, entertaining his female companions courtesy of the finest champagne at the Baltimore Hotel, while running up a hefty bill of £ 3,500. In comical fashion, his answer to the required harsh financial measures was to sack the club's tea man on £ 18 per week! Fortunately the man capable of a fine brew was reinstated following assurances that the players would pay his princely wage!

Big Mal, always one for the limelight, embarked on his mission to bring stars to the Teesside gloom, with ambitious efforts to sign George Best from San Jose Earthquakes and the Liverpool duo David Johnson and David Fairclough! He succeeded only in signing the ex- Ipswich Town star Kevin Beattie to bolster his defense, although by this time he was crocked by knee injuries! Indeed some would say that his best capture came off the field in the form of local beauty, 28 year old school teacher Lynn Salten, by far the classiest act on show!

Today the footballing landscape has changed beyond recognition with Middlesbrough plying their trade at the wonderful Riverside Stadium and recipients of the huge sums of money assured by entry to the top table of English football.

Whether Karanka and his charges can preserve their premier league status remains to be seen, but the Boro faithful will be encouraged by recent accomplished performances. Some would say that football has come a long way since the 1980s, but it seems that today's global nature and rich trappings of the premier league, seems to have left our beautiful game void of true characters like Malcolm Allison, who despite failure on the field , certainly lit up the North East with rich experiences that will forever be a part of Middlesbrough Football Club's folklore!

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