Has Any City’s Sports Teams Won All Four Major League Championships in One Year?

The simplest answer is no. No city has hosted the current owner of Vince Lombardi Trophy (National Football League), Larry O’Brien/Walter A. Brown Trophy (National Basketball Association), World Series Trophy (Major League Baseball) and Stanley Cup (National Hockey League) in the same year. The closest any city has come so far is 1988 when the Raiders, Lakers, and Dodgers all brought championships to Los Angeles. Six other times, a city has hosted two out of four champions:

  • 1956: New York Giants (NFL) and New York Yankees (MLB)
  • 1971: Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
  • 1976: Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
  • 1999: Dallas Cowboys (NFL) and Dallas Stars (NHL)
  • 2001: Denver Broncos (NFL) and Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
  • 2002: Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Anaheim Angels (MLB)
  • 2004: New England Patriots (NFL) and Boston Red Sox (MLB)

Students of sports history, however, are aware that these four trophies have not always represented «the» major leagues. There are the defunct competing major leagues such as the pre-merger American Football League or the World Hockey Association to consider. Also, the NBA was not always the major league in basketball, and other leagues have a good claim to being «the» major league for basketball at various times. Finally, we should at least consider the champions of the Canadian Football League considering the number of NHL teams from that country.

Broadening the definition like this adds relatively few cities to our list. Twice in the late 20’s three of four major league champions were from New York: the Giants, Yankees and Brooklyn Celtics in 1927, and the Yankees, Rangers and Brooklyn Celtics in 1928. The Brooklyn Celtics played in the American Basketball League, at a time when the NBA did not yet exist.

Other two-champion cities considering these competing and defunct major leagues are:

  • 1930: Montreal Canadiens (NHL) and Montreal AAA (CFL)
  • 1932: Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
  • 1942: Toronto Maple Leafs (NFL) and Toronto RCAF Hurricanes (CFL)
  • 1944: Montreal Canadiens (NHL) and Toronto HMCS Donnacona
  • 1947: Chicago Cardinals (NFL) and Chicago American Gears (NBL)
  • 1947: Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) and Toronto Argonauts (CFL)
  • 1948: Cleveland Indians (MLB) and Cleveland Browns (AAFC)
  • 1977: Montreal Canadiens(MHL) and Montreal Alouettes (CFL)
  • 1987: Edmonton Oilers (NHL) and Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)
    Notes:

    • The Toronto RCAF Hurricanes and Montreal HMCS Donnacona were football teams from various armed forces bases which competed for the Grey Cup during WWII.
    • The Chicago American Gears were in the National Basketball League. The NBL merged with the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1949 to form the current NBA.
    • The Cleveland Browns started their history in the All-America Football Conference. The AAFC competed with the NFL for four years. In 1949 the AAFC partially merged into the NFL, the Cleveland Browns won the NFL championship the next year.

So while no city has completed what might be a «GrandSlam» of major league team sports, New York (twice) and Los Angeles (once) came close.

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A Look At UK Soccer

The FA Premier League Partnership, also known as UK soccer, was first founded in 1992 and is a league that is reserved for the top UK soccer clubs in the English system. This distinction makes it England's primary soccer competition. Each year, 20 teams compete for the league championship but, oddly enough, only four teams have been crowned. Why? Because these four teams have dominated UK soccer since it's inception. These include Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea and Manchester United. Of these four UK soccer clubs, Manchester United has been the most successful after having won the championship title on eight occasions. The current league champions are Chelsea, who clinched their second consecutive title during the 2005-06 season.

The sport of UK soccer hasn't always been as popular as it is today. In fact, the 1980s marked a particularly low point for the sport. Stadiums were crumbling, which left spectators facing poor facilities. As attendance dropped and conditions worsened, UK soccer was banned from European competition. By the time the 1990s rolled around, things were beginning to change and the ban formerly preventing English teams from competing was lifted.

At the conclusion of the 1991 season, a proposal for a new league was presented and was one that would bring additional revenue into the sport. The Founder Members Agreement, which was signed in July 1991, established the basic foundation for the FA Premier League. The new division was given a license to negotiate broadcast and sponsorship agreements, which was a necessary part of successful competition. In 1992, the FA Premier League was formed as a limited company and operated out of an office at the former headquarters of the Football Association.

The 1992-93 season marked the first of many competitions for the new face of UK soccer. Due to the rules governed by the FIFA, the number of teams was reduced to twenty in 1995. Today, the FA Premier League is a corporation that is owned by the 20 member clubs of UK soccer. Each team is considered to be a shareholder and has the opportunity to vote on important issues, including rule changes and contracts. Each team has the power to elect a Chairman, Chief Executive and Board of Directors to oversee their day-to-day activities. The Football Association is not directly involved with these operations, but it does have veto power during team elections.

Today, a typical UK soccer season consists of 20 teams competing against one another on two separate occasions. One half of the season is dedicated to home games and the second half, which repeats the same schedule as the first, entails each team playing their competitors for a second time at a different location. For instance, the first half of a season may be comprised of home games and the second half would be played on the competitors home turf. At the conclusion of each season, the champions are named according to points awarded throughout the season. If a tie occurs, a one match playoff is held to determine which top four teams will qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

For additional information on the FA Premier League and / or UK soccer, fans may visit their official website at http://www.premierleague.com . Current standings, news, updates, photos, historical profiles and league news is available online. A professional design with colorful appeal make this a very popular website among UK soccer fans. Soccer, itself, remains a popular sport throughout the world and is celebrated in many different countries. With legions of fans worldwide, it appears that soccer players will be kicking high for many years to come.

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The Characteristics of Good Leadership

Introduction

Some leaderships have been characterized as good and have been used as challenges for others to emulate. This description however raises an obvious question: upon what criteria were these leadership characterized as good? It is certain that some leaders, whose leadership does not fall within this category, have good qualities that others can emulate. For this reason it is important not only to know that a leadership has been characterized as good but also to know the characteristics that qualifies it as good. According to Anthony D’souza, leadership involves an inter-relationship between three elements:

(a) The quality skills and needs of the followers

(b) The need and expectations of the group

(c) The demands or requirements of the situation.1

It can be observed from what D’souza has said that the first element deals with the personality of the leader; the second, his followers and the third, the task to be accomplished.

On the basis of what has been said the characteristics of good leadership will be identified under the following headings:-

(a) The personal characteristics of the leader

(b) The characteristics of the followers

(c) The leader’s task or mission. Selected leaders in the Bible, whose leaderships

have been classified as good will form the basis of this presentation.

(a) The Personal Characteristics of the Leader

It can be observed from scriptures that God was very selective in choosing leaders for specific tasks. God specifically chose Nehemiah to spearhead the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall; Moses to bring the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt; Paul, to pioneer missionary work to the Gentiles and David, whose kinship would have a lasting dynasty, to replace Saul. These men certainly had qualities that were essential for good leadership. God recognized these qualities in them as potentials when He chose them.

In this section some of the qualities of leaders mentioned above will be discussed in a more general way. The goal is to show that it has been recognized that the good personal qualities of leaders, when applied to leadership are characteristics of good leadership.

Nehemiah

In reflecting on the book of Nehemiah, John White said that «the book of Nehemiah serves primarily to unfold for us part of God’s on-going plan for his people. But always it is the man, his character and his leadership that holds my interest».2 Two important things stand out from John White’s evaluative statement about Nehemiah’s leadership that are characteristic of good leadership. The first is the character and conduct of Nehemiah himself as a leader and the second, is his leadership ability. White further commended that probably one of the reasons why Nehemiah was chosen as a cupbearer was because of a well-trained personal quality like that of a stable character. Such well-trained stable character was not just the effort of Nehemiah alone. This can be seen in the following statement – «God used Nehemiah’s active prayer life to mold him into a godly leader».3 As a godly leader, Nehemiah was dependent upon God from whom he received his personal support and encouragement, which motivated him enough to succeed. Nehemiah achieved his ministry goal and his leadership has been characterized as good. His good character and conduct and his demonstration of leadership abilities were personal characteristics of his leadership, which made him succeed.

Moses

Moses’ childhood training as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter was tailored towards leadership. The incidence, which led to his escape from Egypt, revealed that he recognized his leadership qualities before God called him to leadership. However, it took 40 years from the time of his escape from Egypt, before God called him to leadership. Joyce Peel observed that Moses learns how to be a shepherd. Long years of looking after sheep taught him the patience he was to need as leader of the cantankerous children of Israel.4 This observation by Joyce Peel shows that the personal quality of patience in Moses’ life was a characteristic of his good leadership. This quality was made evident in the life of Moses through the great challenges he faced as a leader over Israel. One example was when he came down from Mount Sinai and found the people worshiping the golden calf. He smashed the tablet inscribed with God’s commandment, and, with a rousing cry, ‘who is on the Lord’s side?’, summons the faithful Levites to a massacre.5 The next day he reproaches the people and then brokenhearted, goes back up the mountain to plead for their forgiveness.6

Patience was not the only personal quality that Moses had. But it has been used to show that good personal qualities, when applied to leadership, bring about positive results. Therefore, good personal qualities are characteristics of good leadership.

Paul

Paul made great achievements in the ministry God called him to. Achievements should however be seen as pointers to personal abilities or qualities that a leader has that made him to succeed. What then were those qualities in Paul that made him to succeed? First it would be important to look at some of the achievements that Paul made. He made remarkable impact in his missionary work and also in his writing. John Stott observed that thirteen letters ascribed to Paul in our New Testament form almost exactly one quarter of the whole New Testament. It was the rediscovery of the theology of Paul which led to the reformation of the sixteenth century, that theological revolution which prompted an upheaval within the Roman Catholic Church and led to the birth of all the present day Protestant Churches.7 Paul’s educational background gave him this advantage. It should not go unnoticed that this great apostle used all that he had personally achieved in his formative years in his leadership role. Making use of his personal qualities in bringing about positive results in his leadership was a characteristic of Paul’s good leadership.

David

According to Ted W. Engstrom, David the second king of Israel was a striking contrast to Saul, the first king.8 This was because of his noble, generous and admirable qualities he demonstrated in his leadership. This comparison indicates that David’s leadership was not only better than Saul’s but his leadership can be characterized as good. John C. Maxwell also compared the two leaders. In answer to a question, which he posed – ‘Why did Saul fail as Israel’s king while David, who appeared to be weaker succeed?’ he said that it was because of David’s attitude. Unlike Saul, David tried to become a better leader.9 It is clear from these two authors that David’s personal qualities, especially that of his attitude to always be a better leader were characteristics of his good leadership. Having the qualification or qualities is one thing, but applying them in one’s leadership role is quite another. David applied his leadership qualities in leading and made an impact as a leader.

The Characteristics of the Followers

Some of the characteristics of good leadership can be identified with the followers. Before identifying these characteristics, it would be helpful to examine some definitions of leadership, to be reminded of the relationship between leaders and followers. According to Oswald Sanders, leadership is influence. It is the ability of one person to influence others to follow his or her lead. Ted W. Enngstrom defines leadership with just two words – ‘leaders lead’. Myron Rush also gave a definition of leadership and his definition of leadership as ‘leader reproducing himself on the followers’. These definitions point to the relationship between leaders and followers but most significantly, what they considered to be the goal of the relationship. Oswald Sanders and Engstrom focus on the aspect of following. This focus identifies one of the characteristics of a good leadership – willing followers. If one gives consideration to D’souza’s point cited in the introduction, that one of the elements of leadership is ‘the needs and expectations of the group’, it follows that one reason why people will willingly follow their leader is because their needs and expectations are met. Another characteristic can be identified from Myron Rush’s definition – making leader out of followers, there is a guarantee of the continuity of that ministry. The four leaders, Nehemiah, Moses, Paul and David, whose leaderships have been classified as good, will now be used as test case to identify the two characteristics.

Nehemiah

When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem from Susa, he first personally assessed the situation of Jerusalem’s destruction. Afterwards he called the people and shared his vision. The Bible stated that the people responded to Nehemiah (see Neh. 2:8). This shows clearly that from the start of his mission Nehemiah had willing followers. They were willing to follow because they realize that the vision was good and that some of their needs as a community will be met. Maxwell noted that the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt because of Nehemiah’s ability to work with people and lead them where they need to go.10 This shows that Nehemiah had willing followers.

In addition Nehemiah gave recognition to subordinate leaders as he delegated responsibilities to them. This, as he said, opens the leadership potentials for others.11 Therefore one can rightly say that Nehemiah not only had willing followers but also leaders were reproduced under his ministry.

Moses

When Moses returned to Egypt to set the Israelites free, they were at first excited. But when Moses made their situation worse they were no longer excited about freedom. However, by the end of the ninth plague they had realized that Moses was God’s servant sent to deliver them. They followed Moses’ instructions in observing the Passover and then willingly followed him as he led them out of Egypt.

There is also scriptural evidence that leaders were produced under Moses’ leadership. One example is that of Joshua, who replaced him. Joshua who had been the personal assistant of Moses was mentored by Moses to become a leader. Moses’ leadership therefore had the characteristics of willing followers and that of reproducing leaders.

Paul

Even when he was «Paul the aged», he remained the model and leader of a group of dynamic young men. The affection he kindled in his followers’ heart was mirrored in the tears that flowed when he told them they would see him no more (Acts 20: 36-38).12 Sanders revealed in the passage cited above that the apostle Paul’s leadership had the characteristics of willing followers. His ministry had great impact in the lives of many, who were also not willing to exchange his leadership for another.

Like the Lord Jesus, Paul invested his life on a few people because he expected much from them. These were the people he took on his missionary journeys. Two of the people, Timothy and Titus became leaders of local Churches. Therefore, like Moses, Paul’s leadership had the characteristics of willing followers and that of producing leaders.

David

David rose to fame when he killed Goliath, the Philistine giant. Eugene H. Merrill, commenting on David’s victory reserved that with his rising popularity among the people came a deterioration of his relationship with Saul, for the king became insanely jealous of Israel’s new hero.13 It is obvious that David had a large following. People followed him because of the potential they saw in him. They recognized him as a great leader, even before official recognition was given to him.

David ruled Israel for approximately 40 years and by the time he was stepping down as king, Solomon, his son had already been groomed for that position. So, like Nehemiah, Moses and Paul, David’s leadership was characterized by willing followers and the producing of leaders.

(c) The leader’s task or commission

It can be observed from scripture that God always give a specific task or mission to every person he calls to leadership. Some of the characteristics of good leadership can be identified in the way the leaders set out to accomplish their task or mission. There are two things that are of primary importance to how a leader accomplishes his task. These are his vision and his style of leadership. A leader’s vision and style of leadership can be characteristics of both good and bad leadership. However, in this section the purpose is to shoe how these two characteristics can be characteristics of good leadership.

According to John Haggai, a vision is important because it is a key factor in successful leadership.14 A leader can have a good vision and yet his vision does not contribute in any way to make his leadership good. Haggai points out what a leader needs to do to make his vision a contributing characteristic to good leadership. First, he says that both leaders and followers must grasp the vision. It is the leader’s responsibility to help the followers understand the vision and accept it. Second, both leader and followers must commit themselves to act on the vision. This action involves designing a goal program to fulfill the vision. In this way both the leader and followers are prepared to face difficulties and eliminate obstacles. It is in this way that a vision can be a characteristic of good leadership.15

The other aspects mentioned that can be a characteristic of a good leadership is the style of leadership. Leadership styles have been given different classification by authors. Anthony D’souza classified leadership styles in a continuum in which one end is described as task-oriented and the other as relationship-oriented.16 Myron Rush also agreed with D’souza that leadership styles can be seen in a continuum, but he used different descriptive terms for the different styles within the continuum.17 The four styles used within Rush’s continuum are: dictatorial, authoritative, consultative and participative. These authors argument about styles was not to point out the best but rather to show the importance of all of them. The point that they were making was that a good leadership had the characteristics of the different leadership styles. The leader must be flexible to the changing situations. When he is able to adjust his leadership styles to changing situations, then his leadership styles… become characteristics of good leadership. Myron Rush gave examples of situations where particular leadership styles are appropriate. He said, dictatorial leadership style is appropriate in an emergency or when people’s lives, are at stake; consultative style in conducting on-going planning for the department or organization; authoritative style when employees constantly misuse authority and participative style as people become competent in performing their routine responsibilities.18

The four leaders mentioned in this paper, whose leaderships have been classified as good, will now be used as test cases to determine whether the points mentioned here are characteristics of their leaderships.

Nehemiah

Joyce Peel, commenting on Nehemiah’s task of building the walls of Jerusalem said that a dispirited nation needs an inspired leader who can unite and galvanize his people into action. Such a man was Nehemiah.19 These words not only revealed that Nehemiah had a clear vision of his task but also was able to make his followers understand the vision and commit themselves to act on it. This was just one reason why they were able to rebuild the walls in fifty-two days. Many Jews lamented over the ruins of Jerusalem city wall, but it took the vision of one man, who united the people and gave them hope to change the situation. Engstrom also pointed to the fact that the people caught Nehemiah’s vision and acted upon it, when he noted: «One has only to read the Book of Nehemiah to discover the importance of people at work. The leaders in building the temple and city walls never lost sight of the total goal and overall picture. They were able to keep this focus by using all the people as well as experts who were trained to do specific work».20 Nehemiah’s leadership had the characteristic of a clear vision which was actively pursued by himself and his followers.

It can be observed from the book of Nehemiah, that Nehemiah used the consultative style of leadership when he got to Jerusalem to begin the work. However in the last few chapters of the book, when things were going wrong, his style of leadership changed to an authoritative one. Therefore it can be said that Nehemiah’s leadership had the characteristics of a vision and a changing style of leadership.

Moses

Moses has a clear vision when he returned to Egypt to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. The Israelites wanted to be free, but they doubted the possibility of Moses setting them free. However, when they became certain that Moses was God’s servant who will set them free from bondage, they obeyed his instructions and later walked out of Egypt following him.

The biblical records also show that Moses varied his leadership styles. Before Jethro came to visit him, he carried a heavy load of work all by himself. Myron Rush pointed out that it was an authoritative style of leadership because Moses had to make every decision.21 After his encounter with Jethro his style of leadership changed to more of a consultative one.

Paul

Paul’s vision was not only clear to him but also to his followers. Since his Damascus road experience, he knew he has been called by God to be a missionary.

Sanders observed that Paul was a missionary trail-blazer, leaving behind him a string of new Churches. It is a significant face that the greatest missionary advances of the last fifty years have followed the rediscovery or re-emphasis of Paul’s missionary principles.22 It is because Paul’s vision and principle of accomplishing that vision was so clear that long after he has gone people still followed his steps.

It can also be seen from the Acts narrative that Paul varied his leadership styles. For example, in the contention between himself and Barnabas over John Mark, Paul displayed an authoritative style of leadership. Most times he is also authoritative when dealing with issues in the Church. At other times he demonstrated a consultative style of leadership – in the issue that lead to the Jerusalem council. It can be seen that Paul’s leadership was characteristic of a clear vision and changing leadership styles.

David

Two things are very clear in scripture about David. The first is his vision for Israel and the second his vision for God. David was a king of war and he led his army in battle against Israel’s enemies and took the land God gave to them. He also lived his life in devotion to God. He had a vision to build a dwelling place for the Lord. Although God denied him this privilege, he made great preparations for this temple, which was later built by his son Solomon.

It is evident in scripture that David changed his leadership styles in accordance with changing situations. He displayed an authoritative leadership style when he led his men in battle. For example in the situation when Nabal refused to reward him and his men with food supply for protecting his servants and sheep in the fields. At other times he demonstrated a consultative style of leadership. When the biblical records are examined, one could clearly see that David’s leadership show characteristics of a clear vision and a changing style of leadership.

Conclusion

In this article some of the characteristics of good leadership have been identified. This was done under the following headings: (a) the personal characteristics of the leader, the characteristics of the followers and the leader’s task or commission. These divisions were based on the findings of Anthony D’souza, which revealed that leadership involves an inter-relationship between three elements – the leader, the followers and the task to be accomplished. Six characteristics of good leadership were identified and they are as follows:

a) The personal qualities of the leader, which give him his leadership ability.

b) The leaders conduct or character which is formed by the godly life he is living.

c) The willingness of the people to follow without coercing.

d) The reproducing of leaders from the followers.

e) The clear vision of the leader, which eventually becomes the people’s vision and

focus in the ministry.

f) The variations in the style of leadership to meet different leadership situations.

Six leaders, whose leaderships have been characterized as good, were used as test cases to see whether the qualities mentioned can be found in their leadership. It was proved that these characteristics were evident in each of their leadership. There are many more qualification of good leadership, but it is primary importance to have a balance in the three major areas identified. An individual can have all the good qualities of leadership and yet his leadership may not be good because of his style of leadership. Also, the people may not follow the leader because his vision is not clear to them. Good leadership does not only depend on the leader or on the follower or the style of leadership but on all three of these qualities. When there is a balance in these three areas, leadership becomes exceptional and that was the kind of leadership Nehemiah, Moses, Paul and David portrayed.

END NOTES

1. Anthony D’souze, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990),

p 25.

2. John White, Excellence In Leadership: the Pattern of Nehemiah (Leicester:

Intervarsity Press, 1986), p 10-11.

3. Ibid, p 14.

4. Joyce Peel, A Journey Through The Old Testament: The Story of God’s

Relationship With Man Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading

Fellowship, 1993), p 35.

5. Ibid, p 41.

6. Ibid. p 41.

7. John Stott, Men With A Message: An Introduction To New Testament And Its

Writers (Suffolk: Evangelical Literature Trust, 1996), P 86.

8. Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of A Christian Leader (Michigan: Zondervan

Publishing House, 1976), p 30.

9. John C Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In A Leader’s Day; Revitalize Your

Spirit an Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson’s Publisher, 2000), p 4.

10. John C Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In A Leader’s Day: Revitalize Your

Spirit and Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelsons Publishers, 2000),

P 68.

11. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1994), p 166.

12. Oswald Sanders, Paul the Leader: A Vision For Christian Leadership Today (Glasgow:

Kingsway Publication Ltd., 1983), p 42.

13. Eugene H Merrill, I Samuel: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot

Victor Publishing, 1985), p 449.

14. John Haggai, Lead On! Leadership That Endures In A Changing World (London: Word

Publishing, 1986), p 16.

15. Ibid. p 17.

16. Anthony D’souza, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990), p 36

17. Myron Rush; Management: A Biblical Perspective (Illinois: Victor Books, 1996), p 219.

18. Myron Rush, Management: A Biblical Approach (Illinios: Victor Books, 1983), p 226.

19. Joyce Peel, Journey Through the Old Testament: The Story of God’s Relationship with

Man. Woman and the World (oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1993), p 141.

20. Ted W Engstrom, The Making of A Christian Leader: How To Develop Management

And Human Relations Skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p

21. Myron Rush, Management: A Biblical Perspective (Illinois: Victor Books, 1976), p 220.

22. Oswald Sanders, Paul: A Vision For Christian Leadership Today (Glasgow: Kingsway

Publication Ltd, 1983), p 967.

END NOTE

1. Anthony D’souza, Being A Leader (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990),

p 25.

2. John White, Excellence In Leadership: the Pattern of Nehemiah (Leicester:

Intervarsity Press, 1986), p 10-11.

3. Ibid. p 14.

4. Joyce Peel, A Journey Through The Old Testament: The Story of God’s

Relationship With Man Woman and the World (Oxford: The Bible Reading

Fellowship, 1993), p 35.

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The Top 10 Football Teams in London

There is much to see for those who are interested in football in London. Just to clarify for any readers of this article from outside the UK, football means the ‘beautiful game’, what is commonly referred to as Soccer around the world.

London has a proud tradition of famous football teams with much competition between them to be the top club. There are generally four or five London teams in the Premier League and there are many commentators who believe that this is one of the biggest obstacles to any one of them winning the league. A ‘local derby’ between two London football teams could produce an electric atmosphere and turn current form on its head they are so well contested.

Premier League tickets are sometimes difficult to obtain, but a bit of persistence often gets results. There are a number of ticket agencies that can get them for a price.

In the last decade, both Arsenal and Chelsea have each won the illustrious Premier League title twice and reached the final of the European Cup.

Here are some details about the top 10 football clubs in London and to avoid any accusations of being partisan, they are listed in alphabetical order:-

Arsenal

The Gunners, Arsenal have played in the top division of English football in consecutive seasons since the 1919-20 season. They have been champions on 13 occasions and achieved a unique record for modern times in 2003-04 season when they went the whole season without being beaten.

Arsenal have won the much coveted ‘double’ (league and cup winners in the same season) three times, in 1971, 1998 and 2002

In recent years they have moved to a new venue, The Emirates Stadium, with a 60,000 capacity. The Arsenal Museum is well worth a visit and is open every day.

Brentford

The Bees, Brentford Football Club are currently playing in Football League I. They were founded in 1889 and play their home games at Griffin Park their home stadium since 1904. Brentford’s most successful spell came during the 1930s, when they achieved consecutive top six finishes in the First Division.

Since the War, they have spent most of their time in the third and fourth tiers of English football. Brentford have been FA Cup quarter-finalists on four occasions, and have twice been Football League Trophy runners-up.

Charlton Athletic

The Addicks, Charlton Athletic have seen better days. There halcyon days were in the 1930s and 40s. In recent years they have struggled after being relegated from the Premier League in 2005 and then from the Championship in 2008.

They play at The Valley just south of the River Thames in Greenwich. The club was founded in 1905.

Historically, Charlton’s most successful period was the 1930s, when the club’s highest league finishes were recorded, including runners-up of the league in 1937, and after World War II, when the club reached the FA Cup final twice, winning in 1947.

Chelsea

The Pensioners or the Blues, Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905, and play in the Premier League. Chelsea have been champions three times (1955, 2005, 2006), and have won the FA Cup five times, the League Cup four times and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup twice. They reached the UEFA Champions League Final in 2008

Chelsea play at Stamford Bridge in West London and their ground capacity is 42,000.The Chelsea Museum is open most days and is well worth a visit for those interested in museums and football history.

Crystal Palace

The Eagles, Crystal Palace Football Club was formed in 1905. The team plays its home matches at Selhurst Park, where it has been based since 1924. The club is currently competing in the second tier, The Championship.

Crystal Palace’s most recent successful period began in 1988-89, when the club finished third in the Second Division and were promoted to the First Division. Reaching the 1990 FA Cup Final only to lose the replay against Manchester United and finishing 3rd in the First Division in 1990-91.

Since then Palace have been relegated from and promoted to the FA Premier League on a number of occasions, their most recent relegation from the top flight was in the 2004-05 season. This is all despite the club being almost bankrupt in July 2000.

Fulham

The Cottagers, Fulham Football Club was founded in 1879, they celebrated their 125th anniversary in 2004, and are in the top tier of English football, the Premier League. Fulham are the oldest professional football team in London.

In 2009, Fulham had their highest-ever finish in the Premier League, coming 7th to qualify for Europe.

The club has produced many great British footballers including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and Alan Mullery and Jim Langley. They play at the historic Craven Cottage, their home since 1896, a riverside ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham.

Queens Park Rangers

The Hoops or just QPR, Queens Park Rangers Football Club based in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. They currently play in the Football League Championship, and their honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, and being runners-up in the old First Division in 1975-76 and FA Cup in 1982.

Queens Park Rangers Football Club was founded in 1882, and its traditional colours are blue and white. Owing to its proximity to other West London clubs, QPR maintains long-standing rivalries with several other clubs in the area, the most notable of these being Chelsea, Brentford and Fulham with whom they contest what are known as West London derbies.

In 2007 QPR was taken over by Italian tycoon Flavio Briatore and rank among the top 10 richest sporting clubs in the world. Other major shareholders include Lakshmi Mittal & F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. So watch this space!

Tottenham Hotspurs

The famous ‘Spurs’ side of 1961, is still reckoned by many football enthusiasts, to be one of the best football teams in English football history. They achieved the ‘double’ which had not been achieved at that time since Aston Villa won it in 1897.

This has given recent Spurs’ teams a lot to live up to. But Spurs have a long tradition of playing good football so there are many exciting matches at White Hart Lane especially with their close North London rivals, Arsenal.

In 1963, Spurs became the first British club to win a major European trophy – the European Cup Winners’ Cup. In the 1970s, they won the Football League Cup on two occasions and were the inaugural winners of the UEFA Cup in 1972. In the 1980s, Spurs won several trophies: the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield and the UEFA Cup 1983-84. In the 1990s, they won the FA Cup and the Football League Cup and in 2008, they beat Chelsea in the final of the Football League Cup. This victory means that Tottenham have won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United.

Spurs have planned a new stadium to be completed by 2012 and it is expected to be one of the best stadiums in the UK.

Watford

The Hornets, Watford Football Club based in Watford, Hertfordshire. They play in the Championship. The club was founded in 1881, and played at several grounds before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922, where they remain to this day. Since 1997, they have shared the stadium with Saracens Rugby Club. Watford have a long-standing rivalry with Luton Town.

The club is best known for two spells under the management of former England manager Graham Taylor. The first lasted from 1977 to 1987, when the club rose to the old First Division from the Fourth Division. Once in the highest division of English football, Watford finished second in the league in 1983, reached the FA Cup final in 1984 and competed in the UEFA Cup in the 1984-85 season.

The second period spanned from 1997 to 2001, when Taylor took the club from the renamed Second Division to the Premier League in successive seasons. Taylor is currently a non-executive director of the club, and honorary life president alongside Sir Elton John who owned the club during both of these eras and has continued a long association with the club.

West Ham United

The Hammers, West Ham United Football Club have play at Upton Park (Boleyn Ground), in East London since 1904 having been formed in 1895.

They featured in the first FA Cup Final to be held at Wembley in 1923 against Bolton Wanderers. The club have won the FA Cup three times: in 1964, 1975 and 1980. They have also been runners-up twice, in 1923 and 2006.

In 1965, they won the European Cup Winners Cup, and in 1999 they won the InterToto Cup.

Their players are considered an important factor behind England’s triumph in the 1966 World Cup, as England’s captain at the time was West Ham’s Bobby Moore, and both goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters were West Ham players.

West Ham currently compete in the Premier League, their highest finish in the Premier League was 5th in 1998-99.

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Does Mo Salah Have a Shot at Winning the Ballon D’Or?

This question has been on the minds of many football fans as they witnessed the performance of the 25-year old Egyptian forward over the course of the season. Sir Alex Ferguson had once told that Inside Forwards are more dangerous than traditional forwards. The Egyptian seems to be trying to prove Ferguson’s remarks true. He has shown explosive bouts of pace, exceptional fitness levels, extraordinary shooting accuracy and the form of his life.

So, once again, does Mo Salah have a shot at winning the Ballon d’Or? Not Quite Yet!

The reason is rather simple- Liverpool as a team have not won any silverware this season as of yet. So does this count? Yes, it does. Despite all his exploits, the team has not been successful in any major competition apart from the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool just won the first-leg of their semi-finals against AS Roma 5-2. Salah proved to be instrumental in this trashing of his old club yet again as he ended the match with 2 goals and 2 assists. He had managed to score seven goals in his 7 outings in the Champions League during the leadup to the Semi-finals. He has shown out of the ordinary striking form through-out the Premier League season. But unless Liverpool win the Champions League, his dream of winning the Ballon d’Or will remain just that, a dream.

But things have not always gone according to script for the Egyptian. His initial entry into the Premier League was with Chelsea, who bought him from FC Basel. But he could only make 13 appearances and score 2 goals before being loaned-off to Italian side, Fiorentina. He was then loaned to AS Roma who bought him from Chelsea for a complete transfer. He enjoyed considerable success at the club. Liverpool then bought from Roma before the start of the 2017-18 season. Many of the experts voiced their doubts about Salah’s ability to adopt to the Premier League. But all of them have been silenced now, given his performance and sheer attacking prowess he has shown.

Salah also helped Egypt qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018, their first appearance since the 1990 World Cup. He emerged as Egypt’s top scorer during the qualifying tournament and scored both the goals in the all important match against Congo. He has so far scored 43 times for Liverpool during this season and is only behind Ian Rush in the all time top goal scorer’s for the club in a single season.

Mo Salah has already been named as the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the year. So let us hope Liverpool will maintain their momentum and take their current form into the second leg against AS Roma.

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Best Football Teams In Bulgaria

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

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

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

ENVÍO y DEVOLUCIÓN GRATIS – Gran colección de Camisetas de fútbol oficiales – Descubre camisetas de equipos y selecciones europeas en camisetafutboles.com. by David Williams