Fantasy Football And The NFL

Fantasy football is the best thing to happen to the NFL, and other organisations too! it is really fun and has gotten me back into NFL football as a fan. There are loads of different opportunities for you to play the game whether you’re a first time player or an experienced fantasy addict.

Fox Fantasy Football is a complete package which ties together TV, the Internet and powerful free online software. And remember that this coming Summer, UEFA EURO 2008 will have it’s own league. It will be free to enter and there are superb prizes for matchday and overall winners. According to PC magazine, the game is the most popular online game in the world.

Yahoo’s fantasy football site attracted more people than ESPN’s last season but ESPN hopes to close the gap this year. The game is free on a lot of websites, but there are a number in which you will have to make a payment. So what is the fuss all about? Well the game is fun, don’t be scared of it and on the right websites, it can win you prizes as well. Fantasy football maybe one of the all time best marketing tools for the NFL. Fantasy Sports (YAHOO), and CDM Fantasy Sports, prizes range from a T-shirt and virtual trophy to $25,000. Overall the game has a good combination of luck, skill, and (the appearance) of strategy.

Playing multiple teams in Fantasy Football is a great and fun way to try out different strategies and compete with different people. This can be done either through submitting more than one team in the same league or having teams in different leagues. For example you could have a team in an NFL Fantasy League and one in the UK Telegraph Fantasy Football League. The only thing better than playing is winning, and the only thing that might be better than winning is having the tools to do so for free so check around on the internet for tools to help you. The only way to win the long marathon is to make sure you, not your competition, is picking up the top free agents, this will help you go a long way to winning the top prizes.

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History of the US Women’s Volleyball Team – A Strong Favorite to Win the Olympics 2012!

1955 In Mexico City, the U.S. national squad beats the Brazilian team 3-2 (15-7, 7-15, 13-15, 16-14 and 15-9) to win its first medal (silver) in the Inaugural Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the Second Pan American Games (a performance it repeats in 1959 and 1963). This medal is the first medal of any kind for the States in volleyball in an international championship.

1956 The United States of America, birthplace of volleyball, participates for the first time in the Women’s World Championships at Paris, France, along with athletes from 16 other countries (Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, Netherlands, North Korea, Poland, Romania, USSR, West Germany, and the host nation).

1959 The American team finishes second in women’s volleyball at the III Pan American Games in Chicago, IL (in what may be the first women’s international volleyball tournament on U.S. soil), falling to Brazil in the finals 3-1 (15-7, 15-10, 9-15, 15-11).

1960 The national squad participates at the FIVB World Championships at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), coming in sixth among 10 countries.

1962 America declines to compete in the World Championships in the Russian capital of Moscow in October.

1963 The IV Pan American Games (which is held every four years since 1951) are held in Brazil and serve as an Olympian qualifier for women’s volleyball. On Brazilian soil, the U.S. squad wins its third Pan American silver medal after losing to Brazil (3-1:12-15, 15-12, 15-4, 15-11) in the finals.

1964 Volleyball is admitted as an Olympian sport for the first time in the 18th Olympiad in Japan and the U.S. is one of the competitors, after Brazil announced their decision to cancel its participation as winner of the Pan American Games in 1963 (a Pre-Olympic tournament for athletes from Latin America and North America).

1964 Twelve athletes are selected for the first U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball squad. They are: Linda Murphy, Jane Ward, Jean Gaertner, Lou Galloway, Verneda Thomas, Barbara Harweth, Patti Lucas-Bright, Gail O’ Rourke, Nancy Owen, Mary Jo Peppler, Mary Margaret Perry, and Sharon Peterson.

1964 The States becomes the first country from the Americas (from Alaska to Argentina) to compete in the First Olympic Tournament, finishing in fifth place, behind Japan, USSR, Poland, and Romania.

1967 After not competing in 1962, the U.S. squad is runner-up to Japan in the 5th World Championships at Tokyo.

1967 The underdog United States volleyball team makes international headlines when they win the international tournament at the Winnipeg Pan American Games ( the country’s first Pan American gold medal in women’s volleyball and first major international title) by defeating five opponents– Canada (3-0: 15-6,15-5, 15-2), Peru (3-0:15-12, 15-8, 15-6), Mexico (3-0:15-7,15-4, 15-5), Cuba (3-0:15-8,15-8,15-10) and the defending champion Brazil (3-0:15-8,15-10,15-12). The winner gets a berth in next year’s Olympics in the metropolis of Mexico City.

1968 The Unites States sends players to the United Mexican States to compete in the Games of the 19th Olympiad. The North American country qualified for the Olympiad in the Pan American Games a year earlier.

1969 The U.S. volleyball team takes the bronze in the Inaugural Norceca (North and Central American and Caribbean regional volleyball championship) Tournament in the Mexican capital.

1970 Under the leadership of Mary Jo Peppler, the national side competes in their second consecutive FIVB World Championship in the Balkan republic of Bulgaria, placing 11th. On Bulgarian soil, Miss Pepper — a member of the first U.S. Olympic women’s volleyball squad at Tokyo’64 and 1967 Pan American Games women’s volleyball gold medalist– makes history as she is regarded as one of the top players on the planet (the first American to do so).

1971 The USA team refuses to participate in the Second Norceca Championship on Cuba.

1971 Surprisingly, the USA squad fails to qualify for the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics by finishing sixth in the VI Pan American Games at Cali ( a city in southwest Colombia, South America), after their victory over Haiti 3-0 (15-7, 15-1, 15-7).

1973 In the regional championship in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, the U.S. beats hosts (defending champion) 3-2 (15-10, 3-15, 2-15, 16-14, 15-11) to win the bronze medal, clinching America’s first appearance in the World Cup.

1973 Young-up-and-coming player Flora «Flo» Jean Hyman makes her major debut at the World University Games in the USSR/Soviet Union. Without a doubt, she will be the most famous female player in U.S volleyball history.

1973 The United States is one of 12 countries to compete in the Inaugural World Cup competition in the South American republic of Uruguay, one of the most prestigious women’s volleyball tournaments alongside the FIVB World Championship, the Grand Prix, and the Summer Games.

1973 South Korean-born Park Moo, who later was coach of the 1976 Canadian Olympic side, works with a new U.S. team.

1974 The American team -made up of six notable athletes: Paula Ditner, Leslie Knudsen, Debra Landreta, Susan Woodstra, Roxane Elías & Debbie Green– finishes 12th at the FIVB World Championship at Guadalajara (Mexico).

1974-1975 15-year-old Debbie Green becomes the youngest player in U.S history.

1975 Los Angeles (CA) hosts the IV Norceca Tournament. After defeating Mexico (3-2) and Canada (3-0), the host country finishes second in the regional championship, winning the right to compete at the 1976 Pre-Olympic Tournament in Heidelberg, West Germany.

1975 The U.S. women’s volleyball team fails to qualify for the medal round in the Seventh Pan American Games, despite defeating Mexico (the host country) 3-2 (6-15, 7-15, 15-12, 16-14, 15-11) in the first round.

1975-1984 Arie Selinger is named Head Coach of the USA Women’s Squad. Mr. Selinger has been praised by sportswriters and experts for his work with giant players, becoming an international pioneer in the sport of volleyball.

1976 After two difficult games against Bulgaria and East Germany and three victories over Switzerland, Poland, and the host Germans, the American squad, under Selinger as a head coach, fails to qualify for the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games by finishing in fourth place in the Pre-Olympic Tournament at Heidelberg (Federal Republic of Germany).

1976 The Peruvian side, led by its main athlete Mercedes «Meche» Gonzalez (who later played in the state of Arizona), makes a trip to U.S. to play friendly games against the American team of Arie Selinger.

1977 In the V Norceca World Cup Qualifying in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), the U.S side — spearheaded by the top-class volleyball player Flo Hyman — takes the silver medal after losing to arch-rival Cuba 3-1 (15-2, 15-13, 8-15, 15-13).

1977 The U.S. is invited to participate in the Second World Cup in Japan.

1977 At the FIVB Volleyball World Cup in Japan’s capital city of Tokyo, America defeats Soviet Union 3-1 for the first time in U.S. volleyball history. A year ago, the USSR picked up a silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Sumer Games.

1978 Before grabbing fifth place in the Women’s World Championships on Soviet soil, America beats China 3-0 (15-13, 15-11, 15-10).

1978 Selinger’s team shocks the world with a convincing victory over Peru 3-0 in the Global Championships at Moscow, USSR. In the event, America makes history again when its athlete Flora Hyman becomes one of the world’s top female players (alongside Yuri Yokohama from Japan and Cuba’s Mercedes Perez). The last American female to win this honor was Mary Jo Peppler in the early 1970s. Miss Hyman has played more than 300 women’s volleyball matches since her official debut in 1973.

1979 The Peruvian team travels to the United States to play some matches.

1979 Despite being one of the favorites at the Pan American Games in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the States is not able to win a medal after losing to Brazil 3-2 (15-8, 7-15, 15-11,7-15 and 15-11) in the bronze-medal match.

1979 At the VI Norceca Cup on the island of Cuba, the USA squad places second, winning the right to represent Norceca in the 22nd Olympiad (a feat it repeats in 1987). An American team has not participated in the Olympian event since 1964.

1980 For the first time since 1967, the United States defeats Cuba 3-0.

1980 Due to the American boycott of the Summer Games in the USSR ( in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan), the U.S. women’s Olympic team, made up of the best American athletes available, loses a chance to become an Olympic champion at Moscow (the capital of Soviet Russia), after impressive victories over Cuba (world champion and winner of the Pan American Games in 1979) and the People’s Republic of China during the last 10 months.

1981 In a historic volleyball match, the national team wins the regional championship title over the world’s number one squad, Cuba, 3-1 at Mexico City (they had spent nearly 12 years losing in the Norceca tournaments), a feat it repeats in 1983.

1981: The U.S. women’s World Cup team makes more history: For the first time in American volleyball history, the nation defeats Japan (host -country) 3-2 (15-10, 11-15, 15-13, 12-15, 15-9 ) at the FIVB World Cup. This win would have been extremely hard to imagine in the 1960s and 1970s. On October 11, 1964 America lost, 3-0 (15-1, 15-5, 15-2) to Japan at the Summer Olympics.

1981 The women’s volleyball squad of Peru makes a visit to Colorado Springs (USA’s main Olympic center) and to other cities to play important matches against the American squad of Mr. Selinger.

1981 During the III World Cup on Japanese soil, the United States national team beats South Koreans by 3-0 15-8, 15-12, 15-6; its first-ever win over South Korea.

1981 In Japan, the star of the U.S. women’s volleyball team is the African-American Flo Hyman, one of the most charismatic players in the history of sport. A 9-year member of the U.S. women’s national team beginning 1973, she paves the way for future champions in the United States of America.

1982 The United States beats China by 3-1 in the first round before falling 3-0 to Peru in the semi-finals of World Championship in the Peruvian capital of Lima. Nonetheless, Selinger’s team continues to make volleyball history as the first North American squad to capture a world medal (bronze), following a win over Japan, who dominated women’s volleyball for a decade.

1982 For the first time in US volleyball history, Miss Rita Crockett and her fellow American Flo Hyman are named to the All-Tournament Team in Peru, beating out teammate Debbie Green, Mercedes «Mamita» Perez of Cuba and the Peruvian-born Raquel «Chunga» Chumpitaz for the award.

1983 Giant Rose Mary Magers (who stands 1,90m tall) makes her first appearance on the U.S. national team.

1983 South Korean-born American player Debbie Green (1,63m-tall) is replaced by the less-experienced Carolyn Becker (1,84m-tall) as an official setter. By the mid-1970s, Miss Green was the first Asian-American player to make the U.S. volleyball senior national team. Despite her short stature, she was one of the top setters in American volleyball history.

1983 The captain Flo Hyman and her fellow Americans are on a tour of Cuba to play seven matches (six wins and one losses), becoming one of the first American amateur teams to visit Castro’s island since the late 1950s. Seventy years ago, the United States had introduced the game of volleyball to the island of Cuba.

1983 The Soviet-trained Cuban athletes, led by their world-class players Mireya Luis Hernandez and Josefina Capote, make a travel to the United States to play eight matches (USA won all matches).

1983 The VIII Norceca Championship is held in Indianapolis (IN) with the home country beating Cuba 3-0 (15-4, 15-9, 15-13) in the finals. They, with its new young star Rose Magers, become the first U.S. team to win back-to-back Norceca titles.

1983 At the Varna Cup in Bulgaria (one of the most notable international events on Earth), America — the world’s top-ranked squad- places first, following wins over the People’s Republic of China (3-0) and the Soviet Union (3-0), respectively.

1983 In the most glorious international match in volleyball history, Cuba beats the U.S. 3-2 (17-15, 15-7, 11-15, 9-15, 15-10) for the IX Pan American Games gold medal in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas; the nation’s first Pan American medal in 16 years. A marathon game where the global star Flo Hyman is overshadowed by the 16-year-old Cuban volleyball prodigy Mireya Luis Hernandez (who stands 1,76m tall, but with a jump of 3,39 meters over the net), a key-player during the match. Days ago, the U.S. had defeated Cuba 3-1 (16-14, 16-14, 11-15, 16-14) in the first round; it was the first defeat for a Cuban women’s volleyball squad in the Pan American Games since 1971. The North American nation also had wins over five other squads: Canada (3-0), Venezuela (3-0), Brazil (3-1), Argentina (3-0), and Peru (3-0).

1983 Despite being defeated by Cuba at the IX Pan American Games in August, the USA team becomes the top ranked volleyball team in the world and big favorite to win the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Games.

1984 The U.S. squad is preparing for the 1984 Los Angeles Games! The team embarks on a worldwide tour to play several international games– Far East, Eastern Europe, and South America.

1984 As a host nation, the North American team competes in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games.

1984 Arie Selinger leads the U.S. women’s squad to a silver medal at the 1984 L.A. Summer Olympics. The Los Angeles Games represented the culmination of Selinger’s 10-year project to remake the American side (first women’s volleyball squad in U.S. history to win an Olympian medal). In California, the United States is the only country to have both its squads (men and women) advance to the finals.

1984 California-born athlete Flo Hyman and nine teammates, among them Debbie Green, Rita Crockett, and Susan Woodstra, retire from international competition upon winning a silver at the Los Angeles Games. Miss Hyman was the most outstanding female player in U.S. volleyball history. In her outstanding career, she was nicknamed «the Black giraffe» for her tall (1,96m/6 ft 5 in) at a time when had not giant players in the world of volleyball. In those years, Hyman and her fellow Americans won a bronze in the global tournament by defeating long-time champion Japan in a historic volleyball match. Previously, they had earned a spot in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. By 1981, the national team was undefeated in five games at the Tokyo World Cup, beating Japan 3-2 for the first time. In the latter half of the 1980s and 1990s, Hyman was an inspiration to many world-class players such as Rose Magers, Gabriela «Gaby» Perez del Solar Cuculiza of Peru and Cuba’s Olympic champions Regla Torres and Magaly Carvajal.

1985 With an almost entirely different roster, the United States finishes last in the South Korea Cup (an unofficial championship) in Seoul, after losing its three games (Japan, Canada, and the Republic of Korea).

1985 The national team wins the Taurus Cup at Hungary, an international event with five teams (America, Japan, Italy, France, and the host Hungarians).

1985 The States, under a new national coach, fails to qualify for the 1985 World Cup (in Far East) for the first time by finishing second in the Continental tournament at Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Republic).

1985 The global star Rose Magers, who won her country’s first Olympian women’s volleyball gold medal at L.A in 1984, earns a spot on the World All-Star Team (alongside Ute Oldenburg of East Germany, Cecilia Tait of Peru, Japan’s Kumi Nakada, Heloisa Roese from Brazil, and other top players from the Soviet Union, Cuba, Italy and Asia), making her the first American female to earn that honor.

1986 The U.S. squad qualifies for their sixth straight FIVB World Championship (not World Cup) in the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia, placing 10th.

1986 Japanese-based player Flo Hyman, who was one of the U.S. women’s top players between 1973 and 1984, passes away in Tokyo. After the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, she became one of the first American players to play outside of the United States and one of the first to sign a professional volleyball contract in Far East at a time when many players could not compete as professionals in the Olympics.

1986 The United States Olympic Committee sends volleyball players to the First Goodwill Games on Russian soil.

1987-2004 The Flo Hyman Memorial Award, named after the former Olympian player, is given annually by the Women’s Sports Foundation to the sportswoman who by her example has done much to stimulate Olympic ideals and women’s interest in sports. Among the winners are Martina Navratilova (tennis), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track & field), Nancy Lopez (golf), Lynette Woodard (basketball), Evelyn Ashford (athletics), Chris Evert (tennis), and Mary Lou Retton (gymnastics).

1987 Despite missing key players, the national team earns a Pan American bronze medal on home soil, behind Cuba and Peru and well ahead of Brazil (silver at the South American Cup) and Canada.

1987 In the 10th regional championship on Cuba’s capital, the North American nation is runner-up, clinching America’s fourth appearance in the Summer Olympics.

1989 At the Norceca World Cup Qualifying on Puerto Rico, the U.S women’s national volleyball team places third, losing a semi-final match to Canada.

1989 The first U.S. Under-17 team competes internationally in the FIVB Girls’ Youth Volleyball World Championship in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba.

1990 The underdog United States volleyball squad wins the bronze medal in the FIVB Women’s World Championships in the People’s Republic of China -the squad’s best World Tournament showing since the early 1980s– following a victory over the favorite, Cuba (led by its East German-trained coach Antonio Perdomo). It is one of the most extraordinary results in the history of the World Championship.

1991 At the 12nd Norceca Championship, the USA team places second, after losing to Cuba.

1991 Sportswoman Caren Marie Alexius Kemner leads the U.S women’s World Cup team to a fourth place finish in the Japan World Tournament by defeating Peru 3-2, earning a berth in the 1992 Summer Games in the Spaniard city of Barcelona.

1992 Caren Kemner becomes one of the world’s top female players at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, helping the U.S. volleyball team win a bronze medal (the nation’s first Olympian medal in eight years) by beating Brazil 3-0 (15-8, 15-6, 15-13).

1994: The North American players make a travel to Sao Paulo (Brazil) to compete in the Global Championship.

1995 100 years after being invented by W.G. Morgan in Holyoke (MA), volleyball is the second-largest participation sport on U.S. soil.

1995 America becomes one of the two best squads in the Western Hemisphere upon winning the silver medal at the Pan American Games in Mar del Plata (Argentina).

1995 The United States, led by its international star Tara Cross-Battle, defeats Brazil 3-2 (15-9, 15-10, 4-15, 5-15, 15-12) to capture the Third Volleyball World Grand Prix. This team becomes the first female team in U.S. history to win a major international championship. It is called the biggest upset ever in volleyball international.

1996 The Olympic Volleyball Tournament returns to the United States (Atlanta, GA) after a 12-year absence.

1999 In the regional championship, America’s team places second, qualifying for the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics.

2000 Hawaii-born player Robyn Mokihana Ah Mow leads the U.S. squad to a fourth place finish in the Games of the 27th Olympiad in Sydney (New South Wales, Australia), after finishing seventh at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games.

2001 America defeats China to become winner of the Volleyball World Grand Prix played in Macau, a former Portuguese dependency in Far East.

2001 The U.S. women wins back the Norceca championship by defeating defending champion Cuba 3-1 in the first place match.

2002 U.S. player Tayyiba Haneef-Park (6ft 7 in) is one of the most outstanding athletes in the FIVB Women’s World Championships on German soil, helping the U.S. squad win a silver medal.

2003 The North American country captures the Norceca Tournament for the second time in a row, beating 3-0 Cuba in the final and repeating its feat from 1981,1983, and 2001.

2003 Chinese-born Lang «Jenny» Ping, a member of the gold-medal winning Olympic volleyball team in 1984, becomes the first female in U.S. volleyball history to be named head of coach of the women’s national team.

2003 The Pan American Cup in Saltillo (Mexico) is won by the American side of Toshi Yoshida, who debuted as an assistant coach of the national squad in the early 1980s.

2003 The American women are the surprise squad of the World Grand Prix, winning the third place (behind the People’s Republic of China and Russia).

2004 The U.S. squad qualifies for the Summer Games for the seventh consecutive time.

2004 For the second consecutive time, the U.S. wins the bronze medal at the Volleyball World Grand Prix.

2007 At the Norceca Championship at Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada), the North American country comes in second behind Cuba’s team (first).

2008 Lang Ping (one of the top female players in the latter half of the 20th century) leads the 2008 United States Olympic team, composed in great part of professionals, to a second place finish in the Beijing Summer Games (the highest Olympic finish) after losing to arch-rival Brazil 3-1 in the gold medal match. In the People’s Republic of China, the States and Brazil are the only countries to have both their teams (women & men) advance to the finals.

2009 Hugh McCutcheon is named head coach of the U.S. women’s national team (WNT), replacing Lang Ping. By 2008, he coached the U.S national men’s team to Olympic gold medal at Beijing.

2009 McCutcheon’s team finishes fourth in the VIII Pan American Tournament played in Miami, FL.

2010 At the First Young Summer Games at Singapore City, the U.S. Under-20 National Team places second behind Belgium (gold) and ahead of Peru (bronze).

2010 The United States team, led by its top-class player Foluke Akinradewo (who plays in Japan’s professional league) beats Brazil 3-2 (25-22, 19-25, 28-30, 25-17, 13-15) to win its third World Grand Prix.

2011 Under the leadership of Nancy Metcalf, who plays professionally in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, the national team wins the Norceca Championship in Caguas (Puerto Rico) with victories over the Dominican Republic (3-0), Cuba (3-0), Mexico (3-0), Canada (3-0), and the island-nation of Trinidad Tobago (3-0).

2011 The United States U-20 squad celebrates their bronze medal in the Junior World Championships in Lima (Peru).

2011 New Zealand-born Hugh McCutcheon leads the U.S. women’s World Cup team (made up of 11 professional players) to a second place finish in the FIVB Tokyo World Cup, gaining a berth in the 2012 Summer Games in the United Kingdom.

2011 The Unites States Olympic Committee sends an unofficial female squad to the Pan American Games at Guadalajara (Mexico), winning a bronze medal.

2011 The national team, led by its Italian-based player Destinee Hooker, successfully defends its World Grand Prix title, becoming the first North American squad to win back-to-back championships and capturing the attention of many experts and sportswriters around the globe. They, on the other hand, have become the fourth American team to take home a world title.

2012 The American women’s volleyball squad is one of the favorites to capture the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Games in the British Isles, upon their international wins between 2010 and 2012. They are professional athletes abroad, especially in the oil-rich country of Azerbaijan.

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Luka Modric – A Croatian Ruling England

The biggest prize in Premier League is of course – winning the Title, but that battle is being fought between the clubs with squillons of riches ( Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea). The next best prize is 4th place which leads to the Champions League. Among the clubs which are competing for such achievement is Tottenham Hotspur and Croatian center midfielder Luka Modric is the driving force behind this team.

The 26-year-old Luka Modric can pass, he can score, he can dribble and fool the opponent with incredible lightness.

Luka Modric was born on 9 September 1985 in the coastal town of Zadar. Growing up in a family of an aircraft technician father and a textile worker mother during the Croatian War of Independence, Luka initially showed his indisputable talent for playing football in hometown club Zadar’s youth team. As a teenager, he caught the attention of most successful Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb, for which he signed in 2002. However, his career began with loan spells at Bosnian club Zrinjski Mostar.

Playing against physically much stronger opponents, 16-year old Luka Modric learned a lot and even managed to earned the honour of Bosnian Player of the Year. Next season he returned to Croatia, again on loan, with Inter Zapresic, helping this club to reach the second place in the league.

Meanwhile, in Dinamo they finally decided to give Modric opportunity he deserved. Over the next three seasons he proved himself as the genuine team’s playmaker. His team won three league titles in a row (2006, 2007 and 2008) and two Croatian Cup wins (2007 and 2008) while Luka himself became Player of the Year 2007. He also earned comparison to legendary Dinamo’s No 10 Robert Prosinecki and Zvonimir Boban.

In March 2006. Luka Modric made his debut for the national team. During the World Cup in Germany the same year, Modric didn’t get much chance to play. However, a few months later Slaven Bilic took a position of a new manager of Croatian national team, which resulted with Luka playing each game from the first minute. Soon after scoring his first international goal, in a friendly match against Italy (0:2), he established his role of irreplaceable central midfielder.

In the EURO 2008 Croatia won matches against Austria, Germany and Poland in the group stage and faced Turkey in quarterfinals. Luka Modric scored a penalty kick against Austria, but unfortunately missed the first penalty in the ensuing penalty shootout against Turkey. However, at the end of the competition, Luka’s overall brilliant playing earned him a place in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.

Just before the EURO 2008 Luka signed his first contract with the Tottenham Hotspur. The initial games in one of the toughest league in the world weren’t easy for a slim and small player (5’8»). Everyone started to doubt his ability to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League.

Luka Modric has seen that before: ‘My whole career, when I was in Croatia, people questioned me, saying I wouldn’t make it, that I wasn’t good enough because I wasn’t big and strong. But you have to understand something about Croatian people. After everything that has happened, after the war, we are stronger, tougher’, he stated in his interview to Daily Mail in May 2011.

Negative comments only made him more eager to prove they were wrong. His big chance came after Harry Redknapp was appointed as a new Spurs manager in October 2008. Modric was given advanced attacking role as a central or left-sided midfielder, the role in which he could gain more confidence and give better performances – which he did.

Luka Modric often showed his strength was in his legs, especially in the meaty calves. Unfortunately, on 29 August 2009, during Spurs’ match against Birmingham City, Modric was injured and the following day it was confirmed that he had broken his leg. Recovery dragged a little bit but it went well at the end so four months later, during the London derby against West Ham United, he was able to score with his healed leg.

The 2010-11 season was much luckier for Luka Modric, as he played 32 Premier League games, scored 3 goals and made the highest average number of passes per game for Spurs. At the end of the season, Modders, as Tottenham Hotspur Fans nicknamed him, was voted Player of the Year. Another recognition came when Premier League Footballer of the Year, Scott Parker (then player of West Ham), declared him the toughest opponent he had faced.

Although Luka seemed happy on White Hart Lane, playing with his Croatian teammates Vedran Corluka and Niko Kranjcar, in the summer of 2011 he shocked the world of football saying he would like to get a transfer to Chelsea. Spurs’ town rival made several bids, the last one allegedly worth 50 million euros, but Tottenham president Daniel Levy rejected them all.

Disappointed Modric reminded him of their ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that Spurs would accept offers from a ‘big club’. Luka even went on a strike, refusing to play few matches, but still – Chelsea was out of reach.

After the transfer window was closed, Luka Modric managed to focus on his playing and scored his first goal of the season in a 4-0 home win against Liverpool, one of the biggest rival for the coveted fourth position.

Harry Redknapp once said: ‘I wouldn’t want to sell him for £100 million, not even for a billion’ but there is a concern in the club that Chelsea will return for Modric in January, offering even more incredible sum of money.

No wonder each club wants to sign the contract with Luka. After all, which team wouldn’t want a player who’s always first to show up on training, delivers stunning performances and lives a quiet family life, without scandals?

Luka Modric married his longtime girlfriend Vanja in May 2010 and only a month later they become parents for the first time. ‘I’m not interested in things away from my family and football. Not a day goes by when I don’t speak to my parents and my two sisters back home and I only ever try to do the best I can on the football pitch’, he said to Daily Mail.

Modric came a long way from a small town boy who admired Brazilian Ronaldo (‘the real Ronaldo’ as he noted) and had a gift for playing football to one of the most praised player of Premier League and respectable Premier League club Tottenham Hotspurs. So is that it? Knowing Luka, his determination and defiance, we can only conclude: no, the best things are yet to follow.

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An Insight Into Bundesliga

Bundesliga refers to a professional and top-tier football league in Germany. The league is also claimed to enjoy the highest number of stadium attendees throughout the globe. Bundesliga is also considered the primary football competition in Germany and participated by 18 clubs. The league is based on promotion and relegation, which further hinges on performance of a side in question. The competition commences in August and ends in May. Most of the games are played on the weekends i.e. Saturdays and Sundays whereas a few matches are held on the weekdays.

All of the participants in Bundesliga earn qualification for DFB-Pokal. The Bundesliga champion qualifies for DFL-Supercup.

Bayern Munich have been the most successful side in Bundesliga, claiming the titles 23 times till date. They are the defending champions during the current 2014-15 season and have also clung to the leading spot on the league table so far this campaign. Other clubs that have won the Bundesliga titles include Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, VfB Stuttgart, Werder Bremen and Hamburger SV.

Bundesliga is one of the most competitive and popular national leagues in the world and rank third in Europe as per the league coefficient of UEFA. The league matches are broadcasted in more than 200 nations.

History of Bundesliga

Bundesliga was established in Dortmund in the year of 1962 and its first season began in 1963. Both organization and structure of Bundesliga as well as other football leagues in the country have undergone frequent and massive changes to become what they are right now. Deutscher Fußball-Bund first founded Bundesliga but now it is regulated by Deutsche Fußball Liga.

Structure & Competition

Structure of Budesliga resembles to the same of other major leagues like English Premier League and La Liga or Spain Premier League. Every team takes on each of other sides once at their home ground and once in an away match. Previously, the winning side of a match was awarded two points and a draw earned each of both sides one point whereas the loser gained nothing. However, according to changes of rules and regulations during 1995-96 season, the winning side gets three points (max points).

The club, which collects maximum points at the end of the ongoing season, is crowned with the Bundesliga title. The first three clubs on the Bundesliga table directly qualify for the Champions League group phase whereas the fourth-spotted side enters into the third-qualifying round of the same competition. The two teams at the root of the league table are relegated into the 2nd division whereas the two leading sides of 2nd Bundesliga get promotion. A two-leg play-off match is played between the third-last team and the 3rd spotted side of the 2nd Bundesliga.

The winner plays in the Bundesliga for the next season while the loser plies their trade in the 2nd division.

The method of tie-breakers plays a role if more than one team has collection of same points. The method is in line with the following order:

  • Goal difference in the season
  • Total goals netted by a team in question for the season
  • Head-to-Head goals in outings
  • Number of head-to-head scores

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