FC Barcelona – The Cruyff Years

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

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

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

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

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

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

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10 Good Reasons For Submitting Articles To Ezines

Writing compelling content and submitting articles to ezines and other article directories can be one of the most effective SEO tools in your arsenal. Help grow your Small Business and turbo charge your online marketing efforts today. Here are some advantages of creating and sharing great content:

1. Exposure

Simply put, your published article may appear on the ezine publishers homepage as recent and relevant content. This visibility may allow you to capitalize on their traffic.

2. Define your Expertise

You’re in business for yourself, and you are likely an expert in your industry. Sharing your knowledge with quality content can lend credibility to your Brand and may help position you within your competitive landscape.

3. Brand Recognition

Submitting articles to ezines will help Brand your website, yourself, and your business. With a well written «resource box» you can tell readers about your credentials, achievements, and expertise in your field.

4. Backlinks for SEO

Simply said, your article may have an indefinite shelf life on the ezine site itself. This can provide you with an invaluable backlink to your website, which we all know is a valuable SEO tool for increasing page ranking.

5. No Cost Advertising

Think of it this way… a published article is «free» advertising in a sense. Depending how successful your article becomes, this can help alleviate the contrained budgets small business owners often struggle with.

6. Revenue Generation

What if someone were to contact you to write content for their blog, or to hire you to consult for their business. That one article could actually lead to more revenue!

7. Viral Status

This is the holy grail of online marketing for small business! If you’re lucky enough to have your content and information shared by the masses, you’re doing something right! Keep in mind, this isn’t going to happen if the content you share is self promoting or lacks real life usable information. If you wouldn’t share it with your friends or co workers, the reader may not be likely too.

8. Reach for the Stars

«Reach» is a term that refers to how many individual consumers view your Brand message. Submitting your article to an ezine publisher that has a free content and/or an article directory on their web site can put your content in front of millions of users.

9. Credibility and Trust

Prospective clients and customers want to work with people, and support Brands they trust.

10. Relationships and Community

Putting yourself out there so to speak lets the online community know that you’re an active member. The quality of the content you produce may earn the respect of fellow authors and publishers. Especially when it comes to B2B marketing tactics, this is one of the most forgotten strategy.

Just remember that in the age of Social Media, «you are what you share.» When writing content and publishing articles, this is especially true. Be honest, genuine, and thoughtful, and you’ll gain the respect, exposure and Brand lift you seek.

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Do You Believe? A New Source of Faith for Leaders

Following any national or international crisis, we Americans tend to dissect the leadership style of those responsible for handling the crisis. Think about the collective time spent analyzing post-Katrina disaster relief; studying Rudy Giuliani's remarkable efforts to restore his city to normalcy following the 9-11 attack; evaluating the police response to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. As a nation, we learn by example, we learn from our mistakes, we re-learn lessons we once knew about leadership by studying the leaders who demonstrate how leadership is (and isn't) defined.

But perhaps we're missing an opportunity to learn about leadership from a source available to all of us, free of charge. Perhaps we're overlooking exemplars that are right in front of us. Instead of exploring, as the study of leadership usually does, the style and methods of those men and women (and sometimes, even children) who assume the leadership mantle, perhaps we should be studying nature. Instead of turning automatically and immediately to recognized leaders when we are contemplating leadership, it might be worth our while to turn first to the animal kingdom, which has learned to survive despite threats from man, from nature, and even from meteors hurtling to earth from outer space. (The crocodile, for example, has been around for over 200 million years.) By extrapolating from natural examples to leadership behaviors, we can ideally gain fresh perspectives. We can look at situations in a new light, thereby garnering invigorating insights.

Leadership in Atypical Places

Literary lion, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, suggests new understandings will accrue if we are able to "Love all God's creatures, the animals, the plants. Love everything to perceive the Divine mystery in all." Whether you are seeking to unravel divinity-secrets or merely seeking to better understand the elements of good leadership, you'll find nature one of your best sources / resources.

We find evidence of behavioral guidelines, of course, wherever we look-including glimpses into proverbs. This one, from Malaysia, advises, "Trumpet in a herd of elephants; crow in the company of roosters; bleat in a flock of goats."

The very predictability of political speech suggests the need for new understandings of leadership, understandings that can be derived by studying the birds and the bees and the beasts. Inevitably-no matter the party, no matter the events of the day-there will be talk of lowering taxes or restoring the American dream. There will be pledges to make America great again and to do something long-needed on the first day in office. And, of course, there will be references to the Constitution and comparisons to Ronald Reagan.

The contenders for the 2016 presidential race found "outliers" drawing some of the biggest crowds. People like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were more of a draw than seasoned political leaders. This dissatisfaction with traditional leaders is another good reason to consider atypical sources of inspiration and best practices. The predictability of political speech and the unpredictability of the speakers' behavior lend importance to the need for a new font of leadership knowledge.

Biomimicry and a Creed of Your Own

There's a word for the emulation of nature to derive scientific benefits: "biomimcry." It is considered a method of solving human problems by imitating nature. We hope that you will soon subscribe to a "biomimicreed yourself," a belief that there is much we can learn from nature's way. If you do subscribe to this belief, you will discover there are many benefits to be derived from studying the animal, insect, and marine world.

You'll come to understand how much is to be learned in the examination, for example, of the tensile strength of a spider's spun silk, which is stronger than steel. You'll comprehend scientists' fascination with burrs stuck on the coat of a Swiss engineer-which led to the creation of Velcro. Become a serious student of biomimicry and see why the nose of Japan's bullet train resembles the long beak of a kingfisher; why NASA engineer replicated the dentricle patterns in the skin of sharks in order to reduce drag.

No doubt you'll be impressed by Pak Kitae, who was drawn to the Namibian beetle and its capture of fog in a desert setting; you'll readily come to see why Peter Agre of Johns Hopkins University won the Nobel Prize in 2003 for his identification of a membrane protein that permits water to pass through the walls of cells. (It wasn't long before the Danish firm Aquaporin use this discovery to desalinate sea water.)

Mother Knows Best

Mother Nature, that is. If you develop a biomimicreed-ie, faith in the possibility of learning important lessons from nature – you will understand Dr. Jonas Salk's explanation: asked how he came to develop the polio vaccine, he simply said, "I learned to think the way Mother Nature thinks." Mercedes-Benz adopted this kind of thinking when they devised an experimental car based on the aerodynamically flawless boxfish. And speaking of fish, biology professor Frank Fish put bumps on turbine blades in order to minimize both drag and noise. The source of his inspiration? A humpback whale statue he saw in a Boston gift shop. Schools of fish led John Dabiri of Caltech University to devise a wind farm that optimizes air flow.

A team of University of Massachusetts researchers have developed an incredibly strong adhesive named Geckskin, in honor of the gecko whose powerful grip is the result of millions of microscopic hairs on its toes. And perhaps you've heard about the new vaccines that no longer require refrigeration. Their producer, Nova Laboratories in Leicester, England, invented them by studying tardogrades, micro-animals that can live without water for 120 years and come back to life when they imbibe water once again. There's so much more we've gained and continue to gain from nature, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that came about after scientists in several countries analyzed why fireflies have "fire" in their bellies.

If you watched the 2008 Olympics, you no doubt saw the "Watercube," a swim center that replicates the crystal-like structure of soap bubbles. And, if you subscribe to the online Optimist Daily, you'll know that researchers have discovered a natural sunscreen, by studying the slime that comes from algae and reef fish.

University of Exeter researchers have discovered a way to make energy derived from the sun more efficient-by imitating the method butterflies use to raise the temperature on their flight muscles. Transferring this knowledge to the emission of power coming from solar panels, they have managed to improve output by a nearly 50% increase: by reproducing the butterfly's wing formation, researchers found the power-to-weight ratio of the solar structure expanded seventeen-fold .

As one who has adopted a biomimicreed, you'll be attuned to ways you might improve a leadership undertaking by thinking about nature in new, more respectful ways. You'll not skip over articles like the one by Christopher Solomon that appeared in the May 18, 2015, online edition of New York Times. It featured Dr. Erick Greene, a biology professor at the University of Montana. He finds that "when birds squawk, other species seem to listen."

Greene and others have found that animals can identify the alarm signals of other species. There's a lesson here for business people who tend to become insular in their thinking, failing to benchmark or to bring in divergent thought. Greene found that when little chickadees spot raptors in nearby trees, they make their "chick-a-dee" call, which actually galvanizes other birds to the spot. This avian mob harasses the potential enemy until it leaves the area. (Interestingly, when the chickadees add more "dees" to their calls, it means the danger is larger than usual.) Teamwork triumphs, indeed.

"Biomimicry" usually aligns science and nature. However, in a TED (Technology, Education, and Design) talk delivered in November 2010, Michael Pawlyn explores "using nature's genius in architecture." He maintains that imitating nature would allow us to factor 10-perhaps even factor 1000 times-the savings in energy and resources used in buildings. He speaks of pollen grains that inspire architects to create efficient architectural designs using hexagons and pentagons.

The Wild and the Wildebeests Call

Just as our nation represents unified diversity or "e pluribus unum," the wildebeest looks as if it was carved into one creature from the parts of many others. Like the ferocious bull, the wildebeest has horns; yet, its head looks a horse's (as does its tail). The wildebeest's front end is sturdy, like an ox's, while its hindquarters are slender, like an antelope's. On a very basic level, the wildebeest example provides a lesson for leaders: diverse elements can be united to yield remarkable results-whether in an entire nation or in a humble beast.

Fortune magazine cited numerous other examples of nature as a mother lode of leadership information several years ago ("Calls of the Wild," Tim Carvell, page 121, June 12, 2006). The article begins with a provocative question, "When you've phoned in sick, have any of your co-workers ever been thoughtful enough to come over and regurgitate blood into your mouth?" This is what vampire bats do for each other. Of course, other examples abound of animals working together for the collective good, and of nature fixing her own problems. (An article by Justin Adams in the e-edition of The Optimist [June 15, 2015], asks, "But why invest so much time and money in developing new technologies when nature already has evolved the cheapest, most effective and scalable tool at our disposal: forests? ")

Lee Dugatkin, a biologist-author ("Cheating Monkeys and Citizen Bees") asserts that our animal counterparts are actually operating on a simple cost-benefit analysis. They realize that by working together, they can more easily achieve success for the community as a whole. There is even a phrase that's been coined to explain the individual animal or insect that is willing to deny itself in order to aid the group: "biological altruism."

Unfortunately, we don't always find examples of such altruism in the corporate kingdom. The good news, though, is that improved communications and sincere commitment can overcome some of the stumbling blocks to productive results. Reading about the selflessness of our natural counterparts may indeed inspire.

Plankton author Christian Sardet maintains we owe our very existence to the single-celled ocean drifters. He says that for every two breaths we take, we owe once of them to the photosynthetic microscopic water beings. Apart from such debts, though, we find ourselves indebted to the natural world in less critical ways. By examining various practices evident in nature and natural creatures, we can find add to leadership-knowledge in the human sphere.

The Childhood Connection

By making extensions to leadership practices, we can eliminate some of those stumbling blocks in the way of productivity. After all, we have identified with animals from childhood-all those stuffed animals in our cribs and playpens formed an early linkage, a simpatico with animals we believed, at least for a while, to have hearts and souls. And then, there were all the books and movies and videos-when children cry over Bambi or The Velveteen Rabbit, something has caused that emotional reaction. That something is our early bonding with creatures of the earth that don't look like us but that we relate to, nonetheless. And when children laugh at Mickey Mouse's or the roadrunner's antics, it is because they understand them; they are kindred spirits.

Our imaginations have made us aligned with creatures, as have certain traditions, in particular those inherent in the Native American culture. Each tribe is guided by an animal spirit, the energy belonging to that animal on earth. The power is greater than that belonging to just one animal, as it represents the spirit of all that animal's predecessors.

From the Bible, through Aesop's Fables to modern works of literature like Animal Farm or world-acclaimed accounts like Jane Goodall's of animals in their natural state, we have bonded with and been inspired by animals all of our lives. (As a child, Goodall had a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee that helped shape her future.) It is a very small leap then to move from this enormous influence to the lessons to be learned from the nature world. Up to eighty million dogs and ninety-six million cats are find themselves in American households-to say nothing of the other species cherished as pets. Is it any wonder we find ourselves mirrored in their behaviors, our lives entwined with their existence?

It's true that scientists have been at work for a long time, studying nature and then applying its lessons – scientists like those at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory who, in an attempt to create more efficient solar panels, studied the eyes of moths and lotus leaves and their ability to repel water.

This whole notion of deriving an unexpected understanding of our role as leaders by studying the environment may be new to you, but brilliant minds have been exploring such connections for decades.

Whether you're interested in improving your individual leadership style or interested in improving the way your team functions; interested in getting your entire staff or department to think more about leadership characteristics; or hoping to lead your parish or school or neighborhood in undertaking a project of some kind, turn to nature-if only occasionally-for inspiration.

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History of Real Madrid

Spanish club Real Madrid has been the best club of Europe for some time now. The team enjoys popularity throughout the length and breadth of the world and has been the leader of the clubs. They have been leading the pack, leaving behind arch rivals Manchester United and Barcelona in the process as well. The club has boasted of David Beckham, Ronaldo, Figo, Kaka and the likes who played. Fondly called as Los Blancos, they have always maintained the Galactico standard, comprising of world-class players being recruited from the top clubs across Europe.

They boast of having one of the richest boards in the entire club circuit. The Madrid side is one of the richest clubs in the world as well, earning revenues from shirt sales and merchandise goods and tickets. The club has always been one of the top clubs to draw the most number of sponsors and is a hot favorite with the sponsorship companies who intend to striker a deal with them.

Unearthing Club History

The history of Real Madrid dates back to the year of 1912 when a group of boys introduced football to Spain. The group of boys used to practice on local fields until 1920, King Alonso of Spain granted the side the title of ‘Real’ which means ‘Royal’ in Spain. Since then, the name was officially bestowed on the club and the team began to be known by the name of Real Madrid in the country and later throughout the world. The club started playing games across the country with different teams and since then, there has been no looking back for them. The team looked to build on to their reputation being the best team of the country and went from strength to strength.

The club suffered a major setback back in 1937 when all the activities of the club was suspended and games were not being played as the country got engaged into a Civil War. The club elected its first president back in the year of 1945 when the Civil war was finally over and the elected president made sure that the club was rebuilt. The club got a proper board and a panel of experts was hired by the president as well.

Rise to Fame

Real Madrid has experienced a meteoric rise in their growth and popularity since they resumed playing following end of the civil war. Apart from success in the domestic field, the club gained a lot of respect from the international circuit as well as they were on their way to becoming one of the biggest clubs in Europe. They have won the European competition for the most number of times till date and no other club has come closer to their achievement till date. The club has won the Champions League for a record number of eleven times so far and is still going strong in the current seasons.

They look set to lift the La Liga trophy this 2016-17 season. The club has also won the La Liga for a record number of times as well. The club still goes on to dominate in both the domestic and international circuit and maintain its stature of being the best club in the world.

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