Barcelona FC Vs Real Madrid

Spain is currently the football capitol of the world. Not only did they lift the World Cup last year, but, in Barcelona and Real Madrid, they have two of the finest football clubs in the world.

Naturally, the rivalry between these two foot-balling giants is intense, and every time that they meet, both teams' reputations are subject to immense pressure, not only from their respect, loyal fan bases, but from the world's media too.

Both sides play in the La Liga, the Spanish premier league. When these two great football colossi meet, (at least twice per year in league competition, and more if they play each other in any of the European trophy fixtures), the name that is given to the games, (yes they actually have a special name for this particular football fixture), is "El Clasico" – The Classic.

Since these two clubs first began playing against each other back in 1902, Real Madrid have a light edge, with a total of 74 wins over their old rivals, as opposed to Barcelona's 73.

The origin of their great rivalry is actually politically charged. Barcelona FC, more affectionately known as Barca, (correct pronunciation "Barsa"), are the champions of the Catalonian region and its peoples, whereas Real Madrid many years ago were associated with Franco's fascist regime. This clash between the people versus the establishment was the foundation for what is one of the fiercest sporting sporting rivalries in the world today.

There is one amazing story that recounts the fortunes of one Alfredo di Stefano, now a figure of legend for both clubs. His arrival in Spain from Argentina's Deportivo Los Millonarios was amid fierce competition between Real and Barca who were both desperate to sign the player. In the following confusion over the bitter argument of who he would play for, it was decided the he would play for Real one year, and Barca the next.

The intension confrontation between the two clubs is likened to a reenactment of the Spanish Civil War, a situation heightened recently when only last Wednesday Real coach Jose Mourinho poked his finger in the eye of Barca's assistant coach Tito Vianova following earlier accidents on the field of play . It is feared by many that the bad feeling between the two clubs may spill over into the national team side which current boats nine Barca players in its squad.

But all rivalries aside, these two great clubs have provided some remarkable spectacles of scintillating football in recent years although it is an undeniable fact that Barcelona FC are very much in the ascendancy right now. Their explosive style of football is hard for any other club to keep up with, and they have humbled many other great football clubs as they did with Manchester United when they beat them in last season's European Cup final.

Barcelona FC are currently THE club to be reckoned with. In recent head to head meetings with Real Madrid Barca have won 6 out of the last 10 games outright, with Real only managing 2 wins; the other games being drawn. Barcelona chalked up their longest unbeaten run in La Liga in the last season with 28 matches undefeated, and with nine of their current team in the international team squad, they are really a force to be reckoned with. Real Madrid eat your hearts out!

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Nigeria 2010 World Cup Qualification – The Only Choice

Who said we have run out of choice on the 2010 World Cup ticket? There is always a choice and many people have blindly refused to see these choices we have, even the football administrators are also guilty of this ignorance. How can we take advantage of this situation we find ourselves towards South Africa World Cup 2010 to turn our football, our sports and indeed the country at large around? The solution lies in this article…

We have to understand the situation very well. If we fail to qualify for the World Cup and heed to the call of many that we focus on the 2014 World Cup then get ready to hear the same thing in 2014, remember what happened in 2006? Many fans are already thinking of cheap hotel and business opportunities to explore especially online business.

We have to be in the soccer fiesta any true fan of soccer will tell you that you only enjoy the game when there is passion attached. That is why we have Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and several other numerous fans passionately supporting these clubs in Nigeria. Personally I was not happy watching other countries play in the 2006 WC and it will break my heart if we do not make it to the WC again. And as I said we not going to the WC is never a solution to our problems. Some Nigerian players if you agree with me really deserve to be in this WC which is likely their last.

Then, if we qualify and go to the WC, are we going to display this dismal performance that we have put up in the qualifying round, I am sure many Nigerians will become hypertensive if we proceed to the WC with our present form. Going by unconfirmed report that most Nigerians (especially young people) are becoming hypertensive or suffering from one heart disease or the other is a true reflection of the state of the nation called Nigeria.

So I repeat again, do we have a choice? The answer is ‘yes’. Hear me out first before you crucify me.

My verdict: sack Amodu with immediate effect and bring in a caretaker coach to play our last qualifying match. Appointing Amodu as a coach was a blunder from the beginning. The guy commits technical blunder in every match. He doesn’t know the right combination to make with the players he has. He watches a game go wrong and look on helplessly like we watching from the fan stand or the television, making no input technically at all. He just gambles, remove this put this and the game is over. Otherwise how can a coach come out criticize his players openly and even say that the opponent was more tactical and technically sound? Either he does not understand those two words or he is so so naive in coaching. Did he hear what Diego Maradona said about Lionel Messi despite his poor performance in their campaign?

I keep saying it and I will say it again, we have players that can go to the World Cup and get results, what we don’t have is a team with coach who will instill discipline and character in the team and bring out the best in them, play each player in the rightful position and know which match needs which kind of player. What did Hiddinck and Ancelotti do with Chelsea FC when they took charge? Was it not the same players? What is Capello doing in England and what did the England FA and even Ghana FA doing. Personally I have not seen any technically sound indigenous coach except maybe Siasia, though he has reduced his credibility by falling into a trap. Let our coaches go and improve themselves, go for courses and prove themselves, we put one of them possibly Siasia under the tutelage of the foreign coach.

So, sacking Amodu is the first vital step toward 2010 WC qualification.

Once the ticket has been secured, we proceed to employ the services of a world class coach (not the low voltage category-Berti Vogts). We allow the new coach to use Angola Nations Cup for test run and quickly give us a winning team. Then set a target for him to atleast take us to the knock-out stages of the WC in South Africa 2010.

Thirdly, we Nigerian start getting involved in how things are run because whether we like it or not it will affect us. We must ensure that credible people are put on that sit come 2010 when new officials are going to be elected in NFF.

Nigerian Football Federation case is an issue for another day; we need a fast-track strategy to change things there. Let us use them and qualify first.

Nigerians have been turned to mathematicians doing the permutation and combination. We hope the calculation works. The last game in Kenya will not only determine if we go to the WC, it will shape the face of our soccer in Nigeria.

What of if we don’t qualify, then we still sack him and continue with the plan but without the WC path.

We have no choice but to support our team through this fast track changes. Like it or not if we qualify, it will be difficult for you not to tune to Nigerian match in the WC. So what can we do than to join in the cause of providing solution? Call it patriotism or any thing you like, nobody can easily reject his own. We are hurt and heartbroken; that’s right but what can we do now?

Desperate situation calls for desperate actions. We have a choice to play this situation.

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Best Places to Visit in Europe

Visiting Europe is a life-changing event that everyone should experience at least once. Even so, if you do not take time out to see some of the gems that Europe has to offer, the trip will not be worth taking at all. Some of the best places to visit in Europe are landmarks that will transform your vacation into the trip of a lifetime.

Amsterdam

The largest city in the Netherlands has become the up-and-coming hotspot for young people to visit in Europe. Literally overnight, Amsterdam has transformed into one of the richest cultural destinations in Europe, and has earned the title of “Festival City” for its hosting of over 75 festivals a year throughout the city.

Tuscany

Tuscany is perhaps the most pivotal city to visit in Italy. The area houses medieval towns, rolling hillsides, and beaches galore. With its expansive vineyards and wineries, rich heritage and exquisite architecture, there is no shortage of reasons to give Tuscany a whirl.

Berlin

Berlin is the capital city of Germany, and it is the largest city in Germany as well. It has a highly politicized history and international appeal, with museums and landmarks abound. There are multiple downtown areas in Berlin, and each has its own local flavor and distinct personality.

Rome

The capital city of Italy, Rome is simply necessary for the avid history buff to visit. Old Rome is where to find the Renaissance era architecture, coliseums, streets, and plazas. The artifacts and cathedrals of the Vatican are breathtaking, and there are authentic cafes and fantastic museums for miles and miles. No wonder that this impressive city features heavily in “Best Places to visit in Europe” compilations!

Barcelona

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain. It is worth visiting for the Gothic architecture alone. The most amazing stop to make in Barcelona is Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Família church. Buildings aside, some of the best chefs in Europe serve up the cuisine in Barcelona and the avant-garde art scene in the city has electrified the atmosphere there with contemporary flair.

Malta

If you want to experience authentic Mediterranean lifestyle while in Europe, then Malta is your best choice. The whole country is dubbed as an “open-air museum”, with a rich history spanning thousands of years, gorgeous beaches, New Stone Age temples and a fantastic nightlife. Malta is especially popular with overseas students looking to enhance their English Language skills while on vacation.

When planning your vacation, it is imperative to make a list of the best places to visit in Europe before you go. If you make stops at these locations, your trip to Europe will be the most memorable time of your life.

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Travel To Spain Barcelona

You must travel to Spain Barcelona at least once in your lifetime, you won’t regret it. Two of the best ways to travel to Spain Barcelona is via cruise ship or airplane. The natural beauty of Spain Barcelona is stunning whether you approach it from the Mediterranean Sea or from the air. The European country of Spain is divided into seventeen communities. Barcelona is in the community of Catalonia. The Catalonian Community has its own autonomy. As a result, they have their own local government, police and they maintain control over their community which includes Barcelona, the capitol city.

When you travel to Spain Barcelona, you’ll find a city teeming with over 1.5 million people. They really took world center stage in 1992 when they hosted the Olympic Games. The people speak Catalan and Castillian Spanish. Catalan is spoken throughout Catalonia. The capitol city is historically and culturally a Mediterranean City that has somehow preserved its Gothic City Center. It has a large number of museums that exhibit their art and history throughout the ages. Visiting the museums is a must because they enable you to get a better understanding and a greater appreciation for the unique culture.

Barcelona is deeply Catholic. One of the best times for a family visit is early Spring during Easter. They have plenty of processions, passion plays and pageantry. It’s a great time to visit. Barcelona is known for its small romantic streets and quaint shops. They draw you in as you stroll about with your partner. This place is definitely on for honeymooners. The beautiful coastline along the Mediterranean Sea is a magnet for tourists. It boasts 5,000 kilometers of coastline along with breathtaking beaches. This area has also provided an added boost to the economy of Spain.

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