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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How Badminton Rackets Evolved To Suit The Sport of Badminton

In the earlier times, the game of Badminton was called Battledore and the Greeks and Asians were the first ones to play it. During the 1850s, the Duke of Beaufort revolutionized the game in his house in Gloucestershire and called it badminton. His home was later identified by the locals as the Badminton House.

In 1992, the popularity of badminton grew all over the world after its official debut in the Barcelona Olympics. Currently, the number of players and professionals of badminton is growing and more world badminton tournaments are being organized because of this. Badminton is truly an interesting and fast-paced sport that can be enjoyed by both beginners and pros. It is also a great and fun way to stay fit and healthy.

Even though the game of badminton started in an English House, the sport is now globally known and is a very popular sport in the Asian countries like Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia and China. These Asian countries are now producing world class players and China is producing the top badminton players. The Chinese have won a lot of major and world tournaments in the last few years and they are able to keep the top spot.

Battledore and Shuttlecock

The early game of battledore was very basic. Two individuals would hit a shuttlecock back and forth with a plain bat until one person misses and the shuttlecock falls to the ground. Those bats had handles and heads which are similar to the modern day rackets. The difference is that the head was entirely solid and made out of wood. Woven strings were not yet used during that time.

Wooden Racket

Initially, the badminton rackets consisted of a woven head and a concrete frame or body in the same way tennis rackets were made from during those times. The string utilized for the head of the battledore racket was created from animal by product and the frame was made from wood. The grip was long and bare, easily causing some cuts on the hand.

Metal Racket

In time, the rackets made from wood were changed by metal rackets. The next rackets were made from steel as it was a great metal. Soon, aluminum rackets became a more preferred choice because it was a lighter racket. This revolutionized the game and permitted the players to hit and roam within the court easier. It also lessened the degree of fatigue and stress being placed by the heavier badminton rackets. The handles were equipped with a grip material to enhance the control and comfort of the user.

Composite Racket

The badminton rackets being used today are now made from composite or synthetic materials, with carbon and graphite fiber being the most widely used materials. The modern badminton rackets are way lighter and have better grip and power than the early rackets. These are equipped with light yet sturdy nylon strings and other materials with handles specially covered in grips for better control.

Other than the frames, the best badminton rackets out in the market today are created using premium materials like those used to make the strings and grips. There are different badminton rackets that can suit a player’s style and level of play.

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Options for Playing Golf Near Barcelona

Golfing is a popular pastime in Barcelona, where mild weather throughout the year makes four-season golfing possible. With many courses situated just minutes from the city, Barcelona is a great destination for a getaway on the green and as a combination with a stay in the city itself. Enjoy a round of golf in the daytime and then head back into the city of Barcelona and enjoy the nightlife and restaurants. The following golf courses, both public and private, are among the best the area has to offer.

Villaba Golf

Located 20 minutes from Barcelona, Villaba Golf has 18 holes suitable for golfers of all skill levels. Facilities include a driving range as well as a snack bar and restaurant. The course is more than 5800 metres in length and incorporates such challenging features as streams and embankments. It was opened in 2006 and is one of the most popular clubs for visitors.

Real Club de Golf El Prat

This 45-hole golf course is located in Terrassa, 22 km from Barcelona. Consisting of two par 72, 18-hole courses totaling about 12,000m in length, Real Club de Golf El Prat offers a nine-hole practice course too. Restaurant, snack bar and a driving range round out the facility. The Real Club is a private course but admits visitors upon request.

St Cougat Golf Club

The oldest golf course in the region and the closest to Barcelona, St Cougat opened in 1914. The facility has been the site of several professional tournaments, including the Spanish Open and the European Tour. Painstakingly maintained, professional-quality greens and some difficult holes make St Cougat a favorite with world-class golfers. It is a private club that makes a limited number of admissions to visitors.

Sant Vincenc de Montalt Golf Club

Sant Vincenc is among the newest golf clubs near Barcelona. This par 72, 18-hole course is challenging for experienced golfers but accessible to those who are less practiced too. A shorter course that tests every shot, Sant Vincenc is quickly becoming a favorite haunt for golf enthusiasts. It is located 34km from Barcelona.

Sitges Terramar Golf Club

Situated near Sitges, this panoramic course is 37km from Barcelona. Views of the azure Mediterranean compliment this relatively flat, tree-free 18-hole golf course. Great for the hobbyist as well as the expert, the par 72, 5880m-long course enjoys a dependably temperate climate for year-round use. Facilities include a driving range, restaurant and bar, and a coffee shop.

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