The Truth Behind Real Madrid

Whether you are new to the sport of football, or you have been a fan for years, odds are you have heard some mention of the team Real Madrid. Now known as one of the most successful professional football clubs they, like other teams of its time, started from humble beginnings.

Things were rough when they started out in the first decade of the 20th century. While much effort went into finding a permanent plot of land for the team to play on, success was made with the rental of a plot of land on Bullring Avenue. Not long after that, Real Madrid was formed. Once considered part of Espanol de Madrid, Real Madrid was officially founded back in 1902, with club regulations being approved not long after the team’s creation date.

While the team had some success, its first official title was not achieved until 1905 with the first international event taking place later that same year. Real Madrid began to make their name known with the accomplishment of winning the Cup of Spain for three consecutive years, from 1905 to 1907 to be exact. When 1909 rolled around, it proved to be quite a successful year for Real Madrid. After a meeting with delegates from other Spanish football clubs, the Spanish FA was created with Real Madrid’s president being named as the secretary of the organization.

As time passed and the team’s popularity grew, Madrid obtained their first league title in the 1931 to 32 season. This proved to be the start of the team’s power with this title being the start of the 29 League titles that they would accomplish over the years. Due to the start of the war in 1936 Real Madrid’s popularity started to decrease. Attempts were made by Pablo Hernandez to keep the team in the public eye, but multiple attempts failed miserably. While all hope appeared to be lost, 1939 brought the first full house at Chamartin Stadium for Real Madrid. While it was perceived that interest in football decreased with the war, support held and grew as the war rolled on with its popularity becoming well known when the war was over.

1943 brought their first historical win. In a semi-final game against the Catalans, Madrid defeated them with a score of 11-1. As the years passed, the team proved itself to be a power to be reckoned with. The 1950’s brought the team’s third league title after 23 years.

When it comes to league titles, Real Madrid is one of the only teams in the league to win five consecutive times in the 76 year history of the competition. They accomplished this feat in the 1960-61, 1964-65, 1985-86 and 1989-90 seasons. No other team in the history of the competition has been able to meet or even break the record that has been created by the successful Real Madrid team.

The present and the future show great promise for the team. With the team having just celebrated their 106 birthday in March of 2008, the team continues to achieve success. With a mixed history, their past has proven them to be a force to be reckoned with and they may just be one of the most powerful teams for years to come.

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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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When Football Raises Passions – Barca Vs Real Madrid

Football is for many people much more than sport. This has become the most popular game on the planet, with nearly 270 million people participating in one way or another. In Spain, soccer moves astronomical amounts of money on advertising alone, with Barça and Real Madrid with the most capital invested in promotion. In addition, these two clubs have the most followers. Even their players have become media stars just like singers and actors.

In fact, the enthusiasm for football in Spain has reached astonishing levels: the stadiums of both teams are among the most visited attractions in both cities. In addition, the Museum of Barcelona FC is the most visited museum in Catalonia, ahead of other well-known ones such as the Dalí museum.

Barca and Real Madrid are two of the most famous teams in the world and in our country they have always been eternal rivals. Madrid was named Best Club of the century by FIFA in 2000. they have won 31 league titles, 17 Copa del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 9 Champion’s Leagues, 2 UEFA Cups, 1 European Supercup and Intercontinental Cups 3.

Considering Barça, it has been the only European team that has played continuously in the continental competitions since its beginnings in 1955. Moreover, it has attained 18 league titles, 24 Copas del Rey, 7 Spanish Super Cups, 2 European Super Cups, 2 Champion’s League titles, 4 European Cup Winner’s Cups and 3 European Fairs Cups among others.

Both Culès as well as Meringues have been blessed with the best soccer stars. Barca have signed players such as Messi, Cruyff, Maradona, Laudrup, Ronaldinho or Kubala, while Real Madrid have signed stars such as Zidane, Di Stefano, Casillas, Raul, Ronaldo and Puskas.

At the moment FC Barcelona and Real Madrid are fighting for the top two positions in the table with Barcelona ahead by just a few points. What seemed impossible a few days ago when a seemingly invincible Barça were 12 points ahead, is now much more of a target for Real Madrid.

We will have to wait until 3rd May for the eternal rivals to face each other again. Undoubtedly, it will be a game to provoke heart attacks as one side is speaking of a crisis in the Barça camp while the whites are enjoying a good run of unbeaten games.

Does anyone dare to bet on who will win the league? With so few days to go until the end of the league, emotions are running at an all time high. The match will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid so why not enjoy the game in style – rent the best apartments in Madrid so as not to miss a thing!

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Books Set in Spain – Five Novels to Read Before You Travel

If you are planning a trip to Spain, you might be thinking it is all about the sun, sand and Sangria.

That is the side of Spain that is often portrayed in the popular media, but if you’d like to know a little bit more about the country you are traveling to then it might be time to turn to some books set in Spain that delve into Spanish life and tell us something of the country’s difficult history.

It has not been such a long time since Spain was divided by a bitter civil war and the subsequent years of fascism. It wasn’t until General Francisco Franco died in 1975 after a forty year reign, that the country was able to embark on becoming the democratic country it is today.

You can find out what it was like for Spaniards in those years by reading the following novels.

‘Guernica’ by Dave Boling

The town of Guernica is in the Basque region of northern Spain. In 1937 hundreds of residents were killed when the town was bombed by German and Italian war planes. This inspired Pablo Picasso to create a painting of the event — the horror of the images helping to bring attention to the Spanish Civil War. This novel is the story of that painting and the people depicted in it We become immersed in the lives of the Ansogegui family in the lead up to the war, as well as the devastating years of the war itself — following them as they try to come to terms with the impact the conflict has on themselves and their loved ones. If you’d like to know more about the Basque people and this particular slice of history, then this novel is ideal.

‘The Time of the Doves’ by Merce Rodoreda

Set in Barcelona before, during and after the Civil War, this novel follows the life of Natalia through her suffering and depression. It may be a tear-jerker, but it is also a tale of hope and survival. And when you go to Barcelona, you can visit La Placa Del Diamant, the original Catalan title of the novel, and a crucial location in the novel.

‘A Manuscript of Ashes’ by Antonio Munoz Molina

This novel begins during the latter years of Franco’s reign, in the late 1960’s. Minaya is a university student who has been imprisoned for his role in a demonstration. He flees to the countryside to work on his thesis and becomes absorbed in a story from the past. It’s a mystery, a love story, and a portrayal of the complexities and tumult of the Civil War.

‘Winter in Madrid’ by C.J. Sansom

As the title suggests, the location of this novel is the Spanish capital. Englishman Harry Brett has been sent to Madrid by the British Secret Service to spy on an old friend. It is 1940, and Harry is soon immersed in the political complexities of post-Civil War Spain. There is also of course, a love story or two…

‘The Return’ by Victoria Hislop

This novel is a curious mix of chick-lit and historical fiction. And while the style of the writing could be considered ‘beach read’, the subject matter is not. Told in a mix of past and present, the novel gives a frightening portrayal of the war in the city of Granada. It shows how civil war pits neighbors and even brothers against each other, while the chaos that follow destroys the dreams and relationships of those who are left behind. If you are planning on visiting Granada, then this book is a must.

By all means enjoy the fantastic lifestyle and culture that you will experience on a trip to Spain today, but if you want to really understand the people that you meet on your journey, then any of these books will help you to do that. Immersing yourself in the history of a city or country does much to enhance your travels, so why not read these novels and take that first step. And once you have done that, there are plenty of more books set in Spain to explore….

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