The Beautiful Game

Welcome back to another addition of World Soccer 2017. Last week we talked about the guys the play between the sticks, The goalkeepers. Today we will be talking about the single most important thing in soccer, passing. The art of passing is the simple act of getting the ball from one player to another with the intention of purposely gaining ground on the pitch. There is passing in pretty much all team sports but in soccer passing has a little bit more importance than it does in something like basketball. In a sport like basketball individual skill can get you a long way if you are someone like Steph Curry or LeBron James. It is very difficult for any one player on a soccer field to do everything by himself regardless of how good they may be which is why passing is the biggest and most important element of the game. The greatest teams in the world tend to also be the teams that pass the ball the best like F.C. Barcelona. The greatest sights you will find on a soccer field is a great passing movement that ends in an easy goal, The defense can only chase the ball in circles as the offensive team makes them look silly because after all, no one player is faster than the ball itself.

(below is a video that shows some of the best team goals).

The goals in the video above make it look far to easy to just simply pass the ball around the opposition but this is no easy feat. Its takes a special type of player to be able to string passes together the way these professionals do and with such speed and precision. Soccer is called the beautiful game because of these types of goals. There is no better sight then watching your team move the ball the way a team like Manchester United does when they are brimming with confidence and having positive play. Some team styles of play tend to be more direct which means they try to play the ball to the next as quickly as possible where as other teams tend to try and break their opposition down through short, crisp passes and patience. Personally I feel like being too direct isn’t the best approach but of course this is all preference, some styles counteract others very well but that depends on the players and things of that nature. No matter what though, passing is always an essential part of the game and will be for years to come.

The 11th Man

Welcome to another addition of World Soccer 2017. last week on the blog we talk a lot about the Barclay’s premier and how it is arguably the best league in the entire world. Of course that is something is different depending on the type of football you enjoy watching but it is always fun to insight conversations about these things. Today we will be talking about the unsung heroes on the pitch, the goalkeepers. The goalies have undeniably that hardest job on the team seeing as how they are the last line of defense between the goal and the opposition. Goalie has to be mentally strong as well as being acrobatically skilled. Every great team has a great goalie because without that you would ever be able to keep other great teams under a certain amount of goals. in the featured image is a picture of Edwin Van der sar who was one of Manchester United’s greatest goalies. he’s won major titles like Champions league and the premier league cup and is still playing even at the ripe old age of 46 in his home country of the Netherlands.

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(The picture above is of another Manchester United, Anders Lindegaard, making a diving save)

Goalies tend to not get the attention they deserve because they aren’t normally scoring goals and they are far too overlooked in my opinion. Every team around the world that could be considered good has an amazing keeper to back them up. for example Chelsea’s goalie is Courtois who is considered the best Belgium goalie right now and there could be a case made that he is the best goalie in the premier right now with Chelsea sitting comfortably at the top of the table at this point in time. Chelsea is showing no signs of slowing down and a bit of the credit has to go to the man in goal. Another great goalie and also one of my personal favorites is David De Gea, the Manchester United keeper. The Spaniard has gotten the red devils out of a lot of sticky situations with his great height and athleticism, not to mention his accuracy with his feet as well. There are tons of other goalies not just in the premier league but all of the world in leagues like the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, and even the MLS who deserve much more recognition than they get and hopefully today’s post will give you readers a bit more appreciation for the guys that wear a different color than their teammates. Thanks for tuning into another weekly addition of World Soccer 2017!

Check out the video below to see some insane saves from the previous season.

The Barclay’s

Welcome back to another addition of World Soccer 2017. Today we will be talking about the best league in all of football, The Barclay’s Premier League. The Premier league is England’s division of Soccer and it is very rich in terms of its history. The competition formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from the Football League, which was founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. Many of the teams are still the same and have been since the 1800s. Many of the greatest teams in the world like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, And Manchester City belong to the Premier league, but the beauty of the league is in it’s equality in terms of team strength. Teams that could be the worst one year can unexpectedly beat 5,000 to 1 odds and become champions like the infamous foxes also known as Leicester City F.C.

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Winning this illustrious division of soccer is considered a great feat by any and all fans of the game. Some might even say the premier league is the best league in the world and has been for many years. This is a statement that can be debated but there is no doubt that the premier league is the most physical of all the leagues. Referees tend to allow the men in the premier league to give a little more push and shove than leagues like the Spanish league which has caused some controversy in recent times. Some of the coaches are worried about their players safety and implore the league to try and minimize the dangerous challenges that go on but this is very difficult to do. The players come to this league because they want to play a more physical brand of soccer and the league is known for its grit.

The premier league isn’t just a league full of brutes and savages, it also has players that are second to none in terms of their talent. the video above shows the class of the premier league through half of this season. you will see a couple shots go upper 90, some players riding bikes(scoring a bicycle kick) and other flicking the ball into the back of the net with the back of their heel. the quality of a premier league player cannot be question, and when you add that in with the physicality that most people never knew was in the game of soccer, you get one of the most exciting leagues in all of the world.

The 90th Minute

Welcome back to another addition of World Soccer 2017. Last time we talked about the glory of the long shot and how great it is to watch one unfold before your eyes. Today we will be talking about the 90th minute and the significance of it. First we have to start by asking the question, what is the 90th minute? The 90th minute is the last minute of the match in soccer without the inclusion of stoppage time. If the referee deems that the match had zero stoppages(which almost never happens) then he would end the game at that very moment but usually an additional couple of minutes is added to make up for lost times due to injuries, flopping, complaints etc. The 90th minute is where hearts are broken and games are won especially because the players are fatigued and normally expecting the last whistle to be blown at any moment.

The video below shows one of my all time favorite last minute goals. that match is between Leicester City and Watford Football Club in the FA Cup(a tournament between English teams). The score says 2-1 in favor of Watford but because of aggregate the game is technically tied which is why the goal the so important. I will let the video do the rest of the talking

This goal is in my opinion one of Watford’s greatest comebacks in their history as a team since they were created in 1881. We can not forget about the tremendous feat the goalie made as well. Saving a penalty kick that would’ve meant a loss for his team when it matter in the dying seconds is anything but easy. The crowd’s reaction afterwards is one of the best things about the video. every fan was in despair when they saw the referee point to the penalty spot. their emotions went from complete dismay to total bliss in a matter of one minute. it was quite a roller-coaster for them I’m sure which ended in a storming of the field that I’m sure will never be forgotten.

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that goal is one of the many goals that define and change games within an instant. This is one of the reason why soccer is a game of passion. you can be down by any amount of goals but there is always enough time to bring a game back within your grasp. This is like the equivalence of Tom Brady’s almost mythical comeback against the Falcons in the last super bowl. Soccer fans know all to well about how the tide of a game can change and that is why we always watch until the 90th minute. I will leave you with another amazing comeback that happened not too long ago between Barcelona FC a Paris-Saint Germain.

The 90th minute is always a glimmer of hope and should be respected because if not. you may blow a 3-1 lead like the video above suggests.

WHAT A SCREAMER!!!

Welcome to another addition of World Soccer 2017. last time we talked about football bloopers and the funny side of the football world. today we will be talking about the best long shots the world has ever seen. Long shots are a part of the game that make it amazing to watch especially because they are a rare commodity. When a player takes a great first touch to set him up for a 30 year strike the crowd sits on the edge of their seats hoping for a shot that hits upper 90. It takes a special type of player to be able to hit the ball with enough accuracy and power to avoid the goalie.

the video above shows a plethora  of soccer strikes that range from one touch volleys(when the player hits the ball without taking any touches out the air to settle it). to set up shots and they are all sublime to say the least.

The term screamer is a that term comes from the crowds reactions when the shot is made, they all go crazy with excitement by the moment of brilliance shown by the player on the pitch and many of these moments will immortalized in history. A screamer is one of the great sights to watch in the game of soccer and also one that even non soccer fans can appreciate to the fullest extend.

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on to other topics of soccer around the world. There were a number of international friendlies being played around the world within this past week. International friendlies are essentially exhibition games but instead of having club teams play they have international teams face off just to get the players to get a feel for playing with each other. International friendlies are also a great fan service. fans from around the world are usually against each other because they have their clubs in the same countries, but when their countries play a different country they can all band together towards a common opponent. England faced off against Germany yesterday in a thrilling match that was close until the end. Lukas Podolski is one of the German veterans and this was his last match as a German international player. Podolski showed his class and was the man who got the go ahead goal for the Germans. It was quite a screamer to say the least and was a great way for him to leave his mark on the team.

Above is a video of the highlights from the game, Enjoy!

Football Funnies

Welcome back to another addition of World Soccer 2017. Today we will be getting into the funny side of soccer, The Bloopers. Soccer is full of funny mistakes that make the game just a little more comically for of the viewers out there, especially goalies. Goalkeepers have to toughest job on the pitch because they are the last line of defense between an opposing player and a goal. Because of this Keepers may get nervous sometimes and allow very poor goals which can shift the tide of any game. below is a video of some goalie slip ups from the German league.

Goalies receive a boatload of criticism for making mistakes like this but they still deserve our respect. it takes a special kind of person to be able to stand in the net and save shots from the best players in the world. Personally I could never be a goalie because of how nerve wrecking it is but that is just me.

Players the play on the field make mistakes just like keepers though. when players are the even make mistakes it almost seems worse because of the sheer fact that a lot of the time these mistakes are made in the simplest of scenarios. missing the ball or scoring on yourself can be the difference in a game sometimes which is why just one mistake can go very punished.

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Football funnies do include things other than just mistakes players make. They also include things like ridiculous flops and other actions they pull on the field. Every soccer player knows that there will always be floppers, floppers are people who try and act like they have been fouled in order to obtain a foul from the referee. Flopping occurs in a bunch of sports but soccer seems like it invited the concept because of the commonality of it every game. Flopping buts the referees in tough spots in the game because there are no reviews for flopping, because of this whatever the referee calls on the spot is how it goes. Another reason why its tough for referees to assess whether a player has flopped or not is because of how big the field is. There are only 3 referees to cover 100 yards and only 1 real referee makes the calls, tie this in with the fact that the clock is running at all times which leaves them with no time to think and you have a great reason for players to try and flop. Even with this I feel like flopping ruins the game but it is difficult to take out of it. I leave everyone with one last clip of a bunch of bloopers throughout the years

Ronaldo vs Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi? That is one of the hardest questions to answer in the modern world of football. these two players are undoubtedly the two best players in the world right now, but is one really that much better than the other? Ronaldo is 3 years older than Messi but are very close in terms of stats since Ronaldo went to the illustrious Real Madrid which is the team that rivals FC Barcelona where Messi plays. Since Ronaldo’s transfer both players basically average a goal a game which is an amazing feat. Ronaldo has scored 387 goals in 378 appearances for his club whereas Messi has netted 408 goals in just 405 outings for his club. This stat is even more impressive because it does not include international play where both of these players shine as well. Messi is known to be more of a passer of the ball so it makes sense that he has almost 50 more assist than him but Ronaldo has other strengths like his speed, physicality, and jumping ability that Messi cannot begin to compete with. There are so many intangibles that these players excel in that make the decision even harder. Ronaldo is a flashy and powerful athlete on the pitch while Messi is more calm and simple in his play but not one thing is essentially better than another.

(Below is a little video comparison of the two from 2009 to 2015. this does not include all competitions like exhibition games and things of that sort)

This debate could literally go on forever in the eyes of a dedicated fan. A big factor that people will use to try and make the comparison between the two is the amount of silverware each player has obtained in their lifetime. Messi has more ballon D’or awards by 1. The ballon D’or award is giving to the most valuable player in all of Europe and is a very prestigious awards. Both players have a plethora of La Liga cup titles but I do not want to only credit these players for that achievement because that is a team effort and both of these men have amazing teams around them that could win those titles without them on the field. Here is a picture of their all time stats that include every competition for country and club that these players have been in.

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These players will continue to dominate the game in their own regards. One of the best rivalries in sports in happening right in front of our eyes and this debate will go on forever