The World's Worst Soccer Teams – Cuba

The Golden Age

Once upon a time Cuba was one of the best teams in the Americas. By the early 1930s, the Island finished first at the I Central and Caribbean Games. They defeated Costa Rica and Honduras. Subsequently, between July 4 and July 19, 1938, Cuba's national soccer team became the best Caribbean team in soccer history when they placed seventh at the Third FIFA World Championship in Paris, France's capital city. During that event, Cuba had defeated Romania. However the Island was not see again in the World Cup.

Country Profile: Cuba

This Spanish-speaking nation is located in the Caribbean Sea. It covers 42,800 square miles; Latin America's largest individual island. There are at least 12 million people. Havana is the country's capital. Politically, Cuba is a dictatorship.

Since 1959 Cuba, formerly a colony of Spain, has become a Marxist dictatorship. In practice the Island is governed by Castro's family. Hereafter, the nation's dictator Fidel Castro Ruz was elected as the first pro-Soviet leader in the Western Hemisphere. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the USSR (now Russia) provided a heavy military and economic aid.

Unfortunately it is one of the most brutal human rights abusing states in the Third World since the 1950s. Due to this, the Cuban tyranny is an international pariah on the world stage, along with Iran, Zimbabwe, Burma and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (also known as North Korea). According to Reports Borders, Cuba is one of "15 enemies of the Internet on Earth". For political and economic reasons, over 250 athletes, including Olympic champs, had left the country since 1990, the highest of the world's developing nations. Economically, it has become heavily dependent on Venezuelan aid since the 2000s.

FIFA World Cup

Cuba's national team has not qualified for the FIFA World Cup since 1938. In recent decades, many Caribbean and Central American nations, from El Salvador and Honduras to Haiti and Trinidad Tobago, have already outpaced Cuba. By the early 1970s, the Salvadoran team was the winner of the men's soccer CONCACAF Tournament and because of this it was one of the 16 teams in the FIFA championship in Mexico City. Hereafter, twelve years on, El Salvador, along with Honduras, took part in its second men's World Cup in Barcelona (Spain). For the first time in 44 years, Haiti, a virtual unknown before 1974, secured its place in soccer history when they competed at the X World Cup in Munich, West Germany. From 1990 on, Costa Rica has participated twice in the global event. At the FIFA 2002 tournament, the Central Americans finished 19th place (among 32 teams).

Unlike neighboring Cuba, Jamaica qualified for the World Cup in the late 1990s. The Jamaican squad placed 22nd in the FIFA championship, ahead of Scotland, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Subsequently, Trinidad & Tobago, a cricket-loving Island, participated at the 2006 World Cup. Meanwhile, Honduras has qualified for the South Africa 2010. Honduras, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, made its World Cup debut in the early 1980s.

From 1962 until the late 1980s, sports in Cuba had suffered an abrupt change when the USSR and other Marxist states sent up to 300 coaches to the Island. Also during that period, the Spanish-speaking nation received more money per capita to promote sports than any other nation on Earth, including South Korea, China and Greece. At the same time, several soccer coaches came to Cuba, from Hungarians to Soviets. In the meantime, the Marxist government sent a host of national squads to Eastern Europe, North Korea and the Soviet Union. Havana also hosted many international tournaments. But despite all of this, the Cuban soccer team did not qualify for the FIFA World Cup. But that was only the beginning of the tragedy.

A Nightmare

From the 1990s to the 2000s, only a handful of soccer players did not escape from Cuba. By the early 1990s, Fernando Griñan, one of the Island's most popular players, bought political asylum in abroad. But Griñan was not the only one. By 1998 Eduardo Sebrango fled Cuba to Canada. Shortly afterwards, Alberto Delgado y Perez and Rey Angel Martinez defected from its national team during the 20o2 Gold Cup in the States. Three years later, Maykel Galindo escaped from the Island. Likewise, between 2007 and 2008, Osvaldo Alonso, Lester More, Pedro Faife and Reinier Alcantara had left Havana. In March 2008, seven players bought political theory in America: Manuel Miranda, Erlys Garcia, Yenier Bermudez, Yordany Alvarez, Loanny Duarte, Yendri Diaz, and Eder Roldan. As a result, Cuba failed to qualify for the 2010 South Africa.

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A Short Biography of French Soccer Player – Just Fontaine

His complete name is Just “Justo” Fontaine. Fontaine was not born in France, but in Marrakech, Morocco on August 18, 1933. He is an ex-soccer player of French. He is an ex-soccer player of French. Fontaine’s playing position in the field is as Striker. He will always be considered for his performance of 1958 World Cup. In the competition he made 13 goals in only 6 games. Just Fontaine was the man of goals and the first “golden player” of the French. Full of admiration, the supporters entitled the man “Monsieur Dynamite”. In March 2004 Pelé name him as one of the 125 greatest living soccer players.

In his first year with AC Marrakesh He got his way playing soccer and succeeded the national youth championship. His way led passing through USM Casablanca. With the club Fontaine became top goal scorer of Morocco, to France at the age of 20 years old.

With his national team of France, his statistics are even more remarkable. In December 17, 1953, on his first appearance together with the side, he made a hat trick when France team beat Luxembourg 8-0.

To list his role in club level, Just Fontaine experienced playing soccer with the clubs such as US Casablanca in 1950-1953, OGC Nice in 1953-1956, and Stade Reims in 1956-1962.

In 1961 in 1961 Fontaine founded the National Union of Professional Football Players with Eugène N’Jo Léa. The French Football Federation elected Fontaine as the best French player of the last 50 years in the UEFA Jubilee Awards.

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How to Write a Football Match Report

One of the functions of a center referee after the end of any game of football is the writing of the match report. This is a document that is so important to both the football authority and the referee association, because of its importance. The ability to write a good and accurate report is the hallmarks of a competent match official.

What constitutes a standard match report?

Time of kick-off

The actual time of kick-off must be clearly stated including the duration of the match. Extra time given at the end of each halves including the date of the match must also be included in the match report.

Name of both teams

Football is usually played between two teams with their own sets of players and officials. The match report usually contains the name of both the home team and the away team. The name of the home team usually comes first.

Name of venue of match

The name of the venue where the game was played must be written in the report. Matches are usually played in stadium except in cases where other facilities like school fields and training pitches of hotels and organizations are used. In any case, the name of the venue is very essential. The behavior of the fans and officials at the match venues is also included in the write-up.

Name and position of match officials

There are usually four match officials in a standard game of football. They include- the center referee, the assistant referee 1, the assistant referee 2 and the fourth official. Each of these officials has a column where their names, association, designation and signature are appended. The name of the match commissioner must be inserted in your write-up.

Substitutions, cautions and sending off

All substitutions made by both teams must be recorded on the match report. Cautions and sending off issued to either team must also be recorded. Remember to state clearly the offense committed by the player for which he was cautioned or sent off as listed in the Laws of the game.

The difference between the later and the former lies in the recording of the incident that led to the caution and sending off issued out. In documenting these incidents, consultations are made with the other match officials to ensure that reports are as accurate as possible.

Weather condition and condition of pitch

Climatic conditions can result to the cancellation of a match especially when the weather is inclement. A vivid description of the condition of the pitch and the weather condition must be included in the report.

Goals scored

The number of goals scored and the name and jersey numbers of the player who scored the goal must be well-documented. The final score between both teams and the eventual winner will also be included in the write-up.

The full report is usually submitted to the football authority responsible for organizing the game either through post or email. The standard duration for submitting such write-up is usually 48 hours after the match. It is important to note that all incidents that occurred outside the field of play must also be recorded, especially in the event of intimidation by team officials against match officials. At the end of the report, your name, referee association and signature must be appended to the report.

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Simple Theory for Soccer Betting

Why is soccer betting popular?

If we were to compare other sports with soccer, soccer has the highest occurrences for weak team to beat a strong team down especially in English Premier League. Let’s turn back the clock; can any of you recall the UEFA Championship final?? Clashed between Man.Utd and Bayern Munich in 1999 where Man.Utd successfully won Bayern Munich by 2 goals during 2 minutes injury time. For those who bet on Bayern Munich, how hard for punters to accept this, unfortunately this is the FACT. Well, as you can see, this is the most interesting part in soccer betting. There is a saying, “a football is round, therefore it might have unpredictable ending”.

What is the simple theory in betting world?

Everything in the world is sharing the same natural concept and also follows the same trend. There is no exception for soccer betting. The theory is simple. When a graph makes an incline, of course the line will keep climbing and stop at a stage. No matter how high it reaches or how low it drops, there is always a stop to it. I would confidently say that only in minor cases, the graph will move up and down continuously within a short period of time. As example, you could notice that most market share will always have gradual incline and then follow by long dropping line repeatedly. You could also notice that the rich gets richer and poor gets poorer. In sports betting, I believe some of you did experience before winning streaks which you kept winning non-stop even though you simply put your bet. In contrast when encounter down period, even if you work hard to make analysis or follow the bet of your lucky friends but finally lose too. Why? The only answer is natural concept and trend. We must agree and follow the trend.

How betting trend works in soccer betting?

The rule of thumb is do not be stubborn to confidently place bets on teams that continuously lost and have the thinking that they would make a come back. This is totally wrong. Maybe you will win at the end by follow this type of betting strategy but how much capital you need to have and how much you need to lose before you can win the bet. Based on the trend concept, if a team is keep losing, the graph for them is dropping, we should bet against them until the graph reach a pit stop. In contrast, if a team turnover from lose to win, we should start chase the team to win until stop stage. How simple is it? Win keeps winning and lose keeps losing.

Which team to bet from among of uncountable matches?

When using the trend concept in soccer betting, it is safer if we use it to bet on strong team and only focus on climbing graph. Meanwhile, we put our bet only on strong team when they are in win stage. The reason to choose strong team is they need points to secure their position at the top of the league table. In addition, strong team with higher strength could easily win if victory is a must.

The last but not the least, I am sure you will have doubts on my simple theory – trend. I could tell you that my theory has been proven. I have been using the betting strategy for 2 consecutive years and it really works for me. From my bet statistics, it hits more than 75% accuracy.

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Sports Gamers Will Enjoy The New FIFA 11 Leagues

FIFA 11 leagues is the newest release of the FIFA licensed series of association football video games. The new edition has won great praise from reviewers. And, given the record, it is not surprising as the fan base continues to expand with each new offering.

The highly anticipated 2011 release earned over one and fifty million dollars in sales in its first week. As a result, a new sales record was set. Buyers were anticipating there would be improvements on the 2010 title. They were not disappointed as this is a series tradition.

There are over more than 15,000 players, 500 teams and 30 leagues in FIFA 11. As the 2010 game won 50 awards, to say this one is better means something. The gameplay has gotten even better with better positioning and control of the ball.

This basic improvement is key. It is now more fun to play with passing more like real life, while accuracy gets an upgrade. This means the player movements have been upgraded. They have even more realistic attributes and compare better with real life players.

To fans delight Manager Mode works much better. It has become part of the Career Mode, which also includes the Be A Pro Mode. In the 2011 game, you can control a team or an individual player. You can transfer between matches. You can play 15 seasons in the Career Mode and now you are also allowed to control the goalkeeper. You can play any European cup or participate in your own competition.

With this title you can play sides with others online. For the first time, in Ultimate Team, you have the opportunity play online contests with friends as well. Many are overjoyed with this feature, as this was the most requested addition after FIFA 10 was released. Every aficionado will find pleasure in Ultimate Team. The possibilities are so flexible. Options include building your team and challenge a friend, enter individual or multiplayer tournaments. You can play individually, join a team, set up a league with friends or play some random contests online.

The tools enabling customization augment the playing experience. Online competition gets ranked internationally. So, any game in an online tournament that gets ranked gives gamers an opportunity for boasting about your national win.

For a different kind of experience, some may want to try the game using the Wii game platform. It is less realistic than the game in other platforms, but, it is enjoyable in a different way. Certainly those who do not closely follow the game and younger players would enjoy the Wii experience. Its online games can be easily set up. The online mode plays smoothly and is generally free of lag periods. It also has a discrete street football mode. The five side indoor mode last seen in the Road to World Cup 98 is available once again. FIFA 11 offers the best experience of the game on the Wii platform, according to reviews. It is highly likely purchasers will agree with critics that this new product is deserving of the compliments it has received.

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Lionel Messi Emerges FIFA World Footballer Again

Argentine national and FC Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi has once again been voted FIFA World footballer of the year for the second consecutive year following his exploits in both his club side and national team.

The mercurial attacking midfielder has been instrumental to Barca's superlative runs in both the La Liga and the UEFA Champions' league in the past 5 years. His speed, dribbling skills and brilliant passes have no doubt contributed in great measures to the success stories of FC Barcelona.

He assisted the former champions to the semi final stage of the UEFA Champions' league last season; and also played a significant role in their emergence as the La Liga champions. He also played a significant part in his country getting to the quarter final stage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

This wonder kid has kept improving since he made his mark at the World Youth Championship in the Netherlands in 2005: he has not looked back ever since. Now he is beginning to rub shoulders with the great names in soccer history – Arantes De Nacimento (Pele), Zinedine Zidane, Louis Nazario DeLima (Ronaldo), Manco Van Basten, Ronaldinho, etc.

When he took the world by surprise in 2005, a lot of people had concluded that his performance was then a flash in the pan; but today he has proved all his critics wrong by adding titles upon titles to his coffers.

Winning the World Footballer award back to back is no mean feat: only few footballers have actually been able to realize that. Messi has been able to get to this enviable level as a result of his discipline and cool-headedness. He has not allowed pride to come into him; he has not allowed his achievements to go into his head.

This is no doubt a deserved victory. That the world voted overwhelmingly for him in preference to Cristiano Ronaldo shows that his success was truly great and convincing. He proved himself in the field of play; he made an impact as a player and as a team member.

With age on his side, Lionel Messi may go ahead to surpass the records of Pele, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, Manco Van Basten, etc. He has already surpassed some of the records of these soccer greats by winning the Olympics soccer medal and the FIFA Club World Cup.

The way he is playing this season, he may just end up winning the award for the 3rd consecutive year. He has scored several goals already and provided about 15 assists in the La Liga. He has remained consistent in both the league and the Champions' league as well.

The world celebrates with you on your achievement as the current World Footballer of the year. We wish you many more years of soccer achievements. More kudos to you, Lionel Messi.

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FC Barcelona Faces Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League 2012

Last year FC Barcelona won the Champions League for the fourth time in its history and the third time since 2006. The Catalan club first won the trophy at London’s famous Wembley Stadium in 1992 when the so-called “Dream Team” assembled by Johann Cruyff beat Italians Sampdoria 1-0.

The goal was scored from a free kick by Ronald Koeman in extra time and in the squad was one Pep Guardiola, now the coach who has created his own dream team based on the “total football” introduced by Cruyff.

Barcelona’s second Champions League title was won against Arsenal in 2006 when Frank Rijkaard was coach; but it is Guardiola who has really built on the work of Rijkaard and won the title in 2009 and 2011, both times against Manchester United.

While Manchester United are already out of the 2012 competition after not progressing beyond the group stages, Barcelona will face Bayer Leverkusen in the next round; in the group stage they played Milan who they drew against in September at home and went on to beat 3-2 in the return match in Italy. You can buy tickets for FC Barcelona versus Bayer Leverkusen online from Simply Barcelona Tickets.

They also played Bate Borisov who put up little resistance against the might of Barcelona, who beat them 5-0 away and 4-0 at home; and Viktoria Plzen, who Barcelona first beat 2-0 at home and then 4-0 away. The results left them at the top of their group, with Milan in second place and both teams go through.

This year Barcelona’s main rival so far is Real Madrid, who they have a longstanding and extremely bitter rivalry. The arrival of Jose Mourinho at Madrid has ensured that the rivalry has been really turned up, but so far Barcelona has usually come out winning. Last year Madrid lost to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, who beat them 3-1 on aggregate.

And this year Mourinho has set his mind on beating Barcelona whenever he can. If they face each other in the Champions League he will need to overcome a massively talented rival whose home-grown talent is usually too much for his own team. Only time will tell.

In the next round against Bayer Leverkusen is to be played in February and March. The first leg is in Germany on Valentine’s Day, while the return is on March 7th. Meanwhile Real Madrid will play CSKA Moskow from Russia.

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Why England Keeps Failing At Major Tournaments: Premier League And UEFA Champions League Greed

The premier league is the most competitive and exciting football league in the world. This league has been marked so well that the many soccer fans automatically expect England to do well at major tournaments but they continue suffering from the same heartbreak.

The reasons for England's failure at the international level are very many but the most outstanding one is the premier league. This league has been properly branded to maximize revenue for the football clubs in England.

Because of the huge amounts of money generated by the televised league games, the clubs involved have lured the best players in the world so that they can come and play in England. Many football stadia have been improved so that they can accommodate the large number of fans.

Some clubs like Arsenal FC have built brand new stadia using borrowed money to meet the growing demand for match tickets. Many clubs in England have developed this habit of spending more money than they earn because they expect to recover such money spent in the near future. Some clubs buy players that they think can improve on their chances of premier league survival. This is mainly because playing in the lower leagues is not as lucrative as the premier league.

Charlton Athletic, Nottingham Forest, Leicester City and Bradford City have all suffered from premiership relegation but a close look at Leeds United will clarify why English clubs will do anything to stay in the premier league. In 2001, Leeds United reached UEFA Champions League semi-final where they were knocked out by Valencia. Three years later, they were relegated from the premier league. They have continued to struggle mainly due to some bad financial decisions made under chairman Peter Ridsdale; this forced them to sale the majority of their squad, the training facilities and even their ground. And to date they have never recovered from their premiership demotion that occurred in 2004.

While bottom clubs spend to avoid relegation, the top clubs spend to improve their chances of qualifying for the champions league that offers better money rewards compared to the premiership. These two scenarios create the demand for instant success by English clubs at both ends of the table. As a result, most clubs will buy foreign players that are proven and tested at the expense of developing young and talented English players. This will mean the local English players coming through the ranks will get very few opportunities if any to prove theirs worth. In the long run, the FA will have very few players available for selection at the national team level because they are not given enough opportunities by very greedy club owners to learn their trade.

As if this is greed is not enough, clubs jealously guard their players to extent of respecting international games as an inconvenience because they fear that their players will come back injured, tired or demoralized in case they loose while on international duty.

The physical nature of the premiership is good and entertaining but it does not properly prepare English players for International football where you meet opponents that have superior technical skills. UEFA Champions League experience is highly valued because it gives players opportunities of testing their football skills against technically superior teams like Barcelona and Bayern Munich. The problem for England here is that very few English players ply their trade in Europe's top clubs that frequently participate in UEFA Champions League.

The experience of winning a domestic league title would be good for English players too but a look at the newly crowned premier league champions sums up England's problems. Manchester City has only one recognized English player in Joe Hart, the rest are Internationals from countries like Argentina, Italy and France.

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Fantasy Soccer 2009 – Champions League Review

The UEFA Champions League tournament is regarded by some as being the biggest and best tournament in the world from any sport. Providing major excitement it might be more entertaining than the World Cup. The Champions League has almost ran its course for the ’08/’09 year and is about to crown its champion.

For those of us that have played Fantasy Champions League this season or plan on playing next season, here are a few tips and player recaps to keep in mind as we move ahead.

Keys to Success

Depending on where you play or what format you are in these tips may vary or be void altogether, however their core ideas remain the same.

– More successful the team the more successful the player –

A few places make you pick one specific roster and use it throughout the duration of the tournament. From a pure numbers standpoint, using this format greatly rewards those who make it deeper and end up playing the most games. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it may be more important to draft who is on the team you think will win rather than the best player on a lackluster team.

– Pay attention to ALL stats –

One fantasy killer in the soccer world is fouls. Fouls, yellow cards and the devious red cards can destroy your total points for a tournament. Some of the best offensive players are also the biggest committers of fouls which nullifies their positive stats. Drafting a weaker offensive player that commits fewer fouls may work out in your advantage when all is said and done. For example, Daniel Alves of Barcelona is a major threat from defense but take him with a grain of alt for he was second in fouls committed in the Champions League tournament with 26. That is a lot of negative points.

– The hidden star –

Fantasy tournaments can be won and lost by finding the gem that goes overlooked by most. Odds are, mostly everyone had Lionel Messi this tournament which nullified the 8 goals he has scored thus far. However, the managers that picked Miroslav Klose who netted 7 and Lisandro of Porto who scored 6 probably are amongst the leaders of their leagues. Find out who excels in tournament games and take a risk or two.

Recap

The Champions League is nearing an end but here is what has happened to some of the bigger names thus far.

– Lionel Messi (Barcelona) –

As mentioned before, he has scored 8 and had an extremely productive Champions League tournament. Barca has marched through their opponents and Messi has been a big factor as to why. He is a constant fantasy contributor and is worth the large price tag. No disappointments here.

– Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) –

Coming into the year Ronaldo was widely considered the best player in the world, however this view likely will switch to Messi following the results of the Champions League tournament. Ronaldo has not lived up to his enormous expectations and has only scored 2 with the tournament nearing an end. He leads all the competition with 26 shots on target, which has been a big fantasy contribution, yet the rarely heard of Lisandro of Porto has a second best 23 shots on target but also 6 goal tallies by his name. Ronaldo has not been his best and his numbers reflect it.

Looking Ahead

This season’s fantasy winner likely will have a roster of Barca players with a few of the hidden gems tossed in. Looking ahead to next year, the transfer of players will once again be an integral point to where a fantasy player’s value is at the start of the next tournament. One thing should be certain: Lionel Messi and Ronaldo will be the most sought players and rightfully so. However, it is the players like this season’s Klose and Lisandro that win it for fantasy managers.

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Italian Teams Vs English Teams in the UEFA Champions League – Clash of Titans

The drawing for the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League has decided that two Italian teams will meet two English teams. Those teams are Chelsea vs Inter Milan and Manchester United vs AC Milan. It is interesting to see the games because all four teams have a long tradition and great reputation in the UEFA Champions League. They are all considered giants in their respective countries. It is quite difficult to say which teams are going to win, but I think the English teams will be able to overcome their Italian oppositions. There are at least two reasons why I come up with that opinion.

First, The statistics in the last two years prove it. Let’s look back at the game between Inter Milan vs Liverpool in 2007 – 2008 at the first knockout round. At that time, Liverpool won the games 2 – 0 at Anfield and 1 – 0 at Giusseppe Meazza stadium. Another example is the games in the same round between Arsenal vs AC Milan. Arsenal were held 0 – 0 at the Emirates but they beat AC Milan 2 – 0 at Giusseppe Meazza. Last year’s Champions League result also told us the same story when Manchester United won 2 – 0 on aggregate over Inter Milan.

Next, English teams rely very much on stamina, speed and power. In other words, they are very physical teams. They always keep running and pass the ball quickly. In contrast, Italian teams tend to play a bit slower in building up an attack and focus more on accurate passing. So, when English teams speed up the tempo, Italian teams just cannot keep up with the pace of the game. It may keep them under pressure in the entire game. Consequently, it is more likely that English teams create more chances to score goals and win the game.

In brief, I believe that the English teams will be able to overcome their Italian oppositions in the first knockout round of the UEFA Champions League. However, anything can still happen since the games haven’t been played and the result is always unpredictable. So, everything still remains to be seen.

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