Marco van Basten
Marcel "Marco" van Basten is a Dutch football manager and former professional football player, who played for Ajax and A. C. Milan, as well as the Netherlands national team, as a striker, he is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. He scored 300 goals in a high-profile career, but played his last match in 1993 at age 28 due to an injury which forced his retirement two years later, he was the head coach of Ajax and the Netherlands national team. Playing for the Netherlands, Van Basten won UEFA Euro 1988 where he was named player of the tournament, scoring five goals that included a memorable volley in the final against the Soviet Union. At club level, he won three Eredivisie titles and the Cup Winners' Cup with Ajax, three Serie A titles and two European Cups with Milan. Known for his close ball control, attacking intelligence, impeccable headers, spectacular strikes and volleys, Van Basten was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992 and won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1988, 1989 and 1992.
Due to van Basten’s versatility as a player, most commentators fail to notice that his headers were among the most elegant and creative in the history of the game. They included many long-range, classy flick-on headers, consistent hammering ones from challenging positions. In 1998, he was ranked sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll, tenth in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS and 12th in the IFFHS' World Player of the Century election, he was voted eighth in a poll organised by the French magazine France Football, consulting their former Ballon d'Or winners to elect the Football Player of the Century. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. In 2004, a poll for the 100 greatest Dutch people was held in the Netherlands: Van Basten ranked number 25, the second highest for a football player, behind Johan Cruyff. In 2007, Sky Sports ranked Van Basten first on its list of great athletes who had their careers cut short.
Marco van Basten was born on 31 October 1964 in Utrecht. He began playing for EDO, when he was six years old. A year he moved to UVV Utrecht. After nine years there, he played for another club from Utrecht, Elinkwijk. Ajax gave 16 year old Van Basten his debut 1981–82 season after his 20 year old brother Stanley was rejected April 1981, scoring in the 5–0 victory over NEC. In the 1982–83 season, he competed with the European top scorer and first choice Holland international Wim Kieft for the position of centre forward, scored nine goals in 20 league matches. After Kieft left for Serie A club Pisa the following season, the 18 year old Van Basten solidified his position as his team's main attacker while Kieft left for Italy, he became a top scorer in the league for four seasons from 1983–84 to 1986–87, scoring 118 goals in 112 matches. In the 1985–86 season, he scored 37 goals in 26 league matches, including six goals against Sparta Rotterdam and five against Heracles Almelo, won the European Golden Boot.
He scored the winning goal in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final against Lokomotive Leipzig in 1987. In total he scored. On November 1986 he scored his most famous goal in an Ajax jersey, a spectacular overhead kick against FC Den Bosch. In 1987, Silvio Berlusconi signed Van Basten for A. C. Milan, with fellow countrymen Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard joining in 1988. In his first season, Milan won their first Scudetto in eight years, but Van Basten played only 11 matches and was troubled by an ankle injury. In 1988–89, Van Basten won the Ballon d'Or as Europe's top footballer, he scored 32 goals in all competition that year including two goals in the final of the European Cup as Milan triumphed against Steaua București. In 1989–90, he became Capocannoniere again and Milan defended the European Cup after beating Benfica in the final match. Milan struggled in the 1990 -- 91 season. After Van Basten fell out with Arrigo Sacchi, Berlusconi sacked the manager. Fabio Capello took over the following season, Milan went undefeated in the league to win another Scudetto.
Van Basten scored 25 league goals, became Capocannoniere again. In November 1992, he became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League match, against IFK Göteborg, including a picture perfect bicycle kick. In December 1992, Van Basten was named FIFA World Player of the Year. Milan stretched their unbeaten run into the 1992–93 season, going 58 matches over two seasons before they lost a match. Van Basten was exceptional in the early part of the season, he was again voted the European player of the year, becoming the third player after Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini to win the award three times. His troublesome ankle injury recurred in a game against Ancona, forcing him to endure another six months layoff, he returned for the last few matches in the season, before Milan lost 1–0 to Marseille in the Champions League final. The match was Van Basten's final match for the Italian club, he came off in the 86th minute for Stefano Eranio after a brutal tackle behind from Basile Bolli condemned van Basten to the third ankle surgery of his career.
Van Basten had been hopeful of playing for his country at the 1994 World Cup as well as for his club in the 1994–95 season after spending the whole 1993–94 season out of action, but his club ordere
Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer. Regarded as one of the greatest players of the British game, he is the only player to have been knighted while still playing football, as well as being the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year awards. Matthews' nicknames included "The Wizard of the Dribble" and "The Magician". Matthews kept fit enough to play at the top level. Matthews was the oldest player to play in England's top football division and the oldest player to represent the country, he was an inaugural inductee to the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002 to honour his contribution to the English game. He spent 19 years with Stoke City, playing for the Potters from 1932 to 1947, again from 1961 to 1965, he helped Stoke to the Second Division title in 1932–33 and 1962–63. Between his two spells at Stoke he spent 14 years with Blackpool, after being on the losing side in the 1948 and 1951 FA Cup finals, he helped Blackpool to win the cup with a formidable personal performance in the "Matthews Final" of 1953.
Between 1934 and 1957 he won 54 caps for England, playing in the FIFA World Cup in 1950 and 1954, winning nine British Home Championship titles. Following an unsuccessful stint as Port Vale's general manager between 1965 and 1968, he travelled around the world, coaching enthusiastic amateurs; the most notable of his coaching experiences came in 1975 in South Africa, where in spite of the harsh apartheid laws of the time he established an all-black team in Soweto known as "Stan's Men". Stanley Matthews was born on 1 February 1915 in a terraced house in Seymour Street, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, he was the third of four sons born to Jack Matthews, a local boxer, known as the "Fighting Barber of Hanley". In the summer of 1921, Jack Matthews took six-year-old Stanley to the Victoria Ground, home of the local club Stoke City, for an open race for boys under the age of 14, with a staggered start according to age, his father placed a bet on his son winning, he did. Matthews attended Hanley's Wellington Road School, described himself as "in many respects a model pupil".
He said the kickabout games the children played helped to improve his dribbling, prepared the children for future life by giving them "a focus, a purpose, in many respects an escape". At home he spent "countless hours" practising dribbling around kitchen chairs he placed in his backyard. Though he would become indelibly associated with Stoke City, Matthews grew up supporting that club's local rivals Port Vale, his father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a boxer, but Stanley decided at the age of 13 that he wanted to be a footballer. After a rigorous training session that made Matthews vomit, his mother, stood firm and made Jack realise that his son, who had one more year at school, should follow his passion of football, his father conceded that should he be picked for England Schoolboys he could continue his footballing career. Matthews played for England Schoolboys against Wales in 1929, in front of around 20,000 spectators at Dean Court, Bournemouth. Wolverhampton Wanderers, Birmingham City, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion were all rumoured to be interested in Matthews in the wake of his appearance for England Schoolboys.
The Stoke City manager Tom Mather persuaded Matthews' father to allow Stanley to join his club's staff as an office boy on his 15th birthday for pay of £1 a week. Matthews played for Stoke's reserve team during the 1930 -- 31 season. After the game his father gave his usual realist assessment: "I've seen you play better and I've seen you play worse". Matthews played 22 reserve games in 1931–32, shunning the social scene to focus on improving his game. In one of these games, against Manchester City, he attempted to run at the left-back and take him on with a deft swerve as the defender committed himself to a challenge, rather than follow the accepted wisdom of the day, to first wait for the defender to run at the attacker – his new technique "worked a treat"; the national press were predicting a bright future for the teenager, though he could have joined any club in the country, he signed as a professional with Stoke on his 17th birthday. Paid the maximum wage of £5 a week, he was on the same wage as seasoned professionals before he kicked a ball.
Despite this his father insisted that Matthews save this money, only spend any winning bonus money he earned. He made his first team debut against Bury at Gigg Lane on 19 March 1932. After spending the 1932–33 pre-season training intensely by himself, Mather selected Matthews in 15 games, enough to earn him in a winners medal after Stoke were crowned Second Division champions, one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. On 4 March 1933 he scored his first senior goal in a 3–1 win over local rivals Port Vale at The Old Recreation Ground, he played 29 First Division games in 1933–34, as Stoke secured their top-flight status with a 12th-place finish. He continued to progress in the 1934–35 campaign, was selected by The Football League for an Inter-League game with the Irish League at The Oval, which finished 6–1 to the English, his England debut followed, so did a further game for the Football League against the Scottish League. Stok
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Blackpool F. C. is a professional association football club in the seaside town of Blackpool, England, which competes in League One, the third tier of English football. Founded in 1887, Blackpool's home ground since 1901 has been Bloomfield Road. Blackpool won the 1953 FA Cup Final, the so-called "Matthews Final", in which they beat Bolton Wanderers 4–3, overturning a 1–3 deficit in the closing stages of the game. Blackpool made three FA Cup Final appearances in six years between 1948 and 1953 and in the 1950s had four top-six finishes in the Football League First Division, their best position being runners-up to Manchester United in 1955–56. In 1953, four Blackpool players were in the England team. Blackpool won promotion to the Premier League in 2009–10, becoming the first club in English football to have won promotion from every division of the Football League via the play-off system, they have a local rivalry with Preston North End, matches between the two clubs are known as the West Lancashire derby.
Football had developed in Blackpool by 1877 when Victoria F. C. were founded as a church club with a ground in Caunce Street. This team disbanded a few years but some of its members are understood to have merged with old boys from St John's School to form a new club called Blackpool St John's, but the two factions remained disunited and, on 26 July 1887, at a meeting in the Stanley Arms public house, the members resolved to wind up St John's and form a new club to represent the whole town called Blackpool Football Club. The new club managed to win two pieces of silverware in its first season in existence, 1887–88: the Fylde Cup and the Lancashire Junior Cup. At the conclusion of the following 1888–89 season, Blackpool became founder members of the Lancashire League. In their first season in the competition, the club finished fifth out of the 13 member clubs, they finished as runners-up over the following three seasons, before winning the championship themselves on their fourth attempt. Blackpool's home at that point in time was Raikes Hall, part of a large entertainment complex that included a theatre and a boating lake, amongst other attractions.
This meant that the club's average attendances were around the 2000 mark, making the club's formative years a financial success. After struggling to repeat the success of the 1893–94 season, the Blackpool board decided it was time to leave local football behind, so on 13 May 1896 the club became a limited company and applied for entry to the Football League, their application was successful, for the club's debut season, 1896–97, they joined the 16-team Second Division. Blackpool's first-ever Football League game took place on 5 September 1896, at Lincoln City, which they lost 3–1 in front of around 1,500 spectators. For the 1897–98 campaign, the club played their home games at the Athletic Grounds, they remained there for the first seven home games of 1898–99, before returning to Raikes Hall for the remaining 10. After finishing third-bottom, the club were not re-elected at the end of the 1898–99 season, spent the 1899–1900 term back in the Lancashire League, they finished third, after the Football League's annual meeting, on 25 May 1900, were permitted back into Division Two.
It was during this season out of the League that Blackpool amalgamated with local rivals South Shore and moved to Bloomfield Road. During the 10 seasons that followed, Blackpool could finish no higher than 12th place; the club's top goalscorers in the league included Geordie Anderson and Bob Whittingham. At the end of 1910–11, the club found themselves in seventh place, thanks to Joe Clennell's haul of 18 goals, it was a case of as-you-were, for the four seasons leading up to the First World War, with finishing positions of 14th, 20th, 16th and 10th. For the last of those seasons, Joe Lane netted 28 goals; the outbreak of war forced the cancellation of League football for four years, during which time regional competitions were introduced. When normality resumed, in 1919–20, Blackpool had appointed their first full-time manager in the form of Bill Norman. Norman guided the club to fourth-placed finishes in his first two league seasons in charge, with Lane again netting close to 30 goals in the former.
The club's form nosedived in the 1921–22 season, with a finishing position of 19th, before bouncing back to a fifth-placed finish the following campaign. Harry Bedford, who had joined the club from Nottingham Forest, was the country's top league scorer, with 32 goals to his name. Bedford repeated the feat the following season, this time under the watchful eye of new manager Frank Buckley, who replaced Bill Norman after his four years of service. Blackpool finished fourth in Buckley's first season in charge; the 1924–25 season was not as successful. A single-goal defeat at fellow Lancastrians Blackburn Rovers ended the Seasiders' run. Buckley guided Blackpool to top-10 finishes in his final two seasons as manager – with Billy Tremelling's thirty goals in the latter helping – before he left to take the helm at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Buckley's replacement was Sydney Beaumont, who took charge for the 1927–28 season, but he lasted only until the spring after the club finished in 19th position. Harry Evans was installed as the new Blackpool manager, in an honorary capacity, for the 1928–29 campaign.
Due in no small part to Jimmy Hampson's 40 goals, the club finished eighth. In his second season, Evans guided Bla
Argentina the Argentine Republic, is a country located in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2, Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, the largest Spanish-speaking nation; the sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the earliest recorded human presence in modern-day Argentina dates back to the Paleolithic period. The Inca Empire expanded to the northwest of the country in Pre-Columbian times; the country has its roots in Spanish colonization of the region during the 16th century.
Argentina rose as the successor state of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, a Spanish overseas viceroyalty founded in 1776. The declaration and fight for independence was followed by an extended civil war that lasted until 1861, culminating in the country's reorganization as a federation of provinces with Buenos Aires as its capital city; the country thereafter enjoyed relative peace and stability, with several waves of European immigration radically reshaping its cultural and demographic outlook. The almost-unparalleled increase in prosperity led to Argentina becoming the seventh wealthiest nation in the world by the early 20th century. Following the Great Depression in the 1930s, Argentina descended into political instability and economic decline that pushed it back into underdevelopment, though it remained among the fifteen richest countries for several decades. Following the death of President Juan Perón in 1974, his widow, Isabel Martínez de Perón, ascended to the presidency, she was overthrown in 1976 by a U.
S.-backed coup which installed a right-wing military dictatorship. The military government persecuted and murdered numerous political critics and leftists in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism that lasted until the election of Raúl Alfonsín as President in 1983. Several of the junta's leaders were convicted of their crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. Argentina is a prominent regional power in the Southern Cone and Latin America, retains its historic status as a middle power in international affairs. Argentina has the second largest economy in South America, the third-largest in Latin America, membership in the G-15 and G-20 major economies, it is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, Union of South American Nations, Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Organization of Ibero-American States. Despite its history of economic instability, it ranks second highest in the Human Development Index in Latin America; the description of the country by the word Argentina has been found on a Venetian map in 1536.
In English the name "Argentina" comes from the Spanish language, however the naming itself is not Spanish, but Italian. Argentina means in Italian " of silver, silver coloured" borrowed from the Old French adjective argentine " of silver" > "silver coloured" mentioned in the 12th century. The French word argentine is the feminine form of argentin and derives from argent "silver" with the suffix -in; the Italian naming "Argentina" for the country implies Terra Argentina "land of silver" or Costa Argentina "coast of silver". In Italian, the adjective or the proper noun is used in an autonomous way as a substantive and replaces it and it is said l'Argentina; the name Argentina was first given by the Venetian and Genoese navigators, such as Giovanni Caboto. In Spanish and Portuguese, the words for "silver" are plata and prata and " of silver" is said plateado and prateado. Argentina was first associated with the silver mountains legend, widespread among the first European explorers of the La Plata Basin.
The first written use of the name in Spanish can be traced to La Argentina, a 1602 poem by Martín del Barco Centenera describing the region. Although "Argentina" was in common usage by the 18th century, the country was formally named "Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata" by the Spanish Empire, "United Provinces of the Río de la Plata" after independence; the 1826 constitution included the first use of the name "Argentine Republic" in legal documents. The name "Argentine Confederation" was commonly used and was formalized in the Argentine Constitution of 1853. In 1860 a presidential decree settled the country's name as "Argentine Republic", that year's constitutional amendment ruled all the names since 1810 as valid. In the English language the country was traditionally called "the Argentine", mimicking the typical Spanish usage la Argentina and resulting from a mistaken shortening of the fuller name'Argentine Republic'.'The Argentine' fell out of fashion during the mid-to-late 20th century, now the country is referred to as "Argentina".
In the Spanish language "Argentina" is feminine, taking the feminine article "La" as the i
Croatia the Republic of Croatia, is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east and Herzegovina, Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy, its capital, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics. Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the Croats arrived in the area in the 6th century and organised the territory into two duchies by the 9th century. Croatia was first internationally recognized as an independent state on 7 June 879 during the reign of duke Branimir. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom, which retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries. During the succession crisis after the Trpimirović dynasty ended, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102.
In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of Austria to the Croatian throne. In October 1918, in the final days of World War I, the State of Slovenes and Serbs, independent from Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed in Zagreb, in December 1918 it was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, most of the Croatian territory was incorporated into the Nazi-backed client-state which led to the development of a resistance movement and the creation of the Federal State of Croatia which after the war become a founding member and a federal constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year; the Croatian War of Independence was fought for four years following the declaration. The sovereign state of Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed country with a high standard of living.
It is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors. Croatia's economy is dominated by service and industrial sectors and agriculture. Tourism is a significant source of revenue, with Croatia ranked among the top 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world; the state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Croatia provides a social security, universal health care system, a tuition-free primary and secondary education, while supporting culture through numerous public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing.
The name of Croatia derives from Medieval Latin Croātia. Itself a derivation of North-West Slavic *Xrovat-, by liquid metathesis from Common Slavic period *Xorvat, from proposed Proto-Slavic *Xъrvátъ which comes from Old Persian *xaraxwat-; the word is attested by the Old Iranian toponym Harahvait-, the native name of Arachosia. The origin of the name is uncertain, but is thought to be a Gothic or Indo-Aryan term assigned to a Slavic tribe; the oldest preserved record of the Croatian ethnonym *xъrvatъ is of variable stem, attested in the Baška tablet in style zvъnъmirъ kralъ xrъvatъskъ. The first attestation of the Latin term is attributed to a charter of Duke Trpimir from the year 852; the original is lost, just a 1568 copy is preserved, leading to doubts over the authenticity of the claim. The oldest preserved stone inscription is the 9th-century Branimir Inscription found near Benkovac, where Duke Branimir is styled Dux Cruatorvm; the inscription is not believed to be dated but is to be from during the period of 879–892, during Branimir's rule.
The area known as Croatia today was inhabited throughout the prehistoric period. Fossils of Neanderthals dating to the middle Palaeolithic period have been unearthed in northern Croatia, with the most famous and the best presented site in Krapina. Remnants of several Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures were found in all regions of the country; the largest proportion of the sites is in the river valleys of northern Croatia, the most significant cultures whose presence was discovered include Baden, Starčevo, Vučedol cultures. The Iron Age left traces of the Celtic La Tène culture. Much the region was settled by Illyrians and Liburnians, while the first Greek colonies were established on the islands of Hvar, Korčula, Vis. In 9 AD the territory of today's Croatia became part of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian had a large palace built in Split to which he retired after his abdication in AD 305. During the 5th century, the last de jure Western emperor last Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos ruled his small realm from the palace after fleeing Italy to go into exile in 475.
The period ends with Avar and Croat invasions in the first half of the 7th century and destruction of all Roman towns. Roman survivors retreated to more favourable sites on the coast and mountains; the city of Dubrovnik was founded by such survivors from Epidaurum. The ethnogenesis of Croats is uncertain an
George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah is a Liberian politician and former professional football player serving as the 25th President of Liberia, in office since 2018. Prior to his election to the presidency, Weah served as Senator from Montserrado County. During his football career, he played as a striker, his prolific 18-year professional playing career ended in 2003. After beginning his career in his home country of Liberia, Weah spent 14 years playing for clubs in France and England. Arsène Wenger first brought him to Europe, signing him for Monaco in 1988. Weah moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 1992 where he won Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the 1994–95 UEFA Champions League, he signed for A. C. Milan in 1995 where he spent four successful seasons, winning Serie A twice, his most notable goal in Italy saw. He moved to the Premier League towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City, winning the FA Cup at the former, before returning to France to play for Marseille in 2001, subsequently ending his career with Al-Jazira in 2003.
At international level, Weah represented Liberia at the African Cup of Nations on two occasions, winning 60 caps and scoring 22 goals for his country. He played an international friendly in 2018, he is regarded as one of the best players never to have played in a World Cup. Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995, he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or, becoming the first and to date only African player to win these awards. In 1989, 1994 and 1995, he was named the African Footballer of the Year, in 1996, he was named African Player of the Century. Known for his acceleration and dribbling ability, in addition to his goalscoring and finishing, Weah was described by FIFA as "the precursor of the multi-functional strikers of today". In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. Weah became involved in politics in Liberia following his retirement from football, he formed the Congress for Democratic Change and ran unsuccessfully for President in the 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting.
In the 2011 election, he ran unsuccessfully for Vice President alongside Winston Tubman. Weah was subsequently elected to the Liberian Senate for Montserrado County in the 2014 elections. Weah was elected President of Liberia in the 2017 election, defeating the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, sworn in on 22 January 2018. Weah was raised in the Clara Town district of Monrovia, he is a member of the Kru ethnic group, which hail from south-eastern Liberia's Grand Kru County, one of the poorest areas of the country. His father, William T. Weah, Sr. was a mechanic while Anna Quayeweah, was a seller. He has three brothers, William and Wolo, he was one of thirteen children raised by his devoutly Christian paternal grandmother, Emma Klonjlaleh Brown after his parents separated when George was still a baby. He attended middle school at Muslim Congress and high school at Wells Hairston High School, dropped out in his final year of studies, he began to play football for the Young Survivors youth club at the age of 15 and moved to other local football clubs, assuming starring roles for Mighty Barrolle and Invicible Eleven.
Before his football career allowed him to move abroad, Weah worked for the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation as a switchboard technician. After playing in the Liberian domestic league at the beginning of his successful career and winning several national honours, Weah's abilities were discovered by the Cameroon national team coach, Claude Le Roy, who relayed the news to Arsène Wenger. Weah moved to Europe in 1988, for just £12,000 from Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé, when he was signed by Wenger – the manager of Monaco at the time – who flew to Africa himself prior to the signing, whom Weah credits as an important influence on his career. During his time with Monaco, Weah won the African Footballer of the Year for the first time in 1989. Weah won the Coupe de France in 1991, he helped Monaco reach the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1992, scoring four goals in nine cup appearances. Weah subsequently played for Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he won the Coupe de France in 1993 and 1995, the French league in 1994, the Coupe de la Ligue in 1995 during a prolific and successful period.
During his time at the club, he managed to reach the semi-finals of the 1992–93 UEFA Cup, the semi-finals of the 1993–94 European Cup Winners' Cup. In 1994, he won the African Footballer of the Year Award for the second time in his career. Weah joined A. C. Milan in 1995, with whom he won the Italian league in 1996 under Fabio Capello, playing alongside Roberto Baggio and Dejan Savićević in Milan's attack, as well as Marco Simone, on occasion, finishing the season as Milan's top goalscorer. During his time with the club, he reached the 1998 Coppa Italia final, finished as runner-up in the Supercoppa Italiana on two occasions, in 1996 and 1999. Despite their European dominance in the early 1990s, Milan were less successf