FC Dynamo Moscow
FC Dynamo Moscow is a Russian football club based in Khimki, Moscow Oblast, currently playing in the Russian Football National League. Despite this, it has never won the modern Russian Premier League title, during the Soviet era, it was affiliated with the MVD and with the KGB and was a part of Dynamo sports society. Chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus NKVD, Lavrentiy Beria, was a patron of the club until his downfall, from 10 April 2009 the VTB Bank has been the owner of Dynamo after acquiring a 74% share in the club. Boris Rotenberg Sr. was chairman until he resigned on 17 July 2015, on 29 December 2016, Dynamo Sports Society agreed to buy VTB Bank shares back for 1 ruble. Dynamos traditional colours are blue and white and their crest consists of a blue letter D, written in a traditional cursive style on a white background, with Moscow written below it, partially covering a football underneath. The clubs motto is Power in Motion, initially proposed by Maxim Gorky, the famous Russian author, Dynamo Moscow has its roots in the club Morozovtsi Orekhovo-Zuevo Moskva founded as a factory team in 1887. The team was renamed OKS Moskva in 1906 and won a series of Moscow league championships from 1910 to 1914. After the Russian Revolution, the club found itself under the authority of the Interior Ministry and its head Felix Dzerzhinsky, chief of the Cheka. The club was renamed Dynamo Moscow in 1923 but was referred to disparagingly as garbage. Dynamo won the first two Soviet Championships in 1936 and 1937, a Soviet Cup in 1937, and another pair of titles in 1940 and 1945. They were also the first Soviet club to tour the West when it played a series of friendlies in the United Kingdom in 1945, complete unknowns to the British, the Soviet players first drew 3–3 against Chelsea and then defeated Cardiff City 1–10. They defeated an Arsenal side reinforced with Stanley Matthews, Stan Mortensen and they drew 2–2 against Scottish side Rangers. They continued to be a side at home after World War II. Dynamo captured another five championships between 1949 and 1959, as well as their second Soviet Cup in 1953, honours were harder to come by after that time. The club continued to some success in the Soviet Cup. Even so, Dynamos 11 national titles make it the countrys third-most decorated side behind Dynamo Kyiv, Dynamos greatest achievement in Europe was in the 1971–72 European Cup Winners Cup, where they reached the Final at Camp Nou in Barcelona, losing 3–2 to Rangers. This was the first time a Russian side had reached a final in a European competition, at the end of the 2008 season, Dynamo finished third, qualifying for the 2009–10 Champions League preliminary round. On 29 July 2009, Dynamo recorded a 0–1 away win against Celtic at Celtic Park, which gave them a strong advantage going into the second leg
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders, centre-back, sweeper, full-back, the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations, a centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, and tries to prevent opposing players, particularly centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, tackling, intercepting passes, contesting headers, with the ball, centre-backs are generally expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defenders goal, during normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions, in the modern game, most teams employ two or three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper. The 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, and 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs, the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who sweeps up the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents. Because of this, it is referred to as libero. For example, the system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s. The more modern libero possesses the qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack. This variation on the position requires great pace and fitness, while rarely seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack, some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles. If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery, in modern football, its usage has been fairly restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a highly respected. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greeces manager, Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greeces sweeper to great success, as Greece surprisingly became European champions. The full-backs take up the wide positions and traditionally stayed in defence at all times
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Football Club de Rouen 1899 was a French association football club based in Rouen. The club was formed in 1899 and played its last years in the Division dHonneur, Rouen played its home matches at the Stade Robert Diochon, named after Robert Diochon, a historic player who was influential during the clubs infancy. The team is managed by former football player Éric Garcin and captained by defender Pierre Vignaud, Rouen is known as Les Diables Rouges and have been since 1903. Rouens football division was founded in 1899, but the club itself was founded in 1896 as a rugby club, the club achieved professional status in 1933 and have spent 19 seasons in the first division of French football and 36 in the second division. Rouens highest honour to date was winning the division in 1936. In addition to Robert Diochon, Rouen have produced a host of players who contributed to the France national team during the early years. One of the notable players were Edmond Delfour and Jean Nicolas. Delfour made 41 appearances with the team from 1929–1938 and participated in three FIFA World Cups 1930,1934 and 1938. He is one of five players to have appeared in all three of the pre-war World Cups, Delfour later went on to manage Rouen from 1940–1945 during the unofficial wartime championships. Nicolas spent his career with Rouen and appeared in 25 matches scoring 21 goals with the national team from 1933–1938. In present-day, Nicolas goal output with the ranks for tenth all-time. Football Club de Rouen 1899 was founded under the name Football Club de Rouen in 1896 by an English merchant known by the surname Willing, the club was initially formed as a rugby club. Rouen spent three seasons primarily playing the sport of rugby before association football was introduced to the club in 1899, on 11 July 1899, the club officially announced the introduction of a football section. The section was influenced by player Robert Diochon was, upon its creation, inserted into the regional league, Normandie Championnat. In 1903, the acquired the nickname Les Diables Rouges. In 1910, Diochon was installed as president of the club, under the reign of Diochon, Rouen won the Normandie Championnat in five straight seasons from 1909–1914. After World War I and the dissolving of the USFSA, Rouen began playing in the Normandie Division dHonneur, from 1919–1933, the club won the league eight times and were led by mercurial striker Jean Nicolas. In 1925, Rouen reached the Coupe de France final, in the final, the club faced CASG Paris and were defeated 3–2 in the second leg of the final
CS Sedan Ardennes
Club Sportif Sedan Ardennes, commonly referred to as CS Sedan or simply Sedan, is a French association football club based in Sedan. The club was formed in 1919 and plays its matches at the Stade Louis Dugauguez located within the city. The team is managed by Nicolas Usaï and captained by defender Damien Dufour, Sedan is sponsored by Invicta France and Caisse dEpargne, the latter being one of Frances largest banks. Macron are Sedans current kit supplier, Sedans home strip always includes red and green, and this is reflected in the club badge. The badge also incorporates the image of a boar, a symbol of the Ardennes region. Sedans fanbase is mainly drawn from the surrounding Ardennes region, Sedan does have a small hooligan faction known as the Young Boys, complete with their own designated stadium corner and even their own online gift shop. Note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. 29 - David Di Tommaso, Defender - posthumous honour, below are the notable former players who have represented Sedan in league and international competition since the clubs foundation in 1919. For a complete list of CS Sedan Ardennes players, see Category, CS Sedan Ardennes players
Hertha BSC II
Hertha BSC II is the reserve team of Hertha BSC. Historically, during the time the team played in professional football the team has played as Hertha BSC Amateure. Since 2005 it permanently plays under its current name, the team currently plays in the tier four Regionalliga Nordost. The teams greatest achievement is reaching the final of the DFB-Pokal in 1993 – the only team to have achieved this. After relegation in 1971 Hertha BSC Amateure made a return to the league in 1975 and it took part in the 1975–76 German amateur football championship but was knocked out in the first round by Concordia Hamburg. In 1988, after Hertha BSC had returned to the 2, bundesliga the reserve team returned to the Amateur-Oberliga again, where it played for three more seasons until the league was disbanded in 1991. With the German reunion league football in West Berlin was incorporated into the new leagues in former East Germany and this league was disbanded in 1994 and the team qualified for the new Regionalliga Nordost. After two seasons the team dropped back to the Oberliga and now entered the NOFV-Oberliga Nord where it played for three seasons until being promoted back up in 1999 and it played for one more season in the Regionalliga Nordost before this league was disbanded in 2000. The team failed to qualify for the enlarged Regionalliga Nord and instead played in the Oberliga again for three seasons. Since 2012 Hertha BSC II has been playing in the Regionalliga Nordost, the team has played in the German Cup, the DFB-Pokal, on three occasions, in 1976–77, 1992–93 and 2004–05 and is now, like all reserve teams in Germany, banned from the competition. Hertha BSC Amateure, under coach Jochem Ziegert, became the reserve side ever to reach the German Cup final when it eliminated SGK Heidelberg, VfB Leipzig. FC Nürnberg and Chemnitzer FC before losing the final in Berlin 1–0 to Bayer 04 Leverkusen, players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. The recent season-by-season performance of the club, With the introduction of the Regionalligas in 1994, liga in 2008 as the new third tier, below the 2. Bundesliga, all leagues below dropped one tier, in 2012, the number of Regionalligas was increased from three to five with all Regionalliga Nord clubs from the NOFV entering the re-formed Regionalliga Nordost. Official club website Hertha BSC II at Weltfussball. de
Hertha, Berliner Sport-Club e. V. commonly known as Hertha BSC, Hertha Berlin or simply Hertha, is a German association football club based in the Charlottenburg locality of Berlin. Hertha BSC play in the Bundesliga, the division of German football. Bundesliga table at the end of the 2012–13 season, Hertha BSC was founded in 1892, and was a founding member of the German Football Association in Leipzig in 1900. The team won the German championship in 1930 and 1931, since 1963, Herthas stadium has been the Olympiastadion. The club is known as Die Alte Dame in German, which translates to The Old Lady, in 2002, the sports activities of the professional, amateur, and under-19 teams were separated into Hertha BSC GmbH & Co. The name Hertha is a variation on Nerthus referring to fertility goddess from Germanic mythology, Hertha performed consistently well on the field, including a win in the first Berlin championship final in 1905. In May 1910, Hertha won a match against Southend United. However, their success was not matched financially and in 1920 the staunchly working-class Hertha merged with the well-heeled club Berliner Sport-Club to form Hertha Berliner Sport-Club. The new team continued to enjoy success in the Oberliga Berlin-Brandenburg. Notwithstanding, Hertha emerged as the Germanys second most successful team during the inter-war years, German football was re-organized under the Third Reich in 1933 into 16 top-flight divisions, which saw Hertha playing in the Gauliga Berlin-Brandenburg. The club continued to enjoy success within their division, regularly finishing in the half of the table. It faded from prominence, however, unable to advance out of the rounds of the national championship rounds. Politically, the club was overhauled under Hitler, with Hans Pfeifer, after World War II, occupying Allied authorities banned most organizations in Germany, including sports and football clubs. Hertha was re-formed late in 1945 as SG Gesundbrunnen and resumed play in the Oberliga Berlin – Gruppe C, by the end of 1949, it had re-claimed their identity as Hertha BSC and earned a return to the top-flight. Tensions between the western Allies and the Soviets occupying various sectors of the city, and the developing Cold War, led to chaotic conditions for football in the capital. Hertha was banned from playing against East German teams in the 1949–50 season after taking on several players, a number of sides from the eastern half of the city were forced from the Oberliga Berlin to the newly established DDR-Liga beginning with the 1950–51 season. Through the 1950s, a rivalry developed with Tennis Borussia Berlin. A proposal for a merger between the two clubs in 1958 was resoundingly rejected, with three of the 266 members voting in favour
Blackburn Rovers F.C.
The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups and one Football League Cup. Blackburn are the only extant club to have won three consecutive FA Cups, the club has spent the majority of its existence in the top flight of English football. In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, in 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated and it was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times, once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier Leagues sixth-placed team, the 2011–12 season marked the clubs 72nd, non-consecutive, year in the top flight. Rovers are currently one of six clubs to have won the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City. The clubs motto is Arte et Labore, By Skill and Hard Work in Latin, the club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of forming a club to play under Association rules. The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, on 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played in the F. A, Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F. A, Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queens Park, the same teams played the F. A. Cup final again the season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious. Rovers repeated this success yet again the season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion
FC Anzhi Makhachkala
Football Club Anzhi Makhachkala is a Russian football club based in Makhachkala, capital of the Republic of Dagestan. Founded in 1991, the club competes in the Russian Football Premier League, the club was founded in 1991 by former Dinamo Makhachkala player Magomed-Sultan Magomedov, then head of Dagnefteprodukt, and took part in its first season in the Dagestan League the same year. They ended up as champions with an unbeaten record and 16 wins out of 20 matches. Due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the club entered Zone 1 of the Russian Second Division in 1992, a key player in Anzhis early history was Azerbaijani international forward Ibragim Gasanbekov, who was the teams top scorer in all of their first seven seasons. He was league top scorer in 1993 and 1996, in 1999, Anzhi won the First Division, and were thus promoted to the top-flight Premier League for the first time. The side missed out on a bronze-medal finish on the last day of the season, on 20 June 2001, the club played in the final of the Russian Cup for the first time, losing to Lokomotiv Moscow on penalties after a 1–1 draw. In their seventh season in the First Division, Anzhi won the league, on 5 December 2010, defender Shamil Burziyev died in a car accident at the age of 25. Kerimovs investment was immediate as the club made signings in the 2011 winter transfer window, the first significant signing came on 16 February, when the club announced the free transfer of Brazilian left-back Roberto Carlos, a FIFA World Cup winner in 2002. Further signings included €10 million on another Brazilian, the former Corinthians midfielder Jucilei, boussoufas transfer was finalised in the last minute of the window, on 10 March. In summer 2011, the signed the Hungarian Balázs Dzsudzsák. Anzhi also bought Russian midfielder Yuri Zhirkov from Chelsea for a similar fee, on 23 August 2011, Cameroonian striker Samuel Etoo signed from Inter Milan for approximately €28 million on a world-record €20.5 million annual salary. In February 2012, the appointed the experienced Dutchman Guus Hiddink as its new manager following Yuri Krasnozhans two-month-long spell in charge. Hiddinks first signing was Congolese defender Christopher Samba, joining for £12 million from Blackburn Rovers, on 30 January 2012, Roberto Carlos announced his plans to retire at the end of the season. He ended his career on 9 March and took up a role as the clubs director. On 10 October 2012, Anzhi opened an academy, the first in Dagestan in order to develop youth talents for the first team. The academy is being run by Anzhi Sporting Director Jelle Goes, on 22 July 2013, Hiddink resigned from his post as manager, ending an 18-month stint. His newly appointed assistant, countryman René Meulensteen, was promoted to the manager position, however, after 16 days as the team manager, Meulensteen was sacked. On 7 August 2013, Kerimov decided to reduce the annual budget by two-thirds
Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Queens Park Rangers Football Club is a professional association football club based in White City, London, that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. Their honours include winning the League Cup in 1967, as well as finishing top of the tier in 1983 and 2011. QPR were also runners-up of the Football League First Division in 1975–76, Queens Park Rangers were founded in 1886 after the merger of Christchurch Rangers and St. Judes Institute. Owing to their proximity to other west London clubs, QPR maintain long-standing rivalries with other clubs in the area. The most notable of these are Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford, outside London, QPR also traditionally share rivalries with Watford, Luton and Cardiff, although in recent years these fixtures have become less prominent. For the current season see 2015–16 Queens Park Rangers F. C. season The club was formed in 1886, the resulting team was called Queens Park Rangers, because most of the players came from the Queens Park area of north-west London. QPR were promoted as champions of Division 3 South in the 1947–48 season, Dave Mangnall was the manager as the club participated in four seasons of the Second Division, being relegated in 1951–52. Tony Ingham was signed from Leeds United and went on to make the most ever league appearances for QPR, arguably the clubs greatest ever manager, Alec Stock, arrived prior to the start of the 1959–60 season. The 1960–61 season saw QPR achieve their biggest win to date, in time, Stock, together with Jim Gregory who arrived as chairman in the mid-1960s, helped to achieve a total transformation of the club and its surroundings. It is still the major trophy that QPR have won. It was also the first League Cup final to be held at Wembley Stadium, after winning promotion in 1968 to the top flight for the first time in their history, Rangers were relegated after just one season and spent the next four years in Division Two. Terry Venables joined from Spurs at the beginning of the 1969–70 season, during this time, new QPR heroes emerged including Phil Parkes, Don Givens, Dave Thomas and Stan Bowles. These new signings were in addition to home-grown talent such as Dave Clement, Ian Gillard, Mick Leach, after completing their 42-game season, QPR sat at the top of the league, one point ahead of Liverpool who went on to defeat Wolverhampton Wanderers to clinch the title. Wolves were relegated to the Second Division that same season, following Sextons departure in 1977 the club eventually slipped into the Second Division in 1979. In 1980 Terry Venables took over as manager and the club installed a plastic pitch, in 1982 QPR, still playing in the Second Division, reached the FA Cup Final for the only time in the clubs history, facing holders Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham won 1–0 in a replay, the following season QPR went on to win the Second Division championship and returned to English footballs top division. After a respectable fifth-place finish, and UEFA Cup qualification, the following year, in 1988 the club had a new chairman, Richard Thompson. Who at 24 was the Premier Leagues youngest ever chairman, over the next seven years, various managers came and went from Loftus Road and the club spent many seasons finishing mid table but avoided relegation
Panathinaikos F. C. also known simply as Panathinaikos, or with its full name Panathinaikos A. O. are a Greek professional football club based in the City of Athens. Panathinaikos can literally be translated as Panathenaic, which means of all Athens, today a part of Panathinaikos A. O. they are the oldest active football club in Greece, initially founded only to practice this sport. Amongst their major titles are twenty-six Greek Championships, twenty-one Greek Cups, achieving eight times the Double, and five official Greek Super Cups. They are also the club that won a championship undefeated, going without a loss in a top-flight campaign. Panathinaikos is also the most successful Greek club in terms of achievements in the European competitions and it is the only Greek team that has reached the European Cup final in 1971, and also the semi-finals twice, in 1985 and 1996. It is also the only Greek team that has played for the Intercontinental Cup, furthermore, they have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League on another two occasions, as well as the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup twice. They have also won the Balkans Cup in 1977, Panathinaikos is a member of the European Club Association. Panathinaikos became professional and independent in 1979 and they have played their home games in the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, considered their traditional home ground, and the Athens Olympic Stadium. The club has million of fans inside Greece and millions of others in the Greek communities all over the world and they hold a long-term rivalry with Olympiacos, the clash between the two teams being referred to as the Derby of the eternal enemies. The name of the new club was Podosferikos Omilos Athinon and it was founded with the aim of spreading and making more known this new sport to the Athenian and Greek public in general. Also, intension of the founders was to create a team for all of Athens and to be connected with the rest of the European football movement, the first president elected was Alexandros Kalafatis, brother of Giorgos. The ground of the team was in Patission Street, oxford University athlete John Cyril Campbell was brought in as coach, the first time that a foreigner was appointed as the coach of a Greek team. Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, the great Greek athlete of the early 20th century, in 1910, after a dispute among a number of board members, Kalafatis with most of the players—also followed by Campbell—decided to pull out of POA and secured a new ground in Amerikis Square. Subsequently, the name of the changed to Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos and its colours to green. By 1914, Campbell had returned to England but the club was already at the top of Greek football with such as Michalis Papazoglou, Michalis Rokkos. In 1918, the team adopted the trifolium as its emblem, in 1921 and 1922, the Athens-Piraeus FCA organized the first two post-WWI championships, in both of which PPO was declared champion. After long discussions with the Municipality of Athens, an agreement was finally reached, the move to a permanent home ground also heralded another—final—name change to Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos, Panathenaic Athletic Club, on 15 March 1924, from now on a multi-sport club. However, the decision was taken by 1922
Congo national football team
The Congo national football team, nicknamed the Diables Rouges, is the national team of the Republic of the Congo and is run by the Fédération Congolaise de Football. They have never qualified for the World Cup, but did win the Africa Cup of Nations in 1972 and they also won the All-Africa Games football tournament in 1965. The Congo national football team made its first ever appearance in February 1960 in a friendly against the Ivory Coast which they lost 4–2, on 13 April they defeated Reunion 4–1 in their first game to advance to the quarter-finals. In their quarter-final on 15 April they defeated the Ivory Coast 3–2, on 17 April they lost 5–4 to Cameroon and were beaten 8–1 by the host Madagascar in the third-place play-off on 19 April. In April 1963 they entered another LAmitié competition, this time in Senegal, and were drawn in a group with Tunisia and they lost their opener 2–0 to Tunisia on 13 April but beat the Ivory Coast 3–2 the next day. On 15 April they beat their neighbour Congo Kinshasa 2–1, in July 1965 the Congo held the 1965 All-Africa Games and were drawn in a group with Mali, Uganda and Togo. They drew 1–1 with Mali on 18 July and beat Uganda 2–1 the next day, on 21 July they drew 1–1 against Togo but advanced through to the semi-finals, where they beat the Ivory Coast 1–0 on 23 July. On 25 July the Congo drew 0–0 versus Mali in the final, on 11 January 1967 the Congo played their first non-African opposition, defeating Romania 1–0 in a home friendly. On 19 February 1967 the Congo travelled to Tunisia for their first ever African Cup of Nations qualifier, on 2 August 1967 they hosted a qualifier against Cameroon, and defeated them 2–1 to top their qualifying group and advance to their first finals. The finals were held in Ethiopia in January 1968 and the Congo were drawn in a group with their neighbour Zaire, Senegal and they lost the opener to Zaire 3–0 on 12 January and two days later lost 2–1 to Senegal. On 16 January the Congo were defeated 3–1 by Ghana and were knocked out, the Congo hosted a friendly against Romania for the second successive year on 16 June 1968 and won 4–2. On 30 July 1968 they played their first ever South American opposition, in 1972, the Congo won their only African Cup of Nations title. Congo defeated host Cameroon in the semi-final 1–0 before beating Mali 3–2 to claim the championship, on that squad was arguably Congos most famous player, François MPelé, who starred for PSG in the 1970s. In qualification for the 1998 World Cup, the Congo came within a win of qualifying for the final tournament, the following players were called up in the last 12 months. Notes INJ Player withdrew from the due to an injury. RET Player has retired from international football, DEC Player refused to join the team after the call-up. SUS Suspended from the national team
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
The English Football League Championship is the highest division of the English Football League and second-highest overall in the English football league system, after the Premier League. Each year, the top finishing teams in the Championship are promoted to the Premier League, the Football League Championship, which was introduced for the 2004–05 season, was previously known as the Football League First Division, and before that was known as Division Two. The winners of the Championship receive the Football League Championship trophy, the Championship is the wealthiest non-top flight football division in the world and the seventh richest division in Europe. With an average attendance for the 2015-16 season of 17,578. Bundesliga as the secondary league in the world. In the 2015–16 season, Burnley were the champions, Middlesbrough were the runners up. At present, Ipswich Town hold the longest tenure in the Championship, the total figures were aided somewhat by the presence of 24 clubs, compared to 20 clubs in both Serie A and Ligue 1, and 18 in the Bundesliga. A major factor to the success comes from television revenue. On 30 September 2009, Coca-Cola announced they would end their deal with The Football League at the end of the 2009–10 season. On 18 July 2013, UK bookmaker Sky Bet announced that signed a 5-year agreement to sponsor the league. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, the teams are ranked in the league table by points gained, then goal difference, then goals scored and then their head-to-head record for that season. At the end of the season, the top two teams and the winner of the Championship play-offs are promoted to the Premier League and the three teams are relegated to Football League One. The Football League Championship play-offs is a competition for the teams finishing the season in third to sixth place with the winner being promoted to the Premier League. In the play-offs, the team plays against the sixth-placed team. The winners of each semi-final then compete in a match with the prize being promotion to the Premier League. From 2009 to 2012, Sky Sports had the rights to broadcast 65 live matches, the BBC had the rights to show 10 first choice live games for the regular season as well as the rights to show a highlight show. The deal is on a contract and is worth £264m that will mostly be paid by Sky. The deal included 75 live league games, all the matches,15 League Cup ties
Paris metropolitan area
The Paris metropolitan area is a statistical area that describes the reach of commuter movement to and from Paris and its surrounding suburbs. From 2011, the INSEE classified its largest aires urbaines into aires métropolitaines and grandes aires urbaines, from then, Paris became Frances largest metropolitan area. This latter initiative created the Métropole du Grand Paris, a Paris-centred intercommunal cooperation effort enacted from January 1st,2016. The area had a population of 12,405,426 as of the January 2013 census, nearly 19% of Frances population resides in the region. The Paris metropolitan area expands at each population census due to the population growth in the Paris area. New communes surrounding Paris are included when they meet the 40% commuter threshold required, by the 1999 census the Paris metropolitan area was slightly larger than Île-de-France and had 11,174,743 inhabitants in 14,518 km². By the 2012 census it had reached 12,341,418 inhabitants in 17,174 km², the table below shows the population growth of the Paris urban area, i. e. Paris and the densely built municipalities surrounding it. The table below shows the growth of the Paris metropolitan area, i. e. the urban area. Grand Paris Metropolitan Areas of France Île-de-France Document about the functioning of Paris Metropolitan Area Document about the extension of Paris Metropolitan Area
France, officially the French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The European, or metropolitan, area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, Overseas France include French Guiana on the South American continent and several island territories in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. France spans 643,801 square kilometres and had a population of almost 67 million people as of January 2017. It is a unitary republic with the capital in Paris. Other major urban centres include Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Toulouse, during the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by the Gauls, a Celtic people. The area was annexed in 51 BC by Rome, which held Gaul until 486, France emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages, with its victory in the Hundred Years War strengthening state-building and political centralisation. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a colonial empire was established. The 16th century was dominated by civil wars between Catholics and Protestants. France became Europes dominant cultural, political, and military power under Louis XIV, in the 19th century Napoleon took power and established the First French Empire, whose subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and later dissolved in the course of the Algerian War, the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, was formed in 1958 and remains to this day. Algeria and nearly all the colonies became independent in the 1960s with minimal controversy and typically retained close economic. France has long been a centre of art, science. It hosts Europes fourth-largest number of cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites and receives around 83 million foreign tourists annually, France is a developed country with the worlds sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, France remains a great power in the world, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a member state of the European Union and the Eurozone. It is also a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, originally applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name France comes from the Latin Francia, or country of the Franks
Ligue 2, also known as Dominos Ligue 2 due to sponsorship with Dominos Pizza, is a French professional football league. The league serves as the division of French football and is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the other being Ligue 1, the countrys top football division. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with both Ligue 1 and the third division Championnat National, seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 games each totaling 380 games in the season. Most games are played on Fridays and Mondays, with a few games played during weekday, play is regularly suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January. Ligue 2 was founded a year after the creation of the first division in 1933 under the name Division 2 and has served as the division of French football ever since. The name lasted until 2002 before switching to its current name, since the league is a part of the LFP, it allows clubs who are on the brink of professionalism to become so. However, if a club suffers relegation to the Championnat National, the second division of French football was established in 1933, one year after the creation of the all-professional first division. The first year of the division consisted of twenty-three clubs and were divided into two groups. Fourteen of the clubs were inserted into the Nord section, while the nine were placed in Sud. Following the season, the winner of each group faced each other to determine which club would earn promotion, on 20 May 1934, the winner of the Nord group, Red Star Saint-Ouen, faced Olympique Alès, the winner of the Sud group. Red Star were crowned the inaugural champions following a 3–2 victory. Due to several clubs merging, folding, or losing their professional status, because of World War II, football was suspended by the French government and the Ligue de Football Professionnel. Following the end of the war, the division developed stability. Due to the increase in clubs, the league intertwined professional and amateur clubs. In 2002, the changed its name from Division 2 to Ligue 2. In November 2014, the presidents of Caen and Nîmes were amongst several arrested on suspicion of match fixing, the arrests followed a 1–1 draw between Caen and Nîmes in May 2014, a result very beneficial for each club. There are 20 clubs in Ligue 2, during the course of a season, usually from August to May, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 38 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw, no points are awarded for a loss
Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany as well as one of its constituent 16 states. With a population of approximately 3.5 million, Berlin is the second most populous city proper, due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one-third of the area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world, following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all-Germany. Berlin is a city of culture, politics, media. Its economy is based on high-tech firms and the sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations. Berlin serves as a hub for air and rail traffic and has a highly complex public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular tourist destination, significant industries also include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction and electronics. Modern Berlin is home to world renowned universities, orchestras, museums and its urban setting has made it a sought-after location for international film productions. The city is known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts. Since 2000 Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene, the name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of todays Berlin, and may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. All German place names ending on -ow, -itz and -in, since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city. It is therefore a canting arm, the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century. Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920, the central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document,1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, and profited from the right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod. In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, in 1415 Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. In 1443 Frederick II Irontooth started the construction of a new palace in the twin city Berlin-Cölln
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres, with about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular destination in the world. Germanys capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr, other major cities include Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Leipzig. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity, a region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period the Germanic tribes expanded southward, beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation, in 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic, the establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and the Holocaust. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, in 1990, the country was reunified. In the 21st century, Germany is a power and has the worlds fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP. As a global leader in industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds third-largest exporter and importer of goods. Germany is a country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled. It upholds a social security and universal health system, environmental protection. Germany was a member of the European Economic Community in 1957. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999, Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD. The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world, the English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz popular, derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- people, the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a mine in Schöningen where three 380, 000-year-old wooden javelins were unearthed
The Bundesliga, is a professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germanys primary football competition, the Bundesliga is contested by 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Seasons run from August to May, most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played on weekdays. All of the Bundesliga clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal, the winner of the Bundesliga qualifies for the DFL-Supercup. A total of 54 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga since its founding, FC Bayern Munich has won the Bundesliga the most, winning the title 25 times. However, the Bundesliga has seen other champions with Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, the Bundesliga is broadcast on television in over 200 countries. The Bundesliga was founded in 1962 in Dortmund and the first season started in 1963, the structure and organisation of the Bundesliga along with Germanys other football leagues have undergone frequent changes right up to the present day. The Bundesliga was founded by the Deutscher Fußball-Bund, but is now operated by the Deutsche Fußball Liga, the Bundesliga is composed of two divisions, the 1. Bundesliga, and, below that, the 2, Bundesliga, which has been the second tier of German football since 1974. Below the level of the 3, Liga, leagues are generally subdivided on a regional basis. For example, the Regionalligen are currently made up of Nord, Nordost, Süd, below this are thirteen parallel divisions, most of which are called Oberligen which represent federal states or large urban and geographical areas. The levels below the Oberligen differ between the local areas, the league structure has changed frequently and typically reflects the degree of participation in the sport in various parts of the country. In the early 1990s, changes were driven by the reunification of Germany, every team in the two Bundesligen must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated into the regional leagues. To obtain a licence, teams must be healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations. As in other leagues, there are significant benefits to being in the top division. Bundesliga teams draw significantly greater levels of fan support, average attendance in the first league is 42,673 per game — more than twice the average of the 2. Greater exposure through television and higher attendance levels helps 1, Bundesliga teams attract the most lucrative sponsorships. Bundesliga teams develop substantial financial muscle through the combination of television and gate revenues, sponsorships and this allows them to attract and retain skilled players from domestic and international sources and to construct first-class stadium facilities
Leslie Mark Hughes, OBE is a Welsh football manager and former player. He is the current manager of English Premier League club Stoke City and he also made 72 appearances for Wales scoring 16 goals. He retired from playing in 2002 and he won a host of winners medals during his playing career, including two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two European Cup Winners Cups. He also collected an FA Cup runners-up medal and a League Cup runners-up medal, Hughes was the first player to win the PFA Players Player of the Year award twice, in 1989 and 1991. His reign as Wales manager was his first managerial post, he was appointed in 1999, Hughes then spent four years in charge of Blackburn, guiding them to sixth place in 2005–06. He took charge of Manchester City in June 2008 for a year and he joined Queens Park Rangers in January 2012, helping them retain their Premier League status in 2011–12. Despite some high-profile signings in the summer of 2012, QPR began the 2012–13 season in poor form. Hughes was then appointed manager of Stoke City on 30 May 2013, born in Ruabon, Wrexham, Hughes joined Manchester United after leaving school in the summer of 1980, having been spotted by the teams North Wales talent scout Hugh Roberts. However he did not make his first team debut for three years — in a 1–1 draw away to Oxford United in the League Cup, in the 1983–84 season. But Hughes quickly broke into the first team, partnering Frank Stapleton in attack while Norman Whiteside was switched to midfield to partner Ray Wilkins and they also finished fourth in the league. That season saw him score 17 goals in the Football League First Division – it would remain the highest goals tally in a season throughout his career, in the summer of 1986, Hughes was surprisingly sold to Barcelona for £2 million. United announced on 21 March 1986 that Hughes would be heading for Spain at the end of the season and he was subsequently loaned out to German club Bayern Munich for the 1987–88 season, where he regained his form. In May 1988, Hughes returned to Manchester United, managed by Sir Alex Ferguson, as he had done in his first spell at Old Trafford, Hughes proved to be a dynamic goalscorer and was a key player for the club over the next seven years. In 1988–89, his first season back in England, United disappointed in the league, Hughes was voted PFA Player of the Year, the first Manchester United player to be credited with that award, in its 16th season. He was also Uniteds joint top scorer that season, along with Brian McClair, on 16 goals. A year later, Hughes scored twice as United drew 3–3 with Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final and he was Uniteds top goalscorer that season, scoring 15 goals in all competitions,13 of his goals had come in the league, where United finished a disappointing 13th. He scored his second United hat-trick in a September clash against Millwall in the league at Old Trafford, the following season, Hughes scored both goals against former club Barcelona as United lifted the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, winning the final 2-1 in Rotterdam. Once again, he was their top scorer, this time with 21 goals in all competitions, although his tally in the league was bettered by Brian McClair, Hughes was also voted PFA Player of the Year again this season
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues, previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, in 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase, the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner enters at least at the round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used. The title has been won by 27 different clubs,12 of which have won the more than once. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971, the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA, the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 1976, beating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each,1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs domination, when Maradonas Napoli beat Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. 1995 saw a third final, with Parma proving their consistency. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996, Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era. Liverpool won the competition for the time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, either side of Sevillas success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final, in 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year
The Premier League is an English professional league for mens association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League, Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders, seasons run from August to May. Teams play 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season, most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, others during weekday evenings. It is colloquially known as the Premiership and outside the UK it is referred to as the English Premier League. The deal was worth £1 billion a year domestically as of 2013–14, with BSkyB, the league generates €2.2 billion per year in domestic and international television rights. In 2014/15, teams were apportioned revenues of £1.6 billion, the Premier League is the most-watched sports league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential TV audience of 4.7 billion people. In the 2014–15 season, the average Premier League match attendance exceeded 36,000, most stadium occupancies are near capacity. The Premier League ranks third in the UEFA coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the past five seasons. While 47 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only six have won the title, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, the current champions are Leicester City, who won the title in 2015–16. Despite significant European success in the 1970s and early 1980s, the late 80s marked a low point for English football, the 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league, ten clubs threatened to leave and form a super league, but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadiums improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the influx of money into the sport. At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of a new league that would bring money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the games top-flight clubs, the argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe. The managing director of London Weekend Television, Greg Dyke, met with the representatives of the big five clubs in England in 1990. The meeting was to pave the way for an away from The Football League. The FA did not enjoy a relationship with the Football League at the time
Luton Town F.C.
Luton Town Football Club /ˈluːtən ˈtaʊn/ is a professional association football club based at Kenilworth Road, Luton, Bedfordshire since 1905. Founded in 1885, it is nicknamed the Hatters and affiliated to the Bedfordshire County Football Association and its first-team is contesting the fourth tier of English football, League Two, during the 2016–17 season. The clubs history includes major trophy wins, several financial crises, numerous promotions and relegations, the club was the first in southern England to turn professional, making payments to players as early as 1890 and turning fully professional a year later. It joined the Football League before the 1897–98 season, left in 1900 because of financial problems, Luton reached the First Division in 1955–56 and contested a major final for the first time when playing Nottingham Forest in the 1959 FA Cup Final. The team was relegated from the top division in 1959–60. However, it was promoted back to the top level by 1974–75, Luton Towns most recent successful period began in 1981–82, when the club won the Second Division, and thereby gained promotion to the First. Luton defeated Arsenal 3–2 in the 1988 Football League Cup Final, between 2007 and 2009, financial difficulties caused the club to fall from the second tier of English football to the fifth in successive seasons. The last of these came during the 2008–09 season, when 30 points were docked from Lutons record for various financial irregularities. Luton thereafter spent five seasons in non-League football before winning the Conference Premier in 2013–14, Luton Town Football Club was formed on 11 April 1885, the product of a merger of the two leading local teams, Luton Town Wanderers and Excelsior. Initially based at Excelsiors Dallow Lane ground, the club began making payments to individual players in 1890. The following year, Luton became the first club in southern England to be fully professional, the club was a founder member of the Southern Football League in the 1894–95 season and finished as runners-up in its first two seasons. It then left to form the United League and came second in that leagues inaugural season before joining the Football League for 1897–98. The club continued to enter a team to the United League for two seasons, and won the title in 1897–98. A return to the Southern League was therefore arranged for the 1900–01 season, eight years after arriving at Dunstable Road, Luton moved again, settling at their current ground, Kenilworth Road, in 1905. Captain and left winger Bob Hawkes became Lutons first international player when he was picked to play for England against Ireland on 16 February 1907, a poor 1911–12 season saw Luton relegated to the Southern Leagues Second Division, the club won promotion back two years later. After the First World War broke out, Luton took part in The London Combination during 1915–16, a key player of the period was Ernie Simms, a forward. Simms was invalided back to England after being wounded on the Italian front, however, after Luton finished fourth in the division, the squad was broken up as Simms, Bookman and Mathieson joined South Shields, Port Vale and Exeter City respectively. Luton stayed in the Third Division South until 1936–37, when the team finished top and won promotion to the Second Division, during the early 1950s, one of Lutons greatest sides emerged under manager Dally Duncan
Ryan William Nelsen, ONZM is a former New Zealand professional football player and former head coach of Major League Soccer side Toronto FC. Nelsen commonly played as a defender, and his career began in 1995. He notably captained the New Zealand national team and started his football career in his native country for Christchurch United. In 2001 he joined MLS side D. C, United and went on to play 81 times in the league, scoring 7 goals. In 2005 he moved to England with Premier League side Blackburn Rovers where he scored 8 times in 172 appearances, in 2012 he made a move to Tottenham Hotspur but only managed 5 appearances before joining Queens Park Rangers in the summer of 2012. He agreed to return to MLS on 8 January 2013 by signing with Toronto FC as head coach and he was fired from Toronto FC on 31 August 2014. After attending Our Lady of the Assumption primary school and St Thomas of Canterbury College and he was named Stanfords Most Valuable Player as a junior and an NSCAA All-American as a senior while playing as a defensive midfielder. He graduated with a degree in political science. Serendipitously, Nelsen, then twenty, was home for a sabbatical from his university football scholarship with Greensboro College in the United States. Even before coming to the United States, Nelsen played for Christchurch United, Nelsen was drafted fourth overall in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft by D. C. United, with whom he spent four years in Major League Soccer. After emerging as a starter in 2002, Nelsen was named captain in 2003, replacing Marco Etcheverry, as well as winning the teams Defender of the Year Award. Again, in 2004 after leading United to its fourth MLS Cup, in four years in the MLS, Nelsen had seven goals and five assists. Nelsen was signed by Blackburn Rovers on a transfer in January 2005. Nelsen was successfully awarded a permit on appeal after the initial application had been refused due to New Zealand being ranked outside the top seventy in the FIFA World Rankings. In the 2005–06 season, Blackburn qualified for the UEFA Cup with a sixth-place finish, nevertheless, his performances since arriving in England prompted much interest from rival clubs including Portsmouth, whose bid for Nelsen was rejected by Blackburn. On 1 February 2006, he started and played the full ninety minutes alongside Andy Todd in a 4–3 league victory over Manchester United at Ewood Park. Nelsen was dealt another blow before the start of the 2006–07 season
Stamford Bridge (stadium)
Stamford Bridge is a football stadium located in Fulham, London. It is the ground of Chelsea F. C. The stadium is located within the Moore Park Estate also known as Walham Green and is referred to as simply The Bridge. The capacity is 41,663, making it the eighth largest ground in the Premier League, the club has plans to expand the capacity to 60,000 by the 2021–2022 season. It has undergone major changes over the years, most recently in the 1990s when it was renovated into a modern. Stamford Bridge has been used as a venue for England international matches, FA Cup Finals, FA Cup semi-finals and it has also hosted numerous other sports, such as cricket, rugby union, speedway, greyhound racing, baseball and American football. The stadiums highest official attendance is 82,905, for a match between Chelsea and Arsenal on 12 October 1935. Stamford Bridge is considered to be a derivative of Samfordesbrigge meaning the bridge at the sandy ford, 18th century maps show a Stanford Creek running along the route of what is now a railway line at the back of the East Stand as a tributary of the Thames. The upper reaches of this tributary have been known as Billingswell Ditch, Pools Creek, in mediaeval times the Creek was known as Billingwell Dyche, derived from Billings spring or stream. It formed the boundary between the parishes of Kensington and Fulham, by the 18th century the creek had become known as Counters Creek which is the name it has retained since. However, previous to this, in 1898, Stamford Bridge played host to the World Championship of shinty between Beauly Shinty Club and London Camanachd. Stamford Bridge was built close to Lillie Bridge, a sports ground which had hosted the 1873 FA Cup Final. It was initially offered to Fulham Football Club, but they turned it down for financial reasons. After considering the sale of the land to the Great Western Railway Company, noted football ground architect Archibald Leitch, who had also designed Ibrox, Celtic Park, Craven Cottage and Hampden Park, was hired to construct the stadium. In its early days, Stamford Bridge stadium was served by a railway station, Chelsea and Fulham railway station. Stamford Bridge had a capacity of around 100,000. It was used as the FA Cup final venue, as originally constructed, Stamford Bridge was an athletics track and the pitch was initially located in the middle of the running track. The stadium had a stand for 5,000 spectators on the east side
West Ham United F.C.
West Ham United Football Club is a professional football club based in Stratford, East London, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, in 2016 the club re-located to the London Stadium. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United and they moved to the Boleyn Ground in 1904, which remained their home ground for more than a century. The team initially competed in the Southern League and Western League before joining the Football League in 1919 and they were promoted to the top flight in 1923, when they also losing finalists in the first FA Cup Final held at Wembley. In 1940, the won the inaugural Football League War Cup. West Ham have been winners of the FA Cup three times, in 1964,1975, and 1980, and have also been runners-up twice, in 1923, and 2006. The club have reached two major European finals, winning the European Cup Winners Cup in 1965 and finishing runners up in the competition in 1976. West Ham also won the Intertoto Cup in 1999 and they are one of eight clubs never to have fallen below the second tier of English football, spending 59 of 91 league seasons in the top flight, up to and including the 2016–17 season. The clubs highest league position to date came in 1985–86 when they achieved third place in the then First Division, three West Ham players were members of the 1966 World Cup final-winning England team, captain Bobby Moore and goalscorers Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters. The club, Thames Ironworks were the first ever winners of the West Ham Charity Cup in 1895 contested by clubs in the West Ham locality and they turned professional in 1898 upon entering the Southern League Second Division, and were promoted to the First Division at the first attempt. The following year they came second from bottom, but had established themselves as a fully fledged competitive team and they comfortably fended off the challenge of local rivals Fulham in a relegation play-off, 5–1 in late April 1900 and retained their First Division status. In 1899, they acquired their now-traditional home kit combination of claret shirts and sky blue sleeves in a wager involving Aston Villa players, because of the original works team roots and links, they are still known as the Irons or the Hammers amongst fans and the media. West Ham Utd joined the Western League for the 1901 season while continuing to play in the Southern Division 1. In 1907, West Ham were crowned the Western League Division 1B Champions, the reborn club continued to play their games at the Memorial Grounds in Plaistow but moved to a pitch in the Upton Park area in the guise of the Boleyn Ground stadium in 1904. The Cup Final match itself ended 2–0 to Bolton, the team enjoyed mixed success in Division 1 but retained their status for ten years and reached the FA Cup semi-final in 1933. In 1932, the club was relegated to Division Two and long term custodian Syd King was sacked after serving the club in the role of manager for 32 years, following relegation, King had mental health problems. He appeared drunk at a meeting and soon after committed suicide. The club spent most of the next 30 years in division, first under Paynter
Ewood Park is a football stadium in the English town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club — one of the founder members of the Football League and Premier League. Rovers have played there since they moved from Leamington Street in the summer of 1890, the stadium opened in 1882 and is an all seater multi-sports facility with a capacity of 31,367. The football pitch within the stadium measures 115 by 76 yards, Football had been played on the site since at least 1881, Rovers played four matches there when it was known as Ewood Bridge and was most likely little more than a field. Their first match was against Sheffield Wednesday on 9 April 1881, Ewood Park was officially opened in April 1882 and during the 1880s staged football, athletics and some form of greyhound racing. Rovers moved back in in 1890, signing a lease at an initial annual rent of £60. Their first match at the ground was against Accrington in September, in 1903, a roof was built on the Darwen End of the ground, at a cost of £1680. The stand now held 12,000 spectators, in 1904, the Nuttall Street Stand was built, based on designs by the architect, Archibald Leitch at a cost of £24,000. The Nuttall Street stand changed very little until a fire in 1984 in the Blackburn End corner of the Stand, the club took the opportunity to redevelop this section of the stand with executive boxes and glass-fronted lounge overlooking the ground. The development cost £250,000 and was named the John Lewis Complex, the Blackburn End is so named as the town of Blackburn lies behind the stand and is for home supporters. The Blackburn End was terraced in 1928, but did not acquire its concrete roof until 1960. A double tiered Riverside Stand was built in 1913, bringing the capacity of Ewood Park up to 70,886 with 7000 seats, in 1928 the Riverside Stand roof was re-roofed for a total outlay of £1,550. Ewood Park saw its largest crowd –62,522 for the visit of Bolton Wanderers in 1929, floodlights were installed in 1958 and were first used in a friendly against Werder Bremen. In June 1992 the local council approved plans to develop Ewood Park into a 31,000 all-seater stadium, by February 1994, the new two-tiered Blackburn and Darwen End stands were open. The development of the new Darwen End Stand had involved the demolition of Fernhurst Mill in order to make way for the new stand, the grounds transformation was complete when in August 1994, the Jack Walker Stand was opened on the site of the old Nuttall Street Stand. Houses along Nuttall Street had been demolished in late 1992 to make way for the new larger stand, the new stadium was officially opened in November 1995 and Blackburn Rovers marked the occasion with a 7-0 win over Nottingham Forest. The biggest stand at Ewood is named former club owner Jack Walker. It has 11,000 seats and is one of three stands that were built during Ewood Parks ground redevelopment in the 1990s and this stand contains the home and away dressing rooms and media/conferencing facilities. Furthermore, the stand is home to the Premier Suite and Jacks Kitchen which form part of the clubs hospitality packages, the modern Blackburn End Stand has 8,000 seats and was constructed in the early 1990s
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1881 as Watford Rovers, the club entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1886, after finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922. Watford spent most of the half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours. England manager Graham Taylors tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights, between Taylors appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division. The team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, the club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyds management. After eight years, Watford are again competing in the Premier League 2015–16 season, Watford is currently owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Watford Rovers was formed in 1881 by Henry Groverand, who went on to play for the club as a full-back, Rovers, originally composed entirely of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford. The team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, the team became the football section of West Hertfordshire Sports Club in 1890, and consequently moved to a ground on Cassio Road. Renamed as West Hertfordshire in 1893, Rovers joined the Southern Football League in 1896, West Hertfordshire merged with local rivals Watford St. Marys in 1898, the merged team was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and he led Watford to promotion, and kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, there was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. The Football League was suspended in 1939 due to the Second World War, Football resumed in 1946, with Watford still in the Third Division South. Ron Burgess replaced McBain during that season, and in the following campaign Burgess presided over Watfords first Football League promotion and this team included Fourth Division top scorer Cliff Holton, who scored a club record 42 league goals in the season. Holton was sold to Northampton the following year after another 34 goals, eighteen-year-old Northern Irish goalkeeper Pat Jennings also featured under McGarry, and made his international debut despite being a Third Division player. Furphys rebuilding came to fruition in 1969 with the signing of Barry Endean, Watford secured the Third Division title in April, at home to Plymouth Argyle. A year later Watford reached the FA Cup semi-final for the first time, defeating First Division teams Stoke City, hampered by a lack of funds, however, Furphy eventually joined Blackburn Rovers, to be succeeded by George Kirby
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing teams goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards normally score more goals on behalf of their team than other players, modern team formations generally include one to three forwards, for example, the common 4–2–3–1 formation includes one forward. Unconventional formations may include more than three forwards, or none, the centre-forward is often a tall player, typically known as a target man, whose main function is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the strikers or central attacking midfielders. The present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder, a centre-forward usually must be strong, to win key headers and outmuscle defenders. The term centre-forward is taken from the football playing formation in which there were five forward players. The number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. Strikers are known for their ability to peel off defenders and to run into space via the side of the defender and to receive the ball in a good goalscoring position. They are typically fast players with ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short burst speed, a good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, and have the ability to pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. Deep-lying forwards have a history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years. Originally such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards, in fact, a coined term, the nine-and-a-half, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. In Italy, this role is known as a rifinitore or seconda punta, whereas in Brazil, it is known as segundo atacante. An outside forward plays as the forward on the right or left wing – as an outside right or outside left. As football tactics have largely developed, and wingers have dropped back to become midfielders, many commentators and football analysts still refer to the wing positions as outside right and outside left. However, in the British game they are counted as part of the midfield. It is a duty to beat opposing full-backs, deliver cut-backs or crosses from wide positions and, to a lesser extent, to beat defenders. They are usually some of the quickest players in the team, in their Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese usage, the defensive duties of the winger have been usually confined to pressing the opposition fullbacks when they have the ball
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club /ˈtɒtnəm, -tənəm/, commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football club located in Tottenham, Haringey, London, that competes in the Premier League. The clubs home stadium is White Hart Lane and their newly developed training ground is in Bulls Cross on the northern borders of the London Borough of Enfield. Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners Cup, in 1967, Spurs won the FA Cup for a third time in the 1960s. In the 1970s Tottenham won the League Cup on two occasions and were the winner of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies, the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield, in the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup. When they won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that they had won a trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United. The clubs Latin motto is Audere est Facere, and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football, the club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby neighbours Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby. The club was formed in 1882, as Hotspur F. C. and played in the Southern League from 1896 until 1908, when they were elected into the Football League Second Division. Before this promotion Tottenham had won the FA Cup in 1901, since then, Tottenham have won the FA Cup a further seven times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice and also the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. The Cup Winners Cup victory in 1963 made Tottenham the first English team to win a UEFA competition, in 1960–61 they became the first team to complete The Double in the 20th century. Tottenham played their first matches at Tottenham Marshes on the public pitches. It was at this ground that Spurs first played archrivals Arsenal, there were occasions on which fights would break out on the marshes in dispute of the teams that were allowed to use the best pitches. Crowd sizes were regularly increasing and a new site was becoming needed to accommodate these supporters, in 1898 the club moved from the marshes to Northumberland Park and charged an admission fee of 3d. They only remained at this ground for a year as in April 1899,14,000 fans turned up to watch Spurs play Woolwich Arsenal. The ground was no able to cope with the larger crowds and Spurs were forced to move to a new larger site 100 yards down the road. The White Hart Lane ground was originally a disused nursery owned by the brewery Charringtons, the landlord spotted the increased income he could enjoy if Tottenham played their matches behind his pub and in 1899 the club moved in. They brought with them the stand they used at Northumberland Park which gave shelter to 2,500 fans, notts County were the first visitors to the Lane in a friendly watched by 5,000 people and provided in £115 in receipts, Spurs won 4–1
Samuel Allardyce, known as Big Sam, is an English football manager and former professional player, who is the current manager of Crystal Palace. Allardyce made 578 league and cup appearances in a 21-year career spent mostly in the Football League, a strong central defender, he had good awareness, heading skills and anticipation. He was signed by Bolton Wanderers from Dudley Town in 1969 and spent nine years at Bolton, helping the club to win the Second Division title in 1977–78. He spent the 1980s as a player, spending time with Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End. During this time he helped Preston to win out of the Fourth Division in 1986–87. Moving into management, he took charge of Irish club Limerick in 1991 and he returned to England to coach at Preston North End, also serving briefly as caretaker-manager. He took up his first permanent management role in England at Blackpool in July 1994 and he spent January 1997 to October 1999 in charge at Notts County, taking them to the Third Division title in 1997–98. He then returned to Bolton Wanderers as manager, leading the club to promotion out of the First Division via the play-offs in 2001, as well as a League Cup final and UEFA Cup qualification. Following a spell at Newcastle United from May 2007 to January 2008 and he was appointed Sunderland manager in October 2015 and saved the club from relegation. He was appointed as manager of the English national team for a spell in July 2016. Allardyce has been labelled as a long ball manager by some analysts and he takes a modern, technology and statistics centred approach to tactics and coaching, and has been praised for his organisational and man-management skills. Allardyce has been criticised for alleged corruption and has twice been the subject of undercover investigations, in September 2006, he and his son, Craig, were implicated in a BBC Panorama documentary for taking bungs, allegations which they denied. Following the Daily Telegraph investigation, Allardyce resigned as England manager in a agreement with the Football Association on 27 September. Samuel Allardyce was born in October 1954 in a house on the Old Park Farm Estate, Dudley. His father was a police sergeant, both parents originated from Scotland with his father from Nairn and his mother from Dumfries. He has a sister, Mary, born in Scotland in 1939. Allardyce was educated at Sycamore Green Primary School and later at Mons Hill School and he discovered in later life that he suffers from dyslexia. As a child, he supported Wolverhampton Wanderers and dreamed that one day he would play at, Allardyce spent his youth with semi-professional side Dudley Town, making his debut at the age of 14 he quickly learned how to play centre-half in the highly physical West Midlands League
Liverpool Football Club is a professional association football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, the club has won 5 European Cups,3 UEFA Cups,3 UEFA Super Cups,18 League titles,7 FA Cups, a record 8 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields. The club was founded in 1892 and joined the Football League the following year, the club has played at Anfield since its formation. The club holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably the North West Derby against Manchester United, the clubs supporters have been involved in two major tragedies. The second was the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing, the team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 which has been used ever since. The clubs anthem is Youll Never Walk Alone, Liverpool F. C. was founded following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892, the team won the Lancashire League in its début season, and joined the Football League Second Division at the start of the 1893–94 season. After finishing in first place the club was promoted to the First Division, Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, losing 1–0 to Burnley. Liverpool suffered its second Cup Final defeat in 1950, playing against Arsenal, the club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. Soon after Liverpool lost 2–1 to non-league Worcester City in the 1958–59 FA Cup, the club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years. In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup, in 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, and the FA Cup again a year later, Shankly retired soon afterwards and was replaced by his assistant, Bob Paisley. In 1976, Paisleys second season as manager, the club won another League, the following season, the club retained the League title and won the European Cup for the first time, but it lost in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 and regained the First Division title in 1979, Paisley retired in 1983 and was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan. Liverpool won the League, League Cup and European Cup in Fagans first season, Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985, against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium. Before kick-off, Liverpool fans breached a fence separated the two groups of supporters, and charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a wall to collapse, killing 39 fans. The incident became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster, the match was played in spite of protests by both managers, and Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus
Anfield is a football stadium in Anfield, Liverpool, England which has a seating capacity of 54,074 making it the sixth largest football stadium in England. It has been the home of Liverpool F. C. since their formation in 1892 and it was originally the home of Everton F. C. from 1884 to 1891, before they moved to Goodison Park after a dispute with the club president. The stadium has four stands, the Spion Kop, Main Stand, Centenary Stand, the record attendance of 61,905, was set at a match between Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1952. The ground converted to a stadium in 1994 as a result of the Taylor Report which greatly reduced its capacity. Two gates at the ground are named after former Liverpool managers, Bill Shankly, a statue of Shankly is situated outside the stadium. The ground is 2 miles from Liverpool Lime Street railway station, construction for an extension to the Main Stand began on 8 December 2014. This extension increased the capacity to 54,074, making it one of the largest all-seater single stands in European football. There are future plans to expand the Anfield Road Stand which would bring the size to around 59,000. Opened in 1884, Anfield was originally owned by John Orrell, Everton, who previously played at Priory Road, were in need of a new venue owing to the noise produced by the crowd on match days. Orrell lent the pitch to the club in exchange for a small rent, the first match at the ground was between Everton and Earlestown on 28 September 1884, which Everton won 5–0. The ground was considered of international standard at the time, playing host to the British Home Championship match between England and Ireland in 1889. Anfields first league match was played on 8 September 1888, between Everton and Accrington F. C. Everton quickly improved as a team, and became Anfields first league champions in the 1890–91 season. In 1892, negotiations to purchase the land at Anfield from Orrell escalated into a dispute between Houlding and the Everton F. C. committee over how the club was run, events culminated in Evertons move to Goodison Park. Houlding was left with an empty stadium, and decided to form a new club to occupy it. The new team was called Liverpool F. C. and Athletic Grounds Ltd, Liverpools first Football League match at Anfield was played on 9 September 1893, against Lincoln City. Liverpool won 4–0 in front of 5,000 spectators, a new stand capable of holding 3,000 spectators was constructed in 1895 on the site of the present Main Stand. Designed by architect Archibald Leitch, the stand had a red and white gable. Another stand was constructed at the Anfield Road end in 1903, built from timber, after Liverpool had won their second League championship in 1906, a new stand was built along the Walton Breck Road
Benedict Saul Benni McCarthy is a South African former footballer who was last contracted to Orlando Pirates in South Africa. McCarthy holds the record of goals for a South African. He is Bafana Bafanas all-time top-scorer with 32 goals, McCarthy was born in Cape Town and grew up in Hanover Park on the Cape Flats, an area notorious for its high unemployment rate and gang violence. He is the son of Dudley and Dora McCarthy and has two brothers and a sister, McCarthy started playing at a local side called Young Pirates which was managed by his uncles. He then joined the youth structures of an amateur club called Crusaders. At age 17, he was signed by 1st division club Seven Stars and he is managed by ExtraTime S. L. After a relatively successful 1998–99 season he was sold to Spanish side Celta Vigo for a sum reported to be over €6m, although regarded as one of the best African players at the time, McCarthy never established himself as a regular choice for Celta Vigos manager, Víctor Fernández. After two poor seasons at the Galician club, he was loaned to struggling FC Porto in the 2001–02 season where he rediscovered the form that took him to Europe. So, in 2002–03 Mccarthy returned to Celta Vigo where he spent a lot of time on the bench as squad player while Porto captured the League Cup in Portugal and the UEFA Cup. He grabbed the Golden Boot award on the day with a terrific hat-trick, and was instrumental in Portos superb run in the 2004 UEFA Champions League. Notably, he was responsible for scoring two goals against Manchester United to defeat them in the second round. When José Mourinho left and was replaced by Italian coach Luigi Delneri, McCarthy considered leaving for the FA Premier League, but the two years left in his contract posed a problem. When the Italian coach was fired and replaced by his former Celta coach Fernandez he tried to pressure Porto to sell him to Everton, Blackburn Rovers were in talks with Porto but could not agree a fee. However, he stayed with the club and was rewarded with winning another Portuguese national championship with FC Porto in the 2005–06 season. 5m fee. After a disappointing performance in the sides 3–0 defeat to Portsmouth F. C. McCarthy found the net on his debut at Ewood Park against Everton on 23 August 2006. McCarthy further endeared himself to Rovers fans, scoring a goal on his European debut for the club in a 2–2 against FC Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Cup and he finished second top scorer in the Premier League in 2006–07 with 18 league goals. Despite being limited to substitute appearances, McCarthy did find the net a total of eleven times in all competitions. However, he answered these critics by scoring his first goal of the campaign – a 94th-minute equaliser in a Premier League match against Middlesbrough, in all competitions, for Blackburn Rovers, McCarthy scored a total of 52 goals in 140 matches
Wigan Athletic F.C.
Wigan Athletic Football Club is a professional association football club based in Wigan, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in the Championship, the tier of English football. Founded in 1932, the club have played at the DW Stadium since 1999 and their colours are blue and white, recently most often striped, although all-blue shirts have been common throughout history. The team were elected to The Football League in 1978, the club also made their European debut during the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. Wigan Athletic was formed in 1932, following the winding up of Wigan Borough the previous year, Wigan Athletic was the fifth attempt to create a stable football club in the town following the demise of Wigan County, Wigan United, Wigan Town and Wigan Borough. Springfield Park, the home of Wigan Borough, was purchased by the club for £2,850. Despite their initial application being turned down, Wigan Athletic were elected into the Cheshire County League following the resignation of Manchester Central, the club had also made the first of many attempts to be admitted into the Football League, but failed to receive a single vote. On 27 August 1932, Wigan Athletic played their first ever game against Port Vale Reserves. The team played in red and white shirts with black shorts, Wigan Athletic won their first honours in the 1933–34 season, finishing as champions of the Cheshire League. In the 1935–36 season, the club won their third consecutive Cheshire League title, after the Second World War, Wigan Athletic adopted their more familiar blue and white strip. The club struggled to assemble a side, and finished bottom of the league in 1946–47 season. Despite their pre-war success, the failed to gain re-election and were replaced by Winsford United. The club joined the Lancashire Combination, winning the league in their first season, in 1950, Wigan Athletic came close to election to The Football League, narrowly losing out to Scunthorpe United and Shrewsbury Town. In the next round of the cup, Wigan Athletic were drawn against First Division side Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic held their top flight opponents to a 2–2 draw at St James Park, but went on to lose the replay 3–2. In 1961, the club moved back to the Cheshire League, in the 1964–65 season, Wigan Athletic won their first Cheshire League title since returning to the league, with top goalscorer Harry Lyon scoring 66 times. He remains the clubs greatest goalscorer of all time, Wigan Athletic won four cup titles in the 1966–67 season and were also Cheshire County League runners-up. In 1968, Wigan Athletic were founder members of the Northern Premier League, winning the league title in 1970–71, leading goalscorer with 42 goals, including 7 hat-tricks, was Geoff Davies who scored 28 goals in the following 1971–72 season. As a non-league club, the played at Wembley Stadium for the first time in the 1973 FA Trophy Final
Fulham Football Club is a professional association football club based in Fulham, Greater London, England. Founded in 1879, they play in the Championship, the tier of English football. They are the football team from London to have played in the Premier League. The club has spent 25 seasons in English footballs top division, the latter spell was associated with former chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed, after the club had climbed up from the fourth tier in the 1990s. The club has produced many English greats, including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and they play at Craven Cottage, a ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham which has been their home since 1896. Fulhams training ground is located near Motspur Park, where the clubs Academy is also situated, Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrews Church Sunday School F. C. founded by worshipers at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington. Fulhams mother church still today with a plaque commemorating the teams foundation. They won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887 and, having shortened the name from Fulham Excelsior to its present form in 1888, one of the clubs first ever kits was half red, half white shirts with white shorts worn in the 1886–87 season. Fulham started playing at their current ground at Craven Cottage in 1896, the club gained professional status on 12 December 1898, the same year that they were admitted into the Southern Leagues Second Division. They were the club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal. They adopted a red and white kit during the 1900–01 season, in 1902–03, the club won promotion from this division, entering the Southern League First Division. The club won the Southern League twice, in 1905–06 and 1906–07, Fulham joined The Football League after the second of their Southern League triumphs. The clubs first league game, playing in the Second Divisions 1907–08 season, the first win came a few days later at Derby Countys Baseball Ground by a score line of 1–0. Fulham finished the three points short of promotion in fourth place. The club progressed all the way to the semi-final of that seasons FA Cup, in the semi-final, however, they were heavily beaten, 6–0, by Newcastle United. This is still a loss for an FA Cup semi-final game. Two years later, the won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909–10 season. Fulhams first season in Division Two turned out to be the highest that the club would finish for 21 years, until in 1927–28 when the club were relegated to the 3rd Division South, created in 1920
White Hart Lane
White Hart Lane is the home of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in the Premier League and has a capacity of 36,284. The stadium is located in the Tottenham area in north London, along with housing Tottenham, the stadium, which is known amongst Spurs fans as the Lane, has also been selected for England national football matches and England under-21 football matches. The record attendance remains an FA Cup tie on 5 March 1938 against Sunderland with the attendance being recorded at 75,038, the new stadium has been designed by Populous, which also designed derby rival Arsenals home, the Emirates Stadium. Initial designs were created by KSS Design Group back in 2008, Spurs moved to White Hart Lane in 1899. The club leased and later bought a disused nursery owned by the brewery chain Charringtons to the east of Tottenhams High Road, a local groundsman, John Over, turned the land into a substantial football pitch. The first game at the Lane resulted in a 4–1 home win against Notts County with around 5,000 supporters attending, although normally referred to at the time as the High Road ground in time it became popularly known as White Hart Lane. Redevelopments continued in the 1910s, with the eastern stand replaced with an enlarged concrete stadium. The ground continued to be renovated and in 1925, thanks to the FA Cup win in 1921, the pitch was overlooked by a bronze fighting cock that still keeps an eye on proceedings from the roof of the touchline stands. The venue hosted some of the preliminaries for the 1948 Summer Olympics. 1953 saw the introduction of floodlights with their first use being a friendly against Racing Club de Paris in September of that year and these were renovated again in the 1970s and steadily replaced with new technology since. By this stage, Tottenham were firmly established as one of Englands best clubs which attracted some of the highest attendances in the country on a regular basis. Between the late 1920s and 1972, White Hart Lane was one of very few British football grounds that no advertising hoardings at all. The West Stand was replaced in the early 1980s, however the project took over 15 months to complete with cost overruns causing severe financial implications. This West Stand is parallel with Tottenham High Road and is connected to it by Bill Nicholson Way, the early 1990s saw the completion of the South Stand and the introduction of the first Jumbotron video screen, of which there are now two, one above each penalty area. The renovation of the Members Stand which is reached via Paxton Road was completed in 1998, at the turn of the millennium, after falling behind in stadium capacity, talks began over the future of White Hart Lane and Tottenham Hotspurs home. Over the years, many designs and ideas were rumoured in the media. A move to Wembley Stadium was ruled out by the club, however Spurs bid for the stadium was rejected on 11 February 2011. During the construction of the new Wembley Stadium, White Hart Lane hosted full England international matches, since the opening of the rebuilt Wembley, the Lane has been occasionally used to host England Under-21s international matches years, most notably a 1–1 draw against France Under-21s
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Highbury, London, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. The club has won 13 League titles,12 FA Cups, Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893. They entered the First Division in 1904, and have accumulated the second most points. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, in the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double, between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position, Herbert Chapman won Arsenals first national trophies, but died prematurely. He helped introduce the WM formation, floodlights, and shirt numbers, Arsène Wenger has been the longest-serving manager and has won the most trophies. His teams set several English records, the longest win streak, the longest unbeaten run, in 1886, Woolwich munitions workers founded the club as Dial Square. In 1913, the crossed the city to Arsenal Stadium in Highbury. They became Tottenham Hotspurs nearest club, commencing the North London derby, in 2006, they moved down the road to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal earned €435. 5m in 2014–15, with the Emirates Stadium generating the highest revenue in world football, based on social media activity from 2014–15, Arsenals fanbase is the fifth largest in the world. In 2016, Forbes estimated the club was the second most valuable in England, on 1 December 1886, munitions workers in Woolwich, now South East London, formed Arsenal as Dial Square, with David Danskin as their first captain. Named after the heart of the Royal Arsenal complex, they took the name of the complex a month later. Royal Arsenal F. C. s first home was Plumstead Common, though spent most of their time in South East London playing on the other side of Plumstead. Royal Arsenal won Arsenals first trophies in 1890 and 1891, Royal Arsenal renamed themselves for a second time upon becoming a limited liability company in 1893. They registered their new name, Woolwich Arsenal, with The Football League when the club ascended later that year, Woolwich Arsenal was the first southern member of The Football League, starting out in the Second Division and winning promotion to the First Division in 1904. Falling attendances, due to financial difficulties among the munitions workers, businessmen Henry Norris and William Hall took the club over, and sought to move them elsewhere. In 1913, soon after relegation back to the Second Division, Woolwich Arsenal moved to the new Arsenal Stadium in Highbury and this saw their third change of name, the following year, they reduced Woolwich Arsenal to simply The Arsenal
David John Ian Dunn is an English former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He spent the majority of his playing for Blackburn Rovers. He is currently the clubs first team coach, assisting head coach Tony Mowbray and he has also played for Birmingham City in between his two spells with Blackburn Rovers, and made his only appearance for England in 2002. Dunn joined Blackburn Rovers as a trainee at the beginning of 1997, Dunn came off the bench after 70 minutes, but was taken off again on 81 minutes, due to the sending off of Martin Dahlin. In his second appearance Blackburn beat Newcastle United at St James Park in the League Cup and his first goal came in a 3–1 victory against Aston Villa on 26 February 1999, but the team was subsequently relegated in this, his first full season. In 2000–01 Blackburn entertained Rochdale in the League Cup where Dunn scored a hat-trick from the penalty spot and he reached double figures in terms of goals in 2000, and continued his good form in 2001–02 when the club won the League Cup. A string of performances in 2001 put Dunn in contention for a call-up to the England squad, but he did not win his first cap until September 2002. He impressed against Portugal but has not been given another chance on the big stage since, Dunn began the 2002–03 season in dazzling form but a loss of form did not help his cause and he fell out with then Blackburn manager Graeme Souness. Subsequently, Dunn was ready to move on to club in the summer of 2003. After signing a contract, Dunns Birmingham City career started brightly with a debut goal in the 1–0 victory over Tottenham on 16 August 2003. A niggling hamstring sustained in February 2004 meant that Dunn spent much of the half of that season on the sidelines. The beginning of 2004–05 again saw Dunn quickly re-establishing himself in the heart of the Birmingham midfield, a recurrence of Dunns hamstring problems in November 2004 limited him to just a handful of performances for the remainder of 2004–05 and kept him out of the side until midway through 2005–06. Ultimately, Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League with Dunn still not returning to fitness, in October 2006, Dunn was linked with a return to Blackburn in the upcoming transfer window. However, both Dunn and Rovers manager Mark Hughes denied this, on 17 January Dunn returned to Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half-year deal believed to be £2.2 million. He managed to play a part in the remainder of the 2006–07 season. On 3 February 2007, he played his first Premiership match since his return to Blackburn Rovers against Sheffield United, at the end of this campaign he managed to feature in 16 games in all competitions in total, including appearing in 11 Premier League matches. Dunn was a regular for Rovers in the 2007–08 season, in which he made 31 league appearances and scored once, on 26 January 2010, with Dunns contract expiring at Rovers, he signed a new two-and-a-half-year contract to keep him with the club until at least July 2012. At the start of the new 2013–14 season, Dunn signed a new deal to remain at Blackburn until summer 2014
Stephen Steve Kean is a Scottish football manager and former player. He is currently the manager of Brunei DPMM in the S. League, a winger, he spent his playing career in the lower divisions of Scottish, English and Portuguese leagues in the 1980s and 1990s, before moving into coaching. After a 21-month spell in charge of Blackburn Rovers, he resigned on 28 September 2012, Kean grew up in Cumbernauld, a new town on the outskirts of Glasgow, attending St. Maurices High School. Upon leaving school, he joined Celtic as a professional, but was unable to break into a first team dominated by Celtic legends Tommy Burns, Murdo MacLeod. He joined Swansea City on loan in 1987, at the time as Chris Coleman. They formed a professional relationship, which carried on after both of their playing days had ended. Kean then played for Academica Coimbra in Portugal, making 12 appearances, since retiring from playing Kean has worked as a coach for Reading, Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry City, working as an assistant to Chris Coleman at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry. In June 2008, it was reported that Kean was in talks with Chelsea to become assistant manager to Luiz Felipe Scolari, Keans fluency in Portuguese from his playing days was believed to be a key reason for Chelseas interest. On 4 August 2009, Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce appointed Kean as his new first team coach, Kean replaced Karl Robinson who returned to Milton Keynes Dons. Kean started brightly as manager, but ten games without a win saw Rovers dragged into relegation trouble, a 15th-place finish was secured with a 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the 2010–11 Premier League season. In November 2011, Blackburn confirmed that Kean had signed a new contract with improved terms, the new deal came after months of protests at the club in which fans campaigned to have Kean removed as Rovers manager as he had recorded just one league win all season. At the time, Steve Kean was Blackburn Rovers second worst manager since 1992, in December 2011, the local newspaper and MP Jack Straw joined the fans in calling for Keans resignation ahead of a crucial home match with local rivals Bolton Wanderers. Another defeat concluded Keans first 38 league games as Blackburn manager in which he had amassed just 32 points and left Rovers bottom of the table at Christmas. Despite all of this, Kean remained defiant by insisting that he would stay in his job long enough to fashion a revival and that he would be 100% shocked if he was sacked. On 7 May 2012, a loss against Wigan Athletic relegated Blackburn Rovers to the Football League Championship. Kean left his position as Rovers manager on 28 September 2012 with the third in the Championship table. He declared that he had forced to resign and that his position had been untenable. In October 2013 Kean agreed a deal to become the new manager of S. League side Brunei DPMM, Kean signed an initial one-year contract with the club in Brunei on 28 November 2013
Manchester United F.C.
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed the Red Devils, the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910. Manchester United have won a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups,5 League Cups, the club has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup. The 1958 Munich air disaster claimed the lives of eight players, in 1968, under the management of Matt Busby, Manchester United became the first English football club to win the European Cup. Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles,5 FA Cups and 2 UEFA Champions Leagues, José Mourinho is the clubs current manager, having been appointed on 27 May 2016. As of June 2015, it is the worlds most valuable football brand and it is one of the most widely supported football teams in the world. In August 2012, Manchester United made a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. The club holds several rivalries, most notably with Liverpool, Manchester City and Leeds United, Manchester United was formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club by the Carriage and Wagon department of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway depot at Newton Heath. By 1888, the club had become a member of The Combination. Following the leagues dissolution after only one season, Newton Heath joined the newly formed Football Alliance and this resulted in the club starting the 1892–93 season in the First Division, by which time it had become independent of the railway company and dropped the LYR from its name. After two seasons, the club was relegated to the Second Division, in January 1902, with debts of £2,670 – equivalent to £260,000 in 2017 – the club was served with a winding-up order. The following season began with victory in the first ever Charity Shield, Manchester United won the First Division for the second time in 1911, but at the end of the following season, Mangnall left the club to join Manchester City. In 1922, three years after the resumption of football following the First World War, the club was relegated to the Second Division, relegated again in 1931, Manchester United became a yo-yo club, achieving its all-time lowest position of 20th place in the Second Division in 1934. Gibson, who, in December 1931, invested £2,000, in the 1938–39 season, the last year of football before the Second World War, the club finished 14th in the First Division. Busby led the team to second-place league finishes in 1947,1948 and 1949, in 1952, the club won the First Division, its first league title for 41 years. With an average age of 22, the title winning side of 1956 were labelled the Busby Babes by the media. In 1957, Manchester United became the first English team to compete in the European Cup, despite objections from The Football League, who had denied Chelsea the same opportunity the previous season
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club /ˌwʊlvərˈhæmptən/ is a professional association football club based in the city of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The club was known as St. Lukes FC and was founded in 1877. They compete in the Championship, the second highest tier of English football, the following season saw two further managers dismissed as the club then suffered a second relegation, ending up in League One. However, in the season they gained promotion back to the Championship where they currently reside. The clubs current head coach is Paul Lambert, who took charge in November 2016, having become professional, the club were nominated to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League in 1888, in which they played the first Football League match ever staged. They ended the season in third place, as well as reaching their first FA Cup Final, losing 0–3 to the first Double winners. At the conclusion of the campaign the club relocated for a time when they moved to Molineux. Wolves lifted the FA Cup for the first time in 1893 when they beat Everton 1–0, and added a second triumph in 1908, two years after having dropped into the Second Division. After struggling for years to regain their place in the top division, the club suffered a further relegation in 1923, entering the Third Division. Eight years later Wolves regained their status after winning the Second Division title under Major Frank Buckley. This game had been the last in a Wolves shirt for Stan Cullis, the 1950s were by far the most successful period in the clubs history. Captained by Billy Wright, Wolves finally claimed the championship for the first time in 1953–54. This became the final spur for Gabriel Hanot, the editor of LÉquipe, to propose the creation of the European Cup, although the decade opened with a fourth FA Cup victory and almost the first double of the 20th century, the 1960s saw Wolves begin to decline. Cullis was sacked in September 1964 in a season that ended with relegation and this exile would last only two seasons though, as they were promoted in 1967 as runners-up. During the close season in 1967, Wolves played a season in North America as part of the fledgling United Soccer Association league which imported clubs from Europe. Playing as the Los Angeles Wolves, they won the Western Division, the clubs return to the English top flight heralded another period of relative success under Bill McGarry, with a fourth place in 1971 qualifying them for the newly created UEFA Cup. They lifted silverware though two later, when they won the League Cup for the first time by beating Manchester City 2–1 in the final. The club was saved from liquidation at the last minute when it was purchased by a consortium fronted by former player Derek Dougan