FC Flora known as Flora Tallinn, or as Flora, is a professional football club based in Tallinn, that competes in the Meistriliiga, the top flight of Estonian football. The club's home ground is A. Le Coq Arena. Formed in 1990, Flora were founding members of the Meistriliiga, are one of two clubs which have never been relegated from the Estonian top division, along with Narva Trans. Flora have won more trophies than any other club in Estonian football, with a record 11 Meistriliiga titles, seven Estonian Cups and a record nine Estonian Supercups. Flora was founded on 10 March 1990 by Aivar Pohlak as an effort to revive Estonian football during the dissolution of the Soviet Union; the team was based on players from Lõvid youth team. Flora were relegated; the situation changed after the formation of the Meistriliiga in 1992. After 52 years of foreign occupation, Estonian clubs could once again play for the Estonian League Championship title. Flora finished the inaugural season of the Meistriliiga in fourth place.
After the first season, the league was reformed to run from Autumn to Spring. Flora finished the 1992–93 season as runners-up. In 1993, Roman Ubakivi was appointed as manager. One round before the end of the 1993–94 season, who led the Meistriliiga table at the time, was controversially disqualified over allegations of match fixing; the season ended with Norma both on equal 36 points. Flora was awarded their first league title; the club made their European debut in the 1994–95 UEFA Cup, losing to Odense 0–6 on aggregate in the preliminary round. Flora managed to defend the league title in the 1994–95 season and won the 1994–95 Estonian Cup, defeating Lantana-Marlekor 2–0 in the final. In January 1996, Teitur Thordarson replaced Ubakivi as manager. Disappointing start in the 1995–96 season left the team in second place. Flora finished the 1996–97 season as runners-up once again. In the 1997–98 season, the club won their first league title under Thordarson. Subsequently, the league format was changed and Flora managed win another title in the same calendar year.
Flora made their debut in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the 1998–99 season, narrowly losing to Steaua București 4–5 on aggregate in the first qualifying round. The club added another Estonian Cup trophy after defeating Lantana 3–2 in the finals. Since 1999, Meistriliiga adopted the current league format with the season running from Spring to Autumn within a single calendar year; the 1999 season was unsuccessful. In 2000, Tarmo Rüütli was appointed as manager. Under Rüütli, Flora finished the 2000 season as runners-up, behind Levadia who won the title without a single loss. In 2001, a new era began for Flora as the club moved to the new A. Le Coq Arena and Rüütli was replaced by Arno Pijpers. Under Pijpers, Flora won three consecutive Meistriliiga titles in 2001, 2002 and 2003. In the 2003 season, Flora won the league without losing a single league match, extending their unbeaten run from the previous season to 37, while Tor Henning Hamre scored a record 39 goals in a season. Pijpers left Flora in September 2004, before the end of the 2004 season, was replaced by Janno Kivisild.
The team failed finishing in third place. The 2005 season was unsuccessful as Flora placed fourth, 26 points behind the league champions TVMK; this was the first time Flora didn't win a Meistriliiga medal since 1992. After the disappointing season, Kivisild was replaced by Pasi Rautiainen. In the 2006–07 UEFA Cup, Flora defeated Lyn Oslo 1–1 on aggregate on away goals in the first qualifying round, before losing to Brøndby 0–4 on aggregate in the second qualifying round; the club placed second in the 2007 season. In 2007, Flora suffered their biggest margin of defeat in the Meistriliiga thus far, losing 0–6 to TVMK. Flora finished the 2008 season as runners-up, behind Levadia once again, despite amassing 91 points and scoring 113 goals. Tarmo Rüütli returned to Flora for the 2009 season, but failed to lead the club to winning the league, placing fourth. Flora were more successful in the Estonian Cup, winning the trophy in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Rüütli was replaced by the former Flora player and Estonia national team record cap holder Martin Reim.
Under Reim, rejuvenated Flora ended the reign of Levadia who had won the four previous Meistriliiga titles and won the league in the 2010 season. Flora defended their title in the 2011 season and won the 2010–11 Estonian Cup, defeating Narva Trans 2–0 in the final. Flora finished the 2012 season behind the champions Nõmme Kalju and Levadia. After the season, Reim left the club and was replaced Marko Lelov in December 2012. Lelov won the 2012–13 Estonian Cup, but was sacked in July 2013 after disappointing results in the league, he was replaced by Norbert Hurt as a caretaker, with position being made permanent later. Flora finished the 2013 season in fourth place and placed third in 2014. In 2015, Flora celebrated their 25th anniversary by winning their 10th league title in the 34th round of the season; the club won the 2015–16 Estonian Cup, defeating Sillamäe Kalev 3–0 in extra time in the final. In May 2016, Aivar Pohlak resigned from the club's presidency and was succeeded by his son Pelle Pohlak.
In the first qualifying round of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League, Flora lost to Lincoln Red Imps 2–3 on aggregate, after which Hurt resigned and was replaced by Argo Arbeiter. Flora finished the disappointing 2016 season in fourth place. Arbeiter was sacked and in January 2017. In the 2017 season, Flora won their 11th Meistriliiga title. In December 20
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby 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 "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is 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 modern football. 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 and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Kit (association football)
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sport's Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, prohibit the use of anything, dangerous to either the player or another participant. Individual competitions may stipulate further restrictions, such as regulating the size of logos displayed on shirts and stating that, in the event of a match between teams with identical or similar colours, the away team must change to different coloured attire. Footballers wear identifying numbers on the backs of their shirts. A team of players wore numbers from 1 to 11, corresponding to their playing positions, but at the professional level this has been superseded by squad numbering, whereby each player in a squad is allocated a fixed number for the duration of a season. Professional clubs usually display players' surnames or nicknames on their shirts, above their squad numbers. Football kit has evolved since the early days of the sport when players wore thick cotton shirts and heavy rigid leather boots.
In the twentieth century, boots became lighter and softer, shorts were worn at a shorter length, advances in clothing manufacture and printing allowed shirts to be made in lighter synthetic fibres with colourful and complex designs. With the rise of advertising in the 20th century, sponsors' logos began to appear on shirts, replica strips were made available for fans to purchase, generating significant amounts of revenue for clubs; the Laws of the Game set out the basic equipment which must be worn by all players in Law 4: The Players' Equipment. Five separate items are specified: shirt, socks and shin pads. Goalkeepers are allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. While most players wear studded football boots, the Laws do not specify. Shirts must have sleeves, goalkeepers must wear shirts which are distinguishable from all other players and the match officials. Thermal undershorts must be the same colour as the shorts themselves. Shin pads must be covered by the stockings, be made of rubber, plastic or a similar material, "provide a reasonable degree of protection".
The only other restriction on equipment defined in the Laws of the Game is the requirement that a player "must not use equipment or wear anything, dangerous to himself or another player". It is normal for individual competitions to specify that all outfield players on a team must wear the same colours, though the Law states only "The two teams must wear colours that distinguish them from each other and the referee and the assistant referees". In the event of a match between teams who would wear identical or similar colours the away team must change to a different colour; because of this requirement a team's second-choice is referred to as its "away kit" or "away colours", although it is not unknown at international level, for teams to opt to wear their away colours when not required to by a clash of colours, or to wear them at home. The England national team sometimes plays in red shirts when it is not required, as this was the strip worn when the team won the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In some cases both teams have been forced to wear their second choice away kits.
Many professional clubs have a "third kit", ostensibly to be used if both their first-choice and away colours are deemed too similar to those of an opponent. Most professional clubs have retained the same basic colour scheme for several decades, the colours themselves form an integral part of a club's culture. Teams representing countries in international competition wear national colours in common with other sporting teams of the same nation; these are based on the colours of the country's national flag, although there are exceptions—the Italian national team, for example, wear blue as it was the colour of the House of Savoy, the Australian team like most Australian sporting teams wear the Australian National Colours of green and gold, neither of which appear on the flag, the Dutch national team wear orange, the colour of the Dutch Royal House. Shirts are made of a polyester mesh, which does not trap the sweat and body heat in the same way as a shirt made of a natural fibre. Most professional clubs have sponsors' logos on the front of their shirts, which can generate significant levels of income, some offer sponsors the chance to place their logos on the back of their shirts.
Depending on local rules, there may be restrictions on how large these logos may be or on what logos may be displayed. Competitions such as the Premier League may require players to wear patches on their sleeves depicting the logo of the competition. A player's number is printed on the back of the shirt, although international teams also place numbers on the front, professional teams print a player's surname above their number; the captain of each team is required to wear an elasticated armband around the left sleeve to identify them as the captain to the referee and supporters. Most current players wear specialist football boots, which can be made either of
UEFA European Under-21 Championship
The UEFA European Under-21 Championship is a football competition for men organised by the sport's European governing body, UEFA. It is held every two years; the competition has existed in its current form since 1978. It was preceded by the Under-23 Challenge Cup which ran from 1967 to 1970. A true Under-23 championship was formed, starting in 1972; the age limit was reduced to 21 for the 1978 championship and it has remained so since. To be eligible for the campaign ending in 2019, players need to be born in or after 1996. Many can be 23 years old by the time the finals tournament takes place. Under-21 matches are played on the day before senior internationals and where possible, the same qualifying groups and fixtures were played out; this was not true for the shortened 2006-2007 Championship. This tournament serves as qualifier for the Summer Olympics, it has been considered a stepping stone toward the senior team. Players such as 2014 World Cup winner Mesut Özil, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Luís Figo, Petr Čech, 2010 World Cup winner Iker Casillas, 2006 World Cup winners Francesco Totti, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluigi Buffon, Alberto Gilardino and Andrea Pirlo, Euro 2004 winner Georgios Karagounis began their international careers in the youth teams.
Germany are the reigning champions. The finals of the 2017 competition were hosted by Poland. Up to and including the 1992 competition, all entrants were divided into eight qualification groups, the eight winners of which formed the quarter-finals lineup; the remaining fixtures were played out on a two-legged and away basis to determine the eventual winner. For the 1994 competition, one of the semi-finalists, was chosen as a host for the semi-finals, 3rd place playoff and final. Spain was chosen to host the last four matches in 1996. For 1998, nine qualification groups were used, as participation had reached 46, nearly double the 24 entrants in 1976; the top seven group winners qualified automatically for the finals, whilst the eighth- and ninth-best qualifiers and England, played-off for the final spot. The remaining matches, from the quarter-finals onward, were held in Romania, one of the eight qualifiers; the 2000 competition had nine groups, but the nine winners and seven runners-up went into a two-legged playoff to decide the eight qualifiers.
From those, Slovakia was chosen as host. For the first time, the familiar finals group stage was employed, with the two winners contesting a final, two runners-up contesting the 3rd-place playoff; the structure in 2002 was identical, except for the introduction of a semi-finals round after the finals group stage. Switzerland hosted the 2002 finals. In 2004, ten qualification groups were used, with the group winners and six best runners-up going into the playoff. Germany was host that year. For 2006, the top two teams of eight large qualification groups provided the 16 teams for the playoffs, held in November 2005. Portugal hosted the finals. Followed the switch to odd years; the change was made because the senior teams of many nations chose to promote players from their under-21s team as their own qualification campaign intensified. Staggering the tournaments allowed players more time to develop in the under-21 team rather than get promoted too early and end up becoming reserves for the seniors.
The 2007 competition began before the 2006 finals, with a qualification round to eliminate eight of the lowest-ranked nations. For the first time, the host was chosen ahead of the qualification section; as hosts, Netherlands qualified automatically. Coincidentally, the Dutch team had won the 2006 competition - the holders would have gone through the qualification stage; the other nations were all drawn into fourteen three-team groups. The 14 group winners were paired in double-leg play-off to decide the seven qualifiers alongside the hosts. From 2009 to 2015, ten qualification groups were used, with the group winners and four best runners-up going into the two-legged playoffs; the 2015 finals was to be the last 8 teams edition, as UEFA expanded the participants to the finals to 12 teams starting from 2017 edition. On 6 February 2019, UEFA's Executive Committee increased the number of participants to 16 teams, starting from 2021 edition. Held only three times before it was relabelled by UEFA. Only under-21 championships are included in the table.
Legend Notes1 Includes results representing Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro in 2004. 2 Includes results representing West Germany. 3 Includes results representing Soviet Union and CIS 4 Includes results representing Czechoslovakia The Golden Player award is awarded to the player who plays the most outstanding football during the tournament. The UEFA European Under-21 Championship adidas Golden Boot award will be handed to the player who scores the most goals during the tournament. Since the 2013 tournament, those who finish as runners-up in the vote receive the Silver Boot and Bronze Boot awards as the second and third top goalscorer players in the tournament respectively. On 17 June 2015, UEFA revealed an all-time best XI from the previous Under-21 final tournaments. UEFA European Championship UEFA European Under-19 Championship UEFA European Under-17 Championship The Rec. Sport. Soccer Statistics Foundation Contains full record of U-21/U-23 Championships. UEFA European U-21 Championship at uefa.com
JK Tallinna Kalev
JK Tallinna Kalev known as Tallinna Kalev, or as Kalev, is a football club based in Tallinn, that competes in the Meistriliiga, the top flight of Estonian football. The club's home ground is the Kalev Keskstaadion. Formed as Meteor in 1909, the club changed its name to Kalev in 1911 after joining the Estonian Sports Association Kalev; the club were founding members of the Estonian Football Championship in 1921. Kalev have won three league championship titles, in 1923, 1930 and 1955; the club was re-established in 2002 and has played in the Meistriliiga since 2018. Kalev's origins lie with Meteor. Jalgpalliselts Meteor was formed in 1909 by students Julius Bernhard Abrams; the team was first coached by an English flax merchant John Urchard who ordered the team's first uniforms, consisting of blue shirts and white shorts. The team included several players who would become notable athletes, such as future Estonia national team players Voldemar Luik and Otto Silber and Olympic runner Johannes Villemson.
On 6 June 1909, Merkuur played the first official football match in Estonia. The match took place at the grounds behind the Lower Lighthouse in Lasnamäe and was won by Meteor 4–2. On 27 May 1911, Meteor changed its name to Kalev. In 1913, the team moved to the new Tiigiveski Ground. In the 1920s, the newly formed Estonian Football Championship was dominated by Tallinn sides Kalev, Sport and TJK; the derby matches between the clubs drew thousands of spectators. Kalev won their first league title in 1923; the team included Estonian internationals such as Eduard Ellmann, Ernst Joll, Elmar Kaljot, August Lass and Arnold Pihlak, who went on to represent Estonia at the 1924 Summer Olympics. On 16 August 1925, the team suffered a serious setback when the board of the association expelled eight key players from the squad over their decision to play in the opening match of TJK's new ground without the board's permission; the players subsequently joined TJK. Tallinna Kalev won their second championship in the controversial 1930 season.
Although never proven the victory was accepted as a result of match fixing. To win the title, Kalev needed to win the final game of the season against the formidable Narva Võitleja by eight goals. Kalev went on to win the match 11–0. Võitleja's performance was so poor that allegations of match fixing began with Kalev board member Aleksander Mändvere being accused of bribing Võitleja players the team's goalkeeper Viruvere. Kalev reached the 1939 Estonian Cup final, but lost to TJK 1–4. Following World War II and the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Kalev joined the Soviet Union football league system, competing in the second tier of Soviet football from 1947 to 1954, while Kalev's second team played in the Estonian championship. In 1955, Kalev's first team returned to the Estonian championship, winning their third league title in the 1955 season. In 1960, Kalev joined the top flight of Soviet football; the team finished their first season in Class A in 19th place out of 22 teams. In the 1961 season, Kalev finished last and were relegated to Class B.
Tallinna Kalev was re-established on 1 September 2002 and joined the Estonian football league system. The club won the Northern division of the III liiga in 2003. In 2004, Aavo Sarap was appointed as manager and Tallinna Kalev won the East/North division of the II liiga; the club finished the 2006 Esiliiga in third place and were promoted to the Meistriliiga, returning the top flight of Estonian football. Tallinna Kalev finished the 2007 season in sixth place. In August 2009, Sarap's contract was terminated and he was replaced by his assistant, Daniel Meijel; the team were relegated. In January 2010, Sergei Ratnikov was appointed as manager. Tallinna Kalev won; the club finished the 2012 season in ninth place, but avoided being relegated by defeating Tarvas 3–1 on aggregate in the relegation play-offs. In December 2012, Frank Bernhardt was appointed as manager. Tallinna Kalev finished the 2013 season in eighth place. In January 2014, former Estonia national team manager Tarmo Rüütli took over as manager.
Rüütli was replaced by Sergei Zamogilnõi. Following a disappointing 2014 season, where Tallinna Kalev finished in 10th place and were relegated to the Esiliiga once again, Marko Pärnpuu took over as manager. Tallinna Kalev returned to the Meistriliiga after finishing the 2017 season as runners-up. In November 2017, Pärnupuu was replaced by Argo Arbeiter; the club's home ground is the 11,500-seat Kalev Keskstaadion. Opened on 12 July 1955, the multi-purpose stadium was built near Kalev's old Tiigiveski Ground. Named Kalev Komsomol Stadium, the name was changed to Kalev Keskstaadion in 1989, it used to be the largest football stadium in Estonia until the completion of A. Le Coq Arena in 2001; the stadium is located at Staadioni 3, in Juhkentali, Tallinn. Tallinna Kalev use the artificial turf, located next to the Kalev Keskstaadion, for training and home matches during winter and early spring months; as of 11 September 2018Note: Flags indicate national team. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For season transfers, see transfers summer 2018 and transfers winter 2018–19. A klass/Liiduklass/Esigrupp Winners: 1923, 1930, 1955 Esiliiga Winners: 2011 Estonian Cup Runners-up: 1939 Official website JK Tallinna Kalev at Estonian Football Association
The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are or located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members. UEFA represents the national football associations of Europe, runs nation and club competitions including the UEFA European Championship, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, controls the prize money and media rights to those competitions. Henri Delaunay was Ebbe Schwartz the first president; the current president is Aleksander Čeferin, a former Football Association of Slovenia president, elected as UEFA's seventh president at the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens in September 2016, automatically became a vice-president of the world body FIFA. UEFA was founded on 15 June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland after consultation between the Italian and Belgian associations.
The European football union began with 25 members. Until 1959 the main headquarters were located in Paris, in Bern. In 1995, UEFA headquarters were transferred to Switzerland. UEFA membership coincides for the most part with recognition as a sovereign country in Europe, although there are some exceptions; some states are not members. Some UEFA members are not sovereign states, but form part of a larger recognised sovereign state in the context of international law; these include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Faroe Islands, Kosovo, however in the context of these countries government functions concerning sport tend to be carried at the territorial level coterminous with the UEFA member entity. Some UEFA members are transcontinental states and others are considered part of Europe both culturally and politically. Countries, members of the Asian Football Confederation were admitted to the European football association Israel and Kazakhstan. Additionally some UEFA member associations allow teams from outside their association's main territory to take part in their "domestic" competition.
AS Monaco, for example, takes part in the French League. F. C. participate in the English League. Derry City, situated in Northern Ireland, plays in the Republic of Ireland-based League of Ireland and the 7 native Liechtensteinian teams play in the Swiss Leagues. Saarland Football Union, joined Football Association of West Germany Football Association of East Germany, joined Football Association of West Germany as German Football Association Football Federation of the Soviet Union. Four other successor republics formed their own football organisations. Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro. Montenegro, which exited the union, created the Football Association of Montenegro, it competed as FR Yugoslavia until 2003 when the country changed its name to Montenegro. Football Association of Czechoslovakia, became Football Association of the Czech Republic and Slovak Football Association with the Football Association of the Czech Republic acknowledged as its direct successor. Lithuania, in 1990 sanctions were imposed due to secession of Lithuanian Football Federation from the Football Federation of Soviet Union Yugoslavia, in 1992-1998 sanctions were imposed due to the Bosnian War Italy, in 1974-1975 sanctions were imposed against SS Lazio due to its fans, Italy was restricted from the European Cup to which Lazio qualified England, in 1985-1991 sanctions were imposed against English association football clubs due to the Heysel Stadium disaster by suspending their participation in continental competitions for five years Netherlands, in 1991-1992 sanctions were imposed against AFC Ajax due to its fans, the Netherlands were restricted from the European Cup to which Ajax qualified Albania, in 1967 special sanctions were imposed against 1966–67 Albanian Superliga due to its political background 1968–69 the Warsaw Pact demonstrated political protest and imposed sanctions on clubs of its members in continental competitions (included E
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, full-back, wing-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, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are 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 defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; 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 rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While 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 and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep