Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
The Championnat de France National referred to as National or Division 3, serves as the third division of the French football league system behind Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. Contested by 18 clubs, the Championnat National operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Ligue 2 and the Championnat National 2, the fourth division of French football. Seasons run with teams playing 34 games each, totalling 272 games in the season. Most games are played on Saturdays, with a few games played during weekday evenings. Play is suspended the last weekend before Christmas for two weeks before returning in the second week of January. National was founded in 1993 by the French Football Federation and serves as a base league for clubs on the brink of becoming professional or falling to the amateur levels; the league is annually composed of professional, semi-professional, amateur football clubs. The current champions are Red Star F. C; the matches in the league attract on average between 2,500 and 6,000 spectators per match.
There are 18 clubs in the Championnat National. During the course of a season 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 34 games. Teams receive one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points goal difference, goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion and promoted to Ligue 2. If points are equal, the goal difference and goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship or for relegation, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank; the second and third-place finisher are promoted to the second division, while the four lowest placed teams are relegated to the Championnat de France Amateur and the four winners of the four groups from the Championnat de France amateur are promoted in their place. Official Site
Pierrick Valdivia is a French footballer who plays for Nîmes. A former graduate of the Olympique Lyonnais academy, he plays as a midfielder. Pierrick began his career with amateur side AS Saint-Priest. After a couple of years at the club, Olympique Lyonnais began inquiring for his services. However, after adhering to the advice of his father, Pierrick decided to remain at Saint-Priest for a few more years, he moved to Lyon and ascending the ranks in the youth system. Following the 2007–08 season, he signed his first professional contract agreeing to a one-year deal, he was promoted to the senior squad for the 2008–09 season and assigned the number 13 shirt. Though promoted, Pierrick spent the entire season playing in the Championnat de France amateur where he impressed, he appeared in 26 matches scoring 6 goals, which included a hat trick against CA Bastia and a brace against his former club AS Saint-Priest. His impressive play helped the Lyon Reserves finish 1st among professional clubs in their group and win the entire competition in the playoffs.
Due to Lyon's midfield engulfed with talent, he didn't make one appearance with the professional squad. Following the expiration of his contract, Pierrick looked for other destinations, he was linked to Ligue 1 club FC Lorient before signing with CS Sedan Ardennes on 9 June 2009 agreeing to a three-year deal. He made his debut for the club on 1 August 2009 in a Coupe de la Ligue match coming on as a substitute in the 90th minute, he play the full extra time session picking up a yellow card in the 108th minute as Sedan won 2–0. In July 2012, Valdivia joined Ligue 2 side RC Lens on a three-year contract. In June 2016, it was announced that Valdivia had agreed a three-year contract with Belgian side Sint-Truidense V. V.. Valdivia is of Spanish descent, is a fan of FC Barcelona. LFP Profile Pierrick Valdivia at Soccerway
Forward (association football)
Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, are therefore most responsible for scoring goals. Their advanced position and limited defensive responsibilities mean forwards score more goals on behalf of their team than other players. Modern team formations include one to three forwards. Unconventional formations may include none; the traditional role of a centre-forward is to score the majority of goals on behalf of the team. The player may be used to win long balls or receive passes and retain possession of the ball with their back to goal as teammates advance, in order to provide depth for their team or help teammates score by providing a pass. Most modern centre-forwards operate in front of the second strikers or central attacking midfielders, do the majority of the ball handling outside the box; the present role of centre-forward is sometimes interchangeable with that of an attacking midfielder in the 4–3–1–2 or 4–1–2–1–2 formations.
The term "target man" is used to describe a particular type of striker whose main role is to win high balls in the air and create chances for other members of the team. These players are tall and physically strong, being adept at heading the ball; the term centre-forward is taken from the early football playing formation in which there were five forward players: two outside forwards, two inside forwards, one centre-forward. When numbers were introduced in the 1933 English FA Cup final, one of the two centre-forwards that day wore the number nine – Everton's Dixie Dean a strong, powerful forward who had set the record for the most goals scored in a season in English football during the 1927–28 season; the number would become synonymous with the centre-forward position. The role of a striker is rather different from that of a traditional centre-forward, although the terms centre-forward and striker are used interchangeably at times, as both play further up the field than other players, while tall and technical players, like Zlatan Ibrahimović, have qualities which are suited to both positions.
Like the centre-forward, the traditional role of a striker is to score goals. They are fast players with good ball control and dribbling abilities. More agile strikers like Michael Owen have an advantage over taller defenders due to their short bursts of speed. A good striker should be able to shoot confidently with either foot, possess great power and accuracy, have the ability to link-up with teammates and pass the ball under pressure in breakaway situations. While many strikers wear the number 9 shirt, the position, to a lesser degree, is associated with the number 10, worn by more creative deep-lying forwards such as Pelé, with numbers 7 and 11, which are associated with wingers. Deep-lying forwards have a long history in the game, but the terminology to describe their playing activity has varied over the years; such players were termed inside forwards, creative or deep-lying centre-forwards. More two more variations of this old type of player have developed: the second, or shadow, or support, or auxiliary striker and, in what is in fact a distinct position unto its own, the number 10, exemplified by Dennis Bergkamp.
Other number 10s who play further back, such as Diego Maradona and Zinedine Zidane, are described as an attacking midfielder or the playmaker. The second striker position is a loosely defined and most misapplied description of a player positioned somewhere between the out-and-out striker, whether he is a "target-man" or more of a "poacher", the Number 10 or attacking midfielder, while showing some of the characteristics of both. In fact, a term coined by French advanced playmaker Michel Platini, the "nine-and-a-half", which he used to describe Roberto Baggio's playing role, has been an attempt to become a standard in defining the position. Conceivably, a Number 10 can alternate as a second-striker provided that he is a prolific goalscorer. Second or support strikers do not tend to get as involved in the orchestration of attacks as the Number 10, nor do they bring as many other players into play, since they do not share the burden of responsibility, functioning predominantly as assist providers.
In Italy, this role is known as a "rifinitore" or "seconda punta", whereas in Brazil, it is known as "segundo atacante" or "ponta-de-lança". The position of inside forward was popularly used in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries; the inside forwards would support the centre-forward and making space in the opposition defence, and, as the passing game developed, supporting him or her with passes. The role is broadly analogous to the "hole" or second striker position in the modern game, although here there were two such players, known as inside right and inside left. In early 2–3–5 formations the inside-forwards would flank the centre-forward on both sides. With the advent of
Ligue 2 known as Domino's Ligue 2 due to sponsorship by Domino's Pizza, is a French professional football league. The league serves as the second division of French football and is one of two divisions making up the Ligue de Football Professionnel, the other being Ligue 1, the country's 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 with teams playing 38 games each totalling 380 games in the season. Most games are played on Fridays and Mondays, with a few games played during weekday and weekend evenings. Play is 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 second division of French football 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, its professional status can be revoked temporarily until they return to Ligue 2. The second division of French football was established in 1933, one year after the creation of the all-professional first division; the inaugural season of the competition consisted of the six clubs who were relegated following the 1932–33 National season, as well as many of the clubs who opposed the creation of the first division the previous season. Clubs such as Strasbourg, RC Roubaix, Amiens SC all played in the second division's debut season despite having prior grievances with the subjective criteria needed to become professional and play in the first division; the first year of the second division consisted of twenty-three clubs and were divided into two groups. Fourteen of the clubs were inserted into the Nord section, while the remaining 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 league's inaugural champions following a 3–2 victory. Despite losing, Alès was promoted to the first division and they were followed by Strasbourg and Mulhouse, who each won a pool championship, after the first division agreed to expand its teams to 16. Due to several clubs merging, folding, or losing their professional status, the federation turned the second division into a 16-team league and adopted the single-table method for the 1934–35 season. Due to the unpredictable nature of French football clubs, the following season, the league increased to 19 clubs and, two years increased its allotment to 25 teams with the clubs being divided into four groups; 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 second division developed stability. Due to the increase in amateur clubs, the league intertwined professional and amateur clubs and allowed the latter to become professional if they met certain benchmarks.
In 2002, the league 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 beneficial for each club. There are 20 clubs in Ligue 2. During the course of a season 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 one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points goal difference, goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion and promoted to Ligue 1. If points are equal, the goal difference and goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship or for relegation, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank; the second and third-place finisher are promoted to the first division, while the three lowest placed teams are relegated to the Championnat National and the top three teams from National are promoted in their place.
While a decision was made that during the season 2015-2016 only the best two teams would be promoted to Ligue 1 and the last two teams would be relegated to the National, that decision was overturned by an appeal to the Conseil d'État and the French Football Federation. 11 minutes: the time it took Sebastian Ribas to score the fastest hat trick in the history of Ligue 2. 5 times: the number of times Le Havre AC won the second division championship. Number of points won by a team in a single season, without being able to promote to the Ligue 1:77 points or 1.833 points per game for Toulouse FC. 72 points: or 1.71 points per game for Stade Lavallois. 69 points: or 1.82 points per game for Amiens SC.128 goals: The number of goals scored in 40 games by SCO Angers in 40 games. 55 goals: the number of goals scored in a season by Gerard Grizzetti, forward playing for AS Angoulême. 41 seasons: Number of seasons played by the RCFC Besançon and AS Cannes. The fastest goal in the history of Ligue 2 was marked on 26 September 2009 by Remi Nantais Maréval against Nîmes Olympique.
After eight seconds of play, the ball crossed the goal lin
Olympique de Marseille
Olympique de Marseille known as OM or Marseille, is a French football club in Marseille. Founded in 1899, the club play in Ligue 1 and have spent most of their history in the top tier of French football; the club has won ten Coupes de France and three Coupes de la Ligue. In 1993, coach Raymond Goethals led the team to become the first and only French club to win the UEFA Champions League, defeating AC Milan 1–0 in the final. In 2010, Marseille won its first Ligue 1 title in 18 years under the managing of former club captain Didier Deschamps. Marseille's home ground is the 67,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome in the southern part of the city, where they have played since 1937; the club has a large fan-base, having averaged the highest attendance in French football. Marseille's average home gate for the 2008–09 season was 52,276, the highest in Ligue 1; the stadium underwent renovation in 2011, going from its previous capacity of 60,031 to 42,000. Following completion in August 2014, the final capacity increased to 67,000 ahead of France's hosting of UEFA Euro 2016.
In 2015, the club was ranked generating € 130.5 million. In 1997, Marseille was purchased by Franco-Swiss businessman Robert Louis-Dreyfus. Following his death in 2009, his widow Margarita became the club's majority shareholder in 2010. In 2016, American businessman Frank McCourt bought the club from her, appointed businessman Jacques-Henri Eyraud as the club president, with Rudi Garcia appointed as the manager of the club's first team. Olympique de Marseille was founded as an omnisport club in 1892 by René Dufaure de Montmirail, a French sports official. Known as Sporting Club, US Phocéenne and Football Club de Marseille in the first five years after its foundation, the club adopted the name Olympique de Marseille in 1899 in honour of the anniversary of Marseille's founding by Greeks from Phocaea some 25 centuries earlier, with the name Olympique, coming from ancient Olympic Games. At first, rugby union was the most important team sport of the club, the motto Droit au but coming from rugby.
Affiliated with the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques since 1898, it was only in 1902, thanks to English and German people, that football began to be played by Olympique de Marseille. Richer and better organised than other football teams of Marseille, Olympique de Marseille playing at the Stade de l'Huveaune, took the leadership in the city. In 1904, Olympique de Marseille won the first Championnat du Littoral, involving opposing teams from Marseille and its suburbs, took part in the final rounds of the 11th French championship. At that time, the word "football" applied to rugby, people used the word "Association" for football. During the 1920s, Olympique de Marseille became an important team in France, winning the Coupe de France in 1924, 1926 and 1927; the team won the French championship in 1929. The Coupe de France in 1924 was the club's first major title, won against FC Sète, a side that dominated French football at the time. In the'20s, numerous French internationals, such as Jules Dewaquez, Jean Boyer or Joseph Alcazar, played for Marseille.
In 1930, Marseille lost in the semi-final round. In 1931, the team became champion of the South-East, with victories against rivals such as Sète. In the Coupe de France, l'OM lost in five matches to Club français, winning the second match, cancelled due to the disqualification of Marseille striker Vernicke. Though the 1931–32 season was less successful, Marseille entered the professional ranks, becoming a member of the union of professional clubs in 1932. On 13 January 1932 at 9:15 pm, at the Brasserie des Sports, Mr. Dard, Mr. Bison, Dr. Rollenstein, Mr. Etchepare, Mr. Leblanc, Mr. Mille, Mr. Anfosso, Mr. Sabatier, Mr. Seze, Mr. Bazat, Mr. Molteroj and Mr. Pollack elected the following committee: Honorary presidents: Paul Le Cesne et Fernand Bouisson President: M. Dard Vice-Presidents: Mr. Leblanc, Mr. Bison, Mr. Etchepare, Dr. Rollenstein et Mr. Anfosso general secretary: Mr. Possel-Daydier Treasurer: Mr Bison. For the first championship, Division 1 was divided into two pools. Marseille finished second behind Lille.
For its first match of the championship, Marseille defeated Lille. In 1937, Marseille won its first professional French championship thanks to goal difference; the arrival of Vasconcellos made the defence stronger, whereas former goalkeeper Laurent Di Lorto shone with Sochaux and France. In the meantime, Marseille won the Coupe de France in 1935 and 1938 but failed a double success in 1934, due to FC Sète. In 1938, Larbi Ben Barek became "the black pearl" for the team. World War II would cut his career short; the 1942–43 season was full of records: 100 goals in 30 matches, including 20 in one match, in which Aznar scored nine goals, including the first eight, playing only 70 minutes. Aznar scored 11 in cup games, for a record of 56 goals in 38 matches. With the minots of the moment, Marseille won. In 1948, thanks to a draw against Sochaux, Marseille became the champions of France; the two last victories at the Stade Vélodrome against Roubaix and Metz were important, as Aznar and Robin's returned in spring.
In 1952, Marseille were about to be rel
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, 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 leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona