Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C.
Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club is an Israeli football club and part of the Maccabi Tel Aviv sports club. Founded in 1906 as the HaRishon Le Zion-Yafo Association, it is the oldest and most decorated football club in Israel. With the establishment of the city of Tel Aviv in 1909, the club changed its name to Maccabi Tel Aviv. In 1922, it became the first Jewish football club to participate in local competitions; the meaning of the name Maccabi –'there is no one like you among the gods' – forms an integral part of the character of the team, which took the Star of David as their logo to represent the Jewish people. Maccabi Tel Aviv have won more titles than any other Israeli club, winning 22 League Championships, 23 prestigious State Cups and an additional five Toto Cups, as well as two Asian Champion Club Tournaments until Israel were expelled from the AFC in 1974. Maccabi Tel Aviv is the only Israeli football team that have never been relegated from the Israeli Premier League and one of only three Israeli teams to progress to the UEFA Champions League group stage.
The club is named after the Maccabees and invest a lot in the development and nurturing of young talent. The club's youth system operate football academies at three sites in the Tel Aviv area, working with over 750 children aged 6–15; the club runs 17 youth teams with 400 players between 9 and 19 years old. These teams tend to compete successfully in local and national leagues. In the early 1920s, despite the absence of an organised league, Maccabi Tel Aviv were known as the strongest football team in the country and were invited to numerous friendly matches against British teams of the local Mandate. Official tournaments began taking place in 1928 with the establishment of the Football Association and FIFA's recognition of Israeli football. In 1929, the team won their first trophy after beating Maccabi Hashmonai Jerusalem 4-0. Maccabi took the championship again one year with a 2-1 victory over the British Army's 48th regiment and a third in 1933, when Hapoel Tel Aviv were beaten, 1–0. In 1936, the club was invited to play in the United States.
On their way, Maccabi played in losing, 2 -- 0, to Racing Paris and 3 -- 1 to Lille. In the United States, Maccabi defeated the All-star team of New York City in front of 50,000 in Yankee Stadium. Maccabi defeated the American Soccer League team in Brooklyn and Philadelphia on their home ground, 1–0, played in Canada, where they drew, 1–1, with Toronto All-Stars. Maccabi continued their tour in lost, 3 -- 2, to St. Louis Stars and the Boston Celtics. After returning from the United States, Maccabi players went on strike because they had not been paid. In 1937, after a year of strike action, the Football Association accepted their demands and the team ended their strike. In that year, Maccabi Tel Aviv won their first league title. In 1939, after the start of World War II, Maccabi won their second championship. At the end of the season, Maccabi went to another tour, this time to Australia where they were advertised as the "Palestine" team and the Maccabi Palestine team, they played 18 games, winning 11, losing 5 and drawing 2.
The games were against State sides, regional sides and five "tests" against the Australian national team, winning one, drawing one and losing three. In 1941 Maccabi won their first "double", Winning both the league and State Cup, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv, 2–1, in the final. Between 1941 and 1945 the league was suspended because of the war, but Maccabi continued playing friendly matches. In 1946, the league was still suspended but the State Cup returned with Maccabi beating Hapoel Rishon LeZion, 6–0, on aggregate in the final. In 1947, the league resumed, Maccabi won it, reached the cup final. In the match against Beitar Tel Aviv at the Hatikva Neighborhood Stadium Maccabi were winning, 3–2, when the referee disallowed a goal by Beitar; the Beitar players and their supporters stormed at the referee and Yom-Tov Mansherov, defender of Beitar Tel Aviv, snapped the Cup. As a result, the referee ended the game and Maccabi were awarded a technical victory, thus winning a second double. Forty-five years the cup was found in Petah Tikva.
This decade is considered Maccabi Tel Aviv's "Golden Age", in which they won five championships and four Israel Football Association Cups. The "Golden Age" began with the establishment of the State of Israel, with Maccabi Tel Aviv winning the league title in the 1949–50 season; the deciding match of the season was the second Tel Aviv derby against Hapoel Tel Aviv, which Maccabi won, 1–0, thanks to a goal from striker Yosef "Yosale" Merimovich that sealed Maccabi Tel Aviv's first post-independence championship title. Merimovich was just one member of a squad of outstanding players that left Maccabi Tel Aviv unchallenged in their domination of the Israeli Premier League during the 1950s; that squad included the likes of defenders Itzhak Schneor and Eli Fuchs, goalkeeper Avraham Bandouri, striker Zvi Studinski and of course the club's legendary centre forward Yehoshua "Shiye" Glazer. Glazer, who won the top scorer title in 1952 with 27 goals, is considered Maccabi Tel Aviv's greatest striker and was the Club's highest goal scorer until Avi Nimni broke his record in 2003.
The 1951–52 season was Maccabi's second league title after the establishment of the State, which they won by eight points ahead of Maccabi Petah Tikva, though they lost the IFA Cup final. That loss only inspired them to win an historic first double in the 1953–54 season, once again winning the league ahead of Maccabi Petah Tikva; that year's Cup fin
Portugal national football team
The Portugal national football team represents Portugal in international men's association football competition since 1921. It is controlled by the governing body for football in Portugal. Portugal's first participation in a major tournament finals was at the 1966 World Cup, saw a team featuring famed striker Eusébio finish in third place; the next two times Portugal qualified for the World Cup finals were in 1986 and 2002, going out in the first round both times. Portugal made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 1984 final tournament, losing 3–2 after extra time to the hosts and eventual winners France; the team reached the semi-finals of Euro 2000, the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012, as well as the final of Euro 2004, the latter on home soil. At Euro 2016, Portugal won its first major trophy, defeating hosts France 1–0 after extra time, with the winning goal scored by Eder. With the win, Portugal qualified and made its first appearance in the FIFA Confederations Cup held in Russia, where they finished third.
The team's home stadium is the Estádio Nacional, in Oeiras, although most of their home games are played in other stadiums across the country. The current head coach is Fernando Santos and the captain is Cristiano Ronaldo, who holds the team record for most caps and for most goals. Portugal was not invited to the 1930 World Cup, which only featured a final stage and no qualification round; the team took part in the 1934 FIFA World Cup qualification, but failed to eliminate their Spanish opponents, aggregating two defeats in the two-legged round, with a 9–0 loss in Madrid and 2–1 loss in Lisbon for an aggregate score of 11–1. In the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, the Seleção played one game against Switzerland in a neutral ground, held in Milan, losing 2–1 against the Swiss, ending qualification prospects; because of the international conflict due to the World War II, there was no World Cup held until the 1950 competition and subsequently, the national team made few games against other teams.
A 10–0 home friendly defeat against England, two years after the war, was the proof of how the irregularity of the games had taken its effects on the squad. On the restart of games, the team was to play a two-legged round against Spain, just like in the 1934 qualification. After a 5–1 defeat in Madrid, they managed to draw in the second game 2–2 and so the qualification ended with a 7–3 aggregate score. While they did not qualify on the pitch, they would be invited to replace Turkey, which had withdrawn from participating. For the qualification of the 1954 World Cup, the team would play Austria; the Austrians won the first game with a 9–1 result. The best the national team could do was hold the team to a goalless draw in Lisbon, the round ended with a 9–1 defeat. In the 1958 qualification, Portugal won a qualification match for the first time, 3–0 at home with Italy, they finished last in the group stage that featured Northern Ireland. The year 1960 was the year; the first edition was a knock-out tournament, the last four teams participating in final stage that only featured one leg while the older stages had two legs.
For the first round, the Seleção das Quinas won 2–0 against East Germany and 3–2 in Porto for the second leg, finishing with a 5–2 two-legged win. The quarter-final opponent was Yugoslavia. Despite winning the first game 2–1, they lost the second leg 5–1 in Belgrade, lost 6–3 on aggregate. England and Luxembourg were the 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification adversaries of the national team. Portugal ended second behind England. Like in the previous World Cup qualification, only the first in the group would qualify. In the 1964 European Championship. Portugal played against Bulgaria in the first round; the Portuguese won in Lisbon. With the round tied 4–4, a replay was needed in a neutral ground. In Rome, Portugal lost 1–0. In the 1966 World Cup qualification, Portugal was drawn into the same group as Czechoslovakia and Turkey, they topped the group with only one draw and one defeat during all the six games and qualified for a FIFA World Cup, that year the final stage would be held in England. Notable results were both 1–0 away wins against Czechoslovakia and Turkey and a 5–1 home win against the Turks.
The team started out with three wins in the group stage where they were in Group C when they beat Hungary 3–1, Bulgaria 3–0, two-time defending champions Brazil 3–1. Secondly, they beat surprise quarter-finalist North Korea 5–3, with Eusébio getting four markers to overturn a 3–0 deficit, they reached the semi-finals where they were beaten by hosts England 2–1. Portugal defeated the Soviet Union 2–1 in the third place match for their best World Cup finish to date. Eusébio was the top scorer of the World Cup with nine goals. In the Euro 1972 qualifiers, Portugal had to win its group that comprised the teams of Belgium and Scotland. Portugal finished second to Belgium. For the 1974 qualification stages, Portugal were unable to defeat Bulgaria in the decisive match, thus not qualifying. Portugal faced tough competition from the strong Poland team for the place in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, they finished second place, behind Poland. The national team was put alongside Austria, Belgium, N
FC Girondins de Bordeaux
Football Club des Girondins de Bordeaux is a French professional football club based in the city of Bordeaux. The club play in Ligue 1, the first division of French football; the team is coached by Paulo Sousa and captained by Benoît Costil. Bordeaux was founded in 1 October 1881 as a multi-sports club and is one of the most successful football clubs in France; the club has won six Ligue 1 titles, the joint fourth-most in its history. Bordeaux have won four Coupe de France titles, three Coupe de la Ligue titles, three Trophée des champions titles as well. Bordeaux reached the Uefa Cup final in 1996; the club has the honour of having appeared in the most finals in the Coupe de la Ligue, having featured in six of those contested. From a year to its inception, the club's stadium was the Stade Chaban-Delmas, though since 2015, Bordeaux's home ground has been the Matmut Atlantique; the club took its name Girondins from a group of French Revolutionaries from the region, was founded on 1 October 1881 as a gymnastics and shooting club.
The club, chaired by André Chavois added sports such as rowing and swimming, among others. It was not until 1910 when football was introduced to the club following strong urging from several members within the club, most notably club president Raymond Brard, though it was only available on a trial basis; the experiment with football lasted only a year before returning a decade in 1919. The club contested its first official match in 1920 defeating Section Burdigalienne 12–0. Bordeaux achieved professional status in football on 2 July 1936 due to the club's merger with fellow Bordelais outfit Girondins Guyenne Sport, which resulted in the club that exists today. Bordeaux's rise to professionalism came about alongside the French Football Federation's plea to increase professionalism in French football, which prior to 1932, had been non-existent; the club was inserted into the second division of French football and made its debut appearance during the 1937–38 season. The club's first manager was Spaniard Benito Díaz.
Diaz brought fellow Spanish players Santiago Urtizberea and Jaime Mancisidor to the team with the latter serving as captain. The club's most prominent Frenchmen on the team were homegrown attacker Henri Arnaudeau and goalkeeper André Gérard. Bordeaux played its first official match on 23 May 1937 defeating Rhône-Alpes-based FC Scionzier 2–1 at the Stade de Colombes; the club's first league match was contested on 22 August losing away to Toulouse 3–2. Bordeaux recorded. For the club, the team finished 6th in the Southern region of the division. Bordeaux's disappointing finish inserted the club into the relegation playoff portion of the league where the team finished a respectable 3rd. A year Bordeaux moved into a new home, the Stade Chaban-Delmas, known as Parc Lescure; the facility was built for the 1938 FIFA World Cup and, following the competition's completion, was designated to Bordeaux. The club had played its home matches at the Stade Galin, which today is used as a training ground. On 15 October 1940, Bordeaux merged with local club AS Port and took on one of the club's most prestigious traditions, the scapular.
Bordeaux ASP, which the club was now known, adorned the scapular during its run to the 1941 edition of the Coupe de France final. The match, played in occupied France at the Stade Municipal in Saint-Ouen, saw Bordeaux defeat SC Fives 2–0 with Urtizberea netting both goals; the Coupe de France triumph was the club's first major honour. Following the liberation of France, Bordeaux returned to league play and earned promotion to the first division following its 2nd-place finish during the 1948–49 season. After the season, André Gérard, now manager of the club, signed Dutchman Bertus de Harder. Led by the three-headed monster of De Harder, Édouard Kargu, Camille Libar, Bordeaux captured its first-ever league championship, in just the club's first season in the first division, winning by six points over second place Lille; the league success led to Bordeaux being selected to participate in the second edition of the Latin Cup. In the competition, Bordeaux reached the final drawing 3–3 with Portuguese outfit Benfica.
The draw forced a second match with Benfica claiming victory following an extra time goal after over two hours and 25 minutes of play. Bordeaux maintained its title-winning aspirations finishing runners-up to Nice two seasons after winning its first title; the club performed well in cup competitions reaching the Coupe de France final in 1952 and 1955. In 1952, Bordeaux suffered defeat to the team it finished runner-up to the same year, following a thrilling match in which eight goals were scored with five of them coming in the first 40 minutes. Bordeaux drew the match at 3–3 following a 55th-minute goal from Henri Baillot, but Nice countered minutes with two goals in a span of four minutes to go up 5–3, the final result. In 1955, Bordeaux were trounced 5 -- 2 by Lille; the resulting struggles in the cup competitions led to struggles domestically with the club suffering relegation in the 1955–56 season. The club returned to the first division for the 1959–60 season, but failed to make an impact falling back to Ligue 2 after finishing last in the standings with 21 points.
Bordeaux returned to its former selves in the 1960s under new manager and former player Salvador Artigas. Under the helm of Artigas, Bordeaux returned to the first division and finished in a respectable fourth place for the 1962–63 season; the following season, Bordeaux returned to the Coupe
Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 505,526 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Its urban area extends beyond the city's administrative limits with a population of around 2.8 million people, being the 11th-most populous urban area in the European Union. About 3 million people live including the Portuguese Riviera, it is the only one along the Atlantic coast. Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the River Tagus; the westernmost areas of its metro area form the westernmost point of Continental Europe, known as Cabo da Roca, located in the Sintra Mountains. Lisbon is recognised as an alpha-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group because of its importance in finance, media, arts, international trade and tourism. Lisbon is the only Portuguese city besides Porto to be recognised as a global city, it is one of the major economic centres on the continent, with a growing financial sector and one of the largest container ports on Europe's Atlantic coast.
Additionally, Humberto Delgado Airport served 26.7 million passengers in 2017, being the busiest airport in Portugal, the 3rd busiest in the Iberian Peninsula and the 20th busiest in Europe, the motorway network and the high-speed rail system of Alfa Pendular links the main cities of Portugal to Lisbon. The city is the 9th-most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Rome, Barcelona, Venice, Madrid and Athens, with 3,320,300 tourists in 2017; the Lisbon region contributes with a higher GDP PPP per capita than any other region in Portugal. Its GDP amounts to thus $32,434 per capita; the city occupies the 40th place of highest gross earnings in the world. Most of the headquarters of multinational corporations in Portugal are located in the Lisbon area, it is the political centre of the country, as its seat of Government and residence of the Head of State. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, one of the oldest in Western Europe, predating other modern European capitals such as London and Rome by centuries.
Julius Caesar made it. Ruled by a series of Germanic tribes from the 5th century, it was captured by the Moors in the 8th century. In 1147, the Crusaders under Afonso Henriques reconquered the city and since it has been a major political and cultural centre of Portugal. Unlike most capital cities, Lisbon's status as the capital of Portugal has never been granted or confirmed – by statute or in written form, its position as the capital has formed through constitutional convention, making its position as de facto capital a part of the Constitution of Portugal. One claim repeated in non-academic literature is that the name of Lisbon can be traced back to Phoenician times, referring to a Phoenician term Alis-Ubo, meaning "safe harbour". Roman authors of the first century AD referred to popular legends that the city of Lisbon was founded by the mythical hero Odysseus on his journey home from Troy. Although modern archaeological excavations show a Phoenician presence at this location since 1200 BC, neither of these folk etymologies has any historical credibility.
Lisbon's origin may in fact derive from Proto-Celtic or Celtic Olisippo, Lissoppo, or a similar name which other visiting peoples like the Ancient Phoenicians and Romans adapted accordingly. The name of the settlement may be derived from the pre-Roman appellation for the Tagus River, Lisso or Lucio. Lisbon's name was written Ulyssippo in Latin by a native of Hispania, it was referred to as "Olisippo" by Pliny the Elder and by the Greeks as Olissipo or Olissipona. Lisbon's name is abbreviated to'LX' or'Lx', originating in an antiquated spelling of Lisbon as ‘’Lixbõa’’. While the old spelling has since been dropped from usage and goes against modern language standards, the abbreviation is still used. During the Neolithic period, the region was inhabited by Pre-Celtic tribes, who built religious and funerary monuments, megaliths and menhirs, which still survive in areas on the periphery of Lisbon; the Indo-European Celts invaded in the 1st millennium BC, mixing with the Pre-Indo-European population, thus giving rise to Celtic-speaking local tribes such as the Cempsi.
Although the first fortifications on Lisbon's Castelo hill are known to be no older than the 2nd century BC, recent archaeological finds have shown that Iron Age people occupied the site from the 8th to 6th centuries BC. This indigenous settlement maintained commercial relations with the Phoenicians, which would account for the recent findings of Phoenician pottery and other material objects. Archaeological excavations made near the Castle of São Jorge and Lisbon Cathedral indicate a Phoenician presence at this location since 1200 BC, it can be stated with confidence that a Phoenician trading post stood on a site now the centre of the present city, on the southern slope of the Castle hill; the sheltered harbour in the Tagus River estuary was an ideal spot for an Iberian settlement and would have provided a secure harbour for unloading and provisioning Phoenician ships. The Tagus settlement was an important centre of commercial trade with the inland tribes, providing an outlet for the valuable metals and salted-fish they collected, for the sale of the Lusitanian horses renowned in antiquity.
In sport, a golden generation or golden team is an exceptionally gifted group of players of similar age, whose achievements reach or are expected to reach a level of success beyond that which their team had achieved. Below is a list of teams who have been referred to by the media as golden generations, most of which played in the 21st century, it was first coined by the Portuguese sports media to refer to a group of exceptionally gifted teenage Portuguese footballers. This group of players, spearheaded by "Golden Boy" Luís Figo, won two Football World Youth Championships in 1989 and 1991; this group were close to retirement in the early part of the 21st century, leading the European sports media to spotlight the Golden Generation's chances of winning a senior trophy at tournaments such as UEFA Euro 2000, the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup. Since it has been used by media in many different countries, with usage spreading to other areas, for example, in rugby. By winning the gold medal in the Americas Championship 2001, silver medal in 2002 FIBA World Championship, the gold medal in Basketball at the 2004 Summer Olympics, gold medal in FIBA Diamond Ball 2008, bronze medal in Basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics, gold medal in 2011 FIBA Americas Championship played in the city of Mar del Plata, Argentina.
Resulting in Argentina reached the first position in the FIBA Men's Ranking at the end of the 2008 Olympic Games. This Australian team waited 32 years to qualify for a FIFA World Cup tournament; this group of players formed the backbone of Australia's 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2007 AFC Asian Cup, 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2011 AFC Asian Cup squads and was used extensively during Australia's qualification matches for those respective tournaments, with this crop of players considered to be among the best Australia have produced. The Golden Generation is believed to have ended during the reign of Ange Postecoglou as manager of Australia; the current Belgium squad is considered by the media and fans as the best Belgium squad ever. At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, from the beginning of the tournament, Belgium were considered by many as one of the favourites to win the tournament. Belgium finished top of the group on maximum points, beating Panama and England. Belgium earned a famous 2–1 win over five-time champions Brazil in the quarter-finals.
Belgium lost 1–0 to France in the semi-finals, but beat England in the third place play-off, Belgium's best result at the World Cup and best result at a major tournament since 1980. The current Bosnia and Herzegovina national team was seen by many as the most talented generation the nation has had, they qualified for 2014 FIFA World Cup, their first World Cup since their independence and got their first victory against Iran on 25 June 2014. The current Croatia team have been considered by several British media such as The Guardian as the "Second Coming of the Golden Generation"; the team, under the leadership of captain Luka Modrić and the style of play by key players such as Mario Mandžukić, Ivan Rakitić and Ivan Perišić, reached the 2018 FIFA World Cup final, losing to France 2–4, thus earning the silver medal. From the final onwards, their results continued to decline following the retirement of Mandžukić, Danijel Subašić and Vedran Ćorluka, they debuted at the UEFA Nations League with a 6-0 loss to Spain in Elche, were relegated from the competition's first tier by England.
The squad were praised for their performance at the World Cup. The Golden generation of the Czech Republic were born in the early 1980s. Highlights of their generation include finishing second in UEFA Euro 1996 and third in UEFA Euro 2004; the national team was qualified for the first time to a Fifa World Cup in 2006. During the first few years of the twenty first century the team were ranked in the top five of the FIFA World Ranking. Czech Republic was the second best team in the world in 2005. Many of the squad during this time played in the best leagues in Europe for the likes of Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus F. C. One of them, Pavel Nedvěd won the Ballon d'Or in 2003. For the first time in the history of this small Central European country a Czech player won the Champions League, it happened in 2005 during Miracle of Istanbul. Milan Baroš and Vladimír Šmicer winning with Liverpool FC. During the reign of Sven-Göran Eriksson, Adam Crozier, the chief executive of the Football Association and some members of the British media, touted players such as David Beckham, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard as the nucleus of a potential Golden Generation team.
Despite some impressive performances such as the 2001 Germany vs England football match in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and the individual players' successes at club level, inconsistency resulted in this group of players failing to live up to expectations, resulting in the group becoming synonymous with disappointment and failed potential. After Eriksson left in 2006 and Steve McClaren became manager, although many of the players continued to achieve success with their respective clubs, the team failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 2008, only the second time England failed to qualify for a major tournament in over 20 years. Rio Ferdinand claimed that the pressure of the "Golden Generation" tag had a negative effect on the players, restricting their ability to perform to their full potential for the national team. In 2017, Pep Guard
Swansea City A.F.C.
Swansea City Association Football Club is a Welsh professional football club based in Swansea, that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football. The club was founded in 1912 as Swansea Town and joined the Football League in 1921; the club changed their name in 1969, when they adopted the name Swansea City to reflect Swansea's new status as a city. Swansea have played their home matches at the Liberty Stadium since 2005, having played at the Vetch Field since the club was founded. In 1981, the club was promoted to the original Football League First Division, it was during the following season they came close to winning the league title, but a decline set in near the season's end, before they finished sixth, still a club record. It was from here the club suffered a relegation the season after, returning to the Football League Fourth Division a few seasons and narrowly avoided relegation to the Football Conference in 2003; the Swansea City Supporters Society Ltd owns 20% of the club, with their involvement hailed by Supporters Direct as "the most high profile example of the involvement of a supporters' trust in the direct running of a club".
The club's subsequent climb from the fourth division of English football to the top division is chronicled in the 2014 film, Jack to a King – The Swansea Story. In 2011, Swansea were promoted to the Premier League. On 24 February 2013, Swansea beat Bradford City 5–0 to win the 2012–13 Football League Cup, winning the first major trophy in the club's history and qualifying for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, where they reached the Last 32 stage but lost over two legs to Napoli. Swansea were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2017–18 season; the area around Swansea traditionally had been a rugby area, despite previous attempts by a football club named Swansea Villa, there were no notable football clubs until the establishment of'Swansea Town AFC' in the summer of 1912. Following the lead of many other South Wales sides, the club joined the Second Division of the Southern League for the following season. J. W. Thorpe was the club's first chairman. A site owned by Swansea Gaslight Co. called Vetch Field due to the vegetables that grew there, was rented to be the club's ground.
The club's first professional match was a 1–1 draw at the Vetch Field against Cardiff City on 7 September 1912. During that first season the Welsh Cup was won for the first time; the Swans beat reigning English champions Blackburn Rovers 1–0 in the first round of the 1914–15 FA Cup, Swansea's goal coming from Ben Beynon. Following the First World War the Southern League dropped its Second Division, with many clubs dropping out due to financial difficulties, the Swans were placed in the First Division. After four seasons in the Southern League, Swansea Town became founder members of the new Third Division of The Football League in 1920 and Division Three the following season. After five seasons in Division Three and a few failed bids for promotion, the Swans reached the Second Division for the first time in 1925, beating Exeter City 2–1 at home on the final day of the season to win the division; the side had remained unbeaten at home in the league all season – something the next promotion team would emulate over twenty years later.
The following season the Swans reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup for the first time, beating Exeter City, Blackpool, Stoke City and Arsenal, before losing 3–0 to eventual cup winners Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane. Swans record their highest average attendance during the season of 16,118 for pre-war league games. During the 1926–27 season they beat Real Madrid 3–0 on tour. During the 1931–32 season they finished 1st in the league and won the Welsh Cup after beating Wrexham 2–0 away after a replay. After just one season back from wartime football, the Swans finished 21st in the Second Division, thus returned to Division Three for the first time since 1925; the following season was one of consolidation, however in 1948–1949 the Swans stormed their way to winning the division for the second time. Only one point was dropped at home all season as the feat of the 1925 promotion side was emulated, with the side finishing a whole seven points ahead of second placed Reading. Billy McCandless was the manager who led the side to promotion, in doing so he completed a rare hat-trick of winning the Third Division title with all three South Wales clubs – and without losing a home game with Swansea or Cardiff.
Following promotion, the Swans had another 15 years of Second Division football to look forward to, however despite what successive managers and chairmen were to say, Swansea Town only once during that time looked like they could genuinely challenge for promotion. That came in the 1955–56 season, when a side containing the likes of Ivor Allchurch, Terry Medwin, Harry Griffiths and Tom Kiley led the table early in the season, before an injury to Kiley, referred to as the linchpin of the side, in mid-November led to a decline in form, he was never adequately replaced, but despite this and the sale of some of the club's best players, the side remained in contention for promotion until the beginning of April. Following a 6–1 win over second placed Leicester City at the Vetch Field at the end of March the side was just two points behind second placed Liverpool with a game in hand – however subsequent results were not as encouraging, they slipped away to finish tenth. In 1964, the Swans reached a second FA Cup semi-final, beating Barrow, Sheffield United and Stoke City en route to a famous sixth round victory at Anfield.
Few gave the Swans, struggling for their lives at the bottom of Division Two, any chance
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards; some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders; the number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation. Most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing team's attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who travel the greatest distance during a match; because midfielders arguably have the most possession during a game they are among the fittest players on the pitch. Central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided equally between attack and defence and to dominate the play around the centre of the pitch.
These players will try to pass the ball to the team's attacking midfielders and forwards and may help their team's attacks by making runs into the opposition's penalty area and attempting shots on goal themselves. When the opposing team has the ball, a central midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward and press the opposition ball-carrier to recover the ball. A centre midfielder defending their goal will move in front of their centre-backs in order to block long shots by the opposition and track opposition midfielders making runs towards the goal; the 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders. The 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder; the term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who are hard-working and who have good all-round abilities, which makes them skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can therefore track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots and run to the opponents' box to try to score.
The change of trends and the deviation from the standard 4–4–2 formation to the 4–2–3–1 formation imposed restrictions on the typical box-to-box midfielders of the 80s, as teams' two midfield roles were now divided into "holders" or "creators". Notable examples of box-to-box midfielders are Bastian Schweinsteiger, Yaya Touré, Radja Nainggolan. Left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch, they may be asked to cross the ball into the opponents' penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates, when defending they may put pressure on opponents who are trying to cross. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1 and the 4−5−1 formations. Jonathan Wilson describes the development of the 4−4−2 formation: "…the winger became a wide midfielder, a shuttler, somebody who might be expected to cross a ball but was meant to put in a defensive shift."
Notable examples of wide midfielders are Ryan Giggs. The historic position of wing-half was given to midfielders, it became obsolete as wide players with defensive duties have tended to become more a part of the defence as full-backs. Defensive midfielders are midfield players; these players may defend a zone in front of their team's defence, or man mark specific opposition attackers. Defensive midfielders may move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude: "The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someone's position, great." A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of opponent's play, tackling, interceptions and great stamina and strength. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their team's defence, while other midfielders may move forward to attack; the holding midfielder may have responsibilities when their team has the ball.
This player will make short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the team's strategy. Marcelo Bielsa is considered as a pioneer for the use of a holding midfielder in defence; this position may be seen in the 4 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 4 -- 2 diamond formations. A defensive midfielder, or "destroyer", a playmaker, or "creator", were fielded alongside each other as a team's two holding central midfielders; the destroyer was responsible for making tackles, regaining possession, distributing the ball to the creator, while the creator was responsible for retaining possession and keeping the ball moving with long passes out to the flanks, in the manner of a more old-fashioned deep-lying playmaker or "regista". Early examples of a destroyer are Nobby Stiles, Herbert Wimmer, Marco Tardelli, while examples include Claude Makélélé and Javier Mascherano, although several of these players possessed qualities of other types of midfielders, were therefore not confined to a single role.
Early examples of a creator would be Gérson, Glenn Hoddle, Sunday Oliseh, while more recent examples Xabi Alonso, Michael Carrick. The latest and third type of holding midfielder developed as a box-to-box midfielder, or "carrier", neither destructive nor creative, capable of winning b