A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and 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 have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, 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 penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also 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 someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
Aston Villa F.C.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional association football club based in Aston, Birmingham, that plays in the Championship, the second level of English football. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also one of the members of the Premier League in 1992. Aston Villa are one of only five English clubs to be crowned champions of Europe and they have also won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once. They have a local rivalry with Birmingham City and the Second City derby between the sides has been played since 1879. The clubs traditional kit colours are claret shirts with sky blue sleeves, white shorts and their traditional badge is of a rampant lion, which was introduced by the clubs Scottish chairman William McGregor in honour of the Royal Standard of Scotland. The club is owned by Recon Group Limited, a company chaired by Chinese businessman Tony Xia. Aston Villa Football Club were formed in March 1874, by members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel in Handsworth which is now part of Birmingham, the four founders of Aston Villa were Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood. Aston Villas first match was against the local Aston Brook St Marys Rugby team, as a condition of the match, the Villa side had to agree to play the first half under Rugby rules and the second half under Association rules. The club won their first FA Cup in 1887 with captain Archie Hunter becoming one of the games first household names. Aston Villa were one of the teams that competed in the inaugural Football League in 1888 with one of the clubs directors. Aston Villa emerged as the most successful English club of the Victorian era, winning no fewer than five League titles, in 1897, the year Villa won The Double, they moved into their present home, the Aston Lower Grounds. Supporters coined the name Villa Park, no official declaration listed the ground as Villa Park. This was largely the result of a defensive record, they conceded 110 goals in 42 games,7 of them coming from Arsenals Ted Drake in an infamous 1–7 defeat at Villa Park. Like all English clubs, Villa lost seven seasons to the Second World War, the team was rebuilt under the guidance of former player Alex Massie for the remainder of the 1940s. The team struggled in the league though and were relegated two seasons later, due in part to complacency. However, under the stewardship of manager Joe Mercer Villa returned to the top-flight in 1960 as Second Division Champions, the following season Aston Villa became the first team to win the Football League Cup. Mercers forced retirement from the club in 1964 signalled a period of deep turmoil, the most successful club in England was struggling to keep pace with changes in the modern game, with Villa being relegated for the third time, under manager Dick Taylor in 1967
Stade Rennais F.C.
Stade Rennais Football Club is a French association football club based in Rennes. The club was founded in 1901 and currently plays in Ligue 1, Rennes plays its home matches at the Roazhon Park, located within the city. The team is managed by Christian Gourcuff and captained by defender Pedro Mendes, the teams president is René Ruello and its owner is Artémis, the holding company of businessman François Pinault. Rennes was founded in 1901 under the name Stade Rennais and is one of the members of the first division of French football. Alongside Nantes, Rennes is one of the top clubs in the region. The clubs best finish in the league has been fourth with the club accomplishing this feat on four occasions, Rennes has won two Coupe de France titles in 1965 and 1971. After winning the Coupe de France in 1971, Rennes changed its name to its current version, Rennes is known for its youth academy, known in English as the Henri Guérin Training Centre, which was formed in 2000. The French Football Federation has regularly recognised Rennes as having the best youth academy in the country, the patriarch of the academy is the under-19 team, which has won the Coupe Gambardella three times in 1973,2003 and 2008. The academy has produced several notable talents, such as Sylvain Wiltord, Yoann Gourcuff, Yann MVila, Moussa Sow, Yacine Brahimi, Ousmane Dembélé and Jimmy Briand, Stade Rennais Football Club was founded on 10 March 1901 by a group of former students living in Brittany. Football had quickly become widely circulated in nearby regions and it was brought to Brittany. The clubs first match was played two weeks later against FC Rennais, which Stade lost 6–0. In 1902, Stade Rennais joined the USFSA federation and, subsequently, became a member of the Ligue de Bretagne de football. In the second season, the club won the competition after defeating the inaugural league winners FC Rennais 4–0 in the final. The new club adopted the colours of Rennais, which consisted of a red, after three years of Saint-Malo dominating the league, Rennes finally eclipsed the club in 1908 under the leadership of Welsh manager Arthur Griffith. In the following season, Rennes won the league again, but in 1910 Rennes was unable to win a third, the champions subsequently went on an impressive run in which it won the league for the next four seasons over. After World War I, Rennes began focusing its efforts on winning the recently created Coupe de France, in the match, the club faced two-time defending champions Red Star Olympique, which was led by attacker Paul Nicolas, defender Lucien Gamblin and goalkeeper Pierre Chayriguès. Red Star opened the scoring in the minute and the match was concluded following a late goal from Raymond Sentubéry. After the disorganisation of the USFSA in 1913, Rennes joined the Ligue de lOuest, in 1929, Rennes departed the league after disagreeing with the increased number of games the league sought to implement in the new season
Montpellier Hérault Sport Club is a French association football club based in the city of Montpellier. The original club was founded in 1919, while the current incarnation was founded through a merger in 1974, Montpellier currently plays in Ligue 1, the top level of French football and plays its home matches at the Stade de la Mosson, located within the city. The first team is managed by Frédéric Hantz and captained by defender Hilton, Montpellier was founded under the name Stade Olympique Montpelliérain and played under the name for most of its existence. In 1989, after playing under various names, the changed its name to its current form. Montpellier is one of the members of the first division of French football. Along with Marseille, Rennes, Sochaux and Nice, Montpellier is one of only a few clubs to have played in the inaugural 1932–33 season and is playing in the first division. The club won Ligue 1 for the first time in the 2011–12 season, Montpelliers other honours to date include winning the Coupe de France in 1929 and 1990, and the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1999. Montpellier is owned by Louis Nicollin, a French entrepreneur, and has been since 1974, the club have produced several famous players in its history, most notably Laurent Blanc, who has served as manager of the France national team. Blanc is also the clubs leading goalscorer. Eric Cantona, Roger Milla, Carlos Valderrama and Olivier Giroud are other players who have played in Montpelliers colours, in 2001, Montpellier introduced a womens team. The city of Montpellier had been in the process of creating a club in the city since 1914, however. Upon its creation, the club mainly engaged in association football, rugby union, athletics, tennis. The clubs headquarters was located at the local Café de Paris and carried the colours of the city, red, the successful merger with VGAL and the acquisition of the clubs players allowed Montpellier to easily adapt in the sport. The club spent its formative years playing mainly in the Division dHonneur Sud-Est, in 1925, the club was managed by Scotsman Victor Gibson. That same year, Montpellier endured an internal crisis after the French Football Federation discovered that the club had been guilty of financial misfeasance, the clubs president was suspended from football for five years and Montpellier were relegated for the first time. The resulting penalties led to the departure of several players, the rebuilding process was immediate as the club returned to the Division dHonneur after one season. In 1929, the club won its first major trophy, the Coupe de France, in the final, Montpellier faced FC Sète and recorded a 2–0 victory courtesy of goals from Auguste Kramer and Edmond Kramer. In July 1930, the National Council of the French Football Federation voted 128–20 in support of professionalism in French football
Panathinaikos F. C. also known simply as Panathinaikos, or with its full name Panathinaikos A. O. are a Greek professional football club based in the City of Athens. Panathinaikos can literally be translated as Panathenaic, which means of all Athens, today a part of Panathinaikos A. O. they are the oldest active football club in Greece, initially founded only to practice this sport. Amongst their major titles are twenty-six Greek Championships, twenty-one Greek Cups, achieving eight times the Double, and five official Greek Super Cups. They are also the club that won a championship undefeated, going without a loss in a top-flight campaign. Panathinaikos is also the most successful Greek club in terms of achievements in the European competitions and it is the only Greek team that has reached the European Cup final in 1971, and also the semi-finals twice, in 1985 and 1996. It is also the only Greek team that has played for the Intercontinental Cup, furthermore, they have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League on another two occasions, as well as the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup twice. They have also won the Balkans Cup in 1977, Panathinaikos is a member of the European Club Association. Panathinaikos became professional and independent in 1979 and they have played their home games in the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, considered their traditional home ground, and the Athens Olympic Stadium. The club has million of fans inside Greece and millions of others in the Greek communities all over the world and they hold a long-term rivalry with Olympiacos, the clash between the two teams being referred to as the Derby of the eternal enemies. The name of the new club was Podosferikos Omilos Athinon and it was founded with the aim of spreading and making more known this new sport to the Athenian and Greek public in general. Also, intension of the founders was to create a team for all of Athens and to be connected with the rest of the European football movement, the first president elected was Alexandros Kalafatis, brother of Giorgos. The ground of the team was in Patission Street, oxford University athlete John Cyril Campbell was brought in as coach, the first time that a foreigner was appointed as the coach of a Greek team. Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, the great Greek athlete of the early 20th century, in 1910, after a dispute among a number of board members, Kalafatis with most of the players—also followed by Campbell—decided to pull out of POA and secured a new ground in Amerikis Square. Subsequently, the name of the changed to Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos and its colours to green. By 1914, Campbell had returned to England but the club was already at the top of Greek football with such as Michalis Papazoglou, Michalis Rokkos. In 1918, the team adopted the trifolium as its emblem, in 1921 and 1922, the Athens-Piraeus FCA organized the first two post-WWI championships, in both of which PPO was declared champion. After long discussions with the Municipality of Athens, an agreement was finally reached, the move to a permanent home ground also heralded another—final—name change to Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos, Panathenaic Athletic Club, on 15 March 1924, from now on a multi-sport club. However, the decision was taken by 1922
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies making it the worlds most popular sport, the game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal, players are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play, unless they are goalkeepers. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, the first written reference to the inflated ball used in the game was in the mid-14th century, Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the word soccer was split off in 1863, according to Partha Mazumdar, the term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford -er abbreviation of the word association. Within the English-speaking world, association football is now usually called football in the United Kingdom and mainly soccer in Canada and the United States. People in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand use either or both terms, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now primarily use football for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence, cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net. It was remarkably similar to football, though similarities to rugby occurred. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established, phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup, athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda, episkyros and harpastum were played involving hands and violence and they all appear to have resembled rugby football, wrestling and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified mob football, the antecedent of all football codes. Non-competitive games included kemari in Japan, chuk-guk in Korea and woggabaliri in Australia, Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other games played around the world FIFA have recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe. The modern rules of football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played in the public schools of England
France national football team
The France national football team represents France in international football. The teams colours are blue, white and red, and the coq gaulois its symbol, France are colloquially known as Les Bleus. France play home matches at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, and they have won one FIFA World Cup, two UEFA European Football Championships, an Olympic tournament, and two FIFA Confederations Cups. France experienced much of its success in three major, in the 1950s, 1980s, and late 1990s/early 2000s respectively, which resulted in numerous major honours. In 1958, the team, led by Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine, in 1984, France, led by Ballon dOr winner Michel Platini, won UEFA Euro 1984. Under the leadership of Didier Deschamps and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, two years later, the team triumphed at UEFA Euro 2000. France won the Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003, and reached the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the team also reached the final of UEFA Euro 2016, where they lost 1–0 to Portugal in extra time. France, Argentina and Brazil are the national teams that have won the three most important mens titles recognized by FIFA, the World Cup, the Confederations Cup. They have also won their continental championship. The following year, on 12 February 1905, France contested their home match against Switzerland. The match was played at the Parc des Princes in front of 500 supporters, France won the match 1–0 with the only goal coming from Gaston Cyprès. Due to disagreements between FIFA and the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques, the sports union. In 1919, the CFI transformed themselves into the French Football Federation, in 1921, the USFSA finally merged with the FFF. In July 1930, France appeared in the inaugural FIFA World Cup, in their first-ever World Cup match, France defeated Mexico 4–1 at the Estadio Pocitos in Montevideo. Lucien Laurent became notable in the match as he scored not only Frances first World Cup goal, conversely, France also became the first team to not score in a match after losing 1–0 to fellow group stage opponents Argentina. Another loss to Chile resulted in the team bowing out in the group stage, the following year saw the first selection of a black player to the national team. Raoul Diagne, who was of Senegalese descent, earned his first cap on 15 February in a 2–1 defeat to Czechoslovakia. Diagne later played with the team at the 1938 World Cup, alongside Larbi Benbarek, at the 1934 World Cup, France suffered elimination in the opening round, losing 3–2 to Austria
Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e. V. commonly known as VfB Stuttgart, is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The club is best known for its team which is part of Germanys second division 2. VfB Stuttgart has won the championship five times, most recently in 2006–07. The football team plays its games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. Second team side VfB Stuttgart II currently plays in the Regionalliga Südwest, the clubs junior teams have won the national U19 championships a record ten times and the Under 17 Bundesliga six times. A membership-based club with over 50,0000 members, VfB is the largest sports club in Baden-Württemberg and it has departments for fistball, hockey, track and field, table-tennis and football referees, all of which compete only at the amateur level. The club also maintains a department, the VfB-Garde. Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart was formed through 2 April 1912 merger of predecessor sides Stuttgarter FV, Stuttgarter Fußballverein was founded at the Zum Becher hotel in Stuttgart on 9 September 1893. FV were initially a rugby club, playing games at Stöckach-Eisbahn before moving to Cannstatter Wasen in 1894, the rugby club established a football section in 1908. Rugby was soon replaced by football within the club, as found the game too complicated to follow. In 1909, FV joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband, playing in the second tier B-Klasse and they eventually advanced to the senior Südkreis-Liga in 1912. Cannstatter Fußballklub was formed as a club in 1890 and also quickly established a football team. This club was dissolved after just a few years of play, the new team joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband as a second division club and won promotion in 1904. Krone possessed their own ground, which exists today as the home of TSV Münster. The club also made appearances in the final rounds of the SFV in the late 1920s. In 1933, VfB moved to Neckar Stadium, the site of its current ground, German football was re-organized that same year under the Third Reich into sixteen top-flight divisions called Gauligen. The club had a rivalry with Stuttgarter Kickers throughout this period. After a third-place result at the level in 1937, Stuttgart was not able to advance out of the preliminary rounds in subsequent appearances
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres, the population of Mali is 14.5 million. The countrys economy centers on agriculture and fishing, some of Malis prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt. About half the population lives below the poverty line of $1.25 a day. A majority of the population are Muslims, present-day Mali was once part of three West African empires that controlled trans-Saharan trade, the Ghana Empire, the Mali Empire, and the Songhai Empire. During its golden age, there was a flourishing of mathematics, astronomy, literature, at its peak in 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area about twice the size of modern-day France and stretched to the west coast of Africa. In the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, French Sudan joined with Senegal in 1959, achieving independence in 1960 as the Mali Federation. Shortly thereafter, following Senegals withdrawal from the federation, the Sudanese Republic declared itself the independent Republic of Mali. After a long period of one-party rule, a coup in 1991 led to the writing of a new constitution and the establishment of Mali as a democratic, multi-party state. In January 2012, a conflict broke out in northern Mali, in which Tuareg rebels took control of by April and declared the secession of a new state. The conflict was complicated by a coup that took place in March. In response to Islamist territorial gains, the French military launched Opération Serval in January 2013, a month later, Malian and French forces recaptured most of the north. Presidential elections were held on 28 July 2013, with a second round held on 11 August. The name Mali is taken from the name of the Mali Empire, the name was originally derived from the Mandinka or Bambara word mali, meaning “hippopotamus”, but it eventually came to mean the place where the king lives. The word carries the connotation of strength, D. Niane suggests in Sundiata, An Epic of Old Mali that it is not impossible that Mali was the name given to one of the capitals of the emperors. 14th century Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta reported that the capital of the Mali Empire was indeed called Mali and this name could have formerly been that of a city. In old Mali there is one village called Malikoma which means “New Mali. ”Another theory suggests that Mali is a Fulani pronunciation of the name of the Mande peoples. It is suggested that a sound shift led to the change, whereby in Fulani the alveolar segment /nd/ shifts to /l/, Mali was once part of three famed West African empires which controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, salt, slaves, and other precious commodities
Antoine Griezmann is a French professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid and the France national team as a forward. He began his career at Real Sociedad, making his debut in 2009, across five seasons there, he scored 52 goals in 201 official matches. In 2014, he transferred to Atlético Madrid for €30 million, Griezmann was a French youth international, who represented his country at under-19, under-20 and under-21 level. In 2010, he was part of the team won the 2010 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship on home soil. He made his debut for the national team in 2014 and played at that years World Cup. Griezmann was the top scorer and Player of the Tournament at UEFA Euro 2016, for his performances during the course of 2016, he was shortlisted for the Ballon dOr 2016 Award in which he finished in third place. Griezmann was born in the commune of Mâcon in the département of Saône-et-Loire and his father Alain, a town councillor, is of Alsatian descent, hence the Germanic surname. His mother Isabelle, a hospital cleaner, is of Portuguese descent. Amaro Lopes came to France with his wife Carolina to work in construction in 1957, where Isabelle was born, as a child, Griezmann often spent his holidays in Paços de Ferreira. Griezmann began his playing for hometown club UF Mâcon. While there, he embarked on several trials with clubs in order to earn a spot in one of their youth academies. Following the match, the officials offered Griezmann a one-week trial in San Sebastián. He was later offered a stay at the club. The club then contacted his parents and formally offered the player a youth contract, griezmanns parents were initially reluctant to have their son move to Spain, but allowed him to make the move after positive reassurances. It took him time to break into Real Sociedads first team but after four years in the youth system he made his debut. In the pre-season, he scored five goals in four appearances, on 2 September 2009, Griezmann made his competitive debut in the teams Copa del Rey match against Rayo Vallecano appearing as a substitute in the 77th minute of a 2–0 defeat. Four days later, he made his debut appearing as a substitute in a 0–0 draw with Real Murcia. On 27 September, he made his first professional start and also scored his first professional goal against Huesca in a 2–0 win, two weeks later, Griezmann scored his second goal of the campaign in a 2–0 win over Salamanca
Brittany is a cultural region in the north-west of France. Brittany has also referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain. It is bordered by the English Channel to the north, the Celtic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and its land area is 34,023 km². Since reorganisation in 1956, the administrative region of Brittany comprises only four of the five Breton departments. The remaining area of old Brittany, the Loire-Atlantique department around Nantes, at the 2010 census, the population of historic Brittany was estimated to be 4,475,295. Of these, 71% lived in the region of Brittany, while 29% lived in the Loire-Atlantique department, in 2012, the largest metropolitan areas were Nantes, Rennes, and Brest. Brittany is the homeland of the Breton people and is recognised by the Celtic League as one of the six Celtic nations. A nationalist movement seeks greater autonomy within the French Republic, the word Brittany, along with its French, Breton and Gallo equivalents Bretagne, Breizh and Bertaèyn, derive from the Latin Britannia, which means Britons land. This word had been used by the Romans since the 1st century to refer to Great Britain and this word derives from a Greek word, Πρεττανικη or Βρεττανίαι, used by Pytheas, an explorer from Massalia who visited the British Islands around 320 BC. This term probably comes from a Gallic word, aremorica, which close to the sea. Another name, Letauia, was used until the 12th century and it possibly means wide and flat or to expand and it gave the Welsh name for Brittany, Llydaw. Later, authors like Geoffrey of Monmouth used the terms Britannia minor, breton-speaking people may pronounce the word Breizh in two different ways, according to their region of origin. Breton can be divided into two dialects, the KLT and the dialect of Vannes. KLT speakers pronounce it and would write it Breiz, while the Vannetais speakers pronounce it, the official spelling is a compromise between both variants, with a z and an h together. In 1941, efforts to unify the dialects led to the creation of the so-called Breton zh, on its side, Gallo language has never had a widely accepted writing system and several ones coexist. For instance, the name of the region in that language can be written Bertaèyn in ELG script, or Bertègn in MOGA, Brittany has been inhabited by humans since the Lower Paleolithic. This population was scarce and very similar to the other Neanderthals found in the whole of Western Europe and their only original feature was a distinct culture, called Colombanian. One of the oldest hearths in the world has found in Plouhinec