Being a Soccer (Football) Goalkeeper - The Bad and the Good

There are a few common misconceptions about soccer (called "football" everywhere other than in the United States) goalkeepers. Let's take a look at these and then examine how things really are.

Misconception #1 - Being a soccer goalie is easy because you don't have to run around very much.

People who aren't familiar with the game will see all the players running around on the field and then see the goalies who are "just standing there" and assume it must be easy.

The truth is that goalies have to be 100% aware of what is going on at all times. While it may not be as physically demanding as the other position, they do still need to be able to move around a lot -- and quickly -- especially if the ball is equidistant from the goalie and an opposing player and they are both running for it.

A goalkeeper also has to be precisely aware of where he is on the field, and know where the goal is without needing to look back and see it. Taking your eyes off the ball for even a split second can result confusion which can lead to the other team scoring.

Football Betting: Euro 2012, Will Ireland Make History?

Republic of Ireland fans would have been bitterly disappointed not to qualify for Euro 2012. They tried so many times in recent years and in the last World Cup they really deserved to go though if wasn't for France and Thierry Henry. This time they had a dream of qualifying draw but the home defeat against Russia put them under pressure throughout the campaign. Ireland however fought hard to finish second and this was a real achievement. They draw 0-0 in Moscow last September and managed to get ahead of a good team like Armenia. The one aspect you can bet Giovanni Trapattoni will get absolutely right is the defence: this was the main strength for Ireland and although they may be short of brilliance at times, their style needs to be respected.

Giovanni Trapattoni's career will continue long beyond Euro 2012. He has recently signed a new contract which will take him to the end of the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup. This is a man who has had plenty of success on his career but he just wants more. Trap doesn't want a lucrative pension, he wants to be involved in the game. He has won 20 major honours, including Serie A seven times but didn't do very well in major tournament: at the 2002 World Cup with Italy he only got to the round of 16 and failed to get out of the Group Stage at Euro 2004.

How to Choose Football Gifts for Kids

Children develop a love for football from the youngest of ages and that is especially true if there are football fans in their own families. Being a fan of a certain team is often something that spans generations and continues on as a tradition. If your little one has developed a love for a specific team or if you want him or her to develop their fondness for it then you need to know what to do. Knowing what kids like is essential and of course, the best way to get to the heart of a child is through gifts. Football gifts for kids will allow little ones to develop their loyalty, to display it and to be proud of it.

Of course, not all official merchandise will be suitable for kids, but there are certain items that have an intrinsic appeal for those of a younger age. T-shirts made in their size, balls, and even figures in the form of players can give them great pleasure. So whenever you go hunting for football gifts remember to think their way and to prepare properly. The best way to do it, of course, is to ask beforehand but, as that may ruin the surprise just make sure that you know which team is the kid's favorite. There is nothing more annoying for a child than to receive a football gift that is not adorned with his or her favorite team markings.

So, now that you have the basics in order, you need to know where to look for football gifts. And of course, the most satisfying results are found online. First of all visit the official merchandise store of the team that you are looking for gifts from. The official clubs or at least those that are more prominent will sell gifts of their own. This is great because the quality of the products is usually very good and you can be sure that you will get them at a reasonable price.

Football gifts from the official clubs are not necessarily manufactured by the club; generally they work closely with manufacturers that have been selected for their quality and better prices. If however, you don't find anything interesting at the official club store, don't forget to extend your search and look for cool items on other sites. Among the best possible football gifts for kids T-shirts are the most sought after, followed by balls and sometimes games associated with their team such as monopoly or darts.

Euro 2012 Team Profile: Ukraine

Ukraine, along with neighbours Poland, host Euro 2012, the pinnacle of European football. Though they have the much-required home support, Ukraine would not fancy themselves to be serious contenders for the crown. In a tournament that features current world and European champion, Spain and many former champions, the Ukrainians would consider themselves underdogs. However, they have sprung a surprise once in a while and they are more than capable of doing so again.

The Coach

Oleh Blokhin is the head coach of Ukraine football team. He was one of the greatest strikers in the world and still is the highest goal-scorer in Soviet league history. He began coaching Ukraine in September 2003. Under his guidance, they made their first ever quarter-final appearance in a FIFA world-cup. However, he resigned after his boys failed to qualify for the Euro 2008. After being reappointed as the head coach in April 2011, Oleh would be eager to make his mark.

Recent form

Ukraine have played a number of international friendlies in the last year and have obtained mixed results. While they managed to beat Uzbekistan 2-0 in June last year, they were butchered at home by France in the same month. Their form showed no signs of improvement after the defeat, as they lost three consecutive matches to Sweden, Uruguay and Czech Republic respectively. Just when everyone started questioning the coach's ability to provide results, the team turned a corner and comprehensively defeated Bulgaria and Estonia in October 2011. The boys proved that they were not to be taken lightly when the managed to hold the mighty Germans to a 3-3 draw in November 2011. Four days later, they overcame the Austrians 2-1 and in February 2012 they beat Israel 3-2.

Euro 2012 Team Profile: Italy

Six years ago, Fabio Cannavaro lifted the World cup for Italy. Since then, a lot has changed in the team. Many top players retired, making way for young blood while Cesare Prandelli replaced Marcello Lippi as the head coach. Moreover, the team hasn't won any major trophy since 2006. A quarterfinal exit in Euro 2008 was followed by a humiliating first round exit in World cup 2010. The newer generation of Italian players has an opportunity to prove themselves on the grand stage. Will they rise to the occasion and restore their country's pride? Or will they waste this opportunity? We have to wait and watch.

Route to qualification

Italy are one of the few teams that have gone unbeaten in the qualifiers. They kick-started their long and arduous journey with a 2-1 victory against Estonia on 3rd September, 2010. Four days later, the Azzurri trashed Faroe Islands 5-0 at home. A goal-less draw against Northern Ireland saw them drop their first points of the campaign. Their next game against Serbia, played at Genoa, was abandoned due to violent behavior on the part of Serbian fans and the Italians were awarded a 3-0 win. After a six-month gap, The Italian Army continued its forward march conquering Estonia and Faroe Islands once again and dispatching Slovenia twice. After four consecutive games without conceding goals, the measly Italian defence conceded a solitary goal against Serbia in October 2011 and the game ended in a draw. Having ensured qualification, Italy beat Northern Ireland in their last game in what was essentially a dead rubber. Italy qualified as group winners, having won six and drawn two.

History at the Euros

Italy have qualified for the competition on eight different occasions. However, their only moment of European glory came way back in 1968 when they beat Yugoslavia to win the European Championship. They failed to get past the semi-final stage in the 1980 and the 1988 editions of the tournament. They finished as runners-up the 2000 edition, losing 1-2 to France in the final.


Italy are placed in Group C alongside Croatia, Ireland and Spain. Italy play their first game on June 10, 2012 against Spain, the reigning World and European champions. The Azzurri couldn't have asked for a tougher start to their campaign. They travel from Gdansk to Poznan to play their next game against Croatia, scheduled to be held on June 14, 2012. They complete their group proceedings on June 18, 2012 at the Municipal Stadium, Poznan against Ireland.

Provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon, Morgan De Sanctis, Salvatore Sirigu, Emiliano Viviano.

Defenders: Ignazio Abat, Davide Astori, Federico Balzaretti, Andrea Barzagli, Salvatore Bocchetti, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Domenico Criscito, Christian Maggio, Angelo Obinze Ogbonna, Andrea Ranocchia.

Midfielders: Luca Cigarini, Daniele De Rossi, Alessandro Diamanti, Emanuele Giaccherini, Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo, Thiago Motta, Antonio Nocerino, Andrea Pirlo, Ezequiel Schelotto, Marco Verratti.

Forwards: Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini, Antonio Cassano, Mattia Destro, Antonio Di Natale, Sebastian Giovinco.

Star Players:

Antonio Cassano has prospered under the current manager, Cesare Prandelli. He scored six goals for the Azzurri in their qualifiers. He has the full faith of Prandelli who said that his enthusiasm was contagious. The captain and goal-keeper, Gianluigi Buffon has a safe pair of hands and has performed a praiseworthy job between the sticks. Mario Balotelli, though not exactly a shining star, is always a threat to the adversary.

For the latest football gossip and news, including everything else you want to know about football including Euro 2012, click

Gokul is an avid sports fan and blogger.

Article Source: Gokul_Muthukumaresan

Euro 2012 Team Profile: England

No other country has produced so many talented players and sorely under-performed at the international stage as England has. The country that spawned the game has few honours to showcase. It has been ages since the Englishmen have lifted a trophy and I am sure they would be desperate to lay their hands on one. Every English fan would be hoping to put an end to this long wait. Will their new manager Roy Hodgson, who replaced the Italian Fabio Capello, put an end to this wait? Only time will tell.

Route to qualification

England were placed in one of the easiest groups in the qualifiers. Montenegro, Switzerland, Wales and Bulgaria hardly posed a threat to the star-studded English team. Wembley turned out to be a lucky ground for England as they hammered Bulgaria 4-0 in early September, 2010. Their next match against Switzerland was a routine affair with the Three Lions comfortably winning 3-1. However, England were held to a surprise draw at home by Montenegro in October, with neither team scoring any goal. The Englishmen visited their neighbours, the Welsh, six months later and came back with a comfortable 2-0 victory. England's erratic home form continued as the Swiss held them to a 2-2 draw on June 4, 2011. England won both the games they played in September 2011, beating Bulgaria 2-0 and Wales 1-0. Montenegro turned out to be insurmountable again and England came off with a 2-2 draw against them. With five wins and three draws Capello's boys emerged on top of their group in the qualifiers.

Top Modern Basketball Shooting Technique

Have you ever got caught up doing something for what you thought might have been an hour, only to have looked up at the clock and noticed that 3 or 4 hours had actually passed? If you have, then either you were so focused on or you actually loved the job or activity, enough so, that time was not a factor. When you implement my first basketball shooting technique here, proper shooting form, and then the other 3 shooting techniques in my website, you will be drawn into a fascination for improvement, where there will not seem to be enough hours in a day to practice and perfect your basketball shot. If you are passionate about basketball and the basketball shot, these techniques will increase your passion and leaving the gym will become that much more difficult. These techniques are simple and absolutely amazing! I can't stress enough on their effectiveness. The zeal for your shot will develop into a magnetic attraction for shooting, where nothing else will seem to matter except the beauty of your shot.

Read on to understand the beauty, ease and simplicity of the technique I introduce here and then the other 3 in my website, especially my favorite, shot timing, which I'm sure you will enjoy.

To understand the basics of proper form, or the basic traditional shot, I will give a simple, detailed, step by step process that explains the traditional method of shooting a basketball, then show a few adjustments that can be made to modernize the shot. Take a few minutes here to understand and go through this simple process.

Is Arsenal's Future Really Bleak?

Not so long ago, they were known as "The Invincibles". Arsenal earned that epithet during the 2003-04 Premiership campaign, when they lifted the crown after going through the entire league season undefeated. No other team stood a chance against the mighty Gunners as they went about eliminating every rival that dared cross their path, with clinical precision. However, the guns have fallen silent, in recent years. They have gone past six trophy-less seasons since making the 2005 FA Cup their own. The current Arsenal team is a mere shadow of the Invincibles led by Patrick Vieira. They have not even been able to mount a title challenge during the ongoing season. The recent turn of events is sufficient to shake the belief of the most die-hard Arsenal fan. Arsenal critics foresee a downfall akin to that suffered by Leeds United. Can Arsenal prove their nay-sayers wrong? Or, is their future really bleak?

To understand Gunners' current predicament, one has to go back to the early 2000's when the team decided to shift from Highbury, their home ground for 93 years, to Ashburton Grove, now known as the Emirates. The construction of the £390 million stadium was funded by loans, sponsorship deals and sales of some of the club's star players, notably Nicolas Anelka, Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit. The loans put enormous stress on the club's finances. They were no longer able to compete with financial heavy-weights, like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea, in the transfer market. While other clubs spent millions of dollars on buying the best players in the game, Arsenal watched helplessly from the sidelines. To add to the inability to buy new talent, the Emirates outfit could not even retain its star players like Thierry Henry, Ashley Cole, Emmanuel Adebayor, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri who left one by one. Things have come to such a pass that one cannot but wonder whether Arsenal can ever assemble another bunch of players capable of recapturing the club's past glory.

Despite their handicaps, Arsenal possess some powerful weapons they can bring to bear on their future prospects. Chief among these are the club's youth academy and the reserves team that provides an endless supply of exceptionally talented footballers to the senior side. The most recent examples are the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Wojciech Szczesny, Alex Song and Kieran Gibbs, who are barely into their twenties, are already first-team regulars. Carl Jenkinson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ryo Myiachi and Wellington Silva are exciting prospects for the future. Gunners' scouts spot talented players at a very young age and train them in the academy. The scout system attracts young talent from the world over; the youth team and reserves comprise players from Bolivia in the West to Japan in the East, thereby underscoring how well established the system has become.

Premier League - Down to the Wire

The race for everything in this year's Premier League is down to the wire. A rampant end to the Premier League is already visible at this time. With only a single game remaining in this season, everything is on critical phase, from the likes of title winners to the relegation threatened teams.

Starting with the Premier League title for the season, we've got two Manchester teams going for it on the last day. Manchester City is the favorites till now separated from second placed United with a goal difference of 8. However, being equal on points, anything less than a win against QPR could prove costly for City in their effort to win the title after 44 years. Manchester will do everything to win the last game, but their one eye would be focused on City's game.

It has been a season of ups and downs for those below the two Manchester clubs. Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle and Chelsea all have been in and out of top four this season. But it's Arsenal and Tottenham currently securing 3rd and 4th place, with a game to play. Only a point could not be enough for any of the teams because it's a battle for the third place rather than top four.

Euro 2012 Team Profile: France

French football legend Thierry Henry once said, "I eat football, I sleep football, I breathe football. I'm not mad, I'm just passionate." Two years ago, he couldn't prevent his team from going down in the first round of the FIFA world cup. Since then, French football has been patchy and inconsistent. When Raymond Domenech paved way for Laurent Blanc to be the head coach, skeptics predicted a free fall. However, Blanc has performed a decent job and guided his team to their fourth consecutive Euro appearance. Can he take his team all the way to attain glory? Or will they stumble in their path? These questions will be answered in the next couple of weeks.

Route to qualification

France's qualification campaign got off to the worst possible start when they suffered a shock home defeat to minnows Belarus in September 2010. However, they were quickly back on track and overcame Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0. October 2012 was a rewarding month for Laurent Blanc as his boys beat Romania 2-0 and Luxemborg by the same margin. Luxemborg did not put up a fight in the reverse fixture, in March 2011, and were again beaten 0-2. Belarus proved to be a thorn in the flesh again for Blanc as they held to France to a 1-1 draw. France survived a scare from Albania on September 2, 2011 and eventually managed to win the game 2-1. Their inconsistent form in the qualifiers showed once again as they failed to get past Romania four days later and were held to a goalless draw. France ensured qualification in October 2011, after trouncing Albania 3-0 and holding off Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-1 in their last qualifier. Though France emerged as group winners, they finished only a point ahead of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Basketball in the Summer - Safety Tips

Basketball is one of the most enjoyed sports in the world. This is true, especially when it is summer. Basketball players tend to forget the summer heat and the sweat of their body because of the fun and excitement basketball gives them. However, basketball is a contact sport that makes players prone to injuries. The injuries are commonly caused by falls, awkward landings, being hit by the ball, and abrupt changes of direction while running. The ankles, hands, and knees are the spots where the injuries are most common. To prevent those injuries, here are some basketball in the summer safety tips.

Avoid Overusing Your Body Parts 
One the most disregarded basketball in the summer safety tips that most players often forget is avoiding overusing their body parts. Your body parts have their own set of limitations. In the event that you tend to overstress your body parts a lot, especially the knees and ankles, injuries might happen. One injury that most common players get from basketball is the Jumper's Knee. This injury will cause pain to the area just below the knee. This is worsened if the player still plays even if he feels the initial pain below the knee.

Avoid Awkward Body Collisions as Much as Possible 
Although this is difficult to do, it is best to avoid those awkward collisions especially when running. The most common injuries that an awkward body collision gives to players are head concussions, ankle sprains, broken wrists, and jammed fingers. You would not want to get any of those injuries. So make an effort to prevent this from happening.

Euro 2012 Team Profile: Spain

Spain are the defending Euro and FIFA world cup champions and definitely bookies' favorites to win the Euro crown again. La Roja are a bunch of highly talented players, who play free-flowing football. Del Bosque, under whom Spain achieved their first ever world cup victory, has brought style and substance into the Spanish team. His recent contract extension would only serve to boost the morale of the team. Other managers are guaranteed to have nightmares the night before their teams face Spain.

Route to qualification

In the qualifiers, Spain were handed relatively easier opponents in Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania and Leichtenstein. The Spaniards started their campaign in style by trashing minnows Leichtenstein 4-0 at Vaduz on 3rd September, 2010. A comfortable 3-1 victory against Lithuania at the Estadio El Helmántico in Salamanca and a scrappy 3-2 win against Scotland in Glasgow ensured that Del Bosque's men were on top of the group by October 2010. After a 5-month break, La Roja were up against the Czech Republic, their toughest opponents in the group. A David Villa double secured them full points from the game. Their opponents in the next game, Leichtenstein, proved no match as the Spaniards slotted six goals past them and conceded none. A 2-0 away victory against the Czech Republic followed by a 3-1 home victory against Scotland in October 2011 ensured that Spain finished on top of their group, having won all eight of their qualifiers while scoring 26 goals and conceding just six in that process.

Past History

Spain beat the then defending champions USSR 2-1 to win the 1964 European Nations' Cup. They reached the title-clash in the 1984 Euro but stumbled at the final hurdle, losing 0-2 to France. The 1-0 win against Germany in the Euro 2008 final is one of the glorious chapters of Spanish footballing history.

Manchester City Revives Joys of Over 4 Decades

After a historic season finale on May 13th the Premier League has a 2011-12 Champion and raising the cup is Roberto Mancini with his Sky Blues men.

The waiting was long for the Citizens side, which didn't achieve this honour since 1968. Besides it was a tough come back to the top, since they had to give away the first position to Manchester United with only 8 fixtures left to the final round and some tough rivals to confront. The Sky Blues certainly deserved to win this campaign since they spent more than half of the season at the peak of the table and gave us brilliant performances in most of their meetings. But both Mancini and Ferguson's sides knew that Manchester City couldn't celebrate the title until the very last match was conquered; and Queens Park Rangers definitely wouldn't give it away easily.

The Citizens started confident and during the first half they had several chances to score; in fact City's total shots during the whole game was twelve times better than QPR, which only had 3 shots. During the first half, following the news about the United-Sunderland clash had filter in, the Citizens grabbed the lead with a beautiful goal from inside the penalty box from Pablo Zabaleta (39') -his first and only goal for the season. By the return from the interval QPR started worrying, as in the Britannia Stadium Bolton was taking the lead, which put them on the relegation zone. So, quickly the Rangers pulled out their strength and with Djibril Cisse upfront they balanced the scoreboard.

Romain Grosjean Hits F1 Big Time

Until last month in China, Swiss-born Romain Grosjean was an unknown figure in Formula 1, racing seven times for Renault in 2009 with forgettable results. Expectedly, he was released from the team the following year and was replaced by the tandem of Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov.

Unfazed by his team's decision, he continued to serve Renault as test driver, while competing in the GP1 World Championship in a Ford GT in 2010. Last year, he campaigned in GP2 for an entire season and handily won the championship with still three races to spare.

This made a strong impression on newly-appointed Renault team principal Eric Boullier, who asked him to return to Renault, renamed Lotus F1, to drive alongside 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

Grosjean quickly accepted the offer, but delivered disappointing results in the first two rounds in Australia and Malaysia. He qualified a strong third in Australia, but was forced to retire in the first round after a collision incident. In Malaysia, he was 7th in the qualifiers, started strongly in the main race, but spun into a gravel trap in the fourth round to prematurely force him to pull out of the race.

Following Daddy's Footsteps

If any of the names below sound familiar, it's because they are offsprings of former pro players who made their names in the basketball scene during their heydays.

Jeron and Jeric Teng, DLSU and UST

Jeric, the former UAAP Rookie of the Year, will be playing in his fourth season for the UST Growling Tigers. With his ability to handle the ball and shoot from long range, he remains a solid prospect for the pros.

Meanwhile, his younger brother Jeron made headlines last year when he scored 104 points in a high school game against Grace Christian High School in the Tiong Lian Tournament.

Although he had the opportunity to refine his game playing for the RP Youth Team, it remains to be seen if he can continue to become a dominant force in the more competitive UAAP Tournament.

Importance of Sports

Sports, what are they to you? Well to many, sports are their life and a great way to keep in shape. Every child should participate in sports because children do not know how to socially interact, obesity rates continue to climb, and it requires great discipline. In the US alone millions are spent on apparel like kids soccer gear, but instead the money needs to be spent on having them participate in a sport like soccer. The children of the next generation may very likely be less healthy than their parents. To combat and prevent these conditions, children should be encouraged to play sports at a young age. Parents should start kids in sports at a young age because it is beneficial to be involved in sports to encourage the same characteristics as listed above. Parents sometimes make comments about how expensive it is to participate in sports, but I find many of them spending monies on kids sport gear, like kids soccer gear, which should be spent on being active instead.

Encouraging children to play sports at a young age will help children with basic everyday social interactions. When children play sports, they learn essential communication skills. Teamwork concepts learned within sports playing will naturally carry over into future careers. Mastering of sports teaches them how to be patient and tolerable of others, and it encourages them to pursue their dream like becoming a professional soccer player. Sports help kids be more confident in what they do from day-to-day, and it gives them the determination to continue to strive for success in all they do. Another benefit of sports participation includes helping them to align their priorities in an organized manner.

Exercise should be a major part of every child's life. Parents need to get their children involved in sports, so they will not become a statistic. Children that are not partaking in sports at a young age and are just sitting around are far more likely to become obese in their teens. When children learn to be involved in sports, they are likely to continue these habits throughout their lives, lowering their chances of getting type-two diabetes or becoming obese. Playing sports will help prevent this because the intake of sugars are then converted into energy that the body is able to use. However, it is important to know that unused energy will be turned into fat. From one's experience of playing sports and being active, they can learn the more active they are the less likely they are to become injured. There are many kids at a young age having back, knee, hip, shoulder, or ankle problems, due to not being active. Children need exercise, and by just participating in a sixty-minute activity a couple of times a week, they will receive the necessary benefits of exercise.

Soccer Balls

The game of soccer is one of the most popular sport in the modern era and it is played using soccer balls.The standard soccer ball size is size 5 with a circumference of 69cm (27 inches).

The history of these balls dates back to 1855 when Charles Goodyear manufactured and designed spherical balls and in 1863, the English football association was formed. In the year 1873, it was decided that the soccer ball must be spherical with a circumference of 69 cm-71 cm(27 inches-28 inches) while in the year 1937 a weight of 400 grams-450 grams was established and that soccer balls must be covered by leather or any of the approved material.

Most modern balls are stitched from 20 regular hexagon and 12 regular pentagons to form a 32 panel of waterproofed leather or plastic. The 32 panel configuration is the spherical polyhedron corresponding to the truncated icosahedron and it is spherical because the faces bulge from the pressure of the air inside.

The first set of the above described balls was sold in the 50s in Denmark and it became common in Europe in the 60s meanwhile the said configuration was publicized by Adidas tel star which was the official ball used in 1970 World cup.Soccer balls are made by stitching non water proof plastic similar to the designed seen in volley balls and are laced for good access to the internal air bladder.

The Life of Goalkeeper Gloves

All goalkeeper gloves wear and tear, none really last longer than the other. I used to go though around 2 to 3 pairs a month and when you're paying £50 a pair, that's a lot of money.

My advice is to find a mid range well priced glove as I'm yet to find a long lasting goalkeeper glove. I've found all the £30 gloves last as long as the £50+, the j4k gloves are priced at mid range and the gloves are the same or even better than the leading brands, plus there cheaper

Why buy 1 glove for £60 when you can by 2 for £60 and there just the same?

How to wash your goalkeeper gloves

With goalkeeping gloves costing as much as boots now a lot of people ask me how do I look after them so they last longer. 
All gloves wear and tear but by keeping gloves clean and damp will add more life in the gloves.

A lot of keepers will play and just chuck their gloves into their kits bag come rain or shine; this will not help the life of the glove.

SIDI Motocross Boots, 40 Years in the Making

Sidi Boots will be utilized by the entire Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki squad for the 2012 AMA season. Sidi were created in Italy. They're considerably more slim so these boots are far more forgiving on foot bones. They can be easily recognised by their distinctive logo and brand name. Sidi Boot styles are renowned for their higher quality, in addition they have got a history of higher price ranges.

Sidi Boots are famous for their impressive technological innovation, their remarkable comfort, durability and one of a kind design and style. They are developed to not merely be stylish, but they are most significantly developed to be comfortable.

The business implements precisely the most effective manufacturers along with creative designers to come up with the best while stating with the art work resources to create its boots. All of these works of art are produced to deal with the higher anticipation that motorbike riders have learned to depend on.

Soccer Players, How Often Are You Doing These Four Essentials?

Soccer is a fun competitive sport that requires use of strength, coordination and skill to do your part for the team. While proper preparation will involve many types of activities, soccer players can improve their game by following a training routine that includes four essentials.

Weight Lifting

Weight lifting for soccer players should help to build leg muscles for speed and agility. The routine should improve the overall muscle tone as well as endurance. In addition to a focus on the legs, the soccer player needs to build strong shoulders and back for the battle with other players. Building leg strength helps to improve the kick. Most soccer players can accomplish the needed weight training in three days per week.

Speed Training

Players that spend a short time training at least once per week during season and more often out of season will find the exercises gives them an advantage in the game. The additional speed provided at the beginning of a run can give the player the head start needed to complete the charge to the goal. This training can also help to improve the player's endurance for the long game.

Importance of Character in Sports Performance

I do not think there is a Viagra pill that can suddenly rid sports of all its ills and infuse such spirits that would catapult sportsperson to ultimate glory. Such short-term measures may show instant results momentarily, but not repeatedly. They will not make a champion out of you. There are no quick-fix solutions.

I am looking at a holistic view of improving sporting activity, nurturing the talent available, assisting them in achieving excellence in their discipline and also preparing them for a productive life after their "sporting life" is over. In the process of creating excellent sportsperson, I also have a dream of molding their character and personalities which would not only stand them in good stead during an active sporting carrier but throughout life. There is an incredible talent that we can ill-afford to ignore.

I have a vision that someone should take under their wings, without disturbing the existing structure of "training", all young potential sportsperson in the age group of 8 years to 14 years and 15 years to 21/25 years, for imparting soft skills and emotional literacy. The literacy should be provided continuously as a 'course' during their sporting-skill training at Centers. Subject-specific workshops must also be conducted at regular intervals. The idea is to in-grain these skills into their psyche that they automatically begin to 'live' these skills. The sports fields should be their 'classrooms' where they learn to be soft-skill-and-emotionally literate sportsperson.

A Premier League Hangover

The weeks after the Premier League season finishes are a tough test for football fans. They know that a nine -month long discussion of great goals, footballing tactics and controversial chickens must come to an end, leaving football fans with a terrible hangover.

So, it is a natural reaction for fans to look back and analyse every possible talking point of the season. Who was the best player, the best team, the biggest disappointment? The same questions are asked each year, in the knowledge that by the next week these conversations will cease to exist.

Yet, this has been a season to remember, and on Sunday the Premier League ended with one of the greatest finishes in footballing history. This hangover will last longer than most.

Man City's 44-year wait for glory over their neighbours came down to five excruciating minutes. With the score at 2-1 to QPR and only stoppage time to play, Roberto Mancini looked on the verge of madness. However, once Edin Dzeko headed the equaliser for Man City the stadium erupted again. Then Aguero's winner showed the touch of class that has made Man City worthy champions this season.

Motocross Clothing, Whats New for 2012

Motocross clothing accessories generally includes jerseys, jackets, boots, helmets, pants, goggles, socks, t-shirts, hats and shoes. Motocross clothing is generally made up of a special material known for its optimal abrasion and tear resistant nature. Riders take due care while choosing motocross clothing. These clothes are not just used for safety purpose but also help in enhancing your looks and make you feel comfortable Motocross clothing aims at providing the rider with two basic qualities, protection and safe riding so that the chances of winning are more. If the cloth and accessories are perfect the rider need not worry about it and only concentrates on the race. Below are outlined the main components of motocross clothing and gear.

Motocross clothing together with protecting gear means safer riding, more fun and also more chances of winning a race. A rider that is confident about his gear can only worry about the jumps and corners and dedicate his or her mind to winning.

Motocross clothing has padding built into the linings of the lightweight jerseys and pants. It can give your body quite the grip, especially with a head-to-toe gear. It is selling like hot desserts ever since its advent. It is generally made up of a special material known for its optimal abrasion and tear resistant nature.

Around the English Premier League - Round 38

It was an incredible season finale, full of mixed emotions as City turned into the new Champion and fooled the Red Devils that believed for a second they had conquered the title.

On Sunday, May 13, the last ten fixtures were played simultaneously and as some were just looking for a couple of points more and maybe even try to finish in a higher position, others were having a life or death encounter; for the championship title and the third relegation spot were still undefined. QPR and Bolton were struggling to stay out of relegation, whereas the two clubs from Manchester were tied at the top of the standings with 86 points -both with chances to conquer the title; however the Sky Blues had an advantage of 8 goals on the Goals Difference. At Manchester were the Citizens hosting Queens Park Rangers, while the 2nd placed, United, went north to visit the Black Cats.

So, the only way that the Red Devils could take the lead was if City got defeated while they were winning at the Stadium of Light. Therefore when Sir Alex Ferguson and his men finished victorious -thanks to Wayne Rooney's 20th-minute-goal- and aware of the disadvantage their neighbors had in that moment, they were about to start celebrating. In fact, United carried for almost an hour the first position and with it the glory of the 20th title. However soon enough -enough to stop Fergie's embarrassment of celebrating ahead of time- you could see fans all over the crowd in the stadium on their cell phones with disappointment and surprised expressions on their faces what just had happened in Manchester.

Jump Higher In Basketball And Dunk

The popular notion attached with the skill of a basketball player being "good" is determined by whether or not the player is able to take that quintessential "dunk". For many though, if dunking the basketball is little bit of a challenge, it becomes essential to be able to improve their vertical jump so with the sole intention of making their game better and gradually accelerating expertise. Every player has a unique way of reaching out to the available goal height and simultaneously maintaining the precision of their shots. The jump in basketball, is also essential because it is contingent on the overall strength of the body which help the player build both speciality moves and customise their styles to suit the game.

A vertical jump is in many ways an assessment of your strength. Moreover, it is an analysis of how well you use that strength. All the stamina building can become really redundant if it is not put to actual use and declared contingent for a good game from a good team. The jump is a measure of a player's reflexes, agility, dexterity and general speed in the game of basketball.

The length of a vertical jump can be measured by first marking your height in a regular standing position with the feet set firm on the ground. This should be accompanied with a complete stretching of the arms and marking the resulting point. The next step is to take that leap and mark the point of elevation as you jump. The length of the vertical jump is in fact the different between the higher point and the lower point.

Around the English Premier League - Round 37

Manchester City is holding the reins of the Barclays with an advantage of eight goals over the Red Devils, after a triumph conquered by Yaya Toure.

The Manchester clubs will continue on war until their very last match of the campaign, since this round brought no changes on the top of the standings, for both sites triumphed on this round. In fact they are not only still tied in points, but separated by the same amount of goals, for they shared the same score in their 37th fixtures. The Citizens got underway the Sunday's football itinerary with their visit to the Toons and after bringing the triumph to the table, opened a three-points-gap that only lasted an hour, until United's own match. Sir Alex Ferguson's men instead hosted Swansea for the closing match of the day, which they won with two goals on first half.

At the Sports Direct Arena the goals arrived within the last 20 minutes of the encounter -better late than never-, although from the very beginning the Sky Blues were dominant. In fact during the game's first third Silva, Aguero and Tevez put the pressure on Tim Krul, who had to clear shots from the Ibero-American trio. The Magpies had their chances after the first 30 minutes, but were stopped by Joe Hart. Reaching the mid-time break the Citizens were controlling and attacking again, as well as in the beginning of second half, but suddenly they started to lie back allowing the hosts possession.

Celebrating Graduation With A Fantastic Road Trip

Finally the day has come, graduation is here! This is the last time most of us get to enjoy a bit of freedom before joining the workforce. To make the most of graduation we want you to make it memorable and what can be more memorable than renting a motorhome and taking a road trip with your best mates before life sends you all in different directions.

Just imagine you and your mates hitting the road for a few weeks off to explore the amazing coasts in your own backyard. It's more realistic than it sounds. Splitting a motorhome with mates, can be an affordable and unforgettable way to celebrate old times and new beginnings. Camper vans are available with up to six berths, (beds) which mean you and five other mates can split the cost and the gas evenly six ways.

It's quite a bargain when you consider it that way. Rental companies that have online websites may have specials for certain times or vehicles so it's important to keep that in mind beforehand. There may also be deals for early-bird booking, book your trip in advance, which will help you get the best price plausible and secure a vehicle. If you think you've found a better price, we have a price match guarantee so we'll do our duty to match the price of any competitors. Reserve your motorhome as soon as possible to avoid disappointment as certain seasons get busy.

Conspicuous By Their Absence: David Beckham - Romario - Raul - Sunday Oliseh - Roy Keane

It always provokes a reaction from fans of national teams whenever their favourite players' names are excluded from the squad to play in any match or to participate in a major tournament. Every fan is an expert, an Alex Ferguson who can give you a million reasons why player A should have been included in the squad.

In reality, football is a lot more complex than that. Some players might excel in their clubs because of the position they are being played in and, or because of the formation the club manager adopts often. The national team manager might adopt a different type of formation or they might not have vacancy in their squad to fit the player in a position that would fully maximise his potentials and ultimately lead to team success which in effect is the end game.

A lot more factors go into this of course. Some can easily be explained in a press conference and reasons given understood and appreciated if not accepted. Others could however be shrouded in mystery and attempts at explaining why player A has been dropped, for instance, could give rise to more questions being asked. Nicholas Anelka's omission from various French squads over the years could easily be explained as him not getting on with the National team handlers and also disciplinary issues.

How to Become a Better Basketball Player

Basketball, one of the most physically demanding sports, with a 94 feet by 50 feet court, with 5 players a side, playing 4 quarters (12 minutes each), requires a lot of strength, stamina and fitness and also the right technique and practice drills to perfect the skill set.

The most important aspect of learning how to play the sport, like any other sport is practice, and also the fact that "practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect." Analyzing your game, shooting with the correct technique, perfecting the art of lay-ups, improving ball control, passing the ball at various heights, etc. All these skills can be developed and perfected only by practicing, practicing repeatedly.

To start with one needs to get the basics and the fundamentals right. Dribbling, is the most elementary skill in basketball and a player must be able to attain a high degree of proficiency which involves dribbling the ball. To have control over the ball is the primary requirement for the game. This is also known as ball handling ability.

Football Betting: England Euro 2012 Squad Announced

Roy Hodgson has honoured his words to bring to the Euros the majority of players who helped Fabio Capello to achieve the qualification to next month's tournament. He has named a very experienced squad with few exceptions.

The third goalkeeper will be John Ruddy from Norwich. Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the new faces that will join the squad. Looking at the list of players it is quite shocking to see an heavy Liverpool presence also considered that the Reds have flopped badly this season. Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard were the obvious choices but question marks remains on the likes of Steward Downing who didn't score a single goal this season or Andy Carroll. We need to say though that this is not the final list as the England manager would still need to make some cuts before the team can board the plan to the Euros.

In the football betting market Downing had been backed at 3.0 to get the chop whilst Andy Carroll is at 3.30. In the earlier hours of yesterday there have been speculations that Paul Scholes will be also involved in the squad but those proved to be misguided as the Manchester United midfielder wasn't included.

Formula One In Season Testing

The Formula One teams have had their first chance at in season testing since September 2008 to give them a chance to really get to grips with the new Pirelli tyres. These tyres have provided a massive point of interest so far this year - almost like another team to watch! There are four different slick compounds, and all four were taken to Mugello for testing. However, according to the rules, each team starts the season with an allocation of 100 sets per car for use in testing, so if the team had no tyres left out of any of those four compounds, they wouldn't be able to test them.

Pirelli have created four different tyre compounds for the races; supersoft, soft, medium and hard. The tyres are quite close in types, but the teams will be continually learning which tyre is the best to use in different conditions. The testing period in Mugello will allow the teams to add to their knowledgebase about the new tyres gained during the first part of the season, although obviously they will be continuing to learn more about them as time goes on.

As always, Formula one is a highly technological race, with as much competition taking place off the track between the engineers as on the track between the drivers. As such, the data accumulated is extremely important. The teams can then take that information away and analyse it to discover how best to use that data to improve their team's performance.

Around the English Premier League - Round 34

A split round gave us 6 matches that didn't cause much change on the standings, but two blasting scores from the Manchester clubs and a new surprise from Wigan.

This round was split due to the matches Liverpool vs. Everton and Tottenham vs. Chelsea from the FA Cup played between April 14th and 15th, 2012. Therefore, those four clubs and their rivals for this round will be meeting in a couple of weeks; meanwhile the other twelve teams had their encounters through Saturday 14th and Monday 16th. The clubs on both ends of the table remain in the same positions, but some did earn necessary points. So, following their games the Manchester clubs at the top of the Premier League continue separated by 5 points, since each achieved a nice victory on their last fixture.

Roberto Mancini's men travelled east on Saturday to visit the Carrow Road Stadium for its second match with Norwich; unfortunately for the Canaries, they had the same luck than on the 1st leg. One more time the Argentineans were responsible of the massacre, which started with the forward Carlos Tevez at 18', when assisted by David Silva, made a shot from outside the penalty area and scored it -just the first of his hat-trick. The second was a perfect combination between Sergio Aguero and Tevez, who end up back-heeling the ball to his fellow countryman that without hesitations fired it into John Ruddy's goal. The Sky Blues double lead was kept for the rest of first half and the first 5 minutes of second half, when the Canaries saw an open door and took advantage of it.

An Eventful Day For The Williams F1 Team

The Williams Formula One team had an eventful day at the Spanish Grand Prix, what with Maldonado winning for the first time since 2004, Senna retiring after a crash with Schumacher, and then a fire breaking out in the Williams team garage after the race. Of course, for Williams team owner Frank Williams, the day was already a special day to start with as he celebrated his 70th birthday. He must have been very pleased to see his team win the Spanish leg of the 2012 Grand Prix on his birthday!

Frank Williams founded Frank Williams Racing Cars in 1966. This team raced in Formula Two and Formula Three for a few years, before he bought a Brabham Formula One chassis which was driven by Piers Courage for the team in 1969. Soon after that, the Williams team tried their hand at building their own F1 car in 1972. In 1977 Frank Williams left the company and founded Williams Grand Prix Engineering, now known as WilliamsF1. It is expected that Frank will shortly step down from the board and take on the position of Team Principal, while his daughter Claire takes his place on the board.

One of the more amazing things about Frank Williams is that he has been confined to a wheelchair for more than 25 years, but he hasn't let it stop him racking up the achievements. A car accident in 1986 resulted in a spinal fracture and he became a quadriplegic. Since then he has been awarded a CBE in 1987, knighted in 1999, and made a Chevalier of France's Legion D'Honneur for his work with Renault engines.

Driving A Race Car - Do's And Don'ts

For most racers, Saturday-night short track racing is a trial-and-trial error sport. Most racers lack big-time budgets and free time during the week to test new ideas. So knowledge generally come from two sources: advice from more experience racers and trying new things out for yourself on race night. If you are lucky, you can confirm whether or not a new setup works during the limited practice you get before qualifying. But then you just cannot be sure until you test that setup in the heat of the competition.

Like testing, many drivers learn how to drive a race car by simply going out and doing it. Driving a race car is a technique which only you the driver has to develop on their own. If you have a good night, take what you've learned from that event and try to duplicate it in the next week. But mistakes can be very costly. A mistake on the track can mean bent sheetmetal, broken parts, tempers flaring, hurt feelings, and spending late hours in the shop with possibilities of not making it to the track the next week. That's why its much easier to to avoid bad driving habits before they begin. After all, learning from you mistakes on the track may sound like a good theory, but it's not the best idea when those mistakes can cost you cold, hard cash.

In order to avoid mistakes on the track, pay close attention to what's happening in front of you and behind you at all times. Do not take risky chances. Races are never won on the first lap. In order to earn respect from more experienced drivers, you show respect. Always drive other drivers the way you want to be driven. Remember, racing is an expensive sport.

Juve on Top! New Champion of Serie A

Juventus is new champion of Serie A The team beat Cagliari away 2-0 and beat Inter Milan 4-2 in the derby and it was enough for the boys of Antonio Conte to triumph.

So "Bianconeri" have added a 28 Serie A title to her window. They were champions in 2003. This is the first gold for them Kalchopoli since the scandal that deprived the team of two titles and sent it to the Series "B".

But now - round before the end, nothing can stop the "Old Lady". Team unbeaten in the league, although the final of the competition is only one round.

Cagliari against Juve won 2-0, but goals were made by Vucinic in the sixth minute and the sheath that you scored an own goal in the 74th minute.

At the same time on "San Siro" stadio was played real action. Inter hit the big rivals AC Milan 4-2 and also helped the Turin giants to become champion.

Seek Web Assistance for Details on Euro 2012 Schedule

The UEFA Euro 2012 is slated to begin in June. With prominent countries from different parts of Europe participating in the tournament, it is said that the matches will be competed with a true spirit. People from all around the world are eager to watch this scintillating contest among Europe's best teams. However, not everyone would have the schedule to these matches. Well, for the same, it is recommended that they seek assistance of a reliable website where Euro 2012 schedule can be acquired. You can find all necessary information regarding the schedule of the tournament as well as the fixtures. Over these websites, you will also find updated information on different matches as the tournament progresses.

If you are an avid football fan, you would not want to miss any match which might involve your favorite team. This is the reason why it is important that you keep a track of Euro 2012 dates of matches. By maintaining a schedule, you will be able to catch up on all the action which will take place during the tournament. The event will be hosted in Poland and Ukraine, the winner of which will gain automatic entry to the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup held in Brazil. Over the internet, you will also find information on the matches which built the hype towards Euro 2012. Popular players such as Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, etc. will be a part of this competition. In the Euro 2012 schedule, you will also find information on the different stadiums which will host the matches. Some of the stadiums which will be hosting the action include Olympic National Sports Complex, Donbass Arena and many more.

Around the English Premier League - Round 36

The Manchester derby gave us 90 minutes of thrilling football that ended up returning City to the Premier's throne with a single goal from Kompany.

The last match of this round was the Manchester derby that everyone was waiting for and as expected it was a rollercoaster of emotions at a packed Etihad Stadium. Both clubs fought hard and although the teams had almost 50/50 ball possession the Sky Blues certainly did a better job attacking its rivals. Manchester City even could've earned at least a couple of goals more, since there were some shots to David De Gea's goal that passed by really close from the frame.

The Sky Blues gave a wonderful performance, especially Zabaleta and Yaya Toure, which were defending all around the field, assisting their partners, recovering and blocking every time the Red Devils were near the hosts' box. Mancini's men even tripled the total shots from MU; nonetheless the victory arrived with a headed goal. Starting the injury time for first half, David Silva took a corner that barely escaped from Chris Smalling and instead was intercepted by Vincent Kompany, who headed it over an anxious De Gea.

At the return of the break, even with Ferguson's side aware of what losing meant for them, still they couldn't do much against the attack from their strengthen neighbors in light blue. In fact it was during the second half that the Citizens got the best chances of scoring, with shots from Toure and the Frenchmen Samir Nasri and Gael Glichy. On the other hand, the coaches had their own dispute at 76', when Nigel De Jong tackled Danny Welbeck and Sir Ferguson accused the Italian coach of trying to influence the officials. Luckily it didn't get worst then a discussion that lasted a couple of minutes, but some of the people around they get in between to stop the clash.

Chelsea Vs Liverpool: A Tale Of Modern Rivalry

In the past "70's and 80's" anything called rivalry between these two teams can only be greeted with great contempt as these teams are world apart. Their rivalry surely lacked the history of the Merseyside derby and the bite of Liverpool vs Manchester United. I would explain these with the words of Tim Rolls of Chelsea fanzine CFCUK: "In the past Chelsea was basically rubbish" wow, that is cold isn't it? Well the truth hurts but it is still true. Liverpool won four European cups between the 70's and the 80's and were a much bigger team to reckon with at that time.

However, the rivalry can be traced to 2003 "the arrival of big money for Chelsea". So many things have changed since then and again the words of Tim Roll gives us a clear insight: "In the last ten years Chelsea have been far more successful, Liverpool are obsessed with singing about history but I think it is time they move on"... Another cold truth if you ask me.

The first chessman was moved and the game started as far back as May 2003 when these two team clashed in the European cup semi-final. At that time Chelsea were 30pts ahead of the Reds in the premiership, and have beaten Liverpool in both league games. And to further fuel the rivalry there were rumours of Steven Gerard joining the revolution of Jose Mourinho at that time as the arrival of Roman Abramovic meant that money was available to spend for the blues. However the Reds carried the day to reach their first final in 20years and it would be an immortal encounter when Garcia scored what was called the ghost goal to seal the win for Liverpool 1-0. It was on ever since then.

Who Says Dalglish To Get Sacked?

Kenny Dalglish is a Scottish former footballer and Liverpool legend player. He was second striker for Liverpool and scored 118 goals in total 335 matches he played for Liverpool. Till since he has been showing his full effort for Liverpool as after getting retired in games, he is now managing the team. Kenny is present manager of Liverpool Football club appointed on 2011.

There have been lots of rumors and backbiting on Liverpool FC manager due to team's poor performance in the English Premier league. Some LFC supporters are asking for Dalglish's resign while some Fans shows pure faith on the Scottish legendary man. Dalglish has already managed the team back in 1985 for 6 years time where he assigned as the player-manager of the team.

Current 2011-2012 season has not been great for Liverpool. They suffered many defeats in the Premier league and stand in the eight position of the league table. They were just able to win 13 out of their 36 games played till now. Their loss and draws mostly included the home game. The team was not able to meet the satisfaction of their followers in the home which made them think about Dalglish.

Chelsea Defeat Liverpool To Win the 2012 FA Cup

Chelsea beat Liverpool in the 2012 Football Association (FA) Cup Final in a dramatic game at Wembley Stadium in London. Chelsea veteran Didier Drogba again proved to be the match winner as he scored the decisive second goal for the Blues which was enough for them to survive a late Liverpool fight back after a controversial goal line decision, which could have seen Liverpool equalise.

Drogba set a record to become the first player to score in four separate FA Cup finals, as Chelsea, who's season seemed to be in turmoil just a few weeks ago, have been rejuvenated under the guidance of interim manager Roberto di Matteo and picked up the silverware which is now the seventh time the Blues have won the trophy. Interim coach di Matteo, who now must be a serious contender for the permanent mangers job at Stamford Bridge, also joined the elite club of those who have won the FA Cup both as a player and as a manager, after his cup successes as a Chelsea player in the 1997 and 2000 seasons.

Despite a disappointing Premier League seasons for both teams, this was an excellent opportunity to win a major trophy. After a cautious start to the game by both sides, the game burst into life in the eleventh minutes when Ramires broke clear and beat Pepe Reina at the near post to give the Blues an early lead. The Liverpool goalkeeper was clearly disappointed to be beaten by a shot he should probably have saved. Drogba who is now synonymous with the big occasion scored Chelsea's second goal early into the second half after a sublime pass from Frank Lampard, slotting the ball coolly passed Reina into the corner of the goal.The second goal and a the introduction of Andy Carroll finally roused Liverpool from their slumber as they attempted to make yet another cup final fight back. Chelsea had been relatively untroubled for the first hour of the game as the usually inspirational Steven Gerrard was kept quiet and inform Luis Suarez was kept quiet, but a poor clearance from Blues captain John Terry gave Liverpool their chance and some clever footwork from Carroll allowed him a shot on goal which gave Petr Cech little chance. The Reds could now sense a second goal and laid siege to the Chelsea goal for the remainder of the game.

The Euros 2012 Championship In Poland And Ukraine

Qualification took place over the course of 18 months with countries playing home and away in small leagues. Including Ukraine and Poland, just 16 teams remain, and will battle it out to be champions over the course of around a month from 8 June to 1 July 2012.

The sixteen teams that qualified, were earlier drawn together in four groups of four. Each team will play the other teams of their group in a small league format, with the top two teams progressing to the knock out stages. Quarter finals, semi finals and then the final will result on 1 July 2012, and we will finally know who is the champion.

The four groups are labelled A, B, C and D.

Group A

Poland, Greece, Russia and Czech Republic

Group B

Holland, Germany, Denmark and Portugal

Group C

Spain, Italy, Croatia and Rep of Ireland

Group D

Ukraine, Sweden, France and England

What If 'The Magpies' Play Champions League?

It's been not less than a miracle season for the Newcastle fans who were left fuming when Newcastle were relegated from the premier league in 2008/09.

A run of brilliant form is now getting them to the next level. The dream of playing European football is almost sure watching their current form. But whether it will be Champions League or Europa League remains a question! It's just a matter of 4 big games.

A winning streak of 6 games has kept them just above 5th placed Tottenham, and with Tottenham's poor run of form continuing with the defeat to Norwich City at home and QPR away, anything is possible. However, they can still catch up the third place if it goes like this. Arsenal was not called to be a contender for the fourth place when the season started. But they have come from outside to displace Tottenham at third and are three points clear from Newcastle and six from Tottenham with an extra game played.

This Newcastle team seems to be of entirely different mentality than that of 2 years back. They struggled through the sole effort of Kevin Nolan for the last few years, who is now not even in the team. The controversial sacking of manager Chris Hughton and the sell of players like Kevin Nolan, Andy Carroll, Joey Barton and Jose Enrique, made everyone sure of Newcastle finishing in the lower half of the table. But with manager Alan Pardrew's hard work, some young signings and strong defense, they have put a stamp on mouth of those who were predicting the worst sitting on their chair.

The Notes of Madrid

Here are the notes of Madrid players after they were eliminated in the semi-final of the Champions League on Wednesday at the Bernabu, by Bayern Munich. In lane left, Marcelo will forget a catastrophic Coentrao to go, while on the opposite wing, Arbeloa has not been at his Brazilian teammate.

Iker Casillas: 7

San Iker had yet watched the grain. After taking a bullet strikes a dubious Gomez (12th), Captain of Real multiplied critical interventions throughout the meeting. Not far out Robben's penalty (27th), it is shown twice before deciding Gomez (34th, 36th) and Robben (45th, 67th). During the shooting session goals, Casillas thought he had done the hard part by diverting attempts Kroos and Lahm. But it would have taken a more...

Alvaro Arbeloa: 3.5

The weakest link in the Madrid defense. Overtaken by Alabama from the eighth minute, then gave a lot of hits, including Franck Ribery. His rough treatment led to his being warned logically (59th). As for his offensive contributions, it has been virtually nonexistent.

Sergio Ramos: 4

He had a difficult first half, leaving Gomez including spinning twice in his back (34th, 43rd). In his defense, he had the world against him. But if he was stronger in the second half, despite some corners of the head granted, we note that his match penalty kick missed, sent in the clouds. The third failure of the Merengue. One too many.