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.