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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Famous Football Fans


Nothing quite defines your opinion of a celebrity like the knowledge that they're rooting for the same team as you! So read on carefully, your favourite film could be a little less favorable if it's main star is a rival fan.



Tom Hanks - Aston Villa



Yes, you read that right, Forrest Gump was actually heading to Villa Park when he started running. Seriously, Tom Hanks is a big fan of the midlands team, stating that he "Relishes their victories". He began supporting them after seeing their name whilst on a trip to the UK and thinking it sounded like a 'lovely place'. If you're still finding it hard to believe, watch the hollywood legend in this teaser clip for AVTV.



  Jay Z - Arsenal






  


Jay Z began following Arsenal after Arsene Wenger lent him that infamous coat for a music video*...only messing, he's mates with Thierry Henry. He reportedly wants to invest some of his $520 million fortune in the club. He's no stranger to the Emirates either, he watched the Gunners draw 1-1 with Man United there in 2013.







   


Lana Del Rey - Liverpool




 



Lana Del Rey began following Liverpool thanks to her manager whose mood is dependent on the results (don't we all know that feeling!). She turned up with him in tow for the reds 3-2 victory over Spurs in 2013, stating "I’ve not had the chance to attend a game before but I’ve watched Liverpool on TV before. It’s great to actually come to Anfield"








Matt Damon - Everton


Matt Damon ran into the Everton team whilst staying in the same hotel, and was given a signed shirt before taking photos with the squad. He also pledged his alliegance to the toffees in an interview by a fellow Evertonian...you can watch that here. It's worth mentioning the fact he attended a Chelsea/Arsenal game at Stamford Bridge...maybe he just supports anyone wearing blue.



Justin Timberlake - Man United







Justin became a fan thanks to his friendship with Alan Smith who played for United from 2004-2007.  The unlikely pair met at the Lowry hotel and struck up a friendship, with Justin confirming “I’m a Red! I’m mates with Smithy so he’s my favourite player but Ronaldo doesn’t suck either, he’s awesome. I really like Rooney too."








Snoop Dogg - Everyone






This fella says he smokes 80 joints a day...I think that's all we need to say to explain this one.















*this is definitely a joke


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Who Nou?

Almost two years ago I visited one of the most famous stadiums in the footballing world, the Santiago Bernabéu, home of Real Madrid.

This week I returned to Spain, but this time ventured into the home of their Catalan rivals: Camp Nou. The largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 98,787, it stands in the centre of Barcelona along with it's museum and 3 storey merchandise store. You can tour the legendary stadium for 23 euros, and like the Santiago Bernabéu, it does not have a guide - you are free to take as much time as you like browsing the various sections open to the public (and believe me, it's gonna take time!) 




The tour follows a chronological pattern leading you from the inception of Barça in 1899 through their illustrious career, in both La Liga and Europe. The museum features tri-lingual plaques filled with information about the club and important moments throughout their history - for example the signing of Diego Maradona in 1982. 

Once you've finished looking at the endless rows of trophies and vintage kits, you step out into the stadium itself. No matter who you support or where you come from, you cannot help but feel awestruck as the infamous 'més que un club' comes into view. 




Stadiums this big make the average premier league 45,000 seaters feel like a cosy meeting in the pub, some seats are so high up it makes you wonder whether they provide a complimentary telescope with every match ticket in order to watch the game...

Once you've finished marvelling at the pitch, it's back inside to the dressing rooms. Initially they are quite plain (unlike the personalised dressing rooms at the Bernabéu) that is until you reach the massive hot tub in the middle of the room...

Where Carles Puyol washed his hair for 15 years

The tour continues by giving you the chance to have a photo taken of you and your favourite player! (With the help of green screen of course) After this you can go through onto the touchline, and from this angle the place looks even bigger! The next part of the tour takes place at the top of the stadium, so prepare for some serious stairs. They can pay £65 million for Luis Suárez, but don't expect them to shell out for a lift. You may think this is an overexaggeration, but the woman next to me had to stop climbing the stairs because she couldn't breathe (to be fair, she was trying to climb them like Usain Bolt).




Once at the summit, you can admire the view of Barcelona from Camp Nou. The landscape of Barcelona is beautiful and takes your breath away (if you haven't already lost it climbing the stairs). The tour concludes with a 3D experience of the club, where you can use to headphones to listen to the typical atmosphere at the Nou Camp during a game and view clips of their finest moments. After this you are directed, as always, back to the shop to spend 15 quid on a pencil. I saved this money and spent it in one of the small bars close to the stadium (£1.20 for a beer!).

The 23 euros was well worth paying however, in order to experience one of the most famous stadiums in football. I'd love to go back to watch a match and experience the atmosphere first hand. A must for any football fan.







Sunday, 19 October 2014

How many?!

As you probably saw, Southampton beat Sunderland 8-0 on Saturday, making it one of the highest winning margins in the premier league. Of course the biggest winning margin remains Manchester United's 9-0 win over Ipswich in 1995, in which Andy Cole scored 5 of the 9! So with all this talk of goals, we are going to take a look at some of the biggest winning margins...ever!




As Adema 149 - 0 SO l'Emyrne

Yes you read that right, 149-0! the highest scoreline on record in association football to date, even cementing a place in the Guinness World Records book. However as you can imagine, there was a lot more to this game than a few goalkeeping mistakes...the game was actually a protest, in which SOE scored 149 own goals. You can read more about that game, and the subsequent action taken here.


Arbroath 36 - 0 Bon Accord

No protest here! The first round of the scottish cup in 1985, and Arbroath thrashed Bon Accord 36-0 with John Petrie scoring 13 goals! (unlucky for some, some being a certain Scottish football team!) Some may not have been happy with this victory though, as 5 more Arbroath goals were disallowed and the referee believes that it could have been 43-0! 


Austrailia 31 - 0 American Samoa 

The socceroos managed to put 31 past American Samoa in a 2002 World Cup qualifier, with Archie Thompson scoring 13 goals - the most goals scored in an international match. This was a game of record breakers as David Zdrillic scored 8 goals - the second most goals scored in an international game!




Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Wenger V Mourinho: A History

On Sunday we saw Chelsea host Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, in a game which the home side won 2-0 and went 5 points clear at the top of this table.This fixture has brought the two managers together 12 times, with Arsene yet to secure a win against Jose. Mourinho has been a thorn in the side of Wenger since his arrival to the premier league in 2004, and on Sunday their fiery relationship provided this gifable moment for fans...







 However the stats aren't the only problem between the two, with Jose infamously labelling Wenger a voyeur... 

"I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur," he said. "He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks and speaks and speaks about Chelsea."

Wenger hit back, calling the comment 'disrespectful'. Although, after a 12th game without a win against him, I think Arsene will be pointing that telescope through Mourinho's window.


The game on Sunday also saw former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas playing against his former team in the Chelsea colours. After his £30m move from Barcelona in the summer, Jose saw further opportunity to ruffle Arsenes infamous coat feathers by saying that Cesc 'really wanted to join Chelsea' and  due to this a return to the Emirates was out of the question. Wenger offered up another response in their war of words, stating that he didn't know what the truth was.


The pair next meet in the premier league on the 25th April 2015, where Arsene will continue searching for a win. 13th time lucky?



Thursday, 10 July 2014

Goals Galore!

After everything that's happened between the last post & this one, in what's being labelled the best World Cup ever, we'd need to write a novel if we were to recap it all. So instead we'll leave you with 3 goals of the tournament to watch as you wait in anticipation for Sunday's final between Germany and Argentina (We correctly predicted 50% of the final!).



Van Persie in Hollands 5-1 opener against Spain. 






Tim Cahill's goal against the Dutch in their Group B game.







Finally, my personal favourite, James Rodriguez's technically sublime goal in Colombia's last 16 game against Uruguay.










Monday, 16 June 2014

Results Round-up: 13th-15th

If 3 more games (including Germany v Portugal) aren't enough to brighten up your Monday, here's a blog post will all the biggest World Cup stories so far...but don't get too excited, we wouldn't want you to dislocate an ankle*...Now I could just list all the results from the weekend's games, but I'm pretty sure you've seen/heard them. So instead here is a link to the BBC World Cup website, where all results are listed along with current tables and upcoming fixtures...click here to see that. In this post I'm going to concentrate on the highlights and surprises of the weekend's plethora of football.






They say Friday the 13th is unlucky for some, and on this date, it was for Spain. Current champions Spain suffered a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Dutch. After a 27th minute penalty by Xabi Alonso put them in the lead, nobody expected holland to go on and put the game to bed in the manner they did. Van Persie brought them level just before half time with a stunning header (no really, you need to see it if you haven't already). In the second half VP scored another goal, along with Robben scoring 2, and de Vrij. However Spain fans shouldn't feel too disheartened as they lost to Switzerland in the opening game of the last World Cup and we all know what happened.

The second shocker of the weekend has to be underdogs Costa Rica's 3-1 win over Uruguay. Cavani put Uruguay ahead with a penalty in the first half before Costa Rica fought back in style in the second, making the final score 3-1. To put their truly unbelievable comeback into perspective, here's a refresh of the odds going in to the competition: Uruguay 28/1 to win & Costa Rica 2500/1 to win. As always football proves to be unpredictable. This result also leaves Group D wide open and keeps England's chances alive, following their defeat to Italy.

Which brings us to the Italy v England game which took place on Saturday night in Manaus. A later kick off and the dulcet tones of Phil Neville may have been enough to send even the most lively spectator to sleep, but luckily the game was exciting enough to keep everyone awake until the final whistle. As expected Pirlo was a joy to watch, and it's pretty clear that regardless of who you support, you've got to love the man. His dummy to set up the first goal was particularly fantastic, he knew the goal was scored before it had even touched Marchisio's boot. In addition to this, youngster Raheem Sterling started the match and was fantastic from start to finish. Now whilst most 19 year olds are playing Call of Duty and eating Coco Pops with spoons found under their beds, this lad is opening Englands World Cup campaign in front of 40,000 fans and millions around the world and you would never have known. Raheem also featured on our 'Top 5 youngsters to watch out for' list 2 years ago! England were a threat going forward for huge parts of the game, and Daniel Sturridge (24) scored a fantastic equalizer with an assist from Wayne Rooney. However the refreshing performance wasnt enough to stop the Italians, with Mario Balotelli grabbing the winner and securing them 3 points. There are many positives for England to take from the game, in their quest to qualify from the group...one of the main ones being don't let Wayne take corners!







*Seriously though, all jokes aside, we send best wishes to England physio Gary Lewin (who fractured & dislocated his ankle celebrating the Daniel Sturridge equalizer on Saturday night.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

Joga Bonito: Let the games begin!


Those of who you managed to survive 2 hours of Adrian Chiles (if you have no idea who he is, count yourself lucky) will have witnessed  the 2014 World Cup kick off, in an action packed opening game with hosts Brazil against Croatia. Doves were released at the start of the match, representing world peace. After the final whistle, and a few questionable decisions, we might need a few more doves.




 As always with football, things didn't begin as expected with Marcelo scoring an own goal inside 11 minutes. However Brazil managed to pull it back and win 3-1 with 2 Neymar goals (I predicted him as top goalscorer, so far so good) and an Oscar strike to put the game to bed. Despite the defeat, I still think Croatia will finish 2nd in their group after the Brazilians. First game of the tournament ends, predictably, with a Brazil win.