Feb 28, 2012

The Most Unusual Stadiums #1

Today I'm going to share a story with you. A story about dreams and ambitions. This is a really motivating story, but you obviously are now like: "I'm here for the stadium, what's going on?" Well, okay, just continue reading. When you were young you obviously had a time you watched World Cup filled with football legends and wanted to be just like they were in their finest days. Later - you've tried to play like them. Aaand you've probably got a football pitch near to your school, house, or at least city, right? Right.

This was the problem of the children in Koh Panyee (Thailand). They were not able to play football so their dreams were smashed with the reality, but then they created their own story. You don't have a place to play if you live in a village like that:

In 1986 the children of a small fishing village named Koh Panyee were inspired to create a football team after watching the World Cup in Mexico. With a dream in their minds they started building a floating football pitch made of found in the village wood. The village had a population of 1500 and it was really hard for that children to find any help in building. Finally they did it. The boys created their own pitch and they have played football for the first time in their lives! Well, the ball was in the water almost all the time so it was the only team in history that should train players in diving :).

 You should watch this video, which was recorded by a Thailand Bank TMB, it shows the history I could not really explain. It is just too awesome.

Today, Koh Panyee FC is one of the best teams in Thailand, since 2004 they are the champions of South Thailand and their island has become one of the most footballish place in the world. Matt Devine from Glue Society - the man who recorded the whole bank ad said that today every house on the island has at least one Barclays PL Jersey and every boat in Koh Panyee has been named as Premier League teams. You don't have to stop your manly tears. It is a wonderful story. Stay tuned for the next most unusual stadium. Goodbye!

Feb 24, 2012

Performance Index by Castrol - Good to know.

Castrol should be known to every fan of cars and motorisation as a really strong brand. Since the year 2007 this brand has become really involved in football. Successful UEFA Euro 2008 campaign has made Castrol sign a six year long contract of sponsoring football FIFA World Cup till 2014. It is now one of the biggest sponsors of football in the world. In 2010 it was an official sponsor of South Africa World Cup and created a performance index that measures performance of every football player across top five leagues of Europe during the course of a 12 month period. Performance index allows football fans to analize skills of any single player and teams. The performance index system uses mathematical formulas which evaluate various player performances in terms of how individual actions either assist or prevent goals. The system itself takes into account the strength of the opposite team and the time in a game of every player. Rankings are published monthly.

 Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for Castrol

Arsene Wenger as an ambassador of Castrol said, that he decided to cooperate with brand because in this case advertising of football is stepping outside of average advertising schemes. He also said, that creating of performance index of players was something really interesting and he was impressed by the way Castrol used their experience in their job of improving cars work to objectively measure standard of every football player and every team.

Since September 2009, only three players have been in the top position:
Thierry Henry for 3 months (Since September 2009 to the November 2009)
Cristiano Ronaldo for 1 month (December 2009)
Lionel Messi for (sic!) 25 months! (January 2010 - today)

The current ranking by January 2012 (top 3, top defender, midfielder and goalkeeper) of Performance Index:
1 Lionel Messi Forward  ARG Spain Barcelona 1111 ⇔ (1)
2 Mario Gomez Forward  GER Germany Bayern Munich 1044 ⇔ (2)
3 Karim Benzema Forward  FRA Spain Real Madrid 1034 ⇔ (3)
6 Gerard Piqué Defender  ESP Spain Barcelona 898 ⇧ (7)
16 Florent Malouda Midfielder  FRA England Chelsea 803 ⇧ (18)
38 Wilfredo Caballero Goalkeeper  ARG Spain Málaga 759 ↓ (36)

Feb 23, 2012

Football Commercials #2

Welcome to the second post about football commercials, today I have three more ads for you, which I think still keep the above-the-average level of advertisements. This time they're all Nike ads with the generation of best legends who kicked the ball period. Watch them and enjoy!

Nike Soccer Ad #1 with great Eric Cantona.

Nike Soccer Ad #2 with NINJAS

And the last one for today, Thierry Henry with his... dog :)

 Well, that's it for this part. See you again. :)

Feb 19, 2012

Goal Celebration by Robbie Fowler

This has to be one of the most controversial goal celebrations in history. It was April 1999, Robbie Fowler - the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of Premier League (scored 183 goals for Liverpool, 128 in Premier League) scored a goal in Merseyside derby (Liverpool vs Everton) which led him to big consequences and some problems with law. Why? It was said by Everton fans that Robbie was addicted to cocaine, and looks like he wasn't going to leave these rumours alone and expressed his thoughts in a very special way. After scoring a goal he got down on his knees in front of Everton fans and used the white line of the penalty area to pretend he was sniffing the cocaine out of it. The ironical response to gossip had him charged with 60,000£ of fine and four-match ban. Manager Gerard Houllier tried to defend him saying he "was simulating eating the grass" which was earlier done by his teammate Rigobert Song.


Feb 18, 2012

Domain .com aka Good news!

Hello everyone! As you can see you should be redirected from the original website (blogspot.com) to this domain, because I've already found money to buy this domain. :) The new website is under address lairoffootball.com and if everything goes alright it's going to be up for a year. If someone has bookmarked this blog you will be now automatically redirected from that earlier blogspot domain.

Well, I think that's it. I hope you'll like the change because I'm really excited. This blog (and now - a website too!) is starting to live its own life from now on. :) Have a great weekend and come back tomorrow for more football commercials!

Feb 15, 2012

Football Commercials #1

Hello my dear followers! At first I'd like to thank you for 10 thousands views, I don't think I could even imagine that, it makes me think my work is even a little useful. Today I have compiled some great football commercials. Many brands were trying to create most creative ads, brands such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Nike (which I think is obvious why :) These ads were nothing like what you see in TV now, these football commercials were starring the most legendary players such as Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos and many more. If you were born at least in ~94 you should know most of them. Personally - I miss that generation of players, it was filled with many legends that were bringing real magic to the game, now we don't have much players like that. It was a world of great teamplay and creativity, not violence and corruption. Am I the only one who actually thinks that ads - not just football commercials, every advertisement - 10 years ago was created with any idea and was actually bringing people to TVs and to brand's product?
Pepsi Football Commercial
Football Commercial by Nike #1

Football Commercial by Nike #2

Do you like these ads? Stay tuned for next part. :)

> Next part!

Feb 13, 2012

Busquets' injury - thankfully just a cut

Feb 4, 2012. Sergio Busquets was stretchered off the pitch at the Camp Nou and needed medical help during 2-1 victory over La Liga rivals Real Sociedad on Saturday, it looked like the Barcelona player would be facing a very lengthy layoff. The 23-year-old collided with Sociedad's defender Carlos Martinez in the 83rd minute of the match, and a deep cut in his right knee was caught by television cameras. He's the third player to be injured in Blaugrana squad, along with David Villa and Ibrahim Afellay.

Google Images

"I thought that he had broken his leg" - Guardiola in his post match meeting with journalists.

Thankfully, Xavier Martin (one of FC Barcelona presidents) said after Sergio was taken by the individual health care, that this is just scary-looking slit, and the bones and joints were not affected. Club's official statement said, that the right knee of Busquets is heavily cut and it will need sewing. His presence in the coming matches will depend on the development of injury.

Feb 11, 2012

The history of the first goal celebration

Goal celebrations is surely one of the best things the football world has ever seen. It gives players the ability to express themselves after scoring a goal in any way they want. People all over the world are celebrating goals with dancing or acrobations, even if they play with friends or in school. There are players who are known to have their one and own celebration, like the Robot Dance of Peter Crouch, or the Eric Cantona's blank, inscrutable expression of a player who knew he was at the top. There is a little magic in every celebration, but who has been the first magician? How did it all start?

It all started in the year 1990.
I don't think anyone watching the World Cup hosted in Italy would imagine it will change the football forever. The first magician to celebrate his goal was Roger Milla, a striker from Cameroon, who has become one of the main stars of the tournament. In Italy, he scored four goals, and every goal of him was celebrated by a characteristical dance in the corner area, which started a fashion to celebrate every goal. Since that day clubs are getting more and more creative and deliver more and more magic to every football fan on the Earth. Roger Milla's history was also showed in Coca-Cola advertisement of the World Cup in 2010. 

Stay tuned as I'm going to show you some legendary celebrations in next posts which I hope you'll enjoy. Have a nice weekend!

Robin van Persie - transfer speculations

Van Persie's contract with the Gunners expires in the summer of next year. Any club interested in the dutch striker will have to spend 40 millions out from their budget. It is the minimal price set by Arsenal's activists. Transfermarkt.de service has valued the Dutchman for 45 million euros.
Van Persie is playing for Gunners since 2004, (sold from Feyenord Rotterdam for 2,75 million pounds) in his first season in London, he won the Community Shield and FA Cup. Before the season 2010/11 the Dutchman has changed the number "11" in which he played so far to "10" because of the William Gallas transfer to Tottenham Hotspur. The number 10 was possessed by legendary striker Dennis Bergkamp who has spent 11 years in London. 

Google Images
This season is one of the best seasons in the career of Van Persie, as he scored 22 goals in 24 matches. The Arsenal striker is in a great form, and has scored a hat-trick in the 7-1 demolition of Blackburn.
Robin van Persie is one of the players wanted in the best teams over the world, especially Real Madrid and FC Barcelona as heard in speculations. This Friday, spanish newspaper Marca quoted van Persie claiming that he would be excited to be linked with Real Madrid, which later was denied by him: - on twitter.com - "Contrary to reports in Spain I have NEVER spoken to Marca newspaper and never gave any interview. Enjoy your day."
Speculations said that Real Madrid wants to bring van Persie in the summer, offering around 20 million euros and one of their strikers - Gonzalo Higuain.
Anyway, Arsene Wenger said that there were no offers from Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, and even if there was any he wouldn't approve this transfer.

Today we will be able to see Robin van Persie in the match against Sunderland.
What do you think about the transfer rumours? Maybe you would like to see Robin in any other club? Are you going to watch the match vs Sunderland? Comment below!

Feb 10, 2012

Henry - back to America

Well, I really don't like these kind of news. Thierry Henry was always one of my favourite players and I was really happy to see him scoring goals for Arsenal once again. The french striker made a good return to Arsenal London, on 4 February 2012 he scored a goal Blackburn Rovers in a 7–1 win and the only goal against Leeds United which led Arsenal to the next stage in FA Cup. The Gunners wanted to extend the loan of a legend. New York Red Bulls authorities didn't agree with them, thus, as originally planned Thierry Henry flies back to the USA in the next Thursday.

photo by wonker

We will be able to see him playing for London for two more matches - one with Sunderland (league) and one with AC Milan (in Champions League). I will surely watch these matches, how about you? 

Feb 9, 2012

Short Stories: Referees fails pt 4

Welcome to the next post of Short Stories, in which we will see one of the most brutal fouls in the history. Let's go back in time for six years. It is 2006 and Manchester City is playing a match versus Portsmouth in Premier League. Pedro Mendes is charging to the loose ball, same does Ben Thatcher. Of course the better one of these players will win the challenge for the ball, but Pedro Mendes wouldn't even imagine he will be taken out by Ben Thatcher who led his elbow in the face of the portugal player. Pedro hits the advertising hoardings with his head and lies unconscious. He's not moving, and he's taken by medical help to the nearest hospital. Ben Thatcher issued a written apology to Mendes, and later was investigated by the FA and the Greater Manchester Police. Finally - he has been suspended for eight matches. Well, what does all of this have to do with a referee? Was Ben Thatcher punished with a red card? No way. Referee booked him with a yellow card even if he completely eliminated Mendes.
Watch it here:

Oh, I forgot to say, I've made a new header, you can see it at the top of the website. Say what you think in the comments!
Stay tuned for the next parts of the series! Have a nice day!

Feb 6, 2012

Short Stories: Referees fails pt 3

Welcome to the third part of Short Stories, today I would like to introduce you next part of Referees fails, kind of similar to the previous situation because it also takes place in South America. It was in 2008, Junior Barranquilla met in the 3rd round of the semi-final group stage of the Copa Mustang Tournament with America de Cali. Emerson Acuña - Junior Barranquilla player - pulled off one of the worst dives in football history, throwing himself to the floor to win a penalty against America de Cali, in the same time he was offside and had no opponents within metres of him. The referee has seen Emerson's dive as a foul and gave Juniors a penalty. Later in this match Acuña has been sent off because of a foul and suspended for three matches because of his fake dive. The match has ended in a draw 1:1 but finally it was America de Cali who took a part in finals of the tournament. Watch the whole situation here:

Stay tuned for the next part, have a good Monday!

Feb 4, 2012

Arsenal destroys Blackburn Rovers!

I think that the Barclays Premier League will never stop shocking us. Blackburn Rovers have never won at Emirates Stadium and it doesn't look like they will happen to do it this year. Today Arsenal London won versus Blackburn with a score of 7:1! In the first half of the match Arsenal scored three goals and lost one because of a magnificent free kick by Pedersen. The first goal aswell like the second one for Arsenal was scored by duo Theo Walcott - Robin van Persie. Third goal for London was scored by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, young alumnus of Southampton who moved to Arsenal in this year. 

Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Second half has ended any hopes of Blackburn, Arteta scored a goal from 16 metres in 51'. 4 minutes later it was Oxlade-Chamberlain again to score a goal. And I tell you - he's going to be one of the best players someday. Van Persie obtained a hat-trick in 62' after a good pass by Coquelin, and the score is closed by Thierry Henry - the real legend of club from London - in additional time - 93'. It was a day full of emotions. Have you watched the match?

Feb 2, 2012

Short Stories: Referees fails pt 2

So the second part of Referees fails happen to be in Brazil. I could write a really long post about brazilian football. Who knows, maybe I'll do it one day :). It was 2006. Santacruzense was countering Atletico Sorocaba in Brazil’s FPF Cup. It was 89th minute and the local club Sorocaba was winning 1:0. Santacruzenians attacked their opponents but one of their players shot wide and the ball left the pitch near to the post. A tad fat ballboy runs to the ball and rolls it over the goal line putting it in the web. The referee, Silvia Regina de Oliveira (duh, a woman! No offence, girls, but, you know... :P) awarded Santacruzense with a goal which led to a 1:1 draw. Even the linesmen didn't see the ballboy's action! Just unbelievable. Silvia Regina de Oliveira and her linesmen has been suspended the next day after a match. You can see the whole situation here:

I hope you enjoyed the second part of Short Stories. I hope I will be able to deliver next part in Monday. See you then!

Feb 1, 2012

Share This!

Well, I'm really sorry for no real post today but I promised to deliver you one tomorrow so I don't want to make some kind of mess right now.
I just added an addon called ShareThis which allows you to share any post of this blog on Facebook and some other sites. You can do it by clicking these little logos at the bottom of every post.
If you want to show friends any article, feel free to share it. I will appreciate it too!. :)

Have a nice day!