Tracey Brooks

  1. How to Play Champions League Bingo This Spring

    The Champions League is the biggest and best club football tournament in the world.

    After the winter break, it is scheduled to kick back off again, with Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich all once again looking to lift the trophy. Manchester City are aiming to get their hands on it for the first time, with Chelsea and Liverpool hoping it might kickstart their flagging Premier League season.

    Watching the UEFA Champions League used to be very easy, with bars packed on the night of a big game, and the final drawing people together to cheer on their favourite team. Barcelona football stadiumWhen Spurs lost to Liverpool it drew 11.2m viewers across the UK, but sadly if one of our domestic team were to progress this season, you might have to find new and inventive ways to come together and enjoy it.

    We have already analysed methods of enjoying football in the current pandemic in our recent article ‘Football Based Activities For Social Distancing’, but to drill down a little further, how about setting up a game of Champions League bingo amongst your friends, even for the round of 16 onwards? How would it work, I hear you ask?

    The concept is simple – it is based on the traditional pastime of bingo, but with a few adjustments. Cheeky Bingo explains how there are multiple versions of bingo, including 75-ball and 90-ball. Players are given a card with maybe 20 numbers on, and the balls are also numbered and drawn out at random. The first person to match all the numbers on their card with balls wins.

    The difference with Champions League bingo is you need to come

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  2. Top 11 Highest Paid La Liga Footballers 2020

    La Liga is one of the biggest and most watched football leagues in Europe; and as such it attracts some of the best footballers. The top football players in the world attract big media attention, can help win major domestic and International trophies as well as creating a huge buzz around the club from fans. However, these big signings do not come cheap; and the wage bill for the top La Liga clubs is staggering. Unlike some of the other leagues, where there is five, six or even more major clubs, La Liga is dominated by three – Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. The top 11 highest paid La Liga footballers all belong to one of these three popular soccer clubs.

    11 Footballers Paid the Highest Weekly Salary in La Liga

    First, let’s look at why we are identifying the top 11 instead of the top 10! The last four on the list all get paid the same; therefore, instead of leaving one of them off we decided to cover all 11. We will look at the career to date of the 11 La Liga footballers that currently get paid the most (as of June 2020); we will identify trophies won with their current club, major personal achievements as well as considering they style of play and why they get paid so well. For reference below are the 11 La Liga players we will be covering in more depth below.

    1. Lionel Messi
    2. Antoine Griezmann
    3. Eden Hazard
    4. Gareth Bale
    5. Luis Suárez
    6. Frenkie de Jong
    7. Luka Jović
    8. Marcelo
    9. Toni Kroos
    10. Sergio Ramos
    11. Jan Oblak

    Lionel Messi

    Lionel Mess wearing the FC Barca kit 2019/20

    Club: FC Barcelona
    Wage: £1,224,000 per week

    Messi is und

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  3. Who Are the 10 Highest Paid Premier League Footballers?

    Whatever your option on how much footballers get paid and whether there should be a wage-cap in place, there is an ongoing interest in how much each footballer gets paid and lively debate as to whether they are worth it! In this article we are going to look at the top 10 highest paid footballers in the English Premier League. We will look at who they are, what team they play for and key highlights in their career.

    Top 10 Biggest Earning Football Players in the Premier League

    Here are the ten footballers that we will cover in more detail below:

    • David de Gea
    • Kevin De Bruyne
    • Raheem Sterling
    • Paul Pogba
    • Mesut Özil
    • Anthony Martial
    • Sergio Agüero
    • Mohamed Salah
    • Marcus Rashford
    • Harry Kane

    David de Gea

    David de Gear wearing the Man Utd goalkeeper kit

    Club: Manchester United
    Wage: £375,000 per week

    David de Gea is the highest paid footballer in the English top-flight. He is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and currently plays for Manchester United. He joined the Red Devils in 2011; and has made 394 appearances to date. De Gea has won one Premier League title, 2012/13; an FA Cup, 2015/16; an EFL Cup, 2016/16; three FA Community Shield trophies; and the UEFA Europa League once in 2016/17 during his time wearing the Manchester United kit so far. Individually, David de Gea has been awarded the Premier League Golden Glove once, as well as being named the Manchester United Players’ Player of the Year on three occasions, in addition to many

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  4. Footballers to of Played Under Both Klopp and Guardiola

    Recent seasons has seen football managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola go head-to-head in the English Premier League, with their clubs Liverpool and Manchester City respectively. Both Klopp and Guardiola are considered within the ranks of best modern-day football managers. There is a small but elite group off footballers that have been lucky enough to play under both of these football management greats. Below we will take a look at both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola giving a brief history of their management and major successes. We will then go on and look at each of the four players to of played under both managers.

    Jurgen Klopp

    Jurgen Klopp Liverpool manager

    Klopp is a German football manager; he spent most of his playing career at Mainz 05, but it is as a manager that he has made his name in the game. To date he has managed three clubs – as listed below:

    • 2001-2008 – Mainz 05
    • 2008-2015 – Borussia Dortmund
    • 2015-present – Liverpool FC

    Jurgen Klopp is widely regarded as one of the best football managers in the world. He is known for utilising an approach known as ‘Gegenpressing’. Gegenpressing is a high attacking approach to football; in which, when the ball is lost the players immediately attack to regain possession; as opposed to regrouping. Some commentators have described Klopp’s style as ‘heavy metal’.

    Whether you enjoy the attacking style of teams that play under Klopp, there is little to doubt his success. Both in the Bundesliga and Premier League he has made his mark, and as he refines his management approach the stats get more impressive. At Mainz 05 his win rate was 40.4%, increasing to 56% at Borussia Dortmund and currently stands at 60.5% at Liverpoo

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  5. Nílton Santos: His Contribution to Football

    Born in 1925, such was the impact of Nílton Santos, that he still today makes lists of the best footballers of all time. Santos was born in Brazil and spent the whole of his club career with Botafogo, he played for the senior team from 1948-1964. He mostly played as a left-back, and he won many honours during his career with more bestowed upon him after his retirement. Santos passed away at the age of 88 on 27th November 2013.

    What Makes Santos So Special

    Nílton Santos is widely regarded as one of the best ever defenders to have ever played football. He is said to have revolutionised the left-back position by demonstrating that players in that position can be successfully used as part of the attacking strategy of the game in addition to defensively.

    During the prime of his career Santos made some incredible runs down the left wing, of the like not seen before from footballers playing in his position. This enthusiasm for playing a more forward position arose because he was originally an attacking player asked to take the position of defender, which he did reluctantly. However, true his passion for the game Nilton Santos Botafogo playerhe took the position and ran with it so to speak!

    From his defensive position Nílton Santos scored 11 goals for Botafogo and three for the Brazil national team. Perhaps the most noted goal of his career was at the 1958 World Cup against Austria. Santos ran the ball to the halfway line after winning it from an opposing player, and passed to his teammate Jose Altafini. Instead of going back into his own half, he kept running, a teammate passed the ball back to him and he put it in the net with the accuracy and power of an elite striker.

    Santos lived and breathed football. Football was his passion; he studied the game and there was nothing he did not know. Due to this he

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  6. Football Based Activities for Social Distancing

    Social distancing with progression to lockdown has been implemented in many countries around the world. With sporting events postponed, including football leagues, forced closures of schools, restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as non-essential shops, people are being asked or told to stay at home. Enforced lockdown with police and/or military enforcement is becoming increasingly common, with strict limitations on the reasons why you are allowed to leave your home.

    With so much time at home, no live football on TV, and the kids to keep entertained we have compiled a list of ideas on how to stay upbeat, keep yourself busy and stay in touch with the game you love most – football. Here’s a list of ideas that we will cover in more detail below:

    1. Garden football skills and mini family games
    2. Console based football games
    3. Online football games
    4. IOS & Android games
    5. Learn about tactics
    6. Soccer Box football activity book
    7. Your club’s social media pages
    8. Watching past games

    What is Covid-19 and Why are we Social Distancing?

    It is March 2020, and practically every country in the world is making unprecedented demands upon their citizens in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19, also known as Coronavirus, is a viral infection that is sweeping the globe. Many of the infected will become mildly ill with a cough and high temperature but should quickly recover. However, for around 5% the illness will be more serious requiring hospitalisation and often the use of a ventilator. Unfortunately, it is thought that Coronavirus has around a 1% death rate for those infected.

    Covid-19 appears to be easily spread, and very contagious. The first cases were in China in November 2019, and it has now spread around the globe including cases across Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America. This speedy worldwide transmission has been declared a pandemic by th

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  7. Football Cancelled!

    Euro 2020 cancelled, the Premier League football across Europe suspended with no certainty of the season being concluded. Who could have predicted this is the situation we would find ourselves in in twenty-twenty? Of course, in comparison to the global situation the cancellation of some football games isn’t that important. But it does have a wider implication not only for the sport itself, but for the economy, for businesses who rely on football to make a living as well as on the mental health of players, coaches, technical and admin staff as well as supporters around the world.

    How Coronavirus Has Impacted Football

    Massive disruption, and countrywide shut-downs are happening around the world, to prevent further spread of Covid-19. Covid-19 commonly referred to as Coronavirus originated in China in December 2019, has spread to every continent since. Coronavirus is a viral infection, that causes a range of symptoms primarily in the respiratory system that can range from very mild to deadly. The most alarming feature of the virus is the speed of spread and the amount of people being infected globally.

    Governments around the world have taken drastic measures to try to slow the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable. In terms of football this has meant suspending leagues, such as the Premier League, La Liga and Bundesliga, European tournaments such as the Champions League are also on hold, and the Euro 2020 tournament has been postponed with a plan in place to reschedule for 2021. It is not just major leagues that are cancelled though, the majority of grassroots football is also suspended with the safety football during the warof participants in mind.

    Life Without Football

    Football has been a consistent part of culture in the United Kingdom, but also around the globe for a

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  8. Looking Ahead to the 2018/19 Premier League Season

    The Premier League in the UK is one of the most anticipated sporting events on the calendar. And this is only the beginning, teams are starting to release their sportswear ranges, the transfer window is wide open and fans love it so far. 

    Now they have unveiled the fixtures of the Premier League for 2018/19. After reviewing their current schedule, we thought we would put together this article to discuss the low down on the preparations for 2018/19 and what we could expect. Here we will cover topics such as the fixtures themselves, inform you of notable matches and last but not least, introduce the three new teams who were promoted.

     

    Fixtures

    Taking on the reigning champions, Arsenal is against Manchester City on the first day of fixtures that take place on the 11thAugust. However, Arsenal has the home advantage as the game takes place at Emirates Stadium. This may make things more intimidating for the previous winners as they start off the season on unfamiliar grounds; however they take to their own pitch on the 18thAugust for their match against Huddersfield. 

    Making the top 5 in the last season was Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea, with Arsenal narrowly missing out by 7 points. These top teams including the winners Manchester City are definitely the ones to watch going into the 2018/19 season.

    With the World Cup in progress at the moment, it is safe to say we are expecting a lot from the England players such as Harry Kane after their impressive performance. Out of the first 2 matches played, Spurs’ striker – Kane had netted 5 out of 8 goals. This means that Tottenham Hotspur could most definitely be a tough competitor in this season’s tournament.

    Notable Dates

    You won’t want to miss the top teams in the Premier League battle it out for the trophy now would you? This is why we have put this comprehensive list to

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  9. Five Of The Best Notable Lower Tier Premier League Players.

    With the Premier League 2017-18 season finally completed, it is now crystal clear on who will be playing in the top-flight of English football for another campaign and which three unfortunate sides have been relegated to the Championship. Having only won six games throughout the term, West Brom’s drop to the Championship was official when Southampton beat Swansea City a couple of days before the final league fixture. 

    Both Stoke City and Swansea City ended the season in the bottom-three as their form during the season was very inconsistent and unconvincing compared to the other teams just above them. Also, the two clubs had conceded quite a large number of goals and simply could not pick up enough points in the home games.  

    Overall, the clubs in the top half of the table will have already analysed and recognised who are the key assets for the teams at the bottom and they will aggressively aim to take their important prizes away from them. If this was to end up happening, it could prove to be very difficult for a team like Stoke City, who have been in the Premier League for such a long time to return back into the top-flight within their first attempt.  

    Here are the five stars that will be wanted by many teams following the fact that the Premier League clubs from the top half of the table will now know which struggling sides will be relegated into the Championship. Even though Huddersfield and Southampton have finished above the relegation zone, there’s no reason to why their main stars will not be linked with a potential move to one of the league’s top-ten teams.


    Huddersfield Town – Jonas Lossl

    Considering his vital performance away at Stamford Bridge a few weeks ago, through a number of quality saves to give his side an important point to remain in the Premier League, it’s no surprise that Jonas Lossl has been Huddersfield’s go to man for when they need bailing out due to lack

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  10. Premier League awards outside of the top six: manager of the year, signing of the season, flop of the year and best team

    Another season ends which can only mean one thing: awards. With each year that passes by, the gap between the top six and the rest of the division looks to be widening in quality and financial resources.

    However, as Burnley and especially Leicester have shown in the past few years, there is a chance to rival some of the bigger teams in the country. 

    The rest of the Premier League might not get as much attention, so here are the awards for the teams outside the top six: 

    Manager of the Year: Rafa Benitez

    There are several candidates for this award, but Newcastle United’s Rafa Benitez deserves the plaudits purely because of what he was given at the beginning of the season.


    While Brighton’s Chris Hughton and Huddersfield’s David Wagner, too, defied the odds of avoiding relegation, they, at least, had some sort of money to spend in the transfer window. 

    It is no secret that the Spanish manager has come to blows with owner Mike Ashley on more than one occasion. Benitez was left without funds until the final week of the window, which is why they missed out on some key targets that were ready to be given the green light and sign. 

    Both Huddersfield and Brighton spent north of £50 million, whereas Newcastle spent a total of £40 million - which was made on targets that were not first choice. They also failed to bring in a centre forward that they had identified because of lack of funds being released.

    Benitez has done a remarkable job in securing the Magpies’ future in the Premier League for next season. The unity he brings to the squad is noticed by outsiders and the fact that he does not always sit back in the hope of a draw is a major plus point with the St James’ Park faithful.

    Not only did the former Real Madrid boss keep Newcastle in the league, but he guided them to a 10th place finish. It really is an unbelievable achievement given he has a Championship-level squad at hi

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