miercuri, 25 martie 2015

Eric Cantona, a French actor and former international footballer for the French national team. Cantona is affectionately nicknamed by Manchester United fans as "King Eric", and was voted as Manchester United's greatest ever player by Inside United magazine

Éric Daniel Pierre Cantona (born 24 May 1966) is a French actor and former international footballer for the French national team. He played for Auxerre, Martigues, Marseille, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nîmes and Leeds United before ending his career at Manchester United where he won four Premier League titles in five years and two League and FA Cup Doubles.
Cantona is often regarded as having played a key role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing force in the 1990s and he enjoys iconic status at the club. He wore the number 7 shirt at Manchester United with his trademark upturned collar. Cantona is affectionately nicknamed by Manchester United fans as "King Eric", and was voted as Manchester United's greatest ever player by Inside United magazine. Set against his achievements in football was a poor discipli
nary record for much of his career, including a 1995 conviction for a 'kung-fu' assault on a fan, and at a press conference following his initial conviction Cantona gave his famous and cryptic "seagulls" statement. His disciplinary record, however, was much improved after he returned from the eight-month suspension right up to his retirement as a player two years later.
Following his retirement from football in 1997, he took up a career in cinema and had a role in the 1998 film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, the 2008 film French Film, and the 2009 film Looking for Eric. In 2010, he débuted as a stage actor in Face au Paradis, a French play directed by his wife, Rachida Brakni.
An inaugural inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002, the museum states: "The enigmatic Frenchman was one of the Premier League's most talented, controversial players". On 19 January 2011, Cantona joined the revived New York Cosmos as Director of Soccer. 

French national team

Cantona was given his full international début against West Germany in August 1987 by national team manager Henri Michel. In September 1988, angered after being dropped from the national team, Cantona referred to Michel as a "bag of shit" in a post-match TV interview and was indefinitely banned from all international matches. However, Michel was sacked shortly after that having failed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup.
The new coach was Michel Platini and one of his first acts was to recall Cantona. Platini stated that whilst he was coach, Cantona would be selected for France as long as he was playing competitive top-class football; it was Platini who had initiated Cantona's move to England to restart his career. France qualified for Euro 1992 held in Sweden, but failed to win a single game despite the striking partnership of Cantona and Jean-Pierre Papin. Platini resigned after the finals to be replaced by Gérard Houllier.
Under Houllier, France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. after losing the final game 2–1 at home to Bulgaria when a draw would have sufficed. Houllier resigned and Aimé Jacquet took over.
Jacquet began to rebuild the national team in preparation for Euro 96 and appointed Cantona as captain. Cantona remained captain until the Selhurst Park incident in January 1995. The suspension which resulted from this incident also prevented him from playing in international matches.
By the time Cantona's suspension had been completed, he had lost his role as the team's playmaker to Zinédine Zidane, as Jacquet had revamped the squad with some new players. Cantona, Papin and David Ginola lost their places in the squad and were never selected for the French team again, thus missing Euro 96. Though there was media criticism about Cantona's omission, as he was playing his best football in the Premier League, Jacquet stated that the team had done well without Cantona, and that he wanted to keep faith with the players who had taken them so far.The decision was vindicated as Les Bleus subsequently won the World Cup in 1998.
To this day, Cantona still harbours resentment for the people at the head of his national team but also admiration for his adopted football country; at Euro 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, he supported England and not France.

vineri, 20 martie 2015

Success 2015: Cristiano Ronaldo, a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid C.F. and the Portugal national team. By the age of 22, Ronaldo had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, GOIH (born 5 February 1985), known as Cristiano Ronaldo (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɾɨʃtiˈɐnu ʁuˈnaɫdu], is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid C.F. and the Portugal national team. He is a forward and serves as captain for Portugal.
By the age of 22, Ronaldo had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. The following year, in 2008, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year aFIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013 and 2014. He also won the 2013–14 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. In January 2014, Ronaldo scored his 400th senior career goal for club and country aged 28.[3]

Often ranked as the best player in the world, alongside rival Lionel Messi, and rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all time, Ronaldo is the first Portuguese footballer to win three FIFA/Ballons d'Or, and the second player to win three European Golden Shoe awards. In January 2015, Ronaldo was named as the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation, during its 100th anniversary celebrations.[14] With Manchester United and Real Madrid, Ronaldo has won three Premier Leagues, one La Liga, one FA Cup, two Football League Cups, two Copas del Rey, one FA Community Shield, one Supercopas de España, two UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Super Cup and two FIFA Club World Cups.
Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Andorinha, where he played for two years, before moving to C.D. Nacional. In 1997, he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting CP. In 2003 he caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who signed him for £12.2 million (€15 million). In 2004, he won his first trophy, the FA Cup. In 2007, Ronaldo was the first player in England to win all four main PFA and FWA awards. In 2008, he won 3 of the 4 main PFA and FWA trophies and was named the FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFPro Player of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year, and the Onze d'Or. In 2007 and 2008, Ronaldo was named FWA Footballer of the Year. He was the inaugural winner of the FIFA Puskás Award for Goal of the Year in 2009. He became the world's most expensive player when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth £80 million (€94 million/$132 million). His buyout clause is valued at €1 billion.[18] In May 2012, he become the first footballer to score against every team in a single season in La Liga.[19] Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season, having scored 17 goals in the 2013–14 season. In December 2014, Ronaldo became the fastest player to score 200 goals in La Liga when, in his 178th La Liga game, he scored a hat-trick against Celta Vigo; his 23rd hat-trick was also a La Liga record.[21]
Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal in August 2003, at the age of 18. He has since been capped over 100 times and has participated in 6 major tournaments: three UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008 and 2012) and three FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014). Ronaldo is the first Portuguese player to reach 50 international goals, making him Portugal's top goalscorer of all time as well as the country's top scorer in the European Championship with 6 goals. He scored his first international goal in the opening game of Euro 2004 against Greece, and helped Portugal reach the final. He took over captaincy in July 2008, and he led Portugal to the semi-finals at Euro 2012, finishing the competition as joint-top scorer in the process. In November 2014, Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer in the UEFA European Championship (including qualifying) with 23 goals.

luni, 16 martie 2015

Success 2015: Nicolas Kiefer, a former German professional tennis player. He reached the semi-finals of the 2006 Australian Open and won a Silver medal in Men's Doubles with partner Rainer Schüttler at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Kiefer's career-high singles ranking was World No. 4

Nicolas Kiefer (born 5 July 1977 in Holzminden, Lower Saxony), is a former German professional tennis player. He reached the semi-finals of the 2006 Australian Open and won a Silver medal in Men's Doubles with partner Rainer Schüttler at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. Kiefer's career-high singles ranking was World No. 4, achieved in January 2000.
In 2009, he represented Germany in the 2009 Hopman Cup together with 19 year old Sabine Lisicki. In the first match he lost against Australia's Lleyton Hewitt 6–7(6) 6–3 6–2 – who had been six months inactive due to an injury. In the second singles match Kiefer lost again, this time to USA's James Blake 7–6(4) 6–7(8) 6–4. Nevertheless, Kiefer won both of the doubles matches together with Sabine Lisicki against both Australia and the United States. On the third singles match, Kiefer twisted his ankle against Slovakia's Dominik Hrbatý in the first set when Kiefer was 3–1 up and serving for 4–1. This injury impeded him to participate in the 2009 Australian Open. He re-appeared in the 2009 Davis Cup match against Austria in which he won in the doubles match together with Philipp Kohlschreiber against Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya in 4 sets 6–3 7–6(6) 3–6 6–4. Kiefer also played a singles match, the fourth match, against Jürgen Melzer in which Kiefer won in straight sets 7–6 6–4 6–4 and gave Germany the victory against Austria. Kiefer then participated in the 2009 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in which he beat Bobby Reynolds in straight sets 6–4 6–2 in Second Round, but he then lost in Third Round to Andy Roddick 6–4 7–6(4).

miercuri, 11 martie 2015

Success 2015: Alan Simonsen, a former Danish footballer and manager. He is the only footballer to have scored in the European Cup, UEFA Cup, and Cup Winners' Cup finals. Simonsen was named 1977 European Footballer of the Year

Allan Rodenkam Simonsen (born 15 December 1952) is a former Danish footballer and manager. He most prominently played for German Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach, winning the 1975 and 1979 UEFA Cups, as well as for Barcelona from Spain, winning the 1982 Cup Winners' Cup. Simonsen is the only footballer to have scored in the European Cup, UEFA Cup, and Cup Winners' Cup finals. Simonsen was named 1977 European Footballer of the Year.

For the Denmark national football team, Simonsen was capped 55 times, scoring 20 goals. He represented Denmark at the 1972 Summer Olympics, 1984 European Championship and 1986 World Cup tournaments. He was voted into the Danish Football Hall of Fame in November 2008.

Born in Vejle, Simonsen started playing football with Vejle FC, before he joined the youth team of local top-flight club Vejle BK (VB) in 1963.[5] He made his senior debut for VB on 24 March 1971 in a 3–1 home win against Karlskoga FF.[6] He won the 1971 and 1972 Danish championship with the club, as well as the 1972 Danish Cup to complete The Double. Following an impressive three goals in six matches at the 1972 Summer Olympics, Simonsen moved to Germany to play professionally for defending German Bundesliga champions Borussia Mönchengladbach


He debuted for the Danish national team under manager Rudi Strittich in the July 1972 friendly match against Iceland. He scored two goals as Denmark won 5–2, and Simonsen was included in the Danish squad for the 1972 Summer Olympics. At the Olympics, he scored three goals in the first three matches to help Denmark advance beyond the first group stage. In the second group stage, Simonsen ran out of steam and he was substituted at half time in two of the last three games as Denmark were eliminated.
He played a crucial part for the Danish national team under manager Sepp Piontek, in Denmark's qualifying campaign for the 1984 European Championship. Denmark led their qualifying group with a single point over second placed England before the two teams met at England's home ground Wembley Stadium in September 1983. Simonsen scored one of the most important Danish goals ever, as he converted a penalty kick against English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The 1–0 win eventually secured the Danish national team qualification for their first international tournament since the 1972 Olympic Games, and the first European Championship participation since the 1964 tournament. It effectively ended England's hopes of qualification for the tournament. He subsequently finished third in the vote for the 1983 European Footballer of the Year award.
The 1984 European Championship main tournament was a short experience for Simonsen, as he broke his leg in a challenge by Yvon Le Roux in Denmark's first match against France. Even without Simonsen, Denmark reached the semi-finals. He was once more a part of the Danish national team at the 1986 World Cup, Denmark's first World Cup participation. He only played a single match at the tournament, coming on as a substitute against West Germany, as younger players had surpassed him. He played a farewell match against Germany in September 1986 before ending his national team career.
Simonsen played a total 55 games for the Danish national team and scored 20 goals, according to the Danish Football Association. However, some sources chose to include Simonsen's appearance in a February 1981 charity match, to tally his national team career as 21 goals in 56 games. The match was Italy vs. Europe for the benefit of the Irpinia earthquake victims. Simonsen started the game, scored a goal, and was substituted at half time as Europe won 3–0.

marți, 10 martie 2015

Success 2015: George Weah, is a Liberian ex-footballer who played as a striker. Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995 he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or

George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah (born 1 October 1966) is a Liberian humanitarian, politician, and an ex-footballer who played as a striker. Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, in 1995 he was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d'Or. In 1989, 1994 and 1995 he was the African Footballer of the Year. In 2004 he was named in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.
Weah spent fourteen years of his professional football career playing for clubs in France, Italy, and England. Arsène Wenger brought him to Europe when he signed for Monaco in 1988. Weah moved to Paris Saint Germain in 1992 where he won Ligue 1 in 1994 and became the top scorer of the UEFA Champions League 1994–95. He signed for A.C. Milan in 1995 where he spent four very successful seasons, scoring some spectacular goals (the most notable running the length of the field against Verona), and won Serie A twice. He then moved to the English Premier League towards the end of his career and had spells at Chelsea and Manchester City.
An idol in Africa, Weah has been heavily involved in politics in his homeland Liberia. He ran unsuccessfully for president in the 2005 election, losing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the second round of voting. In the 2011 election, he ran for vice president on Winston Tubman's ticket. Running as a Congress for Democratic Change candidate, he was elected to the Senate in 2014.

luni, 9 martie 2015

Success 2015: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, "The Phenomenon", is a Brazilian footballer. He is one of only four men to have won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times or more. He also won the Ballon d'Or twice, in 1997 and again in 2002

Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (born 18 September 1976) commonly known as Ronaldo, is a Brazilian retired footballer. Popularly dubbed "the phenomenon", he is considered by experts and fans to be one of the greatest football players of all time. He is one of only four men to have won the FIFA World Player of the Year award three times or more, along with Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He also won the Ballon d'Or twice, in 1997 and again in 2002.
Considered by many one of the best strikers of all time, in 2007 he was named in the greatest ever starting eleven by France Football magazine and in 2004 was named in the FIFA 100 list of the greatest living players compiled by Pelé. He was inducted Into the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame in 2006. In February 2011, Ronaldo announced his retirement from football.
Ronaldo played for Brazil in 98 matches, scoring 62 goals, and is the second highest goalscorer for his national team. Aged 17, he was a part of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the 1998 World Cup he received the Golden Ball for player of the tournament in helping Brazil reach the final where he suffered a convulsive fit hours before the defeat to France. He won a second World Cup in 2002 where he scored twice in the final, and received the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal which was a World Cup record.
Having suffered a string of serious injuries throughout his career, Ronaldo retired on 14 February 2011, citing pain and hypothyroidism as the reasons for his premature retirement. Since 2000, Ronaldo has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned with helping move the world against poverty. In January 2013 he was named one of the six Ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

joi, 5 martie 2015

Lev Yashin, nicknamed as "The Black Spider" or "The Black Panther", was a Soviet-Russian football goalkeeper, considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game


Lev Ivanovich Yashin (Russian: Лев Ива́нович Я́шин, 22 October 1929 – 20 March 1990), nicknamed as "The Black Spider" or "The Black Panther", was a Soviet-Russian football goalkeeper, considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game. He was known for his athleticism in goal, imposing stature and reflex saves. He was also deputy chairman of the Football Federation of the Soviet Union.
Yashin earned iconic status for revolutionizing the goalkeeping position by stamping his authority on the entire defence. He shouted orders at his defenders, came off his line to intercept crosses and also ran out to meet onrushing attackers, done at a time when goalkeepers spent the 90 minutes standing in the goal waiting to be called into action. His performances made an indelible impression on a global audience at the 1958 World Cup, the first to be broadcast internationally, and dressed head to toe in black his nickname the 'Black Spider' enhanced his popularity.
Yashin appeared in four World Cups from 1958 to 1970, and in 2002 was chosen on the FIFA Dream Team of the history of World Cups. In 1994 he was chosen for the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, and in 1998 was chosen a member of the World Team of the 20th Century. He made over 150 penalty saves and kept over 270 clean sheets in his career, winning a Gold medal at the 1956 Olympic football tournament, and won the 1960 European Championships. In 1963, Yashin was named the European Footballer of the Year, the only goalkeeper ever to receive the award. He was voted the best goalkeeper of the 20th century by the IFFHS.

In 1954, Yashin was called up to the national team, and would go on to gather 74 caps. With the national team he won the 1956 Summer Olympics and the 1960 European Championship. He also played in three World Cups, in 1958, 1962 and 1966. Yashin is credited with four clean sheets out of the 12 games he played in the World Cup finals.

The 1958 World Cup, played in Sweden, put Yashin on the map for his performances, with the Soviet Union advancing to the quarter-finals. In a group stage match against the eventual Cup winners Brazil, which the Soviet team lost 2–0, Yashin’s performance prevented the score from becoming a rout. He was selected into the All-Star Team that World Cup.
In 1962, despite suffering two concussions during the tournament, he once again led the team to a quarter-final finish, before losing to host country Chile.
 That tournament showed that Yashin was all too human, having made some uncharacteristic mistakes. In the game against Colombia, which the Soviet Union was leading 4–1, Yashin let in a few soft goals, including a goal scored by Marcos Coll directly from a corner kick (the first and the only goal scored directly from a corner in FIFA World Cup history). The game finished in a 4–4 tie, which led the French newspaper l'Equipe to predict the end of Yashin’s career. Despite the disappointment of the 1962 World Cup, Yashin would bounce back to win the Ballon d'Or in 1963. One of his best performances that year was the FA Centenary match, when he appeared in the ‘Rest of the World XI’ against England at Wembley Stadium, and made a number of breathtaking and almost unbelievable saves. From that point onward he was known all over the world as the "Black Spider" because he wore a distinctive all-black outfit and because it seemed as though he had eight arms to save almost everything. But to his fans, he was always the fearless "Black Panther". He often played wearing a cloth cap of burnt-brick colour. Yashin led the Soviet team to its best showing at the FIFA World Cup, a fourth place finish in the 1966 World Cup held in England.
Always ready to give advice to his comrades, Yashin even made a fourth trip to the World Cup finals in 1970, held in Mexico, as the third-choice back-up and an assistant coach. The Soviet team again reached the quarter-finals. In 1971, in Moscow, he played his last match for Dynamo Moscow. Lev Yashin’s FIFA testimonial match was held at the Lenin Stadium in Moscow with 100,000 fans attending and a host of football stars, including Pelé, Eusébio and Franz Beckenbauer.