Barcelona and Real Madrid are 180 minutes away from the dreamed final

The two most popular teams in Spain have the possibility of meeting again in a Copa del Rey championship game, something that doesn’t happen since 1990 when Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 2-0 in Valencia and proclaimed themselves as the champions.

Since their last championship in 1993 against Real Zaragoza, Real Madrid has found nothing but frustrations in every Copa del Rey edition, where they even suffered a painful defeat the day of their centenary in their home field against Deportivo de la Coruna by 1-2. Despite having won 17 titles in the franchise history, the white team has watched the exact number of seasons go by without being able to crown themselves as the number one team of a competition that was established in 1902 to honor the coronation of Alfonso XIII.

Real Madrid won a semifinal berth after leaving behind their city rival Atletico de Madrid by a 4-1 score in the aggregate. Their last obstacle before the final will be no other than the defending champion Sevilla, team that defeated Villareal by 6-3 in the aggregate.

Sevilla is already heating things up prior to Wednesday’s game through the media, as they have aired a video in their website with a slogan in Portuguese, in clear reference to Real Madrid’s coach Jose Mourinho -from Portugal- that reads: “we will leave without title”. And in Spanish the appeal to their fans to pack up the stadium by telling them: “don’t let no Real Madrid fan take up your seat”.

The defending champions need to make the best out of their home field advantage, as one week later -February the 2nd- they will be closing the series at Madrid, in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium. That field brings good memories to Sevilla as it was the scenario where they won the 2007 Copa del Rey title against Getafe by 3-1. The last time that Sevilla and Real Madrid collided in this competition was back in the 2004 semifinals, which was won by Real Madrid 2-1 in the aggregate. The last game was disputed in Sevilla was very controversial, since Real Madrid’s sports manager Jorge Valdano went into the referees’ locker-room during halftime and at the beginning of the second half Iturralde Gonzalez showed a red card to Javi Navarro.

The 25-time Copa del Rey winner Barcelona is the clear favorite in the other game of the semifinals, as they face Almeria, a team that has never won the competition and marches third from last in La Liga championship. In that competition Barcelona defeated them by 8-0 on the road two months ago, and now will meet again under completely different circumstances on January 26. In this competition Almeria is not the team that fights against relegation, but the team that defeated Deportivo by 4-2 in the aggregate for the quarterfinals, and wants to surprise Barcelona in the semifinals.

Barcelona already knows the importance of taking this competition seriously and what kind of problems they can go through against low-profile teams, as in the quarterfinals they lost to second division Real Betis on the road by 3-1. If it wasn’t because they had won the first game at home by 5-0, a surprise could have had taken place. Knowing this, don’t take Almeria elimination for granted.

For Coaches – How to Conduct a Pre-Season Parent Meeting?

Getting your season off to a good start involves being proactive on a number of items. You will want to get all your gear together, and get an idea of your opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as meeting with your players and understanding their hopes and expectations.

Don’t forget to set up a meeting with your players’ parents, so you can lay out all of your rules and expectations. A great way to get parental buy-in is to have a group meeting with them before the season begins. There you can explain your coaching philosophy and set the tone for the season. With parental approval and involvement before your first practice, your season will get started on the right foot.

In case you are unsure about what kinds of subjects you might cover, here’s an outline to get you started.

1. Welcome and Introduction. Start off by introducing yourself to the parents, and explain your background, including any previous coaching experience. Parents want to know why you have been chosen to coach their children. Show your enthusiasm for the sport, and let them know just how much you plan to enjoy the season.

2. Coaching Philosophy. Here’s where you lay out how you plan to coach. Many coaches follow a “ROOTS” philosophy – this stands for Respecting the Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self. You have the unique opportunity to teach children that they can respect others even as they disagree with them. You may also let the parents know that you lead by encouragement and positive feedback as opposed to intimidation and threats, and that you appreciate learning and effort.

3. Goals and Hopes for the Season. Is winning a huge priority, or do you just want the players to have fun? One thing you should express is that at the end of the season, you want every player to feel good about himself and to want to return to your team for the following season. You want to help the players improve their skills and knowledge of the game, and to give them all the chance to compete in a meaningful way.

4. Ask parents what are their goals and hopes. Make sure your meeting is interactive, and ask parents what they want their child to achieve. Perhaps ask about previous coaches, in what areas they may have felt that the previous coach was not successful. Listen respectfully. You can learn a lot about what the parents want and don’t want in this segment of the meeting.

5. Ask for parent involvement. Many parents will not want to do anything, but others will be more than willing to help out. You might want to set up a rotation of parents to bring snacks and drinks to the practices and games. You might need some carpools to get the players from the home field to any away games. You might also want to enlist some super-enthusiastic parents to help as an assistant coach, an administrative assistant (taking notes and keeping stats for later analysis) or other such activities that can help lighten your load as the coach.

If you have a one to two-hour meeting with the parents before the season even begins, and lay out all of your issues and allow them to discuss theirs, your team will be off to terrific start even before their first practice. You will not be disappointed when you see how much this simple time commitment will help during the rest of the season.

Soccer Conditioning : Uncover Recovery Tips

You’ve probably heard it a hundred times that it is a good idea to alter the intensity in soccer conditioning on days following a competition. It results in a better quality shot in a match and likewise in the trainings. Coaches tend to falter in their approach when a competition is around the corner.

When a tournament is approaching, it is best to employ a “less is more” approach to training. Bring down the number and the length of drills but keep the level of intensity high. It suggests an apt amount of incentive to continue with the performance. Coaches act just contrary to it.

They increase the volume as well as the intensity and this leads to problems of over training and stress. As a result, when the day of the match approaches, the players are not a one-hundred percent.

It applies to post match soccer fitness as well. The players tend to feel tired, stiff, and experience pain after the match, depending upon the duration of the match. So it’s essential to carry out a workout session, the very next day, aimed at helping players recuperate. This has the effect of letting the player’s muscles rest and bounce back to their usual self.

Again ensure that these sessions are not extensive. In general, 15-30 minutes is more than perfect when it comes to the length of these workouts. The goal must be to counter the stress that occurred during the match or competition.

The most common recovery after a match is the cool down session. This sort of soccer conditioning is helpful in slowing down the body and controlling the flow of blood normal through the muscles. In addition to static stretching, add some light activities too such as shuffling, skipping, and carioca.

Once you leave the field and get home, taking a cool or hot shower (whatever relaxes you) does wonders to this recovery process.

To lessen the training stress, plan specific recovery sessions that must be undertaken during, between, and after the soccer exercises. If the sessions are long and without adequate gaps for recovery sessions, it will definitely lead to reduced performances and unnecessary fatigue.

As the training session progresses, the intensity of the activities should come down. This will help the body get conditioned for the next session.

Follow the days of heavy soccer workouts with light exercises on another day. Include a complete day off in between when the players can rest. The training sessions must always end with cool down and stretching exercises. In this, you can include light movement drills, self-massage, as well as body stretches. This will deal with the soreness in the muscles due to breakdown of muscle tissues.

So there you have it! Add these post match/workout soccer conditioning tips to your sessions and you will be amazed by the results of your workouts. Our youth soccer coaching community offers tons of soccer resources in the form of articles, newsletters, videos etc. Make a good use of them by registering today.

Why You Need to Use Livescore Services Online?

Many sports enthusiasts want to keep tabs on the latest developments in different matches. Some love following cricket, others love football, and some want to watch hockey. Due to work, school and tight schedules many people do not have the slightest chance to understand events going on and only with highlights in the evening news. This makes it harder for fans to show support for their game, and in the end, lose interest. Luckily, with the chance to use livescore site, you gain the first hand information to access all latest matches, the results, and live feeds. This makes you understand all areas of interest in the game, and you do not need to wait for sports news.

These sites do not charge you to access the information. This is unlike the cable television stations, where you need to subscribe to get sports channels. This is a free site, where any fan gets the opportunity to view different games they want. Those who love hockey, football, cricket, tennis, and online sports betting have the chance to get all information they need. This attracts a huge following from all over the globe since they want to catch the action since it is aired live as it happens. There is no need to cut off your daily schedule to watch the matches since you can access it online even as you work, or use the mobile phone.

Due to time zone differences,, it becomes harder for some to know when the next game will air. This means they could miss the chance to watch the finals, but with the site, they have the latest updates, match fixing and time conversion to give you localized settings. Those wishing to know more about the lineup match have the chance to know past details about the team playing, the games won and lost. This makes it easier for them to know more about the players and even get the chance to predict the outcome of the game.

Some people love different sports and it becomes harder to attend a live match and lose the chance of seeing another game. This mostly happens in football when different leagues air matches at the same time. Others want to watch basketball and cricket but they air at the same time, meaning they have to choose one. With Livescore, you do not need to worry since you can air both games at the same time online. Live streaming allows multiple loading of games, currently happening, and you only need to choose the ones you want to watch. This makes you have the perfect chance to watch both matches, and get instant results.

Some want to build a sports collection especially if they have favorite teams and players. Accessing past league matches is not easy but with livescores, you get instant access to the library collection. This gives you a summary of all matches the team or player has entered, the scores and professional reviews. Sports enthusiasts now have the opportunity to support their teams from any location in the world using the live scores access.

UEFA Champions League Last 16 Preview

The draw for the Champions League stage took place on Friday and it’s thrown some interesting encounters. The stand out fixture sees Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal take on Italian giants AC Milan. The two legged encounter will take place on the 15th February and 6th of March. Arsenal will visit the San Siro first before they return to the comforts of The Emirates. Even though the Italian side will go into the tie as favourites the Gunners will be confident of coming out on top especially as they beat Milan three seasons ago 2-0 thanks to a inspirational performance from Cesc Fabregas. The North London side also a great recent record against Italian sides beating both Roma and Inter Milan.

Other than this fixture the big sides have been kept apart. Another tie that should prove interesting sees Chelsea face the conquerors of Manchester City, Napoli. The Italian side may go into the tie as massive under dogs but their fans are some of the most passionate about and will be every present when the English side visit in February. It will be interesting to see if Chelsea boss Villas-Boas would have added to his side in the January transfer window and if so whether they will be eligible to play.

The full draw for the last 16th looks like this

Lyon (Fra) v APOEL (Cyp)

Napoli (Ita) v Chelsea (Eng)

AC Milan (Ita) vArsenal (Eng)

Basel (Swi) v Bayern Munich (Ger)

Bayer Leverkusen (Ger) v Barcelona (Spa)

CSKA Moscow (Rus) v Real Madrid (Spa)

Zenit St Petersburg (Rus) v Benfica (Por)

Marseille (Fra) v Inter Milan (Ita)

One side that will simply be delighted with being in the draw will be Cypriot side APOEL, and they will still fancy their chances of a quarter final berth as they face a Lyon side that aren’t as imposing as they have been in previous Champions League.

Defending champions Barcelona will face German side Bayer Leverkusen and will certainly be confident of making it into the last 8. Their La Liga form has picked up and they are certain to produce impressive displays but they will be without the services of star striker David Villa due to injury.

Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid will be delighted with their draw as they face Swiss side Basel who knocked English champions Manchester United out of the competition. There is a possibility that the Swiss side could be expelled from the competition if UEFA decide the Swiss FA haven’t acted correctly with FC Sion who were thrown out of the Europa League early in the year.

For tips and football betting on the Champions League will cover all matches throughout the tournament. It’s difficult to look past Barcelona retaining the Champions League but it certainly not wise to write of their Spanish rivals Real Madrid who will be desperate to add another European trophy to their impressive collection.

Nike Mercurial Vapor 8 Is Not Only For Soccer

The journey of the Nike Mercurial boot began in the year of 1998 during the World Cup in France. Sported by the most destructive striking force of that generation, Luis Nazaro da Lima, known to most as Ronaldo, the boot design was sparked to life with a typically mesmeric performance.

Since then this series of soccer shoes has undergone many incarnations with design features improving with each edition making the boots lighter, faster and more responsive. Now Nike have unveiled the Mercurial Vapor 8. It is the first boot in most of people’s opinion sice the original that has managed to recapture the magic of the original edition.

‘The suede textured Teijin Microfiber upper fulfilling a similar promise to the sticky leather worn by Ronaldo almost a decade agao.’

Redesigned to create a snug upper while locking down the foot, and preventing unwanted movement, Nike’s new Anatomic Last takes the fit of the soccer shoes to a new level of support and stability. This effect is enhanced by a more minimalist and softer heel counter, maximizing both comfort and fit.

Crafted using all of Nike’s expertise, the new Mercurial Vapor 8 is a forward thinking, modern boot for the player who is ready to explode into action. Though this boot is known to all is used on soccer field, other player with another different kind of sport is keen on this as well.

It is a badly truth that there are not many professional rugby players that still wear the Nike Mercurial Vapor Soccer Shoes. However, the South Africa fly half Morne Steyn has stuck with the boots of Mercurial Vapor viii.

The new Mango Vapors are available in both Soft Ground and Firm Ground but Steyn opted for the boots designed for the harder surface. The Firm Ground boot is built on a lightweight, contoured, full length glass fiber chassis sole unit with duel TPU injected blades which are designed to deliver unrivaled acceleration. There are twin heel studs on either boot for optimal penetration and stability. This is ideal for Steyn when kicking from hand and off the tee.

What’s more, the suitable materials used in this boot makes it is a good choice for Steyn. The upper is made from a soft, extra-thin teijin synthetic leather which adjusts to the natural foot shape of the wearer so the wearer experiences unrivalled comfort. Previously the likes of Chris Ashton and Hosea Gear have worn the Nike speed boots although both have now switched to Nike Total 90s and Adidas adiZero RS7 II’s respectively.