Tuesday, September 25, 2012

English Premier League : An Overview

The Premier League is an English professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Football League. The Premier League is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 38 matches each, totalling 380 matches in the season. Most games are played in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the other games during weekday evenings. It is currently sponsored by Barclays Bank and thus officially known as the Barclays Premier League. Outside England it is commonly referred to as the English Premier League (EPL). The Premier League have two teams in the top five UEFA rankings: Chelsea is 5th, and Manchester United is 3rd.
The competition formed as the FA Premier League on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Football League First Division to break away from The Football League, which was originally founded in 1888, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. This deal will be worth £3 billion as of 2013–14, with BSkyB and BT Group securing the rights to broadcast 116 and 38 games respectively. The Premier League is the most-watched football league in the world, broadcast in 212 territories to an audience of 643 million viewers. In the 2010–11 season the average Premier League match attendance was 35,363, the second highest of any professional football league other than the German Bundesliga, and stadium occupancy was 92.2% capacity. The Premier League ranked first in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years.
Since 1888, a total of 23 clubs have been crowned champions of the English football system. Of the 45 clubs to have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, five have won the title: Manchester United (12 titles), Arsenal (3), Chelsea (3), Blackburn Rovers (1) and Manchester City (1). The current champions are Manchester City, who won the title in the 2011–12 season.

Manchester United
Manchester United
Blackburn Rovers
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester United
Manchester City


Despite significant European success during the 1970s and early 1980s, the late '80s had marked a low point for English football. Stadia were crumbling, supporters endured poor facilities, hooliganism was rife, and English clubs were banned from European competition for five years following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985. The Football League First Division, which had been the top level of English football since 1888, was well behind leagues such as Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga in attendances and revenues, and several top English players had moved abroad. However, by the turn of the 1990s the downward trend was starting to reverse; England had been successful in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, reaching the semi-finals. UEFA, European football's governing body, lifted the five-year ban on English clubs playing in European competitions in 1990 (resulting in Manchester United lifting the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1991) and the Taylor Report on stadium safety standards, which proposed expensive upgrades to create all-seater stadia in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, was published in January of that year.
Television money had also become much more important; the Football League received £6.3 million for a two-year agreement in 1986, but when that deal was renewed in 1988, the price rose to £44 million over four years. The 1988 negotiations were the first signs of a breakaway league; ten clubs threatened to leave and form a "super league", but were eventually persuaded to stay. As stadia improved and match attendance and revenues rose, the country's top teams again considered leaving the Football League in order to capitalise on the growing influx of money being pumped into the sport.

barclays premier league


At the close of the 1991 season, a proposal for the establishment of a new league was tabled that would bring more money into the game overall. The Founder Members Agreement, signed on 17 July 1991 by the game's top-flight clubs, established the basic principles for setting up the FA Premier League. The newly formed top division would have commercial independence from The Football Association and the Football League, giving the FA Premier League licence to negotiate its own broadcast and sponsorship agreements. The argument given at the time was that the extra income would allow English clubs to compete with teams across Europe.
In 1992 the First Division clubs resigned from the Football League en masse and on 27 May 1992 the FA Premier League was formed as a limited company working out of an office at the Football Association's then headquarters in Lancaster Gate. This meant a break-up of the 104-year-old Football League that had operated until then with four divisions; the Premier League would operate with a single division and the Football League with three. There was no change in competition format; the same number of teams competed in the top flight, and promotion and relegation between the Premier League and the new First Division remained the same as the old First and Second Divisions with three teams relegated from the league and three promoted.[11]
The league held its first season in 1992–93 and was originally composed of 22 clubs. The first ever Premier League goal was scored by Brian Deane of Sheffield United in a 2–1 win against Manchester United. The 22 inaugural members of the new Premier League were Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea, Coventry City, Crystal Palace, Everton, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Oldham Athletic, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Wimbledon. Luton Town, Notts County and West Ham United were the three teams relegated from the old first division at the end of the 1991–92 season, and did not take part in the inaugural Premier League season.


Due to insistence by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the international governing body of football, that domestic leagues reduce the number of games clubs played, the number of clubs was reduced to 20 in 1995 when four teams were relegated from the league and only two teams promoted. On 8 June 2006, FIFA requested that all major European leagues, including Italy's Serie A and Spain's La Liga be reduced to 18 teams by the start of the 2007–08 season. The Premier League responded by announcing their intention to resist such a reduction. Ultimately, the 2007–08 season kicked off again with 20 teams. The league changed its name from the FA Premier League to simply the Premier League in 2007. Welsh club Swansea City were promoted to the Premier League for the 2011–12 season. They were the first non-English team to compete in the Premier League. On 20 August 2011, the first Premier League match to be played outside England was between Swansea City and Wigan Athletic at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales.


Corporate structure

The Premier League is operated as a corporation and is owned by the 20 member clubs. Each club is a shareholder, with one vote each on issues such as rule changes and contracts. The clubs elect a chairman, chief executive, and board of directors to oversee the daily operations of the league. The current chairman is Sir Dave Richards, who was appointed in April 1999, and the chief executive is Richard Scudamore, appointed in November 1999. The former chairman and chief executive, John Quinton and Peter Leaver, were forced to resign in March 1999 after awarding consultancy contracts to former Sky executives Sam Chisholm and David Chance. The Football Association is not directly involved in the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, but has veto power as a special shareholder during the election of the chairman and chief executive and when new rules are adopted by the league.
The Premier League sends representatives to UEFA's European Club Association, the number of clubs and the clubs themselves chosen according to UEFA coefficients. For the 2010–11 season the Premier League had 10 representatives in the Association: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur. The European Club Association is responsible for electing three members to UEFA's Club Competitions Committee, which is involved in the operations of UEFA competitions such as the Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Competition format


There are 20 clubs in the Premier League. During the course of a season (from August to May) each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 38 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The three lowest placed teams are relegated into the Football League Championship, and the top two teams from the Championship, together with the winner of play-offs involving the third to sixth placed Championship clubs, are promoted in their place.

manchester united

Qualification for European competitions

Arsenal against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League in 2011
As of the 2009–10 season qualification for the UEFA Champions League changed, the top four teams in the Premier League qualify for the UEFA Champions League, with the top three teams directly entering the group stage. Previously only the top two teams qualified automatically. The fourth-placed team enters the Champions League at the play-off round for non-champions and must win a two-legged knockout tie in order to enter the group stage. The team placed fifth in the Premier League automatically qualifies for the UEFA Europa League, and the sixth and seventh-placed teams can also qualify, depending on the winners and runners-up of the two domestic cup competitions. Two Europa League places are reserved for the winner of each of the domestic cup competitions; if the winner of the FA Cup qualifies for the Champions League, then that place will go to the runner-up, and if the runner-up is also already qualified, then that place will go to the next-best placed finisher in the Premier League. If the winner of the League Cup has already qualified, that place goes to the next-best placed team in the league. A further place in the UEFA Europa League is also available via the Fair Play initiative. If the Premier League has one of the three highest Fair Play rankings in Europe, the highest ranked team in the Premier League Fair Play standings which has not already qualified for Europe will automatically qualify for the UEFA Europa League first qualifying round.
An exception to the usual European qualification system happened in 2005, after Liverpool won the Champions League the year before, but did not finish in a Champions League qualification place in the Premier League that season. UEFA gave special dispensation for Liverpool to enter the Champions League, giving England five qualifiers. UEFA subsequently ruled that the defending champions qualify for the competition the following year regardless of their domestic league placing. However, for those leagues with four entrants in the Champions League, this meant that if the Champions League winner finished outside the top four in its domestic league, it would qualify at the expense of the fourth-placed team in the league. No association can have more than four entrants in the Champions League. This occurred in 2012, when Chelsea – who had won the Champions League the previous year, but finished sixth in the league – qualified for the Champions League in place of Tottenham Hotspur, who went into the Europa League.
In 2007, the Premier League became the highest ranking European League based on the performances of English teams in European competitions over a five-year period. This broke the eight-year dominance of the Spanish league, La Liga. The top three leagues in Europe are currently allowed to enter four teams into the Champions League. Michel Platini, the UEFA president, had proposed taking one place from the top three leagues and allocating it to that nation's cup winners. This proposal was rejected in a vote at a UEFA Strategy Council meeting. In the same meeting, however, it was agreed that the third-placed team in the top four leagues would receive automatic qualification for the group stage, rather than entry into the third qualifying round, while the fourth-placed team would enter the play-off round for non-champions, guaranteeing an opponent from one of the top 15 leagues in Europe. This was part of Platini's plan to increase the number of teams qualifying directly into the group stage, while simultaneously increasing the number of teams from lower-ranked nations in the group stage.


The current Premier League trophy was created by Royal Jewellers Asprey of London. It consists of a trophy with a golden crown and a malachite plinth base. The plinth weighs 33 lbs (15 kg) and the trophy weighs 22 lbs (10 kg). The trophy and plinth are 76 cm (30 in) tall, 43 cm (17 in) wide and 25 cm (9.8 in) deep.
Its main body is solid sterling silver and silver gilt, while its plinth is made of malachite, a semi-precious stone. The plinth has a silver band around its circumference, upon which the names of the title-winning clubs are listed. Malachite's green colour is also representative of the green field of play. The design of the trophy is based on the heraldry of Three Lions that is associated with English football. Two of the lions are found above the handles on either side of the trophy – the third is symbolised by the captain of the title winning team as he raises the trophy, and its gold crown, above his head at the end of the season. In 2004, a special gold version of the trophy was commissioned to commemorate Arsenal winning the title without a single defeat.


The Premier League has been sponsored since 1993. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. There have been three sponsors since the league's formation.
  • 1993–2001: Carling (FA Carling Premiership)
  • 2001–2004: Barclaycard (Barclaycard Premiership)
  • 2004–present: Barclays (Barclays Premiership (until 2007) then Barclays Premier League)
As well as sponsorship for the league itself, the Premier League has a number of official partners and suppliers. The official ball supplier for the league is Nike who have had the contract since the 2000–01 season when they took over from Mitre.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bundesliga : An Overview

The Fußball-Bundesliga (commonly the Bundesliga, German pronunciation: Federal League) is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of the German football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga. Seasons run from August to May. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played during weekday evenings.
A total of 51 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga since its founding. FC Bayern Munich has won the Bundesliga the most, winning the title 21 times. However, the Bundesliga has seen other champions with Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart most prominent among them. The Bundesliga is one of the top national leagues, currently ranked 3rd in Europe according to UEFA's league coefficient ranking, based on recent European performances. The Bundesliga is the number one football league in terms of average attendance; out of all sports, its average of 45,134 fans per game during the 2011–12 season was only beaten by the NFL.
Unlike other countries, in Germany a unified national football league structure was quite late in developing. The Bundesliga was not formed until 1963 and the structure and organisation of the nation's football leagues have undergone frequent changes right up to the present day. The league was originally founded by the German Football Association, but is now operated by the Deutsche Fußball Liga.


Borussia Dortmund against rivals Schalke, known as the Revierderby, in 2009
The Bundesliga is composed of two divisions: the 1. Bundesliga (although it is rarely referred to with the First prefix), and, below that, the 2. Bundesliga (Second Bundesliga), which has been the second tier of German football since 1974. The Bundesligen (plural) are professional leagues. Since 2008, the 3. Liga (3rd League) in Germany is also a professional league, but may not be called Bundesliga because the league is run by the German Football Association (DFB) and not, as are the two Bundesligen, by the German Football League (Deutsche Fußball-Liga or DFL).
Below the level of the 3rd league, leagues are generally often subdivided on a regional basis. For example, the Regionalligen are currently made up of Nord (North), Süd (South) and West divisions, and the Oberligen (upper leagues) are composed of nine divisions representing federal states or large urban and geographical areas. The levels below the Oberligen differ between the local areas. The league structure has changed frequently and typically reflects the degree of participation in the sport in various parts of the country. In the early 1990s, changes were driven by the reunification of Germany and the subsequent integration of the national leagues of East and West Germany.
Every team in the two Bundesligen must have a licence to play in the league, or else they are relegated into the regional leagues. To obtain a licence, teams must be financially healthy and meet certain standards of conduct as organisations.
As in other national leagues, there are significant benefits to being in the top division:
  • A greater share of television broadcast licence revenues goes to 1. Bundesliga sides.
  • 1. Bundesliga teams draw significantly greater levels of fan support. Average attendance in the first league is 42,673 per game — more than twice the average of the 2. Bundesliga.
  • Greater exposure through television and higher attendance levels helps 1. Bundesliga teams attract the most lucrative sponsorships.
  • 1. Bundesliga teams develop substantial financial muscle through the combination of television and gate revenues, sponsorships and marketing of their team brands. This allows them to attract and retain skilled players from domestic and international sources and to construct first-class stadium facilities.
The 1. Bundesliga is financially strong, and the 2. Bundesliga has begun to evolve in a similar direction, becoming more stable organisationally and financially, and reflecting an increasingly higher standard of professional play.
Internationally, the most well-known German clubs include Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen and VfB Stuttgart. Hamburger SV is the only team to have played continuously in the Bundesliga since its foundation.
In the 2008–09 season, the Bundesliga reinstated an earlier German system of promotion and relegation:
  • The bottom two finishers in the Bundesliga are automatically relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, with the top two finishers in the 2. Bundesliga taking their place.
  • The third-from-bottom club in the Bundesliga will play a two-legged match with the third-place team from the 2. Bundesliga, with the winner taking up the final place in the following season's Bundesliga.
For several years, a different system had been used in which the bottom three finishers of the Bundesliga had been automatically relegated, to be replaced by the top three finishers in the 2. Bundesliga. (Before 1974–75 it was only four clubs that changed places instead of six).


The season starts in early August and lasts until late May, with a winter break of six weeks (mid-December through to the end of January). In recent years, games have been played on Saturdays (five games beginning at 3:30 pm and one game beginning at 6:30 pm) and Sundays (one game beginning at 3:00 pm and one game at 5:00 pm). A new television deal in 2006 reintroduced a Friday game (beginning at 8:30 pm).



Prior to the formation of the Bundesliga, German football was played at an amateur level in a large number of sub-regional leagues until, in 1949, part-time (semi-) professionalism was introduced and only five regional Oberligen (Premier Leagues) remained. Regional champions and runners-up played a series of playoff matches for the right to compete in a final game for the national championship. On 28 January 1900, a national association, the Deutscher Fußball Bund (DFB) had been founded in Leipzig with 86 member clubs. The first recognised national championship team was VfB Leipzig, who beat DFC Prague 7–2 in a game played at Altona on 31 May 1903.
Through the 1950s, there were continued calls for the formation of a central professional league, especially as professional leagues in other countries began to draw Germany's best players away from the semi-professional domestic leagues. At the international level the German game began to falter as German teams often fared poorly against professional teams from other countries. A key supporter of the central league concept was national team head coach Sepp Herberger who said, “If we want to remain competitive internationally, we have to raise our expectations at the national level.”
Meanwhile, in East Germany, a separate league was established with the formation of the DS-Oberliga (Deutscher Sportausschuss Oberliga) in 1950. The league was renamed the Football Oberliga DFV in 1958 and was generally referred to simply as the DDR-Liga or DDR-Oberliga. The league fielded 14 teams with two relegation spots.


The defeat of the national team by Yugoslavia (0–1) in a 1962 World Cup quarter-final game in Chile was one impetus (of many) to the formation of a national league. Under new DFB president Hermann Gösmann (elected that very day) the Bundesliga was created in Dortmund on 28 July 1962 to begin play starting with the 1963–64 season.
At the time, there were five Oberligen (Premier Leagues) in place representing West Germany's North, South, West, Southwest, and Berlin. East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain, maintained its separate league structure. 46 clubs applied for admission to the new league. 16 teams were selected based on their success on the field, economic criteria and representation of the various Oberligen.
•From Oberliga Nord: Eintracht Braunschweig, Werder Bremen, Hamburger SV
•From Oberliga West: Borussia Dortmund, 1. FC Köln, Meidericher SV (now MSV Duisburg), Preußen Münster, Schalke 04
•From Oberliga Südwest: 1. FC Kaiserslautern, 1. FC Saarbrücken
•From Oberliga Süd: Eintracht Frankfurt, Karlsruher SC, 1. FC Nuremberg, TSV 1860 München, VfB Stuttgart
•From Oberliga Berlin: Hertha BSC
bundesliga logos

The first Bundesliga games were played on 24 August 1963. Early favorite 1. FC Köln was the first Bundesliga champion (with 45:19 points) over second place clubs Meidericher SV and Eintracht Frankfurt (both 39:25).

Structure and competition

The German football champion is decided strictly by play in the Bundesliga. Each club plays every other club once at home and once away. Originally, a victory was worth two points, with one point for a draw and none for a loss. Since the 1995–96 season, a victory has been worth three points, with no change in the value of a draw or loss. The club with the most points at the end of the season becomes German champions. Currently, the top three clubs in the table qualify automatically for the group phase of the UEFA Champions League, while the fourth-place team enters the Champions League at the third qualifying round (see overview). The two teams at the bottom of the table are relegated into the 2nd Bundesliga, while the top two teams in the 2nd Bundesliga are promoted. The 16th-placed team (third-last), and the third-placed team in the 2nd Bundesliga play a two-leg play-off match. The winner of this match plays the next season in the Bundesliga, and the loser in the 2nd Bundesliga.
If teams are level on points, tie-breakers are applied in the following order:
  1. Goal difference for the entire season
  2. Total goals scored for the entire season
  3. Head-to-head results (total points)
  4. Head-to-head goals scored
  5. Head-to-head away goals scored
  6. Total away goals scored for the entire season
If two clubs are still tied after all of these tie-breakers have been applied, a single match is held at a neutral site to determine the placement. However, this has never been necessary in the history of the Bundesliga.
In terms of team selection, matchday squads must have no more than five non-EU representatives. Seven substitutes are permitted to be selected, from which three can be used in the duration of the game.

Changes in league structure

  • Number of teams:
    • 1963–64 to 1964–65: 16
    • 1965–66 to 1990–91: 18
    • 1991–92: 20, while East and West German leagues were being combined after German reunification
    • Since 1992–93: 18
  • Number of teams relegated (automatic relegation except as noted):
    • 1963–64 to 1973–74: 2
    • 1974–75 to 1980–81: 3
    • 1981–82 to 1990–91: 2 automatic plus the 16th-place team in the First Bundesliga played a two-leg relegation match against the third-place team of the Second Bundesliga for the final spot in the First Bundesliga
    • 1991–92: 4
    • 1992–93 to 2007–08: 3
    • Since 2008–09: 2 automatic plus the 16th-place team in the First Bundesliga playing a two-leg relegation match against the third-place team of the Second Bundesliga for the final spot in the First Bundesliga

European qualification (as of 2011–12)

  • 1st, 2nd place and 3rd place: Group phase of UEFA Champions League
  • 4th place: Play-off round of Champions League for non-champions. Winners at this stage enter the group phase; losers enter the group phase of UEFA Europa League.
  • DFB-Pokal (German Cup) winner: Qualifies for group phase of UEFA Europa League regardless of league position.
    • If the Cup winner qualifies for the Champions League, the cup winner's place in the Europa League goes to the defeated cup finalist if it is not already qualified for European competition, although the defeated cup finalist will enter the competition a stage earlier than if it had won the Cup. This rule was retained from the Europa League's predecessor, the UEFA Cup.
      • The team that benefits from this rule does not necessarily have to be a Bundesliga member. For example, although 2nd Bundesliga sides Alemannia Aachen lost to Werder Bremen in the 2004 DFB-Pokal Final, Alemannia secured an entry in the 2004–05 UEFA Cup, because Werder qualified for the Champions League as First Bundesliga champions.
      • Also, if both cup finalists qualify for the Champions League, the Europa League berth reserved for the DFB-Pokal winners is transferred to the highest finisher below the Champions League qualification places, with the two teams immediately below assuming the regular Europa League spots. This most recently happened in 2012, when the 2012 DFB-Pokal Final pitted champions Borussia Dortmund against second-placed Bayern Munich. As a result, seventh-placed Hannover 96, which would otherwise not have qualified for a European competition, received a berth in the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League.
  • 5th place: Play-off round of Europa League
  • 6th place: Third qualifying round of Europa League
  • An additional place in the Europa League may also be granted via the UEFA Fair Play mechanism. This rule was maintained from the UEFA Cup. The last Bundesliga team to gain entry to the UEFA Cup via the fair play rule was Mainz 05 in 2005–06.
The number of German clubs which may participate in UEFA competitions is determined by UEFA coefficients, which take into account the results of a particular nation's clubs in UEFA competitions over the preceding five years.

History of European qualification

  • European Cup/Champions League:

    • Up to and including 1996–97: German champion only.
    • 1997–99: Top two teams; champions automatically into group phase, runners-up entered the qualifying round.
    • 1999–2008: Top two teams automatically into first group phase (only one group phase starting in 2003–04). Depending on the DFB's UEFA coefficients standing, either one or two other clubs (most recently one) entered at the third qualifying round; winners at this level entered the group phase.
    • 2008–2011: Top two teams automatically into group phase. Third placed team had to play in the play-off round for the right to play in the group stage.

  • UEFA Cup/Europa League:

    • From 1971–72 to 1998–99, UEFA member nations could send between one and four teams to the UEFA Cup. Germany was always entitled to send at least three teams to the competition and often as many as four. From 1978–79, the number of participants was determined by the DFB's UEFA coefficent standing, prior to this the method for deciding the number of participants is unknown. The best performing teams in the league other than the champion would qualify, although if one of these teams was also winner of the DFB-Pokal then they would enter the Cup Winners' Cup instead and their UEFA Cup place would be taken by the next highest-placed team in the league (5th or 6th place). Briefly in the mid-1970s the DFB decided to allocate the last UEFA Cup place to the DFB-Pokal runner-up instead of a third or fourth team qualified by performance in the league, meaning that at this point the DFB-Pokal qualified two teams for European competition (winners for the Cup Winners' Cup, runners-up for the UEFA Cup). This policy was unique amongst UEFA member associations and was dropped after only a few seasons. Starting with the 1999–2000 season and the abolition of the Cup Winners' Cup (which was then folded into the UEFA Cup), the DFB-Pokal winner now automatically qualified for the UEFA Cup alongside, depending on the DFB's UEFA coefficients standing, between one and three extra participants (if the DFB-Pokal winner also qualified for the Champions League, they were replaced by the DFB-Pokal runner-up; if they were also qualified for the Champions League, the UEFA Cup place went to the next best placed team in the league not otherwise qualified for European competition). Since 1999, the DFB has always been entitled to enter a minimum of three clubs in the UEFA Cup/Europa League, and at times as many as four (the maximum for any European federation). Teams that entered via UEFA's Fair Play mechanism, or those that entered through the now-defunct Intertoto Cup, did not count against the national quota. From 2006 through the final Intertoto Cup in 2008, only one First Bundesliga side was eligible to enter the Intertoto Cup and possibly earn a UEFA Cup berth. For the 2005–06 season, the DFB earned an extra UEFA Cup place via the Fair Play draw; this place went to Mainz 05 as the highest-ranked club in the Fair Play table of the First Bundesliga not already qualified for Europe.

  • Cup Winners' Cup (abolished after 1999):

    • The winner of the DFB-Pokal entered the Cup Winners' Cup, unless that team was also league champion and therefore competing in the European Cup/Champions League, in which case their place in the Cup Winners' Cup was taken by the DFB-Pokal runner-up. Today, the DFB-Pokal winner (if not otherwise qualified for the Champions League) enters the UEFA Europa League.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Serie A : Third Most Popular League Of The World

Some of the most effective soccer clubs and players within the world play within the Italian Serie A league, the primary division of soccer in Italia. twenty clubs presently play Serie A. The league features a main sponsor, TIM, a telecommunications company and therefore the official name of the league is ‘Serie A TIM’. Serie A has made the most important range of European Club Championships finalists.

The league has been contend with current format since 1929. Before that the competition was divided into regional tournaments. once a club wins the title it wears the Scudetto with the Italian colors on its uniform the subsequent season. Clubs that end within the prime four spots of the league qualify for the UEFA Champions League. the primary an second places qualify on to the cluster stage. Clubs that end within the fifth and sixth place severally, qualify for the UEFA CUP, along side the Coppa Italia winners. The 3 clubs with the least} amount of points by the top of the season are relegated to the Serie B – the Italian second division.

Serie A History

From 1898 to 1928 an Italian League, divided into regional teams was the format wont to verify the most effective soccer groups within the country. within the 1929-1930 season the organizations that dominated the regional tournaments were unified to make one single national championship.

As from the 1924/25 season, a club that wins the Italian Serie A receives the proper to wear the Scudetto – a kind of coat of arms with the Italian colours, green, white and red – on the their shirt for the subsequent season to point out that they're the title holders. Juventus of Turin is that the club with the foremost range of Serie A titles with twenty seven followed by AC milan with seventeen, inter milan with fifteen, Genoa with nine, Torino, Bologna and pro Vercelli – presently in Lega pro Seconda Divisione, former Serie C2, with seven titles every.

In may of 1949 a tragedy marked the history of the Italian Serie A once the plane transporting the complete torino FC squad, four time league champions, crashed into hill wherever the Basilica Superga – a church close to Turin - is found.

All the thirty one folks aboard were killed together with the eighteen Torino players, club officers, journalists and therefore the airline crew. The team was strolling back from Protugal wherever they contend a friendly match against Benfica and with solely four matches left to closing the season Torino was forced to play together with his youth team. In relevancy the tragedy all their opponents additionally used their youth players against metropolis and therefore the young ones were able to persevere the club’s lead within the competition and with the title. When Roma’s 200-2001 scudetto, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan have dominated Serie A within the recent years. Juventus won in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003, AC Milan 2003-2004 and inter milan won the last 2 seasons of the Serie A. The late Umberto Agnelli, one in every of the foremost potent entrepreneurs and politicians in Italia, introduced in 1958 the golden star for Sports Excellence to be a recognition to the clubs that win multiple championships. In Italia the Bloomeria crocea is other to a groups crest once the club wins 10 scudettos. presently solely 3 clubs within the Italian Serie A have this honour: inter milan, one star (15 scudettos); AC Milan one star (17 scudettos); Juventus a pair of stars (27 scudettos).
League Format

Serie A TIM starts in August and ends in could. every team plays thirty eight matches. The groups play each other alternative doubly, once reception and once away. The winner is that the club with the foremost range of points when the regular season. just in case of 2 groups finishing with constant range of points the winner are determined by their head-to-head confront, if the tie persists the goal differential is next deciding criterium. the highest a pair of groups automatically qualify for the cluster stage of the UEFA Champions League. Third and fourth place can enter the Champions League within the third round of the qualifying method and should play and win a two-legged knock out match to enter the cluster part. The groups that end fifth and sixth qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spanish League - An Overview


In april 1927, José María Acha, a director at Arenas Club de Getxo, initial planned the thought of a national league in Espana. when abundant dialogue concerning the dimensions of the league and who would participate, the $64000 Federación Española Diamond State Fútbol eventually in agreement on the 10 groups United Nations agency would kind the primary Primera División in 1929. Barcelona, Real madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Arenas Club de Getxo and Real Unión were all hand-picked as previous winners of the Copa del Rey. Atlético madrid, Espanyol and europa qualified as Copa del Rey runners-up and sport de Santander qualified through a knockout competition. solely 3 of the initiation clubs, Real madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao, haven't been relegated from the Primera División.

The 1930s

Although barcelona won the terribly initial Liga in 1929 and Real madrid won their initial titles in 1932 and 1933, it had been Athletic Bilbao that set the first pace winning Primera División in 1930, 1931, 1934 and 1936. They were conjointly runners-up in 1932 and 1933. In 1935, Real Betis, then called Betis Balompié, won their only title so far. Primera División was suspended throughout the Spanish warfare.

In 1937, the groups within the Republican space of Espana, with the notable exception of the two madrid clubs, competed within the Mediterranean League and barcelona emerged as champions. Seventy years later, on 28 Sept 2007, urban center requested the RFEF to recognise that title as a Liga title. This action was taken when RFEF was asked to recognise Levante FC's Copa de la España Libre win as akin to Copa del Rey trophy.

La liga logo

The 1940s

When the Primera División resumed when the Spanish warfare, it had been Atlético Aviación (nowadays Atlético Madrid), Valencia, and port that originally emerged because the strongest clubs. Atlético were solely awarded an area throughout the 1939–40 season as a replacement for Real city, whose ground had been broken throughout the war. The club after won their initial Liga title and maintained it in 1941. whereas different clubs lost players to exile, execution, and as casualties of the war, the Atlético team was strengthened by a merger. The young, pre-war squad of Valencia had conjointly remained intact and within the post-war years matured into champions, gaining 3 Liga titles in 1942, 1944, and 1947. They were conjointly runners-up in 1948 and 1949. sevilla conjointly enjoyed a quick golden era, finishing as runners-up in 1940 and 1942 before winning their solely title so far in 1946. By the latter a part of the last decade, urban center began to emerge as a force after they were topped champions in 1945, 1948 and 1949.

Di Stéfano, Puskás, Kubala and Suárez

Although Atlético madrid, antecedently called Atlético Aviación, were champions in 1950 and 1951 under catenaccio mastermind Helenio Herrera, the Fifties saw the start of the Barcelona/Real Madrid dominance. throughout the Thirties, 1940s, and 1950s, there have been strict limits obligatory on foreign players. In most cases, clubs may solely have 3 foreign players in their squads, that means that a minimum of eight native players had to play in each game. throughout the Fifties, however, these rules were circumvented by Real madrid and barcelona, who naturalized Alfredo di Stéfano, Ferenc Puskás, and Ladislav Kubala. galvanized by Kubala, Barça won the title in 1952 and 1953. Di Stéfano, Puskás, and Francisco Gento fashioned the nucleus of the $64000 madrid team that dominated the last half of the Fifties. madrid won the primary division for the primary time as Real madrid in 1954 and maintained its title in 1955. They were winners once more in 1957 and 1958, with solely Athletic Bilbao interrupting their sequence. throughout this era, Real madrid conjointly won an unexampled five consecutive European Cups. Barcelona, with a team coached by Helenio Herrera and that includes Luis Suárez, won the title in 1959 and 1960.

The Madrid Years

Between 1961 and 1980, Real madrid dominated the Primera División, being topped champion fourteen times. This enclosed a five-in-a-row sequence from 1961 to 1965 and 2 three-in-a-row sequences (1967–1969 and 1978–1980). throughout this era, solely Atlético madrid offered Real national capital any serious challenge, adding four additional titles to their tally in 1966, 1970, 1973, and 1977. Of the opposite clubs, solely Valencia in 1971 and also the Johan Cruyff-inspired barcelona of 1974 managed to interrupt the dominance of Real madrid.

The 1980s

The madrid winning sequence was finished additional significantly in 1981 once Real Sociedad won their first-ever title. They maintained it in 1982 and their two in an exceedingly row was followed by another by their fellow Basques Athletic Bilbao, who won consecutive titles in 1983 and 1984. Terry Venables crystal rectifier urban center to a solitary title in 1985 before Real madrid won title of respectin another five in an exceedingly row sequence (1986–1990) with a team radio-controlled by Leo Beenhakker and as well as playwright Sánchez and also the legendary La Quinta del Buitre - Emilio Butragueño, Manolo Sanchís, Martín Vázquez, Míchel and Miguel Pardeza.

The 1990s

Johan Cruyff came to barcelona as manager in 1988, and assembled the legendary Dream Team. Cruyff introduced players like Josep Guardiola, José Mari Bakero, Txiki Beguiristain, Goikoetxea, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romário, and Hristo Stoichkov. This team won Primera División four times between 1991 and 1994 and won the european Cup in 1992. Laudrup then affected to arch-rivals Real madrid when a fall-out with Cruyff, and helped them finish Barcelona's run in 1995. Atlético madrid won their ninth Primera División title in 1996 before Real national capital else another Liga trophy to their cupboard in 1997. when the success of Cruyff, another Hollander - Ajax manager prizefighter van Gaal - acquired the Camp Nou, and with the skills of Luís Figo, Luis Enrique, and Rivaldo, barcelona once more won the title in 1998 and 1999.

The 2000s

As Primera División entered a brand new century, the large two of Real madrid and barcelona found themselves facing new challengers. Between 1993 and 2004, Deportivo La Coruña finished within the high 3 on 10 occasions, a far better record than either Real madrid or barcelona, and in 2000, beneath Javier Irureta, they became the ninth team to be topped champions. Real madrid won two additional Liga titles in 2001 and 2003 and conjointly the UEFA Champions League in 2000 and 2002, and won their third league title in 2007 when a three year drought. They were challenged by a re-emerging Valencia in each competitions. beneath the management of Héctor Cúper, Valencia finished as Champions League runners-up in 2000 and 2001. His successor, Rafael Benítez, engineered on this and crystal rectifier the club to a Liga title in 2002 and also the winning a double with a league title and also the UEFA Cup in 2004. The 2004–05 season saw a resurgent barcelona, galvanized by the sensible Ronaldinho, win their initial title of the new century, additionally to the Liga-Champions League double in 2005–06. With world category players like Raúl, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Gonzalo Higuain, Real madrid won back to back La Liga titles in 2006–07 and 2007–08 season. beneath Josep Guardiola's Dream Team, powered  by La Masia skills like Lionel Messi, Xavi, and Andrés Iniesta, urban center else 3 straight Liga titles (2008–09, 2009–10, and 2010–11). within the 2011-2012 season, Real madrid won its thirty second title beneath the management of José Mourinho with a best points tally of a hundred, a record 121 range of goals scored, most overall (32) and away (16) wins in an exceedingly single season in La Liga History.

India: Lifted The Nehru Cup For Three Times In A Row

India raised the Nehru Cup for the third consecutive time beating Cameroon 5-4 in an exceedingly penalty scrap at the jawaharlal nehru stadium here Sunday.

Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Denzil franco, Mehtab Hossain and Clifford Miranda all scored from the spot whereas Thierry Makon struck the right-post to provide india an unprecedented win.

In an end-to-end match that went into penalties, a courageous india control their additional fictional opponents 2-2 in traditional time.

Central defender Gourmangi Singh sent the 12,000 robust crowd into a hysteria as he beat the off-side entice to move in an exceedingly Clifford Miranda free-kick within the nineteenth minute.

The Cameroon defence was absent as 2 Indian players were left utterly free. There was additional unhealthy news for the Africans as goalkeeper Ngome Lawrence had to be substituted when he collided with Gourmangi.

It didn`t take Cameroon abundant time to seek out the equaliser. Raju Gaikwad`s clearance fell straight to Makon Thierry, who shot past Indian steward Subrata Paul from outside the box in the twenty ninth minute.

Thierry conjointly compete a key role in Cameroon`s second. His precise flag-kick allowed Kingue Mpondo to move into an open net within the 54th minute.

With things looking dim for india, Sunil Chhetri gave the fans their voice once more from a well-taken spot-kick within the 78th minute.

Mehtab Hossain`s good chipped through ball found the Indian captain in acres of area. Chhetri looked to own to have a hash of things however recovered well solely to be brought down by substitute keeper Nkessi Hosea.

India started the match the brighter of the two, endlessly creating inroads into the Cameroon third.

Chhetri had the primary shot of the match however his drive from well outside the box was simply saved.

Cameroon looked to a small degree shell-shocked by India`s aggressiveness within the initial twenty minutes.

Gouramangi`s goal looked as if it would wake Cameroon from its slumber. The Africans dominated the play thereafter, putting the Indian defence below tremendous pressure.

Midfielder Lenny Rodrigues did his name no harm by fitting a sterling performance. at the side of Mehtab Hossain he closed down the Cameroon players, forcing them to misplace their passes.

Gouramangi once more found himself within the thick of things. Syed Rahim Nabi headed Clifford`s free-lick across the goal however the central defender didn't rise and missed the header utterly.

India shifted to a 4-4-2 formation within the sixty fourth minute bringing Robin Singh for winger Sanju Pradhan. His height further another dimension to India`s attacks.

Thierry, who was one-on-one with the keeper, might have simply created it 3-1 however slashed his shot well wide.

India defended stoutly but didn't have a similar impact that they had within the upfront direct.

Wim Koevermans ways paid dividence as Cameroon`s star player Ebanga Bertin was marked out of the sport.

India had two golden possibilities of taking the lead within the gap half of additional time however Chhetri skied his shot from three yards out whereas Robin created a whole mess from a free-header.

Both groups dug deep within the final quarter-hour however didn't realize a gap because the match went into penalties.