Rob Wood

Rob's Sports, Fitness & Science Blog

Entries Tagged as 'Football (Soccer)'

Creative World Cup Team Nicknames

May 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Looking through the list of Team Nicknames of the teams of the 2014 The FIFA  World Cup, I have to question the imagination of many of the people who have come up with the names. There is a group of teams that basically don’t have a nickname, they just have a variation of the term ‘the national team‘ in their respective language (e.g. Germany, Iran, Switzerland). Equally uninspiring, many nicknames are derived from national colors – such as the Blues (France), the Reds (Chile), Orange (Netherlands) and the Tri-Colors (Ecuador, Mexico). At least some add a bit of spice to the color name game, such as the Red Fury (Spain), Red Devils (Belgium), and the Black Stars (Ghana).

Not all the names are so bland. If you could create an nickname, wouldn’t you want one that would strike fear in the opposition, like the Dragons from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, and and my all time favorite The Pirate Ship (Greece)? There are also Super Eagles (Nigeria) and Elephants (Ivory Coast) to contend with. But there is nothing as fearful as my team’s nickname – the Socceroos! Unfortunately a fearsome team nickname does not necessarily equate to success, as the tournament favourites are commonly known as the Little Canaries (Brazil). Whaoo scary!

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More Fallen Heroes

September 8th, 2011 · No Comments · Football (Soccer)

A Russian ice hockey team the ‘Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’, one of Russia’s top teams was practically wiped out yesterday in an airplane accident. Thirty-five players and staff of the team and eight members of the crew died in an accident where their aircraft burst into flames after hitting the ground near the airport immediately after take-off. The team had been en route to the Belarusian capital Minsk to play against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).  This is not the first time a sporting team has endured such as disaster.

In my page on Fallen Heroes, I have listed some of the similar stories from the past. The most well-known similar accident was the Munich Air Disaster in 1958, in which a plane carrying the Manchester United football team along with a number of supporters and journalists crashed, 23 of the 44 people on board the aircraft died, including eight Manchester United players. More recently, in 1993,  the entire Zambia National Soccer team perished on a flight en route to Senegal for the 1994 USA World Cup Qualifiers. All 30 passengers and crew, including 18 players as well as the coaches and support staff, were lost in the accident. Another such disaster for a football team was in 1949  when a plane carrying almost the entire Torino A.C. football squad crashed into the hill of Superga near Turin killing all 31 aboard including 18 players.

I firstly feel sorrow for the families and friends of each of those killed in the accidents, but the effect on the sporting club is hard to comprehend. It must be so difficult to build up the team to be competitive again, though I can imagine that the support and drive to do so would be overwhelming. I wish them well.

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Is Basketball the World’s Most Popular Sport?

March 10th, 2011 · No Comments · Basketball, Football (Soccer), Sport

I have seen a lot of articles online trying to determine what are the most popular sports in the world, and almost without exception Soccer (World Football) is listed on top. I came up with the idea of looking at the page view stats on Wikipedia to see what sport pages are the most popular. Surprisingly, the highest ranked Sport page was in fact Basketball. This would partly be due to the high US based traffic to the English version Wikipedia site, but mostly it was because the stats for Soccer is split between Soccer and Association Football pages.

Football Flag Wavers

Fans at a soccer game

When all the stats are combined, soccer (football) regains it title of the most popular sport in the world! See more analysis of the World’s Most Popular Sports According to Wikipedia.

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Bet on the Octopus

July 12th, 2010 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

Paul the ‘Psychic’ Octopus, also known as the ‘Oracle of Oberhausen’ and ‘Pulpo Paul’, is a resident of the Oberhausen Sea Life aquarium. He became a celebrity after a 100% success rate at predicting the winners of eight World Cup matches – all of Germany’s games and the final between Spain and The Netherlands. I want to go out on a (octopus) limb, and say that it was all due to chance. I know it may sound far-fetched and very unlikely, but maybe he was just lucky and was able to select the winning teams through chance. No psychic abilities, no hand of God, and no conspiracies – just luck. A lot of luck.

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The World Cup Sends Me To Sleep

June 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · FIFA World Cup, Football (Soccer)

With the World’s greatest sporting event currently well on the way in South Africa, it may be surprising that this is my first post about it. It would not be surprising if you knew that I support Australia, and up until today they have not done anything to write home about. After getting up at 2am this morning to watch them play Serbia, I am much happier and very impressed with their performance. Although they won today, they just missed out on progressing to the knockout round. They did us proud, playing great football and giving everything for their country. Missing out of the final 16 is no great disappointment, the Aussies have played above expectations. I cannot say the same about the French team, and cannot imagine the public out cry at their team’s performance. There is always drama at the World Cup, and that is why we are captivated. A few more sleepless nights to come!

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Should Soccer use a video referee?

June 17th, 2009 · 3 Comments · Football (Soccer), Technology, Umpires & Referees

One sport that has so far resisted the use of high-tech assistance is soccer (football). It is about time they got with the 20th century. They can’t avoid the power of the people and the power of the TV replays to upgrade their sports. There are multiple ways that technology could help the refs. How about replays being used to adjudicate on off-side decisions, whether a ball passes over the goal line, and to clarify penalty decisions. An off-field referee could communicate with the umpires on the field using wireless technology.

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Zidane, a 21st-Century Portrait

March 12th, 2007 · No Comments · Football (Soccer)

Last night I went with a couple of friends who are big soccer fans, to watch a very interesting movie about a match between Real Madrid and Villareal in the Spanish league. It wasn’t the usual match footage, the whole movie was following the French international football player Zinedine Zidane, often up very close and pixilated. It is a mix between a documentary and a sporting match. The game was played on April 23, 2005, with 17 cameras tracking just Zidane in real time. There is no commentary, just the noise of him spitting, shouting to his teammates and muttering the occasional complaint to the referee. In the end it is not a football game you are watching, but a voyeuristic view of a public figure. It is not his best game, but maybe his best view. You see a hardworking player, searching for opportunity. The final score was Real Madrid 2, Villareal 1. But who cares?

more about soccer

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A-League Grand Final

February 18th, 2007 · No Comments · Football (Soccer)

Last night I was privileged to be at the Docklands Telstra Dome to witness the A-League Grand Final, held in front of 55,000 people – the biggest crowd to ever watch a domestic football match. And even better, my team the Melbourne Victory humiliated Adelaide, largely thanks to a remarkable goal scoring effort by Archie Thompson. Such a crowd at a soccer match is rarely seen in Australia. If they can continue to have games and spectacles like that, then the crowds will continue to come. The crowd seemed pretty tame to me, though I later read that ten flares were let off in the stadium and 41 people evicted. Maybe that is pretty tame relative to what goes on in English football stadiums.

more about football / soccer

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Football: Euphoria & Frustration

October 7th, 2006 · Comments Off on Football: Euphoria & Frustration · Football (Soccer)

Tonight a friendly match between Australia and Paraguay was played in Brisbane. My nephew Dan played Australia against Paraguay on the FIFA Soccer PC game just before kick-off, the result 1-0 to Australia. The actual game was a similar tight affair. The skillful Paraguays played tight football and defended well, with Australia having more attacking opportunities. These “friendly” games never seem to be that friendly as there was lots of tension out there. The South Americans rolled around in pain after every tackle, as expected, and it was good to see the Aussie did not follow their example. It does not need to be done. Australia scored both goals in the game, though unfortunately the second one in the final minutes was into our own goal, the final result 1-1. From the euphoria of the first goal to take the lead, to the own goal robbing us of victory in the last minutes, soccer can be frustrating and disappointing, but I guess that is why we keep coming back.

Related Pages: Football

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Miss plane, Miss game

October 4th, 2006 · Comments Off on Miss plane, Miss game · Football (Soccer)

Leading up to the Australian Soccer Team’s game against Paraguay this weekend, the captain of the squad Craig Moore was controversially dropped from the team. He did not turn up for a training session as he slept in and missed his plane. In a time of ‘bad boys’ football players, my first thought was that he was out all night partying and drinking. It was not the case; he was probably affected by jetlag more than anything. However, he still needs to be more responsible and get himself to the national squad training session no matter what. It may seem harsh to be dropped for a game for missing one training session, but a standard has to be set, and the rules upheld. It is a hard decision to leave out one of our best players, but right nevertheless. No matter how good the player is, or how good their record has been in the past, I think it was the right thing to do and send the message to the other players and the supporters that this team means business, and everyone has to pull their weight.

Related Pages: Soccer, Craig Moore profile

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