Par kluseba le 9 Juin 2014 à 05:14
Here is my fourth part:
Group D: Uruguay
Strengths: Uruguay played a strong 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup where the team finished in third position and scored a total of thirteen regular plus three penalty goals. The team seems to be on form since this tournamenet and has only lost once in ten games since then.
Weak points: Uruguay played a rather weak qualification where the team finished in fifth position and had to go to the play-offs where they won against Jordan. The team's star player and forward Luis Suarez (Liverpool F.C.) is currently injured and the last World Cup's star players such as forward Diego Forlan (Cerezo Osaka), midfielder Diego Perez (Bologna F.C. 1909) or captain and defender Diego Lugano (West Bromwich Albion F.C.) are out of form and have become rather old.
Expectaions: Uruguay won't make it to the round of 16 this year.
Uruguayan squad from March 5, 2014 against Austria (copyright: AFP)
Group D: Costa Rica
Strengths: Costa Rica has finished second in the CONCACAF qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, leaving the national teams from Honduras and Mexico behind.
Weak points: Historically, Costa Rica qualified for four World Cups only where the team lost six games, achieved one draw and could win three matches. Costa Rica has only won one out of its last six friendly games and conceeded eleven goals in these matches. The current squad has almost no international experience as nine players are still playing in the Costa Rican Primera Division. The team's most experienced player Alvaro Saborio who has played 93 games since 2002 and scored 32 goals is currently injured.
Expectations: Costa Rica is one of the weakest teams of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and will finish last in its group.
Costa Rica' squad on March 5, 2014 against Paraguay (copyright: AFP / Getty Images)
Group D: England
Strengths: The players on the English squad now each other very well as all of them are currently playing in the United Kingdom. The squad includes a high number of young talents such as defenders Luke Shaw (Southhampton F.C.) and Phil Jones (Manchester United F.C.), midfielders Raheem Sterling (Liverpool F.C.), Ross Barkley (Everton F.C.) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal F.C.) and strikers Danny Welbeck (Manchester United F.C.) and Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool F.C.). In fact, 12 players are 26 years old or younger. On the other side, the team also features experienced leaders and big names such as captain Steven Gerrard (Liverpool F.C.), vice-captain Frank Lampard (Chelsea F.C.) and Wayne Rooney (Manchester United F.C.). Out of their last sixteen games, the English national team has only lost two matches. England lost no game during the qualification, scored 31 goals and only conceeded 4 goals.
Weak points: Each times England qualifies for a big tournament, expectations and pressure are high but the national team rarely delivers. The only time the team has won a World Cup was back in 1966 in their home country and the team has never won an UEFA European Championship. Especially the team's performances in Latin American countries are rather disappointing and some players seem to have some issues with the climate as well.
Expectations: England will make it to the round of 16 but not further.
England's squad on June 4, 2014 against Ecuador (copyright: Getty Images)
Group D: Italy
Strengths: The Gli Azzurri features a good mixture of experienced players such as Italy's captain and most capped player ever Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus F.C.), midfielder and vice-captain Andrea Pirlo (Juventus F.C.) and defender Andrea Barzagli (Juventus F.C.) as well as many promising talents like defender Mattia De Sciglio (A.C. Milan), midfielder Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain F.C.) and controversial striker Mario Balotelli (A.C. Milan) who had his big breakthrough during the UEFA European Championship 2012. The Italian squad has a promising chemistry as twenty out of twenty-three players have played in Italy's Serie A during the 2013-2014 season and the remaining three players have all played for Paris Saint-Germain F.C. in France.
Weak points: Italy hasn't won any of its last seven games and especially the draws against teams such as Armenia and Luxembourg were rather disappointing. The squad is also missing a real goalgetter right now. The best scorer right now is midfielder Daniele De Rossi (A.S. Roma) who scored 15 goals in 95 caps. Strikers Alessio Cerci (Torino F.C.) and Ciro Immobile (Borussia Dortmund) haven't scored in an official game yet and Lorenzo Insigne ha sonly scored once. It's questionable if these promising talents will have their big breakthrough during the tournament and start scoring many important goals.
Expectations: Italy will at least make it to the round of 16.
Italy's squad on June 4, 2014 against Luxembourg (copyright: Paolo Bruno / Getty Images)
Par kluseba le 30 Mai 2014 à 11:03
Please vote: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/who-will-win-the-2014-fifa-world-cup-in-brazil-s158050
Here is my third part:
Group C: Colombia
Strengths: Colombia probably has one of its most balanced and talented squads ever. From the 21-year-old defender Eder Alvarez Balanta (Club Atlético River Plate) to the 42-year-old goaltender Faryd Mondragon (Deportivo Cali), the squad comes around with international star players such as the experienced defender Mario Yepes (Atalanta B.C.), midfielder Fredy Guarin (Internazionale Milan) and of course the talented forward Radamel Falcao (AS Monaco FC). Especially the offensive side of the team has a lot of depth and includes other potential star players like the 2013-2014 UEFA Europa League winner Carlos Bacca (Sevilla FC), Jackson Martinez (F.C. Porto) and Adrian Ramos (Hertha BSC Berlin). The team is currently 5th in the FIFA World Ranking behind Spain, Germany, Portugal and Brazil. In 2013, Colombia won seven out of twelve matches.
Weak points: Colombia has gone through a depressing era over the last decade. The team didn't manage to qualify for the last three World Cups and they only survived the group stage once, back in 1990. This means that the current squad has no World Cup experience. In South America, the team only won one Copa America in 2001 and the squad never managed to win a CONCACAF Gold Cup. Expectations in Colombia are elevated as everybody is now speaking of a new golden generation and this is putting a lot of pressure on the team.
Expectaions: Colombia will survive the group stage and make it to the round of 16.
Colombian squad from March 5, 2014 against Tunisia (copyright: The Epoch Times)
Group C: Greece
Strengths: It's exactly ten years ago when the Greek national football team achieved its greatest success by winning the 2004 UEFA European Championship in and against Portugal. Nobody expected the team to win and many criticized German manager Otto Rehhagel for his conservative and defense-based style of play who said that he had to adapt the tactics to the characteristics of the available players. Ten years later, Greece can still count on the same strengths with successor Fernando Santos: a great team spirit without any big stars, a disciplined and robust defense, clear tactics and the fact that nobody really expects them to go far in the tournament. In additon to this, the squad improved its overall efficiency and attacking capabilities. In four years, Fernando Santos has won 57,1% of his matches including a national record of seventeen unbeaten games. During the qualification process, Greece has only lost one out of twelve games.
Weak points: As strong as their defense might be, their attack is rather weak. A good example is forward Georgios Samaras who regularly scored for all of his clubs in three different leagues but who was only scored eight goals in seventy-one caps for his national team. Out of their seven last victories, Greece only won with 1:0 in five of these games. In addition to this, the Greek national team might have a strong spirit but they don't have a player who really stands out and who might be able to make the difference against a bigger team.
Expectations: Greece won't survive the group stage of the tournament.
Greece' squad on March 5, 2014 against South Korea (copyright: Demotix)
Group C: Ivory Coast
Strengths: Ivory Coast's squad is filled with many gifted players who have excellent technical skills and who play an energizing offensive style of play. In their last sixteen games, the team scored a stunning number of thirty-nine goals. If one compiles the goals scored by all seven forwards of the preliminary squad in their national team career, one gets the number of 113 goals. Ivory Coast's squad includes many internationally experienced star players like the brothers Kolo and Yaya Touré (Liverpool F.C. and Manchester City F.C.), Didier Drogba (Galatasaray S.K.), Salomon Kalou (Lille OSC) and Gervinho (A.S. Roma) among others.
Weak points: While the attack is playful and strong, the defense lacks consistency and discipline and still needs to improve. In the last six games, Ivory Coast's opponents managed to score eleven goals. In addition to this, the humerous managerial changes surely don't help to add some stability to the squad. In the past six years, the team had six different managers from five different countries (France, Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden and Ivory Coast).
Expectations: Ivory Coast might play its best World Cup to date. I definitely think they could make it to the quarter finals.
Ivory Coast's squad on March 5, 2014 against Belgium (copyright: Soccer Laduuuuuma!)
Group C: Japan
Strengths: The Japanese women won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany, the silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup in Vietnam. As amazing as the female squad is, the male squad only won one important tournament: the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar. This year could be Japan's breakthrough. The players know each other very well: eleven players are still playing in Japan while seven are working in the first and second division of the German Bundesliga. The Japanese squad looks balanced. Goaltender Kawashima Eiji (Standard Liège) could make the difference, defender Nagatomo Yuto (Internazionale Milan) adds a lot of tactical discipline, midfielder Kagawa Shinji (Manchester United F.C.) is often cited as one of the best Japanese players of all times and forward Okazaki Shinji (1. FSV Mainz 05) just had his breakthrough season by scoring fifteen goals in the German Bundesliga.
Weak points: Historically, the Japanese team never made it beyond the round of sixteen in any World Cup and often struggled to win in South American countries and against South American teams. Recently, Japan lost all of its games in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup against Brazil, Italy and Mexico. Especially the defense had a lot of struggles as Japan was very vulnerable to attacks from the wings and didn't manage to keep teams out of their penalty area.
Expectations: Japan won't survive the group stage this year.
Japan's squad on May 27, 2014 against Cyprus (copyright: Reuters / The Wall Street Journal Japan)
Par kluseba le 30 Mai 2014 à 07:40
Please vote: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/who-will-win-the-2014-fifa-world-cup-in-brazil-s158050
Here is my second part:
Group B: Spain
Strengths: Spain is the defending World Cup Champion and in addition to this, the squad has also won the last two UEFA European Championships. Even though Brazil managed to beat Spain during last year's FIFA Confederations Cup, the Spanish style of playing hasn't lost anything of its efficiency. Real Madrid has won the 2013-2014 UEFA Champions League against their rivals Atlético Madrid and many players from the national team like defender Sergio Ramos or left midfielder Koke had a brilliant performance in this final. The 2013-2014 UEFA Europa League was also won by a Spanish team with Sevilla FC. Especially young Spanish players are still hungry for titles and the current squad of the national team is still filled with some of the world's greatest players.
Weak points: The Spanish tiki-taka style of play has taken the soccer world by storm over the past years and many other teams are now able to play it on a very high level. The Spanish style of play has become a little bit predictable after all and the team is not as dominating anymore as it had been over the past six years. The threat that some of the veterans in the team aren't as hungry for another title as many other teams who have been standing in line in the past is also real.
Expectations: The Spanish squad could make it to the finals but should lose to Brazil.
Squad from March 5, 2014 against Italy (copyright: Spanish Football Sports)
Group B: Netherlands
Strengths: The Dutch squad made it to the last World Cup finals where the Elftal lost against Spain. This time the two squads already meet at group stage. The squad still includes some of the world's greatest and most successful midfielders and fowards such as Nigel de Jong (A.C. Milan), Wesley Sneijder (Galatasaray S.K.), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (FC Schalke 04), Robin van Persie (Manchester United F.C.) and Arjen Robben (FC Bayern Munich).
Weak points: Oranje is going through quite some changes these days. Many young talents are in the squad that have few or no World Cup experience at all and that have played less than ten games for their national team. Controversial head coach Louis van Gaal will go to Manchester United F.C. after the World Cup and will be replaced by Guus Hiddink. The team's star players showed a weak performance during the 2012 UEFA European Championship where the team lost all their games. Current results of the squad aren't excellent either. The Flying Dutchmen lost against France earlier this year and only made a draw against the underdogs from Ecuador at home.
Expectations: The squad will probably survive the group stage but not the round of 16 where the team could already meet Brazil.
Netherlands' squad on May 17, 2014 against Ecuador (copyright: Associated Press / The Hindu)
Group B: Chile
Strengths: Chile has a rather experienced squad with a lot of players in their late twenties and only a few youngsters and veterans. The squad is on form: out of their last fifteen matches, Chile only lost three. The underdog is playing without any pressure in this year's death group of the tournament. They can also count on the support of the enthusiastic South American soccer fans.
Weak points: Some important and promising players are currently injured or still recovering from recent injuries like star player Arturo Vidal (Juventus F.C.) but also the experienced Mathias Fernandez (ACF Fiorentina) and Pablo Hernandez (O'Higgins F.C.) who had scored twice in his very first game for the squad earlier this year.
Expectations: Chile has a strong team but due to several unlucky injuries and a really tough group they won't probably make it to the round of 16.
Chile's squad on March 5, 2014 against Germany (copyright: Lennart Preiss / Bongarts / Getty Images)
Group B: Australia
Strengths: Australia has become better and better over the last few years and played very solid World Cups in 2006 in Germany as well as in 2010 in South Africa. The team has started to integrate a couple of promising young talents like goaltender Mathew Ryan (Club Brugge K.V.), defender Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo), midfielder Tom Rogic (Celtic F.C.) and forward Adam Taggart (Newcastle Jets FC). The future looks bright for the squad and they play without any pressure in this tournament.
Weak points: The young players in the squad have few to no World Cup experience. Apart of forward and vice-captain Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), the team has no experienced star player. The team hasn't been particularly successful in its last matches either. Australia lost against Romania (2:3), Brazil (6:0), France (6:0), Japan (3:2) and the People's Republic of China (3:4) in 2013 and against Ecuador (3:4) in 2014. They were not able to win their last game either and only got a draw at home against South Africa (1:1). Especially the defense still requests a lot of improvement.
Expectations: Australia doesn't seem to have a chance against Chile, the Netherlands and Spain. I guess they won't survive the group stage of this tournament.
Australia's squad on May 26, 2014 against South Africa (copyright: Reuters UK)
Par kluseba le 11 Mai 2014 à 05:04
The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is close at hand and I’m already very excited about the most important sporting event of the summer. I want to take a look at the different groups and teams and analyze their strengths and weak points and point out some expectations regarding a final result. Obviously, I’m not a clairvoyant and all these things are impossible to predict. It’s just my own personal opinion based on what I think to know about soccer. You can add your own comment and I also invite you to vote for the team you think is going to win this year’s World Cup: http://kluseba.eklablog.com/who-will-win-the-2014-fifa-world-cup-in-brazil-s158050
Here is my first part:
Group A: Brazil
Strengths: Host nation Brazil is a country that adores soccer. It’s almost some kind of religion. No nation has won more World Cups than Brazil. They have won it five times: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. In my opinion, chances are elevated that Brazil will add another title to its impressive collection this year. Why? First of all, the players have an entire passionate country of soccer maniacs behind them and an obvious home advantage. Secondly, they have clearly beaten actual World Cup and Euro Cup champion Spain during last year’s FIFA Confederations Cup. My third reason is that the country has a balanced squad of experienced players (goaltender Julio Cesar of Toronto FC, defender Maicon of A.S. Roma and defender Maxwell of Paris Saint-Germain) and young shooting starts (above all FC Barcelona’s Neymar). In addition to this, many players play in different international top leagues from Russia over Germany to Spain and know many of their potential opponents in other squads very well. A look at recent results is also very clear: Brazil has won its last seven games against opponents such as Chile, Portugal and South Korea. The team has scored 25 goals in these seven games while their different opponents only scored 2 goals.
Weak points: If Brazil has some kind of weak points, it might be their goaltenders. Julio Cesar and company are very good players but not as excellent as the rest of the squad. In addition to this, expectations from their fans are elevated and might build up a lot of pressure. The instable political situation in Brazil might also affect some of the players after all.
Expectations: Brazil will win the World Cup! Neymar could become the star player of the tournament.
Squad from October 15, 2013 against Zambia (copyright: The Globe and Mail)
Group A: Croatia
Strengths: Croatia or ancient Yugoslavia always had many great players. The country’s current squad also includes a few famous players such as Real Madrid’s midfielder Luka Modric, Sevilla FC’s midfielder Ivan Rakitic and a promising trio from the German Bundesliga: midfielder Ivan Perisic and striker Ivica Olic (both of VfL Wolfsburg) as well as striker Mario Mandzukic (FC Bayern Munich).
Weak points: Some players still lack international experience and are playing in Eastern Europe. The team is not constant enough either. Out of its last five games, Croatia has only won once and had to deal with two draws and two losses.
Expectations: They will have trouble surviving the group stage this year.
Croatia's squad on November 19, 2013 against Iceland (copyright: Darko Bandic/AP)
Group A: Mexico
Strengths: After a complicated qualification and two tough playoff games, Mexico’s squad really stands together as a team and has gone through all possible challenges. Many players are still playing in Mexico, know each other very well and may develop a strong team spirit.
Weak points: Just as Croatia, Mexico had some trouble to qualify for the World Cup and had to go into playoffs where they defeated New Zealand. Mexico has also one of the oldest squads in this year’s World Cup with seven players in the regular squad above the age of 30. Many players lack international experience as sixteen players are currently still playing in Mexican’s top league called Liga Bancomer MX.
Expectations: They will have trouble surviving this year’s group stage.
Mexico's squad on April 2nd, 2014 against USA (copyright: www.goal.com)
Group A: Cameroon
Strengths: Cameroon has regularly qualified for World Cups. In the last 24 years, the consistent squad has only missed the World Cup in Germany back in 2006. The squad features a couple of star players such as FC Barcelona’s midfielder Alex Song, FC Chelsea’s striker and experienced comeback player Samuel Eto’o and shooting star Maxim Choupo-Moting from Bundesliga club 1. FSV Mainz. The current German manager Volker Finke is a very experienced and clever manager and has a lot of experience with African players as well.
Weak points: Two years ago, Samuel Eto’o refused to play for his country as he complained about an “amateurish and poorly organized” national team set-up. In the past five years, the team had six different managers and went through some important changes. The atmosphere within the squad has not always been the greatest. Earlier this year, Cameroon had to endure an embarrassing 1-5 defeat against Portugal.
Expectations: The team will make it to the round of 16 but won’t go any further.
Cameroon's squad on March 5, 2014 against Portugal (copyright: www.237sports.com)
Par kluseba le 5 Mai 2014 à 23:39
I have learned a lot of languages. Some are easy, some are really hard...
German is my mother tongue. I'm pretty good in German but it's not a language that always makes sense. You need to practice a lot, learn many things by heart and get used to almost as many exceptions as there are regular grammar rules. It's a rich, poetic and beautiful language though with a lot of different words. I would choose to learn other languages such as English or Russian well before starting to learn German which is definitely tougher.
My second language is French. When I started to learn it, I had seven classes a week. I had exchange programs of several weeks and went to schools in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and later on Villeneuve-d'Ascq. Many people say that French is hard but I always thought that the grammar was much more logical than German grammar and I never got any troubles with this language. I'm living in Quebec since 2009 and have become perfectly bilingual over the years. I also have a strong accent by now and prefer the different local idioms over school French. This is not always a case for immigrants as many can't make sense of the local idioms and still speak school French. If you want to integrate and identify with the culture of a country, you should at least be able to tolerate and speak some local idioms.
My third language is English. I was neither good nor bad and I had a lot of mediocre teachers. It started to get better when I began to write reviews on the internet. This made me revise some important grammar rules and look up a lot of new words. Written practice really helped me to improve my English as well as reading books and watching movies in English. I decided to go further and taught some basic English at a local language school. If I meet foreign or bilingual people, I try to practice my English as often as I can. Each year my English is getting better.
The fourth language I have learned is Latin. You really need to work hard and spend a lot of time to learn this language. It's really tough but Latin grammar is precise and always makes sense to me. While I was learning Latin for four years, all my other languages improved as well because Latin influenced many of them. I haven't practiced this language for almost eight years by now, so I'm obviously a little bit rusty.
The fifth language I have learned is Russian. Many people think it's hard but it isn't. It's easier than German and French and not as hard to digest as Latin. Grammar rules are rather easy and the vocabulary is rather close to English/German as well as to French at some points (this has historical reasons). Knowing these other three languages definitely helped to learn Russian. I had the chance to go on a school trip to Saint Petersburg for one week and in only one week in this country my Russian improved incredibly. For a while, I was seriously thinking of doing my studies in Russia but I later moved to Canada. I took a few Russian lessons again at university but I haven't practiced this language for four years by now. It's maybe the most beautiful language I have ever learned.
The sixth language I have learned is Innu-Aimun, a First Nation language spoken in the North-East of Quebec. This language is incredibly hard to learn. There is no real alphabet and there are almost no languages to compare it to. I only took lessons for about four months and even though I was intrigued by the language, I'm not able to speak it at all. This kind of language needs a lot of patience and practice and you really have to speak to Natives to learn it. I learnt much more about Innu culture than the language itself when I took classes. This is definitely the hardest language I have ever learnt.
My seventh language is Mandarin Chinese. I took lessons for about four months and was able to practice with a few people as well. Grammar is not so tough but the pronounciation is really hard because many words may sound similar but have completely different meanings. As most of you know, even communication between Chinese can be difficult. When I was talking to people from a Southern province like Sichuan or Guangdong for example, they easily understood me despite my big accent. People from northern parts like Beijing basically didn't understand me at all. I have no clue why that was so. I would really like to learn more about this language, apart of Russian it's definitely the most beautiful and intriguing language I have learned so far.
My eighth language is Japanese. I was always into Japanese culture and it was a childhood dream for me to learn Japanese but it's an incredibly tough language. Many people say it's easier than Mandarin Chinese but I don't agree at all. The pronounciation is not so hard, that's true. Japanese grammar is quite complex though and the fact that they sometimes use three alphabets at the same time is incredibly tough and incoherent in my opinion. You need to learn a lot by heart and practice regularly to make sense of it and it will still be hard. I took some lessons for about four months. The first few classes were easy but after two months and a half, I was completely lost. It's the first time (apart of Innu-Aimun) that I thougt a language was almost too tough for me to learn. Maybe I will try again with a different teacher and some more discipline one day.
I always wanted to learn languages that I thought were challenging, different and exotic most of the time. Today, I'm eager to learn easier languages as well. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese are definitely not tough if you know Latin and French as in my case. If I had some more time, I would like to improve my Russian and my Mandarin Chinese and still learn some of these other languages.
The best way to learn a language is taking classes (high school, college, universities, language schools) and travelling / immersions. If you want to learn a language on your own, here are some advices: Practice regularly - no excuses! Try to write down some vocabulary each day, let's say about ten words a day. Learn a new grammar rule every two or three days. Practice regularly with real people instead of the internet (even though you can start and find some people there). Don't hesitate to ask foreigners to help you and practice with them. Most of them will accept and will be happy to see that somebody is interested in their culture and language. In every bigger city, there are things like "language circles" for natives and foreigners and you can easily find information about it at language schools, colleges and universities or on social media. If you ask a girl as a guy or the other way around, be careful because some people tend to think you just want to flirt and not really learn a language. Prove that you are serious and set things clear right from the start. Buy different books from different publishing houses to improve your language. Don't only focus on talking but also on reading and writing at the same time even if it's less interactive.
Some people think that watching movies or listening to music might be incredibly helpful. I don't agree. This might help if you already have a really solid base, otherwise it's overrated and pretty much a waste of time in my opinion.
Never give up on a language. If you want to learn it, then there is a way.
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