It is very simple to look at soccer in a reductionist way. The cynical will say that it is just a bunch of people kicking a ball around. Mechanically, that is the case, but when you begin to consider just what kind of skills go into becoming a success in this sport, you’ll look at it completely differently, and will soon realize that footballers don’t get their money for nothing. Here are a few essential soccer skills you need.Read More →
Rungrado 1st of May: The World’s Biggest Stadium
Contrary to what most people may think, the biggest stadium in the world isn’t located in a country with a great history of soccer, or even with a successful club. It’s not the Camp Nou, Anfield, Santiago Bernabeu, San Siro, or Old Trafford. Surprisingly, the world’s biggest stadium is the Rungrado 1st of May, built in just two years and a half in the center of Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, and its name comes from the combination of Labor’s Day and the Taedong river. This stadium has a little over 30 years of history, as it was opened on May 1, 1989, and it can fit as much as 150.000 people standing (114.000 seated). It also has as much as 10 stories and 80 different entries.
With over 207.000 square meters, this mythical construction is absolutely amazing and shocking for most of the tourists that are brave enough to travel to North Korea’s capital year after year. And it’s, of course, part of the official tour. Shaped like a flower thanks to its 16 arcs on the ceiling, this beautiful stadium looks like it’s actually floating over the river, or it can look like an open parachute depending on where you’re standing. The soccer field is next to the tracking field and it’s entirely made of natural grass. Also, the stadium has a lot of training halls, saunas, beds, and a lot of training facilities for the players, that can even take a swim in their pool.
Although, no one thinks of North Korea as a particularly sporty country, this stadium has seen lots of soccer matches, tracking competitions, thousands of festivals and even political meetings to gather the North Koreans to see their Supreme Leader every now and then. One of the shows that’s usually hosted on this stadium is the popular Arirang Festival, which takes place six times a week for two months to celebrate Kim Il-sung’s birthday, which is Kim Jong-un’s grandfather and North Korea’s original dictator. This festival is a huge representation with thousands of gymnasts that dance incredibly synchronized choreographies, and the bleachers are always full of young and impressionable teenagers that are encouraged to cheer their Supreme Leader.
Back to the stadium, it was actually rebuilt in 2014. The renovations included new locker rooms and a physical therapy room, meeting rooms and a media center, making it one of the most iconic buildings of the Kim Jon-un dictatorship. Obviously, like most in this country, people find it difficult to gather reliable information regarding the stadium and the services it can or cannot offer, mostly because of the way North Korea handles their foreign communications.
Even so, this great architectural wonder is definitely worth visiting -at least through google images-, and it’s a major shame we don’t actually get to see any soccer played on that beautiful grass. At least we can settle for the Salt Lake Stadium (135.000 people) and Estadio Azteca (105.064 people), the 2nd and 3rd biggest stadiums in the world.Read More →
This is a sensitive subject for any soccer fan, we know that, and apparently everyone has their own opinion, there is definitely no consensus about who is or who are the greatest soccer players in history, but there are certain names that you will find over and over again in fan forums and amongst sport critics, in this article I will talk about the best soccer players that started their careers in the 20th Century, lined up by their year of birth.Read More →
The most common name used for this popular sport around the world is Football, although in the United States they call it Soccer.Read More →
Soccer is the “King” sport in Europe. And it is one of the favorite sports among children.Read More →
Besides being one of the most (if not the most) popular sports in the world, soccer is a social phenomenon. Fact: we talk all the time about soccer, we use soccer metaphors in our daily lives, we compare soccer situations with real-life situations. Anyway, soccer is much more than a game, much more than a sport.Read More →
Throughout history, humans have enjoyed kicking things for fun. Long time before rubber was invented, South Americans were known for using things as animal or human skulls, stitched up cloth, pig or cow bladders and even human heads to play their ball games.Read More →
Focusing on fans that live in poverty once more, this time in the disadvantaged state of Rwanda. A group of children embark on an adventure to South Africa to witness the World cup. Showing the struggle of children in this part of the world is not its only focus, the expected dreary nature is overthrown often by the upbeat attitudes of the grateful characters. Known for being a heart warmer and showcasing the passion that many have for the game, Africa United has brought audiences everywhere from laughter to tears.Read More →
Kicking and Screaming
With a pushy parent figure that many can relate to, Phil never made it as a star soccer player, much to his father’s dismay. Now years later he has his own son and it seems the cycle of competitive sport and overbearing parenthood is continuing. With comedy legend Will Ferrell in the starring role as soccer failure turned coach, the hilarious story of a youth soccer team is born. With his ridiculously over the top approach, he shouts insults at kids, treats parents like underlings and barks commands like a wild man in fits of rib-tickling rage. Kicking and Screaming will have you chuckling, rooting for the team and possibly finding a new nickname for your over enthusiastic coach.Read More →
With 26 trophies on his shelf, this 33-year-old refuses to put a stop to his soccer streak. Born and raised in Madeira his youth career was fruitful enough for him to join the ranks of Manchester United, becoming their first Portuguese player at the age of 18. Here he was instrumental in helping the team remain victorious. In 2009 he moved to Real Madrid where his prowess as an adept attacker continued. Known for being cocky and arrogant on and off the pitch, Ronaldo has somewhat become the bad boy of soccer. As one of the fastest players in world history and with a shining career, its easy to understand why someone’s ego may become inflated.Read More →