The weekend is almost over and most soccer games have already finished. One of the biggest surprises took place in Estadi Montilivi, the stadium of Girona FC.
Girona was playing against Real Madrid, the European and Spanish champions. There were fears of protests in favour of the Catalan independence, as Real Madrid is against it and Girona is a Catalan club.
Eventually, nothing happened except the shock defeat of Real Madrid with 2-1! They lost the game despite the fact they scored first with Isco on the 12th minute.
You can watch the goals below:
This was the biggest win in the history of Girona. At the same time, deliberately or not, they helped compatriot Barcelona.
After 10 La Liga games, Real Madrid is already 8 points behind Barcelona who beat Athletic Bilbao away on Saturday with 0-2.
Free kicks are among the most attractive parts of playing soccer. It is one aspect of the game where the taker of the kick is pitted (in most cases) directly against the opposition game, in a duel of skills, presence of mind and of course, wits.
There have been a number of great free kick takers that the game has seen. From George Best’s tumbling and dying kicks that keeper would only be left to watch haplessly to Ronaldo’s scorchers that prompt TV cameras to go blind, and from Roberto Carlos’ toe-curling banana kicks to Pirlo’s flabbergasting GPS-precise corner crashers, the history of free kicks in pro football is as rich and impressive as any.
All young footballers do want to get into the action and be master of set plays. These 5 tips, rounded up below, won’t make you a free kick sensation, but they will definitely help you get onto that road to a certain goal that just might win your side a crucial game!
#1 Gauging the distance
The most important part of taking a successful free kick is to be able to gauge the distance from the kicking spot to the goal-line. Many often get it wrong and either over-hit the ball into unsuspecting spectators or under-hit it to allow the wall a chance of interception.
If you gauge the distance well, you will be in a position to know exactly how much power you need to put behind your kick. A great drill for this would be practice at least 50 kicks a day from hot-spots – various points on a progressively widening semi-circle just outside the penalty area.
#2 Getting the timing right
Power or precision are not the only ways to deceive the opposition. You can easily get them fooled by timing your kick to perfection. And in this context, getting your timing right is just equal to getting the opposition’s timing wrong. For example, you can cross the wall by changing your run-up suddenly and messing with their jump timing.
#3 NOT giving your plans away
At pro level, all the players are skilled enough to block an average free kick. So, you need to rise above the average if you want to have any shot at scoring a goal off a free kick.
That’s why, you need to have solid plans in place. If the opposition knows your tricks beforehand, they are just going to have it all too easy. So, to master the art of free kicks, you need to come up with newer ideas and adding newer spots to your armoury. You may be a great top corner free kicker, but it’s just a matter of time before everyone knows that they only have to protect the top corners.
NOTE- DON’T TRY TOO HARD, YOU JUST MIGHT END UP MESSING IT ALL FOR YOUR TEAM. Need a proof? Just check the video embedded above!
#4 Quick reflexes
Free kicks do not always go straight to the keeper or out of the field. They, more often than not, deflect off the wall or from the hands of the keeper. In such a case, you need to be quick to react and gain the possession back. As the ball gets deflected and opponents rearrange their own, there’s one split moment where the goalpost is extremely vulnerable.
That means, even when you are not the one taking the free kick, you will still have a remote chance of scoring!
#5 Combining well
A part of deceiving opposition also means that you combine with your team-mate to get a classic one-two act together. A long run-up followed by jumping of the wall in vain as you pass the ball gently to your teammate who’s in a better position to aim at the net can yield exceptional results. This, however, needs to be practised a lot before being executed in game situations!
Christmas is just around the corner and everyone is already looking all jolly and merry to welcome the New Year. Well, we can’t tell you what the New Year will have in store for you (it’d be great, we hope!), but we can surely let you in on our favourite soccer games that go pretty amazingly with the whole holiday spirit and ambiance.
#4 Soccer Flip
It’s a weird game to say the least.
Defying gravity, or rather dismissing it in style, this 2 on 2 game allows you to imagine what it would be like to play football in space. There are really no rules here, you can use your hands, head and legs – the only idea is to score a goal by pushing the ball through the gate. It might sound meh, but give it a try, we are sure you’ll love it.
And, of course, just to fit into the whole holiday atmosphere, developers have brought in new avatars and themes!
It would be a blasphemy to not mention FIFA in this list, because millions of fans have fond memories of those neat and nifty holiday patches EA Sports release around Christmas.
FIFA16 is no exception. The latest upgrade will allow you to use Santa themed team-kits and have five shots at climbing the ‘Christmas Leaderboard’, the leader of which will be rewarded handsomely by EA Sports!
It’s winter, the football field is blanketed with snow and your players are in for some tough matches ahead. Take charge of your team as they get ready to face some tough opponents just ahead of Christmas.
Also available as ‘Play Soccer Xmas’ in some countries, this game is developed in order to allow used to have a fun experience that is far from other complicated soccer apps.
Young children dream of scoring goals, creating their own celebrations, making headlines, baffling opponents, being superstars and virtually ruling the game. Such young, aspiring soccer players are guaranteed to have posters of Cristiano Ronaldo here and Lionel Messi there; of Wayne Rooney on the door front and Zlatan Ibrahimović on the door back; of Neymar on the window and Aguero in the wardrobe. But you would really struggle to find a kid worshipping Buffon or Kahn.
That’s why, to celebrate this much underrated art of soccer, we have rounded up 5 of the very best current goalkeepers in European soccer. Read on, take a moment to appreciate the efforts of these unsung heroes and get inspired by them – who knows, even you could end up on such lists 15 years down the line!
1. Iker Casillas (Spain, FC Porto)
The reason Casillas tops this list is that apart from being a very, very good goalkeeper, he is a natural leader. With 5 La Liga titles, 3 Champions League cups, a Euro Cup and a World Cup adorning his trophy cabinet, one can imagine the way he can solidify a team and bring the best out of his players.
Despite having had some bitter confrontations with the Real Madrid team management in recent past, he is still the most beloved Los Blancos’ goalie, their Captain Reliable and most importantly – a very, very humble man.
Extremely reliable in set play situations.
2. Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich)
With glittering performances in last three seasons for Germany as well as Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer has established a firm place as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
Drafted very young into the Bundesliga setup, Neuer was lucky to board the plane to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, as Rene Adler had to withdraw due to injury. Since then, he has quickly stepped up to the plate every time he was required to – winning 3 Bundesliga titles and 1 Champions League trophy for Bayern Munich.
Accurate Long throws and great composure in high pressure penalty shootouts.
3. David de Gea (Spain, Manchester United)
The rise of David de Gea has been nothing short of meteoric. Ever since he left Atletico Madrid in 2011, he has been a regular starter for Manchester United. He has also enjoyed the immense popularity that being with a huge club like Manchester United automatically follows. He has made many memorable saves for the Reds, the most memorable coming against the free kick of compatriot Juan Mata when he was at Chelsea.
He is the next in line to fill the big shoes of Casillas when he decides to retire from international soccer.
Saves off free kicks and excellent chemistry with defenders.
4. Petr Čech (Czech Republic, Arsenal)
After spending nearly his whole playing career at the Stamford Bridge, Čech made a shock move to Arsenal this summer. He has long stopped being the first-choice keeper for the teams he plays for, but that does not change the fact that he has been among the very best in the business for over a decade.
Barcelona fans will particularly remember Čech forever, for all those heartbreaks he has caused them over the seasons in Champions Leagues.
Attacking the ball and anticipating opposition’s through-balls.
5. Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany, Barcelona)
Stegen has been an understated presence at Camp Nou since he joined the club in an unexpected transfer two seasons ago.
He has been very responsible, however, in all of his appearances for the Spanish giants – allowing them to win the Treble (La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League) in his first season with them. His terrific save off Lewandowski against Bayern Munich in the return leg of the CL Semi Final in that season has been one of the proudest moments for Barcelona fans.
Great sweeping abilities and nimble diving skills.