Posts Tagged Champions League 2010-2011

A Guide to Champions League Group F

The top team in this group is Chelsea FC and I like believing that being in Group F is a sign that we are going to be in the Final. So the question is: Are any of the other teams from this group going to end up in the Final? Here is a quick guide to help you decide:

Chelsea FC

I don’t think anyone here would’nt know about Chelsea FC. But just in case I am going to tell you a little about them (it’s always  fun to revisit our greatness). So here goes, Chelsea FC, a South-west London club was founded on March 10, 19o5 at The Rising Sun pub (now The Butcher’s Hook). Despite their name, Chelsea are not based in Chelsea but in neighbouring Fulham. They have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football and are the current English champions. Not only do Chelsea play winning  football they are also extremely cool.  In 1930, Chelsea FC featured in one of the earliest football films, The Great Game. Chelsea also appear in the Hindi film Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Our song “Blue is the Colour” reached number five in the UK Singles Chart and Bryan Adams is a Chelsea fan and he dedicated the ‘We are gonna win’ to the club.

Last season, Chelsea scored a massive 103 goals (an average of 1.89 goals per game) to be crowned champions and striker Didier Drogba won the Golden Boot award as the league’s top goalscorer.

Manager: Carlo Ancelotti

Stadium: Stamford Bridge (capacity: 41,841)

Nickname: The Blues

Honours: Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four times. They have also won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup twice. In 2008, Chelsea reached the Final of the UEFA Champions League.

Trivia: In the 1997-98 season, Chelsea played in one of the strangest matches against a Tromso, team based 100 miles into the Artic Circle. At one point, the match had to be stopped so that the lines could be cleared of snow.

Chelsea is owned by Roman Abramovich, the richest Russian in the world and the second richest person living in Britain. But did you know what Roman’s middle name is? It is Arkadievich, Roman Arkadievich Abramovich.

Quite simply, Chelsea FC is the best club in the world with  one of the most talented teams in the world, super fans and a world-class manager in Carlo Ancelotti.

Olympique de Marseille

Olympique de Marseille is a French club founded in 1899 and play in Ligue 1. They have spent most part of history in the top tier of French football and are the current French Champions. They were however relegated in 1994 over a bribery scandal. Most Chelsea fans know Marseille as Didier Drogba’s former club.

Manager: Didier Deschamps

Stadium: Stade Velodrome (capacity: 60,031)

Nickname: l’OM

Honours: Marseille have been Ligue 1 winners 9 times, and have won the Coupe de France a record 10 times. In 2005, they also won the UEFA Intertoto Cup. In 1993, Marseille became the first and only French club to win the UEFA Champions League.

Trivia: The Club’s motto is Droit Au But, which translates into Straight to the Goal.

Their home game song is ‘Jump’ by Van Halen, it’s played before every home game.

Their goal song is Puff Daddy’s ‘Come With Me’, it’s played every time they score a goal at home.

FC Spartak Moskva

FC Spartak Moskva is a football club based in Russia, Moscow. They play in the Russian Premier League and finished runners-up to the title. Chelsea supporters will remember this club as the club in whose stadium we lost the 2008 Champions League Final to Manchester United on penalties.

Manager: Valery Karpin

Stadium: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (capacity:78,360)

Nickname: Krasno-belye (The Red-Whites),  Myaso (The Meat)

Honours: Spartak have won 12 Soviet championships (second only to Dynamo Kyiv) and 9 Russian championships. They have also won the Soviet Cup 10 times and the Russian Cup 3 times. Spartak have reached the semi-finals of all three European club competitions.

Trivia: In the Soviet era, the club was owned by the Collective Production Farms which got them them the nickname ‘Meat’.

MŠK Žilina

MŠK Žilina is a Slovak football club, based in the town of Žilina. They are the current Slovakian champions and are one of the most successful clubs in the Slovak Superliga, having won 5 five championships since the league’s inception in 1993. This is MŠK Žilina first appearance in the UEFA Champions League.

Manager: Pavel Hapal

Stadium: Stadium Pod Dubnom (capacity: 11,181)

Nickname: Šošoni (after the Shoshone Native American tribe)

Honours: MŠK Žilina have won the Corgoň Liga 5 times and ended up runners-up 3 times since 2003. They have also won 4 Slovakian Super Cups and were UEFA Cup quarter finalists 1961.

Trivia: Stadium Pod Dubňom is named after the hill Dubeň adjacent to which it is located and literally means “Stadium under the Duben Hill”. However, the stadium is more outer-space than under the hill!  Due to specific instructions from the previous Chairman, when viewed from above the stadium is designed to look exactly like the Starship Enterprise as his children were huge Star Trek fans.

In 2003, Chelsea played MŠK Žilina in their first game after Roman Abramovich bought the club. Zilina play their first UEFA Champions League game against Chelsea today.

Honours: UEFA Champions League winners 1992/93, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners 2005, Ligue 1 winners 9 times including last season, Coupe de France winners 10 times.

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A Guide to Champions League Group C

After a long wait, the Champions League kicks-off today. Group C, more popularly known as Manchester United’s group is in action today. Manchester United play the Scottish champions Rangers, a club with whom they share quite a history. While the other two teams in Group C, Bursaspor and Valencia play each other in the second match of Group C on Matchday 1. Here is a quick guide to all the clubs in Group C:

Valencia CF

Valencia C.F aka Valencia Club de Fútbol is a Spanish professional football club founded in 1919 and based in Valencia, Spain. They are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Europe and play in La Liga. Valencia is third behind Real Madrid CF and  FC Barcelona in the All-Time La Liga Table, an overall record of all match results, points, and goals of every team that has played in La Liga since its inception in 1928. Valencia are the only Spanish club outside the El Classico pair to have won more than five continental trophies.

Manager: Unai Emery

Stadium: Mestalla (capacity 55,000)

Nickname: Los Che,  Els taronja (The Orange),  Murciélagos (Bats)

Honours: Valencia have won six La Liga titles and seven Copa del Rey trophies. In Europe, Valencia have reached seven major European finals, winning four of them including  two UEFA Super Cups, one UEFA Cup, two Fairs Cups which was the predecessor to the UEFA Cup, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, one UEFA intertoto Cup and one Spanish Super Cup.  They also reached two UEFA Champions League finals in a row, losing to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in 2000 and then German club Bayern Munich in 2001.

Trivia: Valencia’s nicknamed Bats came from the bat on Valencia’s crest which is taken from the city’s Coat of Arms. Legend has it that just before James I, King of Aragaon, conquered the city from the Moors, a bat landed on top of his flag, which he interpreted as a good sign.  (I like to believe Valencia is batman’s club!)

One of their most notable former players is Argentinean goal machine Mario Kempes – when he was at the club, the whole of the Mestalla would shout “Don’t say Kempes, say goal!” every Sunday.

Manchester United

Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club that plays in the Premier League.It is one of the wealthiest and the most supported club in the world and seriously unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last some years, you would have heard about Manchester United. These guys are one of the scariest English teams out there. They have incredibly talented players, one of the best managers (if not the best manager) in the world in Sir Alex Ferguson and this season some of their older players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs seem to have perfected the process of aging backwards.

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Stadium: Old Trafford (capacity: 75,957)

Nickname: The Red Devils

Honours: Manchester United is the joint-most successful club in the history of English football having won a joint-record 18 league titles, four League Cups and a record 11 FA Cups, Manchester United is the joint most successful club in the history of English football. In the 1998-99 season, they became the only English club to win the  Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League treble.

Quite simply, if your club is drawn against Manchester United, you might want to start praying.

Rangers

Rangers Football Club  based in Glasgow are the current  Scottish Premier League title holders. They were named ‘Rangers’ after an English rugby club in 1872 and are sometimes referred to as Glasgow Rangers, although the word Glasgow is not part of the club’s official title. The club’s traditional support largely comes from the Protestant community, while their biggest rival Celtic’s comes from the Catholic community.In 1961, Rangers became the first British club to compete in a European Cup Final when they reached the Final of the Cup Winners’ Cup. The 2010-2011 season is the Rangers’ 50th European campaign. They have competed in European competitions in more seasons than any other British club. In fact, only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Anderlecht and Sporting Lisbon have taken part in more campaigns

Manager: Walter Smith

Stadium: Ibrox Stadium (capacity: 51,082)

Nickname: The Gers, Teddy Bears

Honours: The Rangers have won a record 52 domestic League titles, more than any other club in the world. They had an exceptional season in 1898-99 where they finished with a perfect record of 18 wins in 18 fixtures. After that every year from 1988–89 season until the 1996–97 season, Rangers won the league title ,making it an incredible nine consecutive titles. In 1961, Rangers became the first British club to compete in a European Cup Final when they reached the Final of the Cup Winners’ Cup. In 1992, the Rangers defeated Leeds United in the qualifying round to become the first British club to appear in the UEFA Champions League. They played in the UEFA Cup for the first time in the 1982-83 season and reached the 2008 UEFA Cup Final at the City of Manchester Stadium where they lost 2-0 to Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Trivia: Manchester United manager Ferguson was a boyhood Rangers’ fan and he played for Rangers from 1967 to 1969 and scored 35 goals in 66 appearances for them in all competitions.

The Rangers’ assistant manager is former Scotland striker and all-time leading Rangers goalscorer Ally McCoist.

Bursaspor

Bursaspor is a professional Turkish football club, formed in 1963 and located in the city of Bursa. They are the current Turkish title holders and are the lowest-ranked team in the competition based on UEFA coefficients, having qualified for the Group Stages as Turkish Champions. This is the first time they will play in the Champions League. However, one must remember that to win their first title (and to become the first side from outside Istanbul to win the Turkish title since 1984), Bursaspor had to beat the likes of Fenerbahçe SK, Galatasaray AŞ, Beşiktaş JK and Trabzonspor AŞ,.

Manager: Ertuğrul Sağlam

Stadium: Bursa Ataturk Stadium (capacity: 25,213)

Nickname: Yeşil Timsahlar (Green Crocodiles)

Honours: Bursaspor won their first Süper Lig title in 2009–2010. They are only the second Anatolian club to win the competition. They have also won one Türkiye Kupası (Turkish Cup), two Prime Minister Cups, and 2 TFF First League titles.Their first, and most successful, foray into European competitions came in the 1974–75 European Cup Winners’ Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals. They also participated in the 1986–87 edition of the cup, but lost in the first round. In 1995, Bursaspor participated in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, but lost in the quarter-finals.

Trivia: The club’s main fan base is known as Teksas (Texas)

Bursaspor have a  trademark ‘crocodile walk’ goal celebration which was invented by Ugandan forward Majid Musisi during the UEFA Intertoto Cup match against German side Karlsruher SC on 2 August 1995.

The arms of Valencia show those of James I, King of Aragon.

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