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May 25, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: South Korea (AFC), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for South Korea, with 4 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Korea (South Korea) — admin @ 10:52 pm




South Korea national team. AFC (Asia). Nickname: 태극전사 (Taegeuk Warriors). Home jersey: fluorescent coral-red with royal blue trim.
-South Korea is in Group H (with Algeria, Belgium, and Russia), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group H‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 9th qualification out of 15 tries. (1930-1950, did not enter; 1958: entry denied). South Korea has qualified for the World Cup in: 1954, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 (2014 is South Korea’s 8th straight WC qualification).
Previous WC finish: 2010, Round of 16 (1-1-2). Highest WC finish: 2002, Fourth Place (3-2-2).

Population of South Korea: 50.2 million {2013 estimate}. Capital and largest city: Seoul, metro area pop. 25.6 million {2013 est.}.
Administrative divisions of South Korea/Provincial level divisions [map]‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

-South Korea coach, Hong Myung-Bo (who was squad captain of South Korea when the Taegeuk Warriors made it to the Semifinals of the 20002 World Cup). Hong Myung-Bo.
-South Korea squad captain, Lee Chung-Yong, Bolton Wanderers MF/RW. Lee Chung-Yong.

Below: Theoretical Best XI for South Korea (with 4 other player-options further below) -
south-korea_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_f_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
South Korea 2014 home jersey, photo from footyheadlines.com/2013/09/south-korea-2014-world-cup-kit-info.
South Korea on globe map, by Ksiom at ‘File:South Korea (orthographic projection).svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
South Korea map, by NordNordWest at ‘File:South Korea location map.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
Coach,
Hong Myung-Bo, photo by AFP/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football.
Goalkeeper,
Jung Sung-Ryong (Suwon Bluewings), photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.
Defenders,
Yong Lee (Ulsyan Hyundai), photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.
Hong Jeong-Ho (Augsburg), photo by Matthias Schrader, AP via sfgate.com/sports.
Kim Young-Gwon CB/LB (Guangzhou Evergrande), photo by Mohammed Messara/EFE via miamiherald.com
Kim Jin-Su LB (Albirex Niigata), photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.
Midfielders,
Lee Chung-Yong RM/RW (Bolton), photo unattributed at whoateallthepies.tv.
Koo Ja-Cheol CM/AM/RW (Mainz), photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.
Ki Sung-Yueng CM (Swansea City/Sunderland), photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Kim Bo-Kyung AM/LW/RW (Cardiff City), photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Forwards,
Park Chu-Young FW/S (Watford), photo [unattributed] uploaded by KyopoOhNo at bigsoccer.com/community/threads/park-ju-young-watford-f-c-2014-r.2000051/page-6.
Son Heung-Min FW/SS (Bayer Leverkusen), photo [unattributed] uploaded by CoreanBoy671 at bigsoccer.com/community/threads/son-heung-min-bayer-04-leverkusen
Other player-options,
Han Kook-Young CM/DM (Kashiwa Reysol), photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com.
Kim Shin-Wook FW (Ulsan Hyundai), photo unattributed at goal.com.
Lee Keun-Ho (Ulsan Hyundai/Sangju Sangmu), photo from ytn.co.kr/_sn.
Ji Dong-Won FW/RW/LW (Augsburg->Borussia Dortmund), photo unattributed at coowool.com/bbs/sports-sc.

___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘South Korea national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org & ko.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details; and at transfermarkt.co.uk/en/south-korea/startseite/nationalmannschaft.

May 20, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Portugal (UEFA), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Portugal, with 4 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Portugal — admin @ 6:52 pm




Portugal national team. UEFA (Europe). Nickname: A Selecção (the Selection). Home jersey: deep red with green trim.
-Portugal is in Group G (with Germany, Ghana, and United States), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group G‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 6th qualification out of 19 tries (1930, did not enter). Portugal has qualified for the World Cup in: 1966, 1986, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC finish: 2010, Round of 16 (1-2-1). Highest finish: 1960, Third Place (5-0-1).

Population of Portugal: 10.4 million {2012 estimate}. Capital and largest city: Lisbon, metro area pop. 3.0 million {2011 est.}.

-Portugal coach, Paulo Bento. Paulo Bento.
-Portugal squad captain, LW Cristiano Ronaldo (of Real Madrid). Cristiano Ronaldo.

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Portugal (with 4 other player-options further below) -
portugal_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Portugal 2014 jersey, photo from store.nike.com.
Portugal/EU map, by NuclearVacuum at ‘File:EU-Portugal with islands circled.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Portugal map by NordNordWest at ‘File:Portugal location map.svg‘; Madeira (Portugal) map also by NordNordWest at ‘File:Portugal Madeira location map.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Coach,
Paulo Bento, photo by Mario Cruz/EPA via theguardian.com/football.
Goalkeeper,
Rui Patrício (Sporting CP), photo unattributed at svpn.blogspot.com.
Defenders,
João Pereira RB (Valencia), photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Pepe CB/DCM (Real Madrid), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Bruno Alves CB (Fenerbahçe), photo unattributed at sporting-heroes.net/football/fenerbahce.
Fábio Coentrão LB/DCM/LMF (Real Madrid), photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Midfielders,
João Moutinho DM (AS Monaco), photo by EPA via dailymail.co.uk.
Raul Meireles CM (Fenerbahçe), photo by EuroFootball/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.
Miguel Veloso DM (Dynamo Kyiv), photo unattributed cdn.record.xl.pt.
Forwards/Wingers,
Nani RW (Manchester United), photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Hélder Postiga FW (Valencia/Lazio), photo by sslazio.it.
Christiano Ronaldo LW (Real Madrid), photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Other player-options,
Josué AMF/RW/LW (Porto), photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Neto CB (Zenit), photo by Anna Volkova at demotix.com.
Hugo Almeida FW (Beşiktaş), photo by Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football.
Silvestre Varela LW (Porto), photo by George Herringshaw via sporting-heroes.net.
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Portugal national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for recent squad line-ups (with positions-on-the-field graphics), at int.soccerway.com/international/europe/wc-qualifying-europe/2014-brazil/1st-round/r15653/.

May 14, 2014

Independent leagues (unaffiliated minor league baseball): map and chart of the 44 Independent leagues teams in USA & Canada in 2013 which announced attendances (home regular season games).

Filed under: Baseball,Baseball: Independent Leagues — admin @ 9:21 pm

baseball_minor-leagues_independent-leagues_highest-drawing-teams_2013-avg-attendance_post_e_.gif
Independent Leagues (Unaffiliated minor league baseball): map & chart of the 44 Independent Leagues teams in USA & Canada in 2013 which announced attendances




Source of attendance data used on map & chart:
Independent baseball league‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
From Ballpark Digest.com, from September 16, 2013 ‘2013 Independent Attendance by Average‘ (ballparkdigest.com).

Before I get started, 3 of the 4 the leagues on this map started their seasons this year in the 3rd week of May; here are links to the 4 Independent leagues featured on the map…
-American Association, at americanassociationbaseball.com;
/ American Association/Can-Am Division (4 teams), at canamleague.com.
-Atlantic League, at atlanticleague.com.
-Frontier League, at frontierleague.com.
-United Baseball League, at unitedleaguebaseball.pointstreaksites.com/view/unitedleague.

The attendance map (click on image at top of this post) is for Independent Leagues teams in North America. There are 7 Independent leagues currently operating [2014], down from 8 last season [2013], as the Can-Am League, was absorbed into the now-16-team AAIPB (American Association). [Note: the Can-Am League might continue to pretend it is an autonomous league of its own, and it might continue to have its own website (see above link), but (since 2012) it plays an integrated schedule with the American Association, and since 2014 it is one of the 4 divisions in the American Association - the 4-team Can-Am Division of the AA; and both leagues are headquartered in Durham, NC, and both are run by the same commissioner, Miles Wolff.]

What the map and chart shows…
The map shows Independent leagues teams in USA & Canada that announced attendances figures (from home regular season games) in 2013. The teams on the map are from the following 4 Independent leagues…
-American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, 12 of the 13 teams (the other one being the now-dormant El Paso Diablos franchise/see note at the asterisk [*] at the end of this paragraph), from the 2013 American Association.
(American Association est. 2006/16 teams*/range: Plains States from Dakotas to Texas; Indiana; Manitoba, Canada.)
-Atlantic League Professional Baseball, all 8 teams, from the 2013 Atlantic League.
(Atlantic League est. 1998/8 teams)/range; Northeast; and Greater Houston, Texas.)
-Frontier League, 13 teams (of the 14 teams, the other one being the travelling-team the Frontier Greys), from the 2013 Frontier League.
(Frontier League est. 1993/14 teams/range: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, western Pennsylvania.)
-United League Baseball 4 of the 5 teams (the other one being the now-defunct Alexandria Aces), from the 2013 United League Baseball.
(United League Baseball est. 2013/range: Texas [south-central and far southern Texas]; [plus, formerly, Alexandria, Louisiana].)
-Can-Am League [Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball], 4 of the 5 teams (the other one being the now-dormant Newark Bears), from the 2013-and-now-defunct Can-Am League.
*Note, the Can-Am League, which existed from 2004-13, was down to 4 teams by late 2013. It was absorbed in 2014 into the now-16-team American Association. (The Can-Am League had 2 teams from Quebec, Canada and 1 team each from New York and New Jersey, and now those 4 teams comprise the Can-Am Division of the 4-division American Association).

Also note that: 3 teams listed on the attendance list at the far right-hand-side of the map page were not placed on the map, as they are as of 2014 either defunct or dormant (the [dormant] El Paso Diablos [who vacated El Paso when the affiliated Triple-A league the PCL put a San Diego Padres farm club in El Paso; the franchise will renew active status in 2015 in Joplin, MO] and the [defunct] Alexandria Aces, and the [dormant] Newark Bears).
One final note: there are no new expansion teams in any of the 4 Independent leagues listed above, but next season, 2015, the Atlantic League will expand from an 8-team to a 10-team league, with the debuts of the Virginia Beach Neptunes of Virginia’s south coast, and the Loudoun Hounds of Ashburn, Virginia (which is 30 mi NW of Washington, DC).

    Independent league baseball

Independent leagues have no affiliation with Major League Baseball – no player development contracts means the Independent leagues teams must pay for personnel. As it says in Wikipedia’s page on affiliated minor league baseball…’Generally, the parent major league club pays the salaries and benefits of uniformed personnel (players and coaches) and bats and balls, while the minor league club pays for in-season travel and other operational expenses…’ (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor League Baseball/Current system). The positive side of no MLB affiliation means Independent leagues teams are not bound to abide by MLB’s onerous territorial mandates. For example, MLB allows no MiLB (affiliated minor league baseball) teams to be located in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NY (ie, Long Island) [to protect the NY Mets]; as well as no other affiliated teams in southeast-central-Pennsylvania [to protect the MiLB teams Reading Phils and the Harrisburg Senators]. So Independent leagues teams have sprung up in those 2 areas and have done well at the gates [Long Island Ducks; York Revolution and Lancaster Barnstormers].

Also, Organized Baseball usually does not put its affiliated minor league teams within the 75-mile-radius territory of the 30 MLB teams – with a few exceptions such as Tacoma, WA; Reading, PA; Toledo, OH; San Jose, CA; and, recently (in the last 20 years) in Dayton, OH; and in Lakewood Township, NJ; and in Brooklyn and in Staten Island, NY. But Independent leagues teams, again, can ignore MLB’s territorial edicts, hence the (successful) Independent leagues teams like the Kansas City T-Bones of Kansas City, KS (right next to MLB’s Kansas City Royals); and the Independent leagues team the Sugar Land Skeeters of Greater Houston, TX (right next to MLB’s Houston Astros); and the Independent leagues team the St. Paul Saints (right next to MLB’s Minnesota Twins); and the Independent leagues team the Somerset Patriots (relatively close by to MLB’s NY Yankees and NY Mets).

The fact that in the 2013 off-season one league was absorbed into another Independent league and that 3 teams closed up shop is nothing new when you are talking about Independent leagues/unaffiliated minor league baseball. Without the protection of a Major League Baseball team’s affiliation…the sort of protection which is enjoyed by all the teams in Triple-A baseball (except the Mexican League), and in Double-A baseball, and in the three A-League levels, and in the Rookie Leagues…an Independent league team is very vulnerable to economic insolvency. That is particularly the case if decent crowds (like over 1,500 or so) fail to materialize. In the last two decades (since 1993), there have been some real success stories in Independent leagues baseball (as you can see in the top 6-drawing teams profiled below), but the field is also littered with several dozens of defunct ball clubs (as you can see, for example, in this list of defunct Can-Am teams {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Former_Can-Am_League_Franchises}).

Below are short profiles of the two highest-drawing Independent leagues…

The American Association [of Independent Professional Baseball]
The American Association has 16 teams and is based primarily in the Upper Midwest and the Plains States from Texas to the Dakotas, plus Manitoba and Quebec in Canada, plus a few teams in the Northeast. The American Association has been around since 2006 but features some teams that have been around for over two decades (such as the St. Paul Saints). The American Association was founded by Miles Wolff in 2006. Wolff had previously been founder of the first modern-day Independent league in 1993, with the now-defunct Northern League (of 1993-2010). Here are four excerpts from that former Independent league’s page at en.wikipedia.org…’The modern Northern League was founded by Miles Wolff. Wolff started the league after many midwestern cities contacted him (through his affiliation with Baseball America) asking how they could get a minor league team. After visiting some of them, most notably Wade Stadium in Duluth, he began contacting potential owners to start the league.’/…’The league began in 1993 with 6 teams: Duluth-Superior Dukes (Duluth, Minnesota), Rochester Aces (Rochester, Minnesota), St. Paul Saints (St. Paul, Minnesota), Sioux Falls Canaries (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), Sioux City Explorers (Sioux City, Iowa) and Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks (Thunder Bay, Ontario). The prospects for the league were originally “cloudy.” Many forecast an early demise especially in St. Paul where competition with the Minnesota Twins led many local sportswriters to consider it a “beer league.” The league, however, was a relatively moderate success, with only the Rochester franchise struggling to draw crowds to their games.’/…’ Following the [2005] season’s conclusion St. Paul, Sioux City, Sioux Falls, and Lincoln announced they were leaving the league to form a new independent league with five teams from the folded Central Baseball League in the southern United States; the new league was to be known as the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball’./…’Following the 2010 season, the Northern League announced that Winnipeg, Kansas City, Fargo-Moorhead, and Gary SouthShore would be leaving the league to join the American Association’ …{end of excerpts}.

The Northern League folded in 2010, but its legacy and 3 of its founding teams and 5 more of its expansion teams still exist today as 8 of the 16 franchises in the American Association (the 3 founding teams of the Northern League [1993-2010] which still exist today in the American Association are the St. Pauls Saints, the Sioux City Explorers, and the Sioux Falls Canaries). Miles Wolff, the founder of the influential publication Baseball America, and the modern-day creator of the Independent league-model, was commissioner of the trailblazing Northern League from 1993 to 2002. Wolff is presently commissioner of the American Association. Wolff also owns the American Association team the Québec Capitales (of Quebec City, Quebec, Canada), as well as the collegiate summer league team the Elmira Pioneers.

There is one American Association team that owns its ballpark, the highest-drawing Independent leagues team, the Winnipeg Goldeyes, who play at Shaw Park. Shaw Park, which opened in 1999 and has been expanded twice since, has a capacity of 7,481. It is owned by Sam Katz, owner of the Goldeyes, and, since 2004, the mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Katz, the first Jewish mayor of Manitoba, is in his third term.

Atlantic League [Professional Baseball],
The Atlantic League has 8 teams in their league (and will expand to 10 teams in 2015). The Atlantic League has 7 teams in the Northeast and one team in Greater Houston, Texas, and will expand to two locations in Virginia next season [2015] (adding one new team in northern Virginia in Greater Washington DC [the Loudon Hounds of Ashburn, VA]; and one new team in SE coastal Virginia near Norfolk [the Virginia Beach Neptunes of Virginia Beach, VA]. It might interest you to know that Baseball Hall of Famer/Baltimore Orioles Third Baseman Brooks Robinson (in a consortium named Opening Day Partners) is a co-owner of the Lancaster team & the York team and the Texas team (and 2 other franchises in the Atlantic League). The NY Mets fan favorite, mercurial Shortstop Bud Harrelson, is a co-owner of the Long Island team. Harrelson co-owns the Ducks with Long Island-native Frank Boulton, who used to own the now-defunct Albany, NY Eastern League franchise (an affiliated team in Double-A baseball). Boulton sold that team, then tried to set up a Long Island-based team still within the Organized Baseball umbrella, but was blocked by MLB and the New York Mets from doing so, then set up the Independent league the Atlantic League (originally a 4-team league), in 1998. 2 years later, Boulton and the Atlantic League put a franchise in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY, with Major League Baseball and the NY Mets powerless to stop him. Boulton thumbed his nose at MLB and built the 6 K-capacity Bethpage Ballpark in 2000, where the Ducks pack ‘em in to this day, setting a consecutive-sellout-record for minor league baseball along the way. Here is what it says about all that at the Atlantic League page at en.wikipedia.org, {excerpt}…’The creation of the league was the result of the New York Mets’ objection to Frank Boulton’s proposal to move the former Albany-Colonie Yankees because of its territorial rights to the region. Boulton, a Long Island native, decided to create a new league that would have a higher salary cap for its players and a longer season than most of the other independent baseball organizations. He modeled the Atlantic League after the older Pacific Coast League, with facilities that exceed AAA-level standards. Boulton also emphasized signing players of Major League Baseball experience for all Atlantic League teams, raising the level of play above other independent leagues.’…{end of excerpt}.

Here is a very recent article from CBS/New York, by Peter Schwartz, from May 2, 2014, about the continued success of the Long Island Ducks, ‘15 Years Later, Long Island Ducks Are Still Quacking‘. (newyork.cbslocal.com/category/sports)

The Long Island Ducks (see illustration below) are one of three Atlantic League teams which own and operate the ballparks they play in. The other two are the Sugar Land Skeeters (see illustration below), and the soon-to-be-expansion team the Loudon Hounds of northern Virginia.

Below are illustrated profiles of the 6 highest-drawing Independent leagues teams…

    The Top 6-drawing Independent Leagues Teams in 2013 (3 teams from the American Association and 3 teams from the Atlantic League)…

Winnipeg Goldeyes (American Association), 5,880 per game in 2013 (best attendance in Independent leagues in 2013).
winnipeg-goldeyes_shaw-park_highest-drawing_independent-leagues-team_2013_c_.gif
Photo credits above -
Winnipeg Goldeyes home cap, photo from Goldeyes’ site at http://www.goldeyes.com/shop/shop-index.
Shaw Park front-entrance, photo by Ccrryyee at ‘File:Winnipeg Goldeyes Baseball Club entrance.JPG‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Shaw Park interior photo by Charlie at charliesballparks.com/st/MB-Winnipeg-CanWest.

Sugar Land Skeeters (Atlantic League): 5,537 per game in 2013 (second-best attendance in Independent leagues in 2013).
sugarland-skeeters_constellation-park_2nd-best-attendance_independent-leagues_2013_b_.gif
Photo credit above -
timstanleyphotography.com/constellation-field.

Kansas City T-Bones (American Association): 5,420 per game in 2013 (third-best attendance in Independent leagues in 2013).
kansas-city-t-bones_community-america-ballpark_3rd-best-independent-leagues_attendance_2013_b_.gif
Photo credit above -
James Hilchen at stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/communityamerica-ballpark-s239/images.

Long Island Ducks (Atlantic League): 5,303 per game in 2013 (fourth-best attendance in Independent leagues in 2013).
long-island-ducks_bethpage-ballpark_4th-best-attendance_independent-leagues_2013_d_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
LI Ducks’ back-to-back Atlantic League champions logo from liducks.com.
Photo of Bethpage Ballpark (then called Citibank Park) by Eric and Wendy Pastore at digitalballparks.com/Atlantic/Citibank.

Somerset Patriots (Atlantic League): 5,223 per game in 2013 (fifth-best attendance in Independent leagues in 2013).
somerset-patriots_td-bank-ballpark_5th-best-attendance_independent-leagues_2013_c_.gif
Photo credit above -
atlanticleague.com/ballpark-somerset.

St. Paul Saints (American Association): 4,886 per game in 2103 (sixth-best attendance in Independent leagues in 2013).
st-paul-saints_6th-best-attendance_independent-leagues_2013_midway-stadium_b_.gif
Photo credit above -
Steve Cuddihy at twincitiesdailyphoto.com/2008_08_01_archive.
___
Thanks to NuclearVacuum, at Wikimedia Commons, for the base map (blank map) of North America, at ‘File:BlankMap-North America-Subdivisions.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to Winnipeg Goldeyes site, for photo of their cap logo, http://www.goldeyes.com/shop/shop-index.
Thanks to Long Island Ducks site, for the photo of their cap logo, t20.glitnirticketing.com/ldticket/store.
Thanks to Camden RiverSharks site, for photo of their cap logo, shop.riversharks.com/shop.
Thanks to CruiseFashion.co.uk, for photo of Amarillo Sox cap logo, images.cruisefashion.co.uk/images/products.uk/90909603_3plat_a1.jpg.
Thanks to Francois Gervais for his photo of Trois Rivieres Aigles players, at lapresse.ca/le-nouvelliste/sports – I used a segment of the photo for the Aigles’ cap logo on the map.
Thanks to Jav at OOTP Developments.com/board (forums) for San Angelo Colts logo, at ootpdevelopments.com/board/ootp-mods-logos-graphics-html/147410-san-angelo-colts-request.html.
Thanks to Flickr.com for the Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings cap logo, at farm7.staticflickr.com/6008/5945116566_10de6d0092.jpg.

Thanks to Ballpark Digest.com for continuing to have reliable posts on MLB, MiLB, and Independent Leagues attendance.

May 10, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Nigeria (CAF), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Nigeria, with 4 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Nigeria — admin @ 12:55 pm




Nigeria national team. CAF (Africa). The Super Eagles. Home jersey: bright green with dark green trim.
-Nigeria is in Group C (with Argentina, Bosnia, and Iran), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group F‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification : 5th qualification out of 14 tries (1930 to 1958, did not enter).
Nigeria has qualified for the World Cup in: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014.

Previous WC finish: 2010, Group Stage (0-1-2).
Highest WC finish: 1994 & 1998, Round of 16 (2-0-2).

Population of Nigeria: 174.5 million {2013 estimate}. Capital: Abuja, metro area pop. 3.0 million {2012 est.}. Largest city: Lagos, metro area pop. 12.0 million {2013 est.}.
The map below shows the 8 largest cities in Nigeria (all cities in Nigeria with over 800,000 in their metro areas) {‘List of Nigerian cities by population‘ (en.wikipedia.org)). Also shown on the map below are all the Nigerian States which have players featured on the squad chart.

From The Guradian, from 30 May 2014, by Stuart James, ‘Nigeria’s Peter Odemwingie relishing his ‘fresh start’ in World Cup‘ (theguardian.com).

Nigeria coach, Stephen Keshi. Stephen Keshi.
Nigeria squad captain, Vincent Enyeama (GK, Lille). Vincent Enyeama.

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Nigeria (with 4 other player-options further below) -
nigeria_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Nigeria jersey, photo from footyheadlines.com.
Nigeria, map of country on globe, by TUBS at ‘File:Nigeria on the globe (Africa centered).svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
Nigeria blank map by Uwe Dedering at ‘File:Nigeria location map.svg‘ (de.wikipedia.org).
Coach,
Stephen Keshi, photo from en.africatopsports.com.
Goalkeeper,
Vincent Enyeama (Lille), photo from nigeriashowbiz.com.
Defenders,
Efe Ambrose CB/RB/DM (Celtic), photo by SNS via bbc.com/football.
Kenneth Omeruo CB/RB (Chelsea/Middlesbrough), photo by Ian Cooper via gazettelive.co.uk/sport/football.
Godfrey Oboabona CB/RB (Çaykur Rizespor), photo from haberciniz.biz.
Elderson LB (AS Monaco), photo by AFP/Getty Images via uefa.com.
Midfielders/Attacking MF,
Ogenyi Onazi CMF/DM (Lazio), photo from worldfootball.net/player.
Victor Moses AMF/W (Liverpool), photo by Getty Images via goal.com.
John Obi Mikel CMF/DM (Chelsea), photo by Warren Fish at en.wikipedia.org.
Forwards/Wingers,
Brown Ideye W/FW (Dynamo Kyiv), photo from dailymail.co.uk.
Emmanuel Emenike FW/W (Fenerbahçe), photo from nigerianeye.com
Ahmed Musa RW/LW/FW (CSKA Moscow), photo by Epsilon/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Other player-options,
Peter Odemwingie FW (Stoke City), photo from stokesentinel.co.uk.
Victor Obinna FW (Chievo Verona), photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images via gettyimages.in.
Nosa Igiebor CMF (Real Betis), photo from yonuncatehefallado.com/blogs.
Azubuike Egwuekwe CB/LB (Warri Wolves), photo from naijaligue.blogspot.com.
___

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Nigeria national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/stop-script-errors-firefox-48954.html

May 5, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Netherlands (UEFA), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Netherlands, with 12 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Netherlands — admin @ 7:44 am




Netherlands national team. UEFA (Europe). Nickname: Oranje. Home jersey: orange with white trim.
-Netherlands is in Group B (with Australia, Chile, and Spain). ‘2014 FIFA World Cup/Group B‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 10th qualification out of 17 tries (1930, did not enter; 1954 & 1958, did not enter). Netherlands has qualified for the World Cup in: 1934, 1938, 1974, 1978, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2006, 2010, 2014.

Previous WC finish: 2010, Runners-Up (6-0-1).
Highest WC finish:
1974, Runners-Up (5-1-1).
1978, Runners-Up (3-2-2).
2010, Runners-Up (6-0-1).

Population of Netherlands: 16.8 million {2013 estimate}. Capital and Largest city: Amsterdam, metro area pop. 1.5 million {2014 est.}.

-Netherlands coach, Louis van Gaal. Louis van Gaal.
-Netherlands squad captain, Robin van Persie. Robin van Persie.

[Note: Chart below updated to reflect caps /goals to Netherlands' Quarterfinals match of 5 July 2014. Apart from the two injured players shown below who were left off the Netherlands squad (Rafael van der Vaart & Kevin Strootman), all the players shown below comprise every Dutch player who has played for the Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup up to the Quarterfinals.]
Below: Theoretical Best XI for Netherlands (with 12 other player-options further below) -
netherlands_2014-fifa-world-up_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_z18_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Netherlands 2014 home jersey, photo from worldsoccershop.com.
Netherlands/EU map, by NuclearVacuum at ‘File:EU-Netherlands.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Netherlands blank map by Lencer at ‘File:Netherlands location map.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Coach,
Louis van Gaal, photo unattributed at skysports.com.
Goalkeeper,
Jasper Cillessen GK (Ajax), photo by Proshots via ad.nl/ad/nl.
Defenders,
Daryl Janmaat RB/LB (Feyenoord), photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Ron Vlaar CB (Aston Villa), photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Bruno Martins Indi LB/CB (Feyenoord), photo by Icon Sport via planetfootball360.com.
Daley Blind DM/LB/CB (Ajax), photo unattributed at voetbalzone.nl.
Midfielders,
Rafael van der Vaart AM/CM/RM (Hamburger SV), photo unattributed at sports.xin.msn.com.
Wesley Sneijder AM/CM/LW (Galatasaray), photo by Getty Images via prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com.
Kevin Strootman DM/CM/LW (AS Roma), photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Forwards (incl. Attacking MFs/Wingers),
Arjen Robben RW/LW (Bayern Munich), photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Robin van Persie FW (Manchester United), photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Jeremain Lens LW/RW/FW (Dynamo Kyiv), photo from fcdynamo.kiev.ua.
Other player-options,
Dirk Kuyt RW/FW (Fenerbahçe), photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images via gettyimages.co.uk.
Jonathan de Guzmán AM/CM/DM (Swansea City), photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Nigel de Jong CMF/DM (Milan), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar FW (Schalke 04), photo unattributed at mtnfootball.com/europe/bundesliga/matches/report
Joël Veltman CB (Ajax), unattributed at fm-base.co.uk/forum.
Stefan de Vrij CB/RB (Feyenoord), photo unattributed at vavel.com/en/football/242927-van-gaal-s-world-cup-selection.
Memphis Depay LW/RW (PSV), photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Georginio Wijnaldum AM/W (PSV), photo unattributed at elsitioderuife.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/psv-eindhoven/10-georginio-wijnaldum.
Paul Verhaegh RB (Augsburg), photo unattributed at voetbalcentraal.nl.
Leroy Fer CM (Norwich City), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Terence Kongolo CB (Feyenoord), photo by Pro Shots via fr12.nl/nieuws.
Tim Krul GK (Newcastle United), photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Netherlands national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for recent squad line-ups (with positions-on-the-field graphics), at int.soccerway.com/international/europe/wc-qualifying-europe/2014-brazil/1st-round/r15653/.

April 30, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Mexico (CONCACAF), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Mexico, with 6 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Mexico: Fútbol — admin @ 4:39 pm




Mexico national team. CONCACAF (North America & Caribbean). Nickname: El Tricolor. Home jersey: deep green with red and white trim.
-Mexico is in Group A (with Brazil, Cameroon, and Croatia), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group A‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Mexico’s 15th qualification out of a 20 possible qualification attempts.
Mexico has qualified for the World Cup in: 1930, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 (1934: did not qualify; 1938: withdrew during qualifying stage; 1974: did not qualify; 1982: did not qualify; 1990: banned).
Previous WC: 2010, Round of 16 / 1-1-2.
Highest WC finish: 1970 & 1986, Quarterfinals.

Population of Mexico: 118.3 million {2013 estimate}. Capital and largest city: Mexico City, metro area pop. 21.2 million {2012 figure}.
The map below shows the 9 largest metro areas in Mexico (by population size: Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, León, Juárez, Torreón), ‘List of metropolitan areas in Mexico by population‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Mexico Coach, Miguel Herrera. Miguel Herrera.
Mexico squad captain, Rafael Márquez (DF, Club León). Rafael Márquez.

From 18 Feb. 2014, ‘Call for Mexican National Team Players Involved in Europe‘ (femexfut.org.mx).

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Mexico (with 6 other player-options listed further below) -
mexico_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_u.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Mexico on globe, map by Addicted04 at ‘File:MEX orthographic.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Mexico map by Sémhur at ‘File:Mexico States blank map.svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
Mexico 2014 home jersey, photo from articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx.
Coach,
Miguel Herrera, photo from enelareachica.com.
Goalkeeper,
Moisés Muñoz (Club América), photo from reporteindigo.com/deportes.
Defenders,
Rafael Márquez (Club León), photo by Mexsport via deportes.terra.com.mx/futbol/liga-mx.
Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Club América), photo from m.mediotiempo.com.
Francisco Javier Rodríguez (Club América), photo by sports.terra.com/soccer/mexiGerardo Flores/Gco/america-rallies-to-stun-cruz-azul-in-pks-win-title-photos [Gallery].
Paul Aguilar (Club América), photo by Francisco Estrada/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty Images via espnfc.com/blog.
Midfielders,
Miguel Layún (Club América), photo by Gerardo Flores/Getty Images via espnfc.com/blog.
Carlos Alberto Peña (Club León), photo from forumscp.com/index.php?topic=570800.
Juan Carlos Medina (Club América), photo by Mexsport via espndeportes.espn.go.com/news
Attacking MFs/Forwards,
Javier Hernández (Manchester United), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Luis Montes (Club León), photo from mmdeportes.telediario.mx.
Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna), photo from rankings.com.mx/deportes.
Other player-options,
Guillermo Ochoa GK (Ajaccio), photo by Getty Images via goal.com/es-mx.
Giovani dos Santos FW/W (Villarreal CF), photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images via sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news.
Raúl Jiménez FW/LW (Club América), photo by
Andrés Guardado LB/LMF/LW (Valencia/on loan to Bayer Leverkusen), photo by Herbert Bucco via express.de/bayer-04-leverkusen.
Isaác Brizuela AMF/RMF (Toluca), photo by Imago 7 via sports.terra.com/soccer/mexico.
Aldo de Nigris FW (Chivas de Guadalajara), photo by Imago 7 via deportes.terra.com.mx/futbol/liga-mx.

___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Mexico national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for recent squad line-ups (with positions-on-the-field graphics), at http://us.soccerway.com/international/nc-america/wc-qualifying-concacaf/2014-brazil/4th-round/r15679/;
& at http://us.soccerway.com/international/world/wc-qualifying-intercontinental-play-offs/2014-brazil/s6223/final-stages/?ICID=SN_04_85
.

April 26, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Japan (AFC), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Japan, with 3 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Japan,Japan nat'l team (soccer) — admin @ 6:40 pm




Japan national team. AFC (Asia). Nickname: サッカー日本代 (Soccer Nippon Daihyo). Home jersey: dark blue with red trim.

-Japan is in Group C (with Colombia, Greece, and Ivory Coast), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group C‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Japan’s 5th qualification [5th consecutive] out of a 15 possible qualification attempts (1930 & 1934: did not enter; 1938: withdrew; 1950: banned [as a result of sanctions following World War II]; 1954: did not qualify; 1958: did not enter; 1962: did not qualify; 1966: did not enter; 1970 to 1994: did not qualify; 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014: qualified).

Previous WC: 2010, Round of 16 / 2-1-1. Highest WC finish: 2002 & 2010, Round of 16 / 2-1-1.

Population of Japan: 126.6 million {2012 estimate}.
Capital and largest city: Tokyo, pop. 35.6 million (metro area) [city population, aka Tokyo Metropolis, pop. 13.1 million] {2011 figures}.

Japan national team coach, Alberto Zaccheroni. Alberto Zaccheroni.
Japan squad captain, Nürnburg DMF Makoto Hasebe. Makoto Hasebe.

[Note: players below reflect final 2014 WC squad selections.]
Below: Theoretical Best XI for Japan (with 3 other player-options further below) -
japan_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_r_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Japan on globe map, by Connormah at ‘File:Japan (orthographic projection).svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Japan map, from Demis Web Map Server/Gallery at www2.demis.nl/worldmap/mapper.asp.
Japan 2014 WC jersey, photo from store.fifa.com.
Coach,
Alberto Zaccheroni, photo unattributed at theovallog.wordpress.com.
Goalkeeper,
Eiji Kawashima (Standard Liège), photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Defenders,
Atsuto Uchida (Schalke 04), photo by AP via english.ahram.org.eg.
Yasuyuki Konno (Gamba Osaka), photo from gamba-osaka.net/club/player15.
Maya Yoshida (Southampton), photo photo unattributed at football2channel.blog.fc2.com.
Yuto Nagatomo (Internazionale), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Midfielders,
Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images AsiaPac via zimbio.com
Makoto Hasebe (Nürnberg), photo unattributed at sportinglife.com/football/live/match-report.
Yasuhito Endō (Gamba Osaka), photo from gamba-osaka.net/club/player07.
Attacking MFs/Forwards,
Shinji Okazaki (Mainz), photo by Fredrik von Erichsen via rhein-zeitung.de/sport/fussball.
Keisuke Honda (Milan) photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.
Shinji Kagawa (Manchester Utd), photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Other player-options,
Hiroki Sakai DF/RB/RMF (Hannover 96), photo by Bongarts/Getty Images via focus.de.
Hiroshi Kiyotake AMF/W (Nürnberg), photo unattributed at ballball.com/ja-jp/team/1-fc-nurnberg.
Yoshito Ōkubo (Kawasaki Frontale), photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Japan national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, int.soccerway.com/international/asia/wc-qualifying-asia/2014-brazil/4th-round/group-a/

April 23, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Ivory Coast [Côte d'Ivoire] (CAF), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Ivory Coast, with four other player-options listed).

Filed under: Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) — admin @ 7:34 pm




Ivory Coast national team. AFC (Africa). Nickname: Les Éléphants (the Elephants). Home jersey: orange, with white and green trim.
-Ivory Coast is in Group C (with Colombia, Greece, and Japan), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group C‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Ivory Coast’s 3rd qualification out of 11 tries (1930-1970, did not enter; 1974 to 2002, did not qualify).
Ivory Coast has qualified for the World Cup in: 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC Q: 2010, Group Stage / 1-1-1. Highest WC finish: 2010.

Population of Ivory Coast: 22.4 million {2013 estimate}. Capital: Yamoussoukro, pop. 200,000 {2005 figure}. Largest city and metro area in Ivory Coast: Abidjan, metro area pop. 7. 1 million {2012 estimate}.

-Ivory Coast coach, Sabri Lamouchi. Sabri Lamouchi.
-Ivory Coast squad captain, Galatasaray FW Didier Drogba. Didier Drogba.

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Ivory Coast (with 4 other player-options further below) -
ivory-coast_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_v_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Ivory Coast on globe, map by Martin 23230 at ‘File:Côte d’Ivoire (orthographic projection).svg‘ (commons.wikimedia.org).
Ivory Coast map by Uwe Dedering at ‘File:Côte d’Ivoire location map.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Ivory Coast home jersey, photo from plutosport.nl/shop/Voetbalshirts_Clubs_Landen/Puma_Ivoorkust.
Coach,
Sabri Lamouchi, photo from imatin.net/cote-d-ivoire/article/sport.
Goalkeeper,
Boubacar Barry (Lokeren [Belgium]), photo by BELGA via sudinfo.be/article/sports/foot-belge/2012-12-27/can-2013-copa-boubacar-lokeren-dans-la-selection-ivoirienne.
Defenders,
Jean-Jacques Gosso (Gençlerbirliği), photo from haberturk.com.
Sol Bamba (Trabzonspor), photo by AA via tr.eurosport.com/futbol.
Kolo Touré (Liverpool), photo from liverpoolroom.com.
Serge Aurier (Toulouse), photo from goal.com/fr.
Midfielders,
Didier Zokora (Trabzonspor), photo from uefa.com/uefachampionsleague.
Yaya Touré (Manchester City), photo from vietnamplus.vn.
Romaric (SC Bastia), photo from le10sport.com/football/ligue1/sc-bastia.
Forwards,
Gervinho (AS Roma), photo from pix123.com/footballtips
Didier Drogba (Galatasaray), photo from football365.com.
Salomon Kalou (Lille), photo from shoot.co.uk.
Other player-options,
Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United), photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Lacina Traoré (Everton), photo by PA via dailystar.co.uk/sport/football.
Wilfried Bony (Swansea City), photo from sportsmole.co.uk/football/swansea-city.
Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), photo by bundesliga.com/[Gallery of African stars in Bundesliga].
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Ivory Coast national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for recent squad line-ups, at int.soccerway.com/international/africa/wc-qualifying-africa.

April 18, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Italy (UEFA), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Italy, with 11 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Italy — admin @ 11:56 am




Italy national team. UEFA (Europe). Gli Azzurri (the Blues). Home jersey: House of Savoy Blue, with red-white-green trim. {‘Coat of arms of the House of Savoy, Vittorio Emanuelle II‘ (pbase.com)}.
Question: why does Italy play in blue?. Answer (from BBC.co.uk): ‘Italy play in blue shirts rather than the colours of their national flag in a custom dating back to the country’s pre-republican days. Blue was the official colour of the Royal House of Savoy and the Azzurri tribute to the Italian monarchy survives today.’ (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport3/worldcup2002/specials/html/linekers_verdict/italy.stm).

-Italy is in 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D (with Costa Rica, England, and Uruguay), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group D‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is Italy’s 18th qualification out of 19 tries (1930: did not enter; 1958: did not qualify).
Italy has qualified for the World Cup in: 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC finish: 2010, Group Stage (0-2-1).
Highest WC finish:
1934, Champions (4-1-0).
1938: Champions (4-0-0).
1982: Champions (4-3-0).
2006: Champions (5-2-0).

Italy have won the FIFA World Cup 4 times, which is second only to Brazil’s 5 World Cup titles {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_FIFA_World_Cup_finals#Results_by_nation}.

Population of Italy: 59.9 million {2013 estimate}. Capital & largest city: Rome, city pop. 2.6 million {2013 estimate}; metro area pop. 4.3 million {2012 estimate}. Largest metro area: Milan, city pop.1.3 million {2013 estimate}; metro area pop. 7.6 million {2012 estimate}.

Italy’s 8 largest metro areas can be seen in the following link, ‘Metropolitan cities of Italy/Sizing, Economic Performance‘ (en.wikipedia.org). (The largest 8 metro areas in Italy are also shown on the map below.)

-Italy coach, Cesare Prandelli. Cesare Prandelli. -Italy squad captain, GK Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Buffon (Juventus). Gianluigi Buffon.

[Note: the chart below is updated to reflect final roster selection for 2014 WC/ 'Italy national football team/Current Squad' (en.wikipedia.org).]
Below: Theoretical Best XI for Italy (with 11 other player-options further below) -
italy_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_c-prandelli_z4_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Italy 2013-14 home jersey, photo from footballkitnews.com/talia-home-kit-2013-2014.
Italy/EU map, by NuclearVacuum at ‘File:EU-Italy.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Italy map by Eric Gaba & NordNordWest at ‘File:Italy relief location map-blank.jpg‘ (commons.wikipedia.org).
Coach,
Cesare Prandelli, photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images via sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news.
Goalkeeper,
Gigi Buffon (Juventus), photo unattributed at funscrape.com/gianluigi+buffon.
Defenders,
Ignazio Abate (Milan), photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), photo by Nigel French/EMPICS via london24.com/sport.
Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), photo unattributed at juventusfans.forumcommunity.net.
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), photo unattributed at zastavki.com.
Midfielders,
Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), photo unattributed at forzaitalianfootball.com.
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), photo unattributed at planetf1.com.
Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Daniele De Rossi (Roma), photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Forwards,
Mario Balotelli (Milan), photo unattributed at 1.skysports.com/football.
Antonio Cassano (Parma), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Other player-options,
Thiago Motta MF/CMF/DMF (PSG), photo by L’Equipe at lequipe.fr/Football.
Alberto Aquilani CM (Fiorentina), photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Alessio Cerci (Torino), photo unattributed at futura.unito.it/blog.
Lorenzo Insigne AMF/LW (Napoli), photo unattributed at calciomalato.blogosfere.it.
Mattia De Sciglio DF/RB (Milan), photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Antonio Candreva RW/RM/AM (Lazio), photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Gabriel Paletta CB (Parma), photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Marco Verratti CM (PSG), photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Matteo Darmian RB/CB (Torino), photo from media2.ftbpro.com.
Salvatore Sirigu GK (PSG), photo from uefa.com.
Ciro Immobile FW (Torino), photo from m.goal.com/jp.
___

Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Italy national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for recent squad line-ups (with positions-on-the-field graphics), at int.soccerway.com/international/europe/wc-qualifying-europe/2014-brazil/1st-round/r15653/.

April 14, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: Iran (AFC), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for Iran, with 2 other player-options listed).

Filed under: Iran — admin @ 6:20 pm




Iran national team. AFC (Asia). Nickname: Persian: تیم ملی (Team Melli [the National Team]). Home jersey: white, with red and green trim.
-Iran is in Group F (with Argentina, Bosnia, and Nigeria), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group F‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 4th qualification out of 11 tries (Iran did not enter the qualifying for the first 9 World Cups [1930-1970]; 1986, disqualified). Iran has qualified for the World Cup in: 1978, 1998, 2006, 2014.
Previous WC: 2006, Group Stage / 0-1-2.

Population of Iran: 77.1 million {2013 estimate}. Capital and largest city: Tehran, pop. 13.8 million (metro-area pop.) {2012 figure}.

Iran coach, Carlos Queiroz. Carlos Queiroz.
Iran squad captain, MF Javad Nekounam (of Kuwait SC). Javad Nekounam.

From The Guardian, from 6 Feb. 2014, by John Duerden, ‘World Cup preparation problems frustrate Iran manager Carlos Queiroz‘ (theguardian.com/football).
From MLSsoccer.com, from Dec. 13 2013, by Andrew Weibe, ‘World Cup 2014: Iran national team guide‘ (m.mlssoccer.com).

Below: Theoretical Best XI for Iran, with 2 other player-options further below -
iran_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_r_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Iran on globe map, by P30Carl at ‘File:Iran (orthographic projection).svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Iran relief map, by Uwe Dedering at ‘File:Iran relief location map.jpg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Iran jersey, photo from football-england.com/iran_football_shirts.Coach,
Coach,
Carlos Queiroz, photo by AFP via fifa.com/worldcup.
Goalkeeper,
Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan), photo from sporcle.com/games/fifa-world-cup-2014-teams-by-goalkeepers.
Defenders,
Pejman Montazeri (Umm-Salal [Qatar]), photo from teammelli.com/2014/01/04/pejman-montazeri-signs-for-qatari-club-umm-salal.
Jalal Hosseini (Perseopolis), photo from varzesh11.com/fa/soccer_photos/gallery.
Amir Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal), photo from jamphoto.jamnews.ir.
Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal), photo from fromssiha.blogfa.com.
Midfielders,
Masoud Shojaei (UD Las Palmas), photo from udlaspalmas.net.
Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal), photo from eiliayeabi.blogfa.com.
Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), photo from the-afc.com.
Ehsan Hajsafi (Perseopolis), photo from pressline.ir.
Forward/Attacking MF,
Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton Athletic), photo from newsshopper.co.uk.
Mojtaba Jabbari (Esteghlal/Al-Ahli), photo from anglechronicle.com.
Other player-options,
Daniel Davari GK (Eintracht Braunschweig), photo by Michael Kienzler/Bongarts/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.
Ashkan Dejagah RM/RW/FW (Fulham), photo from metro.co.uk
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘Iran national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, int.soccerway.com/international/asia/wc-qualifying-asia/2014-brazil/4th-round/group-a/

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