Friday, December 24, 2010

Blackburn's Samba Request Move Away from Ewood

Blackburn centre back Chris Samba has requested a move away from Ewood Park in the wake of the sacking of former manager Sam Allardyce by the club's new owners and the growing unrest within the squad. Seemingly disillusioned by the recent unfolding of events at the Lancashire club, the giant defender has stunned fans and new manager Steve Kean alike by requesting a move away from Rovers. Arguably ranking as one of the Premier League's most underrated defenders, Samba has established himself at Rovers on the back of displays of supreme strength and aerial dominance which has been a potent weapon for Rovers as part of the club's defense and attack in the previous couple of seasons.

But now it seems the Blackburn man is set for pastures new - with high flyers Arsenal apparently interested in signing the Blackburn powerhouse as manager Wenger seeks to add some much needed steel to their stylishly assembled squad during the forthcoming January transfer window. The 26 year old defender’s desire to leave Ewood is also very much on the radar of Fulham manager Mark Hughes who had previously signed Samba for Blackburn when he managed there in 2007. The loss of Samba would be a big blow for Blackburn and their ambitious new owners who stated they are looking to finish in the Europa League places in this year's Premier League.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Football Holidays in South Portugal

Portugal, which shares parts of the Iberian Peninsula of southern Europe with Spain, is a country rich and unique in culture. The cities are lively, and its beautiful countryside is famous the world over.  There are numerous Lisbon hotels that you can stay in when visiting the country from the more affordable variety to 5-star luxury hotels.  Being one of the more popular areas in which to enjoy a holiday, there are also several Cheap Hotels in Algarve that you can choose from.  However, with football being the major sport of the country, south Portugal is an excellent setting for football holidays and vacations.

Family Attractions Close to Lisbon

Portugal is one of the more family-oriented countries in Europe, allowing for plenty of family attractions within close distance to Lisbon, as well as in the city itself.  Holidaymakers will easily find numerous activities and entertainment venues for teens and tots alike, while the city is filled with play areas for younger children as well.  Some of the recommended attractions include:

Parque das Nações – with numerous attractions suitable for all age groups, this district is known as the entertainment centre of Lisbon.  This traffic-free district with its many riverside paths and walkways is the ideal setting for a family day out.

Colombo Shopping Centre – if shopping is your passion, this is the primary venue to explore.  Take the kids as well because there is a huge children’s play area on the top floor of this shopping mall.

Estrela Gardens – with its exotic plants, numerous ponds, and a children’s playground on the premises, this is another must-see family venue.

Football Season in Portugal

The popularity of football in Portugal began in the latter part of the 19th century, when Portuguese students returned from England and brought the sport home with them.  For the most part, the football season in Portugal lasts about 8 months starting in September and continuing into April.  However there are competitions and playoffs that continue through the summer.  During the regular season, a number of monthly awards are handed out such as Fair Play Award, Player of the Month, and Young Player of the Month.

The Current Football Leagues and Score Tables, Upcoming Games, and Rivalries

The 2010-2011 season is now underway and it should be an exciting one again as it has been in past years.  Along with the Portuguese National team there are two entities in the league systems which are:

Primeira Liga – founded in 1934 and comprised of 16 teams, this is the primary domestic competitive league of the country with Futebol Clube do Porto, Sport Lisboa e Benfica, and Sporting Clube de Portugal being the dominating clubs of the league. 

Liga de Honra (League of Honour) – there is also 16 teams in this league which has been in operation since the 1990-91 season.

One of the things that make the sport of football so exciting is the rivalries that occur every year.  In Portuguese football, the two biggest rivalries are Benfica versus Porto and Benifica versus Sporting.  Known for continual animosity between Benifica and the other two clubs, these always prove to be major clashes whenever these teams compete.