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Lionel Messi

Biography of Lionel Messi (Leo Messi)
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Lionel Messi (Leo Messi) Biography

Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini, known as Lionel Messi or simply “Lio”, is an Argentinian footballer who was born in Rosario, Argentina, on June 24, 1987, and plays as a forward or right winger. He comes from a family with fewer economic resources, made up of his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, a factory worker and his mother, Celia María Cuccittini. His maternal grandmother, Celia Olivera, was the one who motivated him to play football as a professional. For that reason, in 1992, when he was 5 years old he began his training as a soccer player in the club.

Abanderado Grandoli, which was one of Rosario’s formative teams. In 1994, Lionel Messi took his step through the lower divisions of Newell’s Old Boys where he began to show his skill with the ball and won several national titles. At the age of 11, Lionel would be diagnosed with a deficiency in growth hormone, which made him look less attractive for the soccer clubs despite the great talent he had. However, this was not an impediment for Messi to continue with his aspirations to be a professional footballer.

 

FC BARCELONA

His aspirations to achieve his goals took him to Buenos Aires in August of 2000 to try out in the Club Atlético River Plate’s Academy, requested by coach Federico Vairo who saw his great talent. Nevertheless, Messi was never called back to the club because River Plate did not reach an economic agreement with his parents to treat his growth problem. On September, Messi and his father would travel to Barcelona, Spain to look out for a better future and try out in some soccer clubs, including FC Barcelona. The day after his arrival in Barcelona, ​​he was scheduled to attend a practice with one of the FC Barcelona’s Youth Academy teams. However, this practice was canceled because of the absence of Rexach who was in charge of the team’s youth academy.

Weeks later, Lionel Messi had the opportunity to make his first practices with the category Infantile A of FC Barcelona. This was a successful start in which he could score

 

6 goals and take the lead in his team. Messi’s performance was so good that he was asked to play for the other team in the second half.

On December 14, 2000, Horacio Gaggioli (Manager of Messi at that time) and Carles Rexach signed Messi for the FC Barcelona Youth Academy. In his beginnings in the Masía, Messi teamed with Gerard Piqué and Cesc Fábregas and was directed by Tito Vilanova. His debut in an official game with Infantile B category was on March 7, 2001, against Amposta. That game was a dreamed debut because Messi would score the winning goal for the victory of his team. In the next game, Lionel will fracture his fibula after a player from the other team kicked him and Messi missed the rest of that season.

At the end of 2001, at the beginning of a new season, Lionel Messi was promoted to the Infantile A category, ​​where he was famous for scoring 21 goals in 14 games. The excellent performance showed by “Lio” allowed him to be promoted in 2002 to the Cadet A category, with which he would win all the tournaments that the team played. In the 2003-2004 season, he had a small step through the Juvenil B category where his skills with the ball got him a spot in the Barcelona C team, where he debuted on November 29, 2003, in the third division tournament of Spain.

Messi’s footballing growth was accelerating, so he did not last long in the youth categories. His move to Barcelona B took place on March 6, 2004, and sometimes was called by the professional team to practice with them or play some exhibition games.

Lionel Messi was still part of the Barcelona B when he debuted with the professional team on November 16, 2003, in a friendly game against Porto from Portugal. In the 2004-2005 season, Lionel did the preseason with the professional team, ​​where he participated in 3 games played at the Camp Nou and scored a goal.

His debut in an official game occurred on October 16, 2004, when he was 17 years old. Barcelona’s coach, Frank Rijkaard was the one who gave him the opportunity against Espanyol, a game for the Spanish league.

 

His first official goal with Barcelona came on May 1, 2005, in the game corresponding to the 34th fixture against Albacete. That season, Barcelona would become champion again after five seasons without any titles. The 2005-2006 season started full of successes for the player since the team managed to be champion of the super cup of Spain on August 13, 2005. In that year, the Catalan Club renewed Messi’s contract until 2014 and improved his salary as a reward for the excellent performance that the player had shown in the main squad. Due to this, Lionel saw great possibilities in the club, so on September 26 of that year, he received the Spanish nationality.

In the middle of November, the first “Clasico” came for Lionel Messi against Real Madrid, the match was won by Barcelona 3-0 and the player gave an assist. Next month, he would win the Golden Boy Award, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in with the second and third position respectively. Through the 2005-2006 season, Messi suffered an injury that kept him away from the team until his total recovery. At that time, Messi had scored 7 goals in 18 games including league and Champions League. At the end of the season, Lio had won two more titles with the Barcelona FC as the team won the Spanish league and the Champions League.

In the 2006-2007 season, the Argentinian star was already a key player in Barcelona’s starting lineup. On March 10, 2007, Messi played another game against Real Madrid in which he scored his first hat-trick in a game that would end up 3-3 and became the youngest player to score in “El Clasico”. Due to all the records, Messi was achieving and the way he played, made the people start comparing him with Diego Armando Maradona.

One of the most famous goals of the player and for which they compared him more with Maradona, was the one he scored on April 18, 2007, in which he escaped from 6 players and defined very coldly. That goal was practically identical to the one Maradona scored in the 1986 World Cup against England. The player finished that season with 14 goals scored in 38 matches.

The 2007-2008 season, Messi scored 16 goals and was included in FIFA’s ideal team and ranked third in the Golden Ball Award. Despite these recognitions, that season, the player did not get any title with the club. On February 27, 2008, he would play his 100th game with the Blaugrana shirt against Valencia.

The season 2008-2009 would start with the Argentinian star wearing the number 10 and becoming a symbol for Barcelona. This season was full of important titles and goals. He became an important icon in the history of the club, after scoring the goal number 5000 in the league for Barcelona on February 1, 2009. In addition, the two goals scored in the historic Barcelona win against Real Madrid were highlighted by 6- 2 at the Santiago Bernabéu on May 2 of that same year. On May 27, 2009, Barcelona played the final of the Champions League against Manchester United, a match in which Messi scored the second goal in the 2-0 that meant the European title for his club. At the end of the season, the player scored 38 goals in 51 games, including Copa del Rey, the Champions League, and the Spanish League, and became the champion of the three mentioned competitions.

The 2009 season came with excellent news for Lionel Messi since on September 18, 2009, Barcelona decided to renew the player’s contract until 2016 ensuring the player for a good time because whoever wanted him had to pay 250 million euros. By that time the player was already recognized by several journalists and coaches around the world, as the best player in the world never seen before. To the talent, the goals and abilities of the player began to add the great recognition and references; this made that on December 1 of that same year Lionel won his first FIFA Golden Ball (currently called Golden Ball  and delivered by the magazine France Football) after obtaining 480 points and being the first player that came out from the Barcelona youth academy in obtaining this award.

At the age of 22, Messi would become the youngest player to score 100 goals with the Blaugrana shirt and the first player in scoring two consecutive hat-tricks. Messi continued to break records, and on April 6, 2010, he scored his first goal-scoring poker game in the quarter-final match of the Champions League, where Barcelona won 4-1. The player became the club’s all-time leading scorer in that competition, after reaching 25 goals. At the end of the season, Lionel added a few more titles with Barcelona as he won the Spanish league, the Spanish Super Cup, the European Super Cup and the Club World Cup; he managed to score 34 goals in the league, 1 goal in Copa del Rey, 2 in the Spanish Super Cup and 8 in the Champions League and was named the best player of the year on June 3, 2010.

Lionel Messi became the third leading scorer in the history of Barcelona FC after reaching 131 goals on August 29, 2010, which was an excellent start to the season for the player. Between October 20 to November 24, Messi managed to score in 10 consecutive games, a personal record achieved by the Argentinian. In December, Messi would be nominated for the fourth time to the Golden Ball Award, this time contesting against teammates Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. Messi would end up winning this award for the second time in a row, which identified him as the best player in the world. After the end of the 2010-2011 season, the player scored 12 goals in the Champions League, 31 in the league, 7 in Copa del Rey and 3 in the Spanish Super Cup. In addition, he was champion of the Spanish league and the Champions League adding the title number 15 in his football career.

On August 25, 2011, Messi won the award for the best player in Europe in its first edition, beating Xavi Hernández and Cristiano Ronaldo. The 2011-2012 season started with Messi winning the aforementioned prize, also he was chosen as the sports heritage of humanity in Argentina. He played the Spanish Super Cup against Real Madrid, where he scored 3 goals that contributed to Barcelona winning its tenth Super Cup and the player became the top scorer of that competition with 8 goals, beating the historic Raúl Gonzales.

On August 26, 2011, Barcelona played the European Super Cup against Porto, in which Messi scored a goal that contributed to the 2-0 victory and to get the fourth title of this competition for Barcelona FC. On December 8, 2011, the player was recognized as the second-best player in the history of the UEFA Champions League surpassed only by the historic Zinedine Zidane. A few days later, Messi would play his 293rd match with the Barcelona jersey and became the foreign player with most matches played in the Spanish club. On December 18, 2011, Lionel Messi and Barcelona were crowned champions of the Club World Cup, after defeating  Santos (Brazil) 4-0 where he contributed 2 goals to the score, also received the Golden Ball as the best player of the competition.

At the beginning of 2012, Lionel would be given his third consecutive Golden Ball equaling the record of Michel Platini. Messi culminated the 2011-2012 season with a total of 67 goals in all competitions and managed to win the Spanish Super Cup, the European Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. On October 27, 2012, Lionel Messi scored two goals in the 5-0 against Rayo Vallecano, which reached a historical figure of 300 goals as a professional and was making history. On January 7, 2013, the player would win the Golden Ball for the fourth time in a row and was part of FIFA’s 11th ideal for the sixth consecutive year. For the 6 of 2013, Messi signed the renewal of his contract, which linked him until 2018 with the Blaugrana team. In the match against Granada of the current season, Lionel Messi scored two goals reaching the global figure of 301 goals in 365 games with Barcelona FC. In addition, he became the first player in the world to score in 17 consecutive fixtures in a professional football league.

On March 30, 2013, the Argentinian crack took the captain’s band for the first time in an official match with Barcelona. On May 11, 2013, Barcelona won the Spanish league with four games in advance and Messi added his twentieth title with Barcelona. He also managed to be the league’s top scorer and got for the third time the top scorer and the league’s golden boot. At the end of the 2012-2013 season, the Argentinian player ended up scoring 46 goals in the Spanish league, 4 in Copa del Rey, 2 in the Spanish Supercup and 8 in the Champions League.

On August 28, 2013, at the start of the 2013-2014 season, Barcelona managed to win the Super Cup of Spain and Messi added his title number 23 with the Blaugrana shirt. On January 22, 2014, reached 400 games with Barcelona FC in the 4-1 victory against Valencia for the knockout stages of the Copa del Rey, the Argentine stood out for giving 3 assists to Cristian Tello. In that season, the Argentinian continued breaking records and in this case reached the figure of 337 goals reaching the third place in the Spanish league’s top scorers along with Raul, surpassing what Alfredo Di Stéfano did. The Argentine managed to finish that season with 41 goals.

 

In the 2014-2015 season, Lionel Messi reached 71 goals in the Champions League and managed to equal Raul as the top scorer of that competition. On November 22, 2014, he became the top scorer of the Spanish league reaching the figure of 253 goals, after scoring 3 goals in the 5-1 victory against Sevilla. Three days later, he would score a hat-trick in her team’s 4-0 victory against Apoel for Champions League. That hat-trick helped him to reach 74 goals in that competition and became the leading top scorer. On April 18, 2015, the Argentinian reached 400 goals with Barcelona and became the player with the most goals scored for the same Spanish team. On May 17, 2015, Barcelona defeated Atlético de Madrid 1-0 with a Messi goal that allowed them to reach the Spanish league championship. Messi was also the protagonist 3 days later (May 30, 2015) when he scored two goals in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao, that match was won by Barcelona 3-1 and gave Barcelona the title. On June 6, 2015, the “10” would achieve another treble to Barcelona, ​​after becoming champion of the European champions league, beating Juventus of Italy. At the end of that season, Lionel Messi scored 43 goals for the Spanish league, 5 goals for Copa del Rey and 10 goals for the Champions League. On August 28, 2015, the Argentine star managed to win the best player-in-Europe award for the second time.

The 2015-2016 season did not start very well for Messi and Barcelona, ​​as they lost the final of the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla. Days later, on September 16, Lio would become the youngest player to play 100 games in the Champions League, in the draw against Roma 1-1. On December 17, 2015, the participation of Barcelona in the club world championship began, defeating the Guangzhou Evergrande by 3-0 in semifinals and winning the title after beating River Plate of Argentina 3-0, with a goal of Messi. The beginning of 2016 was very good for Lionel Messi, since on January 11 he won again the Golden Ball as the best player in the world, adding 5 Golden Balls in his soccer career, the player was also part of the ideal team of the FIFA in that year. The course of the league was good for his team, and on March 13, 2016, Lionel managed to equal the world record of assists of Juan Román Riquelme at the club and national level, with 247 goal passes. In that season, the Argentine star achieved 4 titles (Club World Cup, Spanish League, Copa del Rey and European Super Cup) and scored 41 goals.

On August 17, 2016, Lionel Messi managed to win his first championship as captain of Barcelona, winning the Super Cup of Spain to Sevilla by a global score of 6-1. On May 27, 2017, Barcelona was champion of the Copa del Rey 2016-2017, after defeating Deportivo Alaves 3-1 in the final with a Goal and assistance from the Argentinian. On July 5 of the same year, Messi renewed his contract with Barcelona until 2021. On August 7, he was chosen by CIHEFE as the best player in the history of the Spanish league. On October 23, 2017, Messi was part of FIFA / FIFPro World XI chosen by FIFA, which refers to the ideal eleven of the season. On November 24, 2017, Lionel Messi received the Golden Boot for having been the scorer of the European competitions of the 2016-2017 season, where he managed to score 37 goals.

 

ARGENTINA NATIONAL TEAM

Lio Messi has been part of the Argentina National Team for a long time. In 2014, he played his first game with the U-20 team, in a friendly against Paraguay in which he scored a goal and gave two assists. In July, he would play another game against Uruguay’s U-20 team in which he contributed with two goals for the 4-1 victory of his team. This was enough for him to be taken into account in the squad that faced the South America tournament U-20 in 2005.

The South America tournament was held in Colombia, and Messi scored 6 goals and finally managed to qualify for the Under 20 World Championship to be held in the Netherlands after finishing in the third position of the final hexagonal. In the World Youth Championship in June 2005, Argentina won the final against Nigeria, and the Argentinian crack managed to provide 6 goals to his team and was the top scorer of the competition, lifting the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball to the best player of the tournament.

In 2008, Messi played the Olympic Games held in Beijing. Argentina debuted on August 7 with a 2-1 victory against the Ivory Coast, scoring the first goal of the game. In the second match of the group stage, Argentina won 1-0 to Australia, securing their qualification to the next round. However, in the last match of this phase, Argentina won 3-0 to Serbia, consolidating as leader of their group. In the final rounds, Argentina built its way to the final for the Olympic gold beating the Netherlands and Brazil by 2-1 and 3-0 respectively, where Lio contributed a goal. The Olympic title was won after beating Nigeria 1-0 in the final. This was the second title with National Youth Teams for the player.

After good performances in youth teams, Lionel Messi began to be called to the senior team, where he made his debut on August 17, 2005, in a friendly match against Hungary. In that game, he was sent off after a fight with a defender of the opposing team. His debut in an official match took place on September 3, 2005, when Argentina faced Paraguay for the World Cup qualifiers to Germany 2006.

Messi’s first goal with the senior team was scored in a friendly against Croatia on March 1. 2006. In World Cup in Germany 2006, Lionel Messi was among the list of players called by coach José Pekerman, becoming the youngest Argentinian player to contest the world cup. He debuted on the first game against Serbia in the 6-0 win in favor of Argentina. In this game, Messi would enter the minute 73 and managed to score a goal. In the last group game against the Netherlands, Messi was in the starting lineup. However, in the final stages, he only played 30 minutes until his team was eliminated before Germany.

After the participation in the 2006 World Cup, Messi would keep being called to the national team and on June 5, 2007, he scored his first double with the national team in a friendly match against Algeria prior to the Copa America 2007. His participation in the Copa America 2007 was highlighted, as he scored two goals in the quarterfinals and semifinal, but despite his good performance, his team would not reach the title, because it was defeated in the final by Brazil with a score of 3-0.

Messi continued being called up for the games with his national team, among them those that were competing for the classification of the World Cup in South Africa 2010. In the qualifiers, Messi would end up score 4 goals. By May 19, 2010, Lionel Messi would be called by Diego Maradona, to dispute the World Cup that year. Messi had a good performance in the World Cup, despite not scoring any goal and being eliminated in the quarterfinals against the German national team.

In 2011, he played the Copa America hosted in Argentina, and the pressure Messi had was gigantic since Argentina was the host and the fans demanded that the player show the level he had at Barcelona. Argentina managed to pass the group stage on a regular basis with 5 points. However, in the quarterfinals, Uruguay finished with Argentina’s dream. The qualifiers for the World Cup in Brazil 2014 were fruitful for the player as he scored 10 goals and gave 5 assists that contributed to Argentina finishing first in the South American classification and achieving a place at the World Cup.

In the 2014 World Cup, the name of Messi was indisputable on the squad list. In his debut on June 15, the player scored 1 goal in Argentina’s 2-0 victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the second match, Messi would score the goal with which Argentina beat the Iranian national team on June 21. In the last match of the group stage played on June 25 against Nigeria, the player scored two goals in the victory of his team 3-2, qualifying the next round as first of the group. In the round of 16, Argentina beat Switzerland 1-0, and Lionel gave assistance for that goal. The quarter-final phase would be victorious for Messi and his team, as they beat Belgium 1-0 on July 5. The passage to the final of the competition took place, after beating the Dutch national team in penalties by a score of 4-2, where the player scored the first penalty kick. On July 13 Argentina played the final against Germany, where there was a draw in the first 90 minutes. However, Germany won the world title after scoring a goal at minute 114.

After the failure of Messi and his team, Messi would be awarded the Golden Ball that identified him as the best player in the world, a prize that did not overshadow the sadness of the player for having lost the final. On May 25, 2015, Lionel Messi topped the list of 23 summoned to face the Copa America in Chile. In that competition, Messi reached 100 matches played with Argentina, scored a goal, gave 3 assists and reached the final of the tournament being runner-up, after falling 4-2 in definition from the penalty spot against Chile.

On June 18 of 2016, while playing the 100th version of the Copa America, the player equaled Batistuta as top scorer of the Argentina team with 54 goals. Nevertheless, on June 21st in the semifinal match of that competition, Messi scored a goal that allowed him to beat the Batistuta record. The Argentina team played the final against Chile, where another misfortune for Lio Messi came, as Argentina lost the final again. Despite having contributed a lot and having scored 5 goals, the frustration of the player was such that at the end of the game he decided to retire from the national team, highlighting that he had tried a lot to achieve a title and this had been impossible. Fortunately, thanks to talks with friends and Argentina’s coach, on August 12, Messi would announce that he would return to the national team to play all his competitions.

Lionel Messi played the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup with the Argentine national team, where he remained the maximum symbol for the team and scored 7 goals. In addition, on October 10, 2017, he scored the 3 goals with which Argentina defeated Ecuador 3-1 as a visitor and achieved the qualification for the World Cup in Russia.

 

MESSI OFF THE FIELD

Apart of his football characteristics, Lionel Messi has been recognized for the willingness to help people who need it, so in 2007 he created the Leo Messi Foundation, whose role is to help children and adolescents with educational and health problems.

Through this foundation, parks, sports centers, and social areas have been built. The player also collaborates in charity events independently by participating in exhibition matches and conducting campaigns to raise funds. This type of social work made Unicef named him the ambassador of good will. From 2008 up to date, the player has a relationship with Antonella Roccuzzo, with whom he has two children: Thiago and Mateo.

In 2013, Messi’s financial movements were investigated and it was found that there were illegal movements to evade taxes related to sponsorship and advertising profits in the period between 2007 and 2009. The player and his father were found guilty of tax fraud and sentenced to 21 months in prison with a fine of more than 3 million euros. However, after reaching an agreement he was granted only the payment of the fine and not pay the sentence in prison.

 

TITLES SUMMARY

  • Spanish League: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016. • Super Cup of Spain: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016.
  • Copa del Rey: 2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017.
  • UEFA Champion League: 2006. 2009, 2011, 2015.
  • Europe Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015.
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015.
  • World Cup U-20: 2005.
  • 2008 Olympic Games.

 

INDIVIDUAL AWARDS

  • FIFA Golden Ball: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015.
  • FIFA World Player, The Best: 2009.
  • FIFA Youth Player: 2006.
  • Best player in Europe: 2009, 2011, 2015.
  • UEFA Forward of the year: 2009.
  • UEFA’s best goal of the year: 2007, 2015, 2016.
  • UEFA team of the year: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016.
  • Top scorer in the Spanish league: 2015, 2016.
  • Golden Ball in the FIFA World Cup: 2014.
  • Golden Ball FIFA U-20 World Cup: 2005.
  • Golden Ball FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011
  • Spanish league Top Scorer: 2016-2017
  • FIFA / FIFPro World XI: 207, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
  • Named the best player in the history of the Spanish league in 2017.
  • Golden Boot: 2009-2010, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2016-2017.

 

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Michael Oher

Michael Oher Biography
Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Michael Oher Biography

Michael Oher (May 28, 1986)is a professional American football player. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. His birth name is Michael Jerome Williams, Jr., his parents were Denise Oher, and his father, Michael Jerome Williams, both paid very little attention to him throughout their childhood because they had serious addiction problems to drugs and alcohol. Besides, his father was absent for several months due to being in prison. Hence, his school performance was low, he was expelled from several schools. Subsequently, he was placed in a foster home.

Early life

His father died in a prison. The only thing that kept Oher from this tragic situation was football. He was helped by Tony Henderson, who along with his family helped him get into Briarcrest Christian School. He was on the 2003 football team, was selected as the Division II Lineman of the Year, and as a starting member of the Tennessee All-State team. After finishing the season he was chosen as one of the best offensive linemen in the United States. In 2004, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy adopted him. His new family provided sports and academic support. Oher also excelled in other sports such as disco, basketball, and track and field. After Oher finished high school, he enrolled in an NCAA Division I college. He made it to 23rd in the first round of the draft.

Career

Big Mike is his nickname and he is known for his imposing figure of 315 lbs, but he is a kind and caring guy. Therefore, his adoptive home decided to support him in his dream. Michael Oher became ‘All America’ and has built a great present in the NFL. In 2008, he signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens for 5 years and $ 13.8 million.

He started as a right tackle, but then did it as a left tackle for 8 weeks while replacing teammate Jared Gaither. Subsequently, thanks to a good quality of play, the Ravens selected 23rd Oher in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. On April 26 of that year, he returned to have the jersey number 74. He had significant participation in the victory against the New England Patriots and did not allow a single sack to his quarterback, so the Ravens won 33- 14. He earned the NFL offensive rookie of the year award from the Associated Press.

On February 3, 2013, he achieved the championship ring by defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. The following year he signed a 4-year, $ 19.9 million contract with the Tennessee Titans. But, he did not fulfill all the time that he had agreed with the Titans and went on to play for the Carolina Panthers. Oher signed a two-year, $ 7 million deal a month after breaking up with the Tennessee Titans.

At one point, his health was affected by severe headaches that caused problems in his sports performance.

The Blind Side

His story has been so inspiring that a film about his life titled The Blind Side, starring the talented actress Sandra Bullock, was released, a role that earned her an Academy Award. The athlete did not like the film because it does not tell the story of his life as he was, although it left him significant earnings for it raised $ 309 million.

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Basketball

Basketball history
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Basketball history

Upon discovering the history of basketball, we will most likely refer to the history of ball games, and we will go through the first sporting manifestations of hominids, exercises executed around any spherical shape endowed by the environment. Then, we will find antecedents in the Greek, Chinese and Aztec cultures, precedents that disrupt the history of football, of course, around the use of the ball as the epicenter of the leisure time.

 

How did basketball come about, as we know it today?

However, the History of Basketball as we know it today is relatively modern and dates back to 1891, when the Canadian professor of the International YMCA Training School in Springfield (Massachusetts), James Naismith, devised a sport that could be played on a closed track, to be practiced in winter.

Naismith focused on the mastery of strength and contact skills and was inspired by a childhood game called “duck on a rock”, which was to try to reach an object placed on a rock by throwing a stone. Naismith asked the school manager for some 50 cm diameter boxes but he could only get a few baskets of peaches, which he ordered to hang on the railings of the upper gallery that surrounded the gym.

It was in this way that James Naismith created the sport known as Basketball, the essence of the game, simple, this would be played only with the hands and would aim to put the ball in a basket, where its name comes from, and the requirements of this new sport were expressed from its origin:

 

  • Affinity for the ball
  • Ease of apprehension
  • Terrain Flexibility
  • Permanent offensive approach
  • The balance between attack and defense
  • Skill Mastery

 

The first official basketball game was played at the YMCA gym on January 20, 1892. In 1894 the free-kick was established; in 1897 five players are regulated per team and in 1904 the size of the court was defined.

 

History of Basketball in the Olympic Games

Basketball began as an exhibition sport at the 1928 Olympic Games and the 1932 Olympic Games, achieving the Olympic category at the 1936 Olympic Games. Its creator, the Canadian professor, had the opportunity to witness his creation become an Olympic sport when he was accompanied by Adolf Hitler in the box of honor, in Germany. Women’s basketball had to wait until 1976 for admission as an Olympic sport.

In 1932 the FIBA ​​(Fédération Internationale de Basketball) was founded in Switzerland. Who from that moment was dedicated to regulating the rules of basketball worldwide, as well as to periodically hold competitions and events.

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Niki Lauda

Niki Lauda Biography
MacKrys [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Niki Lauda Biography

Nikolaus Andreas Lauda (February 22, 1949- May 20, 2019) He was born in Vienna, Austria. Austrian motorsport driver, famous for having been Formula 1 world champion on three occasions (1975, 1977 and 1984), with the Ferrari and McLaren teams. He started as a pilot at the end of the 1960s and shortly thereafter made his debut as a Formula 3 racer (1970). He started in Formula 1 under the shield of March in 1971 and four years later got his first big win as a Ferrari racer. Having achieved his first two titles in the seventies, Lauda left Ferrari to join the McLaren team, with which he won his last title in 1984. Known for his precision and great talent, Lauda left the tracks in 1985. Since then he concentrated completely on his role as an entrepreneur while owning the airline Nikki.

 

FAMILY AND BEGINNINGS

Born into a wealthy family, Lauda had Elisabeth and Ernst-Peter Lauda as parents. He received a careful education oriented to the business world. However, he decided to abandon this path to devote himself completely to the world of automobile competitions at the end of the 1960s, contrary to the will of his parents, who hoped that Lauda was a man of business. He began to participate in car races in 1968 and two years entered the world of Formula 3 (1970). Demonstrating his great talent and dexterity, Lauda became a Formula 2 racer in just one year. In 1971, he made his debut as a Formula 1 racer under the team of March Engineering, a team created in the late sixties by Alan Rees Graham Coaker, Robin Herd, and Max Mosley.

 

CAREER AS A DRIVER

After his debut with the team March in 1971, Lauda was known in the circuits of that year and 1972 for his skill and accuracy on the tracks. However, did not get any title. In 1973, he joined the official team of BRM, a team where he remained for a short time, since, in 1974, he was hired by Ferrari, thanks to the good references that also gave the pilot Clay Regazzoni, to the team in which he worked at that time. Starting his adventure with Ferrari, Lauda managed to make his first triumphs on the tracks, getting that same year the Awards of Spain and Holland. His expertise at the wheel, allowed him to make his way to the world and get his first title of world champion in Formula 1 in 1975.

After the successful 1975 season, Lauda managed to excel in the season towards the 1976 title, winning in four of the six races, however, his path was hampered when he suffered a major accident at the German Grand Prix. In this competition, the runner lost control of the car in a curve, which caused the car to crash with the protection fence and caught fire a few seconds later in the middle of the track. After the explosion, another car collided with this causing the sinister out of proportion, shortly after this, Lauda managed to leave with some injuries on his face and limbs. He was in recovery for a month and a half and returned to the tracks months before the competitions were over.

After coming back into the competitions, Lauda obtained several triumphs that took to him to stand out in the general classification, nevertheless, lost the title before James Hunt by a point. The singular duel of these two competitors during the season of ’96 became the source of inspiration for Ron Howard’s film, Rush (2013). In 1977, Lauda won his second Formula 1 title, winning the Grand Prix of Germany, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Having deteriorated his relationship with the Ferrari team since 1976, Lauda decided to leave the team to join the Brabham-Alfa Romeo team in 1978. He remained in this with a less competitive vehicle until 1979, year in which, tired of the bad results, he decided to get away from the tracks to devote himself completely to his first project as an entrepreneur, the newly created airline Lauda Air (1979 -2000). After being away from the tracks for two years, Lauda returned in 1982 as a member of the official McLaren team.

Two years after joining McLaren, Lauda got his last title of champion by facing his teammate, Alain Prost. After announcing his definitive retirement in 1985, Lauda dedicated himself completely to his business as an entrepreneur, being then the owner of the low-cost airline Niki, which he had consolidated thanks to the alliance he had with Air Berlin. Although he did not return to the tracks, Lauda stayed tied to the Formula 1 until his death, he worked as a commentator and even got to be hired as a counselor of Ferrari, a company with which he worked for several years.

As an adviser of the team, Lauda impulse the signing of Michael Schumacher, a pilot that would give numerous titles to the team in the course of the first years of the new millennium. Beginning in the 2000s, he worked for Jaguar and a few years later joined the commentary team of RTL (2010). During his last years of life, he was the technical advisor and partner of Mercedes. This outstanding Austrian pilot and businessman, died on May 20, 2019, in Vienna, Austria, after suffering several health complications, linked to his advanced age.

 

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Zlatan Ibrahimović

Zlatan Ibrahimović biography
Photo: Meghdad Madadi / CC BY 4.0

Zlatan Ibrahimović biography

Zlatan Ibrahimović (October 3, 1981) professional footballer, is a striker for Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer of the United States. He was born in Malmö, Skåne Province, Sweden. Ibrahimović practiced soccer since he was 8 years old in amateur teams such as Malmö Boll & Idrottsförening, Bollklubben Flagg and Fotbollklubb Balkan, all of these belonging to his hometown. But when he was 15 years old, the family’s economic situation was complex and he had to leave his training to work in the docks of Malmö. After a while, the one who would be his agent convinced him and supported him to return to the training sessions.

As his agent had predicted, Zlatan had a great performance and was promoted to the youth team of Malmö F. F. in 1996, and three years later he was promoted to the first team. He had his first Allsvenskan debut on September 19, 1999, his team was in visiting status against Halmstads Bollklubb. Unfortunately, they were defeated in a tough game, the score was 2 to 1. Approximately one month later the Swedish footballer scored his first goal in the professional category assuring the victory to his club on the Västra Frölunda.

His performance in the first season was acceptable, with Malmö playing six games and scoring a goal in the league, his team finished in thirteenth place with twenty-four points, but, although the team improved with his arrival it was inevitable that they would descend to the second division. In the campaign of 2000, the Malmö was the runner-up of the Superettan and managed then to return to the first division. The improvement of the team was very remarkable, so much so that they finished the season in second place with sixty points product of eighteen victories, some defeats, and draws.

Ibra, as he is called in the world of football, was the top scorer of his team with twelve goals. Before the start of the 2001 season, they lost in the semi-finals against the A. I. K. Stockholm match played in the framework of the Swedish Cup. In the 2001 season, he had important interventions and was decisive to overcome several games. In total, he scored three goals in eight games and Malmö finished ninth in the league with thirty-two points. With the team played a total of forty games. He was included by the magazine Don Bola in the list of the 100 best young footballers in the world.

His cycle at Malmö ended, the Swedish footballer came to Juventus from Turin at the request of then coach Fabio Capello, the club paid 19 million euros. His debut in the Serie A came on September 12, 2004, against Brescia Calcio, a match that ended with the victory of Turin. His participation in this tournament was very remarkable, thirty-five matches scored sixteen goals, which made his team win the league title after twenty-six wins, eight draws, and four losses. Unfortunately, they did not get the same result in the Italian Cup and in the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League.

That same year he was named Foreign Player of the Year in the Serie A and received the award for the best Swedish footballer of the year: his first Guldbollen. However, in the 2005-06 season, his effectiveness was lower compared to his first season. His role in the team changed: he stopped being a scorer to contribute to the team in the creation of the game, especially as a reference player in attacking plays. Juventus revalidated their title obtained in the previous season in Serie A. In the Champions League finished first, which allowed the advance to the quarterfinals where they lost against England’s Arsenal.

In the Champions League Zlatan played nine games and scored three goals in the group stage. On the other hand, in the Italian Cup, he played two games and did not score. Due to the encounter manipulation scandal known as Calciopoli or Moggigate, the two Italian leagues won were revoked and Juventus was descending to Serie B. This situation affected him so much that he decided to leave the team and sign for Inter of Milan.

He arrived at Inter of Milan in mid-2006, was signed for 24.8 million euros. The player signed a four-year contract. He debuted with the neroazzurra shirt in the Supercopa de Italia, tournament that same year was won by winning 4 to 3 at Roma. However, in the 2006-07 season of Serie A he scored his first goal against Fiorentina, this goal gave the victory to his team. Thanks to his performance, they became champions of the Italian tournament, wherein twenty-seven matches he scored fifteen goals. He also played in the Champions League but did not score goals. His team was eliminated in the second round against Valencia.

In the 2007-08 season, he was a two-time champion of the Serie A. In the UEFA Champions League he again participated in seven and scored five goals in the group stage. The arrival of José Mourinho marked his last stage in Inter, in such period he won the Italian Super Cup by defeating Roma. One of the most significant moments was when he scored in 2008 a magnificent goal against Bologna F. C. was considered the «Goal of the Year». For the Cup, Italy played four games and scored three goals, but was eliminated in the semifinals against Sampdoria. Ibra had the opportunity to sign with F. C. Barcelona for five seasons. His first goal with the Catalan team came on August 31, 2009, in a match against Sporting de Gijón.

Although in the first season he scored 22 goals, the following season his underperformance, he received several questions from the sports press. But, despite his commitment and his desire to fulfill the Spanish team, statements from Pep Guardiola ensured that the player would stay in the club during the 2010-11 season. However, it was only taken into account to play a game against Sevilla F. C. in the Spanish Super Cup 2010 and then returned to Italy. He returned to Milan for two seasons. And then Ibra dressed in Paris Saint Germain’s outfit, he was a very decisive player. He finished the 2014 season with 41 goals in 46 games, of which twenty-six were in the league, ranked second as the tournament’s top scorer.

Until the year 2016 where he played for PSG and was very important giving great victories to this team. Later, on June 30, his arrival at Manchester United became official. He made his debut on the 7th of August for the Community Shield 2016, scoring his first goal, giving him the victory against Leicester City. Currently, he plays for Los Angeles Galaxy.

Zlatan has also been summoned to play for Sweden’s World Cup in Japan and Germany. This player is really a talented center forward, a conceptual player of the game, a scorer, and a complete striker with exceptional ability. The Swedish Football Association published a statement in which it announced that the player will not be in the World Cup in Russia.

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Tom Brady

Tom Brady biography
By Brad Muckenthaler [CC BY 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Tom Brady biography

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, Jr. (August 3, 1977) professional football player. He was born in San Mateo, California, United States. Better known as Tom Brady. He plays as the quarterback for the New England Patriots in the National Football League (NFL). His father is named Thomas and his mother Galynn. Since attending a San Francisco 49ers game he became a fan of quarterback Joe Montana. Since then he was his inspiration and his idol. Performed tests to play in the San Francisco 49’ers although he passed was not taken into account in the NFL draft. Upon finishing his studies at the Junípero Serra High School, where he played in the position of the receiver in high school.

Subsequently, he was recruited in the Major League Baseball by the Montreal Expos team. He went to the University of Michigan where he had an excellent performance in both football and academics. Brady graduated with honors cum laude. He was a reserve player during his first two years at the Michigan Wolverines. When he enrolled at the University of Michigan, the team was in seventh place in the standings and had to work hard to get playing time. At one point he began to feel depressed, frustrated and therefore started seeing a sports psychologist.

But finally, Brady decided to fight for his dream and reached the number one position quarterback with Drew Henson, he started in the 1998 and 1999 seasons under the supervision of Michigan coach Lloyd Carr. In the first year, he set the record for Michigan for the biggest pass attempt (350) and pass completions (214). Unexpectedly, Brady solidified as one of the best passers in North America, was part of the ideal team of the conference of the Big Ten, during both seasons and as captain of the team in his last year at university. The Wolverines won several games in a row. Brady finished that season with a win over the Arkansas Razorbacks at the Citrus Bowl in Florida.

In the 1999 season, he was responsible for an unexpected win at the Orange Bowl over Alabama, he managed 369 yards and four touchdowns by air. Therefore, it is in the third position of the ranking in the history of the University of Michigan with 442 complete passes of 710 attempts. Thanks to his good performance the American athlete was called by the New England Patriots in the sixth round with the global selection 199 of the NFL draft. They did the selection test between quarterback Tim Rattay and Brady. In the end, the Patriots chose Brady, who was considered the biggest “acquisition” in the history of the NFL draft.

Brady was promoted to starting quarterback in 2001 because Drew Bledsoe suffered a hemorrhage during a match. The Patriots won eleven out of fourteen games with Brady as a starter. Brady finished with 2843 yards, with eighteen touchdowns, and twelve interceptions he was chosen for the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury during the AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fortunately, the Patriots won the game and got their ticket to Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams. The player recovered and in this match, the Patriots won the game with a great joint feat where Brady participated.

He was the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl. In the 2012 season, he led the league with twenty-eight touchdown passes and had 921 yards more than the previous season. In the middle of the season, Brady had a shoulder injury. The following year he recovered and led the Patriots to win twelve consecutive games, getting the title of the AFC East Division. Statistically, his best game was against Buffalo, where he achieved the highest rate of the season. Brady impressed the audience and the fans with his game. On February 1, 2004, he led the Patriots to a 32-29 victory over the NFC champions, the Carolina Panthers, in Super Bowl XXXVIII and was reappointed as the Super Bowl MVP.

During the 2004 season, he helped the Patriots set an NFL record with twenty-one games won consecutively since last season. The team won the title of the AFC East Division for the third time in four years. In a game against Pittsburgh, Brady had a pass rating of 130.5, his highest of the season, even though he had had a high body temperature the night before. On February 6, 2005, he led the Patriots to beat the Philadelphia Eagles, getting his third NFL championship in four years.

At the end of the season, the Patriots finished with a record of 10-6 and got their third title of the AFC East Division consecutively. The player suffered a hernia and had to be operated on surgically. In the 2007 season, the team was reinforced with important receivers such as Donté Stallworth, Wes Welker, Kelley Washington, and Randy Moss. In addition to tight end Kyle Brady; and the runner Sammy Morris. It can be said that this was Brady’s best season; He broke many records, personal, franchise, and NFL.

Brady did not play a game of the preseason 2008, because of an injury to his right foot. Apparently, this year was quite hard for the athlete because he then suffered a serious injury to the left knee where the middle and crossed ligaments were affected. Days later the Patriots confirmed that the rest of the season would be lost. In the 2009 preseason, he could not participate, Brady had to undergo antibiotic treatment to eliminate the infection, in addition to two surgeries on his knee. In his first official game after the recovery, he played against the Buffalo Bills pitched for 378 yards and two touchdowns.

After the game, Brady was named the Offensive Player of the Week for the AFC for the 13th time in his career. In 2010 he extended his contract four years more, for 72 million dollars, making him the player best paid in the history of the NFL. Shortly after, he suffered a car accident from which he was unharmed. In 2011 Brady became the fourth quarterback to throw for 5,000 yards in a season; beating Dan Marino’s record of 5,084 yards. He finished the 2012 season with 4,827 passing yards, 34 touchdowns, only 8 interceptions, and a passer rating of 98.7.

2014 season was not very good because several key players were injured. In 2015 Brady was suspended as punishment for his alleged involvement in the Deflategate scandal. On February 5, 2017, Brady won his fifth championship ring and his fourth MVP in the defining match.

On February 3, 2019, The Patriots won their sixth championship after defeating the Rams in Super Bowl LIII, in this way, Tom Brady became the only player in history with six rings of the NFL champion.

Tom Brady has a relationship with the Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen, and two children with the actress Bridget Moynahan.

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