Remembering Diego Maradona, a legend among champions

Image source: cbssports.com

Last month, the world lost one of the greatest sportsmen it has ever seen in Diego Maradona. Perhaps the most skilled footballer ever, nobody could quite emulate what Maradona did on the pitch in the biggest football games at the time.

Today, as a tribute, here are some jaw-dropping facts on the great Maradona. John Eilermann.

• Maradona was eight years old when he was scouted and recruited by a youth coach to join the Argentinos Juniors team.

• At the age of 12, Maradona started displaying his brilliance on the football pitch, which led a lot of observers to consider him a prodigy. John Eilermann.

• When Maradona was 15, he played in his first official game for the Argentinos Junior. He scored his first goal a month after his debut.

Image source: youtube.com

• Maradona 115 goals for Argentinos Junior during his five years with them. Twenty-five years later, stadium management named the stadium after him.

• Maradona was 16 when he played his first national game for Argentina. John Eilermann.

• In 1981, Maradona joined popular Argentinian club Boca Juniors and helped the team win the title the year.

• In 1982, Maradona received $7.8 million for his transfer to F.C. Barcelona in Spain. It was his first of two record transfers. He is the only person in football history with two record transfers.

• Maradona helped F.C. Barcelona win the Spanish National Cup, the Copa del Rey, and the Spanish Super Cup in his second year with the club.

• Maradona is one of three F.C. Barcelona players in history to receive a standing ovation by the fans of their bitter rivals, Real Madrid. John Eilermann.


Lower body workouts for explosive performance on the field

For athletes, there are no days off. High-performance athletes need to train the way they do to keep their numbers improving by the day. Football players have days on the field and days at the gym. Here are key lower body workouts for optimal performance. John Eilermann.

Image source: 8weeksout.com

Box blast improves explosive power in the legs and hips, something incredibly important when trying to create space from opponents. Remember to explode through the front leg. The power should come from the hip to the knee, then to the ankle. 10 repetitions each side would be a good starting point. The trouble areas for most football players are the ankles, knees, and hips. Base rotations help develop power in these areas. Bend knees slightly and angle the feet out a bit. Jump off the floor and rotate the hips opposite to where the arms are rotating. John Eilermann.

Image source: researchgate.net

Squat jumps build an athlete’s explosive power while teaching them to land softly. With knees behind the toes, do a vertical jump. Be sure to land softly on the starting position to protect the hips, knees, shins, and ankles. John Eilermann.

Foam rolling may not belong to the list of explosive workouts, but it sure does miracles to an athlete’s tired muscles. It ensures that any spasms, knots, and imbalances formed by heavy and repetitive motion are rolled out through deep compression. Rolling along with areas that may feel pain, tightness, and tension, improves an athlete’s recovery time. John Eilermann.



How soccer skyrocketed in the United States

With the United States Women’s National Football Team winning the World Cup last year, it can be said that soccer has never been bigger in the U.S. Even with other professional sports still reigning over fans and viewership, soccer isn’t that far behind – at least not anymore. John Eilermann.

 Image source: rideoffame.com

Truth be told, while soccer is played in almost every city in the U.S., it never really did get the support it should have. Soccer in the U.S. could have been as big as basketball or baseball but, for some reason, there was always a disconnect between American sports fans and the sport. For starters, the low-scoring game was always seen as boring.

But not anymore. John Eilermann.

Not only has youth participation soccer programs in the U.S. become the highest in the world, the increasing interest due to the success of the Women’s National Team and the gradual influx of big name superstars in Major League Soccer (MLS), the premier soccer league in the U.S., have contributed to the sport gaining not only fan but financial support. John Eilermann.

 Image source: usatoday.com

Today, MLS merchandise, as well as the National Team jerseys, are notching record sales. Ticket sales at U.S. soccer stadiums are increasing as well. This upward trend is a good sign, if only for the beautiful game to spread its reach further and farther around the world. John Eilermann.



Football as an adult recreational activity

John Eilermann. Football is the most popular sport in the world. Everywhere, people from all walks of life enjoy the beautiful game. Whether as a spectator or a player, football is exciting and fun.

Image source: glaciermedia.ca

Football is also good exercise, albeit a tad demanding, physically. However, adults shouldn’t let this detract them from taking it on as a hobby later on in life. Many individuals, well into their adulthood, still play football to stay fit and to meet new people. John Eilermann.

Pick-up games are the norm for adults. There are parks where older people organize football games and allow strangers to play, as well. If one is a beginner, they learn how to play the game quickly through these games. However, if a person truly has no background in the game, they may want to practice first.

Image source: tripadvisor.com

John Eilermann. Today, there are indoor as well as outdoor facilities that cater to the football enthusiast. There’s also an abundance of gear and equipment available for safety and for playing on different surfaces.

And when they condition themselves further, there are leagues in which an individual may join for a more competitive atmosphere. But this is only recommended when they have indeed reached a level wherein they’d be more of an asset than a liability on the pitch. John Eilermann.



The world’s most popular soccer leagues

Image source: wikimedia.org

Soccer, or commonly referred to as football in many countries, is one the most-played sports in the entire world.  If you are interested in watching the sport, be sure to tune in to these soccer leagues:


English Premier League

The Premier League is the top level of the football league system in England, and it has some of the most famous soccer clubs in the world, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and more.  The matches have high stakes and the stadiums are always filled with some of the best sports fans.  Viewers can hear the buzz of the cheering crowd as they watch Premier League games through the television or other digital media.

Spanish La Liga

Image source: bundesliga.com

The top Spanish football league is home to one of the fiercest sports rivalries.  Matches between La Liga powerhouses Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are among the most viewed sporting events, and it even has its own name – “El Clasico.”  If only more La Liga clubs were competitive, the league would have a bigger following.

German Bundesliga

Bundesliga is younger than the more established leagues in other countries, having been formed in 1963, but it already has a solid fan base.  The league is very fan-orientated since it is not in the clubs’ culture to raise ticket prices.  The number of season tickets is also limited adding to the excitement.  An average of more than 40,000 spectators go to the games, making it the soccer league with the highest average attendance.

John Eilermann here, a sports enthusiast who supports the German football club Hannover 96.  See more discussions about sports by visiting this website.