Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thanksgiving is a day of "thanks" celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada each November. More specifically the fourth Thursday in November. In 2011 Thanksgiving will fall on November 24th. Thanksgiving is observed by both Federal and State Governments as a major holiday. The history of Thanksgiving is one of great debate. So how did Thanksgiving begin?
Thanksgiving originated in North American from a hodgepodge of ideas from both Native and European traditions. In the United States the modern Thanksgiving holiday as we know it today can be traced back to 1621; however, some believe it goes back even further to 1565. In 1565 Spanish explorers in Florida had a harvest celebration. The celebration we think of as the first official Thanksgiving, the one that took place in 1621, was held at Plymouth, in the state that is now known as Massachusetts.
The 1621 celebration and feast was the result of a good harvest that year. This harvest is reported to be in part thanks to the help and wisdom of the Wampanoage Native American Tribes. These Native Americans helped teach the Pilgrims how to fish and plant various seeds for food and reproducing crops. History reports the Pilgrims did not have enough food or skills to feed themselves.
The history of Thanksgiving is still up to debate these days. Some disagree on the location and who actually started and founded the holiday. Some believe it was the United States, some do not agree. Some historians believe the first Thanksgiving was founded by the Spanish in 1565.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
First, to understand Messi, one must understand his background. Born in the industrial town of Rosario, Argentina, Messi was placed in a world where only a few escaped. Luckily though he had a talent, which was imbued with a strength of character that comes with living in a sometimes harsh developing country.
By the age of five he was dribbling a football with the poise and assurity of a fifteen year old, however one thing was amiss, his size. Diagnosed with growth hormone deficiency Messi was told that if he didn't get the proper medical attention he'd be lucky to reach five foot. Something had to be done.
With his father's aid young Lionel was able to secure a trial at FC Barcelona, Within five minutes of playing he had impressed the coaches present so much, he was almost instantly offered a contract on the spot. Furthermore they provided the medical treatment that Messi desperately needed.
Fast forward six years and ''Leo'' was now playing regularly in the first time alongside Ronaldinho, who he more often than not, upstaged with his willingness to take on the man and make darting runs behind the defense. His eye-catching runs drew comparisons to those of Diego Maradona's and people were questioning whether after a long line of heralded ''New Maradonas'', this one would be the real deal.
Lionel is now 21 and has already been voted the second best player in the world twice in row, missing out on the coveted top spot due to unfortunate injuries and team-mate incompetence. Nevertheless his reputation as the only player of the last 20 years possibly capable of surpassing Maradona and Pele remains firmly intact.
Arguably two of the best footballers of the current decade, both are, at glance, very similar players. They're both attackers, great with a ball, and both play for a Spanish club. However there can only be one winner, so here's the comparison: Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel is only 24 years old and currently plays for fc Barcelona. Born in Rosario, Messi started playing football at the age of 5, under his father's wings, at a local club. He then rolled into the Barca youth team where he worked his way up from C-B teams to the main squad in rapid pace. His debut in the highest class of football began at the age of 16, during a friendly against FC Porto.
Now in 2011 it's time to analyse his style of play and it becomes crystal clear that he's a master with the ball. Thanks to his short length and fast legs, any opponent will have a hard time keeping up with him. However unlike most magicians, he's also a terrific team player.
Cristiano is 26 years old and is a Real Madrid player. Ronaldo started his career at Sporting (2002) and in 2003 he guided his team to a win against the big Manchester United. The players of Man U knew that they would rather play with him than against him, so they contracted Ronaldo for the start of the 2003 season. After countless of successes, he became the most expensive player ever when he transferred to Real Madrid in June of 2009, the price: 94 million euro.
Ronaldo is a very fast and strong player. He took sprint lessons from the Olympics champion and is clearly a player "from the streets", pulling more tricks with a ball than any party clown could ever aim for. This quality is further emphasised by a great shooting technique that makes him an excellent asset during set pieces.
Now it's time to compare the two players and pinpoint a winner, in my respectful opinion. First it's clear that both players are terrific assets to any team, and both share a lot of qualities. For one they can both outplay several opponents and make a difference when the opposition is tight.
However a winner has to be chosen and in my opinion that winner is Cristiano Ronaldo. At this point Messi might have the edge on the field, but Ronaldo has great free kicks and is clearly stronger physically. The trade off being that Messi is the better team player. I remember Ronaldo when he played for Manchester United and back then he was, without a doubt, the best player in the world. His way of attacking suited the wing-play of Manchester United perfectly, and while less obvious in Madrid's style of play, his past years are to be considered. Also in Ronaldo's favour is his great charisma off the pitch. Messi is a pure footballer and doesn't have that same level of personality away from the field, something past greats (Cruijff, Maradona) did have.
And that's it for this comparison. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi share a lot of qualities; especially the ball technique of both is ground breaking. And while Messi currently has the edge, in my opinion Ronaldo is the more complete footballer in the long haul, not partly thanks to his great charisma both on and off the pitch. However they're both very young so in the coming years this slight favour can definitely swing both ways.
Born Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro on 5th February 1984 in San Antonio, Funchal Madeira, he was named after Ronald Reagan, the then President of the United States of America because he was his father's favourite actor.
He is constantly creating history which began in 2003 when he was the first Portuguese player to be signed by Manchester United.
When he left the club to go to Real Madrid he clocked up the highest ever transfer fee when Manchester United received £80 million (94 million euros). In addition he was to be paid 11 million euros per year over the next 6 years, making him the highest paid footballer in the world.
More history was created when he became the first football player to win the FIFA Puskás Award which is an honour given out by FIFA for the greatest goal of the year. His goal was a 40 yard strike against FC Porto during a Champions League match which won him the award while he was still playing for Manchester United.
He started out playing football for an amateur team C.F. Andorinha when he was 8-years-old where his father was kit man, Three years later he signed with his local club Clube Desportivo Nacional. Following a title-winning season he went for a three-day trial with football team Sporting CP which subsequently signed the youngster for an undisclosed sum. He then joined up with their other youth players at Academia Sporting, the club's football academy in Alcochete.
At Sporting he became their only team member ever to play for the under 16, 17's, 18's, B team and the first team all in the one season.
At the age of 15 it looked as if his football career might be over before it had begun. Cristiano Ronaldo was found to have a racing heart, the team's staff were told of his condition and his mother gave her authority for him to have a day operation in hospital.
A laser was applied to cauterise the area of the heart causing the problem and he returned to training a few days later.
He was first spotted by Liverpool Manager Gerard Houllier at the age of 16 but the club decided not to take him on as they felt he was too young.
Two years later Sporting beat Manchester United in Lisbon 3-1 and the players were so impressed with the 18-year-old Sporting player they urged Alex Ferguson to sign him.
After the 2002-3 season the he signed a contract with Manchester United for a transfer fee of 15 million euros (£12.24 million). He remained with the Club for six years until Manchester United accepted Real Madrid's offer of £80 million. Cristiano Ronaldo signed a 6-year contract with the La Liga Club and he is also Captain of the Portuguese National Team.
He loves all the trappings of being a successful professional footballer. By the age of 24 he had already clocked up 28 girlfriends and he is currently dating a 25-year-old Russian model Irina Shayk.
Shayk and Ronaldo met while they were both featured for an advertising campaign for the label Armani Exchange and following this they have been together for a year.
In 2010 Ronaldo shocked the world when he announced he had become a father. His son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jnr was born in June and he said he was to be the sole guardian. He said he was overjoyed to have a son who was living with his mother and sister.