Sampdoria’s Greatest XI

Sampdoria enjoyed their greatest period in the late 80s and early 90s and it is not surprising that I will be picking most of my team from that era.

Goal Keeper

It is undoubtedly Gianluca Pagiluca. He was an excellent goalkeeper and part of their very successful team of late 80s and early 90s when they won the European cup winners cup, the Coppa Italia and the scudetto.

His best game has to got be the championship decider against Inter Milan in 1990/91 season where he made save after save mainly form Lothar Mathaus and even saved a penalty from Mathaus in Sampdoria’s 2-0 away victory.

Right back

I have picked Moreno Mannini over Hans Peter Briegel because he played longer for Sampdoria and was a very reliable and good defender who should perhaps have won more caps for his country.

Left back

Sampdoria have not been lucky with top quality left backs, with players like Serena, Ivano Bonneti coming to mind, though they were decent, they were perhaps short of real top quality so I have gone for Sinisa Mihalovic.

Centre Backs

I have picked Marco Lanna and Pietro Vierchowood (who was extremely quick and a great man-marker and was once dubbed by Diego Maradona as the incredible hulk) over Ricardo Ferri as they provided quality for Sampdoria for a longer period of time.

Right winger

I have gone for Atillio Lombardo because he is perhaps the only genuine outstanding candidate for that role.

Central Midfield

The likes of Juan Sebastián Verón, Victor Munoz, Sre

ko Katanec, Ariel Ortega, Clarence Seedorf, Liam Brady, Graeme Souness and Ruud Gullit.

I have gone for Antonio Cerezo, an extremely stylish midfielder, possibly the best in their history and Vladimir Jugovi, one of my favorite all round players.


With the greatest respect to Jurgen Klinsmann, Beppe Signori and all the other strikers who have played and still playing for Sampdoria, my only dilemma was whom to pick out of Vincenzo Montella and Enrico Chiesa to partner the other 2 lock-in strikers.

In the end, I went for Vincenzo Montella because he played for them longer. The other 2 strikers would surprise precious few Sampdoria fans and they are Roberto Mancini, possibly Sampdoria’s greatest ever player and his “partner in crime” Gianluca Vialli. These 2 are my favorite football striking partnership ever in serieA.

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Learn La Liga Rules in Regards to Transfer, Promotion, Relegation & Non-EU Players

La Liga refers to the first division Spanish League. The top professional football league in Spain is officially called as Liga BBVA for the reason of sponsorship. It is one of the most professional and exciting leagues in Europe, attracting some best football talents from all over the globe.

Just like any other leagues, La Liga is also guided by some strict rules and regulations regarding promotional and relegation of the clubs as well as how many non-EU players can play in the league. Let us take a quick glance over the La Liga rules.

Rules of Promotion-Relegation

Every year, 20 teams take part in the competition. The three teams finishing at the bottom of the league table are relegated to the 2nd division of the Spanish league system, with the top two rankers in the immediately lower division and the winner in a play-off replacing the relegated clubs.

Inclusion of Non-EU Players

There is an upper cap in regards to retaining of non-EU players in this top-most division of Spanish league. In La Liga, every team is allowed to retain a maximum of three offshore players. Even in the second division, each participating clubs can keep hold of only 2 players. If any La Liga club is relegated to the lower division, it is allowed to keep hold of the same number of foreign players until their contracts are expired.

What does it mean by “Non-EU”? The phrase has been repeated many times following several verdicts from the European Court of Justice. According to a decision adopted by the Spanish Federation in this regard, the participating La Liga teams are entitled to make the best use of the rules and bring many foreign players to their squad.

Claim of Citizenship

The foreign players are allowed to apply for Spanish citizenship from the countries where their ancestors descended from. In La Liga, a non-EU player can claim for Spanish Citizenship if he has played in Spain for at least, five years and it may result into triple citizenship. Let us give you an example. Leo Franco was born in Argentina and has Italian ancestry. He is capable of applying for Spain citizenship, having played in the country for more than five years.

The players arriving from the ACP countries including Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific, are not considered against the Non-EU category as per the Kolpak ruling.

Breach of Rules & Conduct

All the La Liga clubs are required to abide by the rules and regulations as clearly specified by the highest authority in the Spanish football league system that, in turn, ensures compatibility with the guidelines made by FIFA, the governing body of football in the world. In recent times, Barcelona have been handed punishment by FIFA for failing to conform to the rules regarding transfer of the players after allegation of transfer of the under-age players (below 18).

The defending La Liga champions are not allowed to play any new player until January of 2016. The club applied against the ban but it was not lifted. However, they have been allowed to sell players during the time of transfer ban.

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Are We Creating Expensive Death Traps?

Sensational heading? Possibly. Is it far from the truth? Sadly, the answer is NO.

Please read on.

Mumbai has experienced 400 fires in 2017. That is one fire per day on an average. Many lives have been lost recently in Mumbai. The reasons are still being investigated. If the newspaper reports are to be believed, then the blame has been assigned to activities not permitted by the authorities, to temporary construction built out of combustible material, to electrical short circuits and to lack of fire escapes etc. In due course of time, we hope, the guilty will be identified and appropriate action would be taken by the law. These incidences will then reside in some of our less accessed brain cells.

But such incidences should not happen at all. The question is “Are we, as a society, prepared to take the basic corrective actions?”

I leave this question for you to answer.

Every newspaper, now-a-days, is ablaze with advertisements for swanky apartments in high rise buildings. Nice looking pictures of happy families, swimming pools, greenery etc.

No advertisement ever mentions what kind of firefighting/life safety equipment has been installed. It probably does not help in selling an apartment.

But does it not make a sense to know? How many customers ask that question and how many sales persons, working for the developers, know the answer? When I asked this question to some sales people, the best answer I got was “It is as per the municipal regulations”

Any building service is a system. It must be designed properly with adequate safety margins, all the components must be specified correctly, the quality of the component and its installation must be thoroughly checked and certified. The system should also be maintenance friendly and must require low upkeep.

The National Building Code 2015 has moved in the right direction, but it is not enough.

Here are some observations (I will stand corrected with an apology, if someone points out otherwise)

1. No university or technical board in India, to the best of my knowledge, provides a degree or diploma in Building Services engineering. Currently, mechanical engineers and electrical engineers design these systems. Some aspects of the firefighting such as fire rating of material is not a part of their training. Neither do your Architects have any training in Fire Engineering. Surely, they can acquire it later, but without proper training, finer but vital points may escape attention. In many countries, buildings services engineering is a specialty and universities/ organizations provide training.

2. The decisions about the quality and sometimes quantity (grandiosely called as value engineering) of the components and the selection of the Contractor is based on the lowest cost.

3. The preferred professional, to obtain various permissions for the services, is the one who can meander through the corridors of power to convince the authorities on the most convenient interpretation of rules.

4. Most casualties in a fire incidence are not due to fire but are due to asphyxiation. Modern techniques, such as CFD analysis, available to predict passage of fire and smoke through a building. Such an analysis may lead to addition of fire doors or deletion of blind passages etc. I know that when one municipal fire officer rightly insisted on having a CFD analysis for a mall, the consultant looked like he had been hit by a lightning bolt. Later I was told the permission has been obtained without producing the analysis.

5. Many developers or their consultants do not have specially trained firefighting quality inspection personnel, therefore the quality of installation and components is checked only from a general point of view or left to be checked by the installation contractor.

6. Fire doors or fire walls, to isolate the spread of fire and smoke, are generally not provided in residential buildings and in many commercial buildings. Refuge floor is viewed as a necessary evil and gets a step-motherly treatment.

7. It is generally the responsibility of the fire-fighting equipment suppliers and contractors to obtain appropriate certificates from the municipal authorities, till then their final bills are held up. This is because neither the developer nor the consultant has any personnel who can check the quality firefighting installation. In many countries, there are certified/licensed agencies to install firefighting systems and for inspection of the quality of installation. Both or them, by law, must be different, to avoid conflict of interest.

8. The highest firefighting ladder that is available with Mumbai fire brigade is 90m tall i.e. it can reach a till the top of a 30-story residential building, provided it can get close enough to the building. In Mumbai, many buildings are more than 30 stories tall.

9. Most of the fire hydrants in Mumbai are in a state of disrepair or are dysfunctional or are inaccessible due to some obstruction. In many countries offender attracts stiff punishment if he blocks the access to a fire hydrant. Sadly these fire hydrants are in some of the oldest parts of the island city where the buildings are devoid of any firefighting systems.

10. The occupants of the building believe in infallibility, immortality and the GOD so no testing or maintenance is done till some service breaks down or there is disaster.

The situation today reminds me of an advertisement on the TV that appeared in 1980s / 1990s. It showed a man speeding on a bike, without wearing a helmet, about to be hit by another vehicle. The screen would then go blank for about two seconds. Next frame showed a coconut being hammered to pieces with a voice saying


The screen has just gone blank on the danger of firefighting. Now the decision is OURS!

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Arsenal’s Realistic Chances This Season (2010/2011)

I am happy about the current form of my gunners. But I hope they just take a bit of precaution at the moment. We have not really lost since the beginning of the new year and there are indications that we have just an opportunity to get our hands on the first major trophy since the last five years. But Arsene Wenger’s hope of running for the four possible titles is not just so real.

Considering that the boys are just coming of age and there are likely to be injuries and fatigue it is very good that he show concerns about this. Playing the boys three times a week would wear them off. Just recently Samir Nasri who happens to be the most promising this season is suffering from hamstring injuries. Even if he believes that this is the best gunners in so many years, caution has to be taken.

Arsenal remain in the Champions League where there is little hope of any success since they will be playing the best team in Europe, I will not try to be so optimistic about our chances like we had it during the 2007/08 season where we beat the best then, that is, AC Milan. We knew the consequence of winning that game. We lost our lead in the premiership and we were knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United before that remarkable win.

We went ahead and lost in the quarter-final to Liverpool who know how to gamble with matches sacrificing the premiership trophy for the Champions league. Our realistic chances this season are the Carling Cup and the Premiership. As we trail behind Man. Utd by five (5) points, it will do us good if we just play Barcelona with the mind that we have lost (though we can give them a good fight), and hope that in the home and away games between Man. Utd and Chelsea they (Man.Utd) can drop six points and hopefully we win our return leg against them.

I still know that Alex Ferguson will not like to repeat the same mistake as last season. We better play with serious caution as there are likely to be more injuries and little recovery time. We still have 14 games as at the time of writing this report and our attack force is about the best in the premiership and we can believe that our boys will always be used to winning and the winning spirit will continue to the end of the season. I believe Arsene as a great and experience coach will have some of his advisers telling him the same or similar news!

Gunners 4 Life.

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5 Baseball Workout Tips To Maximize Your Performance

If you are training to be a better baseball player you can’t just walk into the gym and wing it.

You need to have a plan.

Better yet, you need to have a baseball-specific plan.

That’s because your strength training for baseball should do more than just give you bigger, stronger muscles.

It should also focus on evening out the muscle imbalances that are caused with doing the same movements (throwing and batting) thousands of times each season. Your strength training should help loosen up tight muscles and strengthen weak muscles so that your technique is maximized.

As a Sports Performance Specialist, I have had great results building better baseball players by adhering to these following principles when strength training:

  • Get the Posterior Chain Strong The posterior chain is a group of muscles on the back of your body that are comprised of the mid back, low back, glutes, hips and hamstrings. This group of muscles work together to give you power when batting and throwing. The general rule when setting up workouts for baseball players is to include a lower body compound exercise such as a Trap Bar Deadlift or a Safety Bar Squat (The Safety Bar is awesome for baseball players because it doesn’t put stress on the shoulders), a 1-leg exercise that focuses on the quadriceps, a hip dominant exercise and a rotational core exercise.
  • Use a Foam Roller This is my secret weapon for getting baseball players loose and ready to play. It also helps your overall strength gains throughout the year because when you get more blood flow to your muscles you recover better from strength training. In turn, you develop more absolute strength. Baseball players should foam roll the Piriformis (glute area muscle that helps you step into a pitch) and your Ilio-Tibial (IT) Band. Basically, it means you need to foam roll the hips, glute and outside of the thigh. Baseball players should also foam roll the Thoracic area of the back as well as the posterior deltoids (back of shoulders).
  • Train the Brachialis Muscle Baseball players are notorious for developing elbow injuries. This is especially true for pitchers who repeatedly throw high velocity pitches and breaking pitches, which cause torque on the elbows. This is why so many baseball pitchers wind up having a Tommy John surgery, which replaces the medial ligament in the elbow with a tendon from somewhere else in the body. The good news is you can avoid elbow throwing injuries by getting the Brachialis (forearm muscle) strong. The best way to do this is with some sort of Hammer Curl. A Hammer Curl is any type of unilateral curl that allows you to keep your thumb up as you curl the weight.
  • The Medicine Ball is Your Friend I always have my baseball players perform medicine ball exercises during the preseason so that they can increase explosive power for throwing, running and batting. To do this, I have them perform various lying, kneeling and standing exercises with a medicine ball. Two of the best exercises for baseball players are Soccer Throws and Sideways Wall Throws. These two exercises give a fantastic explosive core workout and train the Internal Obliques muscle group that is so important to overall power as an athlete. BUT… the preseason is best done for only 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the season. In other words, Medicine Ball and other power training exercises are best done for short periods of time… not year round. The bulk of the time should focus on building a foundation of strength from which you build speed and power around.
  • Train Over Your Head One of the silliest things we’ve dealt with when training new baseball athletes at our gym is their coaches instructions that they are NOT to do any exercises that involve their arms overhead. They mistakenly believe that the players will get hurt by training any exercises over their heads. Listen, here’s the truth… The only exercises that you may want to avoid overhead are the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. These Olympic style lifts can lead to torque and injuries in the shoulders… especially when attempted by individuals who aren’t properly trained nor experienced enough. Personally, I think Olympic lifts are useless for baseball players and won’t use them with my players. Instead, exercises such as strict standing shoulder presses, overhead triceps extensions, and a Pullover machine are amazingly effective for creating a balanced group of muscles for throwing and batting.

There are a ton more things you can to maximize your baseball performance through your baseball-specific workouts. Give these 5 tips a consideration when designing your baseball-specific workouts so that you avoid injuries as well as improve your game.

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Do You Know the Magic Number to Win at Sports Betting?

If you have been involved with sports betting for several years or just getting started I am sure you have seen companies advertising their pick services in your local newspaper, online or even on television. A lot of these ads are offering guaranteed games or claim winning rates of 80% and above. If you see these types of services, you should run in my personal opinion. I don’t care what they say, No One wins 80% – 90% of their games.

Does that mean that you can’t make money with sports betting? In short the answer is No, it is definitely possible to make substantial profits from sports betting, but you need to be realistic. If you have the proper discipline, manage your bankroll and following a winning sports betting system then creating a substantial passive income from betting on sports can be a reality. Knowing the magic # is the key.

So what is the magic #? The answer is 52.4%.If we use the most popular sports to bet on like NFL and NBA a normal bet would consist of betting against the spread with odds of 11/10 meaning that you would have to wager $110 to win back $100. What this means is that you would only have to win 52.4% of your bets to actually break even.Although hitting 80% plus winners is virtually impossible over the long haul, the good news is that anything above 52.4% will be profitable. Although winning 55% doesn’t sound that exciting, you can experience some really substantial returns each month.

Let’s use a 55% win rate and wagering on 2 games each day for this example. Here is what the results would look like after one month:

Win Rate 55%

# of Wagers 60 games (2 per day X 30 days)

# Wins 33

# Losses 27

Minus 10% Vig* 2.7

Total Wins: 3.3

*Vig is the % that the online sports books keep for accepting your wagers. Usually 10%

So what does this mean? Well with these numbers a $100 bettor would be up $330 profit after the month and a $1,000 bettor would be up $3,300. Not bad for a few minutes work each day, but let’s look at what this means in ROIpercentage (Return on Investment).

What I personally use and recommend is that if you are going to be flat betting or making the same size wager on each game then you should be using no more than 5% of your total bankroll. So if you have a total of $1,000 then you should be wager $50 per game. By sticking with the same numbers as the example above of +3.3 games this would actually be a gain of $165 and a return of 16.5% on your money in just 1 month. Compounding that over a full 12 months translates into over a 600 percent return on your money. I don’t know about you, but these are some incredible returns. Compare this to other investments like the stock market or the bank and you can clearly see that sports betting is a viable option even using a conservative example. Now imagine a 56% win rate or even 60 percentage.

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The History of World Cup Football

The FIFA World Cup (often called the Football World Cup or simply the World Cup) is the most important competition in international football (soccer), and the world’s most representative team sport event. Organised by Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport’s governing body, the World Cup is contested by the men’s national football teams of FIFA member nations. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930 (except in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II), however it is more of an ongoing event as the qualifying rounds of the competition take place over the three years preceding the final rounds.The final tournament phase (often called the “Finals”) involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period in a previously nominated host nation, with these games making it the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world.[1] In the 17 tournaments held, only seven nations have ever won the World Cup Finals. Brazil are the current holders, as well as the most successful World Cup team, having won the tournament five times, while Germany and Italy follow with three titles each. The next football World Cup Finals will be held in Germany.

The first international football match was played in 1872 between England and Scotland, although at this stage the sport was rarely played outside Great Britain. As football began to increase in popularity, it was held as a demonstration sport (with no medals awarded) at the 1900, 1904 and 1906 Summer Olympics before football became an official competition at the 1908 Summer Olympics. Organised by England’s Football Association, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. The England national amateur football team won the event in both 1908 and 1912.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909. The competition is often described as The First World Cup,and featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland. The first tournament was won by West Auckland, an amateur side from north-east England that was invited after the Football Association refused to be associated with the competition. West Auckland returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title, and were given the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the competition.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a “world football championship for amateurs”, and took responsibility for organising the event. This led the way for the world’s first intercontinental football competition, at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Uruguay won the tournament,before winning the gold medal again in 1928, with another South American team, Argentina, taking silver. In 1928 FIFA made the decision to stage their own international tournament. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and due to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country.

The 1932 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, did not plan to include football as part of the programme due to the low popularity of football in the United States. FIFA and the IOC also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games.FIFA president Jules Rimet thus set about organising the inaugural World Cup tournament to be held in Uruguay in 1930. The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition.Rimet eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total 13 nations took part — seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.

A spin-off tournament, the FIFA Women’s World Cup, was first held in 1991. It is similar to the men’s tournament in format, but so far has not generated the same level of interest.

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The World Through The Lens of My Eyes

When I look at the world through the lens of my eyes, there is a huge gap and resistance that lurks and is now spreading. The constraints of the city where I live, the call for immigration restrictions and its consequences especially technological changes have shifted our growth paths. The new wave of technology is a powerful agent of change since it can alter a city’s location advantage turning a bad location into a good one. Multiculturalism and diversity also has become an agent of change. Our personal beliefs and values, diverse perspectives including intolerance are challenges of a global setting. There is a need for a deep immersion within different cultures to understand their values and specific context. Knowing other cultures deeply can effectively link the dots between countries and highlight meaningful differences between cultures that impact and connect the world.

The global community has an enormous opportunity all the time specifically our generation compared to previous civilizations. For instance, enculturation or group identification is an avenue for individuals to accept the culture, norms and values of the society where they live. Hence, this calls for a more culturally congruent atmosphere when addressing social context. Every country has its own distinctive characteristics, history and political realities and as a result, access to institutions across the world is mandatory.

From my perspective, many countries do not have similar goals and frameworks that enhance global performance in terms of per capita income. For better, for worse, the disparity has generated low quality of life of citizens and impoverished some economies. Even though every county has diverse set of experiences, I believe the global community can reach similar targets and policies that deepen universal connection. Moreover, no country would argue against it. Instead, each economy should claim that its goal is to participate in a heavy global investment that supports international connection. All countries are linked by international trade and as we live in a global village, there is no modern example of a country that has shifted itself from world affairs and yet prospered. In light of this, one country cannot ever know it since the acceleration of our connected world and its dynamic complex system.

Equally notable is the overall freedom and a country’s standard of living. Greater freedom means greater performance. Freedom means diversity and mobility. People achieve higher income levels when the global world is barrier free. Both local and international barriers create distortion, bribery and extortion which eventually affect every part of our global system. Likewise, lack of integrity continues to impose high cost of illegal transactions in world market interaction.

In the same way, our lives are driven by fear that inhibits collaboration. Great by choice is a reminder of the strength of human spirit and the rewards come to those who are fearless and passionate.

All things considered, the opportunities and challenges of our connected world is an ongoing process and it plays a key role in our current relations. As a result, the ability to grow and minimize world trials in the years ahead depends on the size of the gap between economies. In essence, if the gap between the rich and poor is minimized, the bigger the room for long-run growth and sustainable global connection.

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