Barcelona have captured their 3rd Spanish La Liga title in succession after a 1-1 draw at Laventa.
Barcelona have secured the La Liga title with 2 games to spare, moving 6 points clear from 2nd place Real Madrid.
Their greater head to head results against Real Madrid mean that they cannot be overtaken, Barcelona beat Real Madrid 5-0 at home earlier in the season.
Xavi was once again instrumental in their goal, crossing for Keita to head his first half goal. A rare mistake by Pique let in Laventa for the equaliser but it didn’t matter to the Barcelona faithful. The result led to celebrations in the streets of the Catalan capital.
It is an important point for Barcelona, their players were looking tired and in need of some rest. Manchester United can also be in a similar position if they win or draw their next game away at Blackburn and seal the English Premier League title.
Severiano Ballesteros Sota was born in Pedrena, Spain on the 9th April 1957. Known as Seve to everyone, this is a short biography of the golfing legend.
Born into a family of golfing professionals he took to the game like a duck to water. His brother gave him cut down golf club and he would use it to practice on the local course or at the beach. He won his first trophy at the age of 12 when he entered a caddies tournament in Pedrena.
He turned professional at the age of 16 but it was two years later that he came to the worlds attention when he placed joint second with Jack Nicklaus at the Open.
In 1979 at the age of 22 he finally claimed the Open title and became one of the youngest winners. He went on to become the first European to win the Masters in Augusta in 1980 and again in 1983. A second Open title came in 1984. He won his final major in 1980.
In 1979 Ballesteros played in the Ryder Cup for the first time when players from continental Europe were also invited to play alongside the British and Irish players.
There was controversy when he was left out of the team in 1981 but he played again in 1983 starting a new era in European Ryder Cup success. In 1985 the Europeans won for the first time in 28 years against the Americans. Seve’s pairing with Jose Maria Olazabal is still the most successful partnership in the Ryder Cups history.
He was elected captain of the European Cup side in 1997 when it was held for the first time on Spanish soil, leading them to victory.
In the early 00′s, Bellesteros began to suffer with back and knee problems, causing him to take a two year break before returning a shadow of his former self in 2005.
In 2007, Bellesteros announced his retirement from professional golf at the event he had made his debut at the beginning of his career.
Seve Ballesteros the golfing legend has passed away at the age of 54 after almost 3 years battling cancer.
Ballesteros was understood to have undergone chemotherapy and up to 4 operation to try and remove a brain tumour.
To many he is a legend who had a charisma that made him appeal to even those who didn’t like golf. His style helped to win over many new fans to golf and played a large part in pulling in new European audiences.
As a player he won the open 3 times and captained the European Ryder cup team during the 1990′s. He won a total of 87 titles and played with a confidence and flair that others of his generation couldn’t match. He became the youngest winner of the Masters tournament at the age of 23 and spent 3 years as the world number 1 in the late 80′s.
It was a problem with his back that ended his career, he was unable to fully utilise the swing that made him famous. Most will remember him in his prime when he inspired the current generation to take up the game of golf.
Barcelona and Real Madrid will face each other in the Champions League Semi-Finals in a mouth watering encounter after beating Shakhtar Donetsk and Tottenham respectively.
Barcelona and Real Madrid will now have to play each other 4 times in 18 days as they take each other on in 3 different competitions; the Champions League (2 legs), the Spanish La Liga and the Spanish Cup final, Copa del Ray.
El Classico, as the games between the two teams in Spain are known, are huge games in every sense as the two teams have dominated Spanish football for decades and are followed all around the world. 10′s of million of viewers are expected to tune in to each game.
In the Champions League both teams cruised past their opponents in the 2nd leg of their quarter-finals. Real Madrid once again took on Tottenham, this time at White Heart Lane, coming away 1-0 winners on the night and 5-0 winners on aggregate. Tottenham had no answer for the problems that they created in Madrid.
Barcelona also had few problems as they took on Shakhtar Donetsk beating them 1-0 in the 2nd leg with a goal from Messi, this follows a 5-1 trouncing in the first leg.
That goal brought Lionel Messi’s goal tally this season to an astonishing 48, a feat never before achieved in Spanish top flight football. When you consider the teams that he has scored against it is an astonishing total from the man most would consider the best footballer in the world.
Col. Gaddafi starts to feel the heat as the UN sanctioned military action in Libya begins in earnest.
Yesterday Gaddafi declared to the worlds press that he had ordered a ceasefire. Today that appeared to be another ruse from one of the worlds canniest political operators as his troops continued to fight their way into the outskirts of Benghazi.
It didn’t take long for the politicians of the UN nations taking action to enforce UN resolution 1973, meeting in Paris today, to dismiss Gaddafi’s ceasefire as false and indicate that they were currently taking action against Gaddafi’s forces in Libya.
The first shots were fired by French planes flying over Libya against armoured vehicles, this was potentially a risky decision as at that point Gaddafi’s air defence system was fully intact.
Presumably, this was in part a political decision because the French have been driving this resolution and the US is taking care not to be seen as the main player.
After this first strike was carried out by the French, it appears that tomahawk missiles were launched immediately by the US fleet stationed in the Mediterranean, to knock out Gaddafi’s air defence system.
UK submarines also fired the same variety of tomahawk missiles attacking targets on the mainland but the number of these sophisticated missiles that the UK owns is tiny compared to the US.
Over 100 missiles have been launched so far attacking about 20 military installations on the mainland, according to the US defence spokesman, severely disabling the Libyan air defence systems enabling the implementation of the no-fly zone.
Spain and Canada are also sending military hardware, Italy have enabled the use of the their bases and although the Arab League backed the resolution it is unclear at the moment how they will be involved.
The situation is changing rapidly in the area and what happens next will depend largely on what move Gaddafi makes next.
Many in Libya fear that there will be a stalemate, with Gaddafi still in power with the country partitioned into two parts.
This could become a reality if Gaddafi does observe a ceasefire, but there are a couple of reasons that may mean this is unlikely. Gaddafi himself is not someone who likes to back down and the UN resolution is very broad and wide ranging in it’s remit, this potentially gives those backing it quite a long legal lead to help the rebel army if they decide that Gaddafi should not be allowed to stay.
Even the sight and sound of these missiles launching sends a shiver down the spine for those who are not used to it. See the video below from the US Navy.
A wildcat strike by Spanish air traffic controllers has ended after threats by the Spanish government to bring criminal charges against those perpetrating the strike.
The unplanned walkout left thousands of stranded at Spanish airports around the country and grounded all aircraft. Officials put the number of people affected at 250,000.
The background to the strike was a disagreement about working hours and conditions which Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said were “unacceptable privileges”.
The threats seemed to have been enough to make the controllers go back to work and it is the first time since the military government in 1975 that emergency powers have been used in this way.
It is fair to say that in Spain, where unemployment is running at 20%, there is not any general sympathy towards the air traffic controllers who are some of the highest earners in the country and indeed, some of the highest paid air traffic controllers in the world.
It has been reported that some controllers were paid as much as 900,000 euros in 2009, the average salary in Spain is 18,000 euros and the prime minister earned 91,982 euros last year.
The secret ballot of the 22 members of FIFA’s executive committee have voted to award the 2018 World Cup to the favourites Russia and the 2022 World Cup to the small nation of Qatar. It is the first time that either nation has hosted the prestigious event.
The other bidders were Spain & Portugal, England, Holland & Belgium for the chance to host the 2018 World Cup and South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States for the 2022 competition.
Russian deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said
“You have entrusted us with the FIFA World Cup for 2018 and I can promise you will never regret it.”
Russia received 9 votes in the first round of voting and 13 votes in the second round giving it the majority it needed.
President Putin broadcast a statement on Russian television in which he said
“Russia loves football, Russia knows what football is and in our country we have everything to conduct the 2018 World Cup on a very worthy level. The decision corresponds with Fifa’s philosophy for developing football, especially in those regions of the world where that development is needed.”
Qatar had to wait until a fourth round of voting in order to receive the majority that it needed for the 2022 vote.
Qatar is an oil rich country with an estimated population of under 2 million, it will be the first major sporting event held in the region and is a sign of how far the middle east has come over the last decade.
One thing will be certain, the country will have vast reserves of financing to throw at stadia and facilities. However, the country is a conservative Islamic nation that does not sit particularly with the alcohol and party atmosphere of a large sporting event.