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Beckham Quits As England Captain by Steven Cronin

David Beckham has stood down as England captain following the Three Lions World Cup quarter-final defeat to Portugal.

Beckham was first given the captaincy by then England caretaker boss Peter Taylor in 2000 and continued in the role under the five year management of Sven-Goran Eriksson.

It was Beckham's leadership in the final 2002 World Cup qualifying game at home to Greece at Old Trafford that will be most fondly remembered.

At the peak of his talent, Beckham single-handedly dragged England over the finishing line to qualify for Japan and Korea, a sensational last minute free kick earning England a draw and automatic qualification.

As Beckham spoke of his intention to step down as captain with immediate effect, tears began to well in his eyes, a decision made even more heartbreaking following England's exit.

An emotional Beckham said "It has been an honour and a privilege to have captained our country and I want to stress that I wish to continue to play for England and look forward to helping both the new captain and Steve McClaren in any way I can.

This decision has been the most difficult of my career to date. But after discussing it with my family and those closest to me I feel the time is right.

"Finally, I have lived the dream, I am extremely proud to have worn the armband and been captain of England and for that I will always be grateful."

Beckham grew up in the East End of London and always harboured a wish to play for his boyhood heroes Manchester United.

Alex Ferguson gave him his chance at first team action at United and Beckham never looked back, soon becoming a national and world icon.

A rift between Ferguson and Beckham led to the ex-England captain's transfer to Real Madrid in the summer of 2003, though he is still waiting for his first major honour with the Madrid club.

Steven Cronin owns the City Breaks website featuring city break special offers from luxury hotels to budget accommodations. For more information please visit http://www.sargas.co.uk

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Beckham-Quits-As-England-Captain/43373

World Cup Greece

World Cup Betting - The South African National Soccer Team by Drin

The FIFA Football World cup has finally arrived and fans all across the world are celebrating the most awaited sporting event in the world. If the latest reports are to be believed, the total amount of bets placed for the World Cup is 1billion. There are many websites in the internet which provides details about World Cup betting, but none of these sites can clearly predict a winner for this time as all teams are equally poised and do have the strength to win the tournament. World cup betting provides you the chance to win huge bets by simply predicting the team that would win the tournament.

The host nations have always given a good performance in the world cups. For example South Korea which hosted the cup in the year 2002 did surprise the whole world and made into the semifinals. In the next world cup which was held in Germany, the host nation came third in the tournament. This year's FIFA World cup is hosted by South Africa and if the past performances of the host nation are to be considered, then the South African national team do have a good chance to make some upsets in the tournament. You must also consider the prediction of the great Brazilian football legend, Pele that an Africa team would win the world cup before the year 2010. So let's see who is going to be the winner of this year's South African football World cup.

South Africa was not allowed to participate in any of the international competitions due to the apartheid problems in their country. There were excluded from international competitions for almost 50 years and it was in the year 1992 that FIFA took the decision to allow South African football team to enter the world soccer stage. The team has come a long way since then and has been consistently improving their FIFA rankings. Their first international triumph came within four months of their readmission to the world stage when they defeated Tunisia to win their first African Cup of Nations trophy. This was a great surprise to football fans all across the world as till then South African team was considered as under dogs.

South Africa does have a good record in the World Cup qualification matches as well. They have qualified for two out of the three world cups that they were eligible to after their return from the ban. South Africa barely missed the chance to qualify for Germany 2006 and they have automatically booked a place in this year's tournament, as they are the host nation.

South African football team as predicted by many football pundits does have the strength and the players to create upsets in this year's World Cup. The current South African team is a young squad and most of the players in the national side play for clubs in England, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Netherlands, Israel and Russia. The greatest advantage of this team is that all players are experienced due to the exposure that they get in the club levels. The team is captained by Aaron Mokoena, who holds the record for playing the most number of matches for his country and is also the youngest player to have debuted for South Africa.

There are some great talents in the current South African football team. Steven Pienaar is the most familiar face in the team as he plays for Everton in the English Premier league. He is in Everton from the year 2007-08 and is expected to do a big role in South Africa's World Cup dreams. Another prominent player on South African team is Dikgacoi who plays for the English premier league club Fulham.
If you are really into World cup betting, then you should seriously follow the performance of South Africa as the host nations have always performed better in the World cups. Are you betting on South Africa in the World Cup? Place you bet today at www.sportsbook.com the home of World Cup betting.

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Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/World-Cup-Betting---The-South-African-National-Soccer-Team/797580

World Cup Greece

World Cup 2006 Preview - Iran by David Walker

Outright Odds: 750/1
Group D Winners: 14/1

Iran's last appearance in the World Cup, back in 1998, produced a shock 2-1 victory over the United States, in what could have been described as a very diplomatic result. After qualifying emphatically for this year's tournament, including a 2-1 home victory over Japan, Iran will be expected to more than merely make up the numbers.

Iran won nine out of their 11 matches and qualified with a match to spare, although were pipped to the top spot by Japan, who beat them in the return fixture in the final round of fixtures.

Their efforts did not go unnoticed and they ranked at an all-time high of 15 in June 2005, ahead of fellow qualifiers Ukraine and Sweden and European champions Greece. To give you some idea of their position in the world game, they were rated just one place below Italy.

Iran are blessed with a plethora of attacking talent. Veteran striker and captain Ali Daei is the most prolific ever in international football with over 100 goals to his name and he topped the Asian scoring charts with nine qualifying goals. He will be 37 in Germany and this will surely be his last major finals.

Hamburg's Mehdi Mahdavika, who netted the decisive goal against the United States eight years ago and Bayern Munich's Ali Karimi, who was crowned 2004 Asian Footballer of the Year will be recognisable to the domestic audience. Mahdavika has emerged as Iran's major attacking force in Daei's twighlight years and has been given license to support the attack rather than being restricted to his traditional spot on the right wing.

Striker Vahid Hashemian is another player with Bundesliga experience, plying his trade for Hannover 96 following a transfer from Bayern Munich, as does midfielder Fereydoon Zandi who plays for Kaiserslautern.

Iran are lead by Croatian coach Branko Ivankovic who has successfully rebuilt the side which failed to qualify for the 2002 finals after losing to the Republic of Ireland in the play-offs.

While the victory over the United States sticks in the memory, it is the country's only victory in six attempts at the finals and overall the squad lacks experience at the highest level, especially in defence. While Ivankovic has turned Iran's fortunes around, they will need more than good morale to see them through a tough qualifying group and their final match against Angola could be their only chance of success.

Recommended Bet:
Despite their improvement, it is unlikely Iran will get anything from their matches against Mexico and Portugal but their attacking prowess could yield a final match victory against Angola at odds-against.

Iran to beat Angola @ 6/4

David Walker runs a free World Cup bets website and written World Cup previews. A free 45-page World Cup guide is available from the website and features a "free World Cup football shirt" offer.

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/World-Cup-2006-Preview---Iran/30611

Lionel Messi vs Greece - World Cup HD 720p by LionelMessi10i [Cropped]

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