Fluminense Torcida Organizada – Força FluFluminense Torcida Organizada – Força Flu

The supporters of Fluminense Football Club are usually related to the upper classes of Rio de Janeiro. However, the popularity of the club reaches beyond the city limits. Recent polls have estimated the number of supporters to be between 1.3% and 3.7% of the Brazilian population. Considering a population of 185 million people,  that would account for numbers between 2.73 and 6.84 million.

The best attendance ever observed in a match of Fluminense was registered on December 15, 1963 in a rally against Flamengo. On that day, an impressive amount of 194,000 people showed up at the Maracanã stadium. This occasion remains as the stadium’s record for a match between clubs.

Considering the interstate clashes, the derby against Corinthians is perhaps the most representative among the various confrontations with big Brazilian clubs played for Fluminense, given the fact that these clubs often intersect at decisive moments in their stories, either by the end Rio Cup, the direct contest in several Tournaments Rio-São Paulo since 1940, or by the qualifying rounds of the Championship or Cup of Brazil.

Chelsea eye Falcao in exchange of Fernando Torres plus €15 millionChelsea eye Falcao in exchange of Fernando Torres plus €15 million

Chelsea offered for Radamel Falcao’s transfer from Atletico Madrid  €15 million plus former Madrid player Fernando Torres, according to Telemadrid.

Falcao, 26-year-old, scored 24 goals in La Liga, with Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona – 50) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid – 46) ahead of him. He also netted 12 times in Atletico’s successful European campaign.

Atletico Madrid  bought Falcao last summer from Porto for €40 million.

La Bombonera Show – Los XeneizesLa Bombonera Show – Los Xeneizes

Boca Juniors is traditionally regarded as the club of Argentina’s working class, in contrast with the supposedly more upper-class base of cross-town arch rival Club Atlético River Plate.

Boca Juniors claims to be the club of “half plus one” (la mitad más uno) of Argentina’s population, but a 2006 survey placed its following at 40%, still the largest share. They have the highest number of fans, as judged by percentage in their country.

The Boca-River Superclásico rivalry is one of the most thrilling derbies in the world. Out of their 327 previous meetings, Boca have won 121, River 105 and there have been 101 draws. After each match (except draws), street signs cover Buenos Aires at fans’ own expense, “ribbing” the losing side with humorous posters. This has become part of Buenos Aires culture ever since a Boca winning streak in the 1990s.

Boca fans are known as Los Xeneizes (the Genoese) after the Genoese immigrants who founded the team and lived in La Boca in the early 20th century.

Peñas (fan clubs) exist in a number of Argentine cities and abroad in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Israel and Japan.[55]

Boca Juniors are particularly popular in Japan because of the club’s success in recent years at the Intercontinental Cup held in Japan

. All over the world, fans are drawn to Boca by the club’s international titles, and by the success of Boca players who went on to play in European football such as Hugo Ibarra, Rodolfo Arruabarrena, Diego Cagna, Enzo Ferrero, Roberto Abbondanzieri,Nicolás Burdisso, Fernando Gago, Diego Maradona, Claudio Caniggia, Gabriel Batistuta, Juan Román Riquelme and Carlos Tévez.

Boca have fans throughout Latin America and also in parts of the United States where there has been Latin immigration and where in July 2007, after the club had toured pre-season, it was reported that the club were considering the possibility of creating a Boca Juniors USA team to compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) with New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Arizonamentioned as possible locations.

Rui Costa – A Real Number 10Rui Costa – A Real Number 10

Rui Costa is renowned for his fine technique and his excellent passing, he’s now considered as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100, as one of the 125 greatest living football players.

Costa was named the best number 10 player in the Serie A a few times. His departure from Fiorentina was discussed every season, since many clubs constantly showed interest in signing him. However, he only left when Fiorentina went bankrupt after the 2001–02 season.

Fatih Terim was the coach of Fiorentina in the 2000–01 season. When he was leaving Fiorentina for Milan, he took Costa with him, paying a reported £30 million for the player. In doing so, Costa became Milan’s most expensive transfer of all-time. Costa played five seasons in Milan, where he won one Serie A title, one Italian Cup, one Italian Super Cup, one UEFA Champions League, and one European Super Cup.

In 2006 Rui Costa had been released from Milan after both the player and the club reached an agreement to end his contract. Costa also gave up his €4.6 million per year contract to play in the club that, year after year, had dreamt of his return. Costa’s affection for Benfica is publicly known and so is his desire to end his career at the Portuguese club.

Rui Costa was a member of Portugal’s most consistent years at senior level as the team reached the quarter-finals of Euro 1996, the semi-finals of Euro 2000, and the final of Euro 2004. Costa was especially instrumental in helping Portugal reach the 2004 final.

Costa also took part in the World Cup 2002 in Japan and South Korea scoring Portugal’s winning goal in their 4–0 win over Poland. The only time in his career that Costa was sent off was in an international game against Germany.

Despite being principally a provider, Costa chipped in with a highly impressive 26 goals in 94 games.

Greek Fever: Olympiakos SupportersGreek Fever: Olympiakos Supporters

Olympiakos fans are renowned for their passionate and fervent support to their team, with the atmosphere at home matches regarded as intimidating.

Olympiakos traditional fanbase comes from the city of Piraeus, where the club is based, as well as a good part of the rest of the Athens area.

The club’s popularity increased during the 1950s after winning consecutive titles and setting several records, and they became the best-supported football club in the country.

Olympiakos used to represent the working class, but the club has always attracted fans from all the social classes and their fanbase is not associated with any specific social group anymore.

Traditionally, Olympiakos ’ main rival is Panathinaikos and their so-called derby of the eternal enemies is the classic rivalry in the Athens area and Greek football in general. The two teams are the most successful and most popular Greek football clubs, and the rivalry is also indicative of social, cultural and regional differences.

Tifosi del Napoli. Hell is colder then San PaoloTifosi del Napoli. Hell is colder then San Paolo

Napoli is the fourth most supported football club in Italy with around 8% of Italian football fans supporting the club. Like other top clubs in the country, Napoli’s fanbase goes beyond the Italian border; it has been estimated by the club that there are around 5 to 6 million fans worldwide.

Napoli have several rivalries, the most significant of which is with Roma. In terms of location Napoli and Roma are quite close, together they compete in the Derby del Sole (“Derby of the Sun”), a rivalry which was at its peak in the 1980s. There are also strong rivalries with Lazio and Hellas Verona, as well as local Campanian ones with Salernitana and Avellino.

Conversely, the fans of Napoli have a long standing friendship with Genoa, which goes back to 1982, and with Palermo and Catania. On the last day of the 2006–07 season, the club drew 0–0 with Genoa ensuring both were promoted back into Serie A; Genoa ultras could be seen holding up banners saying “Benvenuto fratello napoletano“, meaning “Welcome, Neapolitan brother”.

Portuguese Superstar: Luis FigoPortuguese Superstar: Luis Figo

Luís Figo is one of the best players Portugal ever had. He played as a midfielder for Sporting CP, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Internazionale, during a career which spanned over a period of 20 years. He retired from football in 2009. He won 127 caps for the Portuguese national football team, a number that makes him the most capped Portuguese player in history.

Figo was the 2000 European Footballer of the Year, the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year, and was named amongst the FIFA 100.

Figo is one of the few football players to have played for both the Spanish rival clubs FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. He had a successful career highlighted by several trophy wins, such as one Portuguese Cup, four La Liga titles, two Spanish Cups, three Spanish Super Cups, one UEFA Champions League title, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, two UEFA Super Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, four Serie A titles, one Italian Cup and three Italian Super Cups.

Liverpool line-up Juve star Milos KrasicLiverpool line-up Juve star Milos Krasic

Liverpool are are lining up a summer move for Juventus outcast Milos Krasic.

The Serbian winger has made just seven Serie A appearances this season after falling out of favour with manager Antonio Conte.

Krasic was expected to leave Turin in January but Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp had a loan loan bid turned down by the player.

He eventually stayed put in Juventus after the transfer window shut – and has not featured since.

Now a summer departure is almost inevitable and there is no shortage of clubs currently in the hunt for the 27-year-old, who joined Juve for around £13 million in 2010.

It has been reported that Fenerbahce have already bid £10m for Krasic, but the winger is not keen on a move to Turkey.

Chelsea Legend – Gianfranco ZolaChelsea Legend – Gianfranco Zola

Gianfranco Zola spent the first decade of his career playing in Italy, most notably with Napoli, alongside Diego Maradona and Careca, and at Parma, before moving to English side Chelsea, where he was voted Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 1997 and Chelsea’s greatest ever player.  He was capped 35 times for Italy.

Zola helped Chlesea win four trophies and scored the winner in the 1998 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final just seconds after coming on as substitute. In all Zola, scored 80 goals in 312 games, with many of them being spectacular efforts.

Above all, Zola always played football as if he enjoyed it and was almost universally popular amongst opposition fans.

Wenger eyes Stephane SessegnonWenger eyes Stephane Sessegnon

Arrived at Sunderland in January 2011, Stéphane Sessegnon (28 years) might not stay there very long, despite a contract that runs until 2014.

Reportedly, the former PSG player would have caught the attention of Arsenal where Arsene Wenger would need some improvements.

Bought for €7 million, the Benin international is worth much more today a successful season with the Black Cats (7 goals in particular).

Sunderland would claim about €15 million for him transfer.

Olivier Giroud flirting with Bayern MunchenOlivier Giroud flirting with Bayern Munchen

Ligue 1 star, Olivier Giroud, has admitted that his agent has been in touch with Bayern Munich to discuss a potential summer transfer.

Arsenal and Liverpool have both expressed an interest in the Montpellier man, who is valued by owners at a staggering £50million price.

‘I personally had no direct talks with Bayern Munich, but my agent has’, revealed Giroud in an interview for Bild.

“Bayern Munich are very well known in France because of all the positive experiences other French players have had there. They have all said how well they were received at Bayern, and how happy they were at the club.”

Remember The Name: Alan ShearerRemember The Name: Alan Shearer

A native of Newcastle upon Tyne, Shearer made his professional debut with English top-flight club Southampton in 1988, scoring a hat-trickin the process. During several years on the south coast, he became known for his classic style of play, strength and goalscoring ability; he soon received an international call-up along with a transfer to Blackburn Rovers in 1992.

Shearer established himself as a player in northern England; he became a regular in the England squad, and his 34-goal tally helped Blackburn secure the Premier League title in 1994–95. He was named Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year in 1994 and won the PFA Player of the Year award in 1995.

The 1995–96 season saw Shearer make his first Champions League appearances and finish as the top scorer in the Premier League with 31 goals. He was also top scorer at Euro 1996 with England, scoring five goals, and in the 1996–97 Premier League, with 25 goals.

A world-record £15 million move to his boyhood heroes, Newcastle United, followed the Euro ’96 tournament, and Shearer spent the remainder of his career with the club.

While he would never win a major trophy at Newcastle, Shearer won runners-up medals in the Premier League and FA Cup with Newcastle, and a second PFA Player of the Year award. After being named England’s captain in 1996 and Newcastle’s captain in 1999, he retired from international football following Euro 2000, having amassed 63 appearances and 30 goals for his country.

He scored 283 league goals in his career, including a record 260 in the Premier League, and a total of 422 in all competitions including international at all levels. Shearer has amassed a goals to game ratio of 0.667, which equates to just over two goals every three games he has played throughout his career at every level and competition.

Le Parisien: M’Vila 99% GunnerLe Parisien: M’Vila 99% Gunner

According to Le Parisien, the Rennes defensive midfielder has turned down the opportunity to join transfer rivals Inter Milan and will instead sign a four-year contract with Arsene Wenger’s side.

Though not officially confirmed as of this writing, the news was broken by Le Parisien journalist Julien Laurens , who informed his followers: “Very busy yesterday working on M’Vila story. Deal 99% done. 22 million euros, 4 years. Great signing for Arsenal and player is delighted.”

If confirmed, the move would be the second in a surprisingly aggressive transfer strategy from Arsenal for the 2012/2013, after the Gunners finally confirmed the signing of German international Lukas Podolski early last week.

Spanish youngster Jonathan Viera signs with ValenciaSpanish youngster Jonathan Viera signs with Valencia

Valencia announced yesterday they had signed highly-rated Spanish Under-21 striker Jonathan Viera from second division outfit Las Palmas.

The 22-year-old, who has scored eight times in 27 games for Las Palmas this season, signed a five-year contract though the transfer fee was not disclosed.

Viera, who was also reportedly being tracked by Barcelona, can look forward to a maiden Champions League campaign next term as Valencia are certain of finishing third in the Primera Liga.

El Pibe – Carlos ValderramaEl Pibe – Carlos Valderrama

Carlos Alberto Valderrama Palacio is one of the best players in Colombian history and South America. His mass of blond, permed hair made him one of Colombia’s most recognisable footballers.

Valderrama was a member of the Colombia national football team in the 1990s. Between 1985 and 1998 he represented Colombia in 111 full internationals and scored 11 times, making him the most capped player in the country’s history.

Valderrama was known for the accuracy of his passing and his ability to provide assists that were very immaculate. In 2004, Valderrama was included in the FIFA 100, a list of “greatest living footballers” chosen by Pelé to celebrate the 100th anniversary of FIFA.

Valderrama began his career at Unión Magdalena of the Colombian First Division in 1981. He also played for Millonarios and Deportivo Calibefore joining Montpellier of the French First Division in 1988.

He then went on to play for Independiente Medellín and then Atlético Junior, for whom he won the Colombian championship in 1993 and 1995. In 1996, he went to the US to play for the Tampa Bay Mutiny (1996–97, 2000–01), Miami Fusion (1998–99), and Colorado Rapids (2001–02). While a member of the Mutiny, the team would sell Carlos Valderrama wigs at Tampa Stadium.

Carlos Valderrama Compilation

Non-Flying Dutchman – Dennis BergkampNon-Flying Dutchman – Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Bergkamp has been described by Jan Mulder as having “the finest technique” of any Dutch international and a “dream for a striker” by teammate Thierry Henry.

He was spotted by Ajax at the age of 11 and made his professional debut in 1986. Good form led to an international call-up a year later, attracting the attention of several European clubs. Bergkamp signed for Italian club Internazionale in 1993 where he had two disappointing seasons, before joining Arsenal in 1995.

It was at Arsenal where Bergkamp rejuvenated his career, helping the club to win three Premier League titles, four FA Cup trophies and reach the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final, which marked his last appearance as a player. With the Netherlands national team, Bergkamp surpassed Faas Wilkes’s record to become the Netherlands’ top goalscorer of all time in 1998, later surpassed by Patrick Kluivert.

Bergkamp was selected by Pele as one of the FIFA 100 greatest living players and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in his generation. In 2007, he was inducted into the FIFA Hall of Fame, the first and so far only Dutch player ever to receive such honour. Bergkamp has also finished third in the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice. Due to his fear of flying, Bergkamp has been affectionately nicknamed the Non-Flying Dutchman by Arsenal supporters.

Dennis Bergkamp Tribute Video

Bergkamp goal at Newcastle

Bergkamp at Arsenal TV

Southampton Legend – Matt Le TissierSouthampton Legend – Matt Le Tissier

Matt Le Tissier spent his entire club career with Southampton and gained eight caps for the England national football team. An attacking midfielder with exceptional technical skills, Le Tissier is the second-highest ever scorer for Southampton behind Mick Channon and was voted PFA Young Player of the Year in 1990.

He was the first midfielder to score 100 goals in the Premier League. He is notable for his record at scoring penalty kicks, converting from the spot 47 times from 48 attempts and is considered one of the greatest ever from the 12 yard spot.

In spite of interest from bigger clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur in 1990 and Chelsea in 1996, Le Tissier remained at Southampton for his entire professional career, his loyalty garnering special affection from Southampton’s fans who nicknamed him “Le God”.

Matt Le Tissier Tribute Video

Premier League Legend

El Pistolero – Hristo StoichkovEl Pistolero – Hristo Stoichkov

Hristo Stoichkov is regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation and the greatest Bulgarian footballer of all time.

Stoichkov began his career in his hometown, moving to Hebros in 1984. The next year he went to CSKA Sofia.

There, he was involved in a fight during the final of the 1985 Bulgarian Cup which resulted in an original lifelong ban, which was eventually reduced to a month suspension. After he was brought back to football, he managed to win the European Golden Boot with CSKA by scoring 38 goals in 30 games.

He then moved on to FC Barcelona, where he was part of Johan Cruyff’‘Dream Team‘, Stoichkov helped Barcelona to one of the most successful eras of the club, winning the Primera Division four years in a row between 1991 and 1994 and the European Cup after defeating Sampdoria in 1992. During his stay in Barcelona, he had become an idol for the club’s fans.

In his first season with the club Stoichkov was suspended for two months for stomping on a referee’s foot,  but he still netted 14 league goals and six more in the Cup Winners’ Cup. Stoichkov then had short spells with ParmaAl-Nassr, and finally finishing his career in Japan with Kashiwa Reysol and the United States with the Chicago Fire and D.C. United.

He was a member of the Bulgaria national team that finished fourth at the 1994 World Cup. Apart from his footballing talent, he was notable for his on-pitch temper. He was honoured as European Footballer of the Year in 1994. He was named by Pelé as one of the125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony in 2004.

Hristo Stoichkov Tribute