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Next English Team Captain

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by Pinnacle Sportsbook - 07/12/2006

WILLEMSTAD, CURACAO (July 11, 2006)-Following their devastating penalty shoot out loss to Portugal in the World Cup, the English National Team lost its captain as David Beckham announced his resignation from the post after five and a half years. With one of the most prestigious positions in world soccer vacant, Pinnacle Sportsbook today announced odds on who'll be awarded the captain's armband for the English National Team by new coach Steve McClaren.

The largest sports betting site on the Internet, Pinnacle Sportsbook has created odds on several national team members succeeding Beckham as England's captain. Current skipper of two-time Premiership champions Chelsea, John Terry has emerged as an overwhelming favorite to assume the captaincy at 1/4 odds (i.e., win $1 for every $4 bet). Pinnacle Sportsbook lists talented midfielder and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard with the second best odds to become the next British national team captain at 5/1 followed by Chelsea's Frank Lampard at 16/1.

"When McClaren selects the new captain prior to September's scheduled friendly match, it will be no surprise when John Terry is assigned the highest honor in English soccer," said Simon Noble of Pinnacle Sportsbook. "Terry has not only become one of the best defenders in the world, but has also exhibited excellent leadership skills guiding Chelsea to two Premiership titles. At only 25, appointing Terry as captain now could provide stability to the national team for the European Championships and World Cup in South Africa in four years time."

Other than the three favorites, Pinnacle Sportsbook has installed a number of English players as long shots to succeed Beckham. Bayern Munich midfielder, Owen Hargreaves is a 50/1 underdog to be named English captain. Despite earning a red card in the Portugal loss, 20-year-old Manchester United striker and national talisman Wayne Rooney is 66/1 to assume the captaincy along with fellow striker Michael Owen and defensive stalwart Rio Ferdinand. Meanwhile, national team goalie Paul Robinson has been installed at 90/1 with Joe Cole, Ashley Cole, Peter Crouch, Aaron Lennon and Jamie Carragher all listed as 100/1 long shots. Having never played a Premiership match and appearing in only one international game, 17-year-old Theo Walcott has been listed with the longest odds at 250/1 to become the next captain of the National Team.

For a complete list of odds, please visit Pinnacle Sportsbook.

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CaptainU: Winning an Athletic Scholarship

CaptainU: Winning an Athletic Scholarship

Today I’m featuring a guest blogger, Avi Stopper, who I met last week at the convention of the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Stopper is the creator of an interesting athletic scholarship web site called CaptainU. This young entrepreneur was the captain of Wesleyan College’s soccer team and he coached at the University of Chicago while he was earning an MBA there.

I’ll post my own thoughts about college athletics later today. But for now, here is Stopper’s post….

If college sports recruiting had a motto, it would be this: “What the [insert expletive of choice] am I supposed to be doing?”

It’s a perfectly reasonable question to ask. Most athletes and their parents have never been through the process. Or maybe they bumped and scraped their way through it with an older sibling. The pressure mounts as they realize each player only has one chance to get it right.

The response to the question above is an emphatic, “Don’t leave it to chance!” The odds don’t work in your favor. At least five competitive youth players are vying for each college roster spot. You can roll the dice and hope the right coaches contact you, or you can grab the bull by the horns and make recruiting work in your favor.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t require that much effort. A couple of hours a week is all it takes to do a really good job. Which brings us back to the original question of what on earth you should actually do.

Let’s focus on high school juniors for the moment. By the winter of your junior year, you should be recruiting in earnest. (This strategy can also be applied to elite sophomores or seniors who haven’t nailed down a spot. Just expand or abbreviate the timeframe.)

The first thing is to sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and take a deep breath. Don’t panic; everything is going to be OK. Pull out a 2008 calendar and map out your strategy. Here are the most important activities to put on the calendar.

Build a list of schools — Find five to 10 colleges that have the right blend of academics, social life, and soccer. To build this list, schedule an appointment with your college counselor, talk with your friends and family, ask your soccer coaches what they think, and use college selection resources on the web such as Campus Explorer.

1. Initiate contact — Introduce yourself to the coaches at the colleges you identified. Start with a soccer resume that contains your club and high school soccer info, academic info, and pictures.

2. Convince them that you’re serious — Communicate with each coach at least once a month. Update them on your latest exploits and let them know that you’re really interested in playing for them. Don’t fret, you aren’t bothering them. In fact, you’re making their job easier.

3. Get seen — Let the coaches know where you’re going to be playing. If they’re going to the same tournaments and you’ve convinced them that you’re serious about playing for them, they’ll probably make an effort to see you play. If your tournament plans don’t overlap, go to one of their summer camps, which are a great way to get a ton of exposure.

4. Have the tough conversations — Once a coach has seen you play, ask for his honest opinion. Is there a place for you on his team? You may not always get the response you’re hoping for, but at least it allows you to narrow your focus to the teams that are interested in you.

If you want recruiting to work in your favor, it takes a little effort. Fortunately, the emphasis is on “little.” A small time investment to get organized, put together a strategy, and actually follow it will go a long way.

You can learn more about Lynn O’Shaughnessy’s new book at her web site, The College Solution.

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Tweet) Thiago Silva Denies Knowledge of Neymar Becoming Captain, Sportsbook blog - Sports Book Guide

(Tweet) Thiago Silva Denies Knowledge of Neymar Becoming Captain

November 11, 2014 Category: Uncategorized

Dunga confirmed last month that Barcelona wonderkid Neymar would replace PSG’s Thiago Silva as the national team’s new captain.

The move raised a few eyebrows – Neymar is not known for his on-pitch leadership or vocal approach to a game, while Thiago Silva is a swashbuckling centre-back who has “been there, done it”.

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Most assumed the decision was based more on marketing reasons than footballing reasons. To add further fuel to the fire, previous captain Thiago Silva has today claimed he knew nothing of the change:

Thiago: “Neymar becoming captain? I was out for a long time, I’m not aware what happened. I can’t comment before speaking with the staff.”

— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) November 10, 2014

Though he denied it would affect their friendship:

Thiago Silva: “Neymar is my great friend and nothing can break our friendship, definitely not an armband.”

— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStats) November 10, 2014

Top 10 Weirdest Squad Numbers Featuring New £20m Liverpool Signing Markovic And Former Arsenal Captain, Sportsbook blog - Sports Book Guide

Top 10 Weirdest Squad Numbers Featuring New £20m Liverpool Signing Markovic And Former Arsenal Captain

July 15, 2014 Category: Uncategorized

The strangest squad numbers chosen by players.

Liverpool are on the verge of completing their fourth signing of the summer in the shape of £20m Benfica attacking midfielder Lazar Markovic.

As highly rated as the 20-year-old is the arrival of the Serbian at Anfield will have one odd accompaniment – his squad number.

Markovic’s number of choice on his back is 50, but that is not the weirdest choice ever as shown by this top 10.

10. Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid – No.5

Although the great Frenchman generally preferred to wear No.10, upon completing his then world record £47m transfer to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in 2001 that was already taken by another ‘Galatico’ Luis Figo.

The story goes that the available numbers were presented to Zidane and he picked the No.5 at random.

When signing for Milan in 2008 the former FC Barcelona superstar was also keen to wear the No.10, but like Zidane, found it was already taken – this time by Clarence Seedorf.

The Serie A giants said it was disrespectful to ask another player to give up their number and in an unconventional decision Ronaldinho chose 80 – as he was born in 1980.

Another who wore No.5 now although this time it is perhaps a little stranger that a striker donned the number traditionally worn by a centre-back.

The shirt had been previously worn by Steve Staunton at Anfield, but was handed to Baros upon his signing for the Reds in 2001.

Having previously fallen out with Chelsea over the fact his No.13 shirt was given to Michael Ballack upon signing for the Blues, Gallas then took a iconic number in North London.

Wearing No.10 was an idea of manager Arsene Wenger, who felt it would have been unfair for a striker to wear the shirt that had just been vacated by the legendary Dennis Bergkamp.

Less to do with his preferred number not being available, this forward prefers to wear the No.3 despite the fact it is usually reserved for a defender.

In fact at the recent 2014 World Cup in Brazil not only did Gyan have the No.3 on his back, but also dyed on the right side of his head.

There are not many numbers in football more iconic than the No.9, donned by some of the best strikers the game has ever seen.

Yet upon signing for the West Londoners in 2006, Dutch defender Boulahrouz was given the shirt – despite the fact the No.2 was free.

A little like his fellow striker Gyan, this is a preferred choice of the Ivory Coast international as opposed to a strange decision thrust upon him.

At both Levante and later at Wigan Athletic, Kone wore the No.2 as he simply liked it – although now at Everton he has the more traditional No.9.

Such a lover of the No.9 as the Brazil legend was that upon his (second) arrival at the San Siro he simply had to have something associated with it.

At the time Filippo Inzaghi had the jersey so instead the forward opted for No.99 – despite jokers claiming it was because of his love of ice-cream.

In 2000 goalkeeper Buffon somewhat bizarrely decided to change from No.1 to No.88 because it looked like four balls and Italian players need balls to succeed.

As stupid as this sounds the current Italy captain then went onto claim he initially wanted No.00, but that was not allowed. Funnily enough.

Yet the weirdest squad number has to go to a player who was in fact ousted from his usual spot at No.9 by another player in this list in 1997 – Ronaldo.

Unlike their city rivals Milan, Inter were perfectly happy to take the shirt away from Zamarano and as a result the Chilean had 1+8, which of course equals nine. This was allowed and Buffon’s was not.

SEE ALSO: Most expensive Premier League transfers ever.

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