Potential ElClasico debutants

ElClasico is the game with the most and the best stars ever in football history. Both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona reinforced their squads over the summer, and up to six new players may well make their debuts in the legendary ElClasico

From their very first kick of a ball, every professional footballer dreams of playing in the biggest matches. There’s no doubt that the LaLiga Santander ElClasico is one of those, and one which all lovers of the beautiful game eagerly anticipate. Throughout history, some of the best players of all time have had the opportunity to represent FC Barcelona, Real Madrid – or both – in a match that never ceases to excite and compel.

Both Los Merengues and Los Cules made signings in the summer, and on October 24 several of them will have the opportunity and the honour of being able to make their ElClasico debuts. Up to six players could make their debut:

Memphis Depay:

The Dutch star came to LaLiga Santander with the intention of making his mark at Barcelona. He’d always dreamt of representing the club and soon he’ll get the chance to shine in ElClasico. The 27-year-old has hit the ground running and is one of the league’s most in-form attackers. He’s known for his exceptional talent, goalscoring ability, assist providing, plus the ability to conjure something out of thin air. There’s no doubt that FC Barcelona’s acquisition of Memphis could be decisive in what will be a showstopping afternoon at the Camp Nou, at 4:15PM on October 24.

Eric García:

Eric Garcia is a Barcelona boy through and through. The young centre-back from Martorell came through the club’s academy where he did in fact play against Real Madrid. He impressed at every stage of his development, captaining every La Masia side he featured in. He re-joined Barcelona this summer after the club saw in him a player that not only already possessed great quality as a youngster but could go on to form the heart of the club’s defence for years to come. It seems more than likely that Garcia will be making his ElClasico bow this season.

Luuk De Jong:

Luuk De Jong was a last-minute acquisition by Barcelona, joining on loan following a successful stint at Sevilla FC. The Dutch striker has come in to bolster the Barça attack, and will be keen to be among the goals for his new club. But will he manage to make it onto the scoresheet in his LaLiga Santander ElClasico debut?

Sergio Aguero:

Sergio Aguero, one of the best strikers in the history of the game, signed for FC Barcelona this summer. The Argentine is back in LaLiga Santander, where he’d already shone with Atletico Madrid. Bad luck with injuries is about to end, so he may well get his first chance to impress for FC Barcelona on October 24 in ElClasico.

Eduardo Camavinga:

Youth, self-confidence, quality, and power are just some of the hallmarks of Eduardo Camavinga. Real Madrid signed the midfielder with the aim that after bedding into the side he would go on to be a fixture in Los Blancos’ midfield in the coming seasons. Despite his tender years, the 18-year-old has already made quite the impact at his new club. He not only scored on his first appearance but has regularly pulled fans onto the edge of their seats with his class. There’s no doubt that this ElClasico will be the first of many for Camavinga

David Alaba:

29-year-old David Alaba joined Real Madrid during the last transfer window. The versatile Austrian footballer is keen to bring his experiences in elite football to the heart of Los Blancos’ back four. His performances so far this season for Carlo Ancelotti’s men have been of considerable merit. The next LaLiga Santander ElClasico will be a very special occasion for Alaba, as he’ll likely be making his maiden bow in this iconic clash. He’s a top-drawer player who his team will need in this kind of game.

Don’t miss ElClasico on October 24 at 10:15pm on the usual broadcaster: BeINSports

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

Six key duels that could decide ElClasico

FC Barcelona and Real Madrid meet at Camp Nou this weekend (Sunday, 4.15pm CEST) in what is the most eagerly awaited club football clash in the world. Here are six direct match-ups which could well decide who takes home the points.

ElClasico is always such a tight contest and this weekend’s encounter could come down to a single individual battle on the chessboard that is the football pitch. Ahead of the meeting between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on Sunday, here comes a look at six duels that could prove decisive.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen vs Karim Benzema

Benzema is in terrific form and comes into ElClasico with nine goals from his eight LaLiga Santander appearances so far and after helping France to a Nations League triumph with his excellent performances in the Final Four. Real Madrid’s main man in attack appears to be unstoppable, but ter Stegen has managed to keep Benzema at bay over the years. In fact, the Frenchman has scored just twice across the 1,075 minutes they’ve shared on the pitch in previous ElClásico meetings. The number nine scored in their last encounter, however, in Los Blancos’ 2-1 win at Valdebebas last campaign.

Vinícius Jr vs Gerard Piqué

Benzema might be the primary goal scorer in this Real Madrid squad, but the player who seems to creates out of nothing is Vinícius and he’ll look to use his pace and trickery to get the better of Gerard Piqué. The Brazilian and the Spaniard are at opposite ends of their careers, so we’ll see youthful confidence going up against veteran experience and this could be key to the game’s outcome.

Frenkie de Jong vs Casemiro

As is so often the case in football, the key battles could be in the midfield – and keep a particular eye on the individual duel between Frenkie de Jong and Casemiro. These two players bring the energy to their respective midfields and are capable of playing their best football on the biggest occasions. Key to protecting their defences at the same time as getting forward to contribute to attack, de Jong and Casemiro are undoubtedly two of this fixture’s most important players.

Gavi vs Eduardo Camavinga

We might witness a glimpse into the future during this October’s ElClasico, with 17-year-old Gavi and 18-year-old Camavinga likely to earn some minutes at the Camp Nou. Both these players have caught the eye to start the 2021/22 campaign, with Gavi making an impact after emerging through Barça’s La Masia academy and with Camavinga hitting the ground running at Real Madrid following his summer transfer from Rennes. If these two players do feature in this game, perhaps off the bench, then they’ll likely occupy the same area of the pitch and their fresh legs in the final stages could prove decisive.

Ansu Fati vs David Alaba

There is great excitement at Barcelona at Ansu Fati’s comeback, after he returned from a 10-month injury layoff by scoring a goal against Levante on his first match back. The 18-year-old has inherited Lionel Messi’s iconic number ten shirt at Camp Nou and will be looking to score against Real Madrid, just as he did in this same fixture last year before his knee injury. Out to prevent the teenager from repeating last year’s trick is summer signing David Alaba, the experienced centre-back who has seamlessly slotted into Real Madrid’s back line. While Los Blancos’ defence has been leakier than Carlo Ancelotti would like, that’s not Alaba’s fault and the Austrian will be determined to earn a clean sheet in his first ElClasico.

Memphis Depay vs Thibaut Courtois

While ter Stegen vs Benzema is a duel we’ve enjoyed many times before, the upcoming battle between Thibaut Courtois and Memphis is a relatively novel one. They have only shared the pitch for 17 minutes in their careers, back in 2015/16 when they both played in English football, so this should be a special face-off between the goalkeeper and the forward at Camp Nou. Both players have started 2021/22 in good form and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the result of this ElClasico comes down to a one-on-one chance between the Dutchman and Belgian.

Watch ElClasico this Sunday at 10:15pm on BeINSports.

Tagged : / / / /

ElClasico set to showcase some of the brightest young talent in world football

FC Barcelona face Real Madrid this Sunday (4.15pm CEST) in a clash which pits together some of the most exciting rising stars in football today. Here’s a look at some of the best talent to keep an eye on.

LaLiga Santander leads the way with more nominees for the 2021 Golden Boy than any other league, with Pedri, Gavi, Camavinga and Rodrygo all nominated alongside Villarreal’s mercurial 19-year-old Yeremi Pino.

There is something special about the Barcelona and Real Madrid squads this season: both clubs have many young talents earning serious minutes. Both are inside the top six when looking at the LaLiga Santander teams with the youngest average ages, demonstrating that Ronald Koeman and Carlo Ancelotti are both placing their trust in rising stars. Here’s a look at the up-and-coming talents at Barcelona and at Real Madrid in each position.  

In goals: Lunin and Peña have talent even if they lack minutes

In Marc-André ter Stegen and Thibaut Courtois, Barcelona and Real Madrid have two of the best goalkeepers in the world. That means it is incredibly difficult for up-and-coming shot-stoppers like Iñaki Peña and Andriy Lunin to earn minutes. Yet these young goalkeepers have impressed in training and with their national teams, with Peña having been involved at all youth levels for Spain and even making the senior team’s bench for one friendly, while Lunin has featured for Ukraine’s senior side on six occasions.

In defence: Both clubs already have their centre-backs of the future

Finding world-class centre-backs is one of the most difficult tasks in football, but both Barcelona and Real Madrid have young central defenders they believe in. Éder Militão’s excellent end to last season convinced Real Madrid that the 23-year-old Brazilian is already capable of leading their back line and he has started 2021/22 on the front foot too. Over in Barcelona, Koeman has been rotating between two young centre-backs to start the campaign as 20-year-old Eric García and 22-year-old Ronald Araújo have each shown promise.

Also in defence, there is excitement at both clubs over the promising young left-backs to have come through their respective academies. At Real Madrid, 20-year-old Miguel Gutiérrez has already earned 10 appearances for the first team after catching Zinedine Zidane’s eye and then earning further opportunities with Carlo Ancelotti. Barcelona, meanwhile, have high hopes for Alejandro Balde, the 17-year-old who sadly saw his first senior start end prematurely because of an injury. In 20-year-old Sergiño Dest, Barcelona also have a quality right-back to be excited about.

In midfield: The future has arrived with Valverde, Pedri, Camavinga and Gavi

The centre of the pitch is so important and both Barcelona and Real Madrid already have young midfielders who can lead their sides for many years to come. Nobody has made more appearances for Real Madrid so far this term than Fede Valverde, just like nobody had more appearances at Barcelona last year than Pedri’s 52. What was incredible about Pedri last season was that the 18-year-old had never before played at LaLiga Santander level, yet he immediately became one of the most important players for Barça and then for the Spanish national team.

This year, the Pedri story is being replicated with Gavi, who has emerged from Barcelona’s La Masia academy and then slotted in seamlessly to the Spain squad, even becoming La Roja’s youngest ever player during the Nations League Final Four at the age of 17 and 62 days. Eduardo Camavinga has been just as impressive at Real Madrid, scoring and assisting across his first few appearances following his move from Rennes.

So impressive have the performances of these young stars been that Pedri, Camavinga and Gavi are among LaLiga’s five nominees for this year’s Golden Boy award, given to the best U21 player in European football.

With other young talents earning minutes too, such as Nico, Riqui Puig and Antonio Blanco, it’s clear that Barcelona and Real Madrid have young talent in midfield, players who’ll dominate in the future but who are already impressing in the present.

In attack: Ansu Fati vs Vinícius could be the great individual battle of the next decade

In Ansu Fati and in Vinícius, Barcelona and Real Madrid each have a talented young forward who could go on to become one of the world’s very best. The Spain and Brazil internationals have burst onto the scene in LaLiga Santander and have already demonstrated that they deserve to be starting up front for these two prestigious clubs. With Ansu Fati still just 18 and with Vinícius only 21, both players have room for growth and the latter is showing that this season by already scoring five LaLiga Santander goals, surpassing last season’s tally. Ansu Fati, meanwhile, has just returned from a long-term injury and will be looking to rediscover the form he showed when he shocked the world as a 16-year-old.

As well as those two blue-chip forwards, there are other young attackers at Barcelona and Real Madrid who also have the potential to leave their mark on the game. From Yusuf Demir to Rodrygo – another 2021 Golden Boy nominee –, Barcelona and Real Madrid have as many rising stars in attack as they do in every other position.

Watch ElClasico live this Sunday at 10:15pm on BeINSports

Tagged : / / / /






美国畅销书作家Fawn Weaver,因为一段少为人知的历史、因为想捍卫非裔美国人曾经的贡献,原本想把这段事迹写成一本书或拍成一部电影,最后却成功创建了Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey,成为唯一非裔美国人拥有和创建的烈酒品牌。



但翻开威士忌的历史,这行业从来都是由白人男性所主导,比如知名品牌Jack Daniel’s、Jim Beam、Johnnie Walker等等。

2016年某一天,Fawn Weaver在《纽约时报》阅读了一篇令她深感震撼的报导,文章是报导约150年以前,美国田纳西州(Tennessee)的 林奇堡(Lynchburg),一位具有天赋的年轻人Jack Daniel,在一间威士忌酿造厂工作。Jack Daniel在非裔酿造师父Nearest Green的引导下,成就了后来闻名全球的Jack Daniel’s威士忌品牌。

报导中的一张照片,更是撼动了Fawn Weaver的心灵,照片里Jack Daniel与他的酿酒团队皆为白人,而坐在Jack Daniel旁的Nearest Green是唯一的非裔,并且是整支团队中的最关键人物之一。

人人都称他为“Uncle Nearest”的Nearest Green,是一位前黑奴,他的故事让同为非裔的Fawn Weaver感到遗憾、甚至愤愤不平,为何一位非裔酿造师父对美国威士忌发展史未被世人所知?


 Nearest Green这件事,一直留在Fawn Weaver心中,久久未能褪去,于是跟丈夫Keith Weaver商量以后,两人决定到林奇堡跑一趟。从洛杉矶飞往林奇堡的途中,她是抱着可能出版成一本书、或者拍成一部电影的心态,去深入发掘这段历史。

抵达林奇堡后,Fawn Weaver见到了Jack Daniel与Nearest Green的后代们,了解更多关于两人的事迹。她也到了当年两人工作的酿造厂参观,于是心中一股使命感在呼唤她,决意要捍卫这段历史继续流传并发扬光大。

就在这么灵机一动下,她决定买下这片面积300英亩的庄园!世事往往难料,就这样“Uncle Nearest”的精神后来并没记录在书中或电影中,而是把这段美好的故事收纳在威士忌瓶子中,成为美国独立及小众的威士忌品牌。显得孤军作战的Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey,如何让好酒之人看上、尝上并爱上?

尽管Fawn Weaver也是威士忌的爱好者,但是对酿酒业完全零知识。她不但是一位女性,还是一位非裔女性,要对美国威士忌领域里的白人男性下战书,接下来面对的对手,还是国际5大酒商集团,到底她是哪来的自信与底气?!

她出资100万美元,怀着伟大的抱负,踏上酿酒业这条路。勇气可嘉是一回事,但途上布满地雷又是另一回事。从说服投资者、跟竞争对手谈判注册商标权利,及向分销商争取让Uncle Nearest的酒瓶上架……都是挑战重重。

Fawn Weaver本来的想法是酿造500瓶的纪念限量版威士忌,但天真的她并不晓得烈酒市场的潜规则,一个品牌想把自己的酒瓶上架,必定要经过分销商渠道。

对分销商来说,想让产品成功上架,像Uncle Nearest这样的独立酒商必须证明两件事,即拥有充足货源及足够资本为产品做营销宣传。于是“500瓶纪念限量版威士忌”的点子马上就被否定,因为分销商根本不会让一个没有后续货源的酒瓶上架。


2017年, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey正式推出市场,Fawn Weaver马上迎来第二个重大挑战,与Jack Daniel’s的商标法律问题。

尽管Nearest Green是Jack Daniel导师的身份受认同,但对Jack Daniel’s的商标拥有人Brown–Forman Corporation而言,Nearest Green是Jack Daniel’s品牌故事中的其中一部份。

Fawn Weaver却认为,Uncle Nearest的故事是一个独立完整的故事。因为Nearest Green代表着非裔酿造师的付出,而且可能尚有更多像Nearest Green这样不知名非裔酿造师,被历史所淹没而未被人们所发现。

两个对美国波本威士忌发展史都有其传承价值的品牌故事,如何不互相抵触,成为了后发者Fawn Weaver要解决的问题。

重点在于,宣扬Uncle Nearest的传承,并不代表要打压Jack Daniel’s的传承,这是Fawn Weaver非常明确的理念。如何平衡及透明化地处理,非常考验她的睿智,事实上她是乐见两个品牌都可以继续发挥光大下去,甚至庆幸在冥冥中自己是被选中来执行这项使命的幸运儿。

30%人口 掌控100%市场

为了抢攻更多市场,Uncle Nearest的销售团队都说得一口很好的品牌故事,比如直接了当问客户:在你吧台架上的威士忌或波本威士忌,有哪一瓶是非白人男性所拥有的品牌?

占美国人口30%的白人男性,却100%掌控了威士忌市场。Uncle Nearest品牌的出现,让消费者有所觉醒,当他们啜下的一口威士忌,喝的是酒,品的却是一种传承精神。

Nearest Green是第一个为人所知的非裔酿造师,应该与行尊如Jack Daniel’s、Jim Beam、Johnnie Walker齐名。

除了品牌故事很动人,市面上威士忌品牌至少40至50个,因此Fawn Weaver也明白,要让消费者选择这个品牌,还需要其他推广的加持。于是Uncle Nearest几乎参加完全部威士忌竞赛,并在16次参赛中高达13次赢得奖项。

得奖光环博得媒体免费宣传的同时,Uncle Nearest也砸出百万资金大肆宣传,随着询问度提高,需求也增加,同时也出现缺货的情况。当越来越多消费者无法在市面上买到这瓶富有历史色彩威士忌的时候,好奇心会驱使人们去谷歌搜索,Uncle Nearest的故事更因而让更多人所知晓。

2020年,Uncle Nearest的销售业绩迎来大丰收,截至2021年3月,该品牌累计售出150万瓶酒,事实上该公司已经连续11 个季度取得3位数成长。该公司早前筹得6000万美元,并斥资5000万美元,正如火如荼建造酿造厂。


从成立至今才短短5年时间,Uncle Nearest成为美国增长最迅速的威士忌品牌之一,并且还在成长中,未来还可以销售15、16酒龄的威士忌,可争取更多市场份额。

如Fawn Weaver所说,Uncle Nearest本该在百多年前就出现,而那“被偷走的160年”,是这个品牌必须被传承下去的价值。就像于1910年逝世的Jack Daniel,时至今日仍被人所谈论,所以她同样希望,在150年以后,仍有人知道Nearest Green的故事。

执念可以摧毁一个人,但Fawn Weaver却用这股力量来创建了一个品牌,让Nearest Green对酿酒业的贡献精神在150年以后重生,且收藏在一个酒瓶中于全球发行。


威士忌是一种由大麦等谷物酿制,在橡木桶中陈酿多年后,调配成约43度的烈性蒸馏酒。 按照产地,威士忌可分为苏格兰威士忌、爱尔兰威士忌、美国威士忌和加拿大威士忌四大类。


而美国的田纳西州威士忌(Tennessee Whiskey)的特色,是调配51度的烈性蒸馏酒,波本威士忌可以在美国任何一个地方生产,但田纳西州威士忌就只能在田纳西州酿造。除了本文提及的Uncle Nearest 与Jack Daniel’s,其他田纳西州威士忌品牌还包括George Dickel、Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey、Heaven’s Door Straight Tennessee Bourbon、Corsair Ryemageddon Whiskey、Collier and McKeel Tennessee Whiskey等。

Fawn Weaver教会我们的事:

  1. 打破天花板:翻开Fawn Weaver的成长史,她在十多岁即离家,18岁就开始创业,曾经在公关业、餐饮业及酒店业发展过,后来成为畅销书作者,是果敢、独立的新女性。当得知Uncle Nearest的故事以后,她勇于打破天花板,在完全没有酿酒经验背景下,闯入白人男性主导的威士忌领域,与国际5大酒商竞争,这种气魄只有铁娘子才有!
  2. 品牌的故事:当我们说品牌要有灵魂、要有故事,但可否想过这个品牌的故事感动了多少消费人?又为他们带来了什么附加价值?影响了他们什么?这些都是企业家们需要去思考的功课。

依斯迈沙比里政府在犯双重标准? #zh

引自 林吉祥







LaLiga Grassroots is here, a bid by LaLiga to support and promote grassroots football around the world

LaLiga Grassroots will take LaLiga’s sports and academic methodology to a new level in order to further strive for sporting excellence in bringing through young players and training coaches both nationally and internationally.

A web platform has been launched with detailed information on this new initiative, through which interested parties will also be able to access the pre-registration process for the sports programmes set to begin in the summer of 2022 at the ESC Madrid Center.

Madrid, October 14, 2021. – LaLiga has announced the launch of LaLiga Grassroots, in its bid to further advance and improve its bespoke sports and training projects as well as the promotion of LaLiga’s know-how and methodology. This initiative is part of a series of international sports projects that LaLiga has been running since 2015 across multiple markets, and its most salient new feature is this series of programmes which will take place in Spain. These will mainly be held at the ESC Madrid Center, a state-of-the-art, world-beating sports complex.

“LaLiga Grassroots was conceived as a new specialised unit conceived by the Sports Projects team and the International Business and Development team,” explains Juan Florit, head of LaLiga Sports Projects and who will be in charge of the technical and sports side of LaLiga Grassroots. “Our activities will mainly focus on the holistic development of young players, international training programmes for professionals in the sector, and projects to promote and support LaLiga clubs when it comes to their academies and running international tournaments.”

This new project represents a further step in LaLiga’s creation and execution of sports projects, an area through which it has enjoyed great success over the last six seasons. This includes finding positions for nearly 750 Spanish coaches, as well as providing training for more than 20,000 coaches and 175,000 players in the more than 400 projects carried out across 38 countries.

“The work we’ve carried out over the years in training players and coaches internationally has taken things to the next level, not only for those who have worked with LaLiga, but also for the league itself and its clubs,” says Javier Hernandez, Head of Business and International development for the project. “We’re convinced that now, with the creation of LaLiga Grassroots and the new programmes that we’ll be running at the ESC Madrid Center, we’ll be able to create better opportunities for everyone.”

Two big programmes and unique, world-class facilities

LaLiga Grassroots offers a variety of programmes which focus on improving players’ abilities through channelling the power of sport as an educational tool to promote their all-round development. Within the Grassroots project, there are two long-term programmes aimed at young people from all over the world set to take place in Spain and which are the most notable:

LaLiga Talents and LaLiga Academy.

These programmes are aimed at male and female players between the ages of 12 and 18 years and are oriented towards giving these athletes an all-round training experience, taking care of and supporting their personal development both on and off the pitch. The main difference between both programmes is that LaLiga Talents is centred around players who already work in a high-performance training environment, with the aim of helping them develop and get the most out of their talent to reach the best level attainable, while LaLiga Academy focuses on improving and optimising the abilities of players who want to experience a unique sports and educational programme curated by LaLiga.

There will be short-term and long-term activities included in these programmes such as LaLiga Camps and high-performance training camps for teams, mixed groups and international players. These aim to improve both preparation and development on an individual and collective level.

All programmes in Spain will take place at the ESC Madrid Center, a state-of-the-art complex that will open its doors in the summer of 2022.

The centre has an on-site 400-capacity residence with 24-hour security, an international school equipped with an auditorium, library, laboratory, clinic, as well as several game, rest and study rooms. Likewise, the complex houses two state-of-the-art football pitches and various training areas, an NBA court, gym and a swimming pool. Overall, this makes the centre the ideal place to achieve the synergy between sports training and academic education that LaLiga Grassroots projects seek to achieve.

These facilities will be available to all LaLiga clubs wishing to run training programmes, carry out brand internationalisation projects or have other needs, and they will also have the LaLiga Academy Manager software, created by LaLiga in order to optimise the management and daily operation of academies.

Registration for all these programmes, as well as additional information about them, is now available on the website https://www.laligagrassroots.com/en

Tagged : / /

A high-voltage clash in LaLiga Santander gets the engines running for ElClasico

FC Barcelona will this weekend host Valencia CF in a Camp Nou stadium with 100% permitted capacity for the first time since March 2020.

With Jose Bordalas at the helm, ‘Los Che’ come into the encounter ahead of Barcelona in the table and with some of the brightest young talents in Spanish football.

LaLiga Santander is back with a bang after the international break, with a very tasty clash set to round off the weekend at the Camp Nou. FC Barcelona host Valencia at 9pm CEST on Sunday in what has become one of LaLiga’s most high-profile rivalries over the past two decades – in particular since the late 1990s, when Valencia lived a golden era of LaLiga and European titles and every match against Barcelona seemed to throw up goal fest after goal fest.

These high-scoring encounters have returned in recent years, as have a score of incredibly memorable matches. The 2019 Copa del Rey final saw Valencia upset Lionel Messi’s Barcelona 2-1 in Seville against all the odds, while their last four meetings in LaLiga Santander have seen an average of 4.5 goals per game (5-2, 2-0, 2-2, 3-2).

No less is expected of this Sunday’s encounter; in fact, even more is anticipated. Valencia CF are a different side from that which has struggled over the past couple of seasons – since that 2019 Copa del Rey final, to be exact.

This season, with new coach Jose Bordalas at the helm, Los Che have quickly proven themselves to be a solid, reliable, effective, and exciting side. They’ve recovered the essence of what made Valencia sides so thrilling over the years, and head to Camp Nou one spot ahead of Barcelona in the standings. In fact, they even rose as high as joint leaders six matches into the season, before dropping points in two tough, consecutive games against Real Madrid and Sevilla FC.

Jose Gaya and Carlos Soler, two of Valencia’s most important players, are back for this weekend’s match, though they’ll be without Paraguayan centre-back Omar Alderete through suspension, whose place will most likely be taken by Mouctar Diakhaby. Regardless, Bordalas should be delighted with the performances of his team so far this season, and especially so with those of Jasper Cillessen – who returns to the Camp Nou two years after his move to Mestalla – Hugo Guillamon, playing further forward in midfield, the exciting young American winger Yunus Musah, and Gonçalo Guedes, who looks to be back to his thrilling best.

Up the coast in Barcelona, coach Ronald Koeman is set to face his former side with renewed spirits. His side were outclassed last time out at Atletico de Madrid (2-0), but with a number of players now recovered from injury this Barcelona side looks to be a different proposition. Ansu Fati is likely ready to start and has already shown himself to be match sharp with a tremendous solo goal against Levante UD after almost a full calendar year out with injury. Sergio Agüero, meanwhile, could be in line to make his debut for the club, while Ousmane Dembele is also reaching the end of his return from injury. Koeman lost Uruguayan centre-back Ronald Araujo to injury this international break, but both Memphis and teenage sensation Gavi return with their spirits in the sky after strong showings with the Netherlands and Spain, respectively.

Just a glance at the players to watch in Barcelona vs Valencia this weekend demonstrates why this is one of the most important matches in world football when it comes to young talent. Both sides boast one of the most prolific and impressive youth academies in European football, and the list of young rising stars set to be on show at Camp Nou is astounding: Ansu Fati, Gavi, de Jong, Dest, Yusuf Demir, Riqui Puig, Nico Gonzalez, Carlos Soler, Guillamón, Yunus Musah, Racic, Guedes and Hugo Duro… Factor in those likely to miss the match – Pedri, perhaps the brightest young star in world football right now, Dembele, Eric Garcia, Araujo – and it’s clear that these two sides are absolutely ‘can’t miss’ for football lovers around the globe looking to catch an eye on the stars of the future.

What’s more, this weekend will see Camp Nou open its doors to a 100% capacity crowd for the first time since March 2020, thanks to the recent decision by the regional Catalan authorities to remove all restrictions on outdoor arenas. It’s an ideal starting point ahead of next weekend’s ElClasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the biggest stadium in Europe. But all eyes will be on this weekend first, though; FC Barcelona vs Valencia CF has all the ingredients to be one of the best matches of the season so far. You won’t want to miss it.

Watch FC Barcelona vs Valencia CF this Sunday on BeINSports

Tagged : / / /

LaLiga Santander Matchday 9 preview: Koeman set to face his former club as FC Barcelona host Valencia CF

LaLiga Santander is back following the international break this weekend with eight fixtures taking place over the course of Saturday, Sunday and Monday. One fixture jumps off the schedule: FC Barcelona hosting Valencia CF at the Camp Nou on Sunday night, a can’t-miss match for many, many reasons.

Before that, though, the action starts with a fascinating fixture between two clubs who changed their coach during the international pause. Levante UD, who replaced Paco López with Javier Pereira, will face Getafe CF, who have welcomed back Quique Sánchez Flores to take over from Míchel. Logically, both of the new coaches will be hoping to start on the front foot and to lead their struggling clubs out of the relegation zone as soon as possible. This Saturday evening match should therefore be an engrossing affair.

There is one other match on Saturday night, with Real Sociedad hosting RCD Mallorca with the chance for the Basque side to go top of the LaLiga Santander table. La Real are currently level on points at the top with Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, neither of whom will play this weekend and whose matches were postponed due to the late return of some of their South American players, meaning that the Txuri Urdin have a unique opportunity in front of them.

Four of the Matchday 9 fixtures will take place on Sunday, starting with lunchtime kick-off Rayo Vallecano vs Elche CF. For many analysts, these two clubs were among the favourites for relegation ahead of the season, but they have both proved the doubters wrong with excellent starts to the campaign. Rayo Vallecano, in particular, have started phenomenally and, led by star signing Radamel Falcao, have propelled themselves into the European positions.

Two other teams with European qualification aspirations meet next, with RC Celta welcoming Sevilla FC to Spain’s north-western coast. The Andalusians suffered their first loss of the 2021/22 campaign just before the October international break, so will be looking to scratch that itch when they meet Iago Aspas and co.

Villarreal CF host CA Osasuna on Sunday evening, with the visitors having started the season really well by taking 14 points from their first eight matches. Villarreal, meanwhile, are the only undefeated team left in LaLiga Santander, but they have only won two of their seven fixtures, drawing the other five. Having made a new signing during the October pause, acquiring free agent Serge Aurier, the Yellow Submarine will be hoping for a boost and another victory for the win column.

At 9pm CEST on Sunday night, it’s blockbuster time: FC Barcelona vs Valencia CF at the Camp Nou. For under-pressure Blaugrana coach Ronald Koeman, this meeting with his former club is massive and he’ll hope for a better result than the 2-2 draw these two sides played out last season. Valencia have improved leaps and bounds since then and their new coach José Bordalás even beat Koeman’s Barça side last campaign, when in charge of Getafe, so this won’t be easy for the Catalan side. Over the past six meetings between these historic foes, there have been two wins each and two draws, throwing up an average of 4.5 goals per game, so anything could happen on Sunday night.

On Monday, there are two more fixtures. The first pits together D. Alavés and Real Betis; home team remain inside the relegation zone but they did win their last match at Mendizorrotza against champions Atlético Madrid in impressive fashion. Against the Verdiblancos, they’ll be hoping for another big scalp.

Next up is a historic match. RCD Espanyol and Cádiz CF haven’t faced each other in league play since 2006, but will finally do so again on Monday night. Having always been in different divisions since then, this is far from a common fixture and it’ll be special when these two sides from opposite ends of Spain take to the same pitch to conclude this weekend’s action.  

Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on BeINSports

Tagged : / /

SoulCycle – 从1间工作室到9亿美元的大集团


题:SoulCycle 从1间工作室到9亿美元大集团


说的就是美国高级动感飞轮健身房SoulCycle的两位创办人 Julie Rice及Elizabeth Cutler。创业初期,她俩都初为人母,家有年幼小孩,还双双被老公看贬一定会失败。


  ■Elizabeth Cutler(左)与Julie Rice。



创业点子 被人泼尽冷水



■Elizabeth Cutler




■ Julie Rice

一次,在共同友人Ruth Zukerman的介绍下,Julie及Elizabeth一见如故,并且在一顿午饭后,就确认两人的理念一致,会是很合拍的伙伴。就像Julie描述的,从只有自己肯定自己,到两人认识之后的互相肯定,造就了她们一起开创让人体验健康、快乐与美好的事业。


与其贩卖恐慌 更应该制造快乐







教练兼心灵老师 托起品牌


与其他健身中心不一样的是,SoulCycle里的教练都是全职员工,受过专业训练 ,学习如何平复心绪和提高音乐鉴赏能力。SoulCycle的教练也获得良好的待遇,因为在这里健身教练不仅仅是一位教练,更是学员的心灵老师。


定价 有自信就有底气




如Elizabeth所说,当人们愿意掏出钱来付费的时候,他们才会更珍惜, 服务才会变得更有价值。



讲起贵宾,SoulCycle也成功吸引球星David Beckham、奧斯卡影后Charlize Theron及歌坛天后Lady Gaga等人成为铁杆粉丝。名人效应推动SoulCycle成为美国人气最高的高端动感单车健身连锁品牌。

推出周边产品 多元化收入





到了2011年,SoulCycle获得高端健身俱乐部品牌运营公司Equinox Fitness献议,收购大部份股权。Julie及Elizabeth形容,Equinox Fitness的收购及参与,让SoulCycle的扩张步伐加速,分行从首6年的仅仅2家,在之后2年内迅速增加至36家。



从一间工作室发展到9亿美元估值的健身集团,Julie及Elizabeth一路走来的创业经历启发不少人,尤其是女性企业家。两人在2013年和 2014年,连续两度获高盛集团评选为“100位建设者+创新者 ”(Goldman Sachs’ 100 Builders + Innovators),同时也在2015年获美国《快公司》杂志评选为年度最具创意商人。

2016年,两人把股权悉数脱售给Equinox Fitness并完全退出SoulCycle,每人套现9000万美元。




  1. 门外汉也可以创业:虽然并非认证教练或运动医学专业出身,但凭着积累多年身为用户的体验,Julie及Elizabeth非常更明白健身爱好者要什么、痛点在哪里。乱拳打死老师父,大概就是这个意思。
  2. 把品牌做到最极致:与其制造恐惧感跟压力,SoulCycle打造的是快乐与健康,让健身与灵魂连接,赢得用户拥戴与热爱,SoulCycle在消费者脑海中不再只是一个商业品牌,而是一种生活态度。

延伸战线多元化收入:除了源自学员付费的收入,Julie及Elizabeth开拓服饰产品,开创周边产品。Soul Cycle推动品牌商品的策略采用“限时限量”的商品模式,藉此来施加客户的购买压力,以及提高

马来西亚是否沦为恶棍当道、失败的国家? #zh

图片:Malay Mail

引自 林吉祥