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r/NFL Top 100 Players of the 2019 Season - #20-11

Welcome to the reveal for players ranked 20-11 for this year’s NFL Top 100 Players for the 2019 Season!

Players whose average rank had them land in places 20-11 are on this portion of the list revealed today. Players are associated with the team they finished 2019 with.
Below you will see write-ups from rankers summarizing the players' 2019 season and why they were among the best in 2019. Stats for each player are from this season and are included below. Additionally, their previous ranks in this long running series are also available for all of you.
Methodology
LINK TO THE HUB POST WITH A MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE METHODOLOGY
  1. A CALL FOR RANKERS just after the Super Bowl.
  2. Rankers for each team nominated players to rank. 10 Games Played Minimum Threshold. Players are associated with the team they finished the 2019 Season with.
  3. The Grind. Utilize ranking threads for individual rankers broken up by positional group. Users were tasked with ranking players within the following tiers based on their evaluation: T-25, T-50, T-100, T-125 based on 2019 regular season only. There were no individual case threads. There were no arbitrary position limit caps. Just questions and rankings.
  4. Users submitted their individual Top 125 list. Ranking out to 125 is new for this year.
  5. User lists were reviewed for outliers by me with assistance from two former rankers. Users were permitted to correct any mistakes found. Once complete, lists were locked.
  6. Reveal the list… right now.
So now, without further ado, here are the players ranked 20-11 in the NFL Top 100 Players of the 2019 Season!

#20 - Danielle Hunter - EDGE - Minnesota Vikings

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R 32
Written By: uggsandstarbux
Khalil Mack. Von Miller. JJ Watt. Those are the names that come up when you mention edge players in the NFL over the last half a decade. Yet none have as many sacks as Danielle Hunter in the last two years. Hunter is continually passed over in the conversation of edge rushers. Even among young edge rushers like the Bosa brothers, TJ Watt, Myles Garrett, and Bradley Chubb, Hunter is forgotten. He only received 4 All Pro votes from AP (of a possible 50). He failed to make PFF’s All Pro team. Is it because he wasn’t a 1st round pick? Is it because the Vikings defense was already dominant before his arrival?
Hunter has improved every year he’s gotten into the league (88 pressures this year vs 67 last year vs 55 in 2016). His first couple years in the league, he rotated in behind Everson Griffen and Brian Robinson. Yet he holds the record for most sacks before his 25th birthday and was one of only a handful of players in 2019 with double digit sacks and 15+ TFLs last season. He earned an 89.0 overall grade from PFF and forced 3 fumbles this year.
Beyond the numbers, Hunter is a unit. He came out of LSU as one of the more raw pass rushers in his draft. However, under the tutelage of the mighty Andre Patterson, Hunter has become one of the most athletic, versatile, technical, dominant edge defenders in the game. He can beat you with a pure bull rush, but he can also beat you with his speed and agility. He’s picked up Everson Griffen’s deadly spin move and has the motor to work through double teams. He can win with an inside move, or he can play pure 3T for an entire game (a la vs NO). He’s got a great understanding of the game and is a force to be reckoned with. If you’re placing bets for DPOY in 2020, don’t waste your money on the big name guys like Aaron Donald (+750) or Khalil Mack (+1100). Don’t spend it on young up and comers, lke Nick Bosa (+1300) or TJ Watt (+1500) either. Place it on Danielle Hunter (+2300). He’s going to continue dominating as he gains more recognition and climbs toward stardom.

#19 - Chris Godwin - Wide Receiver - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R
Written By: MysticTyph00n
At the beginning of the 2019 NFL season Bruce Arians said:
"I think Chris Godwin is going to be close to a 100-catch guy, especially because I think he can play in the slot,"...."He's never coming off the field."
Bucs fans thought this could be very well true in BA's system, especially with the departure of Desean Jackson which only really left Mike Evans as the only other real target on the team.
The 3rd round pick from Penn State showed up big time this year after having two relatively quiet seasons. Through 13.5 games (missing the final 2.5 due to a hamstring injury) he amassed 86 receptions for 1,333 yards, 9 TDs and only one drop(In fact he's only had 2 drops total in 2018 & 2019)He very well could have gone over 100 receptions , 1,500 yards as well as double digit TDs, but that's just projecting right?
According to PFF he was an absolute monster in the slot with an outstanding 96.5 grade, which shows he can line up anywhere on the field and still produce big time for the Buccaneers.
In 2020, I honestly expect Chris Godwin to have close to the same production, and possibly even better with how much he produces from the slot.
Please don't leave us…

#18 - Quenton Nelson - Offensive Guard - Indianapolis Colts

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 70
Written By: Zzyzx8
Selecting a guard 6th overall was a bold movie for second year GM Chris Ballard, even one as highly touted as Quenton Nelson. Casual fans hated it, while draft junkies loved it. Two years later, it’s become clear that the pick was a home run. Nelson’s selection single handedly turned around a unit that was largely responsible for a slew of injuries to Andrew Luck into one of the best units. Nelson’s second year was only better, cementing himself as one of the best guards in the league, a true road grader. He spent the past year terrorizing nfl defensive lineman en route to his second pro bowl and all pro selections. Plus, he pulled off what was by far the best touchdown celebration of the season

#17 - Jamal Adams - Strong Safety - New York Jets

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R 18
Written By: the_fuzzy_stoner robdog1330
I would just like to start with a moment of silence for the fans of the New York Jets after Jamal Adams recently demanded a trade from that inept organization with a dumpster fire of a coach in Adam Gase.
Anyways, after an incredible sophomore season, Adams has kept up with his awesome play in his third season as one of the NFL's best and most versatile defensive players as well as the clear-cut best player on a football team that somehow won seven games. Adams, also known as President 'Mal, recorded an interception (which was returned 61 yards to the house), 7 passes defended, 11 hurries, and 36 stops, but that's not all! Adams also garnered 6.5 sacks (which is amazing for a DB) and forced two fumbles (like this one he returned to the house on my guy Daniel Jones 😔). With his exceptional play, the star safety was named to the 1st Team All-Pro as well as his second Pro Bowl selection (an honor which none of his other Jets teammates got this year).
What makes Adams so special is that he is exceptional against both the running and passing game. Whether he's with Gang Green or another franchise next year, I'd expect another stellar season out of Jamal Adams in 2020 (assuming there is one) and even as a Giants fan who watched him dominate my team this past season, I really appreciate the guy's play.

#16 - Derrick Henry - Running Back - Tennessee Titans

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R N/R
Written By: broccolibush42
DERRRRIIIICK HENRY!!!
This part man part tractor was the plow that turned our barren field into a bountiful wheat field full of Nashville Hot Chicken. This beautiful muscly man with a poop rat tail decimated opponents and General Sherman'd the AFC South. Totaling at 1540 yards and 16 Touchdowns in 15 games, with 6 coming from a slow start in a Mariota lead offense, he caught fire and dragged his nuts all over teams like the Chargers, Chiefs, Jags, Colts, Texans, Raiders and was showing just absolute dominance on the field. (Sadly we arent able to take the playoffs into account otherwise i'd gush over how he embarrassed a couple of scrub one and done teams).
Henry has this certain tenacity and a godlike level of endurance that just makes him an absolute beast in the 2nd half. He is just able to keep going, and going, and going, until finally, players get tired of it and turn into lead blockers for him. He is extremely hard to tackle to. Take a look at this play against the Chiefs in week 10, guys just bounce off him like he's running through toddlers. Derrick Henry is so hard to tackle that, according to PFF, Henry had over 1200 of his 1540 total yards after contact. Like this dude was getting hit at the line of scrimmage and he is just like, fuck this shit, i aint no dion lewis, and keeps going. How is this guy even real???
Another thing about Henry is his speed! Henry is a 6'3" 240 pound dude running 20+ MPH down the field when he breaks the open one. Like look at this speed he gets vs the Browns in week 1. Or this one against the Jags where he outruns guys and stiff arms the ones who barely managed to keep pace. Speaking of stiff arms, Derrick Henry has one of, if not, the BEST Stiff Arm in the league. If I had to pick a way to die, I think I would like Henry to stiff arm me in the face running at me at 21 miles per hour with this face, because there would be no greater honor to a titans fan than death by Henry. That concludes my Henry jerk fest. Here are some more highlights. and here are the real link.

#15 - Travis Kelce - Tight End - Kansas City Chiefs

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/R 84 N/R 28 31 13
Written By: DTSportsNow
Travis Kelce was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft. He wound up missing his rookie season due needing to receive microfracture surgery on his knee over the offseason and dealing with a bone bruise during the season. Since then he's received 4 All-Pro designations and was named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade team. He's also become the 1st TE in NFL history to have 4 straight 1,000+ yard seasons. Not bad considering how his career got started.
In 2019 he finished his 2nd straight season of 1,200+ yards and 3rd straight season leading the league in deep receiving yards by a tight end (274). He finished top 4 in overall TE grade for the 4th straight year (85.1), and was named to his second 2nd-team All-Pro designation. In the Sunday Night Football contest against the Chicago Bears he caught his 500th career reception, becoming the fastest TE in NFL history to reach that mark.
There's no doubt that Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the game, and winding up in the top 20 proves many believe him to be one of the very best players in the league. Since Gronk's decline it's essentially been between him and George Kittle for the top player at the position. He's a key component of what Andy Reid and the Chiefs like to do on offense, even as stacked as the offence is. With a Super Bowl victory and a few records to his name already his legacy will be decided by how long he can keep up his premier play. His partnership with Patrick Mahomes should take him to a locked up Hall of Fame bust.

#14 - Ryan Ramczyk - Offensive Tackle - New Orleans Saints

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 100 74
Written By: Dahki
In 2017, sb nation wrote an article claiming that Ryan Ramczyk wasn't a first round talent at LT. The site went so far as to say he would benefit from a switch to RT. In short, they ended up nailing that on the head. The three-year vet has spent almost the entirety of his career anchoring the right side of the Saints O-line after being picked at 32 overall, and boy, has it worked out for both the team and the Wisconsin alum.
Ram makes the /nfl top 100 list for two reasons. First, he was really good. Second, we really wanted to hammer in the idea that the Saints O-line as a whole was really good. Most notably, Ram exits the 2019 season with his first first-team all pro, and he was more than deserving of it. Similar to teammate Terron Armstead, Ram refused to allow Brees or Teddy to be touched, giving up no sacks on the season. Even better, Ram kept his QBs almost squeaky clean in the pocket, allowing just one hit on the entire season, good for 2nd best in the league among nominated tackles. And Ram didn't just do well in pass pro; he was PFFs top graded OT when run-blocking, showcasing his power and quickness from his spot. In total, Ram spent the 2019 season as the biggest challenge for opposing D-lines to overcome when facing the Saints.

#13 - Julio Jones - Wide Receiver - Atlanta Falcons

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
32 93 23 8 2 21 17
Written By: CokeZ3ro
It's a bird, it’s a plane, no it's Jet Jones! In his 9th season Julio continues to be one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL, and the undisputed best player on the team. He’s a force that defenses must give their full attention, and even then he can explode. Even when he doesn’t get the ball, his influence and abilities still shape the play, and better everyone around him. This past offseason Julio agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $66 million, making him the NFL’s highest paid WR, and extending him to 2023. Even though 2019 was a down year statistically, Julio continued to show why the money is worth it. In a “down year” Julio was 2nd in reception yards, 3rd in Yards/Game, and 1st in Scrimmage Yards/Touch, and made his 6th consecutive Pro-Bowl.
But stats can hardly capture the elite combination of athleticism and skill that makes Julio so great. A combination perfectly captured here where Julio is able to jump over the coverage of CB Leodis McKelvin and then tiptoe to complete the coverage on the way down. Later that same game, with the Falcons against the wall, Julio showed that no man can catch him in a 53-yard burst (shoutout to Jake Matthews for the Pancake Block). Julio utilized his route skills to make CB Pierre Desir eat turf before making a 34-yard reception; which likely would have been much more if Ryan didn’t underthrow it. He’s pretty good at catching too, exhibited as reaches over CB Quincy Wilson and manages to hold onto the ball through tackles from Wilson and SS Clayton Geathers to score. Doesn’t matter who you are, Luke Keuchly, Marshon Lattimore, AJ Bouye; doesn’t matter. bUt hE dOEsn’T gET tOUchDoWnS I hear the Fantasy owners say. Watch this and notice how often in the redzone Julio is serving to support his team (blocks, inside presence, taking double defenders), or is just ignored. He’s open more often people realize.
Even in a disappointing season for the Falcons, Julio continues to shine through as one of the NFL’s premiere combos of athleticism and skill. Julio is and will continue to be an absolute force for the offense.

#12 - Chandler Jones - EDGE - Arizona Cardinals

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/R N/R N/R N/R 60 24 100
Written By: Beehay
In my write up of ChanJo last year, I mentioned that the return to the 3/4 (even if it's under Vance Joseph) will be huge for his stats. And boy howdy was it! At 30 years old and after double digit sack totals for 5 straight years, Jones set a career high of sacks at 19 this year. He had 8 Forced Fumbles, 53 Tackles, and 26 QB hits. Most of his stats improved from 2018, some more drastically than others. His pass coverage marginally improved but why the hell would you really want him to cover guys? (Don't say it Niners fans, DON'T SAY IT)
Chandler Jones is the prototype for edge defenders. He is what all other Defensive Coordinators wish they had. Strong, fast, smart, consistent. Here's a guys opinion and a breakdown. Here's some highlights because not everybody watched all 16 Cardinals games last year and I don't blame them. I think he will rank even higher next year if he stays healthy because he will finally get to settle into a defense again. Even if it's Vance Joseph's.

#11 - Ronnie Stanley - Offensive Tackle - Baltimore Ravens

Previous Ranks
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/R N/R 97
Written By: Letsgomountaineers5
Where to begin with Ronnie Stanley? Oh, how about a nearly minute long clip of him absolutely bullying First Team All Pro and NFC DPOY Chandler Jones. You like that? (Sorry Cards fans, but hey we all know Chandler Jones is a beast). Ronnie Stanley was the best LT in the league. No wait, actually he was the best overall tackle in the league. Actually, Stanley was the best lineman in the league, bar none. I truly believe Stanley was a top 5 player in the NFL last season and even tried (and failed/came to senses) to argue Stanley as a top 2 player. His dominance on the left side of that line was unprecedented.
I know stats don’t paint the entire picture, especially for OL, but I have to start there because his stats were unworldly as a blindside protector facing the best pass rushers the NFL has to offer. Going against the likes of TJ Watt twice a year, Carlos Dunlap twice a year, Myles Garrett, Chandler Jones, Nick Bosa, Shaq Barrett (need I go on), he allowed zero sacks and six pressures on 445 pass blocking snaps. Of tackles with at least 400 pass blocking snaps to allow 6 pressures or less, he was the only one. Wait, the only one? Let’s expand. 10 pressures on 400 snaps? Hmm. Only Ronnie Stanley. 15? Hmm only Ronnie Stanley. 20 and no sacks? Only Ronnie Stanley. Unreal.
So how does he do it? Well for starters, he has an elite pass rusher’s explosion as an offensive lineman. He can pack a pop that will knock the best rushers off line or on their ass without overextending. Just ask Nick Bosa. Refer back to the Chandler Jones lowlight reel for a second and check out how often he simply beats Jones (one of the most explosive and best bending edge rushers in the game) to his spot time and time again. Stanley is out of his stance so fast it looks like he’s false starting and, be it film review/sixth sense/sheer athleticism (my money is on all three), he hits the pass rushers’ marks before they do. Sometimes, he even chips defenders to the ground he doesn’t have a responsibility for. Because of these reasons, he’s basically the only lineman in the game not playing catchup and is tremendously equipped to react to counters. In the run game, he was a driving reason behind that team’s record setting running success. He can be a mauler, but with his speed also can pull like the best guards in the game and lead block for some of the fastest players in the game.
At the end of the day, his dominance in both pass blocking and run blocking makes him a worthy top 15 player, and if not for a tendency to underrate linemen, I believe he should’ve been a shoe-in for the top 10. If you read this far, thank you. Now I need to go puke after that glowing endorsement for a Raven.

LINK TO 2019 POSITIONAL GROUPING TRACKER

LINK TO 2019 RANKER SHEETS

LINK TO HUB

Schedule Change

Unveiling of ranks 10-6 will take place Monday, July 6 instead of Tuesday. Unveiling of ranks 5-1 will take place on Thursday, July 9. Thank you!
submitted by MikeTysonChicken to nfl [link] [comments]

The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe

The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team, Puskás Akadémia FC might seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football. (Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing).
Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.

Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM

Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there.
Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role.
No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team.
Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achieved promotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season.
Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009.
On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy.
He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born.
Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.

Part 2: No stadium left behind

Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season).
Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium.
Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán).
Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money).
The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó” = corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division.
Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.

Part 3: Small place, big game!

As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots.
First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program.
The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home.
Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in.
While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons.
It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI.
Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”.
The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”.
Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community.
PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league.
Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget, making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs.
Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán.
Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss.
Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.)
PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%.
On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!

Epilogue: What's in the future?

As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title.
However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football.
But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you.
And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say.
TL,DR
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
submitted by pogacsa_is_life to soccer [link] [comments]

What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
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Mega-List: Israel's Crimes and Controversies

Updated on 11June 2020, Arranged in Chronological Order
All articles cited are from reliable and trustworthy sources (some may be NSFL):
Use this website to read any paywalled site you might encounter in this list.
Major Incidents:
ONE. Assasination of Jacob Israël de Haan (1924), a Dutch-Jewish diplomat, for attempting to make a peace deal with the Emir of Mecca - his plan was a Palestinian state in a Jordanian federation, the Zionists would drop the Balfour declaration and any claim to a state in exchange for unrestricted immigration. He was assassinated when leaving a synagogue by Avraham Tehomi (who admitted to it much later), on the orders of Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, who later became the 2nd President of Israel:
Wiki, Haaretz, 972mag
TWO. King David Hotel Bombing (1946) where right-wing Zionist terrorists attacked a British HQ located within the hotel killing 91 and injuring 46. The leader of the perpetrators, Manachem Begin became the Prime Minister of Israel in 1977:
Wiki, Haaretz
THREE. Deir Yassin Massacre (1948) where 110 villagers were slaughtered, some members of the perpetrators were at a later time, absorbed into the IDF, one even became PM of Israel:
Wiki, Haaretz, Britannica
FOUR. Document from IDF archives (1948) which after translation states:
"In the villages lying between Nahraiya and Tarshiha there are no foreign troops for the time being.The villages are armed and ready for action1. Your orders are to occupy, kill the men2, destroy and burn down the villages of Kabri, Umm al-Faraj and al-Nahr."
[1] Ilan Pappe notes that the villagers had no proper arms, only for hunting purposes and people who served in the police; without Arab troops that were absent they stood no chance [2] In April 1948, the Intelligence of the Hagana defined men as anyone above the age of 10
Sources:
-Photo taken from IDF Archives 1676\51\12
-Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947-1949, ISBN 0-521-33028-9. P. 133
-Hagana archives, 100\35, dated May 19, 1948
FIVE. Palestinian Exodus "Nakba" (1948) was an expulsion of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their Homeland during the war and establishment of Israel in May 1948, these includes testimonies of massacres, rape and looting. During and immediately following the state’s creation, Israel expropriated approximately 4,244,776 acres of Palestinian land.
Haaretz, Haaretz, Atlantic, Vox, TheWallsOfJerusalem
SIX. Assassination of Folke Bernadotte, (1948) UN Mediator for Palestinian Refugees by Israel's Zionist Paramilitary Group, Lehi. The killing was approved by the three-man 'center' of Lehi, one of which, after the assassination, became 7th Prime Minister of Israel (Yitzhak Shamir). No one was convicted for the assassination:
Wiki, Independent, Haaretz, WRMEA
SEVEN. Lavon Affair (1954) a failed false flag operation where Egyptian Jews were recruited by Israeli Military Intelligence to plant bombs inside Egyptian, American, and British-owned civilian targets, their foiled plan was to blame the attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood:
Haaretz, TimesofIsrael, Wiki
EIGHT. Kafr Qasim Massacre (1956) where Israeli Border Police killed 49 Arabs (19 men, 6 women, 23 children, 1 unborn child) returning home from work during a curfew they were unaware of. Those involved in the massacre were found guilty but were pardoned and released from prison in a single year. The highest ranking official prosecuted for the massacre confessed before his death, that the massacre were planned to ethnically cleanse Israeli Arabs from the region, and that his trial was staged to protect Israeli political and military elites, including Prime Minister Ben Gurion, from taking responsibility for the massacre:
Wiki, Haaretz, 972mag, Medium
NINE. Apollo Affair (1965) an incident where 200-600 pounds of highly enriched uranium disappeared from a Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Highly suspected to have gone to Israel's Nuclear Program particularly given the visit of Rafi Eitan who was under the guise of a chemist but later revealed as an Israeli spy and who was later involved in the Jonathan Pollard incident:
Wiki, LATimes, Mondoweiss,
Archive of the findings of Roger Mattson, a Physicist who investigated the Incident for the Nuclear Regulatory Commision,
YouTube, 1968 FBI Report, FBI's Declassified Memo PDF
TEN. USS Liberty (1967) where Israel deliberately attacked an American Cargo Vessel killing 34 without any repurcussions:
YouTube, Haaretz, Wiki
EVEVEN. Operation Trojan (1986) according to ex-Mossad agent in his book, Mossad instigated the US bombing of Libya by planting a transmission device and impersonating as the Libyan Govt sending terrorist orders to its embassies around the world. (Story in Page 113-117) (Downloadable PDF File):
Other Side of Deception PDF
TWELVE. Cave of Patriarchs Massacre (1994) Israeli Settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire in Ibrahimi Mosque, killing 29 worshippers and wounding more than 125:
Wiki, JPost
THIRTEEN. Qana Massacre (1996) IDF fired artillery shells at a UN Compound where 800 Lebanese civillians were taking refuge. 106 civillians were killed, 116 injured, 4 Fiji UN forces were also seriously injured:
Wiki, AlAraby, Independent, DailyMotion
FOURTEEN. 2nd Qana Massacre (2006) air-strike carried out by IDF on a building Lebanon during the war. 28 civillians were killed out of which 16 were children. Upon investigation, IDF concluded that there was in fact no rocket launched from Qana on the day of the deadly strike by IDF:
Wiki, BBC, Norman Finkelstein
FIFTEEN. Israeli Mossad posed as CIA agents to recruit terrorists to carry out False Flag Operations against Iran (2007-2008)
Haaretz, ForeignPolicy
SIXTEEN. Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated and another was seriously wounded in an attempted murder between (2010-2012). US officials confirm that Terror Group, MEK was financed, trained, and armed by Israel in killing the nuclear scientists:
NBC, Guardian, Guardian
Sidenote
What is Zionism?
YouTube
Palestine before Zionism (Pre-1948):
Youtube (1896)
Youtube (1900s)
Youtube (1930s)
Youtube (1946 - Arrival of Illegal Zionist Immigrants)
Divide & Conquer: An interactive map explaining the Israel divide and control of Palestinian Land (2019):
Interactive Map
JIDF: Israeli Government is paying and giving away scholarships to students who fight internet battles and spread propaganda (2013):
BBC, USAToday, Huffington Post
Israel's JIDF Hasbara App (2017):
YouTube
App on GooglePlay where people defend Israel on Social Platforms to gain points (2019):
GooglePlay
Intl Law:
Apartheid Against Palestinians:
Protected Wiki
International Law (Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, UN Resolution 37/43) dictates that Palestinians have a legal right to an armed struggle to resist occupation:
Add. Protocol I, Geneva Conventions (PDF), UN Resolution 37/43 (PDF)
Israel's building of settlements in occupied territories such as the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law, violating Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 as well as the Statute of Rome, Art. 8 (2)(b)(viii) which states: "The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.":
Wiki, UN, International Law on Occupation, Al Jazeera, Amnesty, Amnesty, B'Tselem, YouTube
Israel's destruction of homes in occupied territories such as the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law, violating Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which states: "Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons ... is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.":
Fourth Geneva Convention (PDF)
Others:
Israeli former nuclear technician turned whistleblower was lured to Italy where Mossad drugged and abducted him back to Israel for the trial that was held secretly behind closed doors. He spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in solitary confinement. Says he suffered "cruel and barbaric treatment" at the hands of Israeli authorities while imprisoned because he was Christian. After his release in 2004, he was subjected to a broad array of very strict restrictions on his speech and movement (1986):
Wiki, Youtube, NYT, Guardian, CNN, Wired, Telegraph
2nd Intifada, 12 yr old boy shot dead, father severely injured (2000):
CNN, Twitter
Breaking the silence - targeting civilians with grenades and machine guns during the 2nd Intifada (2000):
YouTube
5 Israelis working for an Israeli Company "Urban Moving Systems" were arrested on 9/11 after being seen photographing and celebrating the attack on the WTC. Owner of the company fled to Israel after the incident. FBI still lists him as a 9/11 suspect but Israel refuses to extradiate him (2001):
9/11 War by Deception, YouTube, Forward, NYT, Haaretz
Netanyahu caught on tape: "America is something that you can easily maneuver and move in the right direction" (2001):
YouTube
Netanyahu lying during his speech at the US House of Representatives on Saddam Hussiens WMDs which doesn't exist (2002):
YouTube
Advocating racial purity in Israel, Chinese workers in Israel sign no-sex contract (2003)
Guardian
Tom Hurndall, a British Peace Activist, was shot in the head by an IDF sniper while he was helping Palestinian children flee from cross-fire in Rafah, Gaza strip. His killer was released from prison 2 years early of his 8-year sentence (2003):
Wiki, BBC, Guardian, Evening Standard
Rachel Corrie, American Activist who was run over by an Israeli bulldozer destroying Palestinian homes in Gaza (2003):
Imgur, BBC
New Zealand imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel over an incident where 2 Australia-based Israelis, who were allegedly working for Mossad, attempted to fraudulently obtain NZ Passports by claiming the identity of a disabled man. 2 others, Ze'ev Barkan and David Reznick, are believed to have been the 3rd and 4th men involved in the scandal but they managed to leave NZ before being apprehended. NZ PM viewed the incident as "not only utterly unacceptable but also a breach of NZ's sovereignty and international law". The following year, Israeli foreign minister apologized for the incident. (2004)
Wiki, NZHerald
Breaking the Silence, testimonies from IDF Whistleblowers (2004):
BreakingTheSilence
Not guilty, IDF Captain who empties his magazine on a 13yr old girl, says he would have done the same if she was 3 yrs old (2005):
Guardian
Phosphorus and cluster bombs which is illegal under international law heavily used by Israel during the Lebanon war (2006)
Haaretz
Israel celebrates Irgun Hotel Bombing (2006):
Telegraph
Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami: “If I were a Palestinian, I Would Have Rejected Camp David” implying that the Camp David Summit Offer by Ehud Barak in 2000 was unreasonable and designed to be rejected (2006):
DemocracyNow
Jewish National Fund (a charity) owns 13% of the land in Israel and stipulates that only Jews can buy, mortgage or lease their land. (2007):
Economist, Wiki
Operation 'Cast Lead', estimated 1391 Palestinians killed, 759 to be civillians, 344 children, 110 women 13 Israeli killed, out of which 10 are soldiers (2008-2009):
BBC, Haaretz, Haaretz, Amnesty
Israel admits using White Phosphorus during their military offensive on Gaza (2009):
France24
Palestinian who claimed to be a Jew after a consensual sexual encounter with an Israeli woman jailed for 'Rape By Deception' (2010)
[ABCnews](https://abcnews.go.com/International/palestinian-claimed-jew-jailed-rape-deceptio
Israeli Organization, Kav La Oved: "Israel owes billions of shekels to Palestinian workers" (2010) (Downloadable PDF File):
KavLaOved PDF
Using Palestinian captives as human shields (2010):
Imgur, Guardian, Haaretz, Haaretz
Gaza Flotilla, Israeli Commandos raid 6 civillians ships carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, 9 activists were killed, 10 Israeli commandos wounded (2010):
Guardian, CNN
Hashomer, Haganah, Irgun and Lehi which operated against the British Government and Arabs in Palestine used to hide weapons in synagogues, women's rooms and kindergartens. Something Israel criticises Hamas of doing today. (2011):
Haaretz
IDF soldier caught kicking a Palestinian child (2012):
RT
Hierarchy of the Human species according to Eli Ben-Dahan, Israel's former deputy minister of defense: Goyims (Non-Jews) placed below Homosexual Jews (2013):
Haaretz
Israeli Trade Minister: "I've killed alot of Arabs in my life, there's no problem with that" (2013)
JPost
IDF soldier posting an Instagram pic of a Palestinian clild in his rifle crosshairs (2013):
Guardian
Ethiopian Jews injected with contraceptive birth control without their consent (2013):
Haaretz, Independent, Guardian
In 2013, Israel awarded 'Genie Energy', an American Oil and Gas company, rights to drill in Golan Heights (Syrian territory occupied by Israel) despite international opposition. In 2015, Israel claimed a massive discovery of oil in the area, which Israeli officials reportedly believe could supply the country’s oil needs for many years to come. (2013):
Here are the prominent figures in Genie Energy's Board of Advisors:
Jacob Rothschild (British banker of the prominent Rothschild family), Dick Cheney (Ex-Vice president of USA), Rupert Murdoch (Billionaire American Media Mogul), James Woolsey (Ex-CIA Director), Lawrence Summers (Ex-Head of US Treasury), Bill Richardson (Ex-Energy Secretary of USA), Michael Steinhardt (Wall Street Trader, Investor and Hedge Fund Manager)
BusinessInsider, TRTworld, Yahoo Finance
4 boys playing soccer in an open beach bombed by an Israeli warship, a later report in 2018 then revealed that it was two missiles fired from an Israeli armed drone that actually killed the boys (2014):
NYT, Intercept, Haaretz, Independent
Israeli police officers beats up a 15yr old American boy a week after the boy's cousin was killed, no jail time was given to the officers (2014):
BBC, TimesofIsrael
Palestinian boy beaten and burned alive by Israeli settlers (2014):
Guardian, Wiki
Israelis cheering on the Gaza bombing (2014):
Guardian
Statistics of Palestinian children killed in Operation 'Protective Edge' (2014):
Telegraph
Avraham Shalom (Former Head of Shin Bet) compares Israel's Occupation to Nazi Germany's actions in WW2 towards the Czechs, Poles and Dutch (2014):
YouTube
Killing Gaza: Documentary on war crimes committed by the Israeli Military, with direct testimonies and evidence from survivors (2014):
KillingGaza
IDF beating up a Palestinian man who told them to stop firing tear gas (2015):
YouTube
Eli Ben-Dahan, Israel's former deputy defense minister: "Homosexual Jews are superior to Gentiles (Non-Jews), a jew always has a higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual" He also says "To me, they (Palestinians) are like animals, they aren't human" (2015):
TimesofIsrael
Israeli Foreign Minister says disloyal Arabs should be beheaded with an axe (2015):
WashingtonPost
Israeli Radicals celebrate by stabbing picture of Palestinian baby that was killed in a firebomb attack (2015):
Haaretz
Beitar Jerusalem, the most racist football fanbase in the world (2015):
YouTube
IDF Soldier assaults and beats up Palestinian Shopkeeper as he was loading boxes (2015):
YouTube
Former IDF Soldier Ido Gal Razon testifies to murdering people in Gaza (2015):
YouTube
Israeli racist police officer assaults their own african soldier (2015):
YouTube
Shir Hever, Israeli Economist: "78% of Palestinian aid money ends up going to Israel" (2015) (Downloadable PDF File):
ShirHever PDF
Brooke Goldstein (Director of the Lawfare Project who has assisted in many lawsuits towards Palestinian activist groups) declared to enthusiastic applause at a meeting of key Israel lobby operatives in New York: “Why are we using the word Palestinian? There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person” (2016)
Video
Many Palestinians including children are detained in Israeli prisons without trial or charges (2016):
Time, Haaretz, 972mag, B'Tselem
Jewish Community Watch: "Israel becoming a safe haven for paedophiles worldwide" (2016):
Independent
IDF Soldier throws disabled man out of his wheelchair after he attempts to help a 14yr old who was shot (2016):
Independent
IDF throws stun grenade at unarmed Palestinians talking outside their home (2016)
YouTube
IDF soldier laughs as Palestinian man is crushed at the gate (2016):
YouTube
IDF killing a 15yr old Palestinian travelling home from a family outing (2016):
Guardian
Report: Israel's repetitive destruction of EU-funded projects in Palestine (2016):
EuroMed
Former Director of Mossad defends Israel providing aid to Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda's Affiliate) in Syria (2016)
Youtube, WSJ, Haaretz
Israeli Former Defence Minister says ISIS fighters apologizes to Israel after mistakenly launching an attack on IDF. Refused to comment on how they expressed their apology. Have since forgiven ISIS (2017)
Independent, DailySabah
Reports of Torture during custody from Palestinians held imprisoned without charges or trial (2017):
Haaretz
IDF Veteran: "I was the terrorist" (2017):
YouTube
Israel seizes solar panels donated to Palestinians by the Dutch govt (2017):
Independent
Israelis speak candidly about Palestinians to Abby Martin, includes lots of racism (2017):
YouTube
Gaza: World's Largest Open-Air Prison (2018):
NRC
Sentence to 9 Months after killing 2 unarmed Palestinian teens (2018):
972mag, WashingtonPost
Unarmed protestor holding flag shot by live bullets (2018):
YouTube
Unarmed protester shot in the head during the protest (2018):
Gyfcat
IDF assaulting medics and injured protesters (2018):
Gyfcat
Abdullah Shamali, was shot while standing and talking with his friends 700 metres away from the fence (2018):
Twitter
Muhammad Ayoub, 15yr old was shot in the head while running away from the fence (2018):
YouTube
Mentally disabled man shot in the back of his head as he was walking away (2018):
Haaretz
Elderly man waving a flag and a medic got shot at by a live round (2018):
Gyfcat
Shot dead for waving flag (2018):
EgyptToday
Medic shot dead by an IDF sniper (2018):
WashingtonPost
IDF edits video of Palestinian Medic who was shot dead by them to misleadingly show that she was a human shield for Hamas and justify her death (2018):
Independent, BuzzFeed
Canadian Doctor shot by IDF sniper (2018):
CBC
Israeli Border police throws stun grenade at a Palestian couple and their infant baby as they were fleeing (2018):
YnetNews
IDF Snipers cheering as they shoot an unarmed Palestinian (2018):
Guardian
Similar incident, cheering after shooting a Palestinian (2018):
Guardian
"Nation State" Law gives Jews exclusive rights over Arabs living in Israel (2018):
Guardian
List of active discriminatory laws in Israel:
Adalah
Did you know that 97% of drinking water in Gaza (under Israeli control) is contaminated? (2018):
Haaretz
IDF Soldiers shooting tear gas into a Palestinian school (2018):
Haaretz
Israeli settlers beating up Palestinian farmer in front of his children (2018):
Haaretz
Former Chairman of Israel Labour Party says relationships between Jews and Non-Jews are "an actual plague" (2018):
Twitter
4 year old child dies 4 days after being shot by the IDF while protesting (2018):
Reuters, PressTV
An alternative view, Palestinian Christians on Israel (2018):
Youtube
Chief Rabbi calls black people "monkeys" in his weekly sermon (2018):
TimesofIsrael
Israel's Supreme Court rejects legal challenge on the military's rule where soldiers can fire on UNARMED protesters (2018):
APNews
Mohammed Tamimi, 16, who was shot in the head by Israeli forces held in prison for 2 days without explanation (2018):
Haaretz, Haaretz
Most demonstrators shot by the IDF with live rounds are unarmed and not in immediate vicinity of the perimeter fence (2018):
B'Tselem
IDF edited out key footage of Gaza missile strike which killed 2 Palestinian teenagers (2018):
Youtube, 972mag, B'Tselem
Multi Award-winning short documentary on the occupation of Gaza (2018):
YouTube
What if your whole family was being forcefully evicted from a home you lived in since 1948 to make way for new settlers? (2019)
Haaretz
Palestinian Boy on the way to school shot in the head by Israeli Police (2019):
Haaretz
Video of war crimes screened at UN Human Rights Council (2019):
Youtube
Top Rabbis in Israel defending and calling for donations to an Israeli charged with killing a Palestinian woman (2019):
Haaretz, Haaretz
Israeli Settlers attack Palestinian Mother and her son (2019):
Gyfcat
IDF Harrasses ambulance crew and demands for their key (with sound) (2019):
Gyfcat
"Israel is the nation state of Jews alone" Netanyahu responds to TV star saying Arabs are equal citizens (2019):
Haaretz
Arresting children in school, IDF threatened breaking the teacher's arm if he doesn't let go of his student (2019):
CNN
IDF Soldiers laughing as they assault a Palestinian Father and Son handcuffed while in custody (2019):
i24News, Haaretz
PART 2, 3 & 4 CONTINUED IN COMMENT SECTION BELOW
submitted by invalidusermyass to list_palestine [link] [comments]

The ranking of the most colourful characters in Polish football of the 21st century! Part 1/10, (91-100).

Here's the original: https://weszlo.com/2020/03/24/ranking-najbarwniejszych-postaci-xxi-wieku-91-100/
Polish football site Weszło.com made their ranking of 100 most colourful characters in polish football. I decided to translate its 1st part and, if there will be some interest in those stories, I will translate them all.
So here we go:
Polish football is full of colourful, unusual characters. Sometimes they are charismatic leaders, sometimes unforgettable heroes of anecdotes, sometimes it's just plain dickheads. Because we sit at home and get a little bored - we decided to gather all these colorful birds into one ranking. And here is a hundred of the most colourful figures of Polish football in the 21st century. What criteria did we choose? Basically - different. Sometimes we were guided by a person's influence on pop culture, sometimes by a multitude of strange stories, but also by charisma, charm or the level of an unusual CV. The most important thing is that this character is INTERESTING.
We start from the bottom and every day we will throw in a tenth from our ranking (and I will translate it from time to time ~Bartoni17). We chose the form of the ranking with the classic division into places, but remember - it's more of a form of inviting you to a discussion and an excuse to remember the dozens of anecdotes provided by our colorful characters. We realize that it is impossible to compare Bogusław Leśnodorski to Zbigniew Boniek or Jarosław Królewski and Orest Lenczyk. The whole thing is totally discretionary, but we hope that we treated the participants of the series "Polish Football" honestly. We hope that you will smile a few times. Have a nice trip and... until tomorrow!
100. WILDE-DONALD GUERRIER & EMMANUEL SARKI
An ideal kind of foreigners who come to the Polish Ekstraklasa. They raised its level? Undeniably. And at the same time they added some colour, although usually by actions which, hmm, are not MENSA references. When Wilde-Donald Guerrier came to the Wisła, he declared that faith is of great importance to him, he avoids parties and alcohol. And for a long time it was like that, until he came to know Emmanuel Sarki.
Then he turned into a demon. The Kraków's clubs "Coco" and "Frantic" became the second home of the colourful two. There were legends about their erotic conquests, some cannot count the offspring that one of them left behind after a few years in Krakow. People from Wisła clutched their heads in disbelief when Wilde-Donald confessed that he was feeding the child... with raw meat. A few months old child, let's add.
Wild Donald is the protagonist of the most absurd social media accident that happened to an Ekstraklasa footballer. He wanted to upload a picture of his jersey to Facebook, but he threw in a free photo of his cock.
NSFW
Sarki? Another incident that went down in history. In an interview for "Przeglad Sportowy" he revealed: - My great grandfather came to Nigeria from Haiti as a missionary. He died recently, at the age of 132. At the age of 132, which meant that Sarki's great-grandfather was the oldest man in human history. What's more, he beat the second oldest person by thirteen years!
To make it even more funny, Sarki was a Nigerian of blood and bone, and that great-grandfather was supposed to have Haitian roots, which would allow the player to play in the Haitian national team. In the same national team that Wilde-Donald (a hundred percent Haitian) persuaded him to play. When Sarki's call-up to the team came to Kraków, the club asked for any documents confirming Sarki's relationship with Haiti. In response, Wisła read that... the federation is not yet able to send papers. But it will soon.
Both of them were basically identical - a style for an „American rapper”, their own world, and not one by one in their heads. Guerrier had his own brand of clothing and loved cars. At one point in his life he had seven of them. Yes, at once. When one of the fans suggested under the picture of the Porsche Panamera that he should focus on playing instead of cars, he wrote briefly: - Fuck off.
Saying goodbye to the White Star, he wrote to the fan that his mother was a prostitute. He lost himself in the cars to such an extent that one day a lift trucker appeared at the Wisła training. The footballer took a few leases on him, but forgot that... they still have to be paid off.
Franz Smuda said that Sarki and Guerrier would send him to a psychiatrist. Watching the Wisła then had its peculiar charm - one of the Haitian aces was losing the ball, cameraman took a shot at Smuda, and he used his broken Polish-German-English to say the worst things to them. Once he shouted to one of them: - I'll kill you!
Guerrier told the media about Borusia Dortmund's interest, Sarki about Galatasaray. Eventually the first one went to Alanyaspor, the second one - to AEL Limassol (and today he plays in the fourth league Odra Wodzisław). Guerrier leaving, tricked his agent, Daniel Weber, who did the transfer, but... when it came to signing, DG77 flew alone so he didn't have to share the commission. Well, it's no coincidence that he got the name "Wilde" from his parents - supposedly because he's been behaving in a wild way since his first days.
99. STANISLAV LEVY
The Social One, Sultan of Olomouc, Denatured Midas. Imeprsonations in the commentaries on Weszło became classics. Probably the only coach in the Ekstraklasa, who had his club to tell him to get himself together, because a messy moustache, thinned haircut and a few days' beard were making associations for itself. And Levy himself din't look as a saint with his statements. Such as when he fainted during the match with Lech and during the live interview he admitted that he drank too little during the day.
The image of taxi driver from Mielec was making a base for incredible stories invented by our readers. Loans taken for ID of Sylwester Patejuk, Wigry 3 bicycle trips, a struggle hanging in the air, the smell of excrements, purple ragweed, dog named Scrappy, Jerzy the Dwarf pawned in a pawn shop, moonshine made from rats, a sip of Blue Paris, Sigma Olomouc's tracksuit... We don't know if there was a better series of fake stories in the history of the Internet. But we're afraid not. And We don't think it will ever happen again.
The Social One
Maybe we should drop off some classics, because there may not be a better opportunity:
When the Skoda 130L on the Olomouc registration was leaving Śląsk's stadium, many footballers breathed a sigh of relief. - He was able to criticize the team so much that I felt sorry for some boys. I understand the reprimand and sometimes I got it myself. But he would come and insult people. Coach Lenczyk was a very strict and demanding trainer, but he did not destroy people. Levy did," said Sebastian Mila. After all, they weren't footballers, they were pozoranty.
98. NICKI BILLE NIELSEN Lech Poznań boasted that they had thoroughly examined the Dane and knew everything about him. They knew this nut so well that they put him in an apartment right next to the Old Town. And it's a bit like locating a guy fighting a candy addiction between a Haribo shop and a chocolate drinker. No wonder that after Nicki Bille's transfer, the profits of the nearby pubs and fast food bars reached record levels. Kolejorz's attacker may not have left a beautiful card in statistics, but Wrocławska Street was rumbling during his stay in Poznań.
We have heard from several people from Kolejorz, that he entered the first training games like a boar in an acorn. Bombardiero, as you look at it, scored against Termalica right at the beginning of the round and... later it was only worse. A muscle injury, then a mysterious nose fracture. The official version? A collision with a colleague in training. Unofficial version - boxing sparring on the town. Psychologically overwatched before transfer Nicki had no problem with organizing a trip to the capital, drink few stronger drinks and then driving in the car around the city.
In this hooligan mode, Bille Nielsen's lifestyle was quite broad. He was interested in art, painting, movies and rather the more ambitious ones. It is only a pity that he was a weak footballer. But at least he could guarantee the show. During the official presentation on the club's website, he said that one thing he was sure of - he would never go to Legia. We immedietely thought that in his childhood, throwed darts at posters with Brychczy and Pisz. Later, he said that shooting a goal is better for him than sex, and if it went to Legia's net, it would actually be like an orgy. Well, in recent months he has been shooting so many goals in Poznan that all sport he has left he has to do at home. Nicki had even more interesting life after he left Lech. Fights, drugs, sex in public, almost shot off, threats to the doctor... Maybe he didn't become the Danish athlete of the year, but at least he had an interesting relationship at InstaStories.
97. ARKADIUSZ PIECH
As effective on the pitch as outside of it. So, once he hit the right one, and once he didn't. In 2003, he and two of his buddies beat a 45-year-old. Firstly he and his mates threw some rocks on the victim's house, and when the guy, over 20 years older than the guys, went out to chase the kids away, the three assailants beat him with the rails pulled out of a nearby fence. Piech and his colleagues explained at the Police Station that it wasn't like that, they first had a contest in throwing stones at a distance and one of them accidentally fell in the garden of a 45-year-old man. He started to get angry, caught up with three guys, and an argument was started. The cops, didn't quite believe that a man with heart disease ran after the three guys. Eventually the earlier testimony was withdrawn by the attackers, Piech himself got a sentence - 1.5 years in prison, he got out after nine months.
"Świdnica County Eagle" (he supposedly described himself as such) hit for the second time in 2014. The media circulated information that completely drunk Arkadiusz Piech (then the name given without the letters I, E, C and H) fell into the emergency room together with his injured colleague. As we read - the sniper from the Ekstraklasa did not like waiting for his turn, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. And it wasn't about changing queue numbers, but about the hit in the chin of the doctor.
We heard various stories about Świdnica. That it can pull you in, and if you can't fight, you might have not the best stories from the city. Piech not only could fight, but he liked it. He was bragging about the connections in the Świdnica crime-world, the doctor mentioned above was supposed to be intimidated with the words "you know who the fuck I am and who I know?". We cannot deny Arek the colourfulness, although it is not the colour desired by mothers with future son-in-laws.
96. PIOTR LECH
One fact is indisputable - he must love goalkeepeing. He started playing in 1986, finished... 30 years later, in 2016. In his last performance in the Ekstraklasa he was 40 years, 10 months and 28 days old. And then he played in the lower leagues for eight more years.
If you believe in stories of a large number of Polish footballers, Piotr Lech would write the most interesting biography. More a legend of changing rooms than the media he never liked. A typical representative of the old school - a relaxed approach to lifestyle, first to the atmosphere and cloakroom mockery. In his book Szamotulski writes that Lech was one of the worst players in the history of the league in terms of lifestyle. Górnik once organized a meeting with a nutritionist. He asked the players how their breakfast looked like. Lech smiled: - A cigarette and a coffe.
"Szamo" also describes another story about Lech: "He liked to play with fate. As a player in the Ruch Chorzów, he made a bet with Jacek Bednarz that he would jump over the car. What's worse, a moving car. "Benek" didn't believe it, and that's a mistake. When the accountant was going to the club with her Fiat126p, suddenly Piotr ran right in front of the hood and jumped as high as he could - at the same time pulling his legs up to his chest. The car went under him, and Lech claimed the prize.
Another time Lech made a joke on Jacek Wiśniewski, to whom he proposed before the match "something good to stimulate". He glued a ball from a piece of paper and recommended to drink it with a liter of water. „Wiśnia” without asking what it was, swallowed and drank.
After the match, friends ask: - Wiśnia, how's that?
Another show? Shooting firecrackers in the locker room. It took a few seconds of silence for Lech to enter the game, boom! He could see the victim and chase him with those firecrackers - the more fearful someone was, the more fun Lech had. Lech was also non-predictible on the pitch - he happened to hit Dariusz Wdowczyk, then Legia's coach, after a match in which, according to Lech and the whole GKS Bełchatów, the referee whistled suspiciously biased. He instructed the young ones, as Rafał Gikiewicz, for example, tells us: - Don't be a cunt! Get out from the goal, even if you make one mistake for five actions, they will still remember that you defended four!
Believe it or not - in those days Lech was a legend of many locker rooms.
95. PRZEMYSŁAW CECHERZ
We regret that we can't find the statistics of sending coaches back to the stands. Cecherz would have dominated over the rest of the stake with a lead worthy of Liverpool in the current season. Maybe only Ryszard Tarasiewicz would be able to compete with him. The author of perhaps the most famous rant of referees work at the memorable press conference after the match between Olimpia Grudziądz and Sandecja Nowy Sącz. - I don't know why. I have no idea. Maybe beacause of a weakness? Mister... In the match, show eleven cards? ELEVEN? Now, in the match, when two footballers meet with their heads, the card goes to two. And in my match only Szufryn got it. Why? Because he's weak. Can I swear? Because he's fucking weak. Or biased. Or biased... Why does he see two punishments one way and not for us? I'm asking. This is a situation that decides about a picture of a whole game. Am I afraid of those words? Sir, I'm afraid of God, no one else - Cecherz shot like a rifle.
RANT – you really don't have to understand any of this to be scared of him xD
He was also famous for the drying in the locker room. Sometimes trash cans and bottles were flying. Once at a press conference the stewards had to come to watch over furious Cecherz. He could shoot a whip over the players heads. Once, during a trip to the game, Michał Chrapek was quietly went to KFC. He tried to explain that he didn't eat anything there, that he just drank a milkshake. - I'll give you a fucking shake! You got your whole face in a coat! - Coach erupted.
94. NENAD BJELICA
Maybe he didn't leave a full trophy cabinet in Poznań, but he made the Polish ball richer with texts that have permanently entered the language of the Polish Ekstraklasa. Whoever hasn't thrown "cirkus and skandaloza" at least once, doesn't know life and sleeps head to toes.
You can say a lot about Bjelica - that the coach was not bad (maybe even very good), that he did not achieve successes in Lech, that he was sometimes impulsive. But you can't deny him one thing - he was damn expressive. When he made a thesis, he defended it until he fell. When, after Lech lost with Utrecht, he said that he was proud of the players, he teared up with everyone who dared to question the importance of this success. When he didn't like the VAR, he put on a castet for every verbal skirmish with a supporter of video-verification.
Oh, circus and skandaloza is just the top of what we remember him from. Well, because Nenad happened to complain about the weather ("the temperature wasn't perfect") or throw himself almost with his fists to the fans (lost in Szczecin, the team manager had to separate him from the visitors' sector). Referees sent him to the stands regularly – one time he teased Kibu Vicuna, Jan Urban's assistant in Śląsk. Once he said to the referee "Jebe ti mater (I fuck your mother in Croatian, as you can expect, completely understandable phrase for Polish referee), what the fuck have I done?!". He also decided that the Poznań journalists should play with Lech to one goal, and if Kolejorz reaches for the championship, then with their participation.
Bjelica's testosterone level was way above normal. And at the same time - when he cooled down and put aside his emotions - he was one of the most pleasant people in Polish football.
93. RICARDO SA PINTO
When he was signing the contract, it was not known if it will be better with Legia, but you could bet on something else - that it will be more interesting. He had a rich resume, but also a patch of the troublemaker, who can only last a few months in one place. And what a surprise - in Legia he turned out to be a troublemaker who only lasted a few months.
But even those few months were enough for him to argue with the whole world. Even with people as conflict-free as Waldemar Fornalik (!), with whom the Portuguese stood during the match to a little fight, just like with Michał Probierz. He was disturbed by everything - the church bells next to the Legia training field, which he ordered to be silenced. The advertising bands around the bench, which he willingly treated from his shoe. The pitch at Łazienkowska Street, which condition he openly criticised. The VAR system and the referees, who got the worst treatment from him at every possible opportunity.
But also the older players he kicked out of Legia without regret - Michał Pazdan, Krzysztof Mączyński or Arkadiusz Malarz. He did not even trust his co-workers and he happened to throw out Polish members of the training staff from the briefing room. He even had a fight with journalists who had been with the Legia for years and who decided to insult Sa Pinto by coming to the training camp in Portugal. The coach cut them off from everything (even the photojournalists), and when he found out that one of the newspapers had been accommodated above his room, he put the whole hotel personnel on full alert and had the insolent writers evicted. In fact, Iza Koprowiak from "PS" even couldn't ask questions at official press conferences.
In her articles we could read about the sick rules that the Portuguese introduced. Not answering the phone from the staff? A few hundred euros penalty. Distancing yourself from Warsaw by 30 kilometres? The penalty. Sa Pinto didn't even respect his assistants, who he once ordered at 11 p.m. to go to the stadium for a cosmetic bag he forgot. We don't even mention such actions as throwing muddy shoes to a warehouse worker.
And we were not at all surprised by the recording, which circulated the Internet a moment after the release of Sa Pinto from the Legia, in which Richard the Lionheart was invited out from the plane. Probably someone got a problem with him again!
92. STANISLAV SALAMOVICH CHERCHESOV
Igor Lewczuk: - In the preparatory period before the season during Cherchesov's era, the warm-up was more tiring than the main training with other coaches.
Marcin Komorowski: - It's the hardest preparation I've ever participated in, I don't think it's possible to train more.
He was able to make a dryer in the locker room after a 2:1 victory over the Zagłębie Lubin, and he was also able to pat the players on the shoulder after a defeat with Termalica and say that football is sometimes like that. He suspected Ivica Vrdoljak about simulating an injury, he said something back to him, and since Cherchesov's hierarchy in the team was clear, Cherchesov only responded to the footballer with blaclisting him from a camp where Legia was at that time.
In Legia they laughed that he train players like dogs. Stories from the football-fiction series made a sensation, in which Cherchesov with a bear on the chain rushes players to intervals. Whatever the appraisal - the attitude and way of being fit into these imaginary stories like to no other coach. Well, imagine such a story with - let's say - Jacek Magiera. It would come out comically, and with Cherchesov - even being aware of the absurdity of this story - it did not seem so abstract. There was a lot of truth in the stories about the football player puking after training with Stani. His approach to players can be summed up by the story of when, after Legia, he wanted to put Roman Pavlyuchenko into play, who had a broken arm. Cherchesov only asked: - Wait, he plays with his hands or feet?
Cherchesov with his players
He also trained journalists - just a memorable skirmish with Żelisław Żyżyński (yes, that's a Polish name) in a pre-match interview, or a classic from the conference 'gentlemen, the end of these questions, we have a plane right away'. The trainings were closed, for exceeding the allowed quarter of an hour to watch Legia trainings, journalists were to pay "a few euros penalty, because in Legia a new era began also for journalists". Bloody Stan from distant Ossetia chewed on the nails and desires of his opponents.
Bogusław Leśnodorski (one of Legia's owners at the time), who defined his role in the Legia accurately, stated that a certain group of people, under certain circumstances, needs this type of boss. Legia took a task-seeker who was to give her the crown of the Ekstaklasa twice for the centenary of the club and eventually he gave it. But in the long run it was difficult to work with him. And we're not just talking about footballers who would probably withstand a maximum of one more round with him, and then you would have to give them to Ciechocinek healt resort. Cherchesov didn't even care for club academy, which he called a "kindergarten". And this in an interview on the official Legia club website. In the same conversation, the eternally injured Mateusz Szwoch was sent to learn to play the violin.
91. JACEK WIŚNIEWSKI
When he was going out to the presentation in Górnik Zabrze, he joked that he "bumped into a crooked snout", and when the fans were taking pictures with him, he suggested, with a smile, that you have to turn the camera to make the photo come out normally. You shouldn't judge people by their appearance, but Jacek Wiśniewski's appearance... says everything about him.
A killer on pitch who played in over 200 games in the Ekstraklasa. He's talking about himself - "chopping lumberjack." In the locker room they joked that as a kid he chewed raw beef instead of gum. He was not a virtuoso, but in every club he was extremely respected. A lot about Wiśniewski is said by the situation from GKS Jastrzębie. A field clash, "Wiśniewski" on the ground, a bone breaks in his wrist. When the doctor sees this injury, he immediately reports the change on behalf of the player.
After the match, he said that he will train normally this week. Plaster? He can wear it if the referees let him run out on the pitch in it. And since the rules forbid playing with plaster, he stands on an elastic bandage. For Górnik Zabrze he was able to give back a lot. He declared that he would come to this club on his knees. We once asked if it was true that for eight years he had played in Górnik for three thousand złotys (around 600-700 euros) - No. I'm honestly saying that the last two years they raised me to five - he answered with a smile.
Do you already understand why he was the perfect material for the stand's favourite? Anyway, he was even respected by fans of opposing teams. And if not, there was a confrontation. Szczakowianka Jaworzno, a train trip to Szczecin. Train stops for a while, three Pogoń fans stand on the platform. They catch on, show Wiśniewski with a finger. The footballer, thinking little, jumps out the window and runs towards them. Three on one. The fans of Pogoń can see that it is about to get hot and soften momentarily. To get out of the situation somehow... they ask for an autograph.
They know what the fight can end with. Wiśniewski liked to fight, which he never hid. But how can you hide it if your face says you've taken a few harder punches in your life? Wiśniewski trained boxing when he was a kid. He finished when he came home with a black eye. But he came back to martial arts after his career, he performed in MMA. When before the gala he got a question about what repertoire of punches he will present, he answered with confidence: - Good fucking hit from a leg is way to go. As befits a footballer.
The interview after his first fight became a legend. "Okay, I lost, but is that what a knockout man looks like? Let's not fuck around! The referee could still let us fight!"
INTERVIEW AFTER FIGHT
He's never been a good boy. He says if it wasn't for coach Bochynek, he'd either be dead or at best landed in a jail. Friends in the business? Some of them are "cunts" for Wiśniewski and would gladly beat them up. Many times he happened to discipline other players from the team.. One of the statements about players who complain about trainings: - Well, don't let them sign contracts! Let one of them go to the mine with the other one, work for eight fucking hours! And then what will he say? "Fuck, I'm gonna go down that mine for eight hours again?" And he's only got two-fourty here, and for a lot of money! And he's still whining! I've never been fucking around!
Wiśniewski worked in the mine, so he knows how hard it is. He always said what was in his heart. Just like in another interview that went down to legend
"Wiśnia" had his undeniable charm, but he was not always brainy. This is testified to - but also about his strong character - the story from the league debut, for which ... he forgot his boots . He founded the ones that were in the cloakroom at hand, two numbers too small. Wiśniewski recalled in Przegląd Sportowy: - I was running like a duck on the pitch. During the break, I take off those damn shoes, and there is a lot of blood, it was possible to spill, on every finger, a hellish blaze.
His sloppiness was also a reason for jokes from his teammates (anecdote above with Piotr Lech in the lead role). Some time ago, we tried to arrange an interview with "Wiśnia". The details were to be determined by text.
The appointment failed.
Authors:: DAMIAN SMYK i JAKUB BIAŁEK
submitted by Bartoni17 to soccer [link] [comments]

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