5 Football Matches You Cannot Miss

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5 Football Matches You Cannot Miss

There are numerous football competitions both in the UK and internationally that culminate in must-see matches. Some of these, such as the FA Cup Final, are popular because they are the pinnacle of a countrywide, season-long competition. One of the most popular and often controversial matches in the UK is the Manchester United vs. Manchester City derby. For those that enjoy a more international flavour to their football, the UEFA Europa League Final is a good choice. This large tournament ends with a tense and emotional game that is perfect for passionate fans.

Soccer Aid incorporates the national and international love of football with doing good for children in need across the globe in partnership with UNICEF. Soccer Aid is not a traditional match, nor is it very competitive, but it is filled with sports stars and celebrities from across the world, joining together to support a good cause. Many fans choose to collect memorabilia from their favourite football competitions, which are available to purchase at a variety of football grounds and online at eBay.

Football Match 1: FA Cup Final

The Football Association Challenge Cup, also known as the FA Cup, was codified in 1871-1872, which makes it the oldest tournament in football history. The FA Cup is a knockout tournament for teams that play in several different leagues within the Football Association. Over 700 teams begin in the competition, with games being played at the home ground of each of the teams.

The FA Cup final is played at Wembley Stadium in May every year. With crowds of over 80,000, it has an electric atmosphere. Fans of the two teams, as well as football supporters in general, gather to watch a team win one of the most prestigious tournaments in domestic football. Crowds of fans chant their teams' songs, and roar when a goal is scored. This is followed starkly by the hush of the entire stadium if the match goes to penalties.

Over the years Manchester United has won the most FA Cup Finals with 11 in total, with its last win in 2004. Many people believe that the greatest FA Cup Final was in 2006 when Liverpool played West Ham. Despite Liverpool being the clear favourites to win, West Ham went 2-0 up early on in the match before Liverpool clawed their way back. Even after extra time the teams were still level at 3-3. Liverpool proved to be the more relaxed and calm team when it came to taking penalties, beating West Ham 3-1.

Football Match 2: UEFA Europa League Final

The UEFA Europa League, originally called the UEFA Cup, was founded in 1971. Qualification for the league is based on statistics calculated by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Each country in Europe that participates in the competition enters one cup winner and two other teams. These teams then enter group stages, before moving on to the knockout competition.

The final could be held at any stadium within Europe and is played in May every year. Some of the largest football stadiums in Europe are used, guaranteeing fans an amazing atmosphere. One of the reasons that football fans enjoy the UEFA Europa League Final is that the two teams do not generally play against each other regularly, offering a unique chance to see some high quality football. If the match finishes at 90 minutes in a draw, it goes into extra time and then penalties are taken, if necessary. Programmes are a great way for fans to remember the match, and footballers may even sign the programme afterwards.

Football Match 3: Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Any derby match is always emotional for the fans, but Manchester City and Manchester United have a long rivalry; the two teams first played against each other in 1881 and have had 165 derby matches as of April 2013. Tickets for a Manchester derby sell out in minutes, so the stadiums are always full. Manchester United have won the majority of the meetings: 69 times; 50 matches have ended in a draw; and Manchester City have won 46 times. Both teams know that, for the fans, it is essential that the squad wins; it is all about pride at a Manchester derby.

Football Match 4: FA Community Shield

The FA Community Shield, previously known as the Charity Shield, was first played in 1908. It is a match between the winners of the FA Cup final and the Premier League. Each year the FA Community Shield raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. All of the proceeds are given to the charities named by all the teams that participated in the FA Cup, from the first round.

Originally the match was played at a neutral ground, but since 2007 it has been played at Wembley Stadium. Football fans from all over the country come together, guaranteed of a fantastic match for good causes. The teams participating often consider this a friendly match, but they still try to win for the fans. Souvenir programmes for the match are also sold for charity.

Football Match 5: England vs. Rest of the World for Soccer Aid

Soccer Aid is a football match that is played every two years with profits going to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF). It is more of a friendly match, than a competitive one. The two teams consist of celebrities, sports stars, and former football legends that all come together for charity. Therefore, it is a chance for not just football fans, but also fans of music and television, to see their favourite stars on the pitch. The original idea for the match came from Robbie Williams, a former Take That member, and his friend Jonathan Wilkes.

In 2012, the match was held at Old Trafford in Manchester. Some of the most famous members of the England team included David Seaman, Les Ferdinand, Olly Murs, and Jason Isaacs. Members of the Rest of the World team included Gordon Ramsay, Michael Sheen, Jaap Stam, and Mike Myers. The match has been played four times, and England has won three. This charity match is a great way for football fans to meet some of their favourite players, collect their autographs, and take many photos.

The table below lists the matches played between the two teams since the competition began in 2006. It also shows the final score of the match and the players that scored the goals.

Year

Match Result

Goal Scorers

2006

England 2-1 Rest of the World

Ferdinand (England)

Wilkes (England)

Maradona (Rest of the World)

2008

England 4-3 Rest of the World

Sheringham (England)

Shearer, 2 (England)

Wilkes (England)

Di Canio, 2 (Rest of the World)

Marini (Rest of the World)

2010

England 2-2 Rest of the World

Rest of the World win on penalties 6-7

Redknapp (England)

Sheringham (England)

Calzaghe (Rest of the World)

Hyypia (Rest of the World)

2012

England 3-1 Rest of the World

Sheringham (England)

Wilkes (England)

Phillips (England)

Pizzorno (Rest of the World)

The most successful player in the Soccer Aid competition is Teddy Sheringham. He has played in three of the four matches, and has scored in all of them.

How to Buy Memorabilia for Football Matches You Cannot Miss on eBay

Buying football memorabilia on eBay is easy and allows you to select from a wide range of items. A quick search for "football memorabilia" from the home page yields a long list of results. You can narrow down the number of listings by entering item specifics, such as "UEFA Cup memorabilia". If you know precisely what you are looking for, then use the advanced search feature to get a targeted list of items.

Many items come with a certificate of authenticity, especially if they are signed, while others do not. You can ask the seller for additional details to confirm the authenticity, and look at the close-up photographs to ensure that the item is in good condition. Check that the seller has a good reputation before confirming your purchase by looking at his or her feedback score. If you are purchasing a valuable piece of football memorabilia, it is worth asking the seller if he or she can provide guaranteed delivery to ensure then the item arrives safely.

Conclusion

Football is a part of British tradition, popular with men, women, and children of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you like the intensely passionate atmosphere of a highly competitive local derby or the friendly, electric atmosphere of a charity match, there is a football match you cannot miss. For some, the unmissable matches involve their local team, and create an exciting and passionate feeling in the crowd.

Fans of international football should consider the UEFA Europa Cup Final, although this may require a visit to a stadium outside the UK. For those that are fans of music as well as football, a friendlier game with a community feel is the all-star Soccer Aid match between England and the Rest of the World.

Many fans collect general football memorabilia or very specific items from a team or tournament. Whatever items buyers wish to find, memorabilia from football matches you cannot miss is available on eBay.

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