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The Champions League starts!

Saturday 1 September 2012 14:04
Written by spainticketsblog

We already know in which groups the Spanish teams will play during this year’s group phase? Barça has been the luckiest team and, for them, is going to be easy to reach the next phase. However and even if Valencia and Malaga have chances to approach the next phase, it won’t be easy! And for Real Madrid is going to be hard to pass, since they will play in the Group of Death.

One more year everything suggests that FC Barcelona will carry out with the last 16 round of the Champions. The fortunate team leaded by Vilanova, will play the first phase of the tournament against Benfica, Spartak Moscow and Celtic. Unless a disaster occurs, the Catalan should have no problems to go by.

Less advantage has had Real Madrid. The current champion of La Liga will play in the Group of Death against two other league’s champions, Manchester City and Borussia Dormunt, and the legendary Ajax. Although the high level of this group, Real Madrid is one of the favourites to achieve the next round.

Valencia have talent to play in the last 16 round. Despite they have to play against Bayern Munchen (Bundesliga subchampion), they will also play against Lille and Bate Borisov, and so everything seems “positive” for Valencia.

Malaga, the current Spanish debutant in the Champions League, have not had misfortune in this draw. They will play against Milan, Zenit and Anderlecht. These teams have lot of experience in the competition but they are not better than Malaga.

… The long road that leads to Paradise is starting to be written… Now, we just need to wait and see which teams will pursue it. Let’s get the Champions started!

Real Madrid – Olympique Lyon: 2nd assault in the Bernabeu

Friday 16 September 2011 16:56
Written by spainticketsblog

Source: aragonsport.com

On the 18th of October Real Madrid will play their third match of the first round of the Champions League against Olympique Lyon at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The main aim of Real Madrid in this match  is getting closer to the first knockout phase. At the moment, Real is doing well, because this week they have beaten Dinamo Zagreb in the first match. Now, Mou’s team will play against Ajax at the Bernabeu, and then against Olympique Lyon also at home. If Real achieve at least seven of the ten points in the three matches (a minimum of 2 wins and a draw), they would be very close to the next round.

It’s still early to talk about what will happen in the next few weeks. Real Madrid have played only one match, this Wednesday, against Dinamo Zagreb, in which they won (as we said). Furthermore,  the good beginning of Real in La Liga (they are the leaders with 2 wins in 2 matches and with a goal difference of +8), and their feasible victory in their Champions League group bode well for them reaching the next phase, and also for all their matches in the competition. One good thing for Mou’s team this year is that they don’t have to break their  bad run of not reaching the quarters for six consecutive years, since they already did this last year. Instead, they couldn’t reach the Champions’ final because they lost against their eternal rival Barça in both matches of the semi-finals. So the objective for Real Madrid this year is reaching the Champions league’s final and trying to win their tenth Champions. However, in order to achieve this, they will have to win the matches of the next weeks, including the match they will play against Olympique at Bernabéu.

The face-offs between the Spanish and French in the Champions League have become a regular occurrence in the last few years. Several seasons ago, when Olympique Lyon had won 7 consecutive leagues, it was very difficult for Real to beat Lyon. In fact, the French defeated Madrid in various matches, and sometimes even by three goals. However, nowadays everything is different: Real is playing so much better and Olympique have a powerless team… So things will probably be very different to how they were in the past.

Real Madrid v Olympique will certainly be a very exiting match and with a lot of goals. Two offensive teams will face each other with the aim of winning, and we’ll enjoy it. Don’t miss the chance of seeing the match live, book your Real Madrid v Olympique Lyon tickets

Remember these names, they will be the ones to take Spain to the top

Friday 1 July 2011 17:57
Written by spainticketsblog

The phase Spanish football is going through at the moment is exceptional. Spain’s top sport is at its peak. The beginning of everything –and what a beginning! – was just 3 years ago at the Euro in Austria and Switzerland. Spain reached the semi finals for the first time in many years after beating the great Italy in penalties. ‘La Roja’ then went on to win the final against the even greater Germany with the goal from ‘Niño’ Torres, a goal that we will always remember.

Then, as we all know, Spain went through a bad patch –a bad patch that turned out to be  a good thing for them -, with their elimination from the Confederations Cup in the semifinals. But all this was forgotten when at last they won the first World Cup in their history in South Africa last year with the goal from the football giant Andrés Iniesta.

No one wants this dream to end, but these two years without competitions until the European Championship next year could have brought out some Spanish pessimism (which is nevertheless on the decrease). But this was not at all the case, quite the contrary in fact, with the U-21 team , now known as ‘La Rojita’, and their victories, bringing our national pride back up to level this summer. They were the favorites to win the cup and they have not disappointed. Spain won the Euro’ final with a 2-0 win against Switzerland.

Spain’s U21 team is made up of players who will be future stars. Dídac Vila, Muniain, Dominguez, Ander (who scored the first of two goals in the final)… These are players with great prospects. However, among the under-21s there are current stars. And we have proved it during both the World Cup and in the few weeks that followed. The goalkeeper of the U-21 team, David De Gea, just signed (and with a star’s price) for Manchester United. He will have the difficult task of filling Van der Sar’s shoes or even bettering him. He won’t disappoint. Then there is Thiago Alcántara. The Spaniard renewed his deal with Barcelona just two days ago (he will be playing with the Catalans until 2015). Thiago’s deal is worth 90 million, which is a lot for such a young player. However, everything points to him being an exceptional player, so Guardiola and Barça’s board wanted to make sure he would continue playing at the Camp Nou.

Don’t forget these names; don’t forget Rojita’s players, because they are the ones who will have to lead Spain to the top in a few years time. And no doubt they will manage it.

SPAINTICKETSONLINE & THE POWER OF THE INVISIBLE SUN: The power of football in Africa

Thursday 30 June 2011 16:56
Written by spainticketsblog

Last June 16th, Ignasi Prat, the director of E&TB Group, the company that owns www.spainticketsonline.com was in Khayelitsha, a town just outside of Capetown (South Africa), to give out personally the indestructible balls to African kids with Bob Sager, the creator of The Sager Family Foundation”. The result of the experience was more than positive: more than 500 indestructible balls reached the hands of South African children.

The Sager Family Foundation (www.teamsager.org) is an American foundation that organizes projects to help the most disadvantaged areas of the planet. One such initiative is The Power of the Invisible Sun (www.poweroftheinvisiblesun.com): the foundation gives indestructible balls (Hope Ball) to children who live in countries of conflict.

In www.spainticketsonline.es we decided to assist in this joint initiative and we have adapted the format to our business, so for every sale that the company made through our website in the last months, we donated an indestructible ball to African children.

Here we have the testimony of Ignasi Prat, who has recently been in Africa to deliver the indestructible balls.

Ignasi Prat (on the left side of the image with red coat) with
Sager Foundation members and children of the town of Khayelitsha

What are your feelings after returning from your trip to South Africa?

I feel a mixture of satisfaction and nostalgia. I feel satisfaction because I am proud to have helped children from Khayelitsha to be happier, especially with something as vital for them as football. But I’m also nostalgic to be back. I was shocked by the lives of these children, very different to the lives of other kids whose lives are much easier, so I would like to return to both Khayelitsha and other villages in order to help even more.

How did you reach the decision to collaborate in this Project?

Earlier this year I heard about the latest charitable initiative of the family Sager and I believed it was very interesting. I thought it was nice that everybody could do their bit for people who unfortunately do not live in as good conditions as we do. I believe that helping other people is necessary. The joy of helping others is great, it brings a feeling of great happiness.

And then you decided to invite more people to join this initiative…

That’s right. I think the most important thing about these joint initiatives is that the more people involved the better, so I decided to incorporate the initiative into our work, which is also related to football. Every day we are in contact with people from many parts of the world. Many people have joined the project, and without any additional cost for them, of course. Our customers have donated an indestructible ball to the children of the town of Khayelitsha for every purchase they have made.

Did you also use social networks?

Yes, Facebook and Twitter helped us to expand the project. Social networks nowadays are the key to communication and interaction, so we thought they were vital to the success of the project.  On Facebook every group of people who became fans of our page have donated a Hope Ball to African children. In the case of Facebook we activated a campaign in which, for every new fan we gained, we contributed € 0.10 extra to the cause. This initiative was successful, although I wish that more people had signed up. In the end a few extra balls were personally donated to South African children as a result of this campaign.

You said “indestructible balls”. Is it true that they never break?

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe but the truth is that there is no way to destroy them (laughs). The Hope Balls are made to be used forever I think a picture is worth a thousand words so I invite you to watch the video to prove they are indestructible: http://vimeo.com/13037112

Have you personally proved it?

It did not take even a second. The first time I had the ball in my hands I tried my hardest to destroy it, but it was impossible. In fact, we cut a ball with a knife in South Africa and the ball maintained its shape and did not deflate in the slightest. The children and I continued playing with the ball as usual.

Tell me about the children. What did you think about the situation in which they live?

The children were certainly the best part of my trip. On the first day I asked myself: “How can they give others so much having so little themselves?” The situation of children who live in Cape Town and those who live in the West is very different. Here (Barcelona) children have everything and African children often do not even have what is essential for them to live. I tell my kids how lucky they are to have so many things and I tell them about my experience in Africa so that they appreciate this and learn the importance of sharing. We all understand that most of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty and that this should not be the case. A little effort from everyone would be enough to significantly improve the lives of millions of people. Sometimes we forget that a waterfall is made up of millions of drops of water. We often see the problems as insurmountable because we look at the waterfall but instead we should look at the drops that are each and every one of us.

And this is why they are so grateful.

Exactly. They have so few things that when you give them something, it is an incredible gift for them, and even more so in the case of the indestructible balls. Football is everything for them. It is a sport, entertainment, a way to forget everything else … It is, ultimately, their life.

What were the balls they had before they were given the Hope Balls like?

Unfortunately there were no balls in good condition… There were some balls for playing football but they were old and in poor condition. Others were not even balls. They played football together using crushed bottles tied together with string, or something similar. They weren’t soccer balls, so we are happy to have given them real balls that will last a long time.

Ignasi Prat with an African kid and a Hope Ball

So Spain Tickets is satisfied with the project.

We are more than satisfied. Sometimes people want to join these initiatives but do not ever actually do it. We have been able to accomplish what we set out to do, and now the children of a South African town are a little happier. This is the most important thing, contributing to the happiness of the young and defenseless. It’s really exciting to see a smile on their face when you give them a ball.

And is it true that this solidarity initiative does not end here?

Of course, this is only the beginning! The Sager family never stops, it is always starting up and working on new charitable projects to help people living in the most disadvantaged places of the planet. We joined one of these projects for the first time, and we succeeded. However, it need not end here, we will always support projects if they seek help, be supportive. In fact, I’m thinking about forming an FC Barcelona team in Khayelitsha. This has only just begun!

Would you also do it with the symbolic support of customers?

We would do it with the support of our clients, of course. The more people we help, the better. The result will be entirely positive: those we help will be happier and we will be happy with the help we’ve provided. Spain Tickets Online is a company made up of caring people who want to help others, so whenever we can combine professionalism and solidarity, we will be there.

June 2011

SPAINTICKETSONLINE & THE POWER OF THE INVISIBLE SUN: El poder del fútbol en África

Thursday 30 June 2011 16:28
Written by spainticketsblog

El pasado 16 de junio, Ignasi Prat, el director de E&TB Group, la compañía a la que pertenece www.spainticketsonline.es, estuvo en el pueblo de Khayelitsha, cercano a Ciudad del Cabo (Sudáfrica), para hacer personalmente la entrega de las pelotas a los niños junto a la fundación de Bob Sager, el creador de “The Sager Family Foundation”. El resultado de la experiencia fue más que positivo: más de 500 balones indestructibles llegaron a manos de los niños sudafricanos.

The Sager Family Foundation ( www.teamsager.org) es una fundación que organiza proyectos de ayuda a las zonas más desfavorecidas del planeta. Una de estas inciativas es The Power of the Invisible Sun (www.poweroftheinvisiblesun.com) que consiste en el envío de pelotas indestructibles (Hope Balls) a los niños que viven en las situaciones más precarias.

En Spain Tickets Online hemos querido participar en este proyecto. Así, por cada venta realizada durante los últimos meses y por cada nuevo fan de nuestra página en Facebook, un gran número de pelotas indestructibles ha sido donado a los niños africanos.

A continuación veremos el testimonio de Ignasi Prat que ha vuelto recientemente de su viaje a África.

Ignasi Prat (en la parte izquierda de la imagen con paravientos rojo) junto a miembros de la fundación Sager y niños del poblado de Khayelitsha


¿Cuáles son tus sensaciones después de haber vuelto de tu viaje a Sudáfrica?

Siento una mezcla de satisfacción y nostalgia. Satisfacción porque estoy orgulloso de haber podido colaborar en la felicidad de los niños de Khayelitsha, y especialmente en algo tan vital para ellos como es el fútbol. Pero también estoy nostálgico de haber vuelto, me impactó mucho la vida que llevan estos niños, muy diferente a la de otros que viven con muchas más facilidades, así que me gustaría poder volver tanto a Khayelitsha como a otros poblados para así para poder ayudar en todo lo que sea posible.

¿Cómo habéis llegado a colaborar en este proyecto?

A principios de año me presentaron el último proyecto solidario de la familia Sager y me pareció muy interesante. Pensé que sería bueno que todos pudiéramos poner nuestro grano de arena para que aquellos que por desgracia no viven tan bien como nosotros puedan mejorar. Creo que ayudar a los demás es algo necesario. El placer de ayudar a los demás, es, sin más, grandioso, es una sensación de felicidad enorme.

Y entonces decidisteis atraer a más personas…

Así es. Creo que lo más importante en estas iniciativas solidarias es que participe cuanta más gente mejor, así que decidí incorporar este proyecto relacionado con los niños y el fútbol, a nuestro trabajo, que está relacionado directamente con el deporte rey. Cada día estamos en contacto con gente de muchas partes del mundo. Muchas personas han participado en el proyecto. Eso sí, sin ningún coste adicional para ellos. El cliente ha donado un balón indestructible a los niños del poblado de Khayelitsha por cada compra que ha hecho.

¿También a partir de las redes sociales?

Sí, tanto Facebook como Twitter nos han ayudado a expandir esta iniciativa solidaria.  Las redes sociales son actualmente el canal más importante herramienta de comunicación e interacción, así que no podían faltar si queríamos hacer un proyecto que englobase a muchas personas. En el caso de Facebook activamos una campaña en la que por cada nuevo fan que se nos agregaba este contribuía con 0,10 € a la causa. Esta iniciativa ha dado sus frutos aunque me hubiera gustado que se hubieran apuntado muchas más personas. Al final unos cuantos balones adicionales han sido personalmente donados a los niños y niñas sudafricanos fruto de esta campaña.

Hablas de balones indestructibles. ¿Es verdad que nunca se rompen?

Pues sí, sé que es difícil de creer pero lo cierto es que no hay forma de destruirlos (se ríe). Las Hope Balls están hechas para que puedan utilizarse siempre. Creo que una imagen vale más que mil palabras así que os invito a ver este video para demostrar que son indestructibles: http://vimeo.com/13037112

¿Has hecho personalmente alguna prueba para comprovarlo?

No tardé ni un segundo. La primera vez que toqué la pelota con las manos intenté destruirla de la manera que pudiera, pero fue imposible. Sin ir más lejos, ahí en Sudáfrica cortamos una pelota con cuchillo, y el balón continuó exactamente con la misma forma y no se deshinchó ni lo más mínimo. Los niños y yo continuamos jugando con la pelota como si nada.

Háblame de los niños. ¿Cómo viste la situación en la que viven?

Los niños y niñas fueron sin duda el mejor regalo del viaje. Ya el primer día me pregunté: “¿Cómo pueden dar tanto teniendo tan poco?” Si comparamos la situación en la que viven los niños en Ciudad del Cabo con los de Occidente vemos que no hay color: aquí tienen de todo y ahí muchas veces no llegan a lo justo. Yo a mis hijos les explico lo afortunados que son de tener tantas cosas y les hablo de mi experiencia en África para que lo valoren y aprendan la importante que es compartir. Todos tenemos que entender que la mayor parte de la población del mundo vive en situaciones de pobreza extrema y esto no puede ser. Un pequeño esfuerzo entre todos sería suficiente para mejorar notablemente las condiciones de vida de millones de personas. A veces no entendemos que una gran cascada de agua se forma por millones de gotas de agua. A menudo vemos los problemas insalvables porque nos fijamos en la cascada, y lo que deberíamos hacer es mirar las gotas que somos todos y cada uno de nosotros.

Y por eso son tan agradecidos…

Exacto. Tienen tan poco que cuando les das algo esto es para ellos como un regalo que creen que jamás les llegaría. Y más en el caso de las pelotas indestructibles. Ahí el fútbol lo es todo. Es un deporte, una distracción, una forma de olvidar lo demás… Es, en definitiva, su vida.

¿Y cómo eran las pelotas que tenían antes de que llegaran las Hope Balls?

Desgraciadamente no había balones en buenas condiciones… Algunas pelotas eran de fútbol pero estaban viejas y en muy malas condiciones, y otras pelotas eran caseras hechas de bolsas de plástico y enrolladlas con hilos. No eran balones de fútbol, por eso estamos contentos de poder regalarles verdaderas pelotas que durarán mucho tiempo y les permitirán jugar y disfrutar como hacen todos los niños, ¡o como deberían hacerlo!

Ignasi Prat junto a un niño y una Hope Ball

Así que Spain Tickets está satisfecha con el trabajo realizado, ¿no?

Estamos más que satisfechos. A veces se piensa en hacer estas iniciativas, se preparan y todo, pero luego finalmente no se llevan a cabo. Nosotros hemos podido cumplir con lo que dijimos, y ahora los niños de un pueblo sudafricano son un poco más felices. Esto es lo más importante, el hecho de colaborar en la felicidad de los más pequeños, en ver que una sonrisa se dibuja en su cara al regalarle una pelota.

¿Y es cierto que esta iniciativa solidaria no termina aquí?

¡Por supuesto, esto es solo el principio! La familia Sager nunca para, siempre inicia y pone en funcionamiento proyectos solidarios para ayudar a las personas que residen en los lugares más desfavorecidos. Nosotros hemos colaborado, y con éxito, por primera vez, pero esto no tiene porqué acabar aquí. De hecho, ya estoy pensando en crear un equipo del FCBarcelona en Khayelitsha. ¡Esto no ha hecho más que empezar!

¿También con la simbólica ayuda de los clientes?

También con nuestros clientes, por supuesto. Cuantas más seamos mejor. El resultado será completamente positivo: aquellos a los que ayudamos serán más felices y nosotros estaremos contentos con la ayuda que hemos prestado. En Spain Tickets Online somos antes que una empresa comercial, una empresa hecha por personas solidarias, que quiere ayudar a los demás, así que siempre que se puedan unir profesión y solidaridad, nosotros ahí estaremos.

Junio del 2011