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New Shining Football Player 2012 - Raheem Sterling, English footballer

Mon, 19 Nov 2012 23:57:00 +0000

Raheem Shaquille Sterling (born 8 December 1994) is an English footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool and the English national team mainly as a winger. He began his youth career at Queens Park Rangers before signing for Liverpool in 2010. Sterling made his Premier League debut in the 2011–12 season. He represented England at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 level before being capped at full level by the national side for the first time in November 2012.

Sterling grew up in the Maverley area of Kingston, Jamaica and was raised by his grandmother. At the age of five Sterling emigrated to London, England with his mother. Once arrived, he attended Copland High School in Wembley, North West London.

New Shining Football Player 2012 - Paul Pogba, French footballer

Mon, 19 Nov 2012 23:42:00 +0000

Paul Labile Pogba (born 15 March 1993) is a French footballer who plays for Italian club Juventus in Serie A. Of Guinean descent, he operates primarily as a midfielder and is comfortable at playing both in attack and defence. Pogba was described by his former club Manchester United as a "powerful, skillful, and creative" player who has "an eye for goal and a penchant for the spectacular.Pogba started his football career playing for local amateur clubs in Paris such as US Roissy-en-Brie and US Torcy before joining professional club Le Havre in 2007. He played for Le Havre for two years before venturing to England to join Manchester United in 2009. Pogba's transfer was subject to controversial debate as his former club accused the English club of tapping up the player. After three years with Manchester United, in which he made seven first-team appearances, in July 2012, he departed the club to join Juventus after his contract with the English club expired.Pogba is a French youth international having represented his nation at all levels for which he has been eligible. With the under-16 team, he captained his nation to victories at the Aegean Cup and the Tournoi du Val-de-Marne and, at under-17 level, played at the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship.  [...]

New Shining Football Player - Alan Dzagoev, Russian footballer

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 15:41:00 +0000

Alan Yelizbarovich Dzagoev (born 17 June 1990) is a Russian international association footballer of Ossetic descent who plays for CSKA Moscow.After joining Akademiya Tolyatti in 2006, he remained there for two seasons before transferring to CSKA Moscow. Following a successful debut season in the Russian Premier League, he won the award for Best Young Player in the league and made his way into the national team. Despite his young age, he is already regarded as a star in his native North Ossetia.Dzagoev, the younger of two sons of Yelizbar (who is commonly referred to as Tariel) and Lyana, was born and raised in Beslan, North Ossetia–Alania, to which his family, ethnic Georgian Ossetians, moved in 1989. He played football on the streets with his brother Gela right up to the second grade of elementary school, when their mother, a passionate football fan, brought them to the Terek Beslan youth team.In 2000, Dzagoev moved to Vladikavkaz to play for a local youth team, Yunost. As their team used to attend Alania Vladikavkaz matches, he became their fan. He describes Valery Gazzaev, an Ossetic footballing legend who later became his coach at CSKA Moscow, as his childhood hero, also stating that Evgeni Aldonin and Frank Lampard were role models for him.In July 2005, Dzagoev joined the Konoplyov football academy.In July 2012, Dzagoev married Zarema Abayeva, who is originally from North Ossetia-Alania's capital, Vladikavkaz.After a string of impressive performances at club level, Dzagoev was called up to Russia squad for 2010 World Cup qualification match against Germany scheduled for 11 October 2008. He made his debut as a half-time substitute, at age of 18 years and 116 days, thus becoming the youngest outfield player ever to compete for Russia, and second youngest overall after his CSKA teammate Igor Akinfeev. Dzagoev nearly earned the team a crucial away draw as he flicked the ball past Germany's goalkeeper René Adler but hit the bar.After the game, Russia manager Guus Hiddink stated, "He's gelled into the team very well... Alan is a really clever player with the ability to make a killer pass and stretch the play. He proved that in Germany once again." However, Dzagoev himself, being unhappy with the defeat, labeled his debut "a flop".He scored his first international goal on 8 October 2010, in a 3–2 away victory over the Republic of Ireland in the qualifying round of Euro 2012. He was confirmed for the finalized Euro 2012 squad on 25 May 2012. Dzagoev scored two goals in Russia's opening game of the Euro 2012 tournament against the Czech Republic on 8 June 2012, a 4–1 victory. Dzagoev added his third goal of the tournament in his side's second game vs. Poland, earning a 1–1 draw for his side.    [...]

New Shining Football Player - Iker Muniain, Spanish footballer

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 15:28:00 +0000

Iker Muniain Goñi (born 19 December 1992 in Pamplona, Navarre) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao in La Liga, mainly as a left winger.

Due to his style of play, he was dubbed "the Spanish Messi" by the media.

On 8 February 2011, at the age of only 18, Muniain made his debut with the under-21 team in a match against Denmark, replacing Adrián López. Subsequently, he was selected by manager Luis Milla to the squad that appeared in the 2011 UEFA European Football Championship, appearing in all the games as the national team won its third title in the category and qualified to the 2012 Summer Olympics.

On 24 February 2012, Muniain was called-up to the senior team for the first time, for a friendly with Venezuela. Five days later, he came on for Cesc Fàbregas in the 74th minute of the 5–0 win in Málaga.

Football Player Photos - Luka Modrić, Croatian footballer

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 19:25:00 +0000

Luka Modrić (born 9 September 1985) is a Croatian footballer who plays for Tottenham Hotspur and for the Croatia national football team as a midfielder.

Modrić's childhood coincided with the Croatian War of Independence. After showing promise in hometown club Zadar's youth team, he was signed by Dinamo Zagreb as a teenager in 2002. His professional career began with loan spells at Zrinjski Mostar and Inter Zaprešić. While he was playing for GNK Dinamo Zagreb, they won three consecutive league titles and several domestic cups, with Modrić named Prva HNL "Player of the Year" in 2007.

He moved to the Premier League in 2008 and has since achieved significant success with the Spurs. He played for the Croatian national team at Euro 2008 and Euro 2012.

Football Player Photos - Edin Džeko, Bosnian footballer

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 13:08:00 +0000

Edin Džeko (born 17 March 1986) is a Bosnian footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Manchester City and the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team. He was named Bosnian Footballer of the Year for 2009 and 2010. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, he is known as Bosanski dijamant (The Bosnian Diamond). He has also played for Željezničar, FK Teplice, FK Ústí nad Labem and Wolfsburg.Džeko has played 44 times for his country and scored 21 goals since 2007, becoming second highest Bosnian goal scorer of all time, a single goal short of Elvir Bolić. He scored nine goals during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, finishing as top scorer of Group 5. He made a name for himself while playing for Wolfsburg, with whom he won the Bundesliga in the 2008–09 season. He was second highest goal scorer with 26 goals. In the 2009–10 season, Džeko was the top scorer with 22 Goals. He also registered ten assists each in both seasons.He scored an important equalizer for Manchester City in the 80th minute of the match during the fourth round match of the 2011 FA Cup against Notts County which ended in a 1–1 draw. His goal forced a replay for Manchester City and an FA Cup triumph. Džeko scored the only goal of the game in a 1–0 win against Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League on 25 April 2011 to ensure the club would directly qualify for their first ever Champions League tournament. Manchester City finished the season third, three points ahead of Arsenal.During the 2011–12 season, Džeko scored four goals in one game for Manchester City, completing a "perfect hat-trick" against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. On the final day of the 2011–12 season, Džeko scored an equaliser against Queens Park Rangers in the 92nd minute, before Sergio Agüero won it for City with seconds to go, ensuring the team won a Premier League title for the first time in 44 years.[...]

Football Player Photos - Shinji Kagawa, Japanese footballer

Sun, 15 Jul 2012 11:41:00 +0000

Shinji Kagawa (born 17 March 1989) is a Japanese footballer who plays for English club Manchester United and the Japanese national team. Kagawa began his professional career in his homeland with Cerezo Osaka before joining German club Borussia Dortmund in 2010. After two years in Germany, Kagawa signed for Manchester United on a four-year contract. A goal-scoring midfielder, he is known for his "vision, technique, movement and deft passing."

Kagawa started playing football at the age of five. He joined Marino Football Club from 1994 to 1999, Kobe NK Football Club from 1999 to 2001, and FC Miyagi Barcelona in Sendai from 2001 to 2005. Cerezo Osaka noticed his talent and signed him at the age of 17. He was the first player in Japan to sign a professional contract before graduating high school, except players promoted from youth teams of the J. League clubs. In 2007, he gained a regular position but the club missed the promotion to the J. League Division 1.

By mid-2010, Kagawa was represented with a sports agency run by retired German professional footballer Thomas Kroth, which ultimately handled his transfer to Borussia Dortmund.

Football Player Photos - Christian Eriksen, Danish professional football player

Sun, 15 Jul 2012 11:30:00 +0000

Christian Dannemann Eriksen (born 14 February 1992) is a Danish professional football player, currently playing a midfield role for Manchester United. He made his debut for the Danish national team in March 2010, and was the youngest player of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In 2011, he was named Dutch Football Talent of the Year as well as Danish Football Player of the Year.

Christian Eriksen started playing football in his hometown Middelfart before his third birthday. In 2005 he switched to Odense Boldklub (OB), who competed in the Danish youth championships. His team lost the semi-final against Brøndby IF, but afterwards he was named "Best Technical Player" of the tournament. The following year OB won the tournament, when Eriksen scored the only goal in the final. After some good performances for OB's U-16 team and later on U-19 team and the Danish U-17 team, major European football clubs including Chelsea and Barcelona began to take notice. The player had trials with Barcelona, Chelsea, and AC Milan, but finally decided to move to Ajax, stating "My first step should not be too big. I knew that playing in the Netherlands would be very good for my development. Then Ajax arrived and that was a fantastic option" 

Football Player Photos - Mario Balotelli, Italian footballer

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 07:54:00 +0000

Mario Barwuah Balotelli (born Mario Barwuah; 12 August 1990) is an Italian footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester City and the Italy national team.He started his professional football career at Lumezzane and played for the first team twice before having an unsuccessful trial at FC Barcelona, and subsequently joining Internazionale in 2007. Inter manager Roberto Mancini brought Balotelli into the first team, but when Mancini left, Balotelli's disciplinary record fell away. He had a strained relationship with new head coach José Mourinho and was suspended from Inter's first team in January 2009 after a number of disciplinary problems.His problems deepened in March 2010 when he came under heavy criticism by Inter fans after he appeared on the Italian TV show Striscia la notizia, wearing an A.C. Milan jersey. This damaged the prospect of him having a long career at Inter, but he did make several appearances after that. With doubts over his career at Inter, former coach Roberto Mancini had since moved to Manchester City and decided to give Balotelli a fresh chance at a new club. He joined Manchester City in August 2010, where his performances and off-field activities have continued to be enigmatic and unpredictable.Balotelli, who is of Ghanaian descent, earned his first cap for the Italian national team on 10 August 2010 in a friendly match against the Côte d'Ivoire.   [...]

Football Player Photos - Thiago Motta, Italian footballer

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 10:46:00 +0000

Thiago Motta (born 28 August 1982) is an Italian footballer who plays for Paris Saint-Germain F.C. in Ligue 1, as a central midfielder.

Having spent his early career at FC Barcelona, his main traits are physical presence, good passing, and a powerful mid-range shot, but he is also known to be injury-prone. He also played two and a half seasons with Internazionale, winning 11 major titles between the two clubs combined.

An Italian citizen before his arrival in Europe (he is of Italian descent), Motta represented its national team since 2011.

Football Player Photos - Riccardo Montolivo, Italian footballer

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 10:42:00 +0000

Riccardo Montolivo (born 18 January 1985 in Caravaggio, Province of Bergamo) is an Italian footballer who plays for Serie A club Fiorentina and the Italian national team. He will join Milan on 1 July 2012.Montolivo is a prototypical "regista" (deep-lying playmaker), similar to Andrea Pirlo. Though he prefers to play in the middle, he can play anywhere including defensive midfield but he is more comfortable in an attacking role. Montolivo was born to an Italian father and German mother.Montolivo began his career in Serie B with Atalanta. At the age of 18, he made his debut during the 2003–04 season. He played 41 matches and scored four goals, helping Atalanta gain promotion to Serie A. In his first season in Serie A, he played 32 times and scored three goals. However, his efforts were in vain as Atalanta were relegated back down to Serie B.In May 2012, Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri announced that Montolivo would join the club on a free transfer when his contract with Fiorentina expired on 30 June. "Next season Montolivo will arrive and he is a very talented player with great technique," said Allegri to Milan Channel.     [...]

Football Player Photos - Mario Mandžukić, Croatian footballer

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 22:00:00 +0000

Mario Mandžukić (born 21 May 1986) is a Croatian footballer, who plays as a striker for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and the Croatian national team.Mandžukić made his first footballing steps at the German club TSF Ditzingen, based near Stuttgart, in 1992. Upon his return to his home city he spent the period between 1996 and 2003 at Marsonia, before spending a season at the city minnows NK Željezničar. The next season he returned to Marsonia and in the summer of 2005 he made a move to NK Zagreb. He thrived under the tuition of Miroslav Blažević and earned a lot interest from other clubs. In the summer of 2007 he was bought by the Croatian powerhouse Dinamo Zagreb for €1.3 million as a replacement for their star striker Eduardo da Silva. He finished his first season at Dinamo with 12 goals and 11 assists throughout 29 matches, but also had a bad discipline record, collecting 8 yellow cards. In the 2008–09 Prva HNL Mandžukić was league's top goalscorer, bagging 16 goals in 28 appearances. After the 2008–09 season had finished he was linked with German side Werder Bremen, but the €12m offer was rejected by Dinamo Zagreb board who were of opinion that Mandžukić's price was at least €15m. On 17 September 2009, after Dinamo lost 2–0 at home to Anderlecht in Europa League, Mandžukić was controversially fined €100k after being accused for poor performance. It was the first time in the history of the club that the player was financially fined. On 20 September, Mandžukić captained Dinamo to a 6–0 victory against Rijeka in Prva HNL. In a post–match interview Mandžukić rejected any speculations about him leaving the club after the fine, stating that it was his childhood dream to captain Dinamo side and that he tends to give his best in any match he plays for the club.  [...]

Football Player Photos - Andrea Pirlo, Italian brilliant playmaker

Thu, 28 Jun 2012 21:46:00 +0000

Andrea Pirlo (born 19 May 1979), is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer who plays for Serie A club Juventus and for the Italian national team. He is usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker for both Juventus and Italy and is regarded as a leading exponent of this position. Praised for his inventive play and his long passing ability, he is also a set-piece specialist.Pirlo has played for the Italian youth teams U-15, U-18 and U-21, captaining and leading the latter to victory in the 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship as the Golden Player and Top Scorer of the tournament. He joined the Italian senior side during the qualification round for World Cup 2002 and captained the national team to a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics. Later, he was instrumental in their victory in the 2006 World Cup. He was named man of the match three times, including the final, more than any other player in the tournament, and ultimately won the Bronze Ball (third best player in tournament).With Milan, he has won two UEFA Champions League (2003 and 2007), two European Super Cups (2003 and 2007), two Scudetti (2004 and 2011) an Italian Super Cup (2004), a FIFA World Cup (2006), and the Italian Cup in 2003. In 2012, he added another Scudetto with Juventus.He came in third and second in IFFHS World Playmaker of the Year awards in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Fellow players on the Italian team gave him the nickname "l'architetto" (the architect) because his long passes frequently set up goal-scoring opportunities for the Azzuri.    [...]

Football Player Photos - Bruno Alves, Portuguese footballer

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:45:00 +0000

Bruno Eduardo Regufe Alves (born 27 November 1981 in Póvoa de Varzim) is a Portuguese, descendant of Brazilians, footballer who plays for FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in Russia and the Portuguese national team, as a central defender.

Alves is noted for his strength, tough tackling and aerial ability. He spent most of his professional career at F.C. Porto, winning a total of nine titles, seven as first-choice.

Football Player Photos - Cristiano Ronaldo, Portuguese footballer

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:24:00 +0000

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, OIH, (born 5 February 1985), commonly known as Cristiano Ronaldo, is a Portuguese footballer who plays as a winger or striker for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid and is the captain of the Portuguese national team. Ronaldo became the most expensive footballer in history after moving from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a transfer worth £80 million (€93.9 million/$131.6 million). In addition, his contract with Real Madrid, in which he is paid €12 million per year, makes him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world, and his buyout clause is valued at €1 billion as per his contract. In 2012, Diego Maradona declared that Ronaldo was "the best player on the planet."Ronaldo began his career as a youth player for Andorinha, where he played for two years, before moving to C.D. Nacional. In 1997, he made a move to Portuguese giants Sporting Clube de Portugal. Ronaldo's precocious talent caught the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who signed him for £12.24 million (€15 million) in 2003. The following season, Ronaldo won his first club honour, the FA Cup. He also played at Euro 2004 with Portugal and scored his first international goal in the opening game of the tournament against Greece, in addition to helping Portugal reach the final. He was featured in the UEFA Euro All-Star Team of this competition.Ronaldo was the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA awards, doing so in 2007. He was third in the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award and second in the 2007 Ballon d'Or award. In 2008, Ronaldo won the Champions League with United, was named best forward and player of the tournament and was the competition's top goalscorer as well as winning the European Golden Shoe, becoming the first winger to do so, and topping the Premier League Golden Boot award. He won three of the four main PFA and FWA trophies, only missing the PFA Young Player of the Year, and was named the FIFPro, World Soccer, Onze d'Or, and the FIFA World Player of the Year, in addition to becoming Manchester United's first Ballon d'Or winner in 40 years. Ronaldo holds the distinction of being the first player to win the FIFA Puskás Award, in 2009, an honour handed by FIFA to the best goal of the year. He scored that goal from 40 yards out against Porto in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final match, while playing for Manchester United. Three-time Ballon d'Or winner Johan Cruyff said in an interview on 2 April 2008, "Ronaldo is better than George Best and Denis Law, who were two brilliant and great players in the history of United." He was second in the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year award and also second in the 2009 Ballon d'Or award.     [...]

Football Player Photos - Nani, Portuguese footballer

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:19:00 +0000

Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha (born 17 November 1986), commonly known as Nani, is a Portuguese footballer currently playing as a winger for English club Manchester United in the Premier League and the Portugal national team. Although predominantly right-footed, he has been utilised on the left-wing on many occasions.Nani was born in Cape Verde and emigrated to Europe with his family at an early age. He was raised in Portugal and began his football career playing for local side Real Massamá. At the age of 16, he began training with Sporting Clube de Portugal and S.L. Benfica on alternate days, eventually joining Sporting's youth squad after they offered him pre-season training. In 2005, he made his professional debut with the club and won the Portuguese Cup during his second season with them. Nani was named the SJPF Young Player of the Month for May 2007 and his performances with Sporting culminated into a move to English club side Manchester United in July 2007 for a fee of €25 million. Nani won the Community Shield on his competitive debut at the club and has since added a number of trophies which included the Premier League and Champions League during his debut season at the club. He has established himself as first-choice winger at Manchester United and has won a further Premier League title, the Football League Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup, and three Community Shield titles. Individually, Nani has been included into the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Premier League Team of the Year on one occasion and was a nominee for the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2011.     [...]

Football Player Photos - Robbie Keane, Irish footballer

Thu, 14 Jun 2012 22:59:00 +0000

Robert David "Robbie" Keane (Irish: Roibeárd Ó Catháin; born 8 July 1980) is an Irish footballer who plays as a striker for Los Angeles Galaxy and captains the Republic of Ireland national football team. A talented striker who also "doubles as a playmaker, drifting deep into midfield to help ease pressure and start attacks" when he plays for the national team.
Keane has scored 53 goals for his national side making him the all-time record Irish goalscorer, having become the first Irish player to score 50 international goals in June 2011. He is ranked the 25th highest international scorer in the world. Keane was Ireland's top scorer at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, with three goals plus a converted penalty in the shoot-out with Spain. With 115 full caps, he is Ireland's second most capped player of all time and is a member of the FIFA Century Club. He is the eleventh highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League with 125 goals (as of 21 January 2012), (Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is tenth with 127) and is the ninth highest goalscorer in Tottenham Hotspur history.

Football Player Photos - Andrei Arshavin, Russian Footballer

Sat, 09 Jun 2012 02:18:00 +0000

Andrey Sergeyevich Arshavin (born 29 May 1981), also spelled as Andrei Arshavin, is a professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Arsenal and is captain of the Russian national team.

Arshavin began his career at Zenit in the year of 2000, where he won everything possible with the club until his departure in 2009 which included the: Russian Premier League, Russian Premier League Cup, Russian Super Cup, UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup; and where he played 308 games, scored over 76 goals and made 107 assists; and won many awards and accolades including the prestigious Russian Footballer of the Year.

Arshavin in 2009 then signed for Arsenal, where he immediately became their most expensive player bought for a fee of £15 million, but later returned to Zenit on 24 February 2012, for a loan deal that will end in July 2012.