Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament
Spain dominate the UEFA Technical Team's UEFA EURO 2012 Team of the Tournament, with ten players from Vicente del Bosque's winning squad making the final 23-man cut.
The UEFA Technical Team has included ten Spain players in its 23-man UEFA EURO 2012 Team of the Tournament.
La Roja defended their European title in impressive fashion with a 4-0 victory against Italy on Sunday and have now been rewarded with yet more acclaim. Andrés Iniesta takes the honour of being named the UEFA Best Player of the Tournament.
The UEFA Technical Team comprised UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh, Fabio Capello (Italy), Jerzy Engel (Poland), Dušan Fitzel (Czech Republic), Gérard Houllier (France), Lars Lagerbäck (Sweden), György Mezey (Hungary) and Holger Osieck (Australia coach). Jean-Paul Brigger and Walter Gagg provided FIFA input, with Mordechai Shpigler acting as link-man to UEFA's Development and Technical Assistance Committee.
"The players in the squad are those who have contributed in a significant way over the entire tournament," said Roxburgh. "Inevitably, the squad is dominated by players from the teams who had the most success – first of all the team which won the title, Spain, then those players who were in the other top three teams.
"There are other players who could easily have been in the squad, but we restricted ourselves to a set number. The line was drawn at 23 because this was the squad size for the tournament.
"In general, the team thought this was a very positive event. We thought the atmosphere was fantastic for many reasons – for example, the Referees Committee talking with the teams before the tournament to explain what was expected; and the coaches' general attitude was top level. The top four teams tried to take the initiative in games, as did other teams as well. There was a positive feeling as far as players' attitudes, the approach to the game and the skill level was concerned."
The Technical Team was split into two groups – one in Warsaw, one in Kyiv – with Roxburgh distributing his time between the two. The group has attended each of the 31 matches, with at least two of the team present at every game. Observations centered on team shapes and the way they evolve; defensive and counterattacking mechanisms; use of the wide areas; the way the goals are scored; differences in footballing philosophies and all the other facets of the game that are of interest to the coaching fraternity.
The team's 72-page technical report, published in English, French and German versions, will be officially launched at the 9th UEFA Conference for European National Coaches in Warsaw in late September.
UEFA EURO 2012 Team of the Tournament
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain), Manuel Neuer (Germany).
Gerard Piqué (Spain), Fábio Coentrão (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain).
Daniele de Rossi (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Xavi Hernández (Spain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Sami Khedira (Germany), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Mesut Özil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Xabi Alonso (Spain).
Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fàbregas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden), David Silva (Spain).
Brazilian full-back Rafael has signed a new four-year contract at Manchester United to keep him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2016.
The 21-year-old has been with the Red Devils since 2008, when he left Fluminense with twin brother Fabio to sign for United.
Rafael made 18 appearances last season and has now committed his future to the club by signing a new long-term deal.He believes he can enjoy further success with United and has thanked Sir Alex Ferguson for helping him to develop.
"I am so happy to sign a new contract," he told the club's official website. "I love playing for Manchester United, there is a great team spirit here and a real desire to win."My time here has been unbelievable; winning two league titles, a league cup and a Club World Cup has made me hungry for more trophies.
"I would like to thank Sir Alex for his belief in me and I would also like to thank the fans for their support."Ferguson is also thrilled with the deal and has backed Rafael to keep progressing over the next few years.He said: "Rafael is one of the club's brightest young prospects; he has no fear of playing and has great belief in himself.
"The boy has developed immensely since joining United, his energy and enthusiasm are a joy to watch."Rafael has all the attributes to become one of the best full-backs in the world and I am delighted he has signed a new contract."
AC Milan defender Thiago Silva has spurned the attentions of PSG and Barcelona and has signed a new deal that will keep him at the San Siro until June 2017.
Thiago Silva, 27, is highly-rated in Italy and has risen to become one of the best defenders in world football after arriving at Milan in January 2009 from Fluminense.
The Brazilian centre-back was linked with a summer move to PSG, who made a €46 million move for him last month. However, he has now agreed a new deal running for another five years.
Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi confirmed: "Thiago Silva is staying at Milan'' while an AC Milan statement said that the club have extended the player's contract until June 30, 2017.
It read: "An important decision (has been) taken in difficult times and faced with a unique economic proposal. Thiago Silva is not simply a champion who tackles and wins back the ball, who, with his team-mates, wins, draws or loses the match. Thiago Silva himself embodies the class and style of Milan, the charisma of a club that loves the game but also the result and behaviour.
"And so his stay with the Rossoneri, decided by president Berlusconi, preserves the Milan identity.''
Thiago Silva was a key part of the club's success in winning the 2010-11 Serie A title and told the club's official website: "I want to make history in Milan, like Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini.''
His decision to stay is a major coup for the club as they look to reclaim the Serie A crown they lost to Juventus last season.
Manchester United defender Fabio da Silva will spend the upcoming campaign on loan at QPR after penning a season-long deal.
The Brazilian full-back, who can play on either side of the back four, has notched up 53 first-team matches for the Red Devils but has rarely been a first-choice starter.
The 21-year-old, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2008 from boyhood club Fluminense, will now have the chance to push for consistent senior football at Loftus Road.Fabio joined United alongside twin brother Rafael - who penned a new four-year deal at Old
Trafford earlier on Monday.
His arrival at Loftus Road has been hailed by Rangers boss Mark Hughes, who told the club's official website: "It's a great opportunity for us to loan a good, young player, who has decent experience of playing for a top club like Manchester United.
"He's played a lot of senior games for United, so it shows the quality he's got.
"I know they think very highly of him and we believe he has all the attributes to be a success here next season.
"First and foremost, he's a good defender. He's got great enthusiasm as well, and just like his brother, he's a top professional.
"We can give him the games he's craving at this stage of his career, so it benefits everybody.
"He's very versatile - he can play left or right-back and he's also been utilised in midfield by Sir Alex (Ferguson) in the past, so we know what we're getting, and that's a very good player."
Fabio sees the move - and the chance of establishing himself in the Premier League - as important to his development.
"I'm so happy to be here," he said.
"This loan is so important for me in terms of my career. I want to play as many games as possible here. I want to play well and win games as well.
"It's a good move for my career and for my confidence.
Juventus has confirmed on its official website that the club has completed the transfers of the 23-year-old Kwadwo Asamoah and Mauricio Isla, 24, from Udinese.
The players already underwent medical tests at the Serie A champion, and the Old Lady have now wrapped up deals for the Udinese duo.
"Juventus announce that an agreement with Udinese has been finalized over the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of Asamoah for a fee of 18 million euros to be paid in three years," a statement on the Juventus website reads. "At the same time, Juventus and Udinese signed a player sharing agreement related to the same player for a consideration of 9m euros to be paid by Udinese in three years.
"Juventus also announce that an agreement with Udinese has been finalized over the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of Mauricio Anibal Isla for a fee of 18.8m euros to be paid in three years. At the same time, Juventus and Udinese signed a player sharing agreement related to the same player for a consideration of 9.4m euros to be paid by Udinese in three years."
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Cristian Pasquato moves in the other direction for a fee of 3m euros paid over three years, with Juventus re-signing 50 percent of the forward's economical rights for a fee of 1.5m euros.
Tottenham is interested in signing Russia midfielder Alan Dzagoev from CSKA Moscow according to the player’s agent and father.
The 22-year-old impressed at Euro 2012, scoring three goals in the group stages for Dick Advocaat’s side, but couldn’t stop the team from crashing out of the tournament in their final game of the group stage after losing to Greece.
Dzagoev’s agent and father, Tariel, has stated that there are plenty of offers for the playmaker to ponder, including one from Spurs.
Dzagoev's father said, as quoted by the Daily Mail: "I don't know if he will stay at CSKA. There are offers - from Spurs and other clubs.
He has warned his son of the dangers of making a poor decision after watching Yuri Zhirkov fail to make an impact following a big money move to Chelsea.
"But I tell him not to hurry. Yuri Zhirkov ran off to Chelsea and sat on the bench," Dzagoev said.
Having previously admitted that he would like a new challenge away from Moscow, Dzagoev will hope to have increased the interest in his signature with his displays in Poland and Ukraine.
Reports suggest a bid in the region of 15 million pounds would be needed to secure his services but there is confusion as to when his contract with CSKA is due to expire.
Looks like someone wants Alessandro Nesta after all.
Over a week after claiming that no Major League Soccer team had made him an offer despite expressing his desire to play in the North American league, the Montreal Impact told Goal.com that they are looking to sign the former AC Milan defender.
"We can confirm that we have made an offer to Alessandro Nesta," a team's spokesperson told Goal.com.
If Nesta accepts Montreal's offer, it would be a surprising turn of events for the 36-year-old. The center back appeared to pessimistic about his chances to play in MLS, hinting that he might retire.
"I don't have a shot to play in MLS," Nesta told Goal.com after the World Soccer Masters game in Miami on July 23. "I tried to play [in the league] but I never received any offers."
"The only place I want to play right now is on the beach," Nesta joked.
After those comments were made, sources have said that the interest in the Nesta started to rise as teams realized that his desire to join an MLS team was legitimate. Nesta would be the fourth Italian to join Montreal if the deal goes through, joining Marco Di Vaio, Matteo Ferrari and Bernardo Corradi
Paris Saint-Germain has confirmed on its official website that it has secured the services of Ezequiel Lavezzi from Napoli for an undisclosed fee. The Argentina international has signed a contract with PSG until the summer of 2016.
The Ligue 1 giant was eager to add a high-profile name to its attack ahead of the 2012-13 campaign, and head coach Carlo Ancelotti has now gotten his desired reinforcements.
Lavezzi started his professional career with Estudiantes and also played for Genoa and San Lorenzo before eventually joining Napoli in the summer of 2007. The Argentina international had since developed into one of the Partenopei's star players.
However, he informed club president Aurelio De Laurentiis of his desire to move on earlier this year as he wanted a new challenge, and will ply his trade at the Parc des Princes in the new season.
The attacker joins compatriot Javier Pastore at PSG and will be wearing the No.11 jersey in the French capital.