Friday, July 20, 2012

Football Player Photos - Luka Modrić, Croatian footballer

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

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.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Football Player Photos - Shinji Kagawa, Japanese footballer

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

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" 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Football Player Photos - Mario Balotelli, Italian footballer

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.



Sunday, July 1, 2012

Football Player Photos - Thiago Motta, Italian footballer

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

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.





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