Monday, October 8, 2012

New Shining Football Player - Alan Dzagoev, Russian footballer

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

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.


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