Saturday, July 30, 2011

Diego Forlan

Diego Forlán Corazo (Spanish pronunciation: born 19 May 1979) is a Uruguayan footballer who plays as a striker for Atlético Madrid and the Uruguayan national team. He is a two-time winner of both the Pichichi Trophy and the European Golden Shoe, and also received the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2010 World Cup.

Forlán was born into a family of footballers, his father Pablo having played for São Paulo (1970–1975) and Uruguay in the 1966 and 1974 World Cups and his grandfather, Juan Carlos Corazo, for Independiente in Argentina.

Forlán joined Independiente after rising through their youth team, and after a successful four-year spell, he signed for Manchester United. Forlán's disappointing two-year stint in the Premier League saw him fail to achieve the form he held at Independiente, and he moved on to La Liga side Villarreal.

Forlán also has a successful international career, having scored 29 times for his country. He scored once at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, and five times at the 2010 World Cup, in which he scored twice against the host nation South Africa, once against Ghana in the quarter-finals, once against the Netherlands in the semi-finals and once against Germany in the third place play-off.

Forlan was beaten to the Golden Boot by Thomas Müller of Germany, as he also had 3 assists. David Villa of Spain won the Silver Boot. Wesley Sneijder of Holland won the Bronze Boot.

Forlán was strongly linked with a move to Spanish clubs Levante UD and Athletic Bilbao (the latter as he is of Basque descent), but signed on 21 August 2004 with another Spanish club, Villarreal CF, where he became the La Liga 2004–05 season Pichichi Trophy winner with 25 goals in 38 appearances (goal every 1.5 games), helping Villarreal to their first ever UEFA Champions League spot.

Forlán was however recognized with the Golden Ball award, given to the best player at the tournament.

Rino Gattuso

Gennaro Ivan Gattuso (born 9 January 1978, in Corigliano Calabro, Italy) is an Italian footballer, who plays for Serie A club Milan. He mainly plays as a defensive midfielder. Gattuso is a hard tackling player and in his prime was widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. During his career at Milan, he has won the Champions League, in 2002–03 and 2006–07, and also the Serie A title in 2003–04 and 2010-11. He also had a key role in Italy's World Cup victory in 2006.

Gattuso started his career with Italian Perugia, but transferred in July 1997, at the age of 19, to the Scottish team Rangers.

Gattuso was bought by AC Milan for €8 Million. His style allowed Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti to place midfielder Andrea Pirlo in a more attacking position. Gattuso plays deeper in midfield. He will often move forward to win the ball for the forward players and then return to his defensive position. His style of play is characterised by fierce tackling and hard work — a style which has earned him the nickname of Ringhio (Growl). He signed a contract extension in June 2003and in October 2004.

On 27 December 2007, Gattuso trained with his former club Rangers to regain fitness during the Serie A winter break whilst his wife was visiting family in Scotland over Christmas.The following December, Gattuso suffered a torn Anterior cruciate ligament early on in the 1–0 league win against Catania. However, despite the injury, Gattuso played the entire 90 minutes before being diagnosed by the club doctors after the match. He underwent surgery to repair the damage on 19 December 2008, in Antwerp.

Gattuso has been capped seventy three times for his country and played in the 2000 Summer Olympics, the 2002 World Cup, Euro 2004, the 2006 World Cup, Euro 2008, the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

He is married to Monica Romano (a Scottish woman of Italian descent), whom he met while playing for Rangers at an exhibition game in Toronto, Canada. The couple dated for a long while before marrying. They have a daughter, Gabriella (born 20 June 2004), and a son, Francesco (born 8 November 2007). Monica is the sister of GMTV's Los Angeles correspondent Carla Romano.

In January 2010, Gattuso opened a fish shop in Gallarate, a city in the province of Varese where the midfielder had been living for eight years.He claimed that his inspiration for food and dining was a result of sampling British cuisine whilst he played for Glasgow Rangers. Apparently one of his favourite foods was deep fried Mars bar and haggis. He kept his favourite recipes in a scrapbook alongside a box of love letters in his top drawer.


Anderson Luís de Souza, OIH (born 27 August 1977 in São Bernardo do Campo, Brazil), commonly known as Deco, is a Brazilian-born Portuguese professional footballer of Japanese descent who currently plays for Fluminense

Deco is one of the few players to have won the UEFA Champions League with two different clubs – Porto in 2004 and FC Barcelona in 2006. He was named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and UEFA Best Midfielder in Porto's UEFA Champions League winning season and was named Man of the Match in the 2003–04 Champions League final.

Deco was the first player to win the UEFA Best Midfielder Award with two different clubs (Porto and Barcelona). He was awarded the FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball and the Man of the Match award in the final despite losing to Internacional. Deco made his 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League while playing for Chelsea against Atlético Madrid joining a group of only 13 players to have achieved the same milestone.

Deco received Portuguese citizenship in 2002 having completed six years of Portuguese residence, subsequently opting to play internationally for the Portugal national football team.

Deco started off his career at Nacional Atlético Clube in the city of São Paulo, where he was spotted and signed by Corinthians. Deco arrived in Portugal in 1997 at the age of 19 along with fellow Brazilian player Caju after being acquired by Lisbon side SL Benfica.

Deco scored twice in the Spanish Supercup 2006–07, which Barça won.Deco won the UEFA Best Midfielder Award yet again for his performance in Barça's Champions League winning season, enabling him to join the exclusive group of players that have won the same award more than once with different teams, having won the Champions League previously with Porto. Other members of this exclusive group include greats such as Paulo Sousa (Borussia Dortmund and Juventus), Clarence Seedorf (Ajax, Real Madrid, and Milan (Twice)), Marcel Desailly (Marseille and Milan), Frank Rijkaard (Milan and Ajax), Samuel Eto'o (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona (Twice) and Internazionale), Didier Deschamps (Marseille and Juventus), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich and Manchester United), Dejan Savicevic(Red Star and A.C. Milan), Miodrag Belodedic(Steaua and Red Star), Vladimir Jugovic(Red Star and Juventus) and Edwin van der Sar (Ajax and Manchester United). He was also awarded the Golden Ball at the FIFA Club World Cup and the Man of the Match award, despite losing the final to Internacional.

Deco played for Portugal in their opening game against Côte d'Ivoire. During the game he was injured and was ruled out of the remaining two group games, against North Korea and Brazil. He was fit again for the Last 16 game against Spain but Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz chose Tiago over Deco.

Dirk Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɪrk ˈkœy̆t] ( listen); born 22 July 1980) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays for English club Liverpool. He started his career as a striker, earning the nickname Dangerous Dirk due to his prowess in front of goal, but he has been converted into a winger and plays the position for both Liverpool and the Netherlands national team. Kuyt began his professional career with FC Utrecht in 1998 and quickly became part of their first team.

He spent five years at the club and in his final season he won his first senior honour, the Dutch Cup, and was chosen as the season's Dutch Golden Shoe Winner. Following this, he left Utrecht in a €1 million transfer to Feyenoord. He became the club captain in 2005 and was a prolific goalscorer at the Rotterdam club; he was the club's top scorer for three consecutive seasons, the top goalscorer in the 2004–05 Eredivisie season, and the 2005–06 Dutch Footballer of the Year.

Kuyt missed only five games over seven seasons from 1999 until 2006 and appeared in 179 consecutive matches between 2001–06, striking up a fruitful partnership with fellow Feyenoord teammate Salomon Kalou.

He left Feyenoord after three years, having scored 71 league goals in 101 appearances, and joined Premier League side Liverpool for £10 million.He made his Premier League debut late in 2006 and immediately became part of the first team squad. He scored in his first ever UEFA Champions League final with Liverpool against AC Milan, with Kuyt offering late hope for Liverpool although eventually losing 2–1.

Kuyt scored several important goals for Liverpool elsewhere too, including seven goals in the 2007-08 Champions League tournament, including a goal in the quarter final against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium & in the semi final against Chelsea, two penalty kicks against Everton in the derby the same season. He scored his first "Hat-Trick" for Liverpool against Manchester United on March 6th 2011.

Kuyt has drawn plaudits for his exceptional work-rate during his time at Liverpool and has won-over his critics with first-class commitment and a never-say-die attitude. Kuyt has a 100% penalty record for Liverpool, and takes spot kicks in the absence of club captain Steven Gerrard.

Kuyt signed professionally for FC Utrecht that summer, aged 18, and immediately established himself in the first team.Sometimes He played as striker. However he was more often than not played as a winger, as they preferred to play Serbian Igor Gluščević up front.

Friday, July 29, 2011

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Ashley Harkleroad

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