Xavi Hernandez Retires From Spain International

Xavi Hernandez Retires From Spain International

Xavi Hernandez Retires From Spain International

Spain’s greatest ever midfielder Xavi Hernandez has announced his retirement from international football.

Xavi, 34, has won 133 international caps for Spain but lost his starting place during their disastrous FIFA World Cup campaign in Brazil as Vicente del Bosque’s side exited the competition after just 2 games – and were the first to exit the FIFA World Cup 2014.

The 34 year old midfielder admits that he was due to retire after Euro 2012, but was persuaded to continue by coach Vicente del Bosque. During a Barcelona-based press conference, Xavi said,

I was going to retire after Euro 2012 but head coach Vicente del Bosque persuaded me to stay on and go to Brazil which was of course a huge disappointment for everyone and myself individually.

After Euro 2012, it was generally understood I was going to be leaving after Brazil 2014. I hope Del Bosque stays as manager as Spain because I don’t think there is a better man for the job. I want to thank everyone involved in that team for the way they treated me and the respect and I could not wish for a better time as an international.

More than any other player, the Barcelona midfielder has embodied the possession-based philosophy of Tiki-Taka, which took Spain to glory at the Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Euro 2012. In each victory, Xavi played an instrumental role, monopolising possession with unrivalled pass-completion statistics and allowing Spain to win game after game in the international arena.

On his decision to leave the national team, Xavi said, “I’ve taken the decision to leave the national team. My time there has finished. I’m grateful for all those years. It has been a fantastic time. I’m not 20 any more, but I still have the motivation of a kid. I was going to retire after Euro 2012 but head coach Vicente del Bosque persuaded me to stay on and go to Brazil, which of course was a huge disappointment for everyone and myself individually.”

“After Euro 2012, it was generally understood I was going to be leaving after Brazil 2014. I hope del Bosque stays as manager of Spain because I don;t think there is a better man for the job. ”

Long time international team mate Xabi Alonso is also reported to be considering his future with Spain.

Xavi Hernandez Retires From Spain International

Although Xavi is quitting Spain, he remains with his club Barcelona. Xavi told a press conference that he had indeed made the decision to quit Barcelona but he has now reversed his decision and will stay put at the club where he has been for his entire football career.

7 time La Liga winner and 3 time Champions League winner says he was convinced to extend his career at Barcelona after discussions with new coach and former team mate Luis Enrique.

“I thank the club for being so patient and letting me think over my situation over the summer,” he said. “I’m happy that the club has faith in me and wants me to see out my contract. Having spoken to the coaches, they’ve made me feel competitive and useful.

“My contract is for two years so nothing changes. I think I made a rash decision to [consider leaving] the club and changed my mind. I wish to apologise and thank everyone.”

No one did more to establish Spain as football’s pre-eminent team and impose Tiki-Taka as the prevailing orthodoxy then Spain’s maestro Xavi Hernandez, who retires from the international side as the most influential player ever to wear the red of La Roja. Not only did he excel on the pitch, his close relationship with captain Iker Casillas also helped to heal rifts caused by the numerous El Clasicos between Barcelona and Real Madrid as Spain put aside their club rivalries to become arguably the greatest international side ever assembled, forget the FIFA World Cup 2014 folly.

Very few players quits the international duty having won 3 major tournaments, especially when the team in question had suffered so many heartbreaks before. Xavi’s style of play and quality has helped develop modern football as we know it today, a sport which should rightfully class the magician as a true icon.

A legend has departed the stage.

Xavi Hernandez World Cup

Xavi Hernandez World Cup 2010

David Villa Retires From International Football

Steven Gerrard Retires From International Football

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Dejan Lovren joins liverpool

Dejan Lovren Joins Liverpool

Dejan Lovren Joins Liverpool

Liverpool have signed Croatia International Dejan Lovren, 25, from Southampton for £20 million. Lovren now joins Saints team mates Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert in moving to Merseyside this summer.

The 6’2” centre back only joints Saints last season, arriving on the South Coast for a fee of around £8.5 million from French Club Lyon.

Liverpool finished second last season and are spending big after selling star player Luis Suarez to Barcelona for £75 million. They have made 5 signings so far this summer, buying Lazar Markovic from Benfica and Emre Can from Bayer Leverkusen. A deal to buy Loic Remy from Queens Park Ranger fell through after the France International failed a medical for unspecified reasons.

On signing for Liverpool, Dejan Lovren was more than delighted. He said, “It’s a dream come true. I’m happy and glad to be here. I’m proud and can’t wait to start. I know we have millions and millions of supporters – Liverpool is more than a club. After I played at Anfield last season, I said to myself: ‘One day I hope I’ll be able to play here for Liverpool.’ The fans will know from the first minute that I’m a player that will give 100 percent on the pitch.”

More on Dejan Lovren:

Dejan Lovren began his career at GNK Dinamo Zagreb before moving to Olympique Lyonnais in January 2010. Lovren spent 3 and a half seasons with the Ligue 1 team, winning the 2012 Coupe de France. In 2013, he signed for Southampton, making 31 appearances and scoring 2 goals. After 1 season there, he joined Liverpool for £20 million.

Lovren has represented Croatia at many levels, having been a full international since 2009. He has established himself in the Croatian giants’ first team, making 28 appearances and scoring 2 goals for his country.

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James Rodriguez

Real Madrid Confirms Signing Of James Rodriguez

Real Madrid Confirms Signing Of James Rodriguez

La Liga Club Real Madrid have completed the signing of FIFA World Cup Golden Boot Player James Rodriguez from Monaco for a fee around the region of €80 million.

James has agreed a 6 year contract with Real Madrid and underwent his medical with the club on Tuesday morning. Neither club have confirmed the fee for the 23 year old striker but his believed fee of €80 million would make Rodriguez he fourth most expensive transfer of all time behind Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez.

Real Madrid statement read, “Real Madrid have reached an agreement for the transfer of james Rodriguez, who will join the club for the next 6 seasons. The player will be presented today, Tuesday 22 July, at 20:00 (Spanish time), in the Santiago Bernabeu’s presidential box. Following that, James Rodriguez will take his first steps on the Santiago Bernabeu’s pitch wearing the Real Madrid shirt and will attend the media in the press room.”

James Rodriguez was one of the revelations of the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil, scoring in each of Colombia’s games as they reached the Quarter Finals of the tournament for the very first time, eventually losing 2-1 to host Brazil.

James scored a total of 6 goals at the FIFA World Cup 2014, finishing as the top scorer – one above Germany’s Thomas Mueller – while his stunning 25 yard volley against Uruguay was voted as the goal of the tournament by FIFA.com.

His signing comes less than a week after Real Madrid brought in another of the World Cup 2014 star performer, Germany’s Toni Kroos, from Bayern Munich, for a reported fee of £24 million. If the reported figure is accurate, it would mean that Real Madrid now boast 3 of the 4 most expensive signings in history, having spent a world record of £86 million of Gareth Bale from Tottenham last summer and £80 million on Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009.

James Rodriguez FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil vs Colombia

More on James Rodriguez:

James Rodriguez began his professional career with Colombian side Envigado before before moving down to Argentinian club Banfield at aged 17. Rodriguez became well known in Europe during his time at Porto, winning several trophies and individual awards during his 3 years at the club.

He then moved to Monaco in 2013 and played for them during the 2013-14 season, before making a move to Real Madrid with a transfer fee of around €80 million. This move made Rodriguez the most expensive Colombian in history, above Radamel Falcao.

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Toni Kroos Signs For Real Madrid

Toni Kroos Joins Real Madrid

Toni Kroos Joins Real Madrid

Real Madrid has signed Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich at a fee around the region of £20 million. Kroos who starred in Germany’s 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil has formally agreed to the transfer to Bernabeu.

Bayern Munich Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has paid tribute to Toni Kroos’ on his leaving. He said, “We thank Toni Kroos for his time in Munich. We have achieved great success with him here. We wish him and his family all the best in Madrid and with Real.”

More on Toni Kroos:

The 24 year old was born in the old East Germany. He was a member of Bayern Munich’s first team at the age of 17 and established himself as a regular after an 18 month loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen. Kroos won honours including 3 Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League title. Internationally, Toni Kroos was a member of the German squad which reached the Semi Finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012, having mde his international debut in 2010. After wining the FIFA World Cup 2014, Kroos signed a 6 year contract with La Liga Club Real Madrid and will reportedly earn £5.3 million a year after tax.

Real Madrid are expected to sell German team mate Sami Khedira to find space for Toni Kroos. English Premier League Club Arsenal have agreed a fee with the Spanish club with rivals Chelsea making a late attempt to sign him on Thursday.

Alexis Sanchez Signs For Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez Signs For Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez Signs For Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez from La Liga Club Barcelona has agreed to join English Premier League Club Arsenal on a long term contract for an undisclosed fee.

The 25 year old Chile forward completed his medical in London on Thursday and will join his new Arsenal teammates at the end of July after spending some time on holiday following Chile’s exit from the World Cup Round Of 16.

Alexis Sanchez, who won the 2013 Primera Division title and 2012 Copa del Ray with Barcelone, is likely to make his first appearance for his new club at the Emirates Cup over the weekend of August 2-3.

On the signing of Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, “As many people have seen during the World Cup this summer, Alexis is a fantastic footballer and we are delighted that he is joining us at Arsenal Football Club. Alexis will add power, creativity and much quality to our squad and we are all looking forward to him joining up with us in a few weeks. He has consistently produced top-quality performances at the highest level for a number of seasons now and we are all excited to see him integrate into the Arsenal squad. I’m sure all Arsenal supporters will join me in welcoming Alexis to our club.”

Alexis Sanchez was more than happy to sign for the English Club. He said, “I’m so happy to be joining Arsenal, a club which has a great manager, a fantastic squad, huge support around the world and a great stadium in London. I’m looking forward to meeting my new team mates and to be playing for Arsenal in the Premier league and Champions League. I will give my best to Arsenal and want to make all the supporters happy.”

More on Alexis Sanchez:

Born in Tocopilla in Chile’s northern mining region, a grim port city dominated by a gigantic power plant and a saltpeter processing facility, Alexis barely knew his father and was raised by a mother who scrapped a living as a cleaner at her son’s school.

Like many, all Alexis wanted to do was to play football but had to take odd jobs like cleaning cars while still at school to supplement the family income. His talent shone from an early age and he was nicknamed El Nino Maravilla (Boy Wonder). Alexis quickly realised that football offered a way out that would allow him to help his mother and family.

Blessed with exceptional pace and ball control, Alexis is at his best when running at defenders down the right, either cutting inside to shoot or darting to the byline and sending over dangerous crosses.

Alexis Sanchez debuted for the first team with local club Cobreloa at the age of 16. After his first season, he was signed by Italy’s Udinese Calcio in 2006. He was then loaned to Colo-Colo and River Plate and began playing at Serie A. In 2011, Sanchez was signed by Barcelona for US$43 million, becoming the most expensive transfer in Chilean football history.

Sanchez has been a full international for Chile since 2006, earning over 70 caps and playing in 2 FIFA World Cup (2010 and 2014 ) as well as the 2011 Copa America.

Klose breaks record

Klose Breaks Record

Klose Breaks Record

Miroslav Klose scores 16th World Cup goal to break the all-time World Cup goal scoring record. Germany striker Miroslav scored in the 23rd minute in the FIFA World Cup 2014 Semi Finals as Germany trashed Brazil with a convincing 7-1 scoreline to make it to the FIFA World Cup 2014 Finals.

Klose goal led to him becoming the tournament’s all time leading goalscorer with 16 goals in 23 World Cup matches. Klose had moved level with former Brazil striker Ronaldo on 15 when he scored in Germany’s 2-2 draw against Ghana in the FIFA World Cup Group Stages.

His close strike range in Belo Horizonte after a rebound put Germany 2-0 up in the last 4 clash and was his first goal in a World Cup Semi Finals. Klose said, “We are a team and it shows on the field. It’s also important that our set pieces bring results. You saw it again today. Toni puts the ball where it has to go every time and that’s a big strength.”

However, after scoring his goal against Brazil, in his 23rd World Cup Match, Miroslav Klose refrained from doing his trademark back flip. He explained, “I got hit in my left foor while attempting a shot and I was not able to do the flip.

Germany coach Joachim Loew has much praises for the veteran and the only true striker on the team. He said, “It really means a lot to all of us. This is a record. This is a record that could be beaten only by (Thomas) Mueller. We believe that he really deserves it. Because at his age, he is still playing at the highest possible level.”

Klose, 36, netted his first ever World Cup goal against Saudi Arabia in 2002 – a hat trick in an 8-0 victory over Saudi Arabia. He netted again in their next group game, a 1-1 draw with Republic of Ireland, before scoring the second in a 2-0 victory over Cameroon. (5 Goals)

During his home World Cup 4 years later in 2006, the forward found the net 5 times again, and was awarded the Golden Boot. He scored 2 goals in their 4-2 victory over Costa Rica, and 2 more in their final group game against Ecuador. Miroslav Klose final goal in the 2006 World Cup was a vital 80th minute equaliser against Argentina in the World Cup Quarter Finals, bringing the score to 1-1,with Germany eventually winning on penalties. (5 Goals)

In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Klose managed 4 more strikes, 1 in their opening 4-0 victory over Australia, 1 in their 4-1 win over England in the Round Of 16 and 2 in their 4-0 demolition of Argentina in the World Cup Quarter Finals.

He has since played in 4 World Cups and has now scored 71 goals in his 136 appearances for Germany. A deadly finisher, Klose is considered the best German striker of his generation, along with his tremendous sense of fair play.

Klose World Cup Goals

*Image courtesy of AFP/Getty Images

Brazil Appeal Thiago Silva Suspension

Brazil Appeal Thiago Silva Suspension

FIFA has confirmed that Brazil have lodge an appeal against Captain Thiago Silva’s yellow card that has seen him banned for the FIFA World Cup 2014 Semi Finals against Germany.

Thiago Silva picked up the caution against Colombia, imposed after he blocked goalkeeper David Ospina from taking a kick. As the yellow card was his second of the tournament, he was automatically suspended for a game.

The Brazilian federation (CBF) has lodged an appeal and FIFA head of media Delia Fischer said, “I can confirm we received an appeal from the CBF and this is being analysed.”

The CBF chances of success appear limited as appeals against yellow cards are not usually permitted, only red cards.

Real Madrid had appealed against midfielder Xabi Alonso being suspended for the Champions League Final after he picked up a third booking in the Semi Finals, but UEFA ruled that the appeal was inadmissible. Real Madrid went on to win 4-1 against Atletico Madrid in the Champion League Final.

Should FIFA overturn the yellow card it would be hugely controversial and would allow other teams to claim that the governing body is favouring the hosts. All existing yellow cards are now wiped from the slate for players from this stage of the tournament. This means that anyone who is booked in the FIFA World Cup 2014 Semi Finals will not risk suspension for the FIFA World Cup 2014 Finals unless they are sent off.