Sunday, December 13, 2009
Full Name Robin Van Persie
Birth Date August 6, 1983
Birth Place Rotterdam, Netherlands
Weight 72.4 kg
Squad No 11
Little was known about Robin van Persie when he finally came on Arsene Wenger's radar in 2004. A young forward with Feyenoord Rotterdam, Van Persie had only been playing in the Eredivisie club's first team for a couple of seasons. Van Persie soon showed Arsenal fans why Wenger rated him so highly and he is now an important player for both club and country.
Van Persie was handed his international debut in the summer of 2005, 12 months after moving to the Emirates. He had been slowly brought into the Arsenal first team by Wenger, who was eager to transform him from a left-winger to a forward. By the time the 2006 World Cup came around, Van Persie had forced his way into the Dutch first team.
Though injuries have plagued his time with Arsenal, and also adversely affected his involvement with Holland, when fit he can be an explosive player with a bullet shot. He made his debut for Holland against Romania in June 2005 and soon became a crucial player, earning a starting place at both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.
Strengths: With pace and skill in abundance, this forward can change a game in an instant with his ability to achieve the improbable. He is technically excellent with the vision to unlock a defence too.
Weaknesses: His injury problems have been well documented, and perhaps sometimes he takes the difficult option when a simple pass would suffice. Not great in the air and there have also been question marks over his temperament.
Career high: Winning the UEFA Cup in 2002, aged 17, as Feyenoord beat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in Feyenoord's own stadium.
Career low: Sent off against Stoke in November 2008 after being wound up by goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen. The player thought his disciplinary problems were behind him - it was his first red in three years.
Style: Increasingly likened to the great Dennis Bergkamp, Van Persie is a player of supreme skill and ability who likes to try the audacious.
Quotes: "He is very intelligent and talented but most of all he is passionate about the game. At the start we gave him Dennis Bergkamp as a role model. And he has grown into the Bergkamp role. He is becoming like Dennis in his passing - and he scores more goals than Dennis. He respected Dennis and listened to his advice." Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in February 2009.
Trivia: Van Persie is a very left-footed player and has an interesting turn of phrase to describe his right. "I think you will miss many more chances with your chocolate leg if you think negatively, thinking that it's not your strong foot," he once said.
Soccernet says: If the Dutch are looking for a match-winner then Van Persie could well be the man. He has the ability to score goals from nothing which can often prove crucial at World Cup finals.
Full Name Ben Foster
Birth Date April 3, 1983
Birth Place Leamington Spa
Weight 76.8 kg
Squad No 12
Foster joined Manchester United from Stoke City for an initial fee of £1m, rising to £2.5m, in July 2005, despite never having played a first-team game for the Potters before his move.
An impressive young goalkeeper, Foster has not had the best of luck with injuries, but si viewed as one of England's best stoppers.
He needed loan moves to gain first team football at the start of his career and the first switch was from Stoke to Kidderminster Harriers in October 2004, before he moved to Wrexham for the remainder of the season in January 2005.
Just after signing for United, he was loaned to Watford for the 2005-06 season to build up his experience and, after a shaky start that saw a number of disastrous gaffes, Foster established himself as the first choice keeper, and went on to put in stellar performances as Watford gained promotion to the Premiership via the play-offs.
After Man Utd signed Tomasz Kuszczak as Edwin Van der Sar's back-up, they agreed to extend his loan for the 2006-07 season. And Foster made a fine impression in a side that owed much of its lengthy but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stay in the Premiership to the superlative stopping of Foster, who was rewarded with his England debut against Spain at Old Trafford in February 2007.
Upon his return he was hotly tipped to push Edwin van der Sar as first choice at Old Trafford until a cruciate knee injury picked up in pre-season ruled him out of action until March.
After recovering, Foster finally made his United debut in a 1-0 victory at Derby County in March 2008, but an ankle injury and a broken finger hindered his development.
He was a key figure in United's Carling Cup success of March 2009 and was given a chance to shine at the start of 2009-10 as Van der Sar missed six weeks through injury, which helped his chances of getting a call-up to the 2010 England World Cup squad.
Full Name Nemanja Vidic
Birth Date October 21, 1981
Birth Place Uzice, Serbia & Montenegro
Weight 83.8 kg
Squad No 15
A virtual unknown before moving to Manchester United from Spartak Moscow in January 2006, Vidic is now considered to be one of the best defenders in the world. His partnership with Rio Ferdinand formed a rock at the centre of the Red Devils' defence.
Vidic began his career with Red Star Belgrade, and was soon made the club's skipper. Even at that stage he had shown his ability to be a goalscoring defender, notching 12 in 67 games for his club. After winning the Serbia and Montenegro double in 2004 he moved to Russia with Spartak. Two years later he was signed by United for £7 million.
His United career started slowly with some critics wondering if he had the quality to adapt to life in the Premier League. But in 2006-07 he was one of the best players in the English top flight and has rarely suffered a drop in form, winning three back-to-back Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Vidic has represented several sides internationally due to the break up of the old Yugoslavia. He played youth international football for Yugoslavia before going on to play for Serbia & Montenegro and then Serbia. He was part of the hugely impressive Serbia & Montenegro defence dubbed the "famous four" (Mladen Krstajic, Ivica Dragutinovic and Goran Gavrancic being the others). That back four conceded just one goal in the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign.
He made his full international debut for Serbia and Montenegro in October 2002.
Strengths: Strong and powerful, good in the air and a weapon from set-pieces at the opposite end.
Weaknesses: Has been known to struggle with the ball played over the top, also short on pace.
Career high: Winning the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008.
Career low: Missing out on playing at the 2006 World Cup finals initially through suspension and then an injury picked up in training.
Style: Aggressive and imposing, Vidic is a no-nonsense central defender who leads the back-line superbly.
Quotes: "Nemanja was magnificent. It was the best performance you are likely to see from a natural centre-half. His reading of the game is excellent and he is as tough as nails. He was absolutely superb." Sir Alex Ferguson, after victory over Wigan in January 2009.
Trivia: United fans have a song where they sing that Vidic will "murder you". Vidic said of this: "I know the words. I want to win and do my best no matter what. I really thank them for their support - but I am not a killer."
Soccernet says: Vidic's hard man image may attract the attention of referees in South Africa meaning he is likely to get a suspension if Serbia make progress, but his style will be central to their hopes of keeping out the opposition.
Full Name Edwin van der Sar
Birth Date October 29, 1970
Birth Place Voorhout, Holland
Weight 84 kg
Squad No 1
Manchester United's desperate bid to find a worthy successor to Peter Schmeichel was documented and, in the summer of 2005, as they turned to giant Edwin van der Sar, finally those gloves had been filled.
Granted, Van der Sar's age - he was 34 when joining the Red Devils - means he is more of a stop-gap measure than the long-term answer. But it is a situation most United fans would settle for after the wayward years with Mark Bosnich, Fabien Barthez, Tim Howard and Roy Carroll. A goalkeeper with great agility for one so tall, he is a reliable and commanding figure between the sticks - one of Schmeichel's main attributes.
He began his career with Ajax Amsterdam. There he won the UEFA Cup in 1992, the Champions League in 1995 and the Dutch domestic treble in 1996. Van der Sar was the first foreign keeper to play for Juventus when he made the move to Serie A.
And the unfashionable Fulham pulled off a major coup when they signed Van der Sar from the Italians in a £7m deal in August 2001. The deal smashed the club's transfer record.
The player missed only one match in 2003-04, being as dependable as ever and holding the record for the most shots saved over the campaign. He passed 100 Fulham appearances that term - and was also named Fulham's Player of the Year.
He was linked with a return to PSV, but remained with Fulham and was also named in the Dutch squad for Euro 2004. With his contract due to expire in the summer of 2005, Fulham managed to tie him to a new two-year contact in January. That was despite much talk of a transfer window move to Manchester United.
But at the end of the campaign he finally agreed to move to Old Trafford after the two clubs settled on a fee. His arrival at United coincided with an improvement in the team's defensive performances. And he was rewarded with a League Cup medal in 2006 and the return of the Premiership title after four years in 2007 in which he was a virtual everpresent.
In 2008 he celebrated Champions League success with the Red Devils, as well as another title, showing great command of his area, athleticism and agility for such a giant of a player.
His crowning glory came when, in 2008-09, he went 1,311 minutes without conceding in the league - setting a new single-season world record. With a total of 21 clean sheets he won the Best European Goalkeeper award from UEFA and sealed his reputation as one of the best in the world.
Full Name Carlos Tevez
Birth Date February 5, 1984
Birth Place Ciudadela, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Weight 67 kg
Squad No 32
Carlos Tevez's story is very similar to that of many other kids in Argentina. Born into poverty in a working-class neighborhood in the province of Buenos Aires known as Fort Apache (thus his peculiar moniker, the "Apache"), he was able to escape thanks to soccer.
Even in those early street games he displayed the fierceness, the courage and the poise that he would later exhibit in the soccer fields of Argentina and the rest of the world. He started his road to stardom in the lower ranks of the local All Boys soccer club, and was acquired by Boca Juniors, the club that gave him a debut in the Argentine top division.
Coached by Carlos Bianchi, he became an idol and participated in one of the club's most successful championship runs, winning the domestic league, the Copa Libertadores and an Intercontinental Cup in 2003. Without Bianchi no longer at the helm of the team, towards the end of 2004 he left the club after another title: the Copa Sudamericana.
He arrived at Brazil's Corinthians, where he earned the love of the fans and won a league title. Bu a bad run of form and a decline in Tevez's performances ended up putting him in the auction block. West Ham, a modest English team, picked him up and he paid them back by helping them stay in the top division.
The big clubs finally took notice, and Manchester United added him to their star-studded squad, though he struggled to find his place. He participated in several of the club's successes, including a league title, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2008. In 2009, his differences with Sir Alex Ferguson reached their pinnacle, and Tevez accepted an offer to play for neighbours and rivals Manchester City.
Strengths: A very courageous player, Tevez makes full use of his body. He adds a great ability to protect the ball to his great ball skills, and he can be a traditional centre-forward in the box or play deeper.
Weaknesses: With the exception of his long tenure at Boca, he has been unable to stay in one club for more than two years in a row.
Career high: He was the top scorer for the Argentine team that grabbed an Olympic gold medal in Athens 2004.
Career low: His second season at Corinthians included fights with his team-mates and with the fans.
Style: Strength and courage are the trademarks of Carlos Tevez's style.
Quotes: After receiving criticism for a series of low-key performance with his national team, he declared: "Sometimes I don't even want to play for Argentina."
Trivia: He has a large scar on his neck, a consequence of a bad burn suffered as a child. He has been offered a chance to have the scar tissue surgically removed, but has always refused.
Soccernet says: Carlos Tevez has been playing with the national team since his youth, but never exploded as he has with several of his clubs. He will have to play with greater consistency if he is to earn a permanent spot as a starter with the national team.
Tiga gol yang ditorehkan Messi kala melibas Atletico Madrid di ajang Copa Del Rey semakin melambungkan namanya sebagai pemain muda yang hebat dan penuh talenta.
Pertandingan leg pertama Copa Del Rey ini dimainkan di kandang Atletico Madrid dan disaksikan juga oleh legenda hidup Diego Maradona. Mungkin juga karena disaksikan oleh sang idola, permainan Messi semakin menggila.
Ketiga gol yang diciptakan Messi masing-masing terjadi di menit ke 12, 57 (via penalti) dan 80. Satu gol hiburan dari Atletico disumbangkan oleh Tomas Ujfalusi di menit ke 69, sehingga skor akhir menjadi 1-3.
Leg kedua Copa Del Rey akan dimainkan pada 14 Januari 2009 mendatang di kandang Barcelona.
Berikut ini biodata singkat dari Lionel Messi :
* Nama Lengkap : Lionel Messi
* Tempat Tanggal Lahir : Argentina, 24 Juni 1987
* Umur : 21 tahun (masih muda banget ya…)
* Tinggi : 169 cm
* Berat : 67 kg
* Nomor punggung : 10
Statistik di Liga Primera musim ini (hingga tulisan ini dibuat) :
* Main : 14 kali
* Gol : 10
* Assist : 6