Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Steven George Gerrard MBE ( /ˈdʒɛrɑrd/; born 30 May 1980 in Whiston, Merseyside, England) is an English footballer who plays for and captains Premier League club Liverpool. He also has 89 caps for the England national team. He has played much of his career in a centre midfielder role, but he has also been used as a second striker and right winger. Gerrard is best known for his tremendous long-range striking ability and has scored in numerous cup finals, including the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final and the 2006 FA Cup Final.
Gerrard, who has spent his entire career at Anfield, made his début in 1998 and cemented his place in the first team in the 2000–01 season, succeeding Sami Hyypiä as Liverpool team captain in 2003. His honours include two FA Cup wins, two League Cup wins, a UEFA Cup win, and a UEFA Champions League win in 2005. In 2005, Gerrard came third in the voting for Ballon d'Or, given to the top player in Europe.
Gerrard made his international debut in 2000 and has represented England at Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, as well as the 2006 World Cup, where he was the team's top goalscorer with two goals. Gerrard is the current vice-captain of the England national football team. However, he captained his country at the 2010 World Cup in the absence of regular captain Rio Ferdinand who missed the tournament through injury.
Gerrard is widely regarded as one of the greatest English footballers ever. Gerrard came second only to Kenny Dalglish in the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, a Liverpool F.C. fan poll. Zinedine Zidane said in 2009 that he considers Gerrard one of the best footballers in the world. In 2010, The Guardian named Gerrard to their World XI team, which compiled the greatest footballers of all-time onto one squad.
Gerrard primarily plays centre midfielder with attacking tendencies. Gerrard has also played on the right wing, as well as a second striker. Early in his career, Gerrard was known for his defensive abilities, but over time, he has become known for his scoring. Gerrard's strengths are his long-range shooting and his powerful shot. Many of Gerrard's most memorable goals are scored from a volley, a specialty of Gerrard. He is also a good passer, especially on long passes and overhead crosses from the wide area that set his teammates up for scoring chances. Gerrard has tremendous endurance and is rarely subbed out of games. Gerrard's tireless work in the attacking midfield leads his team to an abundance of opporitunities. However, Gerrard has been criticized by opposing teams and coaches for his lack of positional awareness and his tendency to leave opponents unmarked.
Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈlwiz 'swares]; born 24 January 1987), commonly known as Luis Suárez and nicknamed "El Pistolero" (The Gunfighter), is a Uruguayan international footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool as a striker. Suárez also plays for the Uruguayan national team. He has been praised as an excellent goal scorer with "remarkable technical ability" who is also known for creating chances for his teammates.
Suárez was born in Salto, Uruguay, and moved with his family to Montevideo, where he grew up with a single mother and six siblings. In 2005, he began his professional career at Montevideo side Nacional. At age 19, in 2006, he moved to the Netherlands with Eredivisie side Groningen. Suárez transferred to Ajax in 2007 and made a major impact at the Amsterdam club. In 2008–09 he was named club Player of the Year and he led Ajax in scoring, although he was suspended for both fighting with a teammate and for getting seven yellow cards on the season. The following year he was made the club captain, he led the Eredivisie in scoring with 35 goals in 33 games and was named Dutch Footballer of the Year. He scored 49 goals in all competitions and Ajax won the KNVB Cup. In the 2010–11 season he scored his one hundredth Ajax goal and joined an elite group of players from the club, including Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp, to do so. But that season he was also involved in an incident in which he bit the shoulder of PSV player Otman Bakkal. He was branded the "Cannibal of Ajax" and suspended seven games. During his suspension, in January 2011, he transferred to Liverpool for €26.5 million. Suárez was one of Liverpool’s best players during his partial season and helped the club move from twelfth in the league in mid-January to finish sixth.
Suárez represented Uruguay at the youth level in the 2007 U-20 World Cup. In 2007 he scored in his senior team debut against Columbia but was also sent off for a second yellow card. In the 2010 World Cup he played an important role for Uruguay's fourth place finish and he scored three goals. But he was also involved in one of the tournament's most controversial incidents in the final minutes of extra time against Ghana; in a tied game, he saved a goal with his hands to prevent his team from losing. He was given a red card, but the ensuing penalty kick was missed and Uruguay advanced after winning the shootout. He was labeled a villain and a cheat but also as a hero for sacrificing himself for his team. In 2011, Suárez scored four goals for Uruguay as they won a record fifteenth Copa América, and he was named Player of the Tournament.
Kenneth Mathieson "Kenny" Dalglish (Scottish pronunciation: [dɛlɡliːʃ]) MBE (born 4 March 1951) is a former Scottish footballer and the current manager of Liverpool F.C. Dalglish was voted PFA Player of the Year for the 1982–83 season, and in 2009 he was named by FourFourTwo football magazine as the greatest striker in post-war British football.
In a 22-year playing career, Dalglish played for two teams, Celtic and Liverpool, winning honours with both. Dalglish is the most capped Scottish player, with 102 appearances. He and Denis Law also share the record for most goals for Scotland, with 30 each.
Dalglish began his career with Celtic and became the team captain in 1975. Between 1971 and 1977 he won four Scottish First Division titles, four Scottish Cups and one Scottish League Cup. In 1977, Bob Paisley paid a British transfer record of £440,000 to bring Dalglish to Liverpool.
His years at Liverpool marked one of the club's most prolifically successful periods: he won seven league titles, three European Cups and five domestic cups – achievements which led to him being given the name King Kenny by Liverpool supporters – and he was placed first in Liverpool's list of "100 Players Who Shook the Kop". Dalglish became player-manager of Liverpool in 1985 and in a six-year tenure won three league titles and two F.A. Cups. He resigned as Liverpool manager in 1991, in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster.
Dalglish joined Blackburn Rovers in 1991 and he turned the Second Division side into Premier League winners in 1995. His move to Newcastle United in 1997 was less successful. Dalglish was appointed Director of Football at Celtic in 1999 but a stint as caretaker manager ended in an acrimonious departure the following year.
Between 2000 and 2010 Dalglish focused on charitable concerns, founding The Marina Dalglish Appeal with his wife to raise money for cancer care. On 8 January 2011, Dalglish became Liverpool's caretaker manager after the departure of Roy Hodgson, and signed a three-year permanent deal on 12 May 2011.