Khamis, 13 Oktober 2011

First XI of Euro 2012 Qualifiers


Gianluigi BUFFONItaly
 Cesare Prandelli's side ended qualification with the best defensive record, conceding just two goals in 10 games, and while Gianluigi Buffon missed the first few matches for his country, he returned for the final six games, keeping five clean sheets and only allowing a deflection from Branislav Ivanovic's shot past him throughout their entire Group C campaign.

Alexander ANYUKOVRussia



Bosnia & Herzegovina
Alexander Anyukov's ability to get up and down the right flank proved pivotal as he gathered three assists along the way to Russia topping a very close Group B. Greece only conceded five goals and Avraam Papadopoulos was a pillar of strength at the back, even ensuring two clean sheets against their main rivals Croatia in Group F. Simon Kjaer may have his critics but was excellent down the stretch, including the decider against Portugal that saw Denmark pip Cristiano Ronaldo's side to a berth in the finals. Bosnia & Herzegovina may have to settle for a play-off spot, but Senad Lulic was a model of consistency for them, mostly featuring at left-back, but his versatility also proved key as he moved to right-back and midfield.


Ashley YOUNGEngland


Marcos PIZZELLIArmenia

Mesut OZILGermany
England would have arguably had a much more difficult time qualifying for the tournament if not for the contribution of Ashley Young. The winger scored pivotal goals versus Wales, Switzerland and Montenegro. Kim Kallstrom and Mesut Ozil were the heartbeat of their respective sides - as they tied for top playmakers in qualifying with seven assists each - and also chipped in with some well-taken goals, three for the Swede and five for the German. Armenia were one of the surprise packages vying for a place in Poland & Ukraine, and attacking midfielder Marcos Pizzelli put in several bright displays before their hopes were ended by Ireland in the final round of matches in Group B.


Klaas-Jan HUNTELAARNetherlands

A pair worth goals galore make up our productive attack force. Top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who had 12 goals to his name, led a prolific Netherlands side to a place at Euro 2012 well before qualification had ended. David Villa was Spain's best player in a team bursting with talent, bagging seven goals himself and surpassing Raul as his country's all-time marksman in the process. Despite hitting nine goals, Germany's Miroslav Klose misses out on a place in out Best XI.


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