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A Hector penalty in sudden death gave his side a shootout win and saw Germany into the semi-finals of the 2016 European Championship, at the expense of Italy at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, setting up a tasty encounter against either hosts France or England-demolishing Iceland. For a side that had beat Germany on 8 separate occasions at major tournaments, the Azzurri didn’t pile on too much pressure and it seemed like Germany were the better side, despite the fact that it took 65 minutes to break the deadlock.
Former England international Martin …

With ‘toto’ reaching the end of his career, in fact retiring at the end of the season, an Udinese, Serie A legend scoring more than 23 goals in Serie A for the last 4 years, it is shocking that the 36 year old is still undisguised. The magician age has shown this season with only 11 goals so far, but that should not hide form the fact that from 2009 to 2013 only Messi and Ronaldo have scored league more goals that him. Bagging more than 100 goals in four years …

Mario  Balotelli is not someone to hide and keep quiet and attracts controversy whether he is playing in Serie A or in the Premier League. His latest assessment of Man United’s defeat to Leicester City causing a stir with the striker commenting : “Man utd…LOL” on Twitter. The sort of stunt that would of caused most managers to look elsewhere for a top quality centre forward  has persuaded Brendan Rogers to take a punt on the 16 million pound man.  Rodgers has claimed that he has always taking chances with difficult …

So, to the fourth in this series of 6 articles looking at the top 60 players in world football and probably the hardest list to select. In researching this list I realised our generation is blessed with a group of fantastic central midfielders and picking just 13 was very difficult. In fact, it proved too difficult and I had to choose 4 honourable mentions instead of just 3. I apologise and hope you will understand the difficulty. Thank you and please enjoy, comment, discuss, vent your outrage at my selections and read the …

Leading on from the top 10 goalkeepers in the world; I now present you the top 10 Centre-backs in the world. Remember, this is partly judged on recent performances and partly on permanent class. Enjoy, comment and discuss and remember to look out for the remaining four articles in this series of 6, the next one being the top 10 full-backs.
Centre-backs
Honourable mentions:

Diego Godin – An old school centre-half who bought into the ‘Simeone way’ from the very beginning to great effect. His dogged style and aerial prowess means he is now crucial …

Luis Suarez has really given people a lot to sink their teeth into over the last few years, but this is a drama that will certainly not go away. Many people will have different thoughts and feelings about the incident that occurred in the clash between Uruguay and Italy, here are just a few different points of view;
The Psychologists: This season with Liverpool, Luis Suarez had regular access to Dr Steve Peters, he did not accumulate a single red card! Whilst Uruguay admirably dealt with his physical injury, their failure …

We are now around about thirteen hours removed from the climax of yesterday evening’s Confederations Cup semi-final clash involving Spain and Italy and I am still not quite sure how the Azzurri aren’t in the final. Before the game I gave Cesare Prandelli’s side, perhaps unfairly, very little hope of overcoming Vicente del Bosque’s Spain side who have looked more or less untouchable so far this tournament however I was left astounding by the quality of performance Italy put in last night, as well as the way they played when …

Euro 2012 final, 2013 Under-21 final, Cofederations Cup semi-final. That’s the last meetings between the two sides, Spain looks like always the out-right winner but can Italy pull something off?
Italy will miss miss Milan due Mario Balotelli and Ignazio Abate as another team-mate Riccardo Montolivo is set to miss out to an Andrea Pirlo is a big doubt coming into the crucial game. Spain are injury free and coming with a big group stage where we saw them beat Tahiti 10-0, Uruguay 2-1 and Jordi Alba’s amazing performance as he …

Spain after their routine top placed finish in Group B will face Cesare Prandelli’s Italy in a repeat of last summer’s Euro 2012 final in the second of this year’s Confederations Cup Semi-Finals. Italy head into Thursday’s match in Fortaleza without their talisman and main attacking threat, Mario Balotelli who has been sent home from the Confederations Cup due to a thigh injury with the AC Milan striker expressing his disappointment at missing the clash with Spain to Italian media, “I feel like a loser leaving this way. I would …

As the Confederations Cup starting with *Brazill v Japan result* all eyes are now looking towards unimpressive Mexico v Euro 2012 finalists Italy, Italy will look for some silverware after a disappointing preformance against Spain at Euro 2012 final which they lost to La Ruja 4-0! And Chicharito’s Mexico will represent Central America.
The Italians are coming as the European runner-ups as Spain won the latest Euro & World Cup, and will bring big stars such as Balotelli, Pirlo, Marchisio, Stephan El Shaarawy & Giorgio Chiellini. But one player stands out …