Tag Archives: spain

Atletico Madrid open door for Fernando Torres return from Chelsea

Atletico open door for Torres return while Chelsea given encouragement over Falcao

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

12:45 GMT, 23 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 23 March 2013

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has opened the door for Fernando Torres to return to his former side.

The Chelsea striker made his name in Spain before moving to Liverpool in 2007.

Simeone says he knows how important Torres can be for his side and that because of his roots he knows about what it means to play for Los Rojiblancos.

Struggle: Fernando Torres has not been able to find his feet at Chelsea

Struggle: Fernando Torres has not been able to find his feet at Chelsea

He told Spanish radio station Onda
Cero: 'Fernando Torres is currently playing for another team. We have to
wait for the season to finish and decide which of the available players
could come here and do a good job.

'Fernando knows about the club's history, what it means to play here and I don't need to speak about his ability.

'We were teammates. I know how important he can be.'

Chelsea want Atletico's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao as a replacement. He has scored 25 goals in 28 games for his club this season, including a hat-trick against the Blues in the Super Cup final.

He can be procured for 48million but the Blues would be interested in a part-exchange deal involving Torres.

When asked about Falcao's future, Simeone did not insist the player would be staying at the club.
Instead he reasoned that everybody makes their own decisions and Falcao deserves respect.

Simeone said: 'I'm not Falcao and I'm not his agent. I'm the manager and have the utmost respect for him, because he gave me so much at River Plate and has done the same here.

'He always gives his all and I really respect players who do that. But everyone makes their own decisions in life.

'Every person is different, and we have to respect each other. Those who stay are always going to be the best.'

Can't stop: Radamel Falcao is in absolutely lethal form for club and country

Can't stop: Radamel Falcao is in absolutely lethal form for club and country

Frank: Diego Simeone said that Torres knows the club and he would be an important player

Frank: Diego Simeone said that Torres knows the club and he would be an important player

Arsenal suffer a blow as their target David Villa is offered a new Barcelona contract

Arsenal blow as target Villa will be offered new Barcelona deal

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

13:42 GMT, 17 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 18 March 2013

Arsenal could miss out on signing David Villa after Barcelona have offered him a new contract.

The striker is due to be a free agent in 14 months time, with several English clubs sniffing around to see if they can get him for a reduced price.

However, Barcelona feel he still has a very important role at the club and staying in Spain may be his best chance of competing for a place in the national side.

Natural: David Villa scored in Barcelona's 4-0 win against AC Milan

Natural: David Villa scored in Barcelona's 4-0 win against AC Milan

Arsenal's striking problems have been well documented of late, with Arsene Wenger allowing Theo Walcott some time up front before switching back to Olivier Giroud for the most recent games.

Forward Marouane Chamakh is currently on-loan at West Ham after failing to convince his manager that he has much of a future at the club.

As for Villa, Spain's record goalscorer has been out of favour at the Nou Campafter returning at the start of the season from eight months out with a broken leg.

Rival: Alexis Sanchez is Villa's biggest competition in the team

Rival: Alexis Sanchez is Villa's biggest competition in the team

The 31-year-old joined Barcelona from Valencia in 2010 for a fee of 35million, and is reportedly on a deal worth 7m a year.

If first-team football is what Villa wants, then he may wait until the summer and consider his future before signing any new contract.

Record: Villa is Spain's top goalscorer with 53 goals in 86 games

Record: Villa is Spain's top goalscorer with 53 goals in 86 games

Anne Keothavong misses out on first WTA title in Brazil as Venus Williams also suffers defeat

Keothavong misses out on doubles title in Brazil as Venus also suffers defeat

PUBLISHED:

12:57 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:57 GMT, 2 March 2013

Anne Keothavong's attempt to win a first WTA title ended in disappointment when the Brit and her doubles partner Valeria Savinykh were defeated in the final of the Brazil Tennis Cup.

The pair lost 6-0, 6-4 to number one seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain and Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova.

Defeat: Anne Keothavong missed out on her first WTA title

Defeat: Anne Keothavong missed out on her first WTA title

In the singles event, Venus Williams looked tired as she slumped to a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 loss to world number 109 Olga Puchkova in the tournament's semi-finals.

Puchkova, 25, will face Romanian Monica Niculescu in the final, after breaking Williams's serve late in the second and third sets to win the match in two hours and 31 minutes.

Surprise: Venus Williams was eliminated from the Brazil Tennis Cup by Olga Puchkova

Surprise: Venus Williams was eliminated from the Brazil Tennis Cup by Olga Puchkova

‘I gave my best but just couldn’t play consistent enough today,’ Williams said. ‘She played so well, it was hard.’

Phil Jones and Jonny Evans injured Manchester United v Real Madrid

Ferguson facing defensive headache for Madrid after Evans and Jones are forced off

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

18:03 GMT, 10 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:14 GMT, 10 February 2013

Manchester United's preparations for their Champions League showdown with Real Madrid have been hit by two fresh injury blows.

United face Jose Mourinho's side at the Bernabeu on Wednesday but could be without Phil Jones and Jonny Evans who were forced off with injury in United's 2-0 win over Everton at Old Trafford this afternoon.

Ferguson could now be left with a defensive headache for his side's trip to Spain.

Blow: Phil Jones was injured tackling Everton's Kevin Mirallas

Blow: Phil Jones was injured tackling Everton's Kevin Mirallas

Manchester United's Phil Jones (right) is substituted for Michael Carrick (left)

The news is unlikely to ease Ferguson's anger that United's game against Everton was played today, just three days before the crunch European clash.

'There's no fairness at all,' he said. 'It's ridiculous to think that we play on Sunday and Real Madrid play on Saturday with that extra day's rest. We're not giving our teams a chance to be successful in Europe. Leagues in other countries make sacrifices for their teams.

'It's nothing to do with the FA, it's the Premier League. They agreed a contract with TV and they're in control. It's pointless complaining about these things all the time.'

Scramble: Jonny Evans was also forced off as United won at Old Trafford

Scramble: Jonny Evans was also forced off as United won at Old Trafford

Australian Open 2013: Janko Tipsarevic retired from match with Nicolas Almagro

Agony for Tipsarevic as he is forced to retire as Almagro goes on to face Ferrer

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

07:24 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

07:24 GMT, 20 January 2013

Eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic retired from his fourth-round match at the Australian Open with an injured left foot while trailing Nicolas Almagro 6-2, 5-1.

The 10th-seeded Almagro advanced to a quarter-final against fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who beat Japan's Kei Nishikori in straight sets.

Tipsarevic said he injured the foot while changing directions during a rally late in the seventh game of the first set, and could barely walk on it afterward.

In a bad way: Janko Tipsarevic receives treatment

In a bad way: Janko Tipsarevic receives treatment

Into the next round: Spain's Nicolas Almagro is into the quaqrter finals after Tipsarevic retired

Into the next round: Spain's Nicolas Almagro is into the quaqrter finals after Tipsarevic retired

Almagro said: 'That's not the way you want to win. But that's sport.

'Sometimes you can't do your best and you need to stop. I think he made the best decision.'

Almagro, seeded No 10, has lost all 12 of his previous matches with Ferrer but is hoping to buck that trend and reach his first grand slam semi-final.

Going forward: Almagro will meet David Ferrer

Going forward: Almagro will meet David Ferrer

In control: Almagro was ahead in the match when it was stopped

In control: Almagro was ahead in the match when it was stopped

'It will be a good fight. I know him and he knows me,' he said.

'It is a big opportunity for me to be in a semi-final. I'm ready to fight. I'm healthy and happy with my tennis.

'I think I'm playing really well and we'll see what will happen on Tuesday.'

Ashley Cole"s agent flies to Spain for Real Madrid talks

Cole ramps up Real interest as Chelsea defender's agent flies to Spain for Madrid talks

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

00:41 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

07:48 GMT, 11 January 2013

Ashley Cole's agent has flown to Spain with a view to speaking to Real Madrid about a possible move for the Chelsea defender.

The 31-year-old's contract ends this summer and, like Blues and England team-mate Frank Lampard, he has been told by Chelsea's hierarchy he will not be offered another.

Real deal: Ashley Cole's agent has flown to Spain for talks

Real deal: Ashley Cole's agent has flown to Spain for talks

Cole has set his sights on a Spanish swansong with Real Madrid or Barcelona despite interest from cash-rich Paris St Germain.

PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti has made no secret of his desire to sign Cole. The pair worked together at Stamford Bridge and they could be reunited in the summer even if Cole opts for a move to Spain.

Ancelotti is under severe pressure and he could leave the club in the summer to take over at Real Madrid. The Italian is on the short-list to take over from Jose Mourinho, who has fallen out with the club's board.

Bargain buy: Cole will be a free agent in the summer

Bargain buy: Cole will be a free agent in the summer

Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly wants to bring Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard to
Manchester United in the summer as he looks add experience to his squad.

The Blues have told Lampard his contract will be not be renewed at the end of
the season, despite his fine form.

Midfielder Lampard, 34, is reportedly keen on a move to Old Trafford,
although left-back Cole's thinking on his future is unclear.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, selected in FIFA's team of the year on Monday, has been banned for five matches after being sent off and insulting the referee in the King's Cup victory over Celta Vigo on Wednesday.

Laura Robson sails through in China

Easy does it, Laura… Britain's Robson sails through in China

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UPDATED:

17:34 GMT, 30 December 2012

Laura Robson took only an hour to move into the second round of the Shenzhen Open as she overpowered Edina Gallovits-Hill 6-2 6-1.

Given the Briton came into the match ranked 54 places higher than her opponent at 53, she was the clear favourite to win.

Looking good: Laura Robson claimed a comfortable win

Looking good: Laura Robson claimed a comfortable win

The 17-year-old was far more ruthless on serve, winning 80 per cent of her first service points.

The Romanian also contributed to her own downfall with eight double faults and she was dominated in all aspects of the game.

Robson will meet Gallovits-Hall's compatriot Monica Niculescu in the second round in what promises to be a closer match given the British No 2 is ranked just five places higher.

Elsewhere, fourth seed Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan also advanced easily, beating Hungary's Melina Czhink 6-3, 6-2. Hsieh broke her opponent twice in the first set and four times in the second to win in 1 hour, 15 minutes.

In Sunday's other matches, Annika Beck of Germany beat Spain's Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-7 (7), 6-4, and Monica Niculescu of Romania ousted Chinese wild-card entry Saisai Zheng 6-4, 7-5.

David De Gea may make a move to Real Madrid in the summer if the Spanish giants have their way

Real Madrid eye De Gea as long-term replacement for Spain skipper Casillas

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UPDATED:

11:52 GMT, 30 December 2012

Manchester United are braced to receive a 22million bid for David De Gea in the summer from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Iker Casillas was dropped in Real’s game against Malaga, and it seems Jose Mourinho is on the hunt for a long-term replacement for the Spain captain.

The two are known to have a stormy relationship at the club, and although 31-year-old Casillas has previously said he’d like to finish his career at Real, recent comments have indicated that he might be open to a move.

De Gea is said to be a target for Real Madrid

Homesick: There are rumours De Gea is missing his native Spain after transferring from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago

Real Madrid will bid for David De Gea

Expensive:The Spanish giants are set to bid 22million for the United goalkeeper

De Gea was signed by United as a replacement for Edwin van der Sar for over 18million.

There have been rumours that the Spanish goalkeeper has suffered from homesickness, however, since he moved from Atletico Madrid 18 months ago.

The Spain Under-21 is now the top target for Madrid boss Mourinho, according to The Sun.

A Real insider said: ‘De Gea is definitely wanted by Mourinho but a lot depends on his own future.

‘But he’s studied De Gea’s form closely and is very interested.’

Champions League draw: Guide to British clubs opponents

Champions League guide: The lowdown on Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus

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UPDATED:

13:32 GMT, 20 December 2012

Manchester United, Arsenal and Celtic have been handed tough draws against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus respectively in the last 16 of the Champions League.

As players, managers and fans alike begin preparations for the two-legged ties to be held in February and March, Sportsmail tells you everything you need to know about the British clubs' opponents…

Kings of Spain: Real Madrid face Man United in a mouth-watering tie

Kings of Spain: Real Madrid face Man United in a mouth-watering tie

Key info

Name: Real Madrid (Spain)

Opponent: Manchester United

Fixture dates: Real Madrid v Man United, February 12, 2013; Man United v Real Madrid, March 5, 2013

Previous meetings: P8, Man United W2, D3, Real Madrid W3

How they got here: Won the Spanish title for the first time in four years last season, ending Barcelona's recent dominance. Qualified second in their group behind Dortmund after picking up four points against United's great rivals Manchester City.

Current domestic league position: 3rd (13 points adrift of Barcelona in 1st)

Manager: Jose Mourinho – widely considered the best manager in world football, Mourinho is no stranger to English fans having won back-to-back Premier League title with Chelsea in 2005 and 2006. Has won this competition twice already, with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.

Captain: Iker Casillas – 31-year-old goalkeeper also captains Spain, and has lifted the World Cup and two European Championships doing so. Was in the Real side the last time they won the Champions League in 2002.

Key player:
Cristiano Ronaldo – like his boss and fellow Portuguese Mourinho, Ronaldo needs little introduction. Won the Ballon d'Or in 2008 and would surely have won a few more by now had he not been playing at the same time as Lionel Messi. The lightning quick forward won this competition in 2008 with United, who he faces for the first time since leaving Old Trafford in 2009.

Style of play: Mourinho's preferred system is a 4-2-3-1 though he has always been willing to chop and change systems to suit opponents. The attacking trio of Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria are as good as any in world football.

The gaffer: Mourinho is going in search of his third Champions League title

The gaffer: Mourinho is going in search of his third Champions League title

Away day info

Distance from stadium to stadium: 902 miles

Flight time: 2 hours 40 mins

Stadium (capacity): Santiago Bernabu (85, 454)

Travelling from airport to stadium: The easiest route is via the metro. Line 8 will take you from the airport to Nuevo Ministerios and from there it’s only one stop on line 10 to the stadium.

Currency: Euro

Time difference: +1

Tourist attractions: Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas.

Local beer: Mahou

Local delicacy: Gulas – eel foetuses.

Captain marvel: Casillas lifts the European Championship earlier this year

Captain marvel: Casillas lifts the European Championship earlier this year

Key info

Name: Bayern Munich (Germany)

Opponent: Arsenal

Fixture dates: Bayern Munich v Arsenal, February 12, 2013; Arsenal v Bayern Munich, March 5, 2013

Previous meetings: P4, Arsenal W1, D1, Bayern W2

How they got here: Finished
second in the Bundesliga last season – eight points adrift of winners
Dortmund – but still qualified automatically for the group stage.
Comfortably advanced from a weak group with 13 points despite a shock
3-1 loss to Belorussian minnows BATE.

Current domestic league position: 1st (nine points clear of Leverkusen in second)

Manager: Jupp
Heynckes – returned to Bayern for a third spell as manager in the
summer of 2011. Agonisingly missed out on Champions League glory at the
Allianz in May as Chelsea recorded a famous victory.

Captain: Philipp
Lahm – outstanding both defensively and going forward, the tireless
Lahm is just as comfortable playing in either full-back position. The
29-year-old is rated as one of the best defenders in the world.

Key player:
Franck Ribery – in a star-studded side, the 29-year-old french winger
best sums up the ethos of Heynckes' Bayern, which is skill and pace in
abundance married with a willingness to work hard and press.

Style of play: Like
Mourinho at Real, Heynckes uses the popular 4-2-3-1 formation. With a
wealth of options Heynckes is able to chop and change his starting XI
without weakening his team too much or need to alter his system.

Star-studded: Heynckes coaches an expensively assembled squad

Star-studded: Heynckes coaches an expensively assembled squad

Away day info

Distance from stadium to stadium: 570 miles

Flight time: 1 hour 55 mins from Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted

Stadium (capacity): Allianz Arena (71,137)

Travelling from airport to stadium: Less
than 18 miles, so a taxi will take less than thirty minutes. It is easy
to reach the City Centre from the airport via the S-Bahn (S8), which
will take about 40 minutes. When you reach Marienplatz, change over to
the U6 and it will take you to Frttmaning.

Currency: Euro

Time difference: +1 hour

Tourist attractions: Marienplatz, St. Peter’s Church, Olympiapark.

Local beer: Helles

Local delicacy: Munich Weisswurst – a Bavarian sausage made from finely minced veal and pork bacon.

Heartbreak: Bayern were beaten on penalties in last season's final

Heartbreak: Bayern were beaten on penalties in last season's final

Key info

Name: Juventus (Italy)

Opponent: Celtic

Fixture dates: Celtic v Juventus, February 12, 2013; Juventus v Celtic, March 5, 2013

Previous meetings: P4, Celtic W2, D0, Juventus W2

How they got here: Juventus
qualified for this year's Champions League having gone last season
unbeaten to win the Serie A title for the first time since the
Calcioppoli scandal that rocked Italian football in 2006. A win and a
draw against Chelsea helped them top a tough group from which Shakhtar
Donetsk also qualified.

Current domestic league position: 1st (seven points clear of Inter in 2nd)

Manager: Antonio Conte – a former Juventus midfielder and Italy international, Conte won the Champions League with the team he now manages back in 1996. Has just finished serving a four-month touchline ban for his part in a match-fixing scandal while he was managing Siena.

Captain: Gianluigi Buffon – a World Cup winner in 2006, the 34-year-old has long been regarded as one of the best goalkeepers on the planet. Has been at Juventus since 2001, when he was signed from Parma for 32.6million – still the record transfer fee for a goalkeeper.

Key player:
Andrea Pirlo – the veteran Italian international playmaker is showing
no signs that he is in decline despite having won pretty much everything
there is to win. Celtic will have to starve his supply line if they are
to stand any chance of overcoming the Old Lady.

Style of play: Conte
operates with a 3-5-2 system, with the wing backs and two of the
central midfielders working hard to allow Pirlo room in front of three
uncompromising centre backs.

Star man: Pirlo is one of the world's finest playmakers

Star man: Pirlo is one of the world's finest playmakers

Away day info

Distance from stadium to stadium: 911 miles

Flight time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Stadium (capacity): Juventus Stadium (41,000)

Travelling from airport to stadium: The stadium – opened only last year – is 15 miles from Turin airport, so you could splash out on a
taxi. Alternatively, on match days there is a special tramline service
between the stadium and Bernini – a metro stop you can get to from
either Porta Susa or Porta Noava stations. A shuttle bus from the
airport will give you access to both of these stations.

Currency: Euro

Time difference: +1 hour

Tourist attractions: Piazza San Carlo, Santuario Basilica La Consolata, Civic Museum of Ancient Art (Palazzo Madama).

Local beer: Birra di Primavera

Local delicacy:
Chocolate-making began in Turin, so visitors should definitely take the
opportunity to sample the ‘gianduiotto.’ The city's most celebrated
chocolate sweet, it is made from a cocoa-hazelnut paste.

New home: Conte is welcomed back at the Juventus stadium after his ban

New home: Conte is welcomed back at the Juventus stadium after his ban

Vincent Kompany only Premier League player to make World XI 2012, as Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Wayne Rooney miss out

The best division in the world Probably not! Kompany is only Premier League player to be voted into Team of the Year XI 2012

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UPDATED:

15:47 GMT, 14 December 2012

Is the Premier League really the best league in the world Do we really boast the best teams made up of the greatest footballing talents on the planet On this evidence, we're not even close.

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany was the only player from the English top-flight to be voted into the World XI 2012 by a panel of experts.

The big Belgian centre half partners Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos at the heart of the defence, as the pair are flanked by Barcelona’s Jordi Alba and Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm in a water-tight back four.

Lone representative: Vincent Kompany was the only Premier League player to make the final World XI of 2012

Lone representative: Vincent Kompany was the only Premier League player to make the final World XI of 2012

Waiting in the wings: Jordi Alba

Waiting in the wings: Philipp Lahm

Waiting in the wings: Philipp Lahm of Bayern Munich (right) and Jordi Alba (left) would play at full back

Water-tight: Sergio Ramos completes the back four, partnering Kompany at in the middle

Water-tight: Sergio Ramos completes the back four, partnering Kompany at in the middle

THE FULL WORLD XI 2012

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, Spain)

Defenders: Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich, Germany), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City, Belgium), Jordi Alba (Barcelona, Spain)

Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, Spain), Xavi (Barcelona, Spain), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus, Italy)

Forwards: Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid, Colombia), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Portugal), Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina)

The World XI was voted for by a panel of experts at worldsoccer.com

The back four would – hypothetically, of course – deputise in front of Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Kompany’s team-mates David Silva and Yaya Toure may have been disappointed to hear that they missed out on a place in the midfield.

But they could have little complaint with the trio the experts voted in in their place. Diminutive Barcelona maestros Xavi and Iniesta partner Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo in the middle.

This classy midfield would surely be prone to a rapid counter attack – should the opposition ever get the ball off them – but the three experienced playmakers are among the best passers in the game.

No one can argue with the front three though – not even Premier League marksmen Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney.

Barca boys: Andres Iniesta

Barca boys: Xavi

Barca boys: Xavi (right) and Barcelona team-mate Andres Iniesta (left) play in midfield

Maestro: Andrea Pirlo (right) partners the Barcelona duo

Maestro: Andrea Pirlo (right) partners the Barcelona duo

Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao and Cristiano Ronaldo make up the fearsome front line. Between the three of them they have scored 52 league goals already this season.

Messi alone has scored 23 of those in just 15 games, and the Argentine netted a brace in midweek to take his goal tally in 2012 to a record 88 goals.

Falcao, who has been targeted by Chelsea and Manchester City has been a revelation during his time at Atletico Madrid. Perhaps his performance of the season came when he demolished Chelsea in the final of the Super Cup with an expertly taken hat-trick.

Ronaldo has gone from strength to strength since leaving Manchester United for a record 82million for Real Madrid in 2009. The Portugal captain has seen his side struggle somewhat in the league this season, although he's still managed to notch up 13 goals in La Liga before hailing in the New Year.

The panel of over 100 journalists and experts at worldsoccer.com only gave United striker Rooney a solitary vote – the same as his City rival Sergio Aguero.

Obvious Lionel Messi was unsurprisingly voted into the team

Obvious Lionel Messi was unsurprisingly voted into the team

Another one: Radamel Falcao joins Messi in the line-up over the likes of Robin van Persie

Another one: Radamel Falcao joins Messi in the line-up over the likes of Robin van Persie

Sitting pretty: Ronaldo leads the line in a team dominated by La Liga players

Sitting pretty: Ronaldo leads the line in a team dominated by La Liga players

Van Persie and Tottenham winger Gareth Bale got a little closer to the final XI. The Dutchman, whose derby-winning free-kick against City on Sunday was his 10th goal of the campaign, received 18 votes, and Bale racked up nine votes to make it into the midfield.

The closest Premier League goalkeeper to usurping Casillas between the sticks was Chelsea's Petr Cech with 15 votes. City stopper Joe Hart only managed two.

Luis Suarez was overlooked by each and every member of the panel, and didn't receive a single vote on the day former director of football at Liverpool, Damien Comolli, declared him as one of the best players in the world.

Another notable absence was Sweden and Paris Saint-Germain's brooding striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who only received 20 votes to be part of the front three alongside Messi and Ronaldo.

He scored one of the goals of the year when he leapt off the ground to score a propeller kick against England last month.

Brazilian sensation Neymar also missed out on the squad. The 20-year-old Santos striker would have been the only player in the squad who plays outside Europe.

Bizarrely, Suarez's team-mate Glenn Johnson received a single vote in the awards conducted by the prestigious football site to depose Lahm at right back.

The Premier League only had one representative in Kompany, but La Liga dominated the squad. Eight of the XI played in La Liga, and seven of those for Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Is the English top-flight the most exciting and competitive league in the world Maybe. Does it have the best players On this evidence, it's an overwhelming no.

Just the one United striker Wayne Rooney only got one vote

Just the one United striker Wayne Rooney only got one vote

Sorry Luis! Suarez didn't receive a single vote from the panel

Sorry Luis! Suarez didn't receive a single vote from the panel