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Euro 2012 Captain Profile: Introducing the leading men from Group A

Euro 2012 Captain Profile: Introducing the leading men from Group A

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A vital component in any title winning team is the presence of a strong leader. Goal.com takes a look at the captains featuring in Euro 2012. We begin with Group A...

SPECIAL
By Brendon Netto


Jakub Blaszczykowski - POLAND 


Personal Information :

Date of birth -
14/12/1985 (Age 26)

Positon :
Winger

Preferred foot :
Right

Current Club :
Borussia Dortmund

Notable Accolades :
  • Polish Footballer of the year 2008 & 2010
  • Borussia Dortmund Player of the year 2008    

Club Career :

Appearances :
216

Goals :
28

Titles :
  • Ekstraklasa 2004-05
  • Bundesliga 2010-11, 2011-12
  • German Super Cup 2008
  • DFB-Pokal 2011-12

International Career :

Debut :
28 March 2006

Captain since : 17 November 2010

Appearances : 51

Goals :
9

Best Achievement :
Qualified for Euro 2008

As a Player :


He wears "kuba" on the back of his Dortmund shirt. He is a natural winger but has been used as a right-wingback for the German Champions. He is a good dribbler with a decent turn of pace. He works well for the team and can track the run of the opposing full-back efficiently. He has a good understanding of the game and uses that to his advantage rather than resorting to flamboyant trickery. He can whip in quality crosses and his 14 assists this season stands testament to delivery. Fellow countryman and team mate, Robert Lewandowski has benifitted from his service in the past and the Polish will be hoping for that combination to work again.

As Captain :

Being the most capped player in the team, he was an obvious recipient of the armband. He commands repect from the rest of the players and enjoys the adulation of the fans as well. At the age of 26, the Dortmund winger is in his prime and after a successful domestic campaign coupled with the incentive of playing at home, there will be no better time for Blaszczykowski to lead his country. He has always attended to his duties as captain efficiently. He may not be a legendary, dominating leader with an enthralling charisma but he relates to the players and at his age he is perfectly placed to bond with the young and old players alike.



Giorgos Karagounis  - GREECE




Personal Information :

Date of birth -
06/03/1977 (Age 35)

Positon :
Central Midfielder

Preferred foot :
Right

Current Club :
Panathinaikos

Notable Accolades :
  •  Awarded for reaching 111 appearances for Greece   

Club Career :

Appearances :
366

Goals :
49

Titles :
  • Superleague Greece 1996, 2010
  • Greek Cup 2010
  • Copa Italia 2005
            

International Career :

Debut :
18 August 1999

Captain since :
August 2007

Appearances :
117

Goals :
8

Best Achievement :
Won the European Championship 2004.


As a Player :

Karagounis is recognised for his relentless running and willingness to work in midfield. His incredible work-rate has always maintained him as fan favourite. Along with his work ethic, he has a wealth of experience and reads the game very well. The 35 year old is also known to deliver quality balls in from set pieces consistently. He is fondly remembered for his glorious 25 - yard strike in the opening game of Euro 2004 against Portugal when they won the game 2-1 and eventually won the tournament against all odds.

As Captain :

With 117 international caps to his name he is  just three shy of matching previous captain, Zagorakis' all-time record for Greece. Karagounis enjoyed decent spells playing in Portugal and Italy which further enhanced his experience and knowledge of the game. When you have a captain like him who chases down every ball and commits in every tackle, it sets an example for the rest of the team. He is highly influential on the field and marshalls the midfield with authority. Karagounis is the heartbeat of this Greek side and he will lead by example just as he always has.


Andrey Arshavin - RUSSIA



Personal Information :

Date of birth -
29/05/1981 (Age 31)

Positon :
Winger/Forward

Preferred foot :
Right

Current Club :
Arsenal

Notable Accolades : 

  • Russian Footballer of the year 2006
  • Russian Premier League Player of the year 2006    
  • Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament
  • English Premier League most effective Player 2009     
                                      
                                      

Club Career :

Appearances :
451

Goals :
108

Titles :
  • Russian Premier League 2007, 2011-12
  • Russian Premier League Cup 2003
  • Russian Super Cup 2008
  • UEFA Cup 2007-08
  • UEFA Super Cup 2008           

International Career :

Debut :
17 May 2002

Captain since :
11 June 2009

Appearances :
69

Goals :
17

Best Achievement :
Reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008 and was named in the Tournament's best squad.


As a Player :

Arshavin started brightly for Zenit Saint Petersburg having been deployed in a number of positions. His assists have always been his major contribution, he has assisted 148 times in 451 appearances at club level. The diminutive Russian is renowned for his pace, dribbling and skill. His low centre of gravity allows him to change direction quickly and leave defenders for dead. Despite his small frame, Arshavin's shooting from range definitely packs a punch and he isn't shy of having a swing.He is a player capable of the extraordinary which always makes him a threat, even when he sometimes goes an entire game unnoticed, he often comes up with a vital contribution to decide the game.


As a Captain :

Arshavin has never been an ideal leader. You won't find him barking out orders to organise his team or spurring them on with encouragement or giving a rather lazy individual a good rollicking, because in all likeliness, he would be that individual. His performances at Arsenal were sometimes heavily criticised for lacking in passion and desire and was unanimously declared as a lazy player. However, what Arshavin does have in his weaponry is the ability to change a game. Granted, he has been extremely out of sorts at Arsenal in recent times but on loan back to Zenit this season, he's shown a few signs of the explosive player he was back in Russia and on his arrival in England. He will look to motivate his team simply by being the best he can be and by contributing to the teams success with his creativity.



Tomas Rosicky - CZECH REPUBLIC



Personal Information :

Date of birth -
04/10/1980 (Age 31)

Positon :
Attacking Midfielder

Preferred foot :
Right

Current Club :
Arsenal

Notable Accolades : 

  • Czech Footballer of the Year 2001, 2002, 2006    
  • Golden Ball (Czech Republic) 2002
  • Czech talent of the year 1999
                                      
                                      

Club Career :

Appearances :
312

Goals :
41

Titles :
  • Czech Liga 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01
  • Bundesliga 2001-02           

International Career :

Debut :
23 Feb 2000

Captain since :
2006

Appearances :
85

Goals :
20

Best Achievement :
Reached the semi-finals of Euro 2004 after beating the Netherlands and Germany in the Group stages but lost to eventual Champions, Greece.


As a Player :

Tomas Rosicky was a perfect attacking midfielder. He had good pace, great vision, accurate passing and a lethal shot. However, after an 18 month absence, the playmaker has taken a long time to find his feet again. His lack of form even brought about suggestions that Arsenal may offload him, but fortunately for the Gunners, Rosicky hit a rich vein of form towards the end of this season and along with Van Persie, was probably one of the most influential figures in the side that surged into third spot, thus securing a Champions League campaign for next season. He was almost like a new signing as he kept Aaron Ramsey out of the team. His touches, turns, silky passing and link-up play has all pointed to the fact that he is back to playing at his best. He was named Player of the Month for Arsenal in March and April. When Rosicky plays like that, suddenly losing Fabregas is no longer an issue for Arsenal and Czech Republic will also be ecstatic at his recent displays so close to Euro 2012. 


As Captain :
 
"When somebody writes you off, it doesn't mean you can't achieve your goal, I still believe I have plenty in me." - Tomas Rosicky. With Czech Republic's lack of star power, it comes as no surprise that they have been written off as contenders even before a ball is kicked. Fortunately, they have in Rosicky a captain who pays no heed to such opinions and believes that the improbable is yet attainable. Boasting 85 caps to his name, he is the most experienced outfield player. Rosicky has appropriately been dubbed "Little Mozart" and he will be keen to live up to the name by orchestrating his side's progress during this year's tournament.
  
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