Ramires named in Football Team of the Year
Rio de Janeiro, Dec 28 (IANS): Chelsea and Brazil midfielder Ramires has been named in prestigious French sports newspaper L’Equipe’s 2012 Football Team of the Year.
Ramires was the only Brazilian representative in the side which was made up largely of players from Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid, reports Xinhua.
The team is decided based on votes from the publication’s journalists. Ramires made the cut thanks to his “efficiency and versatility”.
The former Benfica star has enjoyed a fine 2012. He was instrumental in Chelsea’s Champions League success back in May, scoring the decisive goal in the semi-final against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Ramires also enjoyed a renaissance with the Brazilian national side, winning his place back under former coach Mano Menezes. The deep-lying playmaker went on to form a promising partnership with Corinthians midfielder Paulinho.
The pair could be reunited in new coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s first match back in charge, against England Feb 6, at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Brazilian full-backs Dani Alves (Barcelona) and Marcelo (Real Madrid), who made the 2011 team, were dropped from this year’s line-up.
L’Equipe’s 2012 Team of the Year:
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid).
Defenders: Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Ramires (Chelsea), Xavi (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).