No place for Ronaldo | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 01, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 01, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008 Austria-SwitzerlandXavi Player-Of-The-Meet

No place for Ronaldo


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Victorious Spain's open, attacking play at Euro 2008 was hailed by UEFA on Monday with midfielder Xavi reserved for special praise.
Xavi was named player of the tournament while technically gifted Spain had nine players in the squad of the tournament selected by European soccer's governing body.
"We have chosen Xavi because we think he epitomises the Spanish style of play," said Andy Roxburgh, the head of UEFA's technical delegation.
"He was extremely influential in the whole possession, passing, penetrating kind of game that Spain played."
The 28-year-old Barcelona dynamo who has scored eight goals in 63 internationals -- was judged to be at the heart of Spain's triumphant campaign. Xavi scored once in the tournament and also created the goal for Fernando Torres in the final.
However, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo missed out on making UEFA's squad of the Euro 2008 tournament.
Nine Spaniards make the 23-player squad but UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh insisted nothing should be read into the absence of Ronaldo from the list and it had nothing to do with his reputation as a prima donna.
"If Portugal had gone further (they lost 3-2 to Germany in the quarterfinals), he (Ronaldo) and Deco would have been in our squad," said the former Scotland coach.
"We don't pick them on reputation. He is a fantastic player. In any case one of the better matches I saw was between the Portugal A and Portugal B sides."
Two of Ronaldo's teammates did make it in defenders Jose Bosingwa and Pepe.
Roxburgh said that the selection of the best player had been a close run thing.
"(Iker) Casillas, the Spanish goalkeeper, came very close in the voting (which is decided on by 9 technical experts)," he said.
"Obviously the winning team provides the best players."
"The Spanish team haven't tried to be someone else. They have maintained their philosophy. They can keep the ball under immense pressure," Roxburgh added.
"To sum up Spanish football -- they carry the ball close to their hearts. They love the ball, they love working with the basics. Because they love the ball they don't like to give it away. They have personal talent and collective ability."
Luis Aragones's side dominated UEFA's squad of the tournament and Roxburgh said his delegation could have named more Spaniards.
Clearly, there was a number of players that were outstanding," he added, naming Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas and defender Carles Puyol as especially impressive.
"The first comment our group made was that we should just pick the Spanish team. We could almost have put 13 or 14 Spanish players in here and not have blinked."
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain), Edwin van der Sar (Holland).
Defenders: Jose Bosingwa (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Carlos Marchena (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Carles Puyol (Spain), Yuri Zhirkov (Russia).
Midfielders: Hamit Altintop (Turkey), Luka Modric (Croatia), Marcos Senna (Spain), Xavi (Spain), Konstantin Zyryanov (Russia), Michael Ballack (Germany), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lukas Podolski (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland).
Forwards: Andrei Arshavin (Russia), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Russia), Fernando Torres (Spain), David Villa (Spain).


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