Fabio Capello Announces Retirement
On January 13th 2013, Fabio Capello announced his resignation from the managing the English national team and subsequent retirement from football, joining Jupp Heyneckes, who retired a few months back from the German national team. After leading England to the Finals at the Euro 2012 championships, the team was having some problems in its World Cup qualifying group, placing 2nd behind surprising Montenegro. Capello’s retirement was sudden, as most expected him to manage England through World Cup 2014 before announcing quitting football. Capello was one of the most decorated managers in recent history, winning the Serie A fives times (4 with AC Milan, once with Roma), the La Liga twice with Real Madrid, and lifted the European Champions Cup once in 1994 with AC Milan.
Champions Tottenham Bolster Squad at Beginning of January Window
In the first major transfer of the January window, Ryan Shawcross (20 Aps, 4.06 TpG, 7.11 in 2012/13) was signed by defending champions Tottenham from Stoke, where he had spent the last 5 years. The 25 year old England international defender, who had been capped 4 times, cost the champions 14 million pounds. Just a few days after the signing of Shawcross was completed, the champions continued their spending spree, bringing 26 year old Uruguayan GK Fernando Muslera for 15.5 million pounds from Galatasaray. Initially signed for just under 6 million from Lazio at the beginning of the 2011/12 season, the Turkish club decided to cash in on their prized asset. Tottenham’s manager, Harry Redknapp, signed him despite having a solid season from Brazilian Gomes, who had conceded only 11 goals in 13 games.
Arsenal Sign Argentinian Full-Back for 20.5 Million
Not to be outdone by their neighbors and rivals Tottenham in the transfer market, Arsenal signed Cristian Ansaldi, the 26 year old Argentinian full back, from Russian club Rubin for 20.5 million pounds. Ansaldi, who was in the 2012 Russian Premier Division Team of the Year, was new manager Louis Van Gaal’s 2nd major signing of the season, with the first being 21.5 million Marek Hamsik from Napoli. The club was only one point off of Manchester United and 1st place at the time of the signing.
Manchester City Signs Former Chelsea Russian Star
Manchester City completed the signing of former Chelsea left-back Yuri Zhirkov on January 20th, 2013, from Russian outfit Anji for 21 million pounds. The 29 year old Russian had spent a year and a half with Anji since being bought from Chelsea for 11.25 million in 2011, and was named in the 2012 Russian Premier Division Team of the Year, as well as being runner-up in the 2011 Russian Player of the Year award. He was also named Anji’s Player of the Year for 2011. The left-back, who is equally comfortable playing in the left wing position, was part of the Russian squad that crashed out in the group stages of the Euro 2012 Championships.