Champions League Quarterfinals: Ranking the 8 Captains
With the 2012 UEFA Champions League quarterfinals taking place this week, that means that only eight teams are left in the competition.
Eight teams means eight captains, and eight captains means eight extremely important players for their club.
This article will look at those eight players and who ranks as the best remaining captain that still exists in the competition.
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Marinos Satsias is passionate player for APOEL who also plays for the Cypriot national team.
Playing mainly as a defensive midfielder allows the 33-year-old to break up the play and commence counter attacks for APOEL.
He is a good captain but doesn't represent a particularly famous name, nor has he featured in the Champions League yet this season.
Satsias comes in eighth.
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31-year-old Luisao—which translates as Big Luis—has played for Benfica since 2003 and has been a huge success for the Portuguese club after a period of initial uncertainty.
Luisao has been capped 43 times for the Brazilian national team and isn't afraid to get involved in criticizing his team mates on the pitch.
To be a good captain you have to be able to cope with some big egos, and Luisao can certainly do that.
Luisao comes seventh.
Olympique De Marseille
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Steve Mandanda is a young goalkeeping captain for French side Olympique de Marseille.
The French international has 14 caps to his name and has become the first choice goalkeeper for his Ligue one team, despite being only 26 years of age.
Mandanda loses places in this rundown due to being unable to stir an offensive threat from his position.
Sixth place is his ranking.
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Massimo Ambrosini has been captain of AC Milan since 2009, despite not always playing first team football.
Milan possess players with great ability, but it is widely thought that Ambrosini earned the captaincy through his age and experience as opposed to anything else.
The 34-year-old took over from the legendary Paolo Maldini when he retired, but Gennaro Gattuso has often taken Ambrosini's place as captain when the Italian didn't make the starting XI for his club.
Ambrosini has—on occasion—captained Italy, and certainly knows the game and how to affect it.
Ambrosini comes fifth.
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John Terry is synonymous with Chelsea Football Club and has captained the Stamford Bridge outfit for almost 10 years.
Terry is Chelsea's most successful captain of all time, but has now been stripped of the England captaincy twice due to allegations of extra-marital affairs and racism.
Terry likes to lead by example in a tough, no-nonsense style and comes fourth on this list.
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Iker Casillas has been one of the best goalkeeper's in the world over the past decade, and that is why he is both Real Madrid and Spain's first choice.
Whilst Casillas is undoubtedly a great player and captain, it is difficult to affect the offensive outcome of game from between the posts, and that is the reason he is ranked third.
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Carles Puyol is one of those central defenders that never seems to age.
Even at 33 years of age, Puyol is first choice for probably the best club team in world football right now—Barcelona.
As captain of the Catalan giants since 2004 and a Spain regular, Puyol has won almost all the major competition honours he could possibly achieve in football.
A true legend of the sport is given the number two spot.
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Philip Lahm has been one of the best full backs that has ever played the game, and that is recognised by the fact he is both captain of Bayern Munich as well as the German national team.
Lahm is a superb captain and has pace and trickery to get him out of trouble when he needs it.
Lahm has to take the number one spot.
How would you rate a captain?
Would you do it on the amount of trophies the players has won as captain? Or would you do it on how the player goes about getting the best response he can out of his teammates?
Both arguments have grounds for being correct, but for me it has to be the latter.
A captain doesn't decide who he is playing alongside, but he has to instill confidence and motivate his colleagues in order to get the best out of them.
All these players have been awarded the captain's armband because of their ability to be mentality tough and inspiring, and long may that continue.
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