France fullback Gael Clichy said on Saturday his transfer to Manchester City from Arsenal last year had transformed him.
The 26-year-old — who was a surprise selection by France coach Laurent Blanc at the expense of former captain Patrice Evra for Friday's 2-0 Group D win over Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine — added City's Premier League title win had made him a better player.
"It's funny, but I am a vastly different player this year since
I moved to City," said Clichy,
who only learnt he was starting against Ukraine five minutes before they left for the stadium. “In my head, it is a turning point in my career. I wanted to see where it could take me. I do not regret it for a moment, as I have gained in self-confidence.”
Kidnapped Chile star to stay in Brazil
Rio de Janeiro: Jorge Valdivia of Chile, who was kidnapped with his wife briefly, has agreed to remain at Brazilian club Palmeiras until at least the end of the month.
Earlier this week, the Chile international midfielder said his career in Brazil was finished after he and his wife were abducted and robbed in Sao Paulo last week. Having travelled to Santiago to recover from the incident last weekend, Valdivia returned to Sao Paulo Tuesday to negotiate his release, reported Xinhua.
But Palmeiras officials have convinced the 28-year-old to remain in Brazil until the end of the club's Copa do Brasil campaign. “Even though I'm still emotionally shaken, I don't want the team to be affected by speculation about whether I will stay or go," said Valdivia. “To the contrary, I want to help Palmeiras in the Copa do Brasil and in the Brazilian championship.”
The Sao Paulo club is a firm favourite to advance to the Copa do Brasil final later this month after winning Wednesday’s semi-final first leg against Gremio 2-0 away from home.