Holger Badstuber, Chris Smalling and Sara Thunebro are just some of the star names to have featured on the UEFA Training Ground in 2011, a year when the UEFA.com section also highlighted UEFA Grassroots Day across the continent.
The UEFA Training Ground is the ultimate grassroots football resource, tapping into the talents of the game's leading players, coaches and referees to inspire and teach those just starting out in the game, and also those eager to learn more, while also highlighting the best grassroots initiatives from UEFA's member associations, as well as those championed by UEFA itself.
Since the section started in 2007, one of the most popular elements has been its Star Skills videos, with highlights including guides to goalkeeping with Petr Čech, to ball control and passing with Xavi Hernández, and to free-kicks with Roberto Carlos. In 2011 young players had the chance to learn about skills such as defending in one-on-one situations from FC Bayern München's Badstuber, attacking in one-on-ones from Valencia CF midfielder Sergio Canales, defensive midfield play from Tottenham Hotspur FC's Sandro and starting attacks from defence from Sweden and 1. FFC Frankfurt's Thunebro.
The UEFA Training Ground also gives youngsters the chance to learn how to recreate memorable moments from the UEFA Champions League with classic skills from David Beckham, Jack Wilshere and Cristiano Ronaldo all broken down into step-by-step guides this year. And in 2012 users can look forward to a new series of classic EURO skills as stars from the competition talk us through some stand-out moments.
We also presented some inspiring stories in our Making Of series, as we went back to the grassroots clubs where Manchester United FC's Smalling and Göteborg FC's female star Linnea Liljegärd began their journeys in the game.
The second UEFA Grassroots Day took place in the week of the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium in May and the UEFA Training Ground was on hand to highlight this celebration of grassroots football via a special UEFA Grassroots Day microsite. Featuring news of events taking place all over Europe, this microsite includes a constantly updated calendar of activities, photos and video features about the winners of the 2011 UEFA Grassroots Day Awards – given to the best grassroots project, team and leader, as voted for by UEFA's grassroots panel.
With an inventory of almost 350 videos, the UEFA Training Ground continues to grow into a comprehensive one-stop resource for aspiring players, coaches and referees, with many more features lined up to inspire those at the grassroots level upwards in 2012.
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