Ballon d’Or – and the winner is…….. Cristiano Ronaldo.

The prestigious Ballon d’Or awards were held in Zurich last night, as FIFA announced who would be named World Player of the Year.

Following votes from international captain’s, coaches and journalists, the nominess were wittered down to just three. The battle to be the best in the World had begun. Would it be Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery or Lionel Messi?

Ballon d'Or nominees

 

Lionel Messi has won the past four awards, and the last person to win before that was Ronaldo, way back in 2008, when he led Manchester United the the League and European double.

With Ribery the driving force behind Bayern’s stunning year, he was also in line to win the Ballon d’Or, he would have been the first Frenchmen to win it since Zinedine Zidane in 1998. But first a look at the winners of the other awards that were presented last night.

The legend that is Pele won the first ever Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur, which honours players of yesterday year that were not able to win the award due to it only being available to European players back when they played.

The Women’s FIFA Player of the Year was German Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, becoming the first Goalkeeper to win the award.

The FIFAPro team of the year was as followed

Manuel Neuer, Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva, Phillip Lahm, Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi.

Whilst the Coach award of the year was fought out between ex-Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes, the retired Sir Alex Ferguson and current Borussia Dortmund. In an award that was surely relatively straight forward, Jupp Heynckes was named as the best for the year, as he led Bayern Munich to the treble, the first of its kind for German sides.

Which leads us to the main prize. From one of the greatest to another, Pele would be the man to deliver the announcement on who would be crowned the best in the world 2013. That player is indeed the man from Madeira, Cristiano Ronaldo. Following on from years of watching the little Argentinean claim the prize, Ronaldo finally got his hands on the Gold Sphere. A mammoth 69 goals in 59 appearances helped him to win the award.

A tearful Ronaldo made his speech thanking his wife, son and teammates for helping him to achieve all he had in the past 12 months. Perhaps they were tears of joy, or maybe tears of relief, one thing that is certain was his determination to win over even his fiercest critics to reclaim a prize he first won back in 2008. He showed four years worth of tears in that one moment.

He now joins an elite list of players to have won multiple Ballon d’Or awards.

So as he embarks on a World Cup year and another 12 months with Real Madrid, he can look back on 2013 as his year. Viva Ronaldo indeed.

Ballon d’Or shortlist has been released.

The annual Ballon d’Or shortlist has been unveiled, with the usual names prevalent on the list.

One name that has been included is Gareth Bale. He has so far flattered to deceive at Real Madrid, mainly due to injuries, but is present on the shortlist, thanks to his stunning form for Tottenham Hotspur.

Below is the full list

Gareth Bale
Edinson Cavani
Radamel Falcao
Eden Hazard
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Andres Iniesta
Philipp Lahm
Robert Lewandowski
Lionel Messi
Thomas Muller
Manuel Neuer
Neymar
Mesut Ozil
Andrea Pirlo
Franck Ribery
Arjen Robben
Cristiano Ronaldo
Bastian Schweinsteiger
Luis Suarez
Thiago Silva
Yaya Toure
Robin van Persie
Xavi

The managers list has also been released. One would feel that there can only be one winner this year following his retirement and that must be Jupp Heynckes

Carlo Ancelotti
Rafael Benitez
Antonio Conte
Vicente Del Bosque
Sir Alex Ferguson
Jupp Heynckes
Jurgen Klopp
Jose Mourinho
Luiz Felipe Scolari
Arsene Wenger

Could this be the top three again?

Could this be the top three again?

14th October 2013 – Weekend Round Up

It was World Cup qualifiers this weekend with plenty of nations now in touching distant of Brazil 2014.

Below is a list of nations that have already qualified for the Brazil 2014

Japan, Australia, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Holland, Argentina, Costa Rica, USA, Colombia, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany.

Tomorrow marks the end of the European Qualifying section, though the eight best second placed teams with go into an additional qualifying fixture.

An Andros Townsend inspired England, beat Montenegro 4-1. All they have to do in their last match against Poland is match Ukraine’s result to qualify as group winners.

Israel scored a late goal to prevent a Portugal win (and everyone’s accumulators to go with it)

Holland demolished Hungary 8-1 in a very one sided affair. Robin Van Persie was amongst the goals, scoring a hat-trick in the process.

Germany duly dispatched of Eire, and guaranteed themselves a place in Brazil.

Turkey and Romania remained in joint second of their group. Going in to the last round of fixtures, Turkey host Holland, whilst Romania welcome Estonia.

Two goals for Romelu Lukaku was enough to see Belgium over the line, away to Croatia.

Spain laboured to a 2-1 win over Belarus. Swansea’s Michu made his Spanish debut.

Outside of qualifying Australia sacked their manager after a humiliating 6-0 defeat to France.

World Cup Quals

 

 

 

Weekend Round up – 30th September

Arsenal remain top of the English Premier League after victory over Swansea. Aaron Ramsey scored his eighth goal in nine games.

Borussia Dortmund demolished Freiburg 5-0, meaning they stay top on the German Bundesliga on goal difference.

Roma made it six in six in Serie A, with a 5-star performance against Bologna. Gervinho scored twice, as Roma won 5-0.

Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu to open a five point gap between the two clubs. Barcelona sit top, along with Atletico on 21 points.

Monaco and PSG are joint top of Ligue 1, which is no real surprise. Monaco drew 1-1 at Reims

Porto sit at-top the Liga Sagres in Portugal with 16 points from five games.

Newell’s Old Boys lead the way in Argentina, with 20 points from nine games, with San Lorenzo a further point behind in second.

Cruzeiro are 11 points clear in the Brazilian Serie A, a 2-1 away win at Internacional enough to see them grab three points.

As we were going to press rumours from Turkey surfaced in regards to the vacant managerial post at Galatasary. According to some media outlets, Roberto Mancini is in talks to take over from Faith Terim as Galatasaray manager, keep an eye on our Breaking NEWZ section for more information

Ramsey took his tally to 8 goals in 9 games

Ramsey took his tally to 8 goals in 9 games