Cristiano Ronaldo equals Leo Messi’s record, clinches record 5th Balon Do’r

Real Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo clinched his record 5th Balon D’or on Thursday to equal his rival Lionel Messi’s record. The ceremony, held at the Eiffel Tower, awarded Cristiano his second consecutive Balon D’or. Messi was adjudged the second best, while his ex-Barca team-mate and current Paris St. Germain player Neymar stood third.

Ronaldo’s exploits in the previous year included his club Real Madrid’s record 12th Champions League title, as they became the only club in Champions League era to retain the title; a record 33rd La Liga title and their second FIFA Club World Cup.

On a personal front, Cristiano was the top scorer in the Champions League with 12 goals including the match-winning brace against Juventus in the final. He also netted a match-winning hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Kashima Antlers 4-2 in the FIFA Club World Cup final.

With his 9 goals in 6 games, Ronaldo became the only player in history to have scored in every group stage match of a Champions League season this year. The Portuguese also has a record 114 Champions League goals, a feat that’ll continue for as long as the player retires.

Neymar all set to move to St.Germain from Barcelona

Iconic Brazilian striker Neymar skipped training session with Barcelona in light of his decision to inform the club about moving to French Club Saint-Germain in a blockbuster deal of $263 million. Just eight months back, Neymar had signed a deal with the Spanish Club in which the terms of his buy out deal was raised to more than double which itself was a historical act. He was also signed to retain contract with Barcelona till 2021 as per the deal. Barcelona also confirmed Neymar’s actions by an official statement referring to the same.

The Brazilian who had joined the club in 2013 had scored 105 goals for the club and had helped them retain a string of trophies including a coveted Champions league crown along with two league titles. While Barcelona had already been looking for replacement for the striker by zooming on star players like Ousmane Dombale (Dortmund), Coutinho (Liverpool) and Paulo Dybala (Juventus).However, Javier Trebas, president of National Football League has stated that the move would violate Financial Fair Play rules of UEFA and the league will not accept payment from Saint-German Club. Interestingly, UEFA had stated that no such complaint had been received so far and they, at the moment, are not planning to block the deal, and are willing to look into details of the issue.

 

News Sources- ANI, LiveMint 

UEFA Names Ronaldo Best Player in Europe

Real Madrid and Portugal forward, football sensation Christiano Ronaldo was on Thursday, August 25, voted Best Player by UEFA for the year 2015-16. The announcement was made in Monaco post the Champions League draw. Ronaldo lifted the award during the draw ceremony at Monaco’s Grimaldi, after having beaten off his competition in the final three, Real Madrid team mate Gareth Bale and Athletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann.

The original list of 6 players included Luis Suarez, Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Lionel Messi, who had won the award for 2014-15 but the top three received the most votes from the deciding journalists from UEFA’s 55 member associations. The award was first presented in 2011 and since then, Messi has won it twice, Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery once each and now Ronaldo also twice. The prize was created by UEFA after the original European Footballer of the Year honor, known as the Ballon d’Or was merged with FIFA’s world player award.

Ronaldo has had a phenomenal season, having scored 51 goals in 48 games for Real Madrid as well as the winning penalty in the Champions League final against Atletico. Real won the Champions League for the second time in three seasons and finished second in La Liga. As captain, Ronaldo was also central in steering his country to victory at Euro 2016. He is also a favourite for a fourth world player of the year award.

The woman’s award was picked up by Lyon and Norway striker Ada Hegerberg.

Lionel Messi puts Barcelona ahead against Arsenal

On Tuesday, Lionel Messi ended the Gunners’ rear-guard action with 19 minutes remaining, before adding a spot kick to leave Barcelona firmly in the box seat. In the previous six encounters with Čech, Messi had not scored, but as the Gunners’ defense began to creak, Messi took his chance with 19 minutes left, concluding with a sweeping move. Another goal from the penalty spot, after Messi had been brought down, left Arsenal gazing at yet another UEFA Champions League exit in the last 16.

The first 45 minutes of the game were a lesson in defensive discipline, with the compact hosts persistently refusing to be dragged out of form by Barca’s fluid attacking. A rhythm was soon set, with Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Ivan Rakitić taking turns to test Arsenal’s resolve before the occasional burst of a home counter.

It was Arsène Wenger’s team who carried the greater challenge. If Mesut Özil’s crossed had gone better, Aaron Ramsey could easily have made it 1-0. Arsenal closed their own fate in the 84th minute when Mathieu Flamini, exposed by Per Mertesacker’s sloppy clearance, gave a penalty with a crude challenge on Messi, who picked himself up to slot home from the spot.

SOURCES: TOIUEFA

 

Holders to face Liverpool as Cristiano Ronaldo crowned the European Player of the Year

On 28 August, at the UEFA Event in Monaco, the champions League draw took place, pitting the 5 time winners Liverpool against the holders Real Madrid. With Suarez now gone, it might seem as though the 10 time winners will give them a tough time having purchased costly reinforcements in the form of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos. With FC Basel in the group, the team which has a history of being the giant killers in the competition having managed to knock out Manchester united in the group stages 3 years ago, things could get interesting.

Arsenal, the 2006 finalists, were drawn with Dortmund in group D for the third time in 4 years bringing to the limelight, UEFA’s flawed drawing system. Also Bayern, CSKA Moscow and Manchester city were drawn together for the second consecutive year in group E. Joining the three of them in group E are AS Roma, making this group the year’s ‘group of death’.

With this year’s event starting on 16 September, the games to watch out for in the group stages would be, the Spanish champions Atletico Madrid taking on the Italian champions Juventus, PSG against Barcelona and Bayern Munich versus Manchester City.

Image courtesy: dw.de

The night also saw Cristiano Ronaldo winning the best European player award beating the likes of Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer, the first ever goalkeeper to be nominated for this award. Despite having a dismal world cup with Portugal, his record-setting 17 goals in the 2013-14 Champions league campaign in the Madrid outfit were enough for him to be crowned the best in European football. This is the first time he has won the award.

Group stages in full:

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiacos, Malmo FF

Group B: Real Madrid, Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets Razgrad

Group C: SL Benfica, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco

Group D: Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderlecht

Group E: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow, AS Roma

Group F: FC Barcelona, PSG, Ajax, APOEL Group G: Chelsea FC, Schalke 04, Sporting Lisbon, Maribor

Group H: FC Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Athletic Bilbao, BATE Borisov

Multiple cities to host Euro 2020: UEFA

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Euro Cup

Union of European Football Associatons(UEFA) have announced in a statement issued on Thursday that the 2020 edition of the Euro championship will take place in a number of cities spread across the continent.

UEFA General Secretary, Gianni Infantino, addressed the press after the meeting at Lausanne that the board had taken the decision to “alleviate the financial and logistical demands on one or two host nations.”

The idea, first proposed earlier this year by UEFA president Michel Platini, received a favourable response from several Eurpoean nations with the exception of Turkey. With Istanbul already bidding to host the Olympics the same year, UEFA had no intention to add any potential economic burden on the nation, in the process upsetting the Islamic state. Turkey’s bid would have also gone against International Olympic Comittee norms which restrict countries from hosting two international events in the same year.

The 60th anniversary edition could involve “12 or 13 cities across Europe” where infrastructure is already in place and is helped by the fact that most of the 53 UEFA federations are in favour. Central to Platini’s argument was that it would make organisation easier, after serious concerns about cost overruns and infrastructure delays in this year’s hosts Poland and particularly Ukraine.

Also previous hosts Portugal are still suffering financial repercussions after their $400 million expenditure in 2004.

The Football Association has already put forward Wembley in London as a potential venue for the final, with Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid and Stade de France  in Paris as viable substitutes.

However, fans all over the world threw serious flak at the decision. Many of them expressed severe disappointment as it would mean an increased cost of travel. The 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar has received similar jeers with fans worried about the probable heat of the summer.

The decision breaks new ground in the otherwise ageing field of management governing football. With FIFA recently incorporating goal-line technology, the sport finally appears to be evolving from rusty chains of tradition.