Zidane, Allegri and Conte shortlisted for final Best FIFA Men’s Coach award – Mourinho, Guardiola miss out

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri were on the shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach award.

The final three were cut down from an initial list of 10, with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, boss of rivals Manchester City, among the names to be dropped.

Juventus head coach Allegri won Serie A and the Coppa Italia last season, with defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final denying him a historic treble.

Zidane led that Madrid side, who also triumphed in LaLiga, while Conte tasted Premier League glory in his first season in England, having taken over a side who had ended the previous campaign in 10th.

As well as Mourinho and Guardiola, the other bosses initially nominated to subsequently miss out on the final three are Carlo Ancelotti, Luis Enrique, Leonardo Jardim, Joachim low, Mauricio Pochettino, Diego Simeone and Tite.

Claudio Ranieri was named Best FIFA Coach of the Year in 2016 after Leicester City’s stunning Premier League triumph, with Zidane and Portugal’s Fernando Santos the other finalists.

Coach of the year

Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)

Antonio Conte (Chelsea)

Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

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FIFA awards: Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar up for Best FIFA Men’s Player Award

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have been nominated as finalists for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award.

Ronaldo helped Real Madrid to a second consecutive Champions League title and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 12 goals earlier this year.

Messi and Neymar claimed the Copa del Rey with Barcelona with the former finishing as La Liga’s top scorer with 37 goals last season.

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon was shortlisted for the Best FIFA Goalkeeper award after leading the Italian club to a sixth successive Serie A title, a third-straight Italian Cup success and a runner-up finish in the Champions League.

He was joined by Real Madrid shot-stopper Keylor Navas and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane, Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri were on the shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Coach award.

The women’s player of the year award will be contested between Venezuelan striker Deyna Castellanos, American midfielder Carli Lloyd, and Lieke Martens, who helped Netherlands to the Euro 2017 title.

The awards ceremony will take place in London on October 23.

Player of the year

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Neymar (PSG)

Goalkeeper of the year

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Keylor Navas (Real Madrid)

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Coach of the year

Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus)

Antonio Conte (Chelsea)

Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid)

FIFA women’s coach of the year

Nils Nielsen (Denmark)

Gérard Prêcheur (Lyon)

Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

FIFA women’s player of the year

Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela/Santa Clarita Blue Heat)

Carli Lloyd (United States/Houston Dash)

Lieke Martens (Netherlands/Barcelona)

FIFA fan award

Borussia Dortmund supporters

Celtic supporters

FC Copenhagen supporters

Puskas Award

Kevin-Prince Boateng (Las Palmas)

Alejandro Camargo (Universidad de Concepcion)

Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela U-17)

Moussa Dembele (Celtic)

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)

Aviles Hurtado (Tijuana Xolos)

Mario Mandzukic (Juventus)

Oscarine Masuluke (Baroka FC)

Nemanja Matic (Chelsea)

Real Madrid top 55-man shortlist of FIFA Team of the year

A 55-man shortlist for a FIFA Team of the Year has 12 Premier League-based players included on it.

Real Madrid lead the nominations for FIFPro’s World 11, with 13 players named.

FIFPro and its affiliated player associations polled 25,000 professional footballers to put together a long list of names that will eventually be shortened to name a side consisting of a goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three attackers.

The 2016 World 11 featured five Madrid players and four from Barcelona, but Los Blancos’ tally of 13 named in the 55-man list is a record.

Harry Kane and Gareth Bale are the only British players included.

Tottenham and England striker Kane has enjoyed a fine 2017, scoring 34 times in all competitions for club and country, while Bale won the Champions League and La Liga with Real Madrid.

Despite the lack of British talent on the list, a total of 12 Premier League players made the cut, including six Manchester United players.

David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romelu Lukaku are the United men included, alongside Chelsea trio David Luiz, N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard, Liverpool play-maker Philippe Coutino and Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil.

No players from Manchester City make the cut, however.

The final 11 will be announced at a ceremony in London on October 23.

The 55 players on the list are:

Goalkeepers
Gianluigi Buffon – Italy, Juventus
David De Gea – Spain, Manchester United
Keylor Navas – Costa Rica, Real Madrid
Manuel Neuer – Germany, Bayern Munich
Jan Oblak – Slovenia, Atletico Madrid

Defenders
David Alaba – Austria, Bayern Munich
Jordi Alba – Spain, Barcelona
Dani Alves – Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain
Jerome Boateng – Germany, Bayern Munich
Leonardo Bonucci – Italy, Juventus/AC Milan
Dani Carvajal – Spain, Real Madrid
Giorgio Chiellini – Italy, Juventus
Diego Godin – Uruguay, Atletico Madrid
Mats Hummels – Germany, Bayern Munich
Phillipp Lahm – Germany, Bayern Munich/retired
David Luiz – Brazil, Chelsea
Marcelo – Brazil, Real Madrid
Javier Mascherano – Argentina, Barcelona
Pepe – Portugal, Real Madrid/Besiktas
Gerard Pique – Spain, Barcelona
Sergio Ramos – Spain, Real Madrid
Thiago Silva – Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain
Samuel Umtiti – France, Barcelona
Antonio Valencia – Ecuador, Manchester United
Raphael Varane – France, Real Madrid

Midfielders
Thiago Alcantara – Spain, Bayern Munich
Sergio Busquets – Spain, Barcelona
Casemiro – Brazil, Real Madrid
Philippe Coutinho – Brazil, Liverpool
Eden Hazard – Belgium, Chelsea
Andres Iniesta – Spain, Barcelona
Isco – Spain, Real Madrid
N’Golo Kante – France, Chelsea
Toni Kroos – Germany, Real Madrid
Nemanja Matic – Serbia, Chelsea/Manchester United
Luka Modric – Croatia, Real Madrid
Mesut Ozil – Germany, Arsenal
Paul Pogba – France, Manchester United
Marco Verratti – Italy, Paris Saint-Germain
Arturo Vidal – Chile, Bayern Munich

Forwards
Gareth Bale – Wales, Real Madrid
Karim Benzema – France, Real Madrid
Edinson Cavani – Uruguay, Paris Saint-Germain
Paulo Dybala – Argentina, Juventus
Antoine Griezmann – France, Atletico Madrid
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden, Manchester United
Harry Kane – England, Tottenham Hotspur
Robert Lewandowski – Poland, Bayern Munich
Romelu Lukaku – Belgium, Manchester United
Kylian Mbappe – France, Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi – Argentina, Barcelona
Neymar – Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal, Real Madrid
Alexis Sanchez – Chile, Arsenal
Luis Suarez – Uruguay, Barcelona

Fancy Bears hackers leak football drug use at 2010 World Cup

Carlos Tevez, Juan Sebastian Veron and Dirk Kuyt have been named by hackers Fancy Bears as three of the players permitted to use otherwise-banned medicines during the 2010 World Cup.

Tevez and Veron are two of five Argentina players listed in a document which details therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) and declarations of use of medicines for 25 players during the tournament in South Africa more than seven years ago.

The Fancy Bears have previously published details of TUEs — essentially a doctor’s note permitting the use of an otherwise-banned substance to treat a medical condition — in Olympic sports.

Tuesday’s publication of hacked data was the Fancy Bears’ first disclosure in football and drew a strong rebuke from FIFA.

“FIFA condemns in the strongest terms the publication by the Fancy Bears group of information obtained illegally, particularly personal and medical data from athletes,” the statement said.

“The release of such information constitutes a clear violation of the athletes privacy and puts at risk the ongoing fight against doping. All potential violations of the anti-doping regulations are handled by FIFA in accordance with WADA regulations.”

Tevez, who has played for Manchester United, Manchester City and West Ham, former Chelsea and United playmaker Veron and ex-United defender Gabriel Heinze all declared the use of Betamethasone, a corticosteroid with a variety of uses.

It does not feature directly on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s prohibited list, but is banned dependent on the concentration detected, and is covered in section nine of the list.

That reads:

“All glucocorticoids are prohibited when administered by oral, intravenous, intramuscular or rectal routes.”

Former Liverpool and Netherlands forward Kuyt was revealed to have used dexamethasone, apparently for pain relief due to dentistry issue with his root channel.

Mario Gomez was one of four Germany players listed.

Gomez received a TUE for salbutamol, a common asthma medication.

Former New Zealand, Blackburn and QPR defender Ryan Nelsen — listed as “Nelson” on the published form — declared the use of prednisone, another corticosteroid.

No England players were listed and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of those named, but the Football Association is still working to discover the extent of the hack.

The Russian hackers also claimed there were 160 adverse analytical findings — or positive doping tests — in 2015 in football.

Of the four UK failures, three were for cocaine and one for ecstasy.

Fancy Bears first hacked WADA files in September last year.

Five-time Olympic champion and 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins was forced to defend himself following the publication of his medical records, which revealed three TUEs for triamcinolone ahead of three of his biggest races in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Wiggins insisted the use of the corticosteroid was medically necessary due to a pollen allergy that aggravated his asthma.

The latest hack includes an email from the Football Association’s head of integrity, Jenni Kennedy, to FIFA regarding four anti-doping cases in May 2017.

One shows Middlesbrough’s George Friend received triamcinolone through a “legitimate method,” with UK Anti-Doping determining no anti-doping rule violation had occurred.

Zesh Rehman, then of Gillingham, received a retrospective TUE for prednisolone following a League One match with Southend in February.

It was prescribed due to urticaria, or hives, which is a bumpy and uncomfortable rash. Two cases are ongoing involving a pair of non-league players, who it is said tested positive for the anabolic steroid oxandrolone in out of competition tests.

The FA said:

“The Football Association is disappointed that strictly confidential information has been released into the public domain. The details of ongoing cases cannot be discussed or disclosed until due legal process has been completed.

“In the event that an Anti-Doping Rule Violation has been committed, full details will be published on The FA website in line with The World Anti-Doping Code.

Additionally, it is inappropriate to publish information relating to personal medical conditions or medications and we will work alongside our partners to ascertain the extent of this matter.”

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Gianluigi Buffon top 24-man list of Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year

Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to be named Best FIFA Men’s Player for the second year running after being included among the nominations for the 2017 award.

Madrid dominate the list of nominees given their successful 2016-17 campaign, boasting seven players in total.

A

Alongside Ronaldo sits Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal and Keylor Navas.

Barcelona are next in line with four nominees, with Neymar — now of Paris Saint-Germain — Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta joining Messi on the list.

Real Madrid star Ronaldo, who won the inaugural award last year, is one of 24 players to have been nominated for the accolade.

The award, which covers the period of Nov. 20, 2016, to July 2, 2017, is voted for by national team coaches, captains, selected media and fans and will be handed out at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on Oct. 23 in London.

Ronaldo’s nomination comes after a year that saw him help Madrid to a third Champions League crown in four seasons and a first La Liga title in five years, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup.

Ronaldo scored twice as Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final, while also finishing top scorer in the competition with 12 goals.

Ronaldo faces competition from long-time rival Lionel Messi, who finished up as La Liga’s top scorer with 37 goals — 12 ahead of Ronaldo — and helped Barcelona to Copa del Rey success in what was a largely disappointing season for the club.

Tottenham forward Harry Kane is the only British player named on FIFA’s player of the year shortlist for 2017.

Kane scored 38 goals in all competitions last season, 29 in the Premier League, winning the golden boot in the process.

While he is the only British player on the shortlist, Kane is joined by several other Premier League stars – Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, Chelsea’s title winners N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard and Manchester United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon will also be vying for the award after guiding his club to a Serie A and Coppa Italia double as well as a place in the Champions League final.

Voting closes on 7 September and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 23 October.

Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year :

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB – Borussia Dortmund)

Leonardo Bonucci (ITA – Juventus/AC Milan)

Gianluigi Buffon (ITA – Juventus) Dani

Carvajal (ESP – Real Madrid)

Cristiano Ronaldo (POR – Real Madrid)

Paulo Dybala (ARG – Juventus)

Antoine Griezmann (FRA – Atlético Madrid)

Eden Hazard (BEL – Chelsea)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE – Manchester United)

Andres Iniesta (ESP – FC Barcelona)

Harry Kane (ENG – Tottenham Hotspur)

N’Golo Kante (FRA – Chelsea) Toni Kroos (GER – Real Madrid)

Robert Lewandowski (POL – FC Bayern Munich)

Marcelo (BRA – Real Madrid)

Lionel Messi (ARG – FC Barcelona)

Luka Modric (CRO – Real Madrid)

Keylor Navas (CRC – Real Madrid)

Manuel Neuer (GER – FC Bayern Munich)

Neymar (BRA – FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain)

Sergio Ramos (ESP – Real Madrid)

Alexis Sanchez (CHI – Arsenal)

Luis Suarez (URU – FC Barcelona)

Arturo Vidal (CHI – FC Bayern Munich)

Conte, Zidane and Low in list of twelve coaches for Best FIFA Men’s Coach of the year

Antonio Conte is nominated following Chelsea’s Premier League title win in May.

He goes up against Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola of Manchester City and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

They face competition from La Liga and European title-winning Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique and Germany’s national coach Joachim Low.

Best FIFA Men’s coach of 2017

Massimiliano Allegri (ITA – Juventus)

Carlo Ancelotti (ITA – FC Bayern Munich)

Antonio Conte (ITA – Chelsea)

Luis Enrique (ESP – FC Barcelona)

Pep Guardiola (ESP – Manchester City)

Leonardo Jardim (POR – AS Monaco)

Joachim Low (GER – German national team)

Jose Mourinho (POR – Manchester United)

Mauricio Pochettino (ARG – Tottenham Hotspur)

Diego Simeone (ARG – Atlético Madrid)

Tite (BRA – Brazilian national team)

Zinedine Zidane (FRA – Real Madrid)

Emma Hayes, Florence Omagbemi and Sarina Wiegmann on list for Best FIFA Women’s coach of the year

Chelsea Ladies manager Emma Hayes has been nominated for the women’s coach award, after leading her side to the Women’s Super League One Spring Seriesin June.

She goes up against six national team managers: Austria’s Dominik Thalhammer, France coach Olivier Echouafni, Denmark manager Nils Nielsen, North Korea’s Hwang Yong-bong, Nigeria’s Florence Omagbemi and Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman.

Also nominated are Barcelona boss Xavi Llorens, Lyon’s Gerard Precheur and Wolfsburg coach Ralf Kellermann.

The Best Fifa Women’s Coach 2017:

Olivier Echouafni (France)

Emma Hayes (Chelsea Ladies)

Ralf Kellermann (VfL Wolfsburg)

Xavi Llorens (FC Barcelona)

Nils Nielsen (Denmark)

Florence Omagbemi (Nigeria)

Gerard Precheur (Lyon)

Dominik Thalhammer (Austria)

Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

Hwang Yong-bong (North Korea)

Kerr, Llyod and Bronze on nominees for Best FIFA Women’s Player of the year

Manchester City defender Lucy Bronze and Arsenal forward Jodie Taylor are nominated for the women’s player of the year award.

They are joined by last year’s Fifa award-winner, Houston Dash midfielder Carli Lloyd,who had a short-term loan spell with City last season.

Also on the list are Barcelona forward Lieke Martens and Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema, both Women’s Euro 2017 winners with the Netherlands.

The Best Fifa Women’s Player 2017:

Lucy Bronze (Manchester City and England)

Deyna Castellanos (Santa Clarita Blue Heat and Venezuela)

Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg and Denmark)

Samantha Kerr (Sky Blue FC and Australia)

Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash and USA)

Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon and Germany)

Lieke Martens (Barcelona and Netherlands)

Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal and Netherlands)

Wendie Renard (Lyon and France)

Jodie Taylor (Arsenal and England)

Former FIFA Exco Chuck Blazer dies at 72

Disgraced US football official Chuck Blazer has died at the age of 72, his lawyers say.

Blazer, who was banned from all football activities for life in 2015, had been suffering from cancer.

In 2013 he pleaded guilty to bribery, money laundering and tax evasion but agreed to help investigators expose corruption in Fifa.

A larger-than-life character, he was ex-boss of Concacaf, North and Central American football’s governing body.

His information led to charges against 14 other current or former Fifa officials, and contributed to the downfall of Sepp  Blatter, the organisation’s president.

Chuck Blazer: The parrot collector turned  Fifa snitch

“We are truly saddened by the passing of our client and friend, Chuck Blazer,” his lawyers said in a statement.

“His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck’s positive impact on international soccer.”

The official served on Fifa’s executive committee from 1997-2013, during which time he pocketed millions to fund a globe-trotting VIP lifestyle.

A 2013 report by Concacaf’s integrity committee said he had received more than $20.6m (£16m) in commissions, fees and rental payments from the organisation between 1996 and 2011.

His personal excesses included two apartments in New York’s Trump Tower, one of which was exclusively for his cats.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Russia 2017: Portugal edge Mexico in extra time to finish third

Mexico 12 Portugal


Adrien Silva scored an extra-time penalty as Portugal recovered from a goal down to beat Mexico 2-1 in the third-place play-off in Moscow.


The European champions were within seconds of losing in normal time after central defender Luis Neto had put through his own goal after 54 minutes.


But Pepe equalised after the clock had ticked past 90 minutes before Adrien Silva converted from the penalty spot at the end of the first period of extra time.


Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the final stages as Portugal defender Nelson Semedo and Mexico substitute Raul Jimenez were sent off for two bookable offences.
Portugal were without their talisman after Cristiano Ronaldo had been excused duty to see his new twins, and his presence was sorely missed as Portugal passed up a raft of chances, including missing yet another penalty following their spot-kick misery during the semifinal defeat to Chile.

FIFA Confederations Cup: Russia 2017 – Germany win their first Confederations cup title courtesy of Lars Stindl strike

Chile 01 Germany

​Lars Stindl’s first-half strike saw Germany beat Chile 1-0 in Sunday night’s Confederations Cup final in St Petersburg.

The Borussia Monchengladbach striker took advantage of some woeful defending by Chile to fire the world champions ahead after just 20 minutes.

In a disjointed and bad-tempered second period, the South Americans could have found themselves down to 10 men after the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee just past the hour-mark.

Gonzalo Jara’s stray elbow caught Timo Werner flush in the face, but after consulting his monitor on the touchline, Serbian referee Milorad Mazic controversially handed out a yellow, rather than a red.

Thereafter, Germany saw the match out to add a first-ever Confederations Cup title to the European U21 crown they won on Friday night, although Chile will wonder how they failed to level matters late on.

Arturo Vidal had said in the lead-up to the game that Chile could prove they are the world’s best team by beating Germany, and Juan Antonio Pizzi’s team started as though they meant business.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Russia 2017: Goretzka scores twice as Germany  beat Mexico to cruise into final

Germany 4 – 1 Mexico


Leon Goretzka scored twice in the opening eight minutes as Germany beat Mexico 4-1 in Sochi to join Chile in the Confederations Cup final.

The Schalke midfielder scored two goals in the space of three minutes sweeping home a Benjamin Henrichs pass from 20 yards and then slotted home from Timo Werner’s through ball.

Timo Werner finished off a nice team move to make it 3-0 after the break (59), and though Marco Fabian’s stunning 30-yard strike threatened to make things interesting late on, sub Amin Younes rounded off the win at the death for Germany.


While Germany go onto Sunday’s final in St Petersburg, Mexico face Portugal in a third-fourth play-off earlier that day.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo the hero as he saves three penalties to send Chile to final

Portugal 0 – 0 Chile (0 – 3 Penalties)

Chile reached the final of the Confederation Cup after Claudio Bravo saved three penalties as Chile edge Portugal on a 3-0 shoot-out.

The Chile captain denied Ricardo Quaresma, Joao Moutinho and Nani to send his team into Sunday’s final after the game in Kazan ended 0-0 after extra time.

Chile, who scored all three of their spot-kicks taken by Arturo Vidal, Charles Aranguiz and Alexis Sanchez, will face the winner of Germany against Mexico.
Nani missed the decisive penalty as Portugal did not call on Cristiano Ronaldo, who likely was scheduled to take the fifth.

Chile created the better opportunities and were unfortunate not to win the game in extra-time when they struck the woodwork twice in quick succession through Vidal and Martin Rodriguez.

New Manchester City signing Bernardo Silva overcame a foot injury to start, while Cristiano Ronaldo captained his country and Jose Fonte replaced the suspended Pepe. Alexis Sanchez and Claudio Bravo featured for Chile.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Russia 2017: Timo Werner’s brace send Germany top and to semi

GROUP B

Germany 3 – 1  Cameroon


Reigning world champions beat Cameroon 3-1 in the Confederations Cup as Kerem Demirbay’s opener and a brace from Timo Werner(their first senior international goals)  secured top spot in Group B and set up a semifinal clash against Mexico on Thursday.

Hoffenheim midfielder Demirbay marked his full debut by breaking the deadlock early in the second half at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi and RB Leipzig striker Werner’s double sandwiched Vincent Aboubakar’s header for Cameroon.

Germany, who beat Austrailia 3-2 in their opening match before drawing with Chile, squandered a host of second-half chances, but saw the game out comfortably to finish top of Group B and set up a last-four clash with Mexico on Thursday.

Cameroon were controversially reduced to 10 men just after the hour-mark when defender Ernest Mabouka was shown a straight red card for his high tackle on Emre Can.

Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan initially sent the wrong player off, Sebastien Siani, on the advice of the video assistant referee before the decision was quickly corrected.

FIFA Confederations Cup  – Ronaldo scores his 75th European  international goal as Portugal crush New Zealand 

GROUP A 

New Zealand  0 – 4 Portugal 

​Portugal coasted to a 4-0 win over New Zealand in St Petersburg to secure their place in the Confederations Cup semifinals.

The win, however, came at a cost as Manchester City-bound midfielder Bernardo Silva was substituted because of an ankle injury.

With hosts Russia losing against Mexico in Kazan, Portugal progressed as Group A winners, while the All Whites finished bottom following a third straight defeat.

Captain Cristiano Ronaldo put Portugal ahead from the penalty spot on 33 minutes,  his 75th goal for Portugal, bringing him level with Sandor Kocsis in second place on the list of Europe’s highest international goal scorers.

Bernardo Silva swiftly doubled the lead with a close-range finish, but landed awkwardly on his ankle and was taken off at half-time.

Andre Silva wrapped up a comfortable victory with a fierce angled finish on 80 minutes, and Nani added a fourth in stoppage time.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Mexico edge Russia to go through to Semis

GROUP A 

Mexico 2 – 1 Russia

Mexico advanced to the Confederations Cup semifinals as Group A runners-up by rallying for a 2-1 win over hosts Russia, who were eliminated.

Needing a victory to advance from their difficult group, Russia took the lead with a goal by Alexander Samedov in the first half, but the experienced Mexicans equalised through Nestor Araujo before half-time and secured the victory early in the second with a goal by Hirving Lozano after a blunder by Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev.

The hosts wanted a penalty after Yuri Zhirkov fell inside the area in the sixth minute, but he was barely touched and the referee let the play continue. Zhirkov then nearly opened the scoring for Russia, but his low left-foot shot missed just wide.

Russia appealed for another penalty about 10 minutes later when striker Fedor Smolov went down in the box after getting tangled up with Araujo, but no penalty was given despite help from video. Play had continued for about 30 seconds before the game was stopped for the review.

Smolov then struck the post with a long-range shot and Zhirkov had his shot saved by Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

Mexico will next face the winners of Group B in Sochi on Thursday, when Andres Guardado will be suspended because of yellow card accumulation.
Russian players gathered in the middle of the pitch to salute fans after the final whistle and were applauded by the crowd of 41,585 fans at Kazan Arena..

FIFA Confederations Cup – Lars Stindl cancels out Alexis Sanchez goal, who becomes Chile record goalscorer 

GROUP B 

Germany 1 – 1 Chile


Alexis Sanchez became Chile’s all-time leading scorer when he grabbed an early goal in their 1-1 draw against Germany at the Confederations Cup on Thursday.

Lars Stindl equalised for the world champions just before half-time although the game petered out in the second half as the high-octane Chileans appeared to run out of gas.


The result left both teams level at the top of Group B with four points each from their opening two games, although Chile have the better goal difference. 

FIFA Confederations Cup – Cameroon and Australia draw to earn their first points

GROUP B 

Cameroon 1 – 1 Australia 

​Mark Milligan’s second-half penalty meant Australia and Cameroon had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the Confederations Cup in St Petersburg.

Both sides were chasing a win after losing their opening fixtures in Group B, but an end-to-end match saw the two teams cancel each other out and effectively end their chances of progression.

Andre Anguissa opened the scoring in first-half stoppage-time as he raced onto a long ball from defender Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui which exposed Australia’s high back-line before poking the ball over the head of onrushing goalkeeper Mathew Ryan.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Alex Gersbach was brought down inside the area and Milligan despatched the spot-kick with precision after the video assistant referee (VAR) had ruled in favour of Australia.

Both sides wasted good chances to win the game late on, with the final result ultimately helping neither side in the quest for qualification from the group.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Mexico’s win marred by injury time brawl

GROUP A

Mexico 2 – 1 New Zealand 

Mexico came from behind to beat New Zealand and moved top of the group amid ugly scenes at the Confederations Cup.

Leeds United’s Chris Wood gave the All Whites a first-half lead but second-half goals by Benfica’s Raul Jimenez and Oribe Peralta sealed victory.


Players from both sides became involved in an unseemly melee deep into injury time after Mexico skipper Diego Reyes dragged back Michael Boxall, who then lunged at substitute Hector Herrera.

New Zealand’s Ryan Thomas also became involved and a mass brawl ensued.

Referee Bakary Gassama consulted the video assistant referee before issuing three yellow cards to Reyes, Herrera and Boxall.

The Mexicans, who saw Ryan Thomas denied an 85th-minute equaliser by the woodwork, survived a major scare after Chris Wood had fired the Kiwis into a half-time lead and then squandered a series of further chances before Raul Jimenez and Peralta spared their blushes.

Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio apologised for losing his temper during the match.

The 56-year-old had a heated argument with one of New Zealand’s assistant coaches after Mexico’s Carlos Salcedo went down with a shoulder injury in the first half.
And the Colombian coach later had to be restrained by his own bench during the brawl in injury time.

“I would like to apologise to our fans, the way I spoke to one of their assistant coaches was not OK,” he said.

“There is no place for disrespect in football and I am sorry. The game was rough, almost violent on occasion, so I lost my temper.”
New Zealand’s head coach Anthony Hudson played down the incident.

“I thought it was bizarre really, it was like we had elbowed the player the way it was going on,” he said.
Mexico, who left striker Javier Hernandez on the bench, top the group ahead of Portugal on goals scored.
Mexico now only need a draw against Russia in Kazan on Saturday to be sure of reaching the semi-finals.
Hosts Russia are third in the group while New Zealand remain bottom and are out of the tournament.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Ronaldo’s header earn victory for Portugal against host Russia

GROUP A

Russia 0 – 1 Portugal 

Cristiano Ronaldo headed the only goal as Portugal recorded their first win at the Confederations Cup by beating hosts Russia.

Ronaldo connected to Raphael Guerreiro’s cross in the eighth minute as Portugal stay second in Group A, a point clear of the Russians.

Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, earning his 100th cap, denied Portugal victory by a greater margin as he made vital saves from Ronaldo and Andre Silva either side of half-time.

Russia were poor before half-time and although they improved after it, they were repeatedly hit on the break as they committed men to the search for an equaliser.

The goal was Ronaldo’s 74th senior international goal on his 141st appearance for his country.

FIFA Confederations Cup – Russia 2017 : Portugal  denied victory by a late Hector Moreno goal

GROUP A 

Portugal 2 – 2 Mexico

Hector Moreno snatched a stoppage-time equaliser as Mexico denied Portugal a late victory in their opening Confederations Cup match.

Pepe had a goal disallowed for offside after a referral to the video assistant referees before Ricardo Quaresma sold the keeper a dummy and slotted in.

Javier Hernandez equalised with a low header from Carlos Vela’s cross.

Cedric Soares’ 86th-minute shot was deflected in, but Hector Moreno snatched a point in the 91st minute.

Mexico defender Moreno, who recently joined Italian side Roma from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, headed in off the post from a Jonathan dos Santos cross.

Earlier, Ronaldo had a header brilliantly tipped away by Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa, while Gelson Martins- a target for Liverpool – fired just wide on the counter for Portugal.

Latest Football News 

  • ​Barcelona’s remarkable turnaround against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday, which was sealed by a stoppage-time Sergi Roberto goal, provoked a micro-earthquake in the Catalan city.
  • Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are among several European clubs tracking 16-year-old Vancouver Whitecaps winger Alphonso Davies.

  • Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann has said that he has no plans to leave the club and called the constant questioning over whether he will go to Manchester United tiresome.
  • The first Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid to be played on U.S. soil is set for July 29 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami as part of the International Champions Cup.
  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique’s change in reputation from “idiot” to “hero” in such a short space of time sums up management today.

“It just sums it up that two weeks ago he was an idiot and everyone said you have to leave, so he said, ‘OK, I go.’ Today he is a hero. That sums up the job,” Wenger said.

  • Manchester City are keen on signing Juventus defender Dani Alves this summer.
  • City full-back Bacary Sagna is open to a summer move to West Ham.
  • Manchester United striker Zlatan  Ibrahimovic has been talking to Los Angeles Galaxy about a move that  would see the 35-year-old become  the highest-paid player in MLS  history, says former USA defender  and president of the American club.
  • United target Felipe  Anderson is now contented with  life in Rome and is looking forward to trying to help his Lazio team win the Coppa Italia.
  • The agent of Galatasray’s Bruma confirms there have been Premier League “offers” for the winger with Manchester United & Tottenham believed to be interested.

  • Chelsea are weighing up a £26 million bid for Inter Milan winger Antonio Candreva.
  • Chelsea are set to announce a new contract for midfielder Nemanja Matic as soon as next week.
  • Nemanja Matic is the subject of attention of Juventus once again with the Serbian also  being monitored by Barcelona.
  • Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez has emerged as a surprise transfer target for La Liga side Real Madrid.
  • Napoli’s Belgium winger Dries Mertens, 29, met Manchester United representatives for two hours in the lobby of a hotel in Italy earlier this week to discuss a potential move.
  • Manchester United are set to miss out on Paris St-Germain and Italy midfielder Marco Verratti, 24, who was one of manager Jose Mourinho’s top targets.
  • Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac is wanted by Arsenal and Chelsea.

  • Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, 26, is ready to reject an offer from Real Madrid as he is settled in London and loyal to Blues manager Antonio Conte.
  • Blues defender John Terry, 36, will consider joining another Premier League club this summer, despite turning down Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion in January.
  • Steven Gerrard, 36, could join the England coaching set-up, combining it with his role at Liverpool, and has already had initial talks with senior FA figures.
  • Everton boss Ronald Koeman has revealed he has held talks with England midfielder Ross Barkley, 23, about committing his future to the Toffees.
  • Everton are set to make a summer swoop for Bury’s 16-year-old midfield starlet Callum Styles.
  • Chelsea and Manchester City target Leonardo Bonucci, 29, has made peace with Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri following a recent dispute that led to the Italy defender being left out of the club’s recent Champions League match against Porto.
  • Atletico Madrid reportedly will send scouts to monitor Giovanni Simeone – the son of their coach Diego – with a view to making a move.
  • Porto starlet Diogo Dalot is the centre of a tug of war between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
  • French football journalist Julien Laurens says a move to Paris St-Germain for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger “has to be on the table”.
  • Arsenal are eyeing a move for Anderlecht starlet Youri Tielemans amid interest from Europe’s elite.
  • Bayern Munich forward Douglas Costa, 26, has again admitted he is not happy at the German champions and is on the lookout for another team next season, with Juventus the Brazil international’s likely destination.
  • Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers says he has never heard of Pedro Caixinha, the Portuguese coach who was has been cleared to take charge at Rangers.
  • Manchester City are still making millions of pounds from image rights deals they said they had forfeited three years ago to help comply with Uefa Financial Fair Play rules.
  • Aitor Karanka says he was hurt by Middlesbrough fans calling for him to resign as manager but insists he will not step down, despite the club’s struggles.
  • Paris St-Germain’s players and their families were threatened by angry fans when they returned to the French capital after Wednesday’s 6-1 Champions League defeat in Barcelona.
  • Mauricio Pochettino is on a list of managers interesting Paris Saint-Germain and will be considered should they decide to replace Unai Emery at the end of the season.
  • Arsene Wenger is set to hand starts to Lucas Perez, Kieran Gibbs, David Ospina and Gabriel for Arsenal’s FA Cup tie with Lincoln.
  • Steve Bruce has emphasised that Chris Samba is not on trial at Aston Villa.
  • Joe Hart has admitted he is “surplus to requirements” at Man City.
  • Nicklas Bendtner was reportedly paid around £1.3m a year by Nottingham Forest before departing the club for Rosenborg.
  • Kyle Naughton has been ruled out of Swansea City’s relegation six-pointer against Hull City.
  • Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri will not be out of work for long, it appears. The Italian, sacked by City just over a fortnight ago, is reportedly attracting interest from numerous clubs around Europe.
  • Lazio are considering selling reported Manchester United target Keita Balde Diao.
  • Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has suggested that Erik Lamela may not play again this season. Lamela has not featured for Spurs since October 25 as first a hip problem and then a family accident involving his brother kept him on the sidelines.
  • Jurgen Klopp has said that Roberto Firmino is a doubt for Sunday’s game with Burnley, while Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge have been ruled out through injury.
  • West Brom boss Tony Pulis is set to enter talks with the club over another contract extension but has stressed there is “no rush”.
  • UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona after supporters breached the pitch after Sergi Roberto’s dramatic 95th-minute winner against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.
  • Fifa president Gianni Infantino says Craig Bellamy’s football academy in Sierra Leone “sold hope” to children only to let them down. The academy, run by ex-Liverpool forward Bellamy’s foundation, was closed in September.
  • The regional president of Madeira has described critics of the renaming of the island’s airport in honour of Cristiano Ronaldo of “a lack of manners.”
  • Last year, it was announced that the airport would be renamed the Cristiano Ronaldo Aeropuerto after the Real Madrid star — born in the Madeiran capital Funchal — had captained Portugal to the 2016 European Championship.

2015 FIFPro XI

Barcelona and Real Madrid dominated the 2015 FIFPro XI list, as the Spanish giants combined to put eight players on the 2015 FIFPro World XI, four each.
The team, announced on Monday at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich, featured Lionel Messi, Neymar, Dani Alves and Andres Iniesta from Barcelona, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric represented Real Madrid.
Also on the team were Paul Pogba of Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain’s Thiago Silva and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Messi and Ronaldo both made the XI for the ninth time in their careers, the most appearances of any players. Iniesta is next on that list with his seventh appearance on the team.

Messi and Ronaldo both made the XI for the ninth time in their careers, the most appearances of any players. Iniesta is next on that list with his seventh appearance on the team.

Neuer made the team for the third straight season, while Neymar, Modric and Pogba all made their debuts.

Barcelona’s Luis Suarez was again left off the list, while Real Madid’s Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are also left waiting for their names to be called for the first time.Over the last six seasons, 47 of the 66 players selected to the World’s eleven best players have come from La Liga, 40 more than the Bundesliga, the next most-represented league.
England’s Premier League was the only one of Europe’s five major leagues not to be represented on the team, which is made up from 45,000 ballots by professional players from countries whose national associations are FIFPro members.

Goalkeeper:
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich, Germany)

Defenders:
Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain, Brazil) Marcelo (Real Madrid, Brazil)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain)
Dani Alves (Barcelona, Brazil)

Midfielders:
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, Spain)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia)
Paul Pogba (Juventus, France)

Forwards:
Neymar (Barcelona, Brazil)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina) Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Portugal)

2015 FIFPro XI Reserves : 2nd Team

Goalkeeper:
David De Gea(Spain, Manchester United)

Defenders:
David Alaba (Austria, FC Bayern Munich)
Philipp Lahm (Germany, FC Bayern Munich)
Gerard Piqué (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Jordi Alba (Spain, FC Barcelona)

Midfielders:
Eden Hazard (Belgium, Chelsea FC)
Toni Kroos (Germany, Real Madrid CF)
Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast, Manchester City FC)

Forwards:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain FC)
Robert Lewandowski(Poland, FC Bayern Munich)
Luis Suárez(Uruguay, FC Barcelona)

2015 FIFPro XI Reserves: 3rd Team

Goalkeeper:
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus)

Defenders:
David Luiz (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Jérôme Boateng(Germany, FC Bayern Munich)
Javier Mascherano(Argentina, FC Barcelona)
Raphaël Varane(France, Real Madrid CF)

Midfielders:
Sergio Busquets(Spain, FC Barcelona)
Marco Verratti(Italy, Paris Saint-Germain)
Arturo Vidal(Chile, FC Bayern Munich)

Forwards:
Sergio Agüero(Argentina, Manchester City FC)
Karim Benzema(France, Real Madrid CF)
Thomas Müller(Germany, FC Bayern Munich)

2015 FIFPro World XI Reserves: 4th Team

Goalkeepers:
Keylor Navas(Costa Rica, Real Madrid CF)

Defenders:
Vincent Kompany (Belgium, Manchester City)
Mats Hummels (Germany, Borussia Dortmund)
Giorgio Chiellini (Italy, Juventus)
Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid CF)

Midfielders:
Xabi Alonso (Spain, FC Bayern Munich)
Andrea Pirlo (Italy, New York City FC)
James Rodríguez (Colombia, Real Madrid CF)

Forwards:
Gareth Bale (Wales, Real Madrid CF)
Arjen Robben (The Netherlands, FC Bayern Munich)
Alexis Sánchez (Chile, Arsenal)

2015 FIFPro XI Reserves: 5th Team

Goalkeeper
Iker Casillas (Spain, FC Porto)

Defenders:
Daniel Carvajal (Spain, Real Madrid CF)
Diego Godín (Uruguay, Atlético Madrid)
John Terry (England, Chelsea)
Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia, Chelsea)

Midfielders:
Thiago Alcantara (Spain, FC Bayern Munich)
David Silva (Spain, Manchester City)
Ivan Rakitic (Croatia, FC Barcelona)

Forwards:
Douglas Costa (Brazil, FC Bayern Munich)
Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United FC)
Carlos Tevez (Argentina, Boca Juniors)

2015 Ballon D’or Awards

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player for the fifth time.
The Barcelona forward reclaimed the biggest individual accolade in world football in Zurich on Monday, beating Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the three-time winner he has been runner-up behind for the last two years.
He also finished ahead of fellow Barca frontman Neymar after a calendar year in which the Catalan outfit claimed five titles.

Argentina international Messi, who scored 48 goals for his club in 2015, said after being presented the award by 2007 Ballon d’Or winner Kaka: “It is a very special moment for me to be back here on this stage, winning again another Ballon d’Or after being there in the audience watching Cristiano win.
“It’s incredible this is my fifth. It’s much more than anything I’ve dreamed of as a kid.
“I want to thank everyone who voted for me and I want to thank my team-mates – without them none of this would be possible.
“Lastly, I want to thank football in general for everything it has brought me, both the bad and the good, because it has made me grow and learn.”

Ronaldo scored more goals than Messi over the calendar year, netting 54 for Madrid, but it was not enough for his side to win any silverware.

Messi secured 41.33 per cent of the vote, with Portugal hitman Ronaldo getting 27.76 per cent and third-placed Brazil striker Neymar 7.86 per cent.

Messi and Neymar helped Barca win the Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League treble in 2015, plus the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd claimed the women’s world player of the year gong.
Carli scored a hat-trick in the final against Japan, including a sensational strike from the halfway line. She earned the Golden Ball for best player in the tournament.
Former Germany striker Celia Sasic finished second despite retiring halfway through 2015 at the age of 27. In the first half of the year she was top scorer in the World Cup with six goals and won the Champions League with Frankfurt.
Third was Japan midfielder Aya Miyama, 30, captained her country to the World Cup final, where they lost to the USA.

Lloyd said:”It has been a dream ever since I started with the national team. Keep your dreams and just go after them.”

Barcelona’s coach Luis Enrique won the men’s world coach of the year award as he came ahead of his predecessor, Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola.
Enrique led his side to five of the six trophies on offer in 2015, including the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey.
Chile’s Copa America-winning coach Jorge Sampaoli came third.

In the category for world coach of the year for women’s football, England boss Mark Sampson was beaten to the award by United States counterpart Jill Ellis.
Jill led her country to World Cup glory in the summer.
Second was Japan coach Norio Sasaki, whose side beat England in the semi-finals, but lost to USA in the final.
England coach Mark Sampson finished third with 10.68% of the vote after their third-place finish in Canada.
“It is a true honour,”said Ellis.” To Fifa, to our own federation, thank you for your belief, your vision and your investment in women’s football.”

Atletico Goianiense’s Wendell Lira won the goal of the year award for a spectacular overhead kick in Brazil’s Goiano state league game against Goianesia.
Messi’s run from halfway and finish in the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao was second, with Roma full-back Alessandro Florenzi’s 55-yard goal against Barca third.

The Fair play award winner announced by Former Leeds and South Africa captain Lucas Radebe went to – all football clubs and organisations supporting refugees.

Real Madrid had as many players as Barcelona, four, in the world team of the year despite not winning a trophy.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was German champions Bayern Munich’s only representative. The Premier League was the only of Europe’s top five leagues to not have anyone in the team.

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich, Germany)

Defenders: Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain, Brazil), Marcelo (Real Madrid, Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain), Dani Alves (Barcelona, Brazil)

Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona, Spain), Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia), Paul Pogba (Juventus, France)

Forwards: Neymar (Barcelona, Brazil), Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Portugal)

LIST OF WINNERS —–

Ballon d’or winner: Lionel Messi

2015 FIFA Female Player Of The Year: Carli Lloyd (USA)

2015 FIFA Coach Of The Year: Luis Enrique (Barcelona)

2015 FIFA Female Coach Of The Year: Jill Ellis (USA)

201 FIFA Puskas Award: Lira Wendell (Goianesia, Brazil)

FIFA World ranking

Belgium retained their spot as number one in the latest FIFA world ranking released by FIFA on Thursday morning, ending the year as the ‘Team Of The Year’. Argentina and Spain are second and third respectively, with world champions Germany slipping to fourth.

 

England remain ninth in the world rankings, while Wales have dropped two places to 17th.

 

Nigeria’s senior national team has dropped seven places to 66th, and are ranked 14th in Africa.

 

Ghana has dropped three places from 30th to 33rd position.

However, the Black Stars remain third in Africa.

 

Ivory Coast are now ranked first in Africa replacing Algeria with the latter dropping to second spot.

 

Turkey receive the award for best mover of the year thanks to the 329 points they collected over the last 12 months of football. Having last competed at a major tournament back in 2008, Turkey secured a place at the Uefa Euro 2016 in a campaign that saw them defeat Netherlands.

 

The highest climbers of 2013, thanks to nine wins, two draws and only one defeat, are Ukraine, who have collected no fewer than 312 points since December 2012, moving up 29 places to 18th and gaining the title of Mover of the Year for the first time.

 

In contrast, Portugal dropped three places into 7th having lost 145 points – the most points lost by a team.

 

The next Fifa World Ranking will be published on 7 January 2016.

 

World Top 10:

1. Belgium

2. Argentina

3. Spain

4. Germany

5. Chile

6. Brazil

7. Portugal

8. Colombia

9. England

10. Austria

2015 FIFA Puskas award: Messi, Florenzi, Wendell make the list

FIFA has announced the final three-player shortlist for the FIFA Puskas Award for the best goal of 2015.

 

The final three remain from the list of 10 announced earlier in November.

The list includes Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, AS Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi and Wendell Lira of Goianesia.

 

Messi, 28, is selected for a goal he scored against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final in May, when he collected the ball just inside his own half before beating five men and slotting a shot into the bottom corner.

 

Florenzi’s goal was scored in the UEFA Champions League. The defender picked up a loose ball deep in his own half in a group match against Barcelona this season before bursting down the right flank. He then lofted an unbelievable effort over goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen from the touchline just inside the Barca half.

 

Wendell provides the one strike which comes from South America, netted against Atletico-GO for Goianesia in Brazil’s Campeonato Goiano in March. He scored with a stunning bicycle kick from 10 yards out after a running on to a lofted pass through the centre.

 

Colombia and Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez won last year’s award for his strike against Uruguay at the 2014 World Cup,

 

High-profile names among the seven dropped from the running are Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, for an exhilarating solo effort he scored while still at Juventus in a Serie A game against Parma last November, and AC Milan defender Philippe Mexes for his stunning volley in an International Champions Cup friendly against city rivals Inter.

Also, Lloyd, who plays her club football for Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League in the U.S, scored an outstanding goal in the final of the Women’s World Cup against Japan in July but it was not enough to see her emulate Stephanie Roche last season by representing women’s football in the final three.

 

The winner will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich on January 11, 2016.

2015 Ballon d’or: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar on final three-man list

Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo have been shortlisted for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

 

The three were chosen from a longer list of 23 names.

Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the prize for the last seven years but both face strong competition this year from Messi’s Barcelona team-mate Neymar.

 

Ronaldo has won four Ballon d’Or awards, including for the past two years.

Messi also has four, which came consecutively from 2009 to 2012.

 

Messi, is the favourite to win the award, helped Barcelona win the treble last season, and could make it Ballon d’Or number five in 2016.

 

Ronaldo certainly feels no reason to expect an upset.

“To be honest I think Messi is going to win this year because this kind of trophy, it depends on votes,”

“You win competitions, you win the Champions League you win the league in terms of individual. I did probably the best season of my career which is good and I was the highest scorer in Europe [but] it’s all about votes.

 

“It is difficult and to be honest I am not very worried about that because as I said many times, I never thought I would win three times to be honest.”

 

At 23, Neymar is the youngest of the finalists.

The Brazil forward netted twice as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad in the Premiera Division on Saturday, and afterwards spoke of his pride at being included among the contenders.

“I have never played football to be the best player in the world, or to win the Ballon d’Or. I’ve always just played with the idea of continually getting better, to always surpass my goals, to always be better, play better, train better,” he said.

“To be the best in the world is the direct result of all of this work. If today I am being spoken of in such terms, it is a clear sign that what I am doing is working.”

 

The winner wil be announced alongside four other awards at FIFA’s Ballon d’Or Gala in Zurich, on the 11th of January, 2016.

 

FIFA Ballon d’Or nominees:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)

Neymar (Barcelona/Brazil)

 

FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nominees:

Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash/USA) Aya Miyama (Okayama Yunogo Belle/Japan)

Célia Šašić (FFC Frankfurt/Germany)

 

FIFA World Men’s Coach of the Year nominees:

Pep Guardiola (Bayern Munich) Luis Enrique Martínez (Barcelona) Jorge Sampaoli (Chile)

 

FIFA World Women’s Coach of the Year nominess:

Jill Ellis (USA)

Mark Sampson (England)

Norio Sasaki (Japan).

 

FIFA Puskas Award nominees:

Alessandro Florenzi (Roma v Barcelona, 16/09/15)

Wendell Lira (Atletico-GO v Goianesia, 11/03/15)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, 30/05/15)

 

2015 FIFA Ballon d’or 23 man shortlist

ballondorsplit_3477369k

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez head the shortlist for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or.

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, who has won the award for the past two years, is joined by teammates Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.

And Barcelona’s attacking triumvirate of Messi — who is a four-time winner — Neymar and Suarez are listed along with fellow Blaugrana stars Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano and Ivan Rakitic. With six, Barca have the most players nominated.

Bayern Munich also have five players — Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben and Arturo Vidal.

Five Premier League stars make the list, headed by Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez after he helped Chile to Copa America glory on home soil in the summer. PFA Players’ Player of the Year Eden Hazard is the only representative from Premier League champions Chelsea.

Manchester City have three players named: Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Kevin De Bruyne.

Wales and Real Madrid forward Bale is the only British player named.

Juventus’ midfielder Paul Pogba is the only player from Serie A — though Vidal played the first half of the year with Juve, with Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic completing the 23.

The final vote for the award will be made by the captains and head coaches of each men’s national team as well as by international media representatives selected by French publication France Football.

The final three nominees will be named on Nov. 30, along with the announcement of the top 10 goals in the running for the FIFA Puskas Award.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Zurich on Jan. 11, 2016.

Full list of Ballon d’Or nominees:

Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City)

Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid)

Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid)

Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/VfL Wolfsburg/Manchester City)

Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain)

Andres Iniesta (Spain/FC Barcelona)

Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid)

Robert Lewandowski (Poland/FC Bayern Munich)

Javier Mascherano (Argentina/FC Barcelona)

Lionel Messi (Argentina/FC Barcelona)

Thomas Muller (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)

Manuel Neuer (Germany/FC Bayern Munich)

Neymar (Brazil/FC Barcelona)

Paul Pogba (France/Juventus)

Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/FC Barcelona)

Arjen Robben (Netherlands/FC Bayern Munich)

James Rodriguez (Colombia/Real Madrid)

Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal)

Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona)

Yaya Toure (Cote d’Ivoire/Manchester City)

Arturo Vidal (Chile/Juventus/FC Bayern Munich)

World Coach of the Year nominees:

Massimiliano Allegri (Italy/Juventus)

Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid)

Laurent Blanc (France/Paris Saint-Germain)

Unai Emery (Spain/Sevilla FC)

Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Bayern Munich)

Luis Enrique Martinez (Spain/FC Barcelona)

Jose Mourinho (Portugal/Chelsea)

Jorge Sampaoli (Argentina/Chilean national team)

Diego Simeone (Argentina/Atletico Madrid)

Arsene Wenger (France/Arsenal)

2015 FIFA Ballon D’or Nominees

Messi-vs-Ronaldo-10669

A 59-man  list of nominees for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or was leaked by Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.

Three-time and current holder Cristiano Ronaldo and fout-time winner Lionel Messi as usual top the list, with Real Madrid and Barcelona having the highest number of nominees.

Suprisingly, Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who led Juve to Serie A and Coppa Italia glory and the champions league final, did not make the list.

While, Arsenal’s David Ospina was included, with Massimo Luongo of Swindon Town (League One) making the list a ‘funny’ one.

The list will be trimmed to 23 before the final day.

The 2016 awards ceremony will be held on the 11th of January in Zurich, along with the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year trophy and the Puskas award, given to the scorer of the best goal of the year as voted on by the public.

LIST

Barcelona:

Claudio Bravo, Javier Mascherano, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic, Neymar, Luis Suarez

Real Madrid:

Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronalso, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos

Juventus:

Giorgio Chiellini, Paul Pogba, Alvaro Morata

New York City:

Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)

Boca Juniors:

Carlos Tevez (Juventus)

Bayern Munich:

Arturo Vidal (Juventus), Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer

Manchester City:

Wilfried Bony, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi, Kevin de Bruyne (Wolfsburg)

Chelsea:

Diego Costa, Willian, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard

Paris Saint-Germain:

Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Javier Pastore

Manchester United:

Wayne Rooney, David de Gea, Memphis Depay (PSV Eindoven)

Arsenal:

David Ospina, Alexis Sanchez

Atletico Madrid:

Antoine Griezmann, Jackson Martinez (FC Porto)

Tottenham:

Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Harry Kane

AC Milan:

Carlos Bacca (Sevilla)

LA Galaxy:

Giovani dos Santos

Liverpool:

Phillipe Coutinho

Bournemouth:

Christian Atsu (Everton)

Corinthians:

Paulo Guerrero (Flamengo)

Hoffenheim:

Eduardo Vargas (QPR)

Internazionale:

Gary Medel

Lyon:

Alexandre Lacazette

PSV Eindhoven:

Andres Guardado

River Plate:

Carlos Sanchez

Swansea:

Andre Ayew (Marseille)

Swindon Town:

Massimo Luongo (QPR)

Leicester City:

Shinji Okazaki (Mainz)