Congratulations to Lionel Messi for the sixth time.

PARIS (Reuters) – Lionel Messi claimed a record sixth Ballon d’Or award on Monday, beating Liverpool’s leading nominees and Cristiano Ronaldo to lift soccer’s most prestigious individual trophy.

The Argentine, who won the Liga title with Barcelona but only managed third place in the Copa America with his country, added to his 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 trophies.

He finished above Dutchman Virgil van Dijk and Portugal’s third-placed Ronaldo, who has won the award five times.

“I am very lucky, I am blessed. I hope I will continue for a long time,” Messi told reporters. “I realize that I’m lucky even if one day it will be time to retire,” added the 32-year-old.

“It will be tough but I still have some years ahead of me. Time flies so I will enjoy football and my family.”

Senegal’s Sadio Mane, who along with runner-up Van Dijk and fellow Liverpool nominees Alisson Becker of Brazil and Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, helped the Merseyside club win the Champions League, came fourth in the poll of international journalists.

“It was amazing,” said Van Dijk. “There are a couple of players like him (Messi) who are fantastic. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with Liverpool and Holland. It’s going to be tough (to win the award) when these guys are around.”

Messi, whose stellar career was rewarded with another trophy, and Ronaldo, had between them won 10 consecutive Ballon d’Or awards until Croatia’s Luka Modric prevailed in 2018.

 

INCREDIBLE YEAR

Megan Rapinoe earlier won the women’s Ballon d’Or after leading the United States to a record-extending fourth World Cup title in France this year as they retained the trophy.

The 34-year-old midfielder, the standout player at the June-July tournament, succeeded Norway’s Ada Hegerberg who did not take part in the World Cup.

Rapinoe was not present at the ceremony in the Theatre du Chatelet, where the show ‘An American In Paris’ is on.

“I’m so sad I can’t make it tonight. It’s absolutely incredible congrats to the other nominees. I can’t believe I’m the one winning in this field, it’s been an incredible year,” Rapinoe said in a recorded message.

“I want to thank my team mates and the U.S. federation.”

Dutchman Matthijs de Ligt, a key player in Ajax Amsterdam’s thrilling run to the Champions League semi-finals and now at Juventus, won the Kopa trophy for the best Under-21 male player.

Alisson, one of the four Liverpool players in the top seven for the men’s Ballon d’Or, was awarded the new Yashin trophy for the best male goalkeeper of the year.

There was, however, no trophy for the best female Under-21 player or keeper.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

Why Salah votes were not counted by FIFA?

FIFA has explained why some votes for Mohamed Salah to win The Best FIFA Men’s Player award was not counted.

Liverpool star Salah did not finish in the top three of the ballot, with his nominations from Egypt’s captain and coach not included.

Salah appeared to be upset when FIFA’s full list of voting was released without his country’s selections.

 

He reportedly removed a reference to Egypt from his Twitter bio and posted a cryptic message that read: “Whatever they do to try to change my love for Egypt, they will not succeed.”

FIFA moved to clarify why those particular votes for Salah were not counted in a statement released to Omnisport on Thursday.

The governing body said:

 

“During the monitoring of the votes submitted by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) on August 15, it was remarked that the signatures on the voting forms were in capital letters and thus seemed not valid (not authentic). The voting forms were also not signed by the general secretary which is mandatory.”

FIFA added the President’s Office of the EFA, which has undergone recent structural changes, was contacted about the issue, with no response received in time for the votes to count.

Further questions have been asked of FIFA about the voting process for The Best awards.

Nicaragua captain Juan Barrera claimed on Twitter he did not vote although his name is listed on FIFA’s official document, which says he chose Lionel Messi, Sadio Mane and Cristiano Ronaldo as his top three.

“We have checked the voting documents submitted by the Nicaraguan FA and all documents are signed and confirmed with the official stamp of the Nicaraguan FA,” FIFA said.

“Having compared with the vote sheets submitted by the federation and the ones we have published on FIFA.com… we confirm that we have the right votes signed by the player.

“We are asking the Nicaraguan Football Federations to inquire on this matter.”

Messi was named as the men’s winner, ahead of the likes of Salah, Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk, and long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

USWNT star Megan Rapinoe won the women’s award, while Salah’s Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and Rapinoe’s international coach Jill Ellis took the trophies for best coach.

 

SOURCE:

 

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/sport/football/fifa-reveals-bizarre-reason-egypts-salah-votes-didnt-count-in-the-best-awards/ar-AAHUsvF?li=BBQbhAJ

“People perhaps think the rivalry goes beyond football, but it doesn’t.—Lionel Messi.

Lionel Messi says his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo is only on the pitch.

Messi and Ronaldo were seen chatting at August’s UEFA awards ceremony as Virgil van Dijk claimed the Men’s Player of the Year award.

The same trio were nominated for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award with Messi pipping Van Dijk into second and Ronaldo in third at Monday’s Milan prizegiving.

Messi and Ronaldo have each won five Ballons d’Or having spent their careers vying for individual honours, as well as for team trophies with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

 

Released results for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award showed Messi put Ronaldo second in his vote while the Portugal superstar did not include the Barcelona captain in his selection.

Asked why people are surprised to see him getting along with Ronaldo, Messi told FIFA’s official website: “Because of the big sporting rivalry that’s developed between us over the last few years. Because one us played for Barcelona and the other for Madrid, and because we won individual awards.

“People perhaps think the rivalry goes beyond football, but it doesn’t. We both want what’s best for our teams and neither of us like losing. It’s something we don’t accept.

“That’s why there’s that competitiveness between us. The important thing is that it stays there, out on the pitch.”

 

Messi is now helping to develop Barcelona’s 16-year-old forward Ansu Fati, who has exploded on to the scene in LaLiga this season.

“I really like him and I try to help and support him,” the Argentina attacker added. “He’s an amazing player and he’s got what it takes to succeed.

“But if I look at it through my eyes, I’d like them to bring him on gradually, like they did with me when I started, taking things nice and easy and without putting pressure on him.

“You have to remember that he’s only 16. I hope he keeps on enjoying it and that all the fuss around him doesn’t have a negative impact on him because he has the quality to become one of the best.”

 

SOURCE:

 

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/sport/football/messi-ronaldo-rivalry-only-on-the-pitch/ar-AAHP34o?li=BBQbhAJ

Why Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature for Juventus against Brescia on Tuesday?

Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature for Juventus against Brescia on Tuesday after the forward was left out of a 20-man squad for the Serie A fixture.

The Portugal international will miss the midweek trip to Stadio Mario Rigamonti due to ‘slight fatigue in the adductor’, according to the club, having played three times in the space of a week.

Ronaldo was on the field for every minute of the league games against Fiorentina and Hellas Verona, with a 2-2 Champions League draw away at Atletico Madrid sandwiched in between.

While Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa all remain sidelined, Gonzalo Higuain is included in the squad list.

The striker suffered a facial injury following his second-half introduction during the 2-1 triumph over Verona on Saturday, though he did not break any bones in his nose and could feature in the clash with Brescia.

 

Juventus have posted three wins and a draw in four Serie A outings so far this season, leaving them two points behind leaders Inter in the table.

Inter – who along with Juve and Roma are yet to lose in the league this season – host Lazio on Wednesday, with third-placed Napoli playing Cagliari at Stadio San Paolo.

“I want to see the current conditions. Ronaldo yesterday (Sunday) had a little muscle fatigue but it is quite normal after three games in seven days,” Sarri told a press conference on Monday.

“We’ll see if it is necessary or not for someone to rest. It’s important that we have continuity in this moment, but there are also other factors to consider.

“We’ll have to make some evaluations.”

The Portuguese forward has contributed two goals and one assist in five appearances for his club this season, but missed out on The Best FIFA Men’s Player award to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi on Monday.

Ronaldo had won the award in 2016 and 2017, having guided Real Madrid to successive Champions League crowns, before Luka Modric then took home the trophy in 2018 following yet another Champions League triumph for the club.

 

SOURCE:

 

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/sport/football/ronaldo-to-miss-juventus-game-at-brescia-due-to-muscle-fatigue/ar-AAHLwUH?li=BBQbhAJ

Ronaldo’s emotional message to fans after missing out on FIFA Best Player award — Yen.com.gh

Cristiano Ronaldo posted a cryptic message on social media hours after missing out on the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award. The Portuguese superstar came in third-place behind Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s Li

via Ronaldo’s emotional message to fans after missing out on FIFA Best Player award — Yen.com.gh

How Cristiano Ronaldo escaped criminal charges.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo won’t face criminal charges after a woman accused the soccer star of raping her in his suite at a Las Vegas resort more than 10 years ago, a top prosecutor said Monday.

A new investigation by Las Vegas police failed to show that Kathryn Mayorga’s claim could be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said.

“Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming,” Wolfson said in a statement.

 

The decision represented a victory on one of two legal tracks tied to the 2009 allegation against one of the most recognizable and highly paid players in sports.

In a lawsuit still pending in federal court, Mayorga alleges that she was pressured to sign an agreement to keep quiet in exchange for $375,000. Her lawyers want to void the deal and collect at least $200,000 more from Ronaldo.

Ronaldo’s attorneys have acknowledged that the soccer star and Mayorga had consensual sex in June 2009, but they denied it was rape. Attorney Peter Christiansen was traveling Monday and wasn’t immediately available to comment.

 

Attorneys for Mayorga, a former model and schoolteacher, did not immediately respond to telephone, text and email messages.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers to make her name public.

Her lawsuit says she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and other people to his suite at the Palms Hotel and Casino, where he assaulted her in a bedroom. Afterward, she signed a non-disclosure agreement under pressure from “fixers” trying to protect Ronaldo’s reputation, her lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, has said.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud for allegedly allowing terms of the settlement to become public in European publications.

 

CR 2

 

Her attorneys say Mayorga never wanted her name released but became worried that she would be identified after a 2017 media report apparently referred to the encounter.

Her lawyers have said in federal court documents that they were having trouble personally serving Ronaldo with legal filings. A judge has given them an Oct. 28 deadline.

Ronaldo plays in Italy for the Turin-based soccer club Juventus. He played previously for Manchester United in England and Real Madrid in Spain, where he earned a then-record sum of 94 million euros, or about $130 million.

Mayorga underwent a medical exam to collect DNA evidence shortly after she alleges Ronaldo assaulted her. Police closed their investigation in 2009 because Mayorga neither identified her attacker by name nor said where the alleged rape took place, said Wolfson, the elected prosecutor in Las Vegas.

Police have said she identified her attacker only as a European soccer player.

“As a result, the police were unable to … conduct any meaningful investigation,” Wolfson said Monday. “Detectives were unable to search for and impound vital forensic evidence. In addition, video evidence, showing interactions between the victim and perpetrator before and after the alleged crime, was lost.”

The investigation was reopened in last year at the request of Mayorga’s attorneys, shortly before they sued Ronaldo. She spoke again with police, and authorities this year obtained a sample of Ronaldo’s DNA through Italian authorities.

Police did not immediately respond Monday to messages about the case.

 

SOURCE:

http://www.msn.com/en-xl/sport/football/cristiano-ronaldo-wont-face-rape-charge-in-las-vegas/ar-AAEJ5NB?li=BBQbcGp&ocid=spartandhp

 

Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez recalls adorable story on how they met

Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend has admitted she fell in love at first sight with the football star after they met when she worked in an upmarket Madrid clothes store.
Stunning Georgina Rodriguez claimed the feeling was mutual following their June 2016 encounter.

 

She told Italy’s Elle magazine in an interview: “The first meeting with Ronaldo was at Gucci where I worked as a sales assistant.

 

“Days later we saw each other again at another brand’s event and it was then we could talk in a relaxed atmosphere, outside of my work environment. It was love at first sight for both.”

The 25-year-old brunette, who swapped Madrid for Turin last summer after Cristiano signed for Juventus , painted an idyllic existence of life in her new home city with her partner of nearly three years.

The pair have a one-year-old daughter called Alana Martina and Georgina, born to a Spanish mum and Argentinian dad, is also raising Cristiano’s near-two-year-old twins Eva and Mateo and eight-year-old son Cristianinho.

Georgina admitted in an interview with glossy Spanish magazine Hola! in February she would love to become the football star’s wife but quashed rumours they are already engaged.

She told Italy’s Elle magazine her typical day consisted of waking up the children, changing them and having breakfast together before playing with them and preparing lunch, followed by a nap, a gym and spa session and a spot of TV with Cristiano before bed.

 

She added in the interview, headlined: ‘My life with Ronaldo’: “Home is where my family is. The place where I am happiest is my home, with my children and partner.

“Our house is our refuge, our temple built with so much love.”

Georgina, who grew up in the Spanish Pyrenees city of Jaca, has been a rock of support for Cristiano since it emerged he is being probed by Las Vegas police over 2009 rape claims.

The footballer has denied raping American accuser Kathryn Mayorga at a hotel in the city.

 

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Messi: My son asks ‘why do they kill you in Argentina, daddy?’

Facing fresh criticism for his withdrawal from Argentina’s friendly in Morocco on Tuesday, Lionel Messi candidly discussed his detractors in an interview with an Argentinian radio station.

Barcelona’s celestial frontman ended a self-imposed exile from the national team by returning to the fold for last week’s friendly against Venezuela in Madrid. Unsurprisingly, appreciation of his involvement in the 3-1 defeat was short-lived when he pulled out of the next fixture.

 

“I wanted to distance myself from the team, let time go by and cool myself. It was painful to end the cycle this way,” he told Club 94.7 on Friday as he explained his decision to step away from Argentina after the 2018 World Cup, according to Almudena Calatrava of the Associated Press.

“Many people said I should not return (to the national team),” he added. “Family, friends. My six-year-old (asked me) ‘Why do they kill you in Argentina, daddy?'”

Messi warned his critics in Argentina that they “will have to stand me a little longer” as he remains focused on winning a major honor for his country. He described reaching a World Cup final and showpieces in the Copa America as “extraordinary” achievements.

 

“I’m used to what they say about me, they are always making things up about me. Nothing surprises me,” he continued, as translated by ESPN FC’s Sam Marsden. “There are a lot of lies being told and it makes me angry because people believe what they say.

 

 

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“Anybody can say anything, people buy into it and then I’m the bad guy.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Messi named Cristiano Ronaldo alongside Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Eden Hazard, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, and himself as the best players in the world. Discussing Ronaldo, he admitted that “it annoyed me seeing him win so many trophies.”

The 31-year-old refused to commit to concluding his career in Argentinian club football: “I would love to end my career at Newell’s (Old Boys) but it’s not easy. Sincerely, I don’t know.”

Messi is included in Ernesto Valverde’s roster for Saturday’s brawl with city rivals Espanyol.

 

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