Lionel Messi won his sixth FIFA player of the year award.

MILAN (AP) — Lionel Messi won his sixth FIFA player of the year award, while Megan Rapinoe won her first at a lavish ceremony at Milan’s iconic Teatro all Scala on Monday.

Rapinoe was rewarded at the FIFA Best awards for leading the United States to the women’s World Cup title in July, as was Jill Ellis who won the women’s coach award.

 

Rapinoe scored six goals in the tournament, earning her the Golden Boot for the tournament’s top scorer and the Golden Ball as the top player.

The outspoken star often uses her success as a platform to speak out about issues and the 34-year-old did so again in Milan, pleading for her male and female colleagues to join the likes of Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling in speaking out on racism and other inequalities.

 

“If we really want to have meaningful change what I think is most inspiring would be if everybody other than Raheem Sterling and (Kalidou) Koulibaly, if they were as outraged about racism as they were, if everybody was as outraged about homophobia as the LGBTQ players, if everybody was as outraged about the lack of equal pay and investment in the women’s game other than just women, that would be the most inspiring thing to me,” Rapinoe said.

“That’s my ask of everybody. As professional footballers … we have so much success, we have incredible platforms, I ask everybody here to lend your platform, to lift people up, to use this beautiful game to change the world for better.”

Rapinoe said after the ceremony that being able to speak out about issues is more important to her than the actual award.

“I’ve been very lucky to have this incredibly platform that seems to be growing by the day and I plan to use it to the best of my ability,” she told reporters. “The award’s amazing of course but I don’t do this for individual awards, certainly not.

 

“Even the team awards, the World Cup’s obviously incredible to win but when we sort of all look back on it, it will be the way we’ve changed the game and moved the game forward and really been a part of changing the world, this incredible movement that’s happening right now, that we’ll all be most proud of.”

Messi’s award moved the Barcelona and Argentina forward one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus forward did not attend the ceremony despite being among the three finalists.

The duo has dominated the award since 2008, with their string of victories only interrupted by Luka Modric last year.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was the other finalist.

His club manager Jürgen Klopp was named coach of the year after steering Liverpool to the Champions League title in June, while teammate Alisson won the best men’s goalkeeper award.

“I have to thank my team because as coach you can only be as good as your team is,” Klopp said.

Ellis also thanked her players.

“I owe so much to them,” she said.

Ellis resigned in July, shortly after the U.S. beat the Netherlands 2-0 to win its second successive World Cup.

The 53-year-old Ellis was named coach of the U.S. team in 2014 and led it to eight overall tournament titles, including back-to-back World Cup successes. Over the course of her tenure, the United States lost just seven matches.

Her players made up nearly half of the women’s team of the year, with Kelley O’Hara, Julie Ertz, Rose Lavelle and Alex Morgan included in the 11 as well as Rapinoe.

“I think I walked out with Messi and no one noticed me,” Ellis said jokingly to reporters, before adding: “It was such an honor, it really was. Fantastic night … happy for my players to do so well as well on that stage so it was great.”

The award for the best women’s goalkeeper went to van Veenendaal of Atletico Madrid and the Netherlands.

The 29-year-old Van Veenendaal captained the Netherlands to the final of the women’s World Cup.

 

SOURCE:

 

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Priyanka Chopra’s encounter with racism at a tender age.

Priyanka Chopra was bullied because of her skin colour.

The ‘Quantico’ star has opened up about the ”really racist behaviour” she experienced when she was in high school.

 

She said: ”I had, you know, really racist behaviour when I was in high school in 10th grade. I was called Brownie, Curry, go back on the elephant you came on, and that really affected me when I was a kid and affected my self-esteem … The way we treat people differently comes from cultural, subliminal messaging that has happened over eons. The more we can talk about it and open other people’s eyes and say, ‘It doesn’t have to be that way,’ and give them more examples, I guess society will change.”

And the 36-year-old actress – who is married to singer Nick Jonas – wants to create a world where her future kids don’t have to think about diversity.

Speaking to promote her ambassadorship for skincare company Obagi and the Skinclusion campaign, she added: ”I do want to create a world for my future kids where they don’t have to think about diversity, where they’re not talking about it because it’s normal.”

 

The ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ star previously insisted that ”representation is important” to daily life and helps her decide what brands she wants to work with.

She said: ”I feel the need for diversity everywhere. Representation is so important, and the conversation around that is something we need to keep magnifying so it doesn’t die down. So for me, the work that I choose and the brands that I align with [include] people who are willing to move that conversation forward. Social responsibility is something that is so important to especially us people who have the privilege of having a platform.

”When you talk about diversity and inclusion, it shouldn’t come from like a place of anger. People have said a lot of ignorant things to me, but instead of being offended, I try and educate them. And I think that like the better route to go where you teach people and change the world step by step instead of like breeding a war.”

 

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Italy coach Mancini slams ‘intolerable’ Kean abuse

Italy coach Roberto Mancini has described the racist abuse suffered by Juventus forward Moise Kean in a Serie A match against Cagliari as intolerable and said it was time to put a stop to such incidents.

Kean, who had been jeered throughout the game, stood in front of the Cagliari fans behind the goal and opened his arms after scoring Juve’s second goal in a 2-0 win on Tuesday.

In response, Cagliari’s supporters made the noise which is described in Italy as “buu” and is regarded as a racist insult.

 

“The behaviour towards Kean was intolerable, but it happens often,” Mancini said during an event in Rome. “The racist ‘buu’ has to be stigmatised, it can’t go on. It needs action and it needs to be tough.

 

 

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“The problems are those related to racism and that’s where you have to start doing something.”

Mancini disagreed with suggestions that 19-year-old Kean, who scored in both of Italy’s Euro 2020 qualifiers he played in last month, brought it on himself with his defiant celebration.

“Kean’s a golden lad,” said Mancini. “Maybe next time he won’t do it. I think he was distressed.”

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci was among those to say that Kean was partly to blame for the incident although he later backtracked and said he was too hasty with his comments.

“It seems that Bonucci’s words were misunderstood and he later explained that himself,” said Mancini.

 

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Yaya Toure accuses football authorities of failing black players in racism fight

Yaya Toure has accused football’s governing bodies of failing black players in the fight against racism.
In the wake of Raheem Sterling’s move to call out the authorities, Toure – who sat on FIFA’s anti-racism Taskforce until three years ago – insisted it did nothing until a crisis arrived.

The ex-Manchester City star, who famously demanded UEFA action after bring abused in 2013, said: “They sit and they have their coffee, their wine.

“Then they hear a case like Raheem happening and they jump on the phone saying: ‘We have to have a meeting! We have to do something!’

 

“It shouldn’t work that way. We have to be proactive. Something that is seen. We have to be working before that kind of situation with Raheem is happening.”

Toure was speaking as he received an award for his campaigning from the anti-discrimination body Fare (Football Against Racism in Europe).

Although Sterling had been playing in a UEFA competition when he started for England in Montenegro last week, Toure believes the whole of football must share the blame for failing to protect black players.
In 2016 he warned FIFA that it’s decision to disband the Taskforce on which he’d served for three years would see fans and players suffer.

Yet Fifa secretary general Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura insisted it had “had a specific mandate, which it has fully fulfilled”.

Toure, himself racially abused by CSKA Moscow fans in October 2013, added: “Now, maybe because of what is happening I would probably get the job.
“They’ll probably ask me to come and do this or that. But I’ve been there for how many years. I’ve been there. People only start to see it when something happens.”

 

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