In 2018, Brazil international Philipe Coutinho ended months of speculations regarding his future after completing a mega money move to Spanish giants, Barcelona.
Coutinho signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with Barca after completing his £146m move from Liverpool. Liverpool rejected repeated bids from Barcelona in August for Coutinho, but the clubs reached an agreement last weekend, making him one of the most expensive footballers of all time.
Luka Modric brought an end to a decade-long duopoly of football’s biggest individual prize by claiming FIFA’s Best Men’s Player of the Year on Monday night.
The award has been shared between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo equally over the last 10 years, but Modric ran out as a resounding winner at the Royal Festival Hall with 29.05 per cent of the vote.
Captains and managers of nations from around the world were asked to pick three players for the award, and the full list of votes were published shortly after Monday’s ceremony had concluded.
As ever, the votes made for a compelling read with some notable figures in the world of football making some telling decisions.
France manager Didier Deschamps, who claimed Coach of the Year after guiding his team to the World Cup, made his allegiances clear by choosing three of his players.
Deschamps gave his first vote, which awards five points, to Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann while his second (three points) and third-placed (one point) vote went to Raphael Varane and Kylian Mbappe.
It was also a surprise to see Barcelona star Lionel Messi, who finished outside the top three for the first time since 2006, hand a nomination to his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi placed Ronaldo third on his personal list, choosing eventual winner Modric and fourth-placed Mbappe ahead of him.
Ronaldo could not find it within himself to return the favour and also surprisingly gave his top vote to his Real Madrid team-mate Varane. The French defender finished ninth in the overall vote. Perhaps sensing a challenge to his crown, Ronaldo placed Modric in second and France striker Griezmann in third.
England captain Harry Kane, who himself finished 10th with just under one per cent of the total vote, showed his striking allegiances by giving his five points to Ronaldo. He also selected Messi (second) and fellow Premier League star Kevin De Bruyne (third).
– The former striker, 41, is said to have been rushed to hospital on Friday evening
– Island daily Diario de Ibiza said he had asked for a transfer to a private hospital
– It quoted hospital sources saying he was in intensive care but making progress
– However, Ronaldo took to Twitter on Sunday to allay any fears over his health
Retired Brazilian striker Ronaldo has thanked his well-wishers for their support after reportedly being in intensive care in an Ibiza hospital due to pneumonia.
The 41-year-old is said to have been diagnosed with the illness after being rushed to Can Misses Hospital on the island on Friday evening.
However, Ronaldo took to Twitter on Sunday to allay any fears about health – adding that he will discharged on Monday.
‘Friends, I had a strong flu picture in Ibiza and I had to be boarded on Friday but it’s all in order. I get the discharge tomorrow and come back home. Thank you all for your love and your messages!,’ he wrote.
Respected island daily Diario de Ibiza said Ronaldo had asked for a transfer to a private hospital called Clinica Nuestra Senora del Rosario just before midnight on Friday.
It quoted hospital sources as saying he was still in intensive care but he was making good progress – something Ronaldo’s tweet now alludes to.
Staff at Can Misses Hospital said they were unable to give out any information for ‘data protection reasons.’
No-one at the private hospital Ronaldo is currently said to be a patient at could be contacted early on Sunday for comment.
The world might be solely focusing on the on going juicy World Cup tournament which has already entered the quarter finals stage.
However, we might at least help you switch your focus on some of the sports personalities who did not make the cut into the world’s biggest football showpiece, and have taken the chance to spend some quality time with their loved ones.
Some of these sports personalities include; Rugby players, footballers as well as track athletes both local and international.
We have managed to keep track of some of celebrated international footballers who are currently enjoying the summer holiday break with their spouses, girlfriends and children ahead of a busy 2018-19 season.
Mikel Arteta has been making the most of his final days off this summer by heading to the beach in Mallorca with his family.
The Manchester City coach is due to return to the club for the start of pre-season training in the coming days but managed to squeeze in some time in the sun with wife Lorena Bernal and their three children.
Arteta and Bernal were seen joking around together in the water on a particularly warm day on the Balearic Island.
Arteta will return to Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff this summer after almost taking the job as Arsenal manager.
The 36-year-old Spaniard had held serious talks with the club’s hierarchy, who were hugely impressed with his plans for the club if he were to succeed Arsene Wenger.
Alexis Sanchez missed out on the World Cup this summer after Chile failed to qualify – but on the basis of his Instagram, we should not feel too sorry for him.
Certainly the Manchester United forward is enjoying himself in Brazil rather than Russia as he keeps in shape during the off season.
Sanchez shared a video on social media showing him in a gym overlooking the stunning Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.
In the clip, a topless Sanchez films himself surrounded by gym equipment as samba music plays in the background.
As he pans around the room, we see that he is joined by his girlfriend Mayte Rodriguez, who is also working out.
Former England captains John Terry and David Beckham were among sports stars far and wide supporting England on Tuesday night as they progressed into the World Cup quarter-finals – with Terry taking in the game from a private screening in his back garden.
It truly was a night to savour for so many supporters across the country, as England won only their second penalty shootout at a major tournament in eight attempts – and first at a World Cup – against Colombia in Moscow to set up a last-eight showdown with Sweden on Saturday.
But it wasn’t just fans watching on nervously, with former England captains Terry and Beckham among past and present sporting figures who – eventually – were able to enjoy the game.
Wayne Rooney is another footballer who doesn’t shy away from posting his family vacation photos and days before sealing his DC United move, the legendary former England international took his wife and children to Disneyland in Paris
The 32-year-old had already accepted there will not be a role for him under new Everton manager Marco Silva and is now already preparing for a new life in Washington.
Kenyan international forward, Allan Wanga currently plays for Kakamega Homeboyz in the Kenyan National Super League as a striker, where he also is the sporting director.
Wanga is married to journalist Brenda Mulinya and the power couple are blessed with two kids whom they shower with love, gifts and countless holiday trips across the country.
Manchester United defender, Marcos Rojo has put Argentina’s World Cup misery behind him by enjoying time on holiday, ahead of return to pre-season training.
Argentina crashed out of the tournament in Russia following a 4-3 last-16 defeat by France last Saturday.
Before heading back to Manchester to begin preparations for the upcoming season, Rojo posted pictures with his family – wife Eugenia Lusardo and two daughters Morena and Martina – in Mexico on his Instagram story.
He posted snaps of the quartet at the resort of Grand Velas Riviera Maya, including watching a film.
For a night’s stay on Friday in the hotel for two adults and two children, prices range from £788 to £1,224 depending on the type of room.
Ronaldo a father of four is another key figure when it comes to being a celebrated family man.
The five time player of the year time and again loves to chill out with his family during off seasons.
Known for his love for adventure, Mulee is always a man on the move and this list would not be complete without him.
From touring France to enjoying some time in the wild, The Mulees have always been our family goals.
Real Madrid were able to retain their Champions League trophy for an unprecedented third time in a row. The most successful club in European history provided an entertaining night for football fans everywhere although some were disappointed.
Tearful Salah rocks Reds
When Mohamed Salah slumped to the turf holding his shoulder for the second time in a matter of minutes, the tears began to flow. Egypt forward Salah was forced off when he suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder after landing awkwardly following a challenge with Real defender Sergio Ramos in the first half. Ramos, accused of deliberately dragging Salah down in an attempt to injure him, was jeered throughout the match, but regardless of any malicious intent, it was a devastating blow to Liverpool and a transcendent talent who may now miss the World Cup.
Salah’s incredible debut season with the Reds saw the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year shatter a host of records with 44 goals in all competitions.
Liverpool’s European heroics this season were built on Salah’s predatory finishing and dazzling skill, but they had to play 60 minutes without their talisman and it was a mission too far. After dominating the opening stages, there was an immediate dip in Liverpool’s performance. Liverpool had nine shots with Salah on the pitch and none for the rest of the half. Despite a gallant second half effort, there was a sense of inevitability about Real’s triumph as Salah nursed his wounds.
Ronaldo, Zidane among the immortals
Although he didn’t enjoy his finest individual performance, Cristiano Ronaldo still burnished his glittering CV as the Real forward became the first player to win the trophy five times in the Champions League era. Ronaldo joined an elite four-man list featuring Real trio Paco Gento, Alfredo di Stefano and Jose Maria Zarraga, plus AC Milan’s Paolo Maldini, as five-time winners of the European Cup.
In his sixth European Cup final, Ronaldo couldn’t emulate his match-winning display in last year’s showpiece against Juventus. But even on a quiet night when he failed to add to his 44 goals this season, the Portugal superstar still went home with the silverware. Thanks to Gareth Bale’s majestic winner, Ronaldo wasn’t the only Madrid icon to cement his place among the immortals. Zinedine Zidane became the first coach to win the European Cup three years in a row.
The former Real star is also only the third manager after Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti to lift the trophy three times — not bad for a man who endured heavy criticism and talk of the sack at times during a season that saw Madrid flop in La Liga. Real, now 13-time European Cup winners, are the first team to win the competition in three successive seasons since Bayern Munich between 1974 and 1976. Fittingly, Zidane had predicted Madrid’s latest rewriting of the history books when he faced the press on Friday. “You can’t say Liverpool have more hunger than us – it simply isn’t true. We’re in a third final and we have the chance to do something historic,” he said.
Careless Karius condemns Klopp to fresh final woe
Tormented by a pair of unforgivable mistakes from Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, Jurgen Klopp was left heartbroken in a major final yet again as the German suffered his sixth loss in seven title matches. Klopp already knew exactly how it felt to fall just short with the Champions League trophy within touching distance after his Borussia Dortmund lost the 2013 final against Bayern Munich.
Klopp’s Liverpool were also beaten by Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final, but this was even more painful given how Karius gifted the silverware to Madrid. The 24-year-old German, signed by Klopp from Mainz in 2016, was abysmal — handing Karim Benzema the opener with a careless throw out that bounced in off the forward, before spilling a routine save from Gareth Bale into his own net in the closing minutes. Having settled on Karius ahead of Simon Mignolet over recent months, Klopp’s faith backfired and he is the fourth manager after Massimiliano Allegri, Diego Simeone and Hector Cuper to lose in two Champions League finals.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace including a spectacular overhead kick to help Real Madrid beat Juventus three nil in the first leg of the champions league quarter final played in Turin.
Ronaldo opened the scoring, three minutes after kick off and doubled the lead after the break with an incredible bicycle kick as Juventus fans rose to give him a standing ovation.
Marcelo added the third goal as Madrid took a huge step towards progressing to semi finals and remain in firm contention to defend their trophy. Elsewhere, Bayern Munich secured a 2-1 win over Sevilla in Spain thanks to an own goal from Jesus Navas and Thiago Alcantara’s goal in second half.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo been named Best European Sportsperson for the second year in a row.
After playing a key role in winning five titles with Real, the Portuguese forward has been chosen in a vote by 26 international news agencies.
The prize has been running since 1958 and is awarded by the Polish PAP agency. On this occasion, Ronaldo received 159 points, beating Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton (143) and tennis players Roger Federer (124) and Rafa Nadal (113).
Ronaldo has some way to go before he matches Federer’s run of prize wins. The Swiss won the award four years in a row, albeit one year being named a joint winner with Yelena Isinbayeva in 2005.
In fact Federer took the award five years out of six between 2004 and 2009, with Rafael Nadal the only man to break his rival’s run.
EUROPEAN SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR 2017 TOP 10
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, football (Portugal) – 159pts
Eden Hazard is off the leash and ready to start his first Premier League game of the season — four days after dazzling in Madrid — with a new challenge set by Antonio Conte.
The Chelsea manager wants Hazard to add the ruthless mentality of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to his unquestionable natural ability and the consistency of last season.
‘Sometimes, Eden, if he scores one goal, he is happy and then, if there’s another situation, he prefers to make an assist rather than scoring twice,’ said Conte. ‘For Ronaldo, if he scores once he wants two or three or four. The same for Messi.’
Conte added: ‘If God gives you this talent, you must exploit this talent.’
When Jose Mourinho was in charge at Stamford Bridge, he made similar demands of Hazard which sometimes seemed to burden the Belgium forward. But Conte added: ‘For every coach, our task is to try to improve our players — to put them in the best condition to exploit their talent.Then, to work on their weaknesses and improve them.
‘This season is very important for Eden. You know very well he is a top player and this season he has a big opportunity to get better because the Champions League is important for players to show they can compete to be the best.’
Hazard was outstanding as Chelsea won 2-1 at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, creating the equaliser for Alvaro Morata.
Hazard scored 16 League goals last season — including three in two games against Saturday’s opponent Manchester City— before suffering his injury on international duty at the end of the campaign.
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