Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the favourites to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for this year.
However, there has been increased support for the German players like Thomas Müller and Manuel Neuer to win the award after they managed to help their national team win the World Cup. Ronaldo, on the other hand, had a disappointing tournament with the Portuguese after being knocked out in the group stages. Even though he played a huge role in Real Madrid winning the cup double of Champions League and Copa del Rey, it is felt that the World Cup trophy is a significantly much better achievement.
Pepe has come to the support of Ronaldo by saying that the 29-year-old completely deserves the Ballon d’Or award after scoring more than 50 goals last campaign. This included 17 goals in the Champions League alone, which is a new record. Pepe has also recalled that Ronaldo has been in imperious form this campaign as well. After facing fitness issues at the start of the campaign, Ronaldo is significantly ahead of players like Neymar and Lionel Messi in the race for the la Liga Golden Boot award. His form has helped Madrid convert a six-point deficit into a two-point advantage in the space of a few months.
“If any other players wins, they should be ashamed given what Cristiano has been doing, beating lots of records, scoring 17 goals in the Champions League last season.These things are almost impossible.In three months he has scored 23 goals. What else does he need to do?He is the best player in history and I repeat: it would be a scandal and a shame if they do not give him the Ballon d’Or,” said Pepe. Ronaldo has won two FIFA Ballon d’Or award in his career.
The logo for the 2018 World Cup was revealed in a ceremony that was held a few days ago in Moscow with the president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter being joined by the former Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro along with the chairman of the local organizing committee Vitaly Mutko as they unveiled the emblem or logo that will be used for the upcoming worldwide tournament.
The emblem in itself was actually revealed by 3 astronauts in the International Space Station as they held up a copy of the logo to the camera as a projection which was being beamed to the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow, it was a new and different way to display the logo of the World Cup which is changed in every 4 years.
“The launch of the Emblem is a wonderful event to kick things off and I’m certain that the World Cup will be a success here in four years,” Blatter said during the unveiling.
There have been a series of problems going on in eastern Ukraine with one of the latest incidents that occurred being the shot down of a Malaysia Airlines Airliner with over 250 passengers dying.
Even with that incident that happened not too long ago, the authorities of FIFA have confirmed that the 2018 World Cup will still be held in Russia. There were calls and protest for the upcoming tournament to be moved to a different location but despite all of these ongoing issues that has been going on with Ukraine, the governing body of the sport FIFA insisted in saying that it will continue on as initially planned.
“The FIFA World Cup unites teams and nations from all over the world, from the qualifiers to the final competition in a spirit of fair play and respect.
“FIFA is convinced that, through football, particularly the FIFA World Cup and its international spotlight, we can achieve positive change in the world, but football cannot be seen as a solution for all issues, particularly those related to world politics. We have seen that the FIFA World Cup can be a force for good and FIFA believes this will be the case for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.” Those were statements released by FIFA as they responded to questions and doubts concerning the viability of holding the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The recently concluded World Cup has witnessed a number of noteworthy incidents that occurred during the event that is celebrated every 4 years with Luis Suarez making his way to the headlines of websites all over the world as he once more bit another player and this time around it was Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini he was subsequently banned.
Criticism was also received throughout the entire tournament due to the number of injuries and extreme changes in temperature that players had to face as they played in different parts of Brazil. The president of FIFA Sepp Blatter was heavily critiqued after the Swedish football administrator allowed players to return to the pitch even though they had already been removed after picking up injuries and this was the case with Christoph Kramer as he crumpled down and after being sent back to the pitch.
All of these events that occurred helped increase the amount of viewers of the 2014 World Cup as this latest edition of the tournament turned out to be the one that smashed all previous records that were established in streaming records.
The American delivery network provider Akamai confirmed that it was the biggest event in terms of video content streaming and this is due to the large amount of fans and their demand of seeking an online platform to watch the matches of their favorite teams and players from the online platforms of FIFA’s Media Rights Licensees.
“We are proud to say that this FIFA World Cup has been the biggest multimedia sporting event in history, with more people watching matches and highlights online than ever before,” said FIFA Director of TV Niclas Ericson.
FIFA successfully launched an app that was downloaded more than 9 million times which helped fans stay up to date with the scores, videos and even statistics from the matches that were played through entire competition.
The former English defender Tony Adams has said that Roy Hodgson tried to make the fans happy with attacking brand of football, but, that was not the right way to go in a tournament like World Cup.
According to Adams, England should have included one more central defender in the starting XI in the matches against Italy and Uruguay and should have tried to go for the draw.
Talking to the reporters about England’s World Cup campaign, Adams said, “Roy Hodgson is very, very experienced and thus, I had expected him to be a bit more practical. But, he proved me wrong. The tactics that he used were pretty naive.”
“He thought that by playing exciting football, he would give the fans joy, but, it completely backfired. There was no solidity in the defence. If there was one more central defender in there, the second goal would not have been conceded in either of those Italy and Uruguay games.”
Adams also looked unhappy with the personnel that Hodgson picked for the tournament. He reckons that a couple of Chelsea players i.e. Ashley Cole and John Terry should have been given the ticket to Brazil as they would have proven to be handy for the team.
The 47-year old man who represented England 66 times at the international level said, “Look, frankly, I am not surprised with these two defeats. When I saw the squad selected by Roy, I got worried about the back line straightaway. Terry and Cole, despite being highly experienced, were not there. They could have made a difference and they are fit enough to go through 7 games.”
Adams was a part of the England squad which had made it to the final 4 in the 1996 European Championships.
Australia’s defender Lucas Neill has been looking forward to getting into the national team for one final major tournament, as the nation has qualified for the World Cup 2014. The 36-year-old is in the final legs of his career. It was highly anticipated that he will announce retirement after being allowed to leave Omija Ardija earlier in the season. After being five months without a club, Neill has managed to find himself an opportunity to play for Watford till the end of the season. He signed on a free transfer with the championship outfit, but his stay there did not last long.
He played only for 6 minutes for the club before being sent out on loan to Doncaster Rovers, who are currently managed by Neill’s former Blackburn Rovers teammate Paul Dickov. Dickov said that they are extremely delighted to bring in a player like Lucas Neill, who has tremendous experience in the game. Dickov is of the opinion that several clubs in the championship tried to get him after knowing that he was available, but his relationship with the 36-year-old from his time at Blackburn was key in getting him to the club, who are fighting against relegation.
Dickov says that Neill has managed to keep himself extremely fit despite being out of the game for a considerable amount of time.
“I played with him at Blackburn and I know him very well. Lucas is as fit now as I have ever seen him, which is credit to him and his attitude. There were a lot of other Championship clubs interested in signing him, but he wanted to come to Doncaster,” said the Doncaster Rovers manager. Australia’s manager Ange Postecoglou has not ruled out any players still making it into the squad following a string of good performances. Neill still has a chance according to him.
With 2014 World knocking at the door the participating nations are already prepping up their list of players for the esteemed fiesta which is to unveil at Brazil this year. Spain too has come up with its possible player list and, disappointingly for some of the fans, Juan Mata might not be in the World Spanish squad this time.
He has already been dropped from Spain’s upcoming match against Italy this week. The Man U star is currently showing off form which has created ripples both in his Old Trafford squad & mostly I the national team.
The final Spanish team for the Worlds is yet to be officially declared in May, but the head coach has already made it clear that he is not in the mood to offer any lax for under-performing players.
“There are footballers who haven’t been able to show up with good consistency. We are really fond of Juan. We are quite aware of his immense potential- yet we do not have space for everybody in the team”, stated Del Bosque, the head coach of Spanish national soccer team.
Along with Mata, many other Spanish favorites have been dropped out from the national team. These include Fernando Torres (Chelsea) & David Villa (Atletico Madrid). David Silva and Alvaro Negredo from Manchester City, Santi Cazorla from Arsenal and César Azpilicueta from Chelsea, however, have been able to make way.
Villa’s club-mate Costa (Diego) might make debut in Worlds this time, post switching nationality. Previously the originally Brazil native had made a couple of friendly appearances as a Brazilian player. Costa was in Spanish squad to play in the autumn friendly matches against South Africa an Equatorial Guinea but was forced to withdraw given injury issues.
However, the head coach has stressed his present Spanish team might not be the exact replica for the World party.