FOR a second time in row, Cristano Ronaldo, a football striker at Real Madrid football club, won the 2014 Ballon d’Or World footballer of the year on Monday, January 12. The captain of the Portuguese national team beat Lionel Messi, a midfielder of Barcelona football club and Manuel Neuer, a goalkeeper at Bayern Munich to clinch the trophy at a ceremony held in Kongressur, Zurich, Switzerland. Ronaldo’s Monday’s triumph made it the third time he has won the prestigious individual award.
He received 37.66 percent of all votes while Messi got 15.76 percent and Neuer received 15.72 percent. Ronaldo, 29, had also won the award in 2013 and 2008.
Nadine Kessler, Wolfsburg football club and German midfielder, was named Women’s World Footballer Player of the year, while Joachim Loew, coach of German after leading his country to beat Argentina 1-0 at the 2014 World Cup final, was named men’s coach of the year.
Ralf Kellermann, manager of Wolfsburg, was named Women’s football coach of the year after a successful defence of the Champions League.
James Rodriguez, 23, a Colombian and Real Madrid’s midfielder, won the Ferenck Puskas award for the best goal scored in 2014.
Ronaldo, who scored 52 goals in 43 games during 2014, was apparently emotional when collecting the award from Thierry Henry, former France, Barcelona and Arsenal striker. He remarked: “I would like to thank all of those who voted for me, my president, my coach and Real Madrid. It has been an unforgettable year. To win this trophy at the end of it is something incredibly unique.” He said he would like to win the trophy again in an effort to beat Messi who has already won it four times in a row.
On her own, Kessler, 26, who won the Women’s World Player of the Year award beating Brazil’s Marta and Abby Wambach of the United States, said: “My heart is beating madly at the moment. I don’t think I ever thought in my life I would achieve this moment. Without my team-mates and my coach, this would never have been possible. I have a great degree of gratitude that I must give to my family. They have seen me through all the difficult times.”
Nigerian Player Signs for Al Ahly
PETER Ebimobowei, a football striker from Bayelsa United has signed for Al Ahly, an Egyptian football club. According to Ahramonline, Al Ahly announced the signing of Ebimobowei after agreeing to a transfer fee of $210, 000 for the striker.
According to Supersport.com, Ebimobowei’s three-year contract with Al Ahly that will run until 2018. The Egyptian football giant signed Ebimobowei in a bid to bolster its attacking options in order to win the Egyptian Premier League title in the current season.
But an official of Bayelsa United, during the week claimed in a chat with supersport.com on Monday that talks were still ongoing between the Nigerian club and Al Ahly. Ebimobowei was also said to have returned to the country on Saturday, January 11.
Obuh Commends Super Eagles
JOHN Obuh, former coach of Flying Eagles, is excited at the way the Super Eagles Team B performed gallantly against star-studded Ivorian football team. Eagles lost 0-1 to Elephants of Ivory Coast in an international warm-up match in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, UAE, on Sunday, January 11. A goal from Salomon Kalou, an Ivorian striker at the 83rd minute earned the Ivorian team the much needed boost ahead of its participation in the 2015 African on-bound side the vital win over hard-fighting domestic Eagles.
Obuh said the Eagles’ superlative performance against the Ivory Coast would be further enhanced with a virile domestic league. “I’m not surprised that the domestic Eagles gave a good account of themselves against Ivory Coast, the domestic players have always acquitted themselves handsomely at any given opportunity. I’m happy with their performance, but the more we expose the players to the international attention the more we lose them to the foreign club sides. The same domestic players we’re commending today against Ivory Coast in the next few minutes they’ll be foreign-based players. We need a virile domestic league to keep the players on the domestic scene or else today’s domestic player will be a foreign player tomorrow.”
Sanogo Loaned to Crystal Palace
YAYA Sanogo, a striker at Arsenal football club, is to spend the rest of the season at Crystal Palace. Sanogo joined on the Palace on loan for rest of the season. The Gunners as Arsenal is commonly called announced the move on its official website during the week. “Sanogo joins Crystal Palace for the opportunity to gain more first team experience. Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Sanogo the best of luck during his time at Selhurst Park,” Arsenal said.
The 21-year-old striker has played six times for Arsenal this term, scoring his first competitive goal for the club in the 2-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund last November.
Sanogo made 14 appearances for the Gunners last season, including four outings in the club’s victorious FA Cup run.
A France Under-21 international, he scored three times in four games for Les Bleus during their qualifying campaign for the Under-21 European Championship. He was also a key member of France’s victorious FIFA Under-20 World Cup-winning side in 2013, finishing the tournament as his side’s top scorer.
Compiled by Olu Ojewale
— Jan. 26, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT