Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 9th 2015 Contents A53
Saturday, January 9, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
GENEVA --- Lionel Messi is
favored to win the FIFA Ballon d Or
on Monday, ending Cristiano
Ronaldo s two-year hold on soccer s
top individual prize.
Messi already has a 4-3 lead in
their career duel for the annual FIFA
prize but has recently been eclipsed
by his great rival.
That changed in 2015 when Messi
inspired Barcelona to regain the
Champions League title among five
major trophies to none for Real
Madrid, despite Ronaldo's relentless
Barcelona's dominance also helped
Brazil star Neymar earn a place on
the three-man shortlist for the first
The Catalan club can sweep the
men's honors with Luis Enrique
heading the coaches' shortlist after
becoming European champion and
winning the Spanish league and cup,
European Super Cup and Club World
Messi can also win the Puskas
Award --- a fans' online vote for best
goal --- for his solo slalom through
the Athletic Bilbao defense to score
in the Spanish cup final.
The World Cup-winning United
States team is set to dominate the
Carli Lloyd's 13-minute hat trick
in the final --- including a shot from
the halfway line in a 5-2 rout of
Japan --- makes her a top contender
for the player's prize. Lloyd is a final-
ist for the first time at 33 after a
decade of national team duty, more
than 200 appearances and two
She is against Aya Miyama of
Japan and Germany's Celia Sasic,
whose six World Cup goals in Cana-
da matched Lloyd though it earned
her the Golden Boot because they
were scored in less playing time.
US coach Jill Ellis is strongly
favored to win the women's team
coach award ahead of Mark Samp-
son, who led England to third place,
and Norio Sasaki, who took the 2011
award after Japan won the previous
Americans swept the 2012 awards
when forward Abby Wambach and
coach Pia Sundhage were rewarded
for the team's Olympic title.
Barcelona swept the 2011 awards
when Messi and then-coach Pep
Guardiola is also nominated this
year after winning the Bundesliga
with Bayern Munich. Guardiola will
skip Monday's event to stay with
Bayern's midwinter training camp
Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli is also
on the shortlist for guiding the host
to a first Copa America title, beating
his native Argentina captained by
Messi in the final.
Voting for the main awards was
by national team captains and coach-
es, and selected journalists from
FIFA's 209 member countries.
The goal award is chosen by fans
until Monday. The shortlist is: Messi;
Roma right-back Alessandro Flo-
renzi's goal from the right flank
against Barcelona in the Champions
League; and a bicycle kick by Wen-
dell Lira for Goianesia against Atleti-
co-GO in a Brazilian league game.
FIFA will also present a Fair Play
Award but has canceled the Presi-
dential Award traditionally made by
Sepp Blatter, who is now banned for
eight years for unethical conduct.
Acting FIFA president Issa Hay-
atou will make the formal opening
ABUJA, Nigeria --- Pierre-Emerick
Aubameyang has ended Yaya
Toure s four-year reign as African
Player of the Year by winning the
2015 award after a prolific year
with Borussia Dortmund.
Aubameyang became the first
winner of the award from Gabon.
The striker had 143 votes --- seven
more than Toure, the Manchester
City midfielder who won the prize
from 2011-14. Toure won the
African Nations Cup with Ivory
Coast in 2015.
Ghana forward Andre Ayew was
third in the vote. The result was
Aubameyang is the leading scorer
in the Bundesliga with 18 goals from
17 games. (AP)
BARCELONA, Spain --- Barcelona striker Luis
Suarez was suspended yesterday for two Copa
del Rey matches for insulting rival players.
The referee's report for the heated match at
Camp Nou that ended 4-1 for Barcelona on
Wednesday said Suarez insulted Espanyol play-
ers in the tunnel after the match.
Referee Juan Martinez Munuera's report
states that Suarez told Espanyol's players: "I
am waiting for you, come here. You are trash."
Suarez picked up a yellow card during the
match, and televised images showed him taunt-
ing Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez after Lionel
Messi scored a free kick just before halftime
to make it 2-1.
The ban will rule the Uruguay striker out
of the return leg set for next week at Espanyol's
stadium and possibly the first leg of the quar-
This is Suarez's first suspension since his
four-month ban for biting an Italian player at
the 2014 World Cup. The former Liverpool
striker had already earned multi-match bans
on two previous occasions for biting opponents
and another for racial abuse.
Barcelona said in a statement it has appealed
the ruling, denying Suarez insulted his oppo-
nents with the language recorded by the referee
in his report.
Espanyol had two players, Papakouly Diop
and Hernan Perez, sent off in the loss, and
both will also miss the return leg. Diop earned
a direct red card for insulting Suarez.
Wednesday's match was the second of three
derbies within two weeks between the
Last weekend, Espanyol held Barcelona to
a 0-0 draw in the Spanish league in a home
match that was marred by racist insults directed
toward Barcelona striker Neymar. The Spanish
league has denounced the insults to the Spanish
government's anti-violence committee for
Suarez helped Barcelona win a rare treble
of the Champions League, Spanish league and
Copa del Rey last season. He also scored five
goals in two matches to lead it to the Club
World Cup title in December. (AP)
Aubameyang ends Toure's reign as African Player of the Year
Messi to get 5th FIFA best player prize
...end Ronaldo's run
FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi holding the ball after scoring a hat-trick in the Spanish La Liga soccer match between
FC Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. AP PHOTO
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has beaten four-time winner Yaya Toure and Andre Ayew to the
2015 CAF Player of the Year award.
Links Archive January 8th 2016 January 10th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page