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Ronaldo and Messi headline Ballon d’Or shortlist

first_imgBy Patrick JohnstonReal Madrid’s blockbuster ‘BBC’ forward line and Barcelona’s devastating ‘MSN’ trio are set to go head-to-head for the 2015 Ballon d’Or award after all six were named on the 23-man shortlist by FIFA on Tuesday.Real’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who set a club scoring record with his 324th goal on Saturday, will be going in search of his third consecutive World Player of the Year award.He faces competition from his team-mates Karim Benzema of France and Welshman Gareth Bale who make up the Spanish side’s ‘BBC’ frontline.Joining them are four-time winner Lionel Messi, the Argentine great, and his fellow South American strikers Neymar and Luis Suarez who form Barcelona’s feared ‘MSN’ frontline that fired a combined 122 goals last season.Barcelona, who won La Liga, the Champions League and domestic cup last year, have the most players on the shortlist with Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta, Argentine defender Javier Mascherano and Croatian Ivan Rakitic joining their front three on the award.Real have five with Colombian James Rodriguez and German World Cup-winner Toni Kroos also named.German champions Bayern Munich also have five representatives with Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, Arturo Vidal and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.Vidal is joined by Chilean compatriot Alexis Sanchez after their Copa America success in July.Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, winner of the last four African Player of the Year awards, is the only non European or South American to make the list.The list was composed by the FIFA Football Committee and a group of experts from France Football. The winner will be announced in Zurich on January 11.Shortlist:Sergio Aguero (Argentina/Manchester City)Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid)Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid)Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid)Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City)Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea)Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris Saint-Germain)Andres Iniesta (Spain/Barcelona)Toni Kroos (Germany/Real Madrid)Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich)Javier Mascherano (Argentina/Barcelona)Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona)Thomas Mueller (Germany/Bayern Munich)Manuel Neuer (Germany/Bayern Munich)Neymar (Brazil/Barcelona)Paul Pogba (France/Juventus)Ivan Rakitic (Croatia/Barcelona)Arjen Robben (Netherlands/Bayern Munich)James Rodríguez (Colombia/Real Madrid)Alexis Sanchez (Chile/Arsenal)Luis Suarez (Uruguay/FC Barcelona)Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast/Manchester City)Arturo Vidal (Chile/Bayern Munich).last_img read more

Juventus and Man City swap Danilo and Cancelo

first_imgJuventus have completed a deal with Manchester City which will bring defender Danilo to Turin in exchange for right back Joao Cancelo, the two clubs said on Wednesday.Juventus said they had signed Brazilian Danilo on a five-year contract for 37 million euros ($41.5 million) while Manchester City confirmed the recruitment of Portugal international Cancelo. Juventus said the English champions would pay them 65 million euros for Cancelo.Cancelo, 25, spent one season at Juventus, helping them win an eighth successive Serie A title. Raised at Benfica, he has also played for Valencia and Inter Milan.“City are a fantastic club, with a brilliant manager and I am delighted to be here,” Cancelo said.“Everything about them has impressed me, from the facilities, to their style of play,” he added. “I am always looking to develop my game and win trophies and I believe I can do that here.”Cancelo has played 14 times for Portugal although Nelson Semedo often gets the nod ahead of him for the right back position.Danilo, a member of Brazil’s World Cup squad last year, made 34 Premier League appearances in two seasons at Manchester City. Raised at America Mineiro, the 28-year-old has also played for Santos, Porto and Real Madrid.last_img read more

WI still at eighth after annual update

first_imgDUBAI, UAE (CMC):West Indies remained rooted at eighth in the World Test Rankings released yesterday following the annual update, in which series results from 2013-14 are no longer included and outcomes from the 2015-16 series are weighted at 50 per cent.The Jason Holder-led side have gained five points in the period under review and now have a total of 75, trailing sixth-placed Sri Lanka by 16 points and ahead of ninth-placed Bangladesh by six points.West Indies lost their last three-Test series against India last year on home soil, followed by Pakistan last year in the United Arab Emirates and the recently concluded series on home soil. Out of the 10 matches, West Indies registered wins in two matches, lost six and drew two.India have retained the No.1 Test ranking, leading South Africa by six points, but only nine points separate third-ranked Australia from seventh-ranked Sri Lanka.India have moved to 123 points after gaining one point. Second-ranked South Africa ,however, now have the table-toppers firmly within their sights after vaulting from 109 points to 117 points. This jump means the pre-update gap of 13 points has now been trimmed to just six points.While India and South Africa have made upward movements, Australia, England and Pakistan have headed in the opposite direction.Australia have retained their third place, but have plummeted from 108 points to 100 points; England have stayed in fourth position, but have slipped to 99 points after conceding two points, while Pakistan have dropped behind New Zealand in sixth place after conceding four points to sit on 93 points.last_img read more

Costa recalled by Spain for England clash

first_img0Shares0000Chelsea striker, Diego Costa in action for Spain. PHOTO/FILE MADRID, November 6 – Chelsea’s Diego Costa was recalled to Vicente del Bosque’s 24-man Spain squad on Friday for upcoming friendlies against England and Belgium despite the coach’s criticism of the Brazilian-born striker’s antics earlier this season.Costa was dropped from Del Bosque’s squad last month as he was suspended for their penultimate Euro 2016 qualifier against Luxembourg. However, he was also reprimanded by Del Bosque for his behaviour in a bad-tempered London derby against Arsenal in September for which he received a charge of violent conduct from the English Football Association.Costa has scored just once in 11 appearances for Spain since switching his allegiance from Brazil shortly before the 2014 World Cup.The 27-year-old has also been short of form at club level this season, scoring just three times in 14 games in all competitions.“He is playing well and is starting every game,” said Del Bosque.“He had a small physical problem with his ribs, but I don’t think it is anything major and that is why we have called him up.”Costa’s Chelsea teammates Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro Rodriguez also keep their places in the squad despite the English champions’ awful start to the season.However, there is no place for veteran Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz, who has scored 15 goals in 19 appearances for the Basques this season.In-form Barcelona utility man Sergi Roberto also misses out, as does Manchester City’s David Silva through injury, but Andres Iniesta returns after overcoming a hamstring problem that kept him out of Spain’s final two qualifiers.Spain host England in Alicante on November 13 before travelling to the newly number one-ranked side in the world in Brussels four days later.And after winning all 10 of their qualifying matches, Del Bosque believes England are strong candidates to win the Euro title in France next year.“England played very well during the whole qualification stage. They won every point.“They have fast players, powerful players in midfield, they are strong in defence. They will be one of the strong candidates for the European Championships.“Belgium have gone step-by-step to, at this moment, be the number one ranked side by FIFA. That isn’t by chance because they have an excellent team.”Squad in full:Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Porto/POR), David de Gea (Manchester United/ENG), Sergio Rico (Sevilla/ESP)Defenders: Juanfran (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Mario Gaspar (Villarreal/ESP), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/ESP), Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba (Barcelona/ESP), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea/ENG), Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao/ESP)Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/ESP), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal/ENG), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea/ENG), Isco (Real Madrid/ESP), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich/GER), Juan Mata (Manchester United/ENG), Koke (Atletico Madrid/ESP)Forwards: Pedro Rodriguez, Diego Costa (Chelsea/ENG), Paco Alcacer (Valencia/ESP), Nolito (Celta Vigo/ESP), Alvaro Morata (Juventus/ITA)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

The silliest season: Just call it summer

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesThere are three major contentions of global-warming theory, each of which is dubious: One, the globe’s average temperature is rising; two, the temperature increase is because of human activity; and three, any global temperature increase will be a major disaster. First problem is that until very recently, we have not had satellites that could even reasonably attempt to take a “global temperature,” and it’s debatable whether current approaches are accurate. To get a truly accurate picture, you would have to be able to capture temperatures over the entire globe’s surface, and at all altitudes in the atmosphere simultaneously or at least within a small time frame. Then, you would have to be able to do that over an extended period – preferably years. Then you could possibly establish a trend. Current techniques rely on samplings taken from select areas at particular times. Yet for all the anecdotal evidence that this or that glacier is shrinking, there are other glaciers that are growing. For every study showing Greenland is greening, there’s a study showing polar temperatures have decreased in recent years. Even if we could establish a global average, we don’t have that information for past years, so we don’t have a basis other than anecdotal evidence for saying temperatures were lower in previous years. There is also no evidence that human activity can affect the global climate. Scientists tell us that the Earth has warmed and cooled in past centuries even before the Industrial Revolution, so blaming SUVs is just politicking by people who can’t stand the thought of successful car manufacturers. But what if global warming is true? What if the ice caps melt? You may have seen graphics showing that the entire world map would look like the Hawaiian islands, but the reality is if all the ice caps and glaciers melted, it would add up to a rise in ocean level of at most a couple of feet. SURE sign that it’s silly season: The normally sensible Tony Blair and the normally reasonable Governator are teaming up to defeat global warming. OK, I know it’s been hot lately, but that doesn’t mean the globe is in any danger of burning to a cinder. And the notion of Blair and Arnold Schwarzenegger grappling the global-warming dragon into submission by charging for carbon is just absurd. Anybody else remember when the hot part of the year was just called summer? And sometimes summer was cooler than “normal” and sometimes it was hotter than “normal.” Until very recently, there was none of this running the home air conditioner 24 hours a day until all the neighborhood transformers blew out. But nowadays, people expect a constant 75 degrees in their homes, and when they don’t get it, it’s global warming. So when the Governator and Tony Blair, or any other cabal of politicians, start making plans to regulate greenhouse gases, what does it really mean? That they’re currying votes. Arnold is eager to wave his environmental credentials in the race against Phil Angelides, as is obvious from recent campaign commercials. It is to be hoped that this plan of Arnold’s is only an empty campaign promise. Any real attempt to regulate greenhouse gases would only raise the price of gasoline further and drag down the state’s economy. Efforts to stop global warming always seem designed to do more damage than global warming ever could. Tad Cronn is a writer and speaker from West Hills. His Web site is www.the-free-lance.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

West Ham’s troubling week had ‘no effect’ on loss to Brighton, claims Moyes

first_imgDavid Moyes refused to blame West Ham’s off-field turmoil for their surrender at Brighton.A turbulent week at the east London club ended with a 3-1 defeat on the south coast to plunge them back into the relegation mix.The Hammers had to sack their head of recruitment Tony Henry on Friday after claims he told agents they did not want to sign any more African players.That scandal, as well as an underwhelming transfer window which saw a club linked with Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi and Daniel Sturridge end up with Jordan Hugill from Preston, has left anger and frustration towards the West Ham board from supporters at an all-time high.Indeed, the first chants of ‘sack the board’ were belted out from the away end even before Glenn Murray put Brighton ahead in only the eighth minute, and only got louder as the damaging defeat unfolded.But Hammers boss Moyes said: “It had no effect whatsoever. The club have done what they think they have to do and move on, and we have to.“It’s always the manager’s job but I don’t think the events would do that.“When I took over we were in the bottom three so to be where we are now I’d have said ‘thanks very much’.“We are still in a battle to stay up but it’s the same for the other teams.”Moyes has also had to deal with a spate of injuries, and indiscipline – Arthur Masuaku is still serving a lengthy ban for spitting and Michail Antonio was dropped in midweek for being late to a meeting.“Maybe that’s just West Ham, I don’t know,” he added. “In management no day is ever dull. The job brings up some difficult situations and some strange ones.” 1 West Ham United manager David Moyes last_img read more

Rocket racing league engine passes tests

first_imgMOJAVE – XCOR Aerospace said it completed a successful round of tests on its 1,500-pound-thrust liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket engine. The XR-4K14 engine is a prototype for a proposed rocket plane for a new air racing league scheduled to start meets next year. “After recent test runs, we have shown that the XR-4K14 rocket engine chamber design is sound,” said Doug Jones, XCOR engineer. “It looks and sounds awesome, with a very bright eight-foot rocket-exhaust plume.” During tests at Mojave Airport, where it is based, XCOR performed multiple runs of increasing duration, allowing engineers to characterize the engine’s regenerative cooling, said XCOR CEO Jeff Greason. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“The requirements are for a reliable and robust engine. We are on the right track with the workhorse engine for the Rocket Racing League.” Derivatives of the engine will be used in XCOR’s future suborbital vehicles, the company said. The most recent round of tests also reached the milestone of more than 2,600 engine firings for XCOR Aerospace, and a total running time of 316 minutes encompassing all XCOR engine types.last_img read more

‘No heart, no desire’ – Arsenal legend slams stars after Europa League final defeat

first_img“Recruitment now is imperative and it isn’t just about the standard of player now, you might have to forfeit a bit of ability to go for a little bit of heart.“Until this team have got more heart and more desire, you’re always going to fall short.“They’re not even challenging for the Champions League. They had it in their hands but the results at the end of the season, they folded like cheap suit. They could have got above Tottenham, but they didn’t, and that had to come down to character.” Getty Images – Getty shining huge blow Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Arsenal have now lost each of their last four major European finals tense Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and too many Arsenal players, had an off-day in Azerbaijan no dice REPLY REVEALED Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Mesut Ozil was a passenger again for Arsenal – yet was not happy about being subbed in the 77th minute Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars gameday cracker Arsenal legend Lee Dixon has blasted to current crop of Gunners stars, saying they have ‘no heart and no desire’ after their 4-1 humbling against Chelsea in the Europa League final.It was the north London side’s last chance to qualify for Champions League football, having been beaten to fourth place in the Premier League by arch rivals Tottenham by just one point. 3 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT getty Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ 3 getty “It was poor from Arsenal,” the former defender said on Thursday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“The first-half they did alright, they had the best of it without getting a shot on target, but the whole second-half performance, are we surprised by that?“I’m not. It’s where they’re at. They’re a fifth or sixth team and if they get to a cup final, then well done.“Standards have dropped to a level where this is what we expect at the moment.” But they blew it in Baku with a wretched defensive performance, as the Blues really eased to victory.Dixon was not happy about what he saw, from another Mesut Ozil no-show to a calamitous display at the back.The worst thing for the Highbury hero, though, is he now expects little else from Unai Emery’s team. Dixon believes Emery has a huge amount of work on his hands to transform the dreadful mentality at the Emirates Stadium.“There are lots of things that are missing,” he added.“Certain players on the pitch last night when the goals started going in, there was no fight, there was no desire.“Mesut Ozil’s performance last night… I’ve seen him on the bench moaning at someone and obviously he was not very happy to come off, but he’s got to watch the game back today and be really honest with himself.“It doesn’t hurt him enough, you can see that. Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January 3 Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City deals last_img read more

Epcot Starbucks Merchandise Moves to Mouse Gear

first_imgShare This!As part of the Epcot Future World redesign, the Fountain View Cafe, home of Epcot’s Starbucks, is currently closed. Starbucks is supposed to reopen in another Epcot location at a future date, we we’ve heard no word on what the location and date will be.In the meantime, if you’re looking for the Epcot and Starbucks co-branded merchandise such as the popular “You Are Here” mugs, head on over to Mouse Gear. The Starbucks items are in the housewares section.Photo: Christina Harrisonlast_img read more

Will Qantas take 777-200LRs as interim Sunrise aircraft?

first_imgIt is emerging that the interim solution being offered by Boeing for its Project Sunrise may be a fleet of 777-200LRs.The US manufacturer has slowed the development of its longer-ranged 777X-8 the logical aircraft for the mission and it was thought that Boeing would compensate Qantas for operating the larger 777X-9 as an interim, with reduced payload, to meet the range mission with just below 300 passengers.However, US sources suggest the solution may be in fact the 777-200LR, ironically an aircraft Qantas almost purchased in 2005.Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has said that Boeing has made the airline an extremely attractive offer for Project Sunrise that many say it can’t refuse but details are scant.READ: Qantas’s 20hr nonstop flights are impressive but I hold the world record.The 777-200LR has a two-class seating capacity of 317 but for the Project Sunrise, it would likely be about 270.With the 777-200LR and 777X-9 Boeing could offer earlier deliveries and in the case of the 777-200LR take them back from Qantas as the 777X-8 is delivered.Boeing would then convert them to freighters for FedEx.Recent cutbacks by Etihad Airways and Lufthansa to their 777X orders have freed up early delivery positions for the -9 model.While the 777X-9 is too big in the long term for the Project Sunrise mission the aircraft is now the largest aircraft available for an Airbus A380 replacement.Boeing anticipates that Qantas would retain the 777X-9 as 777X-8s are delivered.However, the Boeing offer faces very tough competition from Airbus with its A350-1000.Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the competition is very close.last_img read more