BBC Sports Personality Of The Year 2016 Shortlist Revealed

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016 Shortlist RevealedSixteen contenders have been shortlisted for the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

The 16 for 2016 were named after a year in which British sportsmen and women had a lot of successes, including at the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio.

They will go into a vote on the night of the live show in Birmingham on Sunday, December 18.

Jamie Vardy makes the cut after helping guide Leicester City to the biggest title upset in Premier League history while Bale features for winning his second Champions League title with Real Madrid in May and being the standout star in Wales’ Euro 2016 campaign in the summer.

However, Andy Murray is heavy favourite to win the award, having ended the year as No.1 in the world rankings – a first for any British singles player in history.

The Scot secured victory at Wimbledon for the second time in his career, while he also won gold at the Olympics.

A host of Olympic and Paralympic athletes are on the shortlist.

The nominees are:

Nicola Adams – Boxing, Gareth Bale – Football, Alistair Brownlee – Triathlon, Sophie Christiansen – Equestrian, Kadeena Cox – Athletics/Cycling, Mo Farah – Athletics, Jason Kenny – Cycling, Laura Kenny – Cycling.

Andy Murray – Tennis, Adam Peaty – Swimming, Kate Richardson-Walsh – Hockey, Nick Skelton – Equestrian, Dame Sarah Storey – Cycling, Jamie Vardy – Football, Max Whitlock – Gymnastics, Danny Willett – Golf.

Why Mikel Obi Could Leave Chelsea In January

mikel obiChelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi has hinted he may leave the Premier League club in the January transfer window.

Mikel has been with Chelsea for 10 years and is their second longest-serving player behind captain John Terry but is yet to play this season.

Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2006 for a fee of 16 million pounds, the Super Eagles captain has won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.

Asides the need for playing time having failed to play a single minute in the current season, there are also rumours that he has been offered an incredible $212,000-a-week deal by Chinese club, Shanghai SIPG.

Yaya Toure’s glorious two-goal return to Manchester City line-up from a similar situation could be a reason for Mikel to consider persevering but Chelsea’s great form lately means there is no weak link in the Chelsea midfield for Mikel to benefit.

While these seem to justify a move away, Mikel however, has promised to do his best when called upon to play for the London based club.

“I have never been a guy who made excuses in life, I never shy away from my responsibilities,” Mikel told BBC Sport.

“I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. I have been professional, I train and work everyday with the team and I hope one day I will get to play.

“I have written my name in the history of this football club and I have won loads of trophies. I have played close to 400 game and have no single regret.

“I still want to win more and help the team. Players move on in life but I am relaxed about January. I will speak to the club find the best solution.”

Benitez Earns First Win To Move Newcastle Closer To Safety

Rafael BenitezRafael Benitez earned his first win as Newcastle United manager and boosted their hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday.

Benitez made five changes to the starting XI in response to last weekend’s defeat by Southampton and the Spaniard’s team selection was vindicated on his birthday, with Newcastle earning their reward for a much-improved showing.

Jamaal Lascelles, who came in for Steven Taylor in the back four, opened the scoring in the 40th minute, heading in only his second goal for the club from Andros Townsend’s corner.

Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis both spurned big chances for Swansea before Moussa Sissoko’s first goal of the campaign and Townsend’s late third sealed a result that, combined with Sunderland’s 3-0 win at Norwich City, moves Newcastle within three points of safety with five matches to play.

Newcastle United boss, Rafael Benitez, praised the “passion and commitment” shown by his players in their victory over Swansea City.

“I have to say congratulations to the players,” Benitez told BBC Sport. “They showed passion and commitment. Thank you to the fans. If we stick together then it’s easier for us to approach the game and gives us the chance to win. The players that started were really good. And the other players who came on helped the team.

“Striker Papiss Cisse was fantastic up front and Aleksandar Mitrovic was good too when he came on. When you win games everybody is happy. Today we saw what we expect from this team.

“We have to show the same in the other games. We were not thinking about the earlier win for Sunderland over Norwich. Now we can see the table but before the game it was about focusing on the game.”

The North-East outfit are now three points within safety with five games left to play.

Yaya Toure Wins BBC African Footballer Of The Year

ToureManchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure, has been voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2015.

The 32-year-old midfielder becomes only the third player, after Nigeria’s Nwankwo Kanu and Jay-Jay Okocha, to receive the honour twice.

Football fans voted for Toure, who first won in 2013, beating off competition from Andre Ayew (Ghana and Swansea), Sadio Mane (Senegal and Southampton), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon and Borussia Dortmund) and Yacine Brahimi (Algeria and Porto) to win the latest honour.

He thanked his fans for their support and promised to keep giving his best.

“I am very proud to be named BBC African Footballer of the Year and would like to thank everyone that voted. I work hard every day to be the best I can be, so to be nominated seven consecutive times and win this award for a second time means a lot to me.

“I would also like to pay tribute to my fellow nominees and this fantastic initiative, which celebrates African footballers – shining a light on our wonderful continent.

“We have so much talent in Africa, so I am determined to continue to achieve on the pitch and use my success to help lead the way for the next generation,” Toure told BBC Sport.

Two of the beaten nominees have won the award before, Algeria’s Brahimi in 2014 and Ghanaian Ayew in 2011. Gabon’s Aubameyang was on the shortlist for the third year running, while Senegalese Mane made it for the first time.