Mahrez Grabs BBC African Footballer of the Year

Riyad MahrezLeicester midfielder, Riyad Mahrez, has won the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2016.

After collating votes from fans across the world, the 25-year-old Algerian was picked over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure.

Mahrez says the honour means a lot to him and described it as one big award for African players.

“It’s always good to receive awards and for African players, it’s a huge honour. To all the fans, thank you very much,” he told BBC.

The player also extended his appreciation his family and Algeria fans whom he dedicated the honour to.

Meanwhile in Bernabéu, Cristiano Ronaldo saw his rival Lionel Messi off to win the 2016 Ballon d’Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo Wins Fourth Ballon d’Or

It is now the fourth time the prolific Portuguese is lifting the prestigious prize after the 2008, 2013 and 2014 honours.

He helped Real Madrid win the Champions League last season before leading Portugal to glory in the France Euro 2016.

Barcelona Are World Club Champions

BarcelonaBarcelona are the 2015 World Champions, defeating River Plate 3-0 on Sunday night in Japan.

Luis Enrique’s men cruised to victory in the final of FIFA Club World Cup competition, adding the gong to their La Liga, Copa Del Rey, Champions League and Uefa Super Cup successes.

It was a spectacle by the ‘MSN’ trio. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez scored with big contributions from Neymar, and after a tough first half.

Lionel Messi had opened the scoring in the 35th minute with a sublime strike to help the champions’ confidence against a determined River Plate team.

Dani Alves found Neymar in the box, and the Brazilian passed the ball to Messi, who got away with a little handball and finally found the opening goal with his left foot.

Luis Suarez netted a superb second half double to help the Spanish giants emerge as the world’s best football club in 2015.

River Platehad come into the second half seeking an equalizer that seemed highly possible but they left gaps which Barça took advantage of.

Less than five minutes in, Sergio Busquets stole a ball and ignited a counter-attack with a beautiful through ball to Luis Suárez, who calmly finished to score the second goal.

In the 68th minute, Neymar’s beautiful cross found Suárez in the box, and the Uruguayan headed away from the keeper to get the third.

Barcelona have now equaled the record of Egypt’s Ahly, reaching the 20th international title after winning the Club World Cup title.

El Classico: Suarez Shines As Barcelona Trash Real Madrid 4-0

BarcelonaBarcelona moved six points clear at the top of La Liga with a dominant victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Luis Suarez scored in 11th and 74th minute respectively as Barcelona cruised past Real Madrid in style.

The visitors controlled El Classico throughout as Neymar’s side-footed goal and Andres Iniesta’s cool finish in-between Suarez’s goals killed off the hosts.

Isco also saw red on a miserable night for Real Madrid.

It was a first home defeat in 23 league games for Real, but also a stinging blow to Real Madrid’s title hopes.

Rafael Benitez’s side are second with 24 points with Barcelona moving onto 30 points after 12 games and are chasing a sixth La Liga title in eight years.

Barca’s dominance prompted the angry Real fans to roundly whistle their own team and chant for Club President, Florentino Perez to step down.

Barcelona played most of the match without Lionel Messi, who came off the bench in the 56th after being sidelined for nearly two months because of a left knee injury.

La Liga: Barcelona Prepare To Face Sevilla

Barcelona aim to catch Atletico in La Liga when they play Sevilla on Sunday, February 9, as they are three points behind the leaders.

Coach Gerardo Martino sees the match as key.

“This is probably one of the most important away matches we have got left. They are a very intense team, they have worked hard and they are strong. It was very difficult to win in the first game. They are strong at home, their strategy is good. So this match is key,” he told reporters at a news conference on Saturday, January 8.

Atletico Madrid took advantage of Barcelona’s loss at home to Valencia last week to go top of La Liga with a 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad as Real Madrid also drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao.

The “Colchoneros” are now on top with 57 points, a number that could increase on Saturday when they play Almeria, and Barcelona and Real Madrid are behind with 54.

But Spain’s two biggest clubs are on course for a Copa del Rey final showdown after recording convincing home wins in their semi-final first legs on Wednesday, February 5.

Real thumped holders Atletico Madrid 3-0 at the Bernabeu, gaining a measure of revenge for the 2-1 defeat in last year’s final at the same stadium, while Barca beat 10-man Real Sociedad 2-0 at the Nou Camp.

Asked whether the coming ten days are key for Barca’s future in both national and international tournaments, Martino said:

“Regarding the Copa del Rey – yes. We are 90 minutes away from a final. Regarding the Champions League also, yes. We are starting the part where one of us goes one and the other one doesn’t. But regarding La Liga, I think there is still a long way to go.”

Barca play Real Sociedad in the cup second leg on Tuesday, February 11 and Manchester City in the Champions League last 16 on February 18.

“I don’t want to talk about extremely dramatic circumstances or extremely positive circumstances. What we have to do is focus on our side and get strong, knowing there are going to be a lot of comments regarding our performance after each match.” the Argentine added.

Cristiano Ronaldo, a player than Lionel Messi – Pedrag Mijatovic

A former star for Spanish giants Real Madrid ; Pedrag Mijatovic expressed his opinion on an issue that has been lingering in the midst of football lovers and pundits equally, who plays better complete football between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?

A number of prominent football names, including Brazilian Ronaldo, have had their say on the matter, but it is the Argentinean that has won the award three times to Ronaldo’s one – the last three in a row, in fact.

To Mijatovic, he thinks Portuguese international and Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo id more of a complete player than his fellow player Lionel Messi who plays for Argentina and Barcelona.

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is “a more complete player” than his Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi, Pedrag Mijatovic said.

Giving his analysis, the former Los Blancos forward who during his days in the 90’s scored 29 goals in 90 league games during said the Portuguese forward’s ability to use both feet more comfortably and heading prowess made him a better player than the record goal scorer at Camp Nou.

Messi scored 73 in all competitions for Barcelona last season, but the Montenegrin was adamant that Jose Mourinho’s talisman should be the preference in any choice between the two players generally agreed to be the best in the world.

Though Mijatovic admitted that their movement and way of playing is totally different making them distinct players but for him, Cristiano is better than Messi as he is a more complete player, faster, more explosive with both feet as advantage also good with his head.

He said he sees Cristiano as not having any faults.

A touch of bias is being perceived here afterwards, as Mijatovic was director of football at the Bernabeu as recently as 2009.

Mancini encourages City boys after Real defeat

Despite a disappointing start of the Champions League campaign, Manchester City boss Roberto Macini has asked his City lads to show more courage as it was the only mistake his team made while on the field with Real Madrid which the Spanish club claimed with a 3-2 final score.

Mancini said his boys defended too deep to allow the Spanish champions the chance to win the game.

Manchester City were the favoured side from the beginning of the clash in Bernabeu after Aleksandar Kolarov’s free kick in the 85th minute had restored a lead initially won by Edin Dzeko in the 69th minute but cancelled out by Marcelo’s deflected strike seven minutes later.

However, substitute Karim Benzema equalised again for Real and just as injury time started Cristiano Ronaldo’s dipping shot gave Real the win. Mancini felt that his team defended too deep to allow the Spanish champions the chance to win the game.

The Italian said his team losing to a side a great Real Madrid is not the difficult part, but the fact that it was four minutes away from the final whistle the score line was in favour of Manchester City and it was obvious that Manchester City was the dominant team in the second half where they got the two goal lead, admitting that Real Madrid had the first half to themselves.

Man. City has what it takes to win the UCL Title -Roberto Mancini

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini confirmed the readiness of his club to take claim the most coveted trophy within club football the UEFA Champions League very very soon.

Mancini said other clubs will have to manage the position of trailing behind Manchester City when the time comes for they have what it takes conquer other club sides saying he is convinced he now has the power at his disposal to cross the line first and become a Champions League winner.

Spending almost £300m on building a side to conquer the rest is no child’s play for the Italian coach and to assure progress with such an amount,it has landed him the FA Cup and Premier League title, but now it is the biggest club prize of all that is in Mancini’s sights – and he is set to go full throttle in a bid to land it for the first time in his managerial career.

The Blues will face the ultimate test of their credentials tonight when they face nine-time winners Real at the Bernabeu – even if Jose Mourinho’s men have been spluttering of late.

The Spanish giants have never lost an opening group game and can secure their 100th win in the competition by sinking the English champions.

But Mancini is convinced the Blues can put their foot down and prove they finally have what it takes to leave Real and the rest lagging behind.

Mancini said Manchester City has a good team and they have played together for a few years, ut he is very sure that they will win the trophy in the future for he does not know when it will happen but the club will win the Champions League.

The Blues have been drawn in the ‘group of death’ alongside Real, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund, the respective champions of Spain, Holland and Germany.

City found themselves in a tough group last season that included eventual runners-up Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villarreal.

Mancini’s men secured 10 points but it wasn’t enough to get them through, although he reckons the experience will stand them in good stead.

Mancini will be without the injured Micah Richards, but welcomes back record signing Sergio Aguero.

He added: “I think this group is stronger than last year, but it will be very difficult for all the teams.

Mancini, who landed three Serie A titles on the bounce with Inter Milan, insists he is not on a personal mission to become the king of Europe, even though the trophy has so far escaped him.