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Kante, De Bruyne, Jorginho shortlisted for UEFA player of the year

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The Union of European Football Associations has shortlisted Kevin DE Bruyne (Belgium – Manchester City FC) and two Chelsea players Jorginho (Italy) and N’Golo Kanté (France) for the 2020/21 UEFA men’s Player of the Year awards.

The award winners will be announced at the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group stage draw ceremony, which will take place on Thursday August 26 at the Haliç Congress Centre in Istanbul, Turkey.

On the same occasion, UEFA will also honour the coaches who have had the biggest impact over the previous season with the UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year and UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year Awards.

The three coaches shortlisted are Josep GUARDIOLA (Spain – Manchester City FC); Roberto MANCINI (Italy – Italian men’s national team) and Thomas TUCHEL (Germany – Chelsea FC).

UEFA Men’s Player of the Year

For the men’s player award, the shortlist of three players was selected by a jury composed of 24 coaches of the national teams which participated in this summer’s UEFA EURO 2020, together with 80 coaches of the clubs which played in the group stages of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Fifty-five journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations, selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, were also part of the jury.

The coaches and journalists were requested to select a shortlist of three players by allocating respectively five points, three points and one point to each of them. The final result was based on the total number of votes cast by the coaches and the journalists. The coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

The three players who received the most points overall following the conclusion of the voting, in alphabetical order, are:

Kevin DE BRUYNE (Belgium – Manchester City FC)

JORGINHO (Italy – Chelsea FC)

N’Golo KANTÉ (France – Chelsea FC)

The rest of the top ten

4 Lionel Messi (Barcelona, now at Paris & Argentina) – 148 points

5 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern & Poland) – 140 points

6 Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan, now at Paris & Italy) – 49 points

7 Kylian Mbappé (Paris & France) – 31 points

8 Raheem Sterling (Man. City & England) – 18 points

9 Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus & Portugal) – 16 points

10 Erling Haaland (Dortmund & Norway) – 15 points

For this award, players in Europe, irrespective of nationality, have been judged in regard to their performances over the whole season in all competitions – both domestically and internationally – at either club, or national team level.

The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising 24coaches of the teams which participated in this summer’s UEFA EURO 2020; 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48); 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, one from each of UEFA’s member associations.

Jury members chose their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one. Coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.

UEFA Men’s Coach of the Year

For the men’s coach award, the shortlist of three coaches was selected by a jury composed of 24 coaches of the national teams which participated in the recent UEFA EURO 2020, together with 80 coaches of the clubs which played in the group stages of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Fifty-five journalists from each of UEFA’s 55 member associations, selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group, were also part of the jury.

The coaches and journalists were requested to select a shortlist of three coaches by allocating respectively five points, three points and one point to each of them. The final result was based on the total number of votes cast by the coaches and the journalists. The coaches were not allowed to vote for themselves.

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Edinson Cavani wants Barcelona FC move

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Edinson Cavani

Manchester United striker, Edinson Cavani, wants to move to Barcelona next month.

The Uruguay international, off contract in June, is a target for Barca coach, Xavi, and also Juventus FC.

However, Mundo Deportivo said Cavani’s priority is Barca and he wishes to make the move in January.

Indeed, the 34 year-old would be willing to play out his career as a Barca player.

Barca chiefs are now counting on Cavani negotiating a free transfer from United.

Indeed, the Catalans see Cavani as a better option than FC Basel striker Arthur Cabral and Manchester City’s Ferran Torres.

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Ronaldo hits back at ‘lies’ about Ballon d’Or rivalry with Messi

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Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at comments made by Ballon d’Or organiser Pascal Ferre, saying the editor-in-chief of France Football “lied” about his rivalry with Lionel Messi.

Ferre told the New York Times on Friday that Manchester United forward Ronaldo’s sole ambition was to retire with more of the awards for the world’s best player than Messi.

Argentine Messi beat Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho to claim a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or award.

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“Pascal Ferre lied, he used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication he works for,” Ronaldo, who has won the award five times, said in an Instagram post on Monday.

“It is unacceptable that the person responsible for awarding such a prestigious prize could lie in this way, in absolute disrespect for someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or.”

“I always win for myself and for the clubs I represent, I win for myself and for those who love me. I don’t win against someone,” added the Portugal forward.

“The biggest ambition of my career is to leave my name written in golden letters in the history of world football.”

 

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Ronaldo criticises France Football editor over Messi Ballon d’Or claims

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Cristiano Ronaldo has hit back at the editor of France Football who claimed the Manchester United forward’s only ambition is to “retire with more Ballons d’Or than Lionel Messi”.

The Portuguese, who has won the prestigious accolade five times, took to social media on Monday to refute the claims made by Pascal Ferré, who spoke to the New York Times ahead of the 2021 awards.

Messi won the men’s award for a record seventh time at the ceremony in Paris on Monday.

Ferré told the New York Times: “Ronaldo has only one ambition and that is to retire with more Ballon d’Or [awards] than Messi. I know because he has told me.”

However, Ronaldo has disputed that version of events and took to Instagram to claim that Ferré “lied” during the interview.

“Today’s outcome explains the comments by Pascal Ferré last week, when he stated that I confided in him that my only ambition was to finish my career with more Ballons d’Or than Lionel Messi,” a Ronaldo statement said.

“Pascal Ferré lied and used my name to promote himself and to promote the publication that he works for. It’s unacceptable for the person responsible for handing out such a prestigious award to lie in this way and to show disrespect to someone who has always respected France Football and the Ballon d’Or. He lied again today to justify my absence from the ceremony due to an alleged quarantine that has no reason to exist.

“I always congratulate whoever wins, in tandem with the sportsmanship and fair play that have underpinned my career since the start and I do that because I’m never against anyone. I always win for myself and for the clubs that I represent. I win for myself and for those who love me. I don’t win against anyone.”

Ronaldo added: “My biggest ambition in my career is to win trophies at club and international level, for the clubs that I play for and my national team. My biggest ambition in my career is to set a good example for everyone who is or wants to be a professional footballer. My biggest ambition in my career is to have my name written in gold in world football history.

“I’ll finish up by saying that my focus is already on Manchester United’s next game and everything that we can still achieve this season alongside my teammates and our fans. As for the rest, the rest is just that…”

 

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