Lewandowski named best FIFA player for 2020 – Newstrends
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Lewandowski named best FIFA player for 2020

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Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has beaten Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to emerge the Best FIFA Men’s Player of 2020.

Messi, the 2019 winner, and Ronaldo had claimed the top prize in three of the four prior editions.

Lewandowski led the line as the Bundesliga giants won the league, DFB-Pokal and Champions League in 2019-20.

Between July 20, 2019 and October 7, 2020 – the period considered for this year’s awards – the Poland international scored stunning 60 club goals at a rate of one every 76 minutes.

This tally, from 52 Bayern appearances, was 20 more than any other player in Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues.

While Ronaldo was second in this regard, tied with Ciro Immobile on 40 goals, Messi trailed Romelu Lukaku (37), Timo Werner (35) and Raheem Sterling (34).

The Barcelona captain’s 32 goals were matched by Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.

FIFA recognition is particularly precious for Lewandowski this year after the coronavirus pandemic prompted the Ballon d’Or to be cancelled in the best season of his career.

Lewandowski, who had not previously won either award, was the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year last season, making him the favourite ahead of Messi and Ronaldo.

At 32, Lewandowski has had a breakthrough season.  While he has won the Bundesliga in each of his first six seasons at Bayern, finishing as the league’s top scorer in four of the last five seasons, his international profile has been hurt by Poland’s mediocre form and his failure, at Dortmund and Bayern, to win the Champions League.

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Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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Pep Guardiola

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has apologised to Kalvin Phillips for saying the midfielder was overweight when he returned from the 2022 World Cup.

Guardiola had told reporters that Phillips was not in the right condition to go through training sessions after returning from Qatar, where he was used for only 40 minutes in two substitute appearances in England’s campaign.

Phillips endured a wretched time at City after signing from Leeds United in 2022, making only six starts in 18 months, and the 28-year-old joined West Ham United on loan last month.

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After making the switch to West Ham, the midfielder said his confidence had taken a “big knock” from Guardiola’s comments.

“Yeah, I’m sorry,” Guardiola told reporters on Monday.

“I apologise to him. I spoke to him before making the comment. I never, ever don’t speak to the team before I say something here, or the player in that case.”

City, who are third in the Premier League, can close the gap to leaders Liverpool by one point if they beat Brentford at home later on Tuesday.

Guardiola apologises to Phillips for comments about weight

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Osimhen gets new coach as Napoli hire Calzona to replace sacked Mazzarri

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Francesco Calzona

Osimhen gets new coach as Napoli hire Calzona to replace sacked Mazzarri

Struggling Napoli sacked Walter Mazzarri on Monday and brought in Slovakia coach Francesco Calzona just two days before hosting Barcelona in the Champions League.

The 62-year-old Mazzarri became the second man to be sent packing this season by the ailing Italian champions.

Mazzarri took charge in November after Rudi Garcia was dismissed but Napoli then fell to ninth in Serie A ahead of Wednesday’s last 16, first leg with barca at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

“I thank Walter Mazzarri, a friend of the De Laurentiis family and Napoli, for having helped the team in a tricky period,” said Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis on X, formerly Twitter.

De Laurentiis confirmed that Calzona has been hired, reportedly until the end of the season, and will be in charge on Wednesday night.

“It’s always painful to sack a friend,” said De Laurentiis in a short interview with Sky Sport.

“But we need to consider that in Naples you have to give Napoli fans something extra. Now we’re going to try to do that with Francesco Calzona.”

Calzona guided Slovakia to Euro 2024 but has a huge job on his hands as he returns to Napoli, where he was an assistant under Maurizio Sarri and during Luciano Spalletti’s trophy-less first season with the club.

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The 55-year-old will reportedly keep his job with Slovakia while also trying to drag Napoli back up the table after the disappointing end to Mazzarri’s brief second spell in charge of southern Italy’s biggest club.

Mazzarri helped return Napoli to the upper echelons of Italian football between 2009 and 2013.

He guided Napoli to the 2012 Italian Cup, beating undefeated league champions Juventus in the final to win the club’s first trophy in over two decades.

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Snooker Challenge SABI PAS 10 Balls Season Two in exciting start

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Snooker Challenge SABI PAS 10 Balls Season Two in exciting start

 

The anticipated season two of the SABI PAS 10 Balls Snooker Challenge has officially commenced.

The organisers said in a statement on Monday that the event promised fans another thrilling round of intense competition.

In the inaugural episode of the season, held over the weekend in Lagos, the spotlight was on Henry, who showcased remarkable skill and near precision, emerging as the victor by potting all ten balls in just 17 shots.

It stated, “The SABI PAS 10 Balls Snooker Challenge presents a unique and engaging format, where individual players strive to complete the challenge by potting all ten balls with the fewest shots possible.

“This captivating event continues to enthral audiences with its blend of strategy, precision, and excitement, setting the stage for an unforgettable season of sporting excellence.”

The statement also said, “As the season progresses, viewers can expect more gripping matches, remarkable displays of talent, and nail-biting moments as competitors vie for supremacy, trying to break the season one record set by Prince, potting all 10 balls in 12 shots. Stay tuned for updates and highlights as the SABI PAS 10 Balls Snooker Challenge unfolds its second season.”

It added that the SABI PAS 10 Balls Snooker Challenge is available at sabipasng on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Thread.

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