Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, Feb

By Sports Illustrated

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has won the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award as the men’s world player of the year.

Messi, 28, has now won the award five times, after taking the honors for his play in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Messi has finished in the top three of the voting for nine consecutive years, while finishing first or second in eight of those years.

His victory ends a two-year streak by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who won the Ballon d’Or in 2013 and 2014. Messi beat out Ronaldo... (Read More)

By The Bubble

2015 is over, and for Argentine football fans that means we can bid farewell to the year that brought us the ridiculous, bloated 30-team championship and look forward to a 2016 in which things will begin — slowly — to head back towards a more sensible size for the top flight. But before things get better, they have to get worse, so during the first half of 2016 we’re in for a few headaches. Last Tuesday, the nature of those headaches was revealed as the Argentine Football Association (AFA) finally confirmed the structure of this year’s championship.

First things first: ... (Read More)

By Four Four Two

River Plate reached the final of the Club World Cup after Lucas Alario earned them a 1-0 win over Sanfrecce Hiroshima.

Lucas Alario netted the only goal of the game to help River Plate to the final of the Club World Cup at the expense of Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Osaka on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old broke the deadlock after 72 minutes following some unconvincing goalkeeping from Takuto Hayashi to set up a meeting with Barcelona or Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao in Sunday's showpiece.

Sanfrecce carved out the better chances in the opening 45 minutes, with Yusuke Minagawa in particular causing... (Read More)

By Centre Daily

Before a possible match against Barcelona in the Club World Cup final, River Plate must get past the locals.

The Copa Libertadores champions will take on Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the semifinals on Wednesday, a team that has already won two games in the competition without conceding a goal.

"They are the best team in Japan," River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo said Tuesday. "They are very good at controlling the ball, they play at a high quality and are extremely resilient."

Sanfrecce, bidding to become the first Asian team to reach the final, beat Oceania representative Auckland City 2-0 on Thursday before a 3-0 victory over African champion TP Mazembe on Sunday.

River Plate, which won the tournament in 1986 when it was known the Intercontinental Cup, was in Japan in August when... (Read More)

By The Bubble

There’s rarely a dull moment in Argentine football (off the pitch, at least), and 2015 was as tumultuous as ever. We had a calendar-year championship which will remain a complete one-off (we’ll transition back to an August-June season in 2016), and more highs and lows than a roller coaster. But some stories stood out more than others, and here they are.

That championship, first of all. Thirty teams. Thirty! As manifestly stupid an idea as it obviously was right from the start, there was no getting around the fact that the Primera División was going to... (Read More)

By Four Four Two

Barcelona will come up against Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi said there was the possibility that he could have been a River Plate player when he was younger.

Messi is in Japan as Barcelona prepare to face Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup.

Barca are favourites to go through to the final, where they could face South American champions River Plate.

And Messi admitted he could have been on the books of River as a youngster after... (Read More)

By Sky Sports

Argentina earned their first World Cup qualifying win as Lucas Biglia's first-half strike secured a 1-0 victory over Colombia.

It was only Argentina's second goal in four games, but the result moves them up to fourth and back into contention in the fledgling campaign after a disappointing start.

Colombia, meanwhile, remain just outside the qualifying berths after suffering their second defeat in the opening four games.

Gonzalo Higuain returned to bolster an Argentina side that was a lowly ninth in the standings going into the clash in Barranquilla.

But Colombia, who had an extra day to prepare, seized the early initiative and threatened to... (Read More)

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