2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or Shortlist

2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or Shortlist:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid C.F.)
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)Leo Messi (FC Barcelona)
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Xavi (Barcelona)
Gerard Pique (Barcelona)Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Robin van Persie (Manchester United)

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Mario Balotelli (Manchester City)
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)

Neymar (Santos)

Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua)

Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)


It’s less than two years to the next World Cup in Brazil. Although many (mainly English journalists) like to lay claim to England being the home of football not many will argue with the belief that Brazil is the spiritual home of football and the World Cup.

Scotland will not be there that is almost certain.

One man who definitely be there is Edison Arantes do Nascimento aka Pele and he will no doubt be selling some sort of product, shamelessly

Every World Cup he is selling something new. Visa cards, Coca-Cola, Insurance even Viagra. You name it, he’ll probably be hawking it.

For many Pele is the greatest player ever but for me it has to be Maradona. This may be because I never watched Pele live and i have a rose-tinted view of Diego in Mexico 1986 but it also has to do with the apparent character of both men.

Diego is a flawed genius and while he isn’t low on opinions he isn’t constantly blowing his own trumpet or so obsessed by his own public persona like Pele.

There is no doubt that Pele is one of the greatest ever but his personality and inflated ego sometimes annoys in the extreme.

I suppose I prefer my heroes to be a little bit more human and humble.

“For 20 years they have asked me the same question, who is the greatest? Pele or Maradona? I replay that all you have to do is look at the facts – how many goals did he score with his right foot or with his head?” Pele

Copa Sudamericana moves into the last 8





They say the cream always comes to the top and this seems to be the case in this years Copa Sudamericana.

Brazil, Argentina and Chile each have 2 representatives while Paraguay and and Colombia have one a piece.



This weekends fixtures in Ecuador

With all their teams eliminated form the Copa Sudamericana and the national team not playing until March the focus for all Ecuadorians will now be upon the Serie A.

Barcelona, Liga and Macara head the table with 25 points a piece with Emelec and Tec. Univeritario not far behind.

Both Liga de Loja and Deportivo Quito tumbled out of the Copa Sudamericana and reality ended the their disasterous seasons. Luckily for them relegation will be decided over two terms and as such Olmedo look the greatest under threat.

Friday, October 26 – 20.00

Deportivo Cuenca vs Liga de Quito
Saturday, October 27 – 17:00
Independiente vs Olmedo
Sunday, October 28 – 12:00
Tec. Universitario vs Barcelona
Sunday, October 28 – 12:00
El Nacional vs Manta FC
Sunday, October 28 – 17:00
Emelec vs Macara
Sunday, October 28 – 18:00
Liga de Loja vs Deportivo Quito

Depending on the amount time available I will either go to the El Nacional game or the Aucas vs Anaconda match.

Another double disaster for Ecuadorian teams in the Sudamericana.

Emelec and Deportivo Quito rounded up a dreadful week in the Copa Sudamerica by both going out when progression looked certain.

Deportivo were protecting a 2 – 0 first leg win and needed only a draw or slim defeat to move into the quarters. In the end they were thumped 4 – 0 away to Tigres of Argentina after a late capitulation. The Negro Azules were only 1 – 0 down with 15 minutes and squeaking into the next round but 3 late goals sent them spiraling out of the Sudamericana in much the same way as last terms Copa Libertadores.



In Guayaquil, Emelec also exited the competition despite needing a home win. After a claiming an important away goal during their 2 -1 defeat to Universidad de Chile in Santiago in the first leg “the lightbulbs” had a great chance to move into the last 8.

Unfortunately they went down 0 – 1 in the Capwell Stadium after failing to claw back a 2nd half Gutierrez strike.

The historic feat of 4 teams in the last 16 of the Copa Sudamericana had been rightly lauded by many, with some announcing a Ecuadorian football renaissance. It seems that the Ecuadorian teams have found their level to be below that of the big guns and South American power-houses.

Copa America set for USA in 2016

CONMEBOL has announced plans to have the 2016 Copa America outside of South America for the first time.

Not only will the competition be in the USA, it will also include Mexico and the USA as fixed competitors along with 4 further CONCACAF nations.

The South American association is celebrating it’s 100th year anniversary in 2016 and as such the competition has been named “the Copa America Centennial”.

A cynic may view this plan as shameless effort in cash grabbing or a riposte to UEFA’s expansion of the European Championships in the same year – France 2016 with 24 teams. Regardless it should attract more attention than usual, although in recent years the Central American teams invited have fared pretty poorly.

CONMEBOL also announced that Mexico and Japan will be invited to the next Copa America in 2015, in Chile.

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