Lionel has already revealed he voted for team-mates Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Arguero while Ronaldo would probably vote for himself 3 times.
Barcelona and Real Madrid dominate the list, with no fewer than eleven players.
Surprisingly no Scots made the final list, the mind boggles.
Ballon D’Or Shortlist
Sergio Agüero (Argentina & Manchester City)
Mario Balotelli (Italy & Manchester City)
Karim Benzema (France & Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy & Juventus)
Sergio Busquets (Spain & Barcelona)
Iker Casillas (Spain & Real Madrid)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea & Shanghai Shenhua)
Radamel Falcao (Colombia & Atlético Madrid)
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden, AC Milan & Paris St Germain)
Andrés Iniesta (Spain & Barcelona)
Lionel Messi (Argentina & Barcelona)
Manuel Neuer (Germany & Bayern Munich)
Neymar (Brazil & Santos)
Mesut Özil (Germany, Real Madrid)
Gerard Piqué (Spain & Barcelona)
Andrea Pirlo (Italy & Juventus)
Sergio Ramos (Spain & Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal & Real Madrid)
Wayne Rooney (England & Manchester United)
Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast & Manchester City)
Robin van Persie (Holland, Arsenal & Manchester United)
Xabi Alonso (Spain & Real Madrid)
Xavi Hernández (Spain & Barcelona)
The winner (Messi) is voted upon by national team managers. captains and select journalists and will be announced on Thursday.
Phillip Mexes out-strips Ibrahimovich with a fine overhead/bicycle kick in Anderlecht 1-3 AC Milan champions league match
Brazilian Adriano has has attracted the ire the football world with his blatant disregard for “fair play” in last week’s Nordsjaelland vs Shaktar Donetsk Champions league match.
Despite the ball be played back to the opposition goalkeeper (after a dubious free-kick and awful play acting by a Nordsjaelland player) Adriano latched on to the pass back, rounded a confused keeper and slotted the ball into the net.
UEFA have opened a disciplinary case against Adriano for “violation of the principles of conduct”
Despite slipping up against Manta on Wednesday, Barcelona still have the Championship in the grasp and need only win against Olmedo tomorrow.
However with city rivals Emelec only 5 points behind and a game in hand Barcelona can ill afford another slip-up.
At the bottom of the table El Nacional are lying precariously near to relegation. The final league standings will be calculated over two Etapes so a win against Liga De Loja is essential
In the Segunda Division, Aucas should ensure promotion to the Serie B on Sunday in front of a capacity crowd in Chillagallo
I’d like to know which muppets pick these players
Terry??? Ferdinand?? Evra??
Nominees: Jordi Alba (Spain and Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Wales and Tottenham Hotspur), Giorgio Chiellini (Italy and Juventus), Ashley Cole(England and Chelsea), Dani Alves (Brazil and Barcelona), David Luiz(Brazil and Chelsea), Patrice Evra (France and Manchester United), Rio Ferdinand (England and Manchester United), Mats Hummels(Germany and Borussia Dortmund), Branislav Ivanovic (Serbia and Chelsea), Vincent Kompany (Belgium and Manchester City), Philipp Lahm (Germany and Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Brazil and Real Madrid),Javier Mascherano (Argentina and Barcelona), Pepe (Portugal and Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Spain and Barcelona), Carles Puyol(Spain and Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Spain and Real Madrid), John Terry (England and Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Brazil and Paris St-Germain).
On Sunday it was back to the Atahaulpa Stadium to watch the current champions : Deportivo Quito against the champions elect: Barcelona.
Although i arrived with my friend at the stadium 15 mins before the game it took at least half an hour to get into the Atahaulpa. Long lines were snaked around the ground with the police doing their disorganised best to slowly, filter the throngs throw the narrow, turnstiles. One gate was for blue and red bedecked fans of Deportivo the others for the vast amount of yellow, Barcelona” hinchas”.
Only when Barcelona had scored and the many fans became restlessness did the police and authorities begin to shepherd the fans through at a acceptable rate.
Barcelona enjoy a huge support in both in Quito and Guayaquil and are probably only matched in popularity with Liga de Quito. Although the base of support is in Ecuador’s biggest city they can count on supporters from all over the country.
In much the same way Rangers and Celtic attract fans from all over Scotland, Barcelona and Liga gather the most fans from all over Ecuador.
In recent years the Quito teams have dominated league titles with Deportivo Quito, El Nacional and Liga sharing 9 titles between them. You have to go back to 1997 for Barcelona’s last title although city rivals Emelec did win the title in 2001 and 2002.
Upon entering the stadium it was clear that the Deportivo Quito fans or “chullas” were totally outnumbered by about 4-1. The yellow and black of Barcelona covered 70 % of the stadium and with their team already 1-0 up to a Nina header they were in fine voice.
Deportivo had only the main stand to fill and numbered around 6-7,000 but as their were some spare rows of seats the police began to funnel some yellow and black fans into the Deportivo end. This did not go down well with hardcore members at the front and they immediately rushed to confront to the opposition, forcing them back into the Barcelona section. A few bottles were thrown and insults traded but in truth it was little more than handbags from very, young looking “hooligans”. The riot police and their batons and Alsatians seemed to dampen their enthusiasm.
nI such an atmosphere it’s sometimes difficult to concentrate on the match, especially when you know Deportivo are so poor in front of goal and have little chance of scoring but the game ebbed and flowed with Barcelona seemingly content to let Deportivo attack.
Luckily, again we had the benefit of enthusiastic beer vendors and police were happy to let us stand at the back and peer over the crowd.
Much has been made in the Ecuadorian media about the country’s hooligan problem but in the 20-30 matches i have attended here in Quito I have yet to see some trouble bar the throwing of plastic bottles or the odd plastic beer cup. It’s certainly no where near the levels that the UK or Europe had but i guess it doesn’t take much for things to get out of hand. The police were very aware of the threat and quick to intervene.
The only kerfuffle in the terraces today happened in the Barcelona hoards in the south stand. A yellow shirted youth (my friend was convinced it was a girl but not I) was thrown around like a rag doll and unceremoniously booted and punched through throngs of people and out of the exit. It was unclear what he had done to deserve this treatment but it must have been bad as his own brethren turned on him. The police pounced on him and escorted him away.
In the end Barcelona won two nil, thanks to; some dreadful refereeing decisions, two Deportivo red cards, some dreadful Deportivo forward play and a wonderful free kick form Michael Arroyo in the 90th minute (who in turn was strangely red-carded).
The Barcelona fans were ecstatic at the end, knowing they had all but secured their first title in 15 years while the Deportivo Quito fans solemnly shuffled out of the Atahaulpa. A feeling they have known all to well in a disastrous season.
Barcelona all but sealed the Segunda Etape title (and overall championship) with a lucky win against Deportivo Quito yesterday.
They took the lead through a Narcisso Mina header in the 13th minute then seemed happy to sit back and let Deportivo control the game. However it quickly became clear that Deportivo were not going to score especially when they lost Paredes to a second yellow and Morales to a straight red in the second half.
Deportivo were finally punished for their profligacy in front of goal when Arroyo sealed the win with a fine 30 yard free kick in 90 minutes.
Elsewhere, Emelec confirmed their involvement in next years Copa Libertadores by winning 2-1 at home against El Nacional while Olmedo cemented their relegation to Segunda B after another home loss, this time to Deportivo Cuenca.
Independiente recorded a fine win against Liga de Quito. A Daniel Angulo strike in 57 minutes was enough to grab 3 points and continue their push for a Libertadores spot. The team from Sangloqui are universally recognised as the best youngsters in Ecuador and it remains to be seen how many of their players they can retain for next season, especially with their links to Spurs and the bigger Ecuadorian teams circling
The final places are calculated over the two “etapes” or stages and as Barcelona should win both their will not be a final play-off match this year.
With two teams to be relegated to the Segunda B El Nacional, Macara or Ted de Universitario may yet join Olmedo and drop down a division. This would be particularly disastrous who are an historic giant of Ecuadorian football with a record equaling 13 championships.
With two games left to play it should be a a tight end to the bottom of the Serie A.
|3.||Indepndiente del Valle||41||17||11||13||62||+4|
|4.||Liga de Quito||41||14||18||9||60||+11|
|6.||Liga de Loja||41||15||13||13||58||+4|
|11.||Tec de Universitario
With 2 teams to be relegated from Serie A, El Nacional’s home victory against Macara will do much to allay their supporters fears.
After last week’s Derby defeat they were hovering around the relegation spots and although these 3 points moves them 3 points away with a game in hand they are not out of the woods yet.
As the the final league standings are calculated over two mini-seasons Olmedo look certain to fall into Serie B despite having a fairly impressive 2nd term,Macara and Tecnico Universitario (who currently sit 2nd of this term) have a battle to see who joins them.
At the top of the table Barcelona continued their arch to the title after a 1-o win at home to Quito giants, Liga. José Manuel Ayovi grabbed the winner just before half-time.
Elsewhere Independiente compounded Emelec’s misery from last week with a 2 – 0 defeat while Deportivo Quito recorded a 0-0 stalemate in Ambato versus Tecnico Universitario.
|Deportivo Cuenca||1 – 1||Manta F.C.|
|Técnico Universitario||0 – 0||Deportivo Quito|
|Independiente del Valle||2 – 0||Emelec|
|El Nacional||2 – 1||Macará|
|Liga de Loja||2 – 1||Olmedo|
|Barcelona||1 – 0||Liga de Quito|
True to form Sixto Vizuete was given the heave-ho today after barely 6 months in charge of El Nacional.
To be fair he can have little complaint as his team have been consistently awful under his charge and are in serious threat of being one of the two teams relegated from the Serie A.
El Nacional is the army team of Ecuador and similar Athletic Bilboa and Chivas Guadalajara they only pick players from their respective countries/states. Obviously the suits upstairs have panicked after the latest defeat and opted to bring a fresh face.
They have pinched Gustavo Luis Soler from Deportivo Quito, an Argentinian with a solid playing career in Spain and Argentina behind him and a slew of coaching positions around South America.
His task will be to keep El Nacional in the top division and avoid disastrous relegation/
A belter of a free-kick by Rafael Tóloi in this week’s Copa Sudamericana tie of Sao Paulo vs Universidad de Chile.
If the keeper had touched it would have probably taken his hand off.