The next Ronaldo & Messi? Buffon backs Neymar & Mbappe to dominate Ballon d’Or ‘for 10 years’

The 40-year-old goalkeeper has been impressed by his Paris Saint-Germain team-mates and believes they can develop into the best players in the worldArticle continues below

Gianluigi Buffon has tipped Paris Saint-Germainteam-mates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to dominate the Ballon d’Or for the next 10 years.

Since 2008, the award had been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were named world player of the year five times each until Luka Modric brought their duopoly to an end by claiming the 2018 title.

Although Messi and Ronaldo remain in incredible form for Barcelona and Juventus, their time as the big contenders for the accolade may be over, with a new generation of players mounting a challenge.

And Buffon believes that his team have two players capable of stepping up to replace them at the pinnacle of the game, backing his fellow stars to share the award in a similar vein as the global icons.Article continues below

But while Ronaldo and Messi have been in competition with each other for years, Buffon believes Neymar, 26, and Mbappe, 20, work well together and can help each other out along the way.

“I think they are made for one another,” the Italylegend told Marca. “They have different characteristics. Neymar is more a tightrope walker with the ball, while Kylian is a guy with pace, power and an eye for goal. They are complementary. If they are smart, the Ballon d’Or can be theirs to share for the next 10 years.”

He added: “Neymar can become number one. I had never worked with him and always had him as a rival, but from a technical point of view he is incredible.

“I love seeing such good players and you realise that people spend money on tickets to watch players like him. But we have other great players too, and Kylian Mbappe is an absolute phenomenon.

“There are others that make us believe we can challenge in the Champions League. We have two stars and a group of strong players, and that gives us strength.”

After Buffon joined PSG from Juventus, the Italian side snapped up Ronaldo in a shock move from Real Madrid.

Although he is happy in Paris, the 40-year-old admits he would have liked to have played in the same team as Ronaldo and believes the Turin side are the new favourites to win the Champions League.

“I wasn’t surprised because I understand the desire of a champion like him to change and look for other challenges,” he said. “After so many years in the same place you have a need for other motivations and challenges.

“It would have been nice to play with him because it makes you better, but I arrived here and there are players like Neymar, Mbappe, Thiago Silva and Marco Verratti, great players that make me happy in the same way.

“Juventus, as a team, are the strongest. In the Champions League nobody can be sure they will win it and there are always three or four stronger teams so winning depends on small details.”

Source: goal.com

Messi snubs as UEFA announces player of the year nominees

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Lionel Messi, a favourite among Barcelona fans, will not be a contender for the 2018 edition of UEFA men’s player award.

The Barcelona forward, who is a three-time winner of the award, was however shortlisted for the forward of the season award.

Cristiano Ronaldo, newly-signed Juventus player, Mo Salah, Liverpool forward, and Luka Modric, Real Madrid midfielder, are the three finalists.

The trio was shortlisted by a jury of 80 coaches and 55 journalists.

The winner of the award, alongside other categories, will be announced on August 30 during the Champions League group stage draw in Monaco.

In the 2017/2018 season, Ronaldo won his fifth Champions League title with Real Madrid and finished top scorer for the sixth consecutive season.

Salah, whose team reached the Champions League final only to lose to Real Madrid, scored 44 goals last season.
Modric, who won the Champions League alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, was a runner-up at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, winning the Golden Ball.

The UEFA award recognises the best players, irrespective of nationality, playing for a club within the territory of a UEFA member association during the past season.

Players are judged on their performances in all competitions – domestic, continental and international. http://The cable.ng

Michael Owen states his prediction for Arsenal v Man City

Michael Owen is backing Manchester City to secure three points against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Citizens will start their Premier League title defence with a trip to north London to take on a new-look Arsenal team at The Emirates.

The Gunners finished in sixth spot in the Premier League table and a staggering 37 points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s side.

Arsenal lost 3-0 to the Eastlands outfit in the English capital back in March thanks to goals from Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Leroy Sane.

New Gunners manager Unai Emery has signed five players in the summer transfer window after the north London side turned to the Spanish head coach following Arsene Wenger’s exit.

Manchester City have added 2015 Premier League winner Riyad Mahrez in a big money deal from Leicester City in the summer to add more depth in attacking options.

Former Manchester United striker Owen is tipping defending champions Manchester City to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

“The reigning Premier League champions have lost their opening league game for the last couple of seasons, but I expect City to buck that trend at the Emirates in another game that promises goals at both ends,” Owen told BetVictor.

“Unai Emery has never beaten Pep Guardiola in ten previous meetings in Spain (L6 D4) and I am sure his Gunners’ side will give City more of a game than Chelsea did at Wembley.

“This promises to be an exciting but transitional season at the Emirates and I feel City will be too good for the hosts.”

Manchester City finished 19 points adrift of runners up Manchester United in the Premier League table last term to win their first title under Guardiola at a canter.

2018/2019 English premier league top seven prediction

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My 2018/2019 English Premiere League Top Seven Prediction – Realistically, but I’m Open To Surprises.

1. Man City

2. Liverpool

3. Tottenham

4. Man Utd

5. Arsenal

6. Chelsea

7. Others

Man City

The citizens had no competition last season, hence no pressure. This season it’s likely to be a little fiercer, because not every player will have the same in-built hunger and desire to repeat that achievement. You need a special manager and a lot of born winners in your side who hate losing football matches. City have that.

Liverpool

In my opinion, this is a pivotal season for Jurgen Klopp after an impressive campaign last season despite the champions league final defeat. All four new signings are impressive – Fabinho, Alisson (GK), Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita. Following the departure of Emery Can, and the long-term injury to Chamberlain. Klopp will have to keep his players motivated and stay on top of the mind game wars. Liverpool is surely a team to look out for.

Tottenham

The Spurs did not make any signing but still have a squad capable of competing at the highest level. Mauricio Pochettino have been able to master the psychology of his players, and his tactics have been impressive. With a renewed hunger and motivation, they might close the gap closer than last season.

Man United

Man Utd. have underwhelmed in the transfer market. So far they’ve bought three players – Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant, all relatively unknown. Though still have a formidable team but Mou will have to find a way to relight the fire under the entire squad.

Arsenal & Chelsea

The change in management make Chelsea and Arsenal unknown quantities at the moment. Last season was a dismal for both teams. New Arsenal head coach Unai Emery is a decent replacement for Arsene Wenger and has made some strategic signings thus far, but did not replace Carzola and Wilshere’s creativity in midfield, nor is there an out-and-out winger to supply Aubameyang and Lacazette. Sokratis will be in central defence, but they could still use another body there with Kosielny out injured.

Following the sack of Antonio Conte, Chelsea new boss, Maurizio Sarri did an amazing job at Napoli, but he’s not their usual high-profile appointment. Charged with a responsibility of reshaping the squad, and not much time, seemed to put Chelsea at the cross road at the moment. He has, however, secured the landing of Kepa Arrizabalaga following the departure of Cotour, for a new world-record goalkeeper fee of £71.5m, and midfielder Mateo Kovacic on loan from Real Madrid.

Both managers will have a lot of task building a shield around their players and creating a motivated environment.

Others…

Welcome home football, let the drama begin.

#StrongerTogether

Nazir  adinoyi abdulsalam

Taye Taiwo Scores Fantastic Free Kick Against HJK Helsinki [Video]

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33-year old former Super Eagles defender, Taye Ismaila Taiwo (a.k.a The Tornado) superintended a massive goals scoring bazaar for Nigerian players at the weekend, as hit target from his new club, Rovaniemen Palloseura (RoPs), alongside seven of his country men all across Europe.

Taiwo hit target in Finland, as the former Olympique Marseille of France, AC Milan of Italy, Queens Park Rangers of England and Dynamo Kiev of Ukraine hot shot defender struck his first goal for RoPS in a 2-2 against his former club, HJK Helsinki

Taye Taiwo

Taye Taiwo

The former Super Eagles left-back became talk of the crowd at the venue of the match, Telia 5G -Arena Stadium in Helsinki, as he made it 2-1 in the 54th minute with a unique sizzling free-kick against, HJK Helsinki, the side he played for in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

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