Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

“There are no words to describe this moment,” he says, before completely breaking down.

“First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team. Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.

“Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. And I don’t want to forget to mention Eusebio.

“My girlfriend, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved. And if I have forgotten anyone, I’m sorry, but I’m just deeply moved.”


Torres, “We’ve beaten them once this season at the Emirates…..”


Jose Mourinho’s men beat the Gunners at the Emirates in the Capital One Cup in October and the Spaniard is confident that his side can repeat the feat in the Premier League


Fernando Torres is confident that Chelsea will consign Arsenal to a third consecutive defeat on Monday night, given the Blues have already beaten their London rivals this season.

Jose Mourinho’s men dumped the Gunners out of the Capital One Cup in October with a 2-0 win at the Emirates and will be eager to heap further misery on a side routed 6-3 in their last Premier League outing against Manchester City, just days after a Champions League reverse at Napoli.

Spain striker Torres is bullish over Chelsea’s chances of securing another win in Arsenal’s backyard, which would see them climb above Arsene Wenger’s side and move level on points with Premier League leaders Liverpool.

“We know how important it is for us. It’s a chance to overtake them in the table and we know how important that is for the fans,” Torres told the club’s official website.

“We’re playing Arsenal, and it’s a huge game for both sets of fans.

“We’ve beaten them once this season at the Emirates, so we know what we need to do to win there.

“We just have to ensure we prepare for the game the best we can, and I’m sure we can go and do it.”

The Capital One Cup triumph means the Stamford Bridge outfit have won their last three games against Arsenal, who have failed to win any of their nine matches against a Mourinho-managed Chelsea.

Fifa Ballon d’Or


A 23-man shortlist for the Fifa Ballon d’Or was compiled by the Fifa Football Committee and a group of experts from France Football, which was announced on 29 October.

The organisation then reduced the original list to just three remaining candidates in the second week of December: Lionel Messi, Franck Ribery and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The winner of the award will be revealed at the Fifa Ballon d’Or gala as part of a televised show at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 13 January 2014.

Ribery was arguably the most successful of the three as he guided Bayern Munich to a historic treble in 2013, only to then go on and win the European Supercup and help France qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Ronaldo endured a rare trophyless season, but that didn’t stop the Portugal international from shining individually as he banged in the goals in all competitions, helping Portugal to the World Cup with a sensational hat-trick against Sweden.

Messi enjoyed yet another impressive season with Barcelona as his goals helped the Catalans to the Liga title and the Spanish Supercup. The Argentine might have missed the last few months of the year due to injury, but had a fine 2013 nonetheless.Image

Aside from the Fifa Ballon d’Or, a number of other awards will be presented; Fifa Men’s Football Coach of the Year, Fifa Women’s World Player of the Year, Fifa Women’s Football Coach of the Year, Fifa Presidential Award, Fifa Fair Play Award and the Fifa Puskas Award. 

The battle for the Coach of the Year award is between Jupp Heynckes, Jurgen Klopp and Sir Alex Ferguson, with the former two guiding their respective teams to the Champions League final and the latter winning the Premier League with Manchester United in his final year before retirement.

Nadine Angerer, Marta and Abby Wambach are the three candidates to win the Women’s World Player of the Year award with the Brazilian having already lifted the trophy on five previous occasions.

Sweden’s Pia Sundhage, Germany boss Silvia Neid and Wolfsburg coach Ralf Kellermann are battling it out for the Women’s Football Coach of the Year trophy.

Finally, stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Nemanja Matic and Neymar are in the running for the Fifa Puskas Award for the best goal of 2013, while the Fifa/FIFPro World XI will also be announced.

The new version of the prize started in 2010 after France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the men’s Fifa World Player of the Year award were merged. 

Chelsea Vrs Arsenal – Preview


Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole is to return to the substitutes’ bench at best for Monday’s Premier League crunch clash at his former club Arsenal.

With Branislav Ivanovic available after serving a one-match ban, the Serbia defender will return at right-back, with Cesar Azpilicueta reverting to left-back and Cole dropping out of the side. Back on the bench? Ashley Cole (left) hasn’t started in any of Chelsea’s last six league games Captain John Terry will also return, but Michael Essien is banned after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season at Sunderland and his fellow midfielder Marco van Ginkel (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Provisional squad: Cech, Ivanovic, Cole, Luiz, Ramires, Lampard, Torres, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Schurrle, De Bruyne, Hazard, Ba, Willian, Schwarzer, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Eto’o, Blackman, Bertrand. Big match stats: Arsenal won nine and lost none of their first 13 Premier League home games against Chelsea but have won just two and lost four of the last eight.

Chelsea have won eight and lost just two of the last 11 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions. Jose Mourinho has never lost against Arsene Wenger as an opposition manager (W5 D4 L0). Juan Mata has scored in each of his four starts against Arsenal in all competitions for Chelsea. Chelsea have taken 11 points away from the Emirates Stadium, the joint-best haul of any team in the Premier League since the Gunners moved from Highbury (along with Aston Villa).

Away day double: Juan Mata (left) scored in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory at Arsenal in the Capital One Cup in October Theo Walcott scored his first ever Arsenal goal against Chelsea in the 2007 Carling Cup final and has since netted in three Premier League games against the Blues.

Chelsea have had 11 different managers since Arsene Wenger was appointed and 12 in total with Mourinho’s second spell. Jose Mourinho will be the fifth different manager Arsene Wenger has faced in the last six Chelsea v Arsenal fixtures. Arsenal have not gone three Premier League fixtures without a win since January 2013; the third of those games was against Chelsea. The Gunners have conceded as many goals in their last two Premier League games (7) as they had in the previous 13. Chelsea have scored at least twice in each of their last six Premier League games (16 goals in total).

Read more at:

Mikel Obi Shares His Opinion on How Nigeria Will Perform At The World Cup.

AFCON Quarter Final: Zambia v Nigeria

The Chelsea midfielder thinks that the Super Eagles can ride on the wave of being African champions to launch a successful campaign in Brazil next summer

Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel believes that his country will do well at the World Cup due to confidence instilled by heading to Brazil as Africa Cup of Nations champions.

The Super Eagles won their third African title in February and will go to Brazil 2014 as the first reigning African champions since 2002 when Cameroon held the title before heading to the tournament in Japan and South Korea.

Nigeria are drawn in Group F alongside Argentina, Iran and debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Mikel is undaunted by the task at hand.

“I think being African champions has given us a huge lift. I think the mentality of the team has changed in the past couple of years, we believe now that we can go into every game and win,” Mikel told Goal while receiving the 2013 Goal Nigeria Player of the Year award.

“I think the Africa Cup of Nations has given us a lot of belief to go into the World Cup – I know we can do well.”

The Super Eagles already have had a taste of what to expect next year after their campaign in the 2013 Confederations Cup saw them win against Tahiti and lose against Uruguay and Spain.

“If you look at the games we played in the Confederations Cup, we put on a very good performance in all the games,” continued Mikel.

“We were unlucky in the game against Uruguay, I think we should have beaten them by four or five. If you look at the game against Spain, we played really well but they just had that little bit of quality to get the goals.”

Commenting on the return of manager Jose Mourinho to Chelsea, Mikel said the Blues will need time to begin to win every game after an inconsistent campaign to date.

“We haven’t hit the heights that everyone wants us to hit but there have been changes, he’s come in with a different philosophy but still the mentality that we want to win every game and he is putting that into all the players,” said Mikel.

“It’s going to take a bit of time but it’s something we’re working towards. Hopefully we will start to hit our heights soon and be playing consistently well but right now I think we’re in a very good position in the Premier League and the Champions League so if we can pick the standard up even higher I think it will be a very successful year.”