Tag Archives: Jorginho

Lionel Messi wins record seventh Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time in his career, extending his record as the player to win it the most times.

The Argentine captain capped off a wonderful year for himself by pipping Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho to the award, making him the first Ligue 1 player to win the honour since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1991.

Messi had previously won each of his six awards with FC Barcelona, the club he played his entire career for before a summer move to Paris Saint-Germain.



The award was met with a mixed response from fans, with many believing Bayern Munich and Poland striker Lewandowski deserved the honour.

But in the end, Messi’s victory in the Copa America and Copa Del Rey as well as finishing as the top goalscorer in both tournaments and La Liga was enough to secure him the record breaking achievement.

Lewandowski finished second while Chelsea’s Jorginho rounded off the podium in third, having helped his club win the Champions League and led Italy to winning Euro 2020 in the summer.

Karim Benzema finished fourth, while N’Golo Kante finished fifth. The Premier League continued to dominate the top ten as Cristiano Ronaldo finished sixth, Mohamed Salah finished seventh and Kevin De Bruyne finished eighth, while PSG stars Kylian Mbappe and Gianluigi Donnarumma completed the top ten.

FIFA ensured that Lewandowski didn’t go home empty handed however, as the inaugral “Striker of the Year” award was given to the man who scored 64 goals in 54 games last season en route to yet another Bundesliga title.

Chelsea were crowned the inaugral “Club of the Year” winners, while Pedri was confirmed as the Kopa Trophy winner -given to the best Under-21 player in the world.

Messi’s victory moves him two clear of Ronaldo in the record hunt, as the Portuguese legend finished outside of the top three for the first time since 2010.

Italy vs Belgium – Euro 2020 quarter-final predictions

It’s been a fantastic tournament so far and we’re now entering the business end of the competition as the quarter-finals roll around.

England, Ukraine, Spain, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Denmark have all made it into latest round of the competition with highly entertaining wins and now we have four sets of incredible ties to come to see who makes it to Wembley for the semi-finals and final.

In the best tie of the round, the only team left in the Euro 2020 competition with a 100% record inside 90 minutes Belgium take on one of the favourites in Italy.


Route to the final:

Italy came through their group unscathed with 3-0 wins over Turkey and Switzerland before a 1-0 win over Wales with a heavily rotated side. They then met Austria in the last 16 and were taken to the limit in normal time, before Federico Chiesa and Matteo Pessina scored in extra-time to earn a 2-1 win after 120 minutes.

Belgium were also dominant in their group with a 3-0 win over Russia, before coming from behind to beat Denmark 2-1 and then defeating Finland 2-0 in the final game. That set them up with a round of 16 clash against reigning champions Portugal, where a Thorgan Hazard screamer on the stroke of half-time earned them the win in a close fought game.


Team news:

That game didn’t come without it’s problems though, as both Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard picked up injuries that forced them to come off the pitch and they are now severe doubts to start the game against Italy.

That means Dries Mertens and Yannick Carrasco are likely to start for the Red Devils as they did in the opening game of the tournament, while Romelu Lukaku will continue in attack.

For Italy, they will welcome captain Giorgio Chiellini back from a minor hamstring problem that saw him miss the win over Austria. Marco Verratti is likely to retain his place in the team over Manuel Locatelli, while Chiesa is expected to get the nod over Domenico Berardi after his match-winning contribution last time out.


Predicted Lineups:

Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Jorginho, Barella, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne

Belgium: Courtois; Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Meunier, Tielemans, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Lukaku, T. Hazard


Prediction:

It should be the tie of the round and could arguably produce the game of the tournament, which would be something after the last round.

Italy are the better team in my eyes. They are more organised, better defensively and have good quality going forward too. Belgium are still a very good team though, they’re not ranked number one in the world for no reason, but they don’t look the most solid defensively.

Normally I’d give Belgium the advantage because of the added individual quality they have that could separate a tight game, but with De Bruyne and Hazard both likely to miss the game that factor is eliminated.

Because of that I think Italy will be able to keep it tight at the back and in a fascinating, tactical encounter, they’ll come away with a win thanks to a set-piece goal.

Italy 1-0 Belgium