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Modric beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win Ballon d´Or

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Modric wins Ballon d´Or

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Luka Modric has been crowned the winner of the Ballon d’Or capping a wonderful 2018 for the Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder.

The Ballon d’Or has been dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the past decade, the rivals winning the award five times apiece.

But Modric’s impact in Croatia’s run to the World Cup final, coupled with Madrid winning the Champions League for the third year in a row, saw him triumph.

Modric – also crowned FIFA’s Best Men’s Player this year – pipped World Cup winners including Raphael Varane, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann to the award.

Griezmann made it into the top three but he was beaten to second place by Ronaldo, who moved to Serie A champions Juventus from Madrid in July.

Messi finished fifth in the voting, with Griezmann’s France team-mate Mbappe a place above the Barcelona star.

It’s the first time since 2006 Lionel Messi finishes outside the podium at the Ballon d’Or.

There was no place for Neymar in the top 10, with Paul Pogba and Madrid captain Sergio Ramos among the other big names further down the list.

Kaka was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win the Ballon d’Or, the Brazilian claiming the title in 2007 while starring for AC Milan.

Ballon d’Or final placings in full:

29= Isco (Real Madrid), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
28= Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
25= Alisson (Roma/Liverpool), Mario Mandzukic (Juventus), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
22= Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Marcelo (Real Madrid)
19= Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
17= Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
16= Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
15= Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
14= Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid)
13= Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
12= Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)
11= N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
10= Harry Kane (Tottenham)
9= Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
8= Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
7= Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
6= Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
5= Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
4= Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
3= Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
2= Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus)
1= Luka Modric (Real Madrid)



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SPORTS

Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

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Buhari appoints Amokachi as SA on sports

Former Super Eagles player and Nigerian Football Ambassador, Daniel Amokachi, has been appointed as Special Assistant on Sports to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved your appointment as Special Assistant on Sports,” the appointment letter dated August 17, 2020, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha, reads in part.

As special assistant on sports, Amokachi is expected to advise the President on all sports matters.

The former Everton of England forward, who was earlier in the year named Nigeria’s Football Ambassador, is expected to mentor youngsters and promote the game at the grassroots.

Nicknamed “The Bull”, Amokachi began his career in Kaduna with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna, played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He played in two World Cup finals, USA 1994 and France 1998. He was a member of Nigeria’s 1994 African Cup of Nations winning team and won the 2013 edition in South Africa as assistant to the late Coach Stephen Keshi.

Amockachi also won Gold with team Nigeria in the Football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

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Tennis: Djokovic confirms US Open participation

Novak Djokovic confirmed on Thursday he will play at the US Open, ending speculation about his presence at the first Grand Slam tournament since the season restarted following the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

“I’m happy to confirm that I’ll participate at #CincyTennis and #USOpen this year,” the 33-year-old world number one tweeted.

“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” added the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

The US Open gets underway behind closed doors in New York on Monday August 31, with Djokovic arriving in the United States on Saturday to tune up in the Western and Southern Open, which is normally played in Cincinnati but has been moved to New York this year.

His decision to take part is a major boost for the US Open after a host of headline names pulled out.

Djokovic makes his competitive return after being heavily criticized for hosting a charity tennis event in the Balkans in June at which he and a raft of players tested positive for COVID-19.

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

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Sam Okwaraji: NFF begins process to retire Eagles No.6 jersey

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) is pondering a move to retire the Super Eagles No.6 jersey previously worn by the late Sam Okwaraji, The PUNCH reports.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick made this known during an interview on a radio programme Sports Salsa, which was aired on Kennis 104.1 FM on Wednesday.

Okwaraji died of congestive heart failure minutes after he slumped during a 1990 World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola on August 12, 1989, inside the main-bowl of the National Stadium, Lagos.

The game ended 1-0 in favour of the Eagles.

“Someone made a proposal about retiring the jersey (No.6) at the start of the year and I think it is not too much for us to do that,” Pinnick said.

“I will forward the proposal to the executive committee for implementation because it has been said already. So, we will see how we can retire that shirt in honour of a great patriot (Samuel) Okwaraji.

“His (Okwaraji) death was very tragic because he was a player who showed dexterity, professionalism and maturity each time he played for the Eagles.”

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