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Ronaldo wins FIFA’s player of the year award

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Cristiano Ronaldo won FIFA’s rebranded player of the year award on Monday, beating his old rival Lionel Messi.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Messi was pulled out of the ceremony only a few hours earlier by his club Barcelona.

The 31-year old Ronaldo was rewarded for a year in which he won the Champions League with his club Real Madrid and the Euro 2016 with Portugal.

Argentine Messi was second in the vote and Frenchman Antoine Griezmann third.

I’m very happy and I can say that 2016 was the best year of my career”, said Ronaldo as he was presented the award by FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Messi missed the ceremony along with all other Barcelona players who had been invited.

“With the aim of prioritising preparations for Wednesday’s game against Athletic Club, FC Barcelona have decided that the players recognised in the awards will not be travelling to Switzerland for the ceremony,” said the club in a statement.

Ronaldo also won the France Football’s Ballon d’Or, the other major international award for the sport, last month.

Ronaldo also won the old FIFA award once in 2008 and also in 2013 and 2014 when it was organised jointly with France Football magazine.

NAN also reports that Italian Claudio Ranieri won the Coach of the year award for leading outsiders Leicester City to the English Premier League title.

The FIFA Best Female Player Award went to World Cup winner and two-time Olympic winner Carli Lloyd, while the FIFA Puskas Award went to Mohd Faiz Subri, forward, Penang in the 2016 Malaysia Super League.

The FIFA Best Women’s Coach Award went to Silvia Neid, who retired after leading Germany to a first Olympic title in Rio.

Radamel Falcao was honoured with FIFA award for outstanding career, while the FIFA fan Award went to Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund fans.

NAN recalls that the two fans captured the hearts of many while singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as one before last season’s Europa League quarter-final at a sell-out Anfield.

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SPORTS

Guardiola reacts as Haaland fumes over not scoring hat-trick against West Ham

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Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said Erling Haaland’s anger at not scoring a hat-trick against West Ham, reminded him of Lionel Messi.

Haaland grabbed both goals as the Premier League champions began defence of their title with a 2-0 win at the London Stadium.

The Norway striker converted a first-half penalty, before running onto Kevin De Bruyne’s pass to complete a brace on his City debut.

In a post-match interview, Haaland said it was “a bit s***’” that he was unable to score one more, before being substituted in the closing stages.”

But Guardiola said the player’s reaction was what he would expect from a top player.

“I was fortunate to be with [Lionel] Messi.

“When he scores two, he wants three, when he scores three, he wants four. All the top players are the same.

“They are never satisfied, always hungry, starving for goals, and want more, but at same time, I have to use other players,” Guardiola said.

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Ten Hag to sign two strikers after 2-1 defeat to Brighton

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Manchester United have opened talks to sign Benjamin Sesko and Marko Arnautovic, ESPN reports.

United have contacted Bologna about Arnautovic, who has previously played in the Premier League for Stoke and West Ham.

United manager, Erik ten Hag, has pressed the club to sign an experienced forward who would be content with a back up role off the bench.

Arnautovic is 33 years old and Ten Hag is a fan of the player after working together at FC Twente.

The move for Arnautovic is considered separate from that of Sesko.

Chelsea are also interested in the 19-year-old, although Salzburg would rather keep him until next summer.

Ten Hag was asked after the 2-1 defeat against Brighton on Sunday about the need for new players.

The Dutchman replied: “I don’t go into names and I think in this preseason, 250 players are involved or linked with Man United, so that’s it.

“We have two strikers [Ronaldo and Martial], maybe a third one, [Marcus] Rashford.

“We considered him as a striker, but he had a really good season on the left side and he had two really good chances but the typical nine wasn’t available today.”

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Tobi Amusan wins 100m hurdles gold

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Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan has won the gold medal in the women’s 100m hurdles at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The world champion successfully defended her title at the Alexander stadium on Sunday.

This is coming days after she won gold and bagged the world record at the World Athletics Championships in the US.

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