Ex-Liverpool keeper Adam Bogdan explains AIK trialsby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool goalkeeper Adam Bogdan is trialling with AIK.The Hungary international, 32, has been a free agent since leaving the Reds last summer.He told Sportbladet: “Of course, it’s very interesting. This is a huge club. I have done my research and really understand how big it is,.”A club that is top class and one of the biggest teams in Sweden. People all over Europe know about AIK and they have played a part in Europe in recent years. “So I’m going to train here for a week. Then we’ll see. What do I have and what does AIK have for me?” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Twitter Advertisement Facebook HALIFAX – DHX Media (or the “Company”) (TSX: DHX, NASDAQ: DHXM), a global children’s content and brands company, has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Halifax animation studio. The sale is part of the Company’s ongoing strategic shift to focus and streamline its production operations.“The sale will generate operating efficiencies by consolidating animation production, and aligns with our objectives of rationalizing costs, simplifying our organization and focusing resources,” said Michael Donovan, CEO and Executive Chairman, DHX Media.DHX Media is headquartered in Halifax. The sale does not include This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which continues to be owned by DHX Media and produced in Halifax. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The sale is expected to close on or about December 31, 2018, and is subject to customary closing conditions, applicable third party consents and the execution of certain ancillary agreements.About DHX MediaDHX Media Ltd. (TSX: DHX, NASDAQ: DHXM) is a global children’s content and brands company, recognized for such high-profile properties as Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, Inspector Gadget, and the acclaimed Degrassi franchise. One of the world’s foremost producers of children’s shows, DHX Media owns the world’s largest independent library of children’s content, at 13,000 half-hours. It licenses its content to broadcasters and streaming services worldwide and generates royalties through its global consumer products program. Through its subsidiary, WildBrain, DHX Media operates one of the largest networks of children’s channels on YouTube. Headquartered in Canada, DHX Media has offices worldwide. Visit us at www.dhxmedia.com. Advertisement
In an update to their FB page, the CCCR share, Minister Donaldson confirms section 11 will not be signed until the partnership agreement is signed.The CCCR follows with, ‘we must participate when consultations begin.’To view CCCR’s FB Page; CLICK HERE VICTORIA, B.C. – Executive directors from the region have travelled to Victoria today in regards to an update on the caribou recovery plans.The group, Concerned Citizens for Caribou Recovery (CCCR), posted to their FB Page, Executive Directors from Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Chetwynd are in Victoria today for a meeting with Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development.The FB post goes on to share the meeting is in regards to update on the Caribou recovery plans and the potential impacts to not only our region but the entire province.
Over time, athletes get stronger and faster, come from a broader talent pool, are better trained, and benefit from ever-growing institutional knowledge of their chosen art. This is most readily apparent with such individual skills as swimming, running and jumping — or kicking a football.One of the biggest stories of the 2016 NFL wild-card round is how the Minnesota Vikings almost toppled the two-time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, only to see their hopes dashed when kicker Blair Walsh shanked an easy 27-yard field-goal attempt that would have given the Vikings the lead with 22 seconds left in the game. The aftermath was dramatic, and once again, the NFL kicking game was thrust into the spotlight for pretty much the only reason it ever is: A kicker screwed up. Perhaps lost in the hubbub is that this was the only field goal missed all weekend.1Kickers made 24 of 26 attempts, including extra points (which are no longer gimmes). Such is the plight of the NFL kicker: They do their jobs remarkably well week in and week out, but get attention for it only when something goes horribly wrong.But not at FiveThirtyEight! We will acknowledge greatness in its many forms.Last year around this time, we published “Kickers Are Forever,” my ode to NFL kickers and the eerily steady progress they have made over the past 80-plus years. In that article, I showed how the kicking improvement has been reliable and has changed things like the fourth-down math. In the offseason, the NFL decided to make kickers’ jobs harder by moving the extra point back from the 2-yard line to the 15-yard line.Predictably, this led to some missed extra points. This combined with a down week or two early in the season, and the notion started to emerge that kickers were having a bad year, sucking in some prominent commentators. We debunked the idea of a “Kick-pocalypse” at the time, but given my interest in everything kickers, I’ve once again taken a dive into the numbers to see if the kicking train has actually been in reverse, or stopped, or even slowed.Spoiler: It has not. Indeed, not only was field-goal kicking in the 2015 regular season almost exactly as good as we said it would be, but kickers were the best they’ve ever been at kicking off and punting — with dramatic effects on the game.2These are not as athletically “pure” as field-goal attempts — meaning the results of a kickoff or punt will also depend on a number of factors not in the kicker’s control (such as special teams units). One thing that I mentioned in my previous article is that — with no natural offset like defense to offense — the improvement in kicking has played a central role in the offensive increase we’ve seen over the past decades. However, it seems like the natural offsets are actually kickoffs and punts, which have somewhat counterbalanced the improvement in kickoffs by giving offenses longer fields. I’ve also identified the best players at the different aspects of the kicking game, and I have some awards to hand out to the best of the best.Field-goal kickers have improved almost exactly as predictedYes, field-goal kickers missed 71 extra points this season, after missing only eight last season. This 94.2 percent is the lowest since 1979. No, this is in no way bad or unexpected. Historically, it is quite high for 33-yard attempts — though for kicking, “historical” is not always a good frame for comparison. So to be clear, it is perfectly in line with projections for 2015 kickers.Kickers also made 84.5 percent of their non-extra-point kick attempts — essentially tied for the second-best all time.3This season finishes a hair behind 2008, when kickers made 84.5 percent exactly; in 2015 they made 84.4985 percent — about 1/100th of a single made kick behind. This, despite the fact that they attempted longer kicks than ever. Here’s a plot of field-goal percentage vs. attempt distance over the past 14 seasons: By this metric, kickers had their second-best season of all time (trailing only their miraculous 2013 campaign) and were within a fraction of a percentage point of their projections — well within the margin of error.Using our field goal expected value model, we can see what kickers scored the most and fewest points relative to expectation. I’ve included the results for all players below. Our champion for 2015 was the New England Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski, who ran 12.2 points above expectation by making 33 of 36 field-goal tries (for 9.2 points above expectation) and all 52 extra points (for 3.0 points above expectation). Under the new rules this year, 30 NFL kickers missed extra points; Gostkowski still hasn’t missed one since 2006 — his rookie season.The worst kicker was Tampa Bay rookie Kyle Brindza, who missed six of 12 field-goal attempts and two of eight extra points before being cut in October. He ran 12.0 points below expectation on just 20 kicks overall.Touchbacks are the new blackAnother area where kickers can provide significant value, and where we also see creepily constant improvement, is in kickoffs. Of course, kickoff results depend somewhat on special teams kick coverage (though hang time and location matter as well), but one mostly objective metric we can track is frequency of touchbacks (note that the large shift from 2010 to 2011 is a result of the NFL moving the kickoff spot up to the 35): In a big surprise to me — and a big loss for those of us who despise the punting game — punters and kickers seem to affect the game similarly. They each claim five of the 10 players with the highest value added this season,9Gay has been both a punter and kicker (and is identified as both by Pro-Football-Reference.com) but handles only kickoffs in the NFL. with punters taking four of the top five spots. Although most coaches are probably costing their teams points by punting too much instead of going for it, the ones with better punters are costing their teams less.That doesn’t mean punters have quite caught up to their place-kicking counterparts, at least at the very top. Johnny Hekker — the league’s most valuable punter, as well as a guy who admits he’s more comfortable with his Pokémon deck than he is tackling people — falls 3.3 points short of Gostkowski as the most valuable overall. Therefore Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots is our 2015 NFL Football Player10Who actually uses his feet. of the Year.Finally, here, for your perusal, is a sortable table of value added by all punters and kickers this season: The average attempt distance has seen a steady increase, which might logically result in a decrease in efficiency, but the continued improvement of kickers has outpaced the increase in distance.This includes them making 65 percent of their kicks from 50+ yards — second only to the 2013 kickers — despite taking a record 160 such attempts. Here’s how they performed over each distance category:The 2015 kickers struggled a little bit from middle distances of 40 to 50 yards. And by “struggled,” I mean they had top-five all-time seasons but didn’t set records.From 55 to 59 yards, they made 13 of 19 attempts, or 68 percent — the best rate of all time for that range. In the four seasons from 2002 through 2005 (the first four years of the data shown above) they made 13 of 42 such attempts, or 31 percent.To better compare seasons, I’ve created an adjusted field-goal percentage that accounts for the distances of each kick and gives us that season’s expected make percentage for a baseline kick from the 30-yard line (about a 48-yard attempt):4The average kick is much shorter than that, but that’s about the sweet spot for a distance with lots of attempts where performance over time varies the most. It’s also a spot that requires both distance and accuracy and is around the area of the field where kicker improvement has the biggest impact on fourth-down decisions. The differences here are pretty depressingly drastic for punt haters. In the 2002 and 2003 seasons, the average punt from 60 to 90 yards out (the part of the field where end zone locations don’t come into play) netted 37.3 yards, while in the 2014 and 2015 seasons those punts netted an average of 42.7 yards. That’s a 5-plus-yard difference on every punt!So perhaps punt coverage has gotten worse? Nope. If you look at raw punt distance, punts have gotten 4.7 yards longer on average (47.8 vs. 43.1). Although 2015 punters set records at virtually every distance, the absolute margins are smaller when you get closer to the goal. For kicks 30 to 60 yards from the end zone, the gain has been 2.4 yards — but those yards may mean more if they help trap an opponent in dangerous territory. (The value of a single yard only really spikes at both end zones and the outer reaches of field-goal range.)Note that I have not fully modeled punting improvement’s impact on fourth-down decisions as I have with kicking8Mostly because it’s more complicated. When you’re at the 40, the difference between 30 net yards and 32 net yards is greater because trapping an opponent close to its goal line is valuable (which, of course, is yet another reason why kicking a field goal and fourth and goal at the 1 is one of the worst plays in sports). Expected points models may help clear this up, but in some ways using the current models begs the question, since these models make assumptions about punting. — yet — but it’s bound to be significant. Factoring in 10 years of kicking improvement was enough to swing many borderline fourth-down decisions in favor of kicking. Of the 40 situations I looked at, 11 had differences of less than two-tenths of a point — which is probably about the amount that midfield punts have improved. If a fourth-down model doesn’t adequately account for these highly predictable improvements, it could be getting many “go or no” calls wrong.The punting expectation curve is relatively easy to model with a polynomial linear regression, which means we can find the expected distance of each punt and then compare a punter’s results with that expectation.The punter of the year isn’t even a close call. The 6-foot-5, 236-pound Johnny Hekker of the St. Louis Rams led the league with a 47.9-yard average punt and netted his team 271 yards relative to expectation in the process.On the other end of the spectrum, the Jets’ Ryan Quigley averaged 43.8 yards per kick and lost his team 297 yards relative to expectation.Football player of the year (who actually uses feet)If we convert those punting yards into points as we did with kickoffs above, we can get down to business and calculate each kicker’s complete value added from kicks.Note that some punters also kick off and some kickers kick off, but there are (presently) no kickers who also punt. So for this chart I’ve plotted value gained from kickoffs vs. value gained from punting and kicking combined. Bubble sizes correspond to the total value the player added or cost his team, in expected points: The rate of touchbacks has been increasing pretty steadily, both before and after the rule change, reaching an all-time high of 57.4 percent in 2015 (not counting onside kick attempts). The average starting field position has clearly flattened, as we would expect, though 2015 still set a record: The average opponent starting position was 21.7 yards from the team’s own end zone, beating last season’s previous best of 22.0.Still, those couple of yards here and there on kickoffs add up. For example, the Colts��� Pat McAfee (aka “The Boomstick”) had touchbacks on 67 of 74 (non-onside kick) kickoffs (91 percent). That’s close to 25 more touchbacks than we would expect from an average kicker. As a rule of thumb, a typical touchback is worth about 4 yards,5This season, the average non-touchback return came out to the 24-yard line. meaning McAfee’s touchbacks alone were likely worth in the neighborhood of 100 yards, or the equivalent of 6 to 8 points over the season. That may not sound like much, but any player (especially a non-QB) who can get his team half a point or so above average per game is doing great.To get a clearer picture of which kickers are most valuable, we can compare each kickoff to league expectation to find total yards saved and then convert those yards saved to point equivalents.6Using a rough conversion of 15 yards per point. (The full results are in the table below.) If you combine kickoff value with field-goal value, Gostkowski’s lead as place-kicking champion widens: Add in the 11.6 points the Patriots earned on kickoffs (not counting onside attempts, which would help Gostkowski even more as the Patriots recovered both of their attempts this season), and Gostkowski earned 23.8 points for them above expectation. Second place is Buffalo kickoff specialist Jordan Gay with 10.8 points above expectation (all from kickoffs).Don’t look now, but punters are also changing the gameFinally, let’s turn to the most reviled of all football plays: the punt. Why teams voluntarily give up possession all the time instead of fighting tooth and nail to keep the ball — particularly with good field position — is an ongoing mystery. But they are getting better at it. Indeed, in recent years, the improvement in punting is perhaps even more marked and consistent than it has been with kicking.7Unlike with field-goal kicking, this rate of improvement seems to be more recent. The average yards per punt appears to have hovered around 40 from the ’50s through the ’80s. Source: ESPNCORRECTION (Jan. 13, 7 p.m.): The original version of this post contained several points that were based on a critical calculation error discovered by a reader, Jason Hahn. In determining the best kickers of 2015, we attempted to exclude onside kicks, but because of an error in how we filtered our data, onside kick recoveries by the kicking team were treated as a touchdown instead of being ignored. After a recalculation, Stephen Gostkowski of the Patriots becomes the most valuable kicker, not Johnny Hekker of the Rams, who moves to second place. In earning kickoff points above expectation, Jordan Gay of the Bills takes second place, not Mike Nugent of the Bengals. The touchbacks kicked by Pat McAfee of the Colts were worth 6 to 8 points over the season, not 8 to 10 points. The rate of all touchbacks reached a high of 57.4 percent in 2015, not 56 percent. The Patriots earned 11.6 points on kickoffs, not 7.7 points. These and other smaller errors have been corrected in the text of the article and in the charts and tables.
Last Sunday, the Ohio State field hockey team won its Big Ten opener at home against Indiana. A last-minute goal propelled the Buckeyes to a thrilling 3-2 victory. This season, the team is led by an experienced defense, allowing just 1.3 goals per game. Senior goalkeeper Lindsay Quintiliani, who was elected team captain, anchors the defense. Quintiliani is a four-year starter in the program and owner of 13 career shutouts, including three in the last four games.Quintiliani began playing field hockey after being encouraged by her friends in 7th grade. Within her first month of playing she settled on being goalie. Ten years later, she’s still in the net and is just two victories short of becoming the all-time leader in OSU history.“I obviously want to win more than two more games this season,” Quintiliani said. “I don’t really like to think about [the record]. It’s not something I want to think about during a game.”What Quintiliani is thinking about this season is winning another Big Ten title. That goal is shared by the entire team and has been since the end of last season, when the Buckeyes suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to Iowa, Quintiliani said.The Bucks can move a step closer to winning the conference this Friday when they play a pivotal game against Penn State in Happy Valley, Pa. A victory would be a big step toward winning the Big Ten and would extend the Buckeyes’ current six-game win streak.The last time the field hockey team won the Big Ten was in 2006, when Quintiliani was a true freshman. She lists winning the conference as the most exciting moment in her career but says because she was just a freshman, she didn’t enjoy being conference champs as much as she should have. That drives her even more to win another Big Ten title, she said.That season, Quintiliani stepped in and started all 19 games for the Buckeyes and posted five shut outs. “That year, I drew confidence from my coach and teammates,” she said. She added that she received encouraging e-mail after a tough loss that kept her going. Quintiliani has since displayed no shortage of confidence in her career at OSU.With a Big Ten championship already to her credit, along with four career Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors, including two this season, and two major OSU records (shutouts and victories) within reach, Quintiliani is poised to finish her career strong.When the star goalkeeper isn’t shutting out opponents on the field, she’s racking up awards for her outstanding work in the classroom. She has been selected as an NFHCA National Academic Squad member three times and is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete. She’s also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and the recipient of the team’s Harriet Reynolds Scholar-Athlete Award.Quintiliani is studying speech and hearing at OSU and is currently applying for graduate school to pursue a career in speech pathology.
Saturday’s annual spring kick scrimmage at Ohio Stadium is supposed to be the time when Buckeye special team players can earn a starting position for next year. After a full morning of kicking and punting, there are still plenty of question marks regarding who will start for Ohio State. The field goal kicking competition featured senior Devin Barclay, sophomore Ben Buchanan and freshman Drew Basil. Barclay and Buchanan demonstrated almost identical skills, with Barclay hitting eight of 15 field goal attempts and Buchanan succeeding on eight of 14 attempts. Basil only hit one of his four attempts. The Gray team, which included Buchanan, defeated the Scarlet team in the scrimmage 27-24. Buchanan’s last field goal proved to be the game-winner, as his 39-yard effort sailed through the uprights. Basil had a chance to tie the game, but missed wide left from the same distance. “Spring ball is the time we work on these [close game] situations, so when you’re in front of 105,000 people, we know we have done this before,” Buchanan said. The irony of this statement hits home for the Buckeyes because the kick scrimmage shared an eerie resemblance to the last Big Ten game of the season against Iowa. Ohio State won 27-24 in overtime on a 39-yard field goal by Barclay. Barclay, who received most of the kicking duties when Aaron Pettrey went down with an injury last season, was the front-runner coming into 2010. But, his performance on Saturday did not leave him satisfied. “Up until this day I have only missed two kicks in spring ball,” Barclay said. “So today was frustrating.” Barclay and Buchanan both struggled from beyond 40 yards as they hit one of seven field goals and two of six field goals respectively. Barclay’s advantage in securing the starting job seems to be his in-game experience. Though Barclay’s number has been called in the past, he understands Buchanan is not to be overlooked. “I like the competition,” Barclay said. “You don’t want to be complacent because you want someone to push you, but you also want to know that everything you have done in the past is appreciated and valued.” Though Buchanan believes he has put himself in contention for the starting kicker position, it seems he will edge out sophomore Derek Erwin as the likely replacement for last year’s punter, Jon Thoma. After hitting only a 34-yard and 35-yard punt early in the scrimmage, he was able to bounce back and hit two punts of 55 yards or longer from his own end zone. “I have to be honest, my nerves were getting to me a bit in the beginning, but I think that’s what comes with being a kicker,” Buchanan said. “Kicking is all about being cool under pressure and I was glad I was able to come back.” Basil, who enrolled at Ohio State this Spring quarter, was the only player to kick off. He proved to have the most powerful leg of all of the special team players. His role for the Buckeyes next season is still uncertain. Many spots on this Ohio State team are still up for grabs. Players are constantly competing to move up the depth chart. They will have a chance to prove themselves on a bigger stage for the Ohio State spring game on April 24.
Ohio State freshman Andre Jeff crosses the finish line in 4×400-meter relay to seal the 2018 men’s track and field Big Ten championship in Geneva, Ohio on Feb. 24. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern reporterOhio State will switch roles from guest to host at the Jesse Owens Classic this weekend in Columbus. The meet made is up of Division I, Division II and Division III programs, along with some professional athletes. It also is Ohio State’s only outdoor home meet.“I think it’s going to be a really fun meet, it’s my last time competing in front of the home crowd,” senior Chantel Ray said. “I’m just going to go out and have fun,”Ohio State is coming off its toughest meet of the season, the Tennessee Relays. The Buckeyes did make a lasting impression, especially with their younger talent. A pair of freshmen stood out in last week’s highly competitive meet: Eric Harrison Jr. and Andre Jeff.Harrison, who has the fastest 100-meter time on the team at 10.28 seconds and is currently qualified for the NCAA Regional meet, finished second in the 200-meter dash and was on the 4×100-meter relay team that placed second.Jeff, who has the fastest 400-meter time on the team and also is currently qualified for the NCAA Regional meet, placed second in the 400-meter dash and was on the winning sprint-medley team. “The future looks bright,” coach Joel Brown said. Men’s previewSaturday, in particular, looks bright for both Harrison and Jeff because they held their weight in last week’s meet that included track-and-field stars Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman. This week’s meet does not have nearly have the same strength of competition. In the 100-meter dash this weekend, Harrison will have his fastest competition coming from other Buckeyes. Ohio State’s 4×100-meter relay members are all in the first heat, the fastest heat. This week’s 4×100-meter relay team contains senior Duan Asemota, junior Nick Gray, senior Zack Bazile and Harrison. This specific lineup has set the fifth-fastest time in the country. “It will be a pretty stout team,” Brown said. Gray is set to run in the 4×100-meter relay, 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. However, that may change depending on his health. In the 110-meter hurdles, junior Dauan Seward is set to go up against an All-American, Youngstown State’s Chad Zallow. Seward also is set to compete in triple-jump, and he will enter with the best performance in the field by 0.6 meters.Women’s previewRay last week had the toughest completion out of all of the athletes. She ran against Kendra Harrison, the world-record holder in the 100-meter hurdles. This week, she will be the favorite. She will be going up against Wright State’s Cassandra Lloyd, who has a faster personal record, but hasn’t competed since June. No matter who has been on the starting blocks next to her, Ray has the mindset to stay in her lane. “I don’t worry about my time or anybody else’s time. I just run my race,” Ray said. Ray also is set to compete in the 4×100-meter relay, a challenge Brown wants Ray to face. “You have to sprint. You can’t just do hurdles,” Brown said. Throughout the season they have worked on her technical efficiency in the hurdles along with her sprint speed. This week she has been focused on minor improvements on her form in getting over the hurdles and her speed between hurdles.“Usually I back off and people start pulling away from me,” Ray said. Ohio State’s shot put will be going up against a very familiar face in junior Sade Olatoye, a Buckeye who will throw unattached. Olatoye was the Big Ten Indoor Champion for Ohio State in shot put this past indoor season. Other notesThe seniors won’t be honored at the meet, but were honored at a private banquet Thursday night.This season Ohio State has traveled more than 5,000 miles for meets. This home meet gives Ohio State a rest from travel, and it allows the Buckeyes to stay in Columbus the weekend before finals.
According to reports in England, Toby Alderweireld is set to be targeted by Paris Saint-Germain with the club willing to pay for his £10m a year demandsThe defender looks increasingly likely to leave Tottenham in the summer after failing to agree on new terms for a new deal. Alderweireld has been demanding a new five year deal with a wage of around £200,000 per week, which is something that club chairman Daniel Levy is unwilling to match due to the Belgium international now being 29 years old.Now the Daily Mail has reported that PSG, among with Manchester United, are interested in securing Alderweireld’s services for the start of next season with the Ligue 1 leaders prepared to meet his demands in a bid to convince him to come to the Parc Des Princes.Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has told Alderweireld that he is free to leave the club at the end of the season with Levy now in charge of the matter.Neymar can win the Ballon d’Or, says Ander Herrera Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 An “excited” Ander Herrera believes new Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar is a contender for the Ballon d’Or alongside Kylian Mbappe.After suffering a hamstring injury against Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages, back in November, Alderweireld has struggled to regain his place in the starting 11 with an ongoing set of fitness and injury issues having hampered his progress.Belgium coach Roberto Martinez warned Alderweireld, last week, that he must start getting regular game time at Spurs again, if he is to make the final squad for the World Cup.
The Barcelona defender has lately been pushing for a pay rise but with no success, which has led to many speculations for his future in the Catalan club.There have been many rumours that due to his dissatisfaction with his paycheck at Barcelona, Umtiti is currently looking for a new club to join and get the sought after pay rise. Manchester United have reportedly offered him a nine million euro after tax per season. This has led the defender to believe he could be getting the same salary at his current club.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…According to Sports Witness, ever since Umtiti has inquired about getting more money, he has not given Barca a single reason for this as he has been performing better in attack, than in defence.This could mean Barca are doing Manchester United a favour as Jose Mourinho has been looking for quite a while to upgrade the Red Devils defence and Umtiti might be the right guy for the job.
The Ballon d’Or award is the most highly-coveted individual prize that any footballer can hope to achieve during their playing career and Kylian Mbappe has now selected three men who he believes are worthy of it this yearThe prize was first awarded to Sir Stanley Matthews in 1956 and has seen football greats like Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, Eusebio and Alfredo di Stefano all having claimed the award for themselves during their illustrious playing careers.Both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the Ballon d’Or for the past decade with the last other player to win the award being Kaka in 2007.So will we see a different winner this year?Well, Mbappe told AS that it may be a possibility with the 2018 World Cup winner having interestedly excluded a five-time winner in Messi from his shortlist of three candidates for this year’s Ballon d’Or.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.The Paris Saint-Germain star named the following three as his shortlist for the award this year:Cristiano RonaldoRaphael VaraneLuka ModricThe 19-year-old left out his France teammate Antoine Griezmann, who is believed to be a candidate this year after France’s World Cup triumph, and his PSG teammate Neymar.Mbappe explained that he picked the players who had won their third Champions League title and said: “to fill it out, I would add myself.”