Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo was named the Italian league’s player of the year at an awards ceremony in Milan on Monday night.
Ronaldo was at the Gran Gala del Calcio in Milan to collect his prize, instead of attending the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris where he was third in the voting for best player in the world which Messi won.
According to reports, the Portugal international turned up about an hour before the main award was announced, arriving more than two hours after the other guests, and waited outside in the car until the moment came for him to go on stage to pick up the prize for his place in the team of the season.
“It’s an honor to hold this award,” Ronaldo said in Italian. “I thank my Juventus teammates.
“I’m very happy to play in Italy, it’s a very difficult league. Thanks to everyone for having voted for me. I want to do as well this year, too.”
Ronaldo also took to Instagram hours ago to thank everyone that voted for him, adding that switching to the Italian league from La liga has been difficult but he’s happy and wants to be better.
The Portugal international scored 26 goals in his debut season in Italy and helped Juventus towards another domestic title. In the league, he scored 21 times in 31 appearances, finishing fourth in the top-scoring charts, with veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella of Sampdoria collecting the golden boot award.
A jury comprising of fellow Serie A players, coaches, referees, journalists, and current and former technical commissioners all agreed that Ronaldo was the league’s best last season.
Juventus’ quest to win the league yet again isn’t going well however, with Inter Milan currently a point above them at the summit of the table.
Ronaldo has managed six goals in his 11 Serie A appearances this term and will be expected to help his side secure another league title.
Mourinho issues strong warning to Tottenham players ahead of Bayern tie
Tottenham Hotspur manager, Jose Mourinho, has “forbidden” his players, from watching their Bayern Munich horror show.
The Bundesliga champions thrashed Tottenham 7-2 at White Hart Lane in October.
Both sides meet again in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Mourinho choosing to rest Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Serge Aurier and Jan Vertonghen.
However, the Portuguese does not want any of his players to be battle scarred, before tackling the big-scoring Germans at the Allianz Arena.
“7-2? I forbid any image about it. I watch it a couple of times with my staff and the analysts, try to go through every detail but not one single image for the boys not at all.
“We are going to focus on us, more than Bayern, to develop our model of play with different faces and diff bodies but there is a certain way we try to develop and we are totally focused on us and less on Bayern,” Mourinho told a press conference on Tuesday.
Barcelona’s Ansu Fati sets new Champions League goalscoring record
Barcelona forward, Ansu Fati, on Tuesday became the youngest player to score in the Champions League, when he netted the winner against Inter Milan on Tuesday.
Fati came off the bench at the San Siro, to score in the 87th minute to seal a 2-1 victory.
Aged 17 years, 40 days, the goal sees Fati take the record from Peter Ofori-Quaye, who was 17 years, 194 days old, when he scored his first Champions League goal for Olympiacos in 1997.
“I’ve just been told [I have broken the record]. I am super happy with the goal and with the win,” Fati told reporters after the match.
“It’s a dream. Everything seems to be happening so quickly. It’s just about enjoying myself and learning from the best. Every time I get a chance, I will try to take it, either by scoring goals or by working hard.”
Describing the goal, Fati said: “I gave the ball to Suarez, and he gave it back to me. And when I scored, I was surprised because the whole stadium was silent. I was thinking: ‘What have I just done?’ But I am really happy.”
Pinnick reveals England-based player that will improve Super Eagles squad
The President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has said he will not relent in his efforts, to get Queens Park Rangers’ Ebere Eze to play for Nigeria.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Pinnick noted that the England U-21 player will improve the Super Eagles squad.
Eze was born in England to Nigerian parents but played twice for the Three Lions at Under-21 level in November.
But Pinnick wants Eze to switch allegiances to boost Nigeria’s midfield, ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
“We need to make a solid representation at Qatar 2022 and it starts with improving on your squad with quality players like Eze.
“Can you imagine a midfield with Ndidi, Aribo, Etebo and Eze? it is one that will improve our squad.
“I had a positive meeting with Ebere Eze in London and I spoke to his parents as well,” said Pinnick.
“He requested for the chance to continue to focus on his club career which is going well so far, and that further progress will be made in due course.
“But I am confidently hopeful that he will play for Nigeria soon,” he said.
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