fifa nominates 28 players – choose your top 5!

this is a short post, hopefully with some comments and controversy on who you would pick for fifa player of the year and fifa coach of the year. here is the list of players, with their respective clubs and nationalities, and then the list of the coaches. PICK YOUR TOP FIVE PLAYERS (IN RANKING ORDER) AND YOUR TOP COACH, and justify your choices, if you will! I’ll start right after presenting the list:

Xabi ALONSO (Real Madrid, Spain)

Daniel ALVES (FC Barcelona, Brazil)

Iker CASILLAS (Real Madrid, Spain)

Cristiano RONALDO (Real Madrid, Portugal)

Didier DROGBA (Chelsea FC, Ivory Coast)

Samuel ETO’O (Internazionale, Cameroon)

Cesc FABREGAS (Arsenal FC, Spain)

 

the favorite? diego forlan, atletico madrid and uruguay

Diego FORLÁN (Atletico Madrid, Uruguay)

Asamoah GYAN (Stade Rennes/FC Sunderland, Ghana)

Andrés INIESTA (FC Barcelona, Spain)

Júlio CÉSAR (Internazionale, Brazil)

Miroslav KLOSE (Bayern München, Germany)

Philipp LAHM (Bayern München, Germany)

MAICON (Internazionale, Brazil)

Lionel MESSI (FC Barcelona, Argentina)

Thomas MÜLLER (Bayern München, Germany)

Mesut ÖZIL (Werder Bremen/Real Madrid, Germany)

Carles PUYOL (FC Barcelona, Spain)

Arjen ROBBEN (Bayern München, Netherlands)

Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER (Bayern München, Germany)

Wesley SCHNEIJDER (Internazionale, Netherlands)

David VILLA (Valencia FC/FC Barcelona, Spain)

XAVI (FC Barcelona, Spain)

 

The coaches are: Carlos Ancelotti (Chelsea FC), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain), Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (FC Barcelona), Jogi Löw (Germany), José Mourinho (Internazionale/Real Madrid), Oscar Tabárez (Uruguay), Louis Van Gaal (Bayern München), Bert Van Marwijk (Netherlands), Arsène Wenger (Arsenal FC)

 

My Top 5 would be:

5- Bastian Schweinsteiger  – best performance by a single player in the World Cup (against Argentina), decisive in Bayern’s very successful year, and the boss in an impressive German World Cup team.

4- Andrés Iniesta – when he was injured, Barcelona got kicked out of the Champions League. But he came back to have a good World Cup with the decisive title winning goal at the end of it, to crown a spectacular career since he was a teen.

3- Arjen Robben – an MVP for Bayern and their great success in Champions League, Bundesliga and Cup, with lots of goals, assists and beautiful moments.

2- Lionel Messi – is still the best player in the world, and showed it quite a few times this year, including some really good World Cup performances.

1- Wesley Sneijder – decisive for Inter in the Champions League and for the Netherlands to reach the final. Lots of assists and goals in important matches.

I think FIFA might pick Diego Forlan, who had a great World Cup and scored both decisive goals in the Europa League final. And he would make a good choice, but I still wouldn’t have him in my top 5, because of the quality of my picks. Even a Xavi or a Cristiano Ronaldo are tough to keep out of the Top 5, even though the latter hasn’t had too much success with his teams, only personal success.

Coach: Jogi Löw – Mourinho will probably win, and he’s had great success with Inter. But Jogi Löw revolutionized the way  great football nation like Germany plays the game, and he did it in style, beating England and Argentina convincingly. The football played by his team was the most beautiful of the year.

Waiting for your Top 5 and Top Coach.

 

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game over for vettel!

it seemed to be too good to be true. perfect weekend for vettel, and then his title contender number one, mark webber, made a mistake and was out the rainy race very soon. vettel was going to be the leader of the championship, for the first time.

 

no points for these cars... and now vettel will have to help webber...

but now he’s out. he’s out of the title race. the motor blew up, and seb’s title hopes our history. because with two races to go, he will have to help mark webber, still in second position in the title race. lewis hamilton is the third official contender for the title, back in the race. but actually the title will be decided between webber and fernando alonso, who is the official favorite for his third title, a first for ferrari – that would be quite a feat, since his car is not the best in he field.

that is still the red bull racing car. so webber still has a chance, even more so since, if he manages to be directly behind vettel, the german will now have to let him pass for the championship. vettel’s only remote chance is bad luck again, for alonso and webber. which isn’t completely impossible, if you look at his bad luck today.

 

alonso stayed on the track and won the race, leading the pack with 11 points on webber and 21 on hamilton...

so, new situation after a medium race (quite spectacular at times): fernando alonso leads the title race, mark webber is the enemy – and lewis hamilton has to hope or luck to become champ for the second time. vettel is practically out, button is de facto out.

Published in: on October 24, 2010 at 09:54  Leave a Comment  

total defeat for mclaren in suzuka!

 

 

title race over for lewis and jenson?

 

there were times when mclaren was top in the most famous japanese circuit. ayrton senna times in the late 80s, even mika hakkinen times in the late 90s. but this race was maybe the worst possible for the traditional british team, because they might have lost all championship hopes in both competitions.

lewis hamilton didn’t even have a bad weekend, performance wise. he surprised all with a great third place on the grid, but because of a gearbox change, he started from 8th. but he still managed to move up o 5th place very early in the race, and at times was the fastest man on the track – until his 3rd gear broke away, and he even had to concede a place to current world champion jenson button.

button himself had quite a good qualifying performance, seeing that he marked the 6th best time with the the harder tyres. but even then, he could’ve managed an even faster performance sunday morning in japan; in the afternoon, his team and he were to blame for not using the different strategy to their advantage. button simpy stayed out for too long and lost his spot in front of hamilton – just to gain it back after his team mate started struggling.

 

 

one of these three should be the world champion, and they finished on the podium today.

 

so now we have three races to go: the brand new and unknown circuit in korea (alonso might do well there), the brazilian gp (here massa, who had a most dreadful sunday, by his own fault, will be able to help the spaniard) and finally abu dhabi, where red bull should be the fastest car. lewis hamilton and jenson button are almost certainly out of the race, and together, they practically lost the team world championship to red bull, today.

after all, it was a perfect day for red bull. first row in the qualifying session in the morning, 1-2 finish in the afternoon race. vettel is happy because he is only the third driver to win back-to-back suzuka races (hakkinen and schumacher being the others) and because he is now third, 14 points behind the championship lead. and webber was satisfied with 2nd place, since he once again opened up a few points in his lead. he would wish the season to be over sooner than later.

so it is fernando alonso in the ferrari who could ruin a red bull perfect season, just like raikkonen (also ferrari) ruined the alonso/hamilton domination in 2007. one might ask the question why red bull is not favoring mark webber, since he has been in the lead for a few races now. his lead towards alonso would be at 24 points on not 14, and his chances for the title would be very much increased if he had sebastian vettel to help him. the only problem is that vettel is generally faster and therefore not fit to help, since he could also be guaranteed world champion if he won the three remaining races.

 

 

"japanese" vettel wins in suzuka again - only the thrid to repeat a suzuka victory, in history!

 

the good news for red bull, in that respect, is that they didn’t collide today. after all, without the collision in turkey earlier in the season, vettel would lead the season at 231 points, and webber would have 215 (alonso 204). we can all hope for an exciting race in korea, where no-one really knows what to expect from the track.

and if kobayashi has another one of these drivers, spectacular it shall be! what a driver, no tactics, just speed and passion and guts. he passed more times than the rest of the grid together!

Published in: on October 10, 2010 at 09:36  Leave a Comment  
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vettel: now or never in suzuka!

no big surprise this morning. sebastian vettel was the fastest this morning. ferrari was better than mclaren, and renault surprised with some good pace. friday trainings never say too much, mostly fernando alonso can do much better on saturday than on friday.

 

 

alonso on the way to his third title?

 

but that doesn’t hide the fact that red bull are the big favorites, and last year’s winner sebastian vettel has the chance to either stay in the title race, or say goodbye for good. he basically has to win this race, since he should be the fastest on this fascinating japonese circuit. it’s perfect for the car, born to be fast in fast turns. and it’s perfect for vettel, who is more talented than championship leader mark webber. the australian has stated that, even increasing his lead in the overall standings last race, he still doesn’t consider himself to be a favorite. and actually, most people are looking to fernando alonso as the front runner, where a few weeks ago lewis hamilton seemed to be the best bet.

 

 

it's crunch time for vettel - he has to win on sunday!

 

seeing that the rain will intefere in qualifying and possibly in the race itself, it would seem that sebastian vettel would not benefit from it. his car is the best, and he will be hoping for as much dry weather as possible. and in wet, it’s easier to make mistakes – something that him and lewis hamilton have done quite a lot this season. it’s no coincidence that these two, maybe the most talented drivers alongside alonso, are also the youngest in contention. and it’s no coincidence that mark webber, the most constant one (and maybe less talented) is the oldest, and the championship leader. although he did show quality in singapore and is deserving the top spot.

one thing is sure: it will be an extremely exciting race on sunday morning, and a win in suzuka rain could give a great confidence boost to the winner. for me, the winner of this race will take the title; and i hope it’s vettel, in the rain, driving away all the criticism and lack of confidence that even the german fans have in relation to the championship hopes.

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 17:09  Leave a Comment  
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exciting home victory for europe in the ryder cup!

mcdowall and mahan. it all came down to them. young american fowler had finished an incredible comeback in the 18th hole, halving a seemingly lost matchup against one of the molinaro brothers to give his team mate mahan the chance to win it for the usa. or, in this case, to tie it up. a 14×14 tie means the holders keep the trophy, those are the ancient ryder cup rules.

martin kaymer was one of the rookies. the us open winner won 2,5 points for europe!

but mahan was not up to it, and mcdowall was. europe wins with the slightest of margins, 14.5 x 13.5; this is their 9th win in the last 13 editions, which is a surprising feat, since generally europe is considered to be the underdog, if you only go by world rankings. tiger woods, phil mickelson – they were all there. but they couldn’t do enough to beat europe and to retain a title for the first time since 1993, in this bi-annual event.

up to 1977, the ryder cup (first played as soon as 1927) was a competition between americans and brits. due to the second world war, only four editions were cancelled; every odd year besides those years have been ryder cup years in the golf calendar. up to 71, it was strictly inventors britain against pros usa. in 73, 75 and 77, the irish played with he brits, but even they failed to help: the usa only lost three times until 1977, and even when great britain became europe for the first time in 1979, there were still three defeats until he maiden victory in 1985. since then, it has been 9×4 for europe, and only one home match was lost (out of seven), but three away matches were won (out of six). europe’s supremacy leads to their 9×7 overall lead since they entered the competition to join the brits in 1979, and it will be a question of honor for the americans to strike back in 2012.

the smart ones will have noticed that this year is not an odd year, but there was still ryder cup action. well, the second exeption to the rule was in 2001, where the ryder cup should’ve taken place, but didn’t, for obvious reasons.

so now it’s another 2-year wait until next time. and even for those who don’t really like golf – ryder cup action is about as exciting as it gets, and it really is quite a great event and competition. young las vegan ricky fowler was able o shine, as well as old stars like lee westwood for europe.

europe won it with six rookies. and, at the end, it was current major holder macdowell who closed the deal.

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 16:46  Leave a Comment