Brazilian midfielder Paulinho saved the day for his new club Barcelona, by scoring this beauty against Getafe.
The city of Yokohama has been in the route of many foreigners since the development of its port activities in the 19th century. Today, however, it attracts the interest of the international community for a different reason: football. The second largest city in Japan will be the stage of the 12th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup Final. Europe and South America will be duelling in the International Stadium Yokohama for the title of best football club in the world.
On one side we have River Plate, the underdogs. The Argentinian team is positioning itself on the top of South American football again. Following the disastrous campaign of 2011 that resulted in relegation to the second division of Argentine League, River has showed that the glorious days are back. The conquer of America came in 2015, when the team won its third Copa Libertadores. Without many known faces or international stars, the coach Marcelo Gallardo relies on the talent of Carlos Sanchez and Rodrigo Mora to pursue the title.
On the other side we have Barcelona, the absolute favourite. After an outstanding campaign in the UEFA Champions League earlier this year, the Spanish team is now after the World Champions badge, which currently belongs to its main rival Real Madrid. The MSN trio (Messi, Suarez and Neymar) is Barcelona’s main weapon and the coach Luis Enrique already confirmed that they will be in the front line for this battle.
We from 8bit Football will for sure keep our eyes on Japan to follow every detail of this match. We all hope to see another vibrant day in the international football world and may the best team win!
FIFA has released the short list for the Ballon d’Or 2015, the Gold Ball award where the best football player of the world is chosen. Yes, that means one thing: the time of the year when you discuss whether Ronaldo or Messi is the best has come. During the last five years, these two have been present among the top three players of the world and, this year, it is Neymar who will try to stop this hegemony. Let’s have a closer look on the chances of each one.
Neymar is the new kid on the block. He has been the main player for the Brazilian National team in the previous years and recently is on the spotlight in Barcelona. His skills are unique and it is visible that he became a much more mature player in relation to previous seasons. In the absence of Messi, he achieved consistently good performances which helped Barcelona to assure its position on the top of Champions League group phase and La Liga. It is debatable though, if he has reached the same level as Messi and Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the winner of the two previous editions. His figures, as usual, justify his nomination. The 30-years-old player still holds an average of almost one goal per match this season. In addition to that, he has played a significant role in Portugal’s qualification for Euro 2016. The circumstances are different, however, from the last Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo’s accomplishment in Madrid are nothing like last year. With Real not reaching the finals of Champions League and holding the second position in the Spanish League, there are no trophies in his cabinet this season.
Lionel Messi needs no introduction. The Argentinian has won the prize four times and yet this year comes as a favourite. His outstanding performance during the UEFA Champions League, where he drove Barcelona to the title, is his best credential. An injury in September of this year however left Messi out of the pitch for around two months. Can this jeopardize his chances of a fifth Ballon d’Or?
The winners will be announced on January 11th in Zurich. All the players have their own particular reasons that could bring them to the top. The winner however can only be one!