A generous Saudi national has stunningly offered the one-legged Egypt fan who went viral for his wild celebration following his country’s World Cup qualification the opportunity to see them in Russia.
As well as the pledge to pay for travel, tickets, accommodation and food, Monther Al Sheikh Mubarak also promised to pay all the costs for Mahmoud Abdo’s implementation of a prosthetic leg.
Abdo became an overnight sensation across the globe after he flung himself into the air and danced with delight after Mohamed Salah’s 95th minute penalty in the 2-1 win over Congo sealed progression to their first World Cup since 1990.
Egyptian fan Ahmed Hammad sparked the generous offer after he tweeted (translated from Arabic): “By Allah this man deserves a prosthetic and a trip to Moscow to support the team.”
Monther Al Sheikh Mubarak replied: “And also plane tickets, residence cost and food if he wishes. “Let him choose any centre in Egypt and I’ll cover the cost [for the prosthetic]”.
Manchester City are interested in bringing Napoli player FAOUZI GHOULAM to the Etihad Stadium in the new year, The Sun claims.
Pep Guardiola is reportedly willing to look into a £3million deal for the 26-year-old, who will be out of contract next summer.
The reports come after full-back Benjamin Mendy suffered a nasty knee injury, ruling him out of the squad in the long term.
HENRY ONYEKURU could be back at Everton by January after a loan spell at Anderlecht, a report in the Liverpool Echo says.
The 20-year-old did not have much time to pull on a blue shirt before he was sent on loan to the Belgian club due to work permit issues. Everton are reportedly hoping a “special talent” clause will overcome the permit problems in time to see the 20-year-old in the starting XI next year.
Turkish striker CENK TOSUN appears to be in high demand from the Premier League, according to the Croydon Advertiser.
Crystal Palace sent scouts to watch the 26-year-old, who is said to come with a €25million price tag. Tottenham and Newcastle are also believed to be interested in the striker, who has so far scored four goals for Besiktas this season.
Brighton are eyeing Serbian striker ALEKSANDAR MITROVIC for a January move, the Daily Mirror reports. Scouts were reportedly in the stands to watch the Newcastle player play for his country against Austria last week.
The 23-year-old has not seen much game time for the Magpies since he was handed a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct during a game against West Ham.
ARDA TURAN is on Arsenal’s radar, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.
With the midfielder looking for more time on the pitch, the Gunners are hopeful of bringing Turan the Emirates in January, reports suggests. Galatasaray are also rumoured to want the 30-year-old in their side.
DANNY ROSE could be swapping Tottenham for Manchester United, talkSPORT reports. After missing out in the last transfer window, United are said to be willing to try again for the 27-year-old come January.
The left-back has recently been on the sidelines due to injury but is set to return for Spurs later this month.
Jose Mouinho’s trip to Austria has been solved, according to the Daily Mirror. The Manchester United boss was said to be there to watch MIJAT GACINOVIC in the Austria v Serbia World Cup qualifier.
The 22-year-old has impressed at Eintracht Frankfurt and equally on an international level after scoring two goals in three appearances for Serbia.
Provided by Press Association Sport
Three goalkeepers, four defenders, five midfielders and 18 forwards make up the 30-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award but in reality you can do away with 28 of the names.
Indeed, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will again be the clear candidates to take home the coveted prize but this year’s ceremony feels like a motion towards the next generation.
At 32 and 30 respectively, Ronaldo and Messi are entering the final phases of their careers and while they’ve adjusted their game so well – they could do so again of course – there’s no doubting the gap between themselves and the rest has narrowed.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to pick our top three candidates for the award with the Portuguese and Argentine superstars taken out of the equation.
Of the seven Premier League stars to have made the 30-man nomination, Kane is a candidate to enter the top three.
Now, some corners will field their argument that he can’t even be considered world class yet never mind a Ballon d’Or contender but then the basis of that point is mainly formed in the fact he plays for Tottenham, a side not among the true elite, and England, a team starved of verve and quality.
Put Kane in a Real Madrid or Barcelona shirt and on last season’s stunning exploits he unequivocally joins the debate. For the calendar year he’s scored 43 times in 37 games – including six hat-tricks – for club and country and if that record was owned by Ronaldo or Messi then the collective drooling would be utterly drenching.
While he doesn’t own a Champions League medal, he has for the previous two campaigns notched the Premier League’s Golden Boot award and that in itself is a prestigious achievement.
The 24-year-old’s involvement last season is carrying through into this campaign and he’s establishing himself as one of the premier all-round centre-forwards. His hold up play is superb, his passes and first touches are crisp and he’s adding headed-goals to his repertoire.
Having displayed his ability in the Premier League, now this season in the Champions League and potentially next year at the World Cup, Kane has the greater ceiling to one day claim the award if it’s based on ability rather the trophy cabinet.
Only three defenders have been crowned Ballon d’Or winners and the last was 11 years ago. Fabio Cannavaro picked up the prize in 2006 as the World Cup winner with Italy joined an exclusive list alongside Germany pair Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer.
With the way the game is analysed and consumed, defenders haven’t been the fashionable choice as bias is predictably leaned towards to goalscoring forwards rather than those who perform the game’s other art form.
But amid the myriad of striking talents, there is one defender who stands alone – Sergio Ramos. As both the backbone and captain of a resurgent Spain and dominant La Liga and Champions League double winners Real Madrid, the 31-year-old is an undervalued game general who not only barks out orders but carries them out himself.
It’s not his duty, but considering the prize is ordinarily reserved for goalscorers, Ramos’s aerial predatory in front of goal has become the stuff of legend.
He is one of the most influential players in world football and while his ultra-competitive nature is both a virtue and a vice, the Spaniard in our eyes would make the top three.
Ultimately the reason Neymar left Barcelona was because of his desire to step out of the large shadow cast by Lionel Messi.
And that’s not just from a footballing perspective but also a marketing one given the boundless opportunities which arise from being the Ballon d’Or winner.
While the Brazilian might not be the most popular choice the chronic lack of form Luis Suarez is exhibiting is indication enough of his stretching influence at Barca.
A pivotal part of the dynamic and lauded MSN trio, he wasn’t as prolific as previous campaigns but his importance grew. At 25 Neymar is the standout in his age group and below with his ingenuity and talent obvious.
Ironically, it was against his new employers, PSG, that he showed his world-beating best form as he scored Barcelona’s fourth and fifth goal before laying on an exquisite assist for Sergi Roberto’s winner in the Champions League last-16 fightback.
In Tite’s Brazil he has been the star man, transitioning from leader of a faltering team under Dunga to central figure in a side which is beginning to thrive.
Having been third behind Ronaldo and Messi in 2015, he is the most favoured to take over the reins going forward, though PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe will feature strongly in future.