Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane and Tottenham’s Harry Kane are on the list of players nominated for the 2019 Best FIFA Football Awards.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp and Spurs counterpart Mauricio Pochettino are among the nominees for the men’s coach award following their sides’ runs to the Champions League final, which Liverpool won 2-0.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is also shortlisted after his team pipped Liverpool to the Premier League title as part of a domestic treble.
Eden Hazard, who signed for Real Madrid in June after helping Chelsea win the Europa League, is another on the player shortlist, along with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris St Germain star Kylian Mbappe.
🚨 Ready? 🚨#TheBest Men's Player nominees:— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) July 31, 2019
🇳🇱 Matthijs de Ligt
🇸🇳 Sadio Mane
🇦🇷 Lionel Messi
Voting NOW OPEN 👇https://t.co/nw6p9KIcc6
The others on that 10-name list are Frenkie De Jong and Matthijs De Ligt, who have left Ajax this summer to join Messi at Barcelona and Ronaldo at Juventus respectively.
Joining Klopp, Pochettino and Guardiola on the managers’ list are Algeria’s Djamel Belmadi, France’s Didier Deschamps, River Plate’s Marcelo Gallardo, Peru’s Ricardo Gareca, Portugal’s Fernando Santos, Ajax’s Erik Ten Hag, and Brazil’s Tite.
The winners will be determined via votes from fans, journalists, and national team coaches and captains, and the awards ceremony is being held in Milan on September 23.
Provided by Press Association Sports
What do we all love about watching football?
Skills, tricks and flicks is surely right up there, but the astonishing talent is not genetic and you, too, can pull off some stunning moves.
All that’s required is patience and practise. The key is to start with the simple stuff, begin by improving your ball juggling to help maintain full control of the ball and increase the speed of leg movement.
Practice for one hour every day, using both feet and aim for 100. Once that becomes an easy task, take a crack at pulling off these three slick tricks.
TRICK ONE – Around the World
Arguably the most recognisable freestyle trick out there, but one which is far from simple.
Quick feet and good balance are crucial because with the ball dropping at speed, you’ll be swinging your foot around it before making enough of a deft touch to stop it hitting the ground.
1. Find yourself a nice flat surface and make sure it’s not too greasy like a freshly watered football pitch or back yard.
2. Balance the ball toward the end of your dominant foot and keep it nice and still.
3. Keep your body loose and relaxed, eyes fixed on the ball and begin juggling just beneath knee height, if it’s high, you’ll struggle to loop your leg.
4. As the ball drops, flick it back up with the outside your foot, carry that momentum around the ball in a circular motion to bring the foot back to the starting position. Remember, quick and controlled.
5. Catch the ball before it drops to the ground ensuring a complete circle has been achieved. Either continue juggling or trap it between your foot and shin as done at the start.
TRICK TWO – Neck Catch
This one is no more useful on a football pitch than the ATW, but in terms of creating a buzz it’s up there. We’ve definitely all given this a go at some point, no doubt with varying degrees of success. It’s the reverse of trapping the ball before the ATW, but the set-up is important.
1. Balance the ball so it sits in a crevice between your ankle and shin. Once under control and your body is nicely balanced, flick the ball just above your head, splitting your legs out slightly wide of your shoulders.
2. Cushioning the ball on your neck requires great timing because you’ll need to wait until the very last second before moving your back and neck straight on a 90 degree angle with arms spread out.
3. The key is to ensure the power of the falling ball is taken away, so moving your head as if to plant a header only to loop just under it.
4. Once the ball is locked in for about five to 10 seconds, what you do after is up to you but reversing the move and continuing to juggle is always a smooth transition.
5. Practise this movement for an hour a day for a week and you’ll master it with ease.
TRICK THREE – Elastico
Pulling this off in FIFA is tricky enough, but Ronaldinho’s signature technique, the Elastico, is very much achievable with some dedication and patience. There are two versions of the skill, one easier than other, but we’ll go through both of them.
1. This is the simpler of the two movements and the one you should learn first. Essentially, it’s two taps of the ball, and the first one is to flick it form the outer toe on your dominant foot.
2. Then catch up with the ball by dragging through with knees and thigh.
3. Quickly move your foot around the ball and back in the direction you came from.
4. The crucial thing to remember is not to go so wide with the flick out as Ronaldinho did. Start nice and compact, as you get more control, test pushing the ball out wider and dragging back in.
1. This technique is much harder, but when on the move, it’s much more effective. For this, you must drag the ball out in the same direction as above.
2. It’s important you push the ball out from your legs as opposed to kicking it like the tap so the ball remains under your control.
3. Swivel your foot back around the ball to change direction.
Daniele De Rossi described how growing up watching a Diego Maradona-inspired Napoli team helped him make the switch to Argentina giants Boca Juniors.
Former Roma and Italy international De Rossi was officially presented as a Boca player on Monday in Buenos Aires.
After 18 years playing for Roma, De Rossi arrived last week to join the Argentine Primera Division heavyweights on a one-year deal.
De Rossi said the influence of Argentina legend Maradona and Nicolas Burdisso, a former team-mate at Roma and now Boca’s sports director, convinced him to sign for last season’s Copa Libertadores runners-up.
“What can I give here? I don’t know. I hope to give something to my team, to give something to my team-mates,” said the 36-year-old midfielder.
“Also, my goal is to be able to give them what I could give to the AS Roma team. I don’t come here to deliver heroic things, to achieve the goals like (Diego) Maradona and (Lionel) Messi.
“I come here to be a soccer player. I won’t add too much to Argentine soccer but I am sure that when I am in good shape, I will give something important to my team.”