Balon #5

#LionelMessi won the #BalonDor2016, his 5th of his amazing career, deservedly beating #Cristiano and #Neymar, while his coach at #Barcelona #LuisEnrique won Coach of the Year for that astounding year that the Catalan giants had (and look well placed to repeat); #JillEllis won Women’s Coach of the Year for taking the #UnitedStates to their resounding World Cup win, alongside #CarliLoyd, who won the Women’s Player of the Year. And in true #FIFA ‘bumbling’, they won the ‘Worst microphone handling of the year’ award as hosts #KateAbdo and #JamesNesbitt could be heard whispering nonsense ‘offline’ and most primary speakers could barely be heard consistently.

The FIFA team of the year though, has to be one of the best of all time –

A front 3 of CR7 Messi and Neymar with #Iniesta #Pogba and #Modric in midfield with #Ramos #ThiagoSilva #Marcelo and #Alves in a back 4 guarding the wall that is #ManuelNeuer in goal. They’d be on my combined Fantasy team anytime!

To be fair though – no one can have any complaints about the winners – they were entirely deserving and completely fabulous!

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The beauty and the beast!

If you watched these 3 work their magic at #Barcelona today as they destroyed #Granada 4-0 and also happened to be silly and/or unfortunate enough to watch #LVG and the worst #ManchesterUnited side in decades, bore the living daylights out of humankind in their labored lucky 1-0 win against #SheffieldUnited in the #FACup, you realize the irony of the gap that exists in football in the #LaLiga and the #EPL today – it sounds crazy but the EPL dwarfs the La Liga when it comes to financial power and the gap is starting to grow (and hurt even the giants in Spain) but the talent in just the top 3 La Liga teams makes the EPL look pedestrian at best. How long can Spain keep a hold of the big 6 or 7 (#Messi #Neymar #Suarez #Bale #Cristiano #James #Griezmann) is yet to be seen. If #Pep makes his way to #ManCity in June, will their deep pockets allow him to bring any of his Barca or #Bayern favorites with him? United, rich and recently exceedingly silly and loose with their purse strings, will likely flex their financial muscle under a new manager in the summer and bring their ex-love and/or #Bale to Old Trafford and Roman will likely let his new manager at #Chelsea, whoever it might be, use some of his many spare millions to buy 3-4 of the best there are in Europe.

At the face of it though, #Real may have put any semblance of selling on hold for now with the appointment of #Zidane as their manager and the glow (of the stunning 5-0 debut win for his team against #Deportivo) that he’s basking in.

Regardless, watch these 4 goals from the magicians at Barcelona and enjoy everything that is great about the beautiful game.

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Miracle weekend!

#ManchesterUnited won a game (2-1 at #OldTrafford against #Swansea) in which #WayneRooney scored a goal (and a pretty darn good one at that); #Chelsea won a game (0-3 at in-form #CrystalPalace – that’s right, the blues scored 3 goals and kept a clean sheet); #Arsenal stayed at the top of the league 2 weeks in a row by beating #Newcastle 1-0 at the Emirates and had their superstar keeper #Cech to thank for earning them yet another 3 points; #Vardy missed a sitter & #Mahrez missed a penalty as #Leicester drew 0-0 against #Bournemouth; #ManchesterCity won an away game (a late comeback at #Watford); High-flying #Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw at #Everton (in a high quality game at Goodison Park) and finally, in the #LaLiga, the world’s most lethal attack force of #Messi #Neymar and #Suarez drew blanks as #Barcelona drew 0-0 in the local derby against #Espanyol – a miracle weekend!

To put things in perspective though, as much as the British press get carried away all the time, Manchester United are not back, Wayne Rooney is not going to suddenly start scoring week after week, Chelsea’s boys aren’t going to go on to win every game they play (like the last 4 months never happened), Arsenal were very very lucky to take all 3 points against a Newcastle side that deserved a lot more from this game, Leicester are not on the wane, this Spurs side must still compete for the title, Manchester City might have just played the game that starts their title charge, #Liverpool’s 0-2 loss at #WestHam does not suddenly plunge #Klopp into crisis, just as much as that run of a few wins didn’t make him the messiah taking them to the title either and finally, to be clear, there is nothing wrong at Barcelona (the 3 monsters will be back for a feeding frenzy in the next game itself).

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