What's next for U-23 coach Donovan Duckie?

By George Davis, Wayne Lewis& Mariah Ramharack August 01, 2019

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  • Messi votes for Ronaldo, Portugal star snubs eventual FIFA Best award winner Messi votes for Ronaldo, Portugal star snubs eventual FIFA Best award winner

    Lionel Messi put Cristiano Ronaldo second in the Best FIFA Men's Player award voting, but the Portugal star did not return the favour to the eventual winner.

    Messi claimed the prize, rebranded in 2016, for the first time on Monday, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Ronaldo.

    But the votes made for interesting reading, with Ronaldo and Portugal coach Fernando Santos snubbing Messi.

    Ronaldo voted for Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Kylian Mbappe, with Santos handing his to the former two and his star international captain.

    Messi, though, put Ronaldo second in his voting, in between Liverpool star Sadio Mane and De Jong.

    Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni decided on Messi, Mbappe and Mane in that order.

    As for Van Dijk, he put Messi first ahead of his team-mates Mohamed Salah and Mane, who helped Liverpool win the Champions League last season.

     

    Who voted for who?

    Lionel Messi: Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Frenkie de Jong.
    Virgil van Dijk: Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane.
    Cristiano Ronaldo: Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Kylian Mbappe.
    Fernando Santos: Cristiano Ronaldo, Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt.
    Lionel Scaloni: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Sadio Mane.

  • Doubting Dortmund? BVB must show they can cope under pressure, says Van Buyten Doubting Dortmund? BVB must show they can cope under pressure, says Van Buyten

    Daniel Van Buyten believes Borussia Dortmund still must prove they can stay the course in a potential Bundesliga title race, despite strengthening their squad.

    After a busy close season that included the return of Mats Hummels from Bayern Munich, Dortmund are tipped to push the reigning champions all the way in the 2019-20 season.

    Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt and Nico Schulz have also arrived to bolster Lucien Favre's options, with Van Buyten impressed by the way they performed in the 0-0 Champions League draw against Barcelona last week.

    However, while he expects them to challenge Bayern once again after finishing second in the previous campaign, the Belgian needs to see if BVB have the depth required to cope when their resources are stretched.

    "Borussia Dortmund made very good transfers and they are a good team on the pitch," Van Buyten told Omnisport.

    "They will definitely be a team that will fight for the championship in the Bundesliga until the end. But there are still one or two other teams that will also play for the title.

    "Against Barcelona they [Dortmund] have also shown in the Champions League that they can play good games there – but they have to show that in Barcelona as well.

    "As I said, things are looking good at the moment, but you have to see how things go from there.

    "If there are injuries or illnesses, then you have to show that the squad is there and that the other players can also be successful."

    Bayern strengthened their squad by signing Philippe Coutinho on a season-long loan from Barcelona – and the Brazilian scored his first goal in Saturday's 4-0 triumph over Cologne.

    Van Buyten, though, has warned his old club not to expect too much from Coutinho, with any success in the Champions League down to teamwork, rather than relying on individual talent.

    "For me, it is always a work of the whole team. You have top players like [Robert] Lewandowski and many others, but you can't think that if you hire a player like Coutinho, he has this magic wand to do something special," he said.

    "I think it's teamwork and you have to get a top performance every time. No matter which team you have to play on the weekend, it's always the same process. If you ever think that it's easy, it's a negative process.

    "It's about your mentality and from my time back then, I know very well that we had a lot of players as far as the character was concerned, they were very concentrated and really had the focus in their heads to win the championship, and also to go far in the Champions League.

    "They're all top teams [in the Champions League] and it's not easy to make your way there. Bayern already needs a team at the top level."

  • Infantino wants racism driven out of football Infantino wants racism driven out of football

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has urged football to banish racism once and for all.

    Infantino addressed his federation's annual awards ceremony in Milan on Monday, before presenting Lionel Messi with The Best FIFA Men's Player prize.

    But first he addressed the disgraceful scenes during Atalanta's game against Fiorentina in Serie A on Sunday.

    The 2-2 draw at the Ennio Tardini was stopped for three minutes after Fiorentina defender Dalbert, on loan from Inter, reported racist abuse from the crowd to the referee.

    "I want to say this here in Italy, in my country. Yesterday, again, we have witnessed in the Italian championship an example of racism," Infantino said.

    "This is not acceptable any more. We have to say this. We have to say no to racism, in whatever form.

    "No to racism in football, no to racism in society. But we don't have just to say it. We have to fight against it.

    "We have to kick racism out once and for all in Italy and in the rest of the world. Out of football and out of society."

    Striker Romelu Lukaku was subjected to monkey chants during Inter's 2-1 win at Cagliari earlier this month, while Hellas Verona denied Franck Kessie was racially abused by their fans during a 1-0 defeat to AC Milan.

    Kessie slammed Verona's claims that the referee was the target of whistles as "unacceptable and disgraceful".

    In September 2016, seven months after Infantino took office, FIFA disbanded its anti-racism task force, declaring it had "completely fulfilled its temporary mission".

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