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Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia Make Ballon d’Or Top Twenty

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Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia finished in the top 20 in the Ballon d’Or after leading Napoli to their third Scudetto last season.

The Azzurri duo received more votes than the main Inter star, Lautaro Martinez, who won the World Cup and reached the Champions League final, Goal points out. Lionel Messi bested Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé for his eighth triumph as expected.


The Partenopei striker finished 8th, while the Georgian star 17th. A third key member of the title-winning squad, Kim Min-Jae, ranked 22nd, two positions behind the Inter ace and one ahead of André Onana. Instead, Nicolò Barella was 27th.

Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia combined for 45 goals and 22 assists en route to the Tricolore in 2021/2022. Napoli were eliminated by Milan in the Champions League’s Roud of Eight.

A Serie A player hadn’t cracked the top ten in a few years. Cristiano Ronaldo and Gianluigi Donnarumma finished 6th and 10th in 2020. They had already left Italy to join Manchester United and PSG, though. The Portuguese star grabbed the bottom position on the podium in 2019.

The Italian league last won the Ballon d’Or in 2007 with Milan’s Kaká. Fabio Cannavaro was the last Azzurri representative to lift the award back in 2006, narrowly beating Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon. Jorginho came in third behind Messi and Robert Lewandowski in 2021.

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European Leagues

EPL: 11 Chelsea players miss training ahead of Everton clash

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EPL: 11 Chelsea players miss training ahead of Everton clash

At least 11 Chelsea players were absent in training ahead of Monday’s Premier League clash against Everton.

According to Standard Sport, Axel Disasi and Enzo Fernandez have joined the injury list.

Raheem Sterling and Robert Sanchez are listed as ill.

Already unavailable are Levi Colwill, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Romeo Lavia, Christopher Nkunku and Lesley Ugochukwu all on the club’s injury report.

But there is a positive update for Chelsea with defender Ben Chilwell returning to partial training.

The Blues go into the game sitting in 9th place with 44 points.

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European Leagues

EPL: Man City cannot drop points – Guardiola

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EPL: Man City cannot drop points – Guardiola

Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has admitted his team cannot afford to drop more points in the Premier League title race.

The champions are looking to win the trophy for an unprecedented fourth consecutive season.

However, they are currently in third place, behind rivals Arsenal and Liverpool on the table.

City will play Luton Town first, before Liverpool host Crystal Palace and Aston Villa travel to Arsenal on Sunday.

“The Premier League is so important. I expect a game similar to the Premier League when we won 2-1 at the end of the FA Cup. We have to be ready.

“We’re fighting for the title, we cannot drop points,” Guardiola told reporters today.

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Fenerbahce fined over Turkish Super Cup walk-out

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Fenerbahce fined over Turkish Super Cup walk-out

Fenerbahce were fined 115,000 euros ($123,175) on Thursday over their Turkish Super Cup protest at the weekend.

Fenerbahce walked off the field in the opening minutes of the fixture against Galatasaray on Sunday as a protest against alleged unfair treatment.

Fenerbahce fielded an Under-19 team for the game against their Istanbul rivals. Galatasaray went ahead after three minutes with Fenerbahce then walking off in a pre-planned protest.

The Turkish Football Federation awarded Galatasaray a 3-0 win and issued Fenerbahce with the six-figure fine.

“It’s time for Turkish football to be reset,” Fenerbahce president Ali Koc had told a press conference before the match.

Fenerbahce are chasing their first Turkish title since 2014 and are two points behind champions Galatasaray with seven rounds to go. Fenerbahce claim they are being picked on.

They had asked for the Super Cup to be postponed ahead of their Europa League quarter-final against Olympiakos on Thursday.

And the club had also demanded that a foreign referee take charge of the Super Cup, citing unfavourable treatment from Turkish referees.

Both demands were denied by the Turkish federation.

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