Messi scoops top Span­ish award

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

MADRID — Barcelona star Lionel Messi ( left), the favourite to win Fifa’s pres­ti­gious Bal­lon d’or ti­tle, was on Mon­day voted the top striker in the Span­ish league last sea­son ahead of Real Madrid ri­val Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

It is the sixth time that the Ar­gen­tinian has won the ti­tle in seven edi­tions of the tro­phy given by the Span­ish foot­ball league, with the prize pre­sented dur­ing a gala cer­e­mony in Barcelona on Mon­day night.

Messi, who scored 43 goals and was the cat­a­lyst for Barcelona’s run to three ti­tles last sea­son — the Cham­pi­ons League, La Liga and the Span­ish Cup - was se­lected fol­low­ing a com­puter anal­y­sis of the play­ers’ sta­tis­tics in the cham­pi­onship.

“I’m proud to re­ceive this award ahead of so many im­por­tant play­ers in La Liga,” said Messi.

“This award in par­tic­u­lar I want to ded­i­cate to my son Thi­ago (aged 3) even if he still doesn’t un­der­stand very well. Ev­ery time I leave the house he gets an­gry and asks me: ‘Papa, are you go­ing again to score goals?’ This award is for him.”

Messi also won the vote for the best striker fol­low­ing a poll of the cap­tains of each of Spain’s top flight sides.

Barcelona’s Clau­dio Bravo was voted the best goal­keeper and Luis En­rique top coach while Real Madrid’s Ser­gio Ramos and James Ro­driguez were named best de­fender and mid­fielder re­spec­tively.

Va­len­cia’s Al­ge­rian mid­fielder Sofi­ane Feghouli was voted the top African player and Barcelona’s Brazil­ian striker Ney­mar, the best player from the Amer­i­can con­ti­nent.

Real Madrid’s Por­tuguese star Ron­aldo, who scored the most La Liga goals last sea­son with 48, won the pub­lic’s’ choice award.

Ron­aldo, Messi and Ney­mar were all named on Mon­day’s short­list for Fifa’s Bal­lon d’or which will be awarded on Jan­uary 11.

While Ron­aldo has tri­umphed over the last two sea­sons (in a to­tal of three wins), Messi has pre­vi­ously claimed the cov­eted award four times while Ney­mar makes the short­list for the first time.

Ney­mar, 23, said it was “a great hon­our” to be named for the first time along­side his il­lus­tri­ous La Liga ri­vals.

The coach of the year short­list fea­tures one from a na­tional team - Chile’s Copa Amer­ica win­ner Jorge Sam­paoli - along­side Bay­ern Mu­nich’s Pep Guardi­ola, Barcelona’s Luis En­rique and Chelsea’s Jose Mour­inho.

The women’s player short­list is headed by Amer­i­can World Cup win­ner Carli Lloyd, Aya Miyama (Ja­pan) and Celia Sa­sic (Ger­many). Two of the same na­tion­al­i­ties are rep­re­sented on the coach­ing short­list: Jill El­lis (US), Mark Samp­son (Eng­land) and No­rio Sasak (Ja­pan). — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.