Ballon d'Or and FIFA's 'The Best': The differences

Ballon d'Or and FIFA's 'The Best': The differences

FIFA have announced the players who will compete to become 'The Best' at a gala to be held on January 9 in Zurich, but their award has a number of differences compared to France Football's Ballon d'Or.

One of them is in the voting system.

France Football has dissociated itself from FIFA and has returned to what they did in the beginning: give special importance in the voting to journalists worldwide.

So, it has removed the prominence and weight given to the opinion of the captains and coaches of national teams from around the world.

Meanwhile, FIFA's 'The Best' will focus on the votes of players, coaches and especially the supporters.

The winners will be chosen with 50% of votes cast by followers who participated in internet.

However, the main difference between the Ballon d'Or and 'The Best' is found in the lists of candidates.

In the former, there are 30 players who aspire to win the award, while FIFA's prize only has 23 players on their list.

The Ballon d'Or also has 10 players who are not part of 'The Best.'

They are: Muller, Pepe, Dybala, Higuain, Godin, Aubameyang, Lloris, Arturo Vidal, Koke and Rui Patricio.

Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and N'Golo Kante are among the 'The Best' but not the Ballon d'Or.

Messi gets ready for favourite opponent in Sevilla

The Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan has always been a stadium Lionel Messi is particularly fond of, putting in some memorable Barcelona performances there, and he'll hope to continue his goalscoring record at the ground on Sunday.

Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Real Madrid are some of the other teams Messi is most deadly against, but with 26 goals in 25 games, few other sides have suffered as much from his efficiency as the Andalusians.

Teams Messi has scored the most against

  1. Sevilla: 26 goals in 28 games
  2. Atletico Madrid: 25 goals in 31 games
  3. Valencia: 22 goals in 25 games
  4. Real Madrid: 21 goals in 32 games
That being said, Sevilla were able to defeat Barcelona at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last season, and Messi's injury certainly played a part, as the Blaugrana have never lost there when the Argentine was on the pitch.

Curiously enough, Sevilla are the favourite victims of Cristiano Ronaldo as well.

Since returning from injury the Barcelona No. 10 has scored seven goals in just five games, and his numbers against Los Rojiblancos are certainly a solid precedent, as the Blaugrana have little margin for error on Sunday and will need his leadership and goals.

Barcelona's form remniscent of their second treble

With the 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, Barcelona succumbed to their third loss of the season, though the start of this campaign has resembled the 2014 campaign, Luis Enrique's first in charge.

Despite some wanting to panic, others realise that this is a long season and, sometimes, the best lessons are learnt from defeats.

At that time, it was very similar: after 10 games in La Liga, the Catalans had 22 points and sat fourth in the table.

In that same season, PSG were the main contenders in the group and Barcelona only went through as group leaders on the final matchday- it should be a lot simpler this time around as the club seeks to make history again in similar fashion.

What appeared to be unique - securing the triple - in 2009 was replicated just five years later.

Against the odds and the constant worrying, things are not looking that different from 2014.

James Rodriguez: I want to play more but someone else is calling the shots

Being granted very little consistent playing time has not entirely strained the relationship between midfielder James Rodriguez and coach Zinedine Zidane, the Colombian said on Friday.

Like any other professional relationship, Rodriguez is for the most part accepting of the choices the Frenchman makes, even if they are not always in his very own best interest, but rather for that of the team.

"I want to play more, but that isn't my decision, since someone else is calling the shots," Rodriguez told Colombian press. "Zidane is the one in charge who makes the decisions, and I respect that.

"Our relationship isn't a bad one like everyone says, but is actually quite good and a very normal one for a coach with a player."

Marcelino negotiating with Inter to replace De Boer


Negotiations are underway between Marcelino, his representative Eugenio Botas and Inter for the ex-Villarreal boss to take over and replace Frank de Boer, who was fired earlier this week.

Though a final deal has yet to be reached, talks have gotten off to a good start according to sources close to the parties involved.

One possibility being sounded out if the move were to go through is for Marcelino to have an Italian coach acting as his assistant within his technical staff.

Kane back in Tottenham squad for Arsenal game

England striker Harry Kane will return to Tottenham Hotspur's squad for Sunday's North London derby at Arsenal, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday.

Kane has been out of action since he suffered an ankle injury after scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory against Sunderland on Sept. 18.

"He will be available for selection for Sunday and now I need to decide whether he will be part of the starting 11 or on the bench. We're very happy -- yesterday, he had a very good training session, he's fit," Pochettino told reporters.

"It's important he is back and can help the team."

Kane scored against Arsenal both home and away last season, which he ended as the top scorer in the Premier League with 25 goals.

Injured Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld will remain absent, however, while midfielder Mousa Dembele and winger Erik Lamela are also doubtful.

"Toby is struggling a little bit to recover, but will for sure be available after the international break. He's not included in the squad for Belgium now," said the Argentine.

"He's very close but it was a very slow recovery, a very painful thing that happened."

Pochettino said Belgian international Dembele would be assessed on Saturday before a decision.

"It's not a big deal but he has pain in the ankle. He's a doubt for Sunday."

Tottenham are unbeaten in the Premier League this season but have drawn half of their 10 games, including the last three, and are three points behind leaders Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
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