Yesterday had a lot of happenings in the beautiful game of football.
First, the UEFA Champions League knockout phase draws were made and Arsenal will face Bayern Munich for the umpteenth time. Can we say these draws are fixed? Arsenal have the slight advantage of playing away first.
The Full Draw and Fixture Dates:
- 14 February & 8 March
Benfica (POR) v Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) v Barcelona (ESP)
- 15 February & 7 March
Real Madrid (ESP, holders) v Napoli (ITA)
Bayern München (GER) v Arsenal (ENG)
- 21 February & 15 March
Manchester City (ENG) v Monaco (FRA)
Bayer Leverkusen (GER) v Atlético Madrid (ESP)
- 22 February & 14 March
Porto (POR) v Juventus (ITA)
Sevilla (ESP) v Leicester City (ENG)
- Quarter-final draw: 17 March in Nyon, Switzerland
- Quarter-finals: 11/12 and 18/19 April
- Semi-final draw: 21 April 2017 in Nyon, Switzerland
- Semi-finals: 2/3 and 9/10 May
- Final: 3 June 2017 at National Stadium Wales, Cardiff
Riyad Mahrez emerged the 2016 BBC African Footballer of the Year. He shrugged off competition from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Sadio Mane and Yaya Toure to retain the award.
Finally to the big one…
France Football Magazine announced the winner of the 2016 Ballon d’Or and he is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid forward led Portugal to win the Euro 2016 and was instrumental in Real Madrid’s 11th Champions League title in May. The Portuguese polled 745 votes from a poll of journalists which accounts for 42% of the votes.
Lionel Messi, who has 5 Ballon d’Or awards, came a distant 2nd with 27.2%. Antoine Greizmann was third with 11.7% of the votes after finishing runner-up in the Champions League and Euros.
We wait to see who wins the FIFA Best in January. Will it be Ronaldo again?