For one decade, two footballers have shared the game’s biggest individual honour; the Ballon d’Or.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the top spot, while the rest of the world’s best players have watched on from the sidelines.
In the 10 years before the duo established their dynasty, the list of recipients was littered with some of the most iconic players ever to play the beautiful game.
Zinedine Zidane (1998), Luis Figo (2000), Ronaldo Nazario (2002) and Ronaldinho (2006) were all crowned as the best player in the world during a period in which no contender won the coveted prize on more than one occasion.
Since 2008, the catalogue of outstanding footballers who haven't got their hands on the trophy is exhaustive; but what if Ronaldo and Messi had been exempt from the shortlist during that time? What would the list of winners look like?
Barnsley will play in the Championship next season after beating Millwall in a confident display in the Sky Bet League 1 Play-off Final at Wembley Stadium.
Adam Hammill’s stunning goal was the highlight in a high-quality encounter, with 20-year-old Ashley Fletcher and Lloyd Isgrove also scoring for Barnsley....
Surely if the world-renowned theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking tells you that England can win the World Cup, then it must be a possibility? On Wednesday morning, at an exclusive press conference at the Savoy Hotel in London, and after months of research, Prof. Hawking revealed the secret formula that would bring the World Cup back to England after almost half a century of heartbreak. That's the good news; he also revealed that the chances of England winning in Brazil this summer were slim.
Examining records from 1966 up until the last World Cup in South Africa, Prof. Hawking unsurprisingly explained that the humid conditions and high altitude in Brazil would dampen England's chances. Instead, the great theorist has logically tipped Brazil to have great success as the host nation. In fact, the closer the football squad is geographically to their home country the better chance they have of success, which doesn't bode well for England. ...
This season marks ten years since Arsenal won the League title at their invincible best and Saturday's 4-1 win at Norwich had the same flair and prowess of Arsenal's past. After a disappointing home defeat to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season Arsene Wenger's side has blossomed into title contention. Seven games on and Arsenal have surprised everyone by heading the Premier League table.
At the Emirates on Saturday, the home team's attacking play was purposeful, creative and clinical, as has been the case throughout this season. Wenger's side entertained the crowd with their team play as his attacking players wove together exquisite passes to expose the Norwich City defence. ...
Sir Alex Ferguson's announcement this morning has sent shockwaves throughout the footballing world. 26 years, 38 trophies, 13 leagues titles; his retirement will be a great loss to football. In his 26 years at the helm of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson has achieved unrivalled success and his ability to continually build upon his previous squads is what has made him an anomaly in the game.
Ferguson is ,without question the most successful manager in the English game. His records are staggering; the United treble of 1999 and surpassing Liverpool's 18 league titles are just two of his greatest achievements.
It is worth remembering the situation in which the soon-to-retire Manchester United manager took the reins at Manchester United in 1986. United were still awaiting their first Division One title since Matt Busby's side won in the 1966-67 season, with Denis Law as their top goalscorer.
He dd not immediately bring success either, finishing in 11th place in two of his first 3 seasons. Fast forward to 2013 and the clubs position in global football is incomparable. Ferguson has left Manchester United in arguably the strongest position that the club has ever been in.
So, the question arise of whether anyone can possibly match the Scot's success. He is arguably the greatest manager in the history of football, but who can surpass him? Here are my top 3 candidates of the moment: ...
With Manchester United's firm grip on the Premier League title looking impossible to break, the race for Champions League qualification is arguably proving to be the more exciting conclusion to the 2012-13 season. Tottenham are flying high with Gareth Bale's imperious displays and pundits are highlighting the realistic chance of Spurs finishing above Manchester City in the table.
Their victory over Arsenal last weekend was a major blow for their north London rivals, whose manager seems to be under real threat from supporters. In West London, Chelsea are the club constantly in the spotlight and are surrounded by negativity following the signing of interim coach Rafa Benitez.
Liverpool and Everton are not technically out of the race, but I think that the three London clubs are the most likely to take the remaining Champions League positions. Although, both of the clubs from Merseyside may play a crucial role in deciding which London clubs will finish in the coveted fourth spot.
With only two days until the start of the European Championships it is clear that before kick-off on Friday Spain, Germany and the Netherlands are the three favourites to win the tournament.
These three teams may be worthy challengers but I believe that France should be the team to watch this year. So, why is France my tip for the tournament? ...