Lionel Messi Claims His Fourth European Golden Shoe Award

Lionel Messi is soccer’s Golden boy…

The 30-year-old soccer star received his fourth European Golden Shoe on Friday after netting 37 times in La Liga play during the 2016-17 season.

Lionel Messi

Messi beat out Sporting CP‘s Bas Dost (34 goals in Portugal‘s Primeira Liga) and Borussia Dortmund‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31 in the Bundesliga) in the top three to claim the prize, which is presented to Europe’s top goal scorer.

After also winning the award in 2012-13 (46 league goals), 2011-12 (50) and 2009-10 (34), Messi is tied with Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo for most regular winner of the Golden Shoe.

Messi’s 37 goals last season came in 34 Spanish top-flight appearances, but they were delivered as part of losing cause, as Real Madrid beat out Barca to the title.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has netted 12 goals in 12 games in the 2017-18 La Liga campaign.

He’s trailing Lazio‘s Ciro Immobile and Paris Saint-Germain‘s Edinson Cavani, who have netted 15 goals in Serie A and Ligue 1, respectively, in the race for this year’s Golden Shoe. Meanwhile, Bayern Munich‘s Robert Lewandowski, AS Monaco‘s Radamel Falcao and Inter Milan‘s Mauro Icardi have all netted 13 times.

Ronaldo, though, does not look like troubling the upper echelon of the European Golden Shoe rankings anytime soon, as he has netted just once in La Liga this season.

Messi will be looking to add to his tally on Sunday when top-of-the-table Barca travel to face second-place Valencia at the Mestalla.

Hernandez Joining Real Madrid on Season-Long Loan from Manchester United

Javier Hernandez is leaving the United Kingdom…

The 26-year-old Mexican soccer star, known simply as Chicharito, is set to join Real Madrid on a season-long loan from Manchester United with an option for a permanent deal.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez

United had received offers from Juventus and Valencia for Hernandez last week, but he opted to move to Real Madrid.

The Mexico international sealed the loan to the European champion after passing a medical on Monday.

A statement on the Spanish club’s official website reads: “Real Madrid and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the loan of the player Javier Hernandez Chicharito, who will be attached to the club for the current season. Real Madrid retains an option to purchase the player.

“Javier Hernandez Chicharito will give a news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu today Monday at 4:30 p.m.”

The former Premier League champions allowed Hernandez to leave after they agreed to bring in Monaco forward Radamel Falcao, another reported target of Real, on loan.

Hernandez has slipped further down the pecking order at Old Trafford in recent years after the arrivals of Robin van Persie, Juan Mata and now Falcao.

He signed for 6.9 million pounds from Guadalajara in 2010 and was named United’s player of the year in his debut season, when he scored 20 goals.

He has gone on to score 59 goals in 154 games for the club but started only six league matches last season. While he began the current campaign in the team, he was substituted at halftime in the 2-1 defeat to Swansea.

Hernandez, who has scored 36 times in 66 caps for his country, becomes the third Mexican to play for Real after Jose Luis Borbolla and Hugo Sanchez, who scored 208 goals for the 32-time champions of Spain.

Mexico boss Miguel Herrera had earlier tweeted: “Going to Real Madrid is a big opportunity for [Hernandez], for whom I wish the best of success.”

 

Hernandez is expected to understudy first-choice striker Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu. In the past five years, no player has scored more goals as a substitute in the top five European leagues than Hernandez, who has struck 14 times after coming off the bench.

Hernandez will join James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas among Real’s summer signings.

Manchester United Agrees to Loan Deal with AS Monaco for Falcao

Radamel Falcao is the man(chester)

Manchester United has agreed to a loan deal with AS Monaco for the 28-year-old Colombian footballer, who also plays for the Colombia national football team.

 

Radamel Falcao

Falcao, who cost Monaco 60 million euros last summer, is set to join Louis van Gaal’s squad subject to a medical and terms, according to ESPN FC.

Falcao had also been a target of Real Madrid and had been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City.

His arrival will be one of two transfers United is expected to complete on deadline day, along with finalizing Daley Blind‘s move from Ajax.

Van Gaal had already brought in Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, Sporting Lisbon defender Marcos Rojo and Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria.

European champion Madrid had been the favorite to sign Falcao, whose departure from Monaco seemed to be signaled when he was omitted from their squad to face Lille on Saturday.

Falcao, who missed the World Cup due to a cruciate ligament injury, scored 70 goals in 91 games for Atletico Madrid and 72 goals in 87 matches for Porto before joining Monaco.

Villa Moving from Barcelona to Atletico Madrid

David Villa is switching teams…

The 31-year-old Spanish international soccer star will be leaving Futbol Club Barcelona to play for Atletico Madrid.

David Villa

It’s all part of a deal potentially worth $6.55 million, according to Barça officials.

Copa del Rey winner Atletico will pay the defending La Liga champion 2.1 million euros this season, with the promise of another 2.1 million if Villa continues to play in 2014-2015, Barcelona said in a statement.

Atletico will have to hand over an additional 1 million euros if Villa remains with the club into the 2015-2016 season.

Barcelona also retains a claim to 50 percent of any future transfer fee for Villa.

With 56 goals in 92 appearances, Villa is Spain’s leading scorer in international play, despite his missing the 2012 European Championship due to an injury.

He was an integral part of the Spanish squad that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

Villa joined Barça in 2010 and kicked 48 goals in 119 official matches with the club, but he had a hard time getting back into the starting lineup after the broken leg he suffered in 2011 kept him off the pitch for months.

Barcelona’s recent signing of Brazilian sensation Neymar left Villa’s future with the red-and-blue even cloudier.

Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United were said to be interested in Villa, but Atletico – anxious to replace departed striker Radamel Falcao – beat the English sides to the negotiating table.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are to meet next month in the Spanish Supercup.

Messi Wins Record Fourth Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi is officially in a league of his own…

The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol has become the first four-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, FIFA’s Player of the Year award, after breaking the world record for most goals in a year with 91 goals for Barcelona and Argentina.

Lionel Messi

Messi won for the fourth straight time, beating Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo and his fellow Futbol Club Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta in voting announced Monday. His 91 goals topped Gerd Mueller‘s mark of 85 for Bayern Munich and Germany back in 1972.

Messi received 41.60 percent of the points in votes by national team coaches and captains plus selected media. Ronaldo got 23.68 percent and Iniesta 10.91 percent.

“To tell the truth, this is really unbelievable to get the fourth award. I am so nervous,” Messi said in Spanish, wearing a black tuxedo jacket and bow tie, both with a white polka-dot pattern in an unexpectedly flamboyant touch.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann and captain Carlos Bocanegra both voted Messi first, as did Soccer America’s Paul Kennedy.

Zinedine Zidane of France and Ronaldo of Brazil were voted FIFA Player of the Year three times before the award merged in 2010 with France Football’s Golden Ball, given to the European player of the year. The Golden Ball, or Ballon d’Or, was won three times by Michel Platini of France and Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten of the Netherlands.

Vicente del Bosque was voted top men’s coach after leading Spain to its third straight title in a major tournament, the 2012 European Championship. Del Bosque got 34.51 percent to win over Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho (20.49), who won last year, and Pep Guardiola (12.91) who won in 2011 and retired from Barcelona last spring.

The three men’s Player of the Year candidates were on the World XI All-Star team chosen by the FIFPro group of players’ unions, comprising 50,000 members worldwide.

They selected a team composed entirely of players from Spanish clubs, with nine repeating their selection from one year ago.

Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas was selected as goalkeeper, joined on defense by teammates Sergio Ramos and Marcelo and by Barcelona’s Dani Alves and Gerard Pique. Iniesta was joined in midfield by Barcelona teammate Xavi Hernandez and Real Madrid’s Xabi Alonso. Messi led the attack with Ronaldo and Atletico Madrid‘s Radamel Falcao. Marcelo and Falcao replaced Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney from the 2011 team.

Messi Could Pick Up a Fourth FIFA Ballon d’Or Award

Lionel Messi has the chance to make soccer history…

The 25-year-old Argentine fútbol star, who just claimed his second Golden Boot award, is among the 23 players in the running for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.

Lionel Messi

Should he come out on top, Messi, who made history by claiming the award the last three years in a row, would become the only player to claim the award four times.

But Messi will face stiff competition from several noted players, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi Hernandez, this year’s runners-up for the world’s best player award.

Here’s a look at the nominees:

Real Madrid Players:
Cristiano Ronaldo
Iker Casillas
Mesut Ozil
Karim Benzema
Sergio Ramos
Xabi Alonso

Barcelona Players:
Lionel Messi
Andres Iniesta
Sergio Busquets
Gerard Pique
Xavi Hernandez

Atletico Madrid Player:
Radamel Falcao

Manchester City Players:
Mario Balotelli
Sergio Aguero
Yaya Toure

Manchester United Players:
Wayne Rooney
Robin van Persie

Juventus Players:
Andrea Pirlo
Gianluigi Buffon

Shanghai Shenhua Player:
Didier Drogba

PSG Player:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Bayern Munich Player:
Manuel Neuer

Santos Player:
Neymar

The final three candidates will be revealed on November 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Ballon d’Or ceremony will take place in Zurich on January 7, 2013, when the player who receives the most votes from coaches and captains of international teams, as well as reporters, will be announced.

Daddy Yankee to Perform at Messi’s Charity Soccer Match

Daddy Yankee is partnering with soccer star Lionel Messi to raise money for at-risk children…

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican reggaeton star will perform Thursday in Bogota during Match of the Stars, a benefit soccer match that aiming to raise money for the Leo Messi Foundation.

Daddy Yankee

“I wanted to accompany Messi and the rest of the players who are getting behind this cause,” Daddy Yankee said about the project organized by the 24-year-old Argentine futbolista, who was recently named the world’s best soccer player for the third straight year.

Daddy Yankee, the mastermind behind the popular songs “Gasolina” and “Impacto,” will sing during the halftime show at the exhibition game to be played at Bogota’s iconic El Campin stadium.

The money raised for the Messi Foundation will be used to help needy children in Colombia.

“Colombia has given me a lot and we have to support every initiative that helps make sure that the different foundations sheltering poor boys and girls in Colombia can to keep caring for them,” said Daddy Yankee.

During his halftime show, Daddy Yankee will premiere his new single “Pasarela” for the Colombian audience, as well as perform his hit song “Lovumba.” Both singles are included on his latest album Prestige, which goes on sale later this summer.

The lineup for the Match of the Stars will include the Argentines Messi and Javier Mascherano, Uruguayans Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez and the Colombian Radamel Falcao, all of whom will take part in the World Soccer Masters Tour at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, June 23.