Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: Ballon d'Or nominees announced

Yesterday's Matches
None.

Headlines
The nominees for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award were announced yesterday. A total of 30 players made the shortlist, but, in reality, there is only one who truly deserves the honor, Cristiano Ronaldo. Winning the Champions League and leading Portugal to it's first European championship while being one of the most electrifying players on the planet is more than enough to earn him the award for the third time in his life. But, for what it's worth, here's the entire list of players under consideration for the top individual honor the game has to offer:

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/Juventus)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain/Manchester United)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Koke (Atletico Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Neymar (Barcelona)
Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
Pepe (Real Madrid)
Paul Pogba (Juventus/Manchester United)
Rui Patricio (Sporting)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)

In other "Player of the Year" news, Antoine Griezmann has been named La Liga's top player. The Frenchman has been fantastic in the last couple of seasons for Atletico Madrid, having led them to within a penalty shootout of winning the Champions League. His coach, Diego Simeone, won the best coach award and his goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, was honored as the top keeper.

Onward to England, where the FA has struck a new overseas television deal for the FA Cup that's reportedly worth more than $1 billion. They hope to use that money to invest in pitches, facilities, and participation programs to grow the game domestically. 

Tottenham's Moussa Sissoko will sit out three matches after accepting a violent conduct charge for elbowing Bournemouth's Harry Arter on Saturday. He did not see any punishment in the match itself, which ended in a scoreless draw. This suspension will keep him out of the North London Derby against Arsenal on November 6.

In Wednesday's EFL Cup match between West Ham and Chelsea, there will be increased security and an alcohol ban as authorities attempt to curb violence between the two fanbases. There have been many issues with fan violence since West Ham moved to the London Stadium for this season. A total of nine people have been arrested in matchday incidents.

Finally, MLS has set a new average attendance record for a single season. The average MLS match was attended by 21,692 fans, up from the 2015 record of 21,558. This is the third straight season where the league has set a new attendance record. Seattle Sounders led the way with 42,636 fans at the average match, while FC Dallas brought up the rear at 14,094. That number was also the largest decline from last year at 12%, this despite winning the Supporters Shield.

Today's Matches
EFL Cup
Arsenal v. Reading- 2:45pm
Bristol City v. Hull City- 2:45pm
Leeds United v. Norwich City- 2:45pm
Liverpool v. Tottenham- 2:45pm
Newcastle v. Preston North End- 2:45pm

DfB Pokal
Dynamo Dresden v. Arminia Bielefeld- 12:30pm
SC Freiburg v. SC Sandhausen- 12:30pm
Wurzburger Kickers v. TSV 1860 Munich- 12:30pm
Borussia Monchengladbach v. VfB Stuttgart- 2:45pm
Eintracht Frankfurt v. FC Ingolstadt 04- 2:45pm
Hallescher FC v. Hamburg SV- 2:45pm
St. Pauli v. Hertha Berlin- 2:45pm

Serie A
Genoa v. AC Milan- 2:45pm

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