The past week has seen a number of important events in football, from Lionel Messi being one of the frontrunners to win the Ballon d’Or to Real Madrid winning the El Clasico in Barcelona’s new home.
Sportstar has a look at some of the notable happenings in the world of football in the week that went by:
Match of the week: Barcelona vs Real Madrid
Real Madrid battled back to win 2-1 at Barcelona in a nervy LaLiga ‘El Clasico’ on Saturday thanks to a second-half brace by top scorer Jude Bellingham, who continues to impress with his superb form.
On Saturday, he led Real’s fightback after Barcelona had opened the scoring in the sixth minute through midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who took advantage of a bad defensive mistake by the visitors.
Barca was punished for failing to convert its dominance into more goals as Bellingham made the most of the two chances he had in the second half.
First, he unleashed an unstoppable strike from range into the upper left corner in the 68th minute, and then, in stoppage time, he scored the winner after collecting a Luka Modric pass inside the box.
Barca dominated the first half, and Gundogan found the ball at his feet for an easy tap-in after Real defender Aurelien Tchouameni passed backwards to centre-back David Alaba, who barely reached the ball.
Midfielder Fermin Lopez, who hit the post in the 15th minute, and forward Joao Felix were a constant menace to Real’s defence and created several chances to score, with Real arguably lucky to go into the break only one goal down.
It started to find its mojo after manager Carlo Ancelotti brought Eduardo Camavinga and Modric off the bench, and Bellingham once again shone under the spotlight.
Real Madrid is top of the standings on 28 points, level with Girona. Barca is third on 24, two ahead of Atletico Madrid, which has two games in hand.
Who said what?
“My dad used to say that humility in success is a sign of greatness, and that was Bobby.”Sir Alex Ferguson on Sir Bobby Charlton
“I’ve always said that the Ballon d’Or should be in two sections, one for Messi, and after look for the other one (for others).”Pep Guardiola on Ballon D’Or
“What better joy than to get back here and feel good again, to score the goal that gets the win -- now I can only smile.”Jennifer Hermoso, who scored the winner against Italy on return for Spain
“Without technology (VAR), I feel that they (Indian referees in ISL) have been thrown to the lions and are told to fight them.”Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic
What’s cooking in football?
Messi eyes eighth Ballon d’Or; Bonmati favourite for women’s award
Lionel Messi is the favourite to win the eighth Ballon d’Or of his remarkable career when this year’s ceremony to crown the planet’s best footballer takes place in Paris on Monday, while Spain’s World Cup-winning star Aitana Bonmati is tipped to take the women’s prize.
The prestigious men’s award has been dominated over the last 15 years by Messi and his old adversary Cristiano Ronaldo, who have won it 12 times between them.
The destination of the women’s prize seems even more clear-cut. Bonmati, the Barcelona midfielder lit up the tournament with her talent having already starred for her club as it won the Champions League.
So impressive has she been that Guardiola has likened her to another Barcelona great, Andres Iniesta.
Haaland surpasses Ronaldo as City wins Manchester derby
Erling Haaland scored twice in the Manchester derby to surpass Cristiano Ronaldo, becoming the highest goalscorer in 2023, with 44 goals in 46 games. He has 38 goals for Man City and six goals for Norway this year.
Guardiola’s side won the Manchester derby 3-0, with Foden finding the third in the 80th minute.
Ronaldo has been enjoying his purple patch in the Saudi Pro League, scoring 34 goals for Al Nassr, while his nine strikes for Portugal have contributed to the side qualifying for the European Championship next year.
Sir Bobby Charlton passes away
Bobby Charlton, a Manchester United legend who won the World Cup with England in 1966 and went on to become a much-loved and hugely respected ambassador for club and country, died on Saturday, aged 86.
His death was announced by Manchester United in a statement.
Dignified, unassuming and regarded as United’s greatest-ever servant, Charlton appeared 758 times for the club, scoring 249 goals. Both records stood for a long time until Ryan Giggs overtook the former in 2008 and Wayne Rooney the latter nine years later.
Harry Kane scores a screamer for Bayern
England striker Harry Kane scored a miraculous goal for Bayern Munich in their Bundesliga match against SV Darmstadt to help his side go 5-0 at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Saturday.
Kane spotted goalkeeper Marcel Schuhen off his line and fired the ball around 60 yards (meters) from Bayern’s side of the centre circle. The shot flew over Schuhen, who was desperately running back to his goal, and into the net to increase Bayern’s lead to in the 69th minute.
Luis Diaz’s family kidnapped back home
The parents of Colombian and Liverpool striker Luis Diaz were kidnapped and while his mother was later rescued his father remained missing, authorities said.
Diaz’s mother, Cilenis Marulanda, was rescued by police in the city of Barrancas in the northern department of La Guajira, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro said on Saturday.
The country’s police director, Gen William Salamanca, said in a video he is using every agent to find Diaz’s father.
Indian football: Women’s team ends Olympics dream
India’s Paris Olympics dreams ended at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Sunday when it went down fighting to Vietnam 1-3 in the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Group C encounter.
Having lost its second consecutive match in a row, India is now out of contention for the Olympics despite having a match in hand. In the first match, India lost to former World Cup champion Japan.
(with inputs from agencies)
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