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In this week’s review of the footballing action, we congratulate Lionel Messi for winning his third FIFA Ballon d’Or award, look back at a bad week for his club Barcelona and an ugly end for Neil Warnock as he is fired from QPR. You can listen to these and other stories on our weekly podcast and can find explanations of key vocabulary in bold below.
He is only 24 years old but already the Argentinian Leo Messi is now being touted as the best ever. Messi has just been awarded his third successive Ballon d’Or trophy, the prize given to the best player in the world and few can doubt that Messi is clearly number one: winning the Spanish League, the Spanish Super Cup, the European Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Champions League where he scored and was voted man of the match. He finished last season with a remarkable 55 goals and already has managed another 28 this season, though he was quick to point out that many of those goals would not have come about if it had not been for his team mate Xavi who finished second ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Pep Guardiola was named coach of the year, while Homare Sawa, captain of Nadeshiko Japan won the best female player award. Goal of the season was awarded to Santos star Neymar for his amazing solo goal against Flamengo.
Ironically on such a good weekend for Messi his club side fell further behind rivals Real Madrid after only drawing the Catalan derby 1-1 against Espanyol. This draw, coming after Madrid’s 5-1 rout of Granada, left Guardiola’s men five points behind Real which means that Madrid are now most definitely in the driving seat in this season’s La Liga.
Premier League side Queens Park Rangers, QPR, have sacked their manager Neil Warnock who had been in charge since early 2010. A run of defeats saw the West London side slip into the relegation battle and Warnock paid the price at the weekend when his team failed to beat lower league side MK Dons. He was the second Premier League manager to be fired this season after Steve Bruce and no doubt there will be more casualties before the season is out.
is now being touted as: To be tipped; to be talked about as
awarded: To be given
rout: A big defeat, a heavy thrashing
are now most definitely in the driving seat : They are in charge, they have an advantage
paid the price: Was fired, sacked
more casualties: Here this means sackings