Cristiano Ronaldo wins fifth Ballon d’Or award

Paris: Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo won a record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award for the year’s best player. The Real Madrid forward’s second successive win drew him level alongside Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on five Ballonsd’Or, after the Argentinian took second in the vote, with Brazilian Neymar third. The 32-year-old was the top-scorer in last season’sChampions League as Real successfully defended the trophy with victory over Juventus in June, and also led the Spanish giants to their first La Liga title in five years.

“Of course I feel happy. This is something I look forward to every year,” Ronaldo said at the ceremony at the EiffelTower in Paris. “The trophies won last year helped to win this award.Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.” Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

He scored 42 goals in all competitions for Real last season, and also netted 15 times in European World Cup qualifying. Ronaldo will lead Portugal at next year’s World Cup in Russia as he looks to add football’s greatest title to the2016 European Championship win when the Portuguese beat hosts France in the final. Messi and Ronaldo have now shared the last 10 Ballons d’Or since the latter’s first win after leading ManchesterUnited to the 2007-08 Champions League title.

“I hope to play at this level for a few more years, I hope the battle with Messi continues, things happen for a reason,” he added. “I feel good this season and we’ll see what we win at the end of the year.” When asked if he would like to finish his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo said: “I’m happy at Real Madrid, I want to stay there… If possible.” Real Madrid president Florentino Perez would have been pleased to hear Ronaldo’s intention to stay, and he compared his current star to Alfredo Di Stefano, the only other player to win multiple Ballons d’Or while with Real. “For me, he’s the most complete player after Alfredo DiStefano, he’s Alfredo’s heir,” said Perez. “He embodies all the values of Real — effort, respect, teamwork, and solidarity.”

The prestigious France Football magazine award, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30. It was a replica first two from 2016, which was the first year after FIFA ended its association with the Ballon d’Or and restarted its own Player of the Year award. Neymar will be hoping to take over the mantle of 32-year-old Ronaldo and Messi, 30, in the coming years after coming third for the second time, having finished fifth last year.

The 25-year-old left Messi’s Barcelona during the close season in a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, where he has already scored 15 goals this season. “Neymar has a lot of talent, a lot of potential, and I’m sure he’ll have some chance to win in the future,” Ronaldo said. Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth after helping Juventus to the Champions League final, while Real’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric rounded out the top five.

Centre-back Sergio Ramos was the highest-ranked Spaniard and the third Real player in the top 10, one ahead of French rising star Kylian Mbappe in seventh. Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was the highest PremierLeague representative, with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and England’s Harry Kane completing the top 10.

Top foreign players to feature in Pakistan Super League Players Draft

Karachi: Around 200 foreign players will feature in a list of 500 cricketers in the Players Draft which will be held in Lahore tomorrow for the third Pakistan Super League. Top foreign players, including Chris Lynn, JP Duminy,Imran Tahir, Carlos Brathwaite, Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo,Jimmy Neesham, Angelo Mathews, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mitchell Johnson, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi, Adil Rashid, Wayne Parnell, Thisara Perera, Rashid Khan and ColinIngram will up for grab in the Players Draft.

The third PSL will have a new — sixth — franchise in Multan Sultans. Each franchise has a salary cap of USD 1.2million for the players draft to complete a squad of 20players. Teams have already retained nine players each for the third PSL and will go into the Players Draft to pick one platinum, one diamond, one gold, two silver and two emerging players each in order to complete their squads of 16. Teams may also pick up to four players in the supplementary rounds.

Interestingly, only one Pakistani player, Ahmed Shehzadfeatures in the platinum category which has 21 players for the draft. A high number of players from England, Bangladesh and SriLanka will feature in the players draft. The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that it will be holding a number of matches of the third PSL in Lahore and Karachi in March next year, including the final. Sources say that the foreign players, who sign contracts for the PSL, will have to also sign a clause confirming they will be available to play for their franchises in Pakistan.For this, they will be paid extra fees of USD 10,000 to 20,000per match if they travel to Pakistan.

Injury fears cloud Rafael Nadal- Roger Federer dream clash at ATP Finals

London: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer can set up a dream climax to the 2017 season at the ATP World Tour Finals, but organisers are sweating on the Spaniard’s fitness and a new crop are itching to spoil the party. The two all-time greats get star billing in London after each won two Grand Slams and locked down the top two ranking spots as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had injury-plagued seasons to forget. The eight-man field at the O2 Arena has an unbalanced look about it but 20-year-old Alexander Zverev leads a hungry chasing pack, desperate to stake a claim to membership of the game’s elite.

World number one Nadal, who won the French Open and USOpen this year, admitted on Friday that he is not training at100 percent ahead of his tournament opener against Belgium’s David Goffin on Sunday, although he said he is likely to be fit enough to play. “I hope. And if I didn’t believe I can be ready, for me, I wouldn’t be here,” said the Spaniard, who will also do battle with Dominic Thiem and Grigor Dimitrov in the ‘Pete Sampras’ group. “I’m working every day, practising well and just trying to be ready for the action.”

The 31-year-old, forced to pull out of the Paris Masters last week with a knee injury, is painfully aware that the ATP finals is the one major piece of silverware missing from his trophy cabinet and he wants to put that right. “Being here is an important thing but for me the most important thing is everything that happened to me this year, the tournaments, competing almost every week with a very competitive level of tennis, being healthy until Paris,” he said. And Nadal said although he welcomed the opportunity to finish the year with another high-profile clash against Federer, he was not fixated on the need to defeat the Swiss after four straight losses to his old rival in 2017.



Federer, chasing his seventh Tour Finals title, is happy to be back at the end-of-season showpiece after missing out last year during a long layoff. “Last year I couldn’t be here so it’s nice to be here again because this year I had to start further back in the rankings,” said the Swiss, who astonished the tennis world by winning the Australian Open after months away from the sport. Federer, at the grand old age of 36, said he felt fresh after a season that had exceeded his expectations.

ATP Tour Finals: Federer to face Zverev, Nadal drawn against Grigor Dimitrov

“This year I ended up playing much less than I thought I would. Because of the great start to the season I didn’t have to push it that much to be honest, which was great,” he said. So can anybody smash the Federer-Nadal duopoly at the tournament featuring the season’s top players? The most likely candidate appears to be Zverev, who has rocketed up the rankings to number three after an outstanding season in which he has won five tournaments, including two Masters titles.

“Winning two Masters series is special for any player in an era where the top events have been monopolised by the ‘BigFour’,” said the German, who is in the ‘Boris Becker’ group along with Federer, former US Open winner Marin Cilic and Jack Sock. He added that the younger generation was making a pushtowards the top of the game to challenge the existing powers. The singles tournament, which runs until November 19,begins with Thiem taking on Dimitrov. The top two in eachgroup qualify for the semi-finals.

ICC does not have power to pursue BCCI: Wasim Akram

Karachi: Former Pakistan seamer Wasim Akram has reflected that International Cricket Council (ICC) is powerless in front of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), as it cannot foster a deal between the latter and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for a bilateral series. “I don’t think ICC has the power to pursue BCCI, but again I have always said people to people contact is necessary. Politics and sport should be separate,” Geo News quoted Akram, as saying.

The 51-year-old pacer also expressed, it is very unfortunate that the current players from both the sides are missing out on playing against each other. Akram said an India-Pakistan series is more exciting to watch than the Ashes series played between England and Australia.

“A Pakistan India match is more fun to watch than the Ashes. 20 million people watch the Ashes while a Pakistan India match is watched by a billion people,” the skipper said. In 2014, BCCI and PCB signed an agreement to play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023; however, the series have not been materialised yet in wake of political tensions between the two countries.

The last time the two rivals clashed against each other was in the ICC Champions Trophy final in June earlier this year, where the Sarfraz Ahmed-led side conceded a 180 run defeat to the Virat-Kohli led team.

India vs New Zealand: Sehwag-Taylor have sign off banter as thrilling series ends

New Zealand lost a hard-fought three-match T20I series against India after falling six runs short in the final T20I in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. Their series win over the Kiwis handed Virender Sehwag the perfect chance to have one final go at his friend Ross Taylor. As soon as the Team India registered a 6-run win in the 3rd T20I, Sehwag tweeted Taylor. “Dhulaai ke baad silaai, but well played NZ.Never feel very bad losing against NZ because they are such nice guys,but sweet victory for India,” he wrote.

 Virender Sehwag ✔@virendersehwag
Dhulaai ke baad silaai, but well played NZ.Never feel very bad losing against NZ because they are such nice guys,but sweet victory for India …
11:05 PM - Nov 7, 2017
 898 898 Replies   3,372 3,372 Retweets   26,218 26,218 likes
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The duo has been trading friendly fire on the social media site throughout the series. Though the Kiwi batsman may not ended up on the winning side in the end, but he did carve out a special place in the hearts of the local fans with his Hindi. And before signing off from India, Taylor shared a post on his Instagram account with picture, including teammat Ish Sodhi and staff member Dev. The picture was captioned, “As always India it was a pleasure. FYI – the two responsible for helping me with banter with @virendersehwag are here in this photo, thanks, Dev and @ic3_odi, signing off with one last message: Dhullai aur Silaai Anne waale samay mein jaari rahegi ☺️#India #indvnz #Mumbai #darji.”

Taylor thanked his Indian origin staff member and teammate who helped him in the Twitter banter against Viru in the past few days by replying to his messages in Hindi. Sehwag and Taylor recently indulged in some healthy arguments on Twitter, which became famous all over social media, enjoyed by the fans as well. The Twitter banter went on throughout the tour of New Zealand to India. Both ODI and T20I series was played in great spirit on and off the field as the teams fought gamely in all the six matches. The deciders went right down the wire but India prevailed every time by keeping their nerves.

Anyway, the Nawab of Najafgarh won the ultimate battle in the end and had the last laugh.

Andy Murray and wife Kim Sears welcome second daughter

Melbourne: Former world number one Andy Murray and his wife Kim Sears have welcomed the birth of their second child.

The couple, who got hitched at Dunblane Cathedral in April 2015, is blessed with a baby girl. Earlier in July, it was announced that Murray and Kim are expecting their second baby.

The British tennis maestro and his wife already have a daughter, Sophia, who was born in 2016, reported.

The news of the arrival of the couple’s little princess emerged less than 24 hours after Murray played a charity match against 19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

It was Murray’s first public appearance since suffering a hip injury at Wimbledon.

India beat New Zealand in T20 series decider

Thiruvananthapuram: Virat Kohli‘s India beat New Zealand in a match reduced to eight overs a side by rain to beat the Kiwis in a T20 series for the first time 2-1.
India made 67-5 with Manish Pandey hitting 17 off 11 balls and Kohli 13. Though the result could have gone either way with just two balls remaining, New Zealand reached just 61-6 with Colin de Grandhomme making an unbeaten 17.

India had never beaten New Zealand in a T20 match going into this series.

Do This Befor

Former-NBA player Andre Miller to visit India to promote basketball


Mumbai: The National Basketball Association (NBA) on Thursday announced that former NBA player Andre Miller will visit India to support the continued growth of basketball in the country. Miller will travel to Delhi-NCR where he will visit the NBA Basketball School on October 30 then lead a clinic for prospects at The NBA Academy India on October 31.

“I’m looking forward to my first visit to India to see firsthand how the NBA has been developing basketball in the country,” said Miller.

“I understand there’s a lot of potential in India, and I’m excited to contribute to the growth of the sport,” he said.

Miller, a point guard from Los Angeles, was selected eighth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1999 NBA Draft. Miller was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2000 and was the league leader in assists for the 2001-02 season. Miller ranks ninth on the NBA’s all-time assist leaders.

Since 2006, more than 30 active and retired NBA and WNBA players have visited India with the NBA, including Sim Bhullar, Bruce Bowen, Muggsy Bogues, Chris Bosh, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Seth Curry, Pau Gasol, Robert Horry, Dwight Howard, Robin Lopez, Brian Shaw, Shawn Marion, Jason Richardson and Kevin Durant.

U17 Football World Cup, in which India is no longer a participant

As a spectator and a sports enthusiast, Mridul Negi reminiscences on the lowdown of the ongoing of the U17 Football World Cup, in which India is no longer a participant

October of 2017 will forever be etched in the memory of Indian football fans. The date 6th October will always be remembered as the day when India took on the heavyweights of world football for the first time. India has been called ‘The sleeping giant’ of football for a very long time, but this time the giant woke up from its slumber to let the world know it has arrived.
When the draws for the group stages of the tournament were made it was apparent that India would do well to get anything out of the group stages as they were pitted against the likes of Colombia, Ghana, and the USA. The three countries have produced global superstars such as James Rodriguez, Alex Song, and Christian Pulisic.


(From top left) Rahim Ali, Namit Deshpande, Anwar Ali, Dheeraj Moirangthem (Goal Keeper), Abhijit Sarkar, Jeakson Thounaojam, Rahul Kannoly, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Boris Thangjam, Sanjeev Stalin, Amarjit Kiyam (Captain).

The Indian U-17 National team, led by Amarjit in attendance of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and more than 40,000 fans at the stadium carried the expectations of an entire country on its shoulders. They had been granted exposure at an international level during their various training camps abroad to prepare them for the tournament, however, USA proved too much for them as they were defeated 3-0. Despite being outplayed India showed glimpses of quality, goalkeeper Dheeraj and winger Komal Thatal stood out as two bright spots for India during the game.


Putting the defeat behind their backs on their world cup debut, the Indian team, prepped up to face Colombia in what turned out to be the highlight of the tournament for the hosts. Colombia had been defeated 1-0 in their first match against Ghana. Coach de Matos made some tactical changes and dropped star winger Thatal to the bench to add solidarity in defence. It became clear from the kick-off that there was something different about the Indian team this time, India created chances galore and outplayed Colombia in the first half, hitting the goalpost once and forcing their goalkeeper into a brilliant save by the halftime whistle.

However, the start of the second half showed the frailties in the inexperienced Indian side as they went down a goal early in the second half, yet, backed by a vociferous support in the stadium refused to give up. In the 82nd minute of the game arrived the moment every Indian was dreaming of. Sanjeev Stalin drove in an excellent corner kick in the box, which was met by Jeakson Singh’s leaping header to score India’s first goal in a FIFA world cup.

The stadium erupted in a thunderous roar as the ball hit the back of the net, the moment of Euphoria was here, Jeakson had made history. The ecstasy though, turned into heartbreak a minute later as Colombia scored another one to make it 2-1. India lost the match, but those who witnessed what happened on the pitch will remember it forever.


Gulf of Class

India’s brave performance against Colombia came short of a victory meaning India had to defeat Ghana by a clear margin of 3 goals to have any chance of progressing. As expected Ghana known for its physical prowess and athletic ability proved too much for the young Indian boys as they lost 4-0 and crashed out of the tournament. The Gulf of class that still exists between India and the elites of football was evident. At the final whistle, emotions got the better of the boys as tears rolled down their eyes. India’s journey in its maiden world cup campaign came to an unceremonious end.

Saina Nehwal wins, PV Sindhu loses in Denmark Open

                                                 Saina Nehwal wins, PV Sindhu loses in Denmark Open के लिए चित्र परिणाम

Odense: India had a bittersweet day at Denmark Open as Saina Nehwal knocked out Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain but title-contender P V Sindhu suffered a straight game loss against China’s Chen Yufei to crash out of the opening round, here. Glasgow World Championship bronze medallist, Saina defeated two-time World champion Marin 22-20 21-18 in a hard-fought battle to avenge her Japan Open second-round loss to the Spaniard.

She will play either Thailand’s NitchaonJindapol or Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya in the next round. Late in the day, Sindhu, however, failed to break the rhythm of World No 10 Chen to go down fighting 17-21 21-23 ina 43-minute match. This is her second successive early loss after clinching the Korea Open she had lost in the second round of Japan Open last month. Earlier, Indian top shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and H SPrannoy made positive starts but B Sai Praneeth bowed out in the opening round of men’s singles competition. World No 8 Srikanth overcame a spirited effort from compatriot qualifier Subhankar Dey 21-17-21-15 to set up a clash with Korean Jeon Hyeok Jin, the 2016 Australian Open runner-up. On the adjacent court, Praneeth failed to erase 11-7 and11-8 deficits to go down 10-21 15-21 to local hope Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus in a lop-sided contest.

World No 15 Prannoy, meanwhile, recovered from a 6-11deficit in the second game to oust Denmark’s Emil Holst 21-1821-19 in a hard-fought match. It was his third win over theDanish shuttler. The Indian is likely to play former World No.1 Malaysian Lee Chong Wei on Thursday. Among other Indians in fray, young doubles specialistSatwiksairaj Rankireddy suffered twin defeats in mixed and men’s doubles competition to end his campaign here. Satwik and his mixed doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa, who had reached the semifinals last week at Dutch Open, lost19-21 17-21 to local combo of Niclas Nohr and Sara Thygesen.
In men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag Shetty, who had reached the quarters at Korea Open, failed to get across Korean pair of Chung Eui Seok and Kim Dukyoung, losing 21-1418-21 17-21 in the opening round. Experienced men’s doubles combo of Manu Attri and BSumeeth Reddy also lost 13-21 18-21 to Denmark’s Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding, while it was also curtains for Ashwini and Sikki in women’s doubles after they went down fighting 21-15 18-21 21-23 to Malaysian combo of Chow Mei Kuan and Lee Meng Yean. Another mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy, who had reached the semifinals at Japan Open, also crashed out last night in the opening round after losing17-21 15-21 to Irish combo of Sam Magee and Chloe Magee.

The highlight of the day, however, was the match between Saina and Marin where the world no 12 Indian dished out a controlled game mixed with aggression and caution to outwit the World No 4 Spaniard. The match started on an aggressive note as both the players were locked in an initial battle before Saina managed to eke out an 11-9 lead at the break with the help of her better net play and disguished strokes. She moved to a 13-11lead with accurate down the line smashes. But left-handed Marin kept breathing down her neck and leveled par with two points. Every time Saina grabbed a point, Marin came back with her trademark strokes and also took a crucial 19-18 lead with a net return. Once again Saina’s down the line smash came to her rescue as she drew parity and soon grabbed the game point.

Marinagain came up with another precise net return to level par at20-20. However, she hit wide next to hand over an opportunity to the Indian, who sealed it with another superb smash. After the change of sides, Marin started dictating terms initially moving to a 5-3 lead but a pumped up Saina soon came back to turn the tables at 7-6 when her opponent hit wide and managed to lead 11-8 at the break. After the interval, Marin narrowed the margin to 10-11but Saina didn’t allow the Spaniard to make a comeback as she jumped to a 16-11 lead. Marin made a last-ditch effort to clawback at 18-20 but Saina soon shut the door without much ado. “I was moving well and finally it is about movements and picking up shots. She is the best player in the world and she is playing extremely well but I was happy with the way I was retrieving my shots,” said Saina after notching up her fifth win over Marin in nine meetings.

“I really don’t know what I played today, everything happened so fast. The court is little fast, it was not a really kind of court. The smashes were going well but anything could have happened but I picked up those difficult shots,” she added. In another women’s singles match, Sindhu conceded a 3-0lead early on but she managed to erase the deficit when she drew parity at 9-9 and moved together till 17-17. It was at this moment when Chen stepped up and grabbed four crucial points to earn the bragging rights. In the second game, Chen once again surged to a 7-3 lead and Sindhu once again clawed back with four straight points but at the break, it was the Chinese who had a slender one-point lead. After the interval, Chen extended the lead to 15-11.Sindhu managed to reduce it to 16-17.

However, Singh struggled to retrieve some low shots and with one of her net dribbles going to net meant Chen had four match points. Sindhu then saved off four match points to make it 20-20but eventually Chen closed out the match at 23-21 to avenge her World Championship loss to the Indian.

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