Barcelona Complete Signing of Brazilian Winger Malcom From Under the Nose of Roma

?Barcelona have officially completed the €42m signing of Brazilian winger Malcom from Bordeaux after successfully hijacking Roma’s attempts to sign the coveted rising star.

Also previously rumoured as a target for Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton, Malcom has agreed a five-year contract with Barça that promises to keep him at Camp Nou until 2023.

The 21-year-old joins an already strong unit of Barça attackers and will hope to complement Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.

He will link up with his new teammates on tour in the United States on Wednesday.

Malcom first arrived in Europe in 2016 when he joined Bordeaux from Brazilian club Corithians. He had made his debut in the Brasileiro in 2014 shortly after his 17th birthday.


Last season, Malcom scored 12 Ligue 1 goals for Bordeaux, only one fewer than Kylian Mbappe managed for champions Paris Saint-Germain, while he also provided a further seven assists.


Salah & Kane Join Ronaldo & Messi on Best Men’s Player Shortlist as FIFA Award Nominations Announced

Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah and World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane join Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the 10-strong shortlist for the 2018 Best FIFA Men’s Player award, with FIFA also revealing the nominees for Best FIFA Women’s Player, Best FIFA Men’s Coach and Best FIFA Women’s Coach on a busy day of announcements.

Salah scored 44 goals in his debut season for ?Liverpool and won the Premier League golden boot, while Kane top scored at the summer’s World Cup as England reached the last four.

Ronaldo won yet another Champions League title with Real Madrid before completing a €100m move to ?Juventus, while Messi helped ?Barcelona to a ?La Liga and Copa del Rey double.

UEFA Champions League'Real Madrid v Liverpool FC'

Also nominated are Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City & Belgium), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid & France), Eden Hazard (Chelsea & Belgium), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain & France), Luka Modric (Real Madrid & Croatia) and Raphael Varane (Real Madrid & France).

?Lyon unsurprisingly dominate the nominations for Best FIFA Women’s Player, with six players on the 10-strong shortlist playing their football for the all-conquering French club, including prolific Norwegian striker Ada Hegerberg and England full-back Lucy Bronze.

Pernile Harder (Wolfsburg & Denmark), Amandine Henry (Lyon & France), Samantha Kerr (Sky Blue & Australia), Saki Kumagai (Lyon & Japan), Dzsenifer Marozsan (Lyon & Germany), Marta (Orlando Pride & Brazil), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign & USA), Wendie Renard (Lyon & France) are the other players up for the grand prize.

On the managerial side of things, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane and Pep Guardiola are the early favourites for Best FIFA Men’s Coach after a brilliant year with France, ?Real Madrid and ?Manchester City respectively.

Deschamps became only the third individual in history to win the World Cup as both a player and manager, while became the first manager in history to win three consecutive European Cup trophies and Guardiola set new points, goals and wins records to win his ?Premier League title.

Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Stanislav Cherchesov (Russia), Zlatko Dalic (Croatia), Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Roberto Martinez (Belgium), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Gareth Southgate (England) and Ernesto Valverde (Barcelona) are also nominated.

Sweden v England: Quarter Final - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

FIFA had earlier announced the 10-strong shortlist for the Best FIFA Women’s Coach award:

Emma Hayes (Chelsea), Stephan Lerch (Wolfsburg), Mark Parsons (Portland Thorns), Reynald Pedros (Lyon), Alen Stajic (Australia), Asako Takakura (Japan), Vadao (Brazil), Jorge Vilda (Spain), Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Switzerland), Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

Winners for the four main accolades as well as others, including the Puskas Awards, will be revealed at The Best FIFA Football Awards show in London on 24th September.


Barcelona Hijack Roma’s Deal to Sign Malcom & It May Have a Direct Impact on Willian’s Future

?Barcelona appear to have stolen in on a deal for Bordeaux forward Malcom at the eleventh hour on Monday night, in an incredible turn of events which also involves Italian giants AS Roma.

Roma had confirmed on Monday evening that they had reached an agreement to sign the 21-year-old, while Bordeaux had done the same thing minutes before. The player was all set to fly to Rome with just personal terms and a medical left to iron out.

The club tweeted: “AS Roma can confirm that the club has reached an agreement with FC Girondins de Bordeaux for the transfer of Malcom, subject to the player completing a medical and agreeing personal terms.”

Gianluca Di Marzio had also reported that Roma would part with the sum of €36m to get the deal over the line, with various bonuses to be included as part of a package.

However, at around 10pm GMT on Monday night, further reports broke that Barcelona had made a bid of their own. It’s not yet known what the details of the deal are, but it’s reported by multiple sources to be a “much better” offer than the one Roma put forward.

As a result, Bordeaux cancelled the player’s flight to Italy – where supporters were already waiting to welcome him – and they are now believed to be in talks with the Catalan giants over a move. What this means for their pursuit of Willian is anyone’s guess, but logic would have it that they may have pulled out of the race to land the Bordeaux star instead.


That may leave Manchester United to have a clear run at the Chelsea winger in the remaining weeks of the transfer window. The Blues have rejected a host of bids from the Spanish champions for the player, but United boss Jose Mourinho is known to be a big fan of the 29-year-old.

Malcom, meanwhile, began his career in his native Brazil with Corinthians, and joined Bordeaux two years ago. He was outstanding in Ligue 1 last season, scoring 12 times and assisting seven goals in 35 appearances for his side during the campaign.

The player was also understood to be a target for Premier League sides Arsenal, their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, and Everton.


Barcelona Right-Back Douglas Joins Sivasspor on Season-Long Loan Deal

Barcelona have sent right-back Douglas on a season-long loan to Turkish side Sivasspor.

Last season’s Primera Division champions announced as much via their official website on Monday.

FC Barcelona and Turkish Süper Lig club Sivasspor have reached an agreement for the loan of Douglas to the latter for the 2018/19 season,” the club wrote in a statement.

The 27-year-old defender has been at Barca since 2014, when they brought him in from Brazilian outfit Sau Paulo.


Douglas has only managed eight appearances for the Camp Nou giants since joining the club. He has also spent stints on loan with Sporting Gijon and Benfica in the past and will be playing next season in the Turkish Super Lig.

Despite the handful of appearances in a Barca shirt, Douglas can boast winning eight major trophies, inclusive of two La Liga titles and two Copas del Rey,


Rocking the Apple Cart: 8 Superstars Who Won the Ballon d’Or But Weren’t From a Powerhouse Nation

With the Ballon d’Or odds now revealed, it seems like the ritual question of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo may finally be given a rest this year. 

Messi is cast adrift in 4th place at 12/1, even with La Liga and Copa Del Rey crowns to his name last season. Domestically, the diminutive genius had the most goals, assists, chances created and dribbled completed – though it seems not to have counted for much.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a strong 1/4 favourite, but could be looked upon as the reason why Real Madrid’s title challenge fell short. A five game suspension for shoving over a referee in the Spanish Super Cup doesn’t look good. Yes, he may have won the Champions League, but was outshone in the final by Gareth Bale and a Croatian wizard named Luka Modric.

Modric could be the man to break Ronaldo and Messi’s duopolistic stranglehold on football’s greatest individual prize. Guiding his nation to a World Cup final, the modest maestro may have a chance. The bookmakers have the Russia 2018 Golden Ball winner sitting second at 4/1, with Golden Boy Kylian Mbappe at 9/1 following his exploits with France.

If the Croat is to secure the prize, he will be one of a few select players to hit the heights from a nation perhaps not perceived as a footballing powerhouse. Here are eight players that have gone before Modric in achieving such a feat.

1. 1963: Lev Yashin

Still the only goalkeeper to lift the prize, Soviet Union stopper Lev Yashin was crowned the greatest player on Earth back in 1963. Spending his whole twenty year career with Dynamo Moscow, the man nicknamed ‘Black Spider’ appeared in four World Cups with his nation.

Even though the Soviet Union reached the semi final in 1966, Yashin’s international glory came six years prior, as part of the team that won the 1960 European Championships in France. The flat cap wearing goalkeeper also saw victory in the 1956 Olympic Games held in Australia.

Famed for his imposing presence and reflex saves, Yashin reportedly recorded over 270 clean sheets and a ridiculous 150 penalty saves in his career. In 1963 he beat AC Milan playmaker Gianni Rivera and Tottenham Hotspur striker Jimmy Greaves to the now illustrious prize.

2. 1964: Denis Law

A year later it was Scotsman Denis Law who brought home the Ballon d’Or while plying his trade at Manchester United. The Aberdeen born forward scored 171 goals in 309 appearances for the Red Devils, and these exploits were one of the main reasons for his success.

With Jimmy Johnstone of Celtic finishing third in 1967, and Liverpool’s Kenny Dalglish runner-up to Michel Platini in 1983, Law is still the only player north of the border to have been awarded such a trophy. 

Winning by 18 points ahead of nearest rival Luis Suarez of Internazionale, Law’s goalscoring saw him net 29 times in 44 games. Not quite up to today’s phenomenal standards, but you didn’t often get red carded for trying to absolutely clatter somebody in 1964.

3. 1968: George Best

The Northern Irish genius took home the Ballon d’Or in 1968. To many, it was surprising that it was the only time George Best won the award, with his technical wizardry humiliating defences domestically and on the continent.  

The third and final member of the United Trinity to win the honour, Best followed in the footsteps of the aforementioned Denis Law, and Bobby Charlton (1966). While in Manchester, the Belfast boy was part of the most feared attack in global football. Sir Matt Busby had created something special only ten years on from the horrors of the Munich Air Disaster. 

His finest goal may have been against Spurs in 1971, yet his most famous came against Benfica in the 1968 European Cup final. One apiece going into extra time at Wembley, Best calmly rounded the keeper to slide home as Man Utd ran out 4-1 winners.

4. 1977: Allan Simonsen

Diminutive forward Allan Simonsen took home the 1977 Ballon d’Or in one of the most tightly contested votes ever. The Danish maestro beat Kevin Keegan to the crown by three, and Michel Platini by four points respectively.

A member of Borussia Monchengladbach’s golden era, Simonsen helped Die Fohlen to the Bundesliga title and a European Cup final. Although they were to fall at the hands of English champions Liverpool, the Dane did manage a goal in a 3-1 loss. 

Winning UEFA Cups two years each side of the European Cup final appearance, Simonsen was a key figure in his seven year spell at the German club. After signing for Barcelona, the Vejle born man scored an equalising goal in the 1982 Cup Winners Cup final, as the Catalans went on to beat Standard Liege 2-1.

5. 1994: Hristo Stoichkov

In 1994 Bulgarian maverick Hristov Stoichkov had the honour of lifting the Ballon d’Or. Soundly beating Italian duo Roberto Baggio and Paolo Maldini, the Barça forward went one better than his second place finish in 1992. 

Part of Bulgaria’s ’94 World Cup side, Stoichkov scored against Gemany in the quarter-final as his nation surprised the holders, and the world by reaching the semi-finals.

A member of Johan Cruyff’s ‘dream team’, he linked up with Romario to lethal affect and was a mainstay of the ’92 European Cup winning side that beat Sampdoria 1-0 in the final, before embedding himself as a Camp Nou favourite when lifting the ’94 La Liga title.

6. 1995: George Weah

In January of this year, ex-world player of the year George Weah assumed office as president of Liberia. Now the most important man in his country, he has long been the most adored. Taking home the 1995 Ballon d’Or while playing for AC Milan, Weah the player was a force of nature.

Having previously represented French giants Monaco and PSG, the Liberian was tasked with filling the void of Marco van Basten. Not known for being an out-and-out goalscorer, Weah was lauded for his athleticism, dribbling skills and pace.

Weah became the first player to win the Ballon d’Or born outside of Europe, after the rules of eligibility were finally changed. The Liberian sensation saw off competition from German Jurgen Klinsmann and Finish midfielder Jari Litmanen to lift the coveted prize.

7. 2003: Pavel Nedved

The second Czech player to win the Ballon D’or after Josef Masopust (1962), Pavel Nedved took home the honour in 2003. The midfielder is best known for his eight year spell with Juventus, after signing in controversial fashion from rivals Lazio.

Nedved was a key member of the side the reached the 2003 European Cup final, though he was forced to watch on from the sidelines through suspension. His performances throughout the season were nothing short of sensational though, with his wizardry helping wrap up the Serie A crown for I Bianconeri. 

The Czech saw off Thierry Henry and Paolo Maldini to win this award, proving a noble successor to Zinedine Zidane’s throne. A talented two footed maestro, Nedved was known for his elite level passing range, dribbling and versatility.

8. 2004: Andriy Shevchenko

2004 saw Andriy Shevchenko become the third Ukrainian to win the Ballon d’Or, after Oleh Blokhin (1975) and Igor Belanov (1986). However, both of those successes came under the banner of the defunct Soviet Union.

The AC Milan striker found the net 24 times in 32 domestic games that season against what was, at the time, some of the toughest defences in world football. The fifth top scorer in European competition ever, Shevchenko sits behind only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Raul, and Filippo Inzaghi. Not bad company.

Shevchenko bettered Portuguese playmaker Deco, and Brazilian flair fiend Ronaldinho for the coveted prize, helping his club team win Serie A. Spending seven years in Milan, the Ukrainian notched up 127 goals, and is still Derby della Madonnina all-time top scorer with 14 strikes.