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Ballon d’Or

Messi statue ‘decapitated’ in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES: Vandals in Buenos Aires destroyed a statue of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, leaving the sculpture of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner without its head or torso on Tuesday. "The statue of Lionel Messi fell victim to an act of vandalism that left it without its top half," the Buenos Aires city government said in a statement. The statue, sculpted out of black marble, was erected last June just after Argentina lost the Copa America final to Chile, after which Messi announced his international retirement.…

Ronaldo caps dream year with fourth Ballon d’Or

PARIS: Cristiano Ronaldo called it "a dream come true again" as he won his fourth Ballon d'Or on Monday to get one over his nemesis Lionel Messi for the title of best player in the world. It was the perfect ending to another fantastic year for the Real Madrid star, who won the Champions League for the second time in three seasons and then led Portugal to their first major title at Euro 2016 -- albeit he went off early injured and in tears in the surprise victory over France. As has been the case for almost a decade…

Ronaldo and Messi go head-to-head for Ballon d’Or again

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will resume their perennial battle to be crowned the world's best footballer after they headed the shortlist of 30 players for the 2016 Ballon d'Or announced on Monday. Barcelona's Argentine great Messi, who took the honour for a record fifth time last year, or Real Madrid's Portuguese three-time winner Ronaldo have taken the coveted accolade every year since 2007, when AC Milan's Kaka won. Despite a dip in form this season, Ronaldo, who inspired Portugal to the Euro 2016 title and Real…

Messi widely tipped to regain Ballon d’Or

ZURICH: Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is targeting an unprecedented fifth Ballon d'Or award in Zurich on Monday, with the Argentine heavily favoured to reclaim the prize from three-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo.