Croatia captain and Real Madrid midfielder, Luka Modric, has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award, the prestigious prize given to the best football in the world.
Modric beat five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann to the honour at a glamorous ceremony in Paris, France.
Kylian Mbappe won the inaugural Kopa Trophy for the best young player, while Lyon and Norway forward Ada Hegerberg won the first women’s Ballon d’Or.
The Croatia captain has proved a crucial part both of Real Madrid’s third successive Champions League triumph, beating Liverpool in the final 3-1, and as captain in Croatia’s impressive run to the World Cup final which earned him the tournament’s Golden Ball.
In 2018, Modric won his third consecutive Champions League trophy with club side Real Madrid and led Croatia to their first World Cup final, losing 4-2 to France.
The 33-year-old’s prize sees an end to the 10-year duopoly of Messi, who finished fifth overall in his lowest ranking since 2006, and Ronaldo, who came second. France and Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann finished third, with his France team-mate Mbappe fourth.
Harry Kane, the only English player on the 30-man shortlist, ranked 10th in the poll after winning the World Cup Golden Boot in Russia as he captained England to their best finish in 28 years.
Premier League trio Mohamed Salah (6), Eden Hazard (8) and Kevin De Bruyne (9) were also in the top 10.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, dropped to 12th having been voted third best in last year’s poll.
World Cup winners N’Golo Kante (11) and Paul Pogba (15) finished in the top 20 after being recognised for their performances in Russia.
Njoroge shines, wins 57th FirstBank Lagos Amateur Golf Open
By Golf Nigeria
He came, he saw and conquered; that better describes the performance of the visiting Kenyan, Sam Njoroge, who stole the show on his first ever visit to Nigeria, where he also won his first ever International tournament; the 57th in the series of the annual Firstbank sponsored Lagos Amateur Open Golf Championship, which holed out at the golf section of Ikoyi Club 1938 on 18 November 2018.
The 2-handicaper arrived Nigeria on Thursday, November 15th had a feel of the course later in the day, returned on Friday for another quick survey of the course, before unleashing his golf skill on his peers, even though he said the thought of winning was far from him when he got the invitation to be part of the international amateur championship.
“I told myself this is my first visit, so I don’t expect I can win. I just want to play good golf, enjoy my game and leave the rest”, he said in a chat with Golf Nigeria.
But all that changed after his opening round of 3-over par 75 when he found himself in contention in a field of 90-contenders, mostly Nigerians, many of whom had played on the course severally.
Scaling through the half way cut, Njoroge seemed better prepared for the final round. Aided by what many described as his flawless swing, chipping and sublime putting skill, the young man instantly became the topic of discourse around the Course. Some described his as a ‘witch’ on the Course; while others simply say he is destined for a great future in golf.
Their thought and admiration for the Kenyan was eventually confirmed when he carded a level par 72, winning the competition by 4-shots over one of the tournament favourites, Monday Eze, who closed with 1-over 73, for 151-total.
Eze shots an opening 78 before, 4-shots off the winners opening 75 to duck in the second position. Eze who was disappointed at the outcome actually gave a good account of himself. He has won the coveted trophy twice and was gunning for his third title before the visitor pushed him down the leaderboard.
Emmanuel L. was two-shot further back at 11-over par, over 36-holes while another Nigerian, Emmanuel Olusegun came fourth at +12. Biodun Oyewoga completed the top-5 category in the competition at +17 over two-days.
Already, Njoroge is eyeing pro golf career in Europe, saying, all things been equal, he hopes to be in United Kingdom by June next year in pursuit of long life dream of becoming a professional golfer. His sojourn, he said would be funded by friends, admirers and supporters.
Njorige is not just good in the sport; he is Kenya’s number One amateur and holds his Club’s; Kenya Railway Corporation Golf Club’s record of 61-gross, a feat he attained early this year.
Njoroge holds a High School Certificate, has done a course in Business Studies and did a little bit of IT.
On his assessment of the Nigerians he competed with, he said, “They are good, it is just that they are not consistent,” Probed further on what he meant by their inconsistency, he simply said, “Lack of practice”.
Now 23, Njoroge started playing golf at the age of 9 and never Caddied before he turned amateur.
Analysts say his victory is a pointer to the international status of FirstBank Lagos amateur open, one of the longest running amateur event in the world and a challenge to the Nigerians he played with.
Man United stun Juventus as City, Madrid win big
Nigeria Para-powerlifting Federation set to unveil logo, mascot for Lagos 2019
The Nigeria Para-powerlifting Federation (NPPF), is set to unveil its Logo and Mascot for the 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championship.
Queen Uboh, the President of the federation told newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, October 29.
According to Uboh, “the federation is prepared and ready for the unveiling billed to take place on Thursday, November, 1 at Oriental hotel and suite, Lagos.
“This is in preparation towards the 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championship which we won the right to host come January 2019, we are ready for the unveiling of the logo and mascot”.
“We employ lovers of the game to come and support this and together we can put smile on the faces of this disabled athletes who have found ability in disability,” Queen Uboh said.
The president commended the efforts of Peak Milk for providing a world class facility in Lagos for the para-power athletes to train, and appealed to other corporate organisations and state governments to support NPPF.
She called on the sport ministry, state government and corporate organisation to contribute and uplift the game of powerlifting and also think of a better welfare package for the athletes after retirement.
She revealed that her priority was to make sure when these athletes are no longer active, they have something to fall back to and call their own.
It would be recalled that the six athletes that represented the country in the powerlifting events of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, each clinched a medal, returning with a total of six medals.
Also, Esther Oyema set a new world record after securing a lift of 131kg.
Uboh added: “Most stakeholders in the country do not really care and think about this disable athletes who even with their condition continue to make this nation proud anytime they have the opportunity to represent their father land.
“In the last Olympic games in Australia they made sure the nation anthem was heard, even where the able bodied athletes couldn’t succeed.
“We went with only six athletes to Gold Coast and each of them came back with a medal. If we had presented more than six athletes we would have won more medals.
“So, the athletes are ready for the tournament come January 2019,” she added.
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