Best in the world: Messi wins Ballon d’Or fourth time in a row
Kazi Mukitul Islam
He breaks records as easily as he finds the back of the net. Barcelona and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, the soccer player many believe is the best of all time, won the prestigious Ballon d’Or for a record fourth time (in a row) in Zurich. He beats out his club teammate Andrés Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo, his great Real Madrid and Portuguese rival. “To tell you the truth, it’s really quite unbelievable to win this award,” he said on stage in Spanish.
Lionel Messi finished 2012 on 91 goals in 69 games. He began 2013 by winning the Fifa Ballon d’Or (with 41.6% of the votes), Cristiano Ronaldo (23.7%) came second and Andrés Iniesta (10.9%) third. It is the fourth time Messi has won it and no one else has won it so often. Because the award is a merger of the old European Footballer of the Year and the FIFA World Player of the Year which was inaugurated only in 1991, Diego Maradona never won it and nor did Pelé but it is doubtful if they would have matched Messi’s achievement. Marco van Basten won the European award three times in five years, Johan Cruyff three in four and Platini three years in a row. Alfredo Di Stéfano won it twice. Messi has superseded all of them.
The FIFA Ballon d’Or (means “Golden Ball”) is an association football award given annually to the player who is considered to have performed the best in the previous season. It is awarded based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams, as well as journalists from around the world. The award started in 2010 after France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the men’s FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged. Here is the list of previous wins since the inception:
BPL 2 begins
The 2013 Bangladesh Premier League season, abbreviated as BPL, will be the second season of the Bangladesh Premier League, established by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in 2012. The tournament commenced on 18 January 2013 and will end in 19 February. The competition will feature seven teams, with the addition of the Rangpur Riders for the first time.
The player auction was held on 20 December 2012. Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh all-rounder, fetched the highest price, going for $US 365,000. However, the amount was almost half of what Shahid Afridi, the former Pakistan captain, was sold for when the Twenty20 tournament was launched in February 2012. Imran Nazir, the Pakistani opener, was commanded the second-highest price tag, going for $US 280,000 with Afridi close behind at $US 275,000, while more than a dozen foreign players went for over $US 100,000. Pakistan Cricket Board refused to release any of its 27 sold players for the second season of Bangladesh Premier League in retaliation to Bangladesh canceling Pakistan tour over safety issues.
Most will be held at the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur. However, for the first time matches will be played in Khulna at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium. MA Aziz Stadiumwill host the matches in Chittagong instead of Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, which hosted the matches in the first season.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board created the cricket tournament BPL based on the Twenty20 form of the game. There are seven teams in the Bangladesh Premier League second season named as below;
l Dhaka Gladiators
l Sylhet Royals
l Barisal Burners
l Chittagong Kings
l Duronto Rajshahi
l Khulna Royal Bengals
Dutch coach in Bangladesh Football
Lodewijk de Kruif and his assistant Rene Koster have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the BFF in January 12 to take up the national team duties in July after the expiration of their current contract back in the Netherlands. Although their two-year agreement will start in July, two months before Bangladesh’s SAFF Championship campaign in Nepal, the coaches will come to Dhaka on February 20 for three weeks to train Bangladesh for the AFC Challenge Cup in March.
Bangladesh’s new coach Lodewijk de Kruif promised to take Bangladesh to 100 to 120 in the FIFA rankings if he is given the job as planned for one year. The 43-year-old Lodewijk, who never had the experience of guiding a national team in his 16-year coaching career, said that he was very happy with the details of the agreement and will work hard to help Bangladesh achieve their goal. Bangladesh is now working with the aim to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and one of the biggest steps towards achieving that goal is to launch the BFF academy. Lodewijk’s assistant Rene will look after the academy as an additional job.
Rene, however, said it is not impossible to fulfill ‘Vision 2022’, though it has been dubbed as an overambitious goal by many.