The battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo has reached another climax. After it seemed that their reign at the top of world football had come to an end last year, the Argentine has returned to the summit of the beautiful game. It turned out Luka Modric was just a mere placeholder for one of the protagonists to reclaim the trophy they had dominated for 10 years in row. But this one – Messi’s sixth Ballon d’Or and the 11th won by either him or his longstanding rival over the past 11 years – feels different in many ways…
Messi 6-5 Ronaldo
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For this reason, Clinton Larsen was shown the door as head coach, but still, under new mentor Norman Mapeza, the struggle persists, although they did win two games on the trot recently.
They have the character
Cut Lehlohonolo Seema’s skin andhe’ll probably bleed green andwhite – such has been the man’s loyalty to Bloemfontein Celtic. Born and bred in neighbouring Lesotho, the Mangaung outfit is a club that’s always had a pull factor on him. So much that it is they who pulled him from obscure Bantu United from the mountainous kingdom in 1998, and he would go on to represent the club until 2006 when the allure of Orlando Pirates, understandably, proved too great a pull factor. Yet even a five-year spell with the Soweto giants, which included a season-long loan stint at Mpumalanga Black Aces, would not prevent him being pulled back in the direction of Siwelele, albeit to begin a coaching journey in the junior ranks. The next step was to become an assistant, a job he performed with aplomb, before being called on to take the hotseat together with John Maduka after the departure of Steve Komphela at the tail end of 2018. Much against general expectation, the duo has done fairly well, if Celtic’s off-field troubles of the recent past are to be taken into consideration. Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo sat down with Seema to discuss this, that, and the other.
They are on another level
Before signing for Mamelodi Sundowns last season,Lyle Lakay knew that he would be used as a leftback and not in his preferred left wing position, something that he surprisingly did not have a problem with. In his first season with the club last term, he played a key role as they went onto win an unprecedented ninth Absa Premiership league title. This season has been a bit of a slow one for Lakay, who has been used mostly as a substitute, but there’s still a lot of football to be played both locally and on the continent, so he has time to fight for his place in the starting line-up. In this interview, the former Cape Town City and Bloemfontein Celtic player chats to Soccer Laduma’s Tshepang Mailwane about his time at the Tshwane giants so far, their chances of winning the CAF Champions League and why he believes they can close the gap on current Kaizer Chiefs, who have been in fine form since the start of the campaign.
Middendorp holding a divided Chiefs camp together
Lionel Messi 2019 Ballon d'Or winner
Messi claims record Ballon d’Or, Ronaldo snubs gala
Jose Is Back, Will He Last?
Jose Mourinho has re-turned with a bang! Not many would have thought Tottenham Hotspur would sack Mauricio Pochettino after the Argentine led them to the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League final, and even fewer would have thought chairman Daniel Levy would replace him with Jose Mourinho.
It Was Challenging
Imagine the scene…you are playing a game of your life, fighting to qualify for the Olympic Games through the lifeline of the third and fourth place play-off.
No Disrespect To Chiefs, But…
On how he masterminded victory over Chiefs
He Is Not Personal
He may not be gettingregular game-timedomestically with Bidvest Wits, but attacking midfielder Gift Motupa is making a name for himself in this season’s CAF Confederation Cup. The 25-year-old player has bagged six goals in the campaign so far, inspiring the Clever Boys to the group stages of a CAF club competition for the first time in their history. It has not been the same in the domestic league though, with just one start so far and one goal. Having done so well in the Confederation Cup, he will no doubt be hoping that coach Gavin Hunt will give him more opportunities to play in the Absa Premiership as the Braamfontein-based outfit looks to challenge for the title. In this interview with Soccer Laduma’s Tshepang Mailwane, Motupa expresses his excitement about qualifying for
That's Me Wherever I Go
As a coach, former Kaizer Chiefs striker Wedson Nyirenda prides himself on being blessed with the mentality of a winner. So much that when talking about his past achievements in the realm of coaching, you can almost never miss the sparkle in his eye, and often this trip down memory lane will be accompanied by a smile that tells a story of contentment and achievement. He has built up a reputation, across all three countries he has worked in, of turning socalled ordinary teams into respected outfits. He did it with Baroka FC, helping them to annex the 2018 Telkom Knockout trophy much against many people’s expectations. However, the going has since gotten tougher, and the Limpopo side is (still) struggling to score goals this season. What is going on? Is Nyirenda going to jump ship and go back to his previous role as Zambia national team coach, as the rumour mill seems to suggest? Nyirenda provides the answers in this chat with Soccer Laduma’s Beaver Nazo.
SPRING CLEAN YOUR LOVE LIFE
The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming—spring is here once again. But if the gray days of winter have let your love life a little, well, worse for wear, it might be time to break out the metaphorical mop and broom. Here’s how to make your heart sparkle in five easy steps...
SPLENDOR AT THE EDGE OF THE SAHARA
Excavations of a bustling medieval city tell the tale of a powerful Berber dynasty
The borders of Leo, the Lion
Famous for containing many bright galaxies, Leo also hides some lesser known deep-sky delights
Barca rally late to beat Granada, reach Copa del Rey semi-finals, Levante advance
Barcelona trailed 2-0 going into the 88th minute before Messi helped create goals for Griezmann and Alba as the Catalan club kept alive their chance of ending their title drought
Ronaldo scores double as Juve edge past Inter in Italian Cup semi-final 1st leg
Record 13-time winners Juventus will be favourites to reach a sixth final in seven years when they bid to complete the job in the return game in Turin next Tuesday
AN AFFAIR TO FORGET
Barca Lose Super Cup Final; Messi Gets First Red Card In Club Colours
A Greek Odyssey
Roderick Easdale heads to the idyllic Costa Navarino to sample the destination’s impressive golf and lifestyle offering
Messi fires Barca to victory over Levante
Barcelona's Lionel Messi in action with Levante's Gonzalo Melero
Physicists attempt to break the rules of gravity
A new test of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity has proved the iconic physicist right again – this time by reanalysing the famous first-ever picture of a black hole, which was released in April 2019.
Messi's toughest task as Barcelona face up to Bayern's stern challenge at CL quarter-finals
The only surviving former winners of European club football’s greatest prize — with five titles each — meet in a heavyweight Champions League quarter-final behind closed doors at the Estadio da Luz