The 2019 Ballon d’Or, an award given out each year by France Football magazine to the best player of the calendar year, was awarded on Monday and it went to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. This was the sixth time he has won the prestigious award and he followed up this honour by scoring a hat-trick in front of the fans at the Camp Nou during Barcelona’s 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday night. The Argentine also won LaLiga’s Player of the Month award, for his performances in the month of November.
A new leader in the Pichichi charts
To cap off what has been a very impressive week for Lionel Messi, he has also now gone top of the Pichichi charts as the top scorer so far of the 2019/20 LaLiga Santander season. Even though injury prevented him from starting the season brightly, forcing him to wait until the eighth matchday to score his first goal, he now has 12 goals to his name and has moved ahead of Karim Benzema, who has 11 after scoring in Real Madrid’s 2-0 victory over Espanyol.
Joaquín shows he’s still got it
Real Betis captain Joaquín may now be 38 years of age, but he can still perform miracles on the pitch. On Sunday, he scored a 20-minute hat-trick at the Estadio Benito Villamarín to help his side defeat Athletic Club 3-2.
Bongani ‘Da Bongz’ Nkosi and Thabang ‘Da Real Cheez’ Kgeledi discuss this past weekend’s soccer topics. But they should hurry because each topic has a time limit.
The Discussion This Week: 1. Mamelodi Sundowns Beat Stuffing Out Of Al Ahly 2. Orlando Pirates Lucky Win But Go Top 3. Has Kaizer Chiefs Season Been A Failure 4. PSL Chairman Calls Urgent Presser, What For? 5. Banyana Draw Last Game At Home Before World Cup 6. Games To Look Forward To 7. Quick Hits
Barcelona welcome Atlético de Madrid to the Camp Nou on Saturday evening in a match that will have major consequences in the 2018/19 title race.
Atleti needs a win to peg back league leaders Barcelona, who’ll be able to land a killer blow to their rivals with a win. Whatever happens, we’re in for a thriller but with these two sides so evenly matched… which players could tip the balance?
Diego Godín (Atletico de Madrid)
The Uruguayan centre-back has fond memories of the Camp Nou. It was he who scored the headed equaliser in the 1-1 draw in 2014 that clinched the title for Los Colchoneros. After a goalless 2017/18, Godín has rediscovered his scoring touch this campaign and will be a threat from set pieces, while he’ll also be very involved in defence as he commands Atlético’s dominant back line.
In La Liga match-day 24, pack chase leaders Barcelona in a weekend of friendly reunions and head to head battles.
Barcelona will have their eyes on a big three points against visitors R. Valladolid on Saturday night, coming into the game on the back two successive draws in LaLiga Santander.
The game at the Camp Nou will also be extra special for Ronaldo Nazario, now president of Valladolid, who won La Liga’s pichichi top scorer award during his stint at Barcelona in 1996/97.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are going for a sixth consecutive LaLiga victory at home when they face Girona on Sunday lunchtime with key players including Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema bang in form. Santi Solari’s side moved second in the table following last weekend’s 3-1 derby victory at Atletico de Madrid, while an out-of-form Girona have fallen to just one point above the drop zone.
La Liga derbies bring the fiercest football rivalries to life in South Africa.
February 2019. – There are fierce football rivalries…and then there are derbies. Spanish football league LaLiga Santander is home to some of the most celebrated of these long-running on-pitch battles in the world – and on 31 January, select South African media got to experience all the passion, tradition and spectacle first-hand through an immersive local LaLiga Derbies event at the Mesh Club in Rosebank.
Five LaLiga derbies are taking place between February and April – to be screened locally on SuperSport 7 – and the media event encouraged attendees to explore every aspect of the high-emotion derby experience, which is as deeply entrenched in Spanish culture as its signature regional foods.