Monday Kickoff: Milan sack Allegri; Ronaldo tipped to win Ballon d'Or; and more

Monday Kickoff: Milan sack Allegri; Ronaldo tipped to win Ballon d'Or; and more

South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Milan sack Allegri; Ronaldo tipped to win Ballon d'Or; and more

MassimilianoAllegriACMilan3 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

AC Milan’s shocking defeat on Sunday against minnows Sassuolo was the final straw for Massimiliano Allegri.

The Italian giants, who now sit 11th in the Serie A table in a historically bad campaign, announced on Monday that they have parted company with Allegri and his staff. Assistant coach Mauro Tassotti was promoted to interim manager in Allegri’s place and will coach Milan in their mid-week Coppa Italia match against Spezia.

According to multiple reports in Italy, former Milan legends Filippo “Pippo” Inzaghi and Clarence Seedorf are being considered for the full time managerial position.

The defeat to Sassuolo was Milan’s seventh loss of the season, leaving them not only with a record of 5-7-7 but also a whopping 30 points behind leaders Juventus. Juve have taken the full three points in all but two games (one draw and one defeat). After a career played and coached mostly in the lower divisions in Italy, Allegri was hired as Milan’s manager in June 2010, leading the club to a Serie A title and Super Cup trophy in his first season.

Here are some more stories to kickoff your week:

RONALDO TO WIN BALLON D’OR

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to break Lionel Messi’s four-year winning streak at tonight’s FIFA Ballon d’Or gala.

Ronaldo, Messi, and Franck Ribery will convene on Zurich, Switzerland on Monday evening at FIFA’s World Player of the Year dinner, with a number of other players and coaches being honored.

The Portuguese international has had a phenomenal previous 12 months while Messi has struggled with a number of niggling injuries, including a recent thigh strain that kept him out for nearly two months. The Bayern Munich winger Ribery helped his side win five trophies in the 2013 calendar year but in terms of popularity and goals scored, he falls well behind Ronaldo and Messi.

Ronaldo scored 69 times for club and country in 2013, including an incredible four goals over two legs in the World Cup qualifying playoffs against Sweden to secure a berth in Brazil.

NASRI SUFFERS “SERIOUS INJURY” 

Manchester City will find out later on Monday, but the early indications are that Samir Nasri could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

The French international midfielder was hacked down by his countrymen Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in the second half, forcing Nasri off the field on a stretcher as he looked in serious pain. After the match, Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini said he suspects that the injury is a very serious one.

“Nasri has, I think, a serious injury. It was absolutely a red card,” Pellegrini told BBC Sport. “It’s bad, but we will see on Monday how serious it is.

“It should have been a red card,” added Pellegrini. “But I think it’s very difficult for the referee to handle a game when every time he gave a decision against Newcastle there were complaints from the manager.”

Nasri has been in strong form this season for Man City, starting 21 games and scoring five goals in all competitions.

QUICK KICKS

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic’s agent has denied reports that his client has signed a pre-contract agreement with Galatasaray. (REPORT)

Portuguese giants Benfica defeated fellow powers FC Porto on Sunday, 2-0, in an emotional game with a number of tributes to the late, great Eusebio. (REPORT)

Livorno have parted ways with head coach Davide Nicola after a loss against Parma left them joint-bottom of Serie A. (REPORT)

Everton could be without starting midfielder Ross Barkley for up to six weeks, as he’s suspected to have a broken toe. (REPORT)

19-year-old Domenico Berardi scored all four goals for Sassuolo in their historic 4-3 victory against AC Milan. (REPORT)

Kosovo are close to being allowed to play official FIFA friendlies, after an emergency meeting set up by FIFA on Jan. 10. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Agree with the Allegri sacking? Do you think Ronaldo deserves the award this year? Do you see Nemanja Vidic leaving Man United this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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