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

MassimilianoAllegriACMilan3 (Getty)


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:


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.


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.


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)


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.


  1. wait so an African/Asian can win European Footballer of the Year. but can a European win South American Footballer of the Year?

    they need to rename these awards or clarify them better

    • The Ballon d’Or as we know it now is is new (just started in 2010) – the result of the merging of France’s Ballon d’or and the FIFA World Player of the Year. George Weah won the FIFA World Player of the Year in ’95 (and yes…I wikied the heck out of that piece of info) 🙂

  2. Bradley would be perfect for Milan. Since Gattuso left they’ve been missing a destroyer/engine guy and MB would be a huge help to a team full of rossineri wuth nobody doing the humble work. Too bad hes goung to effing TFC. A shame really.

    • Nice attempt to try and drag his recent decision into this, yet another wonderland scenario. What makes you think Milan wanted Bradley? When have you ever seen Bradley play the “destroyer” role? That’s JJ’s cup of tea. And finally, how does this have anything to do with Bradley besides your attempt to resurrect an already exhausted discussion about his decision and your shot at…”effing TFC”?

  3. I think Franck Ribery should win. Of all the great teams with great players in German history, last season’s Bayern Munich did what none other have done: WIN EVERYTHING. They were dominant because of the elevated play of Ribery. He pulled the strings to make it happen. Ribery has been outstanding for the last three years. He has raised his game and Bayern benefited all the way into the history books…

    • FC Bayern did not need Ribery to win it all. Bayern is not a one-man team and would have still been awesome and won it all without Ribery, who, unlike Ronaldo and Messi, is not capable of carrying a team on his shoulders.

      • Agreed Bayern weren’t a one-man show in 2013. But Ribery’s up for the award, and I’ll take his back-heel to Robben that set up the Champions League winning goal every time over a bushel of Messi’s or Ronaldo’s goals.

      • Well, then you should give the award to Robben, who actually scored the goal. Scoring a goal is more important for the team’s success than executing a back-heel pass, which may or may not result in a goal. I am not aware of any top manager in Europe, who would pick Ribery over Messi or Ronaldo for his team, if given a choice.

  4. Ribery Deserves it. Real Madrid didnt win jack sh*t and Ribery contributes just as much if not more to his team. If Ronaldo wins it then the only reason he will is A) Messi has been injured, and B) Fifa only gives a crap about goal scoring

    • Right on! Who cares about the 69 goals that Ronaldo scored for club and country. Those goals contributed nothing to RM or Portugal. They could have done just as well if Ronaldo sat on the bench.

    • You’ve got to be kidding! It is not who is playing on the strongest club contest. It’s an individual award! I am a Barca supporter, but Ronaldo deserved Ballon d’Orr. In 2013, Ronado has set a new goal scoring record in the Champion’s league with 15 goals in one year (previous record was set by Messi with 13 when Messi won Ballon d’Orr). Ronaldo averaged more than a goal per game for his club and country. Do you realize that in 2013 Ronaldo scored more than Ribery and Messi COMBINED? Yes, Messi was injured which brought down his scoring total, but even with injuries Messi still outscored Ribery by approximately 2 to 1 ratio. The award is realistically between Messi and Ronaldo, but Messi was unfortunate to suffer an injury that kept him on the sidelines for too long.

  5. Too bad Rafa Benitez has a job these days. He’s always at the top of the list of usual suspects when a big club needs a coach for a few months.

  6. was there ever a time when either Messi/Ronaldo weren’t 2 of the finalists?

    why didn’t Donovan or WONDO (2012 season) got a mention?


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