Finished reading up about the new cabinet yet? Avoided becoming addicted to Odeon so far? Excellent. Here’s your midweek sport roundup:
- Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero and Barcelona pair Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi have all been nominated to the 55-man shortlist for the FIFA Team of the Year as voted for by over 25,000 professionals around the world. Despite representing the national team as a defensive midfielder, Mascherano has been nominated as a center back, the position he plays in Spain. Tevez is the only player based in South America to make the shortlist.
- Also linked to end-of-year awards, a leaked photo has shown that Lionel Messi will receive the prestigious Ballon d’Or Award (awarded to the best player every calendar year). European Sports Media (ESM), the organization behind the Ballon d’Or, moved quickly to take it down and claimed it was an error. On January 11 when the winner is formally announced we’ll find out
what we already know who the winner is. Oops.
- Speaking of Messi, he started his first game for two months on Tuesday night and did alright.
- In the final few matches in the first round of the Liguilla Pre-Sudamericana, Quilmes was shocked by Olimpo 0-1, Lanús beat Newell’s Old Boys 2-1 and Banfield beat Argentinos Juniors 1-0. The four finals of the liguilla are two-legged affairs between Belgrano and Colón, Estudiantes and Olimpo, Banfield and Aldosivi and Gimnasia and Lanús. The winners will all enter next year’s Copa Sudamericana.
- The first leg of the final of the Liguilla Pre-Libertadores is on Sunday at 6:15 PM as Independiente host Racing. The winners of the tie gain the final Copa Libertadores spot while the losers have the consolation of going directly into the Copa Sudamericana.
- The battle for the final promotion spot from the Primera B Nacional will be contested between Santamarina and Patronato after the former beat Ferro 2-0 in Caballito last night to win 4-2 on aggregate and the latter beat Instituto 3-1 to also win the tie 4-2 on aggregate.
- River Plate plays Huracán tonight needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit to reach the Copa Sudamericana final. The winner of the clash in Parque Patricios will play Independiente Santa Fe after the Colombians drew 0-0 at home to Paraguayan team Luqueño which was enough for them to win the tie on away goals after drawing the first leg in Paraguay 1-1. The winner may want to stock up on viagra.
Huracán is looking to reach the Copa Sudamericana final against River Plate tonight. Photo via Infobae.
- If you’ve enjoyed not having to pay to watch the football on your TVs, President-elect Mauricio Macri is rumored to be considering its future, which you can read more about here.
- Talking of presidents, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) will have a new one after elections next week on December 3. Incumbent Luis Segura is confident of beating media mogul Marcelo Tinelli by five votes.
- According to Catalan sports newspaper Sport (winner of the most creative newspaper name award) Dani Osvaldo is officially on his way back to Argentina (although nothing’s officially been announced) and will join Boca Juniors on January 2 from current club Porto in Portugal. Osvaldo has also changed his Twitter picture from one of him in a Porto shirt to a photo of him with Boca manager Rodolfo Arruabarrena, much like a heartbroken teenager changes his profile picture to one of his and his best mate from a photo of his now-estranged ex.
- The Palermo Open started this week and La Dolfina started its hunt for its third successive Triple Crown (i.e. the three most important polo competitions in the world, the Tortugas Open, the Hurlingham Open and the Palermo Open) with a 18-7 win over Magual, while the other two teams in its group La Aguada and Alegría played out an entertaining 22-17 win for La Aguada.