The Union of European Football Associations (UFEA) Men’s Player of the Year Award (previously known as the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award) is an association football award given to the footballer playing for a men’s football club in Europe that is considered the best in the previous season of both club and national team competition.
The award, created in 2011 by UEFA in partnership with European Sports Media (ESM) group, was initially aimed at reviving the European Footballer of the Year Award (Ballon d’Or), which was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year Award in 2010 to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
It also replaced the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award.
How UFEA nominates Player of the Year
The final three players were determined by a voting jury comprising 24 coaches of the teams that participated in this summer’s Euros, along with 80 coaches of the clubs that participated in the group stages of last season’s Champions League (32) and UEFA Europa League (48).
In addition, 55 journalists selected by the European Sports Media (ESM) group were also permitted to cast their vote on the subject, one from each of UEFA’s member associations.
Voters selected their top three players, with the first receiving five points, the second three and the third one.
As part of the rules coaches were not allowed to vote for players from their own team.
A full run-down of the players was released by the football body, with the rest of the top 10 revealed.
Winners of UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award since 2011
Since its establishment, the award has been won by Barcelona legend Lionel Messi (2011, 2015), Andrés Iniesta (2012), Franck Ribéry (2013). See the full list below:
Overview of Popularity of Football in African Countries
Obviously, football, also known as soccer, is the most popular team sport on the continent. Out of the 54 countries in Africa, it is only in South Africa that other team sports like cricket and rugby attract a fan base as large as that of football. Since football was introduced to the continent by Europeans over 100 years ago, the love for the game has never weaned.
This is a brief overview of the popularity of football containing a brief history of the sport in Africa. Read on to discover why and how its fame has grown so rapidly.
History of Football in Africa
The early days of football in Africa came during the colonial era. European colonialists from France, Britain, and Portugal “imported” their love for football to their African colonies.
Formal recording of football matches started in South Africa in 1862. The historic game was a match between public servants and soldiers.
Subsequently, mission schools, railway workers, and the armed forces formed teams and played formal matches. The love for football continued to grow long after the colonialists left the continent.
After many African countries started forming national teams and gaining independence, a few countries came together to form the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 1957. That was the same year that the first African Cup of Nations tournament took place in Egypt.
Unlike other continents, the African Cup of Nations comes up every two years, just to show how popular the tournament is. African teams from Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal are highly rated in this competition.
As African nations gained independence, they joined FIFA. From 1962, these nations started participating in qualifying rounds for the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic games. From just one nation representing Africa at the 1970 World Cup, the continent now enjoys 5 places at the tournament.
Today, Africans have moved beyond playing and watching to predicting and speculating about the continent’s favorite team sport. Weekly, many fans analyze and bet on reputable betting websites like Bet365, expecting to earn profits from their beloved sport.
What Makes Football Extremely Popular in African Countries?
Many factors make football a famous sport among Africans. The game is easy to set up on an informal pitch. Kids can choose any open space, set up two goal posts with sticks, get a ball and start a football match. The rules of the game are also simple to learn and remember.
Football is entertaining and exciting to watch. Young talented players can display an immense amount of ball-juggling skills to the amazement of onlookers.
In many neighborhoods, in African countries, kids easily turn streets and open spaces into football fields. In these nations, virtually all the public schools and mission schools have standard-sized football pitches.
Also, with the debut of television in Africa in 1957 in Western Nigeria, Africans started sitting in the comfort of their homes to watch local and foreign matches. With ever-increasing access to television across Africa, the spread of satellite TV, and broadband internet access, many Africans are now virtually addicted to football.
Today, many football fans can follow their favorite teams, players, and tournaments closely with their smartphones. They can even watch live matches taking place in any part of the world.
What’s the Link Between Sports Betting and Popularity of Football
As football became popular during the colonial era, sports betting also came on stream. In British colonies like Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, pool betting shops emerged in the early 1900s.
A bookmaker makes betting sheets and asks bettors to predict the games that will result in a draw that week. At that time, most players placed their bets on matches in the English football league, at local betting shops.
Over the years, betting in populous African nations like South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya has grown into a multi-million dollar industry. In Nigeria, fans spend up to $15 on betting daily. Fueled by growth in mobile telephony and internet access, sports betting is now a passionate activity for many football fans on the continent.
Unlike traditional pool betting, reputable online betting companies attract new customers with exciting promotions. They pay a substantial bonus to a new customer’s account after the initial deposit.
In addition, they provide enticing odds to encourage bettors to take more risks and get a huge payout for placing a winning bet.
A reliable betting site will also offer a number of options to make betting more convenient for customers. In most cases, players can bet from their mobile phones, use a web browser, or bet at a local shop.
Football will continue to be the number one sport for Africans for decades to come. It has become a part of the African culture from childhood and now it offers fans monetary rewards through betting.
How Will European Champions Line Up Next Year?
Looking at areas where five European champion football sides might want to improve, and how their transfers might stack up ahead of the new season.
Possible Transfers for European Champions
European soccer is in fine fettle, with close-fought battles and the end of a dominant era in Serie A last season. Looking to the next, here’s how the defending champions stack up.
Manchester City F.C
Title races don’t get much closer than the one Manchester City narrowly edged in the 2021-22 season, beating Liverpool by a single point. Doing so again next season will take a mighty effort, and even the most enthusiastic Manchester City fan will not be complacent about consecutive triumphs.</p>
The team might lose Bernardo Silva to Barcelona (if rumours are to be believed), and Chelsea are looking to acquire Raheem Sterling. But when it comes to incoming transfers, names raised include Stefan Ortega as a second goalkeeper and Kalvin Phillips from Leeds. Phillips would help strengthen the champion’s midfield and is just one of several actual and potential signings the team is looking to make. Norwegian international striker Erling Haaland becomes a City player on 1 July 2022, as does Argentine forward Julian Alvarez, and could lend a very sharp edge to Manchester City’s attack (possibly even a return to the 3-5-2 system).
Another name in the frame for City, and one which would also make the old 3-5-2 a real possibility, is Brighton’s left back Marc Cucurella, though a potential move to the champion team is only speculation at this stage. It is hard to cite a single real area that Manchester City need to improve because they and Liverpool were so closely matched and far above every other team (they had an identical number of goals conceded and very similar overall goal differences). Right now, City’s main job is to stay ever so slightly ahead of Liverpool. The announced and rumored transfers indicate that the side are not taking things easy.
Top European Casinos
As we look ahead to how this quintet of European champions will fare next year, it’s currently the off-season, which offers a chance for fans and players alike to enjoy a breather and relax. However, sports fans who want a distraction not subject to such an enforced break can take advantage of the games available at the best European online casinos. There are many great choices for players in Europe to enjoy, with impressive arrays of fantastic slots and engaging table games, complemented perfectly with generous bonuses for a great start.
Real Madrid CF
By contrast, Real Madrid won La Liga by 13 points last season with title rivals Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla scrapping with one another to be the best of the rest. Only Sevilla had a better (by one goal) number of goals conceded and nobody got close to the number of goals scored by Real Madrid, so going into next season they look in good shape. But the other teams, especially arch rivals Barcelona, will not be asleep at the wheel and Real still needs to stay sharp or they’ll slip back soon enough.
One name that’s been mentioned in connection with Real Madrid is Paulo Dybala, an Argentine international currently with Juventus. The forward could be in the Spanish champion’s sights should they be unable to extend the contract of Marco Asensio with the club.
The desire for another striker has been stated by Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti. While Karim Benzema is a fantastic striker and goal-scoring machine (219 goals in 415 appearances for the club), he’s also 34 and much nearer the end of his career than the start. While Real do have the services of Luka Jovic and Borja Mayoral, Ancelotti’s clearly got his eye out for another prolific scorer to retain Real’s cutting edge advantage.
FC Bayern Munich
Sitting between Manchester City’s nail-biting and wafer-thin victory and Real’s cruise to the title is Bayern Munich, who won the Bundesliga by 8 points last season. Despite fending off two Barcelona attempts to acquire Robert Lewandowski it is possible they might yet sell the striker, having recently brought in Senegalese striker Sadio Mane. Mane had played a key role in the revival of Liverpool’s fortunes, but the side just missed out on domestic glory last year and were pipped at the post in the Champion’s League too. He’s now joined the German champions on a three-year contract.
The club could stand to bolster its defensive strength, with the likes of Dayot Upamecano having plenty of room to improve, Tanguy Nianzou making errors, and Benjamin Pavard sometimes performing well and sometimes not. Potential defender transfer targets include the 24-year-old Nordi Mukiele (currently with RB Leipzig) and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jeremie Frimpong. One defender already heading to the German champions is Noussair Mazraoui, who leaves Ajax for Bayern Munich on 1 July.
Another very tight title finish was in Serie A, which saw the title move to the red and black part of Milano. The Rossoneri beat their rivals by just two points to secure the Serie A title but will have their work cut out to retain the championship given how close last season was and how fired up the likes of Inter, Napoli (placed third) and Juventus will be for the forthcoming season. While the champions had a solid defensive proposition, the goals scored by A.C. Milan was the lowest in the top three and there’s clear scope to have a sharper attack.
Multiple clubs on the continent are keen to sign up Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech, who plays as an attacking midfielder and right winger, and it seems A.C. Milan is the likeliest club to snag this much-sought star, if he does end up changing clubs. The possible departure of Marco Asensio from Real Madrid has already been mentioned, and if he does go then the Italian champions are one of the most probable destinations.
Just like Ziyech, Asensio is a winger and attacking midfielder and would help to improve the goal-scoring potential of the club. Additionally, the Rossoneri managed to snap up Belgian striker Divock Origi on a free transfer after his contract with Liverpool expired. It is likely that Origi will have more playing time in Italy and is expected to showcase his abilities that we saw glimpses of in the Liverpool jersey.
Paris Saint-Germain F.C
Last but not least we come to the top dogs in France, PSG, winners of last season’s Ligue 1. PSG took the title with a chunky 15-point advantage over the next best side (Marseille), the joint fewest goals conceded, and the most goals scored (27 more than Marseille).
One possible target for PSG is Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, a winger out of contract and fancied by teams from across Europe. Competition would be likely from teams including Bayern Munich and sides in the EPL. A defender that PSG is hunting for earnestly is Milan Skriniar, currently with Inter Milan. A reported bid of some €50m has already been rejected, but the French champions still have their heart set on getting Skriniar to Paris, but do face some competition from Chelsea (although it’s worth noting PSG have much deeper pockets if it comes down to a bidding war).
A major change for PSG could be an outgoing transfer, with much speculation that Neymar could be on his way out. While undoubtedly talented, Neymar has not necessarily endeared himself to many people (Eric Cantona has described him as a ‘great actor’).
And that completes our look at five European champion teams, and what they need to do to defend their titles next season.
Best app to buy sports tickets 2022
The best games ticket website can be the distinction between getting the best seats and wishing you’d remained at home to watch from your couch. From NFL and NBA to soccer, these sites/apps will get you situates at the best cost to suit what you really want.
From getting interesting ticket to that game everybody said was sold out, to saving a bundle on some of the best seats you might have figured you were unable to bear – the best games ticket apps/sites are here to help.
An extraordinary aspect regarding all the ticket destinations recorded here – being simply the best ones – is that they offer assurances. That not just method you can loosen up realizing your tickets are genuine, yet in addition that should the occasion get dropped you’ll get your cash back.
There are a number of different sports tickets apps/sites available to help you find and purchase the perfect tickets for your favorite sporting event. Here are a few of our favorites:
One of the most popular and well-known tickets apps, Ticketmaster is a great option for finding tickets to a wide variety of sporting events. The app is easy to use and provides a great selection of tickets for many different events.
SeatGeek is another popular option for finding tickets to sporting events. The app provides a great selection of tickets and is easy to use. Additionally, SeatGeek offers a price prediction feature that can help you save money on tickets.
StubHub is a great option for finding tickets to a wide variety of sporting events. The app is easy to use and provides a great selection of tickets for many different events. Additionally, StubHub offers a price prediction feature that can help you.
There’s a ton to like about Vivid Seats, most quite the award plot which rewards ordinary buyers with up to 8% credit when they purchase through the Vivid Seats application. This makes it an incredible choice for customary games attendees as there’s stores of games to browse.
With Vivid Seats you can get up to 8% credit on tickets relying upon the amount you spend and assuming you’re a ‘Lobby of Famer’ (meaning you spend more than $2000 yearly) this credit will not terminate. On the off chance that you lack financial plan to sprinkle $2000 every year on tickets simply sit back and relax, your credit will last an entire year.
How to get cheap sports tickets (app)
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, there’s no denying that sports tickets can be expensive. If you’re looking to save money on sports tickets, there are a few things you can do to get cheap sports ticket.
First, try to buy tickets in advance. The closer you get to the event date, the more expensive tickets will be. If you know you want to go to a game, buy your tickets as soon as they go on sale.
Second, look for ticket discounts. Many times, ticket vendors will offer discounts for groups, students, or seniors. You can also sometimes find coupons or promo codes online.
Finally, try to attend less popular games. Tickets to big games like the Super Bowl or the World Series will be more expensive than tickets to regular season games. If you’re flexible on which game you see, you can often get a better deal.
By following these tips, you can save money on sports tickets and still have.
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