FRIDAY FOOTBALL NEWS

1.RAMOS ON CR7 AWARD SNUB: HE DOES WHAT HE WANTS
Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos says he was surprised to find out Cristiano Ronaldo would not be showing up for the UEFA awards ceremony on Thursday.

The Portuguese star was not present as individual prizes were handed out for last season because he was overlooked for Player of the Year, which went to former Madrid team-mate Luka Modric.

Ronaldo was not completely overlooked, as last season's Champions League top scorer was named the competition's Forward of the Season in a clean sweep for Madrid, who also saw Keylor Navas acknowledged for his displays in goal with Ramos named the best defender.

Still, Ronaldo is apparently unhappy with second place when it came to the big prize, while his agent, Jorge Mendes, said not giving it to him was a "shameful" call from the 60 coaches and 55 journalists who voted. "We found out practically when the microphones were being set up and we were surprised," Ramos said. "But he does what he wants."

2.'RIDICULOUS & SHAMEFUL' - CR7 AGENT FUMES AT AWARD SNUB
Cristiano Ronaldo's agent has slammed UEFA for not giving the Juventus star the Player of the Year award. Ronaldo did not show up at the Champions League group stage draw ceremony, where the awards for last season were handed out.

After winning a third consecutive Champions League crown with Real Madrid last season and finishing as the competition's top scorer, Ronaldo was named the best forward last season and was named among the final three for the big prize.

Modric collected 313 points, 90 more than Ronaldo, who finished ahead of Mohamed Salah in the chart. But Jorge Mendes expected more for his client, as he feels the 33-year-old's status as the best around cannot be disputed.

“Football is played on the field and that’s where Cristiano won," he told Record. " He scored 15 goals, carried Real Madrid on his back and conquered the Champions League again. “It’s ridiculous, shameful. The winner is not in doubt, as Ronaldo is the best in his position.”

3.RAMOS TROLLS SALAH WITH SHOULDER TOUCH
Sergio Ramos played up his role as the pantomime villain during an awkward reunion with Mohamed Salah at the Champions League group stage draw.

The Real Madrid captain was seated behind Salah at the event in Monaco as the Liverpool star was given a painful reminder of the shoulder injury he sustained in May's final.

Ramos was at the centre of the controversial incident, with his actions in bringing down the forward recently described as "ruthless and brutal" by Jurgen Klopp.

And the 32-year-old appeared to poke fun at the furore on Thursday by gently placing his hand on the same left shoulder on his way back from collecting the competition's Defender of the Season award. Egypt international Salah later lost out to Cristiano Ronaldo for the Forward of the Season award.

4.LIVERPOOL FACE CHELSEA IN CARABAO CUP 3RD ROUND
Liverpool and Chelsea will have a difficult start to their respective Carabao Cup campaigns after being drawn against each other in the third round, while Frank Lampard will come up against his former coach Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea made it to last season's semi-finals before being eliminated 2-1 on aggregate by Arsenal, who themselves were defeated by Manchester City in the final.

The two sides last met each other in the Carabao Cup in January 2015 – Chelsea emerging 2-1 aggregate victors on their way to lifting the trophy.
The full draw is as follows;
Arsenal v Brentford
Oxford United v Man City
Liverpool v Chelsea
Everton v Southampton
Man Utd v Derby
Tottenham v Watford
West Ham v Macclesfield
Wolves v Leicester
Bournemouth v Blackburn
Millwall v Fulham
West Brom v Crystal Palace
Burton Albion v Burnley
Nottingham Forest v Stoke
Wycombe v Norwich
Preston v Middlesbrough
Blackpool v QPR


5.SANCHEZ LEFT OUT BY CHILE AT MAN UTD'S REQUEST
Chile left out star forward Alexis Sanchez for their upcoming international friendlies at the recommendation of Premier League giants Manchester United.

Reinaldo Rueda included Barcelona recruit Arturo Vidal for the trip to the Far East, where Chile will face Japan and South Korea on September 6 and 10 respectively.

However, Chile's all-time leading goalscorer and most-capped player Sanchez was not on the list, having struggled for form and fitness at United.

The forward has yet to score or tally an assist in his two games this season, and his club suggested it would be best if he sits out these upcoming international matches.

"It's a recommendation from Manchester United's medical staff," Chile head coach Rueda said.

"He is recovering but all that this trip means the suggestion was that he should not participate in these friendlies.

"Respecting that and what Alexis feels we did not take into account for this call."

6.BARCELONA'S RAFINHA SET TO GO OUT ON LOAN TO BETIS
Barcelona are on the verge of an agreement with Real Betis over a loan move for Rafinha, as per reports.

The two sides have been in talks over a deal for some time as Barca wanted to include an obligation for Betis to buy at the end of the season.

The Seville side would rather have the option to send him back, however, and are set to get their way after a meeting on Thursday.

Before he goes, Rafinha will likely extend his contract at Barca to 2021 as the Catalan side look to avoid losing him for a cut price.

The 25-year-old had been linked to a move to Inter, where he spent the second half of last season on loan after overcoming a serious knee injury, but the Italian side had to back out of the deal.

7.NACER CHADLI JOINS MONACO IN £10M DEAL
West Brom midfielder Nacer Chadli has joined Monaco in a deal worth a reported £10 million (€11m/$13m). Injuries limited Chadli to just six total appearances last season, as the Baggies were relegated to the Championship.

Despite his abbreviated campaign the 29-year-old helped Belgium to a third-place finish at the World Cup this summer, scoring in the last 16 against Japan and starting in both the quarter-final and the semi-final.

"I am very happy to join AS Monaco, a great French club that participates in the Champions League," Chadli told Monaco's official website. "The results of the last seasons prove the quality of the project and the ambition of the club. "I will do everything to help AS Monaco achieve great things and achieve its goals."

8.USAIN BOLT MAKES DEBUT FOR CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
The world's fastest man has graced the football pitch in a professional capacity for the first time as Usain Bolt made his debut for A-League side Central Coast Mariners.

On trial with the Australian club, Bolt came on in the 72nd minute of a friendly match against a Central Coast select side with the Mariners already leading 6-0.

While there were a few heavy touches from the Jamaican, he was getting himself into some dangerous positions - twice denied headers from close range and was only inches away from a tap-in after 90 minutes.

It wasn't all smooth sailing for Bolt however, who was forced to take off a golden necklace a few minutes after coming on and was sweating profusely as the full-time whistle went.

There's clearly still plenty of work to do for the 32-year-old if he is to earn an A-League contract, but time is on his side, with the Mariners vowing to give him as long as 12 months to get him up to speed.

9.EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW: ARSENAL FACE SPORTING
Arsenal will face Portuguese giants Sporting in the group stage of the 2018-19 Europa League, with Premier League rivals Chelsea taking on PAOK.

The Gunners are joined by Qarabag and Vorskla in Group E, with Maurizio Sarri's troops welcoming Belarusian title holders BATE and Hungarian side Vidi to Group L.

Elsewhere, Scottish champions Celtic have been paired with Salzburg, with Red Bull partners Leipzig and Norwegian outfit Rosenborg - a side the Hoops have already beaten in Champions League qualifying this season - joining them in Group B. Steven Gerrard and his Rangers side face Villarreal, Rapid Vienna and Spartak Moscow in Group G and AC Milan tackle Olympiakos, Real Betis and Dudelange in Group F.

Last season's beaten finalists Marseille face tough tests against Lazio, Eintracht Frankfurt and Apollon in Group H. Zenit are a side with plenty of elite experience in Europe and will face Bordeaux as part of their Group C campaign, Anderlecht must try to overcome Fenerbahce and Dinamo Zagreb in Group D, while Sevilla have been place in Group J with Krasnodar and Standard Liege.

Bayer Leverkusen will see Ludogorets as their biggest challengers in Group A, with Besiktas facing some big fixtures against Genk and Malmo in Group I.

10.FIFA PRESIDENT: NIGERIANS MADE WORLD CUP EXPERIENCE UNFORGETTABLE
Gianni Infantino, President of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), has expressed appreciation to the Super Eagles, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Nigerian fans for their “unforgettable” role in the 2018 world cup tournament. Infantino expressed his appreciation in a letter addressed to Amaju Pinnick, NFF President, on Thursday, where he stated that he was happy to have watched the Super Eagles play against Croatia and Iceland.

The letter read: “I would like to express our most sincere appreciation to your national team for participating in this 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup. “The 2018 FIFA World Cup was an unforgettable celebration of football and a major factor in this was the participation of the Super Eagles, their sixth FIFA World Cup appearance.

“I personally was very happy and proud to be able to attend in your presence two of your National Team matches, against Croatia and Iceland. Please pass on my compliments to all those who have contributed to this campaign, the players, the head coach, Gernot Rohr, but also the technical and medical team and, of course, the fans. Such achievement is no doubt based on hard work, professionalism and attention to detail, as well as passion and love of the game. All this augurs well for a very promising future and will undoubtedly pave the way for future success.”


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