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Jan 13, 2014

Soccer-Ronaldo wins World Player of the Year for second time

ZURICH, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Portugal and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo was named the world’s best footballer for the second time on Monday, preventing his great rival Lionel Messi from winning the award for a fifth year in a row.

Argentine Messi, hampered by uncharacteristic injury problems at Barcelona late in the year, and Frenchman Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich were the other candidates for the prize, officially known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

Jan 13, 2014

Ronaldo says he has cleared the air with Blatter

ZURICH (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo has patched up his rift with Sepp Blatter following the FIFA president’s hairdresser jibe and apparent imitation of the Portuguese international.

“The matter is in the past,” the Real Madrid forward told a news conference ahead of Monday’s Ballon d’Or awards ceremony. “We had a telephone conversation to clear up everything that had to be cleared up.”

Jan 13, 2014

Soccer-Ronaldo says he has cleared the air with Blatter

ZURICH, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo has patched up his rift with Sepp Blatter following the FIFA president’s hairdresser jibe and apparent imitation of the Portuguese international.

“The matter is in the past,” the Real Madrid forward told a news conference ahead of Monday’s Ballon d’Or awards ceremony. “We had a telephone conversation to clear up everything that had to be cleared up.”

Jan 13, 2014

Rule-making body IFAB to have more room to experiment

ZURICH (Reuters) – Soccer’s rule-making body will have more freedom to experiment with proposed changes to rules of the game, such as sin bins, following the reforms which were finalised on Monday, its members said.

However, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will still maintain its cautious attitude to change, emphasising that the beauty of the sport lies in the simplicity of the rules.

Jan 13, 2014

Soccer-Rule-making body IFAB to have more room to experiment

ZURICH, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Soccer’s rule-making body will have more freedom to experiment with proposed changes to rules of the game, such as sin bins, following the reforms which were finalised on Monday, its members said.

However, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will still maintain its cautious attitude to change, emphasising that the beauty of the sport lies in the simplicity of the rules.

Jan 6, 2014

Brazil’s World Cup work has begun too late – Blatter

BERNE (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter cannot remember a World Cup host nation falling as far behind with their preparations as Brazil have, he said in an interview.

However, he later backtracked by tweeting that the tournament would be a success after Brazil President Dilma Rousseff said her country would stage the “Cup of Cups”.

Jan 6, 2014

Soccer-Brazil’s World Cup work has begun too late – Blatter

BERNE, Jan 6 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter cannot remember a World Cup host nation falling as far behind with their preparations as Brazil have, he said in an interview.

However, he later backtracked by tweeting that the tournament would be a success after Brazil President Dilma Rousseff said her country would stage the “Cup of Cups”.

Jan 2, 2014

Blatter angered by ‘preposterous’ simulation

BERNE (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter is fed up with “preposterous” simulation and “extravagant” diving by players and has said it is up to referees to solve the problem.

“This kind of thing is treated with scorn in other sporting disciplines but it has become a normal and accepted part of football nowadays,” Blatter wrote in the latest edition of FIFA Weekly, which will be published on Friday.

Jan 2, 2014

Soccer-Blatter angered by “preposterous” simulation

BERNE, Jan 2 (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter is fed up with “preposterous” simulation and “extravagant” diving by players and has said it is up to referees to solve the problem.

“This kind of thing is treated with scorn in other sporting disciplines but it has become a normal and accepted part of football nowadays,” Blatter wrote in the latest edition of FIFA Weekly, which will be published on Friday.

Dec 22, 2013

Club Cup a reminder of football’s great divide

MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – For the estimated 10,000 Atletico Mineiro fans who made the arduous journey from Belo Horizonte to Marrakech, the Club World Cup was the most important competition their team had ever played in.

Ever since winning the Libertadores Cup in July, the Brazilian club and its supporters have been dreaming obsessively of a chance to measure themselves against European champions Bayern Munich in the final.