UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Ballon d’Or shortlist should give Premier League pause for thought

SOCCER-SPAIN/England performed well below expectation at the World Cup in South Africa and judging by the FIFA Ballon d'Or list announced on Tuesday the stock of the Premier League is not at its highest either.

Just three players from the league that likes to call itself the best in the world are on the list and it would be a huge surprise if any of them made it into the top three:

Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Daniel Alves (Brazil, Barcelona), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, Inter Milan), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Arsenal), Diego Forlan (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana, Stade Rennes, then Sunderland), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Julio Cesar (Brazil, Inter Milan), Miroslav Klose (Germany, Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Douglas Maicon (Brazil, Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Thomas Mueller (Germany, Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Werder Bremen, then Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Spain, Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands, Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands, Inter Milan), David Villa (Spain, Valencia, then Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid), Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona)

Have a glance through the full list (in all its glory above) and you'll see just Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas and Asamoah Gyan representing England's Premier League, and the latter has barely figured for his new club Sunderland.

Is RBS chief Stephen Hester worth £9.6m?

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As chief executive for a company that is 70 percent owned by the government, a 9.6 million pounds pay package is quite a tidy sum.

It is a package that makes Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Stephen Hester almost as well as paid as the Real Madrid-bound Cristiano Ronaldo.

The week in pictures

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A selection of the week’s best images from Britain.  Click here if you would like to see it as a slideshow.

U.S. actor Mickey Rourke arrives for the UK premiere of his film “The Wrestler” at Leicester Square in London on January 5, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

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