Everton travelled to Cyprus to play Apollon Limassol in the last match of the Europa League group stage Thursday. They did so without most of the first team and new manager Sam Allardyce. Neither team had any chance of advancing, so Everton used the opportunity to hand debuts to some academy kids and prepare the first team for Sunday's Merseyside Derby.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the 2017 Ballon d'Or from France Football. It is his fifth such award. Ronaldo and Messi are now the only players with five Ballon d'Ors.
Ronaldo's exploits in 2017 include winning the Champions League and La Liga, as well as continuing to be the highest-scoring Champions League player of all time.
American midfielder Keaton Parks only made his competitive debut for Benfica on November 18, but the 20-year-old native of Plano, Texas, has shown enough with the reserve team to have his contract extended until 2022. Benfica have also reportedly placed a release clause of nearly $50 million on the player.
We’ve got it, we’ve pinned down two-year-old Mateo Messi’s future on the pitch. After graduating from La Masia summa cum laude, the phenom will replace a 45-year-old Sergio Busquets in Barcelona’s holding midfield role, because, according to father Lionel, Mateo is “un hijo de puta.” He’s a real mean sumbitch.
Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller has called into question everyone and everything following his side’s 3-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
AS Roma’s 1-0 victory over Qarabag in Champions League group play put the finishing touches on a remarkable progression for the Eternal City club. Coupled with Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid in Tuesday’s other Group C match, Roma now finish atop the group and will face a runners-up opponent in the Round of 16.
Welcome to the second tier, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid. Sure you’ve been a part of three of the last five Champions League finals, but sweet Thursday night road trips are in your future after finishing third in your respective UCL groups to earn the Europa League parachute.
Atletico played in the Champions League final in 2014 and 2016, losing to crosstown rival Real Madrid both times. Los Colchoneros are ranked No. 2 in UEFA’s club coefficients, a rating score based on the previous five seasons of European play.