Published: Thu, September 06, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Investigation into Inter's pursuit of Real Madrid's Luka Modric dropped by Federation Internationale de Football Association

Investigation into Inter's pursuit of Real Madrid's Luka Modric dropped by Federation Internationale de Football Association

Messi, who last failed to make the final three nominees in 2006, has won the award, in its various guises, five times and finished runner-up on another six occasions.

It has nearly become routine to see names such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi fight for the honour to be named best player on the planet.

Juventus head coach Massimo Allegri says he won't be afraid to bench club-record signing Cristiano Ronaldo over the course of the season.

Yet, that might not even be enough for the Portuguese to edge ahead in his battle for supremacy with Messi by adding his sixth crown when the winners are announced on September 24.

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Real midfielder Luka Modric was named the World Cup 2018's player of the tournament as Croatia reached the final against France.

'Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world and they have a great squad [but] it's evident that the absence of Ronaldo makes them less good, ' Messi told Catalunya Radio.

And Messi believes that Ronaldo's move has helped install Juventus as firm favourites for the Champions League in 2018-19. The Reds lost their star man Mohamed Salah in the first half and had to replace him with Adam Lallana.

Hampered by injury, he made little impact at the World Cup as his country went out in the group stage.

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The men's coach prize features former Real boss Zinedine Zidane, France's World Cup-winning boss Didier Deschamps and beaten finalist Zlatko Dalic, of Croatia.

Real have won their opening three LaLiga games of the new season, with attackers Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in terrific form so far.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has claimed that Juventus must be regarded as "a clear favourite" for Champions League glory this season following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

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