first_imgNadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brazil’s Neymar lies on the ground during the round of 16 match between Brazil and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena, in Samara, Russia, Monday, July 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)MOSCOW — After a decade of duopoly, the FIFA-run vote to crown football’s best player finally seems open to third parties after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo left the World Cup early.Neymar must help Brazil lift the trophy next week if he wants to join the greats, according to the World Cup winner who first took home FIFA’s top individual award.ADVERTISEMENT Cutting out the play-acting would also help Neymar win votes, 1990 World Cup winner Lothar Matthaeus said Wednesday.“We need players like Neymar,” said the former West Germany captain, who won the inaugural FIFA world player award in 1991. “But not with this acting what he was doing now in each game.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownA debate about Neymar faking injury and overreacting to tackles is polarizing opinion between European outrage and Brazilian defense.Former England forward Alan Shearer called Neymar’s behavior “absolutely pathetic” in a British broadcast Monday. Neymar’s theatrics distracted from Brazil’s 2-0 win over Mexico that took the five-time champion into the quarterfinals. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan MOST READ LATEST STORIES Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Guiao rips Kickert, Aussies: ‘He almost killed somebody and didn’t apologize’ “The criticism is nonsense,” Brazil great Ronaldo told reporters Wednesday. “I am against all these opinions you mentioned. I don’t think referees have been protecting him enough.”Ronaldo, a three-time winner of FIFA’s best player award, and Matthaeus spoke at a briefing about the individual accolade that Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won five times each in the past decade.With Portugal and Argentina both leaving Russia in the round of 16, the award seems open for a new winner to emerge.“Sure, Neymar — when he will win the World Cup,” said Matthaeus. “You have to win titles with your team.”Ronaldo and Messi arrived in Russia after Real Madrid won a third straight Champions League title and Barcelona won La Liga. Neymar’s absence since February with a foot injury was barely a blip for Paris Saint-Germain’s procession to win the French league.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “It’s easy to win the title in France,” Matthaeus said. “For me, Neymar this season, he did not show until now he can be the best.”The German great picked out another PSG star, Kylian Mbappe of France, England captain Harry Kane and Croatia captain Luka Modric as potential candidates for the FIFA award when voting opens July 23.The winner announced in London on Sept. 24 is judged by a vote by national team coaches and captains, plus media from FIFA’s 211 member countries, and fans voting online. It is separate from the Golden Ball given to the World Cup’s best player.Ronaldo singled out Neymar as a potential winner — noting that he himself won the FIFA award after an injury-hit season that peaked with Brazil’s World Cup title. Ronaldo’s eight goals in Japan and South Korea included both in the final, a 2-0 win over Germany.“The results for Neymar with the national team are incredible and he’s still not at his best,” Ronaldo said.Matthaeus suggested an 11th year of Messi-Ronaldo dominance is likely.“I give them maybe one or two years more,” he said, “then there will come a change for this award.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img

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