Sports Burst - What is the Ballon d'Or Destiny?

Reuters

By Tim Stannard

 

World Cup win sees Megan Rapinoe as Ballon d'Or dead cert while Messi and Salah suffer woeful weekends 

 

At least one challenger made an unequivocal case this weekend for winning the one true prize that bestows absolute and unquestionable glory on its recipient - the Ballon d'Or. 

Megan Rapinoe is as sure as sure things can be to clinch the women's 2019 edition having won the 2019 World Cup as well as being the tournament's Golden Boot and Golden Ball. 

Now, bigger battles are to come with the USWNT's ongoing fight for equal pay. But at least there is a ticker tape parade in New York to enjoy first. 

 

 

The waters are somewhat muddier when it comes to the men although the Copa America may have produced a worthy winner. The current champion, Luka Modric, dug a big hole this season and stayed in it. 

Leo Messi? Won La Liga but last seen calling corruption on CONMEBOL after a Copa America sending off against Chile

Mo Salah was in the running but his Egypt was eliminated from AFCON 2019. However, Sadio Mane is still up for the title - equal top scorer in the Premier League, Champions League winner and alive and kicking in AFCON with Senegal with three goals to his name. 

Cristiano Ronaldo will be there and thereabouts, but what of Alisson? 

The Brazil and Liverpool keeper has now won the Champions League and Copa America and was instrumental in his team's success in both tournaments. 

Certainly food for thought for the Sports Burst live show headed by Gabrielle Amado as it makes sense of a wild weekend of soccer. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM ET / 9AM PT to join in the fun. 

 

Pogba heads down under as Griezmann goes on strike 

 

It's time to check in on Sports Burst's three transfer rebels - players being left in limbo and it's entirely their own fault.

Starting with Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman was supposedly starting pre-season training with Atletico Madrid, but that's not happening after a sulking no-show from the footballer who wants his club to help Barcelona out over a transfer fee.  

That's unlikely so the situation will only be resolved when the player buys himself out of his Atleti contract to allow a move to the Camp Nou. Instead, the Rojiblancos are busying themselves today with the expected presentation of Joao Felix

 

Neymar? Definitely in limbo for club and country after watching his Brazil side win the Copa America without him, although Gabriel Jesus did carry Neymar's spirit with tears, protests and a hefty shove of the VAR machine after being sent off in the final against Peru.

Despite Paul Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, declaring that his client wanted out of Manchester United, the French midfielder is off Down Under on the club's pre-season tour of Australia

Raiola has also declared that Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt is off to Juventus.

Monday's actual done deals see Roma's Stephan El Shaarawy off to China to join Shanghai Shenua. West Ham striker, Marko Arnautovic, is also heading to the Super League having joined up with Shanghai SIPG. 

 

Coco Gauff set to steal Wimbledon's thunder 

 

The Brits are calling it Manic Monday at Wimbledon.

That means that there is time to brew just the six or seven pots of tea during the day, the action is so frenetic. 

The reason for such hyperbole is that the day could see every remaining player in the singles competition in action as the tournament reaches the Round of 16 stage.

Although that means that some genuine legends of the game will be playing - Serena Williams, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic - a 15-year-old is going to hog the headlines.

The remarkable rise and rise of Coco Gauff could continue on Wimbledon's Court 1 with the youngster's toughest match-up so far, a clash against number seven seed, Simona Halep.  

 

It's definitely a second screen experience of a day with the first being dedicated to an international soccer tournament that is still loud and proud - Africa Cup of Nations 2019.

Monday is the final day of the Last 16 round and so far it has been brutal for the big names with the hosts of Egypt, the holders - Cameroon - and one of the favorites, Morocco, all being eliminated. 

Mali are taking on the 2015 winners, Ivory Coast, followed by Ghana facing Tunisia. The action gets underway live on beIN SPORTS at 11:30AM ET.