by Tim Stannard
The chance for a French superstar to win a French prize from a French magazine could see Ballon d'Or rethink
Clad in black turtle necks, smoking Gitanes while socially-distanced in the boutique roof garden of France Football, a major strategic rethink might be taking place on Friday.
"I zink we may 'ave been a little...'asty about canceling ze Ballon d'Or" was the opening statement..."too 'asty."
They would be right, as a big chance for the French soccer paper to give a French award to a French player has been missed with this week's decision to scrap the 2020 edition.
PSG is beginning an intense month that sees the wrapping up of the old season, the chance to win three trophies, and the beginning of a new domestic Ligue 1 campaign. That means an awful lot of opportunities for a very rested, hot-to-trot Kylian Mbappe to shine.
Mbappe finished equal top of the goalscoring table in the curtailed 2019-20 competition with 18 strikes as well as winning the league title for PSG. So that's two ticks in Mbappe's favor box.
Friday sees a chance to start the challenge of making it a quadruple of titles with the Coupe de France final against Saint Etienne in the Stade de France, Paris.
Next Friday, it's the Coupe de la Ligue final against Lyon and that will swiftly be followed by the resumption and completion of the Champions League which sees PSG taking on Atalanta in a one-off quarterfinal bout.
Two more victories after that game against the Serie A side, and two victories over the next week could see PSG holding four titles, Mbappe scoring a lot of goals and the editors of France Football suddenly bringing back the 2020 edition of the Ballon d'Or.
Coverage begins at 2:30PM ET on beIN SPORTS of the 2020 Coupe de France final between PSG and Saint Etienne, a match that will have up to 5,000 actual fans in the stands.
Ronaldo's plans for world domination stifled as Messi buys house in Milan
Fantasies aside, the Ballon d'Or cancellation decision looks unlikely to be reversed. But two more potential candidates are in the news on Friday.
It's the morning after the night before for Cristiano Ronaldo with a triple disaster for the Portuguese poacher. His Juventus side lost to Udinese to miss out on a chance to win the Scudetto. Ronaldo scored no goals to still see him four behind Robert Lewandowski in the Golden Shoe scoring charts. Even worse, Ciro Immobile grabbed a goal for Lazio to put the Italian on 31 in the ranking compared to Ronaldo's 30.
Meanwhile, while Lionel Messi and his family is on vacation in Ibiza with Luis Suarez as Antoine Griezmann looks sadly at the photos, Messi's Dad has sparked a transfer rumor by reportedly purchasing a house in Milan, the city of Inter, a club that has coveted Messi for some time.
Sadly, the more grown-up sections of the Italian media point out that it is a likely tax move for Messi's Dad, who has had 'issues' in that department in recent years.
The Sports Burst live show will be all over everything going on in the world today and will go live to Paris for the latest Coupe de France news. Head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page and XTRA channel at 12PM ET.
F1 scraps America's leg of 2020 season
In the least surprising news of the day, the Formula 1 organization has scrubbed the USA Grand Prix, that was scheduled for October as long as the races planned for Mexico and Brazil.
Despite the return of baseball on Thursday night with the Yankees defeating the Nationals in a rain curtailed match, F1 has decided that the situation in North America, and specifically Texas, is not exactly ideal for putting on a race.
Formula 1 confirms three more races for 2020 and an update on the wider season planshttps://t.co/5EkhRqiAXW— F1 Media (@F1Media) July 24, 2020
The fact that that the Nationals star player Juan Soto had been ruled out of the very first game of the season for a positive COVID-19 test and the first pitch being thrown by Dr. Anthony Fauci might have been a hint.
In Mexico, the Liga MX's season opener on Thursday between Atletico San Luis and FC Juarez was postponed due to positive tests while the Spanish coach of Pumas, Michel, resigned ahead of the new campaign for personal and family reasons.