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Leicester and England striker nominated for Ballon d'Or

Jamie Vardy has been nominated for the Ballon d'Or award alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale after helping Leicester win the Premier League title.

Vardy enjoyed a stunning campaign with Leicester. Credit: PA

The 29-year-old striker, who scored 24 goals in a historic season for the Foxes, was named on a 30-man list of nominees for the prestigious award, which is currently held by Barcelona star Messi.

France Football, the sole organisers of the prize given to the best footballer in the world following a split from FIFA, revealed Vardy was in contention in a tweet published on Monday evening.

The Sheffield-born player is the only Englishman nominated, while Real Madrid's Bale represents Wales after his heroics at Euro 2016.

Vardy is not the only Leicester player whose achievements have been recognised, however. Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez - the PFA Players' Player of the Year - is on the shortlist.

Manchester City and city rivals United will hope Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba threaten the top three when journalists begin the next round of voting, while West Ham's free-kick specialist Dimitri Payet and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris are also contenders.

Regular victors Messi and Ronaldo - the latter having endured a lean year by his usual prolific standards - will face stiff competition from the likes of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Robert Lewandowski.

Breakthrough stars Paulo Dybala, Antoine Griezmann and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will provide further cause for concern to the world game's established top order.

Among the surprise omissions from the list are Manchester United keeper David De Gea, Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil and Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci.

Moyes: Sacking me isn't the answer for Sunderland

Moyes and Sunderland are rooted to the foot of the Premier League. Credit: Reuters

David Moyes has called for a united front as he attempts to drag Sunderland out of another tailspin, warning that sacking managers in the past has not solved the club's lingering problems.

The 53-year-old Scot is still awaiting his first Premier League win as Black Cats boss nine games into his reign and finds himself rooted to the foot of the table, as have so many of his predecessors in recent years.

However, he believes the departures of Roy Keane, Ricky Sbragia, Steve Bruce, Martin O'Neill, Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and Sam Allardyce inside the last eight years illustrates that there is something more fundamental than simply the performance of the man in the hot-seat in Sunderland's failings.

Asked how difficult he is finding the current situation, Moyes said:

Yes, it is, it's never easy. But I've got to say, it's part of the job and I don't think when I came here I probably expected it to be an awful lot better.

I hoped it would be better, but I think deep down, I also expected it to be that way. But you know, it's a collective job now, it's not just the manager because everybody has had the focus on the manager here before.

It has to be the staff, it has to be the playing staff, it has to be everybody involved in the club because yes, you can change the one guy there, but it's proved in the past that's not the answer.

– Sunderland manager David Moyes


Klopp makes it clear Karius is Liverpool number one

Klopp has told Mignolet that he is no longer Liverpool's number one. Credit: PA

Simon Mignolet will return for Liverpool in the EFL Cup - but manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear the Belgian goalkeeper is now second choice.

Mignolet has had three inconsistent seasons at Anfield and lost his place to new signing Loris Karius for the Reds' defeat of Derby in the third round of the competition last month.

At the time Klopp said he had no definite number one but, with Karius having now played five games in succession, his thoughts have changed.

Mignolet, however, remains a key figure in the squad and Klopp is keen to have him involved as Tottenham visit Anfield in the fourth round on Tuesday.

Mignolet is unhappy about playing second fiddle to Karius. Credit: Reuters

Klopp said: "If nothing happens in training then he will play, 100 per cent.

"But in this moment we have a number one and that's Loris Karius. That's the situation and what the goalkeepers know. I cannot leave them in doubt.

"There was a short period with the two or three games we (initially) gave Loris to see a little bit more of him, but after the last international break I spoke to both of them and we made this decision.

"Of course, he (Mignolet) was not happy about this but nobody can see this in training. He is still working hard, improving, (doing) all that he has to do. He is a very serious person and a good professional."

Itoje out of autumn internationals with broken hand

The incident happened during Saturday's European Champions Cup victory over the Scarlets. Credit: Reuters

European player of the year Maro Itoje will miss England's autumn Tests after fracturing his right hand.

Itoje's club Saracens confirmed the injury, which happened during Saturday's European Champions Cup victory over the Scarlets at Allianz Park.

Saracens say that second-row forward Itoje requires surgery and will be sidelined for six weeks. It will rule him out of England's games against South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia, and is a huge blow for club and country.

Spurs midfielder charged with violent conduct by FA

Moussa Sissoko joined Spurs in the summer. Credit: Reuters

The Football Association have charged Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko with violent conduct following an incident in their match against Bournemouth.

Frenchman Sissoko appeared to elbow Harry Arter during the fixture at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday.

The former Newcastle man has until 6pm on Tuesday 25 October to reply.


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