If you didn’t like the bespectacled German before, you probably do now after watching it.
Klopp conceded that he was only up there because of the Reds’ Champions League victory, telling Pochettino – who he embraced on his way on to the stage – that it would have been him holding the gong if Tottenham had won last season’s final in Madrid.
But Mills disagrees, saying the main reason behind Klopp’s win was because it’s practically impossible not to like him – adding that if Jose Mourinho had achieved what the German achieved last season, he probably wouldn’t have won.
Speaking on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Man City defender said: “So are people saying that Klopp is better than Guardiola?
“Liverpool won the Champions League, which is sensational, but it’s a cup. They didn’t win every game going through that competition, did they.
“Manchester City won the Premier League with the way they played and got 98 points.
“It’s difficult to argue, because Liverpool went so close in the Premier League title and won the Champions League. Klopp was outstanding. But he’s also media friendly, isn’t he.
“If that would have been Mourinho coming second and winning the Champions League, would he have got the vote? No chance!
“We don’t always judge people solely on footballing ability, a lot of it comes down to personality.”
The 2019 XI features THREE Real Madrid players (not including Eden Hazard, who only joined them in the summer) despite the Spanish giants not winning a major trophy.
Meanwhile, there are no representatives from Man City’s history making treble-winning team, while only Virgil van Dijk and Alisson made the cut from Liverpool’s Champions League-winning side.
Now, fantasy XIs are rarely universally agreed, but Mills believes voters got this one seriously wrong and two Reds stars in particular should have been included after their stunning individual seasons.
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Speaking on Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former City and England defender said: “Ramos and Marcelo? I wouldn’t have those two in. They are unbelievable players throughout the course of time, but not last season.
“Eden Hazard is not a midfield player, he’s a forward. You’ve got to put him in the forward line, and then he doesn’t even get in.
“I would leave Hazard and Luka Modric out of that team. There were better players last season in midfield.
“There’s no right back in the team, either!
“Trent Alexander-Arnold, why is he not in there? Andy Robertson in at left-back, where are these players? They were sensational last season!
“They got goals and assists, why did they not get a vote or two?”
Best FIFA Football Award winners 2019
Men’s player – Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina)
Women’s player – Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC and United States)
Men’s coach – Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Women’s coach – Jill Ellis (United States)
Men’s goalkeeper – Alisson Becker (Liverpool and Brazil)
Women’s goalkeeper – Sari Van Veenendaal (Atletico Madrid and Holland)
Puskas award – Daniel Zsori (Debrecen/Fehervar)
Fan award – Silvia Grecco (Palmeiras)
Fair play award – Marcelo Bielsa and the Leeds squad
FIFPro men’s world XI – Alisson; Matthijs De Ligt, Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Virgil Van Dijk; Frenkie De Jong, Eden Hazard, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi
FIFPro women’s world XI – Sari Van Veenendaal; Lucy Bronze, Nilla Fischer, Kelley O’Hara, Wendie Renard; Julie Ertz, Amandine Henry, Rose Lavelle; Marta, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe
Idris Elba paid tribute to England manager Gareth Southgate at the FIFA Football Awards – by donning a waistcoat plastered with his face.
Waistcoat sales sky rocketed during the summer as fans flocked to the shops to copy Southgate’s look.
He was a popular man and images of him celebrating – fists clenched and punching the air – are a lasting image of the passion every fan had during the summer and the Three Lions boss even created their own song for him.
So Mohamed Salah‘s goal against Everton was the best of the year.
That’s what the FIFA Football Awards told us when the Liverpool star collected the Puskas award, given to the player whose goal is deemed to be better than anyone else’s.
His goal in the Premier League Merseyside derby clash last season was voted for by, according to FIFA, ‘fans from around the world’, with the strike garnering 38 per cent of the vote.
To say the rest of the watching world were shocked is an understatement and even Salah’s team-mate, James Milner, couldn’t resist joining in with the fun. The midfielder congratulated Salah on Twitter, jokingly tweeting: ‘Congrats on your 7th best goal from last season’.
However, other fans, despite knowing the gong is decided by supporter votes, decided to mock the system by referring to the Liverpool fan who created a petition demanding UEFA punish Sergio Ramos for intentionally hurting Mohamed Salah’ during the Champions League final in May.
Salah’s night ended in the first half when he damaged his shoulder as a result of the tussle and the Real Madrid defender became public enemy no.1 at Anfield.
Mo Salah won “best goal” last night because Liverpool fans would have started a petition if he didn’t get anything. #FactsOnly
Any surprise Salah wins an award that is voted for by the fans when certain fans are so quick to set up petitions against anything they disagree with? Not even sure how it was a contender against the others
The 33-year-old playmaker has been a key man for both club and country over many years and won the gong at the star-studded event in London.
He was the best player at the World Cup where he captained Croatia to the final and has been the creative hub in Real Madrid’s three consecutive Champions League successes.
However, 10 years ago, Newcastle‘s head of player recruitment Tony Jimenez passed on the chance to buy him for reasons that left manager Kevin Keegan in shock.
In his new book, Keegan describes his return to the dugout at St James’ Park in 2008 and the circus that formed the club boardroom where Jimenez had a lot of influence. This is a man who, according to Keegan, revealed he had never heard of Per Mertesacker, then of Werder Bremen, during a discussion about potential transfer targets.
“At one point I took a call from Luka Modric’s agent to ask if I would be keen on signing the player from Dinamo Zagreb,” he wrote. “Modric had already been speaking to Spurs and his agent was honest enough to explain the move to White Hart Lane was likely to happen. Yet it was clear there might still be a chance to gazump that deal, otherwise the agent would never have bothered getting in touch.
“‘Mr Keegan, I’m a massive fan of yours and I’d very much like to discuss it with you,’ he said. Dinamo Zagreb wanted £16million and the wages were quite high, but it was still within our budget and, at 22, Modric had his best years ahead of him. He was exactly the kind of player I wanted to see in a black and white shirt.
“It was an opportunity to sign one of the outstanding young footballers in Europe and, to begin with, I was making decent inroads. I explained what a great club Newcastle was, how the supporters would adore Modric and how we were looking for someone to spark us off.
“Then Jimenez piped up. ‘Can I come in here?’ he said. ‘I don’t think Luka is good enough for the Premier League. He’s too lightweight. He’s decent, but he’s not good enough.’
“The agent looked shocked. ‘What do you mean?’ he asked. ‘Are you saying my player is not strong enough? Luka’s a very strong boy, I can assure you.’ ‘That’s exactly what I mean,’ Jimenez continued.”
The Magpies’ loss was Tottenham‘s gain and fans loved the little genius during the four years they shared together. His displays eventually saw Real Madrid part with £33m to take him to Spain in 2012. There he has won La Liga and been on the winning side in four Champions League finals.
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Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos believes Luka Modric deserves the FIFA ‘Best Men’s Player’ award, despite his team-mate being up against ‘players with more marketing’ for the trophy.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the prize in its two-year existence, but the defender thinks Modric – the World Cup’s player of the tournament – deserves some acclaim.
The Croatian captained his country to the 2018 World Cup final and Ramos suggested that awards have often been handed out to players with the best off-field image and he would like to see it presented to a player who ‘deserves’ it more.
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