January 4, 2014 1:48:54 am
Cristiano Ronaldo is to be granted one of Portugals highest honours by the countrys president. A presidential statement Friday said that Ronaldo deserved the recognition because he is a worldwide symbol of Portugal,making the country better known internationally,and an example of perseverance for younger generations. The Real Madrid forward,named FIFA player of the year in 2008,is Portugals most famous athlete. He has made 109 national team appearances,the third most,and is leading scorer alongside the retired Pauleta with 47 goals each. He will lead the Portuguese bid for its first international trophy at the World Cup in June. Ronaldo is to receive the medal and ribbon making him an official of the Order of Prince Henry at a ceremony on Tuesday at Lisbons presidential palace.
Traore joins Vitesse on loan
Chelseas 18-year-old Burkina Faso midfielder Bertrand Traore has joined Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem on loan until the end of the season,the Premier League club said on Thursday. Traore joined Chelsea on a 4-1/2 year contract in October. Chelsea also announced that they have recalled forward Gael Kakuta and defender Sam Hutchinson from loan spells at Vitesse.
Villas Kozak breaks leg
Aston Villas Czech Republic striker Libor Kozak broke his leg in training on Thursday and will miss the rest of the season,the Premier League club said on its website (www.avfc.co.uk). Villa added the 24-year-old,who scored 10 goals in Lazios run to the quarter-finals of Europes second-tier competition last term,will play no further part this season. Kozak was signed by Paul Lambert to help take the pressure off Christian Benteke,Aston Villas main and only-other target-man.
Stoke manager Hughes fined
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has been fined $13,200 by the Football Association after a coat-throwing touchline tantrum during his sides 5-1 defeat at Newcastle United. Stoke had Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson sent off in the 40th and 43rd minutes with Hughes throwing his coat behind him and into the air when he was sent to the stands by referee Martin Atkinson for protesting Whelans red card in last months clash.
France in Hopman Cup final
France will play in their third Hopman Cup final after Alize Cornet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat defending champions Spain 3-0 at the mixed teams tournament on Friday. The French will face the top-seeded Polish pairing of Agnieszka Radwanska and Grzegorz Panfil in Saturdays final. France previously reached the title decider in Perth in 1998 and 2012. Having won their first two group ties,the French simply needed to beat Spains Anabel Medina Garrigues and Daniel Munoz-De la Nava to qualify for the final.
Ballesteros family,Tour in row
The family of Seve Ballesteros has accused the European Tour of showing disrespect to the deceased major winner amid an intensifying row about a duplicate matchplay event against Asia. The European Tour will host the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in March,a team matchplay event between Asia and Europe,having opted against returning to sanction the Royal Trophy,an eight-year-old tournament also played between the two continents.
Shooting coach Tibor no more
Indias former foreign shooting coach Tibor Gonczol,who has mentored some of the countrys top marksmen,passed away in Australia at the age of 80. Born in 1933 in Hungary he represented his country of birth from 1952 to 1955 before shifting base to Australia. He settled in Australia in 1957 and represented his adopted country. Tibor had a 12-year successful stint with Indian shooting that lasted from 1991 and 2002. Tibor coached some of Indias top shooters like Samresh Jung,Jaspal Rana,Anjali Bhagwat and Suma Shirur.
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