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Soccer-Lewandowski, Messi, Salah short-listed for FIFA Best Men’s Player award

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Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Paris St Germain forward Lionel Messi and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah have been short-listed for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, soccer’s world governing body said on Friday.

Lewandowski, who won the award in 2020, scored a Bundesliga record 41 goals in the 2020-21 season to eclipse the previous best set by Gerd Muller in the 1971-72 campaign.

Messi ended his wait for a major international trophy in 2021 when he helped Argentina win the Copa America. The 34-year-old also bagged his seventh Ballon d’Or trophy nL1N2SK2HS last month.

Egypt striker Salah is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 16 goals.

Australia forward Sam Kerr of Chelsea along with Barcelona’s Jennifer Hermoso and Alexia Putellas made the three-player shortlist for the women’s award.

Kerr helped Chelsea retain the Women’s Super League title in 2021, while Hermoso and Putellas were part of the Barcelona team that won the Champions League nL2N2N30HK and Spanish top-flight title last season.

The winners will be announced on Jan. 17.

 

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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Defense trade targets for the Maple Leafs, Sheldon Keefe's "soft" comment, and how many games should Petr Mrazek start the rest of the way? – MLHS Podcast Episode 38 – Maple Leafs Hot Stove

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Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast).
Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled “Leafs Notebook.”
MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.

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Tennis-‘I’m not God! Can’t win every match’ – Osaka proud despite early exit

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Naomi Osaka was at peace with herself after yet another failed attempt at defending a Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and the former world number one was especially proud of the way she has managed to mould her mindset to deal with tough losses.

The former world number one crashed out from Melbourne Park after a third round loss in the deciding set tiebreaker to American Amanda Anisimova — the same stage the four-times major winner exited the U.S. Open four months back.

Following the Flushing Meadows defeat, a tearful Osaka told a news conference that she was taking a break from the sport, raising more concern about her mental health struggles that forced her to miss parts of the tennis season.

The soft spoken and self-confessed introvert declared at the start of the 2022 season that she was looking to have more fun on court and enjoy playing the sport.

“I would definitely say I’m proud of myself for this,” the Japanese player told reporters on Friday. “Though to me it didn’t feel like a short amount of time. It felt like ages ago.

“This for me is the biggest step. Even though I lost. I was really focused throughout the entire match, and I didn’t have a dip. So that’s really good. Hopefully as the season continues, I’ll be able to keep this up, and get even better at it.”

It was the fourth time that Osaka had failed to defend a Grand Slam title but on Friday she held two matchpoints against the American – something that also made her proud.

Osaka felt her defeat by 60th-ranked Anisimova showed the depth of women’s tennis.

“I fought for every point. I can’t be sad about that,” Osaka said, adding that she was yet to decide on her schedule before the WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells in March.

“I’m not God! I can’t win every match. The last match that I played in New York I think I had a completely different attitude.

“Of course I lost, but I’m happy with how it went. I just want to go into this year knowing that I’ll play the whole year and I’ll just have the greatest attitude ever.”

 

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge)

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Canadiens' Allen to miss eight weeks with lower-body injury – TSN

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Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen will miss eight weeks with a lower-body injury, the team announced early Friday morning.

Allen, 31, sustained the injury during the second period of a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Jan. 12.

The 6-foot-2 goaltender has been the primary goaltender for the Canadiens this season with Carey Price unavailable due to his knee injury.

The Fredericton, N.B., native has a 5-16-2 record with a .901 save percentage and 3.15 goals-against average.

Allen has a 164-122-33 record with a .911 save percentage and 2.56 GAA in his career.

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