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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Liverpool Beat Man United to Win the Trophy of the Season

The Winning Team - YNWA
Well, 2010-11 season hasn’t (or should I say wasn’t) a good for a team down the Anfield road. Actually, the last two seasons haven’t produced anything to celebrate for the loyal Liverpool football club enthusiasts. Last season, the Merseysiders finished a disappointing, very disappointing seventh, and any hopes of improving on that this season were dashed courtesy of a tumultuous start to the season under the tutelage of one face-rubbing manager, Roy Hodgson.

But as the famous You’ll Never Walk Alone song goes – at the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky -  club legend King Kenny was installed as the manager in January and the transformation the L4 club underwent can only be best described by Captain Fantastic Stevie G himself: “A new manager comes in, he puts a load of belief and confidence into the players, he brings a different coach and training changes, the players enjoy the sessions and the fans are delighted with Kenny coming back.”

Most players will only say that when they want to be seen as loyal to the club, even if they are not. But the captain meant every single word he mated into a sentence there. The dark side however was that the King’s short reign during the season ended without a silverware.

Worse still, a certain club from the red side of Manchester won the premier league title for a record 19th time. Then there was all that talk from the Mancunians about knocking Liverpool off their perch. Then there was that Champions league final which United lost having fielded 11 fans on the pitch who were duly taught a football lesson by the Catalan giants Barcelona. Then they all went silent.

But before Barca disciplined Sir Alex Fergusson’s men, my friends and I organized a football match pitying Liverpool and Manchester United. The game played at an imaginary dusty Emirates Stadium kicked off at exactly 1600 hours EAT on the 21st of May – that day the world was to come to an end.

Because we were only eleven players in total and the referee was Howard Webb, Liverpool had to play the first half with five players with Manchester having six. The Reds, (captained by Stevie himself – Me) started brightly as they harangued the United’s defence into making mistakes but they could not capitalize. However, the numerical advantage paid off for the Red Devils (who were dressed in all manner of colours not red) as they took the lead just 15 minutes into the game through a goalmouth scramble. The ball seemed not to have crossed the line but hey, remember who the referee was.

Undettered by the setback, Liverpool, dubbed The Winning Team, tried to fight for the equalizer but all their valiant efforts ended at the foot of Man United’s goalkeeping captain Zaimunda.

Howard Webb’s, sorry, Sir Alex Fergusson’s men and women doubled their lead ten minutes later through another goalmouth scramble which went in this time round – according to Howard Webb.

The hard-fighting Reds were clearly vexed by the many decisions that were going against them but onwards onwards they played before the impressive Webb called for half time.

Onto the second half, United made one change bringing in the goalkeeper captain into the field of play while centerback Lilian (a Chelsea fan) took up the gloves. Liverpool were however unchanged. Determined not to lose, because they don’t against United, they came back with fire blazing off their feet. They pressed on for the earlier minutes of the second half and their efforts were rewarded just five minutes inside the 45-minute period when who else but the born-red and blood-red captain collected a sublime pass from Monny Kelly (an Arsenal fan), whizzed his way through the United defence and drilled a low shot past the onrushing United custodian.

Instead of celebrating, the Reds kept it cool. A moment of see-saw football then followed as the Reds searched for the equalizer while United looked to extend or defend their lead – whichever came first. With five minutes remaining on the clock, the relentless Reds found the equalizer. Again, it was Monny Kelly who started the move. She dispossessed one of United’s attacking players (a Chelsea fan), provided a through ball to El Capitan who showed mind-boggling and jaw-dropping control, nutmegged two United players at a go before squeezing the ball between the legs of the United keeper. 2-2.

Game on. Really? Not when you have Howard Webb. The Manchester United, I mean English referee blew the final whistle immediately as it looked like the Reds were determined to win it. Never mind there were three minutes still on the clock without considering additional time.

Webb even ruled out extra time so the teams went to post-match penalties. King Kenny’s men scored all their first five penalties but one, and so did United. To settle the stalemate, Howard Webb decided that only the players who lost their spot kicks get to settle the score. The Kopite scored his while United Captain hit hers against the stone post as the Reds won the match 5-4.

Another trophy added to the illustrious trophy-sagging cabinet at Anfield while red-faced United wait to play another day. It may not be worth thousands of dollars but the psychological contentment is mammoth, almost incomparable, definitely satiating. The fact that we beat the Howard Babes for the umpteenth time is even more satisfying.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Top 7 Reasons why United Lost to Barca

It was billed as potentially the biggest match of the decade, one that was going to hurdle past the benchmark that is the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan. But in spite of all the talk, Barca ran away the winners, quite easily I must say, as the impervious and imperious Lionel Messi guided his team to a 3-1 win over the 19-time premier league champions.

But where did Manchester United go wrong? Here are my top seven reasons why the Catalans won their fourth Champions League trophy at the expense of the Red-faced Devils.

1. There was only one ball
Me thinks that Manchester United should lodge a formal complaint to UEFA and or FIFA to protest against the indespicable, malicious, unjust and barbaric act that was providing only one ball to be played on the field. I mean Barca clearly looked like they wanted to have the ball by themselves. Why didn’t the officials throw another ball to Rooney or even Ryan Giggs and leave the selfish Barca to kick around the other one for as long as they wanted!!

2. Which Da Silva
Why did Sir Alex choose Rafael instead of Fabio. I mean Fabio instead of Rafael… I mean… ah! Whatever! Alex just chose the wrong Da Silva for the game.

3. United lacked their Star Man
No it’s not Dimitar Berbatov or Rooney and definitely not Chicharito. Actually, who the hell is Viktor Kassai!! Sir Alex Fergusson must have exclaimed when he learnt that the 35-year-old Hungarian official was going to handle the Champions league final and not his darling and yes, star man Howard Webb. “Holy shit!” he must have screamed when the fourth official Istvan Vad indicated that only three, three?! Minutes was to be added at the end of the regulation time. A lesson learnt the hard way. Say something about Viktor Alex.

4. The Holy Trinity
Barca’s win against United was no doubt a team effort. Victor Valdez dealt with the little that came his way, Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano were impregnable in central defence and so was Eric Abidal at right back and the overlapping Daniel Alves at left back. However, as it has been time and again, it was the triumvirate of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi who made the big difference as the Catalans triumphed to their fourth Champions league trophy.

Xavi acted as the conveyor belt literally collecting the ball from defence, passing it with Iniesta and co through the middle and providing the services to Messi and the other killers in David Villa and Pedro. It was total football made from Barcelona Cantera. And someone expected to beat such a coordinated team. It’s no longer about finding a formula to keep Messi quite. A more complex formulae of shutting the supply chains of Xavi and Iniesta needs to be figured out if this team is to be beaten. And that should be done even if it means exhuming the body of Archimedes of Syracuse, he the father of mathematics.

5. Lionel Messi
Man of the match, equaling Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of 12 goals in a single Champions League season, Champions league top scorer for the third season running, scoring the second goal and setting the third that certainly killed United. All of these in the same night! Who can stop this man? Sir Alex thought Antonio Valencia could. And the boss must have given the Ecuadorian winger the advice to foul the pint-sized Argentine as many times as he willed. But Messi is not called the Atomic Flea for nothing. He flee from the tackles and made Van der Sar nod at his decision to retire, lest he meet the mesmerizing Messi in future.

6. It was written
It was always going to be difficult to beat Barcelona this season. On their way to the final, they dismissed some of the best teams in the world. They humiliated Arsenal in the round of 16, had an easy match against Shakhtar Donetsk and dismissed perennial rivals Real Madrid at the semi-final with aplomb. Compare this to Manchester United whose only strong opponent was the inconsistent Chelsea at the quarter-finals level. A win against Marseille in the semis was always going to be easy.

7. Rooney could not prevail where Ronaldo failed
Cristiano Ronaldo is a class player than Wayne Rooney. That’s for a fact. But not even the Portuguese is at par with Lionel Messi. Any doubters were proved wrong during the recently crazy four-match El Classico marathon between Barcelona and Real Madrid. As widely expected, Messi’s Barcelona prevailed over CR7’s Madrid. So tagging the premier European club competition as a Rooney versus Messi one was like belittling the little Argentine. He’s simply without equal.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

They are young, very young. Yet, the whole world know their names like ABCD

Lionel Messi - who needs introduction to this extraordinary man? At just 23 years of age, Lionel Messi seems like he has been playing since the days of Diego Maradona, Pele, Kenny Dalglish, George Best and other legends who have graced the beautiful game, only that he has outlasted them. Opinion is as divided as the way the Argentine divides opposing defenders on whether he is the greatest or among the greatest to have stepped on a football pitch. But everyone agrees that he’s the best of his generation. He dazzles and mesmerizes in equal measure and with over 56 individual honours (including two FIFA Ballon d’Or and 5 Footballer of the Year of Argentina) to his name, it’s no surprise that everyone knows about the pint-sized 5 ft 7 Argentine whose nicknames range from El Messiah to La Pulga Atómica (The Atomic Flea) to El Capitan Pulga to Maradonita to Messidona to El Mesias. When I grow up, I want to be like Messi.

Sergio Aguero – Kun Aguero remains one of the most talked about and sought-after players today. Not because he has a son with Diego Maradona's daughter Giannina Maradona, but because of the fine player he is. At only 22-years, the Atletico Madrid and Argentina forward’s name seems quite as familiar as that of his father-in-law. And having declared his interest in leaving Los Colchoneros in the summer, the scramble to have an Aguero in a club’s rank is truly on.

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro – It will almost be an insult and disrespectful to mention Lionel Messi and fail to talk about the most loved (and hated) player of world in CR7. So fierce is the rivalry between these two of the best players in modern football and the fact that they play for Barca and Madrid compounds the problem. The 26-year-old Portuguese, whose contract is worth €11 million per year and a €1 billion buy-out clause, is the most expensive player in football history having moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in a transfer deal worth £80 million. He currently has about fifty individual honours hence it’s little wonder that he seems to have the whole world screaming his name like Adidas balls do under his feet.

Mario Balotelli - Mario Barwuah Balotelli (born 12 August 1990) is a ‘professional’ Italian footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester City and the Italian national team. This is what Wikipedia says about Super Mario. I put the quotation marks on the word “professional” because this guy isn’t one. He’s a prodigious footballer all right, but it is what else he does on the pitch besides playing that has earned Mario a spot in this article. Nobody doubts about his talent. However, he is always consistent with inconsistency on the field while off it, he is consistent with being on the wrong side of the headlines. From flicking his middle finger – consistently - to gambling to car crashes to swearing on live TV to racking up thousands of pounds in parking fines, his is an endless soap opera. Read more here and you’ll know why at only twenty years, this son of Ghanaian immigrants is one of the most known footballers today, albeit for wrong reasons.

Gareth Bale – 21 years, plays for Tottenham in England
Cesc Fabregas – 24 years, plays for Arsenal in England
Luis Suarez – 24 years, plays for Liverpool in England
Romelu Lukaku – 18 years and plays for Anderlecht in Belgium
Mesut Ozil – 22 years, plays for Real Madrid in Spain

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Someone Should Buy this Player

Forget about Carlos Tevez, Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Fabio Coentrao, Ashley Young or even Gareth Bale, some of the players who will top the headlines when the much-awaited summer transfer window opens. There is one particular player who a club worth its salt should, actually, must buy, when the seemingly busy transfer window opens.

I have watched countless videos of equally countless players on YouTube. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Luis Suarez to Eden Hazard to Ryan Babel to Royston Drenthe to Cristiano Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi versus Ronaldinho to even– regrettably – Christian Poulsen and lately, Sylvain Marveaux.

All these players (minus Poulsen – of course) plus many others have the skill and flair that define a modern footballer. But of all the video compilations I have watched, none of them compares to one whiz kid I happened to stumble on when doing my usual strolls on YouTube.

Am not a football talent scout all right. But I can tell when a player is good, really good. And this one is beyond good. His name is Adel Taarabt. Born on 24 May 1989, in Zeghangane, Morocco, the soon-to-be 22-year-old was named the Football League Player of the Year as he helped his team Queens Park Rangers secure promotion into the top flight of English Football for the first time in 15 years.

The attacking midfielder top-scored for QPR this season with 19 goals, playing a key role for the West Londoners as they clinched promotion to the Barclays Premier League.

Lazio, Newcastle and Liverpool are interested. For some selfish reason, I hope, pray and wish that King Kenny snaps up this wonderboy. Without further ado, have a look at this young lad's exceptional talent. Leave your comments if you also believe he’s worth investing on:

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Premier League’s Best and Worst of 2010-11 Season

Signing of the Season

Javier Hernandez ‘Chicharito’ (Manchester United)
Simply the bargain of the season. A daylight robbery that Sir Alex Fergusson committed with pleasure and one that has paid off, overwhelmingly. The ‘Little Pea’- the quickest player in World Cup 2010 – arrived at Old Trafford from Mexican club Chivas at a small fee of £6m. However, his performances especially in big games have simply been jaw-dropping. Although Dimitar Berbatov has hit the back of the net more times than the Guadalajara-born 22-year-old, his speed, trickery and slick movement has seen him form an effervescent attacking partnership with Wayne Rooney, one that has won the Red Devils a record 19 premier league title and put them on the Champions League final. My pick for signing of the season.

Raul Meireles and Luis Suarez (Liverpool)
Meirele’s (PFA fans player of the season) and January signing Luis Suarez are two players who have spearheaded the Kenny Dalglish renaissance that has seen Liverpool make the big leap from a relegation position in January to strong contestants for a European spot. Even if the Reds fail to qualify for Europe, the kind of quality, belief, optimism and momentum that these players brought to Anfield has been immeasurable.

Rafael van der Vaart (Tottenham)
The September 2011 £8m signing from Real Madrid has been scintillating this season.  Nagging injuries have seen him participate in only 17 premier league games for Harry Redknapp’s side but he has scored 13 goals making him Tottenham’s topscorer by a country mile. His latest goal was in the 2-0 win against Liverpool, a victory that might just have helped Spurs qualify for the Europa League.

Cheick Tiote – Newcastle
Darren Bent – Aston Villa
Peter Odemwingie – West Brom

Manager of the Season

Kenny Dalglish
A look at the form table and the number of points garnered since King Kenny took over the reigns at Anfield in January shows he’s only second to Carlo Ancelloti of Chelsea. But judging the ‘King’ by looking only at the points he has won would be a disservice. He has brought enthusiasm back to Anfield. The players are now playing with a smile on their faces. The goals are getting in, the midfield is getting into shape and the boardroom is stable and fully behind him. How about the fans? Their vociferous and intimidating chants are doing more than the Vuvuzela could ever accomplish. They just can’t get enough of the club legend. You get the feeling that Anfield will be not a, but THE fortress next season. You get the feeling that the Kops will be celebrating a title next season. You have the feeling that the King is Back!

Sir Alex Fergusson
19th title, a Champions league final berth, FA Cup semi-finalists, FA Community Shield winners, fifth round in the Carling Cup, Premier League Manager of the Year for January and the manager who made the signing of the season. What else could a manager accomplish in a season?

Winner – Kenny Dalglish - I know the Mancunians might feel hard done-by this and perhaps they have a point since it is Sir Alex Fergusson who is the Barclays Premier League winner and a Champions League finalist. But Dalglish wins it for the simple reason of, actually, putting Liverpool back to their path on their quest to gaining back their perch (if they have lost it). With the King, everything is possible.

Roy Hodgson – He may have had a torrid time at Anfield but the face-rubbing specialist is one of the best homegrown managers England has to offer. He took over at West Brom on 11 February 2011 when the Baggies had lost 13 of their previous 18 matches. Fast forward to three months later and his team sit 11th with 46 points.

Tony Pulis - Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal and Newcastle (twice). These are just some of the teams that have suffered at the hands of the Potters in the premier league this season. Stoke also dismantled Bolton Wanderers 5-0 in the FA Cup semi-final and fought hard in the final losing to a well-struck Yaya Toure goal. Tony Pulis’ side will participate in the Europa league next season by virtue of reaching the final of England’s second most prestigious domestic title.

Flop of the Season

This is a hotly contested category which surprisingly involves current and ex Liverpool players. Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, Milan Jovanovic, you are some lucky boys. I mean, flops. Former teammate Fernando Torres wins this very easily.

How could you possibly explain a £50 million player, a British transfer record and the fourth most expensive footballer in history, scoring only one goal with the help of some mud on the pitch? Wasteful.

Goal of the season

Wayne Rooney against Manchester City
The more I watch it, the more I love it. Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick against rivals Manchester City outdoes every goal for me this season. Have another look…  

Worst Owners

Tom Hicks and George Gillet – The storm and the darkness of Liverpool. But at the end of the storm came the golden Fenway Sports Group.

When you walk through the storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There's a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of the lark

Do you agree? Drop your comments below.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Introducing the Champions of European Leagues

Germany – Borussia Dortmund

The 2010–11 Bundesliga season, the 48th edition, started on the weekend of 21 August 2010 and ended on 14 May 2011. After each team contested in 34 matches, Borussia Dortmund dislodged defending champions Bayern Munich and were crowned the 2010/11 Bundesliga champions with two games to spare on 30 April 2011. Jürgen Klopp’s team amassed  75 points on their way to winning their seventh league title, and the first in nine years. Their topscorer was Lucas Barrios with 16 goals while Mario Gotze created most of their goals with 15 assists.

The Borussians also qualified for the 2011/12 UEFA Champions league where they will be joined by second-placed Bayer Leverkussen and record 22-time Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich.

Hannover 96 and FSV Mainz 05 finished fourth and fifth respectively and will compete in the Europa league while Eintracht Frankfurt and FC St. Pauli were relegated. Borussia Monchengladbach, who finished 16th, will face 3rd-placed Bundesliga 2 side VfL Bochum for a two-legged play-off to determine who will join promoted sides Hertha Berlin and FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga next season.

Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez emerged the topscorer with 28 of the total 894 goals scored this season. The biggest win of the season was the 7-0 thrashing of Borussia Monchengladbach at the hands of VFB Stuttgart and the 8-1 mauling of FC St. Pauli by Bayern Munich.

The 2011–12 Fußball-Bundesliga, the 49th season, will commence on 5 August 2011.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Suicide Solution for Olympic Champion Samuel Wanjiru

2008 Beijing Olympics Champion and two-time Chicago Marathon winner Samuel Wanjiru is dead. The 24-year-old former world half-marathon record holder committed suicide in the wee-hours of Monday morning after a domestic dispute that involved his wife Triza Njeri and another woman, ‘Martha’, who was suspected to be a prostitute. Wanjiru jumped from the top of his three-storey house in Nyahururu to not only cut his life short, but also a promising career.

Wanjiru, the first Kenyan to win a gold medal in the marathon Olympics, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

It was after winning the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October last year that his life started its downward sprint. First, in December last year, he was arrested for threatening to kill his wife and maid, assaulting his security guard and illegally possessing an AK47 rifle. He denied the charges and was released on bail. In early January this year, he survived a freak accident that saw his vehicle roll four times, an incident which forced him to withdraw from April’s Virgin London Marathon won by his compatriot Emmanuel Mutai.

He was the youngest runner to win four major marathons; the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2009 Flora London Marathon, and Chicago Marathon in 2009 and 2010.

Career Highlights 

> Wanjiru was born on November 10, 1986 and started running at the age of 15

> He won the Fukuoka International Cross Country as a sixteen-year-old in 2003 then went on to win it in 2004 and 2005

> He holds the Junior world record in the 10,000m at 26:41:75 which he ran on 26 August 2005 at 18 years, 289 days held at the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels, Belgium. This record sits 13th in the all-time fastest 10k races.

> He won the Kenyan Most Promising Sportsman of the Year award in 2005

> Wanjiru made his marathon debut at Fukuoka Marathon on December 2, 2007, winning in a course record 2hours, 6minutes and 39seconds

> He broke the world half-marathon record at 18 years on September 11, 2005 on his way to winning the Rotterdam Half Marathon. His time of 59:16 minutes beat Paul Tergat's half-marathon record of 59:17 minutes

> He won the 2008 Beijing Olympics in an Olympic record time of 2:06:32; becoming the first Kenyan to win the Olympic gold in the marathon. This record smashed the previous one of 2:09:21 set by Portuguese Carlos Lopes in the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles, California, United States.

> He was named the 2008 Kenyan Sportsman of the Year

> In October 2009, Wanjiru won the Chicago Marathon in a time of 2:05:41, setting a new course record for the city

> During the same year, he won the London Marathon in another course record 2 hours 5 minutes 10 seconds. 

> He successfully defended his Chicago Marathon in 2010 winning it in a time of 2:06:24 

> He amassed 80 points, finishing top of the World Marathon Majors rankings for 2008-09 and earning a jackpot of US$500,000 (42million Kenya shillings). He defended this title in 2009-10.

> His agent, Italian Federico Rosa, also serves/d as agent to four-time Boston Marathon champion Robert ‘Mwafrika’ Cheruiyot, former national cross-country champion Pamela Chepchumba, 800m runners Alfred Kirwa Yego and Janeth Jepkosgei and 2009 Rotterdam Marathon champion Duncan Kibet 

> Wanjiru's younger brother Simon Njoroge is also a long distance run.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Race for the Golden Boot in Europe’s Big Five Leagues Heats Up

With most of the leagues coming to an end, all attention is being shifted to the summer transfer window. While some managers like Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp will be scouring the breadth and length of Europe and beyond for top-notch goalkeepers, others like Liverpool would want to bring in an additional striker or attacking wide man to provide backup for January signings Luis Suarez and Andy Caroll.

Strikers are judged by the number of goals they score in a season while goalkeepers who keep clean sheets even under a clumsy defence are highly rated. So with the league champions in Europe’s ‘Big Five’ leagues in England (Man United), Spain (Barcelona), Italy (AC Milan), Germany (Borussia Dortmund) and France (Lille*) already (indicated in brackets) or almost (in brackets with *sign) known, individual accolades like the golden boot for top scorers and golden glove for goalkeepers who have kept the most clean sheets are yet to be fully determined. First, let’s see who has been the most lethal striker or goalscorer in their domestic league this season.

SPAIN – Pichichi - trophy awarded by Spanish sports newspaper Marca to the top goalscorer for each league season.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Getafe on Tuesday night, his fourth hat-trick of the season, saw him open a five-goal gap over Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in the race for the Pichichi award. The Portuguese playmaker followed up his four-haul in Real Madrid’s 6-2 demolition of Sevilla on Saturday night with the three against Getafe as he raced clear of the Argentine who has not seen the back of the net in the last four matches. Ronaldo again scored two goals in Real's 3-1 win over Villareal.

With one game to play, Ronaldo – who equaled Madrid’s club record of 38 La Liga goals in a season held by Hugo Sanchez – leads the La Liga scoring chat with 38 goals while Messi is second with 31 goals. In third position are Villareal’s Guiseppe Rossi, Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo and Barca’s David Villa all with 18 goals. Atletico Madrid’s Kun Aguero leads a pack of four other players to have scored 17 goals this season. Messi won the trophy last season after scoring 34 goals.

Meanwhile David Villa is on pole to scoop his third in a row and fifth Zarra Trophy which is normally awarded to the Spanish domestic player with the highest goal total in La Liga. El Guaje, the first player to win the award which was introduced in 2006, has scored 18 times, one better than the 17 scored by Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente, Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo and Valencia’s Roberto Soldado. Villa has won the trophy in all seasons but 2007-08 when he was beaten to it by Real Mallorca’s Dani Guiza.

Cristiano Ronaldo                   – Real Madrid                          36
Lionel Messi                            – Barcelona                             31
Guiseppe Rossi                       – Villareal                                18
David Villa                               – Barcelona                             18
Kun Aguero                             – Atletico Madrid                     17

ENGLAND – Just when Berbatov thought he had won the Barclays Golden Boot

Liverpool’s Maxi Rodriguez is the man with the goals right now. The Argentine midfielder has been scoring goals for fun of late with Fulham being the latest victim of a Maxi-orchestrated hat-trick. But the Argentine isn’t even among the top ten goalscorers this season. Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov and Man City's Carlos Tevez lead the pack having both netted 21 times for the champions elect. 

Berbatov was in red-hot form in the beginning of the season and even though Javier Hernandez 'Chicharito' has been scoring the goals for Sir Alex of late, the Bulgarian will capture the golden boot if he scores just a goal more than the Argentine and vice versa. United face Blackpool in the last game of the season while City will be away to Bolton. The golden boot has been won by two Chelsea players in the last two seasons - Anelka in 2008-09 and Didier Drogba last season.

Arsenal’s Robin van Persie is third with 17 goals, tying with Aston Villa’s record-signing Darren Bent. West Brom’s Peter Osaze Odemwingie is placed fifth with 15 goals.

Dimitar Berbatov                     – Manchester United              21
Carlos Tevez                           – Manchester City                  19
Robin van Persie                     – Arsenal                               17
Darren Bent                             – Aston Villa                          17
Peter Odemwingie                   – West Brom                         15

ITALY - The Capocannoniere is the name given to the highest goalscorer in Italian Serie A

With one match to go, Udinese’s Antonio Di Natale is well on course to defend the Capocannoniere he won last season. The Italian forward leads with 28 goals, two ahead of Napoli’s Edinson Cavani whose season is over after receiving a three-match ban for his sending off against Lecce at the weekend, meaning he will not participate in the remaining two fixtures and also miss the first game of next season.

Inter Milan’s Samuel Eto’o and Bologna’s Marco Di Vaio would need miracles to win the gong as they sit on 21 and 19 goals respectively. Roma’s veteran captain Francesco Totti completes the top five with 14 goals. Di Natale is only a goal shy of the 29 he scored last season to win the crown.

Antonio Di Natale                   – Udinese                              28
Edinson Cavani                      – Napoli                                 26
Samuel Eto’o                          – Inter Milan                          20
Marco Di Vaio                         – Bologna                             19
Francesco Totti                       – Roma                                 14

GERMANY – Super Mario Wins it

Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez Garcia was the outright winner of the golden boot in the German Bundesliga. The German forward who had a campaign to forget last season has been imperious this season seeing  the back of the opposition net in 28 occasions, six times more than second-placed Papiss Demba Cisse of SC Freiburg. 

The Bundesliga season ended this weekend. Milivoje Novakovic of FC Colon finished third with 17 goals while Greek Theofanis Gekas of Eintracht Frankfurt scored 16 goals, same as Srdjan Lakic of FC Kaiserslautern. “Bosnian Diamond” Edin Dzeko who transferred to mega-rich Manchester City in January was the top Bundesliga scorer last season with 22goals for VFL Wolfsburg.

Mario Gomez García             – Bayern Munich                    28
Papiss Demba Cisse                – SC Freiburg                     22
Milivoje Novakovic                 – FC Colon                            17
Theofanis Gekas                      – Eintracht Frankfurt           16
Srdjan Lakic                             – FC Kaiserslautern            16

FRANCE - Trophée du Meilleur Buteur

Senegalese forward Mamadou Niang was the top scorer in French Ligue 1 last season with 18 goals for Olympique Marseille. However, his goal-haul would only put the now Fenerbahce forward to third position this season. Another Senegalese, Moussa Sow has hit 21 goals past opposition defences for table toppers Lille and leads the chat this season. The French-born Senegalese is closely followed by Lorient’s Kevin Gameiro who has scored 20 goals while Youssef El Arabi of Caen sits third with 17 goals, one ahead of fourth-placed Lisandro Lopez of Lyon. Grégory Pujol of Valenciennes has scored fifteen goals

Moussa Sow                            – Lille                                      21
Kevin Gamiero                        – Lorient                                  20
Youssef El Arabi                      – Caen                                    17
Lisandro Lopez                        – Lyon                                    16
Grégory Pujol                          – Valenciennes                       15

Well, there you have it. Cristiano Ronaldo has been the most lethal domestic goalscorer this season, scoring Madrid’s 38 of the 94 goals they have dished out to the opposition. However, no team is likely to bid for the services of the phenomenal Portuguese playmaker unless they sell an Island or discover oil. Players like Lille’s Moussa Sow, Mario Gomez of Bayern Munich, Serie A duo of Antonio Di Natale and Edinson Cavani as well as Guiseppe Rossi and Kun Aguero could see bids after another tabled to their teams. Just watch out…

And That's thesteifmastertake!!