How the Guardian ranked the 2013 world’s top 100 footballers

Source: guardian

Lionel Messi led the way in 2012 but will Cristiano Ronaldo edge out the Barcelona forward this time?

“Everyone thinks they have the prettiest wife at home,” said Arsène Wenger in one of his better put-downs. At the time he was involved in a superb spat with Sir Alex Ferguson about who had the best team and the best players.

As it is with the cream of football management, so it is with the rest of us mere mortals. Few things are more likely to elicit strong opinions among football fans as the stunningly subjective question “who is the best?”
It is the ultimate pub discussion, perfect for these wintry evenings when even the Europa League has gone into hibernation. And since we love to kickstart debate here at the Guardian, we have once again donned our metaphorical tin hat and embarked on the foolhardy mission of assembling a world football order of merit.

One year ago our inaugural list really caught your imagination. Occasionally you called our knowledge into question, so this year we recruited the esteemed figure of Alessandro Nesta, possessor of a World Cup winner’s medal and towering reputation, as our lead judge in a beefed-up panel of 15 experts. Try telling him he doesn’t know his football.
We also brought in the former England women’s coach, Hope Powell, and the retired, much-travelled USA goalkeeper, Kasey Keller, as guest experts.

The remaining 12 judges are selected from our own network of Guardian journalists, picked for their global spread, knowledge and expertise. They comprise:

• Daniel Taylor, chief football correspondent

• Marcus Christenson, football editor

• Barney Ronay, senior sports writer

• Sid Lowe, Spanish correspondent

• Paolo Bandini, Italian correspondent

• Raphael Honigstein, German correspondent

• Fernando Duarte, Brazilian correspondent

• John Duerden, Asian correspondent

• Jonathan Wilson, columnist and international football expert

• Michael Cox, editor of Zonal Marking

• Amy Lawrence, football writer

• Paul Doyle, football writer

We asked each judge one simple question: who have been the 40 best players in the world in 2013? They ranked their answers in order, from 1-40. We awarded 40 points for a No1 choice, 39pts for No2, and so on down to one point for their 40th choice. We added all the numbers together. Over the coming days, you can see the result.

Today we reveal Nos 100-71, on Sunday Nos 70-41, on Monday Nos 40-11, before unveiling the top 10 to complete the list on Tuesday, when we will also publish the voting breakdown.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo usurp Lionel Messi as No1? Will there be any Englishmen at all this year? Will Emmanuel Mayuka make another surprise appearance on the list? All will be revealed by Christmas Eve.

Of course our Top 100 isn’t rigorously scientific, definitive, hewn from endless statistics, devised by complex algorithms or bearing an official Fifa stamp. But it is the sum of our opinions – and we hope you like it.







George Michael bans TV interview in which he admits HIV fears


George Michael has forced the BBC to pull the plug on an interview he gave in which he reveals he is too scared to have an AIDs test.

The star made the admission to Stephen Fry for a new two part documentary shown on BBC2 next month.

In the programme, the former Wham singer is understood to have revealed he had not had a test to see if he is HIV positive for years because he is scared of what result would come back.

Mr Michael, 44, whose former partner Anselmo Feleppa died of an Aids related illness in 1995, is said to have told the BBC the subject was too personal and emotional to be broadcast.

It is understood that Fry and Michael clashed over the singer’s stance over whether to be tested or not during the interview, which was recorded earlier this year.

In June, Fry’s producer, Ross Wilson, revealed: “George says he does not believe in tests .

“He says he finds the wait for results to harrowing and that he hasn’t had a test since at least 2004 due to his fears it might be positive.”

But yesterday the BBC issued a short statement saying: “George Michael isn’t in the documentary, because on reflection, this was too personal a journey for George to revisit”.

There is also speculation that Michael may have been unhappy over the way BBC programming chiefs used his discomfort to promote the programme, which also sees Fry himself take an HIV test, which is provides a negative result.

The singer has talked frankly about the issue and his feelings about the death of former boyfriend Anselmo Feleppa, who died from the disease in 1985.

A spokesman for the star confirmed that he had asked for his contribution to be removed and claimed it had also been too personal a subject for Anselmo’s family to revisit as well.

He said: “On reflection, he felt it was too close and too personal a journey.”

The spokesman added: “It was too personal for Anselmo’s family to revisit.”

The documentary series called Stephen Fry: HIV and Me, which airs in the first week of October, follows on from his acclaimed programme The Secret Life of the Manic depressive, where he revealed his personal struggle with mental illness.

It has already been an eventful year for Michael after he became the first singer to perform at the new Wembley Stadium in June, almost seven years after the last concert at the venue.

But just a day before the gig, he was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and given a driving ban for two years after pleading guilty to driving while unfit.

He said he had been ashamed of risking other people’s lives as he drove his Mercedes erratically in North London in October last year.

Police found the car stopped at traffic lights with Michael slumped at the wheel, drooling and sweating.

Blood tests showed a cocktail of drugs in cluding anti-depressant, sleeping pill, cannabis and the illegal dance club drug GHB.

Michael was previously forced to complete 80 hours of community service in 1998 in the US for “lewd conduct” in an LA park.

Legal action over background music could lead to silent nights for James Pothitos allegedly failed to pay $12,795 in licence fees


Phonographic Performance Company of Australia chief executive Dan Rosen.

Phonographic Performance Company of Australia chief executive Dan Rosen.

Australia’s largest record labels have launched legal action against restaurants and cafes that fail to pay licensing fees for background music, which could see more patrons eating in silence.

The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia – which represents about 750 record companies – has also clamped down on fitness centres, shops and nightclubs that flout copyright laws.

But the aggressive enforcement program has infuriated many small business owners, who warn they will use other music exempt from Australian copyright protection, including US artists and most classical music.

The PPCA began Federal Court proceedings on Friday against South Yarra restaurant The Greek Deli and Taverna, which allegedly failed to pay $12,795 in licence fees over more than four years.

Lawyers for the PPCA demanded a $60,000 settlement from the restaurant’s owner, James Pothitos, and warned he could be liable for damages of $200,000 if the dispute went to court.

In August, the Federal Court ordered Collingwood restaurant The Cavallero to pay $2000 in overdue licence fees and almost $70,000 in damages and legal costs. The Smith Street restaurant has since been placed in administration.

Mr Pothitos declined to comment on the copyright dispute involving his Chapel Street restaurant while the matter was before court.

PPCA chief executive Dan Rosen said it was important to protect the rights of musicians and take action against businesses that ignored the relevant licensing fees.

”PPCA’s preference is to establish a licence with a business well and truly before it reaches court … those doing the right thing expect there will be some action taken when competitors attempt to gain an unfair advantage by obtaining a business input without incurring the appropriate costs,” Mr Rosen said.

A PPCA spokesman confirmed the Federal Court had also awarded damages against nightclubs, fitness centres and a beauty salon over the past two years.

But Restaurant and Catering Australia chief executive John Hart said the cost of recorded music in Australia was ”totally ridiculous”, with fees also collected by the Australian Performing Right Association, which represents individual artists and composers.

Mr Hart said restaurants and cafes were increasingly using music that was not covered by Australian copyright laws, or playing the radio.

”The reality is that the PPCA licence catalogue is not that large and a lot of our members are looking at other options. The fees they impose on us are just insane and I doubt whether they represent value in terms of a commercial return,” Mr Hart said.



Σε τρίμηνη άδεια ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αυστραλίας κ. Στυλιανός για λόγους υγείας

Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αυστραλίας Στυλιανός έλαβε τρίμηνη άδεια και απέχει από τα καθήκοντα του για λόγους υγείας και ξεκούρασης, σύμφωνα με ασφαλείς πληροφορίες του «Εθνικού Κήρυκα» τόσο από την Αυστραλία, όσο και από την Αθήνα.

Καθήκοντα τοποτηρητή-αντικαταστάτη του για όσο καιρό θα βρίσκεται σε άδεια ανατέθηκαν στον Επίσκοπο Απολλωνιάδος Σεραφείμ, ο οποίος τυγχάνει και πρωτοσυγκελεύων της Αρχιεπισκοπής Αυστραλίας. Μήνυμα του «Ε.Κ.» μέσω e-mail πριν από τέσσερις ημέρες στον Επίσκοπο Σεραφείμ, παρέμεινε αναπάντητο.

Ιεράρχες του Φαναρίου είπαν στον «Ε.Κ.» ότι ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Στυλιανός «είχε αντιμετωπίσει κάποια ασθένεια στο παρελθόν, πλην όμως είχε αποθεραπευθεί», ενώ δήλωσαν άγνοια για τα αίτια που τον ανάγκασαν να λάβει τρίμηνη άδεια και αποχή από τα καθήκοντα του.

Εν τω μεταξύ, έχει ήδη αρχίσει ανάμεσα σε εκκλησιαστικούς, αλλά και πολιτικούς κύκλους, η συζήτηση της διαδοχολογίας και ήδη ακούγονται και οι επίδοξοι διάδοχοι, ανάμεσα στους οποίους συμπεριλαμβάνεται Επίσκοπος εξ’ Αυστραλίας, Μητροπολίτης ο οποίος στο παρελθόν υπηρετούσε στην Αυστραλία και τώρα περιφέρεται στην Αθήνα τελώντας κατ’ ανάθεση κηδείες, μνημόσυνα και εκφωνών λόγους κατά περίσταση σε εσπερινούς και άλλες ιεροτελεστίες, καθώς επίσης και ιεράρχης από την Αμερική.

Ο κ. Στυλιανός, ο οποίος διανύει το 78ο έτος της ηλικίας του, γεννήθηκε στις 29 Δεκεμβρίου του 1935, υπηρετεί ως Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αυστραλίας επί 38 χρόνια και συγκεκριμένα από τον Απρίλιο του 1975.

Ο Αρχιεπίσκοπος Στυλιανός ήταν ανάμεσα στους επικρατέστερους να γίνει Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής, τον Αύγουστο του 1999 έπειτα από την αποχώρηση από τον Θρόνο του Αρχιεπισκόπου Αμερικής Σπυρίδωνα, αλλά την τελευταία στιγμή ματαιώθηκε η υποψηφιότητα του και διορίστηκε ο σημερινός Αρχιεπίσκοπος Δημήτριος ουσιαστικά εξ’ ανάγκης διότι τελευταία στιγμή το Πατριαρχείο δεν μπορούσε να βρει κανέναν άλλον.

Από τότε ο κ. Στυλιανός «διέκοψε» κάθε συνάφεια και εγγύτητα με τον Πατριάρχη Βαρθολομαίο και το Φανάρι και περιορίστηκαν οι σχέσεις μόνο στα τυπικά και υπηρεσιακά, ενώ μέχρι σήμερα δεν έχει δεχθεί να συμμετάσχει στη Σύνοδο του Φαναρίου.

Σπούδασε στη Θεολογική Σχολή της Χάλκης, χειροτονήθηκε διάκονος το 1957 και πρεσβύτερος το 1958, ενώ με υποτροφία του Πατριαρχείου έκανε μεταπτυχιακές σπουδές στη Γερμανία, ενώ διεκηρύχθη διδάκτωρ με άριστα από το Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών. Διετέλεσε υφηγητής της Θεολογικής Σχολής του Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλονίκης.

Το έτος 1970 εκλέχτηκε τιτουλάριος Μητροπολίτης Μιλητουπόλεως και έξαρχος του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου για το Αγιο Ορος, ενώ το 1975 εκλέχθηκε Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αυστραλίας όπου και υπηρετεί μέχρι σήμερα.

Συντέλεσε στην ίδρυση κοινοτήτων και μονών και της Θεολογικής Σχολής του Αγίου Ανδρέα. Διετέλεσε πρόεδρος του Επισήμου Διαλόγου μεταξύ Ορθοδόξου και Ρωμαιοκαθολικής Εκκλησίας, ενώ το 2003 υπέβαλλε την παραίτησή του από τον Διάλογο

* Ο κ. Θεόδωρος Καλμούκος είναι εκκλησιαστικός συντάκτης στην ομογενειακή εφημερίδα “Εθνικός Κήρυξ” απ’ όπου προέρχεται και το παραπάνω ρεπορτάζ

Sophie Mirabella nets submarine board job


Sophie Mirabella

Member for Indi from 2001 to 2013, Sophie Mirabella. (News Images – ABC News)

A Monash University politics lecturer says Sophie Mirabella’s appointment to the board of the Australian Submarine Corporation is not surprising.

Former Member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, has been appointed as a board member of the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC).

The ASC builds and maintains ships and submarines for the Royal Australian Navy in South Australia and Western Australia.

Ms Mirabella was appointed to the board by the Minister for Industry, Mathias Cormann, for a three year term alongside senior executives Peter Iancov and Paul Rizzo.

Mr Mathias said Ms Mirabella’s legal background and experience working with the manufacturing industry would make a valuable contribution to the board.

When in federal opposition, Ms Mirabella was the Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science.

Monash University politics lecturer, Nick Economou, said Ms Mirabella’s appointment to the board was not surprising.

“Let’s not forget that politicians do have some skills that could be of some use in an exercise like that,” he said.

“I think we saw many instances of loyalty towards (Mirabella) from the Liberal Party and presumably this is reciprocated.”

Etihad works its new Greek connections in SYD, MEL and PER


Aegean Airlines A321, Wikipedia Commons photo

Australia’s Greek air connections have been in a state of neglect for many years, and are something Etihad clearly intends to address with its newly announced codeshare with Greece’s largest airline, Aegean, from 30 March.

The key element isn’t the  four times weekly Aegean A320 service between Abu Dhabi and Athens on which Etihad will codeshare, as it already flies that route daily.

What matters is that Etihad gains integrated booking and selling right across the Greek market  by placing its booking code on beyond Athens connections flown by Aegean to 16 destinations in Greece and its islands, as well as ten cities elsewhere in Europe.

In its statement Etihad emphasises the benefits this will offer Australians flying to the cities on Aegean network via Abu Dhabi. It would also increase Virgin Australia’s selling opportunities to travellers flying to Greece or elsewhere in Europe.

Orianthi Nominated for Best Rock Guitarist



Greek-Australian rock goddess Orianthi has been nominated for Best Rock Guitarist of 2013 by Guitar World magazine. The publication also nominated her for Favorite Guitar World Cover (she appeared on the front page of their April 2013 issue).

The 28-year-old musician, who released her third studio album Heaven in This Hell earlier this year, is up against Eric Clapton, Mark Tremonti, Jerry Cantrell and Josh Homme in the popular guitar magazine’s Best Rock Guitarist category. She’s competing with various bands and musicians for Favorite Guitar World Cover, including Led Zeppelin, The Who, Stevie Rae Vaughan, Nirvana and Black Sabbath.

It was also recently announced that Orianthi is the first act to participate in #BeMyBand, which gives aspiring musicians the opportunity to play alongside a headlining artist in a legendary venue. Drummers, guitarists, keyboard players and bassists are asked to submit a short video of their best live performances for a chance to perform with Orianthi onstage in Los Angeles.

To vote for Orianthi in the Guitar World poll, visit To get more info on entering for a chance to perform with her in Los Angeles, check out

Ireland will participate in Greek rescue program


Irish Central Bank will return its 126 million euros of investment profits from Greek bonds to Greece

Ireland will participate in Greek rescue program

According to the Irish Examiner, Ireland is rumored to have agreed to pay 126 million euros Greece over the next few years, as part of the agreement of the midterm financial strategy plan.

Now that Ireland has officially exited its rescue program and become a “normal” Eurozone member, the Irish Central Bank must comply with the agreement to return any profits from Greek bonds to Greece, as part of the Greek rescue package.

The funds will gradually be transferred from the Irish bank to the Greek central bank from next year, with the full 126 million euros expected to be handed over by 2025.

This agreement only relates to Greek bonds, rather than any other member states currently in a rescue program and will not affect the Irish Finance Ministry’s efforts.

Greek Patriarch Bartholomew gets honorary doctorate

Source: Hürriyet Daily News

Fener Greek Bartholomew receives his award by Boğaziçi University. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Fener Greek Bartholomew receives his award by Boğaziçi University. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew has been awarded with an honorary doctorate by Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University for his efforts in environmentalism.

Bartholomew was presented the honorary degree, the first that he has ever received in Turkey, at a ceremony that was held at the university campus yesterday. Boğaziçi University sought to bestow Bartholomew with honor “for his pioneering role in several environmental issues, including the protection of ecological balance and biodiversity in the world, providing clean tap water to wider populations across the world, and [raising awareness of] climate change.”

First doctorate from a university in Turkey

Prof. Gülay Barbarosoğlu, rector of Boğaziçi University, said they had realized that the Patriarch had never received an honorary doctorate award from a Turkish university, despite receiving such doctorates from many universities abroad.

Dr. İsmail Beşikçi become the second prominent figure who was bestowed with the honor, with his works on the Kurdish issue.

According to the university, Beşikçi was awarded “for his extraordinary contributions to the improvements in social sciences in Turkey and abroad.”

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