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Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry Highlight the Week It Was in World Football

Andrew JordanSenior Writer IJanuary 16, 2012

Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry Highlight the Week It Was in World Football

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    Another week has now been completed in this 2012 year and this week once again proved to be memorable.

    We saw Lionel Messi win his third straight Ballon d'Or, among other interesting stories.

    In France, Ligue 1 once again resumed play, and we are now less than a week away from the German Bundesliga returning and the African Cup of Nations starting.

    Here is a recap of how the week went in football.

    If you already forgot how last week went, please click here.

Jan 9: Lionel Messi Wins Ballon D'Or to Highlight FIFA's Award Ceremony

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    He is the best footballer of his generation, and Lionel Messi once again was named FIFA's Ballon d'Or winner for his fantastic 2011 season.

    Messi totaled 55 goals and 25 assists in 57 games with Barcelona in 2011, winning La Liga, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup among his five titles that were claimed by the Catalan side in 2011.

    By winning his third straight Ballon d'Or, Messi joined the likes of Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten and Michael Platini as the only three-time winners of the trophy.

    Some other award recipients included Pep Guardiola for FIFA Men's Football Coach of the Year and Neymar claimed the FIFA Puskas Award for the year's best goal.

Jan 9: Thierry Henry Returns and Scores for Arsenal

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    It's rare for a legendary player to return to the club that he once played for. Yet Thierry Henry came back to Arsenal on a temporary loan and subsequently scored within minutes of coming on as a substitute.

    Henry's goal proved to be the only goal in Arsenal's 1-0 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup fourth round, and means the Gunners will face Aston Villa in the fourth round of the competition.

Jan 11: Eden Hazard Announces He Will Stay at Lille

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    Eden Hazard is one of the top players in France and is also one of the top emerging players in the world. But even with having so many different clubs after his signature, it has been decided that his best option is to stay put for the rest of the year.

    In an interview, Jean-Michael Vandamme, the club director for Lille, said: "We have received some very interesting propositions for Hazard, but the player will stay with us until at least the end of the season."

    Hazard will be made available for a sale in the summer transfer window.

Jan 12: Robbie Keane Joins Aston Villa on Loan

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    Robbie Keane has been one of the greatest strikers that has ever played in the Premier League. Despite his move to the Los Angeles Galaxy, Keane has decided to make a loan back to the Premier League to put himself into better shape going into Euro 2012.

    Keane is joining Aston Villa on a loan that will expire at the end of February. When discussing his loan move, Keane said the following:

    "I'm excited about it and I know I'll really enjoy my time here. It's only for two months but I will do my absolute best in these two months. Villa is a great club, a club with a massive tradition and standing in the game and Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums I've ever played in.

    "If I can help and contribute to the overall effort of the team then hopefully I will be of benefit to Aston Villa. That's my aim.''

Jan 12: Talks Between AC Milan and Carlos Tevez Fall Apart

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    Carlos Tevez has not been a part of Manchester City's squad since last May, and it has been imminent that he was probably going to leave this winter.

    AC Milan have been chasing Tevez but talks between the two supposedly fell apart earlier today, meaning that Tevez will probably not join the squad during this winter.

    A spokesman close to the transfer said that Inter and maybe even PSG are still lurking there and could outbid Milan.

    Milan apparently does not value Tevez as highly as Man City does, which is a massive reason why this transfer has yet to materialize.

Jan 12: Barcelona Advances in Copa Del Rey to Face Real Madrid in Quarterfinal

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    Throughout the last several years, we have seen plenty of El Clasico matches and once again we will have at least two extra matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid, this time in the quarterfinal of the Copa del Rey.

    The two sides will meet on Jan 18 in Madrid and Jan 25 in Barcelona with the side that has the most goals on aggregate advancing to the semifinal.

    Last year, Madrid won 1-0 in the Copa del Rey final, denying Barcelona a chance at completing another Spanish treble in the process.

    This matchup will mark the ninth time in the last nine months that an El Clasico will take place.

Jan 13: Avram Grant Becomes Manager of Partizan Belgrade

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    The first Israeli to manage in English football, Avram Grant has previously managed Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham in the Premier League over the past few years.

    Grant has seen the last two sides that he has managed relegated (due in part to bad finances that he didn't cause) and went to the Champions League final in 2008 where Chelsea were only a spotkick away from winning the title.

    Now Grant will manage Partizan Belgrade, who are currently on top of the Serbian SuperLiga due to the departure of Aleksandra Stanojevic for "violations of the statute and general laws of the club.''

    Belgrade are currently on top of their league by ten points.

Jan 14: Paul Scholes Returns to Premier League with Goal

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    Paul Scholes is one of the greatest players in Manchester United and Premier League history, and he proved that once again in his first Premier League appearance after his retirement against Bolton.

    Scholes' goal before the end of the first half proved to be the winning goal for United in their 3-0 win, and is also his 103rd goal in the Premier League.

Jan 15: Arsenal Get Stunned Against Swansea City

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    Swansea City 3 Arsenal 2

    It was a great chance for Arsenal to move within a point of the fourth spot in the Premier League, yet Arsenal once again lost a critical match, this time to a Swansea City side that is in the Premier League for the first time.

    After getting an early lead through Robin van Persie, Swansea were able to equalize from the penalty spot through Scott Sinclair and later took a lead on a goal from Nathan Dyer.

    Even though Arsenal got a goal back in the 69th minute, they lost their second straight match in the Premier League on a goal a minute later from Danny Graham.

    This is the first win Swansea had over Arsenal since 1982.

Jan 15: Inter Keep Their Champions League Hopes Alive with Win over AC Milan

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    AC Milan 0 Inter Milan 1

    The Derby della Madonnina is Italy's best rivalry, and Inter were able to take three points off their biggest rival in what was their most critical match of the season.

    Even though AC Milan were able to dominate possession by a 67 to 33 percent margin, and earned ten corners to Inter's two, Diego Milito was able to score the only goal of the match at the beginning of the second half to propel Inter to a much-needed victory.

    Inter are currently three points out of the final Champions League spot in Italy, while AC Milan are a full point behind Juventus for the top spot in Serie A.

    Follow me on Twitter @Andrew_Jordan

     

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