GIVEMESPORT Awards #20: Cristiano Ronaldo, Erling Haaland and Erik Lamela claim prizes

  • Kobe Tong
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Let's all take a moment to appreciate the Papa John's Trophy. 

Oh yes, now we're talking. In the pantheon of sporting silverware, I don't think anything screams greatness quite like the trophy being named after silky smooth cheese and tomato puree massaged across pizza dough.

If I was one of the Sunderland or Tranmere players competing for the title at Wembley last weekend, I would have been eyeballing the Player Liaison Officer to book a 'BBQ Meat Feast' before you could say 'margherita'.

Papa John's Trophy

Now, it's important to clarify that I'm not attacking Papa John's here because although I might be a Domino's guy at the end of the day, I've had more than a few hot and steamy nights with Papa's doughy bases.

I'll be totally honest, though, I wouldn't want it plastered over the names of sport's biggest competitions because, no offence to the EFL Trophy, it parks a whopping garlic bread all over the prestige.

I certainly couldn't imagine Martin Tyler screaming: "AGUEROOOOO! THE PAPA JOHN'S IS IN THE BAG" or Tom Brady crying over a Super Bowl title with a 20% discount offer slapped on it, that's for sure.

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Chaotic football sponsorship

But it does give me a mischievous desire to start bogus companies for the sole purpose of sponsoring sporting trophies and stadia to make them look completely stupid. It's a worthy cause, let's face it.

After all, the Etihad Stadium and Allianz Arena might sound sexy on the ear, but what have they got compared to Estadio www.removemynasalhair.com and Camp Nou Singles In Your Area? I rest my case.

So, while I loiter outside my local branch of Papa John's in a desperate bid to transfer sponsorship from the EFL Trophy to the GMS Awards, we've got the wildest and whackiest football moments of the week to keep you occupied in the meantime.

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GIVEMESPORT AWARDS

Usual procedure: park your brains at the door, direct your hate mail to don't@bother.com and get cracking with our 16 weekly winners down below:

Goal of the week

Erik Lamela vs Arsenal

Lamela better get campaigning for FIFA's Puskas Award because his stunning rabona finish, which also happened to be a nutmeg, in the North London Derby was one of the greatest Premier League goals we've ever seen.

Besides, it needed something special to ensure that Lionel Messi's screamer at Paris Saint-Germain, as well as sizzling strikes from Dwight McNeil and Martin Odegaard, didn't take the prize.

Player of the week

Pepe

This wasn't even a contest. Sure, Thomas Muller and Kelechi Iheanacho have both enjoyed fantastic weeks and Cristiano Ronaldo even scored a 32-minute hat-trick, but Pepe wins this award by miles and miles.

Not only did the 38-year-old produce a Champions League performance for the ages at Juventus in mid-week, but he topped it off with a goal and clean sheet against Pacos Ferreira just a few days later. Heroic.

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Manager of the week

Antonio Conte

We feel a tad harsh not giving Sérgio Conceição the nod here, but we were a little wary of allowing Juventus vs Porto to dominate this week's edition and besides, it's long overdue that we gave Conte due props.

The Inter Milan boss led his Serie A-topping side to massive wins over Atalanta and Torino in a week where they boasted the best points-per-game record in Europe's top five leagues and look to end Juventus' nine-year dominance.

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Game of the week

Juventus 3-2 Porto (AET)

Yup, we're back to Porto again, but anyone who watched this whirlwind of a Champions League tie will know exactly why it's this week's winner as Juve crashed out on away goals with the aggregate score gridlocked at 4-4.

A penalty and free-kick from Sérgio Oliveira made all the difference as Federico Chiesa's brace, Adrien Rabiot's nerve-jangling header and Medhi Taremi's red card were all confined to the footnotes of history.

Outrageous skill of the week

Allan McGregor vs Slavia Prague

We could have saluted Pedri's immaculate dribbling in Paris or Thiago Alcantara's scissor pass vs RB Leipzig but frankly, goalkeepers don't get the credit they deserve and Rangers' very own produced a miracle this week.

It might not be the type of skill you're used to seeing in the GMS Awards, but McGregor's miraculous impression of Gordon Banks in the Europa League is no less jaw-dropping than a roulette or rainbow flick.

Fallon d'Floor

Anthony Martial vs AC Milan

A 'special' shoutout to Hibernian's Martin Boyle for winning a penalty at Ross County for little to nothing, but our latest Fallon d'Or victor comes from the undisputed champion of securing spot-kicks: Mr. Martial.

That being said, he was on a hiding to nothing going down like a sack of bricks during Manchester United's draw with AC Milan on Thursday and it's no wonder that Simon Kjaer was baffled by his behaviour.

Strangest punditry of the week

Giovanni Gigli

Nothing has stunk of poor punditry this week more than Ronaldo being branded a Juventus failure because - give or take his woeful free-kick defending - they couldn't possibly be any wider of the mark.

As such, we couldn't help giving former Bianconeri president Gigli this award for branding Ronaldo an expensive mistake and saying that the club should set him free in an interview with Radio Punto Nuovo.

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Disasterclass of the week

Shkodran Mustafi vs Wolfsburg

Sigh. Now, don't get me wrong, Mustafi was something of an easy target during his Arsenal days and wasn't half as bad as some supporters made out, but even we can't defend his latest display for Schalke.

That's because the World Cup winner was all over the show as the Bundesliga's basement club imploded with a 5-0 defeat, heading past his own goalkeeper and notching an 'error leading to goal' for good measure.

Tweet of the week 

Marcus Rashford

This award is usually reserved for joky and witty posts about football, but a far more important topic than the beautiful game was highlighted by key figures from the sport this week - and rightfully so.

United's Rashford was one such athlete, candidly and earnestly penning a tweet about the horrendous news of Sarah Everard's murder, stressing the importance of men working towards creating a safer world for women.

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Craziest bet of the week

Punter wins £45,618 from £1 bet

Oh mama. According to bettingodds.com, an anonymous Sky Bet customer struck gold this week with an eight-fold accumulator on barely-believable 45617.86/1 odds that turned £1 into a small fortune.

The decision to back RB Leipzig, Rangers, Reading, Norwich City, Hull City, Feyenood, Porto and Barcelona makes this comfortably one of the most staggering wins we've ever had on the GMS Awards.

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Sunday League award

Barnsley and Birmingham City

As much as Sunday League will forever have a place in the hearts of English football fans, there can be no denying that the style of play seen on wet and windy pitches is more 'lager football' than 'liquid football'.

And thus, we couldn't help thinking of hungover men and women hoofing the ball about on a sodden potato field when Barnsley and Birmingham produced one of the worst 50 seconds of football we've ever seen this week.

S***housery award

Erling Braut Haaland vs Sevilla

Ah yes, a moment of s***housery so heartless that Sevilla players started chasing down Haaland and it's easy to see why because the replays of him screaming 'unlucky' after scoring past Yassine Bounou are pretty brutal.

However, we'll happily admit that Newport County's Kevin Ellison came within a nose-hair of beating Haaland for giving his former boss Derek Adams a piece of his mind by celebrating a goal right in his face. Sheesh.

Roy Keane award

Cristiano Ronaldo

Look, Keane is the sort of man who would want his players to lose teeth when defending a free-kick, so you just know that we would have eaten Ronaldo alive for turning his back and costing his team a goal.

Bearing in mind that Jamie Carragher compared the Juventus squad to 'kids' football' for such a disgraceful wall, it's hard to imagine Keane keeping his anger within the Ofcom guidelines if he was asked for his analysis.

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Urban Dictionary of the week

Word: Barcelona (adjective)

Definition: A shadow of their former selves in Europe

In a sentence: Geeze, my best mate, Ian, is an absolute barcelona. He used to handle his drink like a bodybuilder during our European trips back in the day, but he was vomiting against the night club after one Jägerbomb when we went to Rome, Liverpool, Lisbon and Paris recently.

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Managerial innuendo of the week

Ole Gunner Solskjaer

"I have said it many times, I am so impressed by their attitude, willingness, determination to recover and go again.”

It's a rare trait in blokes, Ole, it must be said.

TV Burp award

The most eerily-accurate impression of Sergio Busquets s***housery of the week

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Work it, Marko, there's still time for an Oscar nomination...

Anyone fancy pizza?

I swear down, can anyone lend me a tenner for a Papa John's? I've got slow-motion daydreams of melted cheese going on right now and it needs addressing.

Wait... that's it... the sneaky blighters have done it. Their trophy sponsorship has achieved its goal and I'm under their spell.

Trust me, as someone who gets sucked into advertising jingles like they're some sort of cult - yes, I have rapped Snoop Dogg's 'Just Eat' song in the shower - it's no wonder that the pesky Papa has lured me in with his trophy tactics. 

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By the time we're in 2030, I'll literally be salivating onto my television screen as Trent Alexander-Arnold lifts the Nobbly Bobbly Ice Lolly FA Cup as it literally begins to melt over his Liverpool shirt in the summer heat.

Now that would be worthy of a spot in the Bazuka That Verruca GMS Awards, I tell you. 

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