In Brief

Today’s back pages: Lionel Messi makes Ballon d’Or history and Mauricio Pochettino is open to offers

A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 3 December

Messi makes history

The Daily Telegraph’s back page features a photo of Barcelona forward Lionel Messi surrounded by Ballon d’Or trophies. 

Argentina captain Messi made history last night by winning a record sixth Ballon d’Or. He has now moved one ahead of five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo. 

It’s “six of the best” for Messi, says Metro, with the 32-year-old edging out Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk to win the award. Juventus striker Ronaldo finished third in the voting. 

Speaking in Paris last night, Messi said: “Today is my sixth Ballon d’Or. It’s a completely different moment, lived with my family and my children. 

“As my wife said, you must never stop dreaming but always work to improve and continue to enjoy. I am very lucky, I am blessed. 

“I hope to continue for a long time. I realise that I am very lucky, even if, one day, retirement will ring. It will be difficult. But I still have beautiful years ahead of me. Time goes very quickly, so I want to enjoy football and my family.” 

United States star Megan Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or. England’s Lucy Bronze and USA’s Alex Morgan finished second and third in the voting. 

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Poch’s ready to return

The Times reports that Mauricio Pochettino is “open to offers” and is ready to make a quick return to football management. 

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham on 19 November and has been taking a short break in his homeland Argentina. 

Metro says Arsenal and Manchester United have been put on alert after Pochettino admitted he is already listening to offers. 

The 47-year-old said: “There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on. But, for the time being, the most important thing is for me to clear my head after five-and-a-half incredible seasons with Tottenham. 

“My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back. It is my intention to return to manage in Europe. At my age I don’t need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me.”

Today’s back pages

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