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World media stunned as Luongo included on Ballon d'Or long list



Media outlets in Spain, Italy and England have all questioned the inclusion of Australia midfielder Massimo Luongo on a leaked 59-man Ballon d'Or list.

Italian media was particularly outraged that the Championship player was in ahead of Gianluigi Buffon with leading sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport describing it as an "own goal" on their front page.

It wasn't only Luongo's inclusion that raised eyebrows. Arsenal's David Ospina and Bournemouth's Christian Atsu were also nominated.

AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini was highly critical of the decision to omit Buffon.

"The trophy loses value when it just comes down to pleasing clubs and federations," Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Come on, how is this possible? It's absurd. There are players there just because of their name.

"Gigi deserves to be on the list for what he has achieved and how he has achieved it. At nearly 38 years old, he is still one of the three best goalkeepers in the world.

"Ok, I accept Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) and (Thibaut) Courtois (Chelsea), but Bravo and Ospina?"

AS, Madrid's second most popular sports daily newspapers, accused FIFA of "belittling" the award by nominating

Brisbane Roar owners cop fan fury at forum



Angry Brisbane Roar fans have vented their spleen at a fiery fan forum, with representatives of owner the Bakrie Group reaffirming their commitment to keeping hold of the A-League club.


Rahim Soekasah and Denis Djamaoeddin represented the Bakries in front of more than 100 members on Wednesday in Brisbane, confirming the Indonesian conglomerate intended to stay in control of the club for the long term and restore it to its former glory.

Supporters were told all outstanding debts would be settled by January and were assured of a bright future by Djamaoeddin, who said: "the new Brisbane Roar is coming".

Soekasah and Djamaoeddin were part of a panel that also included A-League chief Damien de Bohun, interim Roar chief executive David Pourre and Fox Sports pundit Mark Bosnich, who listened on for more than two hours as the full force of supporter discontent in Brisbane was laid bare.

Bosnich said he was shocked by the depth of the anger shown.

Fed up with the club's recent financial turmoil, failure to pay players, staff and creditors on time, and the stinging loss of Roar's best player Luke Brattan, supporters demanded an apology from the Bakries Group for the events of the past few months and wanted proof things were going to get better.
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