The latest from the round of 16 contenders
Four round of 16 contenders appear in the top places in the latest ESM Golden Shoe rankings, with Barcelona's Neymar and Luis Suárez level with Bayern's Robert Lewandowski and Benfica's Jonas on 30 points.
ESM Golden Shoe 2015/16
1= Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) 18 x 2 = 36
1= Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) 18 x 2 = 36
3= Nemanja Nikolic (Legia Warszawa) 22 x 1,5 = 33
3= Alex Teixeira (Shakhtar Donetsk) 22 x 1,5 = 33
5= Jonas (Benfica) 15 x 2 = 30
5= Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München) 15 x 2 = 30
5= Romelu Lukaku (Everton) 15 x 2 = 30
5= Neymar (Barcelona) 15 x 2 = 30
5= Luis Suárez (Barcelona) 15 x 2 = 30
5= Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) 15 x 2 = 30
5= Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel-Aviv) 20 x 1,5 = 30
PSV Eindhoven concluded their one-week training camp in Malta with a session at Golden Bay beach in Mellieha on Sunday.
Before the squad flew back home, UEFA.com caught up with defender Jeffrey Bruma, who said: "We had some really nice weather in Malta – not like in Holland! – making ourselves ready."
The Dutch champions face Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 next month, with Bruma admirably honest on PSV's prospects. "We have to see our chances against Atlético. They're a good team, on paper the better team – a very good team, experienced, so we have to see our chances. I'm sure we'll do our best and give 100%, but football is football, so we have a chance."
PSV return to Eredivisie action on 17 January with an away fixture at Feyenoord.
Laurent Blanc enjoyed Paris's return from their winter break with a 2-0 success against Bastia on Friday. "We all needed to take a complete break from football during the holidays," he said. "Coming back from that is always a bit difficult, especially for our South American players, who faced long journeys and jet lag. So this time of the season is always difficult. We're not at the top of our game just yet, but neither are the other teams."
Captain Thiago Silva may be rested for upcoming games after feeling some pain during the match, and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu may feature against Lyon in the League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday as he recovers from a hamstring injury. For the moment, though, the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Chelsea feels a good way off. "Of course we're watching them, as they're watching us," Blanc said. "We know each other well, the only difference being their change of manager, who has a different philosophy. But we have plenty of time to prepare for that match, and the best way to do it would be to win the fixtures we have until then."
Jonas took his tally to 18 Liga goals for the season as Benfica won 4-1 in a rescheduled game against Nacional this afternoon. Originally scheduled for Sunday, the match was called off due to heavy fog, but Jonas was on his game despite the delay, giving his side an early lead and then completing his hat-trick after Francisco Soares equalised early in the second half. Konstantinos Mitroglou made it 4-1 at the death. Jonas is the league's top marksman but while Benfica are the division's highest scorers with 45 goals, they trail leaders Sporting CP by four points.
Lionel Messi has reclaimed the FIFA Ballon d'Or from Cristiano Ronaldo after being presented with the 2015 award in Zurich.
The Barcelona forward, who won the merged award three times in a row following its inception in 2010, was runner-up to Ronaldo the past two years.
The 28-year-old topped the poll of journalists and national team coaches and captains ahead of Ronaldo and club-mate Neymar.
The FA Cup fourth round draw has been made, with holders Arsenal given a home tie against second-tier Burnley. Manchester City face a trip to fourth division Wycombe or Aston Villa, while Chelsea - who won the FA Cup during Guus Hiddink's first caretaker spell - will play the winner of the tie between another League Two side, Northampton, and Championship side MK Dons.
Ties will be played between 29 January and 1 February.
Arsenal v Burnley
Northampton/MK Dons v Chelsea
Wycombe/Aston Villa v Manchester City
After undergoing fitness tests in St Petersburg, Zenit flew to Qatar for their first training camp of the winter. Zenit will be in friendly action against local sides on 17 and 21 January before returning to Russia on 24 January. Goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev, defender Igor Smolnikov and midfielder Viktor Fayzulin have stayed at home due to injuries.
Speaking on the eve of Paris Saint-Germain's French League Cup quarter-final against Lyon, Laurent Blanc has praised captain Thiago Silva. The centre-back is currently out of favour with Brazil coach Dunga but has been an instrumental part of a Paris defence which has conceded only nine goals in 20 Ligue 1 games this season.
"He has unanimous support, not only here, in France, but in Europe," said Blanc. "He is acting more and more like a leader and is turning into the complete package, on and off the pitch. It must make him sad not to play for Brazil but, thanks to his consistency, things will change sooner or later. He is 31, not that old for someone in his position … I know what I'm talking about!"
Everyone has been having their say on FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi ...
Hiddink says he has no doubt Lionel Messi would succeed in any league he played in. 'It seems so easy for him'. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2016
There are no games involving UEFA Champions League teams but several of the last 16 are in action tomorrow ...
Premier League: Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion (20.45), Manchester City v Everton (20.45), Liverpool v Arsenal (21.00)
Copa del Rey round of 16 second leg: Espanyol v Barcelona (21.00 - Barcelona lead 4-1)
French League Cup quarter-final: Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon (21.00)
Atlético Madrid have one more day than Barcelona to prepare for their Copa del Rey round of 16 second-leg derby as on Thursday they welcome Rayo Vallecano with the tie at 1-1.
Zenit reconvened ahead of the second half of the season on Monday, five weeks before their first competitive game of 2016: the first leg against Benfica. They are already busy on the training pitch.
Fernando Torres' long wait for his 100th Atlético Madrid goal is set to continue after the forward was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Torres suffered the knock in training and, after a scan, the club said he would undergo treatment and be restricted to gym work while they fully assess the problem.
Torres scored his 99th goal for Atlético in September, but has since gone 19 games without scoring. Only nine players have reached a century for the club, most recently Sergio Agüero.
Italy midfielder Marco Verratti has been talking to Le Parisien about how he "feels French" after over three years at Paris Saint-Germain, his affection for Zlatan Ibrahimović and next month's round of 16 meeting with Chelsea.
"You can never get bored of facing Chelsea [this is to be the third tie between the sides in as many years]. They changed coach a few weeks ago and are going through a tough period, but there is no reason to underestimate them.
"Paris are stronger this year. We are having a great season, especially on the defensive side of the game."
Bayern strike a good work/life balance ...
Roma have parted company with coach Rudi Garcia after Saturday's 1-1 home draw with AC Milan left the Giallorossi fifth in Serie A, seven points adrift of leaders Napoli.
Bas Dost could miss Wolfsburg's tie against Gent after fracturing his metatarsal during a challenge in training on Tuesday. The initial prognosis is that he faces six weeks out, ruling him out of the first leg and making him doubtful for the second on 8 March.
"Currently, we think he'll need surgery", said Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs. "A short while ago we had a very good talk with Bas, who was full of drive. It is very sad that he will now be sidelined."
The Dutch striker has scored nine goals for the club this season.
Axel Witsel, who turned 26 on Tuesday, runs the gauntlet ...
Wolfsburg won 2-0 against promotion-chasing second-tier club Portimonense in a friendly at their winter training camp in Lagos, Portugal. Robin Knoche set up Sebastian Jung for the opening goal early in the second half and Julian Draxler turned in a Vieirinha pass to make it two.
Manchester City missed their chance to gain ground on Premier League leaders Arsenal, picking up their fourth league draw of the season – all of them 0-0s. Everton's Tim Howard kept out a Yaya Touré header in the first half and produced two fine saves to deny Sergio Agüero after the break, but Everton were good value for their point, Leon Osman going close before the interval.
Chelsea are unbeaten in six games since the departure of José Mourinho in December, but will take little solace from a 2-2 home draw against West Brom, who denied them three points with a late James McLean goal after Gareth McAuley put into his own net following a fine Willian cross to put the Blues 2-1 up. César Azpilicueta bundled away their opener in the first half, but some shaky defending preceded Craig Gardner equalising from distance.
Joe Allen denied Arsenal three points at the death, with a 3-3 draw at Liverpool meaning the Gunners end the night level on 43 points with Leicester at the top of the English table. Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud both levelled after Roberto Firmino twice put the Reds ahead in the first period, but a sweet second finish from Giroud looked to have earned his side a thrilling victory.
Paris moved a step closer to a third successive French League Cup success with a 2-1 quarter-final victory against Lyon. Adrien Rabiot pounced on a rebound to put them ahead, but they were pegged back before half-time. Lucas Moura then capped a sharp counterattack with a splendid finish to propel his side into the last four.
Barcelona are through to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, Munir El Haddadi striking twice in a 2-0 win which completed a 6-1 aggregate success for the holders against neighbours Espanyol. Lionel Messi's ball sent the 20-year-old through for his first of the night, while Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal had a hand in his second on 88 minutes. Luis Enrique's side are unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions.
It is not a long trip across town from Espanyol for Barcelona, but it looks like they made the most of it last night ...
PSV Eindhoven coach Phillip Cocu has signed a contract extension running until 2019.
A verbal agreement was reached at the end of 2015 and the deal was officialised during the club's New Year's reception on Wednesday. Eindhoven-born former PSV midfielder Cocu briefly took caretaker charge in March 2012 after a spell as Under-19 coach and immediately won the Dutch Cup. He then was full time coach from summer 2013 and led them to the 2014/15 Eredivisie title, earning a place in the UEFA Champions League, where they beat Manchester United to second place in their group and a round of 16 tie with Atlético Madrid.
Cocu's assistant Chris van der Weerden will be with PSV until 2019, while goalkeeping coach Ruud Hesp has extended his contract with PSV until 2018, with an option for a further season. Former PSV striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink has joined the scouting team.
Paris Saint-Germain will host Toulouse on 26 or 27 January in the French League Cup semi-finals after the draw matches to clubs also due to play in Ligue 1 on Saturday and the French Cup last 32 next Tuesday. Paris beat Lyon 2-1 on Wednesday to keep up their bid for a third straight League Cup.
"We know this team very well," said Paris coach Laurent Blanc. "I wanted to play the semi-final at home and we will do. It's a clear advantage for us." Lille play Bordeaux in the other semi-final.
Arsenal have signed Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny from Basel for a reported €6.5m. The 23-year-old moved to Basel from El Mokawloon in 2013 and has won three Swiss titles as well as appearing 39 times for his country.
Atlético Madrid welcome neighbours Rayo Vallecano tonight with their Copa del Rey round of 16 tie level at 1-1. The draw, in which Barcelona are also involved, is on Friday.
Luciano Spalletti has been confirmed as Rudi Garcia's replacement as Roma coach after the Frenchman left the club earlier this week.Spalletti, without a club since being sacked by Zenit in March 2014, returns to Roma having lifted the Coppa Italia twice during his first managerial stint at the Olimpico between 2005 and 2009, as well has having overseen a 2008 UEFA Champions League round of 16 defeat of Real Madrid, who they meet again this time.
Spalletti said: "I'm excited because I'm fully aware about how much this city, this club, this team are worth. Working with top people is always exciting. In football unexpected things happen but honestly I have always hoped that I could return to Rome one day because this is a wonderful place.
"With my family we never really left Rome. We have been away for one year but then my son came back here to study, he is a huge Roma fan and has always continued to follow the team. I lived my first experience in Rome with great intensity, it was an important period of my life. I will never forget those Champions League nights with the stadium packed."
The official @ChampionsLeague Twitter feed is leading a debate about the competition's finest strike duos: why not get involved?
In an interview with Juventus Channel, coach Massimiliano Allegri spoke about the Bianconeri's chances against Bayern München in the round of 16.
"It will be more difficult compared to any other game in the first knockout round and we are well aware that Bayern is a big club," he said. "But I think we have a good chance to qualify, even if in this kind of home and away games a pinch of luck is needed. We must be optimistic, if we get victory we would have got the better of one of the favorites."
Arsenal's Mesut Özil has been voted German national team player of the year for the fourth time. Özil received 45.9% of the vote from members of German's fan club, 30% clear of 2014 winner Thomas Müller. Özil previously won the award in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Still, Thomas Müller is taking the loss of his Germany player of the year award in his stride in Bayern training ...
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc looks set to be without captain Thiago Silva for Saturday's Ligue 1 fixture against Toulouse. "He has not recovered from his torn left knee ligament," said Blanc, who is also sweating on the fitness of another centre-back, David Luiz. “He has a slight pain in his back," added the Paris coach. "Though it doesn't seem too serious, we are keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't get worse." Ángel Di María could also miss out due to a foot injury sustained last weekend.
In his first press conference since returning to the club, Roma coach Luciano Spalletti urged his players to show their qualities in Sunday's Serie A game against Verona.
"We have to turn things around and go back to what we do best," he said. "We have just one way: we need to start winning matches. I expect a big reaction tomorrow from the team. The players have no excuses."
The Giallorossi coach, who enjoyed a previous spell in charge between 2005 and 2009, added: "I coached a good team when I was here before and I'm sure the current side are equally as strong. We have to produce good, entertaining football and we have to climb the Serie A table."
Chelsea 3-3 Everton (Costa 64, Fàbregas 66, Terry 90+8; Terry 50 og, Mirallas 56, Funes Mori 90)
John Terry's last-gasp backheel extended Chelsea's unbeaten record under Guus Hiddink to seven matches. Cesc Fàbregas's deflected effort was only his second goal of the season in all competitions and first since 16 September. The Blues, who lost Diego Costa to injury, remain 14th in the Premier League.
Manchester City 4-0 Crystal Palace (Delph 22, Agüero 41 68, Silva 84)
Title-chasing City are five unbeaten in the Premier League after Sergio Agüero led the way against Palace. The Argentina forward took his top-flight tally to ten for the season before setting up David Silva to round things off late on.
This from Sergio Agüero after he scored twice in Manchester City's 4-0 home victory against Crystal Palace.
An update from Guus Hiddink on Diego Costa, who was replaced with 11 minutes left in Chelsea's 3-3 draw with Everton. The Spain forward scored the Blues' first of a dramatic match at Stamford Bridge.
Toulouse 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain (Ibrahimović 73)
Zlatan Ibrahimović headed in a David Luiz flick at the back post to earn the champions a narrow win that continues their march to the Ligue 1 title. Laurent Blanc's undefeated side are 23 points clear of second-placed Angers.
Gent 2-0 Anderlecht (Depoitre 10 89)
Laurent Depoitre got both goals to keep Gent three points clear at the top in Belgium. Third-placed Anderlecht had the chance to go top with a win but the Belgian forward's seventh and eighth league goals of the season maintained the Buffalos' lead.
Feyenoord 0-2 PSV Eindhoven (Moreno 49, Narsingh 84)
Phillip Cocu's men remain three points off leaders Ajax after taking the spoils from their trip to the third-placed Rotterdammers, the win taking PSV's undefeated Eredivisie run to 12 games.
Roma 1-1 Verona (Nainggolan 41; Pazzini 61pen)
Luciano Spalletti was unable to get a first win on his return to the Roma dugout as the Giallorossi played out a third successive Serie A draw – and fifth in their last six league games. The point leaves Roma fifth, nine points off leaders Napoli.
Udinese 0-4 Juventus (Dybala 15 26pen, Khedira 18, Alex Sandro 42)
The Bianconeri scored four times in the first half for the first time since 2012 as they made it a tenth Serie A win on the bounce to stay two points off leaders Napoli. Udinese lost Danilo just 25 minutes in to a red card and Paulo Dybala's second from the resulting penalty took his league tally to 11 goals.
Real Madrid 5-1 Sporting Gijón (Bale 7, Ronaldo 9 18, Benzema 12 41; Ismael López 62)
Zinédine Zidane's strong start on the Madrid bench continued as his charges hit five goals for the second time in two games, with Cristiano Ronaldo this time getting in on the action with a double. The hosts' attacking trident of Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema did all the damage up front, though both Bale and Benzema had to leave the fray with injuries.
Chemitz 2-3 Wolfsburg (Frahn 12 Cincotta 61; Draxler 35, Schürrle 37, Caligiuri 51)
Back from their training camp in Portugal, Wolfsburg enjoyed a friendly success at third-tier Chemnitz after coming back from behind. Julian Draxler, André Schürrle and Daniel Caligiuri got the goals as the Wolves warmed up for their Bundesliga trip to Frankfurt next Sunday.
Stoke City 0-0 Arsenal
Missing Mesut Özil due to a foot injury, Arsenal struggled to break down their hosts and could not get past Jack Butland on the rare occasions when they did get a look at goal. Petr Čech was in similarly solid form for the Gunners, who returned to the Premier League summit ahead of Leicester on goal difference.
Las Palmas 0-3 Atlético Madrid (Filipe Luís 17, Griezmann 68 89)
Diego Simeone's team still hold sway in Spain after a hard-fought victory, Filipe Luís enjoying their only real chance of the first half but registering with a superb finish. Las Palmas came close to levelling, yet Antoine Griezmann sealed the points as he took his Liga tally this term to 12 goals from 20 appearances.
Barcelona 6-0 Athletic Club (Messi 7pen, Neymar 31, Suárez 47 68 82, Rakitić 62)
Barcelona took advantage of an early red card for Athletic goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz to stay within two points of Atlético with a game in hand. Iraizoz was dismissed for a foul on Luis Suárez after just four minutes and FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi converted the penalty, but it was Suárez who eventually stole the show with his third Liga hat-trick for the club.
Despite the one-sided nature of Barcelona's 6-0 win against Athletic, there was one piece of bad news for the UEFA Champions League holders. Substituted in the 69th minute with a hamstring problem, left-back Jordi Alba is now set for a short spell on the sidelines.
[MEDICAL UPDATE] Jordi Alba has a right hamstring injury, will be out ten days pic.twitter.com/NwPbIZFfgv— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 17, 2016