The biggest FIFA 19 event is nearly here as the FIFA eWorld Cup 2019 kicks off on August 2 in London’s O2 Arena as the world’s best 32 players compete to be named world champion and take home $250,000 (£203k) in winnings.This season has seen a dramatic increase in the number of FIFA tournaments and as a result, we have a better idea than ever before of who really are the strongest competitors in the world. As such, Goal has compiled a list of 10 favourites to take home the FIFA eWorld Cup trophy.F2Tekkz Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The outright favourite for the tournament, nobody has come close to matching Donovan “F2Tekkz” Hunt this year. The 17-year-old was the only pro to reach the 10,000 Global Series points benchmark, finishing the season with 13,265 points after sensationally winning seven events. The Englishman made a name for himself last year when he won his first-ever FIFA tournament but then failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup. Remembering that, F2Tekkz will be desperate to go all the way this time around.NYC ChrisLikely the strongest player from North America, Christopher “NYC Chris” Holly consistently qualified for events this year but his big win came later in the season as he won the inaugural eChampions League, taking home $100k ($81k) in winnings. With his attacking prowess, Chris could be one to watch in this tournament.Rebel StokesAnother British player on this list, Rebel FC’s Tom Stokes has hit his peak form at just the right time. Come Spring 2019, Stokes landed a quarter-final and semi-final finish under his belt but earned the biggest win of his career just earlier this month as he defeated F2Tekkz to win the Xbox FIFA Global Series Playoffs. Riding the high of that monumental win, Stokes will be a dangerous opponent at the FIFA eWorld Cup.Nicolas99FCOne of the best players in the world, FC Basel’s Nicolas “Nicolas99fc” Villalba has been just as impressive as he was last year. The Argentine has dominated the PlayStation division, finishing top with 9,770 FIFA Global Series Ranking Points and won cross-console finals for the first time in his career following a couple of Gfinity events. Nicolas has also won the FIFA eClub World Cup and the PlayStation FIFA Global Series Playoffs. Nobody will want to come up against him.MegabitWerder Bremen’s Michael “Megabit” Bittner is one of the most consistent players this year, which is why he was able to finish in the top five of the Xbox FIFA Global Series Rankings. The German took home the Virtual Bundesliga title and was the Xbox champion in the Gfinity February FIFA Series, but all of his accomplishments would be eclipsed by winning the FIFA eWorld Cup.MaestroAfter finishing second in the PlayStation FIFA Global Series Rankings, everyone has begun to take notice of Team Vitality’s Corentin “Maestro” Thuillier. The Frenchman took home the e-Ligue 1 and the FIFA eNations Cup trophies and was also the PlayStation champion in the April FUT Champions Cup. There’s no such thing as an easy match at the FIFA eWorld Cup but on his day, Maestro can take on anyone.MSDossaryAnother one of the major favourites for this tournament, Rogue’s Mossad “MSDossary” Aldossary is the reigning FIFA eWorld Cup champion and will be confident of winning back-to-back world titles. The Saudi Arabian told Goal he doesn’t fear any opponent, which isn’t surprising seeing as he’s considered one of the greatest FIFA pros of all time. With former FIFA Interactive World Cup champion Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing as his coach, even F2Tekkz will struggle to stop MSDossary.Pinna97Stefano “Pinna97” Pinna sometimes slips under the radar but isn’t a player you want to underestimate. The PSV man is the reigning world PlayStation champion as he was the pro who took on MSDossary in the final last year. After a few high finishes and reaching a fairly safe spot in the FIFA Global Series Rankings, Pinna took the unique decision to take a break from competing to ensure he wasn’t burnt out before the FIFA eWorld Cup final. Now the Belgian is back and is ready to go one step further than his impressive showing last year.PSG DaXeParis Saint-Germain’s Lucas “DaXe” Cuillerier finished third in the Xbox FIFA Global Series Rankings following a pretty strong year. He won the FIFA eNations Cup alongside Maestro though he then finished second in e-Ligue 1 behind his France team-mate. DaXe is a fearsome competitor with a lot of experience – he might just step up another level in London.Mkers LevFinally, we have Lev Vinken who is no longer a free agent after joining esports organisation Mkers. The Dutchman is flying after finishing second in the PlayStation FIFA Global Series Playoffs and will be looking for the first major tournament win of his career when the FIFA eWorld Cup comes around.
OTTAWA — Canada’s trade minister is downplaying the forthcoming departure of China’s outspoken envoy to Ottawa, saying differences between the countries stretch beyond the ambassador’s level.Jim Carr says in an interview that the federal government is awaiting China’s decision on its replacement for outgoing ambassador Lu Shaye, who has had harsh words for Canada during his two-year tenure.Sources say the French-speaking Lu will leave his Ottawa post in the coming weeks for a new position in Paris.Canada’s relationship with its second-biggest trading partner has deteriorated rapidly since the December arrest of a Huawei senior executive in Vancouver following an extradition request by the United States.China was outraged by the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, and has since detained two Canadians on allegations of espionage, sentenced two Canadians to death for drug-related convictions and blocked key agricultural shipments such as canola.Asked about Lu’s criticisms, Carr says personalities are not at the centre of the diplomatic dispute, and that the ambassador’s job is to express the view of his government.Lu has used strong words when talking about the Canada-China relationship — for example, he told Canadian journalists last winter that Meng’s arrest was the “backstabbing” of a friend and evidence of white supremacism.He also warned of repercussions if the federal government bars Huawei from selling equipment to build a next-generation 5G wireless network in Canada.Carr said the Liberal government still hopes to solve the bilateral differences by engaging China on many levels, not just through an ambassador.“I would only assume that whatever is being spoken by the Chinese ambassador to Canada has the full support of the government, so this is an issue that goes beyond the ambassadorial level,” Carr said Wednesday before leaving for Japan on a trade mission to find new markets for Canadian products, including canola.“Of course, we await the decision of the Chinese government to replace the existing ambassador and we will reach out to whomever is in that place and make the same arguments to him or her that we’re making now.”Word of Lu’s departure comes at a time when Canada does not have an ambassador in Beijing. Last winter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired Canada’s former ambassador to China, John McCallum, for going off-script in the government’s efforts to win the release of the two detained Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Before his posting in Beijing, McCallum was a longtime Liberal MP and cabinet minister.The Canadian Press
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Steve Rothwell, The Associated Press Posted Jun 11, 2014 4:16 am MDT The (not so) ‘Fragile Five’ lead a rebound; Brazil and other emerging markets rally NEW YORK, N.Y. – Soccer fans will focus on Brazil and the start of the World Cup Thursday, but investors have been entranced by that nation’s stock market for months.Brazil has company. From Sao Paulo to Mumbai, investors are regaining their faith in emerging markets this year.It’s a big shift from 2013, when investment in those markets dried up because of worries about their slowing economic growth. It got so tough that five big developing markets — Brazil, South Africa, India, Indonesia and Turkey — were dubbed the “Fragile Five” by analysts at Morgan Stanley.Now those countries are much more appealing to investors. Some have taken actions to strengthen their economies. Others have gone through political changes that have bolstered investor confidence. At the same time, slower growth in the U.S. has made investing overseas more alluring.“These countries have done some homework to reduce their fragilities,” says Jorge Mariscal, chief investment officer for emerging markets at UBS Wealth Management. “They have helped themselves a bit.”The “Fragile Five” raised interest rates to draw investors’ cash back into their countries. India, for example, lifted its rate from 7.25 per cent in September to 8 per cent in March; Brazil hiked rates from 7.5 per cent in May of last year to their current level of 11 per cent.Higher interest rates are appealing to investors in the U.S., where the Federal Reserve has held its benchmark lending rate at close to zero for more than five years, and where bond yields remain low.In India, the government has also raised duties on gold. The metal is India’s second-biggest import behind oil, and purchases have soared in recent years as incomes have risen there. The increased buying has sped up the flow of money out of the country, and weakened its currency.Politics are also playing a role.Last month, Narendra Modi and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party notched the most decisive Indian election victory in three decades. Modi marketed himself as a leader capable of shaking the nation from its economic slumber, and his clear win should allow him to reform the economy.In Brazil, stocks have rallied after polls were released that showed opponents of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gaining enough ground to have a chance of forcing a runoff in elections scheduled for October. Her opponents, Aecio Neves and Eduardo Campos, are believed to favour less government involvement in the economy.Developing economies should also benefit as global growth, led by an improving U.S. economy, begins to pick up later in the year, says Mauro Ratto, head of emerging markets at Pioneer Investments, a fund manager.The shifts are reflected in the financial markets. Gains in the U.S. stock market over the last month months are smaller than those in emerging markets.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed 12 per cent since closing at its year low on Feb. 3. The MSCI India, a broad index of Indian stocks, has surged 30 per cent over the same period. Turkish stocks have jumped 44 per cent and Brazilian stocks are up 26 per cent.Emerging markets have benefited from the Fed’s easy-money policies. Those policies, with their low interest rates, have prompted investors to hunt for higher rates of return overseas.Last year, however, when the Fed started to outline its plan for reducing stimulus and raising rates, investors began pulling their money out of emerging markets. That caused their currencies, as well as their stock and bond markets, to plummet.The MSCI Emerging Markets index, which measures 800 securities across 21 markets, fell almost 10 per cent from the start of May to the end of June, and ended the year down almost 5 per cent. The Turkish lira dropped almost 11 per cent in five months from the start of September to the end of January 2014.This year, growth in the U.S. has disappointed. Treasury yields have fallen instead of rising as most analysts predicted. As a result, emerging economies with higher growth are more attractive. Low interest rates also make it more lucrative for investors to borrow in the U.S. and invest in overseas economies that offer higher returns.“Clearly, the most important driver year-to-date has been the global financial conditions,” says Gerardo Rodriguez, a senior investment strategist for BlackRock’s emerging markets group.The Brazilian stock market may also get a boost if its team, the favourite to win the World Cup, lifts the trophy at the end of the tournament. Analysts at Goldman Sachs calculate that, on average, a victorious country’s stock market outperforms the global market by 3.5 per cent in the first month after the win.Others are more skeptical of this year’s gains in emerging stock markets.Andres Garcia-Amaya, a global market strategist for J.P. Morgan Funds, says the comeback in emerging markets is driven by market-specific factors, not improvements in the outlook for economies, and is unlikely to last long. The markets are bouncing back because investors had become too negative, too quickly. Now, they are scrambling to get back in.The spotlight on Brazil has also highlighted potentially damaging rifts in the country. Subway workers have been on strike demanding higher pay and improved benefits. Teachers remain on strike in Rio de Janeiro and routinely block streets with rallies. Police in several cities have also gone on strike, but are back at work.Going forward, investors should be more selective when investing in emerging markets, says Garcia-Amaya.“The message for investors is, don’t treat (emerging markets) as one,” he says. “It is very important to do your homework at the country level.”