Ronaldo Beats Messi, Neymar To Win Fifth Ballon d’Or

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo won a record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award for the year’s best player on Thursday.

The Real Madrid forward’s second successive win drew him level alongside Barcelona rival Lionel Messi on five Ballons d’Or, after the Argentinian took second in the vote, with Brazilian Neymar third.

The 32-year-old was the top-scorer in last season’s Champions League as Real successfully defended the trophy with victory over Juventus in June and also led the Spanish giants to their first La Liga title in five years.

“Of course I feel happy. This is something I look forward to every year,” Ronaldo said at the ceremony at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

“The trophies won last year helped to win this award. Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”

Ronaldo, who also won the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award in October, added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to his previous wins in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

He scored 42 goals in all competitions for Real last season, and also netted 15 times in European World Cup qualifying.

Ronaldo will lead Portugal at next year’s World Cup in Russia as he looks to add football’s greatest title to the 2016 European Championship win when the Portuguese beat hosts France in the final.

Messi and Ronaldo have now shared the last 10 Ballons d’Or since the latter’s first win after leading Manchester United to the 2007-08 Champions League title.

“I hope to play at this level for a few more years, I hope the battle with Messi continues, things happen for a reason,” he added.

“I feel good this season and we’ll see what we win at the end of the year.”

When asked if he would like to finish his career at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo said: “I’m happy at Real Madrid, I want to stay there… If possible.”

The prestigious France Football magazine award, which was first won by Englishman Stanley Matthews in 1956, is decided upon by a journalists’ ballot, with each naming a top five from a list of 30.

– Neymar settles for third again –
It was a replica first two from 2016, which was the first year after FIFA ended its association with the Ballon d’Or and restarted its own Player of the Year award.

Neymar will be hoping to take over the mantle of Ronaldo and Messi, 30, in the coming years after coming third for the second time, having finished fifth last year.

The 25-year-old left Messi’s Barcelona during the close season in a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, where he has already scored 15 goals this season.

“Neymar has a lot of talent, a lot of potentials, and I’m sure he’ll have some chance to win in the future,” Ronaldo said.

Veteran Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon finished fourth after helping Juventus to the Champions League final, while Real’s Croatian midfielder Luka Modric rounded out the top five.

Centre-back Sergio Ramos was the highest-ranked Spaniard and the third Real player in the top 10, one ahead of French rising star Kylian Mbappe in seventh.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was the highest Premier League representative, with Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and England’s Harry Kane completing the top 10.

AFP

Ronaldo And I Can Never Be Friends – Messi

Lionel Messi believes he and Cristiano Ronaldo will never share a close friendship because they do not get to spend enough time together to build the required bond.

The Barcelona and Real Madrid stalwarts have shared a formidable rivalry throughout their La Liga careers and have collected myriad individual honours between them.

But while Messi claims the alleged enmity is very much created by the media, he also admits the pair are unlikely to ever consider one another friends, if only because they rarely get the time to speak.

He said, “I don’t know if we will be. Friendship is built through spending time together and getting to know each other.

“We have no relationship, mainly because we only see each other at awards ceremonies and that’s the only time we speak.

“Everything is fine, but our lives don’t cross over very often.”

Both Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the footballing sphere for the last decade and have shared the last nine Ballon d’Or awards (Messi 5, Ronaldo 4) – the Portuguese is currently heavy favourite to equal the standings for 2017.

But with both of them now into their 30s, Messi believes a new generation of players will soon take their places at the top and backs team-mate Luis Suarez, former Barcelona companion Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain sensation Kylian Mbappe to challenge for the coveted golden ball in the near future.

He said, “There are many great players around today who can win the Ballon d’Or. In recent years, there have just been two, but now players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Luis Suarez can compete for that award.”

( DailyMail)

Cristiano Ronaldo Shows News Profession At His Fragrance Launch

Real Madrid star, Cristiano Ronaldo turned to a DJ at the launch of his new fragrance CR7 on Thursday. At the event, Ronaldo showed off his djing skills to the delight of the audience.

It seemed like the footballer knew more about being a DJ than any of us could have thought.

The new signature fragrance is his third fragrance line which includes some after shave products, shower gels and deodorants.

Ronaldo Ban From 5 Matches For Indicipline

Cristiano Ronaldo was hit with a five-match ban by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) on Monday for pushing the referee after being sent off in Real Madrid’s 3-1 Spanish Super Cup, first leg win over Barcelona.

The World Player of the Year received an automatic one-match ban for his dismissal on Sunday and an extra four games for his reaction towards referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea.

Ronaldo was also fined 3,805 euros ($4,500) and has 10 days to appeal the ban.

Should any appeal fail, Ronaldo will miss Wednesday’s Super Cup, second leg and Madrid’s first four La Liga games of the season against Deportivo la Coruna, Valencia, Levante and Real Sociedad.

However, Ronaldo will be free to feature when Madrid start their defence of the Champions League on September 12 or 13.

Madrid had already signalled their intent to appeal Ronaldo’s second yellow card shown for diving eight minutes from time when he went down inside the area under pressure from Samuel Umtiti.

“Ronaldo’s sending-off annoys me because even if it is not a penalty, the card is harsh,” said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane after the game.

“We will see if we can do something so that he is available on Wednesday.”

Setup Timeout Error: Setup took longer than 30 seconds to complete.
Ronaldo was only on the field for 24 minutes after he was introduced as a second-half substitute and fired into the top corner 10 minutes from time to give Madrid a 2-1 lead.
He received his first yellow card for removing his shirt in celebration before being shown the 10th red card of his career two minutes later.

“Once shown the red card, said player (Ronaldo) pushed me lightly as a sign of his disapproval,” De Burgos Bengoetxea wrote in his referee’s report.

According to the RFEF’s rules, such offences are met with a suspension of anything between four and 12 games, but previous cases also resulted in four-game bans.

Despite Madrid’s claims Ronaldo had reacted in the heat of the moment, the RFEF judged the push was an “unjustified and disproportionate reaction”.

Ronaldo Brace Madrid For La-Liga Title

Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace to help Real Madrid to a 4-1 win over Sevilla, keeping his side as favourites to clinch La Liga ahead of Barcelona.

There were some berry moments for Zinedine Zidane’s side, particularly after Stevan Jovetic halved the deficit from 2-0 to 2-1 at the start of the second half, but Real Madrid’s quality shone through in the end.

Nacho Fernandez scored the opener in controversial circumstances, taking an early free kick as Sevilla prepared their wall. The referee allowed the goal to stand despite the protestations of the visitors, with Ronaldo doubling Real’s advantage before the break.

Goals from Ronaldo and Toni Kroos after Jovetic’s strike secured the points for the hosts, meaning they can leapfrog Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a win over Celta Vigo on Wednesday night. The title is within their grasp.

TALKING POINT – Should Nacho Fernandez’s opener have stood?

Sevilla didn’t even know what was going on when Nacho netted the opening goal of the game, taking an early free kick while the visitors still sorted out their wall. The defender appeared to talk to the referee before striking the set piece, but should he have been allowed to do that? Should the goal have been allowed to stand? Was Nacho simply being inventive?

MAN OF THE MATCH – Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid needed their big players to turn up this evening with the league title on the line, and that’s what their biggest player did, with Ronaldo taking this game by the scruff of the neck. The Portuguese have turned into the complete number nine over the past few months, with this another demonstration of his credentials as a truly exceptional striker. The transformation from number seven to number nine is complete.

PLAYER RATINGS

Real Madrid – Navas 8, Danilo 7, Ramos 6, Varane 6, Nacho 7, Kroos 7, Kovacic 7, James 6, Asensio 6, Morata 5, Ronaldo 8. Subs – Modric 5, Casemiro 5, Vazquez 5.

Sevilla – Rico 7, Mercado 6, Pareja 6, Carrico 5, Lenglet 5, Kranevitter 6, N’Zonzi 5, Vitolo 6, Vazquez 6, Correa 7, Jovetic 8. Subs – Ben Yedder 5, Montoya 6, Gonzalez 5.

KEY EVENTS

10’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla. Real Madrid has the lead and Sevilla didn’t even know what was going on! Nacho took the free kick early as the visitors were setting up their wall, with the referee allowing the goal to stand.

22’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla: It’s a second for Real Madrid! They flew forward on the counter attack through Asensio, with James’ shot inside the box falling to Ronaldo, who applied the finishing touch from close range.

35’ JOVETIC OFF THE CROSSBAR! That would have been an exceptional goal, attempting to chip Navas from the edge of the box, but Jovetic sees his effort come bouncing off the bar.

49’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Sevilla: There’s the goal to get Sevilla back into this game! Vitolo and N’Zonzi exchange passes to set up Jovetic, who does brilliantly to curl home a low finish from the edge of the box. Great finish.

78’ GOAL! Real Madrid 3-1 Sevilla: What an astonishing finish! That is incredible! Kroos fed Ronaldo, who found the back of the net with a stunning strike off the underside of the crossbar. The power that was hit with… wow!

84’ GOAL! Real Madrid 4-1 Sevilla: And that will be that. Real Madrid has scored a fourth and they will claim three points from this. Nacho got down the outside and fed Kroos, who made no mistake in finding the far corner with a classy finish.

KEY STATS

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 400th and 401st goal for Real Madrid in all competitions (391 appearances).

Nacho Fernandez scored his first direct free-kick goal with his very first attempt for Real Madrid.

Ronaldo equalled Jimmy Greaves as the all-time top-scorer in the top five European leagues (366).

Cristiano Ronaldo Makes History With A Century Of Goals In UEFA Champions League

The Portugal forward opened his European club goals account in Manchester United’s 3-0 win against Debrecen on 9 August 2005. Eleven years and eight months on, he scored twice as Real Madrid came from behind Bayern Munchen bringing up his century.

Ronaldo got to 50 goals in April 2013 with a double against Galatasaray. He achieved his half-century after 96 matches despite managing a solitary strike in his first 32 European games for Sporting CP and United. His second 50 has taken just 47 games, and all but three of his goals have come in the UEFA Champions League proper.

Most goals in UEFA club competition (*still active)

100 – Cristiano Ronaldo* (143 games)
97 – Lionel Messi* (118)
76 – Raúl González (158)
70 – Filippo Inzaghi (114)
67 – Andriy Shevchenko (142)
62 – Ruud van Nistelrooy (92)
61 – Gerd Müller (69)
59 – Thierry Henry (140)
59 – Henrik Larsson (108)
56 – Zlatan Ibrahimović* (136)
54 – Eusébio (70)
53 – Alessandro Del Piero (129)
51 – Karim Benzema* (93)
50 – Didier Drogba (102)
50 – Klass-Jan Huntelaar* (82)

 Statistics include qualifying and competition proper for the European Cup (including the UEFA Champions League), UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Messi, Ronaldo, To Storm Nigeria

Reigning World Footballer of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, his arch rival and FC Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi, former France captain and coach of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, former African Footballer of the Year, Abedi Ayew Pele, among others are set for an international novelty football match in Abuja, between the African football stars and the rest of the World aimed at campaigning against trafficking, insurgency and terrorism.
The match which will be played at the Abuja National Stadium on May 21 is being organized by Next2None Support Initiative with the theme; Africa My Africa.

Addressing the media in Abuja over the weekend, chairman of Next2None Support initiative, Barr. Ndukwe Sam Obu said his organization decided to use football for its campaign because it speaks the language of love, peace, hope and unity.

According to him, other such football icons like Diego Maradona of Argentina, Ruud Gulit, former African and World footballer of the year, George Opone Weah, Thierry Henry, former African footballer of the year, Nwankwo Kanu and former Super Eagles captain, Austin Jay Jay Okocha amongst others have confirmed their arrival for the match.

Ndukwe further said since most of the victims of human trafficking with those that play football, the event will help them know that they can do other meaningful activities.

Credit: Omojuwa.com

Cristiano Ronaldo Criticisim Has been Exaggerated- Di Maria

Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria says reports of the decline of Cristiano Ronaldo are “exaggerated” and he does not understand the questioning of his former Real Madrid teammate.

After an outstanding 2016, Ronaldo, 32, has had a more difficult start to the new calendar year, being blamed by some local fans and pundits for Madrid’s poor run of results last month, including their exit from the Copa del Rey to Celta Vigo.

The Portugal captain was whistled by the Santiago Bernabeu crowd during Madrid’s most recent game, although he then reacted with a goal and assist in the La Liga leaders’ 3-0 win over Real Sociedad.

Argentina international Di Maria told Marca that his compatriot Lionel Messi has been through the same in the past and that it is only a matter of time before Ronaldo starts to “spark” regularly once again.

“It is exaggerated,” Di Maria said. “He has given so much to Madrid, as others have. He has won two Champions Leagues and people forget that a bit, they always want more.

“The same has happened with Messi, people say he’s not scoring enough, he’s not like he was before, but overnight something sparks and the goals start to flow. I don’t understand how people can question Cristiano.”

Di Maria has experience of being whistled by the Bernabeu crowd, reacting at one point with a rude gesture to the crowd.

He said players react differently to such treatment, pointing out, for example, that Madrid’s Karim Benzema is better able to deal with the criticism than Danilo.

“Some players are mentally stronger,” he said. “I see Benzema as very strong — even though this happens, he likes to play and enjoy himself. Danilo looks a bit different, it’s a bit harder for him, and his head affects him a bit more. He must think about enjoying himself and being positive when he is playing.

“It happened to me many times, I had some ugly moments at Madrid, but it all changed and when I left Madrid in the end I was much loved.”

Di Maria was sold by Madrid president Florentino Perez to Manchester United just months after being named Man of the Match in the 2014 Champions League final win over Atletico Madrid.

The 28-year-old said he remains in close contact with some of his former Madrid teammates and is “eternally grateful” for his time at the club.

“There are people who miss me [at Madrid], and also some who don’t, but that is football,” he said. “Madrid gave me the chance to reach the very top, to be among the world’s best XI that year. They gave me everything, so I will always be eternally grateful.”

 

Credit: Today

UCL: Ronaldo Pulls Madrid Through As City Beats PSG To Semis

Cristiano Ronaldo once again proved to be Real Madrid’s main man, after his hat-trick saw the La Liga giants defeat Wolfsburg 3-2 on aggregate, to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Spanish club were well beaten in Germany a week ago and needed a big performance at the Santiago Bernabeu, to avoid a shock exit.

Ronaldo’s quick-fire brace in the first half levelled the tie on aggregate, before he scored a magnificent free-kick to settle it.

In the other game played on Tuesday night, Kevin De Bruyne struck the only goal, as Manchester City beat Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 at the Etihad, to qualify 3-2 on aggregate.

It will be the Premier League side’s first appearance in the last four of the competition.

Ronaldo Scores Late To See Off Barcelona In Elclasico

Cristiano Ronaldo scored late as 10-man Real Madrid stunned Barcelona at the Camp Nou to win El Clasico on Saturday.

Gerard Pique had given Barca the lead before Karim Benzema answered for Real, and soon after Sergio Ramos was sent off Ronaldo found the winner.

Barcelona had a glorious chance to take the lead in the 10th minute when Neymar fed an open Luis Suarez, but the Uruguayan could not get his feet right and the ball fell wide of the goal.

Real Madrid responded as Gareth Bale raced into the box from the wing and tried to square for a teammate but the play was picked out for a sliding Gerard Pique.

But the hosts had more opportunities in the first half, as Andres Iniesta had a powerful shot blocked in front soon after.

As Barca kept up the pressure, Real defender Dani Carvajal was booked for stopping an attack and Lionel Messi’s free kick flew over the bar.

Ivan Rakitic then forced a save from Keylor Navas before Neymar shot well high after a series of fine passes with Messi.

The first major talking point came in the 24th minute when Sergio Ramos collided with Lionel Messi at the top of the box, but referee Alejandro Hernandez waved away Barcelona’s penalty shouts.

Ramos had already been booked for a foul in the buildup to Suarez’s opening chance, but Hernandez ruled he got the slightest of touches on the ball as Messi took him on.

Real then had some chances of their own as Cristiano Ronaldo got off a soft shot and Bale fired a shot high.
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And the visitors were on the ascendancy after Suarez received a yellow card after his hand flailed in the face of Pepe.

Ronaldo sent a free kick over the bar from 30 yards on the half-hour mark, and before the break Benzema found himself alone in the centre of the box, but he could not bring the ball down after the pass to him took a high bounce.

As the second half began, Ramos was again fortunate to escape a second yellow card for a foul on Suarez.

Barcelona regained their form and Navas made a spectacular save to deny Messi’s chip in the 55th minute, but the breakthrough came moments later.

Following a Rakitic corner, Pique broke free of Pepe’s marking to head in Barcelona’s opening goal.

But Real Madrid were back level seven minutes later as Toni Kroos’ pass from the wing took a deflection that lofted it high in the air, and Benzema scored with an acrobatic high kick.

And Zinedine Zidane thought his team had taken the lead from Gareth Bale’s header in the 79th minute, but the goal was harshly ruled out as the referee adjudged he had pushed Jordi Alba while leaping for the ball.

Ramos was sent off in the 84th minute for going into the back of Suarez, giving Barcelona the hope they could find a winner.

But Ronaldo silenced the Camp Nou crowd a scant minute later after he controlled Bale’s lofted cross, allowed Alves to pass him by and finished through Claudio Bravo’s legs.