Ronaldo Not Enough For ‘Cursed’ Juventus

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo kicks the ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match between Juventus and Olympique Lyonnais (OL), played behind closed doors due to the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the Juventus stadium, in Turin , on August 7, 2020. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

 

 

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said he was “bitter” as the Italian giants crashed out of the Champions League on Friday to Lyon despite a Cristiano Ronaldo double giving the hosts a 2-1 win over the French club on the night.

Captain Memphis Depay’s 12th-minute penalty, however, sealed Lyon’s berth in the quarter-finals with a 2-2 aggregate score to go through on away goals.

A goal up after winning February’s first leg, Lyon will face Manchester City at the final tournament in Lisbon.

“I am very bitter, I understand how much this competition is cursed for Juve,” said Sarri, who took over as coach last summer.

The Turin side have won the tournament twice, but not since 1996.

They have been runners-up seven times, including twice in the last five years.

Sarri’s side were coming off a tough battle to win a ninth consecutive league title in Italy, against an opponent who were fresh after Ligue 1 was cancelled five months ago because of coronavirus.

“The regret is to have missed the first half in Lyon. At this level it costs,” continued Sarri of the first leg played back in February.

“They had a much more logical preparation than ours.

“I’m going home sad because we are beaten, but tonight we had a good game.

“We were immediately behind with a penalty which for me is crazy, much more than questionable.

“But they gave everything and fought to the end. Juve had a good game and Lyon suffered a lot.”

“If I weren’t devastated by the elimination, I would be happy with tonight’s performance, because we brought out so much energy and the team responded with character and showed that they have recovered in the last few days.”

Depay’s penalty put Rudi Garcia’s side two goals ahead in the tie and left Juve with a mountain to climb.

Needing to score three unanswered goals in order to go through, Ronaldo tried his best to drag the Italian champions over the line.

He levelled the scores on the night with a penalty of his own with two minutes left in the opening period before crashing a second home on the hour mark.

Lyon managed to hold on to set up a clash with Pep Guardiola’s City, who put out 13-time winners Real Madrid, on August 15.

“Ronaldo is a pillar of Juventus,” said Juventus president Andrea Agnelli.

“In the Champions League, it’s disappointing because we had a dream.

“We will take a few days to evaluate the season.”

 

 

-AFP

 

Dybala Beats Ronaldo To Win Serie A MVP Award

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) sits with Juventus’ Argentine forward Paulo Dybala prior to the Italian Serie A football match against As Roma on August 1, 20 20 at the Allianz stadium in Turin. Isabella BONOTTO / AFP

 

Argentine footballer, Paulo Dybala, has beaten his Juventus teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to the Italian Serie A Player of the Year award for the 2019/2020 season.

Serie A announced Dybala as the winner of the annual prize on Tuesday, stopping Ronaldo from retaining the title he won in his first year at the Allianz Stadium.

Italian football’s main governing body named the 26-year-old forward as the season’s most valuable player, while the club’s newest signing Dejan Kulusevski clinched the Young Player of the Year prize for an outstanding campaign at Parma.

Dybala has scored 11 goals in 33 Serie A appearances for Juventus this term and also recorded 11 assists.

He struggled to adapt to a new role in the team following Ronaldo’s arrival from Real Madrid in 2018 but has enjoyed good form since Maurizio Sarri’s appointment last summer.

Ronaldo might have thought he’d done enough to retain Serie A’s top individual accolade after contributing 31 goals to the Bianconeri’s cause, but his final tally was still five behind Lazio top striker Immobile, who earned the Capocannoniere – the title awarded to the highest goalscorer in the league.

There was more celebration for Juventus as Wojciech Szczesny received the best goalkeeper award.

Inter Milan’s Stefan De Vrij, Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez, and Lazio’s talisman Ciro Immobile were acknowledged in defensive, midfield and forward roles.

Juve Regain Their Stripes As New Kit Revealed

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Sampdoria played behind closed doors at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on July 26, 2020. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

 

Serie A champions Juventus on Thursday unveiled their new home kit for the 2020-21 season, returning to the traditional stripes which they dropped this term.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates this season wore a half-and-half jersey with white on the right and black on the left.

“Tradition is represented by the return of the black and white stripes which present themselves in a new and more modern form,” Juventus said.

The stripes are black “brush strokes” of an artist on a white background, with the club logo and sponsorship details in gold.

“The stripes are designed as a single brush stroke on the front and the sleeves, giving the kit a new and attractive design, all while maintaining the DNA of the club as well as showcasing the beginning of a new era.”

Juventus sealed their 36th Serie A title, and ninth in succession, last weekend.

The club were founded in 1897, but players have worn black and white stripes of various types since 1903.

Buffon Breaks Serie A Appearances Record As Juve Move Seven Points Clear

Torino's Italian forward Andrea Belotti (L) scores a penalty past Juventus' Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Torino played behind closed doors on July 4, 2020 at the Juventus stadium in Turin, as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)
Torino’s Italian forward Andrea Belotti (L) scores a penalty past Juventus’ Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon during the Italian Serie A football match Juventus vs Torino played behind closed doors on July 4, 2020 at the Juventus stadium in Turin, as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)

 

 

Gianluigi Buffon set a new Serie A appearances record on Saturday as Juventus beat Torino 4-1 in the Turin derby to move seven points clear at the top of the table.

The 42-year-old goalkeeper passed the previous record of 647 appearances he jointly held with AC Milan great Paolo Maldini as he started the game at the Allianz Stadium.

“Maybe… He definitely won’t beat the record for scoring goals, though,” coach Maurizio Sarri told Sky Sport Italia when asked if Buffon could still play the 35 games he needs to equal Alessandro Del Piero’s overall record total of Juventus appearances.

Cristiano Ronaldo was among the scorers, becoming the first Juve player to score 25 Serie A goals in a season in 59 years, as Sarri’s men moved further clear of second-placed Lazio, who host in-form AC Milan later on Saturday.

“We were a bit chaotic at the start of the second half, but when fatigue set in, that’s when our quality emerged,” added Sarri.

Buffon, who spent last season at French club Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Juve this term, signed a one-year contract extension earlier this week.

It was the eighth Serie A appearance this campaign for Buffon, with Polish international Wojciech Szczesny usually the defending champions’ number one.

The record comes 25 years after Buffon made his Serie A debut for Parma and 19 years after he first signed for Juventus.

 Ronaldo breaks free-kick duck

The hosts wasted little time in taking the lead as Paulo Dybala put them ahead in the third minute with an excellent individual goal, collecting Juan Cuadrado’s pass before jinking past two defenders and firing a left-footed shot into the roof of the net.

The advantage was doubled just before the half-hour mark as Ronaldo charged forward before laying the ball off for Cuadrado to drill a low drive into the bottom corner.

Torino gave themselves hope when Andrea Belotti scored a penalty past Buffon in the sixth minute of first-half injury-time.

Simone Verdi was denied an equaliser early in the second half by the linesman’s flag, but Ronaldo put the game to bed in the 61st minute with a brilliant free-kick.

It was the first time the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had scored a free-kick in Serie A and it was his 25th league goal of the campaign, making the Portuguese the first Juventus player to achieve that feat since Omar Sivori in the 1960-61 season.

“I really needed that free-kick goal so I could get some confidence back,” Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia, after scoring his first direct free-kick at the 43rd attempt for Juve.

“We knew it would be a difficult game, but we worked hard, won and are now putting pressure on Lazio. We achieved the objective today.”

Juve were not done there and made it four with three minutes remaining as Torino defender Koffi Djidji put through his own net.

Torino remain 15th in the table, six points above the relegation zone with eight matches to play.

Free-scoring Sassuolo moved up to ninth with a 4-2 victory over relegation-threatened Lecce, who stayed 18th and one point adrift of safety after a sixth straight league defeat.

Lecce have conceded 25 goals in those six losses, while Sassuolo have netted 14 times in five matches since Serie A’s return following the coronavirus lockdown.

 

 

-AFP

Italian Cup: Ronaldo Misses Penalty In Milan Clash

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) semi-final second leg football match Juventus vs AC Milan on June 12, 2020 at the Allianz stadium in Turin. Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday missed a penalty during the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) semi-final second leg football match against AC Milan.

The superstar hit the post in the second leg clash against AC Milan with the aggregate score at 1-1.

Fans were quick to take to social media and say Ronaldo was copying his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi in missing the penalty.

Meanwhile, Juve are missing captain Giorgio Chiellini, striker Gonzalo Higuain, Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey and Turkey defender Merih Demiral.

On the other hand, Milan are without injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic as they attempt to beat Juve in Turin for the first time since 2011. Forward Samu Castillejo and defender Theo Hernandez are suspended.

More to follow…

Forbes Rates Ronaldo As First Billionaire Footballer

A file photo of Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.
A file photo of Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo is now the first footballer to reach a billionaire status during his career, according to a rating released by Forbes.

The 35-year-old Portuguese made $105 million before tax in 2019, placing his value over the $1 billion mark.

Ronaldo was named as the fourth-biggest earning celebrity in 2020, trailing tennis star, Roger Federer, rapper Kanye West, and Kylie Jenner.

Argentine and Barcelona player, Lionel Messi was rated fifth and earned $104m in the year under review, according to the magazine.

The former Manchester United man, aside from Tiger Woods and ex-boxer, Floyd Mayweather, is the third athlete ever to accumulate such wealth and the first person to do so in a team sport.

Ronaldo is said to have made $650m in wages in his professional career so far with the rest of his money gotten from endorsements.

Also, the footballer has a fashion and lifestyle brand, hotel chain as well as a museum in his Funchal hometown in Madeira.

The attacker’s earnings were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic when Juventus players accepted a 30 percent pay cut to their salaries.

Even though Messi’s salary reduced due to the pandemic, Forbes is expecting the Argentine to join the billionaire’s club in 2021.

Federer Tops List Of Highest-Paid Athletes, Ronaldo Second

In this file photo taken on February 07, 2020 Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts after his victory against Spain's Rafael Nadal during their tennis match at The Match in Africa at the Cape Town Stadium, in Cape Town. RODGER BOSCH / AFP
In this file photo taken on February 07, 2020 Switzerland’s Roger Federer reacts after his victory against Spain’s Rafael Nadal during their tennis match at The Match in Africa at the Cape Town Stadium, in Cape Town. RODGER BOSCH / AFP

 

Roger Federer topped the 2020 Forbes magazine list of highest-paid global athletes announced Friday, leading the lineup for the first time with pre-tax earnings of $106.3 million (95.5 million euros).

The Swiss tennis legend, a men’s record 20-time Grand Slam singles champion, becomes the first player from his sport atop the annual list since its 1990 debut, rising from fifth in 2019.

Federer’s haul over the past 12 months included $100 million from appearances fees and endorsement deals plus $6.3 million in prize money. His previous best showing was second in 2013.

“His brand is pristine, which is why those that can afford to align with him clamor to do so,” University of Southern California sports business professor David Carter told the magazine.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic that shut down sports worldwide caused the first decline since 2016 in the total income of the world’s 100 top-paid athletes, a 9% dip from last year to $3.6 billion. Another plunge is expected next year from the shutdown.

Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo was second on the list at $105 million, $60 million in salary and $45 million from endorsements, with Argentine football hero Lionel Messi third on $104 million, $32 million of that from sponsorship deals.

Messi and Ronaldo, who have traded the top spot three of the past four years, saw their combined incomes dip $28 million from last year due to salary cuts when European clubs halted play in March.

Brazilian footballer Neymar was fourth overall on $95.5 million, $25 million from endorsements, while NBA star LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers was fifth on $88.2 million, $60 million of that from endorsements.

NBA star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was sixth on $74.4 million with former teammate Kevin Durant next on $63.9 million.

Tiger Woods, the reigning Masters champion and a 15-time major winner, was eighth on the list and tops among golfers at $62.3 million, all but $2.3 million from sponsor deals.

Woods topped the Forbes list a record 12 times before an infidelity scandal helped end his run.

Two NFL quarterbacks rounded out the top 10 with Kirk Cousins ninth at $60.5 million and Carson Wentz 10th on $59.1 million.

The top 100 featured athletes from 21 nations and 10 sports. More NBA players made the list than those from any other sport at 35, but 31 NFL players made the cut, up from 19 from last year, and they pulled down the most money of any league, aided by finishing the season before the deadly virus outbreak.

Major League Baseball, whose start to the 2020 campaign was postponed by the virus outbreak, put only one player on the list after 15 in 2019. The lone MLB player was Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who was 57th at $27.3 million with only $750,000 from endorsements.

Spanish footballer Carlos Ramos, the Real Madrid captain, was last among the 100 on $21.8 million, including $3 million in endorsements.

Two women, tennis stars Naomi Osaka of Japan and Serena Williams of the United States, made the list, the most females on it since 2016. Osaka ranked 29th overall on $37.4 million ($34 million in endorsements), four spots ahead of Williams with $36 million ($32 million in endorsements).

Federer pitchman magic

Federer, 38, boasts the biggest sponsorship lineup among active athletes with Moet & Chandon and Barilla among those paying from $3 to $30 million to link him with their brands.

Federer, who spent a record 310 weeks as world number one, reached 18 of 19 Grand Slam finals from 2005-2010.

Only Woods has joined Federer in making $100 million in sponsor deals in a single year.

Federer’s newest deal is with Swiss running shoe On, where he is an investor, but several sponsors have been with him for more than a decade, including Rolex, Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz, and Wilson.

A split with Nike in 2018 opened Federer to Japanese apparel brand Uniqlo’s 10-year deal worth $300 million.

‘Messi Is A Genius’: Yobo Picks Barcelona Star Over Ronaldo

A file photo combination of Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona playmaker, Lionel Messi.
A file photo combination of Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Barcelona playmaker, Lionel Messi.

 

Former Super Eagles skipper, Joseph Yobo says he prefers Barcelona star, Lionel Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo, describing the Argentine as a “genius.”

Ronaldo and Messi, who have been one of football’s greatest rivals for over a decade, faced off in the Spanish La Liga between 2009 and 2018.

Either of the two has won eleven out of the last twelve Ballon D’or awards, with fans and pundits alike divided on who is the greater.

And Yobo who is the Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles is pitching his tenth with Messi whom he said never left people in doubt as to his potentials when he started playing the game.

The former Everton man spoke on Monday in an Instagram live chat with Channels TV, saying the 2005 U-20 World Cup winner is naturally talented.

While Ronaldo is a great footballer who has over the years trained himself to become one of the best in the game, Yobo said he would pick Messi ahead of the former Manchester United forward.

“I have played against him [Messi] a couple of times and knew that he was one player who could become invisible when he was there,” he said. “Ronaldo, we have to also give him credit because he built himself to who he is today. I played against him in England; he wasn’t the Ronaldo of today.

“But Messi, people have seen his talent from when he came on board. So, he is a special player. Messi, basically, is a genius. He is just a genius.”

Yobo added that he fears that it would take many years before a footballer like Messi emerges, stressing also that the game won’t remain the same when the duo retire.

He said: “I don’t know if in football we would see another player like Messi in many years to come. I hope so. Another fear that I have is: when Messi and Ronaldo leave the stage, what happens to football?”

While admitting that Ronaldo and Messi are “unique players,” he restated that he “will pick Messi” over the Portugal captain.

Messi Has To Win World Cup To Be Better Than Me – Ex-Brazilian Star Edilson

(FILE) Argentine forward Lionel Messi gestures during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Levante UD at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, on February 2, 2020. LLUIS GENE / AFP.

 

 

Former Brazilian star, Edilson says Lionel Messi has to win the World Cup to prove he is better than him.

The 49-year-old was part of the Brazilian side that won the Japan/Korea 2002 World Cup title.

He also claimed that during his prime, he was better than Messi and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Similarly, Edilson said compatriot Neymar has to win the competition to be better than him, insisting that he was more skillful than the trio.

Messi and Ronaldo have won 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or and have a number of individual prizes to their names.

But Edilson, who played for Palmeiras and Corinthians in his home country and was never nominated or won the Ballon d’Or, stressed that his World Cup medal gave him an edge over them.

“At my best, I played better than Neymar,” he was quoted as telling TV Bandeirantes.

He added, “He (Neymar) needs to win the World Cup in order to be better than me. I have personality, and for Messi to be better than me, he also has to win the World Cup.”

For Ronaldo, Edilson believes the Portuguese is good with both feet and has strength but still does not match his skills.

Messi played the final match of the 2014 World Cup with Argentina where his side lost narrowly to Germany one to nil in Brazil.

Ronaldo and Neymar have also made it to the semi-final of the competition with their respective nations.

Liverpool Coach Says He Prefers Messi To Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo Returns To Italy After COVID-19 Lockdown

FILES) In this file photo taken on December 26, 2018 Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo looks on from the substitutes’ bench prior to the Italian Serie A football Match Atalanta Bergamo vs Juventus at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia stadium in Bergamo. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP.

 

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo flew back to Italy on Monday after almost two months in coronavirus lockdown in his native Portugal.

Ronaldo and his family landed in Turin Airport just after 10.20pm local time, according to media reports in Italy.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived by private jet from the Portuguese island of Madeira and will spend two weeks in quarantine.

The 35-year-old played Juventus’s last Serie A game, a 2-0 win over Inter Milan behind closed doors at the Allianz Stadium on March 8, before the Italian football season was suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic which has killed over 29,000 people in the country.

Ronaldo returned to Madeira after the Inter Milan match to be close to his mother Dolores who had suffered a stroke.

Juventus have recalled their 10 overseas players as Serie A clubs were given the green light to return to individual training on Monday.

The Italian interior ministry’s go-ahead for players to return to club training facilities two weeks ahead of schedule has offered fans hope that the 2019-20 season might yet be salvaged.

Juventus are leading Serie A, one point ahead of Lazio, as they target a ninth consecutive Scudetto.

The club has not yet given an official date for a return to training.

Juventus began carrying out tests on their players at the club’s medical centre in Turin on Monday.

The first to arrive were Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado, Carlo Pinsoglio, Leonardo Bonucci and Aaron Ramsey, all wearing face masks.

Juventus are also waiting the return to Turin of Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt and midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who returned to France after recovering from the virus.

Gonzalo Higuain remains in Argentina where he returned to be with his sick mother.

AFP

COVID-19: Ronaldo, Portugal Squad Give Amateur Clubs Financial Boost

Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during a press conference on October 21, 2019 in Turin, on the eve of Juventus’ UEFA Champions League stage Group D match against Lokomotiv Moscow. Marco Bertorello / AFP.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates have donated half of their bonus for qualifying for the Euro 2020 finals to help amateur football in the country that has been hit by the coronavirus shutdown.

The Portuguese football federation said on Monday the money would go towards a fund that it hopes will reach 4.7 million euros ($5.1 million) to help amateur clubs survive the crisis.

The federation last week decided to end the already-suspended amateur season with immediate effect, declaring the season null and void without champions, promotion or relegation.

No decision has been taken on resuming professional football but the president of the Portuguese league said in late March he was determined the season should be completed.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: The Weeks That Rocked Sport

“It is fundamental that the championships end because it would allow some sort of normality to be restored and we could prepare for next season knowing who has qualified for international competitions, who the champions are and who is relegated,” Pedro Proenca said.

Portugal shocked host nation France to win Euro 2016 but Ronaldo and his teammates will have to wait another year to defend their title as Euro 2020 has been postponed by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

AFP