Ronaldo Thanks Liverpool Fans For Show Of ‘Compassion’

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo. Credit: ASUU

 

Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his gratitude to Liverpool fans for their show of support after his newborn baby son died.

The fierce rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool was set aside during the seventh minute of Tuesday’s 4-0 win for the home side at Anfield as the entire stadium joined in a minute’s applause.

Liverpool fans also sang their anthem “you’ll never walk alone”.

Ronaldo missed the match to be with his family after he and partner Georgina Rodriguez announced the sad news on Monday.

“One world… One sport… One global family,” Ronaldo posted on Instagram, alongside a video of Anfield rising to its feet.

“Thanks, Anfield. Me and my family will never forget this moment of respect and compassion.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described the ovation as his “moment of the match” despite a resounding win for his side.

Ronaldo and Rodriguez, who were expecting twins, also confirmed the birth of a baby daughter on Monday.

The couple, who met during Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid, have a four-year-old daughter together, while Ronaldo has three other children.

AFP

Ronaldo Thanks Liverpool Fans For Show Of ‘Compassion’

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 16, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo expressed his gratitude to Liverpool fans for their show of support after his newborn baby son died.

The fierce rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool was set aside during the seventh minute of Tuesday’s 4-0 win for the home side at Anfield as the entire stadium joined in a minute’s applause.

Liverpool fans also sang their anthem “you’ll never walk alone”.

Ronaldo missed the match to be with his family after he and partner Georgina Rodriguez announced the sad news on Monday.

“One world… One sport… One global family,” Ronaldo posted on Instagram, alongside a video of Anfield rising to its feet.

“Thanks, Anfield. Me and my family will never forget this moment of respect and compassion.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described the ovation as his “moment of the match” despite a resounding win for his side.

Ronaldo and Rodriguez, who were expecting twins, also confirmed the birth of a baby daughter on Monday.

The couple, who met during Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid, have a four-year-old daughter together, while Ronaldo has three other children.

Ronaldo To Miss Liverpool Clash After Baby Son’s Death

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 22, 2019, Juventus’ forward and former Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo leaves with his Spanish girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez after attending a court hearing for tax evasion in Madrid. – (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Manchester United’s Premier League clash at Liverpool on Tuesday as the Portugal star mourns the death of his newborn son.

Ronaldo revealed the news on social media on Monday, sparking an outpouring of support for the striker and his family from across the football world.

United confirmed on Tuesday that Ronaldo would not play in his team’s crucial meeting with bitter rivals Liverpool.

“Family is more important than everything and Ronaldo is supporting his loved ones at this immensely difficult time,” a statement on United’s website said.

“As such, we can confirm that he will not feature in the match against Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday evening and we underline the family’s request for privacy.

“Cristiano, we are all thinking of you and sending strength to the family.”

Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez had revealed in a social media post last October that the couple was expecting twins.

They confirmed the birth of a baby daughter at the same time as revealing their son’s death.

“It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away. It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel,” Ronaldo and Rodriguez said in a jointly signed statement.

“Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness. We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support.

“We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time.”

The couple, who met during Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid, have a four-year-old daughter together, while Ronaldo has three other children.

Ronaldo’s United team-mates joined the outpouring of sympathy.

“Thoughts are with you and Georgina, brother I’m so sorry,” forward Marcus Rashford wrote on Twitter.

Goalkeeper David de Gea responded to Ronaldo’s announcement with a simple heart emoji.

“All of us here at Liverpool FC send our deepest condolences to you, Georgina and the family,” Liverpool tweeted.

Ronaldo had scored a hat-trick in United’s 3-2 win against Norwich at Old Trafford on Saturday.

His absence will be a major blow to fifth-placed United as they seek to improve their top four prospects against Liverpool, who can go above Manchester City to the top of the table if they avoid defeat.

-AFP

Football Rallies Around Cristiano Ronaldo After Death Of Baby Son

(FILES)Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez announced on April 18 that their newborn baby son has died. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)

 

 

The football world rallied around Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner Georgina Rodriguez on Tuesday after they announced that their newborn son had died.

The 37-year-old Manchester United forward had revealed in a social media post last October that the couple was expecting twins.

In a post released on Monday on the Portuguese international’s Twitter account, they confirmed the birth of a baby girl.

“It is with our deepest sadness we have to announce that our baby boy has passed away. It is the greatest pain that any parents can feel,” Ronaldo and Rodriguez said in a jointly signed statement.

“Only the birth of our baby girl gives us the strength to live this moment with some hope and happiness. We would like to thank the doctors and nurses for all their expert care and support.

“We are all devastated at this loss and we kindly ask for privacy at this very difficult time.”

The couple, who met during Ronaldo’s time at Real Madrid, have a four-year-old daughter together, while Ronaldo has three other children.

The announcement was met with widespread sympathy from across football.

“Your pain is our pain, Cristiano,” Manchester United tweeted. “Sending love and strength to you and the family at this time.”

 

Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina Rodriguez with family

 

On their web page, Real Madrid said that the club and its officials “deeply regret the death of one of the children that our beloved Cristiano Ronaldo and his partner, Georgina Rodriguez, were expecting”.

“Real Madrid joins the grief of the whole family and wants to show them all our love and affection,” the Spanish giants said.

Rival clubs, among them Leeds United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, also sent condolences.

“All of us here at Liverpool FC send our deepest condolences to you, Georgina and the family,” Liverpool tweeted.

Ronaldo’s United teammates also joined the outpouring of sympathy.

“Thoughts are with you and Georgina, brother I’m so sorry,” forward Marcus Rashford wrote on Twitter.

Goalkeeper David de Gea responded to Ronaldo’s announcement with a simple heart emoji.

Ronaldo Hat-Trick Saves Man Utd As Spurs, Arsenal Slump To Defeat

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 16, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 16, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Manchester United claimed a 3-2 win over Norwich on Saturday to take advantage of defeats for Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for a place in next season’s Champions League.

Spurs’ winning run was brought to an abrupt halt by a 1-0 home defeat by Brighton, while the Gunners were beaten 1-0 at Southampton to slump to a third consecutive loss.

Ronaldo’s 50th club hat-trick tempered a revolt among the fanbase at Old Trafford as United move above Arsenal into fifth on goal difference, three points behind Tottenham.

There was unrest among the United fans before the game even began as many did not come into the stadium until the 17th minute to protest against the 17 years of the Glazer family’s ownership of the club.

READ ALSO: Quadruple-Chasing Liverpool Reach FA Cup Final, Ending Man City’s Treble Bid

Those late to take their seats missed Ronaldo’s first goal of the afternoon as he swept home Anthony Elanga’s cross.

The 37-year-old then powered home Alex Telles’ corner for his 20th goal of the season despite United’s struggles.

However, the Red Devils’ defensive problems were laid bare by the bottom-of-the-table Canaries who had scored just 20 goals in their previous 31 league games.

Kieran Dowell halved the arrears in first-half stoppage time before Teemu Pukki levelled seven minutes into the second half.

David de Gea then had to produce a brilliant save to deny Pukki completing the comeback.

United players were then met with chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt”, with Paul Pogba singled out for abuse when he was substituted.

But Ronaldo had the final say when his free-kick flew through the grasp of Tim Krul 14 minutes from time.

North London nightmare

Brighton halted Tottenham’s charge towards the Champions League as Leandro Trossard struck a 90th-minute winner.

But Antonio Conte’s men were bailed out by another defeat for Arsenal as they failed to close the gap against a Southampton side that had been thrashed 6-0 by Chelsea last weekend.

Brighton were Arsenal’s conquerors last time out to snap a seven-game winless run.

With confidence restored, the Seagulls looked more like their old selves under Graham Potter as they controlled the game and completed a north London double thanks to Trossard’s composed finish in the final minute.

“Today we did everything too slow,” said Conte. “It was not a good game for us.

“When you can’t win, you should not lose and that is a lesson for us today. When it is not your day, you have to pay more attention and not lose.”

Arsenal’s lack of a top striker proved their downfall at St. Mary’s as Fraser Forster produced a string of fine saves to leave Mikel Arteta’s men frustrated.

Southampton took their chance when it came as defender Jan Bednarek swept high past Aaron Ramsdale just before half-time.

At the bottom of the table, Watford look set to return to the Championship after Brentford inflicted their 10th successive home league defeat.

Pontus Jansson scored the winner deep into stoppage time for the Bees after Emmanuel Dennis had cancelled out Christian Norgaard’s opener.

Second-from-bottom Watford remain six points adrift of safety with six games left to play.

 

AFP

Ronaldo Scores Hat-Trick As Man Utd Beat Tottenham

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on March 12, 2022. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP
Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on March 12, 2022. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo set another goalscoring record in a return to form with a hat-trick to keep Manchester United’s chances of playing in the Champions League next season alive with a 3-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

Ronaldo had scored just once in his previous 10 games, but three fantastic finishes took him clear as the highest scorer in professional men’s football history according to FIFA’s records with 807 goals for club and country.

Victory lifts United back into fourth, although they are just two points ahead of Arsenal who have four games in hand.

A fifth defeat in eight league games is another blow to Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish as they remain seventh, now five points behind United.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Sink Brighton To Move Within Three Points Of Man City

Ronaldo’s second spell at Old Trafford has so far proven to be an anti-climax with his poor form sparking debate over whether the 37-year-old’s powers are waning.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner missed United’s thrashing in the Manchester derby last weekend and was criticised for a perceived lack of commitment as he jetted off to Portugal to rehab a hip injury rather than watch his teammates lost 4-1 at the Etihad.

He was restored to Ralf Rangnick’s starting line-up as one of five changes from that damaging defeat with Bruno Fernandes the notable absentee due to illness.

It took just 12 minutes for Ronaldo to make his mark with a stunning strike into the top corner from outside the box.

However, United failed to build on the early goal and were instead forced back in a familiar pattern to previous home games this season against stronger opposition.

Spurs quickly had the ball in the net in response only for Ben Davies to be flagged offside before Eric Dier’s header from a corner was cleared off the line.

A Tottenham equaliser seemed only a matter of time and was gifted to them when Alex Telles handled Dejan Kulusevski’s cross for a clear penalty.

Harry Kane smashed home the resulting spot-kick to continue his fine form for his sixth goal in as many games.

Within three minutes, though, United were back in front thanks to a landmark goal for Ronaldo.

He turned home Jadon Sancho’s inviting cross to surpass Austria-Czech striker Josef Bican as football’s all-time record goalscorer according to FIFA’s records.

United’s defensive deficiencies meant Ronaldo’s work was not done to win the game as Spurs enjoyed the better of the second half.

Son Heung-min hooked a glorious chance wide from Kulusevski’s  cut-back.

When a second equaliser did arrive for Antonio Conte’s men it was thanks to more misery for United captain Harry Maguire.

Consistent errors from the England international have played a huge part in his side’s struggles this season and he turned into his own net from Sergio Reguilon’s cross.

Conte screamed for focus from his side on the sideline, but they succumbed again to Ronaldo’s predatory instincts.

The United number seven rose highest to meet Telles’ corner nine minutes from time to power a header into the top corner for just his second United hat-trick and first since returning to Old Trafford in August.

 

AFP

Rangnick Says He Doesn’t Know If Ronaldo Is Happy At Man Utd

In this file photo, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo makes a rare appearance as captain during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 3, 2022.

 

Ralf Rangnick admits he does not know if Cristiano Ronaldo is happy at Manchester United as the Portugal star prepares to return from injury against Tottenham on Saturday.

Ronaldo was missing from United’s dismal 4-1 defeat against Manchester City last weekend after suffering a hip problem.

The 37-year-old reportedly flew home to Portugal rather than stay in Manchester to support his team-mates in the derby, sparking renewed speculation that he is unsettled at Old Trafford.

The former Juventus striker, in the first season of his second spell with United, has shown signs of frustration after being dropped or substituted at various times.

READ ALSO: [‘We’re More Than Capable’] Maguire Demands Man Utd Response After City Demolition

He was understood to be underwhelmed by United’s decision to hire Rangnick as an interim boss rather than appoint a permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when the Norwegian was sacked in November.

Asked on Friday whether his star man was unhappy, Rangnick told reporters: “Well, I don’t know —  I haven’t asked him if he’s happy at Manchester and at this club.

“For me, it’s important that he’s fit again and that he resumed training yesterday (Thursday). We will see with which formation and with which line-up we are going to play the game tomorrow.”

Ronaldo is United’s top-scorer this season, with 15 goals in all competitions, but he has only netted once in his past 10 games and Rangnick’s team have slipped down to fifth place in the Premier League.

Rangnick refused to clarify whether Ronaldo had gone to Portugal, saying: “It doesn’t make sense to look back on what was happening in the last six or seven days.

“For me, it’s important what is happening today and tomorrow. For me, it doesn’t make sense at all to go through all this again.

“What’s important is that he and Edi (Cavani) are both back in training and they’re both available for tomorrow.”

Rangnick has also struggled to get the best out of Marcus Rashford, who has scored just five goals this season and has fallen behind youngster Anthony Elanga in the United pecking order.

The German challenged the England man, who started on the bench against City despite the absences of Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, to replicate the form he shows on the training ground in matches.

“Marcus is training well, he’s got abundant talent, he’s got almost everything that you need as a modern striker,” he said.

“For him it’s only about transforming the performance of the training sessions into the regular games.”

AFP

‘Thorough Process’ Under Way To Find New Manager –  Man United

 

 

Manchester United football director John Murtough says a “thorough process” is underway to find their next permanent manager, pledging the club remains focused on challenging for “top trophies” again.

United, who announced their latest financial results on Tuesday, have endured another difficult season despite the return of superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford.

A top-four finish is the best the English giants can hope for domestically, but they only managed a draw against lowly Watford on Saturday and are just two points ahead of West Ham and Arsenal — the Gunners also have three games in hand.

READ ALSO: Klopp Plays Down ‘Crazy’ Liverpool Quadruple Talk

United have a tough set of fixtures coming up, including meetings with title-chasing Manchester City and Liverpool as well as the second leg of their Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid, which is delicately poised at 1-1.

The club, who have not won a trophy since 2017, have been working under interim manager Ralf Rangnick since December when the German succeeded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a poor start to the campaign.

Murtough said he had been heartened by the “improved results” as they look to secure Champions League qualification.

“We know that consistency is key as we strive for a top-four finish this season,” he said.

“I want to reiterate however that this is not the ultimate objective for Manchester United, and everyone at the club is focused on challenging for the top trophies.

“We are now conducting a thorough process for the appointment of a new permanent manager who will take charge this summer, with the objective to get us back to challenging for those domestic and European titles.”

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax coach Erik ten Hag are among the favourites to permanently succeed Solskjaer.

Richard Arnold echoed Murtough’s sentiments as the chief executive commented publicly for the first time since taking up the role on February 1, when executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward departed.

“We have a clear vision and we are implementing a strategy to win with an empowered leadership team to drive that forward,” he said.

“We will foster a culture of excellence through a world-class football environment while strengthening the role of fans at the heart of the club.”

United’s second-quarter results for fiscal 2022, for the period ending December 31, showed the club paid £10 million ($13.4 million) in “exceptional items”, which included compensation to former manager Solskjaer and certain members of the coaching staff.

The results show an operating profit of £5.4 million for the quarter, with total revenue of £185.4 million — a 7.3 percent rise on the same period the previous year, with crowds back in stadiums after the coronavirus shutdown.

United’s net debt has increased to £494.8 million — up 8.6 percent — and wages rose 19.6 percent to £97.7 million “due to investment in the first team playing squad”.

AFP

Maguire Denies Reports Of Ronaldo Rift At Man Utd

A file photo of Manchester United’s Captain, Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has denied reports of a power struggle with Cristiano Ronaldo as the club battle to end the season in the Premier League’s top four.

Maguire has been well below his best this season and it has been reported the United skipper feels undermined by Ronaldo’s influence, with his continued role as captain questioned.

United forward Marcus Rashford dismissed talk of a dressing room divide involving Ronaldo earlier this week and Maguire has rejected the latest reports.

“I’ve seen a lot of reports about this club that aren’t true and this is another,” he posted on Twitter on Friday ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match at Leeds.

“Not going to start posting about everything that is written but I needed to make this one clear. We’re united and focused on Sunday. Enjoy your day everyone.”

United’s 2-0 win against Brighton on Tuesday lifted them back into fourth place in the English top-flight — the top four teams all qualify for next season’s Champions League.

But the club, under interim manager Ralf Rangnick, face a tough battle, with a number of other sides also in the mix, most of whom have games in hand.

Rangnick has reportedly added to the tension between Maguire and Ronaldo by asking the former Juventus and Real Madrid star to mentor United’s younger players.

Maguire is said to believe that request has undermined his position as captain, leaving him marginalised.

Ronaldo was vocal in his support of Maguire after returning for his second spell at United in August, but his backing is reported to have waned as the season has gone on.

The two players are believed to have spoken to Rangnick about the possibility of Ronaldo taking the captain’s armband so Maguire can focus on improving his erratic form.

But the England centre-back is understood to be concerned about the prospect of losing the captaincy permanently.

While Maguire has made a number of high-profile mistakes this season, Ronaldo has also suffered notable dips in form.

There have been several reports Ronaldo is unimpressed by Rangnick’s management style, with the striker stomping off the pitch and exchanging words with the German after being substituted in a victory at Brentford in January.

The 37-year-old went six games without a goal before finally getting back on the scoresheet against Brighton in midweek.

That victory stopped a dismal run of three successive games in which United had blown a first-half lead.

Rangnick said earlier this week United’s self-belief had been dented by their recent habit of throwing away leads, admitting that finishing fourth in the Premier League was the best they could now hope for.

-AFP

Ronaldo Ends Barren Run As Man Utd Climb Back Into Top Four

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brighton at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on February 15, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo ended his six-game goal drought on Tuesday as Manchester United recovered from an insipid first-half display to beat 10-man Brighton 2-0 and clamber back into the Premier League top four.

The match dramatically changed complexion early in the second half, with Ronaldo scoring his first goal in 2022 before Lewis Dunk was sent off three minutes later.

But the home side still managed to make heavy weather of the situation, wasting a number of great chances to double their lead until Bruno Fernandes sealed the points deep into stoppage time.

Ralf Rangnick’s team had blown half-time leads to draw 1-1 in their previous three matches in all competitions, dropping crucial points in the league and exiting the FA Cup on penalties.

In his pre-match interviews, United’s interim manager had spoken about how he wanted his team to be more like Dr Jekyll and less like his literary evil alter ego Mr Hyde.

The German said after the match he had seen both sides of his team, who have struggled to find consistency and fluency under his stewardship.

“First half was Mr Hyde, second half Dr Jekyll and for a change it (the result) was different,” he said. “In the end it was important to get the three points against an in-form team.”

Rangnick praised 37-year-old Ronaldo, who returned to the scoresheet for the first time since December 30.

“Very important not only that he scored but it was an outstanding goal,” he said. “It was important for all of us, but his overall performance was one of the best since I arrived here.”

 United struggles

(From L) Manchester United’s Brazilian midfielder Fred, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes speak during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brighton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on February 15, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Forward Anthony Elanga and midfielder Fred came into United’s starting line-up for Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, with defender Raphael Varane also missing out due to illness.

Jadon Sancho was denied early on but the hosts created precious little as mid-table Brighton controlled the game, enjoying nearly 60 percent of possession in the first half.

David de Gea was forced to make a spectacular save to keep out a Jakub Moder header and the half-time whistle drew boos from a frustrated home crowd, with United fortunate to be level at 0-0.

The home side took the lead in the 51st minute when Scott McTominay found Ronaldo, who darted forwards, cutting past Adam Webster and firing beyond goalkeeper Robert Sanchez from the edge of the box.

It was the Portugal forward’s 15th goal since he returned to United from Juventus in August.

Things got dramatically better for United minutes later as Elanga’s pace caught out Dunk, who brought down the teenager.

Referee Peter Bankes showed a yellow card to the Brighton captain, only to change it to red after reviewing the foul on the advice of the video assistant referee.

United were now on top but they failed to kill off the game despite their man advantage.

They almost paid for their profligacy when Moder beat De Gea but he saw his shot cannon back off the crossbar in the 78th minute and ex-United player Danny Welbeck flashed a late header high as the home fans breathed a sigh of relief.

United wrapped up the victory in the 97th minute when substitute Pogba took a quick free-kick and Fernandes collected the ball inside his own half and raced forward before firing home.

The three points lift United into the fourth Champions League qualification spot, two points ahead of West Ham and four behind third-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand.

Arsenal, Wolves and Tottenham are also within striking distance of the top four and all have games in hand.

AFP

Ronaldo Statue Sparks Controversy In Goa, India

This photograph taken on December 30, 2021, shows a newly installed statue of Portuguese footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, in Calangute after the statue has caused a stir, this time in Goa, the southern Indian state that was a Portuguese colony until 60 years ago. PHOTO: AFP

 

A statue of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has caused a stir in the southern Indian state of Goa, with locals accusing officials of insensitivity for honouring a sports star from the region’s former colonial power.

Protesters with black flags gathered at the site after the statue was unveiled this week in the town of Calangute.

They expressed anger that authorities had shunned Indian sports stars and chosen a player from Portugal, which granted Goa independence in 1961.

Micky Fernandes, a former Indian international player who is from Goa, said the choice was “hurtful” and a “hangover” from Portuguese rule.

READ ALSO: Remove Your Tattoos, Beijing Tells Chinese Football Players

“Ronaldo is the best player in the world but still we should have a statue of a football player from Goa,” Fernandes told AFP.

Michael Lobo, a local minister with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, told AFP the aim was to inspire young people to excel not just inside the country but internationally.

“All the boys and girls who want to make football a career will get inspired by people like Cristiano Ronaldo,” Lobo said.

“If you pursue your dream and you’re passionate about it then you can reach a higher goal. This is what we have written on the plaque.”

Most of present-day India gained independence in 1947.

But Portugal’s then military dictatorship only relinquished Goa following an invasion by the Indian army and a two-day war in 1961.

Portugal’s centuries-long influence remains visible in local architecture, particularly the many churches. Many people in Goa have Portuguese-origin surnames.

Unlike in most of India, many Goans prefer football to cricket — and many support Portugal in international tournaments such as the World Cup.

“I follow (Portugal) too but when we have our own players we cannot put up a statue of someone from outside,” Fernandes said.

It is not the first time a statue of Ronaldo, 36, has caused an upset.

A grinning bust unveiled at Madeira airport in Portugal in 2017 was widely ridiculed as looking little like its subject.

AFP

Ronaldo Fires Man Utd To Victory At Norwich

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road Stadium in Norwich, eastern England, on December 11, 2021. Daniel LEAL / AFP
Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road Stadium in Norwich, eastern England, on December 11, 2021. Daniel LEAL / AFP

 

Cristiano Ronaldo extended Ralf Rangnick’s unbeaten start as Manchester United interim manager as the Portugal striker’s penalty clinched a 1-0 victory at struggling Norwich on Saturday.

Ronaldo won and converted the second half spot-kick that gave Rangnick a second successive Premier League victory since he replaced the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United found it difficult to impose themselves for long periods and it took several fine saves from David de Gea to keep them on level terms before Ronaldo’s 13th goal since rejoining the club from Juventus in August.

READ ALSO: Eto’o Elected Head Of The Cameroon Football Federation

Rangnick’s side sit in fifth place in the Premier League, level on points with fourth-placed West Ham, as the German aims to haul his club back into the Champions League places.

While United must improve significantly on this mediocre display against the Premier League’s bottom club, Rangnick will take heart from successive clean sheets — a stark contrast to the woeful defending seen in the 4-1 loss at Watford that ended Solskjaer’s reign.

Rangnick, who kept faith with the team that beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in his first match last weekend, wants to introduce a high-tempo pressing style to United.

But after making 11 changes from the midweek Champions League draw with Young Boys, there was a noticable lack of energy about United at times.

Norwich were without several players after boss Dean Smith hinted at coronavirus concerns in the squad on Friday, but they still matched United stride for stride.

United were inches away from an early lead when Alex Telles’ free-kick deflected off the Norwich wall and cannoned off the crossbar.

Ronaldo makes his mark

While United had the star power and greater resources, there was nothing to separate two misfiring teams in the first half.

Teemu Pukki should have underlined that point when he let the ball escape his control after Lukas Rupp picked out the unmarked Norwich striker six yards from goal.

After a subdued start, Ronaldo wriggled onto Scott McTominay’s pass for a fierce drive that Tim Krul pushed away.

Harry Maguire’s diving header from Jadon Sancho’s cross forced a back-pedalling tip over from Krul.

Pukki threatened soon after the restart with a swift turn and shot that had De Gea at full stretch to save.

Marcus Rashford hadn’t scored since the end of October and the United forward was left frustrated again when his low drive rippled into the side-netting.

Rangnick responded to United’s lethargic display by sending on Mason Greenwood for Sancho.

There was a scare for United when their defender Victor Lindelof was forced off after falling to the turf holding his chest.

Lindelof seemed to have recovered as he walked off and, as ever, it was Ronaldo who was the catalyst as United finally made the breakthrough in the 75th minute.

Challenging for McTominay’s cross, Ronaldo was dragged down by Max Aarons and the Portugal striker picked himself up to drill the penalty past Krul.

Pierre Lees-Melou almost grabbed an immediate equaliser but the Norwich substitute’s header was clawed away by the inspired De Gea.

Norwich could feel aggrieved that they didn’t earn a point as Billy Gilmour’s goalbound effort was deflected wide by Eric Bailly’s last-ditch block.

 

AFP