Cristiano Ronaldo reclaims top spot of the world’s highest paid footballer, overtakes Lionel Messi according to Forbes
(Football news) The words Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are firmly associated with decades of dominance in world football, a bucket load of goals and many Ballon d’Or awards. With the number of records each of these footballers have broken, their achievements both individually and collectively with the team, it’s no wonder that both of them have also been the highest paid athletes in their respective sports for a very long time.
With both these iconic legends moving away from their clubs this summer, as Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined Manchester United and Lionel Messi shocked the sporting world by moving to Paris Saint-Germain from his boyhood club Barcelona, their new deals have also changed the dynamics of who is paid more. According to a report by Forbes, Ronaldo is now the highest paid footballer in the world, earning $125 million before taxes in the 2021/2022 season. Ofcourse, being the world’s most popular athlete with a combined number of followers amounting to nearly half a billion across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter helps, with commercial deals with Nike, Herbalife, Clear and the CR7 brand amounting to nearly $50 million of his revenue.
Only three other active athletes, namely Roger Federer ($90 million), LeBron James ($65 million) and Tiger Woods ($60 million) earn more than the Portuguese superstar commercially. However, Cristiano’s longtime rival Lionel Messi earns about $110 million, nearly $15 million less than the current Manchester United player. This is because Messi’s endorsements with Adidas, Pepsi, watchmaker Jacobs & Co. and Budweiser earn him $35 million, significantly lower than Ronaldo. Paris Saint-Germain currently employs three of the top five earners in world football with Neymar in the third position with an estimated value of $95 million and Kylian Mbappe in the fourth position with $43 million.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the top 10 highest paid footballers will earn an estimated $585 million before tax, about $15 million more than last year with salaries and bonuses amounting to nearly $415 million of the total. These figures are despite the report by Europe’s governing body UEFA, which claimed top flight clubs endured an $8.5 million pandemic related revenue loss.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton keep up their unbeaten record on Gameweek 5
(Football news) In Gameweek 5 of the Premier League, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Everton are unbeaten and joint top of the table.
The North London derby headlines the gameweek as Chelsea visit Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea are in a hot run of form in Thomas Tuchel's first full season incharge. Romelu Lukaku has completed this Chelsea side to make them world beaters. Tottenham Hotspur had a good start to the season with 3 wins from 3 but then their progress was delayed when Crystal Palace won 3-0 in the last game. A win against Chelsea will be the best possible way to get back on track. The blues held onto a narrow 1-0 win against Zenit at home which may have been a signal that Chelsea can be defeated with the right tactics.
Arsenal got a much needed win against Newcastle to open their account on the Premier League table and next up they face Burnley away from home. Burnley haven't had the best start to the season, managing to get only 1 point in 4 games. Burnley lost their last game against Everton after conceding 3 goals in 6 minutes. The pressure is on Burnley to perform at home and go back to their usual defensive solidity. Arsenal on the other hand need to get momentum before their derby game against Spurs next weekend.
Manchester City host Southampton after their impressive 6-3 win over RB Leipzig in the UCL. Despite scoring 6, Pep Guardiola will not be too happy with the defensive side of things. Southampton are winless in the league so far but have managed to hold onto 3 draws. Having just played a UCL game midweek and there might be quite a few changes in the Manchester City side.
Also read: Bayern Munich dismantle Barcelona, Young Boys stun Manchester United and Chelsea narrowly win against Zenit
Liverpool have a home game against Crystal Palace. Patrick Vieira has got this Crystal Palace side playing attacking and positive football. Their 3-0 win against Spurs last week was a statement of that. Liverpool are just on the back of a thrilling 3-2 victory against AC Milan in the UCL. Virgil Van Dijk was rested for that game which means that he should be fresh for the clash. After scoring 2 goals coming on as a substitute on his debut, Odsonne Edouard is very likely to start the game along with Wilfried Zaha who had a good game himself.
Manchester United travel to West Ham after their disappointing and shock UCL loss against Young Boys. The Red Devils have been in the Cristiano Ronaldo mania and the Portuguese has delivered with 3 goals in his two games but there are other concerns especially in the center of midfield. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had his fair share of criticism for his substitutions in their UCL loss. Manchester United need to win against West Ham who would be without their talisman Michail Antonio.
Cristiano Ronaldo equals Iker Casillas' record for the most Champions League appearances
(Football news) Manchester United's Champions League opener didn't go as Cristiano Ronaldo had planned. Young Boys pulled off a major upset by beating The Red Devils. Despite his team's failure, Cristiano Ronaldo is on the verge of breaking another impressive record.
Ronaldo equalled the record for most appearances in the UEFA Champions League. The Portuguese is currently tied with his former teammate and captain Iker Casillas at 117. In Manchester United's next game against Villarrea,l Ronaldo should go past the Spanish goalkeeper who hung up his boots two years ago.
Also read: Bayern Munich dismantle Barcelona, Young Boys stun Manchester United and Chelsea narrowly win against Zenit
Ronaldo already has many UCL records to his name including top goalscorer of all time. The striker marked his record equalising game with another goal, taking his tally to 135 goals. The way Ronaldo is playing, he still has at least another two years of football left in him.
Cristiano Ronaldo's legacy in the UCL is unparalleled and is already written in golden letters. His clutch performances in important games for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus have created some iconic moments. Ronaldo will be hoping to score in his record breaking game against Villarreal and more importantly to lead Manchester United to a victory.
Back where it belongs: Cristiano Ronaldo reunited with the iconic number 7 Manchester United jersey
(Football news) Cristiano Ronaldo will be wearing the number 7 jersey at Manchester United, the club have confirmed. The Portuguese superstar wore the iconic jersey in his first spell at Old Trafford, being handed the number 7 jersey by Sir Alex Ferguson after the departure of David Beckham. In the jersey, Ronaldo has made 292 appearances, scoring 118 goals and won nine trophies which includes three Premier League titles, one Champions League, one FA Cup, two League Cups, two Community Shields and a Club World Cup. The number is an integral part of his ‘CR7’ brand and Ronaldo has worn the number at Real Madrid, Portugal’s national team and Juventus.
After confirming that an agreement for Ronaldo had been reached between Manchester United and Juventus last Friday, the club officially announced the five time Ballon d’Or winner's signature the following Monday after a successful medical and personal terms. It seems only fitting that the best replacement for the iconic number 7 jersey since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Real Madrid in 2009 is none other than the man himself.
Players have struggled to live upto the expectation of the jersey since then, with Michael Owen taking up the mantle in 2009 for three seasons followed by Antonio Valencia in 2012 but the Ecuadorian found it too burdensome and reverted back to 25 a season later. Angel Di Maria took over the jersey but left for Paris Saint-Germain after just one season, followed by Memphis Depay and Alexis Sanchez.
However, Edinson Cavani has performed admirably in the jersey previously worn by the likes of George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham and it seemed that the curse had finally been lifted. The Uruguayan has given his number to Ronaldo on his return to Old Trafford and has chosen the number 21 for himself, recently vacated by Daniel James who has departed for Leeds.
“I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to have the number seven shirt again, so I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi for this incredible gesture” said Cristiano Ronaldo. The player could make his second Manchester United debut after the International break on September 11 against Newcastle United at Old Trafford, where he will undoubtedly receive a tremendous welcome.
Also read: What will Cristiano Ronaldo bring to Manchester United?
Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the all-time record goalscorer in International football
(Football news) Cristiano Ronaldo scored two late goals in the World Cup qualifiers game against Ireland to win the game for Portugal. Ronaldo started the game level with Ali Daei as the highest goalscorer in International football history. His two goals now made him the outright record goalscorer in International football.
The striker was presented with the opportunity to set the record when Bruno Fernandes won a penalty in the 15th minute. Ronaldo's powerful spot kick was saved by the Irish shot stopper who spoiled the party. To make matters worse, Ireland took the lead just on the stroke of half time through John Egan's header. Portugal were chasing the game until the 89th minute when Ronaldo scored a header to break the record but more importantly bring the game back on level terms. He wasn't done then as 7 minutes later with virtually the last kick of the game the Portuguese talisman broke Irish hearts to score the winner. The win means that Portugal are still top of their table and remain unbeaten in the qualifiers.
With 111 goals, Ronaldo holds the record for most International goals, 2 goals more than the previous record holder Ali Daei and 35 more than any other active International player. The amount of goals signify his longevity and quantity but the quality shouldn't be ignored. Ronaldo has been the flag bearer of Portuguese football for over 15 years now. He has carried the hopes of an entire country on his shoulders.
Also read: What will Cristiano Ronaldo bring to Manchester United?
Out of the 111 goals, only 19 have been in International friendlies. Ronaldo's majority contribution has come in the Euro and World Cup qualifiers where he has scored 64 goals. The most memorable being a hat-trick in a must win World Cup qualifiers play off against Sweden. He has scored 28 goals in major tournaments. His 5 at the 2020 Euros earned him the Golden boot award while his 3 in the 2016 edition got him the silver boot.
Ronaldo also has 41 International assists to his name. It is safe to say that with such high numbers, the Nations League and Euro trophy Ronaldo is the best at the International stage. It is only in the past couple of years that Portugal has a great squad that can be compared to the big nations. For the majority of his career, Ronaldo was the lone warrior with maybe two or maximum three other experienced and big league players. Portugal has also never failed to make it to the finals of Euros and the World Cup since Ronaldo's debut which is quite an achievement for a country like Portugal.
At 36 years of age Ronaldo looks to have no intentions of hanging up his international boots at least until the World Cup in Qatar. The Portuguese hero has rejoined Manchester United and the club as well as the fans would have been thrilled with his most recent performance.
Recap of all the transfers deadline activities from the Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga
With the players away on international duty, the transfer market was in full flow as significant moves were made which will have a direct effect on the league titles. Let us take a look at the major signings in the La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1:
1. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Atletico Madrid pulled off the coup of the season as they re-signed Antoine Greizmann from Barcelona on an initial loan deal with an option to buy him for 40 million pounds next season. This signing makes Diego Simeone’s side as the outright favourite to win the La Liga crown as he would be forming a lethal striking partnership with Luis Suarez to instill fear in the opposition.
2. Luuk De Jong (FC Barcelona)
In a move which saw Barca desperately try to sign a striker on the final day as they approached Edison Cavani and Joao Felix but ultimately signed the 31 year old Dutch international from Sevilla on an initial loan with an option to buy next year. Barcelona will not pay any loan fee to Seville but will take his wages on board to unite him with his dutch compatriots Depay and Frenkie De Jong.
3. Hector Bellerin (Real Betis)
The former Gunner returns to his homeland after spending 12 years in England to join Real Betis on loan with no buy option in his contract. Arsenal meanwhile signed Takehiro Tomiyasu which in turn paved his exit away from the club. Real Betis were desperate to sign a full back after the departure of Emerson Royal and got their man on deadline day.
4. Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)
The teenage sensation joined Real Madrid from Rennes on a fee of 40 million with add-ons. He signed a long-term contract till June 2027 which will see him act as a natural replacement for the aging Modric and Kroos in the midfield. Perez wasn't expected to sign anyone after PSG rejected their approach for Mbappe but a change of mind prompted them to sign the 18 year old prodigy.
5. Radamel Falcao (Rayo Vallecano)
Rayo Vallecano signed Falcao on a two year free transfer after he left Galatasaray which has seen him return to Spain for the first time since he left Atletico Madrid. Rayo Vallecano were crying out for a proven goalscorer and went with Falcao’s experience and previous records.The move also acts as an added incentive for him to make the Columbia squad for the 2022 World cup.
Also read: Recap of all the transfers that happened on deadline day in the Premier League
6. Florentino Luis (Getafe)
The young Portuguese midfielder joined Getafe on loan from Benfica with a 10 million pounds buy option next season. Luis was one of the most sought after young midfielders in the world but injury last season really hampered his market value and he is going to Getafe with hopes to revive his career.
7. Moise Kean (Juventus)
Juventus have signed Moise Kean on a two year loan from Everton with buy obligation in 2023 following Ronaldo’s departure to Manchester United. Kean, a youth product of the ‘Old Lady’ , comes back to the club where it all started as the move with Everton really didn’t work out for him. He’ll be hoping a fresh start at Juventus will help reinvigorate his career.
8. Yacine Adil (AC Milan)
AC Milan signed the Algerian prospect from Bordeaux for 8 million who signed a contract with them till June 2026, Yacine will subsequently join Bordeaux back on loan for one more year. The PSG youth product is very highly rated in France as he has scored 9 goals in 72 appearances for Bordeaux.
9. Ethan Ampadu (Venezia)
The Welsh prospect from Chelsea will spend a season-long loan in Italy with newly promoted side Venezia. He spent a very productive loan spell in Germany with RB Leipzig and will hopefully continue the same form to keep the club in Serie A for one more season.
10. Junior Messia( AC Milan)
AC Milan signed the Brazilian forward from Crotone for an initial loan fee of 3million with an option to buy him permanently next season for 6 million euros. The former delivery man makes an incredible rise to the top of the game as he is going to play Champions league football with Milan. His versatility is the biggest reason Milan bought him into the club as he can play right winger, attacking midfielder and centre forward.
11. Nuno Mendes (PSG)
PSG signed Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon for an initial loan fee of 7million with an option to buy him for 40million euros. The move completes an amazing transfer window for PSG as they got Lionel Messi and several other players to make them the strongest team in Europe.
12. Pablo Sarabia (Sporting Lisbon)
The Portuguese champions took Pablo Sarabia on loan for a season in a move which saw left back Nuno Mendes move to Paris.Sarabia is a very good signing for Sporting because he would like to elevate his game to make the squad for Spain in the World Cup in 2022.
13. Ilaix Moriba (RB Leipzig)
RB Leipzig have signed the 18 year old from FC Barcelona for 16 million pounds with a 6 million performances bonus on a 5 year contract. One of the most talked-about product of La Masia joins Leipzig to replace their talisman Marcel Sabitzer. Ilaix Moriba didn't want to leave Barca but high wage demands along with Barcelona’s financial problems meant that he had to leave.
14. Marcel Sabitzer ( Bayern Munich)
Bayern Munich signed the Austrian midfielder from Leipzig for 16 million pounds in a move which saw him join his former coach Julian Nagelsmann. Marcel Sabitzer will make the Bayern midfield even stronger as he has scored numerous important goals for RB Leipzig in very important matches.
What will Cristiano Ronaldo bring to Manchester United?
(Football news) The chants of ‘Viva Ronaldo’ were heard at the Molineux Stadium when Manchester United took on Wolves in the last Premier League game before the international break. It was the first match since Cristiano Ronaldo was officially announced as a Manchester United player and the mood amongst the fans has been one of jubilation, pride, nostalgia and hope. For many, Ronaldo represents the peak of Manchester United’s glory years of the 2000’s, a supremely talented footballer who has shaped the childhoods of so many with his dazzling skills, relentless desire and bucketload of goals. Few players in the history of the club have been as adored, even after the Portuguese had left the club in 2009.
The Ronaldo that left Manchester United 12 years ago is not the same one that re-joins the club this summer. He has lost some pace and is better suited to a traditional number 9 position than on the wings. The stepovers and flashy skills have made way for clinical finishing but one thing that has remained the same is his hunger and desire to win. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reiterated that Ronaldo will be playing as a striker while the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are expected to provide him with the service he needs.
Ronaldo has never been known for his work rate, and that is expected to continue at Manchester United while the younger players do the running for him. At 36, he is also not expected to start every single game even though he might be fit. Ronaldo will be expected to start in the Champions League fixtures and most Premier League matches but won’t be expected to feature as much in the F.A Cup and the Carabao Cup. He will also be rotated with Edinson Cavani throughout the season to ensure the players remain fit and fresh for the entirety of a long and gruelling season.
Ronaldo will be a set piece threat and will compete with Bruno Fernandes for freekicks and penalties. His aerial presence will add a new dimension to Manchester United’s attack and his lethal finishing will mean opposition defenses are more compact. More importantly, the players around Ronaldo will have to provide him the opportunities to score, a factor that seems questionable based on the first three Premier League games. Apart from the opening match against Leeds, Man United have failed to create many clear cut chances and seem to lack a game plan against teams employing a low block. This needs to change if Ronaldo is to be as influential as Manchester United hope he will be.
Most importantly, it seems that after a long time Manchester United fans have something to cheer about. Ronaldo’s return has instilled some hope into the club that they are back amongst Europe’s elite and can finally win some silverware this season. It has also uplifted the squad who are now in the presence of arguably one of the greatest footballers in the history of the sport. Ronaldo himself will be eager to improve on his legacy at Old Trafford and write new chapters in the history of this century old football institution.
Also read: The prodigal son returns: Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United are reunited after 12 years
The prodigal son returns: Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United are reunited after 12 years
(Football news) It was in 2009 when Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer saga to Real Madrid had reached a point of no return. Adored by the Manchester United fans in one of the most successful periods in the club’s history, they wondered why their Portuguese talisman would choose to leave a club on top of world football to join an ‘inferior’ Real Madrid. What Roman Calderon could not achieve, Fiorentino Perez did and Ronaldo secured an £80 million transfer to the Spanish capital, much to the heartbreak of many across the world.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United as a boy and left as a man who was well on his way to cement his football legacy for eternity. He won everything in England and sought a new challenge in his boyhood club Real Madrid. At the Spanish capital, the Portuguese stepped up even higher and won four Champions League titles and numerous domestic records. The five time Ballon d’Or winner became not just the best player in the world but arguably one of the best players in the history of the sport.
Manchester United fans looked at Ronaldo’s accomplishments with grudging respect. The club could have achieved new heights if he would have stayed and chants of ‘Viva Ronaldo’ were often heard at Old Trafford. The Portuguese also enjoyed a father-son relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, a bond that is rarely in modern football where managers are changed every now and again. For football romantics, there was always a hope that Cristiano Ronaldo would return to Manchester United one day and wear the famous red jersey for ‘one last dance’.
The last few days have shown just how crazy the world of football is. Just a few weeks ago, Cristiano Ronaldo took to social media to slam ‘disrespectful’ media reports that claimed to have inside knowledge of the Portuguese’s transfer. Then out of nowhere, the 36 year old was benched for Juventus’ opening game of the season due to a possible move away from Turin. Media reports once again linked him to a host of clubs, particularly Manchester City, much to the heartbreak of the Old Trafford faithful. How could a player who spent his formative years at Manchester United join their rivals? It was disrespectful, disloyal and almost amounting to treason. Surely Ronaldo would want to protect his legacy at Manchester United? His old teammates such as Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand echoed the fans sentiments that a move of this nature was unlikely to materialize.
Also read: Premier League preview: A weekend of blockbuster clashes for domestic supremacy
However, the media reports continued to gain momentum and what was once speculation almost became an inevitable reality. Negotiations were underway until...they weren't. Suddenly, news channels reported that Manchester City had pulled out of the transfer and Manchester United had swooped in for an emotional reunion. Jubilation, excitement, nostalgia and a range of emotions flooded through amongst Manchester United fans as within hours, the club announced an agreement with Juventus for Ronaldo, pending a visa, medical and personal terms.
At 36, many would claim that Ronaldo is a ‘nostalgia’ signing. While the player is not the same as the one who left all those years ago, this version of Ronaldo is a more clinical and direct threat for opposition teams compared to the flashy winger who joined from Sporting Lisbon. His experience, attitude and winning mentality will do wonders for the likes of Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho who should look to learn from one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. More than anything, the feel good factor at Old Trafford has returned and Manchester United are surely a force to be reckoned with for every major trophy this season.
Jorge Mendes offers Manchester City the chance to sign Cristiano Ronaldo
(Football news) In a bizarre turn of events Manchester City have been offered the services of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus talisman has been in the center of the transfer storm and there have been multiple reports that have confirmed Ronaldo’s desire to leave Juventus.
A few weeks ago there were heavy speculations that Carlo Ancelotti wanted to sign Ronaldo. The Real Madrid manager released a short statement on social media which said, “Cristiano is a Real Madrid legend and he has all my love and respect. I have never considered signing him. We look forward.”
Ronaldo himself in an Instagram post slammed the media for being disrespectful to him and the clubs involved in the rumours. The rumours were ignited when he was benched in Juventus' Serie A opening game against Udinese. Ronaldo did come off the bench and seemed to have scored a last minute winner before VAR ruled it out. The forward had himself requested to start on the bench as he was trying to engineer a move away from Turin.
Also read: Pep Guardiola set to leave Manchester City in 2023, aims to get national team job
One of the prominent clubs being linked with Cristiano Ronaldo was Manchester City. Super agent Jorge Mendes offered City the chance to sign the five time Ballon d’Or winner. Pep Guardiola's men were very keen to sign Harry Kane but the Englishman has confirmed that he is going to stay in North London this season. City lost Sergio Aguero to Barcelona and need a proper number 9.
A later report claims that city have rejected the offer as they are not willing to pay Juventus any transfer fee. The Juventus board is confident that Ronaldo will end up staying and will honor his contract that expires next season. Pep Guardiola wants to keep hold of Gabriel Jesus and is currently not involved in the negotiations with Ronaldo.
The transfer is going to be very awkward considering Ronaldo's lucrative history with Manchester United. In his 6 years at Old Trafford, Ronaldo won everything there was to win in terms of both individual and collective accolades. Playing for the other side of Manchester will definitely not go down well with the United faithfuls. It's been over a decade since Carlos Tevez crossed the divide when he signed for City. Manchester United recently returned the favour by signing Jadon Sancho.
Not to forget Ronaldo's battles with Pep Guardiola. The Portuguese maestro has caused Guardiola's Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams some trouble in the past. The two also had heated on field battles in El Clasicos. It will be interesting to see how the whole thing pans out as Ronaldo is not the kind of player Pep Guardiola would usually go for. Ronaldo coming back to England after so many years would be a treat nevertheless.
North West London derby; Nuno Espírito Santo's homecoming and other fixtures that make Gameweek 2 unmissable
(Football news) The Premier League is off to a flying start after an action packed first gameweek. Brentford stunning Arsenal on Premier League return and Tottenham Hotspur's statement win against Manchester City amidst the Harry Kane situation left fans in awe.
The big game of the week is the North West London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal. After a torrid last season at the Emirates, Mikel Arteta started their campaign in the worst possible fashion with a loss against newly promoted Brentford. Chelsea on the other hand stamped their authority on the Premier League with a 3-0 over Crystal Palace. After winning the Champions League last season, Thomas Tuchel has only gone on to strengthen the squad with the arrival of Romelu Lukaku who will be available for selection.
Arsenal will be without Alex Lacazette, Gabriel Magalhães, Eddie Nketiah and Thomas Partey while Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are still doubtful. Ruben Loftus Cheek and Hakim Ziyech will not be available for Chelsea. The Blues are favourites going into the game but Arsenal did manage to do the double over them last season.
Also read: Bundesliga preview: Can anyone stop Bayern Munich from winning the league?
After losing to Tottenham Hotspur last week, Manchester City will host Norwich City. The defending champions will be keen to bounce back straight away after a lackluster performance in North London. After a 1 year absence from the top flight, Norwich City were crushed at home by Liverpool in the opening gameweek. Przemysław Płacheta, Sam Byram are notable absentees while Jordan Hugill, Onel Hernandez, Andrew Omobamidele remain doubtful for Daniel Farke. Pep Guardiola's team will be without England international Phil Foden while Ilkay Gundogan's availability is still unclear.
Liverpool will face Burnley at home after breezing past Norwich City last week. Mohammed Salah looked in fine touch in the first game and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to see the same again. Burnley gave away a goal advantage against Brighton after conceding twice between the 73rd and 78th minute and ended up losing the game. Sean Dyche will be without Dale Stevens and Kevin Long. Liverpool are still without the injured Andy Robertson and concussed Curtis Jones while Jordan Henderson and Thiago lack match fitness. Liverpool will be eyeing another thumping victory but Burnley who ended Liverpool's 68 game unbeaten run at home could cause an upset once again.
Manchester United travel to Southampton after their dominating 5-1 win against Leeds. Southampton were leading 1-0 in their opening fixture against Everton at half time but conceded 3 second half goals. Ralph Hasenhüttl will have his full squad available for selection while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without Marcus Rashford and Alex Telles. New signings Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho are likely to be on the bench. It is tough to see Southampton get anything from this game but one never knows in the Premier League.
Nuno Espírito Santo will return to the Molineux Stadium with his new club Tottenham. Wolves under new manager Bruno Lage suffered a narrow loss away at Leicester City. Spurs won against Manchester City at the weekend but suffered a first leg loss in the UEFA Conference League against Portuguese side Paços De Ferreira. Wolves have a long list of absentees with Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence, Jonny, Owen Otasowie, Yerson Mosquera and Hugo Bueno all set to miss the clash. As for Tottenham Hotspur, Ryan Sessegnon is still on the sidelines while Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele are doubtful. Wolves away has never been an easy fixture for Spurs but with Santo on their side they should clinch 3 points.
Sport TV Portugal confirms deal with Extreme E for debut season
In motorsports, Extreme E, the world's first electric SUV race series, has signed a new broadcast deal with Sport TV in Portugal. Sport TV, based in Lisbon, is broadcasting the entire Extreme E X Prix, as well as race highlights, on its linear channels in both English and Portuguese. The championship's spectacular race action is also available to watch live on Sport TV's digital platform.
Sport TV, with five premium channels and one sports news channel, is Portugal's main sports-oriented cable and satellite television network. The station's broadcast reach also extends to African countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, So Tomé and Principe, and Equatorial Guinea, where Portuguese is the official language.
As part of its agreement with the European Commission, Portugal, like many other countries, is under pressure to dramatically reduce harmful carbon emissions. One way it has done this is by expanding access to electric-powered public transportation, a move that has already helped to reduce CO2 levels substantially, primarily in urban areas.
Extreme E aspires to showcase electrification and performance while raising awareness, promoting action, and emphasizing the consequences of climate change through its top-tier broadcast package. By focusing on the environment through racing, consumers are encouraged to choose electric transportation as a way to decrease their personal carbon footprint and contribute to the shortening of the climate emergency.
“Extreme E is happy to be joining Sport TV's existing and wide-ranging sporting line-up in Portugal, as well as the Portuguese-speaking regions of Africa,” said Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E.
“Extreme E’s mission to race without trace whilst simultaneously raising awareness of climate issues, means it is vital that our series reaches as many audiences on as many platforms as possible throughout the world. Working with Sport TV not only provides viewers in Portugal and its African regions with a thrilling and innovative motorsport championship, but also helps convey the benefits of electrification through our brilliant and entertaining broadcast package.”
Extreme E is a competition that not only features short, swift, exciting wheel-to-wheel racing, but also has a larger purpose that revolves around the environment, which is regrettably under jeopardy. This year, the series travels to five different locations, all of which are afflicted by environmental challenges such as desertification, ice melting, plastic pollution, and rising carbon emissions.
Extreme E is a sustainable motorsport that uses a number of strategies to lower its carbon footprint, from racing electric SUVs to zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell car charging, but it goes even farther and wants to be net-carbon zero by the end of its inaugural season.
On the 28th and 29th of August, the Arctic X Prix will be held in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.
Attacking midfielder Rafael Crivellaro extends stay at Chennaiyin FC
Chennai, Jul 16 (Football player) Attacking midfielder Rafael Crivellaro on Friday extended his stay at two-time ISL winners Chennaiyin FC on a multi-year contract.
The 32-year old Brazilian, who captained CFC in 2020-21, was ruled out for almost half the season after suffering an ankle injury during a game against ATK Mohun Bagan.
"I'm very happy to continue with Chennaiyin FC. Ever since I joined the club, I've had a special bond with the fans, the city and the staff. I love Chennai. For me, it always felt like home," he was quoted as saying in a release.
"Last season, injury kept me away, and now I can't wait to get back with the team and give it everything on the field," the Brazilian said on his return to the club for a third straight season.
Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani said Crivallero has been a key player for the team ever since he joined.
"Rafa has been a key player for us ever since he joined, and the statistics will tell you that. We missed him last season due to injury. We are overjoyed to be able to continue with the best player in the ISL within our setup," she added.
Also read: Harmanjot Khabra signs for Kerala Blasters FC
In his 27 ISL appearances for CFC, Crivellaro has been one of the most consistent performers in the league. With seven goals and eight assists in the 2019-20 season, he was instrumental in the club's runners-up finish.
CFC's recently-appointed coach Bozidar Bandovic hoped the Brazilian would come back stronger and better.
"Rafael Crivellaro is a very good player. He has shown his quality with his performances for the team in the past. We have extended his contract as we believe he will do the same this year as well.
"I'm sure he'll work hard to make a comeback after his injury. I hope he will come back stronger and better and help the team as he did before," he added.
Apart from having played in one of the world's most prestigious club competitions, the Europa League, Crivellaro was also part of Portuguese top-tier side Vitoria Guimaraes, which won Taca de Portugal (Portuguese Cup) in 2012-13.
News source: PTI
Extreme E expands audience reach with National Geographic in Latin America
London: In the latest motorsports news, Extreme E, the electric motorsport series has announced today that National Geographic will broadcast its magazine programmes - ‘How to Build a Race Car’, ‘The Electric Dream´and ‘Climate Changers’ - along with all of its debut season X Prixs on a delayed basis in its region of Latin America. The programmes will be televised in both Spanish and Portuguese.
In its debut season, this very entertaining ‘sport for purpose’ series has already got off to a rocking start with two amazing events – the first in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, in April followed by the most recent in Dakar, Senegal.
Millions of fans around the globe sat glued to their screens as motorsporting stars like Sara Price, Kyle LeDuc, Jamie Chadwick, Mattias Ekström, Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson, took on the championship in their monster ODYSSEY 21 race cars on gravel, rocks and stunning sand dunes – not only with the objective of taking home the prestigious Extreme E trophies, but also with the goal to create awareness regarding the adverse effects of climate change on these fragile locations.
Alongwith the racing, the Extreme E team also implements Legacy Programmes within the areas it visits with a view to bring about positive change.
Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E said: “Extreme E is delighted to have secured National Geographic as a broadcaster. The channel is famed for its brilliant and fascinating documentaries on science, adventure, nature and environmental topics, all of which are subjects close to the heart of our championship.
“As well as our great racing, Extreme E is in essence, a ground-breaking adventure for all of us. I believe that the stories behind the series, the people involved, our legacy projects and even the history of our floating centrepiece, the St. Helena, will delight and inspire National Geographic’s audiences. Coupled with our on-going scientific research into the effects of climate change and what can be done to lessen the terrible damage that its causing, makes for a broadcast that is as captivating as it is eye-opening and we want to share this with as many people as possible.”
Following the first two X Prixs in Saudi Arabia (3-4 April) and Senegal (29-30 May), Extreme E now moves on to Greenland (28-29 August) with the last two race venues to be confirmed. By holding races in locations that are suffering due to the environmental crisis, such as deserts and the Arctic, the objective is to increase viewers' interest and awareness in environmental issues.
Top 5 football transfer speculation that you should keep an eye on
It’s that time of the year again when social media is buzzing with transfer news, rumors and leaked deals. If you’re like me and try to keep yourself updated with the latest transfer news, you would know it's a hard task. Every ITK (In the know) social account claims to have inside sources revealing the most high profile transfers, all eyes are on Fabrizio Romano’s twitter handle for that much awaited ‘Here we go!’ and official confirmation of Man City buying their fourth choice full back for another 50 million pounds is an inevitable reality. Some things never change.
A little birdie has given us a heads up about the upcoming transfer deals that could soon become a reality and we thought it’s best for you to know first! Here are the top 5 transfers that could happen this summer.
Jadon Sancho to Manchester United
They say good things happen to those who wait, and Manchester United fans have been really patient in the last few years. The club’s trophy room may be collecting dust, having not one a single piece of silverware since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken over but they continue to be linked to every world class player out there. Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund is one of them, who was strongly linked with a move to the English giants last year. While Dortmund stood their ground and refused to budge on their asking price, Manchester United were determined not to overpay for one of the hottest talents in world football. This time however, the move seems more likely with Dortmund reducing their asking price and Man Utd looking to make amends with their fans after the disastrous Super League debacle. Certainly a transfer worth keeping an eye on.
Harry Kane to Manchester City
It’s fair to say that Harry Kane deserves better. As one of the most prolific strikers in the game, Kane has nothing to show for it as Tottenham failed to secure any silverware again this year. At 27 years of age, Kane is in the prime years of his footballing career and deserves to set his ambitions high in a team that can regularly compete for trophies. Manchester City is one such destination, the champions of England have offloaded the club’s best ever goalscorer in Sergio Aguero and certainly have the finances to make a deal of this sort a reality. Tottenham’s chairman Daniel Levy has a reputation for being notoriously difficult to deal with, but if Harry Kane forces a transfer and Manchester City makes an offer that cannot be refused, the deal is very much possible.
Cristiano Ronaldo to PSG/Manchester United
Ronaldo may be 37 years old, but as the popular saying goes “Form is temporary, class is permanent” and it has never been more applicable in this case. As one of the greatest players to have ever played the sport, Ronaldo’s transfer will always generate headlines with the Portuguese being rumored for a romantic return back to Manchester United. Most fans at Old Trafford would welcome the return of their hero with open arms as the player led the club to one of it’s most successful periods in history. It does seem like a long short as the deal would make little financial sense for a player who is already in the twilight of his career. The other possibility is Paris St-Germain which already boasts an attack featuring Neymar and Mbappe, two of the best players in the world. The inclusion of Ronaldo in this star studded lineup will definitely send shivers down the spine of Europe’s elite.
Erling Haaland with any rich club that can afford him
When you’re managed by Mino Raiola, the possibility of a transfer is never far away. The 20 year old is already one of the best strikers in the world, having scored 57 goals in 59 appearances for Borussia Dortmund. There is no football club in the world who does not want the prolific Norweigan but the German club is in no pressure to sell, having tied their prized asset with a contract until 2024. However, Dortmund have the infamous reputation of selling their biggest stars in their prime and the COVID-19 pandemic might force the club to sell Haaland if a sizable offer is made, especially considering a 75 million euro release clause in Haaland’s contract will be activated 12 months later.
Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea
Newly crowned champions of Europe Chelsea have already set their sights on next season and have identified Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku as the ideal replacement for Timo Werner, who has failed to make an impact in his maiden season in England. It’s a well known fact that Inter Milan are struggling financially and the Italian giants could be forced to let Lukaku leave if an irresistible offer is made. Having spent 220 million pounds in last year's transfer window, the London based club could have an even bigger transfer kitty with their recent accomplishments in Europe and could possibly sign a player they let go of back in 2014.
Great infrastructure, qualified coaches and exposure is key for development at the grassroot level
Sports have always played an important role in uniting the community. In a digital era of smartphones and social media, sports at the grassroot level not only provides some much needed physical activity for children but also paves the way for a thriving sports ecosystem for the future.
In an exclusive interview with SPOGO, Arnold Wilson the Business Head of India On Track spoke about what it takes to make India a sporting nation, the challenges faced at the grassroot level, adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing more Indians compete at the highest level and his future goals.
You have been associated with India on Track for almost 7 years, in your experience what does India as a country need to become a sporting nation?
There are many things that are needed for our nation to be inclined towards sports. For starters, changing the thought process of parents and making them look at sports as an equally important factor as education by emphasizing the effects of sport on a child’s mental well being and overall health. Sports prepare children for the world because it involves discipline, commitment, winning and more importantly it teaches them how to overcome losing. Hence sports should not be considered as an add on or only a hobby class. To make India a sporting nation, multiple factors need to come together simultaneously. One of them is accessible sports infrastructure, second is to have coaches who can train at the grassroot level, academy level and elite level and the third is exposure. Exposure to playing and competing at a very young age by participating in tournaments within your communities to competing at the highest level is extremely important in order to represent India at the global level. In Argentina, kids start participating in football baby leagues before the age of 5 years, so you can imagine how many competitive games they’ve played by the time they represent their country in the Under 17 age category. The most critical part is to create enough and more grassroot opportunities for children. Opportunities for the kids to play, practice and train continuously is fundamental to becoming a sporting nation. It’s a lot of things and it’s difficult to put in one answer.
What are the different types of grassroot training programmes that you have been a part of?
We started with Arsenal Soccer Schools after which we worked with the NBA to create & launch NBA Basketball School in India. The NBA Basketball School philosophy is to share the game of basketball with young athletes across the world by teaching skills, values, and wellness in a positive and fun environment. The holistic approach is intended to strengthen the culture of youth basketball, teach life lessons, and empower young athletes to succeed both on and off the court. We have also worked with Prakash Padukone Badminton Schools and since the last 3 years we’ve been running LaLiga Football Schools across the country. We also have an International Football Development Programme where we partner with a Portuguese top division football club called G.D Estoril Praia and we have been sending talented children to Lisbon to train at the club and become part of the youth academy system. It gives them good exposure to football at the highest level and we also take care of their stay and food along with education from a school in Estoril. We also run an extensive grassroots development programme for Major League Baseball in India. Lastly, we successfully ran the inaugural ISL Children’s League in Kolkata which had 100 schools and clubs participate with an approximate attendance of 4000 students playing in the 4 month league across 4 age groups.
What are the world class training and condition techniques that India on Track implements in their grassroot initiatives?
When we partner with the NBA or LaLiga, the technical delivery is completely led by our global partners since they are market leaders in terms of their understanding of the sport and how these development programs are supposed to run. Both NBA and LaLiga have a large global network running various training programmes in many different geographies. In order to ensure the programme is delivered as per International standards, LaLiga & NBA recommend experienced licensed coaches who are part of the partner’s global network ensuring the technical product is never compromised. All of LaLiga’s coaches are UEFA license holders, these coaching licences are mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. We also have national and regional ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes where coaches learn the training methodologies of LaLiga Football Schools & NBA Basketball School to ensure the quality of the training program is consistent across the country. It’s an extremely strong and robust system in place. As an organization we give utmost priority to the safety, security and comfort of the children and we have a strict code of conduct not just for the coaches but also the children and parents. Our curriculums are designed as age appropriate training, with clearly defined student to coach ratio. Lastly, all team members, coaches and managers go through a safeguarding training workshop before they start working directly with children.
In a cricket crazy country like India, how challenging has it been to promote sports such as football, basketball and badminton at the grassroot level?
Promoting sports in India is challenging for various reasons, but primarily parents want to ensure their children completely focus on education to ensure their future is secured. Sports is often considered as a distraction (especially around the time of examinations) with the exception of cricket because of the strong career path the sport has to offer in India. However, a trend that we have noticed in the past 5 years is that parents are now far more open to sports other than cricket. Some parents have started to look at sports as an important aspect for holistic development, some look at it as a hobby, a way children can enjoy themselves without expecting it to be a career option. These are positive indications of a changing mindset of parents, which is critical for the future of grassroots development in India.
There are several onground issues such as lack of proper training facilities, availability of these facilities, pricing structure, timing & days of the training sessions etc. Every challenge is unique in its own way depending on the partner school, catchment area, city etc hence we have to ensure the solution is customized to that specific challenge because all grassroots programmes are distinctively different from the other. By converting more schools to adopt our grassroots programs, the parents automatically come along. Even though we live in a cricket crazy country, there is enough room for everyone.
How are you/ India on Track adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue the work at the grassroot level?
In mid March last year, 10 days before the government introduced the lockdown, we had already taken a call to shut our centers because safety of the children is of the utmost importance. Before the lockdown, we had 70 centers across 13 states in approximately 17 cities and we were training over 4000 children at the time. Since all programmes were shut, we started online training sessions in a similar format to the on ground sessions. Each batch would have 20 to 25 children with two coaches for a duration of 60 minutes. We came up with session plans by working very closely with our partners such as LaLiga and NBA that were specifically designed for children to train by themselves in a small space available with or without having a ball. The objective is to keep children engaged while also prioritizing their safety. We also created different marketing campaigns and approached more than a thousand schools about the online programs and offered free workshops for the students. Our pricing was very affordable at an average cost of Rs 100 per session; we offered multiple packages that included 4 or 12 group sessions along with 1 on 1 training packages.
Post June - July, the participation numbers started to dip due to the commencement of online schooling so we had to re-innovate and created the India On Track Online Sports Festival. The first edition was held in August and was a week-long calendar of activities with participation from NBA Basketball School, LaLiga Football Schools, Major League Baseball First Pitch and Prakash Padukone Badminton Schools. Special sessions held with the likes of Princepal Singh (NBA Academy graduate) who conducted a masterclass training session followed by an informative session. Similarly we had LaLiga Canada's Technical Director, Diego Gutierrez lead a session on the importance of mental health and nutrition. We had industry experts from different parts of America, Spain, China, UAE, Canana who conducted special informative and engaging sessions for our students. In May this year we will host the 3rd edition of the online sports festival. We also got the parents engaged by hosting special sessions for Father’s day, Mother’s day, Women’s day and even birthday celebrations to keep the spirits up.
Which are the top sporting entities that India on Track have been associated with to redefine sports and philosophy?
We have been associated with the LaLiga, NBA, Major League Baseball, we also partner with Roland Garros, not specifically for work at the grassroot level but we run various digital initiatives for them. We also run the International Football Development Program with G.D. Estoril Praia. Over the last 4 years we’ve worked closely with Star Sports to create and execute various on ground experiences for their global partnerships and Indian properties. Since the inception of the Indian Super League we worked very closely with the Pune franchise running major portfolios for the first 3 years. I ran the grassroots initiatives of FC Pune City which is where I got the opportunity to be part of Premier League’s Premier Skills coaching courses. These are only a few of India On Track’s associations with global sporting entities that I’ve been directly involved with.
What would it take to raise the standard of football and basketball and see more Indian athletes compete at the highest level?
It would be great if we have a structured national basketball league for men and women that has a structured grassroots system integrated as a participation criteria. With regards to football at the highest level, it’s important to figure out the merger between the I-League and Indian Super League but at the grass root level, it’s critical that the teams with a presence at all the levels of the I-League or ISL are ensuring they have a strong grassroots system in place. It’s a pyramid structure where the base being a vast grassroots programme on top of which you can build a youth academy format which feeds into the elite training that eventually contributes to creating the reserve team. This should be the ideal structure that should be followed but implementing this is dependent on the funding and the money behind the league and the teams. It’s easier said than done because ISL teams are struggling financially and the objective is to save money to buy players who can make an immediate impact because survival is the priority. Multiple ISL teams have either changed ownerships and have even changed cities due to financial issues, hence survival will always be a bigger priority than investment in the grassroot. Creating a pyramid structure with a strong grassroots system is critical because without that, clubs will be forced to rely on hotbeds of talent and won’t be able to connect with their own community and develop local footballers.
What is your goal in terms of development at the grassroot level? What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I want to be a part of creating the complete pyramid structure which has a strong grassroots system, youth academy centres and elite training programmes. But purely looking at grassroots development I want to partner with thousands of schools across the country and explain to parents that sports keeps children mentally healthy and prepares them with key life lessons at a very young age. Today, your passion for sports can be turned into a viable career option. There are plenty of opportunities to pursue your dreams and make a living out of it. The messaging has to be very clear to parents, schools and of course children.
Through our existing programmes we’ve managed to now create development centres that basically host the top talented students coming out of the grassroots programmes. Students from these development centres have now started to compete and gain exposure at a local level such as playing in Mumbai District Football Association. Students across our LaLiga Football Schools training programmes get scholarship opportunities to train with a LaLiga club, enabling them to get exposure at an International level. Similarly we hope to create a similar format for students training in the NBA Basketball School programme where they get exposure training in the NBA Academy.
In order to tap into a larger talent pool we want to work closely with schools and governments. We are currently running a 2000 students government project in Tripura out of which 400 talented students will be training at Development Centers. We are excited about the talent we will discover as most of them are tribal kids and are very eager to learn. We hope that more such students progress from one level to another and it’s a model that others can adopt. I also want to be connected with clubs, federations and top academies like Reliance Foundation which is the gold standard of a training academy in India. We are building a network so that talent can move into the space they should be and expand the network Internationally in the longer run.