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Cristiano Ronaldo in limbo: Manchester United legend unwanted by elite clubs



Cristiano Ronaldo

Unwanted Ronaldo in limbo

According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Manchester United is convinced that Cristiano Ronaldo will remain at the club in January mostly due to a lack of interest in him.

If Ronaldo is unable to obtain a consistent spot in Erik ten Hag’s team, United is ready for him to launch another effort to leave Old Trafford. United is aware that he might want to leave in January in an effort to play regularly for the first team.

Despite Ronaldo having played three times this season for United in the Europa League, UEFA regulations would allow him to join a team in the Champions League in January and participate in the knockout rounds.

Despite Ronaldo’s well-known intention to leave in the summer, United only had one firm offer, which was rejected by both Ronaldo’s camp and United, from a club in Saudi Arabia. It is still unknown, according to club-related sources, how much of a market there would be for the 37-year-old in January.

  • Out of respect, Ten Hag removed Ronaldo from the team.

Ronaldo was reportedly connected to Champions League teams like Chelsea, Napoli, and Bayern Munich over the summer, but United never received a proposal from any European club.

There is an acceptance, sources told ESPN. Chelsea’s stance may have altered once Graham Potter took over for Thomas Tuchel as manager, but they did ease their front-line issues by signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang toward the end of the transfer window.

Ronaldo has had a difficult start to the season, just scoring once (a penalty against Sheriff in the Europa League), and United manager Ten Hag recently said that the No. 7 is “pissed” with his lack of playing time.

According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Ten Hag is sympathetic to Ronaldo’s predicament but would be reluctant to allow him to depart in January. The likelihood that a replacement for the Portugal forward may be found is decreased because the Dutchman has already been informed that it is highly unlikely there would be money to invest until next summer. Robert Dawson

Cristiano Ronaldo

Messi returning to Barcelona ?

Lionel Messi’s potential return to Barcelona has been discussed internally, but according to many sources who spoke to ESPN, the likelihood of a deal is still slim.

When his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires in June, Messi, 35, will not entertain any negotiations about his future until after the World Cup in Qatar this year. Barca is one of the teams keeping an eye on the situation.

Lionel Messi

Messi signed a two-year initial contract with PSG in 2021, with an option to extend the agreement by another season if both parties so desired. With eight goals in 13 matches to open his second season in France, PSG is eager to re-sign Messi. According to certain reports, staying in Paris is currently the most likely outcome.

In the summer, Barca president Joan Laporta told ESPN that Messi’s “chapter” at the club merits a greater conclusion than the one it received the previous year. Xavi Hernandez is also amenable to his former teammate’s comeback.

While sources tell ESPN that a deal would not necessarily be simple to complete, vice president Eduard Romeu has stated that it would be financially feasible for Messi to join as a free agent. Messi’s unpaid earnings from the pandemic are still owed to Barca.

Inter Miami would be Messi’s most likely destination in Major League Soccer, which is also interested in him. According to sources, Argentina’s recent match in Miami versus Honduras laid the groundwork for a potential relocation in the future. — Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden

Chelsea left it too late for Leao
Rafael Leao had a late-summer bid from Chelsea, according to AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini, but ESPN can now reveal just how late the Blues made their interest known.

Early in the summer, Chelsea made contact with the Serie A team about the Portuguese winger, but they didn’t submit a formal, written offer until the final three days. The verbal offer, which is believed to have been below €100 million and was much lower than Milan’s estimate and the player’s €150 million release clause, was made by Chelsea. Given how late Chelsea’s interest arose and the short amount of time available to find and sign a replacement, the move was a non-starter.

His current deal expires in 2024, and Milan has a strong desire to keep the 23-year-old. As such, negotiations to extend it are set to start soon.

We’ll have to wait and see if Chelsea can make another attempt to sign Leao in January or the following summer. He embodies the younger, more progressive type of player that Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, the club’s co-owners, have recognised as essential to its future. To secure their guy, though, they will need to get their act together much earlier than the deadline–James Olley

How Pep Guardiola targeted Lisandro Martinez in Manchester Derby
According to insiders who spoke with ESPN, Pep Guardiola targeted Lisandro Martinez in order to orchestrate Manchester City’s derby thrashing of Manchester United on Sunday. However, the tactic had nothing to do with the defender’s stature.

At the Etihad, City defeated Erik ten Hag’s group 6-3 after sprinting to a 4-0 halftime lead. By game’s end, the Premier League champions had hat tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.

Martinez, an international for Argentina, was supposed to mark the 6-foot-4 Haaland, although it had been noted prior to the game that his short stature could be a problem. He is only 5 feet 9 inches tall and he neutralized Haaland when playing for Ajax in their 4-0 Champions League victory against Borussia Dortmund last season, despite their evident physical differences.

Prior to the United match, Guardiola had downplayed Martinez’s short stature as a problem, complimenting the 24-year-old instead for his defensive skills and game reading. However, sources informed ESPN that City’s game plan was based on Martinez being so focused on containing Haaland that he would leave openings in the left side of United’s back four for Foden to take advantage of.

According to sources, Guardiola pushed Foden to attack the gap in that part of the field because he believed Martinez and Raphael Varane would double up on Haaland. Guardiola was right, and Foden and Kevin De Bruyne destroyed Ten Hag’s team by taking advantage of holes in the United back four that were left by Martinez’s switch to Haaland.

City led 6-1 after 73 minutes and 4-0 at the interval. United cut the deficit to one goal late on thanks to two strikes from Anthony Martial.

According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Guardiola constantly reminded his team to “remember Leicester” after watching City nearly blow a 4-0 halftime lead against the Foxes last season. City went on to win 6-3 after Brendan Rodgers’ players had brought the score back to 4-3 early in the second half. “Mark Ogden”

Milan Skriniar

PSG plan second attempt to sign Skriniar

According to sources who spoke to ESPN, Paris Saint-Germain will make another attempt to sign the Slovakian defender in January after failing to reach an agreement with Inter Milan about the transfer of Milan Skriniar.

Inter rejected PSG’s offers of about €60 million because they wanted €80 million. The Ligue 1 champions are currently putting up a fresh €30 million bid for the winter transfer window.

The 27-year-old Skriniar’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign, and he has no interest in staying with Inter. The Nerazzurri, who last week disclosed losses of €140 million, can’t afford to let Skriniar depart for free, therefore they might be willing to accept PSG’s new offer.

Inter kept their player in the hopes that they could persuade him to sign a new contract, but they have so far been unable in doing so. — Laurens Julien


Luis Rubiales FIFA Ban: Three-Year Prohibition by FIFA



Luis Rubiales delivering a speech at a press conference

The global governing body of football, FIFA, delivered a strong message on Monday as it issued the Luis Rubiales FIFA ban, prohibiting former Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales from all activities related to the sport for a period of three years. This consequential decision comes in the wake of a controversy that emerged during the Women’s World Cup earlier this year. Reports revealed that Rubiales was found guilty of gross misconduct, specifically for an incident that overshadowed Spain’s victory at the World Cup trophy ceremony in Sydney.

The Controversial Incident

A disciplinary committee was promptly assembled to investigate the disturbing incident, yet the specifics of the verdict have not been disclosed to the public. Rubiales faced severe charges related to what FIFA described as a violation of the “basic rules of decent conduct” and “behaving in a way that brings the sport of football and/or FIFA into disrepute.” The episode in question pertains to an incident where Rubiales forcibly kissed a Spanish player on the lips during the trophy ceremony, tainting what should have been a moment of triumph for the nation’s football team.

Misconduct and Resignation

The aftermath of the incident was marked by Rubiales’s initial defiance and refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing, leading to a prolonged period of controversy. However, mounting pressure from various quarters, including the Spanish government and the national team players, eventually forced Rubiales to resign from his esteemed position within the Spanish football hierarchy. The incident not only tarnished Rubiales’s reputation but also cast a shadow over the accomplishments of the national team.

Ban and Appeal

While the FIFA ban on Luis Rubiales has been imposed for a duration of three years, Rubiales still has the option to contest the verdict. FIFA has granted him a window of ten days to request a review of the decision, following which he can file an appeal with the governing body. It remains to be seen how Rubiales will proceed in light of this substantial ban.

Luis Rubiales wearing a black blazer at an event

The Response and Controversy

Despite facing widespread backlash, Rubiales has garnered some support, notably from his mother, Angeles Bejar. In a bold demonstration of solidarity, she initiated a hunger strike to protest what she described as “the inhumane and bloody hunt” against her son. While some may sympathize with Rubiales, the gravity of the incident and the subsequent ban imposed by FIFA underscore the importance of maintaining integrity and respect within the world of professional sports.

In conclusion, FIFA’s decisive action against Luis Rubiales serves as a reminder that no individual, regardless of their position, is above the fundamental values of respect and sportsmanship that form the bedrock of football’s global community. As the sport continues to evolve, the need for upholding ethical standards remains paramount, ensuring that the spirit of fair play and camaraderie endures for generations to come.

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Rubiales Scandal: Soccer’s Integrity Unveiled



Rubiales and Jenni Hermoso

Exploring the Rubiales Scandal and Its Implications
In the world of soccer, where triumphs and controversies intertwine, the recent incident involving the president of the Spanish soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, has ignited a fiery debate. Reports from Spanish media suggest that Rubiales might resign from his position after five years of leading the body. The controversy stems from an episode where he kissed a player during a celebration and his subsequent actions during a significant match. This article delves into the details of the incident, the potential repercussions, and the broader implications for both Rubiales and the soccer community.

The Kiss that Stirred Controversy
The Spanish soccer federation president found himself in hot water due to an unexpected gesture. Following Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup final, Rubiales kissed player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the trophy and medal ceremony. This gesture, intended to be celebratory, quickly became the center of attention and sparked a wave of discussions.
The incident prompted FIFA, the global governing body of soccer, to intervene. FIFA’s disciplinary committee initiated an inquiry to determine whether Rubiales’ actions violated the organization’s code of conduct and brought the sport and FIFA into disrepute. The core issue here is whether Rubiales’ behavior aligns with the principles of decency expected from a soccer official.

Amidst the uproar, reports surfaced indicating that Rubiales might step down from his role as the president of the Spanish soccer federation. The speculation has fueled further debates about whether resignation is an appropriate response to the controversy. If Rubiales indeed resigns, it would mark the end of his five-year tenure at the helm of the organization.The incident has drawn mixed reactions from both the public and the players. While some view the kiss as a harmless expression of celebration, others see it as an inappropriate breach of professional boundaries. Player Jenni Hermoso expressed discomfort with the kiss, and the national players’ union, once led by Rubiales, called for accountability regarding his actions.
FIFA issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to upholding the integrity of all individuals associated with the sport. The organization condemned any behavior that contradicts this commitment. While FIFA did not specify the exact acts under investigation, their emphasis on maintaining the sport’s reputation is clear.
Beyond the kiss, Rubiales’ conduct during the match drew attention. He was seen making a gesture by grabbing his crotch as a victory celebration. This action further added to the controversy, raising questions about appropriate behavior for a soccer official, especially in the presence of dignitaries.
The FIFA disciplinary panel has the authority to impose various sanctions on individuals found in violation of its code of conduct. These sanctions can range from warnings and fines to suspensions from soccer-related activities. The severity of the punishment will depend on the outcome of the investigation and the panel’s assessment of the situation.
Luis Rubiales holds the position of vice president at UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe. This role carries both prestige and responsibilities. The controversy has yet to garner a response from UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, leaving the soccer community curious about the organization’s stance on the issue.
Rubiales is currently spearheading a bid to host the men’s World Cup in 2030, a joint effort involving Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and possibly Ukraine. However, his involvement in the Rubiales Scandal has raised concerns about the bid’s viability and the image projected to potential supporters.
The incident has wider implications for both the Spanish soccer federation and the broader soccer landscape. It highlights the importance of maintaining professionalism and ethical conduct within the sport’s leadership. The outcome of this controversy could set a precedent for addressing similar situations in the future.
As the Spanish soccer federation holds an emergency meeting to address the situation, the soccer community awaits a decision. The meeting’s outcome will not only impact Rubiales’ future but also shape the federation’s trajectory. The controversies surrounding this incident underscore the need for open discussions about behavior expectations and consequences.
The Rubiales Scandal serves as a reminder that even in the world of sports, actions can have far-reaching consequences. The incident involving the kiss and subsequent gestures has ignited discussions about leadership, professionalism, and the image projected by soccer officials. As FIFA investigates the matter, the soccer community anticipates the outcome and the potential shifts it may bring.

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Vlahovic Double Helps Juventus beat Salernitana 3-0.



Dusan Vlahovic

Juventus beat Salernitana 3-0 in Serie A on Tuesday, with striker Dusan Vlahovic scoring two goals and setting up another to lift the visitors to 10th in the table.

Vlahovic, a Serb who has been injured a lot this season but played in the league for the first time since October, found his old form again in this match.

Hans Nicolussi gave Juventus a penalty kick when he sent Manuel Locatelli off in the 26th minute. Vlahovic converted the penalty.

Vlahovic almost scored a second goal in the 37th minute, but his shot from the edge of the box from an acute angle went just past the post.

At the end of the first half, Filip Kostic made it 2-0 when he tapped the ball in from close range after Vlahovic’s initial shot had bounced into his path.

In the last seconds before the halftime break, Locatelli ran into the penalty area unchallenged and gave Juventus a chance to score a third goal. However, Salernitana goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa reacted quickly to prevent Locatelli from lobbing the ball over him.

80 seconds into the second half, Vlahovic scored his second goal when he ran through the penalty area and shot the ball flat into the right corner.

In the 51st minute, Junior Zambia hit a cross that reached almost everyone in the box, but Salernitana striker Boulaye Dia could not stretch far enough to put the ball in the open net.

“The team responded well and we played a good first half. But after taking a 3-0 lead, we got a little too comfortable and allowed too many shots on goal. We did not move enough and stayed in the same places, and the players know we have to do better,” Allegri said.

“In the first 10 minutes we played the ball too often down the right side. We need to improve the passing game, become more supple and keep things simple.”

Angel Di Maria hit the crossbar after 53 minutes and Moise Kean hit the post just before the end of the game, preventing Juve from adding to their tally.

The win moved Juventus to 26 points after 21 games, while Salernitana dropped to 21 points and 16th place.

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