Cristiano Ronaldo offered a huge “£173million-a-year” deal by Saudi’s Al Nassr

Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be making headlines every day. After having a controversial goal denied against Uruguay in their World Cup clash, the former Manchester United attacker is in the news again. As per reports, Ronaldo has accepted Saudi Arabia club Al Nassr’s two-and-a-half year deal for £173million-a-year.

Spanish publication Marca report he has accepted a two-and-a-half-year deal with Saudi side Al Nassr. This deal which excludes bonuses and incentives, would see Ronaldo eclipse PSG’s star man Kylian Mbappe and become the costliest signing of all time.

With him being in his late 30s, Ronaldo is seeing very little interest from European clubs. Earlier, Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn had denied the reports suggesting that the club is interested in signing Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is yet to respond to Al-Nassr’s proposal, but his desire to continue competing at the highest level was clear in his interview with British journalist Piers Morgan.  Besides Al Nassr, Newcastle United and Chelsea had shown some interest in signing the superstar. Now only time will tell which club signs the superstar.

Stephanie Frappart to become first women referee at a men’s World Cup game

On Thursday, when Germany and Costa Rica take to the field for their World Cup clash, the attention will be on Stephanie Frappart, the official referee for the match. Frappart will be the first women referee to officiate in a men’s World Cup game.

France’s Stephanie Frappart is one of three women referees among the 36 selected for the tournament in Qatar, alongside Rwandan official Salima Mukansanga and Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita. Additionally, three female referees have travelled to Qatar as assistant referees.

Frappart is no stranger to big games. She was the first woman to referee in France’s Ligue 1 in 2019, the same year she took charge of the women’s World Cup final in her home country.

Frappart also officiated the 2019 UEFA Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea before refereeing the Champions League in 2020 and the French Cup final last season.

Cameroon’s Onana suspended from the national team following ‘disciplinary reasons’

Cameroon’s first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana has been suspended from the national team due to disciplinary reasons, the country’s federation (FECAFOOT) said after he was left out of the squad for their clash against Serbia at the FIFA World Cup.

The official statement from FECAFOOT said, “The Cameroon Football Federation hereby informs the public that following Mr. Rigobert Song Bahanag’s decision, head coach of the Indomitable Lions, the player Andre Onana has been temporarily suspended from the group for disciplinary reasons.”

The statement further stated, “The Cameroon Football Federation reiterates its full support to the head coach and his entire staff as they implement the federation’s policy aimed at preserving discipline, solidarity, complementarity, and cohesion within the national team. FECAFOOT further reaffirms its commitment to create a peaceful atmosphere for the team and to provide them with adequate facilities for an outstanding performance.”

Devis Epassy played in the absence of Onana in their Group G clash against Serbia, which ended in a draw with 3 goals scored from both sides. 

Belgium loses to Morocco

Morocco shocks Belgium thanks to Sabiri & Aboukhlal’s goals

Belgium who was considered one of the favourites for the 2022 FIFA World Cup has suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Morocco. The second-ranked football team was outclassed by Hakim Ziyech’s team 2-0 thanks to the two second-half goals scored by Abdelhamid Sabiri and Zakaria Aboukhlal.

The match started with both teams attacking consistently to get the lead. Morocco, however, got the better of the Belgian defence. In the 47th minute of the first half, Hakim Ziyech, the star winger of Morocco, scored a fantabulous goal before the stroke of the whistle. But the goal was ruled out as VAR called it offside.

This didn’t deter the confidence of the Moroccan team as they continued to keep possession of the ball and take shots at the target. In the 74th minute, the Moroccans breached past the Belgium defence. Abdelhamid Sabiri scored a carbon-copy free-kick to Ziyech’s earlier ruled-out goal. The Belgians were left shocked due to this absolute error by their defence.

To make the matters worse, the Moroccan team scored another wonderful goal thanks to Zakaria Aboukhlal’s graceful strike inside the box. Aboukhlal’s strike sealed the game for Morocco and gave his team their first World Cup win in over 24 years.

The loss makes matters worse for Belgium to qualify for the knockout stage. They have 3 points from 2 matches with one win and one loss and are in the third position in Group F. The Belgians have one match remaining against 2018 FIFA World Cup runner-up Croatia.

Tite inform Neymar to continue playing in WC

“Neymar will continue to play”, informs Brazil coach Tite

Brazil manager Tite has provided an update on the entire Neymar situation. He informed that the Brazilian will continue playing despite the ankle injury suffered by the player during his team’s opening clash against Serbia.

Although the team won the match quite comfortably, thanks to Richarlison’s brace, there was a lot of talk about Neymar, who himself, asked to be subbed in the 79th minute of the game.

The Paris St. Germain forward was seen limping off while coming out and looked close to tears as he received treatment on the bench, before being pictured with a swollen ankle as he made his way to the dressing room.

Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirmed the 30-year-old will undergo further assessment in the next 24 to 48 hours. Tite, Brazil’s head coach revealed Neymar continued playing a further 11 minutes after sustaining the injury and is adamant he will return.

“[Neymar] felt this pain throughout the game, but he decided to stay on the pitch to help his team,” the head coach said. He further said, “So it’s remarkable that he could bear this pain while his team was playing. He stayed 11 minutes on the pitch after his injury, until the moment he could no longer continue, and he was substituted.

“We are confident that Neymar will continue playing; he will continue playing in the World Cup”, Tite revealed.

Japan stuns Germany

Japan stuns 2014 World champions Germany in FIFA World Cup

Two big upsets in two days. After Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, it was time for Japan to outclass the 2014 FIFA World Cup champions Germany. The South Asian team defeated the 11th-ranked football team to register a 2-1 victory in their Group E match.

The game started with the German players posing with their mouths covered to revolt against FIFA’s ban on the “One Love” armband. This was the team’s idea to show their dissent against the decision.

The Germans showed their dominance on the pitch by relentlessly attacking the opposing team’s goal. They came close multiple times. However, it was their captain Ilkay Gündogan who converted a penalty in the 33rd minute to give his team a lead.

Germany went into the break with a comfortable 1-0 lead over the Asian team. However, little did they knew Japan would turn the tables in such an astounding fashion. After multiple attempts to breach the German defence, Japan finally succeeded. Japan’s Ritsu Doan equalised in the 75th minute with a wonderful goal.

The game was nicely poised with the Germans looking to score the winner with their attacking gameplay. But it was Takuma Asano who smashed the winning goal from a tight angle in the 83rd minute to win the game for Japan.

Germany now faces an uphill task to qualify for the knockouts in a tough group consisting of Spain and Costa Rica besides Japan. 

Ronaldo to exit Man United

Manchester United, Ronaldo mutually confirm an exit

After weeks of ensuing drama and speculations, English Premier League club Manchester United and Cristiano have mutually decided to terminate the contract of their star striker. The decision has been taken following Ronaldo’s explosive interview with British journalist Piers Morgan in which he criticised the club and manager Erik ten Hag.

The club in an official statement said, “Cristiano Ronaldo is to leave Manchester United by mutual agreement, with immediate effect.”

The club further added, “ Manchester United thanks Cristiano Ronaldo for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future.”

Ronaldo’s contract at Old Trafford was due to run until June, but United sought to cancel it early after the striker told Morgan the club had made “zero progress” since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and that he “doesn’t respect” the current club coach Ten Hag.

Ronaldo also released a statement saying, “ Following conversations with Manchester United we have mutually agreed to end our contract early. “ The all-time great further said, “ I love Manchester United and I love the fans, that will never ever change. However, it feels like the right time to seek a new challenge. I wish the team every success for the remainder of the season and for the future.”

Additionally, the club is also in the news because of its owners. The Glazers family have been in charge of the club ever since it took over the club in 2005. But now with the rising protests against the owners, there are reports that the Glazers are looking to sell the club. 

In a statement, the club said, “Manchester United, one of the most successful and historic sports clubs in the world, announces today that the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) is commencing a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club.”

The club further said, “The Board will consider all strategic alternatives, including new investment into the club, a sale, or other transactions involving the Company.”

Ronaldo becomes the first celebrity to 500M followers

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks another record; becomes first to 500M Instagram followers

Cristiano Ronaldo’s stakes seem to be at an all-time high. After breaking the Internet yesterday with the Louis Vuitton campaign with fellow football G.O.A.T. Lionel Messi, the charismatic striker has become the first person to breach the 500 million followers barrier on Instagram.

The Manchester United striker crossed the milestone in the early hours of Monday. He became the first person in the world to have 500 followers on Instagram. The striker reached the milestone on Sunday evening. Lionel Messi is the second celebrity on the list with 376 million followers. While reality TV star Kylie Jenner (372M followers) and singer Selena Gomez (357M followers) come a close third and fourth respectively. The fifth spot is occupied by WWE star turned actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with 348 million followers.

The record seems to be like a bright light in a dark tunnel (a bit!). The Portugal striker is having a torrid time off the field. The star gave an explosive interview to Piers Morgan criticising the coach Erik Ten Hag and the management of Manchester United. 

As soon as the interview was out, everyone on the Internet started criticising his attitude and temperament. As per reports, Manchester United was looking at legal options to terminate Ronaldo’s contract, under which, he earns half a million pounds every week.

Qatar makes history; first host nation to lose opening game

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is no short of news. After making the controversial decision to have no alcohol in the eight World Cup stadiums, the country has attached its name to an unwanted record.

Qatar, the host nation, become the first country to lose its opening game at the World Cup. Enner Valencia’s two goals in the first 30 minutes of the game became the ultimate difference as Ecuador beat the hosts Qatar 2-0 in the tournament opener at the iconic Al Bayt Stadium.

 

“I would say we felt bad [for our supporters],” Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said. “I hope in the next game they will be prouder.”

Besides, Qatar was also in the line to have another foot-in-the-mouth moment. Ecuador striker Michael Estrada scored within the first 3 minutes of normal time. But the goal was cancelled as VAR called the goal “offside”.

The night started with more than 67,000 mostly Qatari fans filling the beautiful Al Bayt Stadium, enjoying an opening ceremony that showcased the tiny Arab emirate to a global audience 12 years after winning the right to host football’s biggest event. The night witnessed many high-profile celebrities in attendance including Morgan Freeman, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and K-pop boyband BTS’ singer Jungkook performing his song “Dreamer”.

5 record-breaking football transfers of all-time

The summer of 2022 saw football clubs breaking the bank and going for their favourite players. If Manchester City got the likes of Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez, then Barcelona pulled every possible lever to get Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde and a bunch of other guys.

Well, this is not a new thing. During the 2009-10 season, current UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid had the most epic football transfer season of all time. Los Blancos went all guns blazing in the transfer market that summer. They pillaged eight players away to Santiago Bernabeu, including some really high-profile ones, with net expenditure amounting to a staggering €261 million!

The players they bought included Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Raul Albiol, Xabi Alonso, and Karim Benzema, among others. Although the club bought this bunch of players, they couldn’t click as a team. The team managed to reach the Round of 16 stage in the Champions League but got eliminated by Lyon. Also, their fiercest rivals, Barcelona, managed to pip them in La Liga. 

Thus proving that sometimes money is not enough to win. That is the sad truth in today’s world.

Like the record-breaking transfer of Real Madrid in 2009, there have been times when football clubs have broken the bank to buy their favourite players.

In this article, we will be having a look at the 5 record-breaking transfers of all time that broke the Internet.

 

→ Neymar Jr. (Barcelona to PSG)

This was on the expected lines. The Brazilian sensation Neymar Jr. set the streets in Barcelona on fire with his dribbling and goal-scoring abilities. The trio of Messi-Suarez-Neymar were the reason for sleepless nights for a lot of European teams.

So, when the French club Paris St. Germain decided to rebuild their team, they went all the way to get the Brazilian player. During the 2017 summer, the Brazilian left Camp Nou for PSG in a move worth €222m (£200m), ending an impressive four-year stay with Barcelona. 

This is the biggest transfer ever to happen in the footballing world.

 

→ Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco to PSG)

The wonder kid from France who set the 2018 World Cup stage on fire with his skills managed to follow in the footsteps of Neymar Jr. by joining PSG. PSG paid Monaco €180m when they bought Kylian Mbappe from their Ligue 1 rivals in 2018 after an initial loan spell.

Taking the concept of making a loan switch permanent to new extremes, PSG made Mbappe the most expensive European player of all time in the summer of 2018.

→ Phillippe Coutinho ( Liverpool to Barcelona)

Spanish giants Barcelona have made some disastrous buys in the recent past that have impacted the club in a very negative way. In the January transfer window of 2018, Barcelona purchased Phillippe Coutinho from Liverpool for a reported fee worth €160m.

However, as time progressed, the midfielder didn’t quite justify his price. Hence, he was sent on a loan to the English club Aston Villa. However, as the English club was impressed by their newest loanee, they decided to buy Coutinho for a fee of €20 million. Barcelona decided to add a sell-on clause of 50% for any future transfer of Phillippe Coutinho.

→ Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund to Barcelona)

You get it why Barcelona are in shambles right now? The club bought a few players at an astonishing price who didn’t quite justify their price tag. Ousmane Dembele was one among them.

The French footballer was a part of the German football team Borussia Dortmund. He was creating quite the noise with his pitch-perfect football skills. Dembele, 25, joined Barcelona in 2017 from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €140 million ($165 million). It is one of the biggest transfer fees in football history.

However, it is not a successful one. During his stint with Barcelona, the winger was marred with injuries and spent half of his time on the bench. 

→ Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid)

Real Madrid is known for going all the way for the players they want. The recent controversy surrounding Kylian Mbappe is a prime example of that. 

During the 2019 summer, Chelsea star Eden Hazard made a shocking move to Real Madrid in a transfer worth €100 million (£88m/$112m). It was reported the deal was worth €140m (£124m/$146m) with all the incentives.

As was the case with Barcelona superstar Ousmane Dembele, Eden Hazard, too, spent a lot of time in the hospital dealing with injuries. 

Other notable mentions:

 

Player Name Former Club Club that bought him Year of the transfer Transfer Fee
Joao Felix Benfica Atletico Madrid 2019 €126m
Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid Barcelona 2019 €120m
Jack Grealish Aston Villa Manchester City 2021 €117m
Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan Chelsea 2021 €115m
Paul Pogba Juventus Manchester United 2016 €105m
Gareth Bale Tottenham Spurs Real Madrid 2013 €100.8m
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Juventus  2018 €100m
Antony Ajax FC Manchester United 2022 €95m (+€5m)
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United Real Madrid 2009 €94m

                                                                                                                                            (stats provided by Goal.com) 

Woah, a lot of money was splurged on buying the footballers. The number is going to shoot up as the years go by. 

Who do you think will be the next “superstar” who will become the most expensive signing eclipsing Neymar’s price tag? Drop the names in the comment section.

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