Did Ronaldo slap a player?
Cristiano Ronaldo slapped an Ireland player during a FIFA World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night. ... It was Ronaldo's night to remember against Ireland. But there was an incident that led to him slapping Irela'd's defender Dara O'Shea before taking the penalty kick. The QuintWatch: Ronaldo Slaps Ireland Player During FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Read full article at Bleacher Report
03 September, 2021 - 07:20am
03 September, 2021 - 07:20am
Just before 5pm on Friday, August 27, Manchester United announced an agreement to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus. This is an extraordinary business story. It is a stark reminder of the commercial power of modern professional sport and — more than anything — of the money which attaches itself to a very elite group of international sports stars.
That Ronaldo will be judged by soccer supporters by virtue of what he does on the field is a statement of the obvious. The measure of his success will be both personal and collective.
Firstly, will he score and create goals? Secondly, will he help Manchester United win the Premier League or the Champions League?
These are the bottom line benchmarks by which the sporting merit of this transfer will be judged.
There are other benchmarks also at play, however. These are benchmarks which relate to the business of sport, the power of celebrity and the centrality of modern media (especially social media) to the operation of modern clubs, associations and leagues.
The announcement on Twitter by Manchester United that a deal had been agreed with Juventus for the return of Ronaldo set loose a stunning digital frenzy. Five days on from the tweet, the announcement has received more than two million likes, almost 900,000 retweets and drawn 70,000 comments on the bottom of that one tweet alone.
The tweet carried a link to the manutd.com website, which crashed under the weight of public interest.
The impact of the announcement on Instagram was similarly enormous. Manchester United added more than two million new followers in 24 hours. The official announcement of the transfer garnered more than 12 million likes, almost immediately.
Likes and retweets both create and drive commercial possibilities — they evidence the potential commercial value of something by demonstrating popular interest which can then be monetised. But they also indicate space for the expansion of business by connecting an individual with a product or an institution.
There was much comment on how the impact of Ronaldo signing for Manchester United was a much greater social media phenomenon than the signing by PSG of the other modern soccer icon, Lionel Messi.
There are very, very few sports stars who can, on their own, by the stroke of signing their name on a contract, dramatically increase the value of a club.
But Ronaldo’s commercial power is exceptional. This is a power which is not just capable of creating wealth but also destroying it.
A great example of this happened during the summer at the UEFA Euro 2020 championships. During a press conference in Budapest prior to Portugal’s Group F game against Hungary, Ronaldo picked up two Coca-Cola bottles that had been left on the table in front of where he was sitting. He then held up a bottle of water and said in Portugese: “Agua!”
The clear message was that Ronaldo was no fan of Coke.
And the immediate impact of the gesture was that there was an immediate $4bn drop in the company’s share price.
Ronaldo’s commercial power is rooted in modern media. He has more than 336 million Instagram followers. To put that in perspective, that is more Instagram followers than all the Premier League clubs combined (Tottenham Hotspur have 11 million followers, Everton have 2.4 million and Watford have 1 million, for example).
This gives him an immense presence in popular culture, a presence that extends far beyond soccer and even sport.
This can be seen in the CR7 brand. There is the clothing range that mixes an underwear collection with a range of styled shirts. There is the CR7 ‘Play it Cool’ cologne. And there is the “eyewear” range. These are sunglasses, or as the official website cristianoronaldo.com puts it: “A contemporary collection able to masterfully match any type of look: classic colors for everyday style alternate with more eye-catching tones or a style that does not go unnoticed.”
There is also, as the website says, “a new footwear line that further enriches the whole collection and interprets the style of the most demanding and eccentric man.”
Ronaldo's social media accounts drive his followers to these websites, but the accounts also bring great value to the sponsors of the teams that he plays for.
Clubs pay Ronaldo to play football for him, but they also pay him to make a lot of money for them in commercial deals.
This is already happening at Manchester United. Amid the nostalgia posts and the dedication of his transfer to his old manager Alex Ferguson (“Sir Alex, this one is for you…”), the cold press of commerce is in full flow. This is most obvious in the photographs of Ronaldo posing in the new Manchester United jersey.
Team Viewer, a form of computer software, is the new sponsor of the Manchester United jersey, which is made by Adidas. Nothing has done more to promote awareness of their brand than the arrival of Ronaldo.
When Manchester United announced Team Viewer as their main jersey sponsor for the next five years during the summer, they said: “Based in Germany, TeamViewer is a leading global software company providing remote connectivity and workplace digitalisation solutions – incorporating cutting-edge technologies in areas such as Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things.”
It was an announcement that raised nearly no news; it is a brand name that many will have been unaware of.
This was obviously going to change by the very fact of presence on the front of the jersey of one of the biggest clubs in the world. Having that jersey on Ronaldo, brings a whole other dimension to it.
This is something Manchester United’s other commercial partners (as sponsors are now called) will also want a part of. These partners include Aeroflot, Kohler, Apollo Tyres, Gulf Oil International, Cadbury, Canon, Chevrolet, DHL, HCL, HTD, Konami, Marriott, VisitMalta, Ecolab, Remington Steel, Tag Heuer, Renewable Energy Group, and on and on and on across the modern economy.
These sponsors will also want a piece of the action; they are not partnering with Manchester United for charitable purposes.
Of course, if Ronaldo declined to sit behind a bottle of coke, how will he feel about promoting Chivas (“Official Spirits Partner of Manchester United”) and Casillero Del Diablo (“Official Wine Partner of Manchester United”)?
And what are his views on gambling, given that Hua Ti Hui are the “Official Global Betting Partner of Manchester United”?
Either ways, there is about to be an almighty scramble. Ronaldo is a brilliant player whose footballing contribution to Manchester United will be defined by what he does on the field.
But there is more than one way to win, and more than one winner.
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03 September, 2021 - 07:20am
03 September, 2021 - 07:20am
02 September, 2021 - 04:16pm
The hosts suffered a heavy 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Serbia on Wednesday and will be looking to bounce back from that performance.
In a one-sided affair, goals from Luka Jovic, Dušan Vlahović, Nikola Milenković and an own goal from Boualem Khoukhi handed the Serbians a commanding win.
This followed a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the USA in the semi-finals of the Gold Cup which ended their 11-game unbeaten run.
Head coach Felix Sanchez will hope his side can bounce back from their consecutive defeats and return to winning ways.
Meanwhile, Portugal continued their hunt for a place in the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Wednesday as they claimed a late 2-1 win over Ireland.
After falling behind through John Egan’s opener, Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in injury time to hand Portugal all three points.
In doing so, the newly-signed Manchester United man became the all-time Leading goalscorer in men's international football.
Portugal currently lead the way in Group A of the World Cup qualifiers, three points above second-placed Serbia.
Saturday’s game will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides and they will both be looking to begin the rivalry on a winning note.
Qatar Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-L-L
Portugal Form Guide (all competitions): W-L-D-L-W
Al Duhail forward Mohammed Muntari has been sidelined from Qatar’s 31-man squad after sustaining a training ground injury.
Injured: Mohammed Muntari
Following an injury-free game against the Republic of Ireland, Portugal head into the game with a fully fit squad. Cristiano Ronaldo has been released early from the Portugal squad as he is suspended for one game after picking up a booking last time out.
He will officially be suspended for the Azerbaijan game but Fernando Santos has released him from his squad for the Qatar encounter. The coach has done so to enable Ronaldo to fly to Manchester earlier than originally planned ahead of his move back to Old Trafford.
Suspended: Cristiano Ronaldo
Qatar Predicted XI (5-3-2): Saad Al Sheeb; Pedro Miguel, Tarek Salman, Boualem Khoukhi, Bassam Al-Rawi, Abdelkarim Hassan; Hassan Al Heidos, Karim Boudiaf, Mohammed Al Bayati; Ahmed Alaa Eldin, Almoez Ali
Portugal Predicted XI (4-3-3): Rui Patrício; João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Raphaël Guerreiro; Bernardo Silva, João Palhinha, Bruno Fernandes; Rafa Silva, André Silva, Diogo Jota
Looking at the gulf in class and experience between the two sides, we are tipping Portugal to come away with the win and continue their fine run of results.
Prediction: Qatar 0-3 Portugal
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01 September, 2021 - 11:01pm
Cristiano Ronaldo has become the highest-scoring man in international football history with 111 goals.
The Portugal captain entered Wednesday's World Cup qualifier on 109 goals, level with former Iranian striker Ali Daei.
But Ronaldo moved ahead of Daei when he headed Portugal level in the 89th minute of their match against the Republic of Ireland.
36-year-old Ronaldo reached the record-breaking tally in his 180th game for Portugal, after making his international debut in 2003.
In contrast, Daei scored 109 goals for Iran in 149 games between 1993 and 2006. The two men are the only male players to score more than 100 times for their countries.
The international record is held by 38-year-old Canadian striker Christine Sinclair, who scored her 187th international goal en route to winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics last month.
Ronaldo, whose only title with Portugal came at UEFA Euro 2016, was the top scorer at this year’s European Championship with five goals.
He also became the first player to score in five different editions of the tournament, overtaking the record set by French striker Michel Platini.
Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League with 134 goals — 14 more than Lionel Messi.
He might have broken the international scoring record earlier on Wednesday but had a 15th-minute penalty saved.
"I’m very happy, not only because I beat the record but for the special moments that we had," Ronaldo said after the game.
"Two goals at the end of the game is so tough, but I have to appreciate what the team did. We believed until the end."