Report: Chelsea Rejected Cristiano Ronaldo Approach Before Manchester United Return

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Sports Illustrated 28 August, 2021 - 08:15am 7 views

Did Cristiano Ronaldo play for Manchester United?

Ronaldo played for United between 2003-2009 and won three Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup and the two League Cups, before leaving for Real Madrid where he would go on to become one of the greatest goalscorers of all-time. Manchester Evening NewsCristiano Ronaldo possible Manchester United debut vs Newcastle — how to watch and get tickets

Has Ronaldo left Juventus?

Cristiano Ronaldo said his goodbyes to his Juventus team-mates and missed training on Friday as boss Max Allegri confirmed his imminent exit from the club. ... Later on Friday, Allegri confirmed Ronaldo told him he has "no intention" to stay at the club and will not be called up for Saturday's game against Empoli. Sky SportsCristiano Ronaldo leaves Juventus training after saying goodbye to team-mates amid Man City transfer talk

How much did Juventus sign Ronaldo for?

Ronaldo, signed by Juve in 2018 for 100 million euros ($117.90 million) from Real Madrid in the hope of leading them to an elusive Champions League title, will leave the club with 101 goals, two league crowns and a Coppa Italia to his name. ReutersMan United agree deal to re-sign Ronaldo from Juventus

The forward has since signed to return to Old Trafford, where he left in 2009.

As per the Guardian, Ronaldo had received no firm encouragement about a potential move to Chelsea despite the approach.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has repeatedly said that he is happy with his current squad, having signed Romelu Lukaku on a club record transfer to solve the Blues' goalscoring struggles.

Tuchel's side had previously been linked with a move for Lionel Messi before his transfer to PSG but there were no rumours regarding Ronaldo as the Blues set their sights elsewhere.

The manager hinted at some potential incomings before the end of the window but Ronaldo was not one of these.

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Manchester United, Ronaldo, Kathryn Mayorga, and Us: Everyone Has a Choice

Football Paradise 29 August, 2021 - 12:00am

Documents that suggest his legal team reportedly paid $375,000 to silence his victim. Leaked legal interviews where the man has confessed, on record, to ignoring consent. A man who cannot enter the United States of America because there is strong enough evidence to imprison him.

Manchester United have signed this man. Apart from Ronaldo appearing for and vindicating himself through a thorough trial, nothing can wash this stain off. Up until yesterday, the United team going into the 2021-22 season represented hope. This team was young and building towards something great. The front four looked fluid, Paul Pogba was flourishing, Bruno had bagged a hat-trick at the season curtain raiser. Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane promised edge and solidity. The sky was soft scarlet.

There are times when you are grateful for the presence of sport in your life. Then there are times, like the 24 hours in which the Benjamin Mendy news breaks and Manchester United sign Cristiano Ronaldo, that you wonder if life would have been better without a favourite team or player.

We fall in love with a team because a part of their identity speaks to something within us. Some of us like the superstar section of the shop; some are regulars to the more humble community floor; and some are smitten by the flair and poetry corner. There is something for everyone. Over time, many of us invest a part of ourselves into this idea, pledging loyalty to the badge. We look out for this team on the internet, follow its moves like a secret agent, and buy merchandise to decorate our lives. 

But, at all points, you expect this team to have your back. You demand effort and progress, maybe an aesthetic to be fond of. But, most importantly, you want the team to be something you can be proud of.

For me and many fellow Manchester United fans of my generation, Ronaldo represented something superhuman. The three seasons he gave this team after the 2006 World Cup were the most consistently brilliant we could have wished for. Before the World Cup, he was a scrawny kid who gave joy and frustration in equal amounts. He returned a changed man that summer, armed with bulging muscles and a steely determination to score goals. Fifteen years later, the goals haven’t stopped. At times, you pause and wonder—what if he never left United? What if he realised all of his potential at our club? Could we have tagged along with him to become a conveyor belt of gold?

I must admit, it was a little odd to see him linked with Manchester City. In superclub football, loyalty is a trope more than a reality, but Ronaldo’s relationship with United has been publicly rosy. He calls Sir Alex Ferguson “The Boss” and hugs him after winning a European Championship. He does YouTube videos with Rio Ferdinand.

The shock value of his eventual signature with United was amplified by the speed of the turnaround. Before we could process the first intel of potential interest, shared by Fabrizio Romano, football’s official messenger of all things transfer market, he was “close” to a deal. The trailing “t” of the collective Holy Sh*T was still in the air when Romano tweeted about the confirmation. It was all too much, too soon.

A part of me should have been over the moon. Whichever way you think, Cristiano Ronaldo playing out the sunset of his career at the club where he took his first steps of superstardom is a pretty neat turn of fate. Hollywood producers would kill for such a script. 

But how do I get that part of me to reconcile with the other, which has read the entire Der Spiegel report on the Kathryn Mayorga case many times over? How do I, knowing the extent of power and influence he has used to suppress a victim of his sexual offence, scream and shout for someone who lit up the early years of my adulthood?

Cristiano Ronaldo and rape accusations go a long way. On the Kathryn Mayorga case alone, the documents Der Spiegel have almost confirm Ronaldo’s transgressions. In a September 2009 version of a questionnaire prepared by Ronaldo’s then lawyers, he confessed that “she said no and stop several times.” The document was altered in December 2009. In January 2010, Ronaldo’s legal team reached an out-of-court settlement with Kathryn Mayorga for $375,000. The investigation was stopped immediately.

So, why are we talking about it now? Because, in 2018, inspired by the thousands of women outing their assaulters under the #MeToo campaign, Mayorga wanted to speak about that night in Las Vegas. This report by Der Spiegel speaks of a 27-page document that could have disastrous consequences for Ronaldo if he ever went to trial.

“There is a recording of Mayorga’s call to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 2:16 p.m. on June 13, 2009. In the so-called “computer-aided dispatch” or CAD report, which Der Spiegel has obtained, her report has a case number which later makes an appearance in the out-of-court settlement between Kathryn Mayorga and Cristiano Ronaldo.”

This case deserves a stronger examination than the three chapters above, for which we prompt everyone to read the DS reports, and the corresponding Football Leaks chapter, in full.

Cristiano Ronaldo returns to a doting Old Trafford crowd on the first weekend after the international break. In these two weeks, the transfer window would have come to a close and our collective attention will shift towards the long title race, which Manchester United will now feel a legitimate part of. How do you watch this team as a fan now? Do you just, in the words of a friend, look past the off-field life of your favourite athlete? Are our ethical foundations that flimsy? Or do we make an exemption for someone we admire?

When the #MeToo campaign caught speed, a lot of us secretly hoped that our most admired celebrities would come out unscathed. For some of us men, it was a knock on the privilege of our gender. A largely patriarchal society and its power dynamics empowered sexual offenders to keep leading their lives without fear of consequence. One of the world’s most influential personalities playing and succeeding at his craft, without having to prove his innocence, is a travesty that suggests we haven’t learned from anything the women told us. 

We continue to gloss over such cases because truth is often inconvenient and uncomfortable. It is tough to accept that someone you like can have an ugly side to them. It is even tougher to admit that this side is the kind of ugly where a fence between right and wrong doesn’t exist. The only variable in this situation is the choice one makes.

Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo are too big to be impacted by that choice, but maybe our conscience isn’t. Even if we invest large portions of ourselves in our favourite sport, we have a life outside it. We have friends and family, people we care about, people we hope never have to endure something as horrific as rape.

There will be times when we will be asked uncomfortable questions, far tougher than deciding how to judge an important figure in our lives. If we use the crutch of art-vs-artist in something as trivial as this, if we don’t demand absolute legal transparency from those we idolise, how do we expect to take the right call when the police siren rings closer to home?

One out of three women are subjected to some form of physical or sexual violence. How, indeed, do we face the women in our lives next time?

Everything boils down to choice. I believe Kathryn Mayorga. You should too.

Computer engineer, pianist and writer; not necessarily in that order. Can kill for a good football story.

© 2020 Football Paradise LLP. All Rights Reserved

Andreazzoli: 'I told Empoli, it can be done' - Football Italia

Football Italia 28 August, 2021 - 04:13pm

by Susy Campanale | Aug 28, 2021 22:13

Aurelio Andreazzoli hopes Empoli’s shock victory away to Juventus will give them belief going forward in Serie A this season. ‘I told the lads, it can be done.’

The Tuscans caused the upset of the season so far, promoted from Serie B over the summer to beat the Old Lady in Turin with a Leonardo Mancuso strike.

“It might be historic, but the more important thing for me is that we got three points in the bag. Obviously, it being in this stadium makes it feel like it’s worth more,” the coach told DAZN.

“I told the lads it can be done. Now they have seen it can be done. We’re all the same, we have two legs, two arms and a heart. It can be done and that is what we bring home tonight, as well as the three points.

“I said this was a night we could tell our grandchildren about. Not even just the result, but a great performance here against these champions. I said let’s not miss this opportunity, it’s a gift to ourselves.”

Samuele Ricci was particularly impressive in midfield and is an Empoli youth product.

“I don’t talk about individuals. Everyone knows Ricci is an interesting lad, the club believes in him, but he also did some things tonight that I did not like. He has huge margins for improvement.

“The team is what made the difference this evening. I read that Juventus made 79 attacking moves and Empoli 70, so it wasn’t exactly much of a gap. Possession was 52-48, but it’s productivity that matters more than possession. I have no interest in sterile possession.

“Mentality needs time to change, you can get it done quicker if you achieve results like this. The lads then feel they can believe, they listen more to the coach and trust what we are doing.

“The lads managed to wangle an extra morning off, as they were meant to be in training tomorrow and talked me into giving them some rest. I was happy enough to have a lie-in too, mind you!

“They deserved it, as they have been working really well and earned this result.”

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How will Manchester United line up with Ronaldo? | Goal.com

Goal.com 28 August, 2021 - 04:30am

In one of the biggest surprises of this transfer window,  Manchester United announced on Friday that they had agreed terms to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.

The Portugal captain will make his much-anticipated return pending a medical and a visa and, coupled with the arrival of Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani agreeing to stay for another year, it means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a wealth of attacking options at his disposal.

Ronaldo is a very different player now than he was back in 2009 when he left the club for Real Madrid as the reigning Ballon d’Or holder. He was primarily a star out wide for Sir Alex Ferguson, winning the 2008 Champions League as well as the Premier League title on three consecutive occasions.

His partnership with Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez in 2007-08 in particular was devastating, where Ronaldo lined up primarily from the right to lead United’s goal threat alongside the creativity of Rooney and the tireless workrate of Tevez.

But these days Ronaldo does most of his best work close to the opposition six-yard box; he has become a ruthlessly efficient centre-forward.

At United, the bulk of the wing work will be conducted by younger players like Marcus Rashford - who idolised Ronaldo as a young player coming through - and Sancho.

Ronaldo will instead be expected to solve Solskjaer’s centre-forward issues. His arrival could put paid to the chances of Anthony Martial starting many matches this season, after a poor start, while sensational young striker Mason Greenwood might end up partnering Ronaldo or else have to bide his time for opportunities on his own through the centre.

In any case, Greenwood can legitimately claim to be learning from the best; not only is Ronaldo a bonafide club legend but one of the greatest forwards ever to play the game.

So what are United's options with Ronaldo back in the fold?

Solskjaer spoke about his forward line lacking a clinical edge after their 1-1 draw against Southampton and nobody knows how to finish quite as well as the Portugal international, who has scored 674 goals in 895 club appearances across spells at Sporting C.P., United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

Cavani’s arrival emphasised how much United had been lacking a true striker, as his movement created chances for his team-mates and caused problems for defences.

Ronaldo brings that ability to lead the line and the strongest XI Solskjaer has at his disposal will surely include Ronaldo up top, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and new signing Sancho.

At the moment, with Rashford out injured as he recovers from shoulder surgery, he’s not an option, and Pogba has been in sensational form at the start of the season, playing off the left.

The manager at one stage looked set to depart from the 4-2-3-1 he has become accustomed to and go for a more attacking 4-3-3, but so far we’ve seen the double pivot in defensive midfield going strong.

If Solskjaer does decide to unleash all of his attacking pieces, one of the options would be to play Pogba beside a deep-lying midfielder like Nemanja Matic, Fred or McTominay.

With Sancho and Greenwood’s versatility, they could start either side of Ronaldo up front, switching as they see fit to compliment Solskjaer’s attacking system.

In this formula, Pogba might start in a partnership as he does for France and, like Fernandes, would be responsible for picking up the ball approaching the final third, feeding the wingers and Ronaldo with through balls.

There are a few options for Ronaldo and Cavani to play together. Although Ronaldo made his name as a winger, he no longer possesses the stamina or pace over long distances to feature there these days and has honed his craft as a striker.

Cavani, however, still has the ability to stretch defences and get in behind from the right and proved his versatility by starring in that position on multiple occasions at Paris Saint-Germain.

That would allow Ronaldo to stay central and wait for crosses from either side, applying the finishes United need in order to close the gap to Manchester City at the top of the table.

It would be a tantalising, all-out attacking formation with Pogba and Fernandes as twin No.8s. There would be more of a burden on the duo for winning the ball back in the absence of a second defensive midfield player, but it would give United unrivalled firepower to break down teams against whom they have struggled for inspiration at times under Solskjaer.

Another option would be to go back to the historic 4-4-2 which favoured United for so long. A split striker system, of Cavani and Ronaldo up front, could see Fernandes sit slightly deeper with the option to roam into the space behind the front two.

Pogba and Greenwood would provide balance, creativity and power on either wing. Ronaldo played in a partnership at Juve last season, with Alvaro Morata doing the bulk of the work, and the Portugal international firing in the goals.

That strike partnership occasionally featured at the sharp end of a 4-4-2 formation, but far more common was for Andrea Pirlo to line up with three centre-backs and three players in midfield.

Solskjaer has at times deployed his own 3-5-2 system, utilising Luke Shaw as a central defender and giving United more defensive resilience and a threat on the break, particularly in big matches such as derbies against Pep Guardiola’s Man City.

That would see Ronaldo start up front in a duo, but would mean sacrificing one of United’s multiple wing threats. This formation is likely to be reserved for a select few special occasions.

The key for Solskjaer will be getting the balance right. It is something which Zinedine Zidane got spot-on during his three seasons in charge at Real Madrid, where Ronaldo benefited from the self-sacrificial hard work done by Karim Benzema through the centre.

Accommodating Ronaldo is no easy task and Zidane moved on from the famed ‘BBC’ trio - dropping Gareth Bale in favour of an extra midfielder and deploying Benzema and Ronaldo as a partnership.

Zidane's tactics were good enough for three Champions League titles in a row - with Madrid arguably becoming the most iconic team of the modern era - and Ronaldo was undoubtedly the star of the show.

In Raphael Varane, Solskjaer has captured another star from that historic Madrid era. Now he’s got the enviable challenge of figuring out how to line up his own group of all-stars.

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