Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid

Las Fallas: People Of Valencia Burn Unflattering Cristiano Ronaldo Puppet As Part Of Fire Festival Celebrations (Photo)

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Over the weekend, the good people of Valencia took to the streets over to burn an scatological effigy of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Thankfully, it's not quite as grim as it sounds, as the Ronaldo dummy was torched as part of the Spanish city's annual week-long Las Fallas festival.

Every year in March, volleys of fireworks are releasedand a cavalcade of different puppets and dummiesof famous rogues (known colloquially as 'ninots') are set alight to pay homage to Saint Joseph.

La Liga: Gareth Bale Returns From Injury To Net Fine Goal For Real Madrid v Espanyol (Video)

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Gareth Bale marked his return to action on Saturday with a fine goal in Real Madrid's 2-0 home win against Espanyol.

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Bale has been out of action for three months due to an ankle injury, but the Welsh superstar looked sharp in a cameo roleat the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Middlesbrough In Talks To Bring Jese Rodriguez In On Loan For Remainder Of Season

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Eight months ago he was winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and now, via PSG, it looks like Jese Rodriguez is about to turn up in Middlesbrough.

Hardly the most well-trodden of football paths.

Anyway, it's being widely reported that Jese is in talks with Boro' over a six-month loan deal after failing to make a dint at PSG since his £21million move last August.

Injury-hit Real wait on Cristiano Ronaldo for Cup comeback

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes Cristiano Ronaldo will shrug off a foot problem in time to lead the European champions' bid to overcome a Copa del Rey deficit at Celta Vigo on Wednesday.

Zidane's squad, down 2-1 from the quarter-final first leg at home, has been hit by a series of injuries with Marcelo and Luka Modric joining Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Dani Carvajal and Pepe on the sidelines after limping off in Saturday's 2-1 win over Malaga.

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Casemiro sends Real Madrid five points clear

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Madrid (AFP) – Casemiro was Real Madrid’s unlikely hero as he hit the winner to open up a five-point lead on Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Karim Benzema fired the visitors into a half-time lead from Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross.

Aritz Aduriz briefly levelled for Athletic, but Ronaldo again was involved for the winner on 68 minutes as his flick-on was slotted home by the unmarked Casemiro for just his third goal of the season.

Casemiro sends Real Madrid five points clear

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Madrid (AFP) – Casemiro was Real Madrid’s unlikely hero as he hit the winner to open up a five-point lead on Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Karim Benzema fired the visitors into a half-time lead from Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross.

Aritz Aduriz briefly levelled for Athletic, but Ronaldo again was involved for the winner on 68 minutes as his flick-on was slotted home by the unmarked Casemiro for just his third goal of the season.

Griezmann seeks end to Atletico Madrid’s ‘nearly man’ tag

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Madrid (AFP) – Propelled by an on-fire Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid stand on the brink of a fourth consecutive Champions League quarter-final, determined to finally end their tag as Europe’s nearly men.

Griezmann has experienced that feeling more than most.

In 2016 the Frenchman proved himself as one of world football’s most deadly forwards, but also missed out in agonising fashion in the Champions League and Euro 2016 finals, as well as finishing third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or.

Griezmann seeks end to Atletico Madrid’s ‘nearly man’ tag

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Madrid (AFP) – Propelled by an on-fire Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid stand on the brink of a fourth consecutive Champions League quarter-final, determined to finally end their tag as Europe’s nearly men.

Griezmann has experienced that feeling more than most.

In 2016 the Frenchman proved himself as one of world football’s most deadly forwards, but also missed out in agonising fashion in the Champions League and Euro 2016 finals, as well as finishing third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or.

Carlos Tevez scores on Chinese Super League debut

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Shanghai (AFP) – Carlos Tevez scored on his Chinese Super League debut for Shanghai Shenhua as he started repaying wages that have reportedly made him the world’s best-paid player.

The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus striker struck from the penalty spot and had a hand in two others as Gus Poyet’s team beat Jiangsu Suning 4-0 on Sunday.

Carlos Tevez scores on Chinese Super League debut

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Shanghai (AFP) – Carlos Tevez scored on his Chinese Super League debut for Shanghai Shenhua as he started repaying wages that have reportedly made him the world’s best-paid player.

The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus striker struck from the penalty spot and had a hand in two others as Gus Poyet’s team beat Jiangsu Suning 4-0 on Sunday.

Messi makes Barcelona believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Messi makes Barcelona believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Messi makes Barca believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Messi makes Barca believe, Benzema leads Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi dazzled with two goals and two assists as Barcelona thrashed Celta Vigo 5-0 in their first game since coach Luis Enrique announced he will leave at the end of the season.

Real Madrid remain just one point behind Barca at the top of La Liga and with a game in hand as Karim Benzema scored twice in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in a 4-1 win at Eibar.

Benzema puts Ronaldo-less Madrid back on top

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Madrid (AFP) – Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid made light of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s absence to move back to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Eibar on Saturday.

Benzema proved decisive when he was needed most by the European champions without his usual strike partners as the Frenchman finished twice from close range inside the first 25 minutes.

Benzema puts Ronaldo-less Madrid back on top

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Madrid (AFP) – Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid made light of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale’s absence to move back to the top of La Liga with a 4-1 win at Eibar on Saturday.

Benzema proved decisive when he was needed most by the European champions without his usual strike partners as the Frenchman finished twice from close range inside the first 25 minutes.

No excuses for Madrid despite Bale dismissal – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted his side had no one to blame but themselves despite Gareth Bale’s red card in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Madrid looked set for a first home league defeat in a year as Las Palmas took advantage of Bale’s dismissal early in the second-half to lead 3-1 with just three minutes remaining.

No excuses for Madrid despite Bale dismissal – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insisted his side had no one to blame but themselves despite Gareth Bale’s red card in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas on Wednesday.

Madrid looked set for a first home league defeat in a year as Las Palmas took advantage of Bale’s dismissal early in the second-half to lead 3-1 with just three minutes remaining.

Madrid draw sends Barca top as Enrique confirms exit

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona moved top of La Liga on the night Luis Enrique confirmed he will not continue as coach next season as Gareth Bale was sent-off in Real Madrid’s thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas.

Enrique announced his decision to step down after Barca’s 6-1 rout of Sporting Gijon earlier on Wednesday which leaves Barcelona a point clear at the top, but having played a game more.

Madrid draw sends Barca top as Enrique confirms exit

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona moved top of La Liga on the night Luis Enrique confirmed he will not continue as coach next season as Gareth Bale was sent-off in Real Madrid’s thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Las Palmas.

Enrique announced his decision to step down after Barca’s 6-1 rout of Sporting Gijon earlier on Wednesday which leaves Barcelona a point clear at the top, but having played a game more.

Zidane hails impact of subs in Madrid comeback

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hailed the impact of Isco and Alvaro Morata off the bench as the European champions came from 2-0 down at Villarreal on Sunday to win 3-2.

Morata completed the comeback after Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo had hauled Madrid level to ensure Zidane’s men move back ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

Real Madrid stage Villarreal fightback, Messi nets winner for Barcelona

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Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo hauled Real Madrid back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Villarreal on Sunday and regain top spot in La Liga from Barcelona.

Earlier, Barca had momentarily usurped Real thanks to Lionel Messi’s winner four minutes from time in a 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid stage Villarreal fightback, Messi nets winner for Barcelona

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Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo hauled Real Madrid back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Villarreal on Sunday and regain top spot in La Liga from Barcelona.

Earlier, Barca had momentarily usurped Real thanks to Lionel Messi’s winner four minutes from time in a 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid.

Valencia early show stuns Real Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Two goals in the opening eight minutes from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana blew the La Liga title race wide open as Valencia beat leaders Real Madrid 2-1 on Wednesday.

Italian striker Zaza had broken down in tears after scoring his first goal since May at the weekend, but showed his confidence is suddenly sky high with a brilliant volleyed finish to open the scoring.

Valencia early show stuns Real Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – Two goals in the opening eight minutes from Simone Zaza and Fabian Orellana blew the La Liga title race wide open as Valencia beat leaders Real Madrid 2-1 on Wednesday.

Italian striker Zaza had broken down in tears after scoring his first goal since May at the weekend, but showed his confidence is suddenly sky high with a brilliant volleyed finish to open the scoring.

Bale left out as Real Madrid aim to halt Maradona-backed Napoli

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has resisted the temptation to rush back a fit-again Gareth Bale for their Champions League clash on Wednesday against an on-form Napoli backed by Diego Maradona.

Bale returned to training for the first time since suffering ankle ligament damage in November on Sunday and has been left out of Zidane’s 19-man squad.

Fit-again Bale left out for Napoli clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale will have to wait for his return to action after three months out as the Welshman wasn’t included in Zinedine Zidane’s squad for Real Madrid’s Champions League clash with Napoli on Wednesday.

Bale only returned to full training for the first time on Sunday since suffering ankle ligament damage in November.

Fit-again Bale left out for Napoli clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale will have to wait for his return to action after three months out as the Welshman wasn’t included in Zinedine Zidane’s squad for Real Madrid’s Champions League clash with Napoli on Wednesday.

Bale only returned to full training for the first time on Sunday since suffering ankle ligament damage in November.

Cristiano Ronaldo injury scare ahead of Real’s Napoli clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo trained apart from the team on Monday just two days ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League last 16 home leg against Napoli.

The Portuguese goal machine with a record 96 Champions League strikes to his name suffered a heavy tackle in a 3-1 win over Osasuna at the weekend.

Cristiano Ronaldo injury scare ahead of Real’s Napoli clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo trained apart from the team on Monday just two days ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League last 16 home leg against Napoli.

The Portuguese goal machine with a record 96 Champions League strikes to his name suffered a heavy tackle in a 3-1 win over Osasuna at the weekend.

Gomez slams ‘naive, youth team’ Wolfsburg

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Berlin (AFP) Germany striker Mario Gomez has slammed "naive" Wolfsburg for playing "like a youth team" as their 2-1 home defeat to Augsburg dragged them back towards the Bundesliga's relegation places.

Inside 12 months, Wolfsburg have gone from beating Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid 2-0 in the Champions League quarter-finals, eventually losing after defeat in Spain, to their current ranking of 14th in Germany's top flight four points from the drop zone.

Gomez slams ‘naive, youth team’ Wolfsburg

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Berlin (AFP) Germany striker Mario Gomez has slammed "naive" Wolfsburg for playing "like a youth team" as their 2-1 home defeat to Augsburg dragged them back towards the Bundesliga's relegation places.

Inside 12 months, Wolfsburg have gone from beating Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid 2-0 in the Champions League quarter-finals, eventually losing after defeat in Spain, to their current ranking of 14th in Germany's top flight four points from the drop zone.

Real Madrid fall to Celta Vigo in Cup quarters

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Madrid (AFP) A fine free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't prevent Real Madrid from being dumped out of the Copa del Rey as a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo on Wednesday allowed the hosts to progress to the semi-finals 4-3 on aggregate.

Hampered by a series of injuries, Real's hopes of turning the tie around were dealt a huge blow when Danilo's own goal handed Celta to lead on the night just before half-time.

Real Madrid fall to Celta Vigo in Cup quarters

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Madrid (AFP) A fine free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't prevent Real Madrid from being dumped out of the Copa del Rey as a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo on Wednesday allowed the hosts to progress to the semi-finals 4-3 on aggregate.

Hampered by a series of injuries, Real's hopes of turning the tie around were dealt a huge blow when Danilo's own goal handed Celta to lead on the night just before half-time.

Real Madrid eliminated from Copa del Rey by Celta Vigo

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Madrid (AFP) A fine free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't prevent Real Madrid from being dumped out of the Copa del Rey as a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo allowed the hosts to progress to the semi-finals 4-3 on aggregate.

Hampered by a series of injuries, Real's hopes of turning the tie around were dealt a huge blow when Danilo's own goal handed Celta to lead on the night just before half-time.

Wayne Rooney highs and lows

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Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom) (AFP) After Wayne Rooney broke Bobby Charlton's Manchester United scoring record by scoring his 250th goal for the club, AFP Sport looks back at his career highs and lows:

HIGHS

Euro 2004 explosion

Rooney's emergence as a global star can be traced back to the 2004 European Championship in Portugal, when, aged 18, he terrified opposition defences with his direct running as England reached the quarter-finals.

The Rest

Neymar Scores Impudent Chip, Ex-Tottenham Flop Paulinho Nets Stunning Hat-Trick As Brazil Beat Uruguay 4-1 (Video)

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With both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldoentering the autumns of their respective careers, 25-year-old Neymar is surely destined to eventually take their places as the best player on the planet.

During Brazil's World Cup qualifier away to Uruguay on Thursday night, the Barcelona star scored a peach of a goal while ex-Tottenhammidfielder Paulinho bagged a cracking hat-trick.

Bayern Munich: Carlo Ancelotti Admits He Has ‘No Control’ Over His Majestic Eyebrows

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Carlo Ancelotti has bravely addressed the one aspect of his personaland private life that fans have been speculating fervently over for years.

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We are of course talking about his magnificent eyebrows, which are so ridiculously expressive that you'd be forgiven for assuming they were being operated by animatronic puppeteers behind the scenes.

The lost art of the winger

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There is no right or wrong way to support your football club. It's a deeply personal journey for us all. Yet every club has certain characteristics to which those that love them can all relate. Manchester United is no different.

If every United fan was asked to pick a defining image, a single moment in time, one that summed up what the club meant to them, the images would fill volumes.

Deal Close – £26m Manchester United Star Set To Complete Move In Hours

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Manchester United look set to miss out on Benfica winger Goncalo Guedes who is set to complete a move to Monaco with the next 48 hours, according to Portuguese newspaper Record (As reported by the Express ).

Jose Mourinho's men had reportedly been in talks with the highly-rated youngster over a potential £26 million move to Old Trafford.