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Ronaldo hat-trick helps Juventus into UEFA Champions League quarter-finals

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Hat-trick

Ronaldo stole the show with two headers and a late penalty kick on an ecstatic night for the Turin side.

With Atletico Madrid packing their defence, Ronaldo made the crucial breakthrough in the 27th minute when he rose to head in Federico Bernardeschi’s cross at the far post.

The 34-year-old levelled the aggregate scores in the last-16 clash three minutes after halftime with another towering header, this time from Joao Cancelo’s cross.

With four minutes left, Bernardeschi powered into the Atletico area, and was pushed in the back by Angel Correa.

Sport

Ronaldo equals Serie A record of scoring in 11 consecutive matches

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Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo equalled a Serie A record by scoring in his eleventh consecutive game on Saturday.

He was on target in the match away to SPAL in his 1,000th senior appearance for club and country.

The Portuguese opened the scoring in the 39th minute as he equalled the record jointly held by Fabio Quagliarella and Gabriel Batitusta.

Quagliarella scored in eleven consecutive matches for Sampdoria last season, while Batitusta did so for Fiorentina in 1994.

(
Edited By: Remi Koleoso and Olawale Alabi)

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Sport

Ronaldo penalty earns Juve draw at 10-man Milan

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A stoppage-time Cristiano Ronaldo penalty rescued a 1-1 draw for Juventus at 10-man AC Milan on Thursday in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final.

Ante Rebic’s volley gave the hosts a deserved lead after 61 minutes, following a string of good saves from veteran Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

But Stefano Pioli’s side were reduced to 10 men for the final 18 minutes when defender Theo Hernandez was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Paulo Dybala.

Juventus were awarded a penalty in the dying minutes following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review, which showed that a Ronaldo scissor kick had struck the arm of Milan defender Davide Calabria.

The Portuguese forward smashed the spot-kick into the roof of the net to earn his side a draw ahead of the second leg in Turin on March 4.

Napoli defeated Inter Milan 1-0 in the first leg of the other semi-final in Milan on Wednesday.

Edited By: Felix Ajide

 

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Foreign

South Korean fans compensated after Ronaldo fails to play

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A South Korean court has ordered a local match organiser to compensate two fans after Cristiano Ronaldo did not play in a friendly as advertised.

The Portuguese star remained on the substitutes’ bench in a July 2019 exhibition match in Seoul between a K League All-Star team and Ronaldo’s team, Juventus.

The fans had sued for compensation, arguing that the local marketing agency that organized the match had guaranteed Ronaldo’s appearance, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

The court ordered the agency, The Fasta, to pay 371,000 won (312 dollars) each to the two fans.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed/ Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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Entertainment

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes most-followed person on Instagram, hits 200m followers

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the most-followed person, is footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, with over 200 million followers and the most-followed woman is singer Ariana Grande, with over 173 million followers.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a Portuguese professional footballer, who plays  for ‘Serie A’ with Juventus’ and captains the Portuguese national team.

The football star has won football awards like; `European Golden Shoe’, `FIFA World Player of The Year’, `Ballon d’Or’, among others and he is blessed with three kids.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Omowole

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General news

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes highest followed celebrity on Instagram, hits 200m followers

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the most-followed person, is footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, with over 200 million followers and the most-followed woman is singer Ariana Grande, with over 173 million followers.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro is a Portuguese professional footballer, who plays  for ‘Serie A’ with Juventus’ and captains the Portuguese national team.

The football star has won football awards like; `European Golden Shoe’, `FIFA World Player of The Year’, `Ballon d’Or’, among others and he is blessed with three kids.

Edited By: Ifeyinwa Omowole

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Sport

Shades of Ronaldo: Agnelli heir swoops for soccer star’s sunglasses

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Luxury eye wear group Italia Independent is hoping to borrow some of Cristiano Ronaldo’s star appeal.

On Wednesday it announced a five-year licensing agreement with the Portuguese forward as it strives to boost revenues after heavy losses last year.

Under the deal, Ronaldo is to design a sun glass collection under his CR7 brand, known for luxury underwear.

The market received the news enthusiastically. Shares were automatically suspended on Milan’s AIM platform for smaller companies on Wednesday after excessive pre-session trading.

Founded by Lapo Elkann, grandson of the late Fiat patriarch Gianni Agnelli, Italia Independent in September reported a 4.4 million euros ($4.9 million) core operating loss in the first half of 2019.

In response, it launched a four-year turnaround plan aiming to more than double its revenue to 42 million euros by 2023.

Elkann, famed for his flamboyant fashion sense, said in a statement the licensing deal had “extraordinary importance” for the company’s growth plans.

Ronaldo’s playing prowess as well as his established marketing appeal helped revenue at his side Juventus, also controlled by the Agnelli family, to grow by 16.5% last year, according to data from consultancy firm Deloitte.

Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi

Italy

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Sport

Ronaldo strikes again as Juventus go top with Roma win

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(Reuters) Cristiano Ronaldo continued his superb scoring form as Juventus won 2-1 away to AS Roma on Sunday and moved two points clear at the top of Serie A.

Merih Demiral put the Italian champions ahead early on before Ronaldo fired home a penalty to double their advantage with just 10 minutes played.

It was Ronaldo’s 14th league goal of the season and his ninth in the last six Serie A appearances.

Things got worse for Roma towards the end of the first half when winger Nicolo Zaniolo was taken off in tears on a stretcher, and the club confirmed at full-time that the 20-year-old has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The hosts pulled one back on 68 minutes through a Diego Perotti penalty, before Juve substitute Gonzalo Higuain had a late strike ruled out for offside.

The result leaves Juventus on 48 points at the top of the table at the midway stage of the season, two ahead of Inter Milan, while Roma are fifth on 35 points.

“We played well for a good 60 minutes, and suffering at the Stadio Olimpico against Roma is almost inevitable,” Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

“What I did not like is that we tried to sit on our lead rather than increase it, as three times we had three-against-one counter-attacks and didn’t finish them off.”

Juve were in front after three minutes when Demiral volleyed home a Paulo Dybala delivery.

Dybala then robbed Roma midfielder Jordan Veretout of possession before being hauled down inside the box to earn his side a penalty, which Ronaldo dispatched to give the visitors a dream start.

Juve lost Demiral to injury after 17 minutes, but there were graver concerns for Zaniolo as he was carted off the pitch.

Roma confirmed after full-time that the Italy international will undergo surgery on Monday after rupturing the ACL in his right knee, along with damaging the meniscus.

“This is a bad moment and now Nicolo has to focus only on recovering as quickly as possible,” Roma coach Paulo Fonseca told Sky Sport Italia.

“We are sad, but tomorrow is another day.”

Edin Dzeko fired a shot off the post midway through the second half before sending a cross to Cengiz Under, whose header was blocked by Juve defender Alex Sandro.

The Brazilian was adjudged to have handled following a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review, and Perotti sent Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way from 12 yards.

There were late chances at both ends as Ronaldo headed wide from a good position, before Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini lashed over inside the box.

Earlier, Hellas Verona came from behind to beat Genoa 2-1 and rise to eighth in the standings on 25 points, leaving the relegation battling visitors stranded in 18th place with 14 points.

Edited by: Victor Okoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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Sport

Ronaldo hits hat-trick for Juventus as Ibrahimovic’s return fails to lift AC Milan

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Serie A champions Juventus beat visiting Cagliari 4-0 with a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick to go three points clear of second-placed Inter Milan.

The Milan side can draw level on points by winning a big match at Napoli later Monday.

Juventus for now sit top on 45 points from 18 games.

Ronaldo, now on 13 league goals, netted seven in the past five games.

“It was a good start to the year, but the important thing is the team,” Ronaldo said.

“We created chances, and scoring is always important. Our game is getting better game by game. But we have to work and keep improving.”

At Turin’s Allianz Stadium, Juventus played a lacklustre first half, but Ronaldo pounced on a bad clearance to strike in the 49th minute.

He then scored a penalty kick in the 67th minute and closed the scoring in the 82nd minute off an assist by substitute Douglas Costa.

Gonzalo Higuain, a second half substitute, scored the game’s third goal one minute earlier with a slightly-deflected drive.

AC Milan brought on returning star Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 55th minute as they were held 0-0 at home to Sampdoria.

The result meant they continue a dismal run in spite of the arrival of the 35-year-old Swedish star last week.

The Devils, on 22 points, lie 13 points off the UEFA Champions League zone as the domestic season reaches the halfway mark next weekend.

Sampdoria are two points above the drop zone.

“We wanted a win and failing to get it was disappointing,” Milan coach Stafano Pioli said.

“We played a lot of balls into their midfield but lacked the quality and the precision needed to win the game. We tried until the end, but did not find the right chance.

“In my opinion, (Ibrahimovic’s) impact was positive. He helped the team and was very active. Possibly the team are not used yet to his strong personality.”

Atalanta hammered Parma 5-0 with a Josip Ilicic brace, repeating the scoreline they inflicted on AC Milan 5-0 in the previous round.

The sparkling Bergamo side opened with a marvellous Alejandro Gomez drive under the bar and went into the break with two more goals from Remo Freuler and Robin Gosens.

Ilicic sealed victory after the break, taking the squad’s tally to a league best of 48 goals.

Earlier on Monday, Bologna youngster Riccardo Orsolini drilled in a stoppage-time free-kick to salvage a 1-1 home draw after Marco Benassi volleyed in a majestic first half opener for visiting Fiorentina.

La Viola hired their former midfielder Giuseppe Iachini during a two-week New Year break to replace coach Vincenzo Montella, who lost five and drew two of his last seven games.

In Sunday action, third-placed Lazio won 2-1 at Brescia, fourth-placed Roma lost 2-0 at home to Torino and Verona beat SPAL 2-0.

Genoa went third-last as their new coach Davide Nicola made a winning debut by edging Sassuolo 2-1.

Lecce versus Udinese and the Inter Milan game complete Match Day 18 later on Monday.

OLAL

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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Towering Ronaldo header sends Juventus top of Serie A

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A superb Cristiano Ronaldo header sent Juventus three points clear in Serie A with a 2-1 victory at Sampdoria on Wednesday, as Gianluigi Buffon matched the league appearance record.

Ronaldo was denied his second goal by the offside flag late on, before Samp scorer Caprari was sent off in stoppage time when he was shown a second yellow card.

“The whole team showed the right attitude,” Ronaldo later said. “It was a good goal and I am glad to help the team with another three points.

“I had problems with my knee for a month, but that has gone now and I feel good physically.”

It was a special night for Buffon as the veteran goalkeeper equalled Paolo Maldini’s record of 647 Serie A appearances.

He has also now set a new Juventus Serie A appearance record of 479 games, one more than Alessandro Del Piero.

Juventus top the table with 42 points, although second-placed Inter Milan (39) have a game in hand, while Sampdoria are 17th on 15 points.

Sarri fielded the attacking trident of Ronaldo, Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain for the second game in a row.

His side needed 19 minutes to find the opener as Dybala struck a sublime volley into the bottom corner.

Sampdoria drew level 10 minutes before the break, when Caprari swept a finish past Buffon after a defensive mix-up.

Juve, however, went back in front through an extraordinary Ronaldo header.

The Portuguese was calculated to have jumped 71 centimetres off the ground to meet Sandro’s cross at a height of 2.56 metres, before powering home.

“Ronaldo did something that you see in the NBA (National Basketball Association). He was up in the air for an hour and a half,” said Sampdoria coach Claudio Ranieri.

“There’s nothing you can say about it, you can only congratulate him and move on.”

Ronaldo, who has six goals in his last five Juventus appearances, thought he had his second when he rounded goalkeeper Emil Audero to roll the ball into an empty net.

But the effort was disallowed for offside

The game ended on a sour note for Ranieri’s side as Caprari caught Merih Demiral in the face with a flailing arm to earn a second yellow card.

Juventus head to Saudi Arabia this week, where they will face Coppa Italia holders Lazio in the Supercoppa Italiana in Riyadh on Sunday.

The match is coming ahead of the winter break, which runs until the first weekend of January.

Later on Wednesday, goals from Hamed Traore and Francesco Caputo either side of half-time gave Sassuolo a 2-0 win away to Brescia.

The win lifts Roberto De Zerbi’s side into 11th place on 19 points, while Brescia remain in the relegation zone, in 18th with 13 points.

OLAL

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)
(NAN)

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