Champions League: Classy Messi leaves United messy as Ajax dump Juventus

Lionel Messi produced a master class performance as he scored twice to held Barcelona beat Manchester United three nil in the return leg of the champions league quarter finals.

Lionel Messi can't stop smiling after giving Barcelona a two-goal lead after just 20 minutes at the Nou Camp

United started well but after missing two clear chances, it was Barcelona who picked up from where they left at Old Trafford as Messi opened the scoring minutes after Barcelona were denied a penalty by VAR.

List is changing: Africa’s longest serving presidents

Messi would then add his second for the night following David De Gea’s rare mistake. Philipe Coutinho’s second half goal all but sealed United’s fate as Barcelona won four nil on aggregate.

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Messi had not scored at the quarter-final stage of this competition since April 2013 against Paris Saint-Germain – although he has had 50 shots in the interim – but he made up for it here.

As for Philippe Coutinho, any thoughts that he may regret his move from Liverpool, were overwhelmingly countered. His goal gave the scoreline the emphasis it deserved.

PATANISHO: Mume wangu hutaka tufanye mapenzi hadi nikiwa na periods

Elsewhere, Ajax Amsterdam continued with their impressive performance beating Juventus at home 2-1 to win 3-2 on aggregate and reach their first champions league semi final since 1992.

Champions League: Man City hit seven past Schalke as Ronaldo’s hat-trick helps Juve drown Atleti

Cristiano Ronaldo produced a master class performance to help his side Juventus turn around a two nil deficit and beat Atletico Madrid three nil in the return leg of the champions league round of sixteen.

The forward gave Juventus a one nil lead in the first half before adding the second after the break to level the scores on aggregate. The Portuguese was not done as he added his third of the night from the spot to complete Juve’s incredible comeback in Turin.

Cristiano Ronaldo thumps home from the spot to ensure Juventus' progress to the last-eight of the Champions League

This was Operation Cristiano Ronaldo in all its glory. Without the Champions League trophy since 1996, Juventus turned to the man who caused them so much heartache, a man who is never far away from the trophy having lifted it for the past three seasons consecutively.

Just look at Real Madrid without him. Stunned by Ajax. As for Juventus, they are profiting immensely. Having fallen flat in Madrid in the first leg, there was never a worry their main man would miss the mark again.

Ronaldo swivels in the air and receives the adulation of the home crowd as Emre Can joins in the celebrations

There was VAR drama. Goal-line technology was called into action and the final nail in the coffin came from the penalty spot. Then came the cojones celebration Diego Simeone produced with such enthusiasm come full-time in Madrid. How the tables turned in Turin. For boss Massimiliano Allegri, this was the plan all along from the first whistle of the first leg.

In the other match played yesterday, Manchester City trashed Schake 04 seven nil at Etihad.

Brazil international Gabriel Jesus got in on the action in the closing stages, wrapping up an incredible 7-0 win for his side

The club lying 14th in an 18-team Bundesliga arrived in England having conceded 11 goals in three games since an eventful 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in Gelsenkirchen three weeks ago and were battered by another seven here.

That said, City were absolutely fantastic on the way to the second biggest knockout win in the history of the Champions League. Clinical. Ruthless.

Two goals for Sergio Aguero, a pearler from Raheem Sterling and brilliant performances from Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan to name but two.

Pep Guardiola can say what he wants, the reality is that City are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and one of the favourites to win it now.

The Portugal playmaker jogged away in celebration while Schalke player's trudged away with their spirits broken

 -Dailymail

Champions league: Atleti humble Juventus as Man City grab vital win over Schalke

Raheem Sterling scored a late goal as Manchester City secured a dramatic 3-2 win over Schalke 04 in the first leg of the champions’ league round of sixteen.

The Citizens had found themselves trailing the hosts 2-1 for the better part of the match before Leroy Sane equalized in the 85th minute and in the last minute Sterling had the final say to give City advantage ahead of the return leg.

Want to talk about Leroy Sane? There were 78 minutes gone when he was finally introduced, 85 when he gave Manchester City the parity they deserved. Why he had to wait that long, heaven knows.

City had been trailing 2-1 since shortly before half-time, and went down to ten men in the 68th minute after Nicolas Otamendi was sent off for his second bookable offence, a foul on Guido Burgstaller and a stupidly extreme reaction to the decision, which probably sealed it.

Sane is one of Schalke’s favourite sons. He started here, made his name here as a young sensation in German football; and because he did not leave them for a bigger Bundesliga club, they still love him around these parts.

So when he was introduced, late, with City inexplicably trailing there was none of the animosity traditionally reserved for deserters. Even his equaliser was greeted, not with anger, but mild resignation.

Schalke knew they were a tad fortunate to be leading. Sane had only given City the minimum they merited. And it was some goal, too.

Elsewhere two second half goals from Diego Godin and Jose Maria helped Atletico Madrid beat Juventus two nil.

-Dailymail

Ronaldo’s header clinches his first piece of silverware with Juventus in win over AC Milan

Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal secured the Italian Super Cup for Juventus after a 1-0 win over 10-man AC Milan.

The Portugal international struck with a second-half header as Juventus, runners-up in the previous two seasons, got their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2015.

It was also a first piece of silverware for Ronaldo since he swapped Real Madrid for Turin last summer.

Ronaldo rose high to head from Miralem Pjanic's inch-perfect cross midway through the second half in Jeddah 

uve bossed the first half and Douglas Costa fired a shot across goal and narrowly wide before Joao Cancelo drove just the wrong side of the far post.

Blaise Matuidi had the ball in the net just after the half-hour mark but he had strayed offside as he received a pass 10 yards out.

Ronaldo’s first opportunity arrived three minutes before the interval, his attempted scissor kick crashing into the turf before bouncing over the crossbar.

But Juve were almost caught out on the stroke of half-time when Hakan Calhanoglu’s snap-shot forced a smart save from Wojciech Szczesny.

Shortly after the break Milan’s Patrick Cutrone’s fierce shot beat Szczesny but crashed back off the crossbar.

Juventus supporters pose with a poster of Ronaldo in the stands during the Italian Super Cup final on Wednesday night

But on the hour Ronaldo struck, ghosting beyond the Milan backline and glancing Miralem Pjanic’s ball over the top past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Paulo Dybala thought he had scored a spectacular second after a series of one-twos with Matuidi sliced open the Milan defence but once again an offside flag cut the celebrations short.

Gonzalo Higuain, heavily linked with a move to Chelsea this month, came on as a substitute for Milan but their task got harder in the 73rd minute when Franck Kessie was sent off for a nasty foul on Emre Can.

Milan felt they should have had a late penalty when Can caught Andrea Conti in the area but their appeals fell on deaf ears as Juve held on to pick up their first honour of the Ronaldo era.

-Dailymail

Ramsey agrees five-year deal to join Juventus at end of the season worth Sh18million a week

Aaron Ramsey has agreed a five-year deal with Juventus and will leave Arsenal at the end of the season.

Ramsey has been in talks with the Italian champions since last year and is now expected to end his 10-year stay at Arsenal.

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, an agreement had been reached for Ramsey to move to Turin in the summer. The deal is said to be worth £36million, with the Wales international set to earn £140,000-a-week.

‘Aaron Ramsey to on next June, done deal,’ Romano tweeted. ‘His agent will be in Italy soon to meet Juventus director Paratici and sign the contract for next season. Here we go!’

The 28-year-old was told by Arsenal at the back end of last year that he was free to leave the club.

It was a decision reached by the club’s senior executives, who believed it was the right move in the long-term interest of Arsenal.

Juventus chief Fabio Paratici said earlier this year in an interview with Sky Sports Italy that Ramsey is an ‘excellent player.’

‘He’s an excellent player. For years he’s been performing at a top level,’ said Paratici. ‘His contract is expiring and we are always attentive to the potential developments. So he falls in that category.

‘Will he join us in the summer? That remains to be seen.

‘At the moment he’s an Arsenal player, certainly we aren’t the only ones following him.’

-Dailymail

Juventus slammed for supporting ‘great champion’ Cristiano Ronaldo

-Juventus are ready to welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday night

– There is growing concern among his biggest sponsors over allegations of rape

– Criticism has been aimed at Juve after they came out in support of their player

– Shares in Juventus have fallen sharply, with the stock price down 13 per cent

Juventus are ready to welcome back Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday evening despite growing concern from his sponsors over allegations of rape.

The club were described as ‘awful’ by Gary Lineker after they released a statement in support of ‘great champion’ Ronaldo. Sponsors Nike and Electronic Arts distanced themselves from the 33-year-old amid a reopened police investigation.

Shares in Juventus fell sharply on Friday, with the stock price down almost 10 per cent. It has now crashed 18 per cent since the allegations emerged on Sunday.

His former side Manchester United also left themselves open to criticism by using the narrative of Ronaldo’s comeback to Old Trafford to promote ticket sales for their Champions League game against Juventus on October 23.

Ronaldo is being sued by Kathryn Mayorga, who says he raped her in the penthouse suite of a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. Ronaldo denies the charge and Juventus are ready to select him for the first time since the story broke. He is in contention for Saturday’s visit to Udinese after missing Tuesday’s Champions League game against Young Boys through suspension.

Manager Massimiliano Allegri said the £100million signing could start. ‘I must say that I’ve only known him as a person for three months, but over the years I’ve seen him as a serious person, both on and off the pitch,’ said Allegri.

‘He has broad shoulders, so much so that he can be completely focused on the match. After having a break from the Champions League, he is extremely ready to return, as he demonstrated in training yesterday.’

Lineker slammed Juve after the Serie A holders tweeted: ‘Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism . . . the events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion.’

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It took Cristiano Ronaldo just 8 minutes into his Juventus debut to score

– Cristiano Ronaldo has opened up on the standing ovation from Juventus fans

– In last season’s Champions League, Ronaldo scored a stunning overhead kick

– Juve fans got to their feet to applaud and Ronaldo says it was ‘unbelievable’

– The classy gesture also played a part in him opting to join the club this summer

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Cristiano Ronaldo ha revealed how a standing ovation by Juventus fans in last season’s Champions League helped him decide on a move to Italy.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was heralded by Juve supporters after he netted a stunning overhead kick goal in the Champions League.

And having swapped Madrid for Turin this summer in a £100million move, the Portuguese ace has opened up on that moment for the first time.

cristianojuventusdebut2

‘I felt surprised at the beginning. I am used to following Juve and I like the club, but since that moment I liked them even more,’ Ronaldo said in an interview with JuventusTV.

‘I won’t say it was the key point in my decision, but every detail helps. Maybe. Of course, it helps when you see the people like you, the supporters and club like you, the feeling is completely different.

‘Unbelievable. I remember every day, that never happened to me before. In the Champions League against Juve, a quarter-final, you score a goal and see everyone in the stadium applaud you. It was an unbelievable feeling.’

crisitanojuventusdebut3

The first leg quarter-final win was dominated by talk of Ronaldo’s goal and whether it should be regarded as the competition’s greatest strike.

Now wearing the white and black of the Old Lady, Juventus fans will hope he can produce similar magic in this year’s competition.

Having been busy training with his team-mates, Ronaldo looks set to make his debut when Juventus begin their Serie A title defence with an opening trip to Chievo on August 18.

cristiano juventus debut 1(1)

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He’s Gone! Ronaldo Quits Real Madrid To Join Juventus In Staggering Sh11.7 Billion

Cristiano Ronaldo has made an astonishing £88million move to Juventus after Real Madrid granted him permission to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo met Juventus club president Andrea Agnelli on Tuesday afternoon in a hotel in Greece before agreeing a four-year deal worth an estimated £500,000 a week.

It is believed that the transfer was finalised at the meeting in Greece, where Ronaldo is currently on holiday with his girlfriend and family.

Real Madrid confirmed the transfer late on Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, the club admitted that they had granted Ronaldo his wish to leave the club.

It read: ‘Today, Real Madrid wants to express its gratitude to a player who has proved to be the best in the world and who has marked one of the brightest times in the history of our club and world football.’

‘Beyond the titles won, the trophies collected and the triumphs achieved on the pitch during these nine years, Cristiano Ronaldo has been an example of dedication, work, responsibility, talent and improvement.’

Ronaldo thanked Real Madrid for making his time at the club ‘possibly the happiest of my life’, but added that he felt it was the right decision to move on.

He said: ‘I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept transferring me. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our followers, to please understand me.’

An hour after Real Madrid’s statement, Juventus confirmed the news of Ronaldo’s capture on their website.

The club confirmed that they will pay £88m (€100m) to the Spanish giants, with a further payment of £10m is believed to be going to his first club Sporting Lisbon.

‘Juventus Football Club SpA announces that it has reached an agreement with the company Real Madrid Club De Futbol SpA for the definitive acquisition of the right to the sports performances of the player Dos Santos Aveiro Cristiano Ronaldo against a fee €100million, payable in two years, plus the solidarity contribution provided for by the FIFA regulations and accessory charges for €12million,’ the statement read.

‘Juventus signed a four-year sports performance contract with the same player until June 30, 2022.’

Ronaldo leaves Real Madrid with a legacy littered with smashed records and a haul of trophies.

He is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 450 goals in all competitions and won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.

‘For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its greatest symbols and a unique reference for the generations to come,’ Real Madrid’s statement added.

‘Real Madrid will always be his home.’

-Dailymail

Juventus confirm Can on free transfer from Liverpool as German midfielder touches down in Turi

Juventus have confirmed the imminent signing of Emre Can on a free transfer after the midfielder was pictured arriving in Turin.

After failing to agree a new deal with Liverpool, Can has decided to make the switch to Serie A.

Can joined Liverpool from Bayer Leverkusen in 2014 and made 167 appearances for the club, the last of which came in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid last month.

It is anticipated that Can will be the second arrival at Juventus in this transfer window after the club also signed goalkeeper Mattia Perin from Genoa.

Liverpool previously confirmed Can’s departure and have already acted to strengthen their midfield ahead of next season by securing the signings of Naby Keita and Fabinho from RB Leipzig and Monaco respectively.

EMRE CAN’S SENIOR CAREER

2011–2013: Bayern Munich

2013-2014: Bayer Leverkusen

2014-2017: Liverpool

2018: Juventus

The Reds had attempted to persuade Can to remain at the club but it soon became apparent that his future lied away from the club.

Last season Juventus won the Serie A title as well as the Coppa Italia, although they went out to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Every Juventus fan has to read this emotional tribute from Gianluigi Buffon ahead of the final match for club

 

Gianluigi Buffon penned a touching farewell to Juventus supporters ahead of his final game for the Old Lady on Saturday.

The Serie A champions host Verona and it will bring to an end Buffon’s 17-year trophy-laden career in Turin.

But despite departing the club aged 40, the goalkeeping icon is yet to decide his next move as he insists he has received some ‘exciting challenges’ to play on away from the Bianconeri.

‘Six thousand, one hundred eleven days. Six thousand moments of pure passion. Of joy, of tears, of defeat and of victories. Thank you,’ Buffon begins.

‘With tomorrow, a journey ends. A book closes that we wrote together. There is a lot of emotion. Too much.

‘Inevitably, a new journey will begin. A new book. It has to begin.

‘Juve are a family. My family. And I will never stop loving it, thanking it and calling it “home.” Because it gave me so much. Everything. Certainly more than I gave to it.’

BUFFON TRIBUTE TO FANS IN FULL

Six thousand, one hundred eleven days.

Six thousand moments of pure passion. Of joy, of tears, of defeat and of victories.

Thank you.

Thank you to each and every one of you.

Because each of you contributed to making every instant of my life in the Bianconeri jersey special. A life that has become a second skin.

A skin I wore, loved and respected. That I treasured and protected with all of myself. With all my limits, but also with all the passion that has always accompanied me.

With tomorrow, a journey ends. A book closes that we wrote together. There is a lot of emotion. Too much.

Inevitably, a new journey will begin. A new book. It has to begin.

For Juventus will remain beyond any player, always! And will continue to write important pages in its book, that I think and imagine will be infinite. Because this club has a unique DNA that cannot be equalled. It cannot be repeated and it is magnificent.

Juve are a family. My family. And I will never stop loving it, thanking it and calling it ‘home.’ Because it gave me so much. Everything. Certainly more than I gave to it.

Inevitably, a new journey will begin. A new book. It has to begin.

For I, who will learn to look at the future with different eyes.

Who will start to pick up new challenges that life offers me with the curiosity of who doesn’t want to stop feeling in ‘the game’. And who will feel the healthy fear of someone who experienced many challenges, at times won, many lost, but who is aware that every one is different to what came before.

And therefore more difficult.

I arrived at the stadium on my bicycle. I was so young.

And tomorrow I want to metaphorically walk away from there so I can savour every instant, feel the pain of the detachment. And the joy of the salutes.

To feel moved.

And to understand that I will never be far away from that place I call ‘home’ – for ever!

And to salute the teammates and friends who I will never stop calling BROTHERS.

Until the end! Forever yours,

Gianluigi Buffon