Brazilian soccer player Dani Alves was arrested Friday after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Spain. The alleged act took place on Dec. 31 at a night club in Barcelona, police told The Associated Press. Alves will now go before a judge, who will decide on the charges. The charge of sexual assault in Spain can mean anything from unsolicited and unwanted sexual groping to rape. Police said they could give no detail on the case. Read more: Neymar loses Brazil captaincy to Dani Alves for Copa America The 39-year-old Alves is one of soccer’s most successful players, winning major titles with several elite clubs, including Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain over his long career. He currently plays with Mexican club Pumas. The defender was a key part of Barcelona’s golden years playing between 2008-2016 on the team’s right flank with Lionel Messi. He won the Champions League three times with the Catalan club, which he briefly rejoined last season.
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers of all time. His career has been remarkable, with numerous titles and records to his name. Since starting his professional career in 2002, this Portuguese footballer has constantly proved his talent in international games. Ronaldo's recent transfer to Saudi Club Al Nassr FC has surprised his fans as well as soccer enthusiasts around the world. Let’s explore Ronaldo’s eventful football career along with his triumphs, accolades, and milestones. Overview of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Club Career In his 20 years of soccer career Ronaldo has played with six different clubs and has been successful with all of them. In this section, we are going to highlight Ronaldo’s performance in clubs. Although he played for Sporting CP B and Sporting CP from 2022 to 2023, we are not covering his performance on these clubs as he did not have any significant achievements with these Portuguese clubs. Manchester United (2003-2009) Cristiano Ronaldo began his top-class football career in the year 2003 when he joined Manchester United, which was managed by Sir Alex Ferguson at the time. Ronaldo made an immediate impact in his first season with the club. He scored his first Premier League goal for Manchester United with a free-kick in a 3–0 win over Portsmouth on November 1. He ended the season with six goals, and he also scored the winning goal in the 2004 FA Cup Final against Millwall. Read More: Pele: The Greatest Football Legend of All Time During his time at Manchester United, Ronaldo won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one UEFA Champions League title, and one FIFA Club World Cup title. He also won the Ballon d’Or award in 2008, becoming the first-ever Manchester United player to win the prestigious award after 1968. Real Madrid (2009-2018) In 2009, Cristiano Ronaldo transferred to Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of £80 million. In his first season at the club, Ronaldo scored 33 goals in all competitions and was an integral part of the team that put them in the second position with 96 points. During his nine-year stint at Real Madrid, Ronaldo won two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and three FIFA Club World Cup titles. He also achieved numerous individual awards, such as the Ballon d’Or awards in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. He set a record for the most goals scored in a single La Liga season with 48 goals in the 2014-15 season. Read More: Who will win Ballon d'Or 2023? Juventus (2018-2021) In 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo transferred to Juventus for a transfer fee of £88 million. In his first season at the club, Ronaldo scored 28 goals in all competitions and was part of the team that won the Serie A title. He has also won the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia, and the Supercoppa Italiana during his time at Juventus. He has also been awarded the inaugural Serie A Most Valuable Player. Manchester United (2021-2022) Ronaldo joined Manchester United again in 2021. However, he did not have any significant achievements in the last season with Manchester. But he scored 24 goals in 39 appearances. Among these, he appeared in 7 Champion League games and scored 6 goals. Achievements and Awards Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved numerous awards and accolades during his illustrious career at Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. He has won five Ballon d’Or awards, four UEFA Best Player in Europe awards, five UEFA Champions League titles, and three Premier League titles. Read More: Top 10 Highest Paid Footballers in the World in 2022 He has also been named FIFA Men’s Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017. And he is the all-time top scorer in the UEFA Champions League with 141 goals. He is also the all-time leading goal scorer for Real Madrid, with 451 goals in 438 appearances. Overall, Cristiano Ronaldo has had an illustrious career with numerous achievements and awards. He has made a name for himself as one of the greatest footballers of all time. After completing his long, eventful career in Europe, Ronaldo now joined the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr in 2022.
Lionel Messi finally signed his eagerly anticipated Paris Saint-Germain contract on Tuesday night to complete the move that confirms the end of a career-long association with Barcelona and sends PSG into a new era. The French club said in a statement that the 34-year-old Argentina star signed a two-year deal with the option for a third season. “I am excited to begin a new chapter of my career at Paris Saint-Germain,” Messi said. “Everything about the club matches my football ambitions. I know how talented the squad and the coaching staff are here. I am determined to help build something special for the club and the fans, and I am looking forward to stepping out onto the pitch at the Parc des Princes.” Read: Lionel Messi is Leaving Barcelona Despite Wanting to Stay No salary details were given, but a person with knowledge of the negotiations earlier told The Associated Press that Messi is set to earn around 35 million euros ($41 million) net annually. The person said on condition of anonymity before the contract was signed. “I am delighted that Lionel Messi has chosen to join Paris Saint-Germain and we are proud to welcome him and his family to Paris,” PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. “He has made no secret of his desire to continue competing at the very highest level and winning trophies, and naturally our ambition as a club is to do the same.” It is symbolic that Messi will wear the No. 30 jersey — the same number he wore in his first two seasons with Barcelona before switching to No. 19 and then the prized No. 10, which Neymar gets to keep at PSG. Throngs of PSG fans gathered at Le Bourget Airport in Paris to welcome Messi, who was wearing a T-shirt featuring “Ici c’est Paris” — “This is Paris.” The words are a long-familiar refrain from a favored fan chant at Parc des Princes stadium, where Messi is to be presented to them before kickoff of Saturday night’s game against Strasbourg. Such was the fervor of his arrival that police had to push back to stop metal barriers from toppling over at the airport as fans surged forward to get a better view. He then traveled into Paris with a police escort that included several officers on motorbikes and clad in black at the back of it. As disbelief at landing one of soccer’s all-time greats turned to sheer enthusiasm, many gathered for a glimpse of Messi at the stadium. They got their wish as the smiling superstar briefly waved to them before he underwent a medical check. Earlier, Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, had also confirmed his son was moving to PSG in a brief exchange with reporters at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport before he took his flight in the early afternoon. Messi arrived with his wife and three children and boarded a private jet. Read: Messi breaks down, says he wasn’t ready to leave Barcelona “With it all, toward a new adventure. The five together,” Antonela Roccuzzo said on Instagram alongside a photo with her husband on the plane. PSG supporters have seen their club transformed over the last decade since the influx of Qatari sovereign wealth investment linked to the emir. Once Messi’s Barcelona contract expired — and the Catalan club was unable to afford to keep him — PSG was one of the few clubs that could finance a deal to sign the six-time world player of the year. Messi’s arrival gives PSG formidable attacking options as he links up with France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Brazil forward Neymar. “Back together,” Neymar posted on Instagram over a video of them hugging, playing for Barcelona. While PSG had to pay 222 million euros (then $261 million) to sign Neymar from Barcelona in 2017, there was no transfer fee for Messi. Messi became the most desired free agent in soccer history after his attempts to stay at Barcelona were rejected last week by the Spanish league because the salary would not comply with financial regulations, with the Catalan club burdened by debts of more than 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion). PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino quickly made contact with his fellow Argentine after Barcelona announced last Thursday that Messi would be leaving the club he joined as a 13-year-old. Messi won every major honor with Barcelona and was granted a tearful exit news conference on Sunday to signal the end of an era. Only Cristiano Ronaldo in the current era challenges Messi’s status as an all-time great. PSG will be hoping not only that Messi helps the team regain the French title it lost to Lille last season but finally win the Champions League. Read: Lionel Messi Contract: PSG Set to Sign Former Barcelona Forward If Pochettino uses a 4-3-3 formation, the front three could see Messi deployed on the right with Neymar on the left and Mbappe between them as the center forward. The quandary for Pochettino would be how to use Angel Di Maria, whose goal sealed the Copa America title last month, and another Argentine attacker — Mauro Icardi. It’s a tactical challenge most coaches would relish, with a 4-2-3-1 or 3-5-2 also in the mix to accommodate the attacking talents available. What should be less demanding is PSG complying with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play. Some flexibility has been provided in the rules due to the pandemic and changes are due to the system that were designed to stem losses. It is PSG president Al-Khelaifi who, as chairman of the European Club Association and a member of UEFA’s executive committee, is involved in the process of discussing a wider update to FFP that could allow more unchecked spending again.
Facing a wall of nervous blue-and-white clad Italy fans behind the goal, Jorginho took his trademark hop and skip before calmly stroking in the winning penalty. So much for the pressure of a shootout in the European Championship semifinals. A dash of Italian panache completed a 4-2 penalty-shootout win over Spain at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday, setting up a title match against either England or Denmark back at the same stadium on Sunday. The match finished 1-1 after extra time and provided Italy with its toughest test of the tournament, with Spain controlling possession for long periods. Federico Chiesa scored for Italy with a curling shot in the 60th minute but substitute Alvaro Morata equalized for Spain in the 80th. Read:Longtime tormentor Italy stands in way of Spain at Euro 2020 Morata, dropped from the starting lineup for the first time in a tournament during which he has received verbal abuse and even death threats from his own fans, will go down as Spain’s scapegoat once again after having a penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma in the next-to-last kick of the shootout. As he walked back to the center circle with his head bowed, Jorginho made the opposite journey and didn’t make the same mistake. The Chelsea midfielder has his own style when it comes to taking penalties and he didn’t abandon it when it mattered most, sparking a throng of celebrations as Italy’s players sprinted from the halfway line. Jorginho was mobbed. Italy coach Roberto Mancini was hugged by the rest of coaching staff. The players lined up on the edge of the area and ran together, holding hands, toward the fans. Leonardo Bonucci went further, leaping over the advertising hoardings to get even closer to the crazed supporters whose loud cheering had lifted the team in their most difficult moments. “We’re delighted we could provide this wonderful entertainment to the Italian people,” Mancini said. “One game to go.” Riding a national record unbeaten run of 33 games, Italy will play in its fourth European final and look to win the title for a second time, after 1968. It’s quite the redemption story for a country which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. “This group is amazing,” Mancini said. “Everyone wants to win, but this group of players wanted to do something special.” Read:Euro2020 semi-finalists have been determined They have had the aura of champions since Day 1 of the tournament and they’ll be sticking around until the last day, too. But it’s at the home of English soccer where the team has had its toughest matches. Against Austria in the round of 16, the Italians were taken to extra time at Wembley and they had to go the distance, too, against Spain. Spain’s striker-free formation initially flummoxed the Azzurri, who have become a more progressive team under Mancini but were given a clinic at times in ball possession and movement in midfield. Experienced center backs Giorgio Chiellini and Bonucci looked uncertain at times, not knowing whether to drop back or follow deep-lying forward Dani Olmo — who started ahead of Morata — into the center of midfield. Spain’s pressing also drew some rash clearances from the back from Italy. That created the team’s best chance in the first half with Ferran Torres’ shot requiring a low save from Donnarumma. The Italians had even more problems when Morata came on as a substitute but, by then, Chiesa had put them ahead after latching onto a loose ball, cutting inside and curling a shot into the far corner. It was his second goal at Wembley in this tournament, having scored just as impressively against Austria. Morata’s movement stretched Italy’s defense to set up chances for Mikel Oyarzabal and Olmo. Then he scored for the third time at Euro 2020. For a player often accused of wasting chances when he has too much time in front of goal, Morata showed calmness to sidefoot in a left-footed shot after exchanging passes with Olmo at the edge of the area. Morata grabbed a camera behind the goal and thrust his face into it. But he had nowhere to hide after becoming the second Spain player to miss in the shootout — after Olmo — following 30 minutes of extra time. Read:Denmark beats Czechs 2-1 to reach Euro 2020 semifinals “He really has a lot of personality,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said of Morata. “He wanted to take a penalty even though he’s been through some tough times in this competition.” Italy started the shootout with Manuel Locatelli’s shot saved by Unai Simon, but Andrea Belotti, Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi all scored before Jorginho. Spain, a three-time European champion, beat Switzerland in a penalty shootout just to get to Wembley. Having also been taken to extra time by Croatia in the last 16, the Spanish certainly took the long route to the semifinals but their journey ended there. “Everyone made Italy big favorites,” Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets said, “but we demonstrated we were superior to them.”
The penalty shootout was going badly for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea in the Europa League final, beaten by every Villarreal player who stepped up to the spot. At 11-10, it got dramatically worse. The shootout — after a 1-1 draw following extra time — went on so long that all of the outfield players took penalties, meaning De Gea and Villarreal goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli were the 11th men up. Rulli sent his penalty into the top corner, but De Gea’s lacked power and was stopped by the Villarreal keeper. Read:Rebel Super League clubs won’t accept UEFA ‘coercion’ As Rulli lay on the grass after his save, the entire team ran over and piled on top of him. It was an upset to savor as Villarreal — a team from a city of about 50,000 people — secured the first major trophy in the 98-year history of the club by beating one of European soccer’s giants. It also secured a lucrative Champions League spot for next season rather than playing in the new third-tier Europa Conference League after Villarreal only finished seventh in the Spanish league. And it stopped an English sweep of the two big European competitions before Chelsea and Manchester City play the Champions League final on Saturday. “It feels really good,” Villarreal midfielder Francis Coquelin said. “When you go down to the end it’s the winner taking it all. It was tough, we had a tough game. Manchester put a lot of pressure on us, especially in the first half.” For Villarreal coach Unai Emery it was a record fourth Europa League title, and it offered a measure of redemption after he was fired by Arsenal last season. Emery was hoisted aloft by his players before they received their medals. He won three Europa League titles in a row with Sevilla from 2014-16 and lost the 2019 final with Arsenal against Chelsea. “We worked hard this season and I think we deserved to win and to do something important,” Emery said. “We are going to enjoy each moment but above all we are going to prepare for the next season to prepare in the Champions League and have this opportunity with very big teams.” Villarreal’s win also ensured that United went a fourth consecutive season without a trophy for the first time since the 1980s and left its manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still looking for his first title. United’s last silverware was the Europa League in 2017. Read:Could Koeman be closer to staying at Barca after Camp Nou meeting? “That’s football for you. Sometimes it’s decided on one kick and that’s the difference between winning and losing,” Solskjaer told broadcaster BT Sport. “Got to ... taste this feeling and make sure you don’t get it again.” Asked if United’s season — runner-up in the Premier League and now the Europa League — could be considered a success, Solskjaer said bluntly: “No.” The marathon shootout had more excitement than the entire 120 minutes of the game. United dominated the early possession but it was Villarreal which made the breakthrough. Gerard Moreno pushed past Victor Lindelöf at a free kick in the 29th minute and strained to prod Daniel Perejo’s cross past De Gea in the United goal. United equalized at a set piece when Edinson Cavani reacted quickest to knock the ball in after Marcus Rashford’s low shot was deflected following a corner. A video review ruled the Uruguayan onside for his sixth goal of the season in the Europa League, all of them in the last four games. United could soon have had a second, if not for Rashford scuffing a shot wide when one-on-one with Rulli. Another missed chance followed when Torres blocked a Cavani header. Read:Copa America 2021: Things you need to know When the game went to extra time, United’s hopes of repeating a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Bayern Munich 22 years ago to the day in the Champions League final began to fade. Villarreal looked the fresher team in extra time as Solskjaer — the substitute goal-scoring hero in 1999 — held back all but one of his substitutions until the second half of extra time. Solskjaer brought on two penalty specialists, Juan Mata and Alex Telles, for the shootout. They both scored but that meant little against Villarreal’s perfect 11 penalties from 11 players. Rulli had come close to saving a couple of previous penalties, including when Luke Shaw’s kick eased in over his outstretched hand. De Gea seemed to try mind games. He approached some opponents to talk to them as they prepared to shoot, and made Villarreal’s 10th penalty taker, Pau Torres, wait while he strolled over from the sideline. But in the end it was De Gea who had to trudge back toward his teammates to be consoled after his miss.
Germany midfielder Toni Kroos said it was “wrong” that Qatar was awarded next year’s World Cup and added that it could be appropriate to highlight human rights issues during the tournament. Kroos’ comments go beyond the criticism from several national teams, including Germany and Norway, which tried to draw attention to human rights issues ahead of recent World Cup qualifying matches. “For this tournament to be awarded there, I consider that wrong,” Kroos said on a podcast released Tuesday that he hosts with his brother. Kroos flagged up the working conditions for migrant workers, saying they were often “working without breaks, sometimes in 50-degree (Celsius) heat” without enough drinking water. He also noted anti-gay laws in the country and Qatar being ”not a soccer country.” Kroos, who was on the German team which won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, said a boycott campaign was unlikely to have much effect but drawing attention to human rights issues during the tournament could help. Also read: Agreement on new Champions League format delayed until April “You have to ask the question: What would a boycott of a tournament like this bring? Is it really the case that something would drastically improve there? Would the working conditions change? I believe not,” Kroos said. “Rather, I believe that it is important to draw extreme attention to these problems once again, perhaps also maybe in advance of or during a tournament like this, so that maybe something can be improved because of that.” Kroos, who plays for Real Madrid, is not currently with the German team because of injury. Norway began a movement of human rights demonstrations by wearing shirts reading “HUMAN RIGHTS” and “Respect on and off the pitch” before its game against Gibraltar last Wednesday. Germany followed up with its own human rights messages before games, though its players and staff avoided directly criticizing Qatar, and teams like Belgium and the Netherlands have followed.
18-year-old Uly Llanez converted a penalty in his national team debut to help the U.S. claim a 1-0 victory against Costa Rica in a friendly match on Saturday.