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.
When Gianni Infantino told a gathering of European football officials in Vienna he hoped the winner of the World Cup came from their continent, the FIFA President quickly stated — with a smile — he adapts the comment to whichever region he’s in. It’s no laughing matter for the rest of the world. Seven of the last eight World Cup finalists have come from Europe. Thirteen of the last 16 semifinalists, too. Only three non-European nations — Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay — have reached the World Cup final. Uruguay hasn’t played in the title match since 1950. And only two non-European nations other than Brazil and Argentina have reached the semifinals since 1970 — South Korea in 2002 and Uruguay in 2010. No African country has ever gotten to the last four — in part because of Luis Suárez’s last-minute, goal-line handball for Uruguay to deny Ghana in the 2010 quarterfinals — and nobody from North America since the United States in the first World Cup in 1930. Nations from around the world are invited to the party but, really, it’s mostly the Europeans staying until the end. “You want the World Cup to be a world tournament,” football author Jonathan Wilson said. “Ideally you’d have a team from every confederation in the quarterfinals. “You want the best teams, but you want the best teams to come from as many different places as possible. This is a global sport. If it becomes entirely focused on a rich pocket of western Europe, that’s boring for everybody.” Wilson puts the recent European dominance down to the continent’s top football nations pumping lots of money and resources into the development of young players — what he calls an “industrialization of youth production,” starting with France at its national football centre in the 1990s. That was followed by the likes of Germany, Spain and most recently England doing the same. Read more: Players who will be absent from Qatar World Cup including Haaland, Salah These young players are then exposed to their own football leagues, which are the strongest and richest in the world. “You have the best facilities, the best teachers, the best people to learn from,” Wilson told The Associated Press. “Then you are testing yourself against the best.” The only nation to have prevented a European triumph at a World Cup since 1994 was Brazil in 2002. Brazil’s coach that year, Luiz Felipe Scolari, said he had a “spectacular generation” — remember its storied front three of Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho? — and that European nations are now producing better players than before, having studied the 1958 Brazil team which earned the country the first of its record five titles. Speaking to the AP, Scolari said the current European domination is a “phase” which could be ended by Brazil in Qatar or, maybe, in 2026. After all, Brazil will enter the World Cup as the top-ranked team, undefeated in South American qualifying and with only five losses in 76 matches under coach Tite. “This class of 2022 is great,” Scolari said. “If we don’t win now, we can do it in 2026 with one of the best teams. “These kids playing now might give the result we expect but you can’t pressure them to give everything. Maybe in four years, we can because then … they will hit the pinnacle at age 26, 27.” Typically, it’s Argentina, ranked No. 3 by FIFA and a two-time World Cup champion, rivalling Brazil as the most likely winner from outside Europe. And that should again be the case in Qatar. While Europe’s best have been struggling — England is winless in six games, France and Germany have won only one of their last six games, Italy hasn’t even qualified — Argentina has gone 35 games unbeaten under Lionel Scaloni, who has a well-balanced team with more than just a slew of star attackers led by Lionel Messi. There’s a caveat, though. The introduction of UEFA’s Nations League — and, to a certain extent, the impact of COVID-19 — has meant top European teams go head-to-head more often and rarely face Brazil and Argentina. Only one such game stands out since the 2018 World Cup: the Finalissima, a newly devised match between the European champions and Copa America winners that saw Argentina beat Italy 3-0 in London in June. Argentina has played three European teams since the last World Cup. Brazil only one. “It’s pretty hard to get a true read on them,” said Wilson, whose books include “Angels With Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina.” “It might not be the worst thing that they go into this tournament with confidence, without a sense of inferiority.” Take away Brazil and Argentina, and it’s hard to look beyond another winner from Europe, which has the other 10 teams in the top 12 of the FIFA rankings and 13 of the 32 nations in Qatar. There’s even greater depth to the European challenge these days, too, with nations like 2018 World Cup finalist Croatia, Euro 2020 semifinalist Denmark and Switzerland as consistent and hard to beat as the traditional heavyweights, with more of their players sprinkled around Europe’s top clubs. As for African teams, whose World Cup challenge is fronted by African Cup of Nations champion Senegal, they still seem to be held back by a lack of resources off the field more than a lack of talent on it. “(African countries) have so many players playing in Europe at good teams now, I think they should perform better than they do,” Lars Lagerback, who coached Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup, told the AP. “There’s a lot of challenges, so many people involved around the logistics and everything. “They have the players with the individual skills but you have to have everything around it.” And that, ultimately, is where Europe has the edge. Read more: Qatar World Cup 2022: Viewer's guide
Europe's football governing body, UEFA, launched a brand new tournament named the UEFA Nations League in 2018. This is Europe's third men's national team competition apart from the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA EURO. The main objective of organizing this competition is to replace international friendlies with more competitive matches. In addition, the competition serves as a qualifier for the European Championship. The UEFA Nations League 2022–2023 league phase will begin on June 1st, 2022. Portugal won the first edition, while France won the second edition the previous year. UEFA Nations League Format All the members of UEFA are eligible to take part in the competition. Therefore, 55 nations compete in the A, B, C, and D leagues based on rankings and previous tournament results. Read European Football Season 2021-2022: Winners and Losers From Big Three leagues The highest tier is League A, where the teams compete for the Nations League trophy. A total of 16 teams each compete in Leagues A, B, and C. In each league of these three, they have four groups. The remaining seven teams are divided into two groups of League D, where one group has four teams and the other has three. The winners of four groups in League A qualify for the Nations League finals. The final is a knockout tournament where two semi-finals, one third place, and a championship match take place. One of four qualifying teams will host the knockout finals, decided by the UEFA executive committee. Teams from Leagues A and B that finish fourth in their groups are relegated to League C. The fourth-placed teams in League C's groups go to the play-offs, with the two teams who lose in those ties demoted to League D. Read UEFA Champions League 2022 Final: Vinicius Jr.'s Strikes Secure Real Madrid's 14th UCL Title Teams Competing in League A of the UEFA Nations League 2022–2023 From the League A participants, four national teams will be qualified for the knockout finals in June 2023. Therefore, the League A group stage fixtures are the center of attention. In the group stage, each side will play six matches, with home and away bases. Here are the competing teams and their groupings. Group A1: France, Denmark, Croatia, Austria Group A2: Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic Group A3: Italy, Germany, England, Hungary Group A4: Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, Wales. Read Argentina vs Italy: Finalissima 2022 Match Details, Predicted Line-ups, Where to Watch Here are the six matchdays and the Knockout Finals schedule: Matchdays 1 and 2: Between 1-8 June 1, 2022 Matchdays 1 and 2: Between 1-8 June 1, 2022 Matchdays 1 and 2: Between 1-8 June 1, 2022 Semi-Finals: 14 and 15 June 2023 Third-place and Championship match: 18 June 2023 Bottom Line Following the success of the previous two seasons, the UEFA Nations League 2022-2023 is likely to engage fans even more. Some of the world's top national teams will participate in League A, and they will give it their all to qualify for the knockout finals next year. The third season of the Nations League will begin with a match between Poland and Wales at Stadion Miejski Wrocław on Wednesday (June 1). Read UEFA Champions League Overview: Complete Winners List from 1956 to 2022
UEFA announced the last eight lineups, as well as the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final fixtures on Friday during a ceremony held at the European Football House in Nyon, Switzerland. There was no seeding and no country protection because the draws were open. As a result, any team could be paired with any other team. The eight winners of the Round of 16 have advanced to the quarter-finals. Let's have a look at the UEFA Champions League 2022 quarter-finals draw and fixtures. UEFA Champions League Football Season 2021-22: Quarter-Finals Draw Real Madrid of Spain, Atletico Madrid of Spain, Villarreal of Spain, Manchester City of England, Chelsea of England, Liverpool of England, Bayern Munich of Germany, and Benfica of Portugal are the eight teams that have qualified for this season’s Champions League quarter-finals. Read SAFF U-18: Bangladesh lose 0-1 to India Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, and Villarreal had a relatively easy path in the Round of 16 among the qualified teams. In contrast, Real Madrid, Benfica, Atletico Madrid, and Liverpool had to fight hard to reach the last eight. The line-ups for the 2021–2022 season Champions League football quarter-finals are as follows: Draw Result Chelsea vs Real Madrid Manchester City vs Atletico Madrid Villarreal vs Bayern Munich Liverpool vs Benfica Source: https://www.uefa.com/ Read Juventus fails in Champions League ahead of Italy playoff Full Fixtures of the 2021-2022 UEFA Champions League QF, SF, and Final The first legs of the Champions League quarter-finals will be played on April 5 and 6. The quarter-finals' second legs will be held on April 12 and 13. There are no away goal rules in this season's tournament. As a result, the winner will be determined by the sum of the two legs scores. If the game is still tied after extra time in the second leg, a penalty shoot-out will determine the winner. The Fixtures of Quarter-Finals Date Fixtures Venues Time (BDT) April 6 Benfica vs Liverpool Estádio da Luz 1 a.m. April 6 Man City vs Atletico Madrid Etihad Stadium 1 a.m. April 7 Villarreal vs Bayern Munich El Madrigal 1 a.m. April 7 Chelsea vs Real Madrid Stamford Bridge 1 a.m. April 13 Bayern Munich vs Villarreal Allianz Arena 1 a.m. April 13 Real Madrid vs Chelsea Santiago Bernabéu 1 a.m. April 14 Atletico Madrid vs Man City Wanda Metropolitano Stadium 1 a.m. April 14 Liverpool vs Benfica Anfield 1 a.m. Source: https://www.uefa.com/ Read BPL Football: Bashundhara Kings beat Saif SC 4-3; The winner of the Atletico Madrid-Manchester City quarter-final encounter will face the winner of the Real Madrid-Chelsea match in the first semifinal. On the other hand, the winner of the Liverpool-Benfica quarter-final match will face the winner of the Bayern Munich-Villarreal semi-final encounter in the second semifinal. The first legs of the semifinals will take place on April 26 and 27, with the second legs on May 3 and 4. The UEFA Champions League 2022 season's championship match will take place at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on May 28. Read Amputee Football: Japan emerge champions, Indonesia runners-up to qualify for World Cup Verdict According to the UEFA Champions League 2022 quarter-finals draw, the match between Chelsea FC and Real Madrid will most likely be the most demanding. Real Madrid defeated PSG on a 3-2 aggregate in the previous round, while Chelsea defeated French Champions Lille on a 4-1 aggregate in the Round of 16. The match between Manchester City and Atletico Madrid will be exciting as well, as Atletico are traditionally a difficult opponent to beat. Besides, Bayern Munich will begin as favorites against Villarreal of Spain, while Liverpool are anticipated to defeat Benfica in their quarter-final fixtures to move to the semi-finals. However, the deserving and in-form teams have earned a spot in the last eight, thus a fierce battle in the quarter-finals is expected. Read Neymar and Messi jeered by seething PSG fans in 3-0 home win
January is the mid-season transfer window for European football leagues. This window is eagerly awaited by all teams in European leagues in order to bolster their squads. The window allows teams to replace injured players, which is why this transfer market timeline is so important. Major deals are usually made in the summer, while teams focus on resolving immediate issues during the winter phase. Some of Europe's biggest teams were quite active during the just-closed January transfer. Let's take a look at the significant January 2022 transfer window signings. Major Deals in the 2022 January Transfer Window Almost 700 deals were done during the January 2022 football transfer window in Europe. This window saw over 800 million dollars in transactions, which is definitely a large number. The following are some of the most notable signings of top European leagues in the January 2022 football transfer window. England (Premier League) Dele Alli's transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Everton was one of the biggest moves of the January window. Besides, Manchester City's Julian Alvarez, Aston Villa's Philippe Coutinho, Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier, and Tottenham Hotspur's Rodrigo Bentancur were also notable transfers in the winter window. Read Five Famous Professional Football Players who Retired in 2021 Major Transfers (England) in January window 2022 Date Player From To Fee January 31 Dele Alli Tottenham Hotspur Everton Undisclosed January 31 Dan Burn Brighton & Hove Albion Newcastle United Undisclosed January 31 Jean-Philippe Mateta Mainz Crystal Palace Undisclosed January 31 Donny van de Beek Manchester United Everton Loan January 31 Matt Targett Aston Villa Newcastle United Loan January 31 Rodrigo Bentancur Juventus Tottenham Hotspur 19 million euros January 31 Dejan Kulusevski Juventus Tottenham Hotspur Loan January 31 Julian Alvarez River Plate Manchester City Undisclosed January 31 Christian Eriksen N/A Brentford Free January 11 Philippe Coutinho Barcelona Aston Villa Loan January 13 Lucas Digne Everton Aston Villa Undisclosed January 30 Luis Diaz Porto Liverpool Undisclosed January 30 Bruno Guimaraes Olympique Lyonnais Newcastle United 42.1 million euros January 13 Chris Wood Burnley Newcastle United Undisclosed January 7 Kieran Trippier Atletico Madrid Newcastle United Undisclosed January 1 Vitalii Mykolenko Dynamo Kiev Everton Undisclosed January 4 Nathan Patterson Rangers Everton Undisclosed January 31 Wout Weghorst Vfl Wolfsburg Burnley Undisclosed January 27 Callum Chambers Arsenal Aston Villa Undisclosed Source: https://www.espn.in/soccer/transfers Spain (La Liga) Adama Traore's January transfer from Wolverhampton Wanderers to Barcelona was one of the most significant in the Spanish La Liga. In addition, Anthony Martial of Sevilla, Ferran Torres of Barcelona, and Giovani Lo Celso of Villarreal were also important transfers during the winter window. Read The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2021: Robert Lewandowski Retains the Award Beating Lionel Messi Major Transfers (Spain) in January window 2022 Date Player From To Fee January 31 Giovani Lo Celso Tottenham Hotspur Villarreal Loan January 3 Ferran Torres Manchester City Barcelona Undisclosed January 25 Anthony Martial Manchester United Sevilla Loan January 29 Adama Traore Wolverhampton Wanderers Barcelona Loan January 3 Rafinha Paris Saint-Germain Real Sociedad Loan January 28 Ilaix Moriba RB Leipzig Valencia Loan January 21 Sergio Rico Paris Saint-Germain Mallorca Loan Source: https://www.espn.in/soccer/transfers Italy (Serie A) Dusan Vlahovic's transfer from Fiorentina to Juventus was the most expensive in the January transfer window. Juventus also signed Federico Gatti and Denis Zakaria In January. Read Top 10 Most Memorable Football Moments of 2021 Major Transfers (Italy) in January window 2022 Date Player From To Fee January 28 Dusan Vlahovic Fiorentina Juventus 70 million euros January 31 Denis Zakaria Borussia Moenchengladbach Juventus Undisclosed January 31 Federico Gatti Frosinone Juventus Undisclosed January 28 Robin Gosens Atalanta Inter Milan Loan January 8 Axel Tuanzebe Manchester United Napoli Loan January 8 Ainsley Maitland-Niles Arsenal AS Roma Loan January 12 Sergio Oliveira Porto AS Roma Loan January 20 Pablo Mari Arsenal Udinese Loan Source: https://www.espn.in/soccer/transfers Germany (Bundesliga) and France (Ligue 1) Neither the German nor the French leagues saw a lot of transfer activity in January. The most noteworthy was Hatem Ben Arfa, who joined French team Lille for free. Read Just three venues to host BPL football for Covid-19 Major Transfers (Germany and France) in January window 2022 Date Player From To Fee January 30 Sardar Azmoun Zenit St. Petersburg Bayer Leverkusen Free January 31 Romain Faivre Brest Olympique Lyonnais Undisclosed January 31 Tanguy Ndombele Tottenham Hotspur Olympique Lyonnais Loan January 18 Sead Kolasinac Arsenal Olympique Marseille Free January 19 Hatem Ben Arfa N/A Lille Free Source: https://www.espn.in/soccer/transfers Bottom Line Juventus completed the biggest signing among the top European clubs in the winter transfer window of 2022, bringing in Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina. Fiorentina replaced Vlahovic with a young striker from FC Basel. FC Barcelona completed three major transfers in January, all of whom came from England. The Premier League's Aston Villa, Everton, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, and Manchester City all made major signings this window. However, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 teams did not engage in a lot of activity in the January 2022 transfer window. Read National Football Coach Javier Fernandes visits Fortis Academy
The group stage of the UEFA Champions League 2021-2022 season finally concluded with a match between Villarreal and Atalanta on December 9 (Thursday). Villarreal qualified for the Round of 16 after defeating Atalanta 3-2, and they will be joined by 15 other teams for the first knockout round draw in Switzerland on Monday, December 13th. It's possible that PSG and Man United could meet in the Round of 16 of the competition. Let's have a look at the Round of 16 draw scenario for the Champions League 2021-2022. Group Winners of Champions League 2021-2022 The eight group winners are Manchester City (group A), Liverpool (group B), Ajax (group C), Real Madrid (group D), Bayern Munich (group E), Manchester United (group F), Lille (group G), and Juventus (group H). Manchester City won Group A with a total of 12 points. The defending English Premier League Champion won four of their six group stage matches. Liverpool finished first in Group B with 18 points after winning all of their games. The Dutch league winner Ajax also won all of their matches in Group C, finishing with 18 points. Real Madrid were stunned at the Bernabeu by Sheriff Tiraspol, but the most successful European team returned to the top of Group D with 15 points. Bayern Munich won Group E with a total of 18 points. Manchester United got the first position in Group F with 11 points, while Lille took top place in Group G with 11 points. Juventus took the first position in Group H with 15 points. Group Runners-up of Champions League 2021-2022 Paris Saint-Germain (group A), Atletico Madrid (group B), Sporting CP (group C), Inter Milan (group D), Benfica (group E), Villarreal (group F), Red Bull Salzburg (group G), and Chelsea (group H) are the eight group runners-up. PSG finished second in Group A with 11 points. They won three games, drew two games, and lost one. Atletico Madrid finished second in Group B with 7 points. They only won two games, drew one, and lost the other three. Sporting CP finished second in Group C after winning three matches and losing three. The Italian Serie A Champion Inter Milan finished second in Group D with ten points. Portuguese team Benfica defeated Barcelona to finish second in Group E. Spanish team Villarreal finished second in Group F with ten points. Red Bull Salzburg finished second in Group G with ten points. The defending Champions League champion Chelsea finished second in Group H with 13 points. They were two points behind Italian giants Juventus. Potential Round of 16 opponents for PSG and Man Utd Each group's winners are seeded, while the group's runners-up are unseeded. Seeded teams are matched against unseeded ones. Teams from the same group or football federation are not allowed to play each other in the Round of 16. As per the aforementioned rule, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Real Madrid could be PSG's Round of 16 opponents. Therefore, Lionel Messi's Paris Saint-Germain is expected to face a difficult opponent in the next round. On the other hand, PSG, Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Inter Milan, RB Salzburg, and Sporting CP might well be Manchester United's Round of 16 opponents. Given Man Utd’s current form, they would have a tough battle in the first knockout round of the Champions League 2021-2022 season. Mathematically, Ronaldo's Manchester United has a 20% probability of facing Messi's PSG in the Round of 16. It would be a huge match if these two teams were drawn against one other in the first knockout round. Aside from that, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, and Inter Milan may face a difficult opponent in the Round of 16 as well. Verdict Given the outcome of the Champions League group stage in the 2021-2022 season, there is a good chance that the next round will include some tough matches. If Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United meet in the Round of 16, it will be the most anticipated match of the tournament. Because fans will be able to see Messi and Ronaldo play against each other for their new teams. At least two more fascinating Round of 16 matchups are possible in this draw. Overall, the first knockout round of the Champions League 2021-2022 is predicted to be an exciting event in February and March of next year.
The group stage of the UEFA Champions League 2021-2022 season ended on Wednesday (December 8). A total of 16 teams have advanced to the first knockout round in the most prestigious club football competition in Europe. The ongoing competition's Round of 16 will take place in February 2022. The Champions League's group stage featured a significant number of thrilling matches. Let's take a look at the five best matches from the group stage of the Champions League 2021-2022. Five Best Matches in Group Stage: UEFA Champions League 2021-2022 Manchester City and PSG from group 1, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid from group B, Ajax and Sporting CP from group C, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan from group D, Bayern Munich, and Benfica from group E, Manchester United and Villarreal/Atalanta from group F, Lille and Red Bull Salzburg from group G, and Juventus and Chelsea from group H are the qualified teams for the Champions League Round of 16. Here are the best five matches in the Champions League 2021-2022 group stage. 5. Young Boys 2-1 Manchester United On the 14th of September, Young Boys hosted one of Europe's elite clubs Manchester United in their first match of the Champions League group stage. Manchester United were the bookies favorites going into the match, but the host shocked the Red Devils with a 2-1 victory in their own backyard. United's summer signing Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 13th minute, but Ngamaleu's strike in the 66th minute leveled the score. The game appeared to be heading for a draw until Pefok stunned the visitors in the fifth minute of injury time. Young Boys won a fantastic match against Manchester United thanks to his goal. 4. Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff Tiraspol Sheriff Tiraspol surprised Real Madrid in their second group stage encounter at home. The most successful team in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid were not expecting to lose a point in this tie. Los Blancos were aiming to keep their winning streak going against an infamous Moldovan football team. However, Madrid were baffled when Sheriff took the lead in the 25th minute of the game. Experienced forward Karim Benzema did equalize on a penalty kick in the 65th minute, but Sebastien Thill stunned the Madrid fans by scoring the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. 3. Porto 1-3 Atletico Madrid Both teams needed to win this match in order to progress to the knockout round. Atletico Madrid were in fourth place prior to this match, while Porto and AC Milan were in second and third place, respectively. Atletico Madrid hosted Porto and AC Milan welcomed Liverpool in their final group stage matches. If Porto had defeated Atletico, they would have advanced to the Round of 16. However, Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone used a simple approach in this encounter and won 3-1 against Porto. They played defensively after Griezmann scored in the 56th minute. Later, Correa and De Paul scored two more goals for the Madrid side in injury time. Oliveira of Porto did score in the 96th minute. With this win, Atletico Madrid qualified for the Round of 16 of the Champions League. Even if Milan had beaten Liverpool at home, they would have advanced. 2. Sporting CP 3-1 Borussia Dortmund Sporting CP and Borussia Dortmund were vying for second place in Group C, with Ajax being already qualified for the Round of 16. Therefore, the encounter between Sporting CP and Borussia Dortmund on November 24th was crucial for both teams. Sporting CP moved up to second place after a 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund. Despite losing 4-2 against Ajax in the last group stage match, Sporting CP have advanced to the first knockout round. On the other hand, Borussia Dortmund will compete in the Europa League. 1. Barcelona 0-0 Benfica Barcelona have failed to qualify for the Champions League knockout phase for the first time in 17 years. Barcelona's current team has struggled to compete at the highest level, and they now sit in the seventh position in the La Liga standings. Barcelona needed to beat Benfica in their fifth match in the group stage. However, despite their best efforts, Barcelona were unable to defeat Benfica at Camp Nou. They were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw with the Portuguese side. Benfica advanced to the Round of 16 following a 2-0 win against Dynamo Kyiv. On the other side, Barcelona were eliminated from the Champions League 2021-2022 season after a humiliating 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich. Bottom Line The Champions League 2021-2022 season's group stage matches featured several nail-biting contests. The outcomes of those games determined the fates of the teams involved. All of them were heavily contested, with the winning side barely deserving of the victory. Hopefully, the Round of 16 would provide more intriguing encounters in the ongoing Champions League.
The Ballon d'Or award received a lot of attention this year. The Argentine phenomenon Lionel Messi eventually won the coveted award on Monday (November 29) during a gala ceremony at Paris' Theatre du Chatelet. Three days before the main event, the editor-in-chief of France Football, Pascal Ferre said that Cristiano Ronaldo confessed to him that his only ambition is to win more Ballon d'Or titles than Lionel Messi. However, Ronaldo has refuted this claim, accusing Pascal of damaging his reputation. Let's take a look at the actual story. What did Pascal Ferre say about Ronaldo in the New York Times interview? The New York Times published an interview with Pascal Ferre, editor-in-chief of France Football Magazine, three days before the Ballon d'Or 2021 award ceremony. Pascal discussed his career, his plans to host the gala event of the Ballon d'Or, and a variety of other topics, including footballers' perceptions of the prestigious award. The Ballon d'Or award has turned into a means of determining who is the greatest in the modern-day. As a result, the topic of Messi and Ronaldo's rivalry came up during the interview at one point. Read:Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal may not qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 “Ronaldo has only one ambition, and that is to retire with more Ballons d’Or than Messi and I know that because he has told me.” Pascal Ferre told the New York Times. Pascal did not specify when Ronaldo made that statement. However, Cristiano Ronaldo was not happy with such remarks by the chief of France Football Magazine. Messi had won the award six times before 2021, while Ronaldo has won five times. Read: Champions League Group Stage Matchday 6: Potential Teams to secure Round of 16 Cristiano Ronaldo's response to Pascal's statement Manchester United's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacted with anger to Pascal's statement on the day of the main event of the Ballon d'Or 2021. Ronaldo responded with a long Instagram post on his verified account. According to him, Pascal allegedly lied in the interview in order to promote himself and his organization. Ronaldo reaffirmed his respect for France Football Magazine and the Ballon d'Or award. He always extends his congratulations to the recipients of this honor. Ronaldo also stated in the post that his major ambition is to win trophies for his club and the national team on a domestic and international level. He is striving to set an example for young players who wish to be professional footballers. Important to note that, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or for the last time when he was at Real Madrid in 2017. Read: Juventus turmoil: Raided by police and struggling in Serie A The Ballon d'Or 2021 Gala Event's Winners Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or in 2021 with 613 points. Alexia Putellas of Barcelona won the Feminin Ballon d'Or 2021 with 186 points. Young sensation from Barcelona, Pedri won the Kopa trophy with 89 points. With 594 points, Italy's Gianluigi Donnarumma won the Yashin trophy. Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich won the best striker of the year award with 59 points, while Chelsea of England was named the best club of the year. Bottom Line Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the all-time great footballers. Ronaldo's greatness will not be determined by the number of Ballon d'Or he won throughout his playing career. However, winning the Ballon d'Or is a really remarkable achievement, and every professional player aspires to win it at least once in their career. Both Messi and Ronaldo have won the award a total of 12 times. It shows how consistent these two players have been over the past 15 years. They can still play at the highest level for two or three years before retiring. Will Cristiano Ronaldo be able to equal Lionel Messi's Ballon d'Or tally by this time? Read:Ballon d'Or 2021 Winner: Lionel Messi wins the coveted award record seventh time
After a long wait, Argentina and PSG forward Lionel Messi won the prestigious individual award Ballon d'Or for the year 2021 on Monday (November 29) night in Paris. This is his seventh Ballon d'Or award. He was the recipient of this individual honour in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2019. Cristiano Ronaldo has won this award second-most five times after Lionel Messi. The Argentine forward defeated Polish striker Lewandowski by 33 points to be named the Ballon d'Or 2021 Winner. Let’s have a look at the winners of the gala event. The Ballon d'Or Gala Event Winners Aside from the Ballon d'Or, France Football magazine also gave out individual awards to several categories. Ballon d'Or Feminin, Kopa Trophy, Yashin Trophy, Best Striker of the Year, and Best Club of the Year are among the honours. Ballon d'Or 2021 Journalists, national team leaders, and coaches gave Lionel Messi of PSG the most votes (613 points). Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich finished second with 580 points, followed by Italian midfielder Jorginho (460), who won EURO 2020 and the Champions League 2021. French striker of Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (239) came in fourth, while defensive midfielder for Chelsea, N'Golo Kante (186) came in fifth. Among the top ten, Cristiano Ronaldo was sixth in the poll, followed by Mohamed Salah, Kevin de Bruyne, Kylian Mbappe, and Gianluigi Donnarumma. Also Read: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo: Who made the strongest start with the new clubs? Ballon d'Or 2021 (Top 3) Player Club Points Lionel Messi Barcelona & PSG 613 Robert Lewandowski Bayern Munich 580 Jorginho Chelsea 460 Source: https://www.francefootball.fr/ballon-d-or/ Ballon d'Or Feminin Alexia Putellas of Barcelona won the Feminin Ballon d'Or 2021. She was awarded the highest points of 186. Her clubmate Jennifer Hermoso came in second with 84 points, followed by Sam Kerr of Australia. Read Champions League Group Stage Matchday 6: Potential Teams to secure Round of 16 Feminin Ballon d'Or 2021 (Top 3) Player Club Points Alexia Putellas Barcelona 186 Jennifer Hermoso Barcelona 84 Sam Kerr Chelsea 46 Source: https://www.francefootball.fr/ballon-d-or/ Kopa Trophy The Kopa award is presented to the most promising young player in the world. We have seen a number of young players thrive with their respective clubs and nations this year. Spanish midfielder for Barcelona Pedri won the prize with the highest 89 points. Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund came in second with 39 points, followed by Jamal Musiala of Bayern Munich with 38 points. Read Ind Cup Football: Dhaka Abahani makes good start beating Swadinata KS 2-1 Kopa Trophy (Top 3) Player Club Points Pedri Barcelona 89 Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund 39 Jamal Musiala Bayern Munich 38 Source: https://www.francefootball.fr/ballon-d-or/ Yashin Trophy The Yashin trophy is awarded to the best goalie from the previous year. There are several deserving nominees for this honour this year. However, Italy's young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma beat out everyone with 594 points. Edouard Mendy of Chelsea came in second with 404 points, while Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid came in third. Also Read: Ballon d'Or 2021: Meet the Nominees Yashin Trophy (Top 3) Player Club Points Gianluigi Donnarumma AC Milan & PSG 594 Edouard Mendy Chelsea 404 Jan Oblak Atletico Madrid 155 Source: https://www.francefootball.fr/ballon-d-or/ Best Striker of the Year Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski was unable to win the Ballon d'Or 2021, but he did not go home empty-handed. Lewandowski was named the top striker of the year with a total of 59 points. This Polish forward has been in excellent form for the past two seasons and deserves to be recognized for his efforts. Best Club of the Year After a poor start to the season, Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea won the Champions League in 2021. This London-based English team rightly received the France football magazine's best club of the year award. Also Read: Ballon d'Or 2021: Five favorites to win the coveted award Bottom Line Lionel Messi helped Argentina win the Copa America 2021 after a 28-year wait. He was outstanding at the South American Championship in 2021, and also had a fantastic season with FC Barcelona in 2020/2021. While Robert Lewandowski, who finished second, had a tremendous season with FC Bayern Munich. However, the majority of voters picked Lionel Messi as Ballon d'Or 2021 Winner.
The final group stage matches of the UEFA Champions League 2021-2022 will be played on December 7 and 8, respectively. Eleven teams have already qualified for the Round of 16 phase. The remaining five positions are still up for grabs. Therefore, the coming week should be filled with exciting clashes. Let's take a look at the teams who can qualify for the Round of 16 on matchday six of the Champions League group stage. Champions League 2021-2022: Favourites to advance to the Round of 16 Manchester City, PSG, Liverpool, Ajax, Sporting CP, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Lille, Chelsea, and Juventus are among the teams who have qualified for the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Let's look at the teams who have a chance to move to the first knockout round. Group A Manchester City have won four games and will finish top of the Group A points table. They will remain in the first position regardless of the outcome of their final group stage match against RB Leipzig. PSG will have to settle for second place after losing to Manchester City in the previous match. They will, however, compete in the Round of 16 as well. Club Brugge and RB Leipzig will compete for a Europa League place. Verdict: N/A Group B Liverpool have qualified from Group B after winning five games in a row. They are the champions of the group. Porto, Milan, and Atletico Madrid will be battling it out for a second-place on matchday six. Porto will play Atletico Madrid, while AC Milan will play Liverpool. Verdict: Atletico Madrid Read Juventus turmoil: Raided by police and struggling in Serie A Group C Ajax have won all of their games thus far and are the group champion, advancing to the Round of 16. Sporting CP are in second place and can qualify if they at least draw their last group stage match against Ajax. Borussia Dortmund can also progress if they defeat Besiktas, but Sporting CP must lose to Ajax. Verdict: Sporting CP Group D Real Madrid and Inter Milan have qualified for the knockout stages from Group D. Both teams will face off for the top spot in the standings on matchday six. Sheriff Tiraspol have also qualified for the Europa League, while Shakhtar Donetsk was knocked out of the group stage. Verdict: N/A Read Ind Cup Football: Mohammedan beat Muktijoddha 2-1 Group E Bayern Munich have finished first in Group E with 15 points. If FC Barcelona lose to Bayern Munich, they are at serious risk of missing out on the Round of 16. Benfica, who are currently in third place, may qualify for the first knockout round if they win their upcoming match against Dynamo Kyiv. Verdict: Benfica Group F Manchester United qualified for the Round of 16 after defeating Villarreal in their previous match. As a result, the match between Villarreal and Atalanta will be a do-or-die contest. Verdict: Villarreal Read Ind Cup Football: Sheikh Russel KC, Sheikh Jamal DC make good start Group G No team has qualified from this group yet. Therefore, both the remaining fixtures of this group will be thrilling affairs. Lille are in top place with eight points, followed by Salzburg, Sevilla, and Wolfsburg. Lille will face Wolfsburg, while Sevilla will face Salzburg on matchday six. Verdict: Lille and Sevilla Group H Chelsea and Juventus have already qualified for the Round of 16 of the Champions League 2021-2022 season. Both teams have 12 points and will play their final group stage matches for the top spot in the standings. Chelsea will face Zenit Saint Petersburg, while Juventus will face Malmo FF on matchday six. Verdict: N/A Read Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal may not qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 Verdict Three of the biggest clubs FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and AC Milan are at risk of being eliminated from the Champions League group stage. Aside from that, all of Europe's traditional powerhouses have already qualified for the Round of 16 stage. The 2021-2022 Champions League's first knockout round draw will take place on Monday, December 13. No club will face a team from their UEFA Champions League group or a team from the same national federation, therefore it will be an interesting draw.