Ronaldo just needs club
Brazilian World Cup winner Ronaldo, who has been out of action since February with a knee injury, hopes to play again in January — if he can find a club, his doctor said. The 32-year-old’s physiotherapist Bruno Mazzioti told Radio Brasil that the player hopes to train next week with Flamengo. “He’ll train with Flamengo. Then his idea is to return to action in January 2009 although it remains to see which club he will play for,” Mazzioti said. Ronaldo, who suffered a serious left knee injury in February, has been without a club since the end of last season when his contract with AC Milan came to an end. He has been linked with a move to fellow Serie A side Siena, who offered him a deal in which he would be paid 98,000 euros (US$126,200) for every goal scored. The former world player of the year recently took part in a charity match, but only lasted 22 minutes before being substituted, blaming it on the exhaustive regime he was following to return to action.
Torres injured again
Liverpool’s Premier League title push suffered a setback on Thursday when their Spanish international striker Fernando Torres was ruled out for up to three weeks with a hamstring strain. Torres, who had only just returned to the side after five weeks out with a similar problem, picked up the injury in the 1-0 Champions League win over Marseille at Anfield on Wednesday. Defender Fabio Aurelio will be out for a fortnight after picking up a calf problem in the same game. A club spokesman told www.
liverpoolfc.tv: “Fernando has a strain in his right hamstring and will be out of action for between two and three weeks. Fabio has a calf strain in his left leg and will be out for two weeks.”
Real sees record revenues
Real Madrid on Thursday posted a pre-tax net profit for the 2007-2008 season of 51.4 million euros (US$66.7 million) and predicted its revenues will total more than 400 million euros next season for the first time in its history. The club’s pre-tax net profit in the 12 months to June 30 was 7.4 million euros higher than that posted during the same time last year. Revenues in 2007/2008 totaled 366 million euros and are expected to climb to 400.2 million euros in the 12-month period to June 30 next year, vice-president Jose Ignacio Rivero told reporters. Real Madrid were the world’s largest revenue-generating club for the third successive season in the 2006-2007 season, according to an annual ranking compiled by business advisory firm Deloitte. The reigning Spanish champions overtook Manchester United as the biggest soccer club by revenue in the 2004-2005 season after a policy of signing big names like David Beckham, Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane led to a surge in sales of replica shirts and other items.
■ UEFA CUP
Police spray fighting fans
Belgian police used water cannon to break up running brawls between fans of Bruges and French side St Etienne before kick-off in the UEFA Cup tie between the two sides in Bruges, Belgium, on Thursday. A police spokesman said numerous fights had broken out outside the stadium. “These scuffles were so serious that there were some injuries suffered by supporters. Two policemen were also hurt and were taken to hospital,” he said. Another police source said around two dozen fans had been arrested.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very