Ronaldo back in training
Ronaldo trained for the first time with Corinthians on Friday, a fortnight after signing a one-year contract with Brazil’s most popular club. The 32-year-old Ronaldo, trying to come back from a major knee injury this year, did not take to the field with the other players. Instead, he worked out for several hours inside the team’s gym — out of sight from the nearly 500 fans who hoped to see him practice outside. The three-time world player of the year showed up at the gym without the team’s kit, but when he saw the army of photographers awaiting him, he retreated back into the dressing room to re-emerge minutes later, wearing the kit. Ronaldo ruptured a tendon in his left knee while playing for AC Milan in February, the third major knee injury of his career. This month he signed a one-year deal with Corinthians with a one-year option and an opt-out clause for any time. Corinthians’ first game of the new season is not until Jan. 21 at home against Barueri.
Forest fire Calderwood
Nottingham Forest fired manager Colin Calderwood on Friday after a 4-2 loss against Doncaster Rovers left the former European champions in the relegation zone of the second-tier League Championship. Forest are 22nd in the 24-team league after winning just four games since being promoted from the third-tier League One. “We’re in a results business and it’s imperative that the club stays in the Championship,” chief executive Mark Arthur said. “We need to give ourselves every opportunity to do that.” Forest hired Calderwood, a former Scotland defender, in May 2006 after he guided Northampton out of League Two. Brian Clough led Forest to European Cup triumphs in 1979 and 1980.
FIFA agree to more venues
FIFA has agreed to increase from 10 to 12 the number of Brazilian cities that will host the 2014 World Cup, a spokesman for the Brazilian Football Confederation said on Friday. The confederation convinced the executive committee of soccer’s world governing body to increase the number because Brazil is such a big country, the spokesman said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media. The O Globo newspaper reported that five of the 18 potential host cities will definitely stage World Cup games — Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia and Porto Alegre. The northeastern cities of Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador and Curitiba in the south are “almost certain” sites, the newspaper said, adding that the remaining three cities will be chosen from Manaus, Belem, Cuiaba, Goiania, Campo Grande and Florianpolis.
Real to appeal to UEFA
Real Madrid will appeal to UEFA against its rule that means only one of the team’s new signings — France midfielder Lassana Diarra and Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar — is eligible to play in the Champions League. UEFA rules state that teams can sign three new players up until Feb. 1, but that only one who has played European soccer that season can play in the Champions League for his new club. Diarra and Huntelaar played in this season’s UEFA Cup for Portsmouth and Ajax, respectively. Madrid said in a statement on Friday that it had “another interpretation” of the rules, claiming they were designed to stop players changing teams within a competition and that they don’t apply in this case because Diarra and Huntelaar played in the UEFA Cup.