Cristiano Ronaldo the heir to Alfredo di Stefano after Club World Cup win

Cristiano Ronaldo kisses the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup Silver Ball after Real Madrid's victory in the the FIFA Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)
Updated 17 December 2017
0

Cristiano Ronaldo the heir to Alfredo di Stefano after Club World Cup win

ABU DHABI: Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he wants to finish his playing career at Real Madrid after making more history with the goal that saw the Spanish giants crowned world champions.
Ronaldo scored the only goal of the Club World Cup final against Gremio on Saturday to win the tournament for the fourth time and become the all-time top scorer in the competition with seven goals.
“I would really like to, but things don’t depend on me. What depends on me is what I do on the pitch,” said Ronaldo, when asked if he planned to retire at Madrid.
“I am not the one who runs the club, that is for those in charge.
“My job is on the pitch and I think I am doing it well, the rest I can’t control.”
Ronaldo, 32, signed a new deal to 2021 with the club just over a year ago, but sparked speculation over his future after leading Madrid to the Champions League in June due to his apparent discontent with the club’s lack of involvement in a tax case brought against him by Spanish prosecutors.
The Portuguese appeared in court in July over accusations he evaded 14.7 million euros ($17.3 million) worth of tax between 2011 and 2014.
“Obviously, but at the right moment,” said Real coach Zinedine Zidane when asked if Ronaldo should be rewarded with another new contract.
“For us it is fundamental Cristiano stays. He is at his club, his home and no one can do what he keeps doing, so hopefully he stays here until he retires.”
Ronaldo has smashed Real’s club records since joining from Manchester United in 2009 and is way out in front as Madrid’s all-time top scorer with 434 goals in 414 appearances.
He also picked up his fifth Ballon d’Or to match Barcelona rival Lionel Messi’s record mark earlier this month and Madrid president Florentino Perez hailed Ronaldo as the heir to club legend Alfredo di Stefano, who lead Real to win the first five European Cups.
“He is the best without doubt. Not just for his talent or his technique but his ambition, his effort, his leadership, it is difficult to find players like Cristiano,” Perez told Real Madrid TV.
“I watched Alfredo di Stefano from when I was a kid, he is the successor to him. This is a different Madrid, but Cristiano has marked an era.”
Ronaldo claimed he was the best player in history after picking up his latest Ballon d’Or and backed up that bold statement when asked about comparisons to Di Stefano.
“I don’t have to keep speaking constantly about myself, I continue to believe what I said two weeks ago at the Ballon d’Or,” he said.
“I am a very confident person and the numbers don’t lie. The numbers speak for themselves.
“I am very happy, I remain very motivated to keep winning things at a collective and individual level. I still feel strong enough continue my trajectory as a player and to win trophies which is what I like most.”
— AFP


Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

Updated 23 April 2018
0

Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

  • Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
  • Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award

LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.
Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.