Cristiano Ronaldo frustrated at contract talks amid courting of Neymar

Cristiano Ronaldo's frustration at defeat in El Clasico is mirrored in his contract talks with Florentino Perez. (AFP)
Updated 24 December 2017
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Cristiano Ronaldo frustrated at contract talks amid courting of Neymar

LONDON: Cristiano Ronaldo’s discontent with Real Madrid has reached a point where “he doesn’t even want to talk to the president”, Florentino Perez. According to sources close to the most successful footballer in the Spanish club’s history, Ronaldo has been angered by Madrid’s failure to deliver an improved contract.
Despite cementing his status as the game’s best player by leading Madrid to a Liga, Champions League and Club World Cup treble this year while collecting back-to-back World Player of the Year awards, Ronaldo has seen his salary eclipsed by Lionel Messi and Neymar. His argument is that on-field achievements should be correctly reflected in his contractual terms — particularly as his commercial value to Madrid is superior to that of the two South Americans.
Ronaldo has also complained to friends of a lack of respect on the part of Madrid’s president in publicly flirting with Neymar on the night the Portugal international collected the fifth Ballon d’Or of his career.
“Being in Madrid would make it easier to win the Ballon d’Or,” said Perez of Neymar earlier this month.”Real Madrid is a club which gives all you need as a big player, everyone knows that I already wanted to sign him at one point.”
Madrid lost a high-stakes bidding war to Barcelona when Perez failed to persuade Neymar to leave Santos for the Spanish capital in 2013. Although the Brazil international exploited a €222 million ($263 million) release clause to join Paris Saint-Germain last summer, Neymar’s father has encouraged Madrid to renew their pursuit of the 25-year-old — a move Ronaldo’s camp is aware of.
Currently in his ninth season at Madrid, Ronaldo has reset a host of national, European and global records while scoring 422 goals for the club. The 32-year-old has stated his intention to play into 40s and aims to be recognized as the greatest footballer of all time.
After deciding last weekend’s Club World Cup Final with the only goal in a 1-0 defeat of Gremio, Ronaldo deliberately placed public pressure on Perez to improve his financial terms by stating a desire to finish his career at the Santiago Bernabeu — if conditions were correct. “I would really like to, but things don’t depend on me,” he said. “What depends on me is what I do on the pitch. 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.”
Formally agreed in November 2016, Ronaldo’s current contract runs until the summer of 2021 and is understood to include a guaranteed gross salary of €48 million a year. That figure had been surpassed twice this year. First, by PSG’s summer deal with Neymar, then by the belated formalization of Messi’s hugely improved Barca contract. The Argentina international became the first footballer to be rewarded contract with a contract said to be worth an annual €50 million after-tax.
Ronaldo’s situation is further complicated by an ongoing dispute with the Spanish government over an alleged €14.7 million of unpaid tax. The player denies evading tax or hiding details of his income and argues that he has been targeted because of his celebrity. “If I wasn’t called Cristiano Ronaldo, I wouldn’t be sat here,” he said in a court appearance earlier this year.
Discussions between club and player over improved terms took place at the end of last season. Asked about a renewal ahead of Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Barcelona, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidance said: “What I think is that Cristiano, what he has done and what he is doing, deserves all of the club’s respect, but only after the winter break will we talk about it.”


Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

Updated 18 February 2019
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Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool to beware Bayern Munich ahead of Champions League clash

  • Reds boss worried about resurgent German giants ahead of second-round first-leg clash.
  • Bayern defender Joshua Kimmich claims Liverpool are the favorites.

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp has warned his Liverpool side they will have to be at their very best if they are to beat Bayern Munich.
The Reds head into the Champions League clash as slight favorites after months at the top of the Premier League. But having drawn the German giants in the second round, Klopp has told his players they have to keep their feet on the ground worthy could end up out of the competition before it really gets going.
“It’ll be very tough,” there Liverpool manager said.
“(Bayern are) only two points off Dortmund in the domestic league and have been consistent finalists and semifinalists.
“They’re a world class team but at the same time we’re confident we can cause them problems.
“They’ve got world class players so we know how difficult it will be.
“Everyone has to be at 100 percent otherwise we’ll get nothing from the game.
“Having said that we have confidence we have the ability to hurt them, and it’s up to us to show that.”

After a tough start to the season Bayern are up to second in the Bundesliga. 


Liverpool went al the way to the final last year, before losing to Real Madrid. But the momentum created by that surprise run has been maintained in the Premier League and another trip to the Champions League knockout stages.
Bayern currently lie second in the Bundesliga and are starting to look like their old levels agains after a tough start to the season. For Klopp, who managed Dortmund before arriving at Anfield, that could spell trouble for the Reds.
“After six years of pretty much dominating the league it was clear this year was going to be a tougher situation.
“It’s actually still the same, being at the top of the league and still in the last-16 of the Champions League.
“It’s a normal situation with a high quality team.
“Munich’s situation, from my point of view, makes them even more dangerous and even more of a threat from my point of view.
“This is a competition, in Europe, where they always do well.”
For the Germans the role of underdogs suits them perfectly. At least that is according to Joshua Kimmich.
The defender said: “Liverpool are the favorites.
“They have lost one league game all season and have let in only 15 goals. But when you look at us, we are not as consistent as before.”
Before a ball has been kicked Bayern did receive some good news. Winger Franck Ribery was originally left out of the squad to play at Anfield and did not fly with his teammates. But after becoming a father, the Frenchman has now decided to join up with the squad and will be available for selection. One man who definitely will not make the pitch is Jerome Boateng. The central defender is suffering from a stomach virus.
The Bavarians will also have to wait until Tuesdays to determine whether winger Kingsley Coman will be able to play after picking up an ankle injury on Friday.
The Frenchman scored twice but was injured in the final stages of their 3-2 win at Augsburg.

KEY MAN — ROBERTO FIRMINO 

Of Liverpool’s brilliant attacking trio the Brazilian is perhaps the most underrated and important. When he plays well the Reds usually do likewise. He links up the play well, settling up as many goals as he scores. Liverpool will be hoping he turns up with his A-game tonight, because if he does Bayern Munich could be in for a  long night. 

ARAB NEWS PREDICTS

For once Bayern are not having it all their own way in the Bundesliga. But they are improving and giving Borussia Dortmund something to think about in the race for the title. But home advantage will be key and a resurgent Reds will prove too strong for a Bayern defence that has, on occasions this campaign, looked less than watertight. The only question is can Liverpool get a decisive lead and put the tie to bed before the second leg?