Bale, Ronaldo declared fully fit after ‘precautionary’ training week

Real Madrid will receive a huge boost for their Sunday league game against Villarreal with the confirmed returns of midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Both Ronaldo and Bale, as well as Rafael Varane, had missed full sessions this week for “various precautionary reasons”, according to ESPN FC. Bale did some solo work and Ronaldo went to the gym during Thursday’s practice.

The club released a statement regarding the former Tottenham standout’s availability for matchday.

Gareth Bale took his place with the group and completed with the others a training session which was again based around working with the ball,” a Real Madrid statement says. “The only absences from the session were Sergio RamosSami Khedira and James Rodriguez, who continue with their recovery processes.”

Rodriquez broke his foot in a Feb.4 contest versus Sevilla, while  Ramos is out until next month with a torn hamstring. Khedira could feature in the match, however, and Luka Modric may make his long-awaited appearance.

Cristiano Ronaldo forced by Nike to withdraw CR7 footwear range

Cristiano Ronaldo risked the wrath of Nike by launching his own footwear – and has been forced to pull the range after the American sportswear firm ask him to cancel their €9 million sponsorship deal with CR7.

The Real Madrid star has his own CR7 brand and has launched various items of clothing including his own underwear in recent months.

FOOTWEAR 

 

However it seems he went one step too far last week when he announced his new range of footwear at the Milan Shoe Fair last week. According to Spanish newspaper Sport, Nike, who are one of Ronaldo‘s main sponsors, were angered by the move which they viewed as an infringement on their agreement with the 30-year-old.

Indeed, Sport claim that the sportswear giant threatened to cancel his sponsorship deal, worth €9 million, unless he pulled the range of trainers, loafers and shoes which cost up to €550.

The Real Madrid superstar took the ultimatum seriously and has reportedly withdrawn the range altogether.

The news is just the latest setback for Ronaldo, who has endured a difficult 2015 to date. His form on the pitch has been less than stellar, while his break-up with long-term girlfriend Irina Shayk was well publicised.

FORM 

However it seems as though his form is on the pitch is on the up and he’s found the back of the net in his last two games having previously scored just four in his previous ten.

That has not stopped speculation about his future though. Sky Sports journalist Guillem Balague says that he is likely to leave the Bernabeu in 2016, and Manchester United have long been linked with a swoop for their former player.

Cristiano Ronaldo is doing what pretty much every modern footballer is doing – trying to maximise his earning potential while he can. However it seems he has gone a step too far this time and while the Real Madrid superstar is the most recognisable footballer on the planet, he’s still not big enough to avoid a slap on the wrist from one of his paymasters.

Benzema & Ronaldo stars as Real Madrid Go 4 Points Clear

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s bullet header helped Real Madrid to a 2-0 victory over a physical Elche side on Sunday as they extended their lead at the top of La Liga to four points.

With Barcelona suffering a shock defeat at home to Malaga on Saturday, Real had a chance to move four points clear and they grabbed it with second-half goals by Karim Benzema and Ronaldo.

Video: Cristiano Ronaldo Bullet Header vs Elche (Feb 22, 2015)

Although the Portugal forward struck a curling shot against the post after four minutes, Real struggled to break down a team that worked hard and were guilty of some aggressive challenges.

Benzema was unlucky to have a spectacular overhead kick ruled out due to a questionable offside call but he did knock a loose ball in from close range after 56 minutes.

Ronaldo then sealed the victory with a powerful header into the top corner from an Isco cross after 70 minutes.

It was a welcome goal for Ronaldo who has suffered a dip in form since Christmas following an electrifying start to the season and has now moved joint third in Real’s all-time list.

The Portuguese now has 290 goals and is level with Carlos Santillana, while Raul is out in front on 323.

We’re trying to rediscover our best form and we know that in a short amount of time everything can change,” Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who celebrated his 500th La Liga match, told reporters.

We received a lot of criticism but now the situation is more relaxed but this situation is normal playing for Real Madrid.

Our attitude has always been right and it is usual that you have ups and downs in form. When you are down it is when you have to be more united and that has been the case.

Real once again started by deploying Lucas Silva in midfield with James Rodriguez and Sami Khedira injured and Asier Illarramendi still out of favour with coach Carlos Ancelotti.

Ronaldo was unfortunate with his early strike from the left of the area that hit the woodwork but he then fluffed a shot with the goal gaping after being found by Gareth Bale.

The visitors pushed forward and the Elche rearguard resorted to some combative tackles to keep them at bay.

Fullback Eduardo Albacar was booked midway through the first half after several fouls on Bale on the wing. Then early in the second half Aaron Niguez should have been dismissed for a reckless two-footed lunge on the Welshman.

While Benzema‘s acrobatic effort was ruled out in the first half he scored with a more mundane goal when he tapped in after a David Lomban clearance rebounded off keeper Przemyslaw Tyton and fell to the France striker.

Fortsätt läsa Benzema & Ronaldo stars as Real Madrid Go 4 Points Clear

GOLDEN PHONE: Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest Ballon D’Or brag

The Portuguese player had his smartphone customized after winning his third Golden Ball last January.

Cristiano Ronaldo has reasons to be proud of himself, and his latest item is proof of it. The Portuguese player customized his iphone 6 to brag about his third Ballon D’Or, having the logo carved on the smartphone’s case. CR7 reportedly paid Swedish company Golden Concept 1,000 euros for the design, joining other players like Neymar and Felipe Melo, who had their phones customized in similar fashion.

Real Madrid’s Number 7 won his second consecutive Ballon D’Or in January, beating Lionel Messi and German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to the award. Ronaldo won the first one back in 2008.

”Winning La Decima was one of the greatest moments of my career”

While receiving an award given by Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, Cristiano Ronaldo spoke about his biggest achievement with Los Blancos so far: winning the UEFA Champions League.

It will be in my memory forever. Winning that trophy in my country is, by far, one of the greatest moments of my career. I dedicate this award to my team-mates, since all trophies are the result of teamwork,” Ronaldo said.

The player was awarded by his home country’s newspaper as the Best Portuguese athlete in the past 30 years. Furthermore, he was named the Best Portuguese footballer of all time, surpassing legends like Eusebio and Luis Figo.

Messi, Ronaldo to battle for Top Scorer in La Liga

After finding his scoring touch in Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to renew his scintillating duel with Lionel Messi in the Spanish league.

Ronaldo ended a rare three-game slump without a goal to help Real Madrid win 2-0 at Schalke on Wednesday in the Champions League.

It is clear that Cristiano Ronaldo lives to score goals,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “It’s never a problem for us when he doesn’t score for a couple of games. But he, of course, minds. I believe we are back on the right track.”

Madrid leads Barcelona by one point in the league before visiting a modest Elche side on Sunday.

Barcelona hosts Malaga on Saturday, three days before it travels to play Manchester City in the Champions League.

Not so long ago Ronaldo was running away with the Spanish league’s individual scoring title for the season.

Through 15 matches, Ronaldo had already tallied the impressive haul of 25 goals, while Messi – his closest chaser – was far behind with 13.

Since then, Messi has exploded and Ronaldo has struggled to keep up after facing 2 match ban. Ronaldo still leads with 28 goals, but Messi has closed the gap and has 26.

Counting all competitions, the two are fittingly locked on 37 goals in 34 appearances each.

Barcelona charged over fans ‘Ronaldo is a drunk’ Chants

The Spanish football federation is set to investigate Barcelona for a derogatory chant about Cristiano Ronaldo made by a small section of the Camp Nou crowd during their 5-0 win over Levante.

Approximately 200 home fans located in the ‘ultras’ section of Barca’s stadium sang ‘es un borracho, Cristiano es un barracho!’ midway through the second half of Sunday’s La Liga fixture, according to La Liga’s governing body LFP.

Video: Cristiano Ronaldo sings on his birthday party 

The term ‘barracho’ translates to ‘drunk’ in English, and it is thought Barca’s supporters were mocking Real Madrid star Ronaldo for holding his 30th birthday party just hours after his team’s 4-0 derby defeat to city rivals Atletico Madrid on February 7.

The LFP has deemed this to be in contravention of the RFEF’s Disciplinary Code, which outlaws any chant that incites ”violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance”.

Therefore, the league has announced its intention to pass on a written denouncement of the chant to the federation’s Anti-violence Commission on Thursday.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the LFP cited the Barca fan group ‘Almogavers’ as particular offenders for the ”repetitive, choral and coordinated form” of the chant, but also stressed that the song was not taken on by the rest of the crowd, whose ”behaviour was completely correct during the whole game”.

Carlo Ancelotti not worried by Cristiano Ronaldo’s form

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says he is not worried by Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent sharp drop in form as the holders prepare to play at Schalke 04 in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Ronaldo made a blistering start to the season and looked well on the way to breaking the record for La Liga goals in one campaign of 50 set by Barcelona forward Lionel Messi in 2011-12.

However, the Portugal captain has only managed four goals since the turn of the year and Saturday’s blank in Real’s 2-0 win at home to Deportivo La Coruna means he has failed to score in three consecutive La Liga matches for the first time since February 2011.

To be sure, he was short on luck at the Bernabeu, with one shot rattling the crossbar in the first half, but in recent weeks he has looked a shadow of the player who terrorised defenders in scoring a record 17 goals in last season’s edition of the Champions League.

He didn’t score but he was dangerous,Ancelotti said at a news conference after Real stretched their lead over second-placed Barca at the top to four points.

A crossbar, an assist (for Karim Benzema), he could have scored, he didn’t miss passes and the technical evaluation of his match is positive.”

Ancelotti will need Ronaldo back to his best soon if Real are to secure a record-extending 11th European crown this term.

It was a difficult week for the former Manchester United player, who was widely criticised after photographs leaked into the media of him and some Real team mates enjoying his 30th birthday party hours after last weekend’s humiliating 4-0 drubbing at Atletico Madrid.

Mister Chip, who collates soccer statistics, noted on Saturday that Ronaldo has suffered a loss of form after collecting each of the last two FIFA Ballon d’Or awards.

He scored 14 goals in the 10 games before the 2014 award and six in the 10 matches after, and for the 2015 award netted 12 goals in the 10 games before and only four after.

In Pictures, Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid vs Deportivo | Feb 14, 2015

Fortsätt läsa Carlo Ancelotti not worried by Cristiano Ronaldo’s form

Cristiano Ronaldo nominated for Laureus sportsman award of the Year

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo will once again bid to become the first team player to win the individual World Sportsman of the Year Award but he will face still competition from a glittering collection of world’s greatest sports stars, who have been nominated for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards, in Shanghai on.

Ronaldo will be up against some ferocious opposition from stars such as Lewis Hamilton, Rory McIlroy, Novak Djokovic — to name a few — when the winner is named in a glittering ceremony here on April 15.

Ronaldo was beaten by Sebastian Vettel last year but this time he faces UK pair Lewis Hamilton and Rory McIlroy, tennis world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Spain’s World MotoGP champion Marc Marquez and Renaud Lavillenie, the French pole vaulter who broke Sergey Bubka’s 21-year-old world record.

The Nominations, six in each category, have set up some eye-catching confrontations. None more so than for the Laureus Team of the Year Award, where the short-list has produced the ultimate football showdown: the German World Cup Team v Real Madrid, winners of a tenth Champions League.

The impact of the FIFA World Cup is also felt in the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year category where Germany’s Mario Gotze, who scored the winning goal in the final, and Colombia’s James Rodriguez, winner of the Golden Boot as leading scorer, are both nominated.

Although not picked for an individual Award, record four-time Laureus winner Roger Federer receives two Nominations for the part he played, along with Stan Wawrinka, in the first ever success by the Swiss Davis Cup Team, who are short-listed for both Team of the Year and Breakthrough of the Year. Serena Williams, nominated for Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, will be hoping for her record-equalling fourth Laureus Award, but she is challenged by the emotional appeal of China’s Li Na, who won her second Grand Slam in 2014, but had to retire later in the year. Among the other Nominees in this category are Winter Olympic gold medallists Tina Maze and Marit Bj Rgen.

Wheelchair racer Tatyana McFadden, who won the marathon Grand Slam of Boston, Chicago, London and New York for the second straight year, will be hoping to win the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award after missing out last year.

This time, in a very strong category, her opponents include Roman Petushkov, the first athlete to win six gold medals at the Winter Paralympics and Anna Schaffelhuber, who won all five Alpine gold medals at Sochi.

Nominees for Laureus World Comeback of the Year include Schalk Burger, who returned to South African rugby after beating life-threatening meningitis and Italian footballer Francesco Acerbi who beat testicular cancer.

Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore, six-time world surfing champion, will be bidding to win her second Laureus Action Sportsperson of the Year Award. Her opposition includes Gabriel Medina, Brazil’s first ever men’s surfing world champion, and American skateboard sensation Nyjah Huston.

Ronaldo: Real Madrid will win La Liga title

Cristiano Ronaldo is convinced Real Madrid will regain the Spanish league title from Atletico Madrid, despite the 4-0 loss at its rivals.

Real suffered its heaviest defeat in more than four years but still lead La Liga ahead of Barcelona and Atletico.

Barca is a point adrift, with Atletico four points back in third.

In my opinion we are a better team than Atletico and we should be showing that on the pitch. I’m sure, in the end, we’ll win La Liga,” Ronaldo said.

European champions Real is aiming for its first La Liga in three seasons and took control after a 12-match winning streak in the first half of the season.

But its four-point advantage over Barcelona was reduced at the weekend as Atletico’s win, coupled with the Catalan club’s 5-2 success at Athletic Bilbao, reignited the title race.

“It was a day to forget but we are still top of the league and we know we’ll have to fight right until the end,” Portugal captain Ronaldo added.

We have to put this game behind us as quickly as possible because Real Madrid can’t lose 4-0 to any team.”

Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes has defended the player for hosting his 30th birthday party shortly after the loss.

The Ballon d’Or winner was seen enjoying the celebrations in a video leaked to the Spanish media.

Ronaldo was devastated after the defeat and people spent two hours trying to cheer him up,” Mendes said.

The fact is that his birthday party had been organised more than a month ago and he had family coming from abroad.

He didn’t want to cancel out of respect for the people that came. What is inadmissible is that somebody takes advantage of a private affair to release a video.”

Luis Figo defends Cristiano Ronaldo

Former Portuguese international Luis Figo has defended Cristiano Ronaldo‘s decision to host a birthday party just hours after Real Madrid lost 4-0 at Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Ronaldo has faced criticism in various sections for holding the gathering after such a heavy defeat to their closest rivals, but Figo has thrown his support behind his fellow countryman.

”Anyone who doubts Cristiano Ronaldo’s passion for professionalism and that of Real Madrid’s is completely without knowledge of their history and character,” Figo tweeted.

The likes of Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo, Keylor Navas, James Rodriguez and Luka Modric were among those present at the venue, but Gareth Bale choose not to attend.