Key Midfield Man Doubtful for PSG Return Leg as Real Madrid Confirm Knee Ligament Issue

Real Madrid midfield ace Toni Kroos could miss his side’s Champions League last-16 return leg with Paris Saint-Germain after suffering knee ligament damage that will reportedly see him sidelined for at least two weeks.

The 28-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Los Blancos secured a two-goal buffer over the French capital side with a 3-1 win, courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo brace and a Marcelo volley.

The German international was imperative in Zinedine Zidane’s outfit entering half-time on level terms, after Adrien Rabiot had opened the scoring for the visitors. His quick thinking from a short corner offered Giovani Lo Celso no other option than to haul his opposition man down inside the area, resulting in the five-time Ballon d’Or winner slamming home for his first of the evening.

However, according to the Real Madrid’s official website, Kroos could well be set to miss the all-important return leg at the Parc des Princes on March 6, after suffering lateral ligament damage.

“Following tests carried out on Toni Kroos by the Sanitas Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a sprained to the exterior lateral ligament in the left knee. His recovery will continue to be assessed”, the statement read.

While no definitive timeframe has been established by the club, medical sources consulted by Spanish news outlet AS claim that the midfielder is set to be sidelined for at least two weeks, with others stating it can take up to six weeks for a full recovery.

Marco Asensio could well profit from the 28-year-old’s suffering, with the 22-year-old certainly throwing himself into contention after playing a part in his side’s second and third goals in midweek. 


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VIDEO: Cristiano Ronaldo Makes Time to Catch Up on Liverpool’s 5-0 Drubbing of Porto

​Supporters often dream what life would be like as a professional footballer; what they would do on a daily basis to keep themselves entertained on their days off or after training. 

These theories often involve high-end sports cars, swimming pools or pottering around the expensive parts of the Monopoly board, enjoying fine food and donning overpriced designer clothing. 

However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, has offered her Instagram followers a little insight into the world of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, and it seems he enjoys playing with his balls alongside the occasional groan of displeasure… 

Firstly, get your mind out of the gutter, that is not what I meant. The video portrays the 33-year-old enjoying some recuperating time on the sofa while playing his new game, ‘Ball in the hole’.

To be honest, that doesn’t make it sound much better, but the main objective seems to be throwing the type of plastic multicoloured sphere you would find in a Play Pit into a small hole, pretty self-explanatory

As I am sure you would imagine, this type of skill takes serious levels of concentration, however there’s always need for a bit of background entertainment, and Ronaldo opted to catch up on the other Champions League clash of Wednesday night, the one he was not involved in, Liverpool’s trip to Porto. 

It comes as little surprise to see the Portuguese hero take interest in a contest that houses a club from his home nation, or one that ended 5-0, however, it obviously was not thrilling enough, as he seemed quite content in focusing his attention towards ‘Ball in the hole’. 


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Neymar Calls on Experience From Barcelona Comeback in Hope of Emulating Heroics Against Real Madrid

Neymar​ has called on his memories from his time at Barcelona which saw them dump Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League at this stage last season in hope of emulating such feats when his side tackle Real Madrid in their return leg next month. 

A Cristiano Ronaldo brace and Marcelo volley counteracted Adrien Rabiot’s opener to hand the reigning champions a two-goal buffer ahead of the second-leg at the Parc des Princes on March 6, however, the Brazil international has experience of overcoming adversity at this stage of the competition. 

12 months ago, the 26-year-old played a pivotal role in Blaugrana’s inconceivable comeback, which saw them overturn a 4-0 deficit from the first-leg to scrape through to the quarter-finals via a famous 6-1 win over Unai Emery’s outfit, and despite the world’s most expensive player recognising Los Blancos’ advantage will be a task to overhaul, he has refused to admit defeat

“I think it’s difficult, but nothing is impossible”, Neymar told ​Globo Esporte following PSG’s 3-1 defeat. 

“Last year I was in a much worse situation and got through. I hope I can perform better and that we can do it.”

On the whole, Paris were arguably the better side on Wednesday evening, in what was a high-tempo, chance-swelled contest, however the France capital star admitted his side once again did not possess the “maturity” to tackle the grandest stage. 

“I think made mistakes in a few moments”, Neymar added. “We did not have the maturity to play in the latter stages of the second half. 

“I think we have to sort things out. We did not play a badly, but we have to improve if we want to get past Real Madrid.”


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6 of the Best Individual Away Performances in the Champions League Following Sadio Mane’s Hat-Trick

With the Champions League heading into the latter stages, now is the time the remaining teams look to their star players to step up to the mark. Players have the chance to write their names into Champions League history as well as cement their place in the history of their respective clubs.

Here, we will be looking at 6 of the more memorable individual performances away from home in Champions League history, performances which grabbed the world’s attention.

6. Roy Keane vs Juventus (1999)

If omens were anything to go by heading into Manchester United’s semi final clash with Juventus, United had never won a game in Italy and Juventus had never lost to an English side at home. To add to this, Juventus had a crucial away goal to their name after a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the first leg, and found themselves 2-0 up against United after 11 minutes.

United needed a miracle, up stepped Roy Keane. His header from a corner got his side back into the game after 25 minutes, and although a pursuing yellow card meant he’d miss the final should United make it, that didn’t stop the midfielder from performing. 

Keane continued to be a threat in attack whilst also snuffing out any Juventus threat in defence, becoming a key influence all round the pitch. Goals from Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole followed to send united through to the final – which they would go onto win – and fans would have a lot to thank Keane for, with his performance ultimately sending them through.

5. Didier Drogba vs Bayern Munich (2012)

All odds were stacked against Chelsea heading into the 2012 Champions League final. The final was played at the Allianz Arena in Munich, meaning their opponents for the final Bayern Munich would be playing on home soil, however there was one man who would haunt Bayern. 

After scoring the only goal in the first leg of Chelsea’s semi final against Barcelona, Drogba was keen to play a key role in the final. All looked to have been lost for Chelsea when Muller put Bayern 1-0 up with just seven minutes to go, however with just two minutes left, Drogba’s header came off the inside of the bar and past Manuel Neuer to keep their hopes alive.

The game went to penalties and after Schweinsteiger missed Bayern’s fifth penalty, it gave none other than Drogba the chance to win the Champions League for Chelsea, an opportunity he duly took. He sent Neuer the wrong way and Chelsea won the competition for the first time in the club’s history, and Drogba cemented his status as a club legend in doing so.

4. Thierry Henry vs Internazionale (2003)

Heading into their clash with Inter at the San Siro, Arsenal were on scintillating form in the Premier League, still yet to lose any of their first 13 games. However, their clash with the Italian giants posed a different threat. With the likes of Javier Zanetti, Ivan Cordoba, Marco Matterazi and Fabio Cannavaro in defence, they has arguable the strongest back line in football.

However this wasn’t to stop Henry. An exceptional display of pace and clinical finishing pursued, with Henry scoring twice himself and Arsenal running out 5-1 winners in an extraordinary display from Arsene Wenger’s men. Henry was the start of the show and alerted Europe’s top club of exactly what he was capable of.

3. Gareth Bale vs Internazionale (2010)

Tottenham headed into their clash with the reigning Champions League holders Inter Milan at the San Siro as serious underdogs, and proceedings couldn’t have started worse for the north London club when goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was sent off and Spurs found themselves 4-0 down at half time.

On the verge of embarrassment, up stepped Gareth Bale in a game that would ignite his career. Two almost identical dazzling runs ended in Bale finishing from almost impossible angles, beating Julio Cesar at his far post. He completed his hattrick with just minutes to go and although Tottenham lost 4-3, Bale put his name on the European map.

2. Steven Gerrard vs AC Milan (2005)

It was a fairytale story for Liverpool fans, however at half time in the 2005 Champions League final, it looked all but that for Liverpool fans. The Reds found themselves 3-0 down after two goals from Hernan Crespo and a third minute opener from Paulo Maldini. Liverpool had to step up, and up stepped their captain.

Steven Gerrard got his side back in the game just 10 minutes after half-time, and afterVladimir Smicer got Liverpool to within one goal of the Italians, Gerrard won the Reds a penalty after a driving run into the Milan defence. Xabi Alonso missed the penalty however followed up with the rebound to complete the comeback.

Under the leadership of Gerrard, Liverpool went onto win the game on penalties in what remains to be seen as the greatest comeback in the history of the competition.

1. Ronaldo vs Manchester United (2003)

Real Madrid headed into the second leg of their Champions League quarter final clash with Manchester United with a 3-1 advantage from the first leg. United were in the mood to cause what would’ve been a very unlikely upset, however Ronaldo had other plans. Every goal United scored seemed to be countered by a moment of brilliance by Ronaldo.

He went onto bag himself a hattrick and although Real lost the game 4-3, they ensured their passage to the semi finals after winning 6-5 on aggregate. It was a sensational hattrick, who’s blistering pace and neat finishing was too much for united to handle that day and remains to be seen as one of the best individual performances in Champions League history.

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Dani Alves Throws Down the Gauntlet to Real Madrid Saying ‘They’ll Have to Play Very Well in Paris’

​Paris Saint-Germain defender Dani Alves has laid down the challenge to Real Madrid as he insisted the Spanish giants will need to up their performance if they are to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League. 

Despite succumbing to a ​3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the first leg of the last-16 tie, Alves came out fighting and claimed the Parc des Princes would hold no punches come the return game in three weeks’ time. 

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The Los Blancos cancelled out Adrien Rabiot’s opener to net three goals without reply, an advantage which Alves was optimistic his side could overturn despite their shortcomings in the first game.

“We competed well, but we were too intermittent and at the Bernabeu that is very costly. In this stadium, you cannot rest on your laurels because, if you do, look at what happens,” he said via ​Marca.

“Now, if Real Madrid want to go through to the next round, they will have to play very well in Paris. The press are going to sell things. Talking about being favourites against Real Madrid at home is a bit difficult.”

The former Barcelona full-back has been an ever present for PSG in his debut season, scoring four goals in 29 appearances to date, but the 34-year-old will have to wait until March 6 before he can attempt to inflict revenge on Real Madrid.

The Parisians, however, have four games to contend with before they can return their attention to the reigning European champions, as league games against Strasbourg, Troyes and a double-header with Marseille await. 

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Manchester United Legend Claims Ronaldo Practised Penalty Trick in Training

Rio Ferdinand claims Cristiano Ronaldo deliberately caused the ball to bounce before his 45th-minute penalty against Paris Saint Germain on Wednesday night. 

With Paris Saint Germain leading 1-0 through an Adrien Rabiot goal Giovani Lo Celso brought down Toni Kroos in the penalty area on the stroke of half-time. Ronaldo duly stepped up and powerfully converted the spot-kick taking him to 100 Champions League goals.

There is more than meets the eye, however, and several eagle-eyed fans spotted the Portuguese forward plant his left foot next to the ball with such force that the ball seemed to rise up from the ground allowing him to dispatch a volley with his right.

It is an extraordinary technique that Manchester United legend and pundit Rio Ferdinand says Ronaldo used to practice in training at Carrington training ground. 

Talking after the game on BT Sport Gary Lineker said ‘If he means that it is definitely special.’ To which Rio Ferdinand replied: ‘He used to do that in training, you know. I’m not sure he meant to do that there, but he did use to do that in training. I swear, crazy.’

Gary Lineker, like many football fans around the globe, was in disbelief but regardless of Ronaldo’s intention, the 33-year old forward’s esteemed career has reached indisputable new heights as he became the first player to score 100 Champions League goals for a single club

Zinedine Zidane looks to have kept his managerial prospects alive for a while longer at least with a little help from the Portuguese international. 

The La Liga giants will be hoping the two-goal advantage will be more than enough to see them through when they arrive at Parc des Princes on Tuesday 6th March.


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Alvaro Morata Reveals Mourinho Inspired Hefty Challenge on Diego Costa During Madrid Derby

​Alvaro Morata has revealed how Jose Mourinho’s passion at Real Madrid made him ‘kick’ former Chelsea star Diego Costa during a tense Madrid derby.

The now Blues striker used to play for Los Blancos before he switched to the Premier League with the reigning champions last summer, and was quoted by the ​Mirror as he spoke about life under former boss Mourinho at Santiago Bernabeu,

The Portuguese gaffer is known for his desire to win and, when younger, implored whichever side he was in charge of to do whatever was necessary to secure all three points on the day.

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That led to Morata getting a bit too carried away when Real took on fierce city rivals Atletico one season, and the Spain international explained how he took on his international teammate in one particular challenge due to Mourinho’s words.

Morata said: “I played with Nacho in the reserves and he told us that we had to fight hard, that is what he wanted, what he likes.

“Mourinho told the two of us that in the Calderon [against Atletico Madrid] we had to fight. I almost took out Diego Costa, I gave him a brutal kick. Sometimes I remind Costa and we laugh.”

(You may also be interested in ​Conte Hails ‘Important’ Giroud & Praises Morata on Return After Chelsea Victory Over West Brom)

Speaking more in depth about Mourinho’s spell in charge of one of La Liga’s giants, Morata revealed how the now Manchester United manager always managed to get the best of those available to him.

The 25-year-old is one of the top performers within Europe’s top five leagues, and he stated his belief that his drive to score more goals was down to Mourinho instilling a driven determination him to win when he was a teenager.

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Morata added: “He has character, he took care of the homegrown players. He gave me the first big contract with Madrid and he told me: ‘If you get it right you will not have to work in your life.’

“I did not focus from the first moment, I was 17 years old and trained to have fun, not to be a Madrid player or to have to support my family. Mourinho told me I had to focus on me. He gave me the alternative.”


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Bayern Munich Will Seal €55m Transfer for Loanee as Bavarians Begin Long-Term Planning

Bayern Munich will look to bring James Rodríguez to Bavaria on a permanent basis if the Colombian can maintain his current form.

Rodríguez moved to the Allianz Arena in the summer, leaving Real Madrid on a two-year loan that cost Bayern close to €13m. There was also an option to buy the 26-year-old included in the loan deal, something that would set Bayern back an extra €42m if activated.

It was understood that the Bundesliga giants weren’t decided on whether they should sign the Colombian midfielder on a full-time basis. 

However, Rodríguez’s performances during the German Rückrunde have left Bayern’s chiefs keen for a deal to go through, according to Sport Bild (via Sport.de).

It is understood that Real Madrid do not have an option to veto a permanent move to Bavaria, with Bayern Munich only having to convince Rodríguez after the €42m clause has been activated.

Despite having impressive performances with FC Porto and AS Monaco in his early career, Rodríguez didn’t become a household name until his outstanding performances with Colombia in the 2014 World Cup.

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(You may also like Bayern Munich’s Glorious Viral Tweet Response to Lady Gaga Fact Leaves Fans in Hysterics)

Fresh off the back of the tournament in Brazil, Rodríguez sealed a €67.5m move to the Santiago Bernabéu.

Despite making more than 100 appearances for Los BlancosRodríguez was never able to cement his place in their first-team. 

Since moving to Bavaria, the Colombian playmaker has begun to kick-start his career and is once again being considered as one of the best midfielders in European football.

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Report Claims Cristiano Ronaldo Is Keen on Return to England With Premier League Trio Contacted

​Cristiano Ronaldo is keen on a return to the Premier League and is looking for a move to a London club, according to a report. 

Ronaldo is said to be unsettled at Real Madrid and ​L10 Sports claim he wants to leave the club at the end of the season as he is not happy with contract negotiations.

The report claims the Portuguese superstar is very keen on a move back to the Premier League but is not willing to work under Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho again, after the two fell out at Los Blancos.

A second report in ​L10 Sports says Ronaldo is already making moves in order to come back to England, specifically London. It claims that Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all been contacted by representatives of the attacker in anticipation of a transfer. 

Reports emerged last month that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was ​open to a move to current champions Chelsea and it now seems other clubs may be in the frame too. 

Ronaldo has scored 547 goals in 716 appearances so far in his career, including 118 strikes during a four-year stint with Manchester United. 

The French outlet also reports that Paris Saint-Germain is an option for the 33-year-old if he is to leave Real at the end of the season, although it is said Ronaldo has his heart set on a return to the Premier League. 

The attacker recorded a hat-trick in his last outing for Real in a 5-2 win over Real Sociedad on Saturday and will have the chance to add to his tally in the Champions League game against PSG on Wednesday. 


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