PHOTO: Cristiano Ronaldo Surprises Jamie Vardy’s Stepson With a Signed Real Madrid Shirt

Despite his regular on-field arrogance, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is widely regarded as a very generous character in the footballing community off the pitch.

The Portuguese forward is aware that many idolise him and in true gentleman fashion, he sent a signed shirt to Jamie Vardy’s step son who is said to be a huge fan of the prolific goal scorer.

The Leicester man’s wife, Rebekah, uploaded the photo to Instagram with her chuffed son, Taylor, holding the jersey signed by the Ballon d’Or holder.

The shirt was personally addressed to the youngster by Ronaldo. The Los Blancos star has endured a fairly controversial summer so far with his future in Spain still undecided.

Ronaldo reportedly declared he wished to leave the club this summer following a lack of support in his tax fraud trial but in recent weeks, speculation of an exit has cooled.
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A return to Manchester United was spoken about but it seems unlikely that we will see the Portuguese forward come up against Vardy on English soil anytime soon.

Social Media Powerhouse Cristiano Ronaldo Revealed to Be 3rd Highest Instagram Earner in the World

​Cristiano Ronaldo has been revealed as the third-highest Instagram earner in the world after socialite Kim Kardashian and singer Selena Gomez.

The footballing superstar has reached incredible performance levels on the pitch throughout his career, but he has also established himself as one of the most marketable stars in the world, period, over the past decade or so.

British-based internet company ​Hopper has determined that the Real Madrid forward earns around £310,000-per-post on social media site Instagram, which makes him far and away the highest-earning sports star through the platform.

The Portugal captain is followed by 106m people from around the world, meaning anything he uploads will be seen by a huge audience, which is a massive attraction for various different brands wanting to sponsor.

Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly earns £310,000 per commercial post on Instagram, the most of any athlete in the world. 螺 pic.twitter.com/wQbJOPFpXf
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) 5 July 2017

To put things into perspective, the next sports star on the list is basketball’s Lebron James in 10th, who can *only* command around £93,000-per-post.
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Ronaldo is a keen contributor on Instagram and so it is safe to assume that, on top of his Real Madrid wage, his weekly income is going to be absolutely off the chart. Lend us a tenner, Cris?

Former Real Madrid Star Alvaro Arbeloa Reveals Feud With 2010 World Cup Winning Teammate

​Newly-retired full-back Alvaro Arbeloa has claimed there’s no way he would ever go to dinner with his old Spain teammate Gerard Pique.

The pair were involved in a very public feud, mostly during the 2015/16 season, and the former Liverpool, Real Madrid and West Ham defender told El Chiringuito TV on Wednesday that he preferred to avoid Barcelona star Pique.

As quoted by Four Four Two magazine: “I have no feelings towards him. I would not go to eat with him. I go with my friends.”

The pair already had underlying rivalry in the form of their respective clubs Real and Barcelona, but Arbeloa and Pique were never able to get along.

In the past, Pique has referred to Arbeloa as ‘a cone’, which led to a Twitter spat in plain view of the watching football world.

Arbeloa also taunted Pique over a 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad by Barca a few seasons ago, to which the centre-back hit back about his lack of game time for Los Blancos.

Pique is a rugged opponent on the football pitch, and is seemingly a spiky individual off it – Arbeloa isn’t the only individual to have had a fallout with him in the past; Sergio Ramos has also had a couple of spats with the 30-year-old in recent years.

Bayern Munich Would Not Risk Signing Cristiano Ronaldo Claims Former Manager

Cristiano Ronaldo would not be a viable signing for Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, according to former manager Ottmar Hitzfeld.

As reported by ​Squawka,​ while Hitzfeld feels that Ronaldo would be a “Christmas present” for the Bavarian club’s fans, signing the Real Madrid superstar would cause too much financial trouble.

Speculation has been rife that Ronaldo could look to leave the La Liga champions, following his highly publicised falling out with the Spanish tax authorities.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have both been linked with world record moves for the 32-year-old while Bayern have also been tentatively touted as a potential destination, given their status in European football.

And Hitzfeld, who guided Bayern to five Bundesliga titles during his two spells in charge at the club, has weighed in with his opinion of such a move, stating his belief that such a deal would only be bad news for Bayern as signing Ronaldo would break their financial structure.
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He said: “When I read the rumours I had to smile. I am happy about this idea – even if it is unrealistic. For the fans it would be a Christmas present to sign Cristiano Ronaldo but it is a utopian scenario.

“He would break the salary structure and Bayern would then have financial issues with the other players. And then the agents would use the situation to get more for their clients.

“[Bayern president] Uli Hoeness would not take such a risk.”

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Man Utd Make Sensational U-Turn as £75m Lukaku Deal Is Agreed & Morata Pursuit Ends

​Manchester United appear to have had a dramatic late change of heart in their pursuit of a new striker this summer, with news emerging from numerous reliable sources – including ​BBC Sport – on Thursday that a £75m deal for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has been agreed.

#MUFC have agreed a £75m fee with Everton for Lukaku. Hopeful deal will be conclude so he can fly on tour on Sun. Morata interest ended
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) July 6, 2017

​​United had been expected to soon seal a deal for Real Madrid front-man Alvaro Morata, but after difficulty in negotiating with the European champions, a move for Lukaku, who is proven in the Premier League after 43 goals in the last two seasons, appears to be imminent instead.

It has been suggested that United have now informed Real that they will no longer be pursuing Morata at all, which is likely to come as a personal blow to the Spaniard.

Utd have told Real Madrid they are no longer pursuing a deal for Alvaro Morata. A £75m deal for Romelu Lukaku is set to be completed #mufc
— Stuart Mathieson (@StuMathiesonMEN) July 6, 2017

​​Lukaku had been widely tipped to re-join Chelsea. However, suggestions that Antonio Conte wanted other targets instead – ironically Morata – and the presence of close friend Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, with whom he also shares an agent, may have served to change his mind.

It is believed that United captain Wayne Rooney will form part of the deal, with the 31-year-old returning to Goodison Park where he began his career in such spectacular form. Lukaku’s vacated number 10 shirt is likely to be taken by Rooney at Everton and vice versa at United.

Lukaku is expected to be a United player by the end of the week and take his place in the squad for the summer’s pre-season tour of America, which begins with a week-long training camp in California after flying out on Sunday.

United continue to pursue other deals but a proposed £40m transfer for Nemanja Matic seems to remain dependent on Chelsea’s not yet confirmed purchase of Tiemoue Bakayoko.

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Chelsea in Crisis After Reports of ‘Fuming’ Conte But Could Turn to Morata as Lukaku Alternative

​Chelsea missing out on the expected capture of Romelu Lukaku appears to have thrown the club into crisis after Manchester United’s dramatic swoop for the striker has brought yet more rumours that manager Antonio Conte remains deeply frustrated by a string of transfer blows.

Chelsea had been expected to land Lukaku for weeks, but the Daily Mirror described as Conte as ‘fuming’ when it became apparent that they would lose out to a direct rival.

It is said that Chelsea officials spent Thursday trying to establish if there was any way they could still bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, but any chance of that happening seems to have all but disappeared after rumours that the player was set for a United medical in LA on Thursday.

Despite a previous understanding that Conte’s preference was for other strikers and that Lukaku was the choice of technical director Michael Emenalo rather than the manager, the Mirror report explains that the Italian was actually ‘desperate to get’ the 24-year-old.

He was apparently in ‘regular contact’ with Lukaku and is said to have been planning for life next season with the powerhouse striker in the Chelsea squad.
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From the highs of claiming the Premier League title in spectacular fashion in May, Chelsea’s summer has quickly become disastrous. No progress has been made in trying to prise Virgil van Dijk away from Southampton, while a deal for Juventus wing-back Alex Sandro is proving to be more challenging than first thought after the Brazilian was offered a new contract in Turin.

The seemingly ‘done deal’ for Tiemoue Bakayoko has stalled at the 11th hour as well, with no formal confirmation yet materialising despite being expected last weekend.

With Diego Costa set to leave on the (relative) cheap for Atletico Madrid, despite the club’s transfer ban, a new striker is now arguably Chelsea’s most pressing concern.

A possible pursuit of Alvaro Morata may yet serve to soften the blow of losing Lukaku and calm an increasingly annoyed Conte. The Real Madrid front-man was on the brink of leaving the Bernabeu for Manchester until United dramatically pulled the plug on the deal.

Chelsea, and Conte in particular, were thought to be keen on the Spaniard before getting serious with Lukaku and resurrecting such interest makes a lot of sense. He has a previous connection with the Chelsea boss after signing for Juventus when Conte was in charge in Turin.

A possible deal for Torino’s Andrea Belotti remains the only other semi-realistic option.

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Liverpool not in transfer battle with Inter and PSG for Roma's Manolas

Expected to cost in the region of £35 million, the Reds are not interested in the centre-back, with Inter favourites to sign him

Liverpool’s intentions to reinforce their squad in the summer do not include the pursuit of Roma defender Kostas Manolas, who is the subject of interest from several top European clubs. 
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Reports in recent days have suggested Jurgen Klopp is one of the managers looking to add the 25-year-old to his line-up for next season, but Goal understands the Greece international is not under consideration. 

The Reds do have designs on strengthening their rearguard, but are not involved in the battle to land Manolas, who is expected to cost in the region of £35 million, with Inter currently frontrunners to secure his talents. 
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Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Barcelona have all been linked to the impressive centre-back, while Chelsea and Manchester United made enquiries in 2016. 

Arsenal, meanwhile, used Manolas as a pawn in their negotiations to sign Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia. 
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Roma have attempted to extend the Greek’s stay at the Stadio Olimpico, with his current deal expiring in 2019, but an exit is looking increasingly inevitable in the off-season.

Inter's Champions League dream may be over, admits frustrated Pioli

The Nerazzurri manager has conceded that his side’s hopes of securing a top-three finish in Serie A are slim following their 2-2 draw with Torino

Stefano Pioli has acknowledged Inter’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League hang in the balance after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Torino.
Pioli’s side went into Saturday’s clash at the Stadio Olimpico on the back of two thumping wins – beating Cagliari 5-1 and Atalanta 7-1 – but failed to claim all three points against a resilient Torino, despite two calamitous mistakes from Joe Hart.
Hart blunders gift Inter a point
The result leaves Inter in fifth, five points behind third-placed Napoli, who play their game in hand against Empoli on Sunday.
Pioli now believes that a return to the Champions League may be beyond the Nerazzurri’s reach.
“The Champions League – and an incredible goal we set ourselves – is certainly more distant now,” Pioli told Premium Sport.

22 – The last four Inter league matches have seen 22 goals in total (5.5 per game on average). Fireworks. #TorinoInter
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 18, 2017

“We are not satisfied. The performance was not the best, even if the will and desire was there. We missed an opportunity.
“We played against an aggressive opponent, but we did not adapt quickly enough. We made a lot of technical errors.
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“Despite all this, however, there is regret, because in the end we had three or four chances and we deserved to win. Until the end we tried to win it, but we did not succeed.

“It is clear that those teams in front of us are strong and often win. I was expecting something more tonight. Now we have to recover and prepare for the final push.”

On-loan Hart gifts Inter a point with pair of blunders

The Torino goalkeeper’s two mistakes allowed Inter to escape from their visit to Stadio Olimpico with a draw

A pair of mistakes by Joe Hart allowed Inter Milan to escape with a 2-2 draw against Torino Saturday.
Goals from Daniele Baselli and Afriyie Acquah arguably should have been enough for the hosts to move up to ninth with the victory, only for the on-loan keeper to concede a pair he would love to have back.
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With the game scoreless in the 27th minute, Hart only got a touch on Geoffrey Kondogbia’s low drive and watched as it slowly trickled into the net to give Inter the lead.
After Baselli’s equalizer six minutes later, Torino would go up in the 59th minute thanks to Acquah. But while Hart perhaps could be forgiven for not being quick or strong enough on Inter’s opener, there aren’t any good excuses for the second.
Hart just missed a cross into his six-yard box, appearing to misjudge the flight and over-run it as he came for the ball. The chance fell to Antonio Candreva, who buried the shot into the empty net to level the score in the 62nd minute. That’s how it finished.
Manchester City keeper Omar Bravo has been befallen by numerous gaffes on his own this season, leaving City fans wondering if the club would have been better off keeping Hart instead.

But on this night, the English keeper did not make a compelling argument as to why he should again be City’s No.1, if he returns to the club when his loan finishes.

Torino 2 Inter 2: Visitors held despite Hart errors

Despite a pair of errors from Joe Hart, Inter missed a chance to put pressure on Serie A’s top three as they were held by Torino.

Two calamitous errors from Joe Hart proved costly as Torino and in-form Inter battled-out a thrilling 2-2 draw in Serie A.
In an enthralling contest at Olimpico Grande Torino, it was the visitors who took the lead 27 minutes in, Hart allowing Geoffrey Kondogbia’s tame strike to squirm under his grasp.
Torino fought back through Daniele Baselli, and – after a string of impressive stops from Samir Handanovic – Stefano Pioli’s side found themselves behind midway through the second half when Afriyie Acquah netted in terrific fashion.
However, Inter – who recorded 5-1 and 7-1 wins in their previous two matches – wasted no time in levelling proceedings, Hart again at fault as he flapped at a cross, enabling Antonio Candreva to steer home into an empty net.
Hart did atone for his errors late on, making a wonderful finger-tip save to deny Inter substitute Eder as both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils, leaving Inter still five points outside the Champions League places.
Torino boss Sinisa Mihajlovic did not shy away from praising Inter in the pre-match build up, and it was not difficult to see why as the visitors dominated the opening stages.
Mauro Icardi thought he had broken the deadlock nine minutes in, only for his strike to be cancelled out by a late offside flag.
Inter maintained the pressure, and unconvincing goalkeeping from Hart almost resulted in Danilo D’Ambrosio thumping into an empty net, but the full-back’s strike whistled wide.
But Hart was punished for his next error.
Kondogbia did well to engineer space in Torino’s area, but his resulting shot should have represented a routine save for the England goalkeeper, who instead made a dreadful attempt at parrying the ball clear, allowing it to trickle over the line.

50 – G. Kondogbia has scored his 2nd goal for Inter, in his 50th appearance in all competitions – both goals have come vs Torino. Talisman.
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) March 18, 2017

For all their dominance, Inter were pegged back 33 minutes in – Baselli capitalising on slack defending to head home unmarked from Adem Ljajic’s corner.
Torino came out strong after the restart, and only a superb save from Handanovic prevented Andrea Belotti’s deflected strike putting Torino ahead.
Inter’s goalkeeper was all at sea for Torino’s next opportunity though, leaving a huge gap between himself and the near post that Cristian Molinaro somehow failed to exploit.
Torino continued to press, and they got what they deserved when Acquah swept home a sublime first-time strike from the edge of the area, giving Handanovic no chance.
Hart looked to have recovered from his earlier blunder when he pulled off an instinctive stop to tip Eder’s effort over, but he was at fault again as Inter swiftly restored parity.
The Manchester City loanee raced out confidently to claim Cristian Ansaldi’s floated cross, only to completely miss his attempted punch – Candreva taking the ball down before unleashing a powerful strike into the left corner.
Torino forward Lucas Boye was introduced as the half wore on, and he could well have made an immediate impact if not for a vital block from Kondogbia.
Inter piled on late pressure, Eder unleashing a venomous strike that looked destined for the top corner, but Hart was on hand to ensure the visitors missed out on the chance to move into the top four.
Key Opta Stats:

– Torino have lost only once at home in Serie A this season (W8 D5).
– Prior to Saturday, Inter had not conceded more than one goal in a Serie A away match since last December (v Napoli).
– Geoffrey Kondogbia has netted his second Serie A goal, both have been scored against Torino at the Olimpico (the first came in November 2015).
– Antonio Candreva has scored 43 goals over the last five Serie A campaigns, more than any other midfielder.
– Juan Iturbe has provided an assist in each of his last three Serie A appearances.
– Torino have scored the joint-most headed goals in Serie A this term, 13.