Witch Doctor Claims Cristiano Ronaldo Is ‘Cursed’ After Missing His Father’s Funeral

Cristiano Ronaldo’s start to the season has been surrounded by controversy, with a five-match ban and troubles with the Spanish tax authorities. According to “Fafe”, a Portuguese witch doctor, the Real Madrid star is under a “terrible curse, a tremendous case of evil eye.”

Fafe believes that Ronaldo is being punished for missing the funeral of his late father, Jose Dinis Aveiro: “Ronaldo has been weakened spiritually and psychologically,” said Fafe, when asked about the player’s recent troubles. 

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Supercopa de Espana: 1st Leg

Speaking to Flash, Fafe said Ronaldo’s misfortune all descends from failing to fix the relationship with his father. Ronaldo’s father struggled with alcoholism throughout his life, passing away due to a related illness in 2005. 

Fafe continued: “He did not say goodbye to his father when he was alive, and had not talked to him in a long time. There are things that weigh on our consciences. As bad as a father can be, missing his funeral unleashed very powerful negative energies.”

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Missing his father’s funeral during his time at Manchester United, Ronaldo opted to play in a match instead of attending the proceedings. With this curse now looming over him, the misfortune will continue unless he is cured, according to Fafe. 

Luckily for Ronaldo, the witchdoctor is offering to relieve him – for free! Saying “I am happy to treat him for free. Ronaldo is the best player in the world and for him I would do it free of charge.” 


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Real Madrid vs Deportivo Match Preview: Classic Encounter, Head-to-Heads, Team News and More

Real Madrid and Deportivo kick-off their Primera Division campaigns this Sunday with both clubs aiming for very different things this season.

Zidane’s men are surely expected to record a comfortable win over Depor at the Bernabeu, with the away side not beating Madrid since they triumphed 1-0 at Abanca Riazor in 2008.

Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Madird themselves are hoping for another superb season after completing the league and Champions League double last term, and look in fine fettle following their 5-1 dismantling of Barcelona over the two legs of the Spanish Super Cup.

Deportivo, however will have hopes of surviving for another season after a 16th place finish last season, Pepe Mel will be hoping his side can show the battle and determination required to avoid another relegation battle. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this season opener at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Classic Encounter

RC Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Deportivo La Coruna 2-8 Real Madrid (La Liga, September 2014)

Carlo Ancelotti’s side absolutely destroyed Deportivo at the Riazor with an emphatic 8-2 victory to bounce back to winning ways following two successive defeats, with their new look multi-million pound side being too strong for their Spanish counter parts.

Cristiano Ronaldo put Madrid ahead with a trademark header after 29 minutes before new signing James Rodriguez, fresh off his impressive World Cup displays, doubled their lead with a superb strike from distance seven minutes later.

Ronaldo then added his second and Real’s third in the 41st minute seizing on a mistake from home keeper German Lux to make it 3-0 at the interval. Slight hopes of a comeback arose when Haris Medujanin scored from the spot in the 50th minute after a Sergio Ramos handball, but those hopes were erased 16 minutes later when Gareth Bale thundered his shot in off the post. 

RC Deportivo La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Bale got his second in the 74th minute when he lobbed the onrushing Lux following substitute Isco’s superb through ball to make it 5-1. Not to be outshone, Ronaldo completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute before Verdu Nicholas pulled back a consolation with six minutes to go.

However, there was still time for substitute Javier Hernandez to have an impact on the game when his quick fire double took the scoreline to 8-2 and end a very comprehensive days work for Ancelotti and his men.

Head to Head Record

Deportivo de La Coruna v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Real Madrid have a fairly dominant record over Deportivo when it comes to league meetings – with 17 wins, seven losses and only one draw.

Goals seem to flow between the two sides, with 32 goals in the past six games. Madrid did the double over Depor in their title-winning campaign last term with a close fought 3-2 at the Bernabeu, before a more comprehensive 6-2 win away from home.

As previously mentioned, Mel’s side haven’t beaten the Galaticos since 2008 and you would have to go back to 2004 for the last time they won at the Bernabeu with a 1-0 win thanks to a solitary strike from Albert Luque. 

Team News

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Supercopa de Espana: 1st Leg

Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo is unavailable for Los Blancos thanks to his five-match ban for his sending off in the Spanish Super Cup and subsequent push of a referee. New signings Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos both came off the bench on Wednesday in the second leg and are expected to feature in the Madrid squad.

New Deportivo signings Guilherme and Fabian Schar are both expected to start for Pepe Mel’s side, but Carles Gil, Juan Rodriguez and Raul Albentosa are all doubts for the away side due to injury and didn’t feature in their team’s training session early on Friday morning.

Predicted Madrid Lineup: Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Benzema, Asensio

Predicted Deportivo Lineup: Ruben, Juanfran, Arribas, Schar, Luisinho, Bruno Gama, Borges, Guilherme, Bakkali, Cartabia, Andone 

Prediction

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After Real’s dominant performance against Barcelona, they showed they have the squad depth to push on all fronts this season and they should have too much quality for Deportivo.

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Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Deportivo on Sunday

​After their emphatic 5-1 victory over rivals Barcelona in the Super Cup, Real Madrid start their defence of the league crown with a home match against Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday evening.

Without Ballon d’Or Cristiano Ronaldo, who will miss the second match of his five game ban for pushing an official in the first leg, here’s how Real Madrid’s could line up at the Bernabeu for this one.

Goalkeeper

  • Navas

    Navas1

Keylor Navas is undoubtably ​Real’s number one and will start the match on Sunday.

Defence

  • Carvajal

    Carvajal2

  • Varane

    Varane5

  • S. Ramos

    S. Ramos4

  • Marcelo

    Marcelo12

Full-backs Dani Carvajal and Marcelo are vital to Zinedine Zidane’s side. Their pace and athleticism allow them to constantly get up and down their respective flanks and rack up the assists.

Captain Sergio Ramos is one of the first names on the team sheet. With his commanding presence and knack for timely goals, he will likely be paired with Raphael Varane, whose composure on the ball and pace compliments the Spaniard’s combative style of play.

Midfield

  • Modric

    Modric10

  • Casemiro

    Casemiro14

  • Kroos

    Kroos8

Matteo Kovacic impressed against Barcelona on Wednesday but Casemiro should come into replace him​ to provide a shield in front of the back four and giving Luka Modric and Toni Kroos the freedom to create for the front three.

Modric has showed in the last few seasons just why he’s so highly thought of. His ability to pick a pass and awareness will be twinned with Kroos, whose incredible eye for a final pass and delivery from set-pieces is second to none.

Forwards

  • Bale

    Bale11

  • Benzema

    Benzema9

  • Asensio

    Asensio20

Karim Benzema has come under a lot of criticism recently, but his work rate and goal on Wednesday means he should start through the middle.​ 

Neither Gareth Bale or Isco featured in the second leg of the Super Cup against Barcelona, and it remains a toss up over who will will make the wide positions in Ronaldo’s absence.

Marco Asensio showed why he is one of the most talked about talents in world football with two stunning strikes against Barcelona. His sparkling form makes him near impossible to leave out currently.

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Real Madrid Starlet Marco Asensio Tells PSG ‘No Thanks’ Following French Side’s Big Spending Summer

Real Madrid star Marco Asensio is quickly becoming one of the most popular figures in football. 

Stunning performances towards the end of last season followed up by a strong U-21 Euros campaign and outings against rivals Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup have skyrocketed the 21-year-old playmaker to the forefront of European football.

One thing that the former Mallorca man’s new found stardom brings is rather unusual transfer rumours – with Asensio recently linked (tenuously) with moves to join Arsenal, Liverpool or most recently, Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite the Parisians ability to lure Neymar to the Parc des Princes from Barcelona, Asensio has been quick to dash any rumours out there about a potential exit, as quoted by Goal.

How much would PSG offer to sign me? No thanks,” Asensio told ABC. “I’m very young, but I’ve been in professional football a long time and I know how things are going. They talk well for me, but I do not stop for a second in these matters.”

It has been well documented in recent weeks that Asensio has a buyout clause in his current Real Madrid contract, believed to be in the region of £72m.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Supercopa de Espana: 1st Leg

Despite still having five years left on his deal at the Santiago Bernabéu, Real Madrid are not prepared to take any chances on their star player and plan on inserting a €500m release clause into his new contract.

Madrid are understood to be keen on starting contract discussion as soon as possible over fears that Barcelona will meet his release clause, in an attempt to snatch the most promising young player in the Spanish capital.


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VIDEO: Lionel Messi’s Revealing Reaction to Marco Asensio’s Super Cup Stunner

Marco Asensio is one of the most promising talents in world football and has proven himself to be a real threat when shooting from distance. 

The 21-year-old was once again in the spotlight after his screamer in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup put the nail in Barcelona’s coffin and once again displayed Real Madrid as the team to beat in La Liga this year. 

But even Lionel Messi was left despondent after Asensio’s effort flew into the top corner, with a reaction that almost pointed to an acknowledgment of Barcelona’s inferiority to Zinedine Zidane’s men. 

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Messi was not the only player who looked majorly affected by the loss. Speaking after the game, Barca defender Gerard Pique said “This is a long process and there is room for improvement but in the nine years that I have been here, it is the first time that I feel inferior to Madrid. 

“We are not in the best moment, either as a team or as a club. We must stay as close as possible and keep moving forwards.”

The loss same just days after Barcelona sold Neymar to PSG for a world record transfer fee and, with the news that Luis Suarez will be out injured for at least a month, Barca’s season could be over before it has even started. 

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Monaco Lay Out Demands for Kylian Mbappe as Paris Saint-Germain Step Up Pursuit

​Monaco have set out their demands to rivals Paris Saint-Germain over the latter’s continued pursuit of wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.

Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol took to his Twitter account to pass on information, obtained by the media corporation’s Italian division, over the Ligue 1 holders’ valuation of their star striker.

Monaco are believed to be holding out for a fee of around £182m before they will even entertain PSG’s attempts to sign the 18-year-old, but Les Parisiens have so far only offered around £142m plus add-ons for one of the most coveted footballers on the planet.

PSG have already splashed out £200m on landing Neymar from Barcelona this summer, and have not yet given up hope of enticing Mbappe away from their title rivals with less than two weeks of the current transfer window left before it slams shut in September.

Monaco have so far resisted any and all offers for Mbappe’s signature, with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City being held at arm’s length in their attempts to wrest him from the Stade Louis II.

Mbappe was benched by Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim for the club’s 4-1 triumph over Dijon last Sunday after he had started their first two league games of this season.

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Jardim, however, was quoted by ​Sky Sports as he explained why he had decided to leave the France international out of his starting lineup.

He had said: “We never punish our players. That is not the right word. ‘Protected’ is a better word. When so many things are happening around an 18-year-old kid, it is our responsibility to protect him.

“Kylian is not at 100 percent. He is not in great form. But that is to be expected of a kid who is just 18.”

Mbappe burst onto the first-team scene for Monaco last season and helped fire them to the French top flight title and the semi-finals of the Champions League. The Bondy-born footballer plundered 26 goals in 44 games in all competitions, but is yet to get off the mark in 2017/18.


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Arsenal Linked With Very Ambitious €80m Move for Real Madrid Star Marco Asensio

Spanish gossip outlet Don Balon has suggested that Arsenal would be willing to trigger the €80m (£72m) release clause of Real Madrid starlet Marco Asensio, a player tipped to become one of the very best in the world in the future after impressive development since last summer.

Scorer of a stunning goal in the Spanish Sup Cup this week, Asensio is in the process of agreeing a new contract with Real that would see his release clause increased to €350m. But until that deal is fully signed off, he is, in theory, available for the relatively cut price €80m.

Real Madrid v FC Barcelona - Supercopa de Espana: 2nd Leg

Of course, any chance Arsenal have of signing the 21-year-old hinges on whether he would actually want to leave the Bernabeu should the Gunners or anyone else formally trigger the clause.

And, unsurprisingly, Don Balon’s report, after giving Arsenal fans brief hope, quickly dashes the dream of seeing Asensio in north London as he has no interest in quitting the Bernabeu.

When Asensio’s new contract comes into effect, reflecting his new role as an important first-team player for Real, the opportunity to sign him is essentially over.

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The Mallorca-born star played 38 times in all competitions in his debut season with the first-team in 2016/17 and capped off the campaign by scoring in the Champions League final, his 10th goal.

He is now expected to flourish further this season and his emergence is said to be one of the reasons Real have not signed any attacking or forward players this summer, and why potentially missing out on Kylian Mbappe is considered less of a blow than it might otherwise have been.


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Zlatan, Hazard, Kante & Kane Join Ronaldo & Messi on 24-Man Shortlist for Best FIFA Men’s Player

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Harry Kane ​are among those who join usual suspects Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the 24-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player ahead of the world football governing body’s annual gala that will be held in London on 23rd October.

Ronaldo took home the last prize after his 2015/16 season for club and country and remains the favourite once more after La Liga and Champions League honours in 2016/17.

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Messi ended last season by winning the European Golden Shoe for a record equalling fourth time after his 40 league goals were a continental high.

Both Hazard and Kante inspired Chelsea to Premier League glory in 2016/17, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in all competitions for Manchester United and Harry Kane captured a second successive Premier League Golden Boot.

Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus - Pre-Season Friendly

Real Madrid players, including Keylor Navas, unsurprisingly dominate the list of nominees.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB – Borussia Dortmund)

Leonardo Bonucci (ITA – Juventus/AC Milan)

Gianluigi Buffon (ITA – Juventus)
​Daniel Carvajal (ESP – Real Madrid)

Cristiano Ronaldo (POR – Real Madrid)

Paulo Dybala (ARG – Juventus)

Antoine Griezmann (FRA – Atletico Madrid)

Eden Hazard (BEL – Chelsea)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (SWE – Manchester United)

Andres Iniesta (ESP – Barcelona)

Harry Kane (ENG – Tottenham Hotspur)

N’Golo Kante (FRA – Chelsea)

Toni Kroos (GER – Real Madrid)

Robert Lewandowski (POL – Bayern Munich)

Marcelo (BRA – Real Madrid)
​Lionel Messi (ARG – Barcelona)

Luka Modric (CRO – Real Madrid)

Keylor Navas (COS – Real Madrid)

Manuel Neuer (GER – Bayern Munich)

Neymar (BRA – Barcelona/PSG)

Sergio Ramos (ESP – Real Madrid)

Alexis Sanchez (CHI – Arsenal)

Luis Suarez (URU – Barcelona)

Arturo Vidal (CHI – Bayern Munich)

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SOUTHAMPTON

The shortlist for Best FIFA Women’s Player has also been revealed, featuring England pair Lucy Bronze and Jodie Taylor, award holder Carli Lloyd and Euro 2017 winning pair Lieke Martens and Vivianne Miedema:

Lucy Bronze (ENG – Manchester City Women) pictured

Deyna Castellanos (VEN – Santa Clarita Blue Heat)

Pernille Harder (DEN – Linkopings / VfL Wolfsburg (Women)

Sam Kerr (AUS – Perth Glory / Sky Blue FC)

Carli Lloyd (USA – Houston Dash / Manchester City Women)

Dzsenifer Marozsan (GER – Olympique Lyonnais Feminin)

Lieke Martens (NED – FC Barcelona Femeni)

Vivianne Miedema (NED – FC Bayern Munich Frauen)

Wendie Renard (FRA – Olympique Lyonnais Feminin)

Jodie Taylor (ENG – Arsenal Women)

England v Scotland - UEFA Women's Euro 2017: Group D

The October ceremony will also see awards handed out for the premier Best FIFA Women’s Player and Best FIFA Men’s Player, as well as the FIFA Fair Play Award, the FIFA Puskás Award, the FIFA Fan Award, the FIFA FIFPro World11 and the new FIFA Goalkeeper Award.


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Why Marco Asensio’s Ascension at Real Madrid Is Inevitable as the World’s Best Young Player

​In a team full of superstars, it’s often hard for young talents to get a look-in – just ask any of Chelsea’s legion of youngsters currently farmed out on loan around the continent. 

Sometimes though, that talent is undeniable. In special, special cases, a new star can emerge from the reserves and the loan spells early, and make their impact on the biggest stages. Marco Asensio, as it happens, is a very special player indeed. 

The 21-year-old has been all over the back pages this week for a pair of shit-hot long-range turbobangers against Barcelona, one in either leg of the Spanish Super Cup, and was compared favourably to Michael Laudrup and Isco while he was learning his trade at Mallorca. 

The headline stat around the 21-year-old is his record in debuts; scoring in his first Real Madrid appearance in La Liga, the Champions League, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup, but the 12 months since that first Real goal in the Super Cup have seen him become so much more than a novelty statistic. 

One of the biggest benefactors of Zinedine Zidane’s deep squad rotation plans, especially towards the end of the Primera Division season, Asensio has gone from young backup option to pushing for a place in Real’s first starting XI of the league season on Sunday.

While Zidane rested a handful of his leading men – particularly Cristiano Ronaldo – in away league games for the last two months of the season, Asensio took up a starting position in role across a front three. Alternating between the right and left wings, with an occasional appearance in the centre of midfield, impressed his manager enough to feature in every one of Real’s Champions League games from the quarter-finals onwards. 

What separates Asensio from the other players in similar situations to him – Munir and Paco Alcacer at Barcelona, Borja Mayoral and, to an extent, Mateo Kovacic at Real – is how match-ready he is right now. 

It’s hard to call last season a true breakout one for him, starting just 12 games across the Champions League and La Liga, but the departures of Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez have freed up a lot of opportunities for the coming campaign. 

The accepted thinking earlier in the summer was that most of the 27 league starts the pair combined for last season would go to Kylian Mbappe when he arrived from Monaco, but excessive wage demands look to have scuppered that move – leaving game time there for the taking. 

Now, some of that will go to Isco – although his introduction tends to necessitate a shift from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2, with Bale or Benzema dropping either to the bench or a left midfield spot – but Asensio could easily start more than half of Real’s games this season in all competitions. And when he does, he will shine. 

His pace and vision already make him one of the most dangerous players in world football on the counter-attack alongside Neymar and Eden Hazard, and the long-range thunderbastards he’s rolled out in the Super Cup mean that defenders can no longer afford to stand off him when he’s on the break. That, in turn, will create gaps in ragged defensive lines for him to either beat his man or play through a Ronaldo or Bale figure. 

Missing out on Mbappe may be, inadvertently, Real’s best move this summer. In Asensio they have a young, attacking player who has a more complete all-round game, is the better player now and has a higher potential ceiling. He’s played at the very highest level for a season, is being mentored as part of the best club squad assembled in a generation, and could even replace Bale on the left-hand side of Zidane’s attack by the end of the campaign. 

The Welshman’s injuries last season made it very clear that Real could win things without him. And more to the point, they could win everything without him. In Zidane’s systems, be it 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, Asensio provides a better stylistic counterbalance to his attacking partners than Bale; and is fast becoming a fan favourite. The Asensio Ascension, as it absolutely will not be called, is well underway. 

P.s., he signed for Real for about €3.5m. After a number of Premier League clubs turned him down. Just something to think about.

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Barca Fans Upset at Club for Congratulatory Tweet Sent to Real Madrid Following Super Cup Loss

​The folks at Barcelona couldn’t have been in the best of moods after losing to Real Madrid in this year’s Spanish Super Cup, yet their social media personnel were still polite enough to congratulate Zinedine Zidane’s side.

A tweet on their Twitter account read: “Real Madrid receive the trophy as Spanish Super Cup champions. Congratulations.”

​​Needless to say, the gesture was not met with good cheer – from Barca fans that is, some of which were still upset with the club over their kind words for Real after they won the La Liga title last season.

Maybe they’ve gotten the message by now…

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