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Zidane Praises Ronaldo After Champions League Hat-Trick

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Zinedine Zidane hailed the “unique” talents of Cristiano Ronaldo after the Real Madrid forward netted a hat-trick in their 3-0 Champions League semi-final win over city rivals Atletico.

Ronaldo moved onto 100 European goals in the quarter-final win over Bayern Munich, when he scored five times including a treble in the second leg.

He again proved the man for the big occasion as holders Real moved within touching distance of another Champions League final appearance.

After heading the hosts into an early lead, albeit having looked offside in the initial build-up, Ronaldo smashed a second past Jan Oblak on 73 minutes and then knocked in a late third following another swift counter.

It was an all-round performance which left Zidane full of praise for his squad.

“Cristiano is a goalscorer. He is unique. All the players were brilliant,” the Real Madrid coach said at his post-match press conference.

“I am lucky to have these players. We try to play our football and enjoy ourselves. It works because we have great players with great attitudes.

“We knew what we had to do from the off and we played the game we wanted to. Today Isco played as a number 10 and was fantastic. We then had width with [Lucas] Vazquez and [Marco] Asensio. In a defensive sense we were brilliant too.”

Zidane continued: “I am happy with what I am doing here and with the players, we played a great game. We can hurt any side with our weapons.

“We started well, the first half-hour was fantastic, and we were clinical with our chances.

“We interpreted the game very well. It is not easy to score three times against such a difficult side and keep a clean sheet.”

Atletico, beaten in last season’s final by Real, rarely threatened and now have it all to do at the Vicente Calderon next Wednesday night.

Zidane, though, warned against any complacency.

“We have won nothing yet and need to continue in the way we are going,” he said.

“We still have the second leg. We will have to work hard and fight for it. We will suffer at their place for sure.

“There’s no such thing as an easy game and we need to play a perfect game at their place in order to go through.”

Zidane added: “We are content, very happy and we can enjoy it but we still have a long way to go in the Champions League and La Liga.

“I don’t think that we are euphoric and imagining ourselves in the final.”

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Cristiano Ronaldo Emerges First Billionaire Footballer

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Portuguese professional footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, has emerged as the first soccer billionaire.

The 35-year-old Juventus star is the third athlete after Tiger Woods and Floyd Mayweather to hit the $1 billion earnings mark while still actively competing, according to Forbes.

Forbes via its Twitter handle said Ronaldo earned $105 million in the past year (2019), making him number 4 on the 2020 Forbes list.

Ronaldo raked in £85million last year from his wages and endorsement deals, pushing him into becoming a billionaire.

His capital for the past year was second only to tennis superstar, Roger Federer, in the athletic world and it made him the number one in the game of football.

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BREAKING: Manchester United Agree To Extend Ighalo’s Loan Deal From Chinese Club

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Manchester United have agreed on a deal to extend Odion Ighalo’s loan until the end of January 2021, pending formal approval.

Ighalo initially joined Manchester United in a Deadline Day move from Shanghai Shenhua in January and scored four times in eight appearances in all competitions prior to the suspension of the Premier League.

According to Skysports, his current deal at Shenhua runs out in December 2022 and he will be expected to sign a contract offer until the end of 2024 worth £400,000 a week.

Similarly, Ighalo’s agent has confirmed the forward is set to extend his stay at Manchester United for another seven months.

He will now miss the majority of the 2020 Chinese Super League season, which is scheduled to begin in June.

Shanghai’s original stance was that they would only agree to extend his loan if an obligation to buy was incorporated into the deal, with Ighalo likely to cost upwards of £20m.

However, with border restrictions potentially preventing Ighalo from returning to China in time for the new season, Ighalo’s parent club have softened their stance and have allowed him to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

Additionally, Ighalo made a personal request to his parent club to extend his time at United, with the boyhood fan keen to finish what he started after netting four goals in eight appearances since joining on deadline day.

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Chelsea Reportedly In Talks With Leicester Over Nigeria’s Wilfred Ndidi

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Wilfred Ndidi

Highly rated Nigerian international, Winifred Ndidi, is said to be a possible replacement for Jorginho, who is believed to be linked with a move to Juventus.

Ndidi who joined Leicester from Belgian side, Genk, in 2017, has been in superb form for the foxes attracting interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Mundodeportivo.com reports that Chelsea could need a defensive midfielder as Jorginho could be heading to Juventus to reunite with former boss Maurizio Sari, although Frank Lampard insists that the Italian is not for sale.

The 23-year old is valued at 40 million Euros by Leicester city and has a contract til 2024

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