Cristiano Ronaldo, fan

Cristiano Ronaldo helps hugging pitch invader out of legal predicament

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Remember the guy who ran onto the pitch and hugged Cristiano Ronaldo during the second half of the International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and Chelsea?

Following that incident he was promptly arrested and looked to be in hot water after being charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing.

Until Ronaldo himself intervened.

Upon hearing of 20-year-old Ronald Gjoka’s legal predicament, the Portuguese star penned a letter to the Miami prosecutor asking that the charges be dropped.

Much to the delight of Gjoka, the assistant district attorney agreed.

“We are happy to announce the prosecutor today dropped the charges against our client in open court,” said Gjoka’s lawyer Richard Hujber. “In particular, we thank Cristiano Ronaldo for all his assistance and consideration in this important matter involving a young college student with an extremely bright future.”

The incident came about on August 7th when Gjoka, wearing a Ronaldo shirt, sprinted onto the field and dropped into the traditional knee slide of his hero. Gjoka then rose and embraced Ronaldo, who calmly hugged the student and even chatted with him briefly, much to the delight of the 70,000 fans in attendance. Gjoka was then escorted off the field by security and arrested.

Let off for his misdeeds, Gjoka now hopes to thank the star personally. “My dream now is just to see him again to say thanks,” he said.

No surprise there. But what is surprising is how Ronaldo handled the whole situation. Perhaps he took note of Gjoka’s jersey and respected the knee-slide imitation but in this world of violent pitch invaders, it’s still impressive how calm he remained, not to mention that he took the time to speak to the kid.

It was a small but nevertheless telling moment about Ronaldo, who so many discard as being pretentious and callous.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.