Carlo Ancelotti not worried about Cristiano Ronaldo’s knee

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Cristiano Ronaldo was forced out of Wednesday’s game with what we speculated was a foot injury. According to Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti, the problem is actually Ronaldo’s knee, an ailment that the Merengues boss expressed no concern about after his team’s 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabéu.

After scoring his record 14th goal of the tournament, Ronaldo was hurt as he slipped in the Dortmund half with around 15 minutes to play. After initially trying to continue through the game’s final quarter-hour, Ronaldo sat on the pitch to stop play before Casemiro took his place. He was able to leave the field under his own power.

Speaking to the media after the match, Ancelotti confirmed the nature of his star’s injury while also hinting Ronaldo’s removal was purely precautionary. From Madrid-based reporter Dermot Corrigan:

Ronaldo will surely be reevaluated over the new games, but in light of Ancelotti’s assessment, it seems unlikely the reigning Ballon d’Or winner will miss next week’s leg in Dortmund. The extent to which he’ll even be needed is debatable, with his team’s three-goal edge leaving Real Madrid on the brink of the club’s fourth-straight semifinal.

Cisse arrested in sex tape investigation

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Former Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse is embroiled in a bizarre investigation into the extortion of a sex tape.

The 34-year-old French striker has been arrested by French police who have confirmed that are investigating attempts to bribe another international footballer.

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Unconfirmed reports from France claim that the individual in question is France and Lyon midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, a former teammate of Cisse at both Marseille and with the French national team.

According to Reuters news agency, Cisse was questioned because he was familiar with the people involved and in total four individuals were arrested as it is alleged they plotted to ask for money from Valbuena for the sex tape to not be released. It is unclear if the tape is of Valbeuna and his partner Fanny Lafon, or if other individuals are involved.

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Cisse won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool and scored 24 goals in 79 games during his three-year stay at Anfield until 2007. He also had spells with Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, while he is currently out of contract after being released by Ligue 1 side Bastia following nine goals in 41 appearances. Cisse is due to appear on the French version of “Dancing with the Stars” in the coming months.

Further reports from France say that Cisse is expected to be “exonerated” and that the existence of the video is “not proven” at this point.

Agent: “There’s no hatred” between Bale, Ronaldo

Gareth Bale & Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid CF
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Gareth Bale doesn’t at all dislike Cristiano Ronaldo — or vice versa — despite what may seem a lukewarm on-field relationship between the two Real Madrid superstars, insists Jonathan Barnett, agent of Bale.

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Instead, Barnett insists that the two men with very different personalities have a healthy relationship, and competition, that pushes each Galactico to be the best player he can be.

Barnett, on Bale’s relationship with Ronaldo — quotes from the Guardian:

“They don’t go out eating every night together, but it’s fine. There’s no hatred there. Gareth is a quiet guy. They’re complete opposites. But I think Gareth can learn a little bit from Ronaldo as well, interacting maybe a little bit. But he wants his own life and he lives it. Gareth is a great footballer, he doesn’t want anything more. He has some very good endorsements but his whole life is to be the best footballer in the world. I don’t think he wants to be the best model in the world or the best underwear seller. That’s not him.”

That’s a hilarious closing quote from Barnett, but he knows exactly how some folks are going to interpret it: “Bale thinks Ronaldo loves himself too much.”

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There’s nothing better for the ultimate success of a team than healthy, friendly competition between teammates who are spectacularly talented as Ronaldo and Bale. The former will only be around to perform at his current level for so much longer, but at what point does the latter officially take the torch and supplant Madrid’s biggest star, and how accepting will he be of passing that proverbial torch?