Report: David Beckham aims to bring superstar Cristiano Ronaldo to Miami

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Take these reports with a pinch of salt, or in fact a large dose of it.

But regardless of its plausibility, it’s hard not to get excited about the potential for Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo heading to Miami in 2017 and signing for David Beckham’s Major League Soccer franchise.

Just think about it… A match made in heaven?

According to various reports across Europe, plans for Beckham to bring in Ronaldo as Miami’s first player have been revealed, as the Portuguese superstar and reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or winner would come to MLS on a massive Designated Player contract when Miami arrive. With Becks and his business partners desperate to make Miami a success, it seems like bringing in Ronaldo would instantly give the team worldwide recognition. Plus, it would add to Miami’s list of sporting superstars, as Ronaldo would rub shoulders with LeBron and co. to help MLS burst onto the scene in South Florida and beyond.

(MORE: Ronaldo wins 2013 Ballon d’Or, crowned world’s best player)

Like I suggested, plenty of these rumors will crop up between now and 2017 when Miami are expected to enter MLS, but let’s look at the facts.

Right now 29-year-old Ronaldo has a contract that runs until 2018 with Real and by the time Miami are about to enter MLS, he will be in his early 30’s. That’s the exact same time Beckham left Real Madrid to join MLS and the Galaxy, as the duo’s career paths have taken extremely similar paths. Like Beckham, Ronaldo turned up at Old Trafford as a teenager and under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, they both won every domestic and European honor on offer while playing for United. Becks then switched Manchester for Madrid, which is also what Ronaldo has done and both had flourished (Ronaldo arguably more so) in the Spanish capital for Real.

(MORE: Ronaldo helps out young fan in Miami, after he ran on the pitch to hug Madrid superstar)

Now, it seems, Ronaldo could be heading Stateside with Beckham harboring ambitions to make the Portuguese national team captain, and one of the greatest players Europe has ever produced, MLS’ next big star.

Ronaldo has visited the States on preseason tours for many years with United and Real, and is said to love having vacations in the USA. Also, if you remember last year when a game was in Miami, a young fan ran onto the pitch and Ronaldo embraced him with a warm hug to diffuse any unrest and showed his love for the people coming to watch him play in the Floridian city.

All of this adds up to a “maybe” judgement, as Ronaldo heading to MLS is obviously a few years away as he still aims to break records and win more titles as FIFA’s best player in the world while playing for Real.

However, when you start to think about it, Beckham bringing Ronaldo to MLS in three years time isn’t as far-fetched as it would have once seemed.

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE