Cristiano Ronaldo

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Sarri meets with Ronaldo about center forward role at Juve

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In theory, Maurizio Sarri won’t have to do much work to convince Cristiano Ronaldo to buy into his tactical plan.

“Cristiano, buddy, wanna lead a third league in scoring?”

We’re guessing he’ll sign up.

[ REPORT: De Ligt chooses Juve ]

Sarri reportedly has flown to meet with his new player, hoping to convince him to play as a center forward and take a run at the Serie A Capocannoniere. Ronaldo has played the role sparingly over the year, but operated on the left side for most of 2018-19.

Ronaldo finished five goals shy of the league lead last season playing his most league games since 2015-16. He’s led La Liga in scoring and the Premier League. From Football-Italia:

“Multiple sources including La Stampa, Corriere della Sera, Gazzetta dello Sport and more all state that Sarri and director of sport Fabio Paratici flew out to the Cote d’Azur on Friday for a face-to-face meeting with Ronaldo on his yacht. … He intends to speak to the players and adapt his tactics to fit their characteristics, starting with the MVP Ronaldo.”

The goal besides a good relationship was to convince Ronaldo to score all the goals, more or less.

Of course it’s a little less straight-forward than that. Sarri wants to win a scudetto, sure, but that’s the second target right now at Juve. We’re guessing if most fans would welcome Sarri saying the goal is the UEFA Champions League, and we know Ronaldo loves that competition.

There’s no guarantee CR7 will be able to reach the heights of 30 goals as a 35-year-old when the season ends, nor that he’ll play enough minutes in Serie A to tempt any sort of records, but most would expect him to rival anyone in the league should he play a central role in the attack.

Messi highest-paid athlete in the world

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Lionel Messi has been listed as the highest-earning athlete on the planet.

The Barcelona and Argentina star earned over $127 million in 2019, as the top three sportsmen in terms of earning were Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

It is the first time in the history of this list that three soccer stars have held the top three spots.

Forbes’ annual list of the top 100 highest-paid athletes in sport show that soccer stars feature heavily in the upper echelons, but plenty of superstars from the U.S. sporting realm make up the rest of the list. Serena Williams is the only women to feature in the top 100 with her earnings of $29.2 million, while Paul Pogba is the highest-ranked Premier League player as he ranks 44th with earnings of $33 million.

The American magazine calculated the earnings of athletes by adding their salary, endorsements and prize money from June 2018 to June 2019. Boxer Floyd Mayweather was top of the list last year, but has dropped out of it altogether.

Below is a look at the top 10 highest-paid athletes in sports over the past 12 months.

1. Lionel Messi $127 million
2. Cristiano Ronaldo $109 million
3. Neymar $105 million
4. Canelo Alvarez $94 million
5. Roger Federer $93.4 million
6. Russell Wilson $89.5 million
7. Aaron Rodgers $89.3 million
8. LeBron James $89 million
9. Stephen Curry $79.8 million
10. Kevin Durant $65.4 million

De Ligt reveals Ronaldo asked about Juve transfer

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Matthijs de Ligt is a man in demand and he has revealed the lengths some clubs are going to in order for him to join them this summer.

The 19-year-old center back played for the Netherlands in their 1-0 defeat to Portugal in the UEFA Nations League final on Sunday, and immediately after the game Portugal’s captain Cristiano Ronaldo had a little word with De Ligt.

Barcelona, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and now apparently Juventus are in the running for the powerful defender who led Ajax to the domestic treble and the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League.

De Ligt told Netherlands’ NOS television after the game that he didn’t expect Juventus star Ronaldo to ask him about a move to Turin.

“I didn’t understand him at first. I was a little shocked, so I laughed. But I didn’t say anything,” De Ligt said. “So soon after the game you are not at all concerned with it. You are disappointed that you have lost and that is the only thing you are thinking about.”

The Ajax defender revealed he will now go away on vacation and then decide his future in the weeks ahead.

Where would be the best fit for him?

Long-term Barcelona seems like the best solution, as Gerard Pique is in the twilight of his career and it is clear the Catalan club need serious help defensively. They should break the bank, if they can, to get De Ligt.

Manchester United are in the midst of a huge rebuild and De Ligt would be the main man at Old Trafford, but given the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be targeting young British players and United aren’t in the Champions League next season, they are outsiders.

Juve is an interesting option, with their usually staunch defense opened up by Ajax as they crashed out of the UCL at the quarterfinal stage. Ronaldo will be pushing hard for De Ligt to sign as he knows Juve’s defense must improve if they’re going to seriously challenge for the European title next season.

Then, there’s PSG. Like Juve, they know they have the attacking talent but their dramatic collapse against United in the UCL proves they need a top-class center back to balance their lineup and De Ligt fits the bill.

Simply put, Ajax know they have the most in-demand player in Europe right now and we are likely to see the world record transfer fee for a defender — Virgil Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton for $100 million in January 2018 — shattered as De Ligt’s age, leadership ability and incredible talent is clear for all to see.

Ronaldo hat trick puts Portugal in final

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It’s kinda what he does, you know, scoring huge goals?

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Portugal clinched a spot in the inaugural UEFA Nations League Final with a 3-1 defeat of Switzerland on Wednesday at the Estadio do Dragao.

[ MORE: Premier League VAR details ]

Ronaldo’s match-winner came in the 88th minute off a feed from Bernardo Silva, and then the Portuguese megastar cooked Manuel Akanji en route to a 90th minute insurance goal.

Ricardo Rodriguez scored a penalty kick for Switzerland’s lone goal.

Ronaldo’s performance came on the same day that the American lawsuit filed against Ronaldo for rape was moved to federal court.

The first goal was wonderful, a free kick sent through the wall after Ronaldo was fouled to win the opportunity, though it came after Bruno Fernandes was somehow not sent off for a sliding studs-up challenge. To be fair to Portugal, Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka could also have been sent off minutes later for a two-footed challenge.

The goals were the 86th, 87th, and 88th of his Portugal senior career.

And really the performance saved the story line, which would’ve been all about VAR after a penalty awarded to Portugal was never given thanks to a video review which nullified the foul in order to give a dodgy penalty to the Swiss.

That in itself had a measure of fairness, as the Swiss were the better team on the day. They just didn’t have Cristiano Ronaldo.

WATCH: Ronaldo sends free kick through wall to open scoring

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Cristiano Ronaldo has given Portugal a first half lead in its UEFA Nations League semifinal against Switzerland, firing a free kick home against the run of play.

The Swiss opened up Portugal within five minutes, with Xherdan Shaqiri forcing an in-tight save out of Rui Patricio.

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Ronaldo then zipped a shot wide of the near post off a bad giveaway from the Swiss, and then won a dangerous free kick with a dribble between a pair of defenders.

Given time to operate, the magician delivered with a free kick goal. The wall didn’t do a ton to help goalkeeper Yann Sommer.