France showed on Friday that it hasn’t lost its mojo, as it tore apart Moldova on the road, 4-1, in its Euro 2020 qualifying opener.
Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane, Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe all scored in the win for France, which jumps well ahead in the Group H standings. For Giroud, it tied him for third in all-time scoring for Les Bleus.
Elsewhere, Portugal suffered a surprising result in a scoreless draw with Ukraine. The defending European champions failed to score, despite starting Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo up top. It’s the third straight time that Portugal has started off a qualification campaign without a win.
Here’s a look at the other scores around Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday:
Bulgaria 1-1 Montenegro
Albania 0-2 Turkey
Andorra 0-2 Iceland
Luxembourg 2-1 Lithuania
TFW the Sporting Lisbon player to MLS report you posted earlier isn’t even the most notable Sporting Lisbon player to MLS report in a 24-hour period.
Sure, Fredy Montero is likely to return to Vancouver, bringing a two-time MLS All Star resume with him.
But Nani won the EURO and the Champions League, you know?
Multiple reports say Nani, 32, will join Orlando City this summer, giving the club its biggest star since the retirement of Kaka.
The longtime Manchester United man has 112 caps with 24 goals for Portugal — including a goal against the USMNT at the 2014 World Cup — and has won six leagues between the Premier League and Portugal’s top flight.
He can also count the 2007-08 Champions League title on his resume, as well as Portugual’s EURO 2016 crown. He scored three times in that run.
Sky Sports transfer centre says that Jose Mourinho isn’t ready to return to a manager’s chair.
Saturday reports indicated that Benfica wanted the 55-year-old back in the chair which started his managerial career.
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It just sounds like the man needs a break after sitting in the Old Trafford pressure cooker for a few years. From Sky Sports:
Sky Sports News understands the former Manchester United and Chelsea boss feels that it’s too early to return to Portuguese football at this stage of his career.
Benfica sits fourth in Portugal’s Primeira Liga, and is alive in three cup competitions including the Europa League’s Round of 32.
Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the fold for Portugal in 2019, hoping to help the side to the first UEFA Nations League Final.
Ronaldo, 33, sat out Portugal’s six post-World Cup matches as Fernando Santos’ Seleção das Quinas went 3W-3D in six matches versus Italy, Poland, Croatia, and Scotland.
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But he’s settled with his new club Juventus and ready to return to Santos’ side.
“It was agreed that I would not be in the games of the first half of the season,” he said, translated by BeIn Sport. “I am 33 years old, I had just moved from country to country, working methods, team-mates, professional and personal routines.”
It was a great year for Ronaldo off the field, with a third-straight Champions League win at Real Madrid before a World Cup Round of 16 exit yielded to a big money move to Serie A. Ronaldo has 15 goals and 8 assists in 24 appearances for Juventus.
But a lawsuit from American woman Kathryn Mayorga brought to light 2009 rape allegations and a settlement and non-disclosure agreement between the alleged victim and attacker.
Ronaldo has consistently denied the allegations, and used a Monday interview in his home nation of Portugal to express expectations that he’d soon be cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter. Der Spiegel claimed Ronaldo-signed documents admitting that Mayorga said “no” multiple times during an incident he claims was consensual.
Vitorial Setubal left back Nuno Pinto is fighting cancer, but he’s got an entire club on his side.
Pinto, 32, has lymphoma and is taking a leave of absence to fight the disease.
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The Portuguese veteran who wears No. 21 was honored by his fans in the 21st minute of their Tuesday match, and his captain took the microphone for him in the press conference to announce his battle when the emotions became too much.
Here are the inspiring words of Vasco Fernandes, from the BBC:
“He is a warrior. We will always be with him. He’s one of ours and we never dropped one of our own,” he said. “He is a great person and a great father. In a while we’ll remember this as one more battle that we won.”
Pinto has played in the Europa League for Portuguese side National CD. He’s also been on the books at Levski Sofia, Astra Giurgiu, Tavriya Simferopol, Boavista Porto, and CD Trofense.