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Report: Ronaldo closing in on Juventus move

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Multiple outlets claim that Cristiano Ronaldo is close to moving to Italian giants Juventus.

Ronaldo, 33, is said to have agreed a $35 million per season salary at Juve, with his agent Jorge Mendes working on the finer details of the deal.

The only thing left to sort out is Real Madrid accepting Juve’s $116 million offer for the five-time World Player of the Year. Real president Florentino Perez is said to be okay with the move, but he is known to change his mind…

That said, it appears Ronaldo’s nine-year stay at the Santiago Bernabeu is coming to an end.

Ronaldo has led Real to four UEFA Champions League titles in the past five seasons, including three-straight UCL crowns, and his legacy as the greatest goalscorer in their history is complete.

It appears that he now fancies a fresh challenge and after he had to pay a huge tax bill to Spanish authorities during the 2018 World Cup, everything seems to suggest Ronaldo will move on to Turin with the Old Lady waiting.

Another thing which would have perhaps enticed Ronaldo to join Juve was the respect he received from their fans after scoring a stunning overhead kick goal at Juventus Stadium in the UCL a few months ago.

Small things like that make a big difference to a superstar who can choose to play for any team on the planet.

Three years at Juve, then a move to Miami in Major League Soccer?

Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo joining Juventus?

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A move back to the Premier League or even France seemed in the cards for one of the world’s biggest stars, but could it be Serie A that attracts a Portuguese international?

Various outlets are reporting that Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is set to move to Italian giants Juventus — who have finished atop Serie A in each of the last seven seasons.

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The story was first reported by Spanish television show Jugones on Tuesday.

Juve is reportedly willing to pay upwards of $115 million for the Portugal international, which would be the third-richest transfer in soccer history.

Neymar and Paul Pogba‘s moves to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, respectively, are the only transactions that commanded more money.

Ronaldo, 33, has been rumored with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu since Madrid’s latest UEFA Champions League triumph over Liverpool in May.

The news comes after Real president Florentino Perez had previously been adamant that a Ronaldo move was nearly out of the question.

The veteran attacker is believed to have a release clause of over $1.1 billion at Real, however, if reports indicate an accurate amount that Juve is going to pay, Madrid will receive roughly one-tenth of that price.

Ronaldo and his Portugal national team were recently eliminated by Uruguay in the Round of 16 at the World Cup.

Portugal manger on Ronaldo’s future: ‘He still has a lot to give’

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As soon as the final whistle blew on Portugal’s 2-1 defeat to Uruguay in the 2018 World Cup round of 16, it was the question on everyone’s mind — as it was for Lionel Messi when Argentina lost to France earlier on Saturday — was that the last time we’ll see Cristiano Ronaldo play at the World Cup? What about for his country, period?

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Predictably, Portugal manger Fernando Santos not only hopes it won’t be Ronaldo’s last World Cup/international appearance, but he’s admittedly desperate to keep the 33-year-old a part of the national team setup — quotes from the BBC:

“He still has a lot to give to football. There is a tournament in September and we hope Cristiano will be with us to help the players grow.”

“We hope he will be there with us, of course, to help the younger ones to grow. We have a team with many young players and it’s important to have a captain. He’s always there for us.”

“Congratulations to Uruguay. It’s very sad for Portugal, though. There’s a real sadness in the dressing room that we weren’t able to make it through for them. In football, there are no moral victories and I would have preferred to play worse and win the match. But I do feel that the second half was very good from us, in terms of desire and our determination to score. We tried our best and we played a good game, I think. But you always want to win, and we lost, so well done to Uruguay for making it through.”

The “tournament in September” to which Santos is referring is the UEFA Nations League, a brand new competition which will replace a vast majority of between-tournament friendlies and provide national teams a competitive environment to sharpen themselves ahead of the 2020 European Championship and the 2022 World Cup, and beyond.

Having already been crowned a champion of Europe — three seasons straight with Real Madrid at the club level, and again with Portugal in 2016 at the international level — will the chance to defend Portugal’s crown serve as motivation enough to attempt another run at the World Cup in Qatar? As Santos also points out, Portugal have a wave of young talent ready — waiting — to break through, and while he’s stood in the way of some of it — as much as an all-time great can do — his presence and wisdom could prove invaluable over the next 12, 24, or perhaps 48 months.

Cavani scores twice, Uruguay top Portugal to reach QF

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Edinson Cavani’s time to be the star — whether for club or country — has been a long time coming and finally arrived on Saturday, as his two goals propelled Uruguay past Portugal and into the quarterfinals, for the second time in three tournaments, at the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Having been overshadowed by the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Neymar at Paris Saint-Germain, and long played second fiddle to Luis Suarez for Uruguay, Cavani’s brace went a long way toward dispelling notion that he’s not a “big-game player” — for one day, at least.

It was Cavani and Suarez who threatened the Portuguese defense all day long, and it was Cavani and Suarez (and Cavani, in that order) who combined brilliantly for the game’s opening goal in the 7th minute.

Cavani played a 55-yard diagonal ball to Suarez, near the top of the penalty area, and — here’s the important part — continued his run afterwards. As if he’d been forgotten about since he took up a wide midfield spot on the field, the Paris Saint-German man was allowed to drift centrally and into the box before peeling away from the nearest defender just as Suarez dropped his cross on a dime, and the header was elementary.

Suarez forced Rui Patricio into a diving save in the 21 minute. After winning the free kick 30 yards from goal, Suarez drilled the dead-ball restart low, bouncing it through the wall and just inside Patricio’s left-hand post, but the Wolverhampton Wanderers man (signed this summer) came saw it the whole way.

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

Either side of Suarez’s chance, it was all Portugal — from possession, to meaningful possession and scoring chances — and finally, after trailing for nearly 50 minutes, they were level after 55 minutes, thanks to Pepe’s unmarked header from Raphael Guerreiro’s corner kick.

The 1-1 scoreline wouldn’t last long, though, as Cavani scored his second of the day in stunning fashion — a perfectly placed curler from the edge of the penalty area to restore Uruguay’s lead just seven minutes later. Fernando Muslera played the ball long, it fell to Rodrigo Bentancur, and Bentancur slotted a deftly weighted ball to Cavani on the left. His finish, exquisite as could be, snuck inside the far post. It was a direct passage of play, but it was decisive and deadly.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ]

Up next for Uruguay will be a quarterfinals clash with France, one of the tournament’s most popular favorites. Les Bleus knocked off Argentina, in a 4-3 thriller, in the day’s first round-of-16 fixture.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 16 — France-Argentina kicks off Round of 16

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16 countries have paved their way into the knockout phase at the 2018 World Cup, but now it’s every team for itself as Saturday kicks off the Round of 16.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

A pair of high-profile clashes resumes the tournament, with giants France and Argentina kicking off the action, before Uruguay and Portugal meet later in the day.

Les Bleus enter the weekend having gone unbeaten in their three Group C matches, however, with just three goals scored to this point, France will be looking for Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and the rest of the attack to provide a spark up front.

Meanwhile, Argentina scraped its way through to the knockout rounds after a gutsy effort against Nigeria in their Group D finale.

The Albiceleste have managed to reach at least the quarterfinals in their last three World Cup appearances, and have achieved that feat in all but one tournament since 1986 (Round of 16 in 1994).

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

In the day’s other matchup, Uruguay boasts the best backline in the competition, after not conceding any goals through group play.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Co. travel to Sochi in search of becoming the first nation to break down the Uruguayan defense at the World Cup.

2018 World Cup schedule – Saturday, June 30

Round of 16

France vs. Argentina; Kazan — 10 a.m. ET — LIVE COVERAGE
Uruguay vs. Portugal; Sochi — 2 p.m. ET — LIVE COVERAGE