To get a good understanding of the situation, it’s important to know that Ronaldo has two main agents: Jorge Mendes and Simon de Quieroz. The former runs Ronaldo’s affairs for him, while the latter is a consultant for Mendes; they represent a large number of top players in the world, and are instrumental in the transfer market. The Ronaldo-Juventus situation has been a tense one: after four years at the Juventus, Ronaldo returned to United and signed a new £300,000-a-week, four-year deal in the summer of 2018.
It’s been five years since Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford for the Bernabeu in a world record £80m move after nine seasons with the Red Devils. After everything he’d achieved, it was hard to believe that Ronaldo would leave but that’s exactly what happened. The Madrid outfit also offered him bonuses of £30m each year, which he couldn’t turn down.
To get a good understanding of the situation, it’s important to know that Ronaldo has two main agents: Jorge Mendes and Simon de Quieroz. The former runs Ronaldo’s affairs for him, while the latter is a consultant for Mendes; they represent a large number of top players in the world, and are instrumental in the transfer market. The Ronaldo-Juventus situation has been a tense one: after four years at the Juventus, Ronaldo returned to United and signed a new £300,000-a-week, four-year deal in the summer of 2018.. Read more about brazil world cup wins and let us know what you think.
In the 2022 World Cup qualifications, Brazil maintained their perfect record. Pool/Getty Images/Claudio Reyes
The lowest five in the standings faced the top five in the seventh round of South America’s World Cup qualifiers and were unable to produce anything noteworthy. The only change in the rankings was that Peru moved ahead of Venezuela at the bottom of the table, since the top three teams were the only ones to win.
Brazil has already won seven games in a row and has almost collected enough points to guarantee a spot in Qatar 2022 before the halfway mark has even been reached. The 1-0 win against Chile was accomplished without a number of their first-choice players, as nine Premier League players and two Russians were absent due to the club vs. nation dispute.
Brazil coach Tite viewed this as a chance to look at alternative possibilities, and although he will be pleased with the outcome, there are some reasons to be concerned.
Both teams recently played in the Copa America quarterfinals, with Brazil winning by a single goal. Chile frustrated Brazil with a back three on that day, and they did it again here. Tite selected his team with a pair of speedsters on the flanks — Gabriel Barbosa on the right and Vinicius Jr. on the left — with the hopes of getting through Chile’s defense and creating havoc.
Chile, on the other hand, came out on top. They had an additional midfielder, and Arturo Vidal was typically the one who discovered the space to pull the strings. Brazil’s centre-backs coped with the most of the danger and held Chile at bay; when they were penetrated, it was left-back Alex Sandro’s excellent challenge that prevented Chile from taking the lead.
Brazil provided little detail, which was frustrating since Tite was hoping for an improvement after scoring only two goals in his previous three Copa games. He had urged his side to play more direct, but Lucas Paqueta, the ostensible midfield organizer, had a poor night, and Neymar, who seemed to be lacking in match fitness, was unable to cover the flaws.
The lone goal, though, was a good one, coming from one of Brazil’s few clean opportunities. When Danilo’s rare forward surge pulled the defense, Neymar and Everton Ribeiro collaborated, and when Claudio Bravo stopped Neymar’s effort, Everton Ribeiro was on there to drill home.
Brazil came away with a point, but they’ll be hoping for more on Sunday when they face Argentina, who are coming off a dominant 3-1 victory against 10-man Venezuela.
Argentina took it easy throughout their match. Pool, Edixon Gamez via AP
Venezuela selected an aggressive team under interim coach Leonardo Gonzalez and attempted to create issues with their attacking speed, but everything went wrong at the other end. Jose Manuel Velasquez, the center-back, was hurt early in the game; Adrian Martinez was sent in to replace him, and before he had a chance to warm up, he was pulled into a reckless challenge on Lionel Messi. He fell and lost his balance on the way, making the challenge seem more serious than it was, but he was sent off, and Venezuela faced an Argentina team full of confidence following their recent Copa America victory.
Coach Lionel Scaloni maintained the same formation as against Brazil in the Copa final, with Angel Di Maria wide on the right. That game was won by Di Maria, but his participation came at a cost. It moved Giovani Lo Celso to the left, disrupting his excellent connection with Lionel Messi. Argentina quickly regained their groove playing their complex triangles when Marcos Acuna attacked from left-back, enabling Lo Celso to push infield.
Just before halftime, Lo Celso slid Lautaro Martinez through for the opening, and after the break, the Correas scored two goals, one for Joaquin and one for Angel, thanks to equally exquisite passing plays. Venezuela’s stoppage time penalty provided little consolation, but Yeferson Soteldo made the most of the opportunity with a well-crafted ‘Panenka.’
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Argentina got their three points early in the game, but Ecuador, in third place, had to wait until the very end to break down a tenacious Paraguay in Quito.
Ecuador had gone seven games without a victory, including the Copa and two rounds of qualifying in early June, and it showed. Coach Gustavo Alfaro seems to have lost faith in his team. Concerned about the amount of goals Ecuador had been allowing, he added a third centre-back, which was clearly unneeded against unimaginative opponents who seldom crossed the half-way line and only left one player upfield. Furthermore, moving the attacking full-backs forward as wing-backs did not fit the team; it just took away their acceleration room and made them more difficult to mark.
Ecuador has been unable to produce for a long time. Alfaro shifted to his more usual 4-2-3-1 after an hour, and the movements began to flow. Even yet, the stalemate was not broken until the 88th minute. A left-hand corner was cleared and returned to the taker, Junior Sornoza. Pervis Estupinan, on the left flank, over-lapped and delivered a beautiful cross to the far post, where Felix Torres headed home. There was still time for striker Michael Estada to score his second goal, cutting in from the right side, leaving two defenders in his wake, and guiding the ball past the goalkeeper.
Earlier in the day, Colombia had taken the lead against Bolivia thanks to a similar goal by Roger Martinez. Fernando Saucedo blasted home a late equalizer in the thin alpine air of La Paz, a strike that David Ospina hardly noticed as it went past him.
Peru and Uruguay also tied 1-1 on the Pacific coast. Uruguay remains in fourth place, the final automatic qualifying spot, while Peru moves a point ahead of Venezuela at the bottom of the standings. However, with just five points separating Uruguay and Venezuela, there is still a plenty to play for in Sunday’s eighth round, which will feature Brazil vs. Argentina as the obvious centerpiece.
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