Ronaldo retains Club World Cup for Real Madrid

first_imgRonaldo was once again Real’s man for the big occasion as his strike went through the Gremio wall eight minutes after the break to ensure the European club champions were also crowned world champions for a fifth straight year.“We wanted to win because Real Madrid have never won five trophies in one year,” said Ronaldo. “I think we played a very good game and deserved to win.”Ronaldo has now scored 15 goals in 20 appearances for Madrid this season despite a slow start in La Liga.“The numbers speak for themselves,” added the Portuguese. “I give my answers on the pitch. The team were phenomenal and it is another trophy for the CV.”Gareth Bale was left on the bench despite scoring with his first touch as a substitute against Al Jazira on Wednesday to book Madrid’s place in the final, as Zinedine Zidane kept faith with the same side that started Real’s Champions League final triumph over Juventus back in June.Gremio booked their ricket to Abu Dhabi by winning the Copa Libertadores for the third time last month and Madrid knew they weren’t in for a comfortable evening just two minutes in when Gremio captain Pedro Geromel raked his studs down the back of Ronaldo’s calf without any punishment from Mexican referee Cesar Ramos.Ronaldo, though, confirmed he will be fit for next weekend’s Clasico against Barcelona.– Stubborn opposition –Madrid dominated possession but, unlike in their profligate semi-final performance, found clear-cut chances hard to come by against the well-organised Gremio defence.Luka Modric came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half with a left-footed shot from the edge of the box that flew inches wide of the far post.Ronaldo also hammered a long-range free-kick that dipped onto the roof of the net, whilst Edilson gave Keylor Navas a similar scare at the other end with a free-kick from range.Gremio pleaded for the referee to consult with the video assistant referee (VAR) when Sergio Ramos clipped Ramiro inside the area early in the second period.However, those claims fell on deaf ears and Madrid instantly broke up the other end to open the scoring.Ronaldo was tripped 25 yards from goal and the world player of the year’s resulting free-kick sneaked through a gap in the Gremio wall to skip into the bottom corner.Gremio were handed a lifeline when Ronaldo had the ball in the net again just before the hour mark, but Karim Benzema was flagged for being marginally offside in the build-up.Marcelo Grohe then turned another Modric drive onto the post and made great stops from Ronaldo and Bale in the final 10 minutes to keep Gremio in the game.However, the Brazilians failed to register a single shot on target as Madrid comfortably held out to seal their most successful ever year with a fifth trophy.Earlier, Mexican side Pachuca beat hosts Al Jazira 4-1 in the third-place play-off.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo strikes the ball to score a free-kick during their match against Gremio FBPA in Abu Dhabi on December 16, 2017 © AFP / KARIM SAHIBAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Dec 16 – Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half free-kick ensured Real Madrid picked up a fifth trophy of 2017 by beating Gremio 1-0 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday to retain the Club World Cup.A third Club World Cup in four years brings Madrid level with rivals Barcelona as the most successful side in the competition’s history and adds to the La Liga, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup titles already won by Zinedine Zidane’s men this year.last_img read more

Emery promises ‘new future’ for Arsenal

first_imgThe 46-year-old arrives in north London to take charge of a squad that went stale under his predecessor Arsene Wenger, who had failed to win the Premier League title since 2004.Arsenal finished sixth in the English top-flight this season, missing out on the Champions League for a second successive year, while trailing 37 points behind champions Manchester City.Wenger was forced out after losing his grip on an unbalanced squad and, while Emery said he will give his players a chance to impress, the former Paris Saint Germain boss made it clear he is willing to breathe life into a moribund club with new signings.“It’s a big challenge for me but I have worked also in other projects, big projects,” he told reporters.“This is a big team, with great players. We think we need change, little things, a few players.“I want to speak individually with all the players face to face.“It’s very important for the club, after two years outside the Champions League, to work to be the best team in the Premier League and also in the world.”Despite the daunting task facing him, Emery, who was allowed to leave French champions PSG at the end of the season, insisted his move to Arsenal is a great opportunity.“This is a big project and I am proud to be here and to work after Arsene Wenger,” he said.“In my career every year I grew up with new challenges. For me this challenge is a dream come true.”Emery, who won the domestic treble with PSG this season, is on a reported £6 million per year contract after convincing Arsenal’s board he was the right man to replace Wenger.He won the race ahead of seven other candidates thanks in part to his willingness to work with chief executive Ivan Gazidis, head of football relations Raul Sanllehi and head of recruitment Sven Mislintat.That trio are the new power-brokers at Arsenal and Emery was quick to praise his employers.“Thank you Ivan, Raul and Sven. The first meeting with Arsenal people was with those three who, after three hours, gave me a very good feeling for how we will work together and create a new future for Arsenal,” he said.– ‘Win together’ –Speaking in broken English, Emery paid tribute to Wenger, who departed with three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups in a reign that transformed English football.“Thank you Arsene Wenger for your legacy, he has reverence from all coaches in the world. I learned with him all the things in football,” Emery said.Wenger won the double in his first full season with Arsenal in 1997-98 — an achievement that might be beyond Emery given the rebuilding job facing him.Asked what he hoped to achieve next season, Emery said: “I think that’s about battling for every title, that’s something in Arsenal’s history and in my history as well. And I want that to continue.“I don’t promise today we will win but I can promise you we will work hard and we will work together.“We will transmit our emotion and we will fight for the objectives.”Key to his attempt to revitalise Arsenal will be bringing the best out of Mesut Ozil, the World Cup winning German playmaker who has often cut a diffident figure in his time with the Gunners.Emery, a three-time Europa League winner with Sevilla, called on Ozil to commit to the cause, saying: “He’s one of the biggest talents here and I want talented players here.“I want to spend time with him and all of the players – to speak to them about how inspired and excited I am to be here and for them to feel it too.“We all need to give 100 percent and that’s what I’m looking for from every player and myself.”Worringly for Arsenal fans, Emery has never won a match against Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola or Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.“I’m thinking about the present and the future. In terms of my past experience, it has made me stronger today,” he said.“I’m excited to be here and fight against some top managers and some top teams.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Unai Emery is the new Arsenal head coach © AFP/File / CHARLY TRIBALLEAULONDON, United Kingdom, May 23 – Unai Emery has warned Arsenal’s under-performing stars he won’t be afraid to wield the axe as he prepares for the challenge of creating a “new future” for the troubled Premier League side.Emery was unveiled as Arsenal’s first new manager in 22 years on Wednesday as the Spaniard faced the media at the Emirates Stadium.last_img read more