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Ronaldo Played a Key Role in the Signings of Rafael and Fabio

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Manchester United News: Cristiano Ronaldo had a big role to play in the signings of former United defenders Rafael and Fabio Da Silva. Even though the then Portuguese youngster was enduring a ‘difficult’ spell at Old Trafford himself of his own when he arrived.

Sir Alex Ferguson asked the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to call the Brazilian twins when they were raw teenage prospects. Ronaldo obliged and made the phone call. The phone call is said to have played a huge role in their move to United and snubbing other clubs.

The twin brother had a trophy-laden career at the club, even though Fabio didn’t play as much he hoped for. Rafael made 170 appearances for United whereas Fabio played 56 times for the Red Devils.

However, Ronaldo’s current situation at the time was extremely uncertain, as he admitted the British weather had made it ‘difficult’ for him to acclimatize.

Manchester United News: What did Ronaldo say then?

Manchester United News: Ronaldo played a key role in the signings of Rafael and Fabio.

Talking to Sky Sports in 2006, Ronaldo said that he loves playing for United. He also talked about how he doesn’t like the weather in the city much.

He added: “The weather was very difficult for me. In Manchester, you always see rain and snow. When I compare it with Portugal, it’s very difficult. Portugal is full of the sun every day and that’s why Manchester is difficult for me. But the club is massive and I’m very happy to stay here.”

The superstar was linked to La Liga for several seasons before eventually leaving the club for Real Madrid. The winger from Madeira sealed a record-breaking £80million move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009.

However, the legacy of the player is not restricted to only his trophies and personal accolades. He won a Ballon d’Or title, the Champions League, three Premier League titles, two League Cups, and the FA Cup. His role in the signing of Rafael and Fabio can’t be undermined as well.

Both the brothers played in the same team as Ronaldo, winning three Premier League titles and two League Cups at Old Trafford. However, all this won’t have happened if not for the phone call from the Portuguese superstar.

What did Rafael have to say?

Rafael was talking to the UTD Podcast recently where he mentioned the call. Rafael said: “I’ll never forget the phone call from him. I received an international call with all the zeros on my screen. I picked up and asked, Who is this? I didn’t know whom to expect because I’ve never received a call like this. I answered, and I knew him because I’d trained with him before.”

“He just said: ‘Ah, [Portuguese greeting]!’ I ran to my bus saying: ‘It’s Ronaldo, it’s Ronaldo! He’s calling us to speak!’

He just said: ‘You must be knowing that it’s always raining, it’s raining here in Manchester. I am calling to say to you guys that sign for Manchester United. I am sure that both of you are going to like it,’ et cetera.

It was simply unbelievable. It was hard to believe that I got the call from him. It was amazing.





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Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi was sent an invitation to visit Nou Camp but Laporta denies any chance of re-signing the player

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Barcelona News: Lionel Messi will remain a legendary figure in Barcelona. The Argentinian has been invited by the club hierarchy to the inauguration of the refurbished Nou Camp. However, his previous club has made it clear that the return of the player is not on the cards.

After a trophy-laden 21-years with the Catalonian giants, Messi left the club for Paris Saint-Germain. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner wanted to stay in Barcelona but due to financial issues, he had to take the tearful step forward.

The Catalan club was facing financial problems and couldn’t renew the Argentine attacker’s contract. As a result of this, he left on a free transfer.

Paris Saint-Germain fans went into delirium after hearing about Messi signing for their club, but the 34-year-old has struggled to reclaim his former form in the French city. However, the La Liga club has batted down talk of a stunning homecoming.

Barcelona News: What did Laporta say?

Barcelona News: Lionel Messi was sent an invitation to visit Nou Camp but Laporta denies any chance of re-signing the player

READ MORE: Blaugrana enter race to sign Raphinha

Laporta stated that he would like Messi to attend the inauguration of the remodeled Nou Camp once it is completed. Despite the transfer rumours, the club president downplayed the notion of the Argentine returning to Barcelona.

My communication with Messi is no longer flowing,” Laporta told RAC1, “but I’d love to have Leo here with us during the inauguration of the new stadium.” “

His home will always be Camp Nou. His transfer to PSG? [Last summer], we did what we needed to do.”

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“I’ve got no contact from Messi or his agents about a possible return to Barcelona,” Laporta stated. We will not be raising this issue as of today.

“There has been no discussion with Leo Messi about a possible return to Barça. The truth is that we aren’t even thinking about it. Leo is Leo, and he’s the finest, but this isn’t in the cards for us.

READ MORE: Blaugrana looking to steal Mbappe under the noses of Real Madrid

Messi’s problems in the French city have been well-documented this season. Only seven times has the Argentine striker reached the back of the net this season, with only two goals in 18 Ligue 1 outings.

The French giants were recently eliminated from the Champions League by Messi’s old rivals Real Madrid, a setback that resulted in the Argentine and his PSG teammate Neymar being booed by their fans.

What did Romero have to say?

According to Catalan-based journalist Gerard Romero, the player’s father Jorge has contacted Barcelona to inquire about the possibility of a dramatic return to the Nou Camp. Messi’s return appears to be on the cards, but only as a special guest of honour.

Messi scored 672 goals in 778 games for Barcelona, winning 34 titles during his time there. However, based on Laporta’s statements, it doesn’t look that the 34-year-old will be able to add to those totals.





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Major changes in Ballon D’Or rules for the first time since its inception

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Football News: Organizers of the Ballon d’Or France Football have chosen to make four significant adjustments to the 2022 award procedure. In November, Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time. The now PSG midfielder defeated Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho.

This caused massive outrage in the fans as they thought that Robert Lewandowski is the deserved winner. After years of demand, France Football came up with Ballon d’Or Feminin in 2018. It was won by Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas last year.

Journalists, captains, and coaches vote for the best men’s and women’s players. Voting was also done for the Kopa Trophy for the best player under the age of 21 and the Yashin Trophy for the best goalie.

The awards never saw any significant changes since it was first presented in 1956. However, this season the organizers have now decided to make necessary changes.

Football News: As per France Football, they are as follows:

Football News: Major changes in Ballon D’Or rules for the first time since its inception

• A change from judging by years to by seasons: decisions will now be based on performances between the traditional season of August and July, rather than calendar years, which used to combine two half-campaigns.

• A change in who puts together the shortlists: Ballon d’Or ambassador Didier Drogba and the journalists who came closer to getting the last year’s results right will be involved in choosing the shortlisted candidates, which runs to 30 for the main award and 20 for the young player and goalkeeper trophy.

• A change in the number of people able to vote: last year saw representatives from 170 countries take part in the process, but from now on only the top 100 countries in the FIFA rankings – and the top 50 for women’s football – will be able to vote.

• A slight tweak to the criteria: as it’s an individual award, voters are being instructed to focus on the players’ individual performances over collective achievements, with fair play and setting a good example also counting towards the overall weighting.

What do the changes mean?

What such adjustments will imply in practice remains to be seen. The results won’t be known until later this year when the process resumes.

Ronaldo and Messi have dominated the award in the last decade or so. The duo has won the trophy a combined 12 times.

That may be set to change this season. Messi making less of an impact since moving from Barcelona to PSG. On the other hand, Ronaldo now playing for a struggling Manchester United after leaving Juventus in the summer.

According to the bookmakers, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is the 3/1 favourite to win the prize. Other early contenders for the championship include Robert Lewandowski (4/1), Lionel Messi (6/1), Kylian Mbappe (8/1), and Karim Benzema (10/1).





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Robert Lewandowski says FIFA Best Player award matters more than the Ballon d’Or 

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Bayern Munich News: Robert Lewandowski has had a stellar two years with the Bavarians. But the Polish striker still failed to win the 2021 Ballon d’Or award.

The Bavarians have been on fire in the last two years and the Polish striker has had a huge part to play in that. The biggest accomplishment for the Bundesliga club was winning the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League trophy in Portugal.

To add to this, Bayern Munich have won consecutive Bundesliga titles, a DFB Pokal, a UEFA Super Cup, and a FIFA Club World Cup title in the past two years. The German club is again one of the favourites to win the Champions League this season.

Is Robert Lewandowski still angry over the Ballon d’Or snub? 

Bayern Munich have been one of the best football clubs in the past two years. But their players have not particularly been rewarded for their achievements. And Robert Lewandowski stands the unluckiest of the lot.

Bayern Munich News: Robert Lewandowski says FIFA Best Player award matters more than the Ballon d’Or

Robert Lewandowski scored 15 goals in the 2019/20 season as he helped Bayern Munich in winning the Champions League title. The Polish striker was also instrumental in Bayern winning the Bundesliga as he scored 34 goals in 31 games.

But the French football association controversially decided to cancel the 2020 Ballon d’Or ceremony due to Covid. This decision was taken even though football had resumed, and the season had ended. 

Similarly, Robert Lewandowski was snubbed in 2021 as well. The Polish striker scored an incredible 69 goals in the calendar year but was pipped to the award by Lionel Messi. 

The Argentine was awarded a 7th Ballon d’Or on the back of his first international trophy, the Copa America. Though Lionel Messi was brilliant with Barcelona, he has done almost nothing with Paris Saint-Germain since joining the Parisians in August 2021.

Hence, giving him the Ballon d’Or over Lewandowski in 2021 didn’t give justice to the Polish striker. On the other hand, FIFA awarded the Men’s Best player of the year award to Robert Lewandowski in 2020 and 2021. 

Hence, there has been a difference of opinion among football fans over which award is more important, the Ballon d’Or or FIFA The Best award. And Lewandowski seems to have taken his side in this debate. 

Lewandowski chooses FIFAs award over the Ballon d’Or

In a recent interview, Robert Lewandowski said “I’ve been thinking about these two awards lately: FIFA Best Player and the Ballon d’Or. I’ve come to the conclusion that the FIFA award does matter more. Only journalists vote in the latter; there’s no clear verification.”

Hence, the Polish striker has made his feelings quite clear as to which award is his priority. Nevertheless, both the awards remain prestigious and will continue to do so in the future. 

 



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