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Ronaldo admits to play only Champions League, Portugal matches

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Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, has admitted that he would only play the “important games”, such as Champions League ties and Portugal’s matches if it was up to him.

Ronaldo wants to reduce the number of minutes he plays, in order to be fresh for the “types of games that motivate me”.

Speaking in an interview with France Football, the 34-year-old claimed he would choose not to play in the majority of fixtures for Juventus, leaving himself fresh for their bigger Champions League ties and to represent Portugal.

“If it were up to me, I’d only play important games.

“Those of the national team and the Champions League.

“It’s these types of games that motivate me, those with everything at stake.

“But you have to be professional and honour your family and the club who pay you.

“You have to do your best every day,” Ronaldo said

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Ballon D’Or: Danny Murphy exposes player to win award

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Former Liverpool midfielder, Danny Murphy, has tipped defender, Virgil van Dijk to win this year’s Ballon D’ Or ahead of Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi and Juventus superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to Murphy, the Netherland’s centre-back deserves the top prize after leading Liverpool to victory in the UEFA Champions League title last season.

TIMELY POST recalls that Van Dijk is among the 30-man shortlist for this year’s Europe top individual prize alongside Messi and Ronaldo.

“For me, the winner [2019 Ballon D’ Or] is obvious: Virgil van Dijk,” Murphy told talkSPORT.

“I believe that because of the massive impact he’s had on Liverpool Football Club.

“There are so many facets to him: his leadership qualities have grown, and his influence on others is probably the biggest reason.

“His impact on the performances of the players around him, especially the back four, is phenomenal.

“When you think of the full-backs, they’ve improved tremendously and that’s partly because of the security he gives them to go forward, knowing he’s so capable when other teams counter-attack.”

Murphy added: “Obviously, you’re dealing with the best players in the world and when you look at Lionel Messi’s goalscoring record, if he did win it over Van Dijk, you would have to understand why.

“But his form didn’t help Barcelona win the Champions League. Usually [nine out of the last 12 years] the winner of the Ballon d’Or comes from the winner of the Champions League. The criteria is there and I don’t see why that should change.

“In terms of a defender winning it, there are some people who would say it’s easier to destroy than create and I understand that philosophy. But when you look at the impact on others and the way he gets others to perform around him, that’s a wonderful quality.”

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PSG flays Zidane over comments on Mbappe

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Paris Saint-Germain Sporting Director, Leonardo, has hit back at Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, after he spoke about Kylian Mbappe’s “dream” to play for the Spanish giants.

Zidane discussed Mbappe’s reported admiration ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Galatasaray, leaving Leonardo unimpressed.

“Honestly, it is a bit irritating.

“I think it is not the time to talk about it.

“First of all, Kylian is a player under contract with us for two and a half more years. Speaking all the time about dreams and will, I think it is time to stop a bit.

“Kylian is very important for us — he is the best young French player, a world champion and one of the best players in the world. This is not the time to knock him and destabilise him. Honestly, it is time for this to stop,” Leonardo told reporters, after PSG’s 1-0 win over Club Brugge.

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EPL: Aguero discloses club that can beat Man City

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Manchester City striker, Sergio Aguero, has admitted that Liverpool is the only team that can “hurt” them in the Premier League this season.

In an interview with France Football, Aguero was asked about Liverpool usurping Manchester United as City’s main challengers in recent years.

Although he disagreed with the idea that Jurgen Klopp’s side are now City’s biggest antagonists – an accolade he still reserves for United – he did acknowledge that Liverpool are worthy title rivals.

“It may be the Clasico for television, but for us, the Clasico, it’s the match against United,” Aguero said in reference to City’s impending visit to Anfield.

“Liverpool has always been a tough opponent. But when I arrived, the team we were fighting for the title was United.

“Initially, it was something strange in [Manchester] that City competes against United. Then there was Chelsea. But these last four seasons, Liverpool have become a very strong team and are now fighting with us to win the Premier League.

“They are the only team in the league that can hurt us. They have been chasing a new league title for years.

“Last season, they didn’t go all the way, so they are very motivated. This year, they are in front of us and will try to go to the end.”

City travel to Anfield on Sunday, trailing Liverpool at the summit by six points.

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