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CRISTIANO RONALDO TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

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CRISTIANO RONALDO TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
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Juventus and Portugual striker Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Portugal Football Federation.

He was expected to play for Portugal on Wednesday against Sweden in the Nations League but will now self-isolate, and is currently showing no symptoms.

He will also miss games for Juventus until he returns a negative test for the virus.

The 35-year-old forward’s international teammates have all returned negative tests.

Italy now requires 10 days of quarantine, and Juventus are due to play Barcelona in the Champions League in 15 days.


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Barcelona president, Bartomeu resigns as entire board steps down

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Barcelona president, Bartomeu resigns as entire board steps down
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Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has resigned, with the entire board also stepping down from their posts.

Bartomeu’s decision comes after several months of criticism in the wake of Barcelona’s 8-2 Champions League elimination to Bayern Munich, as well as Lionel Messi’s shock request to leave the club shortly after.

Although the club was able to keep hold of Messi, with the longtime Barca star staying to avoid having to take the club to court, Bartomeu’s position has been under scrutiny for months.

The president had been due to officially end his tenure next year, with elections called for March, but the club’s members called for a vote of no confidence in an effort to get Bartomeu out immediately.

A total of 20,687 votes were gathered for the motion against Bartomeu, passing the threshold of 16,250 signatures required for the vote to go ahead.

The Barca board repeatedly tried to postpone the vote but, on Monday, local authorities rejected the club’s push to delay the proceedings.

As a result, the vote was set to go ahead in the coming weeks, but will no longer be necessary as Bartomeu and the board have stepped down.

Bartomeu originally joined Barca during Joan Laporta’s presidency and ascended to that role himself in January 2014.

He replaced Sandro Rosell, becoming the 40th President of Barcelona as he signed on to complete the rest of Rosell’s tenure following his resignation.

During his time in charge, Barca won La Liga four times as well as the 2014-15 Champions League, but his time in charge will largely be defined by the club’s failings in his final seasons.

Having struggled to find value in the transfer market since Neymar’s departure to join Paris Saint-Germain, Barca finished the 2019-20 season trophyless.

Their 8-2 loss to Bayern only furthered unrest, with Messi’s request to leave proving the final straw for the president.

Messi told Goal in September that Bartomeu “did not keep his word”, with former Barca star Luis Suarez saying that he believes Messi will stay at Barca if a new board arrives.

Bartomeu said on Monday that he believed that Messi could lead Barca to titles this season, admitting that he could not let the Argentine leave for the good of the club.

And now, it is Bartomeu that is leaving, as he ends his time in charge of Barca after nearly seven years.

Barcelona are set to face Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions League.


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Obafemi Martins Ends Two-Year Goal Drought In China

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Obafemi Martins Ends Two-Year Goal Drought In China
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Obafemi Martins scored his first goal since March 2018 as Wuhan Zall held Henan Jianye to a 1-1 draw in the Chinese Super League play-offs on Friday.

The 35-year-old came off the bench in the 57th minute to score a stoppage-time equaliser for the home team at the Dalian Sports Center.

Martins linked up with Ivory Coast’s Jean Kouassi to cancel out Wang Shangyuan’s 25th-minute opener for Henan Jianye, and also broke his Wuhan Zall duck since his free transfer from Shanghai Shenhua in September.

The strike ended Martins’ two-year goal drought, since his last goals came as a hat-trick for Shanghai Shenhua in their 4-2 win over Hebei CFCC in a Chinese top-flight match.

A week ago, Wuhan Zall bowed to a 1-0 loss to Henan Jianye in the two-legged play-offs which still put them in the race against relegation after a 2-1 aggregate defeat, while Henan are saved from the drop and they will now compete for a place between the ninth and 12th spots.

Cameroon’s Christian Bassogog was also on parade in the encounter but he could not add to his tally of a goal after six matches for Henan Jianye so far this season.

Friday’s goal extended Martins’ tally in the Chinese Super League to 20 goals after 48 appearances since he arrived in the Asian country from Major League Soccer club Seattle Sounders in 2016.

He has played in eight matches so far this campaign. (Goal)


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The Aim Is To Get Stoke City Back To The Premier League — Mikel

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The Aim Is To Get Stoke City Back To The Premier League — Mikel
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John Obi Mikel said Stoke City are aiming not to concede many goals in the Championship as they eye Premier League promotion this season.

Michael O’Neill’s team have only conceded a defeat so far this term, and they are 10th in the Championship table with nine points after six matches.

On Wednesday, Mikel who joined the second-tier division on a free transfer this summer, captained Stoke City in their 2-2 draw with Barnsley following injuries to Ryan Shawcross and Joe Allen.

Ahead of their next league outing against Brentford on Saturday, the former Nigeria captain wants the Potters to build on their fine defensive performance as they chase their first victory at bet365 Stadium this season.

“The aim is to not concede a lot and once we’ve done that we need to find that way to create chances and score goals,” Mikel told the club website. “We’ve tried to build a solid defence which we can build on. That’s the aim.

“We just have to keep doing what we’re doing and if we keep creating chances and playing well we’ll win games.

“We want to get that first home win. Hopefully we can do that on Saturday and kick on from there.”

Since he arrived at Stoke City in August, Mikel has played every minute of the Potters’ league matches this campaign and he disclosed that he is having a great time at bet365 Stadium. (Goal)


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