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Cristiano Ronaldo writes farewell letter to Real Madrid [Full text]

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Cristiano Ronaldo has paid tribute to Real Madrid with a farewell letter.

The soccer superstar has joined Juventus on a 105 million euro deal.

He thanked the club management and fans around the world for love showed to him during his stay.

Full farewell letter from Cristiano Ronaldo:

These years at Real Madrid, and in this city of Madrid, have been possibly the happiest of my life.

I only have feelings of enormous gratitude for this club, for the fans and for this city. I can only thank all of them for the love and affection I have received.

However, I believe that the time has come to open a new stage in my life and that is why I have asked the club to accept this transfer. I feel that way and I ask everyone, and especially our fans, to please understand me. They have been absolutely wonderful for nine years.

These nine years have been unique. It has been an exciting time for me, full of consideration but they have also been hard because Real Madrid have very high demands, but I know very well that I will never forget that I have enjoyed my football here in a unique way.

I have had fabulous teammates on the pitch and in the dressing room, I have felt the warmth of an incredible crowd and together we have won three Champions Leagues in a row and four in five years. And also, on an individual level, I have the satisfaction of having won 4 Ballon d’Ors and 3 Golden Boots. All during my time in this immense and extraordinary club.

Real Madrid have conquered my heart, and that of my family, and that is why more than ever I want to say thank you: thanks to the club, the president, the directors, my colleagues, all the coaches, doctors, physios and incredible staff that make everything work and that are on top of every detail tirelessly.

Thank you infinitely once more to our fans and thanks also to Spanish football. During these nine exciting years I have had great players in front of me. My respect and my recognition to all of them.

I have reflected a lot and I know that the time has come for a new cycle. I’m leaving but this shirt, this badge and the Santiago Bernabeu will continue to always feel as my own wherever I am.

Thanks to all and, of course, as I said that first time in our stadium nine years ago: Hala Madrid!

Barcelona

I’m really grateful to our fans, Messi speaks after netting hat-trick

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Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi, was given a standing ovation by Real Betis supporters, after scoring his 33rd La Liga hat trick in their 4-1 win at the Benito Villamarin on Sunday.

Messi opened the scoring with a free kick and added the second before the break after a brilliant Luis Suarez assist.

He completed his treble late on with an exquisite chip, after Suarez and Loren Moron had exchanged goals.

The third Messi strike, which killed off any late hopes of a Betis comeback, drew an ovation from the home supporters which the Argentine international says he has never previously experienced.

“I don’t ever remember a night like this [being applauded by rival supporters].

“I’m really grateful for the way the fans responded. I honestly don’t remember an ovation like that [from rival fans],” Messi told Movistar.

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Sadio Mane top highest goal scorer in Premier League

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Following the conclusion of match-day 31 of the English Premier League, EPL, on Sunday, below are the current highest goal scorers chasing the Golden Boot in the English top-flight league.

Liverpool forward, Sadio Mane scored in his side’s 2-1 win over Fulham on Sunday to take his tally to 17 goals so far this season.

Everton stars, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison scored in their side’s 2-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday to take their tallies to 12 goals each.

See top 20 of Premier League highest goal scorers so far below:

18 gaols: Sergio Agüero (Manchester City).

17 goals: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Harry Kane (Tottenaham), Sadio Mane (Liverpool).

15 goals: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).

13 goals: Eden Hazard (Chelsea).

12 goals: Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Raúl Jiménez (Wolves), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Everton), Richarlison (Everton), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).

11 goals: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Callum Wilson (Bournemouth), Son Heung-Min (Tottenham), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Joshua King (Bournemouth), Glenn Murray (Brighton).

10 goals: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham).

Meanwhile, the match-day 32 of the English Premier League will resume coming weekend.

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Dogo explains as Sunshine Stars FC held to goalless draw in Akure by Enyimba

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Sunshine Star Football Club of Akure have played a goalless draw with Enyimba International Football Club of Aba in the match 11 of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, at the Akure Township Stadium.

The week 11 fixture saw the Enyimba team doing most of the defensive playing, while the Akure-based team, Sunshine Stars FC’s strikers could not prove their potency within the box 18 of the Aba team after series of chances.

Reacting after the match which saw his team drop two points at home, the Sunshine Stars FC coach, Kabiru Dogo, who described the performance of his boys as not too good, disclosed that it was due to logistic problems within the club.

“As a coach, I’m not happy for the outcome of the match, as you can see my team played one of their best games today but we could not get the goals in the area of attacking, because football is all about goals, I could not say we did well, we didn’t do well, but there is room for improvement.

“We had opportunities to bring in new strikers into the team but due to some problems and logistics within the club, we had to manage what we have,” the Sunshine coach stated.

On his own part, the Head Coach of Enyimba International FC, Usman Abd’allah, who lauded his team’s spirit at getting the deserving one point away from home, maintained that it will help in boosting the mental stability of his boys in subsequent fixtures.

“A draw is a good one for us, even though we came here for the three points because the last two away matches because we were able to grab two point each from that match. But we thought we are going to get our first three away points but we had one point, it’s okay.

“At this moment, we are one step ahead because we are now picking up because the away points we have been getting is helping in replacing those we have lost. It’s a recovery of what we lost against Lobi Stars.

“I like the result and the fighting spirit of my boys,” Usman stated.

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