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I Would’ve Warned Ronaldo Not To Return To Manchester United, Rafael Insists

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Former Manchester United right-back Rafael da Silva has said he had nearly warned Cristiano Ronaldo against coming back to Manchester City.

Ronaldo returned to the Theatre of Dreams on deadline day, after leaving the club in 2009 for Real Madrid.

Rafael, a former Brazil international, spent seven years at United from 2008-15 but has now joined Botafogo, a club in his hometown after spells at Lyon and Istanbul Basaksehir.

The Brazilian said he wished he could have convinced the 36-year-old to join him at Botafogo, rather than see him move back to Manchester.

“If I could choose one to play here, I’d talk to Cristiano Ronaldo, tell him to come play here. Is there another one? There’s no way,” he told Fogao Net.

Ex-Manchester United defender Rafael said he didn’t want Cristiano Ronaldo to re-join the club

“I’d tell him not to go to Manchester, and I’m in love with Manchester United too, but I’d tell him to come to Botafogo, come to a different team.

“We have a group, he’s not even there anymore, I played against him, I don’t speak regularly. But if I could speak… If I send a message he will reply.”

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Mbappe, Messi Score As PSG Thrash Club Brugge 4-1

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Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi both scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain rounded out their Champions League group-stage campaign with a 4-1 thumping of Club Brugge on Tuesday.

Mbappe scored twice in the first seven minutes, the second-fastest double at the start of a game in Champions League history, before setting up Messi to make it 3-0 at half-time.

Mats Rits got one back for the Belgians in the second half but Messi then netted a penalty to make it 4-1 and give PSG a welcome confidence boost in an underwhelming European campaign to date.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side knew before this game that they were heading through to the last 16 in second place in Group A behind Manchester City after losing 2-1 in England last month.

That means a theoretically harder tie against a group winner awaits them in next Monday’s draw, with Liverpool, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Manchester United already potential opponents.

However, with Mbappe on this kind of form and Messi saving his best for Europe, there is still plenty of reason for optimism for Pochettino, who should also have Neymar back from his latest ankle injury by the time the knockout phase begins in February.

Mbappe needed just 73 seconds to open the scoring, following up to finish low into the far corner after Simon Mignolet had saved from Nuno Mendes.

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Chelsea’s Kovacic Tests Positive For COVID-19 After Injury Return

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Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has tested positive for coronavirus just a day after returning to training, manager Thomas Tuchel announced on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old had been out of action since late October and Tuchel had hoped to ease him back into action this week.

N’Golo Kante remains sidelined with a knee issue, while Jorginho has been forced to play through the pain of a back problem and will now miss Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Zenit Saint Petersburg, leaving Tuchel short of defensive midfielders.

“We have bad news because Mateo was in training yesterday and with a big smile and it was a pure pleasure to have him back,” said Tuchel.

“But he tested positive today, for coronavirus, so he’s quarantining for a few days. So it’s a huge setback for him personally and for all of us.”

Chelsea have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League and will be confirmed as winners of Group H if they equal or better Juventus’s result against Malmo this week.

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Anthony Joshua Could Accept £40m To Step Aside For Fury vs Usyk

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Anthony Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has hinted the boxer would be willing to step aside and allow Tyson Fury to face Oleksandr Usyk for £40million.

Joshua was beaten conclusively by Usyk in September and lost his unified heavyweight titles via unanimous decision.

He has since triggered a rematch clause and is scheduled to fight Ukrainian in March or April next year.

However, there has been speculation that Joshua will instead accept an offer to step aside for a potential bout between Usyk and Fury, which would crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in over two decades.

Fury, who retained his WBC title by knocking out Deontay Wilder, was on the verge of agreeing to face Dillian Whyte in his next bout, but the WBC refused to name him as the Gypsy King’s mandatory challenger.

He has therefore turned his attention to an undisputed battle with Usyk.

Hearn has now suggested a price that will see Joshua step aside.

He told Boxing King Media: “Seven figures? A million? If you want to get him not to fight Oleksandr Usyk you have to times that by 40…

“At the moment there is communication between the two teams to say is it something, and the answer is AJ has not been spoken about this yet.

“I’ll deal with it and when I feel there’s an opportunity for Anthony and 258 (Management) we’ll sit down with them and present it to them but I won’t do that until it’s the right opportunity.

“If there’s a route and an offer and it makes sense then we’ll see but right now, it’s just conversations between the camps.”

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