MLS

Vermes: Sporting Kansas City unlikely to sign Ronaldo

By Sports Desk June 09, 2023

Sporting Kansas City are unlikely to make another move to try and sign Cristiano Ronaldo in an attempt to compete with Inter Miami bringing in Lionel Messi.

That is according to SKC coach Peter Vermes.

Sporting were interested in signing Ronaldo after the five-time Ballon d’Or winner left Manchester United late last year.

However, the MLS side could not make a deal work that would compete with the offer Ronaldo received from Saudi Arabian side Al Nassr.

It was confirmed this week that Messi would be joining SKC’s league rivals Miami, but Vermes shrugged off the chance of signing Ronaldo.

“No, he’s wrapped up for two years on a significant amount of money. I think the transfer fee would be a little out of our range,” he said ahead of SKC’s meeting with Austin FC.

“At the time when we were thinking about doing that deal, [Messi going to Miami] was in the back of our head, because there was talk of him going to Miami at the end of the world cup. It could have been – could have, should have, would have – those are all kinds of things in life. The fact that [Messi] is coming is tremendous.”

Vermes explained he is thrilled to see Messi come to MLS, comparing the Argentine to NBA icon Michael Jordan.

“I thought when David Beckham came to the league he had an incredible impact on our league, and the notoriety that got worldwide, he helped achieve a new bar in how people perceived our league,” he said.

“Messi’s the best player in the world, so to be able to have the best player in the world playing in the league that you’re involved in, that’s tremendous. It’s a huge opportunity for our league, it’s great in so many ways and from the fans’ perspective too. It’s like watching Michael Jordan play basketball – he’s from another planet that guy, when he plays.”

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    Juventus' Bremer, Atalanta midfielder Ederson and Porto forward Pepe were all called up when CONMEBOL announced the squads were being expanded from 23 players to 26.

    The Brazilian had already had to make changes after Manchester City's Ederson was ruled out due to an injury sustained at the end of the Premier League season, with Rafael brought in to replace him.

    Lucas Paqueta also keeps his place after the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) confirmed he would be allowed to stay with the squad despite being charged by the England Football Association (FA) for allegedly breaching betting rules.

    Casemiro, Gabriel Jesus and Thiago Silva had already been left out of the provisional squad announced in May, while Richarlison and Neymar are both missing due to injury.

    Brazil are nine-time winners of the Copa America and will begin their campaign against Costa Rica on June 24 before also facing Paraguay and Colombia in Group D.

    Final Brazil squad: Alisson (Liverpool), Bento (Atletico PR), Rafael (Sao Paolo), Beraldo (PSG), Bremer (Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Gabriel (Arsenal), Marquinhos (PSG), Danilo (Juventus), Yan Couto (Girona), Guilherme Arana (Atletico MG), Wendell (Porto), Andreas Pereira (Fulham), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Ederson (Atalanta), Joao Gomes (Wolves), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Endrick (Palmeiras), Evanilson (Porto), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Pepe (Porto), Raphinha (Barcelona), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Savinho (Girona), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid).

  • Portugal v Czechia: Ronaldo prepared to give everything, says Martinez Portugal v Czechia: Ronaldo prepared to give everything, says Martinez

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    The 39-year-old continues to prove that age is just a number, scoring 35 goals in 31 appearances for Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League in 2023-24, and he will be a key cog for the Selecao in their quest to replicate their 2016 success.

    Portugal cruised through qualifying and were the only team to win all of their group fixtures, and arrive in Germany among the frontrunners to lift the trophy on July 14, despite falling short at their last three major tournaments. 

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    "We have 23 players. We create competitiveness and the game makes decisions," he said.

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    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo

    Since 1972, Ronaldo has scored or assisted twice as many goals as any other player at the Euros, with 20 in total (14 goals, 6 assists), 10 more than Michel Platini who is in second. 

    The veteran forward holds the records for most games (25), most goals (14), joint-most assists on record (six – since 1972) and most editions with at least one goal (five) at the European Championships. Ronaldo is also the European player with the most appearances at major tournaments, with 47. 

    Czechia – Patrik Schick

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    The 28-year-old scored seven goals in 20 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen as they secured a maiden Bundesliga title last term, just outperforming his xG by 0.96. 

    MATCH PREDICTION – PORTUGAL WIN

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    Only two of the Czechs' last 24 matches at the Euros have ended in a draw (10 wins, 12 defeats), with both coming against Croatia during the group stages of the 2016 and 2020 editions of the tournament. 

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Portugal – 66.2%

    Czechia – 17.9%

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