Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of Juventus' squad for their final pre-season friendly against Triestina.

The Portugal international sat out Wednesday's intra-squad practice match with slight fatigue to his left adductor and will not participate in Saturday's match at Stadio Nereo Rocco as a precautionary measure.

He also missed an exhibition match against Team K League in Seoul last month but had featured in Juve's other outings prior to this week, including a 71-minute appearance in the 2-1 loss to Atletico Madrid seven days ago.

Serie A champions Juventus, who begin their title defence with a trip to Parma next Saturday, can call upon new signing Aaron Ramsey for the first time since he joined the club as a free agent.

Ramsey has spent the last two weeks training after recovering from a muscle injury and is part of Juve's 24-man squad for the match with Serie C side Triestina.

Head coach Maurizio Sarri will not be present, though, having been struck down by flu this week.

Champions League winner Virgil van Dijk is joined by Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo on the three-man shortlist for UEFA's Player of the Year award.

Van Dijk played a vital role in Liverpool's successful European campaign, playing 12 times en route to lifting the trophy.

As well as the UEFA recognition, he is also expected to be a major contender for the 2019 Ballon d'Or, as is Messi.

Barcelona reached the semi-finals before being eliminated by Liverpool, but Messi still managed to enjoy a fine Champions League campaign.

The Argentina star scored 12 goals – including two against the Reds at Camp Nou – from 10 matches.

Ronaldo's inclusion is rather more surprising, given Juventus were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals.

The Portugal attacker scored a respectable six times in nine matches, but that was an unspectacular impact compared to his 15-goal haul in 12 outings the season before.

The shortlist was selected by a jury of 80 coaches from clubs involved in the Champions League and Europa League group stages, plus 55 journalists from UEFA's 55 member associations.

One of the three players will be presented with the award on August 29, during the Champions League group stage draw ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo will not feature in an intra-squad practice match at Villar Perosa on Wednesday, Juventus have confirmed.

Juve are putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the new Serie A campaign, which begins against Parma on August 24.

Maurizio Sarri's side have no more friendlies coming up, but the squad will take part in a practice match at their traditional training camp at Villar Perosa, close to Turin.

One player who will not feature is Ronaldo, who will train with the squad but not participate in the match due to slight fatigue to his left adductor.

Ronaldo's fitness has been monitored closely throughout pre-season, with Sarri electing not to play the 34-year-old in an exhibition match against Team K League in Seoul on July 26, though the former Real Madrid star has featured in Juve's other outings.

Georginio Wijnaldum has given a unique insight into "special" Jurgen Klopp's man-management methods after revealing the Liverpool boss addressed his team ahead of the 2018 Champions League final wearing Cristiano Ronaldo-branded underwear.

The Reds boss has carved a reputation for his jovial antics and, according to midfielder Wijnaldum, the German's pre-match team-talk for the showdown against Real Madrid - for whom then-star player Ronaldo was the chief threat - was no exception after he lightened the mood in his own inimitable style.

"We saw he was wearing the boxer shorts of Cristiano Ronaldo," the Netherlands midfielder told The Athletic. 

"He did the meeting with his shirt stuffed inside his 'CR7' boxers. The whole changing room was on the floor laughing their heads off. That really broke the ice. Usually in those situations, everyone is serious and concentrated. But he was relaxed and made this joke.

"He's done hundreds of jokes likes that. If you see that your manager is really confident and relaxed, it will have an effect on players. He is a father figure in those things for the players. With his jokes and his body language, he takes the pressure off players."

Liverpool ultimately lost the game 3-1 but went one better the following season, defeating Tottenham 2-0 to claim a sixth triumph in Europe's premier competition.

It has cemented Klopp's status as one of the world's leading coaches and Wijnaldum has paid tribute to the German's man-management style.

Wijnaldum said: "He always tries to empathise with the other person, to feel what they're going through. He is a really special man for me. I see him as more than a manager - a really good friend."

He continued: "He is the kind of manager that will be angry about things in the game, or will show emotion during a game, but when it comes to half-time, he speaks with you and gives you confidence. 'You can do it better. You have to do this, have to do that…'

"He is one of the first managers I've had who doesn't get angry when you try to do the things that you are good at. He will never be angry when you try to use your talent or quality. Even if it goes wrong.

"Since I am at Liverpool, he has helped me a lot. Not only with football, but also as a person, the way you think about things. That is why I enjoy every day of working with him. I can be really mad at him one day. But the next day the anger is gone and we will love each other again."

Danilo is motivated to become a better player at Juventus with the help of former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and new head coach Maurizio Sarri.

The Brazil full-back made the move to Turin last week as part of a deal that saw Joao Cancelo move the opposite way to Manchester City.

He will reunite with five-time Balon d'Or winner Ronaldo at the Allianz Stadium, having previously won two Champions League titles together at Madrid.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Danilo joked he had already asked for the number seven shirt belonging to Ronaldo.

"I spoke to him before coming here. I said to him that I wanted to take the number seven jersey, but it was already taken," Danilo said.

"He spoke very highly of Juventus and to play with him will be an extra motivation. I found a very motivated and happy Ronaldo. He spoke about the club like a family and this was reassuring to me. It was great to hear such things."

Danilo made the switch to Juve at a time of transition for the Italian champions, who brought in ex-Chelsea and Napoli boss Sarri as Massimiliano Allegri's successor.

"Sarri has a very particular style," the 28-year-old said. "He likes to command play. Napoli and Chelsea are two different teams who are difficult to face.

"I like his style of play very much and I am ready to learn and evolve every day. Sarri has asked me to be very attentive in the defensive phase of the game, and that I am free to express my potential.

"I don’t think I’ll have difficulty adapting to what he is asking for. I know that defending is very important in Italy, but I am 28 years old and open to learning anything that I need to become a better player."

After being used predominantly as a back-up option at City, featuring 34 times across two Premier League seasons, Danilo felt it was time for a new challenge with Juventus.

"Every moment is important to help forge you as a player," said Danilo, who has been handed the number 13 shirt. "Although I didn’t play the way I wanted to, these years were fundamental and will help me have the right mentality here at Juve.

"The first impressions have been good. I have been welcomed warmly and I feel great being here these first few days. There were already discussions with Juventus in the past, but I believe that this is the right moment to be here."

Cristiano Ronaldo said Zinedine Zidane made him feel special at the LaLiga giants as he hailed the Real Madrid head coach.

Ronaldo left Madrid ahead of the 2018-19 season, joining Juventus in a blockbuster €112million deal after three consecutive Champions League titles under Zidane.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner enjoyed great success during his time with Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu, also winning LaLiga in 2016-17.

Ronaldo heaped praise on Zidane – who is in his second stint in charge of Madrid – as he discussed the pair's relationship.

"The confidence that a player needs doesn't only come from himself but also from the players around him and the coach," Ronaldo told DAZN.

"You need to feel like you are an important part of the group and Zidane made me feel special.

"He helped me a lot. I already had a lot of respect for him but working with him made me admire him more.

"That's because of what he's like as a person, how he talks, how he led the team and how he treated me.

"He'd tell me, 'Cris, relax and just play your game - you are the one who is going to make the difference.'

"He was always honest with me and that's why I'll always have a real affection for him."

Ronaldo scored 21 Serie A goals in his first season with Italian champions Juventus, who won their eighth successive Scudetto.

Lionel Messi has beaten Cristiano Ronaldo to UEFA's Goal of the Season award for 2018-19.

The Barcelona captain came first in the vote on UEFA's website for his spectacular free-kick against Liverpool in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou.

Ronaldo came second for a strike against his former club Manchester United for Juventus in the group stage, while Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira took third place for a solo run and shot from distance for Portugal against Serbia in March.

It is the third time in five seasons Messi has won this particular prize, having also come out on top in 2015 and 2016.

Mario Mandzukic was honoured for his stunning volley in the Champions League final loss to Real Madrid in 2017, while Ronaldo was victorious last year for the overhead kick he scored against future employers Juve.

Only goals from UEFA club or international fixtures in 2018-19 were eligible for consideration, with a UEFA expert panel selecting the shortlist from which the winner was chosen by a public vote.

Messi's goal went unrewarded last season as Barca were beaten 4-0 at Anfield in the second leg to lose the tie 4-3 on aggregate.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and five Liverpool players have been shortlisted for 2018-19 Champions League positional awards. 

Liverpool defeated Tottenham in the Champions League final and have seen goalkeeper Alisson, defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk, midfielder Jordan Henderson and forward Sadio Mane named among the contenders in their respective categories.

Tottenham also have representation through keeper Hugo Lloris and midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Barcelona superstar Messi, who was the top scorer in last season's competition with 12 goals, will vie with Mane and old adversary Ronaldo for the forward award.

Midfielder Frenkie de Jong and defender Matthijs de Ligt – who are now at Barcelona and Juventus respectively – were also nominated after playing pivotal roles in Ajax's run to the semi-finals.

The awards will be presented during the 2019-20 Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 29 August.

The shortlisting jury comprised the coaches of the 32 clubs from last season's group stage and journalists from each of UEFA's 55 member associations.

 

Full list of nominees for 2018-19 Champions League position awards:
  
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur); Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona).
 
Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax, now Juventus), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool).
 
Midfielders: Frenkie de Jong (Ajax, now Barcelona), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool).
 
Forwards: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus).

Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku would "do each other good" according to Belgium legend Enzo Scifo, who indicated he feels Juventus would be the right destination for his compatriot should he leave Manchester United.

Lukaku could be on his way to Turin if United can reach a deal with Juventus that may see Argentina playmaker Paulo Dybala move in the opposite direction.

Scifo, who played for Inter and Torino during a career that saw him earn 84 caps for Belgium, believes Lukaku needs to be at a club that builds a team around him, but does not see Ronaldo's presence at Juventus as an obstacle.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: "One does not exclude the other. Real Madrid had Karim Benzema alongside him and he scored a lot thanks to Ronaldo.

"I see a similar situation: Cristiano would play 'for' Romelu, take the pressure of him, and then in the area Lukaku would engage the defenders. They would do each other good.

"Lukaku has the quality to be a super striker, but on one condition: the team has to play for him. Make the most of his features: I think Juve would do it."

Scifo was asked whether his former club Inter might be still be in the running to sign Lukaku, but the 53-year-old, who spent just one season at the Nerazzurri in 1987-88, thinks it would be an inferior move for the striker.

"I don't get into negotiations, but at this moment Juve are a step above, although Inter are growing," said Scifo.

"Someone like Antonio Conte can change a club. You need someone with his ferocity to get close to Juventus.

"The cities are different, too. Turin is placid, relaxed, people let you just get on and live your life. Romelu would really like living there, whereas it's more difficult to play in Milan, even if the city is just as beautiful."

Former AC Milan chief executive Marco Fassone claimed Cristiano Ronaldo was open to moving to San Siro before eventually joining Serie A champions Juventus last season.

Ronaldo swapped LaLiga giants Real Madrid for Juve in a blockbuster €112million deal prior to the 2018-19 season, however, there was apparent interest from Milan prior to the transfer.

Ex-sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli claimed Ronaldo was on the brink of signing for Milan before the former ownership – led by Li Yonghong – blocked the deal prior to hedge fund Elliott Management assuming control of the Italian team.

And Fassone, who followed Mirabelli out of Milan following the takeover in July last year, backed up those claims.

"The president wanted Cristiano Ronaldo, but the figures told us this was inadvisable," Fassone told Sportitalia.

"Ronaldo was open to evaluating the opportunity, as Milan are a famous club and there was enthusiasm around us.

"However, we never went beyond some internal calculations and seeing if he was potentially open to it."

The former ownership group oversaw a period of big spending, with Leonardo Bonucci's shock €42m arrival from Juve headlining a 2017-18 window which also included the signings of Andre Silva, Hakan Calhanoglu, Andrea Conti, Mateo Musacchio, Ricardo Rodriguez, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini.

Bonucci only spent one season in Milan before the Italy defender returned to Turin and Fassone added: "Bonucci was a mistake.

"When we signed Bonucci from Juventus, we'd already made eight or nine buys. The strategy was to create a squad suited to 4-3-3, so we already had the defenders and really didn't need another. What we were missing was a centre-forward, for whom we had €70m set aside.

"The choice we made in the end was to reduce the budget for the striker and sign a leader for the dressing room. With hindsight, if we had just invested in a top forward as was the plan, it would've gone differently."

Milan signed Portuguese forward Silva from Porto that window, and they were also linked with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before he left Borussia Dortmund for Arsenal.

"Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a target, as Mirabelli was always a fan," Fassone said. "However, it's complicated to deal with German clubs. The demands were higher than his real value on the market."

Milan are preparing for the 2019-20 season under new head coach Marco Giampaolo after Gennaro Gattuso stepped down following the club's fifth-place finish last term.

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone does not think Joao Felix is a similar player to Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Nineteen-year-old Joao Felix became the second most expensive teenager in world football when he joined Atletico from Benfica for €126million last month, a fee only eclipsed by those paid for Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Philippe Coutinho by Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona respectively.

The forward has enjoyed an encouraging pre-season under Simeone and got a goal and an assist in Thursday's 3-0 friendly win over an MLS All-Stars side in Orlando.

The player admitted this week he would like to emulate the success of compatriot Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d'Or winner and a league champion in England, Spain and Italy, but Simeone thinks there is little point comparing the two.

"No, I don't think Joao Felix is like Cristiano," he said.

"The reality is that he has a good game to observe. I've enjoyed watching him since he arrived. He has vision and good control going forward, which speaks well for his age and how he plays and how he reads the game.

"We are going to add situations to help him grow and become a better and stronger player in the way everyone thinks he will.

"I'm really pleased with all the new players. Felipe is growing, [Mario] Hermoso the same. To play all the new players together helps us to be able to get ready for what is coming, which is going to be tough.

"The team is working well. We've been together every day for more than 20 days. The new guys are making a big effort to catch on to what we want."

Joao Felix himself was happy with his performance as a substitute as he scored his second goal for the club following a strike in the 7-3 International Champions Cup win over Real Madrid.

"I'm happy to score. I got two in my last two games and it makes me very pleased," he said.

"I play as I always play. Adapting depends on the players. It's just the start, although we're doing well. We'll work every day to have a good season."

On his blossoming partnership with Diego Costa, having set up the striker for Atleti's third goal, he added: "We understand each other well. We speak the same language and I hope to give him more assists."

Joao Felix wants to follow in Cristiano Ronaldo's footsteps by winning the Ballon d'Or.

The 19-year-old became Atletico Madrid's record signing after they paid €126million to sign him from Benfica earlier this month.

Joao Felix made his name in the Primeira Liga and Europa League last term, then teamed up with Ronaldo as Portugal triumphed in the Nations League.

The attacker will be tasked with replacing Antoine Griezmann at Atletico, the France forward having finally completed a long-mooted switch to Barcelona.

And Joao Felix is hoping to emulate Ronaldo, who collected four Champions League titles after joining Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009 and has five Ballons d'Or to his name.

"Cristiano Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Or trophies and this is the dream of every player," Joao Felix told ESPN.

"Obviously, I would like to be like Cristiano."

Paulo Futre, Simao and Tiago are among the Portuguese players to have starred at Atletico.

But Joao Felix said it was the club's record of developing strikers – including Radamel Falcao, Diego Forlan, Fernando Torres and Griezmann – that persuaded him to move to the Wanda Metropolitano.

"I saw the strikers that Atletico had and they were great players, great strikers," he said.

"I want to be one more and this is why I choose to come here."

Antoine Griezmann and Neymar are not on the shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Player award, with Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard for this year's prize.

Griezmann completed his long-awaited €120million transfer to the Spanish champions in July but his 15-goal contribution to Atletico Madrid's second-place finish in the 2018-19 LaLiga table was not enough to impress FIFA's panel.

Liverpool trio Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk are in contention after helping the Reds to glory in last season's Champions League, while Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have been recognised for their part in helping Ajax to the semi-finals and to a domestic title.

There is no place for 2018 winner and Ballon d'Or holder Luka Modric, nor his Real Madrid team-mate Gareth Bale, and Neymar misses out while Paris Saint-Germain colleague Kylian Mbappe is among the nominees.

 

 

The Best FIFA Men's Player nominees:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Frenkie De Jong (Barcelona)
Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Mohmed Salah (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Cristiano Ronaldo expects friend and Barcelona target Neymar to stay at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazil forward has been at the centre of transfer rumours since telling Thomas Tuchel he wanted to leave PSG prior to the Copa America.

LaLiga champions Barca have reportedly offered €100m plus two first-team members in an attempt to re-sign the 27-year-old two years after his departure for France.

Real Madrid, Ronaldo's former employers, and his current club Juventus have also been mentioned as possible destinations.

Yet the Portugal legend believes Neymar is most likely to remain at Parc des Princes.

Ronaldo told Marca: "I don't know. He's a great player and I get along with him very well. There is a lot of talk about him, for Madrid, Barca, Juve.

"It is the job of the press, because you have to sell papers, but I think he will stay in Paris and, if not, look for where he is happy and where he can express his football.

"I hope he will avoid injuries, because he has had a lot of them and that must worry him.

"I worry because I like to see the boy playing. Regardless of where he plays, [it is important he] takes care of himself and has no injuries. That's what I want for him."

Ronaldo left LaLiga 12 months after Neymar to join Serie A giants Juve.

The 34-year-old is now heading into his second season in Turin and first under new boss Maurizio Sarri, who has promised to afford the talismanic attacker freedom to roam the pitch.

Ronaldo, though, insists that he will not neglect his defensive duties as the Bianconeri chase silverware at home and in the Champions League.

"I will do the same thing I did in Madrid or in my first year at Juve or for Portugal: I will defend and close spaces," he said

"I'll be an attacker with freedom but I have to work defensively because only with everyone involved can a team win important things."

Cristiano Ronaldo is confident Serie A giants Juventus will win the Champions League, insisting "it's coming".

After eight successive Serie A titles, Juve are eyeing European glory following five runners-up medals since their last Champions League triumph in 1996.

Ronaldo – a five-time Champions League winner who celebrated four titles with Real Madrid – was unable to help Juve past the quarter-finals in his first season last term.

However, Ronaldo believes Maurizio Sarri's Juve are poised to conquer Europe, sooner rather than later.

"After winning what I won at Madrid I needed a change and new motivation," Ronaldo told Marca.

"I still have the strength to keep winning.

"Juventus will win the Champions League. I don't know if it'll be this year or the next, but it's coming."

Ronaldo was speaking after receiving the prestigious Marca Leyenda award "for his successful career as a professional footballer and for the standing he has attained across the world."

The 34-year-old superstar made a seamless transition from Madrid to Juve, helping the Italian giants to their eighth successive Serie A crown in 2018-19.

The veteran scored 28 goals in all competitions last season, 21 of those coming in the league.

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