Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski and Manuel Neuer have made the shortlist for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award for the 2019-20 campaign.

Manchester City playmaker De Bruyne, who recently won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award, is in the final three along with two Bayern Munich stars who helped their side to the treble last season.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk won the honour in the previous season, finishing ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

None of those three are on the shortlist this time, though, and whoever comes out on top will be a first-time winner.

Neuer missed only one game in Bayern's treble season and kept six Champions League clean sheets, while Lewandowski netted 55 goals in 47 appearances for Hansi Flick's team.

De Bruyne, meanwhile, produced a record-equalling 20 assists in the Premier League for City, adding 13 goals.

The final order of the top three is yet to be revealed, but UEFA has confirmed the occupants of positions four to 10.

Barcelona forward Messi came in at tie for fourth with Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, while Juventus attacker Ronaldo was down in 10th spot.

Thomas Muller (6th), Kylian Mbappe (7th), Thiago Alcantara (8th) and Joshua Kimmich (9th) were the others who featured in the top 10.

Ronaldo has won the honour three times since it was first awarded in 2011, while Messi has claimed it twice.

Andres Iniesta, Franck Ribery, Luka Modric and Van Dijk were the other victors, with the award voted for by coaches and journalists.

Lucy Bronze, Wendie Renard and Pernille Harder are up for the Women's Player of the Year accolade in the 2019-20 awards.

Bayern head coach Flick, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann are on the shortlist for Men's Coach of the Year.

The winners will be announced at the Champions League group stage draw ceremony on October 1.

Messi and Ronaldo also won the previous version of the award - UEFA Club Footballer of the Year – once each. That award was replaced after the 2009-10 season, when Diego Milito came out on top.

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo is aware of the importance of keeping Cristiano Ronaldo fresh and says the superstar forward will decide which games he sits out.

The Portugal international scored late on in Juve's 3-0 victory over Sampdoria at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday as Pirlo's managerial reign got off to a winning start.

He had earlier hit the crossbar and came close from a couple of his other nine efforts prior to finally finding a way past Emil Audero in the 88th minute.

And with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner having recently picked up a toe injury on international duty, Pirlo is keen to closely manage his star player's fitness.

"We are thinking about it and we have talked about it together," he told Sky Sport Italia. "He is not tired at the moment because we have just started the season. But when we come up to less important games, we'll try to give him a rest. 

"He's a very intelligent lad who knows his body very well, so he is aware of when it's time to rest or step it up. When he will play depends on him."

Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici confirmed ahead of kick-off that Barcelona's Luis Suarez is no longer an option in the club's search for a new striker.

With Paulo Dybala missing the opening game through injury and Gonzalo Higuain finalising a move to Inter Miami on Friday, Pirlo is after a particular type of player to bolster his side.

"We'll give it our best. It's about finding the right balance," he said. "Quality players are always welcome, as long as they have the characteristics to bring balance to the team. But we want to use as much of our talent as possible."

Debutant midfielder Dejan Kulusevski netted the first goal of Pirlo's tenure and Leonardo Bonucci was also on target in Turin prior to Ronaldo's clinical finish late on.

Weston McKennie is another who impressed on his first appearance since joining, while Gianluca Frabotta – a surprise starter at left wing-back – also caught the eye.

"Frabotta had a good game. Alex Sandro picked up an injury, so I chose the under-23 lad who is training with us very well," Pirlo said. "I didn't consider it a risk at all to use him.

"McKennie arrived having started pre-season training in Germany, so was in better shape than some others. He made a few errors in his passing, but it was the first game, we can forgive him for that."

Pirlo has worked under some of the game's most influential coaches but vowed to do things his own way in his first managerial job.

"It will take time to get all the various ways of playing together. I don't want to just copy and paste anyone's ideas," he said. "I have my own ideas and want to adapt from the teams that inspired me.

"We haven't had much time, as the pre-season started late and then they were away for international duty. We had only one friendly too, but it was a good debut and we'll keep working on it."

A debut goal from Dejan Kulusevski and strikes from Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo earned Juventus a 3-0 win over Sampdoria in Andrea Pirlo's first game in charge. 

Legendary player Pirlo, appointed in August following the sacking of Maurizio Sarri, saw his reign get off to an impressive start at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday. 

Young midfielder Kulusevski found the net inside 13 minutes and Bonucci added a deserved second for Juve with 12 minutes to play, following up after Weston McKennie's shot was saved. 

Ronaldo, who had earlier hit the crossbar, rounded out the scoring late on after being teed up by Aaron Ramsey, helping the hosts make a bright start to their latest title defence in Serie A.

Andrea Pirlo has vowed to prove his doubters wrong at Juventus, demanding "desire and ferocity" from the Italian champions in his first Serie A match in charge. 

The former midfield maestro knows there are questions over his credentials for such a first major coaching job, which he was surprisingly handed when Maurizio Sarri was sacked in August. 

But Pirlo was a prince of a ball-player with Milan, Juventus and Italy, and the 41-year-old says past playing experiences will be reflected in how he now leads a team from pitchside. 

On Sunday, his first test comes when Juve go up against Sampdoria, a team led by the vastly experienced Claudio Ranieri. 

"Doubts? I don't have any," Pirlo said. "Certainties? I'm at Juve, I coach a team of champions, it was easy for me to fit in and I'm fine. 

"I don't have to show the differences with Sarri's Juve: we have the same goals." 

He added: "I carry on my idea of football, which must be aggressive and based on mastery of the game. 

"This period has not changed me; like I was a footballer, I'll be a coach. There are those who speak well of me and those who have doubts, but for me nothing changes: I am sure of what I am doing."

He is clearly talking a good game already, demanding his team show their hunger from day one, but nothing less than another Scudetto will suffice as Juve chase a 10th successive league title. 

New recruit Dejan Kulusevski and veteran Cristiano Ronaldo are set for roving attacking roles as Juventus target a flying start. 

"A new season is beginning, we start from scratch and we'll have to face it with desire and ferocity," Pirlo said. "This is what I'm going to tell the lads tomorrow. We have to start well." 

Pirlo said it was "easy to settle back in" at Juventus, five years after he left for a playing stint with New York City FC. 

Experienced former team-mates Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Gianluigi Buffon are "behaving very professionally", Pirlo said. 

"They call me 'Coach', out of respect for their team-mates as well," Pirlo said, speaking in Saturday's pre-match news conference. 

Swedish winger Kulusevski, so impressive for Parma last season, is primed for his Juventus debut and the 20-year-old will be expected to show flexibility within the team. 

Pirlo said: "Kulusevski is an intelligent player. He finds space by himself and is showing a lot of openness to play in different roles. 

"We are inventing something. Neither Ronaldo nor Kulusevski will start central, they will move and rotate."

Andrea Pirlo confirmed it is "unlikely" Luis Suarez will join Juventus from Barcelona but vowed the Serie A champions remain in the hunt for a new striker. 

Although there is much about Suarez that appeals to Juventus, the process of securing an Italian passport for a player who turns 34 in January is a complication that Pirlo addressed on Saturday. 

Suarez needs that citizenship to be eligible for a move, given the Bianconeri have filled their quota of non-EU players, and he is reportedly eligible to apply because of his wife's family background. 

The prospect of Suarez teaming up with former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus would have been tantalising, with Pirlo having allowed Gonzalo Higuain to join Inter Miami. 

But Juventus have questions over how long the passport process for Suarez might take, and Pirlo said, quoted in Corriere dello Sport: "It is difficult because looking at the times for the passport ... it is unlikely he will be our centre forward." 

Suarez has been left out of Barcelona's squad for Sunday's Joan Gamper Trophy match against Elche, with incoming coach Ronald Koeman looking keen to offload him.

Speaking in a news conference, Juventus head coach Pirlo said: "We are all waiting for the central striker. The transfer market is long. 

"We are calm and happy with what we have. There is no rush." 

Pirlo's first competitive game in charge comes on Sunday when Juventus face Sampdoria in Serie A, the Turin giants launching their quest to secure a 10th consecutive Scudetto.

Juventus' faltering end to their Serie A campaign saw Inter finish just one point behind the Bianconeri in 2019-20.

Antonio Conte's side had looked like genuine title challengers in the first half of the season, yet a poor run pre-lockdown saw them all but fall out of contention before a late charge – combined with Juve's inconsistencies – made things tight after the title was already wrapped up.

Yet heading into Conte's second season, there should be genuine optimism at San Siro.

Inter may have failed to win the Europa League – going down to serial champions Sevilla in the final – but with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, along with some promising new additions, they look all set for a strong title tilt this time around.

Juve, under the tutelage of Andrea Pirlo in the wake of Maurizio Sarri's sacking, still have the Cristiano Ronaldo factor, though there is a feeling the club's dominance of Serie A may finally be waning. 

Using Opta data, we take a look at what Inter need to improve on if they are to seriously challenge in 2020-21.

CONTE'S SECOND-SEASON SYNDROME

Despite Inter's second-placed finish in Serie A, there was some doubt that Conte would in fact remain their head coach heading into this season.

Indeed, in early August – prior to the final stages of the Europa League taking place in Germany – Conte told DAZN: "There's no recognition of the work I've done, and I've found very little protection from the club. None whatsoever. There will be things to discuss with the president, but he's in China right now..."

However, Conte has stayed, and will look to build on a promising first campaign.

Inter's haul of 82 points last season was their best tally in Serie A since 2009-10. It also meant Inter were the eighth side since 1994-95 to not win the Scudetto after managing 82 points or more.

Yet with the last two club teams Conte has coached, there has been a decline in his second campaign.

In Conte's first season at Juve in 2011-12, his side won the Serie A title without losing a game – Ilario Castagner and Fabio Capello were the only coaches to have previously managed this in Italy's top flight.

Juve lost five times in Serie A in 2012-13 but still won the title, and there was a similar story at Chelsea. The Blues won the Premier League with 93 points in 2016-17, losing only five games, but in Conte's second term, Chelsea finished fifth, losing on 10 occasions.

If Inter truly are to go one step further than last season, then Conte will need to avoid any noticeable dip.

THE STAR STRIKERS

Ronaldo's 31 Serie A goals ultimately proved the difference for Juve last season, with the 35-year-old turning in more match-winning moments.

Valuable support also came from Juve's other main forward, Paulo Dybala, who netted 11 goals and provided six assists.

Conte, on the other hand, often complained over a lack of clinical finishing from his side at times last term, though Lukaku and Martinez more than did their fair share.

They scored a combined 37 goals – Lukaku netting 23 and Martinez 14 – providing two and three assists respectively.

It was still five fewer goals than Ronaldo and Dybala accumulated, though, while Juve's strike partners also boasted better link-up statistics.

In total, Dybala found Ronaldo 121 times across the campaign, crafting 31 chances for his team-mate – compare that with Martinez creating just 11 for Lukaku.

Ronaldo did not fully return the favour, with only nine chances created for Dybala by the former Real Madrid star, while Lukaku provided 14 chances for Martinez.

MORE CLEAN SHEETS REQUIRED

Inter ended the 2019-20 season with the best defence in Serie A, conceding only 36 goals, but that does not tell the whole story.

Conte's side managed just 14 clean sheets across the campaign – since 2004-05, only Juve, in 2019-20, have won Serie A with fewer than 15 shut outs.

In Milan Skriniar, Conte has a commanding centre-half who is not yet near his prime, while Diego Godin - if he stays - is a reliable older head and Stefan de Vrij has impressed, but as a unit they were sometimes liable to defensive lapses which, in matches where Inter's strike force failed to make the most of their opportunities, ultimately cost the Nerazzurri.

Under the guidance of Conte from 2011 to 2014, Juve kept 21, 19 and 22 clean sheets respectively in those three seasons.

SAN SIRO TROUBLES?

Inter were outstanding away from home in Serie A last season, collecting more points on the road than any other side (43), winning 13 matches, drawing four times and losing just twice.

They were only the second club with 13 or more away wins in a single campaign to not win the title, after Napoli, who did so in both 2016-17 and 2017-18.

However, it was a different story at home, where the Nerazzurri picked up just 39 points – 11 less than Juve's total of 50.

Inter must improve their efficiency at San Siro if they are to end Juve's dominance of Italian football, as no Scudetto-winning side has ever claimed the title with fewer than 13 wins at home since 20 teams have been in the top flight.

Bruno Fernandes hopes to harness his creative genius to help Portugal team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo become the record international goalscorer.

Ronaldo scored twice against Sweden earlier this month to move on to 101 goals for his country, putting him eight behind Ali Daei.

Naturally, the Juventus star has his sights set on overtaking the Iran legend and Fernandes, who on Friday was named Manchester United's player of the year, is on hand to help.

"For me, and I think for most of the people now, it's normal," he told United Review of Ronaldo surpassing a century of goals in Portugal colours.

"You see when someone watches the games, if he doesn't score, for everyone, it is a bad game because, normally, he always scores.

"You wait for a goal from him or for him to do something different. Of course, I'm really happy to have a chance to play alongside him and I hope he can achieve the record he wants, for sure.

"Maybe I can help him to achieve that record with the national team."

United kick off their Premier League campaign at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday in a match that will be played behind closed doors, with coronavirus restrictions still in place.

Fernandes, who received 35.5 per cent of the vote from United fans to win the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award for 2019-20, lamented the absence of supporters at matches, but said he still felt the adoration of the club's followers.

"We have a lot of fans of Manchester United and I can feel all the love they have to give you on social media, on the streets and everywhere really," said Fernandes, revealing he had discussed the issue with Ronaldo.

"I think, now, the most important thing is for everyone to be healthy and, as soon as possible, everybody will be able to come to the stadium.

"Football without fans is not like a football game, you know. I sat with Cristiano to talk about it after the game with the national team.

"It's like streets without cars. It's not a street.

"I don't know how to say it but we need to have fans in the stadiums. I don't know how but I think it will be important for everyone – for the players, for the game, for the fans.

"It will also be important for them. I hope it's sooner rather than later when we can have the fans back at the stadium."

Jadon Sancho has all the qualities to become as good as Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Borrusia Dortmund team-mate Raphael Guerreiro.

England international Sancho has shot to prominence in Germany after opting to leave Manchester City in 2017 to pursue first-team opportunities. 

The 20-year-old has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Guerreiro believes the sky is the limit for Sancho.

In fact, he could even put himself on a par with all-time great and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo.

"Cristiano is one of the best in the world – and to even be as good as him, Jadon still has to work a lot, a lot," Guerreiro, an international colleague of Ronaldo's, told Bild. 

"He has everything you need to be just as good as Cristiano, maybe even better someday.

"Jadon is still very young, but has already played an outstanding role for us in the past two years.

"He has the gift to make the difference – with passes, dribbles or goals."

Dortmund appear determined to keep hold of Sancho, who scored 17 goals in 32 Bundesliga appearances last season.

He was also on target in the 5-0 DFB-Pokal victory over Duisburg on Monday.

There will be no 2020 Ballon d'Or due to the coronavirus pandemic, seemingly costing Robert Lewandowski his shot at the top prize.

While perennial contenders Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi each made relatively early Champions League exits last term, Lewandowski was the best player for the best team in Europe.

Bayern Munich won the treble, aided in no small part by an outstanding haul of 55 goals in all competitions from their number nine.

It was the best campaign of Lewandowski's career, yet there appears no reason to believe he cannot hit similar heights in the season to come as we use Opta data to reflect on a stunning year.


LIKE RONALDO... BUT BETTER!

Lewandowski brings plenty to the table, but above all he is a goalscorer - as he proved in 2019-20. The 32-year-old's 55 goals came from just 47 matches as he netted once every 75 minutes on average.

Rather than a feat of finishing, however, Lewandowski put on a movement masterclass, taking up goalscoring positions time and again. Of his 55 goals, 52 were scored from inside the area - including 33 of 34 in the Bundesliga, where he also dispatched each of his five penalties.

The Poland international only outperformed his expected goals value of 51.0 by four, yet the next highest xG in Europe's 'top five' leagues - Ronaldo's - was way back at 35.8.

Lewandowski was expected to score 1.09 goals per game, comfortably the only star averaging more than one a match in this respect, with Kylian Mbappe next on 0.82 xG per game

Ronaldo prides himself on his goalscoring tally in much the same way but hit the net 'just' 37 times, also putting him behind Lazio's Ciro Immobile (39), who was still a long way short of Lewandowski.


BEATING THE VERY BEST

Last term was actually the first season in Lewandowski's career in which he scored more goals than both Ronaldo and Messi (31). He has topped Ronaldo in consecutive campaigns, too.

Lewandowski is only a year younger than Messi but scored just nine times in the 2010-11 season as the Barcelona forward was tallying 53, tied with Ronaldo. The Bayern star - then of Borussia Dortmund - scored 30 the next season to start to close the gap yet still had a long way to go to reach his current standards.

Given his age, it seems unlikely Lewandowski will be able to extend his peak years over such a spell as the big two have, but he should certainly back himself to dominate in the coming season.

Lewandowski has a better, more settled team than Ronaldo, meaning there is little reason to doubt he can edge out that particular rival again. Meanwhile, partly due to Lewandowski's Bayern, Barca are in crisis, with Messi unhappy even as he sticks around for another season.

Other contenders will emerge, such as Mbappe, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward is already missing games in 2020-21 due to coronavirus and fluffed his lines against Lewandowski's Bayern in last season's Champions League final.

As Ronaldo and Messi enter the final stages of their careers and the next generation take time to hit the heights, Lewandowski looks primed to be the middle man as European football's statistical phenomenon and, perhaps, the world's best player.

Lionel Messi has retained his place at the top of Forbes' list of highest-paid footballers after earning $126million over the past year, with Cristiano Ronaldo closely behind him in second. 

The Barcelona superstar sent shockwaves through world football last month when he told the club he has spent his entire career at he wanted to leave after a trophyless campaign in 2019-20.

Messi believed he could use a clause in his contract to leave for free, but Barca and LaLiga disputed that claim and insisted his deal could only be terminated should his €700m release clause be paid.

Amid frustration with the Camp Nou board, Messi performed a U-turn and elected to stay with the embattled LaLiga giants for at least the 2020-21 campaign.

He does so as the highest paid footballer in the world after earning $126million in salary and endorsements over the past 12 months.

His long-time rival Ronaldo is second on the list after bringing in earnings of $117m. 

Paris Saint-Germain stars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are third and fourth respectively, with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah in fifth place.

Making up the rest of the top 10 are French World Cup winners Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, Real Madrid outcast Gareth Bale, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.

 

Forbes' top 10 highest-paid footballers:

1. Lionel Messi - $126m
2. Cristiano Ronaldo - $117m
3. Neymar - $96m
4. Kylian Mbappe - $42m
5. Mohamed Salah - $37m
6. Paul Pogba - $34m
7. Antoine Griezmann - $33m
8. Gareth Bale - $29m
9. Robert Lewandowski - $28m
10. David De Gea - $27m

Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo has stressed the importance of signing a striker ahead of the new Serie A campaign.

The reigning Italian champions are without a recognised number nine for the start of 2020-21 as Gonzalo Higuain closes in on a switch to Inter Miami.

A move for Barcelona ace Luis Suarez is reported to have broken down, while Chelsea's Olivier Giroud this week rubbished rumours he is close to signing.

Edin Dzeko has also been linked but was part of Roma's starting line-up for Saturday's friendly win over Cagliari.

With the window open for another three weeks, Pirlo admits the troublesome position needs to be filled.

"I need the striker as soon as possible," he told Sky Sport Italia. "But the market is long. There will be time to be able to work until October 4."

Juventus kicked off their shortened pre-season programme with a 5-0 win over Novara on Saturday, with Cristiano Ronaldo opening the scoring against the Serie C side.

Ronaldo also struck twice in Portugal's 2-0 win over Sweden on September 8 after recovering from a toe injury and Pirlo is happy with the forward's fitness.

"Cristiano is fine," Pirlo said. "He proved it with Portugal and also today."

Aaron Ramsey, Marko Pjaca and a brace by Manolo Portanova gave Juve a commanding win in their friendly, which Pirlo used to experiment with various formations.

"In the first half, we played with four at the back, which becomes three in the different phases," said Pirlo, who was appointed as Maurizio Sarri's successor in August.

"In the second half, we stayed with three, preparing different solutions."

West Brom got their man on Wednesday, but it was not Cristiano Ronaldo.

Although the newly promoted Premier League club introduced the arrival of "CR7", the 101-goal Portugal great will not be turning out at the Hawthorns this season.

West Brom were instead celebrating the capture of Republic of Ireland international Callum Robinson, who will wear their number seven shirt.

Robinson spent the second half of last season on loan with the Baggies as they finished second in the Championship.

He has now joined permanently from Sheffield United, with Scotland winger Oli Burke moving the other way.

Burke burst onto the scene at Nottingham Forest and earned a 2016 transfer to RB Leipzig but has since struggled to make an impact, even after a switch to West Brom the following year.

Cristiano Ronaldo revealed his delight at his 100th and 101st Portugal goals on social media on Tuesday.

Ronaldo scored a brace against Sweden in a 2-0 away Nations League win.

At the same Stockholm stadium where the forward scored a hat-trick in 2014 World Cup qualifying, his first was a stunning free-kick to bring up a century in international football.

Ronaldo was not done there, though, and curled in a fine second, with Ali Daei's record tally of 109 goals for Iran within his sights.

The Portugal captain posted on Instagram: "Huge pride in this historical goal for our national team!

"When they tell me I can reach 100, I say it's not enough... 101 goals for Portugal."

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos weighed in on the idea his side performed better without Cristiano Ronaldo after the captain reached 101 international goals.

A brace at Sweden secured a 2-0 Nations League win and took Ronaldo past a century of strikes for his country.

The goals came just as questions were being asked of Ronaldo's role within the title holders' team, having sat out last week's dominant 4-1 win over Croatia.

Ronaldo said after the match he paid little attention to provocation and had no need to prove himself.

Coach Santos dismissed the notion entirely, meanwhile.

He told a news conference: "What more can I say? A team that has the best in the world cannot be better without the best in the world.

"[Ronaldo] goes on breaking records and records and then, when everyone thinks he is going to finish, there are even more records to beat. He feeds on it."

Portugal needed Ronaldo to step up, with his first – the milestone goal – a wonderful free-kick, after Sweden had given Santos' side an early scare.

Bernardo Silva was injured midway through the opening period, but Gustav Svensson's red card – which prompted Ronaldo's set-piece – gave Portugal the advantage.

"In the first 20 minutes, we had a lot of difficulties," the coach conceded. "We weren't able to get their game right, with the long balls.

"We had a lot of difficulties, because when we had the ball, we lost it very easily.

"We started to improve, we started to have the ball and the game became easier for us, but then we had Bernardo's issue – a forced substitution – and, from then on, I realised that we were going to have more difficulty.

"The red card was fundamental in the game, although I believed we would win anyway. The victory is just."

Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed his latest goals at Sweden's Friends Arena as he brought up a century of international strikes, although the Portugal captain insisted he had no point to prove.

Ronaldo was playing for his country for the first time in 2020, having sat out of last week's 4-1 defeat of Croatia.

That result had prompted suggestions Portugal might be better in the absence of their talisman, but he set the record straight on Tuesday.

Two goals - his 100th and 101st at international level - secured a 2-0 win, adding to a hat-trick at the same stadium as Ronaldo single-handedly defeated Sweden in 2014 World Cup qualifying.

The Juventus forward said afterwards: "I didn't follow the comments. It's an opinion.

"I knew I had left a mark at this stadium and I knew that, if I played, I would leave a mark again. I don't care about provocations.

"What I have done in my career speaks for itself. No, I have to prove nothing to anyone, and when I have to prove it, I show it on the pitch."

On his milestone goal, Ronaldo said: "I am very happy. Firstly, because the team won, which was the goal we had. Then the 100 mark and then the 101, with two goals, makes me very happy.

"Now the future is only for God. I feel good, I feel good for playing with these young players."

Iran legend Ali Daei's record of 109 goals is the next in the striker's sights.

"I beat the 100-goal mark, and now it's the record," Ronaldo added. "It's step by step, without making it an obsession."

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