Portugal and Spain shared a goalless draw in a friendly on Wednesday, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe reunited with old friend Sergio Ramos after the match.

Ronaldo and Renato Sanches both hit the crossbar for Portugal, while Dani Olmo went close to a winner for Spain in an entertaining clash in Lisbon midweek.

Rivalries were cast aside after the final whistle, when Real Madrid captain Ramos visited his former club-mates in the dressing room.

Ramos, Ronaldo and Pepe each played pivotal roles for Los Blancos in seasons gone by, and the three got together for a photo which the Madrid centre-back posted to his Twitter account.

"We're still around... and there's more to come! Happy to see you, my friends reunited," Ramos wrote.

Ronaldo is starring for Italian champions Juventus in Serie A, while Pepe is at Primeira Liga titleholders Porto.

While Spain host Switzerland on Saturday, Portugal face France on Sunday in the next batch of Nations League fixtures.

The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar on Saturday with more major events and competitions being disrupted.

With the outbreak of COVID-19 rapidly spreading across the globe, it has resulted in the postponement of competitions worldwide as governments attempt to combat the pandemic.

A small number of events still went ahead, but sports stars, teams and indeed supporters were otherwise left to find other means of entertainment.

With the number of confirmed cases worldwide now totalling over 155,000, we round up all the latest news and updates.

 

Germany's prestige friendly with Italy later this month became the latest football fixture to bite the dust, with the majority of upcoming international matches having now been wiped out.

More major organisations have halted all footballing activities until a later date, including Qatar, Morocco and Egypt.

A small number of competitions, most notably the A-League, Russian Premier League and Mexico's Liga MX, did manage to go ahead as planned.

Indeed, NRL games also avoided the cut, as did a handful of Super Rugby matches before an indefinite ban was put in place later in the day.

Another competition to fall was Australia's one-day international series against New Zealand, which was already being played behind closed doors.

With New Zealand's government introducing strict protocols to attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the Black Caps – along with Super Rugby side Highlanders – returned home from Australia and Argentina respectively in order to beat the new restrictions, which will mean any new arrival to the country, even if they are a citizen, has to self-isolate for 14 days.

With the top-four tiers of English football being shelved until at least early April, there was plenty of focus on the National League as six games were given the green light.

There was some controversy in Argentina as River Plate's Copa Superliga clash with Atletico Tucuman was suspended after the home side refused to open their stadium.

Independiente's tie with Velez Sarsfield was played out in full, albeit behind closed doors, with the hosts claiming a 1-0 victory.

In Italy, Napoli urged their supporters to sing from their balconies in unison as Fiorentina's Patrick Cutrone and two more Sampdoria players tested positive for COVID-19.

Manchester City's Benjamin Mendy revealed a negative test result after recently self-isolating, but Carlo Ancelotti and Angelo Ogbonna questioned the Premier League's handling of the outbreak, while Jordan Pickford denied reports he is self-isolating.

West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, meanwhile, claimed the competition should be "void" – a suggestion Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher quickly dismissed.

The lack of football did not stop certain clubs from keeping supporters entertained, though, with LaLiga side Leganes posting live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, which they won 2-1.

Perhaps inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton got Manchester City involved in an online game of noughts and crosses to help fill the void.

The downtime also gave football stars a chance to recuperate, with Sergio Ramos and Alexis Sanchez among those to post images of their extra-curricular activities.

Others, such as Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson and FIFA president Gianni Infantino, opted to use social media to educate their followers on how to properly wash their hands, while Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi used his profile to echo the sentiments of Cristiano Ronaldo in calling for people to follow the guidance of health organisations.

As Ronaldo and Jurgen Klopp were praised by the World Health Organisation for "protecting people from coronavirus", former United States president Barack Obama hailed a host of NBA stars – including Giannis Antetokounmpo and Zion Williamson – for donating large amounts to help support arena staff during the league's hiatus.

UFC superstar Conor McGregor labelled the pandemic "a stupid f****** virus", but later moved to clarify his aunt did not die after contracting the disease after previously suggesting as such.

And in more positive news, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe revealed his country still plan for the 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead in Tokyo, starting in late July.

The International Olympic Committee will have the final say, but ABE is confident the Games will be staged "without problem".

Eden Hazard's availability for Real Madrid's crunch fixtures against Manchester City and Barcelona appears in doubt after Zinedine Zidane admitted his latest injury "doesn't look good".

The Belgium forward hobbled off in the second half of the 1-0 loss to Levante on Saturday and he could be seen on the bench receiving treatment on his lower right leg.

Hazard only recently returned from a fractured right ankle so the sight of him appearing to have another problem in the same area was alarming for Zidane.

Madrid face Pep Guardiola's City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday before a Clasico date with new LaLiga leaders Barcelona next weekend.

"It doesn't look good," Zidane told reporters at a news conference.

"It can become weak where you've had an injury. It is a blow, let's see.

"It's sore now but we'll see tomorrow when we do more tests."

It was a thoroughly miserable outing for Madrid as they suffered a surprise defeat thanks to Jose Luis Morales' stunning late effort.

Madrid drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo at home in their previous outing and they will host Barcelona next Sunday knowing they are now two points behind their great rivals in the title race.

Captain Sergio Ramos revealed the level of frustration he was feeling in a social media post.

"We're p***ed off," he wrote on Twitter.

"But we can't allow our heads to drop.

"We have to reset now and tomorrow push harder than ever before for a very important week. We're counting on you."

Substitute Santi Mina's 85th-minute equaliser denied leaders Real Madrid a sixth successive LaLiga victory as Celta Vigo left the Santiago Bernabeu with a 2-2 draw.

Los Blancos were stunned by Fedor Smolov's first goal for Celta in the seventh minute and the home side failed to register a single shot on target in the opening half.

However, they turned the game on its head within 13 minutes, Toni Kroos scoring again against Celta before Sergio Ramos slotted home a penalty after the returning Eden Hazard had been fouled.

Mina's late leveller meant Zinedine Zidane's men only moved one point clear of Clasico rivals Barcelona, though, as their winning run came to an end.

 

 

Zinedine Zidane feels Real Madrid did enough to pick up victory against Atletico Madrid in Saturday's El Derbi stalemate.

Madrid created the best chance of the game at Wanda Metropolitano, with Jan Oblak producing a fine save to keep out Karim Benzema's header 15 minutes from time in the goalless draw.

The point was enough to take Zidane's men back above surprise package Granada into top spot in LaLiga, but the Frenchman wanted more from the match.

"We deserved much more, but what I have to do is congratulate the players since we have been supportive again and we kept a clean sheet," he said at his post-match news conference.

"It's not just intensity, but what's important is our strength. We saw a strong Madrid because we didn't concede a chance. We lacked in creativity but we're happy with what we did."

Eden Hazard had another quiet match, the Belgium international failing to register a single shot before being replaced by James Rodriguez in the 77th minute.

Zidane admits Hazard, who joined from Chelsea in June for a fee that could reach €168million, still has some way to go before reaching the levels he hit at his former club. 

"He lacks little things. We have to stick with him. He's done a good job, but we haven't had many chances," he added.

"We have to highlight everyone's work. We'd like him to score because it'll release him, but there are no problems, we're sure it'll come."

Zidane echoed the views of skipper Sergio Ramos, who had mixed feelings after keeping a third league clean sheet in a row.

"These games against Atletico are very physical," Ramos told Movistar at full-time.

"It's one of the most difficult stadiums we have to visit throughout the season and it's important to keep a clean sheet. 

"But in attack it's hard to create chances because they don't leave much space. This point doesn't mean a lot because we wanted three.

"The defensive side of the game is something we've been working on. Everything adds up and I think we're enjoying a good spell."

Madrid return to action on Tuesday with a home match against Club Brugge in the Champions League, before hosting Granada in LaLiga next Saturday.

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