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Sunil Chhetri, the legendary figure in Indian football, has declared his decision to retire from international football following the FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Kuwait in Kolkata on June 6. This announcement marks the conclusion of a remarkable two-decade-long career that has left an indelible mark on the sport.

Chhetri, who has served as the national team captain for an extended period, conveyed his retirement decision through a heartfelt video shared on his social media platforms. Reflecting on his illustrious journey spanning 19 years, the 39-year-old expressed gratitude for the amalgam of duty, pressure, and joy that defined his time representing the country.

Acknowledging the significance of the upcoming match against Kuwait, where India currently stands second in Group A with four points, Chhetri underscored the importance of securing victory to advance to the next round of qualifiers. Despite the weight of expectations, he conveyed a sense of calmness, stating that every moment spent with the national team in the recent weeks has been savored with the realization that it would culminate in his final appearance.

Having made his 150th appearance for India in March, Chhetri’s legacy as the team’s top scorer and most-capped player is firmly cemented in the annals of Indian football history. His remarkable tally of 94 goals for the country exemplifies his unparalleled contribution to the sport, earning him admiration both at home and on the global stage.

Chhetri’s retirement announcement has prompted reflections on his remarkable achievements, including his debut in 2005 and memorable performances that have endeared him to fans across the nation. As he prepares to bid farewell to international football, Chhetri leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire generations of aspiring footballers in India and beyond.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr was ousted from the Asian Champions League quarterfinals despite a valiant fightback in the second leg against Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates. The match, held in Riyadh, saw Al-Nassr overcome a first-leg deficit with a 4-3 win, only to fall short in the penalty shootout, losing 3-1.

The encounter was a rollercoaster from start to finish. Al-Nassr, looking to overturn a 1-0 loss from the first leg, found themselves in a deeper hole as Al-Ain, through Moroccan international Soufiane Rahimi, extended their overall lead to 3-0 in the first half. Rahimi, replicating his goal-scoring form from the first leg, found the net twice, showcasing clinical finishing.

However, just before the halftime whistle, Abdulrahman Ghareeb ignited hopes of a comeback for Al-Nassr with a crucial goal. The momentum further shifted when Al-Ain’s goalkeeper Khalid Eisa unfortunately scored an own goal, making it 2-2 on the night and setting the stage for a gripping second half.

As the match progressed, Ronaldo, despite missing several chances including a glaring miss from just two meters out, showed his resilience. It was former Manchester United defender Alex Telles who then stepped up, scoring for Al-Nassr with 18 minutes left in regulation time, pushing the match into extra time.

Al-Ain briefly regained the lead in extra time through Sultan Al Shamsi, but Ronaldo, ever the protagonist, equalized from the penalty spot with just two minutes remaining, leveling the aggregate score at 4-4. Unfortunately for Al-Nassr, the subsequent penalty shootout saw them falter, with Ronaldo being the lone scorer for his side.

The result was a heartbreaker for Ronaldo and Al-Nassr, who showed commendable spirit to fight back but ultimately couldn’t secure their spot in the semifinals. Al-Ain’s victory sets up another encounter with Saudi Arabian giants, as they are slated to face the winner of the tie between four-time champions Al-Hilal and two-time champions Al-Ittihad.

Elsewhere in the tournament, the eastern zone quarterfinals are poised intriguingly with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Ulsan Hyundai Motors locked at 1-1 after their first leg, and Yokohama F. Marinos holding a slim 2-1 lead over Shandong Taishan.

The dramatic exit of Al-Nassr underscores the unpredictable nature of football, where not even the star power of Cristiano Ronaldo can guarantee success. As the Asian Champions League moves towards its climax, the excitement and drama are only expected to intensify.

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In an all-Saudi Arabian matchup, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League with a convincing 3-0 aggregate victory over Al-Fayha. Ronaldo, who scored the lone goal in the first leg, found the net again in the return match in Riyadh, contributing to a 3-0 aggregate win. Otavio also opened the scoring, ensuring Al-Nassr’s progression.

Al-Nassr, aiming for its first-ever continental title, is set to face Al-Ain from the United Arab Emirates in the quarterfinals next month. The eastern zone of the tournament features representatives from South Korea, Japan, and China, setting the stage for competitive matchups.

In an all-South Korean quarterfinal, two-time champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors will face Ulsan HD. Ulsan secured a 5-1 aggregate victory over second-tier Japanese team Ventforet Kofu, winning 2-1 away after a 3-0 first-leg triumph. Jeonbuk, after a 2-0 home win against fellow Korean team Pohang Steelers, secured a spot in the quarterfinals with a 1-1 draw.

China’s Shandong Taishan advanced with a dramatic 6-5 victory over two legs against Kawasaki Frontale of Japan. Despite being down 3-2 from the first leg at home, Shandong quickly took a two-goal lead in Japan, with goals from Brazilian forward Cryzan and Gao Zhunyi. Although Kawasaki regained the lead with goals from Sota Miura and Erison, Cryzan’s late strike in the 97th minute leveled the score at 5-5, sending Shandong into the quarterfinals against another Japanese opponent.

Yokohama F. Marinos secured a spot in the last eight for the first time, defeating Bangkok United 3-2 on aggregate. Anderson Lopes scored the only goal in the return match after the first leg in Thailand ended in a 2-2 draw.

The Asian Champions League continues to showcase intense competition and thrilling moments as teams vie for continental glory.

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In a spectacular display of skill, Al Nassr secured a resounding 6-0 victory against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami during a club friendly at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh. Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence due to injury, the match showcased the enduring rivalry between two football icons.

Al Nassr’s Brazilian player, Talisca, stole the spotlight with a breathtaking hat-trick within the opening 12 minutes, leaving Inter Miami in disarray. Even with the notable additions of Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets, Messi’s team struggled to make an impact against the electrifying performance of their opponents.

A remarkable moment unfolded in the 24th minute when cameras captured Messi and Ronaldo in a split-screen; Messi, visibly concerned on the bench, contrasted with Ronaldo, who flashed a confident smile from the VIP box. The footage quickly went viral, underlining the enduring fascination with the historic rivalry between the two legends.

Since their early careers, Messi and Ronaldo have personified one of football’s greatest rivalries. The split-screen interaction harked back to their iconic duels, evoking memories of their fierce competition for Ballon d’Or titles that spanned nearly a decade.

Talisca’s celebratory gesture paid homage to Ronaldo, further emphasizing the footballing chasm on display. As Inter Miami gears up for the upcoming MLS season, this defeat serves as a significant challenge. The team, including new signings Suarez and Busquets, will continue their preparations with matches in Asia after previous encounters against El Salvador and FC Dallas.

The absence of Ronaldo and the dominance of Al Nassr may have shaped the outcome, but the enduring allure of the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry took center stage, creating a memorable spectacle for football enthusiasts worldwide.

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Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has shed light on why Lionel Messi was not allowed to parade the World Cup trophy at Parc des Princes, following Argentina’s triumph in 2022.

In a recent interview with RMC TV, Al-Khelaifi revealed that the decision was driven by a desire to avoid potential fan backlash. Messi’s celebratory moment was curtailed as PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe had been on the losing side against Argentina in the World Cup final.

“For me, like I said, if anyone talks about the fact that we didn’t celebrate him enough after he won the World Cup, we’re in France, and he won against Kylian. We are a French club. I don’t want the whole stadium to be against him either. I think we have to respect that,” stated Al-Khelaifi during the interview.

Messi’s departure from PSG was marked by fan disapproval, with the Argentine icon acknowledging that his presence caused a “rift” among the PSG fanbase. Al-Khelaifi further emphasized that Messi does not “respect” the club and should refrain from commenting on them following his exit.

Looking ahead, Lionel Messi is currently gearing up for his stint in the United States with Inter Miami. The team is scheduled to face FC Dallas in a friendly on January 22nd, followed by participation in the Riyadh Cup in the Middle East. This event will see Messi pitted against his perennial rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Al-Nassr.

The decision to withhold Messi’s World Cup trophy celebration at Parc des Princes, while rooted in diplomatic considerations, adds another chapter to the complex narrative surrounding Messi’s departure from PSG and sets the stage for his future endeavors in the United States and beyond.

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In the 2022 World Cup, Argentina orchestrated a triumphant strategy by putting what they call “Ferraris” around their star player, Lionel Messi. The Albiceleste claimed the global title in Qatar, with Messi’s stellar performances leading the team to victory.

Highlights:

Messi’s Stellar Performance: Lionel Messi showcased his brilliance throughout the tournament, scoring in every knockout game, including two crucial goals in the final against France.

Strategic Approach: Argentina’s coaching team, led by Lionel Scaloni, strategically surrounded Messi with top-notch midfielders. Matias Manna, a video analyst on the coaching team, revealed that providing Messi with a team boasting skilled midfielders was a key strategy.

The ‘Ferraris’: Manna referred to players like Alexis Mac Allister, Leandro Paredes, Enzo Fernandez, Rodrigo De Paul, and Gio Lo Celso as “Ferraris” – agile and skilled players who could both stop and accelerate. This approach allowed Messi to conserve energy at times while others did the running for him.

Messi’s Insight: Before a crucial match against France, Messi shared his insights on an opposing player who constantly outplayed the French right back. This information influenced the decision to place Angel Di Maria strategically, proving to be a game-changing move.

Historic Decision: Manna emphasized that Messi’s influence on tactical decisions, like placing Di Maria strategically, was crucial and perhaps the most important decision in the history of Argentine football.

Post-World Cup Success: Following the World Cup triumph, Messi secured his eighth Ballon d’Or and is now a contender for the 2023 FIFA Best Men’s Player award. He has also embarked on a new journey with MLS side Inter Miami in 2024.

Argentina’s success in the World Cup was not only about Messi’s brilliance but also about the strategic approach of building a team around him with the right mix of talented players, often referred to as “Ferraris.”

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Introduction: In a thrilling La Liga encounter on Sunday, Barcelona secured a crucial 1-0 win against Atlético Madrid, adding to their recent triumph over Porto in the Champions League. The hero of the day was none other than Joao Felix, who scored the lone goal of the match, haunting Diego Simeone’s side and continuing Barça’s impressive run against the Rojiblancos.

First Half Highlights: Barcelona started the game with a bang, creating an early opportunity within the first minute. Ilkay Gundogan’s excellent play on the right led to a chance for Raphinha, but his shot went wide. Joao Felix, always a threat, intercepted a ball and set up Robert Lewandowski, whose shot was blocked by Atletico’s Mario Hermoso. Despite a few chances for Lewandowski, the breakthrough came in the 28th minute when Raphinha and Jules Kounde combined, setting up Joao Felix to calmly finish over Jan Oblak.

Atletico had limited opportunities but almost found an equalizer when Frenkie de Jong’s fantastic block denied Antoine Griezmann’s attempt. Barcelona continued to press, with Felix getting another chance, but Oblak made a smart save.

Second Half Drama: Diego Simeone made three halftime changes to rally his team, introducing Angel Correa, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Samuel Lino. However, Barcelona maintained their attacking momentum. Raphinha, a constant threat, came close to doubling the lead, hitting the post, only to see Atletico respond with Griezmann firing into the side netting.

As the match reached its conclusion, both teams had more opportunities. A standout moment was a free-kick from Barcelona’s substitute Memphis Depay, brilliantly saved by Inaki Pena. Lewandowski had a late chance to seal the win, but his shot went wide. The closing minutes were tense, with Pena making crucial blocks to secure the much-needed three points for Barcelona.

Conclusion: The clash between Barcelona and Atlético Madrid showcased the intense competition in La Liga. Joao Felix’s goal proved decisive, extending Barcelona’s positive streak. The match had its share of near-misses, outstanding saves, and late drama, highlighting the unpredictable nature of football. As Barcelona savors this victory, fans eagerly anticipate the next chapter in their La Liga journey.

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Introduction: A Tough Night for Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo found himself in a bit of a pickle as his Al-Nassr team faced a disappointing 3-0 loss against Al-Hilal. What makes it more interesting is Ronaldo’s earlier response to Lionel Messi chants, which didn’t go as planned.

Blown Kisses Turn Bitter

In a moment that must have felt awkward, Ronaldo blew kisses to the crowd amidst chants of Messi’s name. Little did he know that this cheeky move would come back to haunt him as Al-Nassr suffered a convincing defeat.

History Repeats at King Fahd International Stadium

This isn’t the first time Ronaldo faced trouble at the King Fahd International Stadium. In April, he got caught up in controversy for making a not-so-nice gesture after Al-Hilal fans relentlessly chanted Messi’s name following a 2-0 loss. It seems history repeated itself, with the chants getting louder as Al-Nassr faced another defeat.

Mitrovic Steals the Show

While Ronaldo had a relatively quiet evening, former Fulham striker Aleksandr Mitrovic stole the spotlight. He scored twice in the final minutes of the game, sealing a convincing victory for the hosts. Ronaldo, on the other hand, struggled to make an impact and was kept quiet throughout the match.

Offside Woes for Ronaldo

Ronaldo did manage to find the net twice, but both times he was given offside, adding to his frustration. It was a tough break for the star player, and Al-Nassr’s title hopes took a hit as Al-Hilal now sits seven points clear at the top of the table.

Conclusion: Ronaldo’s Road to Redemption

With a challenging defeat behind him, Ronaldo looks ahead to the next game against Istikloll in the AFC Champions League. It’s a chance for redemption and an opportunity to bounce back from the setbacks. The football world eagerly awaits Ronaldo’s response in the upcoming match.

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Introduction:
Hello football fans! Join us as we delve into the exciting clash between Real Madrid and Napoli in the Champions League, held at the iconic Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid, led by coach Carlo Ancelotti, aims to maintain their stellar form in both LaLiga and the Champions League. Having already secured a spot in the knockout stage, Los Blancos are now vying for the top position in Group B.

Background:
Real Madrid enters the match with a flawless record of 12 points from four Champions League fixtures. With their place in the knockout stage secured, the team is determined to earn at least one point in this game to ensure a favorable seeding in the upcoming draw. Napoli, under the new management of Walter Mazzari, looks to continue their unbeaten away streak after a convincing win against Atalanta.

Stakes:
Real Madrid needs just one point to guarantee a seeded position in the last 16 draw scheduled for December. On the other hand, Napoli can secure advancement by either winning or matching Braga’s result against Union Berlin.

Key Highlights:

Real Madrid’s recent LaLiga victory adds to their momentum.
Ancelotti’s squad boasts a perfect record of 12 points in the Champions League group stage.
The team has already qualified for the knockout stage, focusing on clinching the top spot.
Napoli, unbeaten on the road this season, seeks to continue their impressive away form.
Walter Mazzari, Napoli’s new coach, started his tenure with a notable win against Atalanta.
Conclusion:
As the Santiago Bernabeu sets the stage, football enthusiasts anticipate a thrilling encounter between two formidable teams. Real Madrid eyes the top spot, while Napoli, under new leadership, aims to make a statement. Stay tuned for live updates and post-match analysis as we follow this exciting Champions League clash.

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Incredible Match Recap: A great match at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Cristiano Ronaldo’s team, Al-Nassr, won big with a score of 3-0 against Al-Akhdoud in the Saudi Pro League. This win not only showed how awesome Ronaldo is but also brought Al-Nassr just one point away from being the leaders, Al-Hilal.

First Half: At the beginning of the game, Al-Nassr, who was trailing Al Hilal by four points, quickly took the lead. Sami Al Naji scored a goal in the 13th minute, making the home team happy. Ronaldo tried really hard to score in the first half, but the Al-Akhdoud goalkeeper did a great job stopping him.

Ronaldo’s Super Goals: The super exciting part happened in the 77th minute when Ronaldo did some fancy moves and scored a goal from a tricky angle. Then, in the 80th minute, Ronaldo, who is also the team captain, scored another amazing goal. He kicked the ball from far away, and it went right into the net. What a show!

Ronaldo’s Impact: With these two cool goals against Al-Akhdoud, Ronaldo has now scored 18 goals and helped with 9 more in 18 games for Al Nassr. He’s like the superhero of the team!

Off-Field Drama: While Ronaldo was doing great on the field, there was some talk off the field about his old team, Inter Miami. Some people said Inter Miami would play in Saudi Arabia in February, but Inter Miami quickly said that’s not true. They said they didn’t plan any special games in February.

Final Thoughts: Ronaldo is making Al-Nassr fans super happy, and the Saudi Pro League is getting more and more interesting. Al-Nassr is catching up to Al-Hilal, and we can’t wait to see what happens next. Go Ronaldo! Go Al-Nassr!

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