‘Your hair is too distracting’ fans shout at Ronaldo at Champions League

Celebrated Christiano Ronaldo came under fire yesterday for rocking what his fans called pathetic hair for someone of his class.

According to daily mail fans watching the Champions League Final in Kiev last night admitted they couldn’t concentrate on the action – because the 33-year-old’s new ‘do’ was simply too distracting.

The Real Madrid  football star showed off the quirky new look for the huge match – but left fans tittering on Twitter.Noodle hair, don't care! Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, debuted a new hairstyle during last night's Champions League final against Liverpool

Noodle hair, don’t care! Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, debuted a new hairstyle during last night’s Champions League final against Liverpool

Ronaldo appeared to have added frosted blonde tips to his new curling brunette locks as he took to the pitch in the nerve-jangling match, which saw Real Madrid defeat Liverpool 3-1 at full-time.

The footballing legend squeezed girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez after picking up his fifth Champion's League winners medal - but fans were bemused by his latest hairstyle

Noodle hair, don’t care! Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo, 33, debuted a new hairstyle during last night’s Champions League final against Liverpool

His new hair was compared to everything from instant noodles to NSYNC-era Justin Timberlake’s wavy tresses.

Some football fans could only concentrate on the 33-year-old’s new hair style, rather than the tense action on the pitch.

One tweeted: ‘Imagine having as much money and fame as Ronaldo and still having frosted tips.’

‘Ronaldo got frosted tips like he wishes he was a member of *nysnc,’ another posted.

A third said: ‘Ronaldo has dyed the tips of his hair honey blonde. Its over for Liverpool.’

‘Ronaldo looks like a packet of super noodles,’ a fourth wrote.

Another said: ‘Apparently Ronaldo keeps his terrible noodle hair as it brings him good luck.’

‘Ronaldo’s hair is a gross violation of my human rights,’ one posted.

'It's all over for Liverpool!' Fans quipped that the new curly-topped Ronaldo - with blonde tips - was the real reason Real Madrid won the final with a 3-1 victory in Kiev on Saturday night

‘Ronaldo got frosted tips like he wishes he was a member of *nysnc,’ another posted.

A third said: ‘Ronaldo has dyed the tips of his hair honey blonde. Its over for Liverpool.’

‘Ronaldo looks like a packet of super noodles,’ a fourth wrote.

Another said: ‘Apparently Ronaldo keeps his terrible noodle hair as it brings him good luck.’

‘Ronaldo’s hair is a gross violation of my human rights,’ one posted.

She seems to like it! The footballer catches a passionate kiss from Georgina after lifting the trophy
She seems to like it! The footballer catches a passionate kiss from Georgina after lifting the trophy

Meanwhile, on the pitch, Liverpool fans were left devastated last night as two horrendous goalkeeping errors by Loris Karius gifted Real Madrid their 3-1 victory.

Karius gifted Madrid their first goal after throwing the ball directly into the path of Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

Sadio Mane equalised four minutes later, but Gareth Bale restored the Madrid lead with a spectacular overhead kick, with little over half an hour remaining.

With five minutes left on the clock, Karius made a second blunder, this time from Bale, by palming the Welsh wizard’s long range shot into the back of his own net.

The young keeper apologized for his mistakes last night amid exasperated criticism. He told Talk Sport: ‘I don’t feel anything right now. Today I lost my team the game and I feel sorry for everyone.’

Defiant Wenger expects Arsenal to avoid Euro exit

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal can still salvage their calamitous Champions League campaign as they prepare for Tuesday’s do-or-die showdown with Dinamo Zagreb.

Wenger’s side are on brink of a stunning failure to make the knockout stages for the first time in 16 years after three defeats from their four Group F fixtures.

The Gunners must beat Croatian side Dinamo at the Emirates Stadium to keep their hopes alive, but even that won’t be enough to avoid elimination if second-placed Olympiakos, who sit six points ahead of Arsenal, draw or win at Bayern Munich.

Yet if results go Arsenal’s way in midweek, they will travel to Olympiakos for their final group match on December 9 knowing a win could send them through depending on the margin of victory.

And Wenger remains convinced Arsenal can find a way to stage one of the great European escape acts.

“We will give absolutely everything to stay in the Champions League,” Wenger said.

“I think we still have a strong chance but it will be very tight now.

“Even if we had beaten Bayern, we would be in a position where we have to beat Olympiakos, if we beat Zagreb at home. Unless Olympiakos make a result at Bayern, which is not impossible as well.”

While Wenger is optimistic about Arsenal’s chances, he acknowledges the north Londoners have only themselves to blame for their precarious predicament.

While a heavy defeat at Bayern in their last European outing could be excused given the quality of the opposition, there was no explaining away lacklustre losses against Dinamo and Olympiakos.

“It is a reality that in two games, against Bayern, we took three points (but) we have created our own problems before that,” Wenger said.

– Major obstacle –

Adding to Arsenal’s desperation to qualify is the potential that they may otherwise finish third and have to compete in the Europa League.

Playing in Europe’s second tier competition, with its hectic schedule and Thursday night matches, could be a major obstacle to Wenger’s desire to challenge for the Premier League title.

But for now he is just focused on giving Arsenal the best possible chance to advance.

“If you ask my deep gut feeling, I want to stay in the Champions League,” Wenger said.

“Let’s just try to win our last two games.”

Arsenal, without a win in their last three games in all competitions, endured the worst possible warm-up for Tuesday’s clash as they crashed to a surprise 2-1 Premier League defeat at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Having blown the lead given to them by Olivier Giroud, Wenger’s team still had a chance to rescue a point when they won a second half penalty, only for Santi Cazorla to blaze over.

As if suffering the damaging result wasn’t bad enough, Wenger, already without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck, left the Hawthorns with two new names added to his growing injury list.

Francis Coquelin sustained a knee problem and Mikel Arteta suffered a recurrence of a calf injury, with both midfielders doubtful to recover in time for the Dinamo match.

With those injuries in mind, Wenger may be forced to rush Wales midfielder Ramsey back into the team after his hamstring problem.

Dinamo will be without Macedonia midfielder Arijan Ademi after he was given a four-year ban by UEFA after failing a drugs test.

Ademi, who insists he is innocent, tested positive for a banned substance following Zagreb’s 2-1 win over Arsenal in September.

Photo Credits : AFP

Chelsea seal swoop for Brazilian starlet Nathan

Chelsea confirmed the signing of highly-rated Brazilian teenager Nathan from Atletico Paranaense on Thursday.

The newly crowned Premier League champions have moved quickly to bolster their squad for next season and the 19-year-old attacking midfielder will officially move to Stamford Bridge on July 1.

Nathan, who flew to England for his medical last month, is reported to have cost Jose Mourinho’s side £4.5 million ($7 million) and he will join young fellow Brazilians Ramires, Willian, Oscar and Filipe Luis at the west London club.

The Blues also have young Brazilians Wallace and Lucas Piazon currently out on loan.

“I am very happy to be joining Chelsea, the champions of England, and I hope I will be able to learn a lot and develop my game,” Nathan told Chelsea’s website.

The teenager, whose full name is Nathan Allan de Souza, impressed Chelsea scouts while representing Brazil at under-17 and under-20 level and scored five goals in five games at the Under-17 World Cup in 2013.

In a message posted on his Instagram page, Nathan added: “A dream is coming true! Thank you Chelsea for trusting in me, I will do my best to support my team on reaching new achievements.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Guardiola feels the love after Bayern’s ‘miracle’

Pep Guardiola admitted feeling the love for his Bayern Munich players after their ‘miraculous’ 6-1 romp against ten-man Porto on Tuesday put them in the Champions League semi-finals.

Having needed to overturn a two-goal deficit after last Wednesday’s shock 3-1 first-leg defeat at Porto, Bayern produced a devastating first-half display to claim five goals to win the quarter-final tie 7-4 on aggregate.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters: “We have seen something miraculous” after Bayern became the first side to score five goals in the opening 45 minutes of a Champions League’s knock-out game.

“At this moment, it’s easy to love my players,” beamed Guardiola.

“We played very differently to the first leg.

“We couldn’t have achieved what we have without a fight.

“Many thanks to my players: they have made me very happy.”

The excitement at the Allianz Arena clearly got to Guardiola who ended up splitting his trousers while screaming sideline instructions.

“Ah, they broke. It’s not so bad, I’ll just put on a new pair for the next game,” grinned the Spaniard.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice, and now has 22 goals in all competitions, while Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng and Thiago Alcantara also grabbed first-half goals.

“Many people thought we couldn’t do it, but we are FC Bayern Munich,” said Lewandowski.

“We knew we had to step on the gas, but to go five goals up at half-time is really crazy.”

Mueller is now Germany’s top scorer in Champions League history as he scored his 27th European goal.

“It couldn’t have gone better,” beamed Mueller.

“Sometimes it’s fun to play with your backs against the wall.

“We all had hopes, but no one expected that.”

Porto captain Jackson Martinez scored a consolation goal when the tempo dropped in the second half, but the guests finished with ten men when defender Ivan Marcano received a second yellow card.

Bayern’s Xabi Alonso crashed home the resulting free-kick on 88 minutes to complete the rout while Porto’s coach Julen Lopetegui was sent from the touchline in the dying stages.

Bayern are in the last four of Europe for the fourth year running.

They can pick up their first silverware of the season on Saturday if they beat Hertha Berlin at home to claim their third straight Bundesliga title and are biding for the treble of European, cup and league titles.

– ‘It wasn’t perfect’ –

But Guardiola balked when asked if his side had produced 45 minutes of ‘perfect football’.

“No, it wasn’t perfect. It could have been better, Julen Lopetegui made changes at the break and it was dangerous in the second-half,” said the Spaniard.

“You can’t afford to take a nap or switch off in a Champions League game.

“Now I’m looking forward to sitting in front of the television and watching Friday’s draw.

“We have the chance to win the German league title on Saturday and then we have to prepare for the German Cup semi-final against Borussia Dortmumd.”

The scoreline matches Porto’s record away defeat in Europe when they lost 6-1 at AEK Athens in the defunct European Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1978.

After the heroics of their first-leg win, Porto were left to pick up the pieces ahead of Sunday’s key Portuguese league clash at Benfica with Lopetegui’s side trailing the leaders by just three points.

“The first half here in Munich cost us everything, we were punished and now we have to pick ourselves up again,” rued Lopetegui.

“Bayern are one of the world’s top teams and are amongst the favourites for the title.

“We managed to get back into the game in the second-half and could have made Bayern nervous if we had got a second to make it 5-2.

“When you look at the tie overall, Bayern deserved the win, but we showed what we can do in the first leg, but the first-half here was simply not good enough.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Liverpool look to maintain Champions League charge

Brendan Rodgers says Liverpool’s return to form in the league has coincided with Philippe Coutinho’s progression as a key player at Anfield.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last eight domestic matches and have put themselves back in the hunt for a Champions League spot as they prepare to face Burnley on Wednesday.

Brazilian Coutinho has played a prominent role as the Reds have improved and has scored twice in his last two appearances – victories over top-four rivals Southampton and Manchester City.

Rodgers believes the 22-year-old will be a contender for player of the season.

“He’s certainly going to be up there, there’s no doubt about that,” Rodgers said. “He’s played very well.

“That period of the season where the team suffered at the beginning of the season, it was our lack of penetration at the top of the field.

“He’s the player that thrives on that – he’s normally the player that makes the last pass to those guys running in to score the goals.

“We didn’t quite have that in the opening months, and obviously he suffered because he had to stay longer on the ball and wasn’t as effective.

“Now, the dynamics in the team are very good – the pressing and movement off the ball – and that allows him and his technical quality to really shine. He’s started to add goals to his game and has scored some fantastic goals.

“Very importantly, he is contributing to the team and for him there are still improvements to make with him being so young.”

Liverpool will again be without Jordan Ibe and Steven Gerrard. Ibe has been ruled out for several weeks with a knee injury, while Gerrard has been out since February 10 with a hamstring strain.

Burnley are without a win in their last seven matches but Rodgers says Liverpool will not underestimate their opponents.

“Sean (Burnley manager Dyche) has got them very well organised, they have great motivation when they play, great commitment to try and stay in the league and they’re fighting. They’re a team we’re wary of.

“They’ve given absolutely everything and I’m sure Sean will be up there as one of the candidates for manager of the year, irrespective of what happens.”

Burnley will look to striker Danny Ings to provide their main attacking threat.

The England Under-21 international has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool at the end of the season when his contract at Burnley expires.

Sean Dyche, Burnley’s manager, expects the 22-year-old to play his normal game.

“His determination has been there for all to see,” Dyche said.

“I think he has been delivering good performances no matter what. He had the one quiet one, and other than that, he has been very good in his performance level, very good around the group and wants to do well for this football club. The rest will take care of itself.

Burnley took points from trips to Manchester City and Chelsea and Dyche reckons that mentality gives them hope ahead of facing Liverpool.

“The weight of expectation is on who we’re playing against because it’s Liverpool,” Dyche said.

“All the world is thinking they’ll win but it’s not that easy.

“We know what a good side they are.

“They’ve spent a lot of money on players and it’s taken a while to come together but since Christmas, you can see that’s started to happen.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Di Maria vows to fire United to top four finish

Angel di Maria has promised to make up for his spluttering start at Manchester United by firing his side into the Champions League.

Louis van Gaal’s team face Sunderland at Old Trafford on Saturday with the race for a top four finish in the Premier League hotting up.

Fourth placed United are one point ahead of Southampton in fifth place and hope to return to winning ways after seeing a seven-game unbeaten run ended by a 2-1 loss at Swansea in their last outing.

Their bid to return to Europe’s elite club competition after a one-year absence would be significantly boosted if di Maria can finally hit peak form.

The Argentina international has only offered occasional glimpses of his vast talent since a British record £59.7 million ($92 million) move from Real Madrid last year and he told MUTV: “I’ve had a couple of games where things haven’t gone as well as they could have.

“I think it’s part of that settling-in process to the English game.

“I started off quite well but I think that then made expectations rise and everyone thought I would just carry on in the same way.

“But football is like that, sometimes you have these ups and downs. It took me a while to settle fully in each of the countries where I’ve played before.”

Scarred by mid-week Champions League disappointment, Manchester City have a golden opportunity to enhance their title defence when they visit Liverpool on Sunday.

City’s hopes of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time were dealt a sizeable blow on Tuesday when they fell to a 2-1 loss at home to Barcelona in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

The result seriously compromises their chances of going through and the extent of Barcelona’s first-half dominance will take some forgetting, but Sunday’s return to domestic duties promises much.

With leaders Chelsea not in action due to their participation in Sunday’s League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur, a City win at Anfield will lift the defending champions to within two points of the summit.

City then face a kind run of fixtures, against Leicester City, Burnley, West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace, at a time when Chelsea, held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley last weekend, have begun to show frailties.

– Draining trip –

Victory at Liverpool, the team City pipped to last season’s title, will not be straightforward, with Brendan Rodgers’ side unbeaten at home since November and on a 10-game unbeaten run in the league.

But Rodgers feels that Liverpool’s draining trip to Istanbul on Thursday, where they lost on penalties following extra-time to Besiktas in the Europa League, could give City an advantage.

“That extra period of 48 hours that City have could be crucial, certainly physically, especially as we will have very little preparation time,” Rodgers said.

“But the players have had lots of challenges to overcome this season and we are ready to keep performing and doing the best we can.”

Liverpool, currently sixth, will recall Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho after he was rested for the trip to Turkey, while Yaya Toure returns for City after missing the Barcelona defeat through suspension.

Another side bidding to overcome European disappointment are Arsenal, who host Everton on Sunday, four days after a demoralising 3-1 home defeat by Monaco in the Champions League.

A run of seven wins in nine games had seen Arsene Wenger’s side climb to third place in the league table, but with their Champions League hopes now hanging by a thread, the club have been plunged into doubt.

“It was a hugely disappointing night, you could feel that after the game in the stands and in the dressing room, but there is still a small chance (to qualify),” said German centre-back Per Mertesacker.

“We still have hope to come back even stronger from that disappointment.”

With just four points separating third-place Arsenal and seventh-place Tottenham, the battle for Champions League qualification is one of the fiercest for several seasons.

Southampton visit West Bromwich Albion, where they will look to re-energise their season following a return of just one win in four matches.

Fixtures

Saturday (1500 GMT unless otherwise stated):

Burnley v Swansea City, Manchester United v Sunderland, Newcastle United v Aston Villa, Stoke City v Hull City, West Ham United v Crystal Palace (1245 GMT), West Bromwich Albion v Southampton

Sunday:

Arsenal v Everton (1405 GMT), Liverpool v Manchester City (1200 GMT)

Photo Credits : AFP

Gor kick off Champions League campaign

Gor Mahia make their second attempt at the Africa Champions League in two years hoping to perform better than their first round exit last season.

The Kenya champions take on an otherwise unknown side CNAPs of Madagascar in the preliminary round match with the first leg scheduled for Saturday at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Last season, K’Ogalo, making their first appearance at the Champions League for the first time since 1996 were tossed out by Tunisia giants Esperance losing 3-1 in Nairobi and 3-0 in Tunis. They had eliminated Gabon side US Bitam on post match penalties.

Gor coach Frank Nuttall in an interview said while they do not know anything about CNAPs they will give the match the seriousness it deserves.

“We rank every opponent in this competition. All our opponents are champions in their own countries so we cannot just dismiss them like that,” said the Scotsman.

“Our objective this season is to ensure we perform better than last year when the team lost out in the first round. We would love to reach the group stage, but speaking honestly, it is not going to be easy but we will give it our best shot,” he added.

Gor were seasonal campaigners in the Africa Club Champions, a tournament they have only managed to reach the quarter finals twice in 1969 and 1992.

The 1987 Africa Cup Winners Cup champions however believe that continued participation at the continent’s top level competition will one day bring back the glory. “This is a learning experience for us. We know at this level we cannot be considered among the favourites in this competition, but we are building a team that will one day return to the top,” said Gor Mahia assistant coach John Bobby Ogolla. CNAPs arrived in the country on Thursday and vowed to stop the Kenya champions.

Liverpool exits the Champions league

Brendan Rodgers said Liverpool had no excuses for their elimination from the Champions  league, conceding his team had not been good enough and that individual futures would come under scrutiny at Anfield following European failure.

Liverpool had to beat Basel to qualify for the knockout phase but needed an 81st-minute goal from Steven Gerrard  to draw 1-1 and were frequently second best against Paulo Sousa’s team. Lazar Markovic was sent off 15 minutes after his introduction as a half-time substitute for flailing an arm towards the theatrical Behrang Safari, Gerrard had a penalty appeal dismissed by the referee, Björn Kuipers, and Liverpool pressured the Basel goal in the closing stages.

However, Rodgers accepted last season’s runners-up in the Premier League had not been up to the required standard in Europe’s premier competition, having collected only five points from six Champions League group games, winning only once, against Ludogorets of Bulgaria.

“We are obviously disappointed,” the Liverpool manager said. “We had earned the right to be in the Champions League after a wonderful season last year but over the course of the games we weren’t good enough and didn’t get enough points. We can’t have any excuses about not qualifying. We had enough games.

-Guardian

Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck scores hatrick in UCL thriller

Danny Welbeck scored his first professional hat-trick as 10-man Arsenal swept aside Galatasaray in the Champions League.

The England striker, excellent throughout, stabbed in a first-half opener before side-footing a second.

Alexis Sanchez then curled home before Welbeck clipped in his third.

Burak Yilmaz scored a penalty after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off for a foul, but it was nothing more than a consolation.

The win was Arsenal’s first in this year’s Champions League and means they have three points from two Group D games.

It was also the perfect way for manager Arsene Wenger to mark 18 years to the day since he was appointed Arsenal boss, and the Frenchman certainly deserves credit for naming an attack-minded side.

With Welbeck playing in his favoured central role and the former Manchester United striker ably supported by the pace and creativity of Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Gunners simply had too much for a Galatasaray side who have now failed to win in 10 visits to English sides.

READ MORE: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/29362640