A new report has detailed the hefty earnings of the first-team squad at Serie A champions Juventus, revealing that star striker Cristiano Ronaldo’s $31 million salary is more than the next four top earners at the club combined.
Even with five Ballon d’Orm awards to his name, the discrepancy between Juve top scorer Ronaldo and his multi-millionaire team-mates, including forward partners Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, is striking in the figures obtained by Gazetta Dello Sport.
Ronaldo earns a net salary of more than $36 million, dwarfing the club’s key signing last summer, Netherlands defender Matthijs de Ligt, by a staggering gap of around $27 million.
Former Chelsea loanee and Argentina forward Higuain earns around $8.75 million, matched by Bosnia and Herzegovina creative midfielder Miralem Pjanic and slightly shading the $8.5 million collected by Ronaldo’s usual strike partner, Dybala.
Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey was rewarded for ending his 11-year stay at Arsenal to join the Italian giants last summer with an annual pay packet of more than $8 million, earning twice as much as club captain Giorgio Chiellini.
Juventus broke their salary record to sign Ronaldo in 2017 and he rewarded them by scoring his 50th Serie A goal earlier this month, helping his side to their ninth Scudetto in a row and becoming the first player to score 50 goals in the Italian top flight, the English Premier League and La Liga in Spain.
The 35-year-old Portuguese became the first footballer to achieve billionaire status during their career in the last financial year and is likely to have been worth his weight in wages to the club thanks to the marketing power and merchandise sales he has brought in.
He has also played in almost every minute of their latest title-winning season, missing only two league matches through injury and scoring 45 goals in all competitions.
Experts in Italy have predicted that Juve will lower the lucrative salaries they offer in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which saw Ronaldo, the rest of the squad and staff including manager Maurizio Sarri agree pay freezes to help the club through financial uncertainty in March.
Ten of the 13 highest paid players in Italy are at Juventus, including veteran Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci and Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who both pick up around $7.6 million a year.
Former Italy striker Gianfranco Zola called Ronaldo an “example to young people” after Juve’s surprise 2-0 defeat at midtable Cagliari on Wednesday.
“As soon as Cristiano reaches a goal, he immediately thinks about the next one,” Zola told Sky Sport.
“I think this is an example for everyone. He has a fierce determination and wants to leave his mark. He is so stubborn as to seem almost Sardinian. He has a Sardinian quality.”
As well as a car collection that reputedly includes three Ferraris, a Bugatti and a $200,000 Aston Martin, Ronaldo has recently spent part of his fortune on a vast yacht worth more than $7 million.
Inspired by an idyllic trip on a rented $19 million yacht with girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez earlier this month, Ronaldo’s new acquisition is said to contain five cabins and six bathrooms.
The Philippines reported Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump in new coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day on Friday. President Rodrigo Duterte has extended restrictions in the capital Manila to quell the spread and promised normality would return in December, according to Reuters.
Duterte also said in a televised address the country would be given priority in supplies should China make a breakthrough with a Covid-19 vaccine, and the poorest Filipinos would be treated with it first.
This month the Philippines recorded the region’s largest daily rise in coronavirus deaths, and Friday saw its biggest daily jump in new cases for the second successive day, with 4,063 infections.
Shamima Begum’s return to UK shores has been cast in doubt after the British government dramatically won a court battle allowing it the right to appeal an earlier decision. The appeal will be heard by the UK’s Supreme Court.
Begum, now 20, who was one of three east London schoolgirls who traveled to Syria to join Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in 2015, won a High Court appeal earlier this month, allowing her to return to the UK and challenge the withdrawal of her British citizenship.
However on Friday, the Court of Appeal ruled that the case raised a point of law of public importance, meaning that Begum’s return must be paused while the UK government appeals the decision.
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Begum left the UK five years ago and lived under IS rule for over three years, having married Dutch-born Islamic State fighter Yago Riedijk. She was found in a Syrian refugee camp in February 2019, and was discovered to be pregnant.
Then-UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked her British citizenship later that year on national security grounds. Last year, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) said that Begum had not been unlawfully rendered stateless while she was living in Syria because she was entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship.
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Newly taken pictures show an interstellar phenomenon fluttering its ethereal wings in stunning detail. The spectacular display comes from a highly symmetrical gas nebula known as NGC 2899.
The image was captured as part of the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Cosmic Gems program, for the purposes of education and public outreach.
Peering into deep space through the ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers enjoyed a view of the huge bubble of glowing gas, in a near-symmetrical shape resembling a butterfly, between 3,000 and 6,500 light years away from Earth.
Though the nebula was discovered by British astronomer John Herschel in 1835, no one has ever seen it in such high resolution before.
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The butterfly’s wingspan reaches nearly 19 trillion kilometers, or two light years. It is also incredibly hot, as the hydrogen and oxygen which make up its ‘body’ are heated to around 10,000 degrees Celsius (twice as hot as the Sun) thanks to two stars in its center, which are believed to give it its symmetrical appearance.
The NGC 2899 can only be viewed from the Southern hemisphere, and only through a powerful telescope – aptly known as the Very Large Telescope – which is conveniently located in Chile.
Its four 8.2-meter telescopes have discovered numerous images of deep space objects, such as the first known interstellar asteroid and light from a gravitational wave source, among others.
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper seemingly mistook the word ‘peace’ for ‘war’ when he made a gaffe in the middle of a speech on the relocation of American troops in Europe.
Esper was delivering important news to reporters: the Pentagon has laid out a plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 American soldiers from its NATO ally Germany.
The blunder occurred just when Esper was arguing that Germany, as the “wealthiest country in Europe,” can and should boost its defense spending.
I’ve said that very publicly, I’ve said that very privately to my counterparts as well – about the importance of NATO, any alliance, sharing the burden so we can all deter Russia and… avoid peace in Europe.
The awkward phrase spurred jokes on Twitter, with some users calling the slip “a momentary lapse of honesty” and “the NATO slogan 2020.”
The Pentagon is planning to pull out a third of its forces stationed in Germany and relocate a part of them across other NATO countries, including Belgium, Italy and Poland.
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – China is urging the United States to stop politicizing economic affairs and cease the unjustified suppression of Chinese companies, including tech giant Huawei, the country’s ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui said.
The Pentagon pressed forward with plans to withdraw nearly 12,000 personnel from Germany on Wednesday, with some of the troops to be redeployed to other European NATO nations while others are sent home. At the moment, there are about 36,000 US troops stationed in the Central European country. American troops have been on German soil since 1945.
Famed Russian figure skater-turned-coach Evgeni Plushenko has said that quad-jumping prodigy Alexandra Trusova has become a driving force in his academy, inspiring her younger teammates to conquer new heights.
According to the two-time Olympic gold medalist, Trusova’s desire to work has no limits. He praised the athlete for her passion for improving her technique.
“Trusova has always been wrapped up in her work; she is the leader of the group, inspiring all the other skaters. We have very talented young athletes who are trying to reach her results and even beat her,” Plushenko said.
The former skater has been cooperating with the two-time world junior champion since May, when she parted ways with her previous coach Eteri Tutberidze.
The 16-year-old skater is yet to reveal the reasons behind her decision to leave the Tutberidze camp, sparking rumors about a possible scandal with the famed specialist.
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Trusova, who was unbeatable at junior level, experienced a serious slump in her career during her first season as a senior, failing to win any major event.
The first female skater to land a quad at an international event started to lose to her teammates with less impressive technical content.
This lack of victories was apparently the main reason for switching coaches, with Plushenko saying they have been working hard on Trusova’s artistry – the skater’s weak area, which seriously affected her presentation score.
The pop Alexandra Trusova gets on her quad toe this season is so insanely good. It’s one of the best quad toes in the world pic.twitter.com/owTD0uULnm
It has not been revealed whether the next figure skating season will undergo any changes due to the Covid-19 crisis, with the International Skating Union (ISU) expected to announce the calendar next month.
Chelsea’s Marina Granovskaia used her extensive network to steal a march on Germany legend Rudi Voller and Leverkusen boss Fernando Carro, according to a Bundesliga executive who has negotiated with Roman Abramovich’s confidante.
Known as the Chelsea owner’s right-hand woman and “the most powerful woman in football”, Granovskaia has turned her attention to a deal that could prove the most tricky of the club’s summer targets after sealing the signing of another German star with the $66-million arrival of striker Timo Werner last month.
Chelsea have been tracking Germany prodigy Kai Havertz for weeks but are widely thought to be offering around $25 million less than top-flight Bayer Leverkusen’s $115 million asking price for the 21-year-old creative midfielder.
While Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Voller has insisted that Havertz will remain at Leverkusen for the forthcoming conclusion to this season’s Europa League campaign, Bild has reported that Granovskaia has contacted German player consultants in an attempt to gain an edge on Voller and chief executive Fernando Carro.
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The report claims that Granovskaia, who has brokered agreements including Chelsea’s $66 million-a-season, 15-year deal with Nike, wanted to gain an advantage during bidding by learning Voller and Carro’s “weaknesses”.
Granovskaia’s office at Stamford Bridge is also said to be protected by bodyguards, kept “meticulously tidy” and equipped with English wooden furniture rather than financial flipcharts or other potential signs of transfer plans.
Klaus Allofs, the sporting executive at Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, who also dealt with Granovskaia several times during his time at Werder Bremen, offered an insight into the Russian-Canadian’s approach during deals that included a loan move to Bremen for newly-crowned Premier League Player of the Season Kevin de Bruyne in 2012.
“Marina Granovskaia enjoys the absolute trust of her boss,” explained Allofs.
“She uses her network to investigate the situation.
“She is always well prepared. If an agreement is reached, it is absolutely reliable. When negotiating, however, it is tough. This is often because she can act from the position of strength.”
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Moscow-educated Granovskaia has already been on the front foot this year, sealing the signing of Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech for around $33 million and beating Liverpool to the capture of Werner, aided by the Premier League champions’ owners hesitating against the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea were able to renew their spending maneuvers after their two-window transfer ban ended in January, allowing them to spend some of the fee negotiated by Granovskaia for Eden Hazard’s move to Real Madrid last summer, which could rise to more than $192 million including add-ons.
Granovskaia is said to use middlemen for transfers, working with Michael Becker, the football consultant and lawyer who helped arrange the arrival of then-Germany captain Michael Ballack in 2006, on the acquisition of Werner.
Allofs, who oversaw the $9.3 million sale of Marko Marin from Werder to Chelsea in 2012 and striker Claudio Pizarro’s move in the opposite direction, revealed that his negotiations with Granovskaia over Andre Schurrle in 2015 had gone down to the wire.
“It was a long negotiation,” he said of the $37 million deal to take the forward to Wolfsburg.
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“The two clubs only agreed 15 minutes before the transfer deadline.”
Voller has told Abramovich’s former PA that there will be no “Corona bonus” that will allow Chelsea to take advantage of the market and agree a cut-price fee with Leverkusen.
“Regardless of the personnel [being] Kai Havertz, it is a different transfer period,” the former striker admitted to Kicker. “There is no new stance [from us].”
Leverkusen resume their European campaign next Thursday with a round of 16 second-leg match at home to Rangers, having won 3-1 in Glasgow, including an opening goal by Havertz from the penalty spot.
Despite Granovskaia and Chelsea’s advances, Voller described Havertz’s participation in the rest of the competition, which has a prize of Champions League football next season for the winners, as “set in stone.”