On the Touchline: Mourinho on on how to stop Champions League sensations Ajax (EP 04)

Ajax have taken the footballing world by storm with their incredible run to the Champions League semi-finals, but Jose Mourinho has revealed how the young Dutch masters might be stopped in their tracks.

Ajax swept aside Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo is their latest giantkilling act this week, setting up a Champions League semi-final clash with Tottenham, who saw off Manchester City in an incredible game a day later.

Both sides were unfancied to make it so deep into the competition, but it is Dutch youngsters Ajax, managed by Erik ten Hag, who have in particular captured the imagination with their fearless, free-flowing football.

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Mourinho: Messi & Ronaldo lucky and unlucky to be playing in same generation

Jose Mourinho says Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are both “lucky and unlucky” to be playing in the same generation, as the debate over the greatest of the pair hit new heights this week after their Champions League heroics.

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Ronaldo lifts Juventus into Champions League quarter-finals

Cristiano Ronaldo scores a spectacular hat-trick to push Juventus through to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid that sees his side claim a thrilling tie 3-2 on aggregate.

Kylian Mbape on red carpet at Ballon d’Or

France’s Kylian Mbappe arrives on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony for the 2018 Ballon d’Or in Paris. He’s the favourite to win the Kopa Trophy for best Under-21 player. Meanwhile Croatia’s Luka Modric and a host of French World Cup winners, including Mbappé, hope to pick up the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy, ending the 10-year duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. IMAGES

Cristiano Ronaldo says he is an ‘example’ amid rape allegations

Cristiano Ronaldo states during a press conference in Manchester that he is an “example” in his behaviour on and off the field amid allegations of rape made against the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in the United States. SOUNDBITE. VID1253061_EN. MORE TO FOLLOW

Pressure ramps up on Ronaldo amid rape investigation

Just a few days after Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of raping a woman in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, the football star has been left out of the Portuguese national squad for its upcoming matches in October and November, and Nike has taken the rare step of expressing concern about one of its own athletes. Kathryn Mayorga, an American former model, decided to go public with her allegations as a result of the #MeToo movement, her lawyer says.

Nevada lawyers discuss Ronaldo rape accusation

(3 Oct 2018) A lawyer for a Nevada woman alleging that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo raped her in Las Vegas in 2009 said Tuesday that his client has suffered emotional damage following the alleged incident. (Oct. 3)

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(2 Oct 2018) Here’s the latest for Tuesday, Oct. 2nd: The Indonesia earthquake death toll rises to 1,200; Nobel prize in physics awarded to three scientists; Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo accused of rape; Melania Trump meets with Ghana’s first lady.

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Ronaldo aiming for Champions League success with Juve

Cristiano Ronaldo says that he’s “different” from other players of his age who move to China or Qatar for mega-money deals, during an official unveiling as a Juventus player in which he says he wants to help bring Champions League success to his new club.

Ronaldo aiming for Champions League success with Juve

Cristiano Ronaldo says that he’s “different” from other players of his age who move to China or Qatar for mega-money deals, during an official unveiling as a Juventus player in which he says he wants to help bring Champions League success to his new club.

Why Penalty Kicks Are Unfair To The Goalie

It’s one of those things that make soccer such an intense and nail-biting sport — penalty shootout. But are penalty kicks actually fair, and how likely is it that the goalie can successfully block a penalty kick? With the help of statistics and economist, Ignacio Palacios-Huerta (who studied more than 11,000 penalty kicks), we take a look at why penalty shootouts are so unfair to the goalies and what can be done about it.

*Correction: The teams that played in the UEFA 2008 Champions League Final were Chelsea and Manchester United.

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Following is a transcript of the video:

Narrator: 0.4 seconds. That’s the time it takes you to blink. It’s also about how long goalkeepers have to save a penalty kick or fail trying. And it’s certainly not enough time for a goalie to react and respond. So goalies can’t solely rely on their speed and agility to save a penalty kick. Instead they have to pretty much guess which direction to go and rely on either luck or game theory.

Game theory is a popular strategy in economics where the outcome of a situation relies more on how well you predict your opponent’s actions than how you perform your own. So since the goalie has no choice but to guess, they’re better off guessing logically than randomly. That’s where economists come in. 

Ignacio Palacios-Huerta: I would like to know what you do in the last 80 penalty kicks you faced? Do you have any tendencies? What does this guy do against right-footed kickers versus left-footed kickers?

Narrator: That’s economist Ignacio Palacios-Huerta. He studied over 11,000 penalty kicks, and in 2008 during the UEFA Champions League Final, it paid off, sort of. It was Manchester United against Chelsea. The game came down to a penalty shootout which was the perfect opportunity for Chelsea to put Huerta’s advice into action. Along with several pointers Huerta had given Chelsea’s goalie a key insight about Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo would almost certainly kick the ball to the right if he paused on the run-up. And the advice worked. Ronaldo indeed paused and indeed kicked the ball to the right. Chelsea’s goalie followed Huerta’s advice and made the save. Ultimately Manchester United won the game, but despite Chelsea’s loss, it was clear that economists and statisticians can help even the odds when it comes to penalty kicks.

Because otherwise, it’s a crap shoot for the goalie. In 2014 for example, FiveThirtyEight calculated that 72.5% of penalties in World Cup history went in. For all competitions worldwide, it’s even higher. And when you take a closer look, it’s no wonder. Human response time takes roughly 1/10 of a second to kick in. The average kicker kicks a 70 mile per hour ball, which means the goalie won’t even register the ball’s direction until it’s about 25 feet away. It will take him another .5 to .7 seconds to react and reach for the ball, but by that point, it’s all over. Now the goalie can improve the odds if they start to move before the ball is even kicked, but the goalie still has to basically guess a side and just go for it. So if time is the goalie’s enemy, maybe we should just move the penalty kicker further back. But for now, economists are a goalie’s best friend when it comes to stopping penalty kicks, and turns out, Huerta is helping a team in the 2018 World Cup, though he wouldn’t tell us who.

Say cheese! St. Petersburg restaurant makes portraits of footballers in pizza

The Hop Head Tap Room restaurant in St. Petersburg has caught football fever and has started creating portraits of famous footballers on their pizzas.
The chefs use stencils to cut the portraits out of cheese, which include Russian footballer Fedor Smolov and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, although you might not be able to tell by looking at them. Bon appetit!

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World Cup: ‘Beat Uruguay’ is all that Portugal want says Soares

Portugal defender Cedric Soares said Cristiano Ronaldo’s European champions are more concerned about results than style ahead of their last-16 World Cup clash.

‘Big players never miss?’: Peter Schmeichel talks Ronaldo’s performance & VAR

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo will be left to rue his missed penalty that would have seen his team qualify from Group B in first place, as Spain could only manage a last-gasp draw against already-eliminated Morocco, although in similarly dramatic fashion

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