Mark Robins claims win for Coventry in League Two play-off final would be perfect reward

‘It’s a story of pulling together’: Mark Robins claims win for his Coventry side against Exeter in League Two play-off final would be perfect reward for club’s hard work in difficult times

  • Coventry aiming to earn promotion to League One by beating Exeter 
  • The Sky Blues have endured financial problems in recent years 
  • Staff have worked extremely hard with some fans working for nothing 
  • Mark Robins is in his second spell as Coventry manager and is eager for glory  

Laurie Whitwell for the Daily Mail

Mark Robins has claimed that a victory for his Coventry side over Exeter on Monday would be just reward for the staff doing two jobs and the fans working for nothing to keep the Sky Blues alive.

Huge cuts were made after relegation last season, with redundancies meaning backroom members had to double up on roles, and fans doing odd jobs at the training ground for free.

Former Manchester United striker Robins, in his second spell at Coventry having become a fans’ favourite in 2012-13, said: ‘The reason I came back here was to try to make something work that was clearly broken for a long time.

Mark Robins is in his second spell in charge of Coventry and is aiming for promotion

Mark Robins is in his second spell in charge of Coventry and is aiming for promotion

Mark Robins is in his second spell in charge of Coventry and is aiming for promotion

‘We have a skeleton staff but they have been phenomenal. This isn’t a sob story, it’s a story of pulling together and making sure the club is operational.

‘New people have come in with fresh energy and given everything they can because they’re supporters of Coventry City. That makes it a special place to be.

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is expected to leave and take over at MK Dons regardless of the result

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is expected to leave and take over at MK Dons regardless of the result

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is expected to leave and take over at MK Dons regardless of the result

‘So if we can get promoted, it’s for them.’

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale is expected to quit and take over at MK Dons, regardless of Monday’s result. It would end his 12-year association with the club.

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Loris Karius was given a second chance by Jurgen Klopp, it may have been one too many

Loris Karius has long understood the unique pitfalls of his trade. This is what the Liverpool goalkeeper said in these pages last season.

‘When a striker misses a chance people say he should have scored but five minutes later they don’t talk about it,’ he said. ‘In our position it’s not like that. Goalkeepers don’t get second chances.’

The strange thing is that Karius has had a second chance under Jurgen Klopp. After last season’s troubles, the 24-year-old was recalled to the Liverpool team in late January of this year.

Loris Karius committed two horrendous mistakes that cost Liverpool in the final 

Loris Karius committed two horrendous mistakes that cost Liverpool in the final 

Loris Karius committed two horrendous mistakes that cost Liverpool in the final 

The goalkeeper wept at full time and it's difficult not to feel sympathy for him

The goalkeeper wept at full time and it's difficult not to feel sympathy for him

The goalkeeper wept at full time and it’s difficult not to feel sympathy for him

So this huge game in Kiev on Saturday night was the culmination of Karius’ second chance, it was his mulligan. And now it is gone, buried beneath the rubble of two catastrophic blunders that he says have already cost him a night’s sleep and may yet cost him his career on Merseyside.

The internet was a mixture of anger, rancour and glee, depending on what team people support. This is what large swathes of online platforms appear to be for these days — vehicles for extremism and, at a stretch, low-grade criminality.

But viewed purely from a sporting viewpoint, it is almost impossible not to feel sorry for the Liverpool goalkeeper. You didn’t have to see him trudge red-eyed towards the team bus at 1am on Sunday to understand that.

Professional sport is primarily about a pursuit of glory and when it goes wrong — when it is your fault that the dreams have died — it must be enough to squeeze the breath out of you.

Those who know about these things had warned that this could happen. Ray Clemence, winner of three European Cups with Liverpool, said only a month ago he didn’t think Karius was good enough for his club.

Karius was afforded a second chance by Jurgen Klopp but it might have been one too many

Karius was afforded a second chance by Jurgen Klopp but it might have been one too many

Karius was afforded a second chance by Jurgen Klopp but it might have been one too many

There was evidence from the field of play, too. For all his athleticism and ability as a fine close-range goalkeeper, Karius made big mistakes in both legs of the Champions League semi-final against Roma but, thanks to the crossbar and an incorrect linesman’s flag, he got away with both. So some may say that in Ukraine late on Saturday night, his luck merely ran out.

But that does not help Karius as he considers the reconstruction of a career he had worked hard to build.

Liverpool is not the German’s first English club. He first moved to England a week after his 16th birthday to join Manchester City. People there remember him as a good lad with a willingness to learn but he didn’t manage to make it. Years spent back in Germany prepared him for a second go but now the ground has shifted dramatically under that existence too.

None of this means that Karius should be afforded any leeway as Klopp looks to move Liverpool forwards next season. At 24, Karius is not a kid any more and should be judged on his football.

What it does, though, is provide context to just how a young sportsman who has invested so much in to his career will be feeling.

Karius gifted Karim Benzema the first goal and was beaten by Gareth Bale for the third

Karius gifted Karim Benzema the first goal and was beaten by Gareth Bale for the third

Karius gifted Karim Benzema the first goal and was beaten by Gareth Bale for the third

Certainly these were car crash moments in Kiev, the kind that even TV replays do not really explain. How do these things happen? They just do. It’s called sport.

Klopp had been warned about might may occur. He cannot say otherwise.

With the scores locked at 0-0 against Roma at Anfield, Karius failed to deal with a long range, swerving shot from Aleksandar Kolarov. As the ball moved in front of his eyes, he presented two feeble, ill-positioned hands that did not provide enough of a barrier to prevent it crashing through them and striking the bar.

The late shot from Gareth Bale on Saturday was almost identical to that one, Karius’s reaction similarly so and this time there was nothing at all to stop the ball finding the back of the net. If Karius’ first error — seeing his throw-out intercepted by Karim Benzema — was a little freakish, a little unlucky, then the second one was not.

‘I have cost my team the final,’ he said afterwards and he was dead right.

With a competent goalkeeper in their side, Liverpool could have travelled home as European champions for the sixth time. Instead, they go back to being a club that has won only one trophy in the last 12 years.

The 24-year-old knew he cost his team and apologised profusely to supporters 

The 24-year-old knew he cost his team and apologised profusely to supporters 

The 24-year-old knew he cost his team and apologised profusely to supporters 

Karius pledged to come back stronger but he may not play for Liverpool again 

Karius pledged to come back stronger but he may not play for Liverpool again 

Karius pledged to come back stronger but he may not play for Liverpool again 

That is the fineness of the line and as Karius lay weeping on the turf at full-time, the only players to approach and offer consolation were those in the white shirts of Real Madrid. There was not, it must be said, much public sympathy extended by Karius’ team-mates. You Will Never Walk Alone, they say.

Maybe the Liverpool players simply suspect what many others suspect. Players are not stupid. Maybe they feel that the advances made in outfield positions under Klopp in recent times have not been mirrored by the goalkeeping department.

If so, we may not see Karius again in Liverpool colours. He has already indicated that he will return stronger but right now it looks a very long way back indeed.

Maybe the facts are simple and maybe Clemence was right. Maybe Karius is not quite good enough. Maybe Klopp has, for once, got a judgment call wrong.

If so, then the Liverpool manager must deal with the consequences of that. It is certain that he will emerge a better coach from this experience in Europe and his team will improve too.

As for Loris Karius, two chances may already be judged to have been one too many.

If Manchester United manage to sign Gareth Bale then they can catch City in the Premier League

The moment I saw that Gareth Bale was not warming up with Real Madrid‘s starting XI I thought: ‘Liverpool are in trouble here.’

Bale is at his devastating best when he has a point to prove.

This is someone who had to develop mental toughness as a young man at Tottenham when his managers were almost too scared to play him.

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is at his devastating best when he has a point to prove

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is at his devastating best when he has a point to prove

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is at his devastating best when he has a point to prove

He was not on the winning side in any of his first 24 matches for Spurs and there were question marks over his character.

When my dad arrived at the club, he could see he had a promising talent but also a player who still had much to improve.

As a teenager, Bale was a brilliant athlete but would go down a lot in training or keep needing treatment from the physio.

What he needed was tough love and to start believing that he was good enough. Moving from left back to the wing helped Bale unlock his true potential.

The winger's bicycle kick against Liverpool was the perfect reminder of his talents

The winger's bicycle kick against Liverpool was the perfect reminder of his talents

The winger’s bicycle kick against Liverpool was the perfect reminder of his talents

Once he grew in confidence, it wasn’t long before Dad was telling me: ‘You should see what this boy is doing in training!’

The Champions League has been good to Gareth, giving him the platform to showcase his talents. That sensational hat-trick against Inter Milan was the moment he realised, ‘I can do this.’

By the end of his Tottenham career, he had transformed into a world-class forward who was deciding games by himself. And he did just that in Kiev to blow away Liverpool. Steve McManaman told me recently that to succeed at Real Madrid, you have to make the fans fall in love with you. If two goals in the Champions League final do not win over the supporters, I don’t know what will.

I’m intrigued to see what he does next. I can’t understand why anyone would want to leave the lifestyle Gareth has in Spain but he wants to play more regularly.

If Manchester United want to stop playing boring football, Jose Mourinho should sign Bale

If Manchester United want to stop playing boring football, Jose Mourinho should sign Bale

If Manchester United want to stop playing boring football, Jose Mourinho should sign Bale

Everything points to a return to the Premier League. We have the best managers — now we need a ‘galactico’ player.

I wrote in my last column of the season that if Manchester United want to stop playing boring football, Jose Mourinho should go out and sign him.

Mourinho is not going to make a player like Bale track back and help out the left back. He will want to get the ball to him at the top of the team and win them matches.

After the final whistle on Saturday night, Jose should have been straight on the phone to Ed Woodward. Buy Bale and the United fans would believe they can catch Manchester City next season.

Bale is someone who had to develop mental toughness as a young man at Tottenham

Bale is someone who had to develop mental toughness as a young man at Tottenham

Bale is someone who had to develop mental toughness as a young man at Tottenham

Bale would rightly have reservations about United’s style of play, of course — and about how another star in Paul Pogba has struggled.

Should Eden Hazard head to the Bernabeu this summer I could see Bale going in the opposite direction. Equally, he may be unsure as to who will be in charge at Stamford Bridge.

At 28, he is in the peak of his career. Whoever signs him would be getting a model professional. Gareth knows he is a great player but he is not arrogant. He is still a very quiet, unassuming man.

That bicycle kick was the perfect reminder of his talents. He will be a game-changer for whoever he joins.

 

Gareth Bale ready to leave Real Madrid after becoming frustrated with lack of playing time

Gareth Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer over his lack of game time and a troubled relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane.

Bale’s play-me-or-lose-me comments after the final had been brewing over three months of snubs and humiliations. They would have been delivered with or without his sensational double strike in Kiev.

The 28-year-old has asked his representatives to meet with Real Madrid in the coming weeks to clarify his position under Zidane, who dropped him for the final despite having watched him score five goals in the last five games of the season.

Gareth Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid after becoming frustrated with a lack of playing time

Gareth Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid after becoming frustrated with a lack of playing time

Gareth Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid after becoming frustrated with a lack of playing time

Manchester United are watching the situation with interest and Chelsea look to be his other possible Premier League suitors.

There are doubts over their current financial muscle being strong enough to take the full weight of Bale’s wages and a £86 million transfer fee but Madrid’s interest in Eden Hazard could go some way to resolving that problem.

‘I was very disappointed to not be starting, I thought that I deserved to start,’ Bale said after the final. ‘I want to be playing every week. And if I can’t do it at Real Madrid then I will have to do it elsewhere.

‘I just want to enjoy this moment and have a rest. Then I will sit down with everybody at a big table and see what my next move is.’

The Wales international has a troubled relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane

The Wales international has a troubled relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane

The Wales international has a troubled relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane

Those planned talks will be with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez’s right-hand man Jose Angel Sanchez. Perez said on Saturday that his current squad was ‘difficult to improve on’ and labelled Bale, who he signed in 2013, ‘one of the best players in the world’.

Zidane will not be present at the talks but it is the coach’s plans for Bale next season that will go a long way to deciding if the Welshman pursues a path away from the club.

Tellingly, Zidane did not elaborate on Bale with any great enthusiasm after the final, choosing instead to describe the situation as ‘complicated’.

Bale has become increasingly despondent this season. Problems stem from him being axed ahead of a Champions League last-16 game against Paris Saint-Germain. He also felt the decision to take him off at half-time against Juventus was humiliating for a player who had won three Champions League titles.

Bale stole the show in the Champions League final vs Liverpool with an incredible bicycle kick

Bale stole the show in the Champions League final vs Liverpool with an incredible bicycle kick

Bale stole the show in the Champions League final vs Liverpool with an incredible bicycle kick

Bale was labelled the ‘man for all finals’ by Marca on Sunday. With Madrid, he has scored the winning goal in the 2014 Spanish Cup final, the winning goal in the 2014 Champions League final, a goal in the World Club Cup final, a penalty in the shootout of the 2016 Champions League final and the two key goals in Kiev.

He finished this season with 21 goals in 39 games.

On Sunday, Bale tweeted the words ‘last night’ alongside a picture of his spectacular bicycle kick in Kiev.

Real Madrid have been assured it was not a reference to Kiev having been his last night at the club. But he has made it clear he wants to be shown more respect after playing such a big part in Madrid’s remarkable success in the five years since he joined from Tottenham.

 

Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Monday, May 28

Robin Goodfellow’s racing tips: Best bets for Monday, May 28

Sam Turner For The Daily Mail

Sportsmail’s racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his tips ahead of Monday’s meetings at Chelmsford City, Huntingdon, Redcar, Windsor, Cartmel and Leicester. 

Sportsmail's Robin Goodfellow provides his tips ahead of six race meetings on Monday

Sportsmail's Robin Goodfellow provides his tips ahead of six race meetings on Monday

Sportsmail’s Robin Goodfellow provides his tips ahead of six race meetings on Monday

HUNTINGDON

ROBIN GOODFELLOW

1.30 Fifty Shades

2.00 The Twisler

2.35 Stuccodor

3.10 Walden Prince

3.45 Kings Temptation

4.20 Gran Maestro

4.55 Knighthood

GIMCRACK

1.30 Sheelbewhatsheelbe

2.00 Gothic Empire

2.35 Hear The Chimes

3.10 All Is Good

3.45 Kings Temptation

4.20 Best Practice

4.55 Go Forrit

REDCAR

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

1.50 The Great Heir

2.25 Acrux

3.00 Saisons D’Or

3.35 Miss Dd

4.10 Briardale

4.45 X Rated

5.20 Sunrize

GIMCRACK 

1.50 The Great Heir

2.25 Yorkshire Rover

3.00 Saisons D’Or

3.35 Bow Belles

4.10 Big Country (nap)

4.45 Fleetfoot Jack

5.20 Hussar Ballad

WINDSOR

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

2.30 Voi

3.05 Seductive Moment

3.40 Urban Icon

4.15 Al Asef

4.50 Lake Volta (nap)

5.25 Mordin

5.55 Equitation

6.25 Paco’s Prince

GIMCRACK 

2.30 Voi

3.05 Gunforhire

3.40 Urban Icon

4.15 Al Asef

4.50 Koditime

5.25 Mordin

5.55 Equitation

6.25 Simply Breathless

CHELMSFORD CITY

ROBIN GOODFELLOW 

2.05 The Last Party

2.40 Ettie Hart

3.15 Aguerooo

3.50 Master Of Irony

4.25 Queen Of Dreams

5.00 Naralsaif

5.35 Elliot The Dragon

GIMCRACK

2.05 Swiss Pride

2.40 Jeremy’s Jet

3.15 Ocean Temptress

3.50 Author’s Dream

4.25 Precious Silk

5.00 Pride Of Angels

5.35 Spot Lite

CARTMEL

ROBIN GOODFELLOW  

2.10 The Steward

2.45 My Escapade

3.20 Souriyan

3.55 Lamb Or Cod

4.30 Endless Credit

5.05 Miss Crick

5.40 Wizadora

GIMCRACK

2.10 Stipulate

2.45 Dothraki Raider

3.20 Souriyan

3.55 Lamb Or Cod

4.30 Mixboy

5.05 Miss Crick

5.40 Wizadora

LEICESTER

ROBIN GOODFELLOW  

1.45 Manchego

2.20 Geetanjali

2.55 Prince Ahwahnee

3.30 Photographer

4.05 Burgonet

4.40 Aclimatise (nb)

5.15 Amuletum

GIMCRACK  

1.45 Manchego

2.20 Geetanjali

2.55 Elnadim Star

3.30 Photographer

4.05 Amourice

4.40 Jumira Prince (nb)

5.15 Raashdy

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Saracens star Alex Goode ‘resigned’ to England exile

When the broken-record question came, about remaining inexplicably out of favour with England, Saracens’ artful dodger delivered yet another deft sidestep.

Alex Goode had been the creative architect of Sarries’ devastating victory at Twickenham on Saturday, which wrested back the Aviva Premiership title from Exeter in this winner-takes-all decider. 

The full back set up three of his side’s four tries and had a major hand in the other one. It was a majestic exhibition of attacking class, in front of the national coach.

Alex Goode was the creative architect of Saracen's devastating victory on Saturday

Alex Goode was the creative architect of Saracen's devastating victory on Saturday

Alex Goode was the creative architect of Saracen’s devastating victory on Saturday

But Eddie Jones has consistently overlooked Goode since his last Test appearance 18 months ago. So the 30-year-old was understandably evasive when asked if his latest big-occasion tour de force could earn a return from international exile. 

‘I can’t comment on what Eddie sees,’ Goode said. ‘I am just out there to do a good job for Saracens. I am happy with my personal performance today — and the team performance. I can’t do any more.’

He will be in Africa next month, but not at the southern end of the continent with the England squad. Instead, he is visiting Malawi, to teach at one of the schools his mother has helped to build there.

The full back set up three of his side’s four tries and had a major hand in the other one

The full back set up three of his side’s four tries and had a major hand in the other one

The full back set up three of his side’s four tries and had a major hand in the other one

The fact that his face doesn’t seem to fit is a source of confusion for public and pundits alike. It is also a mystery to Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall.

When asked if he knows why Goode is deemed surplus to requirements, McCall said: ‘I don’t know. If they want out-and-out pace at full back, he’s not your man, although he’s quick enough. He can only do what he’s done today; play the way he’s played. Brilliantly. It’s up to Eddie what he does next.

‘I think Alex is resigned to it maybe not happening for him, with England. But he ends up playing a lot of rugby for us.

‘Today he took his game to a different level. It was his best ever finals performance. He was extraordinarily good.’

England head coach Eddie Jones was in the crowd to see Goode's exhibition of attacking class

England head coach Eddie Jones was in the crowd to see Goode's exhibition of attacking class

England head coach Eddie Jones was in the crowd to see Goode’s exhibition of attacking class

He wasn’t the only one. Saracens were utterly imperious. After emerging from their slump late last year, this was the collective performance which signified a return to their ruthless, deadly peak.

The club’s English Lions were magnificent. Again. But the one who really stood out was Mako Vunipola. As ever, the prop was still carrying and tackling and cleverly distributing until the game was nearly up.

The official man of the match was lauded by all and sundry after this latest titanic shift against a big, tough Exeter pack. ‘He was outstanding,’ Goode said. ‘He really is one of the best players in the world. He’s an absolute joy to play with. He’s got an incredible rugby mind.’

Saracens’ standards were so high that Exeter, who won the league with room to spare, had no answer once they had conceded two tries in five first-half minutes.

It was a fourth Premiership triumph for McCall, which was founded on the fabled Wolfpack defence, who efficiently absorbed endless waves of pressure.

The upshot was that the great Schalk Brits — hooker supreme — and Chris Wyles, who touched down twice, were able to go into retirement with another medal each.

 

Alpha Centauri wins Irish 1,000 Guinea for trainer Jessica Harrington

Trainer Jessica Harrington lands her biggest Flat racing victory as Alpha Centauri wins Irish 1,000 Guineas

Marcus Townend for the Daily Mail

Jessica Harrington’s Alpha Centauri landed the trainer’s first Classic win in the Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday.

Ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, the 12-1 shot beat the Aidan O’Brien-trained Could It Be Love, who attempted to make all, by a length and three-quarters.

Harrington, best known for her exploits in jump racing including winning the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup with Sizing John, said: ‘She was fantastic today. We had her spot on.’

Colm O'Donoghue celebrates on 12-1 shot Alpha Centauri at the Curragh on Sunday

Colm O'Donoghue celebrates on 12-1 shot Alpha Centauri at the Curragh on Sunday

Colm O’Donoghue celebrates on 12-1 shot Alpha Centauri at the Curragh on Sunday

The 5-4 favourite, Happily, also trained by O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, finished third. It was the second time in 24 hours that O’Brien had only filled the minor placings in a Classic.

On Saturday, he had seen US Navy Flag and Gustav Klimt beaten by Ken Condon-trained 25-1 chance Romanised in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Meanwhile, jockey PJ McDonald won the second Group One race of his career when Laurens, the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas runner-up, trained by Karl Burke, just held on in the Prix Saint-Alary at Longchamp. 

 

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Darren Till thrills Liverpool crowd with unanimous decision victory over Stephen Thompson 

  • Darren Till fought Steven ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson over five gripping rounds 
  • Neil Magny overcame Craig White who had stepped in to fight on short notice 
  • Makwan Amirkhani claimed narrow split-decision victory over Jason Knight  
  • Arnold Allen executed brilliant choke in third round for remarkable comeback 

Peter Carroll For Mailonline

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England players deny spot-fixing allegations made in Al Jazeera documentary

England players deny spot-fixing allegations made in Al Jazeera documentary as head coach Trevor Bayliss labels claims as ‘outrageous’

  • A series of allegations were made in documentary titled ‘Cricket’s Match Fixers’
  • It stated an India-based member of a syndicate fixed a 2016 England Test match 
  • Head coach Trevor Bayliss described allegations as ‘outrageous’ on Sunday

Pa Reporter

England players have ’emphatically denied’ spot-fixing allegations made in an Al Jazeera documentary.

The Middle East-based TV station’s programme, Cricket’s Match-Fixers, contains a series of allegations about how an India-based member of a criminal syndicate was able to fix the results of matches and elements of other matches, including England’s Test match against India in Chennai in December 2016.

Head coach Trevor Bayliss described the allegations as ‘outrageous’ when he was asked about them on Sunday, and England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison says the players have the board’s full support.

England head coach Trevor Bayliss says spot-fixing claims in documentary are 'outrageous'

England head coach Trevor Bayliss says spot-fixing claims in documentary are 'outrageous'

England head coach Trevor Bayliss says spot-fixing claims in documentary are ‘outrageous’

‘There is nothing we have seen that would make us doubt any of our players in any way whatsoever,’ he said in a statement.

‘The limited information we have been given has been discussed with all the England players.

‘They emphatically deny the allegations, have stated categorically that the claims are false and they have our full support.’

The documentary also claims elements of the India vs Australia match in Ranchi in March 2017 were fixed.

The International Cricket Council has called on Al Jazeera to share the information it has and has launched an investigation.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison insisted the board were not aware of any 'credible evidence'

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison insisted the board were not aware of any 'credible evidence'

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison insisted the board were not aware of any ‘credible evidence’

Harrison added: ‘Neither ECB nor the ICC is aware of any credible evidence connecting any England players to any form of corruption.

‘ECB had been aware of the planned Al Jazeera documentary for some time but have not been given the full content.

‘There have been repeated requests for any evidence and unedited materials to be shared with the ICC so they can fully investigate.

‘We, like other member boards, are disappointed that Al Jazeera have not been more co-operative and responsible when making such serious allegations.

‘ECB has a regular dialogue with the ICC and its anti-corruption unit, fully supports its work and will continue to cooperate with their review.’

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Ronaldo claims decision on Madrid future ‘not about money or glory’

‘Money is not the problem… Life is not just about glory’: Cristiano Ronaldo adds fuel to fire over Real Madrid exit rumours after Champions League win

  • Cristiano Ronaldo ignites speculation he could leave Real Madrid this summer
  • Ronaldo insists the problem at the Bernabeu is not about money or glory
  • He claims he’ll talk about his future soon following fifth Champions League title

Michael Searles For Mailonline

On the back of Real Madrid’s third successive Champions League title, Cristiano Ronaldo has created a storm around his future with claims he could leave the Bernabeu. 

Following the 3-1 win against Liverpool in Kiev, Ronaldo hinted that he was thinking about a future away from Madrid despite having just claimed his fifth Champions League, and fourth with Los Blancos

Given the opportunity to put those rumours to bed, Ronaldo only added fuel to the fire as he claimed it was not about money or glory. 

Cristiano Ronaldo has added to speculation over his future with claims it's not about money

Cristiano Ronaldo has added to speculation over his future with claims it's not about money

Cristiano Ronaldo has added to speculation over his future with claims it’s not about money

When asked what the issue was, Ronaldo told Marca: ‘[It] comes from afar. Money is not the problem.’

‘I have won five Champions League’s and five Ballon d’Ors. I had already made history, but now even more.

‘I’m not upset because I know what I give to the club. I don’t want to erase this unique moment, with my colleagues who are champions.

‘I cannot guarantee anything. I’m not going to hide, in the next few days I’ll talk… Life is not just about glory.’

The Real Madrid star has won five Ballon D'ors but insists a decision won't be about glory either

The Real Madrid star has won five Ballon D'ors but insists a decision won't be about glory either

The Real Madrid star has won five Ballon D’ors but insists a decision won’t be about glory either

The 33-year-old was forced into talking further about his future, having initially admitted to the media his future was uncertain.

Speaking at the end of the game he said: ‘In the coming days there will be answer about my future. It has been very nice playing for Real Madrid.’ 

Ronaldo, who finished the competition as top scorer for the seventh time, accepted that the timing of his announcement could have been better. 

But he also insisted that he had no regrets about speaking the truth and his latest comments will have only served to intensify speculation around his future with the summer transfer window now upon us.

‘It was not the right time, but I’ve been honest,’ he admitted.

‘I don’t talk much, but when I talk, I talk.

‘Of course I have something to say, but it wasn’t the right time, although I don’t regret it, because it was honest.’

Ronaldo claims he will come out on his future in the coming days but has hinted he could leave 

Ronaldo claims he will come out on his future in the coming days but has hinted he could leave 

Ronaldo claims he will come out on his future in the coming days but has hinted he could leave 

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