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Former club tell Cristiano Ronaldo the door is open for return

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Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim says the Portuguese club will keep the door open for Cristiano Ronaldo should he want to re-join them.

Ronaldo will be looking for a new club in January after an explosive and very public falling out with Manchester United and boss Erik ten Hag.

He said he ‘felt betrayed’ by the club since arriving in the summer of 2021 and has ‘no respect’ for Ten Hag.

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Ronaldo started his career at Sporting and it has long been speculated that he’d like to finish his career at the club too.

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Whether that time is now or not remains unknown, but Amorim seems happy to provide the option at least.

“I’ve been asked this question a thousand times,” Amorim told the press in Portugal when asked if the door was open for Ronaldo to return to his first club. “Ronaldo is a Manchester United player.

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“Everyone at Sporting likes him, there’s not much more to say. He himself says he wants to be left in peace to decide his future. I won’t be here telling you how things are for me.”

Ronaldo made Sporting history during his spell at the club, as he became the first player to play for the club’s under-16s, under-17s, under-18s, B team and first team all in the same season.

He ended up playing 31 times for the Primeira Liga side before being sold to Man Utd for around £12million in 2003.



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Merrit Paulson to sell NWSL team Portland Thorns

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Portland Thorns owner Merrit Paulson announced he plans to sell the NWSL club, but maintain control of the Major League Soccer side Portland Timbers. 

Paulson has owned the Thorns since its founding in 2012, and felt no need to relinquish control until the club stood at the center of the NWSL abuse scandal. 

Subsequently, NWSL launched an independent investigation led by Sally Q. Yates into several league-wide allegations. The findings proved that Paulson hid the reasons of former head coach Paul Riley’s dismissal from the team in 2015, allowing him to continue working in the league despite several sexual harassment and coercion allegations. 

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Paul Riley’s misconduct, and the Thorns’ involvement in allowing him to continue working in the NWSL, made up a significant part of the findings of the U.S. Soccer-commissioned investigation.

Paulson stepped down as CEO of the Portland Thorns and Timbers when information from the investigation became public. 

“I believe it is in the best interest of the Thorns to have a new owner so that the Club can operate at the league level with a fresh voice to be a driving force for the NWSL,” Paulson said in a statement. “This has been a difficult decision for me, but I believe this is the best way to position the Thorns for continued success during this next chapter of the NWSL and the sport.”

Paulson also pledged $1m toward the establishment of a new NWSL player safety office. 

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He did not specify a timeline for the sales process, though several parties have expressed interesting in purchasing the majority stake in the Thorns. 

But supporters maintain the owner should be removed from the franchise entirely.  

“If he’s unfit to own one team, why should he be fit to own the other?” said Gabby Rosas, president of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, a nonprofit that represents the Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army. “You can’t tell me that one half of the club is broken and the other is fine.”

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, however, maintained that Paulson doesn’t have “any reason at all” to sell the Timbers. 

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Monterrey signs midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Puebla

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Rayados de Monterrey have signed midfielder Jordi Cortizo from Club Puebla, ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura. 

He joins the Guadalajara team on a four-season contract, according to Diego Armando Medina of TUDN.

“I have been delighted since the opportunity to come here was given, I always knew that I had to make a leap to these big leagues with one of the biggest clubs in Mexico,” Cortizo said of his transfer. 

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Cortizo kicked off his professional career with Queretaro in 2017, recording four goals in 76 appearances over the course of three years before seeing stints with Tijuana and Puebla. He managed well in Liga MX, but it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout. 

The offensive midfielder recorded five goals in 20 overall matches to inspire Puebla to eighth on the table and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, Cortizo has 12 goals in 149 Liga MX appearances. 

“They are going to see a player who always tries, that will never fail, who will go for the ball, will try to play, propose offensive play, go forward and who will always give himself up for the club. It is my dream to be champion of the Liga MX, there is no better option today than to be sitting here and with this squad to achieve it,” he said.

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Cortizo stands as the first signing under new Monterrey president Jose Antonio Noriega, who replaced Duilio Davino  following the team’s elimination from the 2022 Apertura. Upon his arrival, Noriega insisted he needed to evaluate the team’s needs before making drastic changes. 

But the arrival of Jordi Cortizo will now set off the several moves already planned. 

The 2023 Liga MX Clausura kicks off on January 6.



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Club America sign defender Israel Reyes from Puebla

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Club America has finally signed defender Israel Reyes from Club Puebla.

He stands as the team’s first reinforcement ahead of the 2023 Liga MX Clausura, joining on a four-year contract.  The Mexico City team reportedly paid $4.5M for Reyes, after he established himself as one of the most promising defenders in the Mexican league.

Reyes kicked off his professional career with Atlas in 2019, before quickly securing a loan deal to Puebla. After 19 games with the Franja, the team exercised his purchase option to make Reyes a staple of the backline. 

But it wasn’t until the 2022 Apertura that he became a standout in the Mexican league. The 22-year-old managed three goals in 17 games of the 2022 Apertura, inspiring Puebla to eighth place in the regular season and the Liguilla quarterfinals. 

Overall, he recorded six goals in 76 appearances with Puebla before joining Club America.

Internationally, the player holds one cap with the Mexican national team. He made his debut on December 8, 2021, coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute of a friendly against Chile.

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