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Ronaldo benched for World Cup match against Switzerland

Ronaldo benched for World Cup match against Switzerland

LUSAIL, Qatar — Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped from the starting lineup for Portugal’s match against Switzerland on Tuesday in the round of 16 of the World Cup. The move came a day after his coach expressed frustration about Ronaldo’s attitude in the last game. Gonçalo Ramos, a 21-year-old forward who made his international debut three weeks ago, made his first career start for Portugal as Ronaldo’s replacement at Lusail Stadium.And replace him he did.Ramos scored his first World Cup goal on his fourth touch of the game in the 17th minute to give Portugal a 1-0 lead. Ronaldo received a loud cheer when he was shown on the big screen, expressionless, after Ramos’ goal.It was the first time Ronaldo didn’t lead his teammates onto the field as the captain in Qatar, with Pepe taking up the armband. The 39-year-old defender then scored Portugal’s second goal, with Ronaldo running off the bench to hug the veteran near one of the corners.Ronaldo had jogged onto the field for the pre-match warmup alone, after the starters, and was with the substitutes kicking the ball around with them in light drills. He was smiling when he returned to the locker room and paused for a photo with a female volunteer. He leaned down and draped his arm around her for the picture.Ronaldo was still smiling when he came through the tunnel again ahead of the start of the game wearing a yellow substitutes bib. Ronaldo initially took an empty seat in the dugout and then took his place on the field for the national anthem. He received a rousing cheer that drew a smirk from the superstar when he was shown on the big screens inside the stadium.This is expected to be Ronaldo’s final World Cup. Ramos, who plays for Portuguese club Benfica, made his debut for Portugal last month in a warmup game against Nigeria and scored his first international goal. He replaced Ronaldo late in the opening World Cup match against Ghana, and again against Uruguay. Ramos has scored 21 goals this year for Benfica. João Cancelo, a fullback who started all three matches of the group stage, was also dropped from the starting lineup. Ronald’s benching came after he showed obvious displeasure at being removed from the game against South Korea on Friday. The 37-year-old striker opened the tournament with a goal against Ghana to become the first player to score in five different World Cups. But he was ineffective in Portugal’s final two games of group play and was pulled midway through the second half of a 2-1 loss to South Korea.Ronaldo’s body language indicated the superstar was annoyed at being taken out of the game — something Portugal coach Fernando Santos remained silent about for nearly three days.Finally in his Monday news conference, Santos conceded Ronaldo’s attitude in the game against South Korea was the one distraction — of many — that had pushed him too far.Before Portugal’s first match of the World Cup, Ronaldo cut ties with Manchester United and is reportedly being wooed by a Saudi Arabian team with the promise of an exorbitant paycheck, and a poll in Portugal showed that fans in his home country wanted the superstar dropped from the lineup.“I didn’t like it, not at all. I really didn’t like it,” Santos said Monday of Ronaldo’s poor attitude at being taken out of the game against South Korea. “We fixed that in-house and that’s it.”Portugal defender Rúben Dias, meanwhile, pleaded with Portuguese media to help “create unity” in the camp instead of division. It was Portuguese daily O Bola’s poll that showed fans at home had tired of Ronaldo and preferred he didn’t play against Switzerland.It’s not unprecedented for Ronaldo to get less playing time because the aging superstar has faded of late. He barely played in the Premier League for United through the first half of the season, and Santos dropped him from the Portugal lineup for a Nations League game against Spain in March.With Ronaldo, Portugal has advanced to the round of 16 of the World Cup in four of his five tournaments, but he’s never played in a World Cup final. Portugal in 2006 lost to France in the semifinals — the deepest Ronaldo has ever reached at the World Cup.Although he’s scored in five tournaments, he has only eight total goals in 20 World Cup matches. His 118 goals in international play is a world record for men, but Ronaldo has never scored in the knockout stage of the World Cup.Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s greatest rival over the years, has scored three goals so far in this World Cup and helped Argentina reach the quarterfinals. Messi has nine career World Cup goals, and like Ronaldo, has never won the tournament.———AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

FACT FOCUS: 5 full-court shots a stretch even for Curry

FACT FOCUS: 5 full-court shots a stretch even for Curry

Stephen Curry is known for hitting deep 3-point shots and buzzer-beaters from half-court — but even the celebrated Warriors guard didn’t sink five consecutive full-court baskets, despite a convincingly edited video that swept social media this week.The clip of the 34-year-old NBA star racked up more than 28 million views and more than 40,000 shares on Twitter after Sports Illustrated posted it on Sunday. “Steph Gonna STEPH,” the Warriors tweeted. “Mark him as a menace to society,” Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant wrote.However, five full-court shots in a row would have been an otherworldly feat even for Curry, the reigning NBA Finals MVP for the defending champion Warriors and the NBA’s all-time 3-point leader since he passed Ray Allen last December. Here’s a look at the facts.CLAIM: A video posted online by Sports Illustrated shows Curry making five consecutive full-court shots.THE FACTS: “If it’s on the internet, it’s real! Right, Klay? It’s real! It’s REAL!” Curry yelled to an Associated Press reporter on Monday, referring to his teammate Klay Thompson before scurrying away in delight. But Curry was just having some fun. The clip of him lobbing five one-handed shots across the full length of a practice court, sinking every one, was “not real,” said Raymond Ridder, Warriors senior vice president of communications.“He could do that, but not five in a row,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I think just the fact that it’s Steph made people pause and wonder if it was real. That’s all you need to know about Steph. Pretty remarkable.”Sports Illustrated tweeted the clip on Sunday saying, “Just finished a shoot with @stephencurry30, this dude just can’t miss.” Its tweet credited the video to Ari Fararooy, a video creator known for executing similar video tricks with seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.The video appeared ahead of Sports Illustrated’s announcement of Curry as a December cover star and 2022 Sportsperson of the Year. The outlet on Tuesday acknowledged that the video “is, in fact, not real.”“We had some fun with it,” Curry said in a postgame interview Monday. “I did make two of them, though, just in case anybody was wondering.”———This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.

NFL odds Week 14: How to bet Dolphins-Chargers

NFL odds Week 14: How to bet Dolphins-Chargers

The Miami Dolphins head to Cali in Week 14 of the NFL season to face the Los Angles Chargers.  Both of these teams lost in Week 13. The Dolphins were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers, while the Chargers fell to the Las Vegas Raiders in their weekend matchup. Here’s everything you need from a […]

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World Cup Now: Morocco continues to impress on big stage

World Cup Now: Morocco continues to impress on big stage

Morocco and Spain put together a thrilling knockout match on Tuesday, with Morocco winning a penalty shootout, 3-0, and advancing to the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup. On the latest edition of “World Cup Now,” DaMarcus Beasley and former USMNT players Jimmy Conrad and Sacha Kljestan gave their takeaways from Morocco’s win and dissected […]

World Cup 2022 highlights: Morocco stuns Spain on PKS, 3-0

World Cup 2022 highlights: Morocco stuns Spain on PKS, 3-0

The 2022 FIFA World Cup continued Tuesday on FOX with Morocco defeating Spain in a penalty shootout, 3-0, at Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar in the tournament’s second-to-last match of the round of 16. Later, Portugal will face Switzerland in Tuesday’s second knockout-stage game (11 a.m. ET, FOX). The winners will advance to […]