Cristiano Ronaldo leaves whopping £17,850 tip at Greek hotel he stayed in before leaving for Juventus unveiling


Cristiano Ronaldo has left workers gobsmacked at the Greek luxury hotel he stayed in after leaving at the tip for £17,850 (AUD31,543).

Ronaldo had been on holiday in the Mediterranean with his family. following Portugal’s exit from the World Cup at the hands of Uruguay.

He posted pictures on Instagram of himself soaking up the sun with partner Georgina Rodriguez and his son, along with snaps of sitting out for dinner with friends.

a group of people standing in a park: Cristiano Ronaldo left a five-figure tip for staff at the Greek resort he stayed at while on holiday

© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Cristiano Ronaldo left a five-figure tip for staff at the Greek resort he stayed at while on holiday

He left to Italy in order to complete his £100million move to Serie A side Juventus, but according to The Sun, not before making an incredible gesture.

Ronaldo was reportedly so impressed by the service he received that he could not leave without giving something back.

The 33-year-old asked that the five-figure sum is shared among all staff in the resort.

Since leaving Greece, Ronaldo is now preparing for a new life in Italy following his move to Juventus.

Speaking at his press conference, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner said: ‘I am not sad to leave Real Madrid. I am here because I want a challenge.

‘Players around my age are going to other countries like China. For this season I am so grateful for the option that Juventus gave me.

‘I will try and show I am a top player. I will work hard. You all know my statistics. I’m ambitious.’

He is jet-setting once more following his arrival in Italy, heading for China to embark on his annual tour.


Neymar on target again as Brazil beat Austria


Neymar marked his return to the starting line-up with another brilliant goal as Brazil eased to a 3-0 win over Austria in Vienna on Sunday in their final friendly ahead of the World Cup.

Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho netted either side of Neymar’s strike at the Ernst Happel Stadion, as the world’s most expensive player confirmed his return to fitness following a foot operation three months ago.

It was an encouraging way for Tite’s side to complete their preparations before their departure for their base in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The Brazilians were due to arrive there in the early hours of Monday, ahead of their opening game at the tournament against Switzerland next Sunday.

Neymar’s goal was his 55th in a Brazil shirt, allowing him to draw level with Romario on his country’s list of all-time leading scorers — only the great Pele and Ronaldo have scored more goals for Brazil than the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

The 26-year-old had come off the bench to score in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Croatia in Liverpool, his first appearance since suffering a foot fracture playing for PSG in February and then returning to his homeland for surgery.

He played 84 minutes in the Austrian capital after replacing Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho in the starting line-up, surviving a couple of bruising challenges from Austria’s Watford defender Sebastian Proedl, who was booked in the second half.

Brazil, wearing black armbands in tribute to the country’s tennis legend Maria Esther Bueno who died on Friday aged 78, had chances to go in front before Jesus opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

Marcelo’s long-range shot was blocked, but the ball fell to Jesus inside the area and the Manchester City striker took a touch before finishing beautifully past Heinz Lindner in the Austrian goal.

Jesus is Brazil’s leading scorer under Tite’s management, ahead of Neymar, who got his name on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute.

It was a quite superb effort, the former Barcelona man controlling Willian’s chipped pass on his thigh just inside the box and then leaving Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic on the floor with some delightful footwork before rolling the ball home.

Tempers had flared just before that with the Brazilians taking exception to tasty tackles on Neymar and Coutinho.

But their class told in the end as Neymar’s goal was followed by a fine effort from Coutinho, who later also hit the bar from long range.

Nadal wins 11th French Open despite late injury scare


Rafael Nadal claimed an 11th French Open title on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 demolition of Dominic Thiem despite a worrying injury scare in the closing stages of the final.

The 32-year-old world number one now has 17 Grand Slam titles, just three behind great rival Roger Federer.

Nadal endured a nervy conclusion to the final, however, when he needed treatment in the fourth game of the third set for a finger injury before sealing victory on a fifth match point when Thiem fired a backhand long.

“It’s really incredible. I played a great match against a great player,” said Nadal.

“I had a tough moment in the third set with cramps in my hand. I was very scared but that’s sport — it was very humid.

“To win 11 times here — it’s fantastic and not something I ever dreamed of.”

Nadal joins Australia’s Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major.

A victory also took Nadal’s record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses.

For Thiem, playing in his first Slam final, it was a tremendous letdown for a player who is the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in the last two years.

With a celebrity audience — including actors Hugh Grant and Tim Roth as well as French stars Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin — watching, Nadal flew out of the blocks.

He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2.

The Austrian speared a 222 km/h ace just for good measure in the fourth game to save a breakpoint.

He saved another two in the 11-minute sixth game, a performance cheered by the crowd who briefly became more animated when glum-looking French football icon Zinedine Zidane was spotted in the stadium.

Despite matching Nadal forehand for forehand, Thiem was undone in the 10th game when three errors handed Nadal the opening set after 52 minutes on the court.

A wild, misguided forehand sealed his fate, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal’s 12 in the set.

In their previous nine meetings, all on clay, the man who took the opening set went on to win the match.

That scenario loomed again with Nadal going to 2-0 in the second set on a fifth break point as Thiem fired another backhand wide.

Thiem wasted a break point in the seventh game as Nadal collected a time violation for taking too long to serve.

The world number one saved it and went on to secure a two sets lead when yet another backhand from the Austrian drifted wide.

Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1.

Bizarrely, Nadal then halted playing in the fourth game complaining of pain in his left hand and stretching his middle finger.

He still won the game anyway before summoning the doctor and trainer courtside.

Whatever the problem, his dominance remained and a love game took him to 4-2 before he eventually sealed victory on a fifth match point when the Austrian fired another backhand long.

Platini admits to “shenanigans” in World Cup draw to try and force dream final


Former UEFA president Michel Platini has claimed: “a little trickery” was used in the 1998 World Cup draw to increase the chances of France and Brazil meeting in the final.

Platini is currently serving a four-year ban from involvement in football – reduced twice from an original eight-year sanction – after he was found guilty of receiving a “disloyal payment” from then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Former France and Juventus playmaker was a co-president of the organizing committee at France 98 and admitted the group allocations for seeded teams were made with an eye on a “dream” final.

Brazil was placed in Group A, as was the standard practice at the time for the defending champions, with France then allocated to Group C – meaning if both teams won their groups, they could not meet before the final.

That was how it turned out, with France triumphing 3-0 at the Stade de France with two goals from Zinedine Zidane.

Platini is currently serving a four-year ban from involvement in football (EMPICS) © Provided by The Press Association Platini is currently serving a four-year ban from involvement in football

“France-Brazil in the final, it was the dream of everyone,” Platini told radio station France Bleu Sport in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

The 62-year-old was laughing as he added: “There was a little trickery.

“We did not spend six years organizing the World Cup to not do some little shenanigans. Do you think other World Cup hosts did not?”

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 file photo, UEFA President Michel Platini, left, walks with Cyprus Football Association President Costakis Koutsokoumnis, during a UEFA summit in southern port city of Limassol, Cyprus. Koutsokoumnis, the president of the Cyprus Football Association for the last 17 years, has died at 61. The Cyprus FA said on its Website that Koutsokoumnis died Monday, March 5, 2018, after a months-long battle with cancer. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File) © Catalyst Images FILE – In this Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 file photo, UEFA President Michel Platini, left, walks with Cyprus Football Association President Costakis Koutsokoumnis, during a UEFA summit in southern port city o…

While teams had been allocated to specific groups at previous tournaments, it had typically been to keep countries from the same confederation separate while at Italia 90, the six top seeds were assigned to groups A to F in order.

England was placed in the “London group” at both the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, ensuring they would play all their games at Wembley.

Lamichhane added to World XI for charity match at Lord’s; Shakib withdraws


Nepal’s teenage legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane‘s career will feature another milestone at the end of May. The 17-year-old, who played a major role in Nepal gaining ODI status and recently became the first Nepal player to play in the IPL, has been named in the World XI squad that will take on West Indies at Lord’s on May 31, in the Hurricane Relief T20 Challenge match.

Lamichhane took 13 wickets in the recently concluded ICC World Cup Qualifier, where Nepal finished eighth and consequently earned ODI status. He joins a team – led by Eoin Morgan – that features the likes of Shahid Afridi, Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan, who will come together to raise funds to rebuild and restore five cricket venues in the Caribbean that were damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

This won’t, however, be Lamichhane’s debut at Lord’s. He had been part of the Nepal team that defended 217 against MCC in 2016.

“What can I say about Lord’s, it’s the home of cricket, it’s a complete history of cricket and a dream venue for any cricketer,” Lamichhane said. “To play there in 2016 was a memorable occasion, which I look forward to reliving later this month.”

Meanwhile, Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has withdrawn from the squad for personal reasons. His replacement hasn’t been announced.

World XI squad: Eoin Morgan (capt.), Dinesh Karthik, Mitchell McClenaghan, Hardik Pandya, Thisara Perera, Rashid Khan, Luke Ronchi, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Tamim Iqbal, Sandeep Lamichhane

IPL 2018: Top 5 Most Expensive Flop Shows

The Indian Premier League (IPL) teams spent some big money to buy players who they thought would be the game-changers for them in season 11. While for some the punt has paid off, for others it has failed miserably. One of the teams that went gung-ho during the 2018 IPL Player Auction was Rajasthan Royals (RR), first shelling out Rs 12.5 crore to get the services of England star Ben Stokes and then paying a premium price of Rs 11.5 crore for India medium-pacer Jaydev Unadkat. Both Stokes and Unadkat have failed to repay the faith shown in them by the Rajasthan franchise.

With almost half of IPL 2018 done, we look at five players who have failed to live up to their price tags.

Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals – Rs 12.5 crore)

© AP Photo

The England all-rounder fetched the biggest price in the IPL auction held earlier this year. Stokes had a successful stint with Rising Pune Supergiant the previous year, scoring a total of 316 runs in 12 matches at a strike rate of 142.98, including an unbeaten century. He also took 12 wickets at a brilliant economy rate of 7.18. However, the 26-year-old has failed to hit the same heights this time around.

Stokes has been part of all of the seven matches that Rajasthan have played in IPL 2018 so far. He has scored a total of 147 runs at an average of 21 and a strike rate of 123.52. The Englishman has a high score of 45 and has hit just nine fours and five sixes in total in the tournament so far.

He has fared even worse with the ball. He has just one wicket to his name at a strike rate of 102 and a poor economy rate of 9.88.

RR will be hoping their big money buy can finally come to the party and help them qualify for the playoffs.

Jaydev Unadkat (Rajasthan Royals – Rs 11.5 crore)

© IANS Photo

Another big Rajasthan buys who has failed to live up to expectations is Jaydev Unadkat. The left-arm medium-pacer had a spectacular 2017, playing for Rising Pune Supergiant, where he picked up 24 wickets with a best of 5/30 and an exceptional economy rate of 7.02. Even after the IPL auction, Unadkat’s stock was on the rise with a successful outing with India in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in March this year. Unadkat was the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament with seven scalps to his name in four matches.

However, the left-arm failed to carry forward that momentum to the IPL and has been one of the biggest disappointments of the tournament so far. The 26-year-old has played in all seven matches for Rajasthan with a paltry return of four wickets at a high economy rate of 10.18.

Unadkat’s slower deliveries, a potent weapon for him in the death overs, have not worked for the pacer and he will quickly need to rethink his plans going ahead in the tournament.

Manish Pandey (Sunrisers Hyderabad – Rs 11 crore)

© AP Photo

The talented right-hander was the biggest buy for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the auction, not taking into account the retained players. A lot of faith was shown in the India international but barring a solitary knock of 57 not out, Pandey has failed miserably. Pandey was expected to stand up and be counted, especially after captain David Warner’s ouster from the tournament for his part in the ball-tampering scandal, but the right-hander has not stepped up to the plate.

Pandey has played all eight matches for SRH this year, scoring a total of 158 runs at an average of 26.33 and a poor strike rate of 112.85. Pandey’s 157 runs include knocks of 54 and 57 not out, which means he has managed just 46 runs in the other six match.

Luckily for SRH, Pandey’s form has not impacted the team’s results, especially with captain Kane Williamson going great guns but the Hyderabad franchise will need Pandey to fire with the business end of the tournament about to begin.

Glenn Maxwell (Delhi Daredevils – Rs 9 crore)

© AP Photo

The Australian big hitter came to IPL 2018 at the back of a successful stint in Big Bash League 7. Maxwell took part in nine matches for Melbourne Stars, scoring 299 runs at an average of 37.38 and a strike rate of 154.12. Delhi Daredevils (DD) splashed the cash on the Australian but have failed to get any return on their investment so far. The 29-year-old has managed a paltry 126 runs in seven matches at an average of 18 and a strike rate of 159.49. The all-rounder has picked up four wickets at an economy rate of 7.22.

Maxwell’s form has gone hand-in-hand with Delhi’s tumultuous season so far. They are currently bottom of the IPL 2018 points table, which has resulted in captain Gautam Gambhir stepping down from his post.

DD has quite a few promising youngsters who have actually done well for their team but it’s high time their big guns fire and that might not be enough for them to reach the playoffs.

Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings – Rs 7 crore, Retained)

© AP Photo

The all-rounder has lost his place in the India limited-overs squad and that seems to have an adverse effect on his IPL form as well. The 29-year-old was retained by CSK for Rs 7 crore and going by his past performances in the tournament that seemed to be the right decision. However, the CSK think-tank would not have expected Jadeja to be as poor as he has been in IPL 2018 so far.

He has played all eight matches for Chennai this season but he has had a tournament to forget. The all-rounder has scored just 47 runs despite, at times, being sent ahead of the likes of MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo. His strike rate of 120.51 is poor as well and with the ball, he has done nothing of note either. He has taken just two wickets at an economy rate of 8.21.

I hope in time I can earn back respect and forgiveness – Smith


An utterly broken Steven Smith has taken the weight of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal on his shoulders, admitting full responsibility as captain of the Australian team for the conspiracy to use sandpaper in an attempt to gain reverse swing, and then the cover-up that followed.

Having arrived home in Sydney after his ban from playing for 12 months and from captaincy for two years under the Cricket Australia code of behaviour, Smith struggled to hide his grief at what had unfolded since he allowed the vice-captain David Warner and the young opening batsman Cameron Bancroft to put together a scheme to tamper with the ball.

© Getty Images

“To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world, and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry, I’m sorry,” Smith said in his statement at Sydney airport. “What happened in Cape Town has already been laid out by Cricket Australia. Tonight, I want to make clear that as captain of the Australian cricket team, I take full responsibility. I made a serious error of judgment, and I now understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership, of my leadership. I’ll do everything I can to make up for my mistake, and the damage it’s caused.

“If any good can come of this, if there can be a lesson to others, then I hope I can be a force for change. I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life. I’m absolutely gutted. I hope in time, I can earn back respect and forgiveness. I’ve been so privileged and honored to represent my country and captain the Australian cricket team. Cricket is the greatest game in the world. It’s been my life and I hope it can be again. I’m sorry and I’m absolutely devastated.”

In addition to his ICC and CA sanctions, Smith has been banned from this year’s IPL and has lost numerous endorsement deals. But it was the thought of his parents that clearly caused him the most pain, as he said when asked of what he would say to the children who had idolized him as the world’s leading batsman and the national captain.

“Firstly that I’m deeply sorry. I love the game of cricket. I love entertaining young kids, I love kids wanting to play the great game of cricket that I love,” he said. “Anytime you think about making a questionable decision, think about who you’re affecting. You’re affecting your parents, and to see how my old man’s been … and my mum, it hurts. I just want to say I’m sorry for the pain I’ve, I guess, brought to Australia and the fans and the public. It’s devastating and I’m truly sorry.”

Smith did not deflect any blame for the episode onto Warner or Bancroft, saying that things had occurred under his watch as the leader. “I don’t blame anyone,” he said. “I’m the captain of the Australian team, it’s on my watch and I take responsibility for the actions of what happened last Saturday in Cape Town. For me, I think my week has been around ‘good people make mistakes’, and I’ve made a big mistake by allowing this to happen. It was a huge error of judgment on my behalf and I’m deeply sorry.”

As to whether the Australian team had engaged in ball tampering previously, Smith maintained that this was the first, only and, arguably, last time it would ever be attempted. “To my knowledge, this has never happened before,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve seen this happen, and I can assure you it will never be happening again.”