Sports Burst - Ronaldo Joins Confession Corner

REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

By Tim Stannard/beIN SPORTS

CR7 says that there is no injury cover up as Griezmann admits that he faces a battle at Barcelona 

It started with Gareth Bale and it has ended with Cristiano Ronaldo. That 'it' being a new trend of unburdening the soul from weighty confessions to then feel as light as a hummingbird. 

The past few days of international matches has seen soccer players being removed from the sometimes harsh environments of their clubs to be planted into the warm slippers of their national teams and letting loose with their feelings. 

Gareth Bale admitted that yes, he did prefer hanging out and playing for Wales, comparing the experience to a kickaround with hungover buddies on a Sunday morning. To be fair, playing for Real Madrid last season must have felt the same. 

 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo ended a week of fevered speculation on his fitness. The footballer had been substituted after just 55 minutes of his last club game with Juventus - and did not look happy about it - with Maurizio Sarri saying that he was suffering from injury issues. CR7 spoke on Sunday after two games with Portugal to admit that he hasn't been "100%" but was being a brave puppy for club and country. 

In between, Barcelona Sporting Director Eric Abidal admitted that the club will forever be trying to sign Neymar and Antoine Griezmann confessed that Barcelona is "not the easiest" place to play on the grounds that he is not Neymar. 

Magisterial: The Ray Hudson Show will be in the confessional booth today to hear more revelations at  7:30PM ET on beIN SPORTS.

 

Ireland need to defeat Denmark to reach Euro 2020

Of all the possible countries in Europe that Ireland could have faced on Monday in a truly must-win match, it ended up being Denmark. 

Again. 

For the sixth time in two years, in fact. 

Ireland is playing its final qualification match in Group D for the 2020 European Championships and the task is a clear one - defeat Denmark and win clean passage to the finals. Anything else and wait for a playoff tussle in March. 

Ireland was in a similar situation in 2017 with a playoff double-header to qualify for the 2018 World Cup - the country standing in the way was Denmark and it was the Danes who prevailed on that occasion. Indeed, Ireland has failed to win any of those previous five matches in what is turning out to be an eternal pairing of doom for the Emerald Isle. 

Two other familiar footballing foes will also be facing off on Monday - and probably kicking lumps out of each other in the process - with Argentina up against Uruguay in a friendly in...stick a pin in a revolving globe...Israel. 

With Argentina having defeated Brazil on Friday, there is only limited damage that can be done to Leo Messi's psyche now in a clash that gets underway on beIN SPORTS live, live, live at 2:05PM ET. 

 

Algeria not interested in Benzema alternate reality 

Qualification for AFCON 2021 continues on Monday and the name of Algeria, the reigning champions has suddenly popped up.

While their group game at Botswana that is live on beIN SPORTS CONNECT at 2PM today is certainly tempting enough, the idea of Karim Benzema turning out for Algeria was being floated...by the Real Madrid man himself, to cause some wobbles in the international space-time continium. 

Benzema, unhappy at being overlooked by France once again in the squad selection - it's a long story involving blackmail and X-rated video recordings (this is France) - tweeted grumpily to the head of the French FA to allow him to play for another country. 

That country would be Algeria, the land of his parents, even though that is unlikely to happen due to the fact that Benzema has already played for France on multiple occasions, and the footballer doesn't have an Algerian passport. 

Even the head coach of Algeria declared that even if Benzema were to be able to turn out for the country he would not be interested in the striker. "I'm very happy with the players I have," noted Djamel Belmadi, ahead of the Botswana game. 

The Weekend Winners show with Hope Solo will look back at a fairly hectic few days of international football to work out who is sitting pretty atop of the multinational tree. That gets underway on beIN SPORTS at 7PM ET.