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24 Hours Across Africa

Ruthless Ronaldo sends Portugal to Finals.

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Source BBC

Cristiano Ronaldo is not a man who shares the limelight.

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From the 57th to the 88th minute of Wednesday’s first Nations League semi-final between Portugal and Switzerland,

the video assistant referee (VAR) looked to have established itself as the night’s big talking point.

Referee Felix Brych’s technology-assisted decision to wipe out his on-field call of a Portugal penalty and instead award the Swiss a spot-kick for an incident seconds earlier was certainly a headline-hugging moment.

But having scored once prior to the penalty, Ronaldo was not to be outshone.

With two minutes remaining, the hosts’ talisman took control when he caressed his second past Yann Sommer, before completing a terrific hat-trick in injury time to send his country to Sunday’s final.

BBC Sport looks back on another decisive night for the man his manager calls a “footballing genius”.

88 and counting – what the numbers tell us

Ronaldo is the top international European goalscorer of all time with his treble on Wednesday taking him to 88 goals in 157 appearances, and he is showing no signs of being caught any time soon.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward is 32 goals ahead of any active European player, with Robert Lewandowski still leading the line for Poland on 56.

Europe’s all-time top international goalscorers
Player Country Goals Games
Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 88 157
Ferenc Puskas Hungary & Spain 84 89
Sandor Kocsis Hungary 75 68
Miroslav Klose Germany 71 137
Gerd Muller West Germany 68 62
Robbie Keane Republic of Ireland 68 146
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweden 62 116
Imre Schlosser Hungary 59 68
David Villa Spain 59 98
Robert Lewandowski Poland 56 104

Only the tally of Iran’s Ali Daei (109 in 149 appearances) is better than Ronaldo’s in world football.

The Juventus forward’s latest hat-trick against Switzerland was his seventh for Portugal and his 53rd for club and country.

And here is a few other records to add to the list…

Ronaldo’s display had his manager, team-mates and the BBC Radio 5 Live pundits waxing lyrical about his talent, timing and longevity…

Portugal coach Fernando Santos: “In terms of adjectives to describe Ronaldo’s game, I’ve used many. I was his coach in 2003 and I could see where he’d go. He’s a genius. There’s genius paintings and sculptures and he’s a football genius.”

Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva: “We’re used to this kind of thing, he’s been doing it for ages and it isn’t a surprise to anyone now. He scored three… nothing new for him. He’s often the difference maker.”

Former Chelsea and Blackburn striker Chris Sutton and BBC Radio 5 Live pundit: “The Portuguese Pied Piper leading Switzerland in a merry dance.

“The second goal was such a wonderfully worked move and he knew exactly what he wanted to do. It’s a goal of beauty the way he finishes it off. Then it’s a double step-over with a bending finish for the third. He is so hungry and he still moves like an Olympic athlete. He is 34 and he has no right to move like that.

“He is a real leader for this Portuguese team and it tells you everything about the way he leads his life. It’s a possibility that he could carry on playing until he is 40.

“He was the difference on the big stage once again. He has changed his game over the years. Ruthless Ronaldo.


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24 Hours Across Africa

India doctors embark on strike aimed better security

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Thousands of doctors across India went on strike on Friday to demand better security at hospitals days after junior doctors in the city of Kolkata were attacked, leaving services in many government-run health facilities paralyzed.

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The state of West Bengal, of which Kolkata is capital, has been the worst hit by the strike with at least 13 big government hospitals affected.

The protests were sparked by an attack at the NRS Medical College in Kolkata on June 10 that left three junior doctors seriously injured after a dispute with a family whose relative had died.

Doctors demanding better security began a strike but their action was confined to the state until West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condemned them on Thursday, saying police did not strike when one of their colleagues was killed.

Banerjee’s remarks, which included a warning that junior doctors would be evicted from their college hostels if they did not go back to work, triggered a nationwide reaction.

The Indian Medical Association said the “barbaric” attack at the NRS reflected a national problem, and called for a countrywide protest. It also demanded legislation to safeguard doctors.

Nearly 30,000 doctors were on a one-day strike on Friday, most in West Bengal, New Delhi and the western state of Maharashtra, according to figures proved by medical associations.

The federal health minister, Harsh Vardhan, tried to calm the furor, promising better security at hospitals and calling on Banerjee to withdraw her ultimatum.

“I urge doctors to end their strike in the larger interest of society. I will take all possible measures to ensure a safe environment for them at hospitals across the country,” Vardhan said on Twitter.

India spent an estimated 1.4% of its gross domestic product on healthcare in 2017/18, among the lowest proportions in the world. Many millions of Indians depend on the cheap but inadequate public health system.

Saradamani Ray, whose 77-year old father is a patient at the NRS Medical College, said she would have to move him because of the strike.

“I will have to take my father somewhere else for his dialysis, maybe a private hospital,” she told Reuters.

“It will cause a lot of financial strain, but there’s nothing I can do. I will have to pay.”


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24 Hours Across Africa

Cazorla pen New deal for Villarreal

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Villarreal veteran Santi Cazorla re-signed with the La Liga club, it was confirmed on Thursday.

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Spain international midfielder Cazorla, 34, renewed for the 2019-20 season after impressing last term following his return to the Yellow Submarine.

The club announced the news on Thursday at a season ticket campaign presentation in the newly opened Plaza Pascual Font de Mora.

Cazorla was not at the event, but appeared in a video revealing that he had signed on for another season

“My only goal was to stay here and I appreciate the support of the club and coaching staff,” Cazorla said.

After re-joining Villarreal – where he left for Malaga in 2011 – from Arsenal, Cazorla scored seven goals and tallied 11 assists in 46 matches across all.


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