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Cristiano Ronaldo tops soccer wealth rankings

Madrid, Mar 10 (EFE).- Portuguese international and Real Madrid dynamo Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's wealthiest active soccer player, Web site Goal.com said Monday. With 148 million euros ($205 million) in estimated assets, Ronaldo edged out FC Barcelona superstriker Lionel Messi for the top spot on the Goal Rich List 2014. The Web site calculated assets of 146 million euros ($202 million) for the Argentine international.

Blatter says World Cup problems are under control

(Reuters) - Problems with Brazil's World Cup venues are under control with just 100 days to go before the first match kicks off, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday. "One hundred days; It's a long way to go, and it's a short way to go if there are still problems," the Swiss told fifa.com in a video to mark the occasion. "But now all problems are under control and it will be in 100 days an exceptional good start for an exceptional competition."

Sao Paulo hails goal-den boy Ronaldo

Twelve years after he fired this year's World Cup hosts to glory, former Brazil star Ronaldo basked Sunday in the after-glow of Sao Paulo's Carnival celebrations. The 37-year-old's career was the theme of the Gavioes da Fiel samba group, founded by fans of his former club Corinthians, where he hung up his boots three years ago after a stellar career with Barcelona, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Driving ban for Brazilian World Cup winner Romario

Former Brazil football star Romario, now a lawmaker, has been slapped with a 12-month driving ban for refusing to take a breathalyzer test, media reported Sunday. The 1994 World Cup winner refused to comply during a routine control late Saturday in Rio, which he has represented since 2010. Traffic police promptly handed him a 1915.40-reais ($750) fine, seven points on his license and gave him a year-long ban, Globo news portal G1 reported.

FIFA panel officially allows turbans, hijabs in soccer after Quebec controversy

MONTREAL - Soccer's international rule-making body has given a final go-ahead to allow players to wear religious head coverings during games, clarifying an issue that stirred controversy in Quebec last summer. A FIFA panel known as the International Football Association Board made the decision Saturday, extending a two-year trial period during which hijabs were permitted. Turbans will also be allowed.

Brazil has left FIFA with a huge challenge says Valcke

By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA has been left with a huge challenge following Brazilian delays in building stadiums for the 2014 World Cup, secretary general Jerome Valcke said Saturday. "We are working in conditions where the cement is not even dry," Valcke told reporters as Tuesday's 100-days-to-kickoff milestone approaches.

Football: 2.3 million World Cup tickets sold - FIFA

A total of 2.3 million tickets have been sold for the World Cup's 64 matches, FIFA revealed on Friday. More than 500,000 tickets were sold in the latest random phase and a further 159,000 will be sold, again exclusively through FIFA, on a first-come, first-served basis between March 12 and April 1. Those latter tickets will be for matches not including the June 12 opening Game in Sao Paulo and the July 13 final in Rio.

FIFA confirms Curitiba as World Cup host city despite delays

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - FIFA will stick with plans to hold World Cup soccer matches in the Brazilian city of Curitiba, the secretary general of world soccer's governing body said on Twitter, shortly ahead of a press conference on the decision. FIFA's Jerome Valcke has said he would announce on Tuesday whether work on a stadium in Curitiba was too delayed to host the four World Cup matches scheduled there. (Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Football: Villarreal game suspended due to smoke bomb

Villarreal's game at home to Celta Vigo was briefly suspended on Saturday night with just three minutes remaining after a smoke bomb was thrown from the crowd. The visitors were leading 1-0 thanks to Fabian Orellana's goal in the 83rd minute when the object was thrown from the Villarreal section of the crowd and landed in the Celta penalty area. None of the players were struck, but referee David Fernandez Borbalan quickly suspended the game after the fans sitting near where the smoke bomb had landed rushed to the exits covering their mouths and noses.

Football: Portugal to face Mexico, Ireland before World Cup

Portugal, led by Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, will face Mexico and Ireland in June in World Cup warm-up matches at venues in the United States, promoters announced Friday. The Portuguese squad will meet Mexico on June 6 at Foxborough, Massachusetts, and face the Irish on June 10, a Portuguese holiday, at East Rutherford, New Jersey, in the site of this month's American football Super Bowl. The matches will be the last for the Portugal team before they head to Brazil for the World Cup, where they will kick-off their campaign against Germany on June 16.
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