Cristiano Ronaldo scored a record-tying goal before exiting to injury as Real Madrid beat visiting Borussia Dortmund, 3-0, on Wednesday to take a big step toward the Champions League semifinals.
Ronaldo netted his 14th goal of the Champions League season in Europe's top competition to give Madrid a clear advantage ahead of next week's quarterfinal return leg in Germany. But it came at a price as the Portugal forward, who went into the first-leg nursing a sore left knee, came off in the 80th minute.
Gareth Bale scored early and Isco added another before the 30-minute mark.
“Ronaldo has a problem with his knee but at this moment I'm not worried about it,” Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
In the other Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday, Paris Saint-Germain beat Chelsea, 3-1, in the French capital. PSG star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic limped off in the 68th minute with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
Spanish soccer champion Barcelona will appeal a ban on signing new players for bringing foreign athletes younger than 18 to the academy that trained four-time player of the year Lionel Messi.
Barcelona was also fined 450,000 Swiss francs ($509,000) for the offenses involving 10 minors, soccer’s ruling body FIFA said today in a statement. Spain’s soccer federation, which authorized the registration of foreign minors, was fined 500,000 Swiss francs.
The player transfer ban applies to the next two trading periods and may set back Barcelona next season, with goalkeeper Victor Valdes, 32, planning to leave and central defender Carles Puyol, 35, saying he will stop playing. Barcelona said it will ask FIFA not to implement the ban until after the club appeals against the punishment.
FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke has again raised concerns over Brazil's World Cup preparations, saying “we are not ready” and that the stadium for the opening game is one of two venues that worry him most.
Just two months before the showpiece tournament starts, Valcke told the Associated Press at a joint FIFA-Confederation of African Football conference in South Africa on Wednesday that the stadiums in Sao Paulo, where the opening game will be played June 12, and Porto Alegre in the south were “where we have more work to do than in the other 10.”