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    Cristiano Ronaldo’s haircuts through the years, from new shave to blond streaks, top knot and ‘toilet brush’

    WHEN you are one of the top sports stars on the planet, how you look is crucial to your commercial value.
    Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, has sponsorships coming out of his eyeballs, and his ever-changing appearance is of vital importance to brands.

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest look is this fully-shaved effort

    Cristiano Ronaldo has experimented with his hairstyles through the yearsCredit: AFP or licensors

    Georgina Rodriguez braids Ronaldos hairCredit: Instagram

    Through the years, the Portuguese legend has experimented with his locks – from streaky highlights, frosted tips, to shaved lines.
    Last season, he sported a top knot, and let partner Georgina Rodriguez braid his hair.
    And now, he’s thrilled fans by showing off a brand-new look… fully shaving off his locks.
    We take a look at CR7’s hairstyles through the years…

    BOYISH CURLS
    Ronaldo naturally has curly hair.
    As a kid, his boyish curls were evident in various throwback photos he’s shared on social media through the years.
    At that point, he hadn’t discovered the beauty of hair gel yet – so he sported more of a bouffant haircut.
    Other times, he’d just have it shaved short…. a solid number three all over. Simple but effective.

    As a boy, Ronaldo had a curly mop of hairCredit: Twitter

    As he got older Ronaldo began to shave his hair shortCredit: Twitter
    HELLO BLONDIE
    When Ronaldo first arrived at Old Trafford, his curls were still evident in his first training session.
    They were accompanied by blond streaks in his first Manchester United  photocall, but a ribbing from United team-mates forced him to change it up and go for something shorter.
    The streaks remained, mind.

    When Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 he sported these blond streaksCredit: Getty – Contributor

    Ronaldo was ribbed by his team-mates at Man Utd for his haircutCredit: Getty – Contributor
    SHORT BACK AND SIDES
    The trimmer came into play from 2004 onwards on Ronaldo’s locks.
    At Euro 2004, the backs and sides were shaved short. On top, it was also a little shorter and the front flicked up to reveal frosted blond tips.
    It was Ronaldo’s first ‘trendy’ hairstyle.

    In 2004 Ronaldo began experimenting with shorter stylesCredit: AFP – Getty
    MULLET
    The longest we’ve seen Ronaldo’s hair was during the 2006-07 season, when he was coming into his own in the Premier League.
    A throwback to the mullet, it was long at the back and spiky on top.
    It was a hairstyle that didn’t last long though.

    Ronaldo sported a mullet once upon a timeCredit: Getty – Contributor
    TOILET BRUSH
    When Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid, he knew he had to keep reinventing himself being one of the best players in the world.
    Again, short on the back and sides – the top was cut short so it spiked up – just like a toilet brush.
    Blond frosted tips also matched his now ever-present tan.
    Arguably, it wasn’t his best.

    As one of the world’s best players Ronaldo had to continue to change his lookCredit: Getty – Contributor

    This hairstyle, however, was reminiscent of a toilet brushCredit: Getty – Contributor
    EMBRACING THE CURLS
    In 2018, Ronaldo went back to basics.
    With curls back in fashion, the ex-Sporting Lisbon forward embraced his luscious locks, growing them long and adding frosted blond tips all through it.
    But he kept it short and sweet on the sides.

    In 2018 Ronaldo embraced his curls againCredit: Getty – Contributor
    SHAVED LINES
    It must be a World Cup thing.
    Because at the tournaments of 2014 and 2018, Ronaldo sported shaved lines in his hairdo.
    First one was shaved into a thick main of hair, the second was etched into a shaved look.
    It’s fair to say, the latter suited him better.

    In 2014 Ronaldo began sporting shaved lines in his locksCredit: Getty – Contributor

    Ronaldo repeated the look for the 2018 World Cup but with a shorter cropped styleCredit: AP:Associated Press
    JUVE GOT STYLE
    Although Ronaldo’s only been with Italian giants Juventus since 2018, he’s managed a whole host of different hairstyles.
    One, was slick, short and on top it was parted and glued down with wax.
    Then he experimented with an Alice band pulling his longer locks off his face while he played.
    And little did we know that he was growing it so he can have a top knot.
    What’s your favourite Ronaldo hairstyle?

    A slick, waxy look kick-started Ronaldo’s Juve careerCredit: EPA

    An Alice band was used when he grew his hair longerCredit: AFP or licensors

    Ronaldo’s enjoyed a top knot for much of 2019-20Credit: Getty Images – Getty

    Ronaldo got out the trimmers for his latest hair-do, shaving it all off More

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    Man Utd star Axel Tuanzebe, who kept Neymar and Mbappe at bay against PSG, also holds Hungry Hippos world record

    IT was the night Axel Tuanzebe came of age.
    Faced with superstars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, the 22-year-old defender put on his best display in a Manchester United shirt – as the Red Devils shocked PSG to win 2-1 in the Champions League.

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    Axel Tuanzebe is now tipped to play a significant role for Man Utd this season after his display against PSGCredit: Getty Images

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    Tuanzebe enjoyed a coming of age performance against PSGCredit: Icon Sport – Getty

    Now, he’s at the age where he can push for a first team spot and has given boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer another option in a defence that has seemed brittle at best this season.
    But Tuanzebe also has a hidden talent, away from his footballing brilliance.
    Incredibly, he holds a Guinness World Record for the fastest time to clear a game of Hungry Hippos.
    HUNGRY FOR SUCCESS
    Just before Tuanzebe was sent on loan to Aston Villa in 2018, he joined his Manchester United team-mates on a preseason tour in Los Angeles.

    There he was asked to take part in a game of Hungry Hippos for fun.
    But somehow, as an individual, he finished it in just 17.37 seconds – managing to record a world record at the same time.
    For those who missed out on the famous game as a child, it features four hippos in a circle with a handful of balls in the middle.
    Players each choose a hippo and need to use it to collect as many marbles as possible before they are all taken.

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    Kylian Mbappe wasn’t given an inch by TuanzebeCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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    Tuanzebe is not just a upcoming footballing star, but also holds a Guinness World Record in Hungry Hippos gameCredit: Instagram @roshaunwilliams

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    The Hungry Hippos game is a favourite pastime for many young children, where players have to swallow as many marbles as possible using their hippoCredit: Amazon
    COMING OF AGE PERFORMANCE
    The Congo-born defender, who moved to Rochdale as a child before joining United at the age of eight, found himself frozen out at Old Trafford with the signing of Harry Maguire.
    His last appearance before his defensive masterclass in Paris came back in December 2019, so he could’ve been excused for rustiness.
    However, his top-class display had Solskjaer purring – with pundits including Rio Ferdinand demanding Tuanzebe should be a starter.
    After the PSG game, Solskjaer said: “We know that when you go away against a team like this, against players like Neymar and Mbappe, top, top players in the world, we know we have to defend well.
    “We know David De Gea will have to make a few saves. Sometimes you’ll get in a foot race with Mbappe and you’ll have to run with him and we know Axel’s qualities – he’s a top defender.
    “First game in, I don’t know, 10 months or something, which is just testament to the quality he has.”

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    Axel Tuanzebe signed a three-year contract with the option of an extra year and has impressed boss Ole Gunnar SolskjaerCredit: Getty – Contributor

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    Tuanzebe joined Manchester United as an eight-year-old and rose through the ranks to make his first team debut in January 2017Credit: Getty – Contributor
    INJURY HELL
    One of the reasons Tuanzebe was MIA for United was due to a series of niggling injuries that hampered what was supposed to be his breakthrough season with the Premier League giants in the past year.
    And he admitted it certainly affected how he felt emotionally.
    He said: “You’re just looking at the other lads progressing, the games being played, just counting the amount of games you’re missing and getting messages left, right and centre, asking when you’re coming back and stuff.
    “It’s tough in that respect, but I’ve had good people around me who have kept me going, [who] motivate me every day, and I motivate myself to know that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
    “(I’d like to say thanks) especially to the rehab and S and C [strength and conditioning] guys.
    “I’m constantly with them every day, and trying to strengthen any weak parts and do general conditioning, so it’s been really good.”

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    Tuanzebe is joined by fellow England stars Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Angel Gomes, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford at UnitedCredit: Instagram @axeltuanzebe_38

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    Tuanzebe is an England youth international, but could still turn out for the country of his birth, DR CongoCredit: Rex Features

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    With his injury hell behind, Tuanzebe will be pushing for a place in Uniteds first teamCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    Often preferring the central defensive role, the England youth international has sometimes been pushed out to right-back while he is capable of playing in the middle of park.
    And he is hungry to prove his worth, telling the club’s TV channel: “Manchester has always been my home so to be amongst the lads again is great, I want to push on and show everyone I’m ready for it.”
    After his display on Tuesday, he looks it.

    PSG 1-2 Man Utd – Rashford the Champions League hero again in Paris More

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    Cristiano Ronaldo’s hairstyles through the years, from new shaved look to blond streaks, top knot and the ‘toilet brush’

    WHEN you’re one of the top sports stars on the planet, how you look is crucial to your commercial value.
    Cristiano Ronaldo, 35, has sponsorships coming out of his eyeballs, and his ever-changing appearance is of vital importance to brands.

    Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest look is this fully-shaved effort

    Cristiano Ronaldo has experimented with his hairstyles through the yearsCredit: AFP or licensors

    Georgina Rodriguez braids Ronaldos hairCredit: Instagram

    Through the years, the Portuguese legend has experimented with his locks – from streaky highlights, frosted tips, to shaved lines.
    Last season, he sported a top knot, and let partner Georgina Rodriguez braid his hair.
    And now, he’s thrilled fans by showing off a brand-new look… fully shaving off his locks.
    We take a look at CR7’s hairstyles through the years…

    BOYISH CURLS
    Ronaldo naturally has curly hair.
    As a kid, his boyish curls were evident in various throwback photos he’s shared on social media through the years.
    At that point, he hadn’t discovered the beauty of hair gel yet – so he sported more of a bouffant haircut.
    Other times, he’d just have it shaved short…. a solid number three all over. Simple but effective.

    As a boy, Ronaldo had a curly mop of hairCredit: Twitter

    As he got older Ronaldo began to shave his hair shortCredit: Twitter
    HELLO BLONDIE
    When Ronaldo first arrived at Old Trafford, his curls were still evident in his first training session.
    They were accompanied by blond streaks in his first Manchester United  photocall, but a ribbing from United team-mates forced him to change it up and go for something shorter.
    The streaks remained, mind.

    When Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 he sported these blond streaksCredit: Getty – Contributor

    Ronaldo was ribbed by his team-mates at Man Utd for his haircutCredit: Getty – Contributor
    SHORT BACK AND SIDES
    The trimmer came into play from 2004 onwards on Ronaldo’s locks.
    At Euro 2004, the backs and sides were shaved short. On top, it was also a little shorter and the front flicked up to reveal frosted blond tips.
    It was Ronaldo’s first ‘trendy’ hairstyle.

    In 2004 Ronaldo began experimenting with shorter stylesCredit: AFP – Getty
    MULLET
    The longest we’ve seen Ronaldo’s hair was during the 2006-07 season, when he was coming into his own in the Premier League.
    A throwback to the mullet, it was long at the back and spiky on top.
    It was a hairstyle that didn’t last long though.

    Ronaldo sported a mullet once upon a timeCredit: Getty – Contributor
    TOILET BRUSH
    When Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid, he knew he had to keep reinventing himself being one of the best players in the world.
    Again, short on the back and sides – the top was cut short so it spiked up – just like a toilet brush.
    Blond frosted tips also matched his now ever-present tan.
    Arguably, it wasn’t his best.

    As one of the world’s best players Ronaldo had to continue to change his lookCredit: Getty – Contributor

    This hairstyle, however, was reminiscent of a toilet brushCredit: Getty – Contributor
    EMBRACING THE CURLS
    In 2018, Ronaldo went back to basics.
    With curls back in fashion, the ex-Sporting Lisbon forward embraced his luscious locks, growing them long and adding frosted blond tips all through it.
    But he kept it short and sweet on the sides.

    In 2018 Ronaldo embraced his curls againCredit: Getty – Contributor
    SHAVED LINES
    It must be a World Cup thing.
    Because at the tournaments of 2014 and 2018, Ronaldo sported shaved lines in his hairdo.
    First one was shaved into a thick main of hair, the second was etched into a shaved look.
    It’s fair to say, the latter suited him better.

    In 2014 Ronaldo began sporting shaved lines in his locksCredit: Getty – Contributor

    Ronaldo repeated the look for the 2018 World Cup but with a shorter cropped styleCredit: AP:Associated Press
    JUVE GOT STYLE
    Although Ronaldo’s only been with Italian giants Juventus since 2018, he’s managed a whole host of different hairstyles.
    One, was slick, short and on top it was parted and glued down with wax.
    Then he experimented with an Alice band pulling his longer locks off his face while he played.
    And little did we know that he was growing it so he can have a top knot.
    What’s your favourite Ronaldo hairstyle?

    A slick, waxy look kick-started Ronaldo’s Juve careerCredit: EPA

    An Alice band was used when he grew his hair longerCredit: AFP or licensors

    Ronaldo’s enjoyed a top knot for much of 2019-20Credit: Getty Images – Getty

    Ronaldo got out the trimmers for his latest hair-do, shaving it all off

    Cristiano Ronaldo shaves off his hair as Georgina Rodriguez reveals his dramatic new look after self-isolating More

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    Ex-Chelsea kid Jamal Musiala is Bayern Munich’s youngest ever Bundesliga goalscorer and set for Champions League debut

    LAST month, Jamal Musiala became Bayern Munich’s youngest-ever goalscorer in the Bundesliga – scoring in the 8-0 rout over Schalke.
    And ahead of the Bavarians Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid tonight, he could make his Champions League bow too.

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    English wonderkid Jamal Musiala is Bayern Munich’s youngest ever scorer at just 17 years and 205  daysCredit: AFP

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    Musiala scored the landmark goal in an 8-0 win over Schalke and could be in line for a Champions League debut against Atletico MadridCredit: AFP

    The former Chelsea academy ace was just 17 years and 205 days old when he came off the bench and made history against the side from Gelsenkirchen in September.
    Musiala only made his first-team debut in June, coming on as a sub for Bayern Munich in their 3-1 win over SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga.
    The promising attacking midfielder, plucked from the Blues in the summer of 2019, was a late replacement for club legend Thomas Muller with just a couple of minutes left on the clock.
    It shows the potential the German giants see in the England youth star.

    Earlier in June, Musiala scored his first two goals for the Bavarians, playing for their reserve side in Germany’s third tier, 3.Liga.
    His double in the 2-0 win over FSV Zwickau made him the second youngest goalscorer in the history of that competition – aged just 17 years and 98 days.
    Although Musiala was just 45 days short of the record set by David Alaba, the impressive feat was not lost on Bayern’s social media channels – with their official Twitter page sharing an image of Jamal with a lovestruck eyes emoji.

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    Musiala made his Bundesliga debut against SC Freiburg in JuneCredit: EPA
    EARLY BEGINNINGS
    Born in Stuttgart, Germany Musiala moved to Southampton aged seven to accompany his mother to study on a year abroad before moving to south London in 2011.

    His natural talent was sniffed out by the Saints almost immediately before Chelsea snapped him up as he moved to the capital.
    The club ensured he was educated at Whitgift Secondary School in Croydon – where Victor Moses and Bayern target Callum Hudson-Odoi also studied.
    And the school’s director of football and former Crystal Palace striker Andrew Martin told DW Sports: “He would score 50+ goals for us a season, and he wasn’t far off that mark at Chelsea.
    “Technically outstanding, very skillful, and a player who can score all types of goals, inside and outside the box. And he’s a great dribbler and likes to take players on, as he did against Schalke.
    “He was always immaculately dressed for school and presented himself extremely well.
    “And he would take that onto the football field, too: his conduct, his effort, his steely determination. Everything added up to him being the complete package.”

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    Musiala has now appeared six times for Bayern Munich in all competitions this seasonCredit: Getty – Pool
    MOVING FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE
    Despite Chelsea’s desperate attempts to keep Musiala at Stamford Bridge on a long-term deal, the Stuttgart-born youngster signed for Bayern Munich in 2019 on a five-year-contract.
    He joined the trend of English youngsters leaving the UK for Germany in search of first team football, including Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson.
    And he could’ve had another Chelsea player sharing that experience with him.
    Callum Hudson-Odoi, who like Jamal is repped by First Access Sports, was a chief target for the German champions around the same time, before they turned their attentions to Musiala and the England international signed a new deal with the Blues.
    ENGLAND OR GERMANY?
    Although he was born in Germany, Musiala has starred for the Three Lions at youth level.
    Astonishingly, he made his debut for the Under-15s at the tender age of 13.

    Musiala (second from right) scored his first two professional goals in JuneCredit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.

    Musiala in action for England U17sCredit: Rex Features

    Musiala plays as an attacking midfielder or second strikerCredit: Rex Features

    In 2018 Musiala played for the Germany U16 team against BelgiumCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    While for the U16 side he scored three times in nine games, providing two assists. Musiala has since appeared for England’s U17 team six times and scored twice.
    However, he may be hedging his bets when it comes to international football.
    The promising talent has also played twice for the German U16s, so expect a tug-of-war over his international future.
    SUPER SUB
    On June 3, Musiala made his professional debut over Preußen Münster in the 3. Liga – coming on as a sub in a 3-2 win.
    A week later, he scored his first professional goals.
    With Bayern struggling to break down FSV Zwickau, Musiala was introduced to proceedings replacing Malik Tillman after 57 minutes.
    And he made the difference, with his two strikes coming in the 75th and 85th minutes to earn his side victory.
    HE’S COLD AS ICE
    His boss Sebastian Hoeness praised Musiala’s ice-cold demeanour after the game.
    He revealed: “The boy is freezing cold. If you talk to him before the game, he appears focused, calm and reserved.

    Musiala became the second youngest scorer in 3.Liga when he netted twice for Bayern MunichCredit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.

    Germany and England are set for a tug-of-war over Musiala’s international futureCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    “But when he comes on the field, he literally explodes. That’s exactly what we want to see from young players. They should take your heart in your hand and be brave.”
    He added: “We know that Jamal has great qualities with the ball. The boy helps us, so he deserves the chance.
    “Against Zwickau, he rewarded himself and helped us a lot as a team, which makes me extremely happy.”

    Bayern Munich vs Atletico Madrid FREE – Live stream, TV channel and kick-off time for Champions League match More

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    Footballers who came out of retirement to relive their glory days, including Paul Scholes, Petr Cech and Johan Cruyff

    THEY just didn’t want to hang up their boots.
    These 11 footballing stars were initially happy to retire, but performed a sensational u-turn when they were either needed to play, or simply missed the action.

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    Arjen Robben is the latest star to come out of retirementCredit: Getty Images – Getty

    From a Manchester United legend to one of the Premier League’s all-time greatest goalies, SunSport gives you the definitive names of players who came out of retirement to relive their glory days.
    PETR CECH
    The Chelsea legend was last seen pulling on the Arsenal keeper’s jersey in 2019, hanging up his gloves after four years at the Emirates at the end of the 2018-19 season.
    But it was with the Blues he was a cult hero, winning four Premier League titles in 11 years, which is why he returned to Stamford Bridge last year to take up a new role as technical and performance advisor.
    In 2020, Cech, now 38, was added to Chelsea’s Premier League squad as an emergency goalkeeper.

    Should Edouard Mendy or Kepa Arrizabalaga get injured, Cech will be in line for a call-up.

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    Petr Cech works with Chelsea No1 Edouard Mendy, who he could deputise forCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    PAUL SCHOLES
    Six months after he quit Old Trafford, Scholes decided he should pull on the Red Devils jersey once again in 2012.
    It was a no-brainer for the midfield dynamo, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side having an injury crisis in the middle of the park having to play Phil Jones and Fabio Silva as a pair.
    Incredibly, no one knew he was returning when he was named on the bench for the Manchester derby, not even his team-mates who would’ve been shocked to see his shirt hanging up in the dressing room.

    United finished runners-up to their noisy neighbours that season, with Scholes playing 21 games.
    He returned the following year to help United win back the Premier League, and retired again – this time for good.

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    Scholes retired for a second time after helping United win back the titleCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    JOHAN CRUYFF
    The Dutch master returned to the game out of a sense of necessity.
    Cruyff was 31, but was skint after an investment that was supposed to set him up for life after football went wrong.
    “I had lost millions in pig-farming and that was the reason I decided to become a footballer again,” he revealed.
    He returned the same year he retired – 1978 – with the Los Angeles Aztecs for an admitted pay day.
    Cruyff later returned to Holland and was successful with both Ajax and Feyenoord, before finally giving up the game in 1984.

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    Johan Cruyff signs for Los Angeles AztecsCredit: Getty – Contributor
    ARJEN ROBBEN
    Another flying Dutch winger, former Chelsea star Robben is the most recent addition to the list.
    And his reason is more sentimental.
    Robben has just signed on a free transfer for boyhood club FC Groningen, and will play for them from next season at the age of 36.
    “I was 12 when I started playing in FC Groningen’s youth academy,” he said in a video on the club’s Twitter site.
    “I made my home debut against Feyenoord when I was 16. After two years I made a transfer to PSV Eindhoven. After a wonderful adventure of 18 years, we’re coming home.”

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    Robben has rejoined boyhood club FC GroningenCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    JENS LEHMANN
    After leaving the Gunners in 2008, the legendary German goalie was back for a second stint between the sticks for Arsenal in 2011 – a year after he put away his gloves.
    Initially he was signed as a back-up to Manuel Almunia, after Arsene Wenger’s team suffered with injuries.
    At 42, Lehmann was called upon for a game against Blackpool, after Almunia got injured in the warm-up.
    His team were victorious – winning 3-1. But you can bet the competitive Jens would’ve been furious he didn’t keep a clean sheet.

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    Jens Lehmann appears for Arsenal against Blackpool age 42Credit: Action Images – Reuters
    ROBBIE ROGERS
    After he was released by Leeds at the age of just 25, Rogers wasn’t sure if his future belonged in the game.
    He then bravely came out as gay, revealing he felt like a coward for not doing it sooner.
    In 2013, Rogers joined MLS giants Los Angeles Galaxy to become the first openly gay American athlete to play in a major sport.
    Four years later, he announced his retirement because of persistent injuries.

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    Robbie Rogers became the first openly gay American sports starCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    CARLOS ROA
    Still one of the most bizarre moments in football EVER.
    Roa was an outstanding goalkeeper for the Argentinian national team, as well as La Liga giants.
    He starred for the Argies in the 1998 World Cup, and reached the final of the Copa Del Rey and Cup Winners’ Cup, as well as won the Spanish Supercup.
    But he believed that the world was going to end in 2000, so wouldn’t renew his contract beyond then.
    When it didn’t, he came back with his tail between his legs because he still had a contract to fulfil.

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    Carlos Roa returned to Mallorca with his family after quitting football thinking the world was going to endCredit: EPA
    STEPHEN CARR
    When the former Spurs full-back was released by Newcastle in 2008, he had had enough of chasing wingers up and down the park.
    With no takers wanting him as a free agent, Carr decided to call it a day.
    A year later, he returned to the Premier League with Birmingham City.
    In 2011, he captained the side to a famous League Cup final victory over Arsenal.

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    Stephen Carr celebrates winning the League Cup against ArsenalCredit: Jamie McPhilimey – The Sun
    ROGER MILLA
    The Cameroon legend is best remembered for his star turn at the 1990 World Cup, where he couldn’t stop scoring, not to mention that brilliant dance celebration at the corner flag for every goal.
    However, a year before Milla had decided he wasn’t fit for purpose and moved to the Indian Ocean island of Reunion.
    It wasn’t until Cameroon’s president Paul Biya pleaded with him to return that he came back at 38.
    He then returned four years later to become the oldest player to appear at the World Cup, a record which was beaten by Faryd Mondragon.

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    Roger Milla was a star at Italia ’90Credit: Bongarts – Getty
    LANDON DONOVAN
    Recognised as the greatest player to ever play for the States, Donovan had initially left the LA Galaxy in 2014 as a champion.
    But in 2016, he was asked to return to MLS action because of an injury crisis by the Galaxy.
    Ironically enough, Donovan was working as a pundit on his former club’s game where they suffered three injuries during the match.
    However, he couldn’t repeat his past success and the club ended up without a trophy and Donovan retired again.

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    Landon Donovan returned to LA Galaxy in 2016 after an injury crisisCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    MARC OVERMARS
    Although he had lost that electric pace that made him such a threat in the past, Overmars wasn’t going to give up the ghost of playing.
    After a brilliant career at Ajax, Arsenal and Barcelona, he retired in 2004.

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    Four years after retiring Overmars came back with Go Ahead EaglesCredit: Rex Features
    Then he starred in a testimonial for Jaap Stam some four years later, and was offered a route back into football.
    He initially declined, believing his best days were past him.
    However, he had a a change of heart when Go Ahead Eagles, his first ever club, offered him a deal.
    He played 24 games in one season before finally retiring for good.

    Arjen Robben makes sensational return to boyhood club FC Groningen More

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    Troy Deeney relives prison stint that could have cost him football career as he launches brilliant new Sun column

    EMERGING from his jail cell, Troy Deeney would seek out a copy of The Sun to keep him in touch with the outside world.
    But leafing through SunSport one day, he was dismayed to find that, following a spate of signings, he was now seventh-choice striker at Watford.

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    Troy Deeney is The Sun’s brilliant new columnist and forthright talkSPORT presenterCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

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    The Watford striker says he wants to bring ‘something unique and give a different perspective’Credit: Times Newspapers Ltd

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    In an interview to celebrate his column, Troy talks about being brought up by his mum EmmaCredit: Instagram

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    He was also raised by Paul Anthony Burke, pictured here with Troy and brother Ellis

    Shamed at being incarcerated for a drunken brawl, grieving for his dead father and now facing the loss of his livelihood, it may have crushed a lesser man.
    But today, as Troy is unveiled as The Sun’s brilliant new columnist and forthright talkSPORT presenter, he remembers the stark warnings from fellow cons that helped him turn his life around.
    In a soft Brummie lilt, he tells me: “Other prisoners would look at the pictures of my family that I had put on my cell wall and say, ‘What are you doing here? You’re a f***ing idiot’.
    “Prison gives you time to reflect. I’d embarrassed my family. You can sulk about it or you can man up and fix it.

    “And that’s what I did. I fixed it with the help of some good people around me. And I haven’t looked back since.”
    Now Troy, 32, is itching to write his first column for you.
    He says: “The Sun is a massive paper and I understand the roles and responsibilities that go with that.
    “I want to add something unique and give a different perspective, not only on sport but many areas.”

    Don’t expect him to be pulling punches. When I ask him about racism in football — he supports taking the knee and believes black managers are being passed over — he is quick to also point out the lack of diversity among journalists.
    TATTOOED MUSCLE
    And he’d welcome a gay player coming out at Watford, adding: “I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t accept anyone from that community but expect anyone to take racism seriously.”
    Writing is important for Troy — and has been instrumental in healing the wounds of his past.
    Pointing at the head that has won so many Premier League aerial battles, he says: “All the madness that’s up here, I just try and write it out to make sense of it.”
    It has taken five years of counselling with a psychologist to help deal with “unresolved issues” that he once tried to soothe with alcohol.
    He says he hasn’t drunk for nine months and writes to help put his life in order.

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    Troy grew up in a flat in a tower block in Birmingham

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    His biological father left when he was nine months old

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    He says mum Emma, who worked three jobs to support Troy and his siblings, is his ‘warrior and angel’
    After leaving jail in 2012 Troy became “Mr Watford”, leading the club to the Premier League’s sunlit uplands as its captain, praised as an inspirational leader, loved by the fans.
    Now he will have a new audience as part of The Sun’s unrivalled team of football commentators and writers.
    And if lived experience is any guide to what makes a good columnist, then articulate Troy will go far.
    He was brought up in a tower block flat on tough Birmingham overspill estate Chelmsley Wood by his “warrior and angel” mum, Emma.
    His biological father left when Troy was nine months old. Although Troy sought him out as a teenager, the pair have no relationship now.

    Prison gives you time to reflect. I’d embarrassed my family. You can sulk about it or you can man up and fix it.

    Troy — six feet of tattooed muscle — says of the abandonment: “There’s still a bit in me, a nasty side of me, that’s like, ‘I hope you see every single thing I’m doing successfully, and metaphorically, it kills you’.”
    Emma worked three jobs to support Troy, his brother Ellis — now 29 and playing for Southern League Premier Division club Stourbridge — and his sister Sasha, 23.
    Their nan helped him buy his football boots with weekly payments through the Kays catalogue.
    In place of his biological father, the man who Troy calls Dad was Paul Anthony Burke — his “superhero”, despite being a violent career drug dealer whose jail sentences were explained away in the family as “business trips”.
    Aged ten, Troy and brother Ellis, then seven, were asleep in their bunk beds when the door was smashed off its hinges by police who then grappled with Burke.
    After he was arrested, mum Emma explained it away as Dad going off to play football with some mates.
    But soon afterwards she left Burke, prompting an outburst of violence by him that led to Troy being visited by concerned social workers.
    Burke had picked up Troy and his siblings from their auntie’s home and demanded to be shown where their mum was now living. They didn’t want to tell him but “had no choice”.
    Burke kicked in the door at the address and found Emma sitting in an armchair.

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    It has taken five years of counselling to help Troy deal with ‘unresolved issues’Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

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    After his release from prison in 2012, football proved to be Troy’s salvationCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

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    He became ‘Mr Watford’ and has been praised as an inspirational leaderCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Troy recalls: “He kept telling her that she needed to come home. She said, ‘No’. And every time she did, he would punch her.
    “I kept jumping in front of him, trying to make him stop, only to take a punch myself and fall to the floor. Then I’d get back up and take another punch.”
    Police hauled Burke off and he returned to jail for that offence.
    Today Troy says: “I don’t mind talking about it because I think it raises awareness for others.”
    And he even forgave his father. He says: “He was still my Superman. If you’re from an area where violence, drugs and gambling isn’t prolific, then it looks weird.
    “But if it’s normal that everyone around you has had some form of trauma, then you don’t feel sorry for yourself.”
    Football eventually proved Troy’s salvation.
    The boyhood Birmingham City fan flunked a trial at Aston Villa’s academy and became a £120-a-week bricklayer, paying his mum £50 a week to live at home.
    A bustling, physical centre forward, he signed for local non-league team Chelmsley Town, moving to Walsall in 2007 and Watford in 2010.
    He says: “I went from £180 a week to four and a half grand a week, and I was still living in Chelmsley Wood.
    “Putting that into perspective, a year of my then wages could have bought two houses on the estate.”
    But Troy admits: “When the money and adulation came, I acted like a d***.”
    That could mean 15 shots of Jack Daniel’s and a scrap as he hit the town with friends and hangers on, while picking up the tab.
    Troy’s wild social life hurtled towards its perhaps inevitable conclusion in a haze of alcohol outside a nightclub in Birmingham’s Broad Street in February 2012.
    FEND FOR YOURSELF
    His dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the oesophagus, leaving Troy “angry and hurt”.
    Hitting the town for a friend’s birthday the next evening, Troy and his brother were involved in a fight after knocking back £2 shots.

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    Today Troy lives happily with his partner Alisha Hosannah

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    The couple live with ten-month-old baby Clay and his step-daughter Isla
    He says: “We’d had a good night. I was going home, walking up the road and I was on the phone and someone just went, ‘You know your brother’s in a fight?’ As I turned round, there was a big melee, and I saw red.”
    He says he “forgot who I was” and “steamrollered” in.
    The following June, two days before Troy’s trial, his dad died. He was 47 and Troy read the eulogy at his funeral.
    Forty eight hours later, Watford’s star striker was jailed for ten months after admitting affray.
    Yet when the cell door slammed shut in Birmingham’s Winson Green prison, there were no tears from Troy.
    He says candidly: “I don’t cry. I struggle with it.
    “I was on K Wing. The guard who opened the door and pushed me in said, ‘Oh, by the way, the other prisoners know who you are’.
    “He shut the door. I thought, ‘Cheers, mate’. At that point, it’s just fend for yourself.”
    Troy was looked after by the other cons because his father had also served time there. And they were quick to give him a life lesson.
    He recalls: “My dad’s friends were like, ‘If we didn’t have the respect we have for your dad, we’d be filling you in. Do you know how much of an idiot you are? You were the hope for everybody else, and you’re in here with us’.
    “It was weird to be told you’re an idiot by criminals. It was a new low for me. So I went, ‘OK, I get it’.”
    Troy was fitted with an ankle tag which he wore while playing for Watford just ten days after his release after serving nearly three months.
    Fighting his way back into the team, he became the Hornets’ talisman and captain.

    It was weird to be told you’re an idiot by criminals. It was a new low for me.

    Today he lives happily with his partner and “best friend”, graphic designer Alisha Hosannah, 27, ten-month-old baby Clay and step-daughter Isla, five.
    He also has two children, Miles, ten, and five-year-old Amelia, with his ex-wife, Stacey.
    Worried for Clay’s health in the pandemic — he has suffered with breathing difficulties — Troy had initially baulked at football’s Project Restart before he was reassured by health experts and joined training.
    He bristles when I mention how internet trolls targeted Clay, saying they hoped he contracted Covid.
    He says: “Normally I laugh it off but this time my punch bag got it for an hour before I calmed down.

    “Just because footballers earn a lot of money, it doesn’t mean we’re not human.”
    Posing for photos for Sun snapper Dickie Pelham, Troy flexes a bicep with a tattoo reading: “I have fought a good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.”
    Listening to his incredible story of redemption, few would doubt it.

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    Now Troy will have a new audience as part of our unrivalled teamCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

    Troy Deeney calls Sky Sports reporter ‘cheeky b——’ as he asks if Watford captain, 32, will retire
    GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL exclusive@the-sun.co.uk More

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    Neymar is closing in on Pele’s all-time goalscoring record for Brazil, but still has lots to do to be an all-time great

    LAST Tuesday Neymar scored a hat trick to carry Brazil to a 4-2 win away to Peru in a tense World Cup qualifier.
    It also meant that he has overtaken Ronaldo in Brazil’s list of all time top goalscorers.

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    Neymar’s hat trick saw him overtake Ronaldo as Brazil’s second highest goalscorerCredit: EPA

    Only Pele stands in front of him – and with 64 senior goals to Pele’s 77, it would seem only a matter of time before Neymar becomes the top marksman of the most successful team in the history of international football.
    And yet still the questions remain.
    FRIENDLY FIRE
    That match a week ago was a crunch World Cup qualifier – the only meeting in the opening two rounds of the South American campaign of two teams who both made it through to Russia 2018. These were clearly important goals.
    But so many of Neymar’s strikes for his country have come in less pressurised circumstances.

    Of his 64 Brazil goals, 42 were scored in friendlies. This high proportion, though, is hardly his fault.
    So many of his goals have come in friendlies because so many of his games – 66 of 102 caps – have been friendlies.
    BAD LUCK IN TOURNAMENTS
    Neymar has been part of the Brazil side since the first game after the 2010 World Cup.

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    Neymar’s 2014 World Cup campaign was brought short by injuryCredit: Getty – Contributor

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    While in Russia 2018 Neymar was easing his way back into fitness after a long lay offCredit: AFP
    As hosts of the next tournament they did not have to go through the qualifying process, and so for the first few years of his international career there was little else but friendlies.

    He missed the last two versions of the Copa America. In 2016 Brazil decided they would rather have him for the Olympic tournament, and injury forced him out of last year’s competition.
    His 2014 World Cup campaign was, of course, brought short by injury, and in Russia 2018 he was easing his way back from a lengthy lay off, and, histrionics aside, played at least as well as could have been expected.
    All this means that the second top scorer in Brazil’s history still has plenty to do if he is to be considered one of the all time greats.
    It is clearly a fabulous achievement to have netted more times than the likes of Ronaldo, Zico and Romario.
    LEAVING A LEGACY
    But so much of Neymar’s legacy will be determined but what his does just over two years from now in Qatar.

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    Neymar’s legacy will be determined by what happens in the next two years of his careerCredit: AFP or licensors
    Some of this also applies to his club career. True, Neymar won the Champions League in style with Barcelona. But it was Lionel Messi’s team.
    And since Neymar struck out on his own, he has to live with the limitations of the choice that he made.
    Paris Saint Germain are so dominant in France that some of his achievements there carry the weight of international friendlies.
    It is all about the knockout stages of the Champions League, in the last few months of the season. Except that this time Neymar and company may well be tested a little earlier than usual.
    Their Champions League group looks very interesting. True, Basaksehir of Turkey will be feeling their way in the competition.
    But the wonderfully coached Red Bull Leipzig will be full of confidence after their splendid exploits in the last campaign – and also had a close look at PSG in August when they lost to them in the semi final in August.
    And then there is Manchester United – not what they were, perhaps, but still much more of a threat than the teams PSG regularly brush aside in the French league.
    Paris Saint Germain came close to a first Champions League win before losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

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    Next up in Neymar’s sights are Manchester United in the Champions LeagueCredit: Icon Sport – Getty

    Their campaign emphasised the questions that are still hanging over Neymar – he was both brilliant and brittle, coming up with flashes of genius but collapsing under pressure in the final when the Germans took the lead.
    For both club and country, then, the jury is still out on Neymar – with no definitive decision until the next World Cup and the next couple of versions of the Champions League.
    But today’s game against United gives him an opportunity to start winning over some of the jurors.

    Everton’s Richarlison swarmed with 10,000 texts after Neymar shared his number during live-streamed video More