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Top 5 Players Who Played The Most Games With Cristiano Ronaldo – originally posted on

Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Portugal legend Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players in the history of soccer. Except for the FIFA World Cup, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has won it all in the sport, almost always leading his teammates by example. He has claimed five UEFA Champions League trophies, the European Championship, seven league titles, and more, emerging as the top scorer in the history of men’s soccer.

Almost all of his teammates, past and present, have lauded Ronaldo’s work ethic and determination, saying what a privilege it is to see his craft from up close. Today, we will check out some players who got to appreciate the Portuguese’s genius from close quarters for a long time. Here are the five players who have played the most matches with the Al-Nassr superstar:

#5 Raphael Varane (Real Madrid & Manchester United): 231 Matches

Raphael Varane And Cristiano Ronaldo
Raphael Varane And Cristiano Ronaldo

In fifth place, we have French center-back Raphael Varane, who shared the pitch with the great Cristiano Ronaldo 231 times. Varane first played 199 games with Ronaldo at Real Madrid before combining again at Manchester United, playing 32 games together for the Mancunians.

Across two clubs, Varane and Ronaldo combined for just one goal. The goal came in a 2-1 win over Sporting CP in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League season, with the Portugal captain assisting the France international. Ronaldo and Varane won four UEFA Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles, and two Spanish Cups at Madrid, amongst other honors.

#4 Marcelo (Real Madrid): 332 Matches

Cristiano Ronaldo And Marcelo Frequently Combined For Goals
Cristiano Ronaldo And Marcelo Won 16 Trophies Together At Real Madrid

The bond between left-back and left-winger is a special one. For the partnership to flourish, they need to be on the same wavelength. The left-back must know where the left-winger would be, while the winger must always be aware of the fullback’s overlaps. Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo took very little time to find their frequency, and what followed has a nine-year-long left-side dominance. The two friends played 332 matches together between 2009 and 2018 for Real Madrid, linking up for 33 goals.

Marcelo and Ronaldo, who almost always had little celebratory dances prepared, were part of many a victory parade. They won 16 trophies together for Madrid, including two La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League trophies, and two Copas del Rey.

#3 Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid): 339 Matches

Sergio Ramos Is One Of The Players Who Have Played Most Matches With Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo ANd Sergio Ramos Combined For 15 Goals

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos were the two unabashed leaders during their time together at Real Madrid. Known for their insatiable desire to win, both veterans did everything in their power to lead by example, regularly popping up with winning goals or match-saving tackles. The two brilliant athletes spent nine trophy-laden years at Real Madrid, playing 339 matches together.

Since they played on the opposite ends of the pitch, Ronaldo and Ramos did not combine all too often. In 339 games, they linked up for 15 goals, with the Portuguese setting up the Spaniard 12 times.

#2 Karim Benzema (Real Madrid): 342 Matches

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo Played 9 Years Together At Real Madrid
Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo Celebrating Together

Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2009. Over the next nine years, the pair won it all for the All-Whites, including four UEFA Champions League trophies and two La Liga titles. Benzema and Ronaldo played a whopping 342 games together during their stay in the Spanish capital.

The two prolific forwards had a telepathic understanding, always knowing where the other would pop up. As a result, they found each other with remarkable frequency, combining for an impressive 76 goals.

#1 Pepe (Real Madrid & Portugal): 343 Matches

Pepe Has Been Cristiano Ronaldo's Longest Serving Teammate
Pepe and Cristiano Ronaldo Celebrating For Real Madrid

One of Cristiano Ronaldo’s closest friends, Pepe has shared the dressing room with him for the longest time, owing to their time together at Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. The center-back, who is the oldest player in history to play for Portugal (41 Y 1 M), has shared the pitch with Ronaldo a whopping 343 times — 241 times for Real Madrid and 102 for Portugal.

Pepe and Ronaldo spent eight years together at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning two La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League trophies. With Portugal, the pair have won the 2016 European Championship and the 2019 UEFA Nations League.

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By: Sushan Chakraborty
Title: Top 5 Players Who Played The Most Games With Cristiano Ronaldo
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Published Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2024 06:48:58 +0000

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Nikola Jokic Shares His Thoughts On The NBA MVP Conversation

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Nikola Jokic Shares His Thoughts On The NBA MVP Conversation – originally posted on

The end of the NBA regular season marks the close of the individual award races around the league. Many of the 2023–24 awards have long been locked up, at least based on their betting odds, and there are just one or two that still have to be decided. The odds for MVP are heavily in the favor of Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, though the superstar doesn’t seem to buy in to any conversation regarding the honors.

Jokic Comments On The NBA MVP Discussion

It has been Jokic’s award to lose since Joel Embiid went down with an injury in late January. It would be the third time that he has earned the honor of being named the most valuable, as he has averaged a near triple-double yet again this season, and has his team in position for another deep playoff run.

During his post-game press conference following Denver’s big win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday, Jokic was asked about his thoughts on the MVP discussion happening as the season comes to a close:

I think the whole MVP conversation is getting out of control. I think I’m playing good basketball, the team is playing good basketball. If I win it, great. If I don’t win it, congrats to the other guy. I think there’s a lot of players playing really good basketball in the league.

Gilgeous-Alexander & Doncic Have Been The Other Candidates Lately

The other two players that have been garnering the most attention in MVP talks down the stretch have been Luka Dončić and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The latter has been in the conversation for much of the season, as the Thunder guard has led the league in scoring and has had his team at the top of the standings throughout the year.

Doncic has been arguably the best player in the league over the past couple of months. Not only has he been putting up impressive numbers, but his Mavericks have been on fire as of late, having won 16 of 18 to catapult into the top-5 in the West.

Jokic was the winner of the NBA MVP award in both 2021 and 2022, and there were some who believed that he should have taken home the hardware last season as well. Had be topped Embiid in 2023, he would be on the brink of an unprecedented fourth straight MVP win.

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By: Anthony R. Cardenas
Title: Nikola Jokic Shares His Thoughts On The NBA MVP Conversation
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Published Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2024 20:43:13 +0000

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Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Is A Candidate For The Kentucky Head Coaching Job

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Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Is A Candidate For The Kentucky Head Coaching Job – originally posted on

College basketball is coming off of a weekend in which they owned the sports landscape. The women’s Final Four set viewership records and the men’s side saw UConn pull off back-to-back championships, but some of the biggest news came off of the court, when it was announced that John Calipari would be leaving Kentucky after spending the last 15 years as the head coach. There has already been plenty of speculation about who will take the high profile job, and Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan has been one of the names most often floated.

Is The Bulls Head Coach A Candidate For Kentucky Job?

While he has been in the NBA ranks for the past nine years, most of Donovan’s success as a head coach came during his days at the college level. He is best known for being the head coach at the University of Florida from 1996 until 2015, a span that saw six Elite 8 appearances and back-to-back National Championships in 2006 and 2007.

But his first ever job as a coach of any kind came at Kentucky, where he worked as an assistant under Rick Pitino. So a connection between Donovan and the program exists, which make him one of the assumed leading candidates for the job.

Does Donovan Want To Head Back To The College Ranks?

Would he leave the Bulls and the NBA in order to move back down to the collegiate ranks? His name is brought up nearly every time there is a prestigious NCAA job opening, though this particular program might be more enticing to Donovan than openings in the past. But despite Chicago’s struggles this season, it appears that his job with the Bulls is safe, as he recently signed a multi-year extension with the team.

Kentucky can certainly offer more money, though, and as The Athletic reports, the Bulls likely won’t be interested in getting into a bidding war. They instead could be banking on the fact that coaching the Wildcats brings far more pressure than coaching the Bulls does, which may be a reason for the 58-year-old Billy Donovan to stay put in Chicago.

Other names that have been mentioned as possible Calipari replacements are Baylor head coach Scott Drew and Nate Oats of Alabama.

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By: Anthony R. Cardenas
Title: Bulls Coach Billy Donovan Is A Candidate For The Kentucky Head Coaching Job
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Published Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2024 15:18:30 +0000

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James Harden Can Reach These Two NBA Career Milestones During Final Week Of The Season

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James Harden Can Reach These Two NBA Career Milestones During Final Week Of The Season – originally posted on

James Harden and the Los Angeles Clippers still have plenty to play for over the final four games of the regular season. While it is unlikely that they are unseated as the 4th seed in the Western Conference, they still have to stave off the surging Dallas Mavericks if they want to keep home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They’ll play back-to-back games against the Phoenix Suns to start the week, and Harden will be setting himself up to chase a couple of NBA career milestones.

Harden Is On The Doorstep Of Two NBA Milestones

He is one of the most statistically accomplished players that are active in the league today. He is #3 on the list of three-pointers made all time, and should be passing Ray Allen for the #2 spot early on in the 2024-25 season. He is 20th on the all-time scoring list as well, and should pass Kevin Garnett within the first few games of the next campaign as well.

But there are a couple of marks that he is threatening going into the final week of the season. The first, and the one that he is highly unlikely to reach, is the 26,000 points mark. Harden will enter the week needing 119 points to hit the milestone, which means that he would have to average 30 points per game over the final four, a total that he has reached just once this season while averaging 16.7 per. It is likely that he will eclipse the 26k points mark in the second or third game of next season.

The Steals Mark Feels More Achievable Over Final Week

But the steals milestone feels very achievable. Harden has a while to go until he is ranked in the top-25 all-time in number of steals in NBA history, coming in at #37. But he is coming up on a personal milestone in the category, as he needs just 3 steals during the final week of the season in order to hit 1,600 for his career. He may even pass Jason Terry for #36 on the list if he somehow nabs 7 defensive takeaways over the final four games, though that will likely come next season as well.

He has averaged better than one steal per game in essentially every season of his career, and 2023-24 has been no different. Harden is stealing 1.1 balls per game this year, and should be able to hit the 1,600 mark in his 4 games to wrap up the NBA season.

From – NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB News, Rumors & Betting Picks


By: Anthony R. Cardenas
Title: James Harden Can Reach These Two NBA Career Milestones During Final Week Of The Season
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Published Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2024 22:48:54 +0000

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