Will St. Louisans get to see incredibly sexy soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo this August? Despite transfer rumors, it's looking like the second-highest paid and second-best player in the world will be here.
(Update, July 10: Ronaldo is reportedly soon to be the highest-paid soccer player in the world.)
Portuguese international Ronaldo should appear with his Real Madrid side when the Spanish giant comes to St. Louis for an August 10 pre-season friendly at the Edward Jones Dome. In a city that lost its most-sexy player to Los Angeles this past December, Ronaldo could help fill the gaping hole left since the Cardinal skipped town.
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Yet, even before the 2012-2013 La Liga (the top-flight Spanish league) season was over, rumors were swirling that Ronaldo would depart for his former club, Manchester United, in the English Premier League. But news out today states that Real Madrid's new manager -- Carlo Ancelotti -- wants to keep Ronaldo around for one more season: "My opinion is easy. Ronaldo's a fantastic, marvellous player," he reportedly said. (Former Real manager José Mourinho -- who moved to Chelsea F.C., which played at Busch Stadium in May -- clashed with Ronaldo.)
The news announced at today's press conference (statement below) at the Edward Jones Dome makes no mention of Ronaldo by name, but fleshes out the tie: It'll be Real Madrid against Inter Milan, who finished in the middle of the Serie A (the top-flight Italian league) table last season.
"Relevent Sports and the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission today announced that Real Madrid and F.C. Internazionale, better known as Inter, will meet August 10 at 1 p.m., Central Time, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The match will mark the first men's soccer match at the Edward Jones Dome, which previously featured the U.S. Women's national team in 2007."
Below's a sampling of Ronaldo's footwork -- and like every other soccer highlights video on YouTube, this one has a kickin' dance-club soundtrack:
Real Madrid is also looking at arguably the best player in the English Premier League, Welshman Gareth Bale of London club Tottenham Hotspur. Bale scored the best goals in the world last season, and the prospect, no matter how unlikely, of seeing them both on the same field before most is something that should appeal to even the most ardent haters of the game.
Here's Bale in action. Again, enjoy the bottle-service soundtrack:
And for those looking for a St. Louis link to all this international soccer, you're out of luck for at least another year: Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who also is majority owner of Arsenal F.C. in London, again sees his team do another tour of Asia this summer.
See the full press release from the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission on the next page.