Ronaldo & Al-Nassr vs PSG in Summer Friendly Match in Japan

JAPAN: Cristiano Ronaldo and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr will take on Paris Saint-Germain during their summer friendlies in Japan. The clash between Al-Nassr, who finished second in the Roshn Saudi League, and PSG will be held in Osaka on July 25. However, there will be no head-to-head between Ronaldo and old rival Lionel Messi, with the Argentine set to leave PSG. Messi was not among the players PSG used to illustrate the tour announcement on their website.

“Nuggets Beat Heat 104-93 in NBA Finals Game 1”

DENVER: The Denver Nuggets launched their first NBA Finals campaign in franchise history with a dominant 104-93 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday, propelled by yet another Nikola Jokic triple double. Two-time Most Valuable Player Jokic scored 27 points with 10 rebounds and 14 assists to lead the Nuggets, who will try to double their advantage in the best-of-seven series when they host Game 2 on Sunday.

Stuttgart triumphs over Hamburg 3-0 in Bundesliga playoff first leg

STUTTGART: Hamburger SV’s five-year wait to rejoin the Bundesliga looks set to continue. Serhou Guirassy helped to put Stuttgart in a commanding position to keep their place in Germany’s top division with a 3-0 win over Hamburg on Thursday in the first leg of their playoff. Guirassy had failed to make the most of a one-on-one chance and had a penalty saved in the first half, but the Guinea forward grabbed Stuttgart’s third goal early in the second half.

Benzema uncertain about Real Madrid future: “Currently in Madrid”

MADRID: Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema was reluctant to talk about his future on Thursday, fueling speculation he could move to Saudi Arabia in the close season following 14 trophy-laden years. After the 35-year-old striker was awarded the Marca Legend prize at a ceremony organized by the Spanish sports publication, the Frenchman was asked if he was staying at Real Madrid. “Saturday I have a game (against Athletic Bilbao), tomorrow I have a training session ... so at the moment I’m in Madrid,” Benzema said.

Rybakina advances to 3rd round at French Open, Keys defeated

PARIS: Elena Rybakina’s comfort on clay improved as she eased into the third round at the French Open by beating another Czech teenager on Thursday. The Wimbledon champion, the No. 4 seed at Roland Garros, beat 18-year-old Linda Noskova 6-3, 6-3 on Court Suzanne Lenglen. “I cannot say that here it’s easy for me. It’s still every match getting better and better,” Rybakina said on court. “It was a bit slippery for me today, I don’t know why.”

McIlroy: Koepka Earns Ryder Cup Spot

WASHINGTON: Rory McIlroy said Wednesday that LIV Golf star Brooks Koepka has earned the right to a place on the United States’ Ryder Cup team following his PGA Championship triumph. Koepka bagged his fifth major title at the PGA Championship earlier this month, just weeks after a second place finish at the Masters. Those results have left Koepka second in the overall US standings for the Ryder Cup team, meaning he would normally be a shoo-in to make the American squad.

Jeddah Party and Talisca’s Performance in Riyadh without Ronaldo

The pressure may have been off Al-Ittihad in Jeddah on Wednesday but the celebratory atmosphere will never be forgotten by those present at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium. The memories will last longer than the 2-0 win over Al-Tai as fans heralded their heroes and first title-winners since 2009. As expected, the hosts had the better of the 90 minutes but with the job already done, few of the home fans cared much that there was only a second half penalty to show for their efforts and then an injury time strike.