Cristiano Ronaldo hailed 2018-19 as an "unforgettable season" after he set records and lifted trophies with both Juventus and Portugal.

Ronaldo ended his nine-year stay at LaLiga giants Real Madrid in July 2018, moving to Italian champions Juve for €120million.

The 34-year-old more than repaid his transfer fee, scoring 21 Serie A goals as Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus cruised to an eighth successive Scudetto.

Ronaldo also became the first player to reach 100 wins and 125 goals in the Champions League, though Juve were eliminated by Ajax in the quarter-finals – a defeat which ultimately may have been the reason for Allegri's departure at the end of the campaign.

But Ronaldo was not done there, and after his success with his new club, led Portugal to a Nations League Finals triumph on home soil, scoring a stunning hat-trick in the semi-final win over Switzerland.

And, taking to his official Instagram channel, Ronaldo shared his joy at achieving so much over the course of the season.

"What an unforgettable season! New experiences, gigantic club, exciting city, broken records and three more titles," Ronaldo posted.

"I have to thank all of Juventus fans for the wonderful way I was welcomed in Italy! You're a very important part of our victories! 

"Thanks to all my fans around the world and particularly to the Portuguese people that helped us reach another historical win for Portugal! You'll always have a special place in my heart!

"Personally, I'll never forget the great moments and new record-breaking achievements I've had so far in 2019."

Ronaldo then went onto list some of his accolades from the season, including becoming the first player to win 10 UEFA titles, and being the first to score in all national team finals.

Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool are hungry for more success after winning the Champions League.

A 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid this month broke Jurgen Klopp's trophy duck at the club. 

Liverpool missed out on the Premier League title, though, finishing a point behind Manchester City in their quest to win the league again 29 years on from their previous triumph.

And Van Dijk, who was part of the Netherlands team that lost  the Nations League final to Portugal, feels Liverpool will want even more success when they return for the 2019-20 campaign.

"I've had a few days to reflect now at the end of what's been an unbelievable season," Van Dijk wrote on Instagram. 

"We achieved great things this season at Liverpool as a team and I feel proud to be part of such an incredible club with this group of players. To be European champions is a dream come true!

"We are all now hungry for more success and will continue to give all we can to achieve that. I'm also excited about the future with the national team and we will look to build on the promising season we've just had 

"Thank you for all of your support over the last few months and I'll see you after a break ready to go again!" 

Liverpool play the first game of the new Premier League season at home to Norwich City on August 9.

The club also confirmed the Reds will play in the EFL Trophy next season.

UEFA's strongest sides must consider reforms to the Champions League to help address the imbalances with the current system, according to the European Clubs Association (ECA).

The ECA, spearheaded by Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, is pushing to revamp the structure of continental club competitions, with proposed changes reportedly including promotion and relegation.

Preliminary discussions with UEFA have taken place but the ECA's attempted overhaul has been met with considerable opposition.

LaLiga and the Premier League have made clear their disapproval at the plan, while the European Leagues - a representative body - claim only a "few rich and dominant clubs" would see the benefits.

However, ECA vice-chairman Aki Riihilahti disputed that view.

"The current system doesn't work for most sides, and if we want to keep professional and grassroots football alive, we have to take into consideration the different local situations, whilst at the same time developing it at higher levels," said Riihilahti.

"Playing in more relevant competitions would help the growth of minor leagues."

Chairman Agnelli insisted that changes are a long way from coming to fruition, yet he claimed to have "swept away the concerns" of some clubs who attended a two-day summit in Malta.

"There are several problems for which we must find a solution and to do so we must put ourselves in the shoes of others and have an overall vision of European football," Agnelli said.

"We are at the beginning of a long process, but what matters is that the clubs have shown a willingness to engage positively and with intellectual honesty, in order to address the reform of European football in the best way.

"In September, in Nyon, we will share our points of view and many things will still need to be discussed, but we are open to a transparent conversation and we want the satisfaction of all European football, not just some clubs."

Former Manchester United goalkeeper and Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar added: "Not everyone was born in Manchester or London.

"We must also find a way for those who come from leagues, such as Poland, Portugal, Greece, Turkey and Holland to grow at a European level."

Divock Origi claims Liverpool have offered him a contract extension in the wake of his Champions League heroics.

Belgium international Origi scored the sealer in the 2-0 victory over Tottenham in last weekend's final at the Wanda Metropolitano and could be rewarded with a new deal.

The 24-year-old only has 12 months to run on his existing agreement but is willing to postpone discussions until after the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Scotland.

Origi made a habit of scoring crucial goals from minimal playing time in 2018-19, hitting a double against Barcelona in the dramatic Champions League semi-final comeback and late winners against Everton and Newcastle United in the Premier League.

"Yes, it shows Liverpool's recognition," Origi said when asked whether the Reds have offered him a contract.

"I think it's now up to us to talk about it internally. We have to discuss the way we'll move forward but there are two important games to play [with Belgium].

"I want to focus on them and we can talk [with the club] afterwards."

Origi continued: "It's my agent who is dealing with it. I know that [Liverpool] made the first step.

"We are now waiting until the end of the season to talk about it.

"As I said, it's important that I'm not focusing on that now. I really want to be ready for the next two games with the national team."

Origi represented Belgium at the 2014 World Cup while still a teenager but has struggled to break into the first team at Anfield and was reportedly close to joining Wolves in January.

The former Lille forward believes he has gained maturity with age and is wary of further stagnation.

"I'm 24 and I want to keep moving forward. I have ambitions. I try to use them to keep progressing," he said.

Trent Alexander-Arnold says it would be a dream come true to follow winning the Champions League with a Nations League Finals triumph with England.

The full-back celebrated the first major trophy of his career last Saturday as Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid to become champions of Europe for the sixth time.

The 20-year-old is now preparing for Thursday's last-four clash with Netherlands in Guimaraes as England attempt to become the first team to win the Nations League trophy.

And Alexander-Arnold hopes to do just that after realising a childhood ambition by tasting success with Liverpool.

When asked how important it would be to win the Nations League Finals, he told the Football Association's website: "Massive. It would be a dream come true. 

"You don't expect to be in these situations and you never know if you ever will be again, so I think for now I'm trying to soak it up, give everything that I can and hopefully that will be achieved in the next few days.

"If you look at everyone in the squad, in one way or another, they've got something to be proud of this season. Whether it's Manchester City, who have won the vast majority of trophies, or us winning the trophy the other night or the Tottenham players who've also had an incredible season and have pushed everyone so far. 

"The whole squad has had a really good season altogether and I'm sure we'll be looking to top it off over the next week and hopefully we'll leave Portugal with another trophy."

Alexander-Arnold said Tottenham players were among the first in the squad to congratulate the Liverpool contingent for their triumph at the Wanda Metropolitano.

"The reception has been unbelievable," he said. "They're really happy for us and positive. For the Tottenham lads it must be tough for them, but they've come and congratulated us and were one of the first to do it.

"Even if it was the other way around you have to put what happened with our clubs to one side and focus on winning something for your country. We're a team now, a few days ago we weren't, but now we are so we need to recognise that and if we pull together for the same aim then we've got a great chance of reaching where we want."

Jurgen Klopp is perfect for Liverpool and the manager will already be planning for another trophy, according to Jurgen Klinsmann.

Klopp claimed his first trophy with the English giants thanks to a 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday.

His fellow German, Klinsmann, feels the former Borussia Dortmund coach fits perfectly at Anfield.

"He's just a person you want to wish him well. He puts so much energy in there, so much effort and hard work in there, on all sides of the game," he told the Mirror.

"The way he won over the people in Liverpool and the way he became one of them, it just deserves then, the end result, meaning now this very special title.

"Klopp fits Liverpool so perfectly because his background is very humble, his background it's blue collar, hardworking, they live and die for their club and so, his whole life basically was always very, very closely connected to the people, to the neighbourhoods."

The Champions League success was reward for a fine season by Liverpool, who claimed 97 points but finished second to Manchester City in the Premier League.

But Klinsmann believes Klopp will already be planning for more with the Reds.

"He's a workaholic because that's in our blood where we come from. He's [a] sponge that always wants to learn and always wants to look at what is next … and it never gets saturated," he said.

"One thing is for sure – he will never, ever rest. Winning the Champions League final now, the first thought of him a day later will be, 'how do I win this next year?'"

Andy Robertson dubbed Alisson's performance against Tottenham in the Champions League final "an absolute joke" as he marvelled at the Liverpool goalkeeper's string of superb saves.

The Brazil international was in fine form at the Wanda Metropolitano, keeping stinging shots from Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen out as Tottenham pressed for a way back into the game after Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool an early lead.

The 26-year-old goalkeeper did not have a shot to save in the first half as Spurs struggled to find their rhythm, but Robertson was grateful that Alisson remained alert when it mattered most as Jurgen Klopp's side claimed a 2-0 win.

"He's the man, isn't he?" Robertson told Liverpoolfc.com. "He's the man.

"It was an absolute joke the way he made the saves and everything.

"He was different class. It's down to him that we kept a clean sheet."

Alisson came under scrutiny at times in 2018-19 when mistakes threatened to undermine Liverpool's decision to spend an initial €62.5million to sign him from Roma.

But he soon hit form and kept 21 Premier League clean sheets to help Klopp's men finish second in an incredibly close title race with Manchester City.

Robertson paid tribute to his performance throughout the season, saying: "A lot was said about Ali when he first came, a lot of pressure on him.

"My God, he's been unbelievable this season."

Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum received a warm welcome from their Netherlands team-mates after winning the Champions League with Liverpool.

The duo started as Liverpool overcame Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday.

And, they were warmly received by their international team-mates on Monday as Netherlands prepare for the Nations League Finals.

Van Dijk and Wijnaldum were applauded by the squad and staff, including coach Ronald Koeman, as they arrived in camp.

The players even broke into song for Wijnaldum, chanting about the midfielder.

Netherlands face England in the semi-finals in Guimaraes on Thursday before either playing a final or third-place play-off three days later.

Steven Gerrard says he felt a deep sense of pride and kinship in seeing "selfless" successor Jordan Henderson lead Liverpool to Champions League glory.

Reds great Gerrard watched on as the club he captained for over a decade battled to a 2-0 defeat of Premier League rivals Tottenham in Madrid on Saturday.

It was the sixth time the Anfield side have been crowned European champions and the first since the famous Gerrard-inspired comeback against AC Milan in 2005.

Sunderland product Henderson inherited the armband 10 years later and fittingly celebrated at the Wanda Metropolitano in front of his former team-mate and mentor.

"[I felt] proud that Liverpool were back at the top of European football and especially proud of Jordan because I know how hard he works," Gerrard wrote in a column for The Times.

"I know the sacrifices he has made, the pressure and scrutiny he has been under.

"If I had to name someone I regarded as the ultimate professional, Jordan would be right at the top of the list. He is immaculate in the way he lives his life.

"Some people don't see the stuff behind the scenes, the gym work, the way he eats, but he is someone who is an incredible role model."

Henderson had to compete for his position earlier this term and capped a commendable return to prominence with a 90-minute performance as Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi combined to sink Spurs.

Criticism has often followed the 28-year-old England international on Merseyside, but Gerrard believes he has done well under the "magnified" pressure of captaining Liverpool.

"Scrutiny will always be there whether you are a player, a coach or a manager," he said.

"Jordan has had his fair share, but he handles it well and the best thing to do is let your football do the talking.

"That is what he has done. That is what he will continue to do."

England captain Harry Kane insists club rivalries will be set aside when Liverpool and Tottenham stars join forces for the Nations League Finals.

Seven players involved in the Champions League final in Madrid are among the 23-man squad that Gareth Southgate has named to take on Netherlands on Thursday.

Mustering motivation after the deflating 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in Madrid could be especially difficult for Kane and Spurs team-mates Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Danny Rose.

There are no such concerns over the spirits of Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold, although England's star striker and skipper is adamant results elsewhere have minimal influence on the national team.

"We've got such a great bond and, although we're at different clubs, when we come here everyone's fully focused on here," Kane said.

"You don't have to talk to people about switching off from club football.

"Everyone just naturally does it and I think the fact we've played with each other in club sides and younger England sides [means] we're all good friends.

"Whether you're at Spurs or [Manchester] City or Liverpool, we've known each other long enough that we've become mates.

"When you come here, you just look forward to meeting up and being friends."

England's strong Tottenham contingent can earn a second shot at ending the season with silverware by overcoming a rejuvenated Netherlands in Guimaraes.

The winner will advance to face either Switzerland or hosts Portugal for the right to be crowned the tournament's inaugural champions and Kane is keen to seize the opportunity.

"It's a new tournament, but it's still a chance to win a trophy in an England shirt, and 1966 was a long time ago," the 25-year-old said.

"We're going to try and take full advantage. We all want to win trophies and have the experience of sharing that with the group and the fans, so it's a huge incentive.

"The fans are going to be out in numbers and hopefully be part of history."

Jordan Henderson was delighted to put a smile on his father's face after opening up about their emotional embrace following Liverpool's Champions League triumph.

One of the lasting images of the Reds' 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid was the sight of Henderson hugging his dad, Brian, and breaking down in tears amid the celebrations.

The Liverpool captain's father was diagnosed with throat cancer six years ago and initially hid the diagnosis from Henderson for fear it would derail his football career.

And Henderson was delighted to share the moment with his dad, who has since received the all-clear.

"My dad has been through a lot over the past few years, not only with himself but with his family," Henderson said. 

"I am sure he will be so proud to see us win the game and win the Champions League. It will mean the world to him. I am just glad I can put a smile on his face.

"It's obviously emotional. We have come a long way as a team and we have had so many knockbacks and to finally get over the line... it is an amazing feeling and one that we will remember forever. It's so special."

It was an almost cathartic moment for Henderson, who has often faced criticism over his role at Liverpool.

And, after several near misses under boss Jurgen Klopp, the importance of winning European football's biggest prize is not lost on the England international.

"It was nice to know we have come back from so many disappointments and finally get over the line and win a big trophy," Henderson added. 

"It is an amazing night and hopefully we can use this to win more in the future, it gives us confidence to know we can win the Champions League and together we can move forward and hopefully win more trophies as well."

Hugo Lloris has urged Tottenham not to "throw everything in the bin" after the painful Champions League final defeat to Liverpool.

Spurs went down 2-0 to the Reds in Madrid on Saturday and a close season of uncertainty may follow, with speculation over manager Mauricio Pochettino's future refusing to subside.

Captain Lloris said it is important Tottenham continue to show season-by-season improvement and not allow the disappointment of defeat to hinder their progress, but he believes there should not be a direct comparison with Liverpool, who avenged their own Champions League final loss to Real Madrid 12 months ago.

"It is difficult to compare both projects," Lloris told reporters. "There is one club who sets out to win every competition in which they play, and that is not the case with Tottenham.

"We work and try to stick with the philosophy of the board, manager and the club. We look to improve every season and we have shown improvements year after year, so we now cannot throw everything in the bin after a Champions League final defeat. 

"It's been a big step for the club and the only thing we can look to do is come back stronger next season."

Pochettino's future is likely to be determined by a seeming lack of options across Europe, with previous links to Manchester United and Madrid going cold following the respective appointments of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Zinedine Zidane.

Serie A champions Juventus are seeking a new coach but Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is the favourite to take over at Allianz Stadium.

France international Lloris believes such rumours are par for the course, adding: "It is normal to have speculation around all the best managers. 

"I am sure he has an idea of what he wants and only he can talk about that."

When asked if there were concerns Spurs' squad could be broken up after the defeat, the World Cup winner replied: "I think it was painful for everyone. 

"To bring Tottenham to a Champions League final will never match the feeling of winning it, but it is a very positive thing and we have to build from that in the future to take the club to where it wants to go."

Virgil van Dijk wants to see Liverpool push on from their Champions League success by challenging for more trophies next season.

Liverpool secured their first trophy since 2012 by beating Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday.

The Reds were close to a drought-breaking Premier League title, but fell just short to Manchester City despite securing 97 points.

Van Dijk, the PFA Players' Player of the Year, hopes the win in Europe can lead to even further success for Liverpool.

"It's not like we're going away," the star centre-back told UK newspapers.

"In July it starts again. We're going to try everything we can to be challenging for the title, challenging for the Champions League but also for the cups.

"We definitely want to have these nights more often."

Despite an incredible season, Liverpool went into the decider against Spurs at risk of finishing the campaign without a trophy.

Van Dijk, 27, said there was no doubt his team deserved some silverware this season.

"If we didn't get anything this season we would definitely have been disappointed because of the way we played throughout the whole season. We deserved something," he said.

"But to be able to win the Champions League, the biggest club competition in football, is something special.

"To write history for this group of players, the staff, all the fans, and everyone who was involved, is something to be proud of."

Jurgen Klopp admitted to crying during Liverpool's Champions League trophy parade on Sunday.

Liverpool's celebrations continued in front of thousands of fans in the city a day after a 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid saw them claim a sixth European Cup/Champions League title.

Klopp, who is reportedly set to be offered a contract extension at Anfield, was emotional seeing the support for the Reds.

"I cannot really describe it because I cried a little bit as well because it's so overwhelming what the people are doing," he said, via the club's website.

"When you have a direct eye contact and you see how much it means to them that's touching to be honest. It's brilliant.

"Thank God the weather changed in a positive direction so we are having a wonderful time here. It's really special."

Klopp, who claimed his first trophy since taking charge at Anfield in October 2015, said the parade was an amazing experience.

"I don't know exactly how many people live in Liverpool but there's not a lot of space for fans and supporters of other clubs, so it's incredible," he said.

"This team is really doing so well and if you are a young kid which team would you support? There are not a lot of other options and opportunities apart from Liverpool so it's really nice to see.

"You see in their eyes how much it means. It's unbelievable and it's so intense. Today, wow! It's crazy."

Liverpool have paraded the Champions League trophy through the city's streets.

Jurgen Klopp broke his Anfield silverware duck as his Reds won 2-0 in Saturday's final against Tottenham in Madrid.

A sixth European Cup crown was secured thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and substitute Divock Origi.

Liverpool's celebrations look set to continue for some time, though key defender Virgil van Dijk is among those who will have to cut them short for international duty and the Nations League Finals.

"It's amazing, it's really special. I'm really proud to be sitting on this coach but hopefully we will have more days like this," Van Dijk said. "I expect a lot but this has already surpassed my expectations.

"Half an hour [sleep] maybe but it's all worth it. I am not sure I will get much tonight either. Tomorrow I will have to focus more because I am back in training with Holland and we face England.

"I shed a tear at the end of the game. I am proud of the team. Proud of these boys. It's just amazing."

Tens of thousands of Liverpool fans lined the streets of the city as players including Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson soaked up the atmosphere.

Liverpool can now enjoy a well-earned break before the start of the 2019-20 Premier League season and their UEFA Super Cup clash with Chelsea in August.

Page 1 of 120
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.