Ronaldo limps off as Inter return to the top

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The Independent Online

Ronaldo suffered another injury setback when he strained a muscle in Internazionale's 3-2 win over Piacenza yesterday.

The Brazil international, only recently recovered from a severe knee injury, limped off midway through the second half after winning the penalty that saw Christian Vieri open the scoring with the first of his two goals to put Inter back on top of Serie A.

Ronaldo said the injury would not keep him out for long: "To the fans I say 'stay calm' because I do not have a serious injury. It is similar to the one got recently against Lecce. I will be back on the field soon and stronger than before."

Juventus enjoyed a 4-0 victory at Brescia while a goal four minutes into injury time from Cosmin Contra gave Milan a 2-1 home win over Verona. Parma ended their run of six straight defeats with a 2-0 victory over Fiorentina. Inter now lead with 34 points, one ahead of Roma who beat third-placed Chievo 3-0 on Saturday.

Real Madrid missed out on a chance to lead the Primera Liga when Alberto Luque snatched an equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw for Real Mallorca. The champions looked on course to vault over leaders Deportivo La Coruña and second-placed Celta Vigo when Raul put them in front after 55 minutes. But Luque, who struck the crossbar in the first half, turned the ball home in the 69th minute to lift Mallorca a point further from the relegation zone.

Borussia Dortmund yesterday called for a league investigation into money that Bayern Munich allegedly paid to two of Germany's best young players while they were under contract to another club.

The Borussia manager Michael Meier said the federation and Bundesliga office should investigate and take action against the German champions over paying money to Sebastian Deisler and Sebastian Kehl before they were signed. "One has to consider if this is a method that guarantees clean and fair competition," Meier said.

Bayern have signed the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Michael Ballack. The 25-year-old German international will join at the end of the season after signing a contract until 2006.

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