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Showing posts with label News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News. Show all posts

Real Madrid more of a team without Ronaldo - Bale

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Gareth Bale says Real Madrid work together more as a collective unit without former talisman Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese forward moved to Juventus in the close season.

The Welsh winger is thriving in the absence of Ronaldo and Madrid have three wins from four La Liga matches.

Bale is Madrid’s key weapon as the Champions League starts again this week, with Real facing Roma on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“It’s maybe a bit more relaxed (without Ronaldo),” Bale told the Daily Mail. “I suppose there is more of a team, more working as one unit rather than one player.”

Madrid’s all-time top goalscorer Ronaldo was crucial to the club’s three consecutive Champions League wins under former coach Zinedine Zidane, although it was Bale who scored twice against Liverpool in the 3-1 triumph in May’s Kiev final.

Bale came on from the bench and said he was annoyed about not starting the match, with that rage fuelling him to score a brilliant overhead kick.

“(I was) angry. Quite angry, to be honest. Obviously, I felt I deserved to start the game,” said Bale.

“I’d been scoring goals. So yeah, I suppose it was hard to put the anger aside.”

With Ronaldo out of the way he is essential to new manager Julen Lopetegui’s Madrid, with the defending champions ready to start their bid for a fourth consecutive trophy on Wednesday in Group G.

Hazard can be Premier League top-scorer - Sarri

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Eden Hazard can score 40 goals this season and win the Premier League Golden Boot, according to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri after the Belgium forward scored a hat-trick to maintain the club’s perfect start to the season.

Sarri believes Hazard can become the best player in Europe and outstrip even arch poachers Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah following his three goals in a 4-1 victory against Cardiff on Saturday.

“We have spoken and I told him he can score 40 goals,” said the former Napoli manager. “He has to improve some things, but he can do it.”

Hazard himself has hailed Olivier Giroud as the world’s best target man after the World Cup-winning striker laid on two goals for him.

Giroud is yet to find the net for Chelsea this season but already has three assists in five Premier League games while Hazard has found the net five times.

And the 27-year-old paid tribute to the Frenchman for creating his first two goals at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

“Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world, I think so,” said Hazard.

“When he gets the ball he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us it’s a pleasure to play with him.”

Despite Chelsea’s fluency in attack, Sarri is aware the Stamford Bridge team must improve their defending.

The Italian boss wants to turn Chelsea into the best team in England but says Liverpool and defending champions Manchester City will be the league’s pacesetters.

“Eight players joined us this summer,” he said. “So I think it’s normal that in this period we have some defensive problems. We can cope with the problems with the quality in the offensive phase, but not in the defensive phase.

“So I have to organise better the defensive phase and the players have to understand that. I think my opinion in this moment, two teams, Liverpool and Manchester City, are better than us.

“We have to improve step by step. My target is to become the best team in England in one year, 18 months. That’s the target.”

Ogunjobi, Maigari target Pinnick's NFF job

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The official list of candidates vying for places in the Nigeria Football Federation Executive Committee for 2018-2022 has been released by the electoral committee.

In the list released on Friday, four persons are battling for the presidency, including incumbent Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who is also the 1st vice president of CAF, member of the organising committee for FIFA competitions and president of AFCON.

Mr Pinnick, a former chairman of the Delta State Football Association and executive chairman of the Delta State Commission, is the highest –placed Nigerian ever in football’s boardroom globally.

He would be looking to break the tradition that has been the norm in football administration in Nigeria as no president has served two terms consecutively at the NFF in recent years.

Indeed since after independence, no Nigerian has headed the NFF for more than four years at a stretch.

There is also Aminu Maigari, immediate past president of NFF, who was for several years chairman of the Bauchi State Football Association and also headed the Bauchi sub –seat for the FIFA U17 World Cup that Nigeria hosted nine years ago.

Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former Nigeria international defender, also has his hat in the ring.

Mr Ogunjobi captained and administered one of Nigeria’s traditional powerhouse clubs, Shooting Stars of Ibadan, served as Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association (2002-2005) and was Member of the NFF Executive Committee 2006-2010.

He is presently chairman of the Osun State Football Association.

There is also Chinedu Okoye, proprietor of amateur league club, Bimo FC.

For the first vice president’s position, there are two candidates.

The incumbent, Seyi Akinwunmi, will be up against another South West chieftain, Sunday Dele-Ajayi.

Incumbent Ibrahim Gusau will battle club proprietor, Patrick Ubah for the slot of chairman of chairmen on the board.

For other positions on the executive committee, Rabiu Inuwa, a member of the present board, is the only candidate from the North West.

The battle in the North Central has been somewhat narrowed with the withdrawal of FCT FA chairman Musa Talle.

However, Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ and Honourable Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, ranking members of the board, have to contend with Busari Ishola, chairman of Kwara State FA.

Similarly, incumbents Babagana Kalli and Musa Duhu from the North East have to contend with Farouk Yarma Adamu.

In the South East, Chidi Ofor Okenwa (presently Chairman of the Nigeria National League), will vie with Enyimba FC chairman, Felix Anyansi-Agwu (ranking Member of Board); Jude Obikwelu (Vice Chairman, Anambra State FA); Emmanuel Ochiagha (Vice Chairman, Imo State FA) and; Emeka Inyama (former Chairman of the NNL and former Chairman of NFF Marketing and Sponsorship, and also Chairman of NPFL side Abia Warriors).

From the South West, only Ganiyu Majekodunmi, chairman of Ogun State FA, is seeking an Executive Committee member position. From the South-South, Oswald Atuake from Cross River State is up against Emmanuel Ibah, chairman of the Akwa Ibom State FA.

Elections into the NFF Executive Committee 2018-2022 will hold as scheduled on Thursday, September 20 in the city of Katsina. 

Success targets Mourinho's downfall

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Super Eagles striker, Isaac Success will face the biggest test of his career as Watford host Manchester United on Saturday at the Vicarage Road.

Success has made four Premier League appearances even though a few have come as a substitute.

Watford have collected 12 points from their four league fixtures this term and will be looking to overcome a United team that has won two and lost two of their four matches during a tough start to the season.

Saturday will be the 31st meeting between Watford and United in all competitions. United have won 20 of the previous 30, suffering just five defeats.

United have won nine of their 10 Premier League meetings, including a 4-2 victory at Vicarage Road last season.

Iwobi targets win over Newcastle

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Super Eagles forward, Alex Iwobi will be aiming to add to his goal tally as Arsenal visit Newcastle in Saturday's Premier League tie.

Iwobi last scored against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Gunners' 3-2 loss and has since been kept quiet by EPL defenders.

The Nigerian international has managed two Premier League games and has always been part of team's manager, Unai Emery's game plan.

Except the unexpected happens on Saturday, Iwobi is considered to feature against Newcastle.

Moses seeks first start as Chelsea host Cardiff City

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Former Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses will be hoping to he gets the nod to start for Chelsea ahead of Saturday's clash against Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge.

Moses, who has managed just one game as a substitute since the beginning of this Premier League season, seem not to be having a good time under manager, Maurizio Sarri.

The Nigerian international recently quit the senior national team in a bid to concentrate on club football but things haven't gone well as planned, perhaps due to a change in Sarri's style of play.

However, the former West Ham and Wigan star still remain hopeful of starting against Cardiff City on Saturday.

Why I stayed at Manchester City - Silva

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Manchester City star David Silva has pointed out why he shunned a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona during his days with Valencia, according to report.

Silva joined Manchester City for £25m in 2010 from Valencia despite the interest from the top teams in Spain.

The former Spanish midfielder has been one of the best players in English Premier League, he has made 349 appearances for the Etihad outfit and has scored 62 goals and 115 assists in all competitions.

His main reason for moving to England is to get out of Spain and experience a new culture, City wanted me," the Spaniard told the Premier League Show.

"They had been calling me since December, asking me to come and play for them.

"I thought, 'who wants me? City wants me, so that's where I'll go'.

"Back then I was living with my parents and they were getting divorced and it was the right time to get away from there, from Spain, and live a new experience.

“It turns out I made the right move."

Silva’s first trophy with City was the 2010/11 FA Cup and has since added three Premier League titles, three League Cups and two Community Shields.

"That was the turning point for success,” Silva added.

"Once you win, you get used to winning and that's not a bad thing

“The same has happened in the Spanish national team - winning the first title was a game-changer and we carried on winning.

“So the FA Cup was a real highlight."

Silva put up a solid performance for Pep Guardiola’s team last season that saw them claim the Premier League title in a grand style and amassing 100 points surpassing the 95 points record held by Chelsea.

Ogu delighted to captain Nigeria against Liberia

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Super Eagles midfielder, John Ogu says he's delighted to have captained the senior national team against Liberia in Tuesday's international friendly game.

The game which had Liberia President, George Weah play his final game, saw Nigerian duo of Henry Onyekuru and Simon Nwankwo putting the team ahead before the host reduced the scoreline to 2-1 via a penalty.

Ogu, who captained the team for the first time stated via his twitter handle that it's an honour to lead Nigeria.

Playing in the Premier League hasn't been easy - Keita

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Naby Keita says it will take time for him to adapt to the demands of the Premier League following his £52.75m move to Liverpool.

The 23-year-old moved to Anfield at the beginning of the season and has featured in all four of Liverpool's matches so far this campaign.

However, Keita was left on the bench for Liverpool's trip to Leicester City in their most recent match, and he says it will take more time to acclimatise following his arrival from RB Leipzig.

Keita told Liverpool's club magazine: "I've been told by many people that a lot of overseas players come into the Premier League and they take time to integrate, depending on the circumstances.

"So playing in the Premier League can be difficult, but I am very motivated to play here, not just for myself and my team-mates, but for the club.

"Everybody around me has been very supportive towards me so I am certainly giving everything I can to get settled into the team quickly."

Khedira signs new contract with Juventus

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Sami Khedira has signed a new contract with Juventus that will keep him at the Allianz Stadium until 2021.

The Italian champions also have the option of extending the German international's deal by a further 12 months.

Khedira tweeted: "Since my first day I've had a special feeling and it quickly felt like home here.

"I'm very proud to be a part of the great history of the club and of the Juventus family. Let's continue to make black and white history."

World Cup winner Lloris fined $65,000 for drunk driving

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World Cup-winning France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been fined 50,000 pounds ($65,000) and banned from driving for 20 months for drunk driving.

The Tottenham goalkeeper was pulled by over by police in central London last month when his Porsche was veering toward parked vehicles before going through a red light. Police discovered vomit in the car and Lloris had to be helped out.

Lloris, who was in goal when France beat Croatia in the World Cup final, admitted to the charge of drunk driving during a London court appearance on Wednesday.

David Sonn, the lawyer representing the player in court, says “the spectacular fall from grace is not lost on Mr Lloris.”

What additions will Ademola Lookman bring to the Super Eagles?

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There is no doubt that Everton striker, Ademola Lookman possesses a great quality that's yet to be utilized by his Premier League club and the Three Lions of England despite showing what he can offer during his transfer loan deal to RB Leipzig, last season in the German Bundesliga.

Reports have surfaced in the media of his potential move to change allegiance from the Three Lions of England to Nigeria, however, of what impact will his addition be to the senior national team?

Having played in all the age-grade competitions (U-19, U-20 and U-21 youths, where he won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017), the youngster is still legible to play for Nigeria considering the fact that he has not played for England senior national team.

Lookman who may want to follow in the footsteps of Victor Moses, Alex Iwobi, Shola Ameobi, Semi Ajayi to mention a few, might have weighed his option properly based on what has happened to Nigerian players with British root and knowing fully that he might get a limited playing time with England.

Born to Nigerian parents in Wandsworth, England, the 20-year old forward, has a good goal scoring techniques, pacy and dazzling skills that could add more value to the Super Eagles forward ranks that have Odion Ighalo, Henry Onyekuru, Simon Nwankwo and Kelechi Iheanacho.

He's surely going to give the Super Eagles strikers a run for their money if given the chance to represent Nigeria by the team's technical adviser, Gernot Rohr.

With Nigeria still battling to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, the Nigeria Football Federation will be desperate to convince him to represent his father in order to release his dream.

I feel honoured to be part of FIFA technical study group - Amuneke

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Ex-international, Emmanuel Amuneke says he feel delighted and honoured to be part of the FIFA Technical Study Group that will be sharing their ideas during the September 23 meeting, a day before the Ballon d'Or award slated for London.

Amuneke, a former player of the Barcelona, was among the Nigeria team that defeated Zambia in the final of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and also play a key role in Nigeria's Dream Team 1's 3-2 win over Argentina at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic gold.

The current coach of the Taifa Stars of Tanzania, Amuneke told a Lagos based radio station that was monitored by that it's a privilege to have been invited by FIFA.

“Yes, I was invited by FIFA to come and witness the unveiling of modern trends of the game such as the VAR that was put to use at the recently concluded Russia 2018 World Cup.

“I am honoured and also privileged to be invited yet again as part of the technical study group to share my ideas of the World Cup with all the national team coaches and also to be part of the FIFA balloon D’or that is going to take place in London,” Coach Emmanuel Amuneke concluded.

UEFA to introduce a third European club competition from 2021

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Alongside the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, the European Football authority plans to introduce a third European club competition from 2021.

The decision still subject to ratification by the UEFA executive committee is said to be a strategy to further boost the body’s revenue as well as provide a competition for smaller teams asides the Europa League.

Head of the European Football Authority (ECA), Andrea Agnelli, stated at the general assembly of the ECA that pending approval, the ‘green light’ has been given to introduce a third competition.

Though scant detail was given about the competition, the Juventus chairman, Agnelli, said “This would bring the overall number of clubs in European competition to 96, as of the 2021/22 season.”

“A detailed assessment of the existing international match calendar is required prior to presenting a new model post-2024. The current model needs modernising.”

It could mean the Europa League’s group stage will be trimmed from 48 teams to 32, with the third European club competition, the Champions League and the Europa League having the same number of participants.

UEFA previously had the Intertoto Cup as a third European cub competition but it was abolished in 2008.

AFCON 2019: Super Eagles to battle Libya in Algeria

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The Africa Cup of Nations 2019 qualifier game between Nigeria and Libya has been confirmed to take place in Algeria as Libya can't host the fixture due to FIFA's ban.

Libya Football Federation (LFF) confirmed the venue as they host Nigeria in the third round of the qualifier games at a neutral ground.

The Super Eagles continue their quest to qualify for the African football showpiece after losing their first game against South Africa and winning their second away at Seychelles. They remain third on the table with 3 points.

Libya cannot host games in their country following a ban by FIFA in 2011 due to the civil war.

Willian to sign 5-year deal with Chelsea

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Chelsea star is ready to commit his future to the club as he wants a five-year contract at the Stamford Bridge, according to report.

Willian has made it clear that he wants to remain with Chelsea for the next five years, the Brazilian attacker was a subject of interest from Manchester United and Barcelona during the summer transfer window.

The La Liga Champions made three different offers and each offer was turned down by Chelsea in a bid to keep the Brazilian forward.

Willian wanted an exit from the club under Antonio Conte but with the arrival of Maurizio Sarri, the 30-year-old attacker is set to remain with the Blues for the next five years.

"A lot of people, they say a lot of things in the press, but I never said that I want to leave Chelsea, never," he told the club's website.

"Always I say that I want to stay at Chelsea as long as possible, and I am happy to stay here.

"My mind was always like that, always when I arrive here my plan was to stay here as long as possible and now I am here five years, I hope to stay five more.

"I know I have two years of my contract left but I hope to stay more years in the Premier League.

"I am very happy to be here five years. I have won titles and played a lot of games with a lot of happy moments, and a few sad moments as well but that is part of football. These five years have been very good for me and I am proud to be a Chelsea player."

Willian has been a vital player under Sarri so far, he is expected to be in the squad when they host Cardiff on Saturday in the Premier League.

Lookman ready to switch from England to Nigeria - Reports

Everton forward, Ademola Lookman might be looking to switch his International allegiance, as Pulse reports the youngster will soon announce his decision to represent Nigeria instead of his country of birth, England.

Lookman was born in England to Nigerian parents and hasn't represented the Three Lions yet, which still makes him eligible to play for the Super Eagles.

“An announcement will be made soon, I’m close to his management and they have confirmed that he has made the decision,” a source told Pulse.
According to previous reports, Nigeria officials have been holding talks with the talented 19-year-old, who has represented England at various youth levels to switch to Nigeria at senior level.

Nigeria vs Liberia: Kick-off time confirmed

The friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Lone Stars of Liberia scheduled for September 11 (Today) is to kick-off at 7:00PM WAT.

The Super Eagles had originally been scheduled to play Saudi Arabia in a friendly but the fixture was cancelled because of concerns about logistics.

Today's match in Liberia follows the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Seychelles where Nigeria won 3-0.

The team then go into a qualification double-header against Libya in October.

‘Eden Hazard is better than Cristiano Ronaldo’ – Rudiger

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German defender Antonio Rudiger has claimed that only Barcelona ace Lionel Messi is a better footballer than Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard.

The Belgium international has enjoyed an impressive year for club and country, pushing on in the opening weeks of 2018-19 by contributing to five goals in five outings.

Hazard has been unable to force his way past Messi and recent Juventus acquisition Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or running, despite his consistent displays for Chelsea over the past six years, but Rudiger now ranks the Belgian forward above the latter in terms of all-around game.

Asked specifically about Kylian Mbappe following Germany’s 0-0 draw with France in midweek, the centre-back told reporters: “He is unbelievably fast, really good.

“To stop him, you have to do it as a team, because alone … good luck! But for me, the best in the world is Messi, then Hazard.”

Messi and Ronaldo have won 10 Ballons d’Or between them over the past decade.

Harry Maguire signs new 5-year Leicester deal

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England defender Harry Maguire has signed a new five-year contract with Leicester, the club announced on Sunday.

The 25-year-old joined Leicester from Hull in 2017 and played every minute of their Premier League campaign last season before helping England reach the World Cup semi-finals.

Maguire, reportedly the subject of interest from Manchester United during the recent transfer window, said on Leicester’s official website: “Ever since I came to this club, I’ve always reiterated how good they’ve been to me.

“They gave me an opportunity to play in the Premier League and built a great platform for me to go and perform at the World Cup, so I thank them a lot. I owe them a lot and I’m looking forward to the future.”
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