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Brazil v Nigeria Friendly: Adepoju begs Nigerians to allow Super Eagles sustain winning tempo

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking FIFA ranking: Nigeria moves up by two spots, now world 29th Omeruo welcomes second child The Super Eagles retired ace midfield maestro, Mutiu Adepoju, on Monday called on Nigerians to get behind the national team, the Super Eagles toward a better team performance.Adepoju made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the heels of the Genort Rohr -tutored team’s stellar performance against five-time World Champions, the Selecaos of Brazil on Sunday.NAN reports that the Super Eagles got to a well-deserved 1-1 draw against the star-studded Brazil team at the Singapores National Stadium.The Super Eagles drew the first blood in the 34th minute through the in-form Glasgow Rangers Midfielder, Joe Aribo, who lashed the ball in the net in spite of being sandwiched by the Brazilian defenders.The 27-year-old Brazil’s Real Madrid export, Carlos Casemiro, however, saved the blushes of the team when he cancelled Aribos stunner in the 46th minutes of the second half.Adepoju said that Nigerians should support the team more rather than comparing them with other team before them.“It is a friendly game. The Eagles played very well just like they did against the Ukraine team. Talking about the quality in the team, football is changing all over the world.“There is no almighty Brazil again because teams are getting stronger all over the world. Talking about the Eagles, they really played well on Sunday.“The quality is what they should build on toward other big games; we need to get things in perspective. The players are professionals, so, we don’t need to compare them with the class of 1994.“The team needs to win more games and tournament, they are on the right track and we should all encourage them,” he said. Tags: BrazilGENORT ROHRMutiu AdepojuSuper Eagleslast_img read more

La Liga: Quick-fire goals take Atletico Madrid up to third

first_imgRelatedPosts Suarez agrees Atletico terms Bale completes Tottenham return from Real Madrid Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Atletico Madrid made it three La Liga wins in a row by beating Levante 2-1 at home on Saturday. The victory took the capital side up to third in the standings following an action-packed game in which three goals were scored in the space of five minutes. Argentine forward Angel Correa gave the home side the lead in the 13th minute. Kieran Trippier took the Levante defence by surprise by volleying a chipped pass from Thomas Partey towards Correa. The visitors responded three minutes later with a volley of their own from striker Roger Marti, which flummoxed Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak at his near post. But Diego Simeone’s side regained the lead 60 seconds later with a header from defender Felipe. Atletico Madrid controlled most of the second half but ceded two chances to Enis Bardhi. He was denied on both occasions by superb saves from Oblak, the latter of which came deep in stoppage time. The victory took Atletico Madrid to 35 points after 19 games, level with fourth-placed Sevilla who were held 1-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao on Friday. Real Madrid lead the standings with 40 points, ahead of FC Barcelona’s visit to Espanyol later in the day. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Angel CorreaAtletico MadridKieran TrippierLa LigaLevantelast_img read more

La Liga training to resume this week with season restart in June

first_imgRelatedPosts Italy introduces compulsory virus testing for travellers from France Nigeria records new COVID-19 infections, more deaths as figures rise to 57,242 Bale completes Tottenham return from Real Madrid Soccer clubs in Spain’s top two divisions will return to individual training this week for the first time since activity was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, while organisers will aim to re-start the season in June, La Liga said on Monday.A statement from the organising body said clubs would follow the league’s protocol for returning to training, which had been agreed with Spain’s sports and health authorities and guaranteeing the safety of players and staff. The protocol obliges players to undergo testing for the novel coronavirus before they can return to training facilities.The statement said: “These measures cover a period of approximately four weeks with different phases that, in any case, will be subject to the de-escalation process established by the government.“Thus, together with the medical tests carried out by clubs, a staggered return to training has been implemented that will start with players training alone and with group activities prior to the return to competition, scheduled for June.”Reuters/NAN.Tags: CoronavirusJUNELa LigaSpainlast_img read more

The week in football: German TV deal done, Liverpool title wait

first_imgLiverpool need help if they are to clinch a first domestic championship in 30 years this week and a familiar face could say farewell to the Bundesliga, which will also reveal new television deals.In Spain meanwhile, the title race continues apace. After a low-key draw at Everton on Sunday, Liverpool can only clinch the title at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday if Manchester City slips up at home to Burnley on Monday.But after 30 years since their last English championship, a few days more is unlikely to make much difference.A direct duel with City, in Manchester on July 2, would be their next chance to seal the deal if Pep Guardiola’s side also wins at Chelsea on Thursday.How much will the German football league (DFL) pocket for the next batch of television rights for four seasons from 2021/22?On Monday, the league will officially approve the results of rights auctions both for live games shown on subscription channels or streaming services and highlights packages. More than 4.6 billion euros ($5.1 billion) was banked last time but the new amount is likely to feel the impact of the coronavirus crisis.Werder Bremen will enter the final round of Bundesliga fixtures on Saturday knowing they must win at home to Cologne or their 39-year stay in the Bundesliga will come to an end.Even that might not be enough for the four-time champions to avoid just a second-ever relegation though.Fortuna Dusseldorf in the play-off place above second last Bremen will live to fight another day with a win – and possibly even a draw – at Union Berlin.Borussia Moenchengladbach will almost certainly secure Champions League football – and the pots of cash that come with it – with a draw at home to Hertha Berlin on Saturday. Bayer Leverkusen is also in contention for the final spot in the elite competition but must defeat Mainz and hope for good news from Gladbach to make it.Giant duel, Barcelona and Real Madrid are not letting the closed-door resumption of La Liga impede a thrilling title race.Lionel Messi’s side slipped at Sevilla last weekend to open the door for grateful Real, who went narrowly ahead of their rivals by winning at Real Sociedad.Neither have long to wait before resuming a hectic post-suspension schedule – Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday, Real Madrid welcome Mallorca a day later.RelatedPosts Club’s server collapses over ticket demand for first Bundesliga game in 11 years Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea Atalanta’s emotional return to action in Bergamo, an area of Italy hit badly by the coronavirus, continues with plenty at stake for visiting Lazio on Wednesday.The capital side are hot on the heels of serial champions Juventus and emerging unscathed from this test could indicate, finally, a title-holder could be crowned in Serie A.dpa/NAN.Tags: BundesligaEPL titleFootball ResultsGerman TV DealLa LigaLiverpoollast_img read more

Crystal Palace may miss out on Eberechi Eze

first_imgRelatedPosts EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Townsend: Eze’s an incredible talent Crystal Palace is set to miss out on QPR attacking midfielder Eberechi Eze after refusing to meet the Championship’s sides £20 million valuation.The Eagles made an offer with an initial payment of £8 million up front, with a further £4 million in add-ons to take the total package to £12 million. However, some of those add-ons were rather ambitious and based on the team qualifying for European competitions.QPR thought the add-on clauses were unrealistic and have asked Crystal Palace to make another bid in the region of their £20 million valuation, according to the Sun.Palace have since told QPR that they don’t believe Eze is worth any more than a £10 million fee upfront.With interest from elsewhere, QPR are rather unwilling to negotiate much further and have only told Palace to come back with a “serious offer” as they insist it will cost them a lot to replace Eze’s quality.The midfielder is ready for a move to the Premier League and is keen to talk to Palace, but QPR are willing to fight and not be bullied into selling their talisman for a low fee. West Ham are also interested in the 22-year-old, but are waiting to see what happens with Declan Rice beforehand so they could spend some of the money if the Chelsea target was sold.Tags: Crystal PalaceEberechi Ezelast_img read more

Terry relishing Rodgers reunion

first_img Terry continued: “When Jose (Mourinho) was there he was always around and a couple of times I was left out the side or injured. “He (Rodgers) did a nice little video of me scoring goals, tackles and had a 15, 20-minute chat with me. “At the time it was something nobody had ever done and it just goes to show his man-management and how well he’s doing and how well he’ll do in the future. “It’s little things like that which as a player it really gives you a boost when you’re down. He was a real gentleman.” Terry expected Rodgers to be a successful manager. “He was around quite a lot and fed off Jose and obviously learnt a lot from him,” the former England captain added. “You could see he definitely had it in him to go on. He had a great rapport with players in and around the training ground on a daily basis. He speaks different languages, which is obviously an added bonus for him.” Press Association John Terry is looking forward to renewing Brendan Rodgers’ acquaintance on Sunday but hopes Chelsea can claim a crucial victory in their Champions League qualifying quest at Liverpool.center_img Much of the attention will be on Rafael Benitez’s return to Anfield but Rodgers has a Chelsea connection, having coached the youth team at Stamford Bridge before senior management roles at Watford, Reading, Swansea and now Liverpool. “I know Brendan very well,” Terry said. “He’s a great manager and was brilliant for myself and the other players. I can only speak highly of him. I’m looking forward to going back and seeing him but three points is a must for us again.” last_img read more

Mourinho not expecting instant joy

first_imgNew Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes the squad has “big potential”, but warned it must be very much a case of evolution towards a first Barclays Premier League title since 2010. The 50-year-old former FC Porto boss, who won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups in his first stint at Stamford Bridge, added: “It has to be analysed in the proper way, part of a process of formation, that 75 per cent of the guys will be better next season. “When you have this profile, you can’t think the best will come next year. It has to come in two, three, four, five, six years’ time. We are speaking about boys with 10 years to play football.” The new Blues boss believes he returns to a domestic league which is at its most open for many years, with three of last season’s top four sides all set to start the campaign with new managers. “It is different (now),” he said. “In terms of quality, I don’t think it’s better, to be fair, but in terms of competitiveness, it is harder. In our (last) time, there were three teams. Who is first, who is second, who is third? But everyone knew it would be between us, United and Arsenal. “In this moment, (Manchester) City have appeared with this fantastic economical power that helps them to go up so fast as they did. Tottenham had a very good period with Harry (Redknapp), reaching the fourth spot, playing Champions League, going up and up and up. “Andre (Villas-Boas), last year, did a good job by keeping the team at that level and I think they have conditions to fight for the Premier League (title), not just a Champions League spot. And Liverpool, I know Brendan (Rodgers) and I know he can do it. I don’t speak so much with him now on the phone. “Last year I did, as friends, and I know his ideas, his project, and Liverpool will go up too. So there are six teams. Who’s going to be first, who’s going to be sixth? I don’t know, but for sure it’s the most important league in Europe and we’ll try to raise it more.” The Portuguese coach was officially unveiled to the media at Stamford Bridge on Monday following his return to the west London club on a four-year contract after leaving Real Madrid. Mourinho maintains next season must have a double target; to be both competitive over the title race but also keep an eye on the future direction of the club as a whole. He said: “We don’t do it (win the Premier League next season), but (if we) show an evolution in the season, show we are moving in the right direction, (then) I think we will be champions in the second season and it is not a drama.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Ben Arfa dreams of Ballon d’Or

first_imgHatem Ben Arfa believes he is maturing as a player and still holds out hope he can win the Ballon d’Or. But the forward is confident he has put any questions over his attitude to bed and is convinced he can now go on to realise his potential and sit alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. “I know some will still take me for a fool, but I still dream for example of the Ballon d’Or,” he told France Football. “I am convinced that this is still possible. “It is forbidden to dream?” He added: “I disappointed a lot of people over the past years, I even annoyed a lot too, no doubt, but these people were right. I was not very professional. “I think I gradually changed as I grew up.” The 26-year-old has been in fine form for Newcastle this season and scored in the win at Aston Villa on Saturday. The Frenchman’s career has been stop-start so far with him making just 13 international appearances since first being selected for his country in 2007. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Mata defends Torres after red card

first_imgJuan Mata has sprung to the defence of Fernando Torres, insisting his Chelsea team-mate is not a dirty player despite his sending off against Tottenham. Mourinho confirmed Mata would be rewarded with a start against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday and the player himself has vowed to keep working hard to stay in the Portuguese’s favour. “Obviously everyone wants to play but, I am a professional, I respect all of my team-mates and what I want to do is enjoy it on the pitch, and I think against Tottenham I did that,” Mata said. “We needed to improve and we tried to, and when I came on I just tried to give my best for the team. “It is what I did since I came and it is what I am going to do until the end. I am happy with the second half, but it wasn’t enough to win. “Last season we won here and this season we wanted to win again, it wasn’t possible but the team showed that we can fight until the end.” Mourinho kept his composure when Terry’s goal went in, but the Chelsea captain could not contain himself, cupping an ear in the direction of the home fans before celebrating in front of the travelling support. Spurs fans have given Terry plenty of abuse during his 16-year professional career, so scoring his first goal at White Hart Lane was a particularly pleasurable experience for the Chelsea skipper. “I am absolutely delighted. I took a bit of stick here over the last few years so that’s for the fans who have supported me over the years,” Terry said. “I stayed wider and changed places with Lamps and I got in behind and got on the end of it. It was a great ball from Juan again. “It means a lot to the fans so it was good to get on the scoresheet and get us back in the game.” After cooling down following his rant against Vertonghen – Mourinho questioned the Belgian’s actions after the incident which saw Torres sent off – the Portuguese reflected on a satisfactory point against a team he thinks will be challenging for the title come the end of May. Many had expected Chelsea to run away with the league this year, but despite their less than perfect start, the Blues are shaping up well for the season ahead, according to Mourinho. “We had a difficult start,” he said. “We have had to play in the home of two title contenders but, there is only four points difference between us and Arsenal. And then you look at our fixtures and you look at their fixtures… “It has been a difficult start but step by step we are getting there.” Chelsea had to play the last 10 minutes of their 1-1 draw against Tottenham with 10 men after Torres picked up two controversial yellow cards. Torres’ second booking – for an aerial collision with Jan Vertonghen – looked harsh, but he could well have seen a straight red for his first yellow. The Spain striker grabbed Vertonghen by the face and scratched him after becoming annoyed at the Belgian’s theatrical fall. Mata denied that Torres meant to cause Vertonghen harm in either incident, however. “I don’t know [about the red card] but Fernando is not a player who goes to hurt,” Mata told Chelsea’s website. Tottenham controlled the first half of a hot-tempered ‘master versus apprentice’ clash between the teams of Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas. The home side took the lead through Gylfi Sigurdsson early on, and had they took their chances, they could have been 3-0 up by the break. But Mata’s introduction brought Chelsea back in to the game. The Spaniard has found himself out of favour under Mourinho despite being the club’s player of the year last season. Mata has started just two Barclays Premier League games this term, but gave his manager a timely reminder of his talents on Saturday, sending over a fine free-kick which John Terry buried past Hugo Lloris. Press Associationlast_img read more

Di Canio wants return to management

first_imgPaolo Di Canio has defended his tenure as Sunderland manager and is hoping to make a return to the Barclays Premier League. But despite bringing in 14 new players over the summer, things quickly turned sour with an opening day home defeat to Fulham kicking off a run which yielded a single point from their first five games of the new season. Sunderland have since made the final of the Capital One Cup and moved to within a point of exiting the Premier League relegation zone under new boss Gus Poyet, but Di Canio believes the players should take responsibility for the poor start to the campaign. “There are sometimes managers that are not good enough for some groups but there are also some groups that are not good enough for a manager. In this case, it is the second option,” he told the BBC’s Football Focus programme. “If you read what those players said when I took charge last year, they praised me. “In some way, they blamed the previous manager but there was no chaos about that at the time. “It is not an issue for me. I was sacked like 100 managers in life – but when it happened to me, there is always said to be a problem, but there was not a problem.” He added: “Five games cannot cancel what I did in the seven games before then, when I saved the club.” Di Canio was linked with the vacancy at former club Sheffield Wednesday when Dave Jones was dismissed and, while he does not rule out taking a job below the top flight, the ex-Swindon boss is still hoping for a Premier League return. “I am ready to return,” he said. “Football is my breath. “The Premier League is my aim, of course. “Every manager thinks they are ready for the top, top level but I do not only think about the top. “The top for me is the place where I can train and work in my way.” The Italian was dismissed by the Black Cats in September after a tumultuous 13 games in charge amid talk of a player rebellion against his training methods and approach to discipline. Di Canio replaced Martin O’Neill at the end of last March and was credited with saving the club from relegation after inspiring a famous 3-0 win at north-east rivals Newcastle in only his second match in charge. Press Associationlast_img read more