Liverpool close in on signing Alisson for a world record deal

Brazilian international Alisson is expected to sign for Liverpool on a five-year deal worth €75 million, a world record for a goalkeeper, media reports suggested on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old, who currently plays for Roma in Italy, is cutting short his vacation to undergo a medical on Merseyside after being given permission to talk to Liverpool.

“An official announcement should follow in the next 24 to 48 hours,” claimed the Liverpool Echo. Place bet on Live games 24/7 

The deal will cost the Anfield giants €75 million, smashing the amount paid to Benfica by Manchester City for Alisson’s compatriot Ederson last summer.

Liverpool are desperate to sign a new goalkeeper to replace Loris Karius following his calamitous Champions League final performance. Continue reading “Liverpool close in on signing Alisson for a world record deal”

Real will sign more brilliant players – Florentino Perez

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has vowed that his club will make a splash in this summer’s transfer market.

European champions Real have had a tempestuous close season with Zinedine Zidane stepping down as coach in May days after his team won the Champions League for the third year in a row.

Real’s record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus and the club have only recruited youngsters Alvaro Odriozola (22), Vinicius Junior (18) and Andriy Lunin (19) who all arrived in the Spanish capital to little fanfare.

Traditional big-hitters when it comes to making signings, especially in World Cup years, Real have been heavily linked in British and Spanish newspapers with Chelsea’s Belgian international Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. NaijaBet

“We need to strengthen our present and our future. This is a great squad that will be strengthened by some brilliant players,” Perez told a news conference on Wednesday. Continue reading “Real will sign more brilliant players – Florentino Perez”

Kerber and Serena move up as Halep remains on top

Simona Halep retained the No 1 spot in the latest women’s rankings despite losing in the third round at Wimbledon, but below her the upsets at the grass-court major caused turmoil.

Winner Angelique Kerber jumped six places to fourth, while the two women who contested in 2017 final both fell sharply after failing to match that performance.

Venus Williams, the beaten finalist last time, lost in the third round and dropped five places to 14. Reigning champion Garbine Muguruza fell in the second round and lost four places to No 7. NaijaBet

The biggest gainer was Serena Williams who reached the final in just the fourth tournament of her comeback following daughter Olympia’s birth in September and leaped 153 places to 28.

WTA STANDINGS:

1. Simona Halep (ROU) 7571 pts
2. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6740 Continue reading “Kerber and Serena move up as Halep remains on top”

CAF Champions League: Esperance come-from-behind to claim victory

Esperance de Tunis came from two goals down to defeat KCCA 3-2 in a CAF Champions League Group A match at the Olympic Stadium in Rades on Tuesday night.

The victory sees the Tunisians strengthen their grip on top spot, taking them to seven points from three matches and opening up a three-point lead over second-placed Al Ahly, who beat Township Rollers in a concurrent match in Alexandria. Place bet on today’s international clubs Friendlies Matches on NaijaBet

Kampala defied their underdog status by claiming a 2-0 lead within the opening quarter: Jackson Nunda put the East Africans in the 19th minute and shortly thereafter an own goal from Khalil Chemmam saw the East Africans into a strong position.

Esperance pulled a goal back just past the half-hour mark through Belel Magri, and on 33 minutes they were level at 2-2 thanks to Saad Bguir. The Tunisians were strong in attack and regularly tested goalkeeper Charles Lukwago, while KCCA faded as a threat as the half wore on. Continue reading “CAF Champions League: Esperance come-from-behind to claim victory”

Staying at Arsenal for 22 years was a mistake – Wenger

The Frenchman enjoyed plenty of highs during his time in north London but admits that he probably should have looked to take on another challenge

Arsene Wenger concedes that spending 22 years in charge of Arsenal was a mistake, with the Frenchman feeling as though he became “a prisoner of my own challenges”.

Having worked so hard to rebuild the Gunners in his image, the long-serving coach found it difficult to sever ties with the club. Naija and Bet

There were plenty of opportunities for him to walk away, with Real Madrid and England having made several attempts to secure the services of a proven performer.

Wenger also faced fan protests towards the end of his reign, but he eventually departed on his own terms at the end of the 2017-18 season. Continue reading “Staying at Arsenal for 22 years was a mistake – Wenger”

Morocco are ready to bid for 2030 World Cup

Morocco will bid to host the 2030 World Cup, a government spokesperson said on Thursday, a day after the kingdom missed out on the 2026 tournament to a joint North American bid.

“Upon royal instructions, Morocco will prepare its bid to host the 2030 tournament,” spokesman Mustapha El Khalfi told a press briefing.

He also said Morocco would implement the projects included in its 2026 bid, despite losing to a joint bid by the United States, Mexico and Canada.

The North American bid received 134 Fifa Congress votes to Morocco’s 65. Khalfi said it was “regrettable” that seven Arab countries did not vote for Morocco, including close political allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Various betting options for today’s games are available on NaijaBet

Qatar, who will host the tournament in 2022, voted for Morocco. Continue reading “Morocco are ready to bid for 2030 World Cup”

‘Salah’s belief Liverpool can achieve greater things’

Egyptian international Mohamed Salah’s signing of a new long-term contract is a major boost for Liverpool’s ambitions of delivering trophies, said manager Jurgen Klopp on Monday.

Klopp added the fact the 26-year-old striker – who scored 44 goals in just 52 appearances last season – had signed such a deal reported to be for five years reflected his belief the club were on course for a successful era.

Liverpool have been praised for their free-flowing style of football under Klopp, but the fact remains the charismatic German has taken them to three finals in his tenure and fallen short on each occasion.

He will pray that Salah is more patient about the prospect of success than world-class talents such as Luis Suarez of Uruguay and Brazilian Philippe Coutinho who both left for Barcelona in 2014 and January this year respectively in search of silverware. Place bet on Live Matches on NaijaBet

Salah’s goals, after joining last year from Italian outfit AS Roma for an initial £37 million, played a large part in Liverpool reaching the Champions League final against Real Madrid.

However, that proved a rare sour note for the player as Salah was slammed to the turf by Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, causing a painful separation of his left shoulder. Continue reading “‘Salah’s belief Liverpool can achieve greater things’”

Musa’s second goal gets nomination for Goal of the Tournament

Super Eagles Star, Ahmed Musa, who was arguably Nigeria’s best player at the just concluded Russia 2018 World Cup has been shortlisted for the Goal of the Tournament Award by FIFA.

A total of 169 goals were scored at the 2018 World Cup; but only 18 from that pool were shortlisted for the top award.

Musa’s second goal against Iceland in the group stage of the Mundial, alongside 17 others, has been selected. The list includes Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal against Spain and Lionel Messi’s goal against Nigeria.

The voting for the Best Goal in Russia 2018 will be open until July 23 on FIFA’s official website. Bet now

Leading the line are the two goals scored by Russia midfielder Denis Cheryshev and one from his teammate striker Artem Dzyuba Continue reading “Musa’s second goal gets nomination for Goal of the Tournament”

Serena Williams vowed to return stronger

Serena Williams vowed to use the pain of her shock Wimbledon final defeat against Angelique Kerber to fuel her bid for future Grand Slam glory.

Williams was hoping to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles by winning her eighth Wimbledon crown on Saturday.

But instead, the 36-year-old produced an error-strewn display in a 6-3, 6-3 loss that ranked as her first Wimbledon final defeat since 2008.

While Serena was frustrated by the surprise setback, she took heart from her run to the final in just the fourth tournament of her comeback following daughter Olympia’s birth in September. Place bet on today’s #Tennis games on NaijaBet

“It was such an amazing tournament for me. I was really happy to get this far,” Williams said.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but I cannot be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to and I am just getting started.

“I entered Wimbledon just wanting to win some matches. It was super encouraging to know that I can compete and do well.” Continue reading “Serena Williams vowed to return stronger”

France sink Croatia to become 2018 World Cup Champions

France won the World Cup for the second time in spectacular style on Sunday as a 4-2 victory in one of the most entertaining and action-packed finals for decades ended battling outsiders Croatia’s dreams of a first title.

After an early own goal by Mario Mandzukic France’s big guns delivered on the biggest stage of all as Antoine Griezmann – with a penalty awarded after a VAR review – Paul Pogba and teenage tyro Kylian Mbappe all hit the target.

Ivan Perisic and Mandzukic replied for Croatia, who ended beaten but unbowed after making much of the running in their first appearance in the final. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

It was the highest-scoring decider since England beat West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in 1966 and the highest in normal time since Brazil defeated Sweden 5-2 60 years ago.

There were as many goals in 90-action-packed Moscow minutes as in the last four finals combined, and three of those went to extra time.

The game featured the first final own goal and the first VAR-decided spot-kick – one that Croatia were furious about and that was arguably the turning point of the game. Continue reading “France sink Croatia to become 2018 World Cup Champions”

Pogba & Kante does the dirty work to help France flourish

A towering physique and range of flashy hairstyles mean Paul Pogba rarely goes unnoticed but he has become emblematic of a French squad willing to sacrifice personal gain for World Cup glory.

France goes into Sunday’s final against Croatia in Moscow aiming to make amends for the bitter disappointment of losing the Euro 2016 final on home soil to Portugal.

Just weeks before Manchester United paid a then world-record £89 million to sign Pogba from Juventus, that final largely passed him by. Play Live bet now on NaijaBet

The intervening two years have not always been easy either. Pogba has been criticised in England for failing to dominate big games and was even dropped a number of times last season because his defensive work did not match the standards demanded by Jose Mourinho.

However, it is that aspect of Pogba’s game that has been so impressive in Russia as he and N’Golo Kante have laid the perfect foundation for France’s array of attacking talent headlined by Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.

“I want to win this World Cup and you have to make sacrifices,” said Pogba on Thursday.

“Defending isn’t my strong point, I’m not N’Golo, but I’ll happily do it. I have grown up, matured.” Continue reading “Pogba & Kante does the dirty work to help France flourish”

Gerrard gets off to a perfect start with Rangers victory

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is satisfied with the team’s 2-0 win against FK Shkupi in his first competitive match at the helm but says there is still “a lot of work to do” in the second leg of the Europa League preliminary qualifying round tie.

Goals from winger Jamie Murphy and skipper James Tavernier helped Rangers beat the visiting minnows at the Ibrox Stadium but Gerrard, a former England and Liverpool captain, was underwhelmed that his team did not finish off the tie.

“I’m satisfied with the result, satisfied with parts of the performance but it’s not any better than satisfactory,” the 38-year-old told the club’s website. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“I think there are a lot of positives to take from the game… but one concern would be that we didn’t win the game a lot more comfortably and put the whole tie to bed tonight. Continue reading “Gerrard gets off to a perfect start with Rangers victory”

Chelsea has send Antonio Conte away

Chelsea have sacked Italian Antonio Conte as manager, media in Britain and Italy reported on Thursday.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis had said on Wednesday that the Premier League side were close to securing a deal for former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to replace Conte.

There was no immediate confirmation from Chelsea, who won the Premier League title with Conte in his first season after joining in 2016 and also the FA Cup in his latest campaign.

The former Italy manager had a year remaining on his current contract and had already taken charge of pre-season preparations at the club’s Cobham training ground.

Conte’s future with the Roman Abramovich-owned club has looked uncertain for months, however, with the West Londoners failing to qualify for the coming season’s Champions League after finishing fifth in 2017-18. Continue reading “Chelsea has send Antonio Conte away”

Federer out as Nadal set to face Djokovic semi final

Eight-time champion Roger Federer was sensationally knocked out of Wimbledon on Wednesday by South African giant Kevin Anderson while Rafael Nadal edged Juan Martin del Potro in a Centre Court epic and will meet Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

Defending champion Federer lost a Court One thriller, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 as 32-year-old Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semifinals since Kevin Curren in 1983.

“Down two sets to love I tried my best to keep fighting. Beating Roger Federer here at Wimbledon will be one I remember, especially in such a close match,” Anderson said. Place Bet on Live tennis matches on NaijaBet

“I kept telling myself to keep believing. I said today is going to be my day.”

In a nail-biting four hour and 13 minute classic, it was 36-year-old Federer’s earliest exit at the All England Club since his shock second round defeat against Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2013.

“Sometimes you don’t feel good, and you try your best. Today was one of those days. I didn’t see it coming,” said Federer.

“I had moments where I was great, I felt like I was reading his serve, other moments where I don’t know where the hell I was moving to.”

Eighth seed Anderson will play American ninth seed John Isner on Friday for a place in Sunday’s final. Continue reading “Federer out as Nadal set to face Djokovic semi final”

Croatia sink England to reach first World Cup final

Mario Mandzukic scored the winning goal deep in extra time as Croatia beat England 2-1 in an utterly gripping World Cup semifinal in Moscow on Wednesday to set up a final date with France.

The Juventus forward netted in the 109th minute to complete a remarkable comeback from a shattered Croatian team and take the small nation of little more than four million people into the World Cup final for the first time in their short history.

Kieran Trippier’s magnificent early free-kick had seemingly set England on course to reach their first final since they lifted the trophy on home soil back in 1966. Bet Now

But it wasn’t to be, as Croatia came roaring back in the second half and equalised through Ivan Perisic before somehow finding the energy to win despite being taken to extra time for the third time in 11 days.

The biggest winners of the night could well be France, who have had an extra day’s rest for Sunday’s final after edging out Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday.

That will not matter too much right now for Croatia, who are the smallest nation to make it to the final since Uruguay back in 1950. Continue reading “Croatia sink England to reach first World Cup final”

Mahrez has move from Leicester to Manchester City

Algerian international Riyad Mahrez secured his move to Manchester City on Tuesday, with the Premier League champions paying a reported club-record £60 million for the winger.

It comes seven months after City refused to pay Leicester’s asking price of £80 million, having offered £50 million plus young winger Patrick Roberts, who was valued at £15 million.

This time though Leicester said they had sold him in a club-record deal.

The 27-year-old – a pivotal figure when Leicester stormed to a shock Premier League title in 2016 – signed a five-year contract. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“I am so pleased to have joined City, a side playing great football under Pep Guardiola,” Mahrez told the Manchester City website.

“Watching them from afar has been a pleasure.

“Pep is committed to playing attacking football, which is a perfect for me, and City’s performances last season were outstanding.” Continue reading “Mahrez has move from Leicester to Manchester City”

My childhood dream is to play for Arsenal – Guendouzi

French teenage midfielder Matteo Guendouzi says he wants to become part of the history of Premier League side Arsenal after signing for them on Wednesday for a fee reported to be £7 million.

The 19-year-old – Arsenal’s fifth signing since Unai Emery was appointed Arsene Wenger’s successor in late May – joins from Ligue 2 outfit Lorient

Guendouzi, who began his career in the youth system at Paris Saint Germain before moving to Lorient in 2014, told Arsenal’s website for him the move is a dream come true. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“Arsenal have always been the team closest to my heart and a side I’ve wanted to join since I was a child,” said Guendouzi.

“It gives me great pride – it’s incredible. I hope I can do great things here.

“It doesn’t get any better than coming to a club like this, with so much history, like Arsenal. I’m hugely proud.

“I want to become part of the club’s history and to achieve great things here.” Continue reading “My childhood dream is to play for Arsenal – Guendouzi”

England target final but needs to remove Croatia first

England will seek to reach their first World Cup final since 1966 when they lock horns with a talented Croatia team on Wednesday for the right to play France for the trophy.

France reached the final for the third time in their history on Tuesday when a second-half header from Samuel Umtiti gave the 1998 champions a 1-0 victory against Belgium in a tactical battle in Saint Petersburg

The win sent tens of thousands of French fans pouring onto the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris in scenes of joy last seen when France won the World Cup two decades ago. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7

France coach Didier Deschamps said he was delighted to have the chance to bury the pain of the Euro 2016 final, which his side lost on home soil to Portugal.

“Finals have to be won because we have still not got over the one we lost two years ago,” he said.

In England too, World Cup fever has been building with Gareth Southgate’s young team on the cusp of reaching the country’s first World Cup since they won it on home soil in 1966. Continue reading “England target final but needs to remove Croatia first”

Serena sets to win her eighth Wimbledon title

As Serena Williams prepares for her 35th Grand Slam semifinal, the American star says a fear of failure is driving her bid for an eighth Wimbledon title.

Williams avoided a major upset on Tuesday as the former world No 1 battled back to beat unseeded Camila Giorgi 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a Centre Court thriller.

The 36-year-old’s quarterfinal escape act set up a last-four showdown with German 13th seed Julia Goerges on Thursday.

Serena hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the birth of daughter Olympia in September and her last trophy came at the 2017 Australian Open.

“You’re only as good as your last win. It’s been a while since I’ve won a championship,” Williams said. Place bet on today’s tennis games on NaijaBet

But the 23-time major winner is heavily favoured to end her wait this week, fuelled by the thought of suffering the painful sting left by her rare defeats.

“I hate losing. I mean, that’s no secret. But I feel like every time I lose, I get better,” she said.

“It’s important for me to have the losses. Just the fewer the better for me!” Continue reading “Serena sets to win her eighth Wimbledon title”

Ronaldo join Juventus from Real Madrid

Five-times world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Italian champions Juventus from Real Madrid, the La Liga club said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record £80 million, is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.

“For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its greatest symbols and a unique reference for the generations to come,” European champions Real said, adding that Ronaldo had asked to be transferred. “Real Madrid will always be his home”. Naija and Bet

The transfer fee was not disclosed but Spanish media said Ronaldo had signed a four-year deal and had cost Juventus €105 million. Continue reading “Ronaldo join Juventus from Real Madrid”

France prepared for Belgium’s tactical surprises – Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps is confident he has prepared his players for any tactical surprises his opposite number Roberto Martinez might spring when they face Belgium in the World Cup semifinals in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

Belgium are the tournament’s top scorers, and Martinez sprang a surprise by changing his system in the quarterfinal against Brazil, moving target man Romelu Lukaku out wide so Kevin de Bruyne could operate as a “false nine”.

The tweaks worked a treat as Belgium neutralized Brazil’s midfield while allowing Lukaku and Eden Hazard to get beyond their fullbacks. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

De Bruyne profited from spaces opening up in the middle as Brazil’s centre backs were forced to deal with the threat out wide, and he scored his first goal of the tournament in the 2-1 victory.

With Thomas Meunier suspended for the semifinal, Martinez is sure to make at least one change.

“Belgium didn’t arrive here by chance. They played a great game against Brazil with a specific game plan,” the 49-year-old Deschamps told a news conference on Monday. “Will they do something similar for us? Probably. Continue reading “France prepared for Belgium’s tactical surprises – Deschamps”

Spain SFF appoint Luis Enrique as new coach

Former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was appointed Spain’s new coach on Monday after the previous incumbent Julen Lopetegui was sacked on the eve of the World Cup in what turned out to be a disappointing campaign.

“Luis Enrique’s appointment as coach for the next two years was approved unanimously,” Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish football federation, told reporters.

The 48-year-old will have the tough task of reviving a national team deflated after three consecutive failures at major tournaments, the latest their World Cup loss to hosts Russia – ranked 70th in the world – on penalties in the last 16. Various betting options are Available on NaijaBet

Before that, Spain were humiliated at the hands of the Netherlands in 2014 and beaten by Italy at Euro 2016 – their 2008-2012 winning streak but a distant memory.

Enrique will be taking over from Lopetegui, who was fired by Rubiales when the coach announced he had signed to take over at Real Madrid.

The national team’s then sporting director Fernando Hierro stepped in hastily to replace him and led Spain to the last 16, before stepping down after the tournament. Continue reading “Spain SFF appoint Luis Enrique as new coach”

Van Dijk ready to help Liverpool wins silverware

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk is confident the team can step up another level in the upcoming campaign as the Premier League side looks to end their trophy drought after coming close in recent seasons.

The Merseyside outfit’s most recent triumph was a League Cup win in 2012 and despite showing improvement under Jurgen Klopp, the German manager has seen them lose three finals since he joined the club in 2015.

“We’re going to work our socks off and do everything possible to make it happen this season. We were very close to silverware but obviously not close enough,” Netherlands international Van Dijk told Liverpool’s website. Play bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“I can improve in any aspect of the game. At the moment, it’s getting back to full fitness, making sure I’m getting better and stronger than I was before. I will work every day and do everything possible and no doubt it will happen.” Continue reading “Van Dijk ready to help Liverpool wins silverware”

Henry wants Belgium to sink France

The irony of Thierry Henry, one of France’s all-time soccer greats, plotting his own country’s downfall at the World Cup in Russia has not been lost on his former teammate Didier Deschamps, who calls it a bizarre situation.

When France goes up against Belgium in the World Cup semi-final at the Saint Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday, the 40-year-old Henry will be on the opposing bench, looking to stop his country from advancing to Sunday’s final.

Up against him is Deschamps, who he played alongside in France’s 1998 World Cup-winning squad and who has been Les Bleus’ coach for the last six years. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“It’s bizarre because he’s French and will be on the opponent’s bench,” Deschamps said on Sunday on the French sports show Telefoot.

“But he is someone I really appreciate, I’m happy for him.”

Henry, who scored 51 goals in 123 international appearances, played for France at four World Cups in all. He was a runner-up in 2006 and also competed in 2002 and 2010. Continue reading “Henry wants Belgium to sink France”

Top seed Federer, Zverev and Monfils into last 16

Defending champion Roger Federer advanced to the Wimbledon last 16 without dropping a set after a 6-3 7-5 6-2 win over German Jan-Lennard Struff on Friday.

Federer, seeking a record ninth Wimbledon title, eased through the first set before the big-serving Struff put up more of a fight in the second.

But Federer clinched it with a superb service game that included a wonderful volley at the end of a long rally followed by a winning drive down the line.

The 36-year-old Swiss proceeded to win his 29th consecutive set at the All England Club and wrap up victory on Centre Court in just over one and a half hours. Place bet on LIVE games on NaijaBet

“Against big servers who go for a lot it’s always difficult to find rhythm and be sure that you are in driver’s seat until the match is over,” Federer said.

“I was happy to stay calm and finish off the job. I thought I did very well today. I created more chances in the second set and was always able to stay pretty clean on my own service game.

“It’s a wonderful feeling walking out there, I take every match one at a time, I try to put on a good match, try hard every time, and will never underestimate anybody – that keeps me in check.” Continue reading “Top seed Federer, Zverev and Monfils into last 16”