Nigeria dropped Iheanacho, Ajayi from AFCON squad

Nigeria’s most expensive wing-back, Ola Aina, has sent a message to Leicester City striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Rotherham United defender, Semi Ajayi, after the pair were dropped by coach Gernot Rohr from Super Eagles’ final 23-man 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, squad.

Both players did not feature on Saturday as Nigeria were held to a 0-0 draw by Zimbabwe in an international friendly played in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

Aina, who is set to join Torino from Chelsea, urged Iheanacho and Ajayi to keep their heads up, have a very nice break, recharge and be ready for the next season, adding that the duo were just unlucky. Various AFCON odds are available on NaijaBet

“It’s very unfortunate. Unfortunate because they [Kelechi Iheanacho and Semi Ajayi] probably deserve to be here as much as anyone of us, you know. It’s just unfortunate,” Aina was quoted by Completesports as saying. Continue reading “Nigeria dropped Iheanacho, Ajayi from AFCON squad”

Ronaldo still hungry to win more trophies with Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he has no immediate plans to retire from international football after helping Portugal lift the inaugural Nations League on Sunday.

Ronaldo, 34, was a peripheral figure as Goncalo Guedes’s goal won an underwhelming final against the Netherlands 1-0 in Porto.

But after sitting out the group stage of the Nations League on a hiatus from international football, Ronaldo played a huge part in getting his country to the final by scoring a hat-trick in Wednesday’s semifinal against Switzerland.

And with a host of exciting young talent, led by Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, who picked up player of the tournament, Ronaldo is keen to hang around for the chance at more international glory as Portugal look to defend their European Championship title next year.

“Portugal has won important things like Euro 2016 and now the Nations League. It may seem like an easy job but it’s hard, it takes a lot of dedication and willingness,” Ronaldo said. Place bet on Live Event 24/7 on NaijaBet

“As long as I have the strength and motivation, I will continue to represent the colours of Portugal.

Continue reading “Ronaldo still hungry to win more trophies with Portugal”

FIFA Women’s World Cup News kick off today in France

The pressure is on France to live up to their status as one of the favourites as the host nation kick off their World Cup on Friday with the spotlight shining on women’s football as never before.

It’s the biggest women’s World Cup ever with nearly one million tickets sold for a global tournament in which competition is so stiff that several teams are genuine contenders for the title.

The opening game at the month-long tournament, between the hosts and South Korea, is a sell-out in Paris, setting off an “explosion” of women’s football, according to Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

“We have a big event, we have 1 billion viewers,” he said in a Congress in Parison on Thursday ” We will be proud of that.”

Organisers say 950 000 tickets have been sold and may have miscalculated when they chose to stage a large proportion of the matches in stadiums with a capacity of 25 000 or less.

“We did not always choose big grounds because we didn’t want any empty stadiums,” Noel Le Graet, the president of the French Football Federation, told AFP. Various Betting Options are available on NaijaBet

“I was a bit scared about the Parc des Princes, but the opening match sold out in five minutes.”

Continue reading “FIFA Women’s World Cup News kick off today in France”

Ronaldo hat-trick fired Portugal into Nations League final

Portugal manager Fernando Santos hailed Cristiano Ronaldo a “football genius” after his 53rd career hat-trick sent Portugal into the final of the Nations League on home soil in Porto with a 3-1 win over Switzerland.

The hosts had to withstand a huge moment of VAR controversy as after Ronaldo’s free-kick opened the scoring, Portugal thought they had the chance to double their lead from the penalty spot.

Instead German referee Felix Brych reversed his initial decision and awarded a spot-kick at the other end for an earlier incident, which Ricardo Rodriguez converted to seemingly send the game to extra-time.

However, Ronaldo predictably took centre stage as he struck twice in the final two minutes to set up a clash with England or the Netherlands, who meet in the second semifinal on Thursday, in Sunday’s final.

“I was his coach in 2003 and I could see where he’d go,” said Santos. “He’s a genius. There’s genius paintings and sculptures and he’s a football genius!” Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

Portugal made it to the last four without their all-time record goalscorer as Ronaldo took a hiatus from international football to concentrate on his first season at Juventus. Continue reading “Ronaldo hat-trick fired Portugal into Nations League final”

Senegal take on Nigeria in a Round of 16 clash.

Senegal are not just quick off the mark, they also know how to defend. The African side were the only team not to concede a goal in the group stages.

Lodz hosts an all-African tie as old foes Senegal and Nigeria cross swords. Les Lions de la Teranga were the first team to qualify for the knockout rounds and forward Amadou Sagna’s goal after 9.6 seconds against Tahiti was the quickest ever at the U20 World Cup. Nigeria, who qualified as one of the best third-placed teams, will have to be on their guard from the first whistle.

Panama have been one of the biggest surprise packages at Poland 2019. Los Canaleros may have had to wait an age for their first competitive win, but they were rewarded for their patience, making it to the Fifa U20 World Cup knockout rounds for the first time ever.

Coach Jorge Dely Valdes will try to prolong the fairytale on Monday against an impressive Ukraine side starring Real Madrid’s Andriy Lunin. The young goalkeeper has already shone on several occasions, saving virtually everything thrown at him, including Muhamed Tijani’s penalty in the draw against Nigeria. Continue reading “Senegal take on Nigeria in a Round of 16 clash.”

Tottenham must capitalise on the positives next season

The silence at the final whistle lasted only a moment in that end of the stadium before Tottenham’s fans stood up to applaud.

Their immediate reaction had been disappointment, that Spurs had not played anywhere near to their potential or punished a Liverpool team that had also been subdued and strangely out of sorts.

But as the white shirts at the Metropolitano dropped to the ground and the red ones rushed together in celebration, regret became recognition of the feat that had been achieved.

“It’s so painful but at the same time we need to be calm in the way that we talk and analyse things,” Pochettino said. “Because the season was fantastic and we need to feel proud.”

When Pochettino said his players should aim higher than the domestic cups, insisting they should cherish only winning the Premier League or Champions League, many scoffed, believing him guilty even of arrogance. Spurs have not won a trophy of any kind since 2008. Place Bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

In that sense, the wait goes on after Liverpool’s 2-0 victory in Madrid but Pochettino’s determination that Tottenham challenge for the game’s biggest prizes has been vindicated.

His mission to harden the mentality has also taken a step closer to completion. Continue reading “Tottenham must capitalise on the positives next season”

Sergio Ramos has confirmed he will be staying at Real Madrid

The Spaniard has recently been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, after president Florentino Perez confirmed Ramos had asked the club for a free transfer this summer.

  1. Sergio Ramos has recently been linked with a move away from Real Madrid.
  2. The Real captain told club president, Florentino Perez of his desires, to leave for China.
  3. Perez insisted the Spaniard would not be allowed to leave on a free transfer.
  4. And Ramos has now revealed he will be staying at Real Madrid.
  5. Ramos has won 20 trophies with Real Madrid since 2005, including four Champions Leagues.

Speaking to reporters, Perez said: “They [Ramos and his advisers] came to see me in my office.

“They mentioned that he might leave but without a transfer fee because transfer fees in China are very complicated.

“I told him that he can’t leave and that we would be speaking to the Chinese club interested in signing him. Place Bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

“It’s impossible to let your captain leave for free, that would be setting a bad precedent.”

And Ramos has now confirmed his future, pledging the next season to Real Madrid, with the Spaniard’s contract up in 2021.

Continue reading “Sergio Ramos has confirmed he will be staying at Real Madrid”

UCLFinal Match Preview: Tottenham vs Liverpool

Tottenham secured their spot in the Champions League final in dramatic circumstances as they netted a last-minute winner in Amsterdam to book a place in Madrid.

That said, Spurs’ form has been indifferent in recent weeks with just two wins to their name from their last eight. Away from home, too, the north London side have been hugely underwhelming, losing nine of their last 11 matches on the road, though the two wins in that run were in the Champions League.

Liverpool will have been disappointed not to have been crowned Premier League champions have missed out on top spot by a solitary point. They’ll hope to go one better in the Champions League than they did last season after losing the final 3-1 to Real Madrid in Ukraine and have a decent recent record against Spurs having lost just one of their last 12 meetings between the two, winning seven in that run.

Liverpool won the two meetings between the pair 2-1 this season and a repeat of the scoreline is on the cards, with the Reds favourites to be crowned champions of Europe.

Team News

Tottenham- Harry Kane has given Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino a huge boost with the striker back in full training following an ankle injury and he could start here, with one of Son Heung-Min or hat-trick hero Lucas Moura set to miss out. Various betting options are available on site

Harry Winks and Davinson Sanchez are also back in training following respective injuries to bolster Pochettino’s squad options ahead of the Champions League final. Continue reading “UCLFinal Match Preview: Tottenham vs Liverpool”

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Which team will be celebrating on Saturday tonight?

 

Mane focused on Champions League Final despite Real interest

Sadio Mane has said he is happy at Liverpool and will not let speculation that he is wanted by Real Madrid distract him ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Tottenham Hotspur.

Real are looking to strengthen their squad after reappointing Zinedine Zidane as manager and Mane is one of a number of players being linked with a move to Madrid, according to reports in Spain.

The Senegal international was joint top-scorer in the Premier League this season, alongside his teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and signed a new five-year contract with Liverpool in November.

“For me the most important thing is Liverpool and I’m happy here,” Mane told reporters. “I’m preparing for one of the biggest games for the club, the fans and the players as well, so let’s focus on this one first and win it. Bet Now on NaijaBet

“(Speculation) is part of football so we have to deal with it. It’s always a pleasure that this kind of team wants (you), but don’t forget Liverpool. They beat big teams.” Continue reading “Mane focused on Champions League Final despite Real interest”

Chelsea thrash Arsenal to become Europa League Champions

Eden Hazard scored twice and then admitted it was his parting gift as the Belgian’s brace helped Chelsea sweep away Arsenal to win 4-1 in the Europa League final in Baku.

This match started at 8 pm local time on Wednesday in Azerbaijan, but it was Thursday by the time it came to life with a flood of second-half goals started by Olivier Giroud’s 49th-minute opener against his old club.

UELFinal Match Preview: Chelsea vs Arsenal

Chelsea are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions (W3, D4). Maurizio Sarri needs to win on Wednesday to boost his chances of avoiding the sack.

Unai Emery has great pedigree in this competition and his past experiences will certainly give Arsenal a shot of extra confidence against their London rivals.

Arsenal have only lost one of the previous six meetings between the two teams and the potential absence of N’Golo Kante will only make things more difficult for Chelsea.

Team News

Chelsea- A knee injury is expected to keep N’Golo Kante out of the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi are both sidelined with Achilles tendon injuries. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Maurizio Sarri has to pick between Olivier Giroud and Gonzalo Higuain up front, Willian and Pedro on the flanks and Emerson and Marcos Alonso at left-back. Continue reading “UELFinal Match Preview: Chelsea vs Arsenal”

Kane will play in Champions League final – Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane has entered the final stages of recovery from an ankle injury and manager Mauricio Pochettino is optimistic the striker will be fit enough to play in the Champions League final in Madrid.

Kane sustained what appeared to be a season-ending ligament injury against Manchester City in the quarterfinals but Pochettino believes he now has a good chance of at least making the bench against Liverpool on 1 June.

“(Kane) is training and has entered the final stage of his recovery,” the Argentine told reporters in Spain on Thursday.

“We’re hoping he’ll be able to give us a hand, either from the start, from the bench, or if not, then by giving us moral support in the dressing room. But we’re optimistic he’ll be able to help us on the pitch.” Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Pochettino said his team had defied expectations by reaching the final, which he expects to be an emotionally charged affair. Continue reading “Kane will play in Champions League final – Pochettino”

Messi and Aguero set for Argentina Copa America returns

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and the returning Sergio Aguero headed the 23-man Copa America squad announced by Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni on Wednesday.

Paris Saint Germain winger Angel Di Maria was also included but there was no place for striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is on loan at Chelsea from Juventus.

“These are the best players in an important time for the national team,” said Scaloni ahead of the tournament hosted by Brazil, which begins on June 14.

Argentina will play in Group B alongside Colombia, Paraguay and guests Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts and current Asian champions.

Messi, who only returned to the Argentina squad in March after an eight-month absence following the World Cup in Russia, will turn 32 during the competition. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet

Di Maria, like Messi, made his post-World Cup return in March ahead of friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco, but Manchester City’s Aguero had not been called up since Argentina’s 4-3 last 16 defeat to eventual champions France in Russia. Continue reading “Messi and Aguero set for Argentina Copa America returns”

Petr Cech set to return to Chelsea as sporting director

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech will return to his former club Chelsea as a sporting director when he retires from playing after the teams meet in this month’s Europa League final, News and other British media reported on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Cech responded to the reports by tweeting: “Despite the news today as I had already said to everybody before, I’ll make (a) decision about my future after the last game. Now my sole focus is to win the EL with @Arsenal”.

Chelsea were not immediately available to comment on the media reports. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7

Former Czech Republic international Cech, who won 124 caps, spent 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge, winning the Champions League and Europa League, four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and three League Cups before moving to Arsenal in 2015. Continue reading “Petr Cech set to return to Chelsea as sporting director”

Nadal beats Djokovic to win ninth Italian title

Rafael Nadal defeated his greatest rival Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to win a ninth Italian Open title and a record 34rd Masters on Sunday, leaving his vanquished foe to label the Spaniard as “the number one favourite for Roland Garros”.

World number one Djokovic, winner at the Madrid Open last week, produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal, who claimed the 81st title of his career.

“It’s always an honour for me,” said Nadal after securing his first title of 2019.

“I remember my first time here in 2005. To still be here with this trophy so many years later means a lot of me.”

Djokovic had beaten Nadal in the final of the Australian Open this year for his third straight Grand Slam win after Wimbledon and the US Open. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Nadal overtakes Djokovic at the top of the list for Masters wins — the pair were level at 33 each before Sunday’s final — in a timely boost ahead of his assault on a 12th French Open crown in a week’s time. Continue reading “Nadal beats Djokovic to win ninth Italian title”

Chelsea’s Giroud signs one-year contract extension

Olivier Giroud has signed a new one-year contract with Chelsea to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge until the end of next season, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old French striker has scored 17 goals in 62 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Arsenal in January, 2018.

“I am very happy to sign a new contract,” Giroud told the club’s website https://www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2019/05/21/olivier-giroud-signs-contract-extension-with-chelsea. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

“I really wanted to stay at least one more year – I have felt a part of the team, the family, since the beginning and hopefully there will be more trophies to come.” Continue reading “Chelsea’s Giroud signs one-year contract extension”

Manchester City need to win the Champions League – Guardiola

Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City will ultimately be judged on whether they win the Champions League despite wrapping up an unprecedented domestic treble with a 6-0 whipping of Watford in the FA Cup final.

The 48-year-old Spaniard said in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s rout the domestic treble is more difficult than winning the Champions League because it demands greater consistency over a gruelling season.

“I said before that I know we will be judged at the end on whether we win the Champions League,” said Guardiola, who twice conquered Europe as Barcelona coach.

“I know unless we do that it will not be enough.”

“This comes with me. I know that. I arrived in Barcelona, we were lucky we won it two times in four years and the people expect I am something special, that we have to win the Champions League and it’s still true.” Various betting options are available on site for today’s games

Guardiola, who has not tasted European success since 2011, having drawn a blank during his spell with Bayern Munich, said what sets the Champions League apart is the level of the opposition. Continue reading “Manchester City need to win the Champions League – Guardiola”

Mbappe wants responsibility, ‘at PSG or elsewhere’

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe fuelled speculation surrounding his future on Sunday, saying that he wants “responsibilities, maybe at PSG, maybe elsewhere”.

The 20-year-old backed up his excellent 2018 World Cup, where he scored four times as France won the trophy, by netting 38 times for PSG this season.

He was named as the Ligue 1 player of the season on Sunday, but did not deny that a potential move away from France could be in the offing.

“It (the award) is an important moment for me, a turning point in my career… The moment of having more responsibilities, maybe at PSG, maybe elsewhere,” he said.

Mbappe did not back down on his comments when asked about them in the mixed zone a few minutes later. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 

“For me, it was the moment to say it… When I say something, I think about it,” he said, reiterating his desire to have more “responsibilities”.

“If it’s at PSG, it’s good, if it’s elsewhere, it will be elsewhere for a new challenge.” Continue reading “Mbappe wants responsibility, ‘at PSG or elsewhere’”

Kane will get time to prove fitness for England – Southgate

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane could miss the Champions League final but still captain England in their bid to win the Nations League, said national coach Gareth Southgate.

The 25-year-old talisman has not played since injuring ankle ligaments in the first leg of Spurs’ Champions League quarterfinal win over Manchester City.

Kane, who won the Golden Boot at last summer’s World Cup, missed the end of the Premier League season with Tottenham but is hoping to be fit for their European showpiece final with Liverpool.

That game takes place in Madrid on June 1, just five days before England face Holland in their Nations League semifinal.

Kane was included in an initial 27-man squad for the tournament named by Southgate on Thursday, with the final group of 23 to be confirmed on May 27. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7

“Frankly, we will know a lot more about that if he is in Tottenham’s team,” he said of Kane’s current fitness level.

Continue reading “Kane will get time to prove fitness for England – Southgate”

OFFICIAL : Allegri set to leave Juventus at end of season

Coach Massimiliano Allegri will leave Serie A champions Juventus at the end of the season after guiding them to five straight Italian titles, the club said on Friday.

“Massimiliano Allegri will not be on the Juventus bench for the 2019/2020 season,” the club announced in a surprise development.

Allegri, 55, held meetings with the club’s hierarchy earlier in the week during which a clear disagreement between the two parties emerged.

He had rejected reports saying he was about to be dismissed last Saturday adding he had already been making plans for the side’s future for the past six months.

Juventus have already wrapped up their record eighth consecutive title, and Allegri’s fifth in as many years and he lifted the Coppa Italia on four occasions since replacing Antonio Conte in 2014. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

The club’s former midfielder Conte along with France boss and ex-defender and boss Didier Deschamps, Champions League finalist Mauricio Pochettino of Tottenham and Lazio’s Simone Inzaghi have been linked with taking over from Allegri in the Italian press in recent weeks. Continue reading “OFFICIAL : Allegri set to leave Juventus at end of season”

Man Utd will back Solskjaer for ‘fresh start’ next season

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward vowed that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be backed in the transfer market despite a bitterly disappointing end to the season.

Solskjaer was only appointed on a permanent basis in March but is already under pressure after United won just two of their final 11 games in all competitions.

“While the last few weeks were disappointing, we are delighted to confirm the appointment of Ole on a three-year contract,” said Woodward on a conference call to investors as United’s third-quarter financial results were revealed on Thursday.

“Preparations for the new season are underway and the underlying strength of our business will allow us to support the manager and his team as we look to the future.”

United ended the season 32 points off Premier League champions Manchester City and failed to qualify for the Champions League after finishing sixth. Place bet on today’s matches on NaijaBet

Solskjaer has spoken honestly about the need for a huge rebuild at Old Trafford but is hoping that a new season and additions to the squad will result in a fresh start for the club.

Continue reading “Man Utd will back Solskjaer for ‘fresh start’ next season”

Lazio defeat Atalanta to win seventh Coppa Italia

Lazio lifted the Coppa Italia for the seventh time on Wednesday after late goals from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa guided them to a 2-0 final win over Atalanta on a night in Rome dogged by fan violence.

Milinkovic-Savic’s fine header set Lazio on their way with eight minutes left at the Stadio Olimpico, seconds after coming on as a substitute, before Correa sealed victory in the closing moments of the match.

The victory books Lazio a ticket to next season’s Europa League, much-needed for Simone Inzaghi’s side as they are eighth in Serie A, four points off the European berths with two games left to play.

“We really wanted this Cup,” said Inzaghi.

“It’s a great satisfaction, we deserve it because we’ve come a long way.”

However his side’s win was marred by clashes outside the stadium between Lazio’s hardcore ‘ultra’ supporters and police before the game. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

Fans threw projectiles at officers as a police car was burnt near the Ponte Milvio bridge not far from the Stadio Olimpico. Continue reading “Lazio defeat Atalanta to win seventh Coppa Italia”

Germany woman returns to world elite after decade in doldrums

Germany are targeting a return to the world’s elite at the Women’s World Cup next month after a string of disappointing results for the two-time champions in recent years.

The Germans won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007 but were eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2011 and finished fourth in 2015, and the fans’ passion for women’s football appears to have waned.

A shock quarterfinal exit at the 2017 European Championship, an abysmal performance at the invitational SheBelieves Cup and a poor start to their World Cup qualifying campaign led to coach Steffi Jones being sacked last year.

Former Germany international and youth coach Horst Hrubesch took over on an interim basis to secure World Cup qualification, and after restoring order with seven wins and a draw from his eight games, handed the reins over to Martina Voss-Tecklenburg.

The Germans, who have been drawn in Group B with Spain, China and South Africa, are widely expected to advance to the knockout phase, where they should avoid hosts France and defending champions the United States until a potential final. Various betting options are available on site for today’s Games

“We obviously want to win the group,” Voss-Tecklenburg said.

“That is our first aim. Then we reach the knockout stage and as we want to qualify for next year’s Olympics we need to reach minimum the quarterfinals or the semifinals (depending on the number of European teams.) This is our minimum demand.” Continue reading “Germany woman returns to world elite after decade in doldrums”

Griezmann set to leave Atletico for Barcelona

French striker Antoine Griezmann has told Atletico Madrid he will leave them in the close season, the Spanish club said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Griezmann has a contract until 2023 with Atletico, but has a buy out clause of €120 million and has been the target of several approaches from La Liga rivals Barcelona.

“Antoine Griezmann has told the club he will not continue as a Rojiblanco (red and white, the club’s colours) next season,” the club said on Twitter.

Within a few moments the player then posted a video explaining himself.

“After speaking with Cholo (club coach Diego Simeone), then with Miguel Angel and the people in the hierarchy of the club I wanted to speak with you, the fans, who have always given me a lot of love,” said Griezmann, wearing a plain black t-shirt in front of a simple white background behind him.

“I wanted to tell you I have taken the decision to leave,” said the French 2018 World Cup winner. Place bet on Live Events 24/7

“I have had five wonderful seasons here and you will always be in my heart,” said the affable forward known for doing dances from the video game Fortnite, when celebrating his goals. Continue reading “Griezmann set to leave Atletico for Barcelona”