Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe said on Thursday that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi remain football’s greatest players but that his own World Cup heroics could help crown him as the 2018 Ballon d’Or winner.
Mbappe, 19, helped France to World Cup victory in Russia as his four goals included one in the 4-2 final victory over Croatia as he became just the second teenager after Pele in 1958 to score in the championship match.
He was also voted Young Player of the tournament and has since become Ligue 1’s leading scorer with 11 goals as Paris Saint-Germain run away with the French championship.
Messi and Ronaldo have won the last 10 Ballon d’Or awards and Mbappe believes that they are still the sport’s top A-listers. Start forecasting your weekend games Now on NaijaBet
“Nobody is doing better at the moment and we can’t say it’s the end of their era because it will only end when somebody else does better than them,” Mbappe said. Continue reading “‘Ronaldo, Messi still best but won’t win Ballon d’Or’ – Mbappe”
Monaco coach Thierry Henry refused to look for excuses for his winless run at Monaco on Monday, insisting he and his players will dig deep against Brugge in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Henry has yet to win in four games since taking charge at Monaco, losing to Strasbourg and Reims and drawing with Dijon in the league and drawing at Belgian outfit Brugge in the last round of European matches.
“It’s a huge game,” said former Arsenal and Barcelona striker Henry, who was Belgium’s assistant coach in the last World Cup.
“We need the three points even if some might say we should have taken three in our last game too.”
Henry’s side are third in Group A, level with Brugge on a point with Dortmund on nine and Atletico on six.
“You can’t change everything in two weeks, but we shouldn’t think about it all too much,” said the smooth-talking Frenchman, who began his playing career at Monaco.
“Work is the key, each of us needs to look inside ourselves and work out what more we can do.” Continue reading “New Monaco manager Thierry Henry worried over winless run”
A Spanish magistrate leading an investigation into alleged irregularities in Neymar’s move to Barcelona in 2013 said on Wednesday the Brazilian superstar could face up to six years in prison.
“The term imposed, in principle, could be between four and six years,” said a decree issued by judge Jose Maria Vazquez Honrubia, a copy of which was seen by AFP.
Neymar, his parents, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell are all awaiting trial over alleged corruption concerning Neymar’s move to the Spanish La Liga giants in 2013.
The Brazilian international forward is now with Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1.
The case, which follows a complaint by DIS, a Brazilian group which part-owned the rights to Neymar, surrounds allegations of “corruption” and “fraud” in the player’s move to Barcelona. Bet Now
Neymar moved to the Spanish La Liga giants in May 2013 for a reported fee of 57.1m euros. Although no financial details of the deal were revealed by either Barcelona or his Brazilian club FC Santos, Neymar’s parents were said to have received receive 40m euros and FC Santos 17.1m. Continue reading “Neymar might end up in prison over Barca move – Spanish magistrate”
Thierry Henry starts his reign as AS Monaco coach with a trip to Strasbourg on Saturday as Ligue 1 resumes following the international break.
Henry faces a big task to revive the club where he started his glittering playing career, with Monaco, French champions and Champions League semi-finalists in 2017, languishing 18th in the 20-team standings after winning one of their first nine games.
“This club will always have a big place in my heart,” Henry told reporters on Wednesday. “So to be able to come here and start again, it is a dream come true. There is a lot of work to do, as you can imagine – but I am more than happy to be here.”
The 41-year-old replaced Portuguese Leonardo Jardim who was sacked less than six months after leading Monaco to second place in the standings following their first league title since 2000.
Henry was assistant coach of the Belgium team who finished third at this year’s World Cup after losing to France in the semifinals. Continue reading “Thierry Henry starts coaching job at Monaco”
Ligue 1 club AS Monaco fired coach Leonardo Jardim on Thursday following a poor start to the season which has left last season’s runners-up 18th in the 20-team table.
The 44-year-old Portuguese had been in charge for just over four seasons during which the team had performed consistently well with the high point in 2016-17 when they won Ligue 1 and reached the Champions League semifinals.
But, after winning 3-1 at Nantes on the opening day of the season, Monaco failed to win any of their subsequent eight league games and lost to Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in Champions League Group A, which also includes Club Bruges.
After going down 2-1 at home to Rennes in Ligue 1 on Sunday, they are stuck in the relegation playoff spot with six points, one more than bottom side Guingamp. Bet Now on NaijaBet
“Monaco has ended their collaboration with Leonardo Jardim,” the club said in a statement. “The entire club wish Leonardo and his coaching staff all the best for the next stage of their careers.” Continue reading “Monaco sack coach Jardim, Thierry Henry might take over”
Teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe insisted that he “should have scored more” despite netting four times in a magnificent individual display as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Lyon on Sunday.
The 19-year-old scored four goals in the space of 13 second-half minutes as a 5-0 victory saw PSG set a new French top-flight record of nine straight wins to start a season.
But Mbappe did miss several earlier chances as he was thrice denied when one-on-one with Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and struck the post before grabbing his first goal just after the hour mark.
“I missed opportunities, I should have scored more,” he told Canal+.
“I keep working and I never doubted. I knew I had the support of my teammates. I often say that as long as an attacker is creating chances, everything is fine.” Play Live & Virtual games on NaijaBet
Mbappe took the World Cup by storm in the summer, becoming the first teenager since Pele in 1958 to score twice in the final and winning the award for the tournament’s best young player. Continue reading “Mbappe scored four goals as PSG thrashed Lyon”
France World Cup star Kylian Mbappe will sit out one further league game for Paris Saint-Germain after losing an appeal against a three-match suspension on Monday.
Mbappe, 19, was handed the sanction for lashing out in retaliation at Teji Savanier during a feisty 4-2 win at Nimes on September 1.
Savanier was handed a four-match ban for his role in the incident, a sanction that was also confirmed following appeals by both players, the French Football Federation (FFF) announced. Today’s games, Bet now on NaijaBet
Mbappe, who is being tipped to win the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in December, notably on account of his performances for Les Bleus in Russia last summer, has served two of his three matches so far.
He sat out a 4-0 home win over Saint Etienne and again on Sunday as PSG beat Rennes 3-1 away to reinforce their lead at the top of the table. Continue reading “PSG star Mbappe loses appeal against three-match ban”
AS Monaco have brought in Belgium forward Nacer Chadli on a three-year contract from English second-tier side West Bromwich Albion for an undisclosed fee, the clubs announced on Thursday.
West Brom, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, said the deal was concluded after the Ligue 1 side made an improved offer for Chadli late on Wednesday.
British media said Monaco paid a fee of 10 million pounds ($13.01 million) for the 29-year-old attacking midfielder.
“I am very happy to join AS Monaco, a great French club that participates in the Champions League,” Chadli said. NaijaBet
“The results of the last seasons prove the quality of the project and the ambition of the club. I will do everything to help AS Monaco achieve great things and achieve its goals.” Continue reading “Belgium forward Chadli join Monaco from West Brom”
Nice striker Mario Balotelli says he was persuaded to stay at the club by new coach Patrick Vieira despite having offers from five other teams, including one in China.
Balotelli angered Nice fans by missing training sessions during the summer as he weighed up his options before deciding stay on for a third season at the club. His decision was confirmed on Monday.
“I had the intention to leave and the club knew it,” he told the club’s television channel in an interview, adding that one of the offers came from Nice’s bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille. Live Matches are available on NaijaBet
“I understand the fans but they need to understand my side,” said Balotelli, who has scored 43 goals in 66 appearances for the club.
“Nice are not playing in Europe, Marseille are playing in Europe. It’s nothing to do with the supporters, I look at what is best, in the end I stay here.” Continue reading “Patrick Vieira persuaded me to stay at Nice – Balotelli”
Neymar scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain since February as the French champions kicked off the new Ligue 1 season with a 3-0 defeat of Caen on Sunday.
The Brazilian star, who scored 19 times in 20 league games before fracturing his foot last season, struck just 10 minutes into his first start for the club in almost six months.
Adrien Rabiot netted a second for PSG before halftime and Timothy Weah, the son of 1995 Ballon d’Or winner and Liberia president George Weah, rounded out the victory with his first league goal.
Gianluigi Buffon also produced a couple of sharp saves on his home bow in goal for PSG as coach Thomas Tuchel made a winning start at the Parc des Princes. Place bet on Live tennis games 24/7 online
German Tuchel, who replaced Unai Emery on a two-year deal, was without a host of first-team regulars as PSG’s trio of World Cup winners — Kylian Mbappe, Presnel Kimpembe and Alphonse Areola — showed off the trophy to fans before kick-off.
Edinson Cavani and Marco Verratti were also absent as Tuchel handed starts to youngsters Colin Dagba and Stanley N’Soki in defence, and fellow 19-year-old Antoine Bernede in midfield. Continue reading “Neymar,Timothy Weah on target as PSG open with victory”
Neymar left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain 12 months ago in a bid to move out of Lionel Messi’s shadow and confirm his status as one of the world’s best players, but the Brazilian may have to share the mantle of talisman with teenage prodigy Kylian Mbappe this season.
The French champions start the defence of their Ligue 1 title against Caen at the Parc des Princes on Sunday, and all eyes will be on Neymar after he missed the final three months of last term with a foot injury.
The world’s most expensive player has been the subject of consistent speculation linking him with a move away from France, with reports usually suggesting he will sign for Real Madrid, but he insists that he’s not done with PSG yet.
“Yes, I will stay in Paris. I have a contract with PSG. The speculation? The majority of it is invented by the press,” Neymar told ESPN Brasil last month. Premier league, Ligue1 market options are available on site
“I have a contract and people know the objective, the reason why I went to PSG. I want to win with this club and I hope this season will be wonderful.”
Neymar returned in time for the World Cup, but failed to inspire Brazil to a record-extending sixth title as they suffered a 2-1 quarter-final loss to Belgium. Continue reading “Ligue1 resumes: Focus on Neymar, Mbappe as PSG kick off title defence”
Dozens of screaming fans welcomed Brazil star Neymar on Thursday as he flew to China to rejoin Paris Saint-Germain after his disappointing World Cup.
The world’s most expensive player, wearing a canary-yellow hoodie, posed for pictures with airport staff before his noisy welcome in the arrivals hall.
Footage on Neymar’s Twitter account showed him signing Barcelona, Brazil and PSG shirts before being guided through the crowd by minders and security staff. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
Neymar’s arrival, ahead of Saturday’s French Super Cup game against Monaco in Shenzhen, comes more than five months after his last appearance for PSG following a foot injury in late February.
The flamboyant forward then endured a turbulent World Cup as Brazil were stunned by Belgium in the quarterfinals and he was widely lampooned for his play-acting. Continue reading “PSG starboy Neymar joins his teammate in China tour”
Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon has a fight on his hands for the Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper’s shirt as coach Thomas Tuchel revealed he had not yet decided who was his number one.
Buffon has made his first move abroad at the age of 40 but faces stiff competition at the French club, which shares his ambition of a first Champions League title.
Tuchel has an embarrassment of goalkeeping riches including Alphonse Areola, a member of France’s World Cup-winning squad, German international Kevin Trapp, Sebastien Cibois and Remy Descamps.
“He’s (Buffon) not afraid to fight for his place, Kevin and Alphonse are not afraid to fight for their place,” Tuchel said in Singapore, ahead of Monday’s friendly with Atletico Madrid. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 online
“This is the kind of competition that I would love to have in every other position.”
The German added: “This is a situation we need to handle relaxed but clearly. When everybody is there and everybody has shown up and everybody is healthy at the top level, then it’s time to decide.” Continue reading “I will have to fight for the number one shirt – Buffon”
New Arsenal coach Unai Emery is looking forward to a reunion with former club Paris St Germain in a Singapore friendly on Saturday but the Spaniard is focused more on intensifying pre-season conditioning ahead of the Premier League campaign.
The 46-year-old opted to leave the French capital at the end of last season after leading the Qatar-backed club to a domestic treble and replaced Arsene Wenger at Arsenal after the Frenchman ended his almost 22-year tenure in North London in May.
“I remain grateful to PSG. I had a good experience there and it was wonderful for my career and now I will play against them tomorrow, against a big club with great players,” Emery told reporters at the Singapore National Stadium on Friday. Naija and Bet
“Not only is it another step in our preparations for next season but also a chance for me to meet many friends I worked with there.”
Emery’s side opened the International Champions Cup with a penalty shootout loss to Atletico Madrid on Thursday following a 1-1 draw but the Spaniard remains delighted with the progress his squad are making ahead of the new season. Continue reading “Emery looks beyond Saturday reunion with PSG”
Brazilian superstar Neymar on Thursday sought to quash speculation about his future, insisting he planned to remain with French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
“I’m staying, I’m staying in Paris, I have a contract,” Neymar told reporters at an auction to raise money for his charitable foundation in Sao Paulo.
Neymar, who became the world’s most expensive footballer last year after moving to PSG from Barcelona in a record €222 million deal, has repeatedly been linked to a move to Real Madrid.
The European champions have issued a series of statements in recent weeks denying they have an interest in signing the 26-year-old striker. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet
Speculation of a Neymar move to the Bernabeu has intensified in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s shock move to Juventus, a development that has left a vacancy at Madrid for an elite, superstar player.
“In the face of the constant reports linking PSG’s Neymar Jr. to our club, Real Madrid C. F. wish to clarify that the club has no intention of making any offer for the player,” a Real Madrid statement said last week.
“The two clubs enjoy an excellent relationship and, as such, if Real Madrid were at any stage to consider securing the services of a PSG player, they would approach the club in the first instance.” Continue reading “I’ll stay in Paris, I have a contract with PSG.- Neymar”
Real Madrid on Wednesday denied media reports they have made a bid for Paris Saint-Germain’s teenage striker Kylian Mbappe, who is emerging as one of the biggest stars of the Russia World Cup.
Social media user Baptiste Ripart, who identifies himself as a journalist and editor, said in a Twitter posting that the Spanish Champions League holders had agreed to a world-record €272 million fee for the French 19-year-old.
Real Madrid issued their denial after Spanish sports dailies Marca and AS ran articles citing the posting. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“Given the information published …regarding an alleged agreement between Real Madrid and PSG for the player Kylian Mbappe, Real Madrid would like to state that it is completely false,” the club said in a statement on their website.
“Real Madrid has not made any offer to PSG or the player and condemns the spreading of this type of information.” Continue reading “Real Madrid deny report about Mbappe bid”
Former Arsenal and France star Patrick Vieira, world and European cham-pion with Les Bleus, has taken the reins at top-flight Nice, the French club said Monday.
Vieira, 41, arrives after a stint at MLS outfit New York City FC. He has signed a three-year contract and replaces Lucien Favre who is moving to Borussia Dortmund.
The former midfield dynamo started his playing career at Cannes then had a brief spell AC Milan before becoming the rock on which Arsenal built a decade of glory, starring for the Gunners from 1996-2005. Place bet on LIVE matches on NaijaBet
After winning three Premier League titles and three FA Cups he joined Juventus for a season as the club topped Serie A but then were stripped of the title and then had four years with Inter Milan each topped with a Serie A crown.
In 2011, he retired after a spell back in England with Manchester City and after winning 107 French caps. Continue reading “Patrick Vieira appointed Nice coach”
Paris St Germain’s Brazil defender Dani Alves needs at least three weeks of intensive treatment on a knee injury suffered in the French Cup final but he was optimistic of recovering in time for the World Cup, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
Alves, 35, limped off near the end of PSG’s 2-0 win over third-tier Les Herbiers on Tuesday and there were fears the full back might miss the World Cup, which kicks off on June 14.
But his spokesman said the injury does not need surgery and Alves will be evaluated after three weeks of treatment. Various betting options are available for today’s games on NaijaBet
Brazil coach Tite is scheduled to name his 23-man squad for the finals in Russia on Monday.
Brazil play warm-up matches against Croatia on June 3 and Austria seven days later before heading to Russia where they will face group rivals Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica.
Thomas Tuchel is not a big-name coach, he has won few trophies and has never managed a squad of stars, but French and German media agree that he will probably succeed Unai Emery at Paris Saint-Germain.
The German website reports that the 44-year-old Bavarian has already signed a two-year contract.
Emery appears to be merely biding his time in the PSG hotseat after the crushing elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid. Bet Now NaijaBet
Tuchel’s modest playing career peaked early with a handful of matches for Stuttgart Kickers in the German second division in 1992-93.
He went on to coach Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, winning the German Cup after succeeding the highly successful Jurgen Klopp.
Tuchel was recommended to the camp of emir Tamim ben Hamad al Thani by the Qatari consul to Germany, reported that he would be the first German to lead PSG. Continue reading “Thomas Tuchel might be PSG next Coach”
Embattled Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain must put aside the pain from their prosaic Champions League exit to drag their focus back to domestic affairs with an unglamourous Ligue 1 tie against Metz on Saturday.
Their European ambitions are again in tatters after Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Real Madrid.
To add insult to injury, European football’s governing body Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against PSG for the spate of smoke bombs and a laser deployed by their supporters during the match at the Parc des Princes.
Emery’s expensively-assembled Qatari-backed team host the club propping up the table with a nagging cloud over Neymar’s future. Place bet on week- end on NaijaBet
Having broken a foot bone in a league match against Marseille, the 222-million-euro marquee signing watched Tuesday’s game in Brazil where he is recovering from surgery.
PSG’s Brazilian defender Marquinhos urged his close friend to stay put at the Parc des Princes with rumours rife that Real Madrid are prepared to break the bank to attract the former Barcelona player back to Spain. Continue reading “PSG turn focus to domestic duties”
Olympique Marseille snatched an equaliser five minutes into stoppage-time to draw 1-1 at home to Nantes in Ligue 1 on Sunday and avoid a fourth consecutive defeat in all competitions.
Florian Thauvin bundled the ball into the net in a goalmouth melee following a corner after Nantes had taken the lead early in the first half through Leo Dubois, who beat Steve Mandanda with a right-foot shot from Valentin Rongier’s cut-back.
Nantes defender Nicolas Pallois was sent off after a second booking for dissent immediately after the equaliser for protesting that he had been fouled by Marseille’s Luis Gustavo. Latest odds on NaijaBet
Marseille, who enjoyed more possession but squandered a string of chances, notably three by France international Dimitri Payet, remained third in the standings on 56 points from 28 matches.
They are four points behind second-placed Monaco and 18 adrift of leaders Paris St Germain, who won 2-0 at Troyes on Saturday. Continue reading “Marseille grab last-gasp equalizer against Nantes”
Neymar’s broken foot and sprained ankle will keep him out of action for at least six weeks, his father said on Tuesday, but no decision has yet been made on whether surgery will be required to repair the damage.
The world’s most expensive footballer suffered the injury during Sunday’s 3-1 Ligue 1 win over Paris Saint Germain’s arch-rivals Olympique de Marseille and the Brazilian was in tears as he was carried off the pitch at Parc de Princes.
His father said the damage was such that Neymar would definitely miss next week’s Champions League encounter against Real Madrid. Place bet on Basket fixtures on NaijaBet
“PSG know that they won’t have Neymar in the next few games and that they won’t have Neymar for the next six weeks at least,” he told ESPN Brasil.
“Because this treatment is going to take six to eight weeks, we know that, whether it is surgery or conventional, it will be six or eight weeks.”
Neymar Senior said his son and the French club were waiting to see the Brazil’s national team doctor before deciding whether or not the forward needed surgery. Continue reading “Neymar out ‘at least six weeks’ out of UCL return Leg”
Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to an unlikely English Premier League title, has revealed he is ready to quit French Ligue 1 club Nantes if he is asked to become Italy coach.
The 66-year-old has been one of the names touted as a possible replacements for Gian Piero Ventura who was forced to resign after Italy’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
“Any Italian coach would love to be in charge of the national side,” Ranieri, who guided Leicester to their first ever Premier League title in 2016, said in Italia. Naija and Bet
“I have a contract with Nantes for two years and I have not received any messages, so I can’t say anything.
“But if I were to be contacted for the Italy job, I’d go to the Nantes president and ask to be released,” said the widely-travelled Ranieri, whose former clubs include Juventus, Napoli and Roma in Italy, Premier League giants Chelsea and Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain. Continue reading “Ranieri ready to become Italy new coach”
Paris St Germain’s sparkling forward Angel Di Maria scored a hat-trick as the holders won 4-1 at second-tier Sochaux to reach the French Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Argentine Di Maria opened the scoring with a first-minute header for the Ligue 1 leaders, who are aiming for their fourth French Cup triumph in a row. However, Sochaux’s Florian Martin quickly levelled with a left-foot finish in the 13th. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
PSG’s Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani converted Layvin Kurzawa’s cross to restore the visitors’ lead after 27 minutes and Di Maria put the result beyond doubt after the break.
The Argentina international caught Sochaux keeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi off guard at his near post with a precise left-foot finish after 59 minutes and then scored on the rebound after Cavani’s effort was parried into his path three minutes later. Continue reading “Di Maria hat-tricks send PSG into cup quarters”
Radamel Falcao struck twice as Monaco saw off Montpellier 2-0 on Wednesday to set up a French League Cup final against Paris Saint-Germain.
Falcao put the hosts ahead in the 15th minute at the Stade Louis II, before Monaco were denied a penalty by the video assistant referee system.
The Colombian doubled the lead before the half-hour mark, and although Rony Lopes had a second-period strike ruled out by video technology for offside, Leonardo Jardim’s men eased to victory to book a final date with PSG on March 31. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
The reigning Ligue 1 champions will be looking for a measure of revenge after being thrashed 4-1 by PSG in last year’s final.
“He (Falcao) hadn’t scored in three games but everyone knows he’s a big player and all players know there are times when they don’t score,” said Monaco coach Jardim.
“Now we have time to think about the final, we will prepare better for the final than last season.” Continue reading “Monaco will face PSG in League Cup final”