I deserve to win more Ballon d’Or awards than Messi – Ronaldo

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo said he deserves to end his soccer career with more Ballon d’Or awards than Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi and hopes to establish himself as the greatest player of all time.

Ronaldo, 34, has won the renowned France Football magazine trophy for the world’s best player five times – as many as Messi – but is eager for more as he moves into the twilight of his career.

“Messi’s in the history of football,” Ronaldo told said in an interview with on Tuesday. “But I think I have to have six or seven or eight to be above him,” he said, referring to the Ballon d’Or awards.

“I’d love it, I think I deserve it.”

The Portugal captain said he was no friend of the Argentine but credited his rival for helping push him further in his own career. Bet Now on NaijaBet

“My relationship with him is, we are not friends, but we have shared this stage for 15 years,” Ronaldo said. “I know that he has pushed me to be a better player and I have pushed him to be a better player as well.”

Continue reading “I deserve to win more Ballon d’Or awards than Messi – Ronaldo”

Martinez fires hat-trick as Argentina thrashed Mexico

Lautaro Martinez fired a 22-minute hat-trick as Argentina thrashed Mexico 4-0 in a friendly international in San Antonio on Tuesday.

Inter Milan striker Martinez scored in the 17th, 22nd and 39th minutes at the Alamodome to give Argentina a deserved win over a lacklustre Mexico team.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes scored Argentina’s other goal from the penalty spot after 33 minutes as the South American giants romped into a 4-0 lead at halftime.

But it was the 22-year-old Martinez who grabbed the headlines with a clinical exhibition of finishing which took his international goals tally to nine in 13 appearances. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Martinez opened the scoring in the 17th minute, picking the ball up deep in Mexican territory before twisting and turning past several defenders and firing low past Guillermo Ochoa.

Continue reading “Martinez fires hat-trick as Argentina thrashed Mexico”

Brilliant De Bruyne helps Belgium outclass Scotland

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez believes a fresh Kevin De Bruyne will be even better for club and country this season after the Manchester City midfielder tore Scotland apart in a 4-0 win for Martinez’s men on Monday.

De Bruyne set up Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld to score inside the first 32 minutes before capping a brilliant individual display by rounding off the scoring.

Belgium and City had to cope without the 28-year-old for most of last season due to two major knee injuries.

But De Bruyne has started the season like a man keen to make up for lost time.

“He has started the season in a fresh manner and you can see his exceptional quality. For me he is the best playmaker in world football,” said Martinez. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

“Playmakers used to stop the play to make the pass, he can execute that pass on the move. You saw him fresh, full of responsiblity and he’s having a very influential role.”

De Bruyne will be a key figure for the Red Devils if Belgium are to deliver on their enormous potential by winning next year’s European championships.

Continue reading “Brilliant De Bruyne helps Belgium outclass Scotland”

Ramos makes history as Spain sinks Faroe Islands

Spain eased to a 4-0 Uefa Euro 2020 qualifying win over Faroe Islands on a record-equalling night for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos.

The La Roja captain earned his 167th cap to move level with Iker Casillas as the most-capped Spain player of all-time.

Both Rodrigo and Paco Alcacer bagged a brace for the hosts in Gijon, with the Borussia Dortmund forward’s double coming within the space of three second-half stoppage time minutes as Spain made it six wins in six matches.

Armenia kicked off the day’s qualifiers with a 4-2 victory over Bosnia & Herzegovina. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who joined AS Roma on-loan from Arsenal on transfer deadline day, scored a double for the hosts. Various betting options are available on site for today’s games

Switzerland built on their unbeaten run with a comfortable 4-0 win over Malta, while Chelsea midfielder Jorginho scored a 79th minute penalty to keep Italy’s perfect record intact.

Continue reading “Ramos makes history as Spain sinks Faroe Islands”

Spain took a step closer to qualification for Euro 2020

Spain made it five wins out of five in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign by earning a scrappy 2-1 victory in Romania on Thursday despite playing the final stages with 10 men after defender Diego Llorente was sent off.

Captain Sergio Ramos gave Spain a deserved lead in the 27th minute by converting a penalty to score a fourth goal in five European qualifiers, his third from the spot.

Paco Alcacer put Spain further at ease by scoring early in the second half after missing three clear chances in the first, but substitute Florin Andone brought Romania back into contention with a close-range strike in the 59th minute. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

The goal galvanised the vociferous home crowd and they grew more determined after Llorente was shown a straight red card with 11 minutes left for denying a clear scoring opportunity with a foul.

Continue reading “Spain took a step closer to qualification for Euro 2020”

Loew shrug off Sane absence ahead of Netherlands clash

Joachim Loew’s resurgent Germany side face their first test without Manchester City winger Leroy Sane when they renew their rivalry with neighbours the Netherlands in Friday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Hamburg.

Sane, 23, is one of several German players missing through injury, including Julian Draxler and Thilo Kehrer, after he tore knee ligaments during City’s Community Shield win over Liverpool last month.

The twinkle-toed winger has been a key part of the national team’s recovery from their World Cup debacle last year, scoring in five of Germany’s last six games.

Two of those goals have come against Friday’s opponents the Netherlands, who Germany have faced three times since last October in a resumption of one of international football’s biggest rivalries.

Yet Sane’s teammates insisted this week that they would be able to compensate for his absence. Various Betting options are available on NaijaBet

“Leroy creates a lot of space and is very important for the team, but we have a lot of quality to replace him,” said Borussia Dortmund player Marco Reus on Wednesday.

Continue reading “Loew shrug off Sane absence ahead of Netherlands clash”

Fifa revealed Official Emblem for Qatar 2022 World Cup

The Official Emblem of the 22nd edition of the Fifa World Cup™ was unveiled today as Fifa and host country Qatar reached another major milestone on the road to the world’s greatest football showpiece.

The official unveiling took place in Qatar’s capital, Doha, at 20:22 local time (19:22 CET), with thousands of spectators witnessing the synchronised projection of the emblem onto a number of the country’s most iconic buildings, including Burj Doha, Katara Cultural Village Amphitheatre, Ministry of Interior, Souq Waqif and Msheireb and Al Zubarah Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

A number of major cities around the world are also celebrating the milestone, with images of the emblem seen on renowned locations and outdoor billboards in prominent public spaces. Some of the world’s best-known footballers and Fifa World Cup legends are also taking to social media to support the launch and share the emblem with their millions of fans online.

The emblem’s design embodies the vision of an event that connects and engages the entire world, while also featuring striking elements of local and regional Arab culture and allusions to the beautiful game. Bet Here

The swooping curves of the emblem represent the undulations of desert dunes and the unbroken loop depicts both the No 8 – a reminder of the eight astonishing stadiums that will host matches – and the infinity symbol, reflecting the interconnected nature of the event.

Continue reading “Fifa revealed Official Emblem for Qatar 2022 World Cup”

All you need to know about Champions League group stage draw

The 26 teams given direct entry to the group stage under the competition system introduced in 2018/19 are joined by the six winners of the play-off ties.

No team can play a club from their own association and, based on decisions taken by the UEFA Executive Committee, clubs from Russia and Ukraine must not be drawn in the same group.

In the case of associations with two or more representatives, clubs will be paired in order to split their matches between Tuesday and Wednesday.

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If a paired club is drawn, for example, in Groups A, B, C or D, the other paired club – once drawn – will automatically be assigned to one of Groups E, F, G or H.

Continue reading “All you need to know about Champions League group stage draw”

Spurs need winning run to keep up with City, Liverpool – Kane

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane does not expect Premier League champions Manchester City and runner-up Liverpool to step off the gas this season and said the London side have to match the relentless approach of the top two to keep up.

City clinched the league title with 98 points to Liverpool’s 97 as part of a domestic treble last season while the Merseyside club won their sixth European championship.

Asked by the British media if Tottenham were best equipped to compete with the dominant duo this season, Kane said: “Yes hopefully, but it’s still going to take a lot of hard work.”

Liverpool lead the league with three wins from as many games while City are second, two points behind them.

“As you’re seeing … there’s no letting up from them,” said Kane, whose team lost 1-0 to Newcastle United on Sunday. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet for today’s games

“I said before the start of the season that if we could put a run together … maybe winning for two-three months on the spin without dropping points, then that’s what it’s going to take.

Continue reading “Spurs need winning run to keep up with City, Liverpool – Kane”

Challenging Messi made me a better player – Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo admitted on Wednesday his long-time rivalry with Lionel Messi has made him “a better player” and that he enjoys a “healthy” rivalry with the Argentine great.

However, Portuguese star Ronaldo, whose influence at Real Madrid mirrored that of Messi at Barcelona before he left for Juventus, admitted that the pair have never socialised together.

“I really admire the career he has had and from his side, he has already talked of the disappointment when I left Spain because it was a rivalry that he appreciated,” Ronaldo said. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“It’s a good rivalry but it’s not unique – Michael Jordan had rivalries in basketball, there was Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in Formula 1. The thing they all had in common is that they were healthy rivalries.”

Continue reading “Challenging Messi made me a better player – Ronaldo”

Premier League Match Preview: Wolves vs Manchester United

Wolves drew their opening league game of the season 0-0 with Leicester, while Manchester United thumped Chelsea 4-0.

Wolves were a revelation in the Premier League last season and took more points off the top-six than any other side outside the elite clubs.
Wolves were unbeaten in three matches against United last season and beat them twice in that time.

Fatigue could prove a slight issue for Wolves after playing in the Europa League on Thursday but they should more than fancy their chances of causing United problems on Monday tonight.

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Wolves- Wolves were involved in Europa League action on Thursday but expect a much-changed team here to the side that faced Pyunik in midweek despite some impressive performances.

Nuno’s side started their Premier League campaign with a 0-0 draw with Leicester and are expected to go with much of the same side here. Bet Now on NaijaBet

Summer arrivals like Patrick Cutrone and Jesus Vallejo will not be rushed in the starting XI, meaning both will likely have to settle for a place on the bench on Monday night. Continue reading “Premier League Match Preview: Wolves vs Manchester United”

Dani Alves scores the winner on his returns to Brazil debut

Brazil veteran Dani Alves scored the winning goal on his debut for Sao Paulo on Sunday, weeks after signing a three-year deal with the club.

Alves, 36, found the back of the net in the 40th minute to score the only goal of the game against Ceara.

Alves and Spanish international Juanfran, 34, are the stars for Sao Paulo, who snapped up both players after their contracts with European clubs expired.

Alves’ return to Brazil after 17 years playing for top clubs in Europe has had a big impact on his home country. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet

The right-back played for Sevilla before going on to play for Barcelona, Juventus and PSG, collecting nine national league titles along the way – six in Spain, one in Italy and two in France. Continue reading “Dani Alves scores the winner on his returns to Brazil debut”

Report: Barcelona officials head to France for Neymar move

Barcelona officials headed to France on Tuesday for talks with Paris Saint-Germain to seal a return to the Spanish club for Brazilian star Neymar, reports said.

The club’s director for football, retired French international Eric Abidal, and two other top club officials few to Paris to meet with their Paris Saint-Germain counterparts, Catalan radio Rac1 and Catalan television TV3 reported.

“The breakthrough is significant as PSG had up until now refused to meet with Barcelona emissaries but it does not mean that the deal is close,” Rac1 wrote on its website.

The deal which the Barcelona officials will propose could include other players such as Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic, it added. Various betting options are available on NaijaBet for today’s games

Paris Saint-Germain revealed on Saturday that Neymar transfer talks are “more advanced than before” after the Brazilian was dropped for the French champions’ opening Ligue 1 match.

Continue reading “Report: Barcelona officials head to France for Neymar move”

Everton complete deadline-day Iwobi signing from Arsenal

Everton sealed the deadline-day signing of Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi on Thursday for a reported fee of £28 million, completing a busy transfer window for the club.

Nigeria international Iwobi penned a five-year deal which was only announced more than four hours after the transfer deadline.

The 23-year-old, capped 36 times by Nigeria, scored 15 goals in 149 appearances for Arsenal after making his first-team debut in 2015. New season alert, Start forecasting your Weekend games Now

“He is still young but already with a lot of top-level experience –- 100 Premier League matches, more in Europe and many international games,” said Everton manager Marco Silva.

Continue reading “Everton complete deadline-day Iwobi signing from Arsenal”

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if we get an offer, Neymar can leave PSG – Leonardo

Paris St Germain sporting director Leonardo says Neymar is free to leave the French champions but there have been no offers for him and only “superficial” talks with his former club Barcelona.

The Brazilian forward joined PSG from Barcelona on a five-year deal for a world record transfer fee of 222 million euros ($249 million) in 2017.

“Neymar can leave PSG if there is an offer that suits everyone. But to date, we do not know if anyone wants to buy him or at what price. All this is not done in a day, that’s for sure,” Leonardo Le Parisien.

“It’s clear to everyone (that he wants to leave), but in football, you say one thing today and tomorrow another … It’s amazing but it’s like that. We talked with his entourage too. Everyone knows everything. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet

“The position is clear for all participants. But one thing is concrete today: he still has three years of contract with us and since we have not received an offer, we cannot discuss anything.”

Continue reading “if we get an offer, Neymar can leave PSG – Leonardo”

Argentina players angry as VAR stays out of the spotlight

Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero lashed out at the officiating after their 2-0 Copa America semifinal defeat to Brazil on Tuesday and questioned why video technology was not consulted in two penalty appeals that were waved away.

The video assistant referee (VAR) system has been used heavily at the tournament, to such an extent that organisers CONMEBOL had to defend its use with fans complaining about lengthy stoppages.

The system has had a huge impact on results, ruling out three Uruguay goals in their quarterfinal exit to Peru as well as strikes for Chile in their last eight game with Colombia.

The group stage also saw numerous goals chalked off after lengthy stoppages for reviews, while several penalties were awarded even when there had been no appeals for a foul.

On Tuesday, however, VAR was conspicuous by its absence and Messi, who is not known for verbal outbursts, was furious that it was not used. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“Referees gave so many stupid fouls in this Copa America but today VAR wasn’t consulted once,” he told reporters.

“This should be looked into and I hope CONMEBOL do something with these referees who unbalance the pitch by favouring a team.

Continue reading “Argentina players angry as VAR stays out of the spotlight”

Copa America: Messi rescues Argentina as Paraguay pay penalty

A Lionel Messi penalty salvaged a 1-1 draw for Argentina against Paraguay on Wednesday as the two-time world champions once again struggled at the Copa America.

Messi swept in a 57th-minute spot-kick at Belo Horizonte’s Mineirao Stadium to cancel out a first-half opener from Paraguay’s Richard Sanchez.

Argentina also had goalkeeper Franco Armani to thank for a second half penalty save that prevented Paraguay from taking a 2-1 lead in the Group B battle.

The draw left Argentina with one point from two games and on the bottom of the table with one game remaining.

However with the two best third placed teams advancing to the quarterfinals, Argentina can still reach the last eight with a decisive win over Qatar in their final group game. Place bet on Live Mathes 24/7

“We have to win,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said of his team’s date with Qatar. “We will take stock of what we did well and what we did not do well and we will make decisions. We are lucky that we are still alive in this tournament,” added Scaloni, singling out goalkeeper Armani for special praise. Continue reading “Copa America: Messi rescues Argentina as Paraguay pay penalty”

Suarez, Cavani shine as Uruguay crush Ecuador in Copa America

Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani were on target as Uruguay thumped 10-man Ecuador 4-0 in their opening Group C match at the Copa America on Sunday.

Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring after just six minutes before Ecuador full-back Jose Quintero was dismissed for a flailing arm.

With a numerical advantage, Uruguay ran riot at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte as Cavani and Suarez netted before the break. The rout was completed 12 minutes from time with an Arturo Mina own goal.

“We had chances in the first half, we managed to take them and that gave us the tranquility to manage the game,” said Cavani, who finally scored his first Copa America goal in his fourth participation.

“It was an important step.” Start forecasting your AFCON games Now

It was the ideal beginning for Uruguay in a tough Group C alongside champions Chile and guests Japan, who meet on Monday in Sao Paulo.

“We’re not as bad as that,” lamented Ecuador’s Colombian coach Hernan Dario Gomez.

“It was a match that got away from us, especially in the first half when it got away from us in every aspect.”

Continue reading “Suarez, Cavani shine as Uruguay crush Ecuador in Copa America”

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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.”

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”