Musa Hand over Eagles Captain to Mikel

Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, has been announced as the new skipper of super eagles on Thursday.

Mikel, who is the longest-serving member of the current squad having made his début in 2006 will now lead the team against Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on March 25.

The announcement was made at a press conference,Musa who was made captain by Sunday Oliseh after Vincent Enyeama’s retirement, relinquished the armband to the Chelsea midfielder.

Musa revealed that it is an anomaly for him to be captain of the team when Mikel, who is the most senior member of the squad, is still with the team.

The Chelsea midfielder promised he will be a good leader to the team and thanked his teammates for the opportunity. Naijabet.com

“I want to thank Musa and the team. It will be a new Super Eagles with a new approach,” he said after the announcement.

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South American qualifying campaign for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia

 

The South American qualifying campaign for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia is set to return to action following the hiatus at the end of last year.

Unbeaten leaders Ecuador, who have earned maximum points so far, will be intent on cementing their place at the summit, while Brazil and Uruguay go head-to-head in a classic encounter steeped in history, with both eager to stay near the top of the standings.

Chile and Argentina will meet again as they eye all three points to stay in touch with the front-runners.

Brazil-Uruguay

The hosts, buoyed by victory over Peru in their last qualifier, have their sights set on a win that would consolidate their place near the top of the table. Coach Dunga has put his faith in many of the players who began the qualifying campaign, such as talisman Neymar, as well as Dani Alves, Willian and David Luiz. Naijabet.com

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Belgium vs Portugal friendly match move to Portugal

Belgium’s friendly against Portugal next week has been moved from Brussels to the Portuguese city of Leiria after more than 30 people were killed in attacks in the Belgian capital.

The match was called off for security reasons before Portugal’s football association offered a alternate venue.

The Belgium team will train at the King Baudouin Stadium, where the match was originally to be staged, on Wednesday.

The game will be played next Tuesday (19:45 GMT), as initially scheduled.

Captain Vincent Kompany was “horrified and revolted” by the incidents.

“I wish for Brussels to act with dignity,” he wrote on Twitter. “We are all hurting, yet we must reject hate and its preachers. As hard as it may be.”

Next week’s match is the second Belgium friendly in succession that has not gone ahead as scheduled. Naija and bet

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Messi’s presence is calming, motivating and always necessary : Argentina coach

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino welcomed Lionel Messi’s return to the team and said he was mulling over which of his top two centre-forwards to pick for Today’s World Cup qualifier away to Chile.

Captain Messi was injured for Argentina’s first four qualifiers last year for the 2018 finals in Russia and the team suffered in his absence.

They took just five points from those games to sit outside the qualifying berths in sixth place in the South American group.

“Messi’s presence is calming, motivating and always necessary,” Martino told a news conference on Wednesday before leaving with his squad for Santiago.

He faces a difficult decision in who to pick out of Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, both in fine club form, to lead the attack in the neighbours’ first meeting since Chile beat Argentina on penalties in last year’s Copa America final. Naija and bet

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Euro 2016’could be played behind closed doors without Spectators because of Terrorism

The EURO 2016 Tournament which is the biggest football tournament for European nations, will be held across 10 stadiums in 10 cities in France with the capacity of the smallest stadium being 33,000 while the largest being 81,000 (Stade de France) making it an easy target for terrorists attack.

UEFA bosses are considering closing stadiums from fans this summer in France as the world is still coming to terms from the shock of the Paris Terror attack in the Stade de France last year and most recently the Brussels airport attack that gulped 34 lives.

The tournament barely 3 months away, UEFA executive committee vice-president Giancarlo Abete has admitted the best option could be to play the matches behind closed doors. Naija and Bet

‘Euro 2016 is the kind of event we can’t delay or postpone,We can’t exclude the possibility of playing behind closed doors as we cannot exclude terrorism. – Abete

In a statement, UEFA said:

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Cristiano Ronaldo Might Join Ancellotti in Bayern Munich next Season

Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has spoken in understandably glowing terms of Cristiano Ronaldo, the man who helped him win La Decima for Los Blancos in 2014.

The pair enjoyed an excellent relationship throughout Ancelotti’s two-year tenure in the Spanish capital, during which Ronaldo registered a staggering 112 goals and 35 assists.

Indeed, the Portuguese forward is reported to have openly expressed his sadness at the Italian’s departure at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, and the latest comments from Pep Guardiola’s replacement at Bayern Munich have inevitably served to spark rumours that the two could be reunited in the summer in Bavaria.

“He [Ronaldo] is one of the best players ever, the best forward in the history of football,I have never coached a better player than him.”he said  Naijabet.com

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Nation Cup Qualifiers : Zambia VS Congo

Zambia and Congo-Brazzaville battle for top spot in Group E of the 2017 Africa Cup qualifiers when they meet on today at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Both sides head into match-day-three unbeaten and tied on 4 points with Congo pipping second placed Zambia to top spot on goal difference.

The match is the first leg of a doubleheader that could just decide the direction in Group E.

Six points are up for grabs over the next five days starting on March 23 in Ndola and later on March 27 in Brazzaville.

That prospective six-point haul will give the beneficiary a massive advantage in the race to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup finals in Gabon heading into the penultimate round of games in June when they would need a draw then to book their flight to Libreville with a match to spare.

Zambia head into the first leg with just one loss against Congo from ten previous meetings and with four wins and a draw since losing 1-0 in November 1996 in a 1998 World Cup qualifying match away in Pointe Noire. Naijabet

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Luis Suarez : I am going to have the same attitude

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez said he will not change the way he plays, but will return to international football with ‘moderation’ when he makes an expected return on Friday from a nine-match ban for biting.

Suarez is set to face Brazil in a 2018 World Cup qualifier after sitting out nine competitive international fixtures for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the last World Cup in Brazil almost two years ago.

The Barcelona player has managed to keep out of trouble for his club since the incident but said he will not change his aggressive style that has helped to make him one of the world’s deadliest strikers. Naija and bet

“I am going to have the same attitude, I will still run, still pressure, still argue because no one is going to change the way I play,” he said.

“But with moderation, like I am doing now at Barcelona, being more intelligent about a lot of things, trying to take advantage of the situations life is putting in front of me…

“The only thing I want to do is play with the national side again and enjoy the warmth of the fans.”

Uruguay have enjoyed a good start to their qualifying campaign, winning three out of their four games to sit in second place in the 10-team table, behind Ecuador, the only side to win all of their games so far.

After facing Brazil, Uruguay return home to play Peru next Tuesday.

Leicester to face Barca, PSG in Champions Cup

Leicester City will play Barcelona, Celtic and Paris St Germain in this year’s International Champions Cup (ICC), the Premier League leaders said on Today.

 The pre-season tournament is organised by Relevant Sports whose chairman Charlie Stillitano met representatives of top European clubs this month to discuss changing the Champions League to ensure the elite are always in it and the likes of Leicester are not.

 

Leicester, one of five Premier League teams involved in the 2016 event, begin their campaign against Celtic on July 23 in Glasgow. They travel to Los Angeles to face Paris St Germain on July 30 before taking on Barcelona in Stockholm on Aug. Naijabet.com

“This is the best roster of teams in ICC history and having them start their 2016-2017 campaign playing against each other will be a treat for both fans and the players,” Stillitano said in a statement.

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Fifa open Investigation on 2006 German World Cup

Fifa’s ethics watchdog has started formal proceedings against six individuals, including soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer, over the awarding of hosting rights to Germany for the 2006 World Cup, global soccer’s governing body said.

Other individuals included former German soccer officials Wolfgang Niersbach, Helmut Sandrock, Theo Zwanziger, Horst Schmidt and Stefan Hans. Naijabet.com

“In the cases of Mr Beckenbauer, Dr Zwanziger, Mr Schmidt and Mr Hans, the investigatory chamber will investigate possible undue payments and contracts to gain an advantage in the 2006 Fifa World Cup host selection and the associated funding,” the investigatory chamber of Zurich-based Fifa’s ethics committee said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Beckenbauer denied any wrongdoing in an affair involving the 2006 World Cup in Germany and said he knew nothing of a multi-million payment to a disgraced former Fifa official in Qatar.

Iwobi remains committed to Nigeria

Alex Iwobi, has pledged his international future to Nigeria and he is ready to play against Egypt this Friday.

The teenager missed training on Tuesday morning fuelling rumours that he may be nursing second thoughts amid reports suggesting that the England FA is keen to lure him over following his appearances for them at under-16, 17 and 18 levels.

Iwobi only suffered from traveller’s flu and should be in good condition to join up with the squad in subsequent training sessions ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Egypt in Kaduna this Friday. Naijabet.com

 

The Arsenal man has also made the trip to Kaduna and sat next to Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, throughout the journey to the Northern Nigerian city.

“Yes Alex Iwobi missed training,” But it was due to traveller’s diarrhea, and he was told to rest. So it shouldn’t be any reason to panic. As I speak Alex is with us. He ate lunch to show he’s fine. If he wanted to play for England, he would not have travelled down to Nigeria or be with us in the team bus now (headed to Kaduna) or even dressed in the green and white colours of Nigeria.” Super Eagles spokesman, Toyin Ibitoye,

 

Liverpool to faces Dortmund in Europa League Quarter Finals

Liverpool manager  has been handed a return to Borussia Dortmund, with the Reds facing the German side in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Klopp left Dortmund last summer after leading them to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final.

Sevilla, trying to win the competition for the third successive season, face Athletic Bilbao in an all-Spanish tie.

La Liga rivals Villarreal meet Sparta Prague, whileBraga face Shakhtar Donetsk.

The quarter-finals will be played on 7 and 14 April.

Liverpool will travel to Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion in the first leg.

Klopp’s Liverpool playing the club at which he built his reputation is the tie most neutral fans were hoping to see at some stage of the Europa League.

But he said after Thursday’s 3-1 aggregate victory against Manchester United that he wanted to avoid them in the last eight.

“Dortmund – why would I want the world’s strongest team?” said Klopp, when asked whether he would like to face his former club in the next round.

“But if we go there, we try to win. We have to be prepared and hopefully we are. Naijabet.com

Manchester City to face PSG in the quarter-finals of Champions League

Manchester City will face French champions Paris St-Germain in their first Champions League quarter-final.

City, the only English club remaining in the competition, avoided incoming manager Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich and holders Barcelona, who have knocked them out in the past two seasons.

Barca face Spanish rivals Atletico Madrid, Bayern meet Benfica, while Real Madrid take on Wolfsburg.

The quarter-finals will take place on 5-6 April and 12-13 April.

PSG, who have won their Ligue title with two months to spare, will welcome City to the French capital in the first leg. Naijabet.com

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Uefa chargesManchester United and Liverpool after Old Trafford trouble

Manchester United and Liverpool have been charged by Uefa following crowd trouble during the Europa League last-16 second leg at Old Trafford.

Rival fans were seen fighting in the stands, seats were thrown and flares were lit at Thursday’s 1-1 draw, during which five men were arrested.

Both clubs have been charged with crowd disturbances and throwing of objects.

Liverpool, who won 3-1 on aggregate, have been charged with illicit chants and the setting off of fireworks.

The case will be heard by Uefa’s control, ethics and disciplinary body on 19 May, the day after the Europa League final in Basel. Naijabet.com

Greater Manchester Police superintendent Jim Liggett said the force was investigating a “handful of concerning incidents” after Thursday’s game.

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Bayern focus on Bundeslida after Juve win

Pep Guardiola will be hoping Bayern Munich suffer no Champions League hangover when they return to Bundesliga action at Cologne on Saturday on the back of their stunning victory against Juventus.

Bayern came from two goals down to beat Italian champions Juve 4-2 after extra time in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday and advance to the quarter-finals 6-4 on aggregate.

The Bavarians, who are in the last eight of Europe’s elite club competition for the fifth campaign running, have won all seven of their league fixtures immediately after European matches this season, often running up big scores in the process. naijabet

“Juventus is history, now our focus is on Cologne,” said Guardiola as he oversaw Bayern training on Thursday.

With eight games left, second-placed Borussia Dortmund are just five points behind the leaders and Guardiola went for the old cliche of “every game is a final now” with Bayern looking to become the first team to win four successive German titles.

Centre-backs Javi Martinez, Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng are all still sidelined for Bayern against a Cologne side on a high after beating Hanover 2-0 last weekend.

That was their first victory in five league games and their first clean sheet since November. Naijabet

Mesut Ozil says Arsenal have to fight and win the Premier League

Midfielder Mesut Ozil says Arsenal have a fight on their hands to overtake Leicester City at the top of the standings and win the Premier League after exiting two cup competitions in the space of four days.

Arsenal were beaten in the FA Cup by Watford last Sunday and lost 3-1 at Barcelona on Wednesday to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the sixth season in a row.

Manager Arsene Wenger’s team trail Leicester by 11 points, having played a game less, and the Premier League represents their last hope of silverware this season.

“We have to concentrate now and give everything on the pitch. We have to fight,” Ozil.

“I know the teams playing us will fight to take the points against us, so the games will be tough. We have to work harder than before.”

Defender Laurent Koscielny spoke of the frustration and fragile confidence of a team that has failed to win a league game in their last three outings to go alongside their dispiriting losses to Barcelona and Watford.

“We haven’t been fighting like we did in the last six months because we lost a little confidence in ourselves and it is harder to win some games,” he said.

“We need to come back to our basics, be simple and then the confidence will come back.”Naija and bet

Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Athletic Bilbao cruised into the Europa League quarter-finals

Liverpool were protecting a two-goal lead from the first leg at Anfield but Anthony Martial’s 32nd-minute penalty offered United brief hope after he was fouled by Nathaniel Clyne.

Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata had missed clear opportunities for United but Liverpool were also a threat as David de Gea saved superbly from Coutinho while Daniel Sturridge hit the bar with a free-kick and Jordan Henderson missed an open goal.

The away goal Liverpool threatened, and which left United needing four on the night, came right on half-time when Coutinho beat Guillermo Varela with ease before lifting a near-post finish past De Gea.

It ended the game as a contest with United unable to rouse themselves again as Liverpool completed the formalities to win the first European meeting between the two clubs.

Borussia Dortmund cruised into the Europa League quarter finals Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, Spurs needed to score at least five times when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s swerving shot flew into the far corner. Naijabet.com

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Jose Mourinho Agree that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar can make a difference.

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has stated that Barcelona’s success comes firstly from their team ethic – and not their individual superstars.

“First of all it’s about individual players. Just to give you an example, Messi won the Champions League with three different managers.

“I think it’s easier to win with him, than against him. I am a football manager. I know that sometimes people think that the individual is more important than the team.

“But when I feel that it is time for me to take a permanent holiday—I still think that the team is more important than anything.

“But the obvious reality is that there are some players who can make a difference. Naijabet.com

Louis van Gaal feels his players “must deliver” against Liverpool on Today.

Van-Gaal1

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal feels his side “must deliver” in their Europa League last-16 second leg tie against Liverpool on Thursday.

A desperately poor performance from the Red Devils saw them lose 2-0 in the first leg at Anfield last week.

United have failed to win in their last three matches in all competitions.

“It starts with the players, of course, but it starts also with the fans. They have a lot of impact on the pitch,” said Dutchman Van Gaal.

The meeting against rivals Liverpool comes a week before the 32nd anniversary of one of their greatest comebacks.

Trailing 2-0 to Barcelona in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, United won 3-0 at Old Trafford to reach the semi-finals.

They were also 2-1 down to Danish side FC Midtjylland after the first leg in the previous round, before winning 5-1 in the second.

“We have to believe in it,” said Van Gaal when asked if they can rescue the tie. “I have spoken only with the players about the victory.

“We always owe to the fans a big result because the fans are paying to see that. We have to deliver.”Naija and bet

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Taiwo Awoniyi confident to shine with Liverpool first team next season.

Taiwo Awoniyi says he is confident of getting a chance in the Liverpool first team next season.

The 18-year-old joined Liverpool on August 31, 2015 for around £400,000 and was immediately loaned out to German second division club, FSV Frankfurt.

He has since made five league appearances for the German club but is eager for the chance to shine in England from next season. Naijabet

“The first issue (I have to sort out now) is the work permit.

“Before you play in England, you have to get the work permit and that is what I am concerned about now”

The attacker has already played for Nigeria at under-17, 20, 23 and senior levels.

He is widely regarded as a big prospect in years to come and made his intent known shortly after Liverpool announced they had acquired his services last year.

““This is the biggest club in the world and I’m privileged to be here. I’ll try to develop myself very well so that when I come back to Liverpool I’ll be able to add value to the team.

“When I’m in the red shirt, I will always give my very best to make the fans happy,” he told the club’s official website.

Barca Messi,Luis Suarez and Neymar are the best strikers I have seen: Wenger’s

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed Barcelona’s front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar as capable of turning football into art as all three struck to eliminate his side from the Champions League.

The Gunners bowed out at the last 16 stage for a sixth consecutive season 5-1 on aggregate after a 3-1 defeat at the Camp Nou on Wednesday, but gave the European champions a scare with a spirited display.

However, the difference in quality in front of goal was the deciding factor in the tie as Barca’s South American trio all netted to take their combined tally for the season to 106.

“We have to admire art and they have two or three players that transform normal life into art,” said Wenger.

“I have to say we played against a team with the best strikers I’ve seen. The three are exceptional and from nothing they can create a chance.”

By contrast, Arsenal’s whole squad have managed just 72 goals this season and their downfall was once again a lack of cutting edge up front.

Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck missed great chances to level after Neymar’s early opener. Naijabet.com

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Lucky Bayern Munich fought back from two goals down to beat Juventus in extra time

Bayern Munich’s stunning four-goal fightback to beat Juventus had the ‘wow’ factor for Pep Guardiola as the they reached the Champions League quarterfinals for the fifth season in a row

Bayern Munich fought back from two goals down to beat Juventus in extra time, dramatically progressing to the Champions League quarter-finals.

With the tie poised at 2-2 after the first leg, Paul Pogba and Juan Cuadrado scored to put Juve in command.

Robert Lewandowski’s header gave Bayern hope but Juve looked to have seen them off until Thomas Muller’s 90th-minute goal forced the match into extra time.

And a buoyed Bayern finished in style through Thiago and Kingsley Coman. Naijabet.com

The hosts – who had dominated possession to little effect in normal time – played with more urgency after Muller’s lifeline, with the introduction of substitutes Coman and Thiago playing a key part in the turnaround.

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Barcalona v Arsenal :The big Match Preview

Barcelona will be looking for a tenth straight Champions League home win when they host round of 16 rivals Arsenal Today.

Arsenal will hope to avoid defeats against Barcelona who beat them previously in two-legged ties in the Champions League in 2010 and 2011.

The Gunners, however, have a mountain to climb after Lionel Messi’s late double in the first leg gave Barcelona a 2-0 victory– the fourth year in a row Arsenal have lost at home in the round of 16 first leg.

When the teams met in the 2010/11 round of 16, Arsenal came from behind to win the first leg 2-1, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin overturning David Villa’s first-half goal.

Barcelona recovered with a 3-1 second-leg success in which Messi scored twice. Sergio Busquets had briefly given Arsenal hope with a 53rd-minute own goal that made it 1-1 three minutes before Van Persie’s dismissal.

 

The previous season Messi had hit all four Barcelona goals in a 4-1 second-leg quarter-final triumph over Arsenal. Arsène Wenger’s men had given themselves hope in the first leg by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 through Theo Walcott and Cesc Fàbregas (penalty).

Barcelona beat Arsenal 2-1 in the 2006 final at Stade de France with Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti scoring late on to overturn Sol Campbell’s strike for an Arsenal side who lost Jens Lehmann to a first-half red card. Naijabet.com

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Atletico beat PSV 8-7 in a shootout to progress into quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Juanfran scored the winning penalty as Atletico Madrid beat PSV Eindhoven 8-7 in a shootout to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The two sides could not be separated over 210 minutes, in what was the first-ever Champions League knockout tie to end 0-0 in both legs.

In a high-quality shootout, the first 14 penalties were all converted.

But Luciano Narsingh, on as a late substitute for the Dutch champions’ top scorer Luuk de Jong, then hit the bar.

“It was a real heart stopper,” said Juanfran. “I am very happy to see how the crowd got behind the side. We believe, our coach makes us believe and we have a lot of hunger and heart. We believe in all that we do.”

It is the second consecutive season in which Diego Simeone’s men have progressed to the last eight on penalties, having seen off Bayer Leverkusen in similar fashion last year. Naijabet

Continue reading “Atletico beat PSV 8-7 in a shootout to progress into quarter-finals of the Champions League.”

Super Eagles open camp for preparations against Egypt

Eagles have continued preparations for the March 25 Africa Cup of Nations against Egypt with the return of players in camp after the weekend games in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

The players were put through their paces by interim coach Samson Siasia and his assistants with emphasis on fitness and ball movement.

First choice goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa led the group which includes Emmanuel Daniel, Chisom Chikatara, Oghenekaro Etebo, Kalu Orji, Seth Sincere, Ifeanyi Matthew, Chibuzor Okonkwo, Etim Matthew, Austin Obaroakpo and Godwin Obaje.

Enyimba duo of Chima Akas and goalkeeper Femi Thomas were excused to rejoin their club for the second leg CAF Champions League tie with Vital’O of Burundi, Naijabet.com

The home-based players will be joined by the foreign-based players from March 20, five days before the all-important clash with the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Super Eagles are second in Group G of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, two points behind leaders Egypt.