Zidane become the seventh to win UCL as player & coach

French football legend Zinedine Zidane became just the seventh man to win the Champions League as a player and a coach after Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid on penalties on Saturday.

Zidane masterminded a huge turnaround in Real’s fortunes just five months into his first senior managerial role as he led the Spanish giants to their 11th European Cup after replacing the sacked Rafael Benitez in January.

His playing career at Real is also most fondly remembered for the sensational winning goal he struck to win the 2002 Champions League final against Bayern Leverkusen.

Here, Naijabet Sports looks at the other six men to have experienced European glory as a player and a coach.

Strong>Miguel Munoz

Player: Real Madrid 1956, 1957

Coach: Real Madrid 1960, 1966

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Real Madrid are the champions of Europe

Real Madrid were crowned European champions for an unprecedented 11th time when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty in a 5-3 shootout victory over Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

The Champions League final had finished 1-1 after extra time with Sergio Ramos having bundled the ball home to give Real the lead in the 15th minute.

Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty at the start of the second half for Atletico when he fired his shot against the bar.

Atletico, beaten in their two previous final appearances, including the most recent against Real in 2014, suffered a series of let-offs before substitute Yannick Carrasco rifled in the equaliser in the 79th minute to send the game into extra time. Naijabet.com

Juanfran missed Atletico’s fourth penalty in the shootout and Ronaldo converted to seal victory for Real.

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Torres hungry for Atletico UCL glory

Atletico Madrid forward Fernando Torres has called Saturday’s Champions League final with Real Madrid the game of his life as he yearns for a first trophy with his boyhood club.

Torres made his debut for the Madrid team in 2001 after joining their youth setup as a child and later became captain before departing for Liverpool in 2007. Predict scores on Naiajbet.com

He returned to Atletico in January 2015, missing out on a glut of trophies between 2012-14 and their 4-1 defeat by Real in the 2014 Champions League final.

Although Torres won the Champions League with Chelsea and two European Championships and the World Cup with Spain, he said all those triumphs would pale by comparison to Atletico becoming kings of Europe.

“Without any doubt it’s the most important, special and lovely game of my life,” Torres told a news conference on Friday.

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Yobo – tale of a true Nigeria compatriot

Nigeria’s participation at the 2002 Fifa World Cup in Japan/South Korea is one to easily forget because the Eagles flapped her wings and refused to fly.

Despite the disappointment, there were rays of light that shone through the Nigeria set up during the tournament which will be a ‘hammer and anvil’ for a decade after that.

Having lost the first game 1-0 to Argentina in the group stage, the Eagles had to beat Sweden to stand any chance of making it into the knock-out stage.

Things started brightly for Nigeria when Julius Aghahowa powered home a header to give Nigeria a 1-0 lead. The Swedes later came back to win the game and effectively end Nigeria’s hopes of going into the second round.

Nigeria played out a goalless draw against England in the last group game and was knocked out of the competition,but a two stars were born.

One of them? Joseph Yobo. Naijabet

Julius Aghahowa’s goal was a beauty and his celebration afterwards befitted the manner it was scored.

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Mourinho and Pep Guardiola to first meet in Beijing

The new managers of Manchester United and Manchester City will face an early confrontation when the teams meet in a friendly in Beijing on July 25.

Jose Mourinho, officially confirmed as United boss on Friday, and old adversary Pep Guardiola, who is replacing Manuel Pellegrini at City, will renew hostilities in the pre-season International Champions Cup.

There was little love lost between the pair when Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid and Guardiola led Barcelona.

The rivalry is likely to be just as fierce when United attempt to make up ground on their neighbours, who have finished above them in the Premier League for the past three seasons.

This term City were only ahead on goal difference but pipping United to fourth position meant they took the final Champions League qualifying place. Naijabet

United won the FA Cup last weekend but the final proved to be manager Louis van Gaal’s swansong, his dismissal coming two days later.

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Reaction on twitter about Mourinho appointment

Twitter reaction to the news that Jose Mourinho has been appointed manager of Manchester United on Friday.

“José Mourinho is confirmed as the new manager of Manchester United. Great appointment for the club and Mourinho.

Former Leicester and England international striker Gary Lineker

“Next season will be electric in the dugouts. Mourinho, Klopp, Guardiola, Conte all fresh and keen….and Wenger of course.”

Added Lineker, now a television presenter Naijabet.com

“Being first is in his blood. Jose Mourinho: Welcome to @ManUtd. #FirstNeverFollows

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Jose Mourinho confirmed as new ​Manchester United manager

Manchester United have appointed Jose Mourinho as manager on a three-year contract with an option to stay on until at least 2020, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The 53-year-old Portuguese replaces Dutchman Louis van Gaal whose two-year reign at Old Trafford ended on Monday when he was sacked two days after United won the FA Cup.

“Jose is quite simply the best manager in the game today. He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here,” United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said in a statement.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Manchester United. His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward.”

Mourinho, sacked by Chelsea in December, had been widely expected to succeed Van Gaal and his agent Jorge Mendes met United officials on Tuesday to discuss personal terms. Naijabet

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Alves denied having interests several clubs


Barcelona right back Dani Alves’ agent has denied suggestions his client has signed a pre-contract agreement with Juventus but says the player is a target for the Italian champions and other teams.

Barcelona-based publications El Mundo Deportivo and Sport reported on Thursday that Alves’ eight-year spell at the club would end with the Brazil international moving to Turin this summer on a three-year deal.

However, his agent and former wife Dinorah Santa Ana da Silva told Marca: “It’s not true that there is an agreement.

“Dani has not completed any deal with anyone and right now he is in Brazil and is only exclusively concerned with doing good things with the national team. Naijabet

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Simeone to stay with Atletico Madrid until 2017

Atletico Madrid were given a big boost ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid in Milan with the news that coach Diego Simeone will be staying on next season.

President Enrique Cerezo said on Thursday that the former Atletico player would remain at the club until at least June 2017, when his contract expires.

“Simeone will stay next season,” Cerezo told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

The former Argentina midfielder has won La Liga, the Europa League and King’s Cup in his four and a half seasons at the helm. Naijabet

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who played under Simeone in Madrid, says the coach is the key factor in the team’s success.

“I remember his words two years ago, ‘When you believe and you work it can be done’,” Courtois told Onda Cero radio.

“Simeone knows how to motivate the group very well. Since he arrived Atleti have grown.

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Brazil called kaka to join COPA America squad

Brazil have called on Kaka as a late addition for next month’s Centenary Copa America in the United States, the Brazilian Football Confederation said on Thursday.

The Orlando City midfielder will replace Bayern Munich’s Douglas Costa, who was cut from the squad because of an injury to his left thigh.

Former AC Milan and Real Madrid player Kaka has been a regular in coach Dunga’s squads without getting much game time. Naija and bet

The 34-year old has not played a full match for the national side since 2012.

He is the second player to be added to the squad because of injury, with Benfica’s Jonas replacing striker Ricardo Oliveira, who also dropped out.

Brazil are in the Copa Group B with Ecuador, Haiti and Peru. They will face Panama in a warm up friendly on Sunday in Denver.

Sparks to high as Mourinho joins Pep Guardiola

As Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez will testify, Jose Mourinho has had more than his fair share of public confrontations with opposing managers during his career.

None of them, though, have been as bitter or keenly-felt as Portuguese Mourinho’s long-running rivalry with Spaniard Pep Guardiola. Manchester, the most passionate of football cities, is about to get very lively indeed.

As United’s new manager, Mourinho will have his City counterpart Guardiola as a football neighbour next season.

It is perhaps just as well that the clubs no longer have adjoining training grounds at Carrington, with City having moved across Manchester to a purpose-built base near the Etihad Stadium two years ago. Mourinho and Guardiola will not be on each other’s doorsteps, but they will be close enough. Naijabet.com

“The grudge match arrives in Manchester” was the headline in Madrid-based newspaper Marca on Monday, although it will arrive first in Beijing, where City and United will meet in an International Champions Cup pre-season game on July 25.

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Vincent Enyeama signed a new contract with Lille

Vincent Enyeama has signed a new contract to stay at French Ligue 1 side, Lille OSC.

According to the club, the Nigeria shot-stopper penned a new deal that will keep him in the north of France till 2019.

“LOSC is pleased and proud to announce the extension of Vincent Enyeama contract for two more seasons. The Nigerian goalkeeper, 33 years, will continue to defend the post of LOSC until 2019,” Lille OSC announced on their official website on Thursday.

The French club explained that they have decided to agree a renewal with Enyeama because he is a big influence in their dressing room in terms of “his experience in international games, his leadership, and of course, his immense talent.” Naijabet

Lille OSC training centre director Jean-Michel Vandamme believes that keeping Enyeama at the club is “fantastic” news considering his quality.

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Ibrahamovic refuses to name next club but praises Mourinho

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic said Thursday he has chosen his next club but would not give away the name even though he praised Jose Mourinho who is on the verge of becoming Manchester United’s coach.

“Yes I have made my choice,” said Ibrahimovic told a press conference at a training camp near Stockholm for the Swedish national team ahead of Euro 2016. Naijabet.com

He said he had decided “long ago.” But the 34-year-old dodged all questions about whether that team was Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic, who has left Paris Saint-Germain, has been strongly linked to a move to the English Premier League.

“There are concrete offers from England, Italy … all countries. There are even some from outside Europe,” said the goalscorer.

“There are many, many alternatives.”

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England must be more streetwise if they want to win EURO 2016


England must be a bit more streetwise if they are to have any chance of winning the Euro 2016 in France, according to defensive midfielder Eric Dier.

England, who play Australia in Sunderland in a warm-up game on Friday, face Russia, Slovakia and Wales in Group B of the 24-team tournament, which starts on June 10.

“There are a lot of European and international teams who have that intelligent edge as much as an aggressive edge in the things they do,” Dier told British media.

“They win fouls in clever places on the pitch, they keep possession, they know how to wind people up, they know how to agitate people. Streetwise is the perfect way to put it.

“I think the English are a bit too honest. We need to be clever but we don’t want to lose that English attitude either.” Naijabet.com

Tottenham Hotspur’s Dier was named in Roy Hodgson 26-man provisional England squad last week.

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Rafael Benitez has full control at Newcastle

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has been assured full control of football-related decisions by the club’s hierarchy as he aims for the side’s immediate return to the Premier League.

The 56-year old signed a three-year deal to remain as Newcastle’s manager, despite a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave St. James’ Park if the Magpies were relegated to the Championship.

Newcastle’s transfer policy has come under heavy criticism after being involved in a relegation scrap all season, having spent around 80 million pounds ($117.84 million) on signings in the last two transfer windows.

The Spaniard said he was under no pressure to sell any of his players.

“What I have is the assurance that if I don’t want to sell any players I don’t have to. We can keep all the players who we want to,” Benitez said.

“To keep these players, if I want them, is massive because we have a good team. We saw that in the last games.” Naijabet.com

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Goal-line tech to be used at Copa America

Goal-line technology will be used in next month’s Copa America Centenario, organisers announced on Wednesday, selecting Hawk-Eye as the supplier for the camera replay system.

Five of the 10 top-ranked national teams in the world will take the field for the 100th anniversary edition of the South American tournament, a special event hosted by the United States starting June 3.

Top-ranked Argentina are in the 16-team tournament, which will feature stars such as Lionel Messi, Javier Hernandez, Luis Suarez and James Rodriguez.

The Hawk-Eye system was used at last year’s women’s World Cup in Canada and is used by Uefa, the English Premier League, German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A. Naija and Bet

It will deploy seven cameras for each goal in all 10 stadiums to be used in the Copa America, using vibration and visual signals on each match official’s watch to indicate a goal within one second of the ball crossing the goal line.

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Ronaldo wants his contract to be renew at Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo has urged Real Madrid to renew his contract and said he wanted to see out his career in the Spanish capital.

Ronaldo’s immediate future at Real has been in doubt all season, with speculation growing throughout the year that he was plotting a move to Paris Saint-Germain but the prolific Portuguese has now made it clear he wants to stay at the club.

“Real Madrid would be making a smart decision if they offered me a new contract,” Ronaldo told Spanish television programme La Sexta on Wednesday.

“I want to stay here, there have been good moments and bad moments. Four years ago I wasn’t happy here but now I am and I can’t think of a better club to be at than Real Madrid, there’s no team like it. The other clubs can forget it.”

Ronaldo overtook Raul Gonzalez as Real’s all-time top scorer earlier this season and on Saturday will be hoping to inspire the team to their 11th European Cup success when they take on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Milan. Naijabet

Ronaldo signed a contract extension with Real in 2013 keeping him at the club until 2018.

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Goetze can not be playing constantly as first choice – Bayern

Bayern Munich on Thursday suggested attacking midfielder Mario Goetze’s playing future at the German champions may remain on the bench, even though he showed his desire to earn a starting spot after turning down a possible move away.

The Germany international, who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, has failed to carve out a starting spot since joining Bayern from rivals Borussia Dortmund in 2013 and had been linked with a possible move to Liverpool.

The 23-year-old, who had said at the start of last season he wanted to play more regularly, on Monday poured cold water on a move, saying he wanted to see out his contract until it expired in 2017 and looked forward to the next season under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, who is replacing Pep Guardiola.

“I had talks with him (Mario) and Ancelotti. Mario knows the thoughts of Bayern,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Kicker magazine. “Everything was clearly and seriously explained to Mario. Naijabet

“He knows what the club thinks and what the new coach thinks. Mario has to evaluate for himself whether he wants to play constantly.”

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Xavi backs Guardiola to succeed at City

Former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi has backed incoming Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to leave his mark on the Premier League after taking over from the departing Manuel Pellegrini on July 1.

Guardiola won 21 trophies in his time in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich and has been hired by City’s owners in the hope that he can lead the team to a first Champions League title.

City reached the semi-final of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time this season but were knocked out of the tournament by 10-time winners Real Madrid. Naijabet.com

“It’s a big opportunity for him at Manchester City. I think he will change the face of English football,” Xavi, who joined Qatari club Al Sadd in May last year, told the website for Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (www.sc.qa).

“If there is anyone capable of changing that mentality, it is Guardiola… He is without doubt one of the best coaches in the world at the moment.”

Guardiola achieved a double in his final season in Germany, with Bayern winning the Bundesliga and beating Borussia Dortmund on penalties to win the German Cup in his last game in charge.

CSKA confirm Leicester bid for Ahmed Musa

English Barclay Premier League champions, Leicester City, have put in a bid for Nigeria striker, Ahmed Musa.

According to CSKA Moscow manager, Leonard Slutskiy, the English side have made a bid close to £23 million for the attacking winger.

Leicester first established their interest in the Nigeria international in the January transfer window but CSKA turned down the idea of selling as they felt the English club did not meet Musa’s valuation and at the same time, the 23-year-old remained their only in-form striker in a season they emerged Russian champions.

But Slutskiy lifted the lid saying that Leicester are back in the race to prise away the striker, who is also keen to move to the King Power Stadium in the summer. Naija and Bet

“The British club offered a bit less than €30 million (£22.86 million).

“Musa came to me a few days ago and asked when he [Ranieri] is back for the holidays and I told him I do not know, I do not know Ranieri,” Slutskiy told Match TV.

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Arsenal confirm signing of Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka

Arsenal announced the signing of Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday.

The Premier League side said the deal has yet to be officially ratified, but terms have been agreed with the 23-year-old.

“Arsenal have reached an agreement with Granit Xhaka to join the club on a long-term contract for an undisclosed fee,” said a statement from the North Londoners.

Xhaka, the son of Kosovo Albanian immigrants, has represented Switzerland 41 times and helped Gladbach to a fourth place finish this season, bringing with it Champions League football.

Gladbach had said last week that they had received an offer for Xhaka, who then admitted he could see himself playing in an Arsenal shirt.

“Granit Xhaka is an exciting young player, already with good Champions League and Bundesliga experience,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger of his first close season signing. Naijabet

“We have been watching him for a long time now and he is a player who will add quality to our squad.

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Rafa Benitez to stay on as Newcastle manager

A three-year deal is expected to be announced later on Wednesday which will contain written assurances for the Spaniard on full control of player recruitment and budgets set for the summer and winter transfer windows.

Benitez was travelling to Newcastle from his home on Merseyside on Wednesday morning to complete the formalities before the news is made official.

The 56-year-old signed a three-year deal to become Newcastle boss back in March, when he replaced Steve McClaren, but the contract was reported to include an option to cancel at the end of the season.

Benitez was unable to keep the club in the Premier League, leading to doubts over whether he would stay, but he has now decided to stay on at St James’ Park after thrashing out a deal with Magpies owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley. Naijabet.com

Ashley and Benitez spoke face-to-face for the first time following the Magpies’ stunning 5-1 victory over Tottenham on the final day of the Premier League season and negotiations have continued since then.

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Ticketless fans expected to swarm France


Around 250 000 British fans will travel to France for Euro 2016 without tickets for matches, British police warned on Tuesday.

Security at the European Championships was already being ramped up after the recent terrorist attacks in France and the prospect of supporters of England, Wales and Northern Ireland swarming into the country without access to the games creates more potential for trouble.

In total around 250,000 UK supporters have tickets, but it is expected that double that number of fans will be in France throughout the tournament, which runs from June 10 to July 10.

Possible flashpoints include the England against Wales clash in Lens and England’s fixture against Russia in Marseille, the city which saw ugly clashes between England hooligans, locals and riot police during the 1998 World Cup.

French authorities have already told English and Welsh fans without tickets not to travel to Lens, and there will be an alcohol ban in the city centre for 24 hours from 5am GMT on match day.

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Madrid stars thriving under Zidane’s reign

Just five months into his first senior managerial role, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is already living up to the unenviable task of matching his credentials as one of the finest players of his generation.

Fourteen years on from the sumptuous volley that rippled a rain-soaked net at Hampden Park in Glasgow to hand Real their ninth European Cup over Bayer Leverkusen, he can become just the seventh man to win the Champions League as a player and a coach with victory over Atletico Madrid at Milan’s San Siro on Saturday.

A repeat of the outcome when Real met Atletico in the only other Champions League final between two clubs from the same city two years ago would see Real extend their dominance as the most successful club in the competition’s history with an 11th win.

Zidane was also a part of the 10th. Two years ago in Lisbon he cut an animated figure as assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti as Sergio Ramos’s stoppage time header rescued Real before Los Blancos cut loose in extra-time to win 4-1.

That was the Frenchman’s final match as Ancelotti’s aid as he delved into the third tier of Spanish football with Real’s youth team Castilla to cut his teeth as a coach of his own merit. Naijabet

The leap when he was then promoted to the top job at the Santiago Bernabeu to replace the sacked Rafael Benitez after an ill-fated seven month spell in charge in January seemed steep.

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Guardiola is the only one to change Manchester United – Cantona

Jose Mourinho is expected to be named as Manchester United’s new manager despite club great Eric Cantona saying incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola would have been a better choice.

Mourinho’s agent Jorge Mendes was in talks with United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward in London on Tuesday after Louis van Gaal’s troubled two-year reign at Old Trafford ended with his sacking a day earlier.

Former Chelsea boss Mourinho is reported to have been offered a three-year deal worth £15 million per season and would be given a transfer war-chest of around £200 million to revive the troubled Premier League club.

United are believed to have made their interest in Mourinho known to his camp several months ago and the contract negotiations should go smoothly, with the only obstacles believed to be image rights and potential clauses in his severance package at Chelsea. Naija and Bet

The deal could be finalised as soon as Wednesday, but Cantona, whose goals helped fire United to four Premier League titles in the 1990s, said the defensive-minded Portuguese was the wrong man for the job.

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