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Europa League quarter-final draw….

Arsenal

RB Leipzig vs Marseille

Arsenal vs CSKA Moscow

Atletico Madrid vs Sporting Lisbon

Lazio vs Red Bull Salzburg

First legs to be played on April 5 with return legs on April 12.

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UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw….

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Barcelona vs Roma

Sevilla vs Bayern Munich

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Liverpool vs Manchester City

The first legs will take place on 3-4 April with the return on 10-11 April.

Those last minute goals that linger in people’s minds….

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  1. Nwankwo Kanu’s two late goals for Nigeria against Brazil at Atlanta’96 Olympics….

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates

2. 26 May 1999: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates scoring the winner for Manchester United during the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich in the Nou Camp. United won 2 – 1 with both United goals scored during injury time, to secure the treble of League, FA Cup and European Cup….

Steven Gerrard

3. Steven Gerrard’s strike vs. Olympiacos to send Liverpool into the knockout stages of the Champions League 04/05. Liverpool lifted the trophy 5 months later….

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Fiorentina and Cagliari retire Astori’s number 13 shirt….

Davide Astori

Fiorentina have retired the shirt number worn by Davide Astori, the Italian defender who died on Sunday at the age of 31. Astori’s former club Cagliari, where he spent eight years from 2008, have also retired the number 13 shirt – which he wore at both teams. Capped 14 times by Italy, Astori joined Fiorentina from Cagliari in 2016 and made 58 appearances for them. On Monday, prosecutors opened a routine investigation into his death. Udine chief prosecutor Antonio de Nicolo said he had opened a “culpable homicide” inquiry – a routine move before an autopsy in Italy.

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Amuneke records first win in Sudan….

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Al Khartoum Watani SC of Sudan’s coach, Emmanuel Amuneke has disclosed his excitement after recording his first league win in Sudan following his team’s win at Kober SC in a match day four fixture. “I’m happy we won, we had a good pre-season, but somehow we did not get off in the season the right way”, Amuneke said from Sudan moments after the game. Tuesday’s clash at the 23,000-capacity Khartoum Stadium on Army Road, was Al-Khartoum’s first win in four games and the 2015 U17 FIFA World Cup-winning coach in Chile said it has lifted his team going into Friday’s trip to Koster. “We drew two, both games ending scoreless and lost one. “This is our first league win in four games so far played and we are happy. “At least, the players will be in good spirit going into our next game which is yet another away match”. Continue reading

Laureus Awards: Roger Federer is World Sportsman of the Year….

Roger Federer

Twenty-time tennis grand slam champion Roger Federer has won the 2017 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year awards. The 36-year-old Swiss won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles in 2017 after seven years without a major. “I didn’t believe I would ever come back to this level,” said Federer. “The year I had was something else.” Serena Williams took the World Sportswoman of the Year award after winning her 23rd grand slam in 2017. “This means the world to me,” added world number one Federer. “The comebacks are always extremely emotional. Last year was a dream come true.”

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Dortmund fans seek end to Monday night games….

Dortmund fans

Borussia Dortmund’s fans stayed at home in protest and Augsburg left with a point as the hosts had a disappointing night at the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund dropped two points in the race for a Champions League place and were followed by ‘just’ 54,300 fans. That crowd was almost 25,000 down on average as supporters protested against the match being moved to Monday night. Marco Reus had put the home side ahead but Kevin Danso scored from a corner to leave Dortmund frustrated. They stay second but are only three points ahead of RB Leipzig in sixth place.

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Usain Bolt to play at Manchester United….

Usain Bolt with a football

Usain Bolt will finally make his footballing debut at Old Trafford. The eight-time Olympic gold medallist will captain a team of celebrities and footballers for the Soccer Aid match on 10 June. “It’s my dream to make it as a professional footballer. To play against some of football’s biggest legends is going to be remarkable,” the Jamaican sprinter said. Robbie Williams will captain rivals England for the UNICEF match.

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Neymar to miss Madrid clash….

Neymar

Paris St-Germain forward Neymar has a “small chance” of playing in next Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 second-leg tie against Real Madrid. The 26-year-old Brazilian is recovering from a fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle he suffered in Sunday’s Ligue 1 win over Marseille. PSG coach Unai Emery denied reports that the world’s most expensive player will need surgery. “Neymar wants to play every game – he’s focused on Real,” he added. “I think there’s a small chance that he’ll be ready for the match.” The striker joined PSG for a world record £200m fee from Barcelona last August and has scored 29 goals in 30 games.

Nigeria debuts at Winter Olympics with Women’s Bobsleigh team….

Nigeria's women's bobsleigh team

Nigeria’s women’s bobsleigh team will make history in Pyeongchang as the first African sled to compete at the Winter Olympics. Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga hit the qualifying standard in November but needed to maintain their world ranking until 14 January. Nigeria will be represented for the first time at the Winter Olympics. Simidele Adeagbo will also fly the West African nation’s flag in the women’s skeleton. All three bobsledders were once track and field athletes before switching to winter sports, with Adigun competing in the 100m hurdles at the London 2012 Olympics.

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George Weah is Liberia’s President-Elect….

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Former football star George Weah has been elected as Liberia’s president. With nearly all ballots from Tuesday’s run-off vote counted, Mr Weah is well ahead of opponent Joseph Boakai with more than 60% of the vote. As news of Mr Weah’s victory emerged, his supporters began celebrating in the capital Monrovia. He will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, in Liberia’s first democratic handover in decades. “My fellow Liberians, I deeply feel the emotion of all the nation,” Mr Weah wrote on Twitter after the results were announced. “I measure the importance and the responsibility of the immense task which I embrace today. Change is on.”

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Mikel Obi insists he is happy in China….

Tianjin Teda midfielder John Obi Mikel has dismissed reports linking him with Everton

Super Eagles of Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi has dismissed reports linking him with a move back to the Premier League and insisted he is happy playing in the Chinese Super League. The 30-year-old spent 10-and-a-half years at Chelsea before moving to Tianjin Teda back in January where he is the club captain. He has been named as a potential target for Everton but the Nigeria international has ended the uncertainty surrounding his future by claiming he wants to stay in the Far East.

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Thierry Henry gets crowned in Lagos as ‘Igwe of Football’….

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Former Arsenal and France international striker Thierry Henry who is in Lagos for the Guinness Made of Black programme has been crowned the, Igwe of Football’ in Nigeria. Henry who is in Lagos to meet the ‘Be a Front Row Fan’ winners; a consumer promotion of the company also watched the West Brom v Manchester United EPL game at Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. Aside receiving the ‘igwe of football’ title, Henry also participated in the cooking of Jollof rice. The 40-year-old Frenchman retired from football in 2014 and is currently the assistant coach of the national team of Belgium. He had been known in the Nigeria’s football circles as “Igwe” during his playing days at Arsenal. Now he has been so ‘crowned’ on his first visit to Nigeria. Continue reading

UEFA Champions League last-16 draw….

Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy

Juventus vs Tottenham (13 February and 7 March)

Basel vs Manchester City (13 February and 7 March)

Porto vs Liverpool (14 February and 6 March)

Sevilla vs Manchester United (21 February and 13 March)

Real Madrid vs PSG (14 February and 6 March)

Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma (21 February and 13 March)

Chelsea vs Barcelona (20 February and 14 March)

Bayern Munich vs Besiktas (20 February and 14 March)

Mo’ Salah is BBC African Footballer of the Year….

 

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Egyptian Mohamed Salah has been voted BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2017. Following a record number of votes, the Liverpool star won ahead of Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Guinean Naby Keita, Sadio Mane of Senegal and Nigeria’s Victor Moses. “I am very happy to win this award,” the 25-year-old said. “It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.” Salah, the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals, has enjoyed a stellar year for both club and country.

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Mourinho annoys City players, gets manhandled….

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho became involved in a physical confrontation with Manchester City’s players after complaining about their post-derby celebrations, according to British media reports late on Sunday. The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph said Mourinho went to City’s changing room following United’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford because he felt their noisy celebrations were disrespectful. The newspapers reported Mourinho had a verbal altercation with City goalkeeper Ederson before having water and milk thrown at him by City’s players and being hit on the head with a plastic bottle.

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Ronaldo wins 5th Ballon d’Or award….

Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo beat Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to win the Ballon d’Or award for the fifth time – and the second year in a row. Victory took the 32-year-old Portugal international level with 30-year-old Argentine Messi, who won the most recent of his five awards in 2015. Messi’s ex-Barcelona team-mate Neymar, now at Paris St-Germain, was third. Last season, Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and their first La Liga title since 2012.  Ronaldo added the 2017 Ballon d’Or to those he won in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, and Messi is the only other recipient of the award since 2009. “This is something I look forward to every year,” he said, after receiving the award on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. “Thanks to my Real Madrid team-mates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”

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2018 FIFA World Cup Groups….

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Above are the various groups for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The tournament will start on June 14, 2018 with Russia and Saudi Arabia playing the opening game. Nigeria drew Argentina for the 5th time in a world cup group (including 3 consecutive draws since 2010 in South Africa). For Nigeria’s games:

SATURDAY 16TH JUNE, 2018.

Croatia Vs Nigeria 9pm

Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad.

 

FRIDAY 22ND JUNE, 2018.

Nigeria Vs Iceland 5pm

Volgograd Arena, Volgograd.

 

TUESDAY 26TH JUNE, 2018.

Nigeria Vs Argentina 7pm

Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg.

 

Time = Nigerian time.