Career

Wilfred Ndidi reveals how he became a midfielder

Leicester City midfielder Wilfred Ndidi has credited former Genk manager Peter Maes for switching his playing position from centre-back to midfield. Last season, the Nigeria international was drafted into the heart of the Foxes’ defence on several occasions and he delivered some impressive performances. His initial knowledge as a centre-back has also helped him shine in the Premier League as one of the best defensive midfielders in the division. The 24-year-old, who moved to King Power Stadium in January 2017, disclosed that his role was changed at Genk after he played for Nigeria’s youth teams and his former side Nath Boys as a defender. “I started my career as a central defender during my days in Nath Boys. Even in the U-17, U-20, national team…I was a defender,” Ndidi told the Guardian ...

Luke Shaw hits back at Jose Mourinho in Rome as England roll on

At Jose Mourinho’s new home, the Stadio Olimpico, Luke Shaw, chose the perfect setting for his latest riposte to his former boss with two assists in England’s 4-0 thrashing of Ukraine to reach the Euro 2020 semi-finals. Shaw suffered at the hands of Mourinho for three seasons at Manchester United, a string of public criticism not a patch on what was said behind closed doors, the 25-year-old admitted this week. Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford came hot on the heels of a horrible double leg fracture Shaw suffered in September 2015. The former Southampton defender revealed in 2018 there had even been fears his right leg would have to be amputated because of blood clots that required emergency surgery. His career never got back on track during Mourinho’s tempestuous time at United, where he ...

Crystal Palace confirm Patrick Vieira as new manager on three-year deal

Crystal Palace have confirmed Patrick Vieira as the club’s new manager on a three-year deal that will take the Frenchman through 2024 at Selhurst Park. The Arsenal legend, who was previously coach of Nice until his dismissal in December last year, will succeed Roy Hodgson in the hotseat in south London. The 45-year-old, who began his coaching career with New York City FC in Major League Soccer, takes charge for the first time in the Premier League, having made his name as one of the game’s greatest midfielders during an electrifying decade-long spell with the Gunners. Though forever linked with Les Bleus’ 1998 World Cup triumph on home soil back home, Vieira remains forever associated in the British sporting consciousness as the anchor of Arsneal’s superb period of success under Arsene Wen...

Speaker Gbajabiamila: Constitution review to address Nigeria’s foundational deficiencies

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for collaboration between the National Assembly and the 36 state Houses of Assembly to make the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution successful. Gbajabiamila, who spoke at a meeting of the Conference of Presiding Officers of Nigerian Legislatures in Abuja at the weekend, noted that the constitutional amendments are to address Nigeria’s foundational problems. The Speaker also stated that the legislature remained the most important arm of government in any democratic setting, according to a statement issued on Saturday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, titled ‘Constitution review: Gbajabiamila Seeks Collaboration Between NASS, State Assemblies…Says Legislature Remains Most Important Arm o...

Dick van Burik: Kevin-Prince Boateng could have reached Lionel Messi’s level

Retired former Dutch professional footballer Dick van Burik believes Kevin-Prince Boateng had the potential to reach Lionel Messi’s level. The former centre-back captained Hertha Berlin and played with the Ghanaian in the same team between 2005 and 2007. The West African, recently, made a return to the team where he started his career and signed a one-year contract. The now 47-year-old Dutch concedes the qualities of the attacker in the German team were world-class and much was expected from him. “Even when Kevin came from the youth to the first team, his potential was immediately world-class,” Van Burik said as quoted by Ghanaweb. “He can do things that you go to the stadium for. Even then he had the… attitude and simply showed what he can do. “He has become a great player but I actually ...

Chelsea legend Michael Essien extends role with FC Nordsjaelland

Former Ghana and Chelsea star Michael Essien has extended his coaching contract with Danish Superligaen side FC Nordsjaelland until 2023. According to FC Nordsjaelland manager Flemming Pedersen the former Real Madrid enforcer has lived up to expectations on the touchline much to the delight of the technical handlers and he is now certain of continuing his cherished coaching role at the Right to Dream Park. “Michael Essien has chosen to extend with us until the summer of 2023. We have just looked at each other in the first year, but it has been a no-brainer for him, and he told me that he likes to be here,” Pedersen confirmed Essien’s new deal to Sn.dk as quoted by kickgh.com. “We need Michael, and he gets even more focus on the individual focus. Both on the field, but also off. He can give...

Gianluigi Buffon: Why I turned down Champions League for Parma

Gianluigi Buffon has said he rejected ‘two opportunities to even win the Champions League’ so that he could help Parma come back into Serie A and hasn’t lost hope of a spot at the 2022 World Cup. The 43-year-old shot-stopper signed the two-year contract and will be presented to the media this evening after leaving Juventus for the club where his career first started as a teenager. “I have many memories, above all the motivation and hope is to write a few more important pages in the history books of this club, and I know I can do it,” Buffon told Sky Sport Italia. “That is the main reason I returned here, along with the other 999 reasons! I felt such strong emotions, as an emotional reaction is the only way to keep delivering at this level at my age. “I knew Parma would give me something th...

President Buhar: We won’t rest until peace is fully restored in Borno

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Maiduguri, Borno State, assured citizens of the federal government’s presence in fighting terrorism to the end, and ensuring that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are fully returned to continue normal lives, commending Governor Babagana Zulum for resilience and relentless efforts in rebuilding the state. President Buhari, on an official visit to the state to appraise the security situation and commission some development projects, attributed recent successes recorded by the military against insurgents and terrorists at Dikwa, Damboa and Gwoza to careful planning, infusion of new equipment and other war materials as well as quality military leadership. “I am very happy to be here in Borno State once again. I consider Maiduguri and Borno State to be ...

Sergio Ramos to leave Real Madrid this summer

Real Madrid have confirmed that club captain Sergio Ramos will leave this summer. Ramos, 35, is out of contract at Real this summer, and had been expected to sign a new deal. The centre-back’s usual summer transfer dalliances with the likes of Manchester United have usually been a smokescreen to negotiate better terms at the Bernabeu. However, this time Ramos is officially on the lookout for a new club, with the defender leaving the team he has been with since 2005. Ramos arrived at the Bernabeu 16 years ago following a switch from Sevilla and went on to have a glittering career. He won five La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns as well as the Copa Del Rey twice. It was during his time in the Spanish capital that he also won the 2010 World Cup with Spain along with back-to-back Euro...

Imama Amapakabo: Why Andre Onana should consider Arsenal move

Andre Onana leaving Ajax and joining Arsenal would be “a good move” for the Cameroon international, according to former Nigeria U23 coach Imama Amapakabo. The Gunners have held discussions with the 25-year-old’s representatives, albeit, they have yet to decide whether they will step up their chase of the goalkeeper. Arsenal was on the lookout for a keeper following the departure of Emiliano Martinez in September 2020 and the underwhelming form of summer recruit Alex Runarsson. Despite technical director Edu and Mikel Arteta being big admirers of Onana, financial issues prevented the North London outfit from making a firm offer, instead they opted to sign Mat Ryan on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion. Amapakabo – who was a goalkeeper during his active career – and was part of the Nigeria...

Cristiano Ronaldo is unconcerned over Juventus future

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo insists his sole focus is on Euro 2020 and reports of interest from rival clubs are causing him no “sleepless nights”. Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juve in 2019, but the move has not worked out quite as planned. Although the Bianconeri won the Serie A title for a ninth successive season in the forward’s first campaign, they lost their crown to Inter this term and scraped Champions League qualification. Success in Europe’s premier club competition, which Ronaldo won five times with Manchester United and Madrid, continues to evade the Turin giants. A frustrating season ended with Massimiliano Allegri returning to replace Andrea Pirlo, and there has been speculation Ronaldo could follow his coach out of the door. Madrid, United and Paris Saint-Germain have...

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