Players

Gary Lineker urges Three Lions to ‘treasure’ Euro 2020 final

Gary Lineker has urged the England players to “treasure and enjoy” Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy – but believes it is just the beginning and success will soon come even if they are beaten at Wembley. Gareth Southgate’s side are preparing for their first major tournament final in 55 years, something not even Lineker achieved during his time as a Three Lions player. The former Tottenham, Everton and Barcelona forward also praised the players for the showing a “shining social conscience” off the field which represents the “very best” of England. In an open letter to the England team in the Players’ Tribune, Lineker said: “I wish I was playing with you. This is the sort of occasion you dream about as a player. And honestly, it’s much less nerve-racking out on the pitch than in the sta...

La Liga chief: Impossible for Barca to keep Lionel Messi without departures

Barcelona must considerably reduce their wage bill in order to keep Lionel Messi, LaLiga chief Javier Tebas said on Thursday, adding that the club would not be shown any leniency when it comes to obeying the league’s strict financial control rules. Messi, Barca’s all-time top scorer and appearance maker, ended his 21-year association with the club last month and is currently a free agent as the Catalans cannot offer him a new deal due to their financial predicament. President Joan Laporta said last month that Messi was keen to remain at the club but giving him a new deal was being held up by the league’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Spanish media reports had suggested LaLiga could relax the rules to allow the six-time Ballon d’Or winner to stay at Barca but Tebas said there was no chan...

NNPC commits to ensuring energy sufficiency, wealth creation for Nigerians

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its commitment to ensuring effective stewardship of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources to guarantee energy security and drive wealth creation in Nigeria. The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, made this assertion while delivering the keynote address at the 2021 Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (NOG 2021) on Tuesday in Abuja. Speaking on the topic: “Vision and Priorities for Nigeria’s Energy Transformation,” Mallam Kyari stated that for a nation with a teeming youth and a developing economy, Nigeria needed the right policies to unlock its huge economic potential, stressing that NNPC was working towards bridging the energy gap to multiply wealth for its varied stakeholders. “We see a nation that m...

UEFA invite Christian Eriksen, medics who saved him to Euro final

European football governing body UEFA have invited Denmark international Christian Eriksen and the paramedics who helped save his life during an on-field cardiac arrest to attend the EURO 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday. The brilliant Danish midfielder was resuscitated in front of shocked fans and a massive global TV audience during his nation’s first match of the tournament. Uefa said Eriksen, his wife and six medics were invited to the final, but there was no confirmation he would attend. One of the paramedics, Peder Ersgaard, said he was honoured to receive a VIP invite from Uefa boss Aleksander Ceferin. “I’m excited, like a child on Christmas Eve,” he told the Fagbladet FOA magazine. “I’m very proud of my efforts, but also of the whole team. It wasn’t a one-man effort.” Eriksen collaps...

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 ...

Deputy governor unveils new coach for Edo Queens

The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has announced Wemimo Matthew as the new head coach for Edo Queens Football Club with a charge to return the team to its glory days. Shaibu who supervised the unveiling ceremony at the New Festival Hall, Government House, on Friday, charged the new coach to use her wealth of experience to transform the team. He said, “What we’ve done with Edo Queens is to make it a model for the girl child to look up to. So, we decided to unveil a new head coach because of our poor performance in the just concluded Super Six tournament. “Coach Wemimo Matthew is well-educated, highly disciplined and she has the knack for unearthing and grooming young talents. We have already felt her impact since she joined the team. “She will help us develop young talent and ...

Mikel Obi leaves Stoke City, joins Kuwaiti club

Former Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has joined Al Kuwait SC, the Kuwaiti Premier League side on a year’s deal. The announcement was made by the club on Thursday, after Mikel and Stoke City cancelled their contract by mutual consent. Mikel’s new club finished third in the division last season behind Al-Qadsia and champions Al-Arabi. The Nigerian spent 11 years and made 372 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea. After Chelsea he played for Trabzonspor and Middlesbrough, before heading to China to spend two years with Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League. Mikel returned to UK in August 2020 to play Stoke City. Stoke boss Michael O’Neill told the club’s official website: ‘Although John triggered the second year of his contract, we always had an agreement in place whereby we wou...

Courts fixes date for ruling in Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s no-case-submission

A Kaduna High Court on Thursday, fixed July 28 for ruling in the No-case-submission filed by the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat. Justice Gideon Kurada fixed the date after the prosecution and counsel to the defendants, addressed the court on the no case submission prayer. Mr Femi Falana, SAN, and lead counsel to El-Zakzaky, who spoke to reporters shortly after the adjournment, prayed the Court to rule in favor of his clients. “The prosecution and the defence addressed the court on the the no-case-submission prayer. ” We did indicate last time that even though the prosecution called 15 witnesses, we felt that no case has been established to warrant our clients being in court. ” In other words, we addressed the court that there...

Euro 2020: Knockout games bring the best out of France – Hugo Lloris

A depleted France will draw motivation from the threat of elimination as they prepare to face Switzerland in their European Championship last-16 match, captain Hugo Lloris said on Sunday. World champions France topped Group F with one win and two draws ahead of Portugal and Germany but key players in their backline have picked up injuries to give coach Didier Deschamps a selection headache on Monday. While Ousmane Dembele and Marcus Thuram are unavailable, Deschamps confirmed full backs Jules Kounde and Lucas Digne are also ruled out against the Swiss. Left back Lucas Hernandez, who injured his knee, has a chance to feature. Speaking at a news conference, goalkeeper Lloris said France – who finished runners-up in 2016 – were accustomed to do-or-die situations and thrived under pressure. “W...

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...

Romelu Lukaku backed to succeed Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich

Former Belgium striker Emile Mpenza has tipped Romelu Lukaku to succeed Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old has excelled at Inter, scoring 64 goals in just 95 matches since joining the Serie A side from Manchester United in 2019. The forward has a similar record for the national team, having struck 63 times in 96 caps for the Rode Duivels, including three at Euro 2020. Mpenza has been amazed by the ex-Chelsea and Anderlecht player’s development and believes Bayern would be smart to look at him if they need to replace Poland sensation Lewandowski following his 48-goal campaign in Germany. “Romelu’s strength in a duel and his speed are outstanding. That makes it so difficult for the defenders against him,” Mpenza told Sport Bild. “If they go into a duel with him, he uses his...