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Found 11 results

  1. Former PSG and Super Eagles midfield maestro, Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has warned Nigerian Football officials and fans against setting an unrealistic target for the team ahead of the World Cup. Nigeria will play Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D of the tournament in Russia. The former Bolton Wanderers playmaker warned that such target will put the team under pressure. Okocha spoke with SuperSport, saying, “It will be a huge achievement if you could get out of the group stage and after which anything can happen. “We should be careful not to set unrealistic targets for the team.” Okocha added that playing for Nigeria was the pinnacle of his career. “It doesn’t get any better to play for Nigeria. It was not for the money, but the pride to represent 160 million people is priceless. It was the pinnacle of my career. “Football is not just a sport in Nigeria, it’s not just part of the religion or the culture, it is life. “It is a great opportunity to eradicate poverty with football. “With football, we have a voice,” he said.
  2. Nigerian international Wilfred Ndidi has been included in the Premier League’s 30 players who have been in the best form this season. After the 32nd round of fixtures played over the weekend in England, the 30-man list was drawn up by Sky Sports who updated their player power rankings. And according to Sky Sports, power rankings work by assessing each player’s performance with a complex system which analyses 32 different match-day stats. According to the rankings, Super Eagles star Wilfred Ndidi is placed at number 23 on 41,985 points, among the 30 shortlisted players. Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah who has been impressive this season for the Reds occupies the first position on the rankings with 83,732 points. Sky Sports Premier League 30 best in form players this season: 1 – Mohamed Salah/Liverpool (83,752 points) 2 – Kevin De Bruyne/Manchester City (74,746 points) 3 – Harry Kane/Tottenham Hotspur (67,466 points) 4 – Sergio Aguero/Manchester City (58,440 points) 5 – Roberto Firmino/Liverpool (57,530 points) 6 – Christian Eriksen/Tottenham Hotspur (56,592 points) 7 – Raheem Sterling/Manchester City (56,290 points) 8 – Eden Hazard/Chelsea (56,030 points) 9 – Riyad Mahrez/Leicester City (54,208 points) 10 – Romelu Lukaku/Manchester United (52,121 points) 11 – David Silva/Manchester City (52,062 points) 12 – Leroy Sane/Manchester City (51,067 points) 13 – Alexis Sanchez/Manchester United (49,927 points) 14 – Dele Alli/Tottenham Hotspur (49,347 points) 15 – David De Gea/Manchester United (48,850 points) 16 – Fernandinho/Manchester City (48,009 points) 17 – Heung-Min Son/Tottenham Hotspur (46,714 points) 18 – Abdoulaye Doucoure/Watford (46,405 points) 19 – Ederson/Manchester City (42,895 points) 20 – Nicolas Otamendi/Manchester City (42,886 points) 21 – Marcos Alonso/Chelsea (42,850 points) 22 – Xherdan Shaqiri/Stoke City (42,155 points) 23 – Wilfred Ndidi/Leicester City (41,985 points) 24 – Cesar Azpilicueta/Chelsea (41,474 points) 25 – Nemanja Matic/Manchester United (40,550 points) 26 – Nick Pope/Burnley (40,230 points) 27 – Willian/Chelsea (39,956 points) 28 – Sadio Mane/Liverpool (39,927 points) 29 – Pascal Gross/Brighton and Hove Albion (39,688 points) 30 – Jan Vertonghen/Tottenham Hotspur (39,659 points) Meanwhile, Super Eagles star Wilfred Ndidi has been superb this season for Leicester City and he is also expected to shine for Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The 21-year-old is no doubt a force to reckon with since he joined Leicester City in 2017, as he was named the Premier League’s top tackler half way into the current season. However, Liverpool among-st some other clubs have shown interest in signing the Super Eagles defensive midfielder who has been likened to Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante due to his style of play.
  3. Nigeria Super Eagles have been regarded as the youngest squad that will grace the Russia 2018 World Cup in the summer. Gernot Rohr’s squad who qualified Nigeria for her sixth World Cup participation in the eastern European nation Russia have an average age of 24.9-years. However, not all the talented stars look their ages. Disclaimer: This article is not in anyway made to doubt the authenticity of these players’ age but based on observations/reactions from fans and football lovers. Here are the five Super Eagles that look older than their ages. 1. Francis Uzoho At age of 19, Francis Uzoho has made three senior appearances for the national team including the latest win against Poland last weekend. But, the Real Club Deportivo Fabril number one looks like he is in 30’s because of his matured looks. 2. Joel Obi The Torino midfielder made a comeback into the national team since Samson Siasia left as coach of Super Eagles following his impressive display in the Serie A recently. Although the 26-year-old has been plagued with injury during his spell with Inter, but the former Parma man looked way beyond his present age when he made played in the Poland friendly. 3. Stephen Eze After having a remarkable CHAN competition in Morocco, Stephen Eze caught the eyes of Bulgarian side Lokomotive Pludiv. The 24-year-old earned a call up for the Super Eagles friendlies with Poland and Serbia, but taking a second look at the lanky defender, questions can be raised about his age. 4. Ahmed Musa Musa has gotten back to his best after making a return to CSKA Moscow following torrid times with Premier League outfit Leicester City. Musa, 25, has played at the U-20, U-23 for Nigeria but with the look on his face one would think he is a veteran who just have a few years to call it quits with football. 5. Moses Simon Moses Simon has been one Nigeria’s exciting players on the flank with his commanding display all through the qualifiers enroute to the Russia 2018 World Cup. The 22-year-old got married two years ago when he was 20 which is very unusual for the young lad.
  4. Barcelona star striker, Lionel Messi, was in rampage mode in Argentina training as he scored an incredible solo goal before spending time with the Manchester City Under 7s and 8s. The Argentine captain made a mockery of his team-mates when he picked up the ball just inside the opposition half and slight shoulder faint allowed him an extra yard of space away from his marker before he carried the ball forward. Messi and Sergio Aguero posed for photos and spent time with the club’s Under 7s and Under 8s after their training session. The adorable kids were wide-eyed at meeting the great man as they all clambered to get a high-five. Messi and his teammates appeared to be appreciative of their surroundings at City’s base ahead of their friendly against Italy on Friday. Before Neymar left Barcelona for a move to Paris-Saint-Germain, he was very close with Lionel Messi in which there were reports that the Argentine tried to block his exit at Nou Camp.
  5. The much anticipated friendly match between Nigeria and Poland took place as the Super Eagles were victorious over the World Cup bound Eastern Europeans as the match ended 1-0. Though the match did not live up to its hype but Victor Moses goal from a penalty kick made the difference between both sides. The home side gave the former African champions a run for their money but the West Africans ran away with victory with the only meaningful chance created by Gernot Rohr’s men. 1. Absence of Mikel Obi The performance of the Nigerian team stems from the fact Mikel Obi is still a force to reckon with in the Super Eagles squad. The midfield and the attack could not string passes together as possession were easily lost in key areas of the pitch. Ighalo in attack was a lone-ranger as he had to work his way from the flanks or the midfield to a deliver a threat towards goal. 2. Gernor Rohr’s team did not create meaningful chance The Super Eagles had superior ball possession but did not create chances at goal, the team did not force a save from the Poland goalkeeper all through the match. However captain Robert Lewandowski was unlucky not to have scored two clear cut chances. The first hit the post while the other was brilliantly saved by Francis Uzoho at point blank range. Nigeria were lucky for not to have gone behind in the first half as a goal line clearance from Leon Balogun seemed to have crossed the line but it was not given by the referee. 3. One brilliant move made the difference Victor Moses was the liveliest player in the Super Eagles squad as he dribbled past a Poland defender who tripped the Chelsea man for a penalty. Moses went on to convert the resulting spot-kick as the three-time African champions earned the victory over the eastern European nation. 4. Still a decent side Despite the sloppy play for the Nigerian side, Poland could not break down the team’s resilience when they lost the ball. They created most of the chances but did could find the back of the net, and only came close on several occasions which was properly dealt with. 5. Much work still needs to be done No doubt the win will boost the confidence of the men in Green, but more work is needed for Rohr’s side to play as a unit. In all departments of the team, improvement is needed and the inspirational captain will surely make the Nigerian squad a better side in the coming friendlies.
  6. Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr is elated with the arrival of 11 Super Eagles’ stars in Warsaw, Poland for the pre- World Cup grade A friendly match between the Eagles and host Poland slated for Friday. The coach would have preferred all the players arrived yesterday as earlier scheduled but he told NationSport that injury and visa problems have forced some of them to arrive in Warsaw today. As at today (yesterday) the Eagles camp has swelled to 11 players, while the first training took place yesterday evening. Some of the players in camp are Vice Captain Onazi Ogenyi, Leon Balogun, Troost Ekong, Brian Idowu, Ola Aina, John Ogu, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi.
  7. Premier League giants Liverpool have reportedly agreed on terms with Super Eagles midfielder Wilfred Ndidi for a move to Anfield at the end of the going EPL season. The Nigerian international has been superb this season for Leicester City, and Liverpool want the 21-year-old to leave the King Power Stadium. Liverpool are said to be looking for the signing of Wilfred Ndidi as a replacement for Emre Can who is expected to leave the club this summer. However, Guinean journalist Alpha Balde has sensationally claimed that Liverpool has already found their man. He reports that the Anfield landlords have contacted Ndidi over a possible switch in the summer and adds the midfielder has already said yes. Wilfred Ndidi joined Leicester City in January 2917 from Genk for £17m and has accumulated 14 caps for his country to date. He is expected to be part of the Super Eagles squad that will campaign at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp wants to bolster his squad for the next Premier League season and he is said to have identified the 21-year-old Nigerian as his target. In January 2017, Wilfred Ndidi completed a move to Leicester City from Genk as the club signed him as a replacement for Frenchman N’Golo Kante who moved to Chelsea.
  8. The Nigeria Football Federation says it has so far sealed contracts worth $50 million (N18 billion) in support of the Super Eagles ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This was disclosed by NFF president Amaju Pinnick, who said the Eagles’ impressive qualification he said has turned the team into a beautiful bride with corporate bodies willing to splash the cash on the side. “You will agree with me that the Super Eagles have moved to the next level, and the synergy between the NFF and these corporate bodies that have identified with us will further push the team further,” he said Pinnick reiterated his earlier stand that the three-time African champions could win the world cup, insisting that it is achievable. “Can we win the World Cup? Yes we can and I believe we can so I don’t regret saying so” he submitted One year after Pinnick, along with other forward-thinking members led a change campaign at the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), the NFF chief said the same repackaging is aimed at taking the Nigeria national side to the next level. “When football match involving Nigeria is going on, all known vices practically cease and every focus will be on the game. That is how serious this game has become for Nigerians and this is why we have resolved to do everything possible to keep it that way,” he said.
  9. A Nigerian player who is aiming to play for the Super Eagles, Tosin Kehinde believes he is edging closer to a senior Manchester United debut. The 19-year-old footballer is a regular for the Under-23 side under Ricky Sbragia, and has trained with the first-team under the watchful eye of manager Jose Mourinho. Kehinde was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and there is keen interest back in his homeland about when the midfielder will make the step up. He revealed he has not been far away from a first inclusion in a matchday squad and insists that if he continues working hard he will get the chance he craves at Old Trafford. “It feels good to have that kind of support back home,” he told Soccer Assembly. “I’ve come close on occasion. All I need to do is continue to work hard.” Kehinde is eligible to play for either Nigeria or England at international level. But his heart lies with the Super Eagles, who have qualified for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
  10. Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina's national team coach, has admited that La Albiceleste face a tough test to overcome Nigeria in their Group D Russia 2018 World Cup clash at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, but the 57-year-old has revealed what they need to do to earn the desired points from the game. Other occupants of the group are debutants Iceland and Croatia. The Eagles open their World Cup campaign against Croatia at the Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad on June 16 before travelling to Volgograd to face Iceland on June 22. Nigeria handed a surprise 4-2 defeat to two-time champions Argentina in a friendly affair in Krasnodar in Russia on November 14, making three-time Africans champions Eagles favourites to win the Saint Petersburg encounter. Sampaoli came under huge criticism from the Argentine media and fans over the Krasnodar defeat, which was the White and Sky Blue's second after beating Nigeria five times in their previous seven meetings. And Sampaoli, who guided Chile to the 2015 Copa America glory, is wary of the potential threat posed by the Eagles to the South American giants in their Russia 2018 group. But he insists La Albiceleste could prove their superiority over Nigeria by winning the game. According to a Punch report, the former Sevilla manager is also worried about the potential threat posed by dark horses Iceland to Argentina's bid to reach the next round. "These are rivals that are coming with few obligations and a lot of enthusiasm for a unique opportunity as the World Cup is," Sampaoli was quoted as saying on La Albiceleste's official website on Sunday. "They are going to make us fight but it will depend on us. We need to establish a way and be the Argentina we want to be. "Iceland will make us work, as everyone else. Nigeria is unpredictable, they are very fast. We need to study them well. Croatia has an excellent midfield line with Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Ivan Perisic. They also have (Mario) Manzukic as a No. 9. They are very strong." Meanwhile, former Argentina forward Jorge Valdano says he is worried about his country's chances in the group. The Mexico '86 World Cup winner, who guided Real Madrid to the 1995 La Liga title, fears Argentina could be embarrassed in the group. "It is a worrisome group," the former Real Madrid striker was quoted by El Universo as saying on Sunday. "Iceland is a stone, Croatia has a good foot, especially in the centre of the field with players like Modric or Rakitic." "Finally, Nigeria just played a friendly match with Argentina in which Argentina clearly lost, so it does not seem like a comfortable group," Valdano said.
  11. The coach said Group D is filled with good teams and playing Argentina again will make things tougher for us. See video Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has reacted to 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw.

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