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Nigeria to face Brazil in Int’l friendly

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Former World champions Brazil is expected to line up a strong squad against Nigeria in the eagerly awaited international friendly fixed for October 13 at the imposing Singapore National Stadium in Kallang.


Though details are sketchy, match organizers and NFF/FIFA licensed match Jairo Pachon of Eurodata Marketing Sportivo E Culturale (otherwise known as Eurodata Sports) informed NationSport that both sides would bring their best players for the prestigious match.

“We just closed the deal with Brazil which is historic for Nigeria, and Brazil would bring all their best players for the match,” Pachon stated.

Incidentally, the Samba Boys are expected to tackle 2019 AFCON runner up Senegal three days before taking on the Super Eagles in a doubleheader against two strong African sides.

“We chose two of the best African teams because they are high-level opponents,” Brazil Football Confederation official Juninho Paulista told the country’s association website. “It was a wish of the technical commission. So we went after these opponents.”

The October 13th friendly match in Singapore would be the second between both countries at full international since Brazil hammered Nigeria 3-0 at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja in 2003.

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Messi, Ronaldo, 28 others in Ballon d’Or shortlist

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France Football has released a 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d’Or award with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk favourites for the coveted gong.

The Ballon d’Or has been awarded by the French magazine since 1956 and sees their editorial staff put together the initial 30-man shortlist.

Last year, Luka Modric ended seven years of Ronaldo and Messi dominance when he scooped the award for winning a third Champions League in a row with Real Madrid – as well as captaining Croatia to the World Cup final.
This time around, it’s widely expected that the final three will be the same that led the way in the FIFA Men’s Best Player award: winner Messi, Ronaldo, and Virgil van Dijk – the latter aiming to become the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to win the coveted award.

The winner of the prize will be named at a ceremony at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on December 2, along with the Women’s Ballon d’Or, Kopa Trophy (Best under 21 player) and newly introduced Yachine Trophy – named after legendary former goalkeeper Lev Yashin.

Meanwhile, Samuel Chukwueze was nominated for the Kopa trophy (Ballon d’Or for under 21 players).

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Algeria crowned African champions

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Algeria has won its second AFCON title in Egypt after 29 years they did as hosts in 1990. Baghdad Bounedjah’s second-minute goal was all the Desert Warriors needed to claim the crown in Egypt.


For Senegal, the search for their first AFCON title continues despite coming so close to it as they did in 2002. Baghdad Bounedjah’s shot took a huge deflection off Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomes.

Senegal was awarded a penalty for handball in the second half but it was overturned after a VAR review.

Algeria closed out the rest of the game to win their first title since 1990.
Senegal’s players collapsed on the pitch in tears at the final whistle.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, who said before the game he would swap his Champions League winners medal for Africa Cup of Nations success, looked disconsolate as Algeria players celebrated around him.

“Without the players I am nothing,” said Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi. “They are the main ones. I suppose the staff played its part in guiding the players but they applied the instructions incredibly well.”

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Mikel calls time on Super Eagles career

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Super Eagles’ skipper, Mikel Obi has retired from international football stating that it was time to allow youths to take over. 32-year-old Obi made the disclosure via his Instagram handle @mikel_john_obi on Thursday, after leading the side to the third place of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

He made his debut at AFCON in the 2006 tournament hosted by Egypt.

“Egypt is a country where I started and have finished my national career. In 2006, I played my first official championship for my country.

‘‘2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for the national team with Super Eagles,” he wrote on his page.

The 32-year-old began his career in 2003.

“My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and ‘am grateful to the national team for placing me on the world arena and giving me an opportunity to show my skills and have an incredible national and international career.

“At the age of 32, it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, we’ve done an amazing job by securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.

“Thank you to all my Nigerian supporters and to my country for all the trust, support and love you’ve shown me over the past 15 years.”

Mikel also won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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Nigeria matches into AFCON semi-finals

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Nigeria became the second team (after Senegal) to reach 2019 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal after defeating South Africa 2-1 at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday night.
Samuel Chukwueze opened the deadlock after 27 minutes. VAR was used to confirm South Africa’s equalizer scored by Bongani Zungu after 74 minutes, but William Troost Ekong scored one minute from time to send the Super Eagles for the semifinal for the first time since they were crowned champions in 2013.
South Africa will leave Egypt with heads high after reaching the last eight despite playing in the group of death, and then eliminating hosts and favorites Egypt from the Round of 16.
Wilfried N’didi gave Bafana Bafana an idea of what to expect when he had the first shot after 6 minutes. And despite seeing South Africa with more possession, Nigeria had the lion share of chances.
Chukwueze broke the deadlock after 27 minutes after receiving the ball from Alex Iwobi inside the vital area. His initial shot was deflected from defense but he managed to collect the ball again and score past Ronwen Williams between South Africa’s posts.
South Africa tried to equalize but couldn’t pose real threats to Nigeria’s defense and goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.
After the break, Nigeria was about to double their lead. Peter Etebo sent a scorcher from a free kick but Williams hand and the crossbar stopped him after 51 minutes.
And after 73 minutes VAR interfered to give South Africa the equalizer. From a free kick, Bongani Zungu sent a header that wronged Akpeyi. The goal was initially ruled offside but VAR proved the ball came from a Nigerian defender back to let the goal stand.
Iwobi tried to restore Nigeria’s lead but his shot missed the target after 80 minutes.
And when it seemed the game is going to extra time, Williams made a fatal mistake when he missed a corner kick to leave William Troost Ekong to score in the empty net wending the Super Eagles to the semifinal.
The Super Eagles will now wait to see their opponents from Algeria and Cote d’Ivoire who lock horns in Suez on Thursday.

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