Little-Known Belgium-born Nigerian Goal Machine Is Best Player In The Netherlands

Heracles Almelo striker and Nigeria-eligible forward Cyriel Dessers has been rated as the Best Player in the Dutch League over the past weekend after an incredible goalscoring feat for the highflying Heraclieden.
Unknown former Belgian youth international Cyriel Dessers has been named
Whoscored.com ‘s Player of the Week in the Dutch Eredivisie after he was involved in five of the six goals in Heracles 6-1 thrashing of VVV Venlo at Stadion ErveAsito (Almelo) on Saturday.

The Leuven-born striker, who has expressed his desire to represent the Super Eagles at international level, scored a perfect 10/10 rating for netting a fine hat trick and providing two other assists in the thrilling matchday thirteen fixture.

The 24-year-old smashed home a 26-minute hat-trick in the second half and was the architect of the goals scored by Alexander Merkel and Mauro Júnior in the 23rd and 60th minute respectively.
Dessers, who is still awaiting his first invitation to the Super Eagles, has played every single minute of every Heracles game this season and has accounted for half of the goals scored by the Dutch team.
Another Nigeria-born midfielder, Chidera Ejuke , also made Whoscored.com’s Team of the Week after he scored a brace to help SC Heerenveen gain a fine 2-1 victory over Sparta Rotterdam.
Ejuke’s double at the weekend took his goal tally to seven in 14 matches across all competitions for the season.

Is Joe Aribo Truly The Answer To Nigeria’s Long Search For Okocha’s Replacement?

It’s 2006. The year when ‘Pirates of the Caribbean (Dead Man’s Chest)’ was the highest-grossing movie. Daniel Powter’s Bad Day was the No 1 song on Billboard’s end of the year charts. Facebook was opened to everyone that was 13 years and above with a valid email address.
That same year was when Super Eagles’ search for a creative midfielder began after Austin Jay Jay Okocha played his last game for the team on February 9 in an AFCON third-place playoff against Senegal.
The former Bolton Wanderers captain played 78 minutes of that win against the Teranga Lions before he was taken off, and at that moment Nigeria’s search for creativity began.
Football is a collective sport, but it is hilarious how the departure of one player could affect a team for this long. Until Klopp arrived, Liverpool felt it with Suarez when he left in 2014. Barcelona always struggle in the games without Lionel Messi.
While some teams are quick to find solutions, some are not always lucky. Although there have been talented players like Rabiu Ibrahim and Haruna Lukman who have all played the No 10 role for the Super Eagles, due to injuries, they couldn’t hold on to their place in the squad.
Former captain, John Mikel Obi played that role throughout his time with the National Team, but it was like playing with what is available – he was never as effective as Okocha.
However, following Mikel’s retirement, there have been some youngsters that have been touted to be the answer to Nigeria’s long search for a creative midfielder. One of them is Joe Aribo.
The Rangers midfielder who only recently made his international debut has enjoyed a brilliant start to his Super Eagles career. He was on target in the two international friendly games against Ukraine and Brazil respectively.
His performance in those two games earned rave reviews with many even going as far by saying he’s the perfect replacement for Okocha.
But does the 23-year-old has what it takes to be the No 10 the Super Eagles crave for?
Watching him play, Aribo has the skill and flair which Jay Jay was famously known for during his playing career. However, their styles are contrasting as Aribo does not look like the player who can conjure up a pass out of nowhere – especially against a team that plays ten men behind the ball.
Although the former Charlton midfielder scores a lot of goals, he will be more effective if he plays from the deep. This is an opinion shared by Scottish football journalist, Danny T Owen . He told me Aribo would be more suited to a deeper role, and will still be able to score a lot of goals from that position.
“Obviously Gerrard was one of the best around at making those late runs into the box and Aribo seems to have really picked that up at Rangers”
“I can’t help feeling that his best role eventually may be in a slightly deeper role perhaps, where he can use his energy and excellent ball control to drive the team up the pitch.”
“It’s noticeable how well he protects the ball under pressure, which is something which would obviously help him in the middle of the engine room,” Owen added.
According to whoscored , Aribo has not made a key pass in any of the 29 games he has played so far this season. However, he has not been dispossessed all season, while he has a pass success percentage range of 87.5%.
While he may still function well behind the striker, his best role will be from the deep. In this role, he can drive forward with his pace and energy, a style Yaya Toure is known for.
Aribo has a similar style to the Ivorien and Toure earned a reputation as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League by playing in a central role.
Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr will be able to get the best out Aribo if he plays him from the deep rather than hoping he is our next Jay-Jay.

LMC Announces Five Year Multi Million Naira NEXT TV Contract For NPFL

The Nigeria professional Football League NPFL have received a big boost as the LMC announced a multi million naira sponsorship deal with NEXT TV.
Chairman of the League Management Company LMC Mallam Shehu Dikko disclosed this at the Annual General Meeting of the LMC held in Abuja Wednesday.
He said the 5-yr contract would see the league on TV amidst other multiple sponsors to boost the commercial values of the league.

The Annual General Meeting applauded the LMC for the deal and okayed reforms in the general administration of the system and its framework to make the league competitive and attractive.
The value of the deal which is in multiple of what the league is earning before now would be officially announced at the unveiling ceremony to be performed soon.
Meanwhile a reliable source from the league body revealed that the total projected income revenue from the deal and other commercial inflows is worth over 225 million dollars in five years.

Credit: goal.come

Transfer: Man City ‘closely monitoring’ Nigeria U17 international – plans in place for signing in May

Manchester City are ‘closely monitoring’ Nigeria U17 international midfielder Samson Tijani, according to reports from Dutch news outlet Voetbal International as relayed by Sport Witness .

Tijani, who has starred for the country at U17 level, is a midfielder who can play in both attacking and defensive positions. Now, journalist Lentin Goodijk has claimed that a Nigerian scout told him City are keeping tabs on the player.
Earlier in the year, in May, All Nigeria Soccer reported that City were interested in Tijani and planned to sign him and send him on loan to affiliate club Girona. This wouldn’t be unprecedented, with City pulling a similar move off for Colombian winger Marlos Moreno a couple of years ago.

Not much is known about Tijani, except that the 17-year old has made two caps for his country at youth level but none for the senior side- meaning that getting a work permit may be a challenge. However, a loan to Girona could resolve this issue if the player gets enough game time.

NFF: We Have Not Sacked Golden Eaglets Coach Garba

General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Dr. Mohammed Sanusi has debunked media reports that Golden Eaglets Chief Coach Manu Garba has been sacked.
“it is not true that the NFF has sacked Coach Many Garba as coach of the national Under-17 team. We cannot sack someone without getting his match reports and his reasons why the team failed in Brazil,” Sanusi said.
“It came to me as a surprise when I read in the media that we have sacked Manu Garba as coach of Golden Eaglets. We cannot sack him just like that without getting his side of the story. As you can see, the team has yet to return, so I don’t know where they got that story from.”

“We expected so much from the team because we gave them the needed support to achieve good results, but they crashed out in the second round to Holland. We [the NFF] shall hear from the coach when he submits his technical report. From there, we move on by trying to avoid future lapses if any.”
Nigerians have been condemning the performance Of The Golden Eaglets and putting the blame on the team’s coaching staff whom they accused of not selecting the best players for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Shocking: Young groundnut seller who signed on a graduate’s shirt gets admission

A young female groundnut seller who captured the hearts of many Nigerians weeks back when a picture of her signing on the shirt of a graduate went viral, has been given a chance to be one herself.
The girl pleaded to sign on the shirt of the graduate who allowed her pen her signature on his shirt.

The young girl signs on the shirt of a graduate
She had an interactive session with the university’s radio station

She was subsequently invited to appear on the University’s radio station where she had an interactive session with the hosts. The incident took place in FUTMINNA, Niger state and the institution has admitted her to study in the staff school.

She is now a student

Bayer Leverkusen vs Atlético Madrid: 5 Key Stats & Facts to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Crunch Clash

Bayer Leverkusen host Atlético Madrid on Wednesday night as they look to save their own skin in Champions League Group D.
It is very much a group of two halves, with Juventus and Atlético running away at the top end with seven points each, while Lokomotiv Moscow and Leverkusen have been left behind on three and zero points respectively.
The side from west German know that only a win will do if they want to keep their place in Europe’s stellar club competition this season.
Contrastingly, victory for Atlético should all but see them through to the last 16 with Lokomotiv facing a tough task against Juve.
Here are some key facts and stats courtesy of
Opta ahead of Wednesday night’s match.

Bayer Leverkusen always seem to be one of those sides who make it to the group stages of the Champions League , maybe just scrape to the last 16, and then get unceremoniously dumped out by one of Europe’s top teams.
Well, it doesn’t even look like they’re going to be afforded that luxury on this occasion.
Peter Bosz’s side are marooned at the bottom of the group on zero points at the halfway point in the group having lost three in three, and they are now reliant on a miracle in their remaining three group games.
Die Werkself have only endured a longer losing run once previously, losing seven in a row in the 2002-03 season.

How Napoli and Inter can reach the Champions League round of 16

yesterday and Inter lost 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund away at Signal Iduna Park. The Neapolitans are now second in their group on 8 points behind Liverpool at 9 points, and Inter reside in third 3 points behind Dortmund on 7 points and 4 points behind Barcelona leading the group.
So, what’s needed from the Italian team to reach the knock-out stages? Here’s what you need to know:
INTER. Antonio Conte’s men still have to face Slavia Prague away on November 27th and Barcelona home at San Siro on December 10th. Thanks for the Nerazzuri’s 2-0 win against Dortmund in the first leg, they’re ahead of the German in head-to-head meetings on goal difference – as both teams have won one of the two legs. So, in case Inter end up on the same points as Dortmund, they will go through to the round of 16.
Inter would also directly qualify if they beat both Slavia Prague and Barcelona – regardless of the results of the others. Should they draw against Slavia Prague, they would still be in the running for a place in the round of 16 regardless of Barcelona and Dortmund’s results. If they lose to Slavia Prague, they’re only in the running if Dortmund lose both their remaining games and Inter beat Barcelona.
But with a victory against Slavia Prague, Inter has the fate in their own hands ahead of their last game at home to Barcelona.
NAPOLI . With a victory yesterday against Salzburg, Napoli would’ve secured qualification to the round of 16. But now it’s postponed to the next two games. Ancelotti’s team will face reigning European Champions at Anfield on November 27th and Genk home at San Paolo on December 10th.
Liverpool currently lead the group on 9 points, Napoli second at 8 points, Salzburg at 4 and Genk at 1 after four games played. Napoli needs at least two points to qualify for the next round from their coming two games against Liverpool and Genk. However, they can also qualify if Salzburg lose or draw against Genk in the next game – regardless of their result against Liverpool.
With a Salzburg win over Genk, Napoli would still reside ahead over the Austrians regardless of their result against Liverpool, but that means it all depends on the last game at home against Genk. Napoli has the fate in their own hands, they just have to get a win in one of the final two games against Liverpool or Genk.

Barcelona Keen To Get Inter Linked Arturo Vidal’s Wages Off Their Books

Artuto Vidal

Barcelona are keen to offload Arturo Vidal’s bumper salary in the upcoming January transfer window according to a report from Spanish news outlet Sport .
The 32-year-old has fallen out of favour at the Blaugrana having been limited to just 453 minutes on the park to date this season.
Inter have reportedly shown an extremely keen interest in signing the former Bayern Munich midfielder who has refused to rule out the possibility of working with former manager Antonio Conte once again.
Vidal played under Conte at Juventus and Conte is arguably the one to have gotten the most out of Vidal during his career.
However, Inter chief executive Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Marotta poured cold water on the rumours when asked about possibly signing him prior to Inter’s 3-2 loss away to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
Rather than discuss possibly signing Vidal, Marotta instead spoke on how Vidal’s compatriot Alexis Sanchez can be like a new signing when he returns from injury.

Bale to be confirmed to play in upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers

Whether Gareth Bale will play in the two Euro 2020 qualifiers left on the schedule for Wales against Azerbaijan and Hungary is yet to be confirmed. He’s included in the players’ list of the games, though.

Bale has suffered from calf injury since a 1-1 draw between Wales and Croatia on October 13.

The Welsh – surprise semi-finalists at Euro 2016 – are presently fourth in their group, six points adrift of table-topping Croatia and four shy of second-placed Hungary. Both Croatia and Hungary have just one game remaining.

Bale returned to light training with Real Madrid last week after a visit to London, sparking speculations about whether he’s playing the qualifiers on November 16 and 19.

Ryan Giggs, who became Wales manager in January 2018 after Chris Coleman left to take over at Sunderland, said he hoped Bale would get some game time this weekend.

“That’s the ideal situation, that he gets minutes before meeting with us,” said the 45-year-old former Manchester United wing.

“They’re huge games and we need to win them (to qualify), we know what we’ve got to do. We’ve played against both teams, we beat Azerbaijan and lost against Hungary.”

Zinedine Zidane, head coach of Real Madrid where Bale serves, said he was unfazed by Wales calling up Gareth Bale, and that he didn’t think the Real Madria forward was fit to play.

He also reiterated his desire for Bale to stay at Madrid for the whole season, describing suggestions he wants the 30-year-old to be sold in January as “nonsense.”

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