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Madrid tie ‘wonderful opportunity’ for PSG

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery is confident his side have what it takes to get the better of title holders Real Madrid after the teams were drawn together in the Champions League on Monday.The sides will meet in the last 16, surely not the tie PSG would have wanted after winning their group ahead of Bayern Munich.

Real, the two-time defending European champions and 12-time winners overall, came second behind Tottenham Hotspur in their group and will host PSG in the Spanish capital in the first leg on February 14.

“I don’t think it’s the worst draw possible. I think we are of a level where we can play against Real Madrid,” said Emery.

“If you want to do something big in the Champions League you have to play against the best sides.

“I think these matches will be the centre of the footballing world when they come around.” NaijaBet.com

Continue reading Madrid tie ‘wonderful opportunity’ for PSG

Barca’s Bridge return excites Iniesta

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Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta admitted his late goal to knock Chelsea out in the Champions League semifinals in 2009 is one of his best memories ahead of his club’s return to Stamford Bridge.

The sides were paired together again in Monday’s Champions League last 16 draw with Barca travelling to London for the first leg on February 20. NaijaBet.com

Iniesta’s last-gasp equaliser eight years ago after Chelsea had been denied a series of penalty claims by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo allowed Barca to reach the final on away goals as they completed the club’s first ever treble of Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey. Continue reading Barca’s Bridge return excites Iniesta

Real Madrid seek record club world crown

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Real Madrid can cap their most successful year ever with victory in the Club World Cup final against Brazilian side Gremio on Saturday, which would see them become the first team to successfully defend the trophy and end 2017 with five titles. What do you think?

Defeat, however, would be the latest of a series of setbacks in a haphazard last few months for Zinedine Zidane’s side, who are fourth in La Liga, trailing leaders Barcelona by eight points in the standings.

At times, they have looked a shadow of the team that swept to Champions League and Liga glory last season and crushed Manchester United and Barca to win the European and Spanish Super Cups. Continue reading Real Madrid seek record club world crown

Salah named BBC African player of the year

Egypt star Mohamed Salah won the prestigious BBC African Player of the Year award on Monday, rewarded for a 2017 packed with sparkling displays for Liverpool, Roma and his national team.

The 25-year-old topped a poll that saw a record number of votes cast after firing Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations and almost single-handedly taking Egypt to their first World Cup finals since 1990, scoring five and setting up their other two goals in qualifying. NaijaBet.com

Salah, the Premier League’s top scorer with 13 goals, also scored 10 times in all competitions for Serie A club Roma in 2017 before making the move to Merseyside.

“I am very happy to win this award,” Salah told BBC Sport.

“It’s always a special feeling when you win something. I feel like I had a great year, so I’m very happy.”

Salah beat a star-studded cast of rivals to become the third Egyptian to win the award and first since Mohamed Aboutrika picked up the gong in 2008.

Gabon’s Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Guinean Naby Keita – his future Liverpool teammate currently at RB Leipzig – fellow Reds star Sadio Mane of Senegal and Chelsea’s Nigerian winger Victor Moses lost out to the pacy attacker, nicknamed the “Egyptian Messi”. NaijaBet.com

“I want to be the best Egyptian ever so I work hard,” added Salah, who helped with 15 goals helped Roma to their best ever points total of 87 as they finished second in Serie A last season.

“I always follow my own way and I want everyone in Egypt to follow my way.”

Salah joins African legends such as Ivorian duo Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure – the latter won it twice – as well as Liberian striker George Weah in winning the award. NaijaBet.com

Mo and Jürgen’s delight at Salah

being named the BBC African Footballer of the Year! 🏆

Ronaldo vs Neymar as Real draw PSG

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid stand in the way of Neymar’s Paris Saint-Germain after the big-spending duo were drawn together in the tie of the round in the Champions League last 16 on Monday.

But there were mixed fortunes for England’s five representatives, a record number of clubs from one country to make the last 16, with Chelsea handed a daunting clash with Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur getting Juventus. You can predict the game now

Two-time defending champions Madrid are looking to become the first club since Bayern Munich in the mid-1970s to win the European Cup three years running. NaijaBet.com Continue reading Ronaldo vs Neymar as Real draw PSG

Zidane struggling to shore up Real defence

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane admitted injuries will force him into patching up a makeshift defence for Saturday’s visit of Sevilla after Raphael Varane joined an increasing list of absentees.

The French international limped off holding his left leg as Madrid edged out Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in a Champions League thriller on Wednesday. NaijaBet.com

However, with the defending champions already having secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League behind Tottenham Hotspur in Group H, Zidane was more concerned with how Varane’s absence could affect a busy end to the year for Real.

After Sevilla, Zidane’s men jet off to Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup before hosting Barcelona in the Clasico on December 23.

Saturday is the French coach’s primary concern, though, with Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal and Casemiro all suspended, while Jesus Vallejo is also sidelined by injury leaving Nacho as Real’s only fit centre-back. NaijaBet.com Continue reading Zidane struggling to shore up Real defence

Real v PSG, Barca v Chelsea in last 16

Holders Real Madrid were drawn against Paris St Germain in the standout tie from Monday’s Champions League last-16 draw and Barcelona will take on Chelsea.

Real, bidding for a 13th title and third in a row, finished runners-up in their group and paid the price with an extremely tough draw against the big-spending Parisian club.

Last season’s runners-up Juventus will meet Tottenham Hotspur, one of five English clubs in the draw.

Runaway Premier league leaders Manchester City, who have never won Europe’s biggest club prize, will face Swiss club Basel.

Five-times winners Bayern Munich were drawn with Turkish outsiders Besiktas, Manchester United take on Sevilla and Liverpool will meet Porto.

AS Roma‘s reward for winning their group was a two-legged tie against Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk.

The first legs take place on Feb. 13-14 and Feb. 20-21 with the returns on March 6-7 and March 13-14.

Five things we learned from the PL

Manchester City took a huge step towards the Premier League title with a vital victory at rivals Manchester United.

Chelsea‘s title defence looks all but over after a miserable loss at West Ham United, while Wayne Rooney’s first Merseyside derby goal earned Everton a draw at Liverpool. NaijaBet.com

Here are five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend:

GHOSTS IN MACHINE FOIL MOURINHO’S BID TO SPOOK CITY

Jose Mourinho set his stall out nice and early ahead of the Manchester derby. The days leading up to the game were accompanied by a familiar drip-drip-drip of jibes – about City’s alleged propensity for diving and “tactical fouling” and opposite number Pep Guardiola’s right to wear a ribbon in support of Catalan separatists – in a bid to get inside his opponents’ heads. Continue reading Five things we learned from the PL

Mourinho clashes with City players

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho became involved in a physical confrontation with Manchester City’s players after complaining about their post-derby celebrations, according to British media reports late on Sunday. NaijaBet.com

The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph said Mourinho went to City’s changing room following United’s 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford because he felt their noisy celebrations were disrespectful. Continue reading Mourinho clashes with City players