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Super Eagles Coach, Rohr rewarded with a 2-year contract extension

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Gernot Rohr
 Following Super Eagles fine run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Coach Gernot Rohr has been rewarded with a two-year contract extension.

Rohr was appointed Super Eagles boss in August 2016 with the mandate to take Nigeria to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Super Eagles finished unbeaten from a tough Group B that had Zambia, Cameroon and Zambia, winning four games and drawing two.

At an event on Monday, November 27, president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Amaju Pinnick announced that the Rohr has been given a two-year contract extension and paid up until December 2017.

The Franco-German coach was initially given a two-year contract when he was first appointed which would expire immediately after the World Cup.

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Amaju PinnickplayNFF boss Amaju Pinnick has confirmed Rohr’s contract extension (Twitter/NFF)

 

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This new contract will stretch his stay as Super Eagles boss to 2020.

Rohr’s Super Eagles record

Rohr started his Super Eagles boss with a 1-0 win over Tanzania in the qualifiers for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Next was the wins against Zambia and Cameroon in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Gernot RohrplayGernot Rohr will be boss of Super Eagles until 2020 (Twitter/Oluwatoyin Ibitoye)

 

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He played three friendly games; a draw against Senegal, Corsica and a win against Togo.

In August September, the Super Eagles beat Cameroon in a 2018 World Cup qualifier before a draw in the second leg.

They beat Zambia in October to seal qualification to the World Cup before a draw away at Algeria to round-up the qualifying series.

Earlier in November, the Super Eagles beat Argentina 4-2 in a friendly game.

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FIFA world cup 2019 teams: Women’s world cup key information

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It is another year for FIFA World Cup, however, for this year, it will be the Women’s World Cup and here are the things to know about the fifa world cup 2019 teams.

fifa world cup 2019 teams

Photo: Getty Images

Just a year after the 2018 edition of the men’s World Cup final in Russia, the Women’s World Cup 2019 is raring and ready to go and will start on June 7, 2019 and end on July 7, 2019. In this article, you will get all key information about the Women’s fifa world cup 2019 teams.

Taking place in France – the first time the country has hosted the tournament and the third time Europe will have done so – the Women’s World Cup will have 24 fifa world cup 2019 teams to compete for the highest football honour.

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Defending champions, the U.S. women’s national team are still a strong side and will no doubt be aiming to lift a record fourth World Cup, just a year after the U.S. men’s national team were unable to even qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

Draw of the Women’s fifa world cup 2019 teams
Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria

Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa

Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica

Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan

Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands

Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden

How does the draw work?
Having been placed into four pots based on the FIFA Women’s World Rankings, countries were drawn into six groups of four teams.

Host nation France was automatically placed in position A1 in Pot 1. No group can contain more than one team from each confederation; the one exception is UEFA, which has nine teams and each group must have no more than two UEFA clubs.

Pot 1: France, United States, Germany, England, Canada, Australia

Pot 2: Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Spain, Norway

Pot 3: South Korea, China, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Thailand

Pot 4: Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Jamaica

Which country got qualified into the fifa world cup 2019 teams?

The semifinals and final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held at Stade de Lyon in Lyon, France.

After qualifying matches held between April 2017 and Dec. 1 of this year, 24 teams reached the tournament. The allotment of slots is the same as the previous Women’s World Cup. Here are the fifa world cup 2019 teams, listed by confederation:

Asian Football Confederation (5 teams)
Australia
China
Japan
South Korea
Thailand

Confederation of African Football (3 teams)
Cameroon
Nigeria
South Africa

CONCACAF (3 teams)
Canada
Jamaica
United States

CONMEBOL (3 teams)
Argentina
Brazil
Chile

Oceania Football Confederation (1 team)
New Zealand

UEFA (9 teams)
England
France (hosts)
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Norway
Scotland
Spain
Sweden

Women’s fifa world cup 2019 teams host cities

In 2019, the fifa world cup 2019 teams games will be played in 10 different venues across nine different cities in France, who won the right to host the tournament in March 2015. As hosts, France’s national team have automatically qualified for the competition.

Of the 10 venues, seven will stage at least three group stage games. The breakdown of venues and games can be seen in the table below.

Games City                                                                   Stadium
Group stage & Round of 16                          Paris Parc des Princes
Group stage & Round of 16                       Reims Stade Auguste-Delaune
Group stage & Round of 16                          Grenoble Stade des Alpes
Group stage & Round of 16                          Rennes Roazhon Park
Group stage & Round of 16                          Rennes Roazhon Park
Group stage & Round of 16                     Valenciennes Stade du Hainaut
Group stage & Round of 16                     Montpellier Stade de la Mosson
Group stage & Round of 16 & third place       Nice Allianz Riviera
Group stage & Round of 16 &  Quarter-final       Le Havre Stade Oceane
Semi-finals & Final                                       Lyon  Parc Olympique Lyonnais

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Details of where the final will be played
parcolympique_top

Key facts
Club: Olympique Lyonnais | Opening: 2016 | Capacity: 59,186 seats

History & Description
Groupama Stadium, also known as Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Parc OL, or Grand Stade OL, is the recently opened new home of Olympique Lyonnais. It replaced Stade de Gerland as Lyon’s home ground.

Lyon had been looking to build a new stadium from as early as 2007, but saw earlier proposals delayed due to local opposition and a lack of funding because of the financial crisis. The project received the final push when France got awarded the Euro 2016 tournament and Lyon got selected as a host city.

Lyon received their building permit in February 2012, and later that year building works kicked off. Delays however postponed the expected completion date from the summer of 2014 to January 2016.

Parc Olympique Lyonnais officially opened on 9 January 2016 with a league match between Lyon and Troyes (4-1).

The stadium has a capacity of 59,186 seats, of which about 6,000 business seats and 105 lodges. It came at a cost of roughly €600 million, including almost €190 million for improvements in infrastructure.

During Euro 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais hosted four group matches, the round of 16 match between France and Rep. of Ireland (2-1), and the semi-final between Portugal and Wales (2-0).

In 2017, the stadium was renamed Groupama Stadium following a 3-year naming rights deal with insurance firm Groupama.

Groupama Stadium has been selected to host the 2018 Europa League final.

How to get to Groupama Stadium
Groupama Stadium is located in the Lyon suburb Décines, in the east of the city and just over 10 kilometres from Lyon’s city centre.

The stadium, located right next to the N346 / E15 motorway, is easily reached by car. Get on the N346 from the A42 in the north or the A43 in the south and take exit 6.

If using public transport, the stadium can be reached by tram. The stadium is only a 10-minute walk from station Decines Grand Large of tram line 3, which runs just north of the stadium, but on matchdays a special branch will bring you right in front of the stadium. Line 3 departs from Gare Part-Dieu on the eastern edge of Lyon’s city centre.

Eat, drink, and sleep near Groupama Stadium

Parc Olympique Lyonnais is located on the edge of the city in a quiet suburb, surrounded by residential housing and farmlands. There is little around in terms of eating and drinking apart from the odd fast-food restaurant, which therefore best done in Lyon’s pleasant city centre.

Most will also decide to find a hotel in the centre of Lyon, though if you want to stay close to the stadium, then there are a few roadside hotels around. These will likely most appeal to those arriving by car.

Hotel Grand Est and B&B Hotel Lyon Meyzieu are decent mid-range options located right on the other side of the N346. Click here for an overview of hotels near Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

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Of course, most will decide to stay in Lyon’s city centre, which boasts plenty of options in all price ranges.

Olympique Lyonnais Tickets
Tickets for Lyon matches can be bought online through the official website through official ticket partner viagogo, in person at the club store at the stadium, or at the OL store at the 104 Rue du President Edouard Herriot in Lyon’s city centre.

Ticket prices depend on the opponent, but expect to pay between €30.00 and €65.00 for an upper tier seat and between €60.00 and €275.00 for a lower tier seat.

Groupama Stadium tours
Lyon offer guided stadium tours around Groupama Stadium that include the players’ tunnel, dugouts, press room, and hospitality areas. The tours lasts 75 minutes. The club offer a shorter ‘mini’ 45-minute alternative as well with less access.

Tours run 5-10 days a month multiple times a day. Check online for the current schedule and bookings. The regular tour costs €19.00 while the mini tour costs €9.00.

Debutants among the Women’s fifa world cup 2019 teams

Four nations will make their Women’s World Cup debut in 2019: Chile, Jamaica, Scotland and South Africa. The odds may be stacked against these four countries, three of whom will likely be seeded in Pot 4.

Don’t be shocked to see one or two advance. In the first edition of the 24-team tournament in 2015, Cameroon, the Netherlands and Switzerland all advanced to the knockout rounds in their first World Cup appearance.

Keep an eye on Scotland, as the Scots are markedly improved from the 2015 cycle and feature a plethora of players who play at top clubs in England.

Who are the favourites to win the Women’s World Cup 2019?

Ada Hegerberg Norway
Defending champions United States are expected to go far in France once again, having won the competition three times.

Experienced stars such as Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath are expected to guide the team to a potential fourth World Cup win. There will be an opportunity to introduce younger talent into the side as the country will look to prepare for the future following Hope Solo’s retirement and what could be Carli Lloyd’s final international tournament as she turns 37 two days after the 2019 final.

Meanwhile, Les Bleues will be expected to pick up on the momentum left behind by the men’s French team, with the host nation eyeing the highest honour in football by winning the tournament on home turf.

The French team’s best finish on the world stage was fourth place in the 2011 edition and the side have never progressed past the quarter-final stage of the European Championships.

Germany won gold in the 2016 Rio Oympics but tasted to defeat to the United States in the 2015 semi-finals. They will be looking to bounce back after crashing out of the 2017 Euros in the quarter-finals, despite struggling in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup after losing to France and the U.S.

Japan are one of the most consistent sides in football and were World Cup winners in 2011 and runners-up in 2015. They will be eager to seek revenge on the USWNT, with the two sides having met in the last two finals.

England are arguably a strong contender to go far in France in 2019. Despite going out of the 2015 tournament through a devastating last-minute own goal in the semis the side were still able to finish third after beating Germany.

FC Barcelona and Netherlands star Lieke Martens is expected to push her nation far in the World Cup next summer, while recent Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg is also expected to make waves for Norway in France.

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Breaking: Man Utd finally name a new ‘caretaker’ coach

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Barely 24 hours after sacking Jose Mourinho, Manchester United have named former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager until the end of the season.

Solskjaer spent 11 seasons at Old Trafford, scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final.

“Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role,” said Solskjaer.

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“I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”

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Solskjaer, who earlier this month signed a new deal as manager of Norwegian club Molde, will be joined by Mike Phelan, who returns as an assistant manager having previously working alongside Sir Alex Ferguson.

Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, both part of Mourinho’s coaching staff, will continue to work under Solskjaer.

Solskjaer’s first match in charge will be against Cardiff – where he endured an ill-fated spell as manager – on Saturday.

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The 45-year-old takes over with United sixth in the Premier League.

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Manchester United Sack Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United has announced that Jose Mourinho has left the club, days after the team’s loss to Liverpool.

The Red Devils are currently 19 points behind leaders Liverpool and are sixth on the log.

Manchester United released a statement on Tuesday morning that said: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.

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The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future.

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A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”

Mourinho, who joined United in May 2016 has had a fractious relationship with some of his players including Paul Pogba, that was stripped of vice-captaincy.

Michael Carrick will be appointed as the temporary manager in place of the Portuguese.

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Details later.

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Twitter reacts as Eden Hazard openly admits he loves Real Madrid

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Eden Hazard has started the biggest rumour of the upcoming January window by stating that he has a soft spot for Real Madrid.

The Belgian has 18 months left in his contract as of now and Chelsea have been trying to tie him down to a new deal.

Real Madrid were supposedly interested in him in the summer, as a replacement for the outgoing Cristiano Ronaldo. However, they signed his club colleague Courtois instead and a deal to take him to the Santiago Bernabeu never materialized.

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Hazard added fuel to the speculations last month, after scoring his 7th goal in the Premier League against Southampton.

He admitted to the reporters after the game that he was thinking of his future and was torn between signing a new deal at Chelsea and moving to the “Best Club in the World” Real Madrid.

However, he now seems to have taken a step further towards listening to his heart.

The Belgian was speaking to French-Monegasque Radio Station RMC about life at Chelsea and admitted that he did not want to live with regrets at the end of his career. The Belgian spoke about Maurizio Sarri:

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The new (Chelsea) coach (Maurizio Sarri) thinks football like me, so we’ll see.
He then spoke about living life without regrets:

The family is in London, I’m also going to be 28. I do not want to have any regrets at the end of my career.
He appeared to be having trouble in coming to a decision:

It’s a decision I’m going to make, I do not know when, but I’ll take it.
However, his love for Real Madrid was not hidden, again:

You know me, I’ve always loved Real, even before (Zinedine) Zidane. We’ll see what happens.
His final statement appeared ambiguous:

As I said, I’m already finishing this year with Chelsea, I still have a year left of my contract after this year.
As usual, his statements have caused a frenzy and there are lots of unspecified reports coming in about him joining the Spanish Giants, as well as Chelsea making him their highest paid footballer.

Amidst all the drama, Twitter had quite a few responses to the latest developments. Here are some of the best tweets:

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‘Try something new, come to Italy,’ Ronaldo tackles Messi

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Cristiano Ronaldo has tackled long-time rival Lionel Messi to be more like him and push his limits by challenging himself in another league than Spain.

“I’d like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that,” Ronaldo told the Italian press on Monday (Dec 10).

The two strikers have been rivals for the past decade winning five Ballon d’Or trophies each before their domination was broken by World Cup runner-up Luka Modric last week.

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Asked if he missed the 31-year-old Argentinian, who has spent his entire senior career at Barcelona, Ronaldo replied: “No, maybe it’s him who misses me …

“I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.

“Maybe he needs me more… For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy.

“He’s a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don’t miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.

“I left my comfort zone and took on this challenge here in Turin, everything has gone well, I’ve proven I’m still an incredible player,” said Ronaldo.

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Ronaldo joined Juventus for 100 million euros (US$114 million) last summer as the Turin giants bid to lift the Champions League trophy after two runners-up finishes in the past four seasons.

To mark his 150 days in Italy he gave interviews on Monday to three leading sports dailies: La Gazzetta dello Sport, Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport.

“I had different options. I won’t say which but I had them. Juventus is a solid club. It has a long history,” he said of his decision.

“I knew the atmosphere in the stadium. I’d played several times in Italy. I like the city, the people and the club. I knew it could work.

“I couldn’t be 100 per cent sure I was joining the best club in the world. After nine years at Real Madrid it was difficult to compare.

“Now I’m 100 per cent sure it was the right option.”

ronaldo-tackle-messi

‘NOT AN OBSESSION’

Ronaldo has scored 11 goals this season, bringing his career total to 584.

Finishing second in Ballon d’Or voting to Modric, said Ronaldo, just motivates him even more.

“Of course I’m disappointed, but life goes on and I will continue to work hard,” said the 33-year-old.

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“On the pitch I’ve done everything to win the Ballon d’Or, numbers do not lie, but I’m no less happy if I do not win, I have wonderful friends and a family, I play in one of the best clubs.

“Congratulations to Modric, who has earned the award, but next year we will meet again and I will do everything to win the prize again.

“Do you think I’m going home and crying?”

Juventus play Young Boys in their final Champions League group game in Switzerland on Wednesday, having already booked their place in the knockout rounds.

And Ronaldo is hoping his experience of winning the trophy five times can serve his new team.

“The Champions League cannot be an obsession, you have to think about it calmly,” he warned.

“Yes we all want it but we have to get there step by step.

“Look at the game against Manchester United (2-1 defeat), if it had been a quarter-final we would have gone out. You need a little luck.”

Source: channelnewsasia.com

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Breaking: Luka Modric beats Ronaldo, Messi to win Ballon d’Or

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Croatian and Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric on Monday night pipped Juventus’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona Lionel Messi to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

Modric, who was closely followed by Ronaldo and Antonio Griezmann as second and third respectively, won the Ballon d’Or after he played an integral role in Real Madrid winning a fourth Champions League title in five years and then skippered Croatia to their first World Cup final in Russia.

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He finally put an end to the 10-year duopoly of Ronaldo and Messi, who have won the trophy five times each.

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FA Cup third round draw: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool discover opponents

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Chelsea will kick off their defence of the FA Cup at home to Nottingham Forest.

Lower league and non-league clubs have eagerly been awaiting the draw and discovered their fate on Monday night, with 44 Premier League and Championship teams entering the competition.

Manchester United and Manchester City were also handed home ties and will face Reading and Rotherham United respectively.

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The third round is scheduled to take place over the weekend of Saturday 5 January 2019.

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FA Cup third round draw in full

Bolton Wanderers vs Walsall/Sunderland

Millwall vs Hull City

Gillingham vs Cardiff City

Brentford vs Oxford United

Sheffield Wednesday vs Luton Town

Manchester United vs Reading

Everton vs Lincoln City

Tranmere Rovers/Southport vs Tottenham

Preston North End vs Doncaster

Newcastle United vs Blackburn Rovers

Chelsea vs Nottingham Forest

Crystal Palace vs Grimsby

Derby County vs Southampton

Accrington Stanley vs Ipswich Town

Bristol City vs Huddersfield Town

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Wrexham/Newport County vs Leicester City

Fulham vs Oldham

Shrewsbury vs Stoke

Solihull/Blackpool vs Arsenal

Manchester City vs Rotherham United

Bournemouth vs Brighton

West Ham vs Birmingham City

Woking vs Watford

Burnley vs Barnsley

QPR vs Leeds United

Sheffield United vs Barnet

Norwich City vs Portsmouth

Guiseley/Fleetwood vs AFC Wimbledon

West Brom vs Wigan

Middlesbrough vs Peterborough/Bradford City

Wolves vs Liverpool

Aston Villa vs Swansea City

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Breaking News: Falcons defeat Cameroon to reach AWCON final

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The Super Falcons have booked a place in the final of the 2018 African Cup of Nations final after beating Cameroon 4 -2 on a penalty.

The game ended goalless on regulation time at the Accra Sports Stadium, Ghana. Onome Ebi, Rasheedat Ajibade and Asisat Oshoala scored from the spot as Cameroon lost two of their penalties. Ngozi Ebere fired in the last penalty that qualified Thomas Dennerby’s charges to the final of the competition.

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With a final berth, Nigeria has also secured a place in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

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The Super Falcons will face the winner in the second semi-final match-up between South Africa and Mali. A possible face off with the Bayana Bayana of South Africa in the final could offer the Falcons an opportunity to avenge their disappointing opening day defeat.

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Source: The Guardian

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Just In: Super Eagles qualify for AFCON after six years

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Nigeria have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in six years following a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Johannesburg on Saturday.

More to come…

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Breaking: Real Madrid sack Julen Lopetegui, appoints new coach

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Julen Lopetegui has been sacked by European Champions a day after the
humiliating 5-1 defeat by arch rivals Barcelona.
Julen-Lopetegui-2

“The Board of Directors of Real Madrid C. F., meeting today October 29, 2018, has agreed to terminate the contract that linked coach Julen Lopetegui with the club,” the Spanish outfit said in a statement on Monday evening.

Lopetegui has been in charge since the start of the season but has overseen a terrible start to the league which sees them languish at the ninth spot.

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Real Madrid Castilla coach and former player Santiago Solari will take charge of the team in the interim.

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Real Madrid’s statement says the decision has been taken “in a bid to change the run of results that the team was in, with all the team’s season objectives still possible.”

Real Madrid appointed Lopetegui after Zinedane Zidane left Real Madrid. The Spaniard’s appointment in June was with controversy as it led to his sack on the eve of the World Cup while he was coach of the Spain.

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Just In: Hazard could join Madrid in January on one condition (See Reason)

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Eden Hazard does not close the door. The Belgian has already made it very clear that sooner or later he wants to play at Real Madrid. Although a few days ago he assured that this will not happen in the winter market, he could change his mind.
Eden Hazard to leave chelsea on one condition

Because the exit of Julen Lopetegui of Real Madrid could accelerate everything. Especially depending on who your substitute is. The Chelsea star warns: if the chosen one is Roberto Martínez, he does not rule out changing the air in January.

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The relationship between the Catalan coach, Belgium coach , and Hazard is magnificent. And his arrival at the bench of Real Madrid could also accelerate the signing of Eden.

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Roberto Martínez is one of the options that are valued at Real Madrid to replace Lopetegui, along with José Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

The Belgian coach would be happy to have Hazard if he finally arrives at Real Madrid, and the coach has always had words of praise for his star in Belgium.

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Three reasons why Manchester United will beat Chelsea on Saturday

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All roads lead to Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea welcome rivals Manchester United for a tough encounter on matchday 9 of the Premier League.

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The Blues have proven to be a torn in the side of the Manchester clubs in recent years, and remain the team with most wins against The Red Devils in the era of the Premier League.

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As both teams prepare to resume hostilities on Saturday, there appears to be a wind of pessimism on the side of the Red Devils.

The Old Trafford outfit currently sits in 8th position on the league log, and are also 7 points below their opponents going into this weekend’s game.

Manager Jose Mourinho is under huge pressure to turn things around after a poor start to the season, punctuated by dressing room issues.

On the contrary, Chelsea is enjoying a productive season, and are currently unbeaten under the tutelage of manager Maurizio Sarri.

Despite all the permutations pointing to Chelsea as favourites, Man United would definitely not go down without a fight.

In fact, Mourinho’s men have the perfect platform to turn everything right back in their favour.

Chelsea vs Manchester United preview

So here are three strong reasons why Man Utd could walk away with 3 points against Chelsea.

 

  • Man Utd have their desire back

Man United has a poor record against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but that could change.

ander-herrera-man-utd-2017_su58mgb31tgi178r3dczvu4kj

The Red Devils have not won a game at the ground since 2013, since Sir Alex Ferguson led the side to a controversial 2-3 win over The Blues.

However, that bad run at Stamford Bridge could change this weekend.

One of the main reasons why The Red Devils have struggled this season is the apparent lack of desire from some players.

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The likes of Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford have sometimes looked like they are uninterested in doing their jobs on the pitch.

But that massive 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle United before the international break could just have set the tone for that desire to be rekindled.

After a very poor start to the campaign, the players probably needed some time off to get their acts together.

Now they will return for Saturday’s clash in high spirits, and with clear minds. Chelsea may start the game as favourites, but if Man Utd show the right desire on Saturday, there will be no reason why The Red Devils cannot win the game.

 

  • Complacency on the side of Chelsea could play to Man Utd’s advantage

Chelsea have had a flawless season so far under Maurizio Sarri.

Six wins out of eight Premier League games, no losses in all competitions, and a 100 percent record in the Europa League, all these are good stats, but could also be a recipe for complacency.

The Blues also know that they have had an upper hand over Manchester United in the last decade when it comes to this fixture.

Add that to the fact that The Red Devils have been off form this season, and it will not be difficult to understand why the favourite tag could eat into the heads of the Chelsea players.

Complacency makes one feel good, but it also makes you blind to the preparedness of your opponents.

Manchester United and Jose Mourinho know that this is a must win game, and will be treating it with all seriousness.

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Therefore, any form of levity from Chelsea will be at their own peril. Players like Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial, and Paul Pogba many have been off colour this season, but they still have the quality to change games within split seconds.

Chelsea start as favourites, but any form of complacency would play perfectly to the advantage of Manchester United in Saturday’s encounter.

  • Mourinho has no option than to attack

By now everybody who has been watching Manchester United would know that the crop of players the club possesses were made for the attacking game.

Earlier in the season when Paul Pogba openly criticised Jose Mourinho’s cautious play, the Portuguese manager did not take it lightly at all.

However, the 55-year-old himself now understands that the only way to get the best out of his players is to give them the needed freedom to operate.

Mourinho is a man under pressure, and right now he has no option than to give the players and fans what they have been calling for all this time, attacking and beautiful football.

The players showed against Newcastle United that when unleashed, they can be deadly against any side in the top flight.

But more importantly, Mourinho’s decision to introduce three attack-minded players when the team was down 2-0 indicated that he is also beginning to understand that attack is the best way to win.

Chelsea will definitely be tougher than Newcastle United, but if the Portuguese gives his players the license to attack, then a good game should be expected at Stamford Bridge, and possibly a big victory.

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Odion Ighalo reveals death threat to his family

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Nigeria’s Odion Ighalo has revealed that he almost quit international football following death threats made to his family.
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The 29-year-old is the name on everyone’s lips in Nigeria, following a five-star showing for the Super Eagles in back-to-back 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Libya this month.

Ighalo bagged a hat-trick in a 4-0 win over the North African’s before netting a brace in the reverse fixture – that ended 3-2 in Nigeria’s favour – to fire his country to the cusp of qualification for next year’s showpiece.

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The former Watford forward, though, has revealed that he considered quitting International football following threats made to his family in aftermath of Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup exit.

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“I know the fans want me to score goals. I understand them. But some of them took it to another level,” he told KweseESPN.

“They said a lot of things. To my innocent kids, to my wife, even to the extent they threatened my life and the life of my family.

“I felt very bad when they threatened my family. I had to talk to my wife because she could not take it. Some words they said about my kids, about me. Some words they said to her, threatening and all that. That is beyond football.

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“My wife said ‘you don’t have to go there to Nigeria any more’ and it was because of all what they said to her and to our family.”

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See how much Chelsea is to pay Hazard to stop Real Madrid move

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Former Chelsea defender, Jason Cundy, has urged the club to increase Eden Hazard’s wages to £750,000-a-week to fend off interest from Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old has been in fine form this season, scoring seven goals in his first eight Premier League appearances.

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However, Hazard is still refusing to rule out a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, which he admits is his “dream”.

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Cundy, who played at Stamford Bridge between 1988 and 1992, believes that the club should make him the highest-paid player in world football.

“I think it’s a very open and a very honest statement.

“If they come in with a big enough offer, I think we have to accept that there is a time and a place in a player’s career and he wants to go on and play for one of the biggest clubs, if not THE biggest club, in world football.

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“But, from my point of view, I want him to stay – of course I do. I would make him the highest paid player in the world.

“I would give him £650k, £700k, £750k-a-week. What’s he worth on the open market, say £150million? You’re not going to be able to replace him!” Cundy told talkSPORT.

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Hazard torn between Chelsea and Madrid

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Eden Hazard says he is torn between signing a new contract at Chelsea and a move to Real Madrid, Sky Sports reports.

The Belgium international insists he is ready to discuss extending his deal with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, but says he still has the ambition to pursue his dream of playing for the Spanish giants.

Hazard will enter the final year of his current contract at the end of this season, but insists he does not want to go down the same route as Thibaut Courtois, who fell out with Chelsea as he pushed through a move to Real Madrid this summer.

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“I don’t want that,” Hazard told reporters after scoring his eighth Chelsea goal of the campaign in the 3-0 win at Southampton on Sunday. “I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything.

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“I don’t want to say: ‘Yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing. So I will see. Sometimes in my head, I wake up in the morning and think I want to go.

“Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future. I am 27 and I will turn 28 in January.”

Hazard spoke of his desire to leave for Real Madrid after the World Cup, and he still believes he has one big move left in his career.

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“That’s why I spoke after the World Cup and I said that I think it is time to change because I played a great World Cup,” he said.

“I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment. Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today.

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