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Written by Published in Foreign August 08 2018 0

The Costa Rican continues to show his quality despite the club's long-term search for a replacement apparently nearing its conclusion.

 

In a match that served as a good microcosm of his time as Real Madrid's first-choice goalkeeper, Keylor Navas made the saves he needed to make and helped Los Blancos to another victory in the final match of another tournament.

 

The ICC finale win over Roma didn't carry anywhere near the importance of the three Champions League finals Navas won, but Tuesday's win carried significance in that it might symbolize in the end of Navas' time as Real Madrid's starter in goal.

 

Thibaut Courtois's looming move from Chelsea to Real Madrid feels more and more likely with each passing day. Chelsea have reportedly close to confirming the signing Kepa Arrizabalaga, a deal which would see Thibaut Courtois move to Real Madrid. Meaning that by the time the Spanish giants take the field next week in the UEFA Super Cup, Navas could find himself relegated to the bench, finally replaced after spending years as the Iker Casillas replacement nobody wanted, but that won title after title anyway.

 

 

It was, after all, the most famous fax machine malfunction in Real Madrid transfer history that paved the way for Navas to become Real Madrid's starter. David De Gea was long seen as the inevitable heir to Casillas' throne as Real Madrid starter. But a failed last-minute transfer bid, which died out purportedly at the hands of a faulty Manchester United fax machine, meant that Navas would have his chance as starter.

 

The Costa Rican star made the most of that opportunity, helping Madrid to the first of three Champions League titles the club would win in row with him manning the goal. He wasn't just along for the ride either. Navas established himself as a big-game player and fan favorite, and as his trophy count grew. The calls to replace him grew quiet, at least among fans.

 

Unfortunately for Navas, Real Madrid never stopped wanting to upgrade. De Gea's shadow continued to loom and just when it finally appeared as though the Spanish star would stay put at Manchester United, Real Madrid set its sights on another goalkeeper in Courtois.

 

Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui once again refused to acknowledge the Courtois rumors when asked on Tuesday night, and defended Navas when asked about where he stands within the team.

 

"Keylor is our goalkeeper," Lopetegui said after the match. "He’s here. There is no other goalkeeper we can talk about. Keylor, Kiko (Casilla), Luca (Zidane) and (Andriy) Lunin are the ones I can speak about."

 

He continued: "Keylor is phenomenal. He’s been phenomenal all preseason. He’s an extraordinary goalkeeper. He’s delighted to be with Real Madrid and we’re delighted to have him with us."

 

Lopetegui's praise sounded like that of a manager who won't necessarily hand over the starting job to Courtois if the Belgian does make the move. Navas has earned the right to foot for his job, but given the investment expected to be made, it will be tough to see Navas holding off Courtois for long.

 

Navas is still just 31 and even if he winds up spending the upcoming season as Courtois' back-up, he should be able to generate transfer interest in the summer of 2019. There will be no shame in Navas having to move on to continue as a starter, just as there was no shame in Casillas moving to FC Porto.

 

No matter what happens from here on out, Navas has a place in Real Madrid history, with the three Champions League titles he helped win and the many big performances he delivered. It is that track record that makes it feel a bit unjust that he is being pushed aside, and it is that history that made Tuesday's match feel like the end of an unlikely era in Real Madrid's goal.


Written by Published in Foreign August 08 2018 0

Former world 400m hurdles champion Nicholas Bett has died aged 28, following a car crash in Kenya.

 

The athlete died at the scene in Nandi County after the car he was driving veered off the road and landed in a ditch on Wednesday morning, local papers reported.

 

Bett made history at the 2015 Beijing World Championships when he became the first Kenyan to win a world championship gold medal at a distance shorter than 800m.

 

Nandi Police Commander Patrick Wambani confirmed his death.

 

He said the athlete hit a bump before losing control of his car near Lessos.

 

 


Written by Published in Foreign August 08 2018 0

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and a host of major champions began preparations Monday in open practice rounds for the spotlight of super group pairings at the 100th PGA Championship.

 

An elite field gathers at Bellerive Country Club for the year’s final major tournament with three-time major winner Jordan Spieth trying to complete a Career Grand Slam.

 

What Spieth will be specifically looking for when he tees it up in the 100th PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club this week, is the career Grand Slam. He won the Masters and the U.S. Open three years ago—both before turning 22—and last year’s Open Championship a week before he turned 24.

 

The victory at Birkdale was the 13th of his professional career—11 in PGA Tour events plus two Australian Opens. Had he won the PGA at Quail Hollow three weeks later he would have joined golf’s most elite club. Only Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods can claim to have won all four of the modern majors. (Bobby Jones’ Grand Slam in 1930 consisted of the U.S. and British Opens and the U.S. and British Amateurs).

 

While 14-time major champion Woods trying to end a 10-year major victory drought in his comeback from spinal fusion surgery.

 

Add on-form McIlroy, a four-time major winner who was a runner-up at the Open Championship, plus reigning major champion Patrick Reed from the Masters, two-time US Open winner Brooks Koepka and reigning Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari of Italy and it’s clear to see why expectations are high for a thrill-packed final major of 2018.

 


Written by Published in Foreign August 06 2018 0

Manchester City once again proved that they are the team to beat as they eased past Chelsea to win the FA Community Shield. The Citizens won 2-0 with Sergio Aguero scoring both the goals for the defending Premier League champions.

 

Chelsea were a lot better than they were last season but just not good enough to stop Manchester City. Sarri can be proud of his team for trying hard but the end product was poor and there were a lot of misplaced passes as well.

 

There were two goals for the predatory Sergio Aguero – the first being his 200thfor City – but it was the manner of their construction, and the architects of them, that was so impressive. On both occasions City carved through Chelsea.

Phil Foden, the great young hope at still just 18, created the first and also released Aguero with the pass of the match – a wonderful wedged ball through with back-spin to bring it back to the striker – while John Stones continued his imperious form from the World Cup, just three weeks to the day after returning from Russia, and Bernardo Silva looked like a player trying to prove a point. The only disappointment was an indifferent performance from £60million signing Riyad Mahrez and the confirmation, if any were needed, that goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is not going to be challenging Ederson for his place.

The three biggest Hit players of the game was:

1.     Sergio Aguero:  Easily the man of the match today. The Argentine scored his 200th and 201st goal for Manchester City today and they were enough to see his side ease past Chelsea.

 

2.     Bernado Silva: After the big summer signing from Monaco last summer, he could only show a glimpse of himself but, in this game he showed his true colours. He was running the show for City and was finding gaps out of nowhere. He gave the Chelsea side a tough time and there was nothing any Chelsea player could do to stop him.

3.      Willy Caballero: Surprised that Willy Caballero is a hit? Well, I am too. Before the game kicked off, no one would have expected him to be one of the best players on the pitch for Chelsea.

After Callum Hudson-Odoi, it was Caballero who impressed for The Blues. He made numerous saves to keep the score respectable for Chelsea today.

There was nothing he could do for both the goals as they were defensive mistakes and Aguero made the most of it.

 

 

As for the three Biggest flops, it was a no-brainer:

1.      David Luiz: Once again, David Luiz has proved that he just cannot play in a two-man defense. The Brazilian is out of position more often than not and leaves the opponent strikers unmarked all the time.

2.      Marcos Alonso:  if there is one player in the Chelsea squad who is not fit for SarriBall, it has to be Marcos Alonso. There was nothing the Spanish defender was able to do right today.

He could not defend, he could not pass, and it takes him 5 crosses to get one right. Emerson Palmieri needs to be given a chance from the next game.

3.      Alvaro Morata:  Alvaro Morata just can't catch a break. The Spanish striker was unable to do anything (again!) today and was clearly making things difficult for Pedro and Hudson-Odoi.

He was not creating chances nor was he able to link up with his teammates. There was no intent from him today to score and, if things continue like this, he might be warming the bench more often than not this season.

 


Written by Published in Foreign August 06 2018 0

Man Utd are set to complete a £60m move for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld in the next 48 hours, says the Sunday Mirror.

The Red Devils had previously been unwilling to meet Spurs' £75m valuation of the 29-year-old, but a breakthrough now appears to have been reached between the two clubs.

Meanwhile, United will launch a last-ditch bid to sign Willian from Chelsea, who is Jose Mourinho's top summer target according to the Sunday Mirror.


Written by Published in Foreign August 03 2018 0

 

The start of the 2018/2019 EPL campaign is almost here yet again as the rough and tumble of another league season gets underway on 10th, August 2018.


Here we take a look at the ten Nigerians who could prove to be a real success with their respective clubs in the division thus: 

 

1) Alex Iwobi (Arsenal): After an uninspiring World Cup, the Super Eagles forward will definitely be raring to go with the Gunners this term. 

 

He has shown glimpses of his qualities with the club in their pre-season activities. The 22-year-old has his eyes set on cementing a place in Unai Emery’s set-up.

 

2) Victor Moses (Chelsea): Moses is already one of the most sophisticated and influential players on the books of the Stamford Bridge club in recent years. 

 

His versatility is one every manager is always on the lookout for. Having helped Chelsea to win the league title and the FA Cup crown in the last two years, the Super Eagle will be gunning to achieve more success this period.

 

3) Jordon Ibe (Bournemouth): The former Liverpool wonder kid has finally come of age with the Cherries and 2018/2019 campaign is primed to be the season he gets to fulfill his promise. 

 

If only he can bring his pre-season goal scoring instincts to fore more often, then their opponents will be very wary of him.

 

4) Tammy Abraham (Chelsea): Abraham seems to have finally played his way into the heart of new Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri judging by his performances in the club's ongoing pre-season activities. 

 

The NFF target is set to add to his two league appearances having been backed to deputise for Alvaro Morata rather than shipped out for another loan stint. 

 

Fast, skillful and with a keen eye for goal, many EPL defenders will cringe at coming up against a striker of his quality.

 

5) Dominic Solanke (Liverpool): Solanke is so much revered by Reds manager, Jurgen Klopp who has already expressed many times that the striker remains firmly within his preferred options. 

 

When he is handed the opportunity, the 20-year-old is a deadly attacker and will surely add an extra bite to Liverpool's already burgeoning armory.

 

6) Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City): Iheanacho did not resume pre-season activities with the Foxes but has already scored in each of the two games he's participated in — that simply says so much of his potential. 

 

If Claude Puel can endeavour to hand the Nigeria international more game time this time around, watch out to see what a big hit he will be.

 

7) Nnamdi Oforboh (Bournemouth): Bournemouth has wasted little time to promote the Flying Eagle to their first team on the back of his inestimable qualities, and this could be his break out year. 

 

If Eddie Howie decides to hand the 18-year-old a senior team debut in the EPL this time, Oforboh is surely prepared enough to deal with the expectations which comes with it.

 

8) Philip Billing (Huddersfield Town): After helping Huddersfield Town retain their topflight status with his nerveless midfield displays at the tail end of last season, the 22-year-old will be hungry for more come the crack of a new campaign. 

 

He is a gritty midfielder with unique, spectacular ball-playing qualities, The Terriers would be hoping he finally fulfill his potential this season.

 

9) Leon Balogun (Brighton): Brighton bagged the experienced Nigerian just before the summer World Cup kicked off and will be hoping to benefit from his talents. 

 

The Super Eagles defender is surely a player to have in the ranks for any team and if he can be able to help David Wagner's stem the amount of goals they will let through, then there's no limit to what they can achieve.

 

10) Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City): Ndidi has proved he is already one of the best players in his position in the game today and is a player the club always cannot afford to lose. 

 

When the 21-year-old is not in action for The Foxes, their play tends to be disjointed and output usually on a downward spiral. 

 

What the club has always gotten back from Ndidi is a hundred percent performance and this season is never likely to be different. 

 

 


Written by Published in Foreign August 03 2018 0

Lionel Scaloni and Pablo Aimar have been named as caretaker managers of the Argentina national team.

 

The Argentinian Football Association (AFA) confirmed the 40-year-old's appointment in a brief statement on Thursday.

 

Scaloni, who is Argentina's Under-20 boss and will be accompanied by his current assistant and fellow former international Aimar with the senior side, is due to take charge of the September friendlies against Guatemala and Colombia.

 

Those fixtures will be Argentina's first since a disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia, where Scaloni was a member of the backroom staff working under the subsequently dismissed Jorge Sampaoli.

 

"The AFA informs that, after the meeting of the executive committee, Lionel Scaloni will direct the next friendlies of the Argentine national team, along with his assistants Pablo Aimar and Martín Tocalli," the AFA's statement read.

 

Federation president Claudio Tapia told Ole he expects the interim team to remain in place for the rest of 2018.

"The three international matches we are going to play between now and the end of the year will be led by Scaloni and Aimar," he said.

 


Written by Published in Foreign July 27 2018 0

The International Association of Athletics Federations, IAAF, has approved for Kenya to host the 2020 Under-Twenty World Athletics Championships in Nairobi.

 

The decision was made following what the athletics governing body called outstanding Under-Eighteen championships in 2017.

 

IAAF President SEBASTIAN COE said the Under-Twenty championships would showcase the future of sports.

 

He said Kenya, with a young and enthusiastic population and such a rich history in athletics, is a perfect fit for IAAF.


Written by Published in Foreign July 23 2018 0

 German forward, Mesut Ozil has confirmed that he is retiring from international football with immediate effect following the treatment he received from the German football Federation.

 

The Arsenal attacker hit out at the treatment he received from the German football association, confirming he will no longer wear the jersey

 

The Arsenal attacker claims that the way he has been treated by the German football association makes him no longer want to wear the German national team shirt.

 

Ozil announced the decision in the third part of a lengthy statement released on his Twitter account, with the first part explaining the reasoning behind his controversial photograph with Turkey president RECEP ERDOGAN and the second update criticising how the media and sponsors reacted to the incident.


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