Vanguard Newspaper 14 February 2018
38 — Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 AS MADRID BATTLE PSG TONIGHT.. Zidane says it’s not Neymar vs Ronaldo Zinedine Zidane spoke to the press yesterday ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League date with destiny when PSG visit the Spanish capital tonight for a round 16 match. Real’s season hinges on success against the bigspending Ligue 1 leaders and perhaps Zidane’s job does as well, with the Frenchman admitting that the 2017-18 season has been a bit of a disappointment on the domestic front. “It’s not Neymar vs Cristiano, it’s PSG vs Real Madrid” Zidane says. “Cristiano has achieved remarkable things with five Ballon d’Or and I am not going to compare them now. Everyone knows about Neymar on the pitch, they both have a lot of quality and can make a difference. “It’s 50-50" Zidane reckons, saying that both sides have an equal chance of going through. Who is under more pressure, Madrid or PSG? Zidane replies that there is no pressure on Lacazette out for up to six weeks Alexandre Lacazette faces a period of up to six weeks on the sidelines after undergoing minor surgery on his left knee. The Arsenal striker had an arthroscopy on his left knee on Tuesday morning and his club expect him to be out for between four and six weeks. Standard Sport understands that Lacazette’s injury had been an ongoing problem that required swift addressing but the decision to send the 26-year-old under the knife hands Arsene Wenger a major selection headache ahead of Thursday’s Europa League round of 32 first-leg at Ostersunds - and indeed for much of the remainder of the competition Indeed until Lacazette recovers, which is unlikely to be before the Europa League has reached its quarter-final stage, Danny Welbeck will be the only senior centre forward available to the Arsenal manager in the competition. Eddie Nketiah, 18, was also named in the Gunners squad for the competition. Madrid because they live for playing these kinds of games and he hopes that it will be a great game. “I don’t have to show anything tonight, all I can do is focus on the game and that is what is important for me right now. Not what people will say about me. “Being PSG it is true that as I Argentine football federation president Claudio Tapia said he has asked Lionel Messi to play less for Barcelona and be fresher for the World Cup. Messi has been in blistering form for the Catalan side that have raced clear at the top of LaLiga but in Argentina they are hoping that he doesn’t burn out before the summer. “I hope that all the players will have the same form that am from Olympique de Marseille that there is a historical rivalry but I am concentrating on Madrid against PSG. “What is important for me is that the team is focused on the game. We will see what happens tonight and how we start. It is not important who plays but how we get on in the game.” they are in at the moment,” Tapia explained. “Sergio Aguero is playing fantastically and Lionel Messi is always strong. “This is important for the coaches and directors, we spoke with Messi for him to look after himself and play less at Barcelona.” He also revealed that they had received an offer to play a friendly game against Liverpool unleash Salah, Mane on Porto Ahead of Eagles World Cup clash Argentina FA tells Messi to play less for Barca Porto are waiting on a late fitness test for key defender Ivan Marcano ahead of their Champions league last 16 clash with Liverpool tonight. Spaniard Marcano, 30, hasn’t played since January 24 and only took part in limited training yesterday. And Liverpool are ready to unleash the African duo of Mohamed Salah and Saido Mane on Porto. Manager Juergen Klopp is backing the duo to provide the goals that will lift Liverpool to a victory.The Portuguese club, who went back to the top of the league this weekend, are desperate for him to make the game given his regular defensive partner, Brazilian Felipe, is suspended after being sent off in the last Champions league group game. Top scorer Vincent Aboubakar is also not at 100% and also only took part in limited training yesterday although midfielder Andre Andre seems to be winning his battle for fitness. Portuguese journalist Luís Rocha Rodrigues, from the zerozero.pt website, said: “All is not rosy for manager Sergio Conceicao, as he has further injury concerns regarding Aboubakar (main striker), Marcano (central defender) and André André (midfielder). “Given that his defensive partner Felipe will miss the game having been sent off v Monaco in the last Champions League game, Marcano is the stand-out issue ahead of the Liverpool clash. “If he isn’t fit then the untried Yordan Osorio (signed in January) will be line for the biggest game of his career.” Catalonia in Barcelona on June 4 and they are discussing the possibility. “Jorge (Sampaoli) said that it would be a good idea on a football level and for us it would also be important economically,” he added. Giroud: I was right to join Chelsea O livier Giroud insists he has no regrets about leaving Arsenal for Chelsea after helping his new club get back to winning ways last night. Giroud joined Chelsea for £18million on transfer deadline day a fortnight ago having spent the previous five-and-a-half years at their London rivals. He said: “As a football player you need to move on and be ready the first day at your new club. It’s a new challenge for me. It was special for me to leave Arsenal because I had five amazing years there. But right now is a new chapter of my career and I’m focused 100 per cent on reaching our targets. I am very happy to be here at Chelsea. “I know I will have to be efficient, scoring and assisting sometimes. Obviously we don’t have too much time to integrate. But I feel very good and the players have been very good to me. “Will I get more of a chance to play here? Yes, obviously that’s why I needed to move. Chelsea was the perfect team for me, the perfect club. “I’m still playing in the Premier League and for the club that has won the most titles (along with Manchester United) in the past 13 years. It’s a massive club and I’m very proud to be here’’.
Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018 — 39 Anyone who has witnessed Real Madrid’s staggering inconsistency throughout this campaign would surely consider it mad to back Zinedine Zidane’s side versus Paris Saint-Germain, however the way they manage to turn it on in the Champions League means they cannot be discounted. Interestingly, Cristiano Ronaldo has warned MSG, saying that “real Madrid are a different team when we play in the Champions League’’ Such an upturn in performance level has not only been witnessed under the French coach but also for a long period of Los Blancos history, during which they have accrued 12 European Cups. When domestic football is put to one side, the statistics show that Real grow into a greater beast, with fouls received the only area where their numbers are more favourable in LaLiga: Eagles can beat Argentina ageain NANF demands $10b royalty for broadcast of EPL matches in Nigeria By Jacob Ajom The National Association of Nigerian Footballers, NANF, has raised alarm over the negative effect of the “invasion “ of Nigeria by promoters of foreign football leagues and their merchandise, while relegating the local game to the background. Speaking in Lagos yesterday, President of NANF, Harrison Jalla said the effect of the invasion on the growth of the local game has been negative and unrewarding. “In light of this, we have initiated various moves that would ensure the local game benefited from this invasion which, to say the least, has crippled the domestic game,”Jalla said. He disclosed that “after due consultation with relevant authorities such as the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission and the Nigeria Lottery Trust Fund over the killing of domestic football as a product, service and industry by cable satellite television and football betting companies Ronaldo warns PSG •says Madrid are a different team in Champions League averaging 13.5 per game to 10 in Europe. Across the entire Champions League this season, no team has a better passing accuracy than Madrid with only Bayern Munich achieving a better shot accuracy. Likewise, Los Blancos are second-best to Liverpool in the number of shots fired off with the Reds and Wednesday’s Alex Iwobi has said he hopes the Super Eagles repeat a stunning friendly win over Argentina at the World Cup in Russia. In November, the Eagles stunned two-time world champions Argentina 4-2 in Krasnodar and both teams will meet again for the fifth time at the World Cup in Russia. “Argentina were missing their star man (Lionel) Messi, but we were also missing some of our players (for the friendly). We are confident we can repeat that at the World Cup,” the Arsenal forward said in a BBC interview monitored today. “We were unbeaten in the World Cup qualifiers and we are confident and have young talent, who want to prove themselves any time they are on the pitch.” using foreign leagues, particularly the English Premier League games, we have got in touch with our external solicitors Johnson & Steler Solicitors of Hanover Square, Mayfair London to initiate a process to recover $10billion as outstanding royalties from 2008 to 2018 for Cadbury Nigeria Plc, manufacturers of TomTom has expressed delight to partner the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) as the ‘Official Candy of the Super Eagles.’ In a statement, the Company’s Corporate and Government Affairs Director for West Africa, Bala Yesufu said now is the time to give the Super Eagles the maximum support they require to excel in football.” Yesufu said: “Tom Tom, the leading candy brand from Cadbury Nigeria is proud to be associated as ‘Official Candy of opponents Paris Saint-Germain the two highest scoring teams before Real. Beating Les Parisiens in the last-16 will also demand a good control of the gameand Zidane’s men can boast more passes than PSG for the tournament so far, an area where only Barcelona and Manchester City are ahead of the holders. the adverse effect of the invasion of the EPL and football betting using the Premier League games.” Jalla said, “betting companies and satellite television networks broadcasting matches of foreign leagues in Nigeria should pay royalties to football authorities in the country. TomTom sweetens Eagles World Cup campaign the Super Eagles.’ We appreciate the leadership of the NFF for their moderation in arriving at this partnership initiative and we hope to live up to our part of the deal.” According to the President of the NFF, Mr. Amaju Pinnick, the partnership with Tom Tom was too good to be turned down as the brand has demonstrated a champion’s spirit over the years. Pinnick added: “The Nigerian Football Federation is pleased to enter into this worthwhile contract as Tom Tom has done so much for Nigerian football over the years.” SMILES... Chairman, GAC Motors, Chief Diana Chan presents the key of a car to the winner of the 10km male category, Sadjo Ismail at the Access bank Lagos City Marathon 2018 Finalists emerge in FC Bayern Youth Cup FC defeated Regent All Star 3- Finalists in the FC Bayern Youth Cup tournament have emerged from Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Jos, leaving only Lagos Mainland and Island as the two zones yet to produce their finalists. In the Abuja final held at the Area 3 Astro Turf in the Federal Capital Territory, Sporting Dreams Olaniyan basketball competition dunks off The 12th edition of the CFI Olaniyan Basketball competition among 12 secondary schools in Ikeja holds between tomorrow and Friday, Februay 16 at the basketball court of Victory Grammar School, Ikeja. The competing schools are Air Force Secondary School, Command Secondary School, Binta Secondary school. According to the Games Master, Larry Uwaneri, the basketball inter-school competition is a biennial event which started 20 years ago. The Managing Director of the school, Chief CFI Olaniyan is the sponsor of the competition. Prizes comprising trophies, certificates and awards will be given to students and invited schools who excel in the competition. 1 to emerge champions. Eneka Fc defeated Urban Strikers 1-0 at Liberation Stadium o to win The Port Harcourt Tournament. Enugu Tournament witnessed a penalty shoot-out to separate Early Start Academy vs Federal Government College Enugu as both sides played 1-1 in regulation time. Early Start Academy won by 8-7 at the Rangers Camp in Liberty Estate on January 28th 2018. Kings United lost 5 -0 to Derby FC on Sunday, February 4th 2018 at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos. Speaking on the developments, Brand and Marketing Director at StarTimes, Qasim Elegbede said that “over 50 games and 150+ goals have been recorded with 320 players taking part so far.” He added that StarTimes and VOE Foundation have put in a lot of work to see to a rewarding experience for the boys competing and are pleased with the success of the completion till date. Ige hails WAMCO over National Stadium Power Gym transformation By Gabriel Olawale Chairman/CEO of HS Media, owners of HotSports, Mr. Taye Ige, has praised Friesland Campina WAMCO for turning the dilapidated Power Gymnasium complex at the National Stadium, Surulere to a world class training facility. The complex which was equipped with the best and latest training materials, to challenge the Nigerian Paralympic team to achieve more, remains one of several interventions by Friesland Campina WAMCO. Celebrating the success story with the company, Mr. Ige said as a company, they are happy to be part of that success story, initiated and financed by Peak Milk, a brand that has shown enormous support and encouragement to sportsmen and women in Nigeria. Ige said the journey that led to the complete overhaul of the Power Gymnasium, the first time since the stadium was commissioned in 1972, began during a chance visit to the stadium by a top ranking official of Friesland Campina WAMCO, who was stunned on seeing the archaic, dilapidating and unconducive atmosphere where the Paralympic Team, that hauled medals at the last Paralympics trained. “Convinced that if the place is made conducive for the Paralympians, they can do more and achieve more, Freisland Campina WAMCO adopted it as one of their corporate social responsibilities to Nigeria’s sports development. “WAMCO didn’t stop at just renovating the structure. The company also instructed us to spare no effort in sourcing for the best, most modern equipment from renowned, reputable sports equipment companies in the world and worked with our experts. The result is what we have today, a world class Power Gym.