Category: Sport

Murray guns for first Australian Open title, as Federer, Nadal, Williams return

Murray guns for first Australian Open title, as Federer, Nadal, Williams return

Andy Murray

The Australian Open scheduled for January 16-29, 2017 will have World No. 1 Andy Murray looking to win his first Grand Slam title at the event in Melbourne, which will mark the return of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal from injury.

Federer has suffered a knee injury; Nadal, a wrist injury; and Williams, a shoulder injury that ruled them out in some part of the 2016 season, but the Tennis world is eager to watch as they stage their return come January.

There is plenty at stake at the Melbourne event!

While Serena Williams will be hoping to win her 23rd Grand Slam singles title to become the most decorated singles player in the Open Era, Novak Djokovic will hope to win the event for a record seventh

But Djokovic will face stiff competition from current world No. 1 Murray, who is vying to win his first title down under, having finished as runner-up on five occasions – 2010, 2011. 2013, 2015 and

Sources: Ripples


UCL: Dortmund set new record in group stage

UCL: Dortmund set new record in group stage


After holding Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw at Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, German side Borussia Dortmund have broken a record for scoring most goals in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

As the German side fought back from 2-0 down to secure a draw against their group’s first-place rival, they emerged as having scored more goals in the group stages of the Champions League than any other side in history.

The two goals on Wednesday night took their tally to 21 goals in the group stages – a competition record, surpassing Manchester United in 1998-99, Barcelona in 2011-12, 2016-17, and Real Madrid in 2013-14 –
all scoring 20 goals.

Below are the results of the matches played by the German side, from match day 1 to 6:

Legia Warsaw 0-6 Dortmund
Dortmund 2-2 Real Madrid
Sporting 1-2 Dortmund
Dortmund 1-0 Sporting
Dortmund 8-4 Legia Warsaw
Real Madrid 2-2 Dortmund

Ultimately, as the football world await Monday’s draw of Last-16, the German giant will pose a serious threat to any team they’re drawn with in the next round.

Sources: Ripples.


Mikel, Iheanacho, Musa Shortlisted For CAF Player Of The Year Award

Mikel, Iheanacho, Musa Shortlisted For CAF Player Of The Year Award

Five Nigerians have been named to vie for the CAF African Player of the Year and the African Player of the Year (based in Africa).

England-based trio of Mikel John Obi, Ahmed Musa and Kelechi Iheanacho have been listed in the running for the continent’s biggest individual prize in football – the African Player of the Year alongside 27 other top stars including Riyad Mahrez, Samuel Eto’o, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Andre Ayew, Victor Wanyama and Eric Bailly.

Surprisingly, there is no nomination for four-time winner Yaya Toure of Cote d’Ivoire and Manchester City.

 In the award for the players based in Africa, Enyimba and Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) record scorer, Mfon Udoh, as well as Chisom Chikatara, now with Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) are up against 23 other players featuring for different clubs on the continent.
CAF is expected to trim the number of nominees before the end of the year.
Mourinho issues Rashford with England Under-21 warning

Mourinho issues Rashford with England Under-21 warning

Jose Mourinho does not want Marcus Rashford to be selected for next year’s European Under-21 Championships if the Manchester United striker is a regular in the senior England squad.

The United manager was responding to stories that England’s governing Football Association were keen to include Premier League stars, such as Rashford, in their Under-21 squad for the tournament in Poland in June.

Mourinho has no problem with Rashford, who turns 19 on the last day of this month, being a part of that squad – but only if he has not established himself in the senior set-up.

“We are in mid-October, the Championships will be in the summer,” United manager Mourinho said Wednesday.

“I think we have to wait and see what happens until then. Because if the player becomes a regular in the ‘A’ national team, if you want to call it that, then to say it is important for his development (to be) with the Under-21s, makes no sense.”

Gareth Southgate has been promoted from his post as England Under-21 boss to be the manager of the senior England team on an interim basis, with the FA still to announce if the former England defender will succeed Sam Allardyce on a permanent basis after the veteran coach was forced out after just one game following indiscreet comments made to undercover reporters.

“If he’s an Under-21 player in the national team, then he is an Under-21 player and there is no discussion about that,” said Mourinho of Rashford.

“But if he becomes a regular choice for Gareth Southgate in the first team, then we have to speak because we don’t want him going.”

Rashford has five England caps to his name, four of them as a substitute in competitive internationals.

– Rooney ‘working well’ –

Mourinho was speaking as he put the finishing touches to plans for the Europa League group game with Fenerbahce at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The game could be the opportunity for Wayne Rooney and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to feature in the starting side as Mourinho juggles his squad ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelsea.

Rooney has not started the last four United games and has also seen his place in the England run-on XI disappear under new manager Southgate.

“Wayne is working well, he is one of those responsible for the atmosphere for the players,” insisted Mourinho. “He is positive, he is a good example. We count on him to start or be on the bench. He will be there tomorrow (Thursday).”

As for Mkhitaryan, a £26 million ($34.5 million, 30.7 million euros) pre-season signing from Borussia Dortmund, the Armenian has not been involved since defeat in the Manchester derby in early-September as he struggles to recover from a thigh injury.

“He was injured and was injured for quite a long time,” said Mourinho. “Now he is not injured anymore. He has been training with the team without any limitation. “I cannot confirm if he plays tomorrow.”

The only player whom Mourinho confirmed would start against Turkish side Fenerbahce was England left-back Luke Shaw, who has not kicked-off a game for United since the manager criticised hium following last month’s defeat loss at Watford.

Shaw insisted he had taken Mourinho’s comments in his stride and was keen to improve.

“Of course,” said Shaw. “I said before I’m a grown man and I can take what the manager said.

“I’m still young and I need to take on board what he said and improve. I’m always going to listen to what the coaches saying have a good attitude about it.”

Shaw added: “I was disappointed with the result but not what the manager said. I take it on board and look to improve. Hopefully I can do that in the next matches.”


Ogenyi Onazi Drags His Former Club ‘Lazio’ To FIFA Over Unpaid Salaries

Ogenyi Onazi Drags His Former Club ‘Lazio’ To FIFA Over Unpaid Salaries

Sources have reported that the super Eagles star is sueing his former club to court over unpaid salaries. Lazio owe Ogenyi Onazi salaries for May and June 2017. The midfielder has written a letter to the Italian club.

A source close to the player told said the midfielder is being owed two months’ salary by the Italian Serie A club.

“Onazi is taking Lazio to FIFA over-unpaid salary,” the source said.

He is not happy with them and has contacted Lazio over the issue but it seems they are not ready to pay. He served them letter to this effect already.”

It can be recalled that Ogenyi Onazi featured for Nigeria at last weeks African nations qualifiers.


Luis Suarez receives 2015/16 Golden Shoe Award

Luis Suarez receives 2015/16 Golden Shoe Award

Barcelona’s Uruguayan star Luis Suarez on Thursday collected the Golden Shoe award for the leading scorer in Europe last season and admitted he never imagined being the most prolific member of such a star-studded attack.

“I didn’t imagine myself as the top scorer, I only thought about being a champion, winning the Champions League, which I have done,” said Suarez at a prize-giving ceremony in Barcelona.

“I have team-mates who make it easy but I am not going to take credit from myself because it needs to be done and you need to be in the right place,” Suarez, 29, said of his goal-scoring exploits.

The former Liverpool striker, who moved to the Camp Nou in 2014, scored a remarkable 40 goals in La Liga last season as Luis Enrique’s side edged out Real Madrid to take the title.

That tally allowed him to pip Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, scorer of a Serie A record 36 goals for Napoli, to the award.

Cristiano Ronaldo was third with 35 goals for Real.

He said of all his goals among those that stood out came in the 4-0 destruction of Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“There were many beautiful goals, important ones, but the ones I liked the most for what they meant were the two against Real Madrid and one against Atletico Madrid because it allowed us to stay top,” he said.

It is the second time Suarez has won the Golden Shoe — in 2013-14 he shared the prize with Ronaldo after netting 31 times for Liverpool in the Premier League.

Ronaldo has won it a record four times, while Suarez’s Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi is a three-time winner.

He gave a nod to Messi and Neymar, the other member of the so-called MSN.

“I am in the best team in the world, with the best players,” he said.

Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez poses after receiving the 2015-2016 Golden Shoe award to the leading goalscorer in league matches from the top division of every European national league, on October 20, 2016 in Barcelona.

When you fix an objective you can reach it but the priority is the collective and winning titles as a team.

“If individual prizes come with that then it’s even better. But if it’s not me who wins them then let it be Leo or Neymar!”

Suarez is the second Uruguayan to win the trophy after Diego Forlan, who took the Golden Shoe when with Villarreal in 2004-05 and again as an Atletico player in 2008-09.